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SHOOTOUT! Epik Empire vs HSU VTF-15H vs CHT CS18.1 vs Rythmik FV15 vs eD A7s-450 - Page 8

post #211 of 1241
OH Brian THANK YOU for reminding me about the videos! I kept forgetting to talk about that.

Guys those intro videos were taken by an amateur (me). The A7s-450 looks sloppy in that video because I had the camera waaaay to close to it. The poor thing was getting blasted by the s450! By the time I got to the Rythmik and Hsu I had incrementally set the tripod much farther back with each filming. Also regarding the Hsu, Empire and CS18.1, I had to manually sync the soundtrack to the video since obviously the camera's crappy mic sound was garbled, and I wasn't as accurate on those since it was very hard to hear. Sorry!

Anywho, look at the "Low Roads" videos for a much better idea of how the drivers move.
post #212 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by floridapoolboy View Post

I pay very little attention to any subjective comments that fly in the face of objective numbers.

but do the numbers actually disagree with the observations that several of us share? take a look at the source material chart again. Instead of the max SPL colors, notice the darker colors that represent the SPLs the subs regularly hit. On several pieces of material, the Hsu matched or exceeded the SPLs the CS18.1 and A7s-450 were regularly hitting. And on "Bass, I love You" it played that song the loudest in general. If you have a chance to hear the sub, please do. I think you'd really like what you hear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by f1nels View Post

Hey Gentleman, Great job!!
You showed two lines on the A7s450 with bassboost on/off, is the graph of the CS18.1 with the bass boost on or off? Thanks.

Bass boost is on with the CS18.1 because that's how it is intended to be used. The A7s-450, on the other hand, is by default calibrated to be used with the bass boost off. Keep in mind the CS18.1 boost is only 3db, while the A7s-450 is 6db. Some guys don't mind the boominess of 6db boost, but eD will recommend not to use it and I agree with them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sputter1 View Post

That's curious, I wonder if any of the other Sub manufactures were able to have thier subs setup for the flattest extention? ( in regards to Gene's "shootout"

I'm not sure what you're asking?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BufordTJustice View Post

On another note, the only comment I have is this: the A7s-450's performance becomes MUCH improved with the up-until-recently included for free eQ.2.... Just my $.02

We actually had every intention of using the eQ.2, but it turns out that in Adam's listening environment, we didn't really need it. As you can see from the graphs, it's FR was fine and dandy. So we thought to be fair to eD we would test the sub at the $850 price point since it performed admirably as it was. So like we mentioned in the FAQ, and as you testify, there's a good chance your own experience might even be better than what we report if you do eQ the subs, apply room correction, put it in a smaller environment, or put it in a sealed environment, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post

You guys had mentioned that the 18.1 likes to dance around unless you put something heavy on it? Is this a serious potential issue?

On hard surface floors, yeah. You'll need to put something that weighs about 20 lbs on it if you decide to really push it. On carpet I'm not sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post

Also speaking of that amp, what is the deal with the light clipping all the time? Others who own this sub have mentioned this as well. Another potential issue, or just a light show?
Thanks guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by floridapoolboy View Post

Hmm, OK then, to recap... the sub was only able to keep up with the output of the Ed by driving the amp to extreme levels of clipping. The bros chose to ignore the clipping as they said it didn't seem to be causing any audible issues (?).

Sorry if we lead anyone to believe that we posted those numbers for the CS18.1 and it wasn't hitting them cleanly. I was pretty sure I remarked that we ignored the clip warning light (EDIT: actually I reread and saw that sometimes I shortened to just saying "clip light". My bad. It is only a warning light) and were able to get much higher numbers with little to no loss in sound quality because it didn't actually clip until we pushed it much farther. The only point at which I actually heard a slight bit of clipping was during the Hulk Cannon scene, but I could only hear it because I was standing right next to the sub. And I said the same about the eD, when we maxed it out, it did lose a little sound quality, but you really had to be next to it to notice. Both subs sound fantastic at very high SPLs!

To repeat, all numbers we post for all five subs is what they could do absolutely at max limit with no bottoming out, and little to no audible loss in sound quality. And in most cases the loss in sound quality was only noticed by me because I was standing next to the sub.

**deleted from page 7 so that it would be at the top of page 8
post #213 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by cacihome View Post

I have one question/observation that I know several people will have/have experienced:

Why is that this is true?(and I have experienced it too)

"We can't tell you how much fun this sub is to listen to. It was kind of a mystery to us: even though its average max SPL was about 2.8db below the A7s-450, this thing just moved you like no other."

I mean...

I have been giving it several thoughts and the only thing I can come up with is that since the sub has the flattest FR, in real world material when all the freqs are asked to be played at the same time, the VTF-15 actually handles them louder, because all the freqs are having the same loudness/priority and thus plays actually louder? (i guess)

Does this make sense to you people?
If this is not me being high or something(HAHAHAH) this effect appears to be very difficult to measure, but it is giving great results in real world performance.

The same thing happens with several of the HSU lineup, since when the VTF-3 MK3 review from craigsub came up, he said that "the sub was pure joy to listen to", and that "it goes beyond the posted numbers"...So apparently all HSU subs in real world material are much powerful felt than others with higher SPL numbers per frequency...

BTW...I didn't have my coffee today...HAHHAA

I've had the VTF-15H for almost 3 months now and have played around with it quite a bit before and after getting an SMS-1. What I noticed before I got the SMS-1 was on certain scenes - for example Iron Man cave scene and Despicable Me rocket launch, I got Higher max SPL's on my Digital SPL meter than I did after adding the SMS-1. It sounded pretty good already before but after flattening out my room response my peak levels are now a few db's lower(at the same volume level) but for some reason it feels MUCH stronger. I have/had the sub set at 78db's before and after as well. It doesn't make much sense to me but If what your saying is true then that explains it I guess..


Quote:
Originally Posted by kwarny View Post

It may be due to the fact that the feet transferred more energy to the floor than the others. Not an expert but the HSU's cabinet not being as inert compared to the others at max output may account for this presence.

My sub is on padded carpet on concrete with 2 cement walls and sits on an Auralex Great Gramma. I would think it would transfer less energy on a Gramma and being in a room like mine but I could be wrong..
post #214 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimwyn View Post

Hey guys, I noticed you spoke about a review of the higher priced subs, do you have an idea of which subs will be included in that review?

...and so the waiting begins.
post #215 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jed M View Post

...and so the waiting begins.

A $2k sub shootout would be pretty sweet! Captivator vs PB13 vs Submersive vs ED A7s-650 vs ED P7-650!
post #216 of 1241
A few folks here have commented negatively on the SQ descriptions in the review, pretty much it seems because they don't value subjective opinion.

Frankly, I appreciate and value the subjective listening characteristics just as much as the spl numbers and FR graphs. Especially when the descriptions are not coming from manufacturers or owners. No, SQ cannot be measured properly. But clearly it's the most important thing. Unless of course you're in the habit of inviting friends over, popping in a blu-ray and staring at charts and the excursion for the entire movie.

Since the bros didn't rate the SQ alone based on their own tastes and instead simply explained a little about it, and generally which subs were a little better at some things than others, leading us to draw our own conclusions, I found the information very valuable and useful. And the more subjective opinions we read, the more we can match similarities.

If you don't like subjective listening opinions - skip over them. It's all just additional information. Even the numbers and charts can't be the final word, since they aren't in your own room. I don't discount the facts. I always want the facts as best we can get them. But appreciating both left brain and right brain needs, the more information the better.

That said, Below, I wonder if it's too late to add in edits, detailing the description of the SQ any further? Articulate, crystal clear, robust, thin, beefy, room filling, fat, directional, blends well, etc. Describe the differences a particular scene or piece of music had on each perhaps.

PS. This whole thing made me wish my bro wasn't 4000 miles away. We'd have a blast doing this stuff. At least I got to live vicariously.
post #217 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

A $2k sub shootout would be pretty sweet! Captivator vs PB13 vs Submersive vs ED A7s-650 vs ED P7-650!

Anyone wanna bet a grover cleveland that shadyJ is not Madaeel's wife?
post #218 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

A $2k sub shootout would be pretty sweet! Captivator vs PB13 vs Submersive vs ED A7s-650 vs ED P7-650!

In regards to output, that competition wouldn't even be close. The Captivator will put out as much as at least two of any the other choices. As far as other aspects go, it would become more interesting.
post #219 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by cacihome View Post

I have one question/observation that I know several people will have/have experienced:

Why is that this is true?(and I have experienced it too)

"We can't tell you how much fun this sub is to listen to. It was kind of a mystery to us: even though its average max SPL was about 2.8db below the A7s-450, this thing just moved you like no other."

I mean...

I have been giving it several thoughts and the only thing I can come up with is that since the sub has the flattest FR, in real world material when all the freqs are asked to be played at the same time, the VTF-15 actually handles them louder, because all the freqs are having the same loudness/priority and thus plays actually louder? (i guess)

Does this make sense to you people? If this is not me being high or something(HAHAHAH) this effect appears to be very difficult to measure, but it is giving great results in real world performance.

The same thing happens with several of the HSU lineup, since when the VTF-3 MK3 review from craigsub came up, he said that "the sub was pure joy to listen to", and that "it goes beyond the posted numbers"...So apparently all HSU subs in real world material are much powerful felt than others with higher SPL numbers per frequency...

BTW...I didn't have my coffee today...HAHHAA

What about harmonics? Keeping in mind the RS meter reading is a composite of all freqs (which, in my house would have included some of the wife's stuff she has haninging on the walls vibrating like crazy).
post #220 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by oddiodog View Post

Since the bros didn't rate the SQ alone based on their own tastes and instead simply explained a little about it, and generally which subs were a little better at some things than others, leading us to draw our own conclusions, I found the information very valuable and useful. And the more subjective opinions we read, the more we can match similarities.

Applause
post #221 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by oddiodog View Post

A few folks here have commented negatively on the SQ descriptions in the review, pretty much it seems because they don't value subjective opinion.

Since the bros didn't rate the SQ alone based on their own tastes and instead simply explained a little about it, and generally which subs were a little better at some things than others, leading us to draw our own conclusions, I found the information very valuable and useful. And the more subjective opinions we read, the more we can match similarities.



'Like'
post #222 of 1241
Having 2 guys give their subjective opinion about the sq of subs is as useful as them giving their opinions on movies, food, or which actress they think looks best. It really has very little correlation to what anyone else would think, and really only adds an additional category for comparison which can't be proved reliably. "Sub A was just as loud as sub B, but we thought it had much better SQ". Well I would rather see some ground plane measurements myself, the last thing we need is "audiophile descriptions" of sub sq!
post #223 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOften View Post
I own a eQ.2 and it takes a fair amount of tinkering to be effective. Their are no digital displays (just knobs) and the eq width utilizes octaves vs. frequencies, so you gotta pull out your calculator and start plotting numbers to find where you want to apply the boost/knock out a peak. You could literally spend a day measuring, tuning, and re-measuring trying to use it to flatten out a response.

It's not a bad tool, but if they were trying trying to use it with all 5 subs as you suggested, they woulda been in for another 40+ hours of testing and evaluation. We wouldn't have seen this great work until March.
I'm not calling you or anybody else lazy who doesn't want to go to the trouble of tinkering, but there isn't that much to it.

1) Get some decent pink noise test tones.

2) Get a rat-shack spl meter (analog will do). Use c-weighting,

3) run the test tones at the desired frequencies (100hz on down, at 10 hz intervals. Maybe going to 5hz intervals at 40hz).

4) get a baseline at your listening position and write it down.

Here is some good info on using the eQ.2:
http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/s...2-measurements

See attached for an octave calculator spreadsheet. I did not make it, you can thank Dominguez1 for that. It's easy to use. Find what frequencies you need to boost or buck and enter those as central freqs in the calc. Then adjust the q as necessary, starting with the q setting on as narrow as possible (smallest number). This will give you a baseline. Now go back and check your measurements. Once you set it, forget it.

I really don't see how that is so much trouble. People spend HOURS on this forum reading. This could easily be accomplished by an average joe inside of 45 minutes without putting your cold beer down.

Considering how much less expensive the eQ.2 is than other competing solutions, it seems like it would be worth the trouble to most people. Some don't HAVE another $400 or more to splurge on an outboard eq solution. If one doesn't have an auto-eq in their receiver, or if they are two-channel only, then the eQ.2 makes a huge amount of sense.

Using my buddy's RTA, I spent, literally, about 12 minutes tinkering. Sans RTA, a regular spl meter would have about tripled that time. Considering you only have to do it once, it seems time well spent to me.

It hardly would have added 40 hours to the review. At most another hour for each sub, considering tinkering time.

Further, the Rhythmik would have about exploded with any amount of EQ added, so after switching the subsonic filter to "on" and deciding on a cutoff freq, that's all you can do there. Same with the CS 18.2 (the amp would have run out of gas even SOONER). The HSU and Epik may have been able to accept some EQ, but with reduced headroom (the Epik already uses, to good effect, a small amount of internal EQ). The most time fiddling would have been spent with the A7s-450, because it can tolerate more EQ added due to it having the most headroom. I suppose that would have made the test skewed...but then, again, eD MAKES the eQ.2...so maybe it's not unfair to use it with a product it was designed to be used for. Most of the other subs are running at redline, the A7s-450 has the most potential for tweaking. That was borne out by measurements and by listening experience in the review. Considering that tweaking costs exactly ZERO dollars, I would think that many end-users would take advantage of the added potential.

 

OctaveCalculationEQ2.zip 2.287109375k . file
post #224 of 1241
floridapoolboy, Grab a pH kit and go do something you are good at, test the water in a pool.
post #225 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by vitaminbass View Post

What about harmonics? Keeping in mind the RS meter reading is a composite of all freqs (which, in my house would have included some of the wife's stuff she has haninging on the walls vibrating like crazy).

The "shaking couch experience" had to come from deep bass which is being masked from the higher SPL meter midbass reading...
post #226 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by oddiodog View Post

Frankly, I appreciate and value the subjective listening characteristics just as much as the spl numbers and FR graphs. Especially when the descriptions are not coming from manufacturers or owners. No, SQ cannot be measured properly. But clearly it's the most important thing. Unless of course you're in the habit of inviting friends over, popping in a blu-ray and staring at charts and the excursion for the entire movie.

Since the bros didn't rate the SQ alone based on their own tastes and instead simply explained a little about it, and generally which subs were a little better at some things than others, leading us to draw our own conclusions, I found the information very valuable and useful. And the more subjective opinions we read, the more we can match similarities.

If you don't like subjective listening opinions - skip over them. It's all just additional information. Even the numbers and charts can't be the final word, since they aren't in your own room. I don't discount the facts. I always want the facts as best we can get them. But appreciating both left brain and right brain needs, the more information the better.

That said, Below, I wonder if it's too late to add in edits, detailing the description of the SQ any further? Articulate, crystal clear, robust, thin, beefy, room filling, fat, directional, blends well, etc. Describe the differences a particular scene or piece of music had on each perhaps.

You stated my feelings in a much better way than I am capable of.
post #227 of 1241
By Floridapoolboy's strict definition of objective vs subjective as stated above; the only objective (useful) criteria in the shootout are SPL levels. So I guess poolboy's two favorites are the ED and CS subs.
post #228 of 1241
When you guys did your SPL readings, you stated they were done at the listening position. Does that mean the readings were recorded with the meters on tripods such that the meter never moved during sub switches or were they hand held?
post #229 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by floridapoolboy View Post

Having 2 guys give their subjective opinion about the sq of subs is as useful as them giving their opinions on movies, food, or which actress they think looks best. It really has very little correlation to what anyone else would think, and really only adds an additional category for comparison which can't be proved reliably. "Sub A was just as loud as sub B, but we thought it had much better SQ". Well I would rather see some ground plane measurements myself, the last thing we need is "audiophile descriptions" of sub sq!

If the descriptive words used for SQ were less specific, like "best", "bigger", "nicer", "just sounds better", or "rocked my world", then yes, they would be solely based on the reviewer's opinion of what sounds better. And if we are not familiar with the reviewers tastes are or trust in their opinion, it means nothing.

But it seems to me, just as it has been universally accepted that higher SPL levels and flatter FR graphs are representative as a way of determining better SQ, certain descriptive words, like "tight, clean, articulate, and visceral" are words that are also universally accepted as being representative of better SQ.

So as long you put trust in the reviewer and their knowledge of judging subwoofers, I believe the usage of those specific type of SQ descriptors is more quantitative than subjective. In fact, I believe it takes less experience with subwoofers to determine if a sub is tighter and more articulate than it does to determine and chart SPL levels and FR graphs.

If you determine for reasons of personal benefit or lack of knowledge you don't trust in the reviewer, then you might as well discount the objective information as well, since SPL levels and charts can be fudged or exaggerated and are more difficult to determine. And most folks don't video their SPL meters and post them to prove.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Matman1970 View Post

So I guess poolboy's two favorites are the ED and CS subs.

Heh, heh. Dem's foytin woyds!
post #230 of 1241
PS. No disrespect to any of the subwoofers tested. I've heard none of them. But I do appreciate the levity.

I suspect that the differences in the value equation of each sub isn't as big as we may perceive them to be as some are stronger at some things and weaker at others when all factors are considered, including price.

And if the differences are subtle or minute, it can appear to be greater based on the small amount of subs tested. If 5 top purchaser rated subs are tested, and we self determine an order, then number 1 and 2 don't seem like good options. But if you realize that these are all top rated subs already by happy owners, and they were really tested against the many others out there in their price range, then any 1-5 out of 30 seems like a smart decisions depending on ones objectives.

And remember the guys said that if they each kept one, they would have kept 2 different ones.
post #231 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by klh007 View Post

floridapoolboy, Grab a pH kit and go do something you are good at, test the water in a pool.

150 posts in 8 YEARS and you use one to give me crap? Too funny!
post #232 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matman1970 View Post

By Floridapoolboy's strict definition of objective vs subjective as stated above; the only objective (useful) criteria in the shootout are SPL levels. So I guess poolboy's two favorites are the ED and CS subs.

You are 1/2 right!
post #233 of 1241
It will be interesting to see what changes the manufacturers may make in response to the opinions expressed here. I know eD will have a new round of changes (per website forums) due to some things expressed in the shootout, and Craig is changing his cabinet and paint for the 2011 model of the CS-18.1/2.

Cool.
post #234 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by HuskerOmaha View Post

It will be interesting to see what changes the manufacturers may make in response to the opinions expressed here. I know eD will have a new round of changes (per website forums) due to some things expressed in the shootout, and Craig is changing his cabinet and paint for the 2011 model of the CS-18.1/2.

Cool.

Changes? Can you go a bit more into what those changes are with eD if it's not too much trouble? Thanks!

EDIT: Was it Matts comment in the following link that you're referring to Husker? http://forum.edesignaudio.com/showth...out-74131.html
post #235 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by BufordTJustice View Post

I'm not calling you or anybody else lazy who doesn't want to go to the trouble of tinkering, but there isn't that much to it.

1) Get some decent pink noise test tones.

2) Get a rat-shack spl meter (analog will do). Use c-weighting,

3) run the test tones at the desired frequencies (100hz on down, at 10 hz intervals. Maybe going to 5hz intervals at 40hz).

4) get a baseline at your listening position and write it down.

...(5 more paragraphs)

With no experience with the eQ.2, you can't possibly get the desired results your first try, and you're also giving an advantage to subs utilized/reviewed later on with the eQ.2 than the earlier subs as you gain more and more experience with the eQ.2.

These guys easily put 40+ hours of work into the great review they've done, for free no less, and it's quite possible the opportunity cost of running an eq.2 with every sub wasn't palatable (even if we disagree on the about the time needed). At some point, especially with everyone getting fired up about the review on the message board, you just need to get something out. You can't tweak and second guess yourself forever.
post #236 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by floridapoolboy View Post

150 posts in 8 YEARS and you use one to give me crap? Too funny!

i wouldn't be too quick to equate the number of posts a person has with their intelligence level. Does it strike you as odd that you are constantly in arguments with people? Maybe it's everyone else...
post #237 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post

Changes? Can you go a bit more into what those changes are with eD if it's not too much trouble? Thanks!

EDIT: Was it Matts comment in the following link that you're referring to Husker? http://forum.edesignaudio.com/showth...out-74131.html

Yeah, pretty much. Alex has since clarified.
post #238 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOften View Post

With no experience with the eQ.2, you can't possibly get the desired results your first try, and you're also giving an advantage to subs utilized/reviewed later on with the eQ.2 than the earlier subs as you gain more and more experience with the eQ.2.

These guys easily put 40+ hours of work into the great review they've done, for free no less, and it's quite possible the opportunity cost of running an eq.2 with every sub wasn't palatable (even if we disagree on the about the time needed). At some point, especially with everyone getting fired up about the review on the message board, you just need to get something out. You can't tweak and second guess yourself forever.

Jack, your absolute statement is misleading. You assume that because you didn't/couldn't, others must not be able to as well. This is a logical fallacy.

What advantage would be given to subsequent subs? Can you explain this? With no disrespect to you, using the eQ.2, while it's not as quick as Audyssey...it ain't rocket science. You're acting like a 2-band parametric EQ is gonna swamp these guys. They look a little smarter to me than that. The CS 18.2 had a single band parametric that nobody complained about (looked like it worked as-intended to me). Still not tracking you here.

Okay, so using it for the other subs may not be practical; use it with the A7s-450 (for which it was made). The A7s-450 was the only sub used that had ZERO eq applied, despite a 25Hz boost being on board and the eQ.2 being readily available. All other had some form of eq used during the test. Heck the CS 18.2's entire amplifier was an outboard unit.

My point is that the eQ.2 was able to be used and can be simply and quickly employed to smooth room response (as noted when they said it was used to great effect in Ethan's basement to smooth a 45hz suck-out; there was no comment there about it taking a million years to do so).

You say they just need to get something out; are you arguing that it still would have taken too much time, or that it would have been unfair to the other subs? I'm still not sure what you're getting at.

Lastly, your implication that it required 5 additional paragraphs in my post to articulate the procedure for using the eQ.2, by inserting "...(5 more paragraphs)" is not genuine. That does a disservice to somebody who may not have read my original post. Changing people's quotes downstream is bad form, brother. Just an ellipses would have worked fine.
post #239 of 1241
OT:

FPB - we're waiting for you to buy these five subs and post a review like this...maybe you won't complain so much about what was said for those.

Well done, Adam and Ethan. Great work!
post #240 of 1241
Out of respect to the OP, and the hard work, let's not start pissing on each other and make this thread take a dump.
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