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SHOOTOUT! Epik Empire vs HSU VTF-15H vs CHT CS18.1 vs Rythmik FV15 vs eD A7s-450 - Page 9

post #241 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by BufordTJustice View Post

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.


Just to give an example of eq'ing with the a7s-450;

During the Hulk sound cannon scene, I max'd out at around 118db with Audyssey off. I turned Audyssey on and replayed the scene; my max was still 118. I have graphed my FR response for both Audyssey on and off, and in my room, Audyssey starts to apply boost at 16hz down to 10hz. At 10hz, it's boosting 9db.

I agree with the reviewers by not choosing to eq because it acheives one of the things they wanted to do; provide the most useful information to the largest audience.

However, most people that buy sealed subs eq them as that is one of the benefits of a sealed sub. By flattenning your response and obtaining the lowest extension capable by your sub, your 'sound quality' will improve (dramatically for most) as it represents what the director/artist/etc. intended for you to hear. Having more headroom will allow you to keep that flat FR response without distortion at high volumes. I'm sure the sealed subs in this shootout could achieve that FR response, but the question is; but at what cost? Distortion? Could they achieve similar clean output numbers?

It would be interesting to see how/if that would change the results...I think many would find that useful because that more likely represents what most folks would do when they integrate it into their home theater. My .02
post #242 of 1241
You guys do bring up some great points I think in terms of eq. Dominguez1, did you ever post your results with the 1 A7S-450 and only Auddesey running, and no .eQ2? I'm still considering the A7S and with the need for a new receiver later this year, I'm wondering how things could look with just those 2 in play. Not only that but how it would look with 2 A7S's and only Auddesey running as well. As I would really prefer to not buy a separate eq device as well.
post #243 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by eiger View Post

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.

+1
post #244 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post

You guys do bring up some great points I think in terms of eq. Dominguez1, did you ever post your results with the 1 A7S-450 and only Auddesey running, and no .eQ2? I'm still considering the A7S and with the need for a new receiver later this year, I'm wondering how things could look with just those 2 in play. Not only that but how it would look with 2 A7S's and only Auddesey running as well. As I would really prefer to not buy a separate eq device as well.

You can check out my a7s-450 graphs here.

I'm not sure if I have one with just Audyssey. However, if you have Audyssey MultiEQ XT, you don't need an eQ.2. I have them and use them because they were free at the time I purchased the s450s. I would suspect my Audyssey curves would look exactly the same whether or not I used the eQ.2.
post #245 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post

You guys do bring up some great points I think in terms of eq. Dominguez1, did you ever post your results with the 1 A7S-450 and only Auddesey running, and no .eQ2? I'm still considering the A7S and with the need for a new receiver later this year, I'm wondering how things could look with just those 2 in play. Not only that but how it would look with 2 A7S's and only Auddesey running as well. As I would really prefer to not buy a separate eq device as well.

I just realized I dropped the ball on you guys over in the ED thread as well. When I get some time (Just had twins a week ago), I'll post some graphs.

I have dual A7s's and was able to get a pretty damn good FR in my room with Audyssey XT alone and bypassing EQ.2. It took a lot of REW, and fixing some phase and suckout issues at my crossover, but ended up finding a really sweet spot.

Dom - You are getting some crazy SPL. What did you calibrate your mains/subs to? What's your listening distance/Sub distance?

My roll off with the duals is near 22hz and I'm not getting anything usable below that. I might be doing something wrong, however.
post #246 of 1241
Thanks Dom and eiger for the info! That's good to hear. I'll just bypass the separate eq and settle for the built in 1 on the AVR.
post #247 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post

Thanks Dom and eiger for the info! That's good to hear. I'll just bypass the separate eq and settle for the built in 1 on the AVR.

NP. Note that everyone's room is going to be different.

While the above advice could work in your room, you won't know until you give it a shot. If it doesn't sound good to you, you may need to make some manual EQ adjustments.

I'm still contemplating the SMS-1, but that's only because I like the presets for music etc.
post #248 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by BufordTJustice View Post

I'm not calling you or anybody else lazy(...), but

In all fairness, when you say "I'm not calling you or anybody else lazy (...),but" that's exactly what you're saying. So I find your high horse a little bit ironic here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BufordTJustice View Post

...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

OK, back to it... civilly i hope.

I'm paraphrasing to get to the point rather than quoting...You mentioned above that all the subs could have taken advantage of the eQ.2 and all i was saying (which it appears you agree with later) is that it wasn't reasonable to apply it to all the subs as it wasn't practical. That's was my main point.

On a side note allowing one sub any type of external EQ while not allowing the others seems potentially unfair... Had an SVS subwoofer been in the shootout, should they have been allowed to include the AS-EQ1 simply because SVS sells it? It gets muddy IMO.

These guys did a great job, I just cringe when I see all the "Why didn't you" or "You should have" comments. You were saying earlier that we all have this spare time or else we wouldn't spend hours upon hours on these boards and the extra effort would be minimal. I just don't see more than handful making any kind of effort like this and I applaud the OP's.
post #249 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!

I agree with this post, but for different reasons than its original intent.

I would certainly love to jump in on this love-fest because I'm well aware of the mammoth effort these guys went through and the format and execution are as good as I've ever seen, but...

The listening results and the peak SPL results are pretty much useless as they relate to any of the subs used in the shootout.

From the first page:
Quote:
Test tones played to generate FR charts were all played at the exact same volume (at -15) after channel leveling the LFE to the other speakers. We channel leveled each sub several times to make sure the results were consistent.

First, a receivers rumble tone for level calibration of a sub is a band limited pink noise from 30-100 Hz. When you play the receivers rumble tone to calibrate a sub, the tone shape from 30-100 Hz follows the frequency response of the subwoofer at the SPL meter.

To illustrate, here are 3 subwoofers of fairly radically different FR, each placed in precisely the same spot with the SPL meter and the measurement microphone both at the LP and each on a tripod that wasn't moved.



In addition to the 3 frequency response magnitude traces is a peak hold showing the calibration rumble tone of one of the subs. If you look carefully, you can easily see which of the 3 subs was playing the rumble tone.

Once the 3 subs were carefully leveled to the same dBSPL using the rumble tone and the RS meter, the frequency response was generated. The only difference in my exercise is that I used a sine sweep through a very accurate measurement rig to create the traces.

The first thing that happens is that the subwoofers are calibrated to the same level as read on the meter, but they are leveled to that number at different frequencies, since the rumble tone takes the shape of the subwoofers FR at the LP.

The next thing that will happen is that peak dBSPL meter readings during soundtrack playback will vary according to the spectral content of the effect and the differences in overall FR and calibration of the subs.

Lastly, subjective comments during playback become rather useless other than to describe what one heard while any particular sub was playing a specific source, which would be far from describing what the sub is playing. That's because what was being heard was the room, not the subwoofer.

To illustrate, here is the recent AH quasi-anechoic FR of the VTF-15H vs what the room let the reviewers hear at the LP for this shootout:



I don't think anyone would argue that the actual subs response is being represented by the in-room response in any way.

Far from believing that the room gives no room gain (because every room gives room gain, without exception), the mic/meter (and the listeners as well) was sitting in a deep null at around 20 Hz which drastically changed the low end capabilities of all of the subs in the shootout.

Roughly transferring the posted in-room FRs of all of the subs onto a logarithmic graph with horizontal and vertical scales that most of us are used to seeing also might help to see the differences between these subs as the room allowed them to be presented to the listeners/mic/meter.



I do indeed believe that the guys who did the shootout are very capable of offering useful subjective comments, just not in the context of this exercise.

Unless pains are taken to flatten the FR at the LP (and against a wall is normally not a preferred LP for that to happen), SQ differences that exist in the subs will be absolutely swamped by frequency response non-linearity, making subjective comments all but impossible, regardless of who the listener may be.

As well, any peak SPL readings would have to be qualified by a painstaking look at the spectral content of each passage (via a spectrograph) vs the FR of the sub at the LP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by below90hz View Post


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.

FYI, your FR of the CS 18 shows +6dB with the boost on, which I'm fairly certain is correct, not +3dB.

Bosso
post #250 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by bossobass View Post

I do indeed believe that the guys who did the shootout are very capable of offering useful subjective comments, just not in the context of this exercise.

All Hail Bossobass!
post #251 of 1241
Nice work!! What's next on your project? $1000-2000 price range?
post #252 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOften View Post

All Hail Bossobass!

Was there something incorrect with what he stated that you wanted to point out?

Edit: Nevermind, I recall your comments to Bosso regarding the VTF-15/CS18.1 results discussion in the DIY section. Carry on.
post #253 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbc View Post

Was there something incorrect with what he stated that you wanted to point out?

Edit: Nevermind, I recall your comments to Bosso regarding the VTF-15/CS18.1 results discussion in the DIY section. Carry on.

It's my opinion that Bossobass' subjective findings "... the guys who did the shootout are very capable of offering useful subjective comments, just not in the context of this exercise. " are incorrect. I'm not sure you can call someone else's already self-declared subjective review to be not useful. I'm pretty sure that's a subjective assessment. Unless you're god.
post #254 of 1241
Bosso, since you obviously have a good grasp on the subject, why don't you obtain several current model subs and do a review yourself? I'm sure it would be well appreciated, and it would only cost you the price of the subs and 40 - 50 hours, depending on how many subs you review for us.
post #255 of 1241
Great work guys, it takes lots of time to do these things.

Bosso is right as frequency is concerned. If all subs were actually flat to each other and calibrated the same the numbers should all be exact when running scenes of a movie. Now if one of the subs were clipping or compressing at high levels then that could be the difference as well.
post #256 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOften View Post

It's my opinion that ...

.. and everyone is entitled to their opinion.
post #257 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by bossobass View Post

I would certainly love to jump in on this love-fest...but...

The listening results and the peak SPL results are pretty much useless as they relate to any of the subs used in the shootout.

Well I'm sure to someone with your knowledge and standards it is useless - and I'm not saying that sarcastically, I mean that our review wasn't intended to appeal to absolutely everyone. I'll refer you to the FAQ where we said we tested the subs as they come at their price point and in a way that most guys would use them. That means AVR pink noise and hand-holding a non-calibrated SPL meter. So it was intentional, and we make no apologies for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bossobass View Post

FYI, your FR of the CS 18 shows +6dB with the boost on, which I'm fairly certain is correct, not +3dB.

Quick Yahoo search confirms 3db, not 6db.
post #258 of 1241
help a dumb guy keep up here: my impression was much of the testing involved increasing the sub's level untill volume didn't increase, or obvious distortion was heard. Calibration has no effect on that, right?

And...I'm not following how you would ever truly level match subs that each have their own response signature. Unless you arbitrarily picked a frequency.
post #259 of 1241
Nice work and it looks like it was fun - thanks for doing this work.

I bought my last sub off an old review here they used to do outside...maybe I need another one now.
post #260 of 1241
If you read the review with the goal of having a fun read you will not be disappointed, it was very enjoyable and quite well done. If you want a full blown professional review this isn't the one, but if you try to pick up some useful info to help make a purchasing decision you will find some good stuff: I can rule out the Hsu due to the reflective finish, I can rule out the CHT due to the amp and the appearance, and I can reluctantly rule out the Empire due to it's lower output. That leaves the Rythmik and the Ed, and while I really like the Rythmik the Ed has a huge price advantage. Still, that Rythmik is just a cool sub, add the high output amp and it's looking really nice! Now I need to see some reviews of the Captivator, I wonder how that would compare.
post #261 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by floridapoolboy View Post

If you read the review with the goal of having a fun read you will not be disappointed, it was very enjoyable and quite well done. If you want a full blown professional review this isn't the one, but if you try to pick up some useful info to help make a purchasing decision you will find some good stuff: I can rule out the Hsu due to the reflective finish, I can rule out the CHT due to the amp and the appearance, and I can reluctantly rule out the Empire due to it's lower output. That leaves the Rythmik and the Ed, and while I really like the Rythmik the Ed has a huge price advantage. Still, that Rythmik is just a cool sub, add the high output amp and it's looking really nice! Now I need to see some reviews of the Captivator, I wonder how that would compare.

Depends on who does the review about the Captivator.......will it be really objective?...will it be really professionally donne?...uhhmm sorry i am now doubtfull....
post #262 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by floridapoolboy View Post

If you read the review with the goal of having a fun read you will not be disappointed, it was very enjoyable and quite well done. If you want a full blown professional review this isn't the one, but if you try to pick up some useful info to help make a purchasing decision you will find some good stuff: I can rule out the Hsu due to the reflective finish, I can rule out the CHT due to the amp and the appearance, and I can reluctantly rule out the Empire due to it's lower output. That leaves the Rythmik and the Ed, and while I really like the Rythmik the Ed has a huge price advantage. Still, that Rythmik is just a cool sub, add the high output amp and it's looking really nice! Now I need to see some reviews of the Captivator, I wonder how that would compare.

The Captivator is a little more than these(you need your own amp) but it should have more output. Again SQ is subjective but I don't see JTR making a bad sounding product. I would get a Cap over these just based on output but it depends on how low you want to go and your room.
post #263 of 1241
I believe in multiple subs myself, and so I keep an eye on the price as it will wind up being doubled! If and when I upgrade my twin LFM-1EX subs the replacements will need to kick some serious A$$, or else I wouldn't bother. Two A7S-450s I could swing, the Rythmik would be one at a time. And then there's the Captivator.....
post #264 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by floridapoolboy View Post

I believe in multiple subs myself, and so I keep an eye on the price as it will wind up being doubled! If and when I upgrade my twin LFM-1EX subs the replacements will need to kick some serious A$$, or else I wouldn't bother. Two A7S-450s I could swing, the Rythmik would be one at a time. And then there's the Captivator.....

Is simply augmenting your existing ones an option?
post #265 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by vitaminbass View Post

help a dumb guy keep up here: my impression was much of the testing involved increasing the sub's level untill volume didn't increase, or obvious distortion was heard. Calibration has no effect on that, right?

And...I'm not following how you would ever truly level match subs that each have their own response signature. Unless you arbitrarily picked a frequency.

The "easiest" way is to use something like REW, keep the mic at the same position on a tripod and run sweeps at the same levels to at least attempt to get their overall levels the same. The actual shape of the curves of the subs are fairly similar (except the roll-offs of course), so it would have been an interesting exercise to see how close the FR's would be without EQing them. Plus it would somewhat reduce the SQ differences resulting from the vastly different responses in room. But you're correct, actually getting the FR's to be equal across the subs would take a device like the SMS-1 (where you can store say 6 different settings IIRC?).

What might be interesting if the guys still have the subs and are so inclined, would be to run close mic measurements for each of the subs. I.e., put the subs in the middle of the room and run a sweep for each sub say 1 foot from the center of the cone (or if they don't have REW, just run the same test tones manually and record with the Rat Shack meter).
post #266 of 1241
Nice to see the Empire do so well. I know that the Quad Empires with the Anti Mode in my 6000+ cu ft open room (3400 sq ft rambler) is a keeper for me. Had dual HSU 3.3 with MBM-12's, dual Ed A7S-450, Conquest with dual MFW-15's, and my keeper Quad Empires. WOW emerging pod scene did 108 db with my Empires and speakers flat at 74 db. The reciever volume was at -14 at the seat. Excellent bass SQ and the SPL level was enough for my ears. Empire SQ does it for me with SPL being secondary.
post #267 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOften View Post

In all fairness, when you say "I'm not calling you or anybody else lazy (...),but" that's exactly what you're saying. So I find your high horse a little bit ironic here...



OK, back to it... civilly i hope.

I'm paraphrasing to get to the point rather than quoting...You mentioned above that all the subs could have taken advantage of the eQ.2 and all i was saying (which it appears you agree with later) is that it wasn't reasonable to apply it to all the subs as it wasn't practical. That's was my main point.

On a side note allowing one sub any type of external EQ while not allowing the others seems potentially unfair... Had an SVS subwoofer been in the shootout, should they have been allowed to include the AS-EQ1 simply because SVS sells it? It gets muddy IMO.

These guys did a great job, I just cringe when I see all the "Why didn't you" or "You should have" comments. You were saying earlier that we all have this spare time or else we wouldn't spend hours upon hours on these boards and the extra effort would be minimal. I just don't see more than handful making any kind of effort like this and I applaud the OP's.

Despite your stating 'in all fairness', it's not. You took care to articulate that the process of using the eQ.2 was difficult, arduous, and time consuming. I showed that it was not. Again, what are you getting at?

I didn't state it wasn't practical to use the eQ.2 with most of the subs; I stated it would be of minimal benefit for most of the subs as compared to using it with the A7s-450. It also would not be unfair to exclusively use the eQ.2 with another eD product. Besides, even priced WITH the eQ.2, the A7s is still cheaper than half the field. The SVS mechanism, while it would be fair, would move the PB12 plus into the same price range as the A7-450; a sub that most woudl agree is in a different performance bracket. I refuse to engage in a this-versus-that discussion. SVS makes good subs and so does eD.

You're saying to me that it's not practical to take 5 minutes to set a subsonic hi-pass filter on a sub? I'm not buying that. That's all that several subs could have taken advantage of anyway.

To prove my point, the Craigsub didn't even have an internal AMPLIFIER. The entire amp was external, which included HALF of an eQ.2 (a single band parametric equalizer) that WAS used in the test to smooth and aid its response. So.....was THAT still fair?

"I just don't see more than handful making any kind of effort like this and I applaud the OP's."

So, are you speaking from direct experience? I mean, how many people, exactly, have you spoken to that have an eQ.2 that have not taken the time to use it? I'm asking you to support your assertion.

Moreover, for the MANY people that have auto-EQ...they're gonna use it and it requires minimal effort, and achieve substantially the same results.

Lastly, I also appreciate the OP's hard work in this review. They DID post it so people could discuss it. That's what we're doing right now.
post #268 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by bossobass View Post

The listening results and the peak SPL results are pretty much useless as they relate to any of the subs used in the shootout.
Bosso

Please correct or clarify.

It sounds like what you're saying simplified, is that what they were hearing is the effects their room had on each sub the way they were EQ'd meaning not necessarily on a lateral scale. And not what each sub is capable of - laterally.

And that regarding SQ description, you are essentially saying that because they were not set-up on an even plane, ranking one sub tighter or cleaner than another on the whole isn't necessarily true?

And that if each was set-up to their best potential with for example an AS-EQ1 Subwoofer EQ, there could have been a different outcome on not only SPL and FR but also the articulation and tightness of each sub?

I'm just trying to understand. This is certainly an important notion if true, and should be known.

And I'm not suggesting the bros claimed any of this. They reported the findings in their room the way they intended. And regardless of this being true or not I learned a lot about these subs and companies in a way that has never been done before, and kind of experienced that fun purchase with them. Thankfully not the re-packaging.
post #269 of 1241
Hey Buford, i know its a long read so you probably just missed it, but there is a reason why we eQ'd the CS 18.1 and the FV15: it is because the eQing capability comes with those subs in the purchase price (the outboard amp used with the CS18.1 is included in the package and has its own 1band eQ built in).

The Empire and Hsu had no eQing built in, so they were not eQ'd either. As for the A7s-450, we were going to eQ it, but then we would've shown the price as $935 shipped. Since it performed very well without it, and two other subs also weren't eQ'd, we thought it would be most fair to eD to show how awesome the A7s-450 performed as the lowest-priced sub.

Also I do have to admit, my first time around with the eQ.2 took about 45 minutes to play with before I got some decent results. Now that I have more experience with it I'm sure it'd be less than that, but then again it took me a while with the Dayton amp too before I finally gave up trying to flatten a peak and just boosted a valley. Huh. Maybe I should've let Adam do the eQing!
post #270 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by BufordTJustice View Post

They DID post it so people could discuss it. That's what we're doing right now.

+1
Totally agree. Civil and healthy thoughts, questions or commentary takes nothing away from what the guys did. We all appreciate their efforts and information and I think we've proven that.

But it doesn't mean we should accept everything at face value, and walk around with numb smiles like we're all on Pristiq. It's a discussion forum. Not an information feeder. That's why we come. To learn and discuss and filter information. And I'm sure the guys didn't intend it to be otherwise.

And as a fringe benefit it gives us an outlet to argue with each other instead of our wives.
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