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Upgrade my subwoofer

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hello all.

Over the past few months I've been upgrading my home theater equipment. I've purchased a new tv, receiver, front/center speakers, but left the surrounds and subwoofer.

Now it's time to replace the sub. Right now I use 2 subs that are pretty old (Boston PV600 10" 120 watt amp and a Klipsch KSW-12 that I have no idea of it's wattage).

I'm curious to know how much I would need to pay for a noticeable improvement? I'd like to replace both of my subs with just 1 newer and better sub. I've seen 200 (RMS) watt amps (which is more than I currently have) but not sure if it'll provide a noticeable improvement. Obviously I don't WANT to pay $4,000 for a sub, but wandering what the line is for getting a sub with diminishing returns. Would there be a noticeable improvement with a $500 sub, or do u need to step up to a $1,000 or more sub? What's with the class D amps that I've been reading about? Should i have only a class D amp? Down firing vs front firing on a wood floor? Brands to stay away from? Any other spec that I should be looking at? Websites that have a good selection of recommended brands? Supercubes work as well as advertised, or go with a big fat 18" woofer"? Enclosed or not? Need one with it's own EQ or not?

Right now I'm not asking for specific models to choose from, just trying to find out how expensive of a subwoofer I need to be looking at to hear a noticeable improvement.

My room is about 18x15 with 8 foot ceilings. It's on the lower floor which has stairs leading up to the kitchen and dining room. There's also an open area with wood decorative posts separating my theater room and the dining room. All of this really makes the theater room open.

Most of the time (90% or more) I'll be using the sub for watching tv and movies. I not only want to hear the sub but I want to feel it.

My current setup consists of:
1). Yamaha RX-A3000 receiver
2). B&W CM9's
3). B&W CMC2
4). Bose 301's
5). 2 subs mentioned before

Thanks in advance for your help.
post #2 of 7
Black Friday and cyber Monday are approaching.... I would check out the deals HSU, SVS and Outlaw will be offering before you pull the trigger. As for your budget related question, if you have 1k to spend on a sub I would spend it, of you have $500 spend that. I know that is very vague but I am a FITM believer in maxing out your subwoofer budget, not so much on speakers with the exception of your center. IMO, the difference between a $500 sub and a $1,000 sub is night and day(as long as you are comparing apples to apples). I know you don't want specific modles but I would see if the VTF-15 is going to be on sale either of those two days.... Good luck!
post #3 of 7
As the sub recommendations come in, keep in mind that YPAO does a horrible job eq'ing the low sub frequencies, this includes the 3000 which I also own. You'll need to grab an SPL meter to properly eq under 40 Hz.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

You're confusing power with levels. 2 very different things. Replacing the subs will require re-running YPAO and more adjustments, but that's all.

When the sub is too hot and you run YPAO, all the other channels get boosted as well as the sub getting cut. Adjust and re-run YPAO. Instructions to set the sub at 50% are just a guideline. Anytime the level gets adjusted more than 2db by YPAO, you need to re-adjust. Once that is done you can increase it for personal preference. Most people will want to increase it just a tad.

The previous quote was from http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/newre...ply&p=21214512 thread on page 211.

I'm not sure what the difference is between power and levels. It seems that there's a direct correlation. When I turn up the levels, the sub produces a more powerful sound. I'm assuming that if I had even a more powerful sub, I could keep the levels about the same between the 2 subs, but the higher powered sub would sound louder and deeper. Is that not true?
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Posts from a different thread - http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/newre...ply&p=21215613


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetmeat View Post

Ok, so now I'm onto upgrading my subwoofer now. I've posted outside of this thread but it's not getting many (only 2) responses, so I'm hoping you guys can help.

Right now I have 2 subs (back and front) but setup as left/right in the A3000. These subs are about 10 years or more old and don't have a ton of power. They are a Boston PV600 and a Klipsch KSW-12.

I'd like to replace both of these with a much better sub and I want to feel the bass.

I'm a little concerned though with replacing with a better sub because of the following:
When I run YPAO, it always sets my subwoofer levels to like -7 or something like that. If I get a more powerful sub, I'm afraid it will set the level to like -50 (kidding) and then it won't be much better than what I already have. I know I can manually set the level higher, but I thought by doing that it wouldn't produce matching sound. Can someone set me straight on this? I'm assuming that my thoughts are wrong, otherwise why would anyone be buying very powerful subs?

My front speakers are B&W CM9's with CMC2 center and Bose 301's (don't laugh!) surrounds.

Also, I've seen many people say brands like SVS, HSU, and Outlaw are good brands to buy.

I've looked at some websites that have a lot of sales going on right now, specifically on a Boston that was originally about $1,700 and is $400 now. I could pay more (really as much as I want to, as long as I buy my wife something really nice to match!), but at what point am I getting a better deal not going with SVS, HSU or Outlaw?

One final question about HSU subs. On the HSU website, it shows they're discounting a specific model about $400 because it's new. Is that really a discount, or is it just a gimmick to make us think we're getting a deal? I'd provide the model number, but I'm not sure of AVS's price talk policies.

Thanks for your help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

this is simply because you have the gain control on the sub(s) set too high. Turn it down and re-run YPAO again till you get a channel level close to "0". This also effects all the other channel levels so it's a pretty important adjustment. You may find that one sub or the other is the culprit. It makes no difference how "powerful" the sub is, it's about levels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetmeat View Post

I don't remember exactly, but I thought the OM said to set the gain control on the subs to between 4 and 5, and then run YPAO, which is what I did on both subs.

Hypothetically speaking, if my low powered subs require me to set the gain control to, let's say, a 2 in order to get a level of 0, wouldn't a more powerful sub then require me to set the gain control to less than 2 in order to get a level of 0? If so, it seems that I would have a more powerful sub that I wouldn't be using it's power, because I'm just lowering the gain control to get the same result (level = 0).

What am I missing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOften View Post

You arn't missing anything. YPAO does a poor job setting levels and eq'ing subwoofers. Not only does it tend to set the subs low, it also murders any low frequencies (under 40hz). YPAO has a way to go for home theater sub calibration compared to MultEq XT. Fortunately Yamaha's have custom EQ functionality so you can eq them correctly using a tool such as REW or similar.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Venomous View Post

I actually visited their store in person. VERY VERY nice people for starters and when you see the quality of their products, you will see first hand, they are not cutting any corners.

I drove their to pickup my VTF15H and was blown away at what a monster it was compared to their other models. Also, if you consider their rosenut finish, you will be impressed with it. Its one thing seeing something on the internet with pictures.. its another seeing it, in person.

Which sub were you considering?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Venomous View Post

I have a HSU Research VTF15H... Cant go wrong with either the VTF15H or the sealed 15H model. My wife actually wants another subwoofer... she likes how realistic the explosions are. If i would of know that, i would of gotten 4.. lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

Almost none of this is accurate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuzzy View Post

+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetmeat View Post

So which part IS accurate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

You're confusing power with levels. 2 very different things. Replacing the subs will require re-running YPAO and more adjustments, but that's all.

When the sub is too hot and you run YPAO, all the other channels get boosted as well as the sub getting cut. Adjust and re-run YPAO. Instructions to set the sub at 50% are just a guideline. Anytime the level gets adjusted more than 2db by YPAO, you need to re-adjust. Once that is done you can increase it for personal preference. Most people will want to increase it just a tad.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovation View Post

The part about the manual EQ that you can use with a measurement tool and/or software.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOften View Post

Well, I do own an RX-A3000 and two subwoofers very capable of hitting 15hz flat at listenable levels (a ULS-15 DualDrive). I'm just speaking from experience here after about 20 runs of the YPAO program. I've tried different YPAO subwoofer configurations (Front/Back, Left/Right, and Mono) and different connections (individually off of sub 1 & 2, and just off of Sub 1 using a Y-Splitter). In every case the sub settings were set too low and verified by using a RS meter.

It also murders the lowest frequencies. Both my ears, SPL meter and REW verify that it starts to roll off a little before 40hz. The parametric EQ found in the receiver only goes down to 31.5hz, and based on the evidence i've gathered there's no proof YPAO is doing anything down low, except rolling it off. After spending an entire afternoon with REW and Yamaha's PEQ, I'm was able to get back to 15hz flat.

... but hey, don't just take my word for YPAO not doing the greatest job setting levels on subs...

Try this guy
... or this guy
... or this guy
... or this guy
... or this guy
... or this guy
... or this guy
... or this guy
... and that's not even counting the peeps using the same version of YPAO on the yamaha rx-z11 thread.

All of these people had issues with the substandard job YPAO did on subwoofers. You'll also notice rdgrimes came to the defense of YPAO's sub calibration almost every time in the last 3000 posts by telling people to turn up the gain on the subs and re-running YPAO...how about not having YPAO set the lfe channel to -9 instead? It doesn't make sense. It's not like it's hit -10 or +10 and ran out of channel gain room.

I just came from a Onkyo TX-SR876 and in the LFE channel YPAO needs help and does a worse job than MultEQ XT (never mind XT32).

I'm not hating on the RX-A3000... I actually like the receiver quite a bit and don't plan on changing out anytime soon, but it's ok to point out it's shortcomings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetmeat View Post

I was looking at the VTF-15H also. Would you recommend buying it for the price they're advertising right now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sebberry View Post

I didn't bother with YPAO on my setup - I live in an apartment and the sound of the trucks and cars outside confused the heck out of YPAO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetmeat View Post

Now that you've had the 15H, would you choose the sealed or ported model?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOften View Post

Umm. If the YPAO LFE EQ was up to snuff, why do you use an Antimode in your setup?

No need to answer.
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetmeat View Post

Posts from a different thread - http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/newre...ply&p=21215613

What's your point of posting all that?
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sputter1 View Post

What's your point of posting all that?

Sorry - maybe I should have posted a message as to why I was doing that.

I hijacked a thread asking a bunch of questions, and then invited them to this thread to continue the conversation.
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