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Help me pick the best $800-1000 sub

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
1. Budget: $800-$1000 can maybe go a little over if necessary

2. Size requirements/limits: 36"x60"x72".

3. Room dimensions: 12' x 18' x 8' (1700 ft^3). I may be moving into a 20' x 20' x 8' (3200 ft^3)room later and I want to be flexible

4. Primary uses: 80% movies tv, 20% music.

5. Listening habits: Usually listen about -15 db from reference. I need a sub that can hit deep at lower volumes.

6. Appearance requirements: Not really too concerned about that

7. Timeframe: I currently have a sub that is adequate so not any big rush.


I have been reading all of the shootouts and comparisons I can find and I still just want to get some input before I pull the trigger.

Hree is a list of the subs on my short list:

Epik Empire (leaning hard this way)

HSU VTF-3 MK4 (350 watt amp seems inadequate?)

Velodyne Eq-Max 15

I had a Velodyne VA10-12 way back in 92 and it was mean little sub. The Epik seems to have a pretty good rep around here. Anyone have any input?
post #2 of 41
The Empires didn't have the presence I was looking for in my very large room (10k+ ft^3) but I can attest that they sounded the best of all subs I've ever owned at moderate to low volume.
post #3 of 41
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the quick reply. Cool. That's was I am hoping for. I really haven't seen too much on the Velodyne EQ Max series and am curious about how they measure up. If I had the money I would get a JTR Captivator
post #4 of 41
I just upgraded to a pair of Captivators to get the output I was looking for in this size room....however, the Empires did sound better at low volume, IMO.
post #5 of 41
Thread Starter 
Wow, really? It sounds like for my situation the Epik Empire will shine. Getting ready to pull the trigger real soon.
post #6 of 41
Your room is pretty small, and the potential new room is moderately sized as well. Your budget is the right range, and a little flexibility there helps, too. These are good things, decidedly in your favor. If those rooms are sealed, as in no open doorways or stairwells to other parts of the house, I would definitely consider going with a sealed sub over a ported one.

One problem with the Empire is that it just doesn't go deep. It's pretty limited below 20hz, and, though that's how it was intended by Chad, that's not good for a dual-opposed, sealed design. What it does it does well, though.

Since you're not very concerned with looks, have you considered DIY as an option? If that's might work, head over to the DIY section of these forums and check out some builds. I think it's safe to say you could get more than double the performance for that kind of money if you DIY. Sealed, dual-opposed 15s or a dual 18" sealed option would really be fantastic in those room sizes. Considering, say, the stock FiCar SSD or Q series subs, I'd have to think you'd be looking at $600-750ish for drivers and materials and $300+ amp budget for the dual-opposed 15" option, and probably just a smidge more at $700-900ish for drivers and mats on the 18" and $300+ for the amp.

If that's not going to work for you, I would strongly consider the Rythmik sealed subs. They are exceptional in your price range, from everything I've heard played back on them. Perhaps also the FV15HP (ported) might also work, though, as it has solid output down to 12hz, and is $1200 before shipping.
post #7 of 41
In your situation, even in the larger room you mentioned, I would look hard at the Hsu VTF-15H and the FV15HP. With that said, if there is anyway you can swing it, go for a Captivator 1000.
post #8 of 41
ED 18" A7s-450.

I have two and they rock.
post #9 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:


have you considered DIY as an option?

I have looked at some of the DIYs. I have built sub enclosures for my car in the past and my woodworking skills are not up to par. I was happier when I just bought a Q-Logic. Looked and sounded better to me.

Quote:


look hard at the Hsu VTF-15H

I feel like I would constantly be messing with it trying sealed, 1 port open, 2 port open. I definitely dont want this too be too complicated for my wife

So the Rhythmiks hit deeper than the Epiks?
post #10 of 41
You don't need to spend all that for your room size. The Hsu you mentioned will pound in that room. I've got the VTF 15, but my room is 13x25x8 with only a railing separating the kitchen from this room. My neighbors in the next house over can hear it when I turn it up too much.
post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by runnin' View Post

You don't need to spend all that for your room size. The Hsu you mentioned will pound in that room. I've got the VTF 15, but my room is 13x25x8 with only a railing separating the kitchen from this room. My neighbors in the next house over can hear it when I turn it up too much.

+1

HSU recommends that sub in rooms up to 6,000 cubic feet. Even the VTF-2 MK4 would perform OK in the new space you will eventually move to.

I also would recommend the HSU over the Empire given your heavy use for movies. Don't worry. You won't be playing with the sealed vs ME vs MO settings. The other two options won't compare to the maximum extension mode that is rated down to 16hz when playing movies
post #12 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:


You don't need to spend all that for your room size.

Wow. I never expected to be talked into a smaller sub... Has my wife been talking to you guys?

Seriously though I always see you guys talking about how you run the HSU's ports open for one thing and ports closed for something else. Every time I throw on some music I don't want to have to pop a plug in or out to make the sub sound right.

So I have 1 vote for Rhythmic, 2 votes for a HSU and 1 vote for Epik.

Hmmmm. I wish there was somewhere I could actually listen to them side by side and see what my ears like. So when is the Detroit area sub shootout lol?

Nobody likes the Velodyne then? I had always heard good things about their DD technology.
post #13 of 41
Another vote goes to HSU!
post #14 of 41
Here is my Jeopardy response...

What is a Rythmik sub?


Jason
post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by binarysoldier View Post

Wow. I never expected to be talked into a smaller sub... Has my wife been talking to you guys?

Seriously though I always see you guys talking about how you run the HSU's ports open for one thing and ports closed for something else. Every time I throw on some music I don't want to have to pop a plug in or out to make the sub sound right.

So I have 1 vote for Rhythmic, 2 votes for a HSU and 1 vote for Epik.

Hmmmm. I wish there was somewhere I could actually listen to them side by side and see what my ears like. So when is the Detroit area sub shootout lol?

Nobody likes the Velodyne then? I had always heard good things about their DD technology.

The Empire or FV15 have much more output than any Velodyne but the newest DD+ series. The Rythmik is already servo controlled although in a different way than Velodyne. The Empire had more output and lower distortion than the JL Audio f113 at nearly every frequency tested using CEA 2010 method so the Empire will still be increasing in clean (low distortion) output when the Velodyne starts showing compression even though THD will be relatively low.
The Empire will be plenty in that room. The only other sub that would make sense to me would be the FV15HP if you could swing the extra $$. The VTF15H's output begins trailing off below 28 hz or so according to most measurements I've seen in half space.
Tim
post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by nube View Post

Your room is pretty small, and the potential new room is moderately sized as well. Your budget is the right range, and a little flexibility there helps, too. These are good things, decidedly in your favor. If those rooms are sealed, as in no open doorways or stairwells to other parts of the house, I would definitely consider going with a sealed sub over a ported one.

One problem with the Empire is that it just doesn't go deep. It's pretty limited below 20hz, and, though that's how it was intended by Chad, that's not good for a dual-opposed, sealed design. What it does it does well, though.

Since you're not very concerned with looks, have you considered DIY as an option? If that's might work, head over to the DIY section of these forums and check out some builds. I think it's safe to say you could get more than double the performance for that kind of money if you DIY. Sealed, dual-opposed 15s or a dual 18" sealed option would really be fantastic in those room sizes. Considering, say, the stock FiCar SSD or Q series subs, I'd have to think you'd be looking at $600-750ish for drivers and materials and $300+ amp budget for the dual-opposed 15" option, and probably just a smidge more at $700-900ish for drivers and mats on the 18" and $300+ for the amp.

If that's not going to work for you, I would strongly consider the Rythmik sealed subs. They are exceptional in your price range, from everything I've heard played back on them. Perhaps also the FV15HP (ported) might also work, though, as it has solid output down to 12hz, and is $1200 before shipping.

Below 20 hz is not important. How much stuff has below 20hz content? Probably less that 1% and mostly in some loud dumb movie.
post #17 of 41
^^
All you VTF fans don't flame me, I still believe it's a good sub, I'd just prefer the Rythmik for a ported sub which is more $$ but digs deeper with more output.
post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by binarysoldier View Post

1. Budget: $800-$1000 can maybe go a little over if necessary

2. Size requirements/limits: 36"x60"x72".

3. Room dimensions: 12' x 18' x 8' (1700 ft^3). I may be moving into a 20' x 20' x 8' (3200 ft^3)room later and I want to be flexible

4. Primary uses: 80% movies tv, 20% music.

5. Listening habits: Usually listen about -15 db from reference. I need a sub that can hit deep at lower volumes.

6. Appearance requirements: Not really too concerned about that

7. Timeframe: I currently have a sub that is adequate so not any big rush.


I have been reading all of the shootouts and comparisons I can find and I still just want to get some input before I pull the trigger.

Hree is a list of the subs on my short list:

Epik Empire (leaning hard this way)

HSU VTF-3 MK4 (350 watt amp seems inadequate?)

Velodyne Eq-Max 15

I had a Velodyne VA10-12 way back in 92 and it was mean little sub. The Epik seems to have a pretty good rep around here. Anyone have any input?

Make a choice based upon sound quality.
post #19 of 41
I find below 20 hz useful, it just costs much more $$ to do it with sufficient output at relatively low THD.
I also disagree with nube's assessment of the Empire's extension. In my 3100 cu ft sealed bedroom a single Empire is quite strong (110 dB) to 16 hz which is in line with it's CEA #'s (98 dB @ 2m half space.)
Tim
post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by capecodorthopod View Post

I find below 20 hz useful, it just costs much more $$ to do it with sufficient output at relatively low THD.
I also disagree with nube's assessment of the Empire's extension. In my 3100 cu ft sealed bedroom a single Empire is quite strong (110 dB) to 16 hz which is in line with it's CEA #'s (98 dB @ 2m half space.)
Tim

It's my analysis of the results of Ricci's testing. Check out the Empire's measurements here:

http://www.data-bass.com/data?page=system&id=50&mset=48

Pay particular attention to the basic response, where it drops like a cliff after 20hz (as it's designed to), and spectrograph (see how high the Empire's output is centered?).

Compare those graphs side by side in multiple browser windows with, say, the Rythmik FV15HP (A ported, single 15" sub) in 1-port mode, measured with the same criteria:

http://www.data-bass.com/data?page=system&id=51&mset=49

It just slays the Empire down low (which you wouldn't think it would, being a ported sub vs. the Empire's dual opposed sealed design), and is much more consistent across the bandwidth. Granted, the FV15HP is $300 more, but I think you get about double the sub where it counts, from 12-40hz. And, it's not so peaky in its response, so chances are it's going to integrate with your room and system better.

At the end of the day, to the OP I still say DIY, especially since you have some experience building boxes. Sealed boxes are ridiculously easy to build. Get a friend to help, and take your time. You'll get worlds better results for your money.
post #21 of 41
I don't doubt the numbers nube. I'm aware of the FV15HP's advantage over the Empire down low. I just don't consider the Empire weak until you get below 16 hz in room.
I'm also like you and inclined to get the more expensive sub with more output and extension (hence the dual Submersives in my HT) but not everyone has the $$ or our priorities.
post #22 of 41
I know its ported but I just got my CHT CraigSub VS 18.1 on Thursday and I couldnt be happier. I have been rewatching all my favorite demo movies and I dont think I have ever had such big a smile on my face before. It is a little above your budget but worth it in my opinion. I had 2 HSU VTF3 MK3's and a MBM-12 Midbass module before.
post #23 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by capecodorthopod View Post

I don't doubt the numbers nube. I'm aware of the FV15HP's advantage over the Empire down low. I just don't consider the Empire weak until you get below 16 hz in room.
I'm also like you and inclined to get the more expensive sub with more output and extension (hence the dual Submersives in my HT) but not everyone has the $$ or our priorities.

Definitely agreed on all points, I just can't reconcile its performance graphs with what I expect out of a sealed design. The OP's budget flexibility hopefully can put him into the Rythmik. I think it's significantly ahead of all these other ID recommendations, especially given its renown as a superbly-articulate performer.
post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spur Darren View Post

I know its ported but I just got my CHT CraigSub VS 18.1 on Thursday and I couldnt be happier. I have been rewatching all my favorite demo movies and I dont think I have ever had such big a smile on my face before. It is a little above your budget but worth it in my opinion. I had 2 HSU VTF3 MK3's and a MBM-12 Midbass module before.

I'm considering the VS 18.1, how is music with it?
post #25 of 41
Nube,
The roll off below 20 hz of the Empire still allows more than decent output to 16 hz in a modest sized room. The slope is steeper than a typical sealed alignment as a design choice to make it nearly impossible to overdrive or bottom out without huge EQ boost down low.
Don't forget most on the market for a below $1k sub are not as savvy as the average AVS member. They'll often "calibrate" it 12 dB hot and crank it. The steeper slope is protective against misuse.
Tim

Bigotis,
Don't know about the VS 18.1 for music personally but it has quality drivers and others seem to be pleased with it's musicality.
post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigotis View Post

I'm considering the VS 18.1, how is music with it?

I havent listened to a lot of music yet. What I have listened to I thought it sounded good.
post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by binarysoldier View Post

Wow. I never expected to be talked into a smaller sub... Has my wife been talking to you guys?

Seriously though I always see you guys talking about how you run the HSU's ports open for one thing and ports closed for something else. Every time I throw on some music I don't want to have to pop a plug in or out to make the sub sound right.

So I have 1 vote for Rhythmic, 2 votes for a HSU and 1 vote for Epik.

Hmmmm. I wish there was somewhere I could actually listen to them side by side and see what my ears like. So when is the Detroit area sub shootout lol?

Nobody likes the Velodyne then? I had always heard good things about their DD technology.

Some are suggesting Rhythmik, and that is a better sub. But you can always spend more and get more sub. The point is, to fill the space you will have, you simply don't need it. The HSU VTF3 will be much more than enough. Why spend more than you need to?

I leave my HSU with one port open and never adjust it. These subs are fine with music, I couldn't believe how tight the bass was for a ported sub. it made my old Paradigm sub sound like garbage by comparison.

But really you can choose from several subs listed here and you will do just fine. The sub freaks who talk about sub 20hz are mainly talking test numbers which do not reflect what a sub will do with room gain. In a room a sub will sound much different than "in an emply parking lot laying on its side(true testing method)".

Hsu will give you great bang for buck, but so will several others, you just don't need to spend 800, but hey, it's your $$.
post #28 of 41
I'll cast another vote for the FV15. I have an Empire (1 of three subs in my ht) and would recommend it as a more budget friendly choice.

For me anyway, the HSU would be enough in your current room, but not your next one. At -15 db it could keep up, but if you ever go louder you will be running it close to or perhaps at its limit. I like to keep my subs running at no more than 70/80% of their max output when listening at my highest volumes. The system sounds better that way and the subs will last longer.
post #29 of 41
Find a used Danley DTS-10 someone put together as a kit. It'll crush any of the others.
post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by capecodorthopod View Post

Nube,
The roll off below 20 hz of the Empire still allows more than decent output to 16 hz in a modest sized room. The slope is steeper than a typical sealed alignment as a design choice to make it nearly impossible to overdrive or bottom out without huge EQ boost down low.
Don't forget most on the market for a below $1k sub are not as savvy as the average AVS member. They'll often "calibrate" it 12 dB hot and crank it. The steeper slope is protective against misuse.
Tim

Agreed. What the Empire does, it does very well. I just think if the OP's budget is $300 flexible, he'll get a better sub overall with the Rythmik. Of course, as we all know and has been pointed out, you can always get more if you spend more. But, if DIY is not an option, that's the route I'd go.

I love bass, but I don't run it hot anymore. I used to in my basement HT, but now that I've moved and am in an open floorplan house, I calibrated it pretty much to reference. Not only does it keep from offending uninitiated visitors, it also doesn't get the cops called on me or get me shot in this land of no insulation, no basements, and booming cholo car stereos. And, I have to admit, with multiple vibrations and room modes that I can't address in this rental, it still has (almost) enough impact without being over the top.
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