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Looking for a sub to match my setup

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have a Denon AVR-1712 powering a 5.1 setup.

My speakers are:
Energy CC-10 center channel
Energy CB-10 fronts
Energy CR-10 rears

My sub is a Polk PSW10 carried over from my old system. When I run Audyssey setup, the sub isn't even detected unless I turn the volume knob way up on it. It used to sound OK in my old setup in another room, but I've moved to my basement, which is a bigger room (20x17) with a tile floor (covered by area rugs) and it just doesn't sound powerful anymore.

I'm looking for a powered sub replacement that would complement my system. I know the sub doesn't need to match brands/models with other speakers, but I'd like to buy something that fits well with the quality level of the equipment that I have.

Obviously, you could spend any amount of money on a sub, but what is the price range where I would get something that would complement these speakers nicely and be a noticeable upgrade from my Polk? I would use it for movies/tv (90%) and the occasional video game (10%). Not really for music.

I'm not sure what I should be spending, but I have $300 in my head as a reasonable figure.

I'm pretty handy, and I'm willing to build a sub if I can get more bang for my buck. I don't want to build anything from scratch, but I'd be willing to put one together from a kit or parts list. Thanks for any help that you could provide.
post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by ed3120 View Post

Obviously, you could spend any amount of money on a sub, but what is the price range where I would get something that would complement these speakers nicely and be a noticeable upgrade from my Polk?

There are lots of subs out there that will easily outperform your PSW10 but, IMO, in a 20' x 17' basement HT space you'll need something more than just "a noticeable upgrade" to be truly satisfying. I suggest you consider eyeing the $500-$700 (shipped) range, which would make available to you subs such as these:
- Epik Legend
- Outlaw LFM-1 Plus (or, when it's on sale for the same price, the LFM-1 EX)
- Rythmik FV12
- SVS SB12-NSD
post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post

There are lots of subs out there that will easily outperform your PSW10 but, IMO, in a 20' x 17' basement HT space you'll need something more than just "a noticeable upgrade" to be truly satisfying. I suggest you consider eyeing the $500-$700 (shipped) range, which would make available to you subs such as these:
- Epik Legend
- Outlaw LFM-1 Plus (or, when it's on sale for the same price, the LFM-1 EX)
- Rythmik FV12
- SVS SB12-NSD

Outlaw has the LFM-1 Plus in b-stock for $499 shipped:
https://www.outlawaudio.com/mofcart/bstock.html


Otherwise, I agree with you and save up a little more.
post #4 of 8
The Klipsch RW-12D usually on sale for $299 at Newegg is a good sub for your room within your price range. If you can spend more, then Hsu vtf series, Outlaw, Epik, etc... are better subs.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. Would a $500 sub bring more bass, or better quality bass?

In my old living room, I was satisfied with the level of bass that came out of the Polk. The living room was on the main floor of my house, 11x17, but with two wide open adjacent areas that added another 10x10 and 7x7. All with 9 foot ceilings. I got a decently satisfying rumble out of the Polk with that setup. It was loud enough that if I turned it any louder, my wife would tell me to turn it back down.

Then I moved the TV down to the basement, and bought the Denon and the Energy speakers (replacing an Onkyo HTS760 HTIB). The basement is 17x20 with 6.5 foot ceilings. The room is sound treated with double drywall, green glue, and whisperclips and hat track on the ceiling. The floor is hard tile. There are enough area rugs and couches to get rid of echoes and things. Ever since I moved the sub down there, I feel like I don't hear any bass except for significant events in movies like a car crash or gunshot. Watching TV, I feel like there isn't a lot of bass when a song comes on during a show. Overall, the sub feels nonexistent during most TiVo HD viewing (yes, the audio is going to the amp via HDMI) I could turn the volume all the way up, but like I said, I definitely hear the sub when watching a bluray and something big happens. Not all rhe time in a movie, just during the "big" things. The sub repeatedly made a crappy vibrating sound during a repeated low tone in a movie once, but I haven't heard it since.

When I ran Audyssey setup the first few times, Audyssey didn't even detect the sub. Then I turned the volume knob from 50% to about 80% and then it picked it up. It automatically set my front to crossover at 40hz. I could see that for a big set of full range speakers, but not for the 6 inchers in those. Am I correct in assuming that means that Audyssey thinks my sub can't handle the bass on its own and that my fronts need to help?

Anyway, one time I watched the movie "Super 8" and the train crash came on and my sub (in my opinion) performed pretty impressively. It was loud and I really felt the rumble.

So I guess I'm not looking for just sheer loudness, it's more that I'm looking for some consistency and good sound quality. I don't need to shake the entire house, but I do want to feel the movies and bring out the good sound quality of my current setup.
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by ed3120 View Post

Thanks for the advice. Would a $500 sub bring more bass, or better quality bass?

In my old living room, I was satisfied with the level of bass that came out of the Polk. The living room was on the main floor of my house, 11x17, but with two wide open adjacent areas that added another 10x10 and 7x7. All with 9 foot ceilings. I got a decently satisfying rumble out of the Polk with that setup. It was loud enough that if I turned it any louder, my wife would tell me to turn it back down.

Then I moved the TV down to the basement, and bought the Denon and the Energy speakers (replacing an Onkyo HTS760 HTIB). The basement is 17x20 with 6.5 foot ceilings. The room is sound treated with double drywall, green glue, and whisperclips and hat track on the ceiling. The floor is hard tile. There are enough area rugs and couches to get rid of echoes and things. Ever since I moved the sub down there, I feel like I don't hear any bass except for significant events in movies like a car crash or gunshot. Watching TV, I feel like there isn't a lot of bass when a song comes on during a show. Overall, the sub feels nonexistent during most TiVo HD viewing (yes, the audio is going to the amp via HDMI) I could turn the volume all the way up, but like I said, I definitely hear the sub when watching a bluray and something big happens. Not all rhe time in a movie, just during the "big" things. The sub repeatedly made a crappy vibrating sound during a repeated low tone in a movie once, but I haven't heard it since.

When I ran Audyssey setup the first few times, Audyssey didn't even detect the sub. Then I turned the volume knob from 50% to about 80% and then it picked it up. It automatically set my front to crossover at 40hz. I could see that for a big set of full range speakers, but not for the 6 inchers in those. Am I correct in assuming that means that Audyssey thinks my sub can't handle the bass on its own and that my fronts need to help?

Anyway, one time I watched the movie "Super 8" and the train crash came on and my sub (in my opinion) performed pretty impressively. It was loud and I really felt the rumble.

So I guess I'm not looking for just sheer loudness, it's more that I'm looking for some consistency and good sound quality. I don't need to shake the entire house, but I do want to feel the movies and bring out the good sound quality of my current setup.

You have a larger room and you are dealing with concrete floors. I had the same Polk sub you have. Trust me, anything in the $500+ range will feel like night and day. You could get a PA-150 for $349 shipped or get a PL-200. Both of those subs are in your budget and would be a huge upgrade over your current sub. Something does seem wrong with your calibration though. Have you read through the Audyssey threads and configuration guides?
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by ed3120 View Post

Thanks for the advice. Would a $500 sub bring more bass, or better quality bass?

Both.

Quote:


In my old living room, I was satisfied with the level of bass that came out of the Polk. The living room was on the main floor of my house ...

Main floor likely means a suspended floor (i.e. on joists) which means "floor effect" - the vibration of the joists that adds a tactile sensation to the woofering of the sub.

In a basement HT room, there is no "floor effect", so you need a sub that can pressurize your space. Which is why your PSW10 isn't cutting it anymore.

Which is why I moved from an SVS PB10-NSD to a PB12-NSD to dual ChaseHT 18.1s in my ~30' x 15' x 7.5' = ~3,375 cu.ft. HT space.

FWIW, and YMMV.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post

Both.


Main floor likely means a suspended floor (i.e. on joists) which means "floor effect" - the vibration of the joists that adds a tactile sensation to the woofering of the sub.

In a basement HT room, there is no "floor effect", so you need a sub that can pressurize your space. Which is why your PSW10 isn't cutting it anymore.

Yeah, my living room is on joists. My basement also has green glue sound dampening material sandwiched between the drywall on the walls and ceiling. I wonder if that is also deadening the vibration from the sub and causing it to lose more volume and vibration.
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