or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › Subwoofers, Bass, and Transducers › <$500 Subwoofer - did I miss any good contenders?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

<$500 Subwoofer - did I miss any good contenders?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Edit: upped my price range for the final time to ~$600 delivered. I figure there's no point in spending $350 and wondering what could have been, but I better be blown away for $600.

I recently ordered a Polk PSW505 based on the low price ($199 shipped), excellent customer reviews, and my personal positive experiences with Polk speakers, but it arrived with a broken screen, and worse yet sounded terrible. (boomy and vague with music, wimpy output, bizarre soundstage) Coming from a ten year old 12" 200W RCA sub, I expected to be impressed - not one bit. So the PSW505 is being returned and I'm on the hunt for something better. Listed below are the specs of my setup, as well as some contenders that my research dug up.

Receiver: Yamaha RX-V671
Center: Polk CS2
Fronts: Polk Monitor 70
Surrounds: Polk Monitor 40
Rears: Polk Monitor 40
Presence: Polk Monitor 30
Sub: ?
Room: 17'x21'x6’8” carpet on slab
Use: 95% music / 5% movies


The contenders in my current order:

1. HSU Research VTF-2 MK4 ($612 shipped)
2. Simply Sound Audio Rumba 12 ($620 shipped)
3. SVS SB12-NSD ($600 shipped)
4. HSU Research VTF-1 MK2 ($494 shipped)




Epik Legend (don't want rattles or overheating issues)
Definitive ProSub 1000 (don't want rattles)
HSU Research STF-2 ($362 shipped)
LAVA LSP10 ($246 shipped)
BIC America PL-200 ($329 shipped)
Energy ESW-C10 ($400 shipped)
Klipsch SUB-12HG ($318 shipped)

Edited by SIGcollector - 9/13/12 at 9:40am
post #2 of 22
2 x Energy S10.3 (when on sale for ~$200/ea.). smile.gif
post #3 of 22
If you can up your budget by just $100 or so, you could get the Simply Sound Audio Rumba 12. It is 16" cubed so it meets your space requirements. Here is a link to the sub. I just ordered one used and it should arrive on Thursday. Once it gets here and I get it hooked up I will be able to give you my impressions.

https://simplysoundaudio.com/Rumba_12.html
post #4 of 22
I recently got the Bic pl-200, it is the best sub under $500 IMHO. It hits below 20hz with authority by my testing.
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
I hadn't considered twin less expensive 10's, but I think I'd end up being more happy with one higher end unit. (although twins would look mighty nice with my setup) The Rumba looks VERY appealing, although if I stretched to that price bracket I would have to take a hard look at the HSU VTF-2 MK4. (and find a new home for my sub) The PL-200 is a very attractive package for the money, particularly as it contains a BASH amp and is rumored to be at least partially designed by Dr. Hsu. My concern with the PL-200 is that my primary goal is quality music, which isn't exactly its strong suit. Although I suppose I could always buy it from Amazon and return it if it doesn't fit my fancy . . .
post #6 of 22
Outlaw LFM-1 Plus if you can bump your budget to $550.

http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/lfm1plus.html
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turick View Post

Outlaw LFM-1 Plus if you can bump your budget to $550.
http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/lfm1plus.html

I did briefly look at the LFM-1 Plus yesterday, the thing is a beast. I'm guessing shipping would be in the same ballpark as HSU?
post #8 of 22
I think it's like $75... Ironically it was actually designed by Dr. Hsu. When I got mine it was better bang for the buck than the HSU, but I don't know if that's still true. Here's an old thread pitting the LFM-1 Plus vs HSU 2.3

http://www.avsforum.com/t/849510/hsu-2-3-vs-outlaw-lfm-1-plus
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Interesting thread on the LFM-1 Plus vs the older HSU.

. . . my uncle suggested that I add the Definitive ProSub 1000 to my list, any thoughts on this unit?

Edit: nixed the Definitive, too many rattling complaints for my taste.
Edited by SIGcollector - 9/13/12 at 7:27am
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Price bracket bumped to $600, contenders updated. At this point I'm really leaning towards the Hsu, due to the hybrid setup and multiple reviews stating its strong musical capabilities. On the other hand, Murrel's Simply Sound Audio Rumba 12 presents a tremendous value and top notch customer service. TOUGH choices . . .
post #11 of 22
Since this is for music and you don't have a sub EQ, I would recommend this http://www.rythmikaudio.com/FV12.html . You don't need anything under 20hz for music and if you have freedom of placement (or can install bass traps) the servo is going to give you the flattest response and best output possible in this price range. My other recommendation if you don't have the option to move the sub to the best location or treat the room would be to get a budget subwoofer in the $300 range such as the Klipsch RW12-D, Bic PL200, Jamo 650, or the previous mentioned 10.3 and and either an Anti-mode (automated EQ new for $325, used for around $200) or REW and manual EQ of some sort.
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
The ONLY reason I didn't include the Rythmik FV12 in my top three is because they're currently listed as out of stock. It looks like an excellent unit. As far as the placement, I decided I'm going to do the sub-crawl and let the chips fall where they may. If I have to reorganize, so be it.
post #13 of 22
Quote:
... I would recommend this FV12
IIRC, the FV12 is out of production, and the Rythmik website lists them as "out of stock", too.

I'll throw my vote in for the SSA Rumba 12.

Curious: SVS lists the SB12-NSD @ $649, shipped. How'd you manage to get $600, shipped?
post #14 of 22
Unless I'm missing something, follow the link I provided...I just did a mock order and the unit showed as being in stock and at a sale price on the payment page of $499. They might be phasing them out, but as of right now they seem to have some!!! Get 'em while you can!
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post

Curious: SVS lists the SB12-NSD @ $649, shipped. How'd you manage to get $600, shipped?

http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/view-all?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=200&category_id=1#.UFIQzY1lS9c
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiophile2k View Post

Unless I'm missing something, follow the link I provided...I just did a mock order and the unit showed as being in stock and at a sale price on the payment page of $499. They might be phasing them out, but as of right now they seem to have some!!! Get 'em while you can!

Intriguing, perhaps I need to make a phone call . . . $570 shipped is rather appetizing.

Edit: Called Rythmik and they are in fact sold out. frown.gif
Edited by SIGcollector - 9/13/12 at 10:13am
post #17 of 22
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post

Cool, thanks. smile.gif
Certainly!
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
I ponied up and ordered the Hsu Research VTF-2 MK4, it should be here on Wednesday.
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
I took a half-day last Wednesday to receive the sub and set it up . . . ended up spending at least 8 hours admiring the performance of my new investment. I was initially nervous about not going with the VTF-3, but once I hooked up the VTF-2, it put all of my concerns to rest. Whether it was jazz, rock, metal, or even some of Liquid Tension Experiment's intense synthesized and layered bass riffs, the unit continued to hit hard and keep its composure - and the plate amp never got more than lukewarm. I was particularly impressed with how tight and accurate the reproduction was. With both ports closed it does loose a noticeable amount of oomph, but it's outrageous how articulate the woofer is. With both ports open it flat out pounds. I watched Avengers last night in 3D and Dolby Pro Logic IIz, and it was breathtaking. In short, I chose wisely with the Hsu Research VTF-2.

The packaging also performed well, clearly absorbing / deflecting would-be damage during its cross country journey. The double-walled and reinforced corners are most definitely of value.

All in all, I have a profound respect for Dr. Hsu and his company for turning out an excellent product for an excellent price, and particularly for having a personal presence on Hsu Research's forum and others. If my VTF-2 proves reliable in the longterm, I will most certainly be back for more!
Edited by SIGcollector - 10/2/12 at 7:01am
post #21 of 22
i am considering upgrading from my bic f-12 to the one you purchased but a few questions. when you say ports closed, do you mean you plug them with something? its that easy? if so does the sub come with the plugs or you just like put a small towel in there or something? also, ported is better for music or the other way around?
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradymartin View Post

i am considering upgrading from my bic f-12 to the one you purchased but a few questions. when you say ports closed, do you mean you plug them with something? its that easy? if so does the sub come with the plugs or you just like put a small towel in there or something? also, ported is better for music or the other way around?

With the sub, you get two dense foam plugs for the ports. They honestly look like a gimmick when you see them, but there is a VERY noticeable difference with them installed or not, and also a noticeable difference between running in EQ1 or EQ2.

As far as music, it depends what type you listen to . . .
For the majority of my music (jazz, modern/classic rock), EQ2 and both ports closed produces the tightest and most accurate low frequencies.
If you're a rap/club music fan, EQ2 and one port open sounds the best IMO.
If you like classical or organ pieces, EQ1 and one port open would be the way to go.
Movies are a bit of a toss up, if you want it to really pound and don't mind giving up some low end (18-25Hz), go with EQ2 and both ports open. If you know you're going to watch a movie with strong lows in that range, go EQ1 and one port open.

There are pics of the plugs installed / not installed here: http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-2mk4.html

Hope that helps!
Edited by SIGcollector - 10/2/12 at 7:02am
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › Subwoofers, Bass, and Transducers › <$500 Subwoofer - did I miss any good contenders?