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Sub $1000 subwoofer rec - Rm 17L x 15W x 7'10"H dedicated HT

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 
Hi.
I'm helping a friend with a home theater purchase.
I own an SVS (see my signature link if interested - SVS PB12-Ultra/2 (rosewood)) and own an Emotiva sub for the office.
I advised him to get an Epik Empire for $800, but he told me today that multiple calls to Epik have been unanswered.
I helped another friend with his HT and he has an Epik Empire (15" x2 sealed).
I've been out of the subwoofer research mode for a while and he just wants to pull the trigger and get something that is easy to order with reliable delivery.

Please help with sub $1000 (+/-) subwoofer recommendations.

Budget: ~$1000
Use: Sports > Movies ; also likely games for the kids
Room: Dedicated HT with 80" TV, furniture pending, in wall Speakercraft speakers, wired for 7.1
Room Dimensions: 17' L x 15' W x 7'10" H
AVR: Yamaha RX-A850 (?)

Biases:
He doesn't care about brand or specs. He'll just get whatever I say is a good value for his room
I own a ported SVS, but have lately considered sealed subs for others.


I made him return a JBL Studio 550P BK he bought for $600

Thanks for any help.


Mike


SUGGESTIONS:

Original comparator: Epik Empire - $799 - sealed - 15" x2
22 H x 18 W x 24 D (16W w/o grills)
140# shipped - actual weight = ?


Options:
CHT CraigSUB SS-18.1 - $995 ($500+95+400) - sealed - 18" x1 - 23" H x 21" W x 21" D - 75#
CHT CraigSUB VS-18.1 - $1240 ($700+190+350) - vented - 18" x1
(eD A7s - Elemental Designs out of business)
Epik Legend - $499 each - sealed - 12" x2 - 18 H x 15 W x 20 D - 80# shipped
-- consider 2 Legends - $899 for 2 subs (=4 12" drivers)
Hsu VTF-3 MK4 - $749 ($659+99) - ported or sealed - 12" x1
Hsu VTF-15H - $1018 ($879+139) - ported or sealed - 15" x1 - 25" H x 18" W x 26" D - 100#
Power Sound Audio (PSA) XV15 - $799 (total) - vented - 15" x1 - (D x W x H): 23.5” x 18.5” x 24.25” - 92#
Rythmik FV15 - $1124 - ported - 15" x1
Rythmik F15 - $974 (+options) - sealed - 15" x1
SVS DUAL-SB12-NSD - $1149 - sealed - 12" x2 (separate subs) - Each: 14.6" H x 14.2" W x 14.2" D - 35#


...
Edited by Mike_WI - 9/26/12 at 8:07am
post #2 of 45
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1367811/subwoofer-shootout-subwoofer-roundup-url-lists/0_20


Or

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1313176/shootout-epik-empire-vs-hsu-vtf-15h-vs-cht-cs18-1-vs-rythmik-fv15-vs-ed-a7s-450/0_20
post #3 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_WI View Post

Thanks for any help.

Mike

Dumb question on my part but why not a pair of SVS PB12-NSD's?
post #4 of 45
Thread Starter 

Thank you.
I will look at the links and update post #1 with ideas.

I didn't mention it, but he watches mostly sports, but I think the family will watch movies after the install.

Mike
post #5 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

Dumb question on my part but why not a pair of SVS PB12-NSD's?
Not dumb, but out of price range...
https://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/ported-box/pb12-nsd
$769.00 x2 = $1538
post #6 of 45
Hsu VTF 3 mk4 or 15h. Both can be run ported or sealed along with other options to fine tune to his liking.
post #7 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_WI View Post

Not dumb, but out of price range...
https://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/ported-box/pb12-nsd
$769.00 x2 = $1538

Working with you, buy one today and buy the second one in a month or three. FYI, if you buy two, call in and SVS will give you a 5% discount code you enter at the time of your online purchase. You can also buy b-stock and get a much better price.

As an example, here's a SB12-NSD for $599.00 Keep checking back as their inventory changes as units come and go. Give Ed a call and see what he can do for you. Another suggestion would be either the for sale forum here or Audiogon.

-
Edited by BeeMan458 - 9/23/12 at 3:50pm
post #8 of 45
At $1k, the Hsu VTF15h. That ported 15" from Power Sound Audio looks good too, but the variable tuning of the VTF is a nice feature.
post #9 of 45
The ordering on the phone thing is because? Why not order using the order form? It's also the weekend...
post #10 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

Working with you, buy one today and buy the second one in a month or three. FYI, if you buy two, call in and SVS will give you a 5% discount code you enter at the time of your online purchase. You can also buy b-stock and get a much better price.
As an example, here's a SB12-NSD for $599.00 Keep checking back as their inventory changes as units come and go. Give Ed a call and see what he can do for you. Another suggestion would be either the for sale forum here or Audiogon.
-

The issue isn't how much he can afford.
He can afford a lot more, he just doesn't want to.
Some people really understand and are in to audio and all of what it can do and some aren't.
I convinced him to return the 10" "sub" for a better value and could get him to buy more if needed, but I think there may be some other reasonable options.
As I said, I own an SVS and love it, so I'm an SVS fan.

Mike
post #11 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

At $1k, the Hsu VTF15h. That ported 15" from Power Sound Audio looks good too, but the variable tuning of the VTF is a nice feature.
That's a great option.
I've always heard of Hsu but never owned or seen one in person.

Mike
post #12 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

At $1k, the Hsu VTF15h. That ported 15" from Power Sound Audio looks good too, but the variable tuning of the VTF is a nice feature.

At $1k these are what I'd be looking at.

Having heard the VTF15H in person, it's an incredible performer at that price! cool.gif
post #13 of 45
The HSU 15H won't disappoint. I've a owned a pair for close to two years now.
post #14 of 45
Just peeking @ the list above, the HSU VTF 15 looks to be a good route to go!
post #15 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_WI View Post

He can afford a lot more, he just doesn't want to.
Some people really understand and are in to audio and all of what it can do and some aren't.
I convinced him to return the 10" "sub" for a better value and could get him to buy more if needed, but I think there may be some other reasonable options.
As I said, I own an SVS and love it, so I'm an SVS fan.

A decent bottle of wine is wasted on the person who doesn't understand the qualities of a halfway decent bottle of wine. I submit that if we're dealing with one who meets the above in subwoofer terms, diplomatically tell him to save his money, buy a SVS PB12-NSD and later, if he wants to improve the sound quality as he acclimates to the single subwoofer, your recommendation would be to purchase a second SVS PB12-NSD for the smoother quality bass the purchase of a second sub will provide.

With the money saved, a suggestion would be to buy a couple of select prime rib-eyes, a decent bottle of 2008 Grand Cru, Bordeaux and with a fast grilling of the bone-in rib-eyes, celebrate his good fortune.

.........................................biggrin.gif
post #16 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

A decent bottle of wine is wasted on the person who doesn't understand the qualities of a halfway decent bottle of wine. I submit that if we're dealing with one who meets the above in subwoofer terms, diplomatically tell him to save his money, buy a SVS PB12-NSD and later, if he wants to improve the sound quality as he acclimates to the single subwoofer, your recommendation would be to purchase a second SVS PB12-NSD for the smoother quality bass the purchase of a second sub will provide.
With the money saved, a suggestion would be to buy a couple of select prime rib-eyes, a decent bottle of 2008 Grand Cru, Bordeaux and with a fast grilling of the bone-in rib-eyes, celebrate his good fortune.
.........................................biggrin.gif

I added this to the "potentials" list in post #1:
SVS DUAL-SB12-NSD - $1149 - sealed - 12" x2 (separate subs)
post #17 of 45
Thread Starter 
I looked at offerings from Axiom and Emotiva and wasn't impressed.
I hadn't been subwoofer shopping in over a year, so am jumping back into this.

I also read the subwoofer shootout links from Archaea:
Without further options, I emailed my friend (Bert) that these were the likely options to let him look at images, sizes, 1 vs. 2 options, etc:

CHT CraigSUB SS-18.1 - $995 ($500+95+400) - sealed - 18" x1
Hsu VTF-15H - $1018 ($879+139) - ported or sealed - 15"
SVS DUAL-SB12-NSD - $1149 - sealed - 12" x2 (separate subs)

Thoughts?

Without consideration of sound quality or performance, I thought the Hsu might be the easiest setup (no separate amp, like CHT) and only a single sub (but of course losing the benefits of dual).

Mike
post #18 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HuskerOmaha View Post

Just peeking @ the list above, the HSU VTF 15 looks to be a good route to go!

Thanks.
Great subwoofer shootout thread by the way.
I scanned the whole thing last night.

I would like to see a new CHT version sub, I like SVS, but Hsu might be easiest (see my last post on comments).

- Mike
post #19 of 45
I have not heard other subs, but my Rythmik F12 .... crazy deep bass. A friend who's been in this field way longer than I am was impressed with the sound F12 produced. Your friend may want to go with F15 for extra $100. Later on, he can add a second one.

keep in mind, F12 is quite smaller than F15.
post #20 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_WI View Post

Thanks.
Great subwoofer shootout thread by the way.
I scanned the whole thing last night.
I would like to see a new CHT version sub, I like SVS, but Hsu might be easiest (see my last post on comments).
- Mike

The finishes on the CHT subs (these were the Vented 18s @ the GTG last October) are much improved.
AS LONG AS the buyer (or you) will measure and EQ the system to tweak it, I think a pair of those would be nice if you go sealed. That goes for any setup without included EQ on board.
post #21 of 45
Dual Epik Legends. $900 Without any doubt, the best deal in this price range.
post #22 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_WI View Post

I looked at offerings from Axiom and Emotiva and wasn't impressed.
I hadn't been subwoofer shopping in over a year, so am jumping back into this.
I also read the subwoofer shootout links from Archaea:
Without further options, I emailed my friend (Bert) that these were the likely options to let him look at images, sizes, 1 vs. 2 options, etc:
CHT CraigSUB SS-18.1 - $995 ($500+95+400) - sealed - 18" x1
Hsu VTF-15H - $1018 ($879+139) - ported or sealed - 15"
SVS DUAL-SB12-NSD - $1149 - sealed - 12" x2 (separate subs)
Thoughts?
Without consideration of sound quality or performance, I thought the Hsu might be the easiest setup (no separate amp, like CHT) and only a single sub (but of course losing the benefits of dual).
Mike

I had both the SS 18.1 and VTF-15h at the same time. I much perferred the HSU.
post #23 of 45
The HSU is a very well-rated performer, so it seems like the "no brainer" option.

- but -

Because the room is relatively small (just under 2,040 cu.ft.), I think dual SB-12NSDs - also well-rated - would be a great option. With room gain they should have no problem digging to below 20Hz, and they would (potentially) provide smoother FR than the single HSU. Their smaller size might also provide a greater range of placement options. And, y'know, duals!! cool.gifbiggrin.gif
Edited by eljaycanuck - 9/25/12 at 5:32am
post #24 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blake18 View Post

Dual Epik Legends. $900 Without any doubt, the best deal in this price range.
Thanks for idea

http://www.epiksubwoofers.com/legend.html

Mike
post #25 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt34 View Post

I had both the SS 18.1 and VTF-15h at the same time. I much perferred the HSU.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post

The HSU is a very well-rated performer, so it seems like the "no brainer" option.
- but -
Because the room is relatively small (just under 2,040 cu.ft.), I think dual SB-12NSDs - also well-rated - would be a great option. With room gain they should have no problem digging to below 20Hz, and they would (potentially) provide smoother FR than the single HSU. Their smaller size might also provide a greater range of placement options. And, y'know, duals!! cool.gifbiggrin.gif

Thanks for comments.
I'll see where he is in the thought process of re-contacting Epik.
His speakers (in wall) go in this week. TV is in place.
I suggested he get the soon to be released Oppo BDP-103 blu ray player.

Mike
post #26 of 45
Thread Starter 
Best options now seem to be...


Epik Empire - $799 - sealed - 15" x2 - 22 H x 18 W x 24 D (16W w/o grills) - 140# shipped - actual weight = ?
Epik Legend - $499 each - sealed - 12" x2 - 18 H x 15 W x 20 D - 80# shipped
-- consider 2 Legends - $899 for 2 subs ( = 4 x 12" drivers)
Hsu VTF-15H - $1018 ($879+139) - ported or sealed - 15" x1 - 25" H x 18" W x 26" D - 100#


Mike
post #27 of 45
Re. Epik:
- there's been some grumbling about the company's service recently; and
- the reliability of the amp in the Legend has been an issue in the recent past, but I don't know what the latest status is.

If these issues i) have been resolved or ii) don't worry you, I'd go with dual Legends; otherwise, the VTF-15H.
post #28 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post

Re. Epik:
- there's been some grumbling about the company's service recently; and
- the reliability of the amp in the Legend has been an issue in the recent past, but I don't know what the latest status is.
If these issues i) have been resolved or ii) don't worry you, I'd go with dual Legends; otherwise, the VTF-15H.

Thanks.
Can any Epik guru comment on the above potential issues (eek.gif)?

Mike

ADDENDUM:
Noted from today in Epik thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/885079/official-epik-subwoofer-thread/18600#post_22431244

(bold added by me -- I think this gets at some of the potential the phone and customer service issues)
Quote:
Yah I agree. Chad was *very* apologetic and he told my sister he knows he's pissed a lot of people off. He also told her that he's still having problems with his phones answering system. It's sad because his subs are great values and he seems genuine when you talk to him about his subs. At least he admitted the blame is on him regardless of the reasoning behind it. Alex never did that so I honestly believe he'll work hard so it doesn't happen again. Again I still thank him for getting it taken care of and the way he talked to my sister.

Edited by Mike_WI - 9/25/12 at 9:24am
post #29 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_WI View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post

Re. Epik:
- there's been some grumbling about the company's service recently; and
- the reliability of the amp in the Legend has been an issue in the recent past, but I don't know what the latest status is.
If these issues i) have been resolved or ii) don't worry you, I'd go with dual Legends; otherwise, the VTF-15H.

Thanks.
Can any Epik guru comment on the above potential issues (eek.gif)?

Mike

ADDENDUM:
Noted from today in Epik thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/885079/official-epik-subwoofer-thread/18600#post_22431244

(bold added by me -- I think this gets at some of the potential the phone and customer service issues)
Quote:
Yah I agree. Chad was *very* apologetic and he told my sister he knows he's pissed a lot of people off. He also told her that he's still having problems with his phones answering system. It's sad because his subs are great values and he seems genuine when you talk to him about his subs. At least he admitted the blame is on him regardless of the reasoning behind it. Alex never did that so I honestly believe he'll work hard so it doesn't happen again. Again I still thank him for getting it taken care of and the way he talked to my sister.

I don't particularly know if the recently shipped Legends are without issue, but the posting of problems seems to be with older units (and while there were numerous reports, I have no idea what the percentage of units were either and either does anyone else outside of Chad as far as I know).

I had a problem with my Empire amp about 14 months in and Chad took care of it very nicely, altho at the time I called until I could talk to someone, not a big fan of leaving voicemail or emails alone with pretty much any company, especially the larger ones (and my experience with the larger ones is that if you get one the answer is a stock faq type answer with an invite to call for further assistance, so not so helpful).

I haven't lived in Illinois since 1970 so haven't been there to see with my own eyes (would if I could). I think it's worth a chance, the Empire is an awesome sub and I think dual Legends would be excellent, too. Unless I hit the lottery and can get my dream dual Submersives, I think I'll be ordering another Empire soon as I've got a big room and have been playing with multiple subs (some on sale Infinity PSW310s on sale I picked up for other than my livingroom setup) and am sold on the benefits.
post #30 of 45
For what it is worth, I had the same decision recently after being an eD owner and needing a new sub. I read through the entire Epik thread (took several days) and decided there were just too many failures with both the Legend and Empire sub and the customer support was sketchy. Having been an eD owner those were huge warning signs to me. I called both companies multiple times to test response and with Epik it was hit or miss getting someone to answer the phone and with Hsu they answered every call during normal business hours. I will say both companies were very polite and helpful on the phone, but in the end I decided to spend a little more and go with Hsu's reputation, customer service, and track record. I mean look how many subs they sell and rarely, if ever, is there a failure of any kind, and rarely do you ever see someone complain about customer service.

Since this is not for you, I would probably stick with SVS or Hsu. I recommended eD to several friends and neighbors and feel pretty bad now that the company went belly-up. I am not implying that Epik subs are bad, or the company will be gone tomorrow, but out of the two companies Hsu has the better track record, and there are definitely some warning signs with Epik.
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