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Budget sub, 2 subs or 1 higher quality sub for Large volume (I think)

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I recently moved into a larger home, my last HT room had 12x10 walls with 8' ceiling. I had a cheap 8" sub with 100w that came with a HTiB, it shook enough, forgetting that the quality was just trash. Now, I've noticed that it almost appears that my sub is not even working in the new home. The floors are laminate, the living room connects to the kitchen and dining and is pretty much open. There is a 4 1/2' wall separating the living / dining and it is open above that, in the kitchen there is a bar that stands 5' high and the other half goes all the way to the ceiling. The dimensions for this entire area is 30' x 24' x 10'. The 30' wall is divided by the separator I spoke of, it is 16' from the living room wall to that wall. So to that wall the room is 16 x 24 x 10 (But I included the above detail for more accuracy).

There may be standing waves, or the volume of the room is just so much that the sub just doesn't put out enough. It turns on, it does make sounds and some vibration, however, in the last room I would have it turned to 11o'clock and it would sometimes be too much bass (not for me but others)(on a 7oclock to 5oclock scale). Now I have it at like 3-4oclock and it makes no difference from 11-4oclock the sub seems to put out the same. I opened it up and checked fuses, none were blown. I think the room size has played with my head cause I was thinking the sub just went bad.

Anyways, I've been reading these forums for a while now, looking at budget subs etc. I was first going to purchase 1 budget sub ~250-300, but now I'm thinking that it wont be enough. I was thinking of raising my budget to be 400-450 and either getting a better quality sub or 2 budget subs.

My number 1 choice for budget sub right now is the PL-200, based purely on research. I also like what the PA-150 seems to offer. I noticed the HSU-STF2 is on sale right now too. After more and more digging I started to think that maybe because of my layout I'm going to have serious issues feeling/hearing base in my seating positions. So then I was thinking of maybe a higher quality sub closer to $500? I also thought about getting 2 HD-Sub12's for $400 total, although I've only seen very few reviews info on those particular subs, I cannot go over $500 shipped though, that is the absolute max.

Any and all input is welcome. I'm trying to attach a sketch of my living room. LivingRoom.JPG 13k .JPG file

I wonder where the best position for my sub is, I tried doing crawl with my crappy 50w RMS 100w peak Yamaha but it makes almost no difference (I think because of the shear size of the room I'm trying to fill). I don't know how the wall that divides living room and dining room effects the sub, is that corner ideal or the one where it actually is a full wall like the corner top right of the room? How does a sub reflect with Open walls like that? Thanks!

I almost forgot to mention this is 100% HT usage, if any music is played at all it will be usually through a TV channel and quality is of little importance, we want the best HT experience we can get out of our budget.
Edited by clanmjc - 10/19/12 at 8:14am
post #2 of 28
With that size room you need something with lots of output. I would get one PA-150 now (you can usually find them for around $350 shipped) and add a second later. The PA-150 has tons of output in the 40-80hz range but you won't get strong extension past 30hz in a room that large most likely. But you won't get that with most under $500 subs.

If you can up your budget a little more I would consider one of these:
http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/lfm1plus.html

It will give you more extension vs a PA-150, but two PA-150's would give you way more output in the midbass region where the majority of bass is found.
post #3 of 28
Oh, and add this one to your list:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882780078&name=Home-Audio-Speakers

With the potential for two of these, this would be a good contender.
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
I actually forgot about the Klipsch, I ruled it out when I was strictly staying under 300 and the PL-200 was the front runner at $280. I still learn towards it but I've been growing ever more excited about the pa-150. My room is large, I know my budget doesn't allow for superior HT experience with the size of room I have. I do expect, however, that almost any of these subs mentioned will destroy the 50w yamaha I currently use. Even if these subs can just do what the yamaha did in my 12 x 10 x 8 room I'd be happy. Have you had any experience with the HD-SUB12? Would dual anything give me more output than say 1 Klipsch/PL-200/PA-150? Thanks.

So Yamaha was filling 960 volume.
These will need to fill 7200 (If you don't consider the 4 1/2 wall and kitchen/bar obstruction areas, should they be factored?). Meaning, even though there is a wall, but the upper half of the wall that divides the living room and dining room is open, when I am figuring out how much ouput I need do I consider this closed or open? The difference is 16 x 30 x 10 vs 24 x 30 x 10.
post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by clanmjc View Post

I actually forgot about the Klipsch, I ruled it out when I was strictly staying under 300 and the PL-200 was the front runner at $280. I still learn towards it but I've been growing ever more excited about the pa-150. My room is large, I know my budget doesn't allow for superior HT experience with the size of room I have. I do expect, however, that almost any of these subs mentioned will destroy the 50w yamaha I currently use. Even if these subs can just do what the yamaha did in my 12 x 10 x 8 room I'd be happy. Have you had any experience with the HD-SUB12? Would dual anything give me more output than say 1 Klipsch/PL-200/PA-150? Thanks.
So Yamaha was filling 960 volume.
These will need to fill 7200 (If you don't consider the 4 1/2 wall and kitchen/bar obstruction areas, should they be factored?). Meaning, even though there is a wall, but the upper half of the wall that divides the living room and dining room is open, when I am figuring out how much ouput I need do I consider this closed or open? The difference is 16 x 30 x 10 vs 24 x 30 x 10.

I have no experience with the Sub12. I still own a PA-150 (as well as a much more expensive Hsu VTF-15H) and the PA-150 is extremey solid for the price. Output wise, it is a monster in the 35-80hz range. The PL-200 cannot come close to competing. You would probably need 3 PL-200's to equal a single PA-150 in terms of output.

Consider this source for reference:
http://www.data-bass.com/systems

Again, where the PA-150 (and almost all of these budget subs for that matter) will struggle is sub 30hz bass. It is tradeoffs. If you want more extension for $500 or so, you will most likely sacrifice output in the 30-80hz range vs something like the PA-150. And while many of us love to talk about sub 20hz bass around here, the reality is that most bass resides above 20hz and, on a budget, I would recommend focusing on the 40-80hz region where most bass is for bang for the buck.

For me, I would focus on two PA-150's or two Klipsch subs. If that means buying one now and saving a little bit for a second later that would make sense.
post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
ack_bk Thanks for your responses, I've read your other threads... when you first got your PA, didn't realize it was you until now. I've dug a little deeper, I think a single PA given my budget will fill my needs for now given the size of room I'm trying to fill. I'm sure it will probably sound much better. In fact I believe this is my preference, I just need to make sure the sheer size of this guy will be ok with the wife. I may even try sneaking it in while she is not there.
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by clanmjc View Post

ack_bk Thanks for your responses, I've read your other threads... when you first got your PA, didn't realize it was you until now. I've dug a little deeper, I think a single PA given my budget will fill my needs for now given the size of room I'm trying to fill. I'm sure it will probably sound much better. In fact I believe this is my preference, I just need to make sure the sheer size of this guy will be ok with the wife. I may even try sneaking it in while she is not there.

I will say the PA-150 has a nice piano gloss finish. I had an ugly bedliner finish eD A2-300, so just about anything was going to be pleasing to my wife smile.gif

The PA-150 is not overly large either IMHO. This is the PA-150 stacked next to an Hsu VTF-15H:

photo-6.jpg

And here is how both subs stack up against a 1.5 year old girl smile.gif


photo-11.jpg
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
I cant see either of those pictures they just show the broken link icon.
post #9 of 28
Large room and small budget. Buy the best single sub you can and place it near field. It's not optimal, any route you decide and you're going to need to keep your expectations low. IMHO
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by clanmjc View Post

I cant see either of those pictures they just show the broken link icon.

Strange, I can see them on my laptop and iPad...

At any rate, the VTF-15H looks like a monster truck next to the PA-150 which looks like a Ford-150 smile.gif
post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sputter1 View Post

Large room and small budget. Buy the best single sub you can and place it near field. It's not optimal, any route you decide and you're going to need to keep your expectations low. IMHO

Would you mind taking a look at my diagram and look at my seating arangment, where would you suggest the most optimal (in my non optimal situation) spot for the subwoofer to go would be? Even if I might have to move some of my seating around.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

Strange, I can see them on my laptop and iPad...
At any rate, the VTF-15H looks like a monster truck next to the PA-150 which looks like a Ford-150 smile.gif

Nice lol.
post #12 of 28
What about right behind the couch facing the TV close to the wall? You may want to try the sub crawl test. This consists of placing the subwoofer where the listening position is then crawling around the floor listening for the spot where you hear the best bass response. If possible this is the spot where you want to place the subwoofer.
post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 
Which couch, left or right side? BTW, I pulled the trigger on the pa-150 , can't wait. I think since we moved to a larger home my old subwoofer is just underwhelming in this room... I mean to the point that I think its dead, but its not.
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by clanmjc View Post

Which couch, left or right side? BTW, I pulled the trigger on the pa-150 , can't wait. I think since we moved to a larger home my old subwoofer is just underwhelming in this room... I mean to the point that I think its dead, but its not.

I was assuming your prime listening position was your right couch, but I would look for placement based on whatever couch you typically sit on. But reall, try the sub crawl.

Congrats on the PA-150. Tons of bang for the buck. Look forward to your impressions.
post #15 of 28
Your best hope in your scenario is to place the sub in the front right corner. Full walls and floor in all directions will really help boost the low bass. Front left is a no-no because you only have a half-wall which won't help your bass issue. With your 24x30 space you shouldn't expect a lot. Super low bass, thump your chest, will be non existent. I don't know how loud you like to crank it, but be careful. You don't want to hear pleas of mercy. OTOH I don't recall you ever mentioning what your main speakers will be in this overly large entertainment area. Those can have a substantial and noticeable impact on your listening experience in the big room.
post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 
I've got Monitor 60's and CSII center, those are working "fine" for our likes, I would always love bigger and better but I don't wear the pants. I'm hoping the sub upgrade will fill the gap, like I said I was previously using the box package Yamaha 50w Subwoofer (ha). The prime spot is obviously right in the middle (left side of the right couch), I usually sit on the far left couch.

So if I put the sub in the Right front corner, do I face it into the center of the room, to the East wall, to the North wall, towards the exact corner of the wall? I'm going to try the sub crawl, but it may be a while before I can give that a go with my wife around. I don't know how "acceptable" it would be lol.

BTW ack_bk I was able to see the pictures from my mobile, for some reason not on my PC, that is a massive Sub! Got a cute little one there too :P
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
I got it in today! "Is this real life?" Is my first impression, I'll come back with something more tangible tomorrow. But wow, for 1 sub in a 7200 cubic foot room(s) this is great.
post #18 of 28
Hey glad u like ur new sub so far. I myself is looking for a sub for my 1200 sq ft basement and am thinking about pulling the trigger on the pa-150.. plz let me know how u liking it as it break in more...
post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 
Been Demoing it to the neighbors, they've never heard anything like this (of course they never tried to either). It's great, in that size room it will be plenty of power (overpowering if you want it to be). I must say I'm very impressed with the output I am getting in such a large volume room. I see what people are saying about having 2 or 4 subs to even out the sound. The output is honestly great, I don't have the best home theater placement locations nor room acoustics so there are some listening positions that would benefit from having another sub. Do I need another sub? No. Can I tell where there are "Null' zones, yes, but there is still bass there, just not as strong if I move a few feet in the other direction. THat's just being critical, as far as I'm concerned anyone that listens to this that is not into the Home Theater experience is going to be utterly shocked and amazed. I've got the volume on the sub @ 6, it goes 0 - 10. I've pushed it close to reference levels and it is a BEAST. No distortion, my house shakes. The scene in Transformers: Dark of the moon where Sam is in Bumble Bee and they are chasing the 3 Tahoe Decepticons down the highway where he jumps over the wreckage and transforms... goes into this Sick Bone Snapping Low Frequency Symphony and this thing gets LOUD, Clean,Tight, Punchy and puts a smile on my face.

It's big, bigger in person than in the pictures I've seen but boy does it look good. The paint is wonderful, this is a well built sub. I didn't tell my wife about it, it was a surprise, she loves it! When we were demoing I had it up loud, I mean LOUD, when she brings the neighbors over she raised it up another 10db... LOL??? (Yeah, she likes good sound too lucky me).
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by clanmjc View Post

Been Demoing it to the neighbors, they've never heard anything like this (of course they never tried to either). It's great, in that size room it will be plenty of power (overpowering if you want it to be). I must say I'm very impressed with the output I am getting in such a large volume room. I see what people are saying about having 2 or 4 subs to even out the sound. The output is honestly great, I don't have the best home theater placement locations nor room acoustics so there are some listening positions that would benefit from having another sub. Do I need another sub? No. Can I tell where there are "Null' zones, yes, but there is still bass there, just not as strong if I move a few feet in the other direction. THat's just being critical, as far as I'm concerned anyone that listens to this that is not into the Home Theater experience is going to be utterly shocked and amazed. I've got the volume on the sub @ 6, it goes 0 - 10. I've pushed it close to reference levels and it is a BEAST. No distortion, my house shakes. The scene in Transformers: Dark of the moon where Sam is in Bumble Bee and they are chasing the 3 Tahoe Decepticons down the highway where he jumps over the wreckage and transforms... goes into this Sick Bone Snapping Low Frequency Symphony and this thing gets LOUD, Clean,Tight, Punchy and puts a smile on my face.
It's big, bigger in person than in the pictures I've seen but boy does it look good. The paint is wonderful, this is a well built sub. I didn't tell my wife about it, it was a surprise, she loves it! When we were demoing I had it up loud, I mean LOUD, when she brings the neighbors over she raised it up another 10db... LOL??? (Yeah, she likes good sound too lucky me).

I am really glad you like it. It is a very nice looking sub for the money too, the fit and finish, packaging, etc was top notch. I don't see how the company that sells these under $400 is making any money after shipping.

A second PA-150 would absolutely smooth out your bass response and give you more output if you ever need it, but it sounds like you are happy with one (I will warn you subwoofer are addictive). Aside from DIY, I don't think another sub woofer in the $300-350 price range can touch the output of a PA-150. It is ideal for people that have large rooms on a sub $400 budget.

I will most likely be parting with mine in the future as I would like to add a second VTF-15H to the mix, but I have to say the PA-150 has been a blast and it still impresses me.
post #21 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

I am really glad you like it. It is a very nice looking sub for the money too, the fit and finish, packaging, etc was top notch. I don't see how the company that sells these under $400 is making any money after shipping.
A second PA-150 would absolutely smooth out your bass response and give you more output if you ever need it, but it sounds like you are happy with one (I will warn you subwoofer are addictive). Aside from DIY, I don't think another sub woofer in the $300-350 price range can touch the output of a PA-150. It is ideal for people that have large rooms on a sub $400 budget.
I will most likely be parting with mine in the future as I would like to add a second VTF-15H to the mix, but I have to say the PA-150 has been a blast and it still impresses me.

I'll definitely be getting a second down the road, they would think I was crazy if I got another right now the way it sounds (they just don't understand though LOL).

I've got a question for you, I've got the sub crossover all the way over @ 200hz (I believe is the top), I use the AVR crossover at 80hz, is this right? I noticed in the manual for the sub it says put it at 80hz (but doesn't mention anything about AVR, so maybe that is in a non AVR crossover usage? Also what volume settings on the sub have you played around with, did you leave it at 6, turn it up from there, go down from there?

I know this is probably relative but when we watch movies, using the Yamaha 493 reciever, we usually have the volume between -10 and -20, it's pretty loud, I kind of want to push the sub up even more I don't know if that is not recommended and/or I should let it brake in more.
post #22 of 28
Now that u said it will overpower my 1200 sq ft basement I'm buying this beast ! smile.gif how is it with music?
post #23 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by goalsnine View Post

Now that u said it will overpower my 1200 sq ft basement I'm buying this beast ! smile.gif how is it with music?

It's great, I actually turn it down a little bit for music. (I don't have the best setup for music). Did you end up getting it? It will destroy that size of a room, literally...
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

I will say the PA-150 has a nice piano gloss finish. I had an ugly bedliner finish eD A2-300, so just about anything was going to be pleasing to my wife smile.gif
The PA-150 is not overly large either IMHO. This is the PA-150 stacked next to an Hsu VTF-15H:
photo-6.jpg
And here is how both subs stack up against a 1.5 year old girl smile.gif
photo-11.jpg

since you had both the pa-150 and the eD A2-300 how would you compare the two? i found one used and these are the two subs i have been eying pretty hard.
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikullla View Post

since you had both the pa-150 and the eD A2-300 how would you compare the two? i found one used and these are the two subs i have been eying pretty hard.

PA-150 has more output above 30hz easy. Below 30hz, the A2-300 played cleaner. Looks wise, the PA-150 wins hands down.

If you want more output and more punch above 30hz where most bass is, I would say go with the PA-150. If you want more extension the A2-300 is solid. Keep in mind the amp and driver failure rates with eD and the fact that they are no longer in business.
post #26 of 28
I think you slept on the pl-200... People aren't giving enough credit and there are sites out there that recommend it over the pa-150. However thery are very close to one another.

http://home-subwoofers-review.toptenreviews.com/bic-acoustech-review.html
post #27 of 28
I wouldn't give TopTenReviews much credit as an authoritative source.

Meanwhile, there is an AVS member who owned both the PL-200 and the PA-150, and greatly preferred the latter.
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by glantern30 View Post

I think you slept on the pl-200... People aren't giving enough credit and there are sites out there that recommend it over the pa-150. However thery are very close to one another.

http://home-subwoofers-review.toptenreviews.com/bic-acoustech-review.html

We have independent measurements from Ricci for both subs. They are not that close. The PA-150 has considerably more output and extension. It just comes down to price, if you can pony up a little more for the PA-150 it is totally worth it.

http://www.data-bass.com/systems
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