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Honest Discussion: PSA XV15 vs HSU VTF-3 MK4

post #1 of 72
Thread Starter 
So before any arguing starts smile.gif, let's start this thread off right by saying that both PSA and HSU has a VERY good reputation here (among other boards) for product quality and customer service. At this point in time, it's nit picking at details.

So the PSA XV15 vs HSU VTF-3 MK4 are similarly priced (less than $50 difference and that includes shipping fees).

1. Has anyone tested both and have comparison comments?

2. Based on publicly posted info (charts etc...), can anyone hazard a guess as to how these subs compare? Extension, SPL etc...

It's almost time to make a purchase and I need some help here. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #2 of 72
I think you could use data-bass.com's measurements of the Outlaw LFM-1 EX to get a rough idea of how the VTF3 would compare to the XV15. The VTF3 and LFM-1 EX have a lot in common, however the VTF3 has a bit better deep bass performance due to its larger ports. The XV15 has an advantage, but not a big one, and it depends on what mode you run the LFM in. For instance, if you run the LFM in max extension mode, it basically equals the XV15's deep bass performance, but the XV15 has a bit more output from 30 to 50 hz, topping out with a 4 dB lead at 50 hz. If you run the LFM with two ports open, it mostly erases that mid bass advantage, but gives up a lot of 16 hz output. To sum it up, the XV15 can match the LFM's output in either mode. The VTF3 ought to perform similarly, but perhaps with slightly superior deep bass output than either, and given its cone diameter vs port diameter, I would guess it's less at risk of chuffing than either at high volume playback as well.
post #3 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

I think you could use data-bass.com's measurements of the Outlaw LFM-1 EX to get a rough idea of how the VTF3 would compare to the XV15. The VTF3 and LFM-1 EX have a lot in common, however the VTF3 has a bit better deep bass performance due to its larger ports. The XV15 has an advantage, but not a big one, and it depends on what mode you run the LFM in. For instance, if you run the LFM in max extension mode, it basically equals the XV15's deep bass performance, but the XV15 has a bit more output from 30 to 50 hz, topping out with a 4 dB lead at 50 hz. If you run the LFM with two ports open, it mostly erases that mid bass advantage, but gives up a lot of 16 hz output. To sum it up, the XV15 can match the LFM's output in either mode. The VTF3 ought to perform similarly, but perhaps with slightly superior deep bass output than either, and given its cone diameter vs port diameter, I would guess it's less at risk of chuffing than either at high volume playback as well.

Hey great insight. I knew I would be able to get some useful info from this thread. At this point, the HSU may give better tweaking (ports) while the XV15 may have a slight advanatge on SPL. Would that be fair to say?

Add on: I cannot assume my room will add any benefit bass extensions. If this is so, wouldn't the HSU dig deeper than the XV15? Not sure I got this right so had to ask.

HOLD THE PHONE: Just noticed the LFM-1 EX is $629 shipped right now. That is $150-$170 cheaper in price than the PSA or HSU. Pretty sure no other sub for $629 can come close to the LFM-1 EX?

Any more insight?
Edited by bowmah - 4/12/13 at 12:07pm
post #4 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowmah View Post

At this point, the HSU may give better tweaking (ports) while the XV15 may have a slight advanatge on SPL. Would that be fair to say?
I think so, yes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowmah View Post

Add on: I cannot assume my room will add any benefit bass extensions. If this is so, wouldn't the HSU dig deeper than the XV15? Not sure I got this right so had to ask.
They both have the same tuning point, I don't think the VTF3 would dig deeper. I think there's a possibility it could play the deep frequencies cleaner, but that is speculation on my part.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowmah View Post

HOLD THE PHONE: Just noticed the LFM-1 EX is $629 shipped right now. That is $150-$170 cheaper in price than the PSA or HSU. Pretty sure no other sub for $629 can come close to the LFM-1 EX?
Correct.
post #5 of 72
Keep in mind that when the measurements for the XV15 we taken that Josh made a comment in the Audioholics actual thread from the review that he didn't really have time to take the base plate off, turn the XV15 on its side and fire the sub directly at the mic. He makes mention that if he had done this the numbers across the board for the XV15 would have been 1 to 1.5dB higher. So for example at 25hz that would give the XV15 almost 3db advantage over the LFM-1 EX when factoring that in.
post #6 of 72
Are there any 3rd party measurements available for the VTF-3 MK4?
post #7 of 72
There's some of the mk3, but none of the mk4 that I know of.
post #8 of 72
Thread Starter 
I have not been able to find MK4 charts either. The pondering continues smile.gif
post #9 of 72
I've owned both (well the VTF3 MK3) and in comparison, I would say 1 XV-15 would extend a little deeper than a VTF3/3.
Also has cleaner output do to one 4" port. But....the HSU would have more output due to the two 4" ports on the back,
if left open. Just my experience.

But I have a lot of respect for the Outlaw, and do to final price, it would probably (at this time) be my choice. Is the sale on
with the free shipping? Never mind, I check that out by myself (of coarse).

You can plug one of the four inch ports on the HSU....so Shady, what do you think of the above?
(I know you are gonna chime in, and I respect your opinion).

vardo
post #10 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vardo View Post

I've owned both (well the VTF3 MK3) and in comparison, I would say 1 XV-15 would extend a little deeper than a VTF3/3.
Also has cleaner output do to one 4" port. But....the HSU would have more output due to the two 4" ports on the back,
if left open. Just my experience.

But I have a lot of respect for the Outlaw, and do to final price, it would probably (at this time) be my choice. Is the sale on
with the free shipping? Never mind, I check that out by myself (of coarse).

You can plug one of the four inch ports on the HSU....so Shady, what do you think of the above?
(I know you are gonna chime in, and I respect your opinion).

vardo

1. So you have owned both the MK3 and XV15 and you are now moving to the Outlaw?

2. Outlaw page "$629 WITH FREE SHIPPING FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY!"
post #11 of 72
bowmah

No I'm not moving to the "Outlaw". I just think it's a very capable sub (from what I've read)...and had a free
shipping price, but don't know if that applies (has expired). That is what I'd get for the price if it
had free shipping. I donno, maybe that has expired, but apparantly not according to you. That's saving some pretty good cash for the OP.

I have 3 PSA XV-15's (currently) so of course I would recommend PSA over HSU. Fanboy
of PSA.....that's only natural. And I do think the PSA is a better sub. I've owned over 5 HSU
subs in the past, their subs are excellent, and customer service is great.

vardo
Edited by vardo - 4/12/13 at 6:15pm
post #12 of 72
I think ... you wont go wrong with any of the 3 choices so far. I went with HSU . Main reason was the lack of used units for sale. Didn't seem like many owners were willing to part with theirs', and even a check of 'completed sales', via FleaBay, showed they retained value very well. PSA is a newer company, although founded by 'industry greats', they don't have the 'time in business' or 'track record' of others, like HSU and Outlaw, or Rythmik, or SVS, for that matter, but that is not a slight on their current offerings, at all. Please don't take it as my being negative at all to any of them. I'm not.

You said it yourself in your 1st post... it's nit-picky for the last ounce of performance from either. I thought the same, so I looked at what I could find for sale used, and HSU came out on top in that category. there were none for sale. I gave that weight. Do your own research, and check the "I'll Demo My Subwoofer..." thread (in the stickies smile.gif ) in case someone local can give you an audition.

everything I've posted is IMO, and of course, YMMV
Joseph
post #13 of 72
For me it came down to the varible tuning on the HSU. You can get more or less boom depending on the tuning. You can get the tightest bass by running in a low 3.0 Q or looser bass (7.0 Q) great for body slam PUNCH like when watching wrestling "feel the ring ropes vibrate sensitivity"! Or you can choose the best of both worlds and go with a Q of 5.0.. Tight or loose...YOU choose!

I have the VTF-15 and it is really nice to have the flexibility of tuning a sub tight, medium tight or loose. I usually run mine 5.0 great for movies plenty of taticle feel and boom for movies...and i usually leave it their for music too (ROCK/TECNO) unless i listen to classical and then i plug one port and run 3.0 Q for a quieter tighter bass.

Oh yes, correct me if i am wrong..the new VTF MK4 can also do two sealed ports just like the VTF-15...so you can also choose a sealed sub option!
Edited by matrixj3 - 4/12/13 at 7:29pm
post #14 of 72
3 db is not a big difference. Get the one you like and if the price is right.
post #15 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by derrickdj1 View Post

3 db is not a big difference. Get the one you like and if the price is right.

just curious have you ever compared 3db going off of a spl meter?
post #16 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrixj3 View Post

For me it came down to the varible tuning on the HSU. You can get more or less boom depending on the tuning. You can get the tightest bass by running in a low 3.0 Q or looser bass (7.0 Q) great for body slam PUNCH like when watching wrestling "feel the ring ropes vibrate sensitivity"! Or you can choose the best of both worlds and go with a Q of 5.0.. Tight or loose...YOU choose!

I have the VTF-15 and it is really nice to have the flexibility of tuning a sub tight, medium tight or loose. I usually run mine 5.0 great for movies plenty of taticle feel and boom for movies...and i usually leave it their for music too (ROCK/TECNO) unless i listen to classical and then i plug one port and run 3.0 Q for a quieter tighter bass.

Oh yes, correct me if i am wrong..the new VTF MK4 can also do two sealed ports just like the VTF-15...so you can also choose a sealed sub option!

variable tuning is kind of a marketing thing if you ask me...you even proved that theroy by picking a general setting of 5.0 and leaving it there for all types of content. the psa xv15 is already balanced for music and movies, i see no reason to change
how its tuned for different content. its tight, rolls off quick, and has deep extension. also no 12" sub will ever sound like a 15", there is no replacement for displacement...thats why alot of guys with big home theatre rooms are using multiple 15"- 18" drivers.


I will say the lfm1-ex is a smoking deal at 629.00 shipped but its not going to perform like a 15", it might be close, but close never won any races.
post #17 of 72
Thread Starter 
ok, let me put in my thoughts on the 3dB difference issue. 10 dB is twice as loud volume wise. 3dB is roughly 1.23 times as loud. But in the real world, would / should the XV15 be "taken apart" and fired sideways like the HSU? I am asking a genuine question. If not, then the 3dB really only mean 1.5-2 dB difference. If so, then we should also talk about this.

Besides from the HSU vs PSA sub, are we all in agreement that the Outlaw LFM-1 EX at $629 shipped blows the doors out of any sub out there that is =< $750? XS15 is $750 I believe, hence I use that benchmark.
post #18 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowmah View Post

ok, let me put in my thoughts on the 3dB difference issue. 10 dB is twice as loud volume wise. 3dB is roughly 1.23 times as loud. But in the real world, would / should the XV15 be "taken apart" and fired sideways like the HSU? I am asking a genuine question. If not, then the 3dB really only mean 1.5-2 dB difference. If so, then we should also talk about this.

Besides from the HSU vs PSA sub, are we all in agreement that the Outlaw LFM-1 EX at $629 shipped blows the doors out of any sub out there that is =< $750? XS15 is $750 I believe, hence I use that benchmark.

with bass and subwoofers 5-6db is twice as loud, so 3db is a noticeable difference. thats why its nice to have measuring equipment...the other day when i was using my spl meter walking around my room with heavy bass content playing, any place that had a 3db gain was very noticeable acording to my ears. im not knocking the outlaw i almost went with 2 of them but i knew they would not sound like 15's. in car audio or home audio 12" woofers dont sound as deep as a 15". even if they have comparable spl...


again i am not disputing the outlaw being a great sub...its a beast for 629.00 shipped.
Edited by basshead81 - 4/12/13 at 9:48pm
post #19 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowmah View Post

ok, let me put in my thoughts on the 3dB difference issue. 10 dB is twice as loud volume wise. 3dB is roughly 1.23 times as loud. But in the real world, would / should the XV15 be "taken apart" and fired sideways like the HSU? I am asking a genuine question. If not, then the 3dB really only mean 1.5-2 dB difference. If so, then we should also talk about this.

Besides from the HSU vs PSA sub, are we all in agreement that the Outlaw LFM-1 EX at $629 shipped blows the doors out of any sub out there that is =< $750? XS15 is $750 I believe, hence I use that benchmark.

The reason I made the comment about the sub not being tested with the bottom plate taken off was because the Outlaw sub was tested on its side with the sub firing towards to mic. So in the real world with both subs firing downwards the XV15 would still have a 3db advantage. 3dB is still a good amount of an output advantage. To put that into perspective if you were running dual subs one in each front corner of your room you only gain 4dB overall.
post #20 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrown15 View Post

The reason I made the comment about the sub not being tested with the bottom plate taken off was because the Outlaw sub was tested on its side with the sub firing towards to mic. So in the real world with both subs firing downwards the XV15 would still have a 3db advantage. 3dB is still a good amount of an output advantage. To put that into perspective if you were running dual subs one in each front corner of your room you only gain 4dB overall.

thats another reason why you can not put 100% stock in measurements posted...why would one test the outlaw on its side with the driver firing into the mic, then test the xv15 normally and actually post the results??
post #21 of 72
Has anyone heard of the new PASCAL converted numbers that CEA now mandates?
post #22 of 72
Thread Starter 
Now we are getting somewhere. We just flushed out that the Audioholics measurements of the Outlaw and PSA were not a 1:1 comparison. Outlaw was on its side and PSA was not. The Data-base shows both of these subs to be pretty equal giving an edge to the XV15. In fact, the 15 inch vs 12
Inch sub is valid. What drew me to the XV15 initially was that it was a 15 incher.

This is getting interesting. Thanks everyone for the great comments. Keep them coming. I can see this thread being very useful in the long run.
post #23 of 72
I have listened to 5 different brands of subs including the SVS PB 13 ultra. Look at my previous posts. As for flexibility the HSU is what i was wanting.. Also, the Psa when pushed has port chuff because of it's ONE port. One setting on a sub is absurd IMO. Just like the Rythmik the the Hsu is flexible. Think of a good EQ on amp. You go to concert and you come back to replicate what you heard in the concert hall...the Hsu and rhytmik have the best ability to do that. The SVS was unable to do that...it was more of a HT sub than a 50/50 sub. In fact i favored my Epic Empire over the SVS. But then it is my personal taste. I needed a sub than could reproduce live events..). Just on foot stomps each subwoofer sounded different...the Hsu has the ability to change it's sound...just like tuning a drum head!wink.gif

Whatever choice you make im sure it will be a good one!
Edited by matrixj3 - 4/13/13 at 6:27am
post #24 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrixj3 View Post

I have listened to 5 different brands of subs including the SVS PB 13 ultra. Look at my previous posts. As for flexibility the HSU is what i was wanting.. Also, the Psa when pushed has port chuff because of it's ONE port. One setting on a sub is absurd IMO. Just like the Rythmik the the Hsu is flexible. Think of a good EQ on amp. You go to concert and you come back to replicate what you heard in the concert hall...the Hsu and rhytmik have the best ability to do that. The SVS was unable to do that...it was more of a HT sub than a 50/50 sub. In fact i favored my Epic Empire over the SVS. But then it is my personal taste. I needed a sub than could reproduce live events..). Just on foot stomps each subwoofer sounded different...the Hsu has the ability to change it's sound...just like tuning a drum head!wink.gif

Whatever choice you make im sure it will be a good one!

the port chuffing is absurd it has none of that...again the reviews you read on audioholics site is flawed. the port noise con was made up aside from the flawed testing. i pushed my xv15' well into the 115db range the other night and you could not tell they were ported. i had my brother and a friend confirm the same. perhaps you should add psa to your 6th brand.
Edited by basshead81 - 4/13/13 at 8:12am
post #25 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post

the port chuffing is absurd it has none of that...again the reviews you read on audioholics site is flawed. the port noise con was made up along with the flawed testing.

Hmmm just like the HSU VTF 15H review....that i can understand. So they are low balling Psa and Hsu....now that makes PERFECT sense.
post #26 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrown15 View Post

The reason I made the comment about the sub not being tested with the bottom plate taken off was because the Outlaw sub was tested on its side with the sub firing towards to mic. So in the real world with both subs firing downwards the XV15 would still have a 3db advantage.
The output of a subwoofer is omni-directional, which way it's facing makes no difference. Even suggesting that it does raises serious concerns over the qualifications of those taking the measurements.
Quote:
Also, the Psa when pushed has port chuff because of it's ONE port.
Chuffing is the result of inadequate port area, not the number of ports.
post #27 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

The output of a subwoofer is omni-directional, which way it's facing makes no difference. Even suggesting that it does raises serious concerns over the qualifications of those taking the measurements.
Chuffing is the result of inadequate port area, not the number of ports.


The increase in output is from the entire cone area being closer to the measurement microphone. This is basic acoustics, and it is easily repeatable in the scenario being discussed here. After spending a couple thousand hours measuring outside I can 100% confirm Josh Ricci's comments on this. For anyone to question his "qualifications" is quite the "eye roller".

Those interested in Josh's comments---he briefly discusses here (post 9)

http://forums.audioholics.com/forums/subwoofers/82624-power-sound-audio-xv-15-subwoofer-review.html#.UWl6p7XrxXE

If anyone is interested in Josh's "qualifications" and/or experience with acoustics----specifically low frequency acoustics, scan through his website,

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

And form you own opinions.

Tom V.
Power Sound Audio
post #28 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post

the port chuffing is absurd it has none of that...again the reviews you read on audioholics site is flawed. the port noise con was made up aside from the flawed testing. i pushed my xv15' well into the 115db range the other night and you could not tell they were ported. i had my brother and a friend confirm the same. perhaps you should add psa to your 6th brand.

I wouldn't say it was "made up". The port *did* "chuff". But, they also mentioned that this was with one very unusual scene in one film(Pulse) at maximum output levels. If the XV15 had a longer list of "cons" it wouldn't even have been mentioned imo.


Anyone worried about the XV15 having audible port noise should simply look over the threads across the forums. Hundreds of XV15 customers, and I have yet to see a single post commenting on "port noise"? It is possible I missed one of course.

Tom V.
Power Sound Audio
post #29 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post

the port chuffing is absurd it has none of that...again the reviews you read on audioholics site is flawed. the port noise con was made up aside from the flawed testing. i pushed my xv15' well into the 115db range the other night and you could not tell they were ported. i had my brother and a friend confirm the same. perhaps you should add psa to your 6th brand.
So you are saying that Josh Ricci lied about port noise? Heh, I understand you are a PSA fanboy, but physics is physics. I had an Outlaw Plus and I often had port noise, the sub is a really nice sub, but it just couldn't do what I wanted it to do. In the end it cost me a bunch of money upgrading, but I have no regrets and still like the old Outlaw for a smaller room.

I do find it funny how obsessed people get with numbers on the subs though. For me it comes down to how much I have to spend at the time I want to buy a sub. If I had $800 I would get the PSA, if I had $1000 I would get the HSU, if I had $1500 I would get the Rythmik. All have proven to be great so just pick one, you won't be disappointed!
post #30 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

The output of a subwoofer is omni-directional, which way it's facing makes no difference. Even suggesting that it does raises serious concerns over the qualifications of those taking the measurements.
Chuffing is the result of inadequate port area, not the number of ports.

If this is true why does Josh even bother facing all of the subs at the mic when taking the measurements? Why not just turn them 90degrees to the mic and have them fire away from it?
Edited by jbrown15 - 4/13/13 at 9:47am
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