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The ultimate subwoofer

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
I want to buy a subwoofer for my home theater. The price isn't a problem. According to you, what's the best subwoofer of all time?
post #2 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicoderm1 View Post

I want to buy a subwoofer for my home theater. The price isn't a problem. According to you, what's the best subwoofer of all time?

Wow! Talk about opening up a can of worms! I love my Rythmik FV15. It really is a fantastic sub!

Jeff
post #3 of 48
Revel Rhythm2 Subwoofer buy two of these
post #4 of 48
Knock yourself out!.........http://hometheaterreview.com/subwoofer-reviews-information/
+ anything from Power Sound Audio

(of course this is just Home Theater Review's list)

vardo
post #5 of 48
I good argument could be made for dual JTR Orbit Shifters or dual Captivator S2's. They'd set you back 6grand for either setup. There's also rumors of a F4 sub from Seaton and the SubMersive XL.

As for as ID companies go and HT setups JTR and Seaton are pretty much at the top of the food chain!
post #6 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrown15 View Post

I good argument could be made for dual JTR Orbit Shifters or dual Captivator S2's. They'd set you back 6grand for either setup. There's also rumors of a F4 sub from Seaton and the SubMersive XL.

As for as ID companies go and HT setups JTR and Seaton are pretty much at the top of the food chain!

I think there's more then just those two (although they both make outstanding products)

Funk audio comes to mind.
post #7 of 48
I think the Funk Audio 18.2 power level two might equal or surpass any of the above. But there are a lot of different ways subs can be the highest performing. For instance, the Thigpen Rotary woofer claims to do 110 dB from 5 hz to 25 hz, no other sub on earth is going to do that, but than you have huge horn loaded subs which can punch well over 135 dB at 40 hz and above. It depends on what you mean by 'best'. I think the Funk 18.2 might be one of the highest performing subs you can buy while being somewhat physically manageable, as in you don't need a forklift or a whole extra room for it.
post #8 of 48
oh ya I agree with shadyj the funk audio 18.2 is a ****ing beast in the lower range!! that combined with a horn loaded sub for midbass might crack foundations!
post #9 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by stormwind13 View Post

I think there's more then just those two (although they both make outstanding products)

Funk audio comes to mind.

You're absolutely right, Funk is also another ID company that would be at the head table for the top food chain guys.
Although I'm not to sure how much more output a 18.2 would have over a Cap S2 from JTR with both designs being dual sealed 18" drivers.
Funk defiantly has the power advantage though and is a gorgeous sub to look at also.
post #10 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post

oh ya I agree with shadyj the funk audio 18.2 is a ****ing beast in the lower range!! that combined with a horn loaded sub for midbass might crack foundations!

basshead, the 18.2 isn't a horn designed sub its a dual opposed design like a Seaton SubMersive HP.
post #11 of 48
What's the best? Depends. What are your wants, needs and desires? What is room size? Any size restrictions for the future sub?

$250 may not be a problem whereas $2,500 would be or you may have a no holds barred budget of $25,000.

Too many unknowns at this point to make an informed specific recommendation. However, various companies can be recommended. I would look at HSU, Rythmik Audio, Power Sounds Audio, SVS, Chase Home Theater and Seaton just to name a few.
post #12 of 48
The best subwoofer is the one that offers the best combination of output, extension, accuracy, price, aesthetics and ergonomics...and fits your budget. smile.gif
post #13 of 48
...+1

...wink.gif

Well.............all except "ergonomics."

...tongue.gif
post #14 of 48
Quote:
+1 ... Well.............all except "ergonomics."
An example of what I mean by "ergonomics": My passive subs have a separate amp that is easily accessible because it's not stuck behind the sub. Making changes to settings is very straightforward. With my previous active subs, I'd either have to move the sub out of and back into position or undergo contortions in order to modify settings.

I much prefer the ergonomics of my passive subs to those of my previous powered subs. cool.gif

Similarly, I suspect that Klipsch RW-12d owners prefer having the control panel on top of the sub rather than behind it. smile.gif
Edited by eljaycanuck - 4/29/13 at 5:10am
post #15 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicoderm1 View Post

I want to buy a subwoofer for my home theater. The price isn't a problem. According to you, what's the best subwoofer of all time?
If you want the best result you won't get it from one sub. At the least you need two, and four are better. Read this:
http://www.harman.com/EN-US/OurCompany/Innovation/Documents/White%20Papers/multsubs.pdf
post #16 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicoderm1 View Post

I want to buy a subwoofer for my home theater. The price isn't a problem. According to you, what's the best subwoofer of all time?
If you want the best result you won't get it from one sub. At the least you need two, and four are better. Read this:
http://www.harman.com/EN-US/OurCompany/Innovation/Documents/White%20Papers/multsubs.pdf

+1
post #17 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrown15 View Post

basshead, the 18.2 isn't a horn designed sub its a dual opposed design like a Seaton SubMersive HP.

reread the post i didnt say it was.
post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post

An example of what I mean by "ergonomics": My passive subs have a separate amp that is easily accessible because it's not stuck behind the sub. Making changes to settings is very straightforward. With my previous active subs, I'd either have to move the sub out of and back into position or undergo contortions in order to modify settings.

I much prefer the ergonomics of my passive subs to those of my previous powered subs. cool.gif

Similarly, I suspect that Klipsch RW-12d owners prefer having the control panel on top of the sub rather than behind it. smile.gif

Never had to consider ergonomics. Thanks for the insight.
post #19 of 48
Quote:
Thanks for the insight.
You're welcome. smile.gif
post #20 of 48
Funk 18.2 power level 2. I heard it and its insane... so buy 2 just to be safe.
post #21 of 48
Imo, if you are handy with woodworking- diy is where it's at as far as performance goes. Build yourself 4 gjallarhorns and watch your house implode. Or pay someone to build 4 gjallarhorns for you.
post #22 of 48
Just had to ask "The ultimate subwoofer" didn't you?
post #23 of 48
The MFW-15















biggrin.gif I kid I kid!! biggrin.gif
post #24 of 48
If the parameters for "ultimate sub" were changed to primary music usage as opposed to HT usage ( the original OP's ), would the candidates change at all?
Which sub qualities would be more ( ?better) emphasized for music ?
post #25 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by padgman1 View Post

If the parameters for "ultimate sub" were changed to primary music usage as opposed to HT usage ( the original OP's ), would the candidates change at all?
Which sub qualities would be more ( ?better) emphasized for music ?
The only difference between the needs of music and HT is how low they go. Music is pretty much good with 35Hz, HT with as low as 15Hz, depending on how fanatical your are about it. Some say that subs that do work well for HT for some reason won't work as well for music as subs that don't go that low, but that's not the case. If a sub has accurate response it will sound good, no matter how low it goes. If it doesn't, it won't.

As for what the ultimate sub is, you'll get about as many opinions as you will answers. No offense OP, but it's a silly question. You might as well ask what is the best car, boat, whisky, beer, pizza, whatever.
post #26 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

The only difference between the needs of music and HT is how low they go. Music is pretty much good with 35Hz, HT with as low as 15Hz, depending on how fanatical your are about it. Some say that subs that do work well for HT for some reason won't work as well for music as subs that don't go that low, but that's not the case. If a sub has accurate response it will sound good, no matter how low it goes. If it doesn't, it won't.

As for what the ultimate sub is, you'll get about as many opinions as you will answers. No offense OP, but it's a silly question. You might as well ask what is the best car, boat, whisky, beer, pizza, whatever.
While I agree in principle, my ears and experience tell me something different. I "prefer" the sound of sealed subs for music. They sound more accurate and articulate to my ears. For HT use, sealed subs can work synergistically with the Pressure Vessel Gain, (aka "Room Gain), associated with low frequencies in smaller rooms. If one adds enough sealed subs that are tuned low enough, they can provide the same, (or better), ULF response than ported subs. It's a more expensive way to go, but ultimately provides the best of both worlds; SQ for music, and deep extension for HT. At least that's my experience, and I have designed my subwoofer system around that concept, (3 randomly placed Seaton Submersive, dual-opposed, sealed subs.) My system is flat to 15 Hz, (and probably below that, but that is the limit of my measurement gear.)

Craig
post #27 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

The only difference between the needs of music and HT is how low they go. Music is pretty much good with 35Hz, HT with as low as 15Hz, depending on how fanatical your are about it. Some say that subs that do work well for HT for some reason won't work as well for music as subs that don't go that low, but that's not the case. If a sub has accurate response it will sound good, no matter how low it goes. If it doesn't, it won't.

As for what the ultimate sub is, you'll get about as many opinions as you will answers. No offense OP, but it's a silly question. You might as well ask what is the best car, boat, whisky, beer, pizza, whatever.

What qualities , besides flat FR and distortion, make up accuracy for a subwoofer?
Are these qualities that make a subwoofer accurate different from those that make a speaker ( bookshelf/ floorstanding) accurate?
post #28 of 48
8 days, Nicoderm1, with one post, asks what the "ultimate sub is" and he disappears. Actually makes for an
interesting thread though, with a lot of good preferences.

vardo
post #29 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post

While I agree in principle, my ears and experience tell me something different. I "prefer" the sound of sealed subs for music.
Double blind testing has been done with vented versus sealed subs, and listeners could not tell the difference between the two when they had the same response. You may prefer a certain response curve, but how that response is arrived at doesn't matter. My preference is for horns, not for the response curve, but for the effortless unfettered output and total lack of distortion.
Quote:
What qualities , besides flat FR and distortion, make up accuracy for a subwoofer?
That pretty much covers it, since many of the finer points that can be heard in the midbass and higher frequencies can't be heard in the sub bass frequencies. Distortion is very much a critical aspect with subs, as it takes a very good sub not to run out of driver excursion capability at higher levels, and when it does THD will skyrocket and response will no longer be flat.
post #30 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post

While I agree in principle, my ears and experience tell me something different. I "prefer" the sound of sealed subs for music.
Double blind testing has been done with vented versus sealed subs, and listeners could not tell the difference between the two when they had the same response. You may prefer a certain response curve, but how that response is arrived at doesn't matter.

I've never seen anything concrete in such a blind comparison, but I have seen a few approximated attempts. The part of having "the same response" is where things get tricky, particularly where the subs roll off. It's easy to make a sealed sub match the response of a ported box (and end up sounding very similar). The other way isn't as simple, and dynamic behavior of the subs differs as you start getting utilizing more of the output capability, but still well before the maximums are reached.
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