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Subwoofer input and advice; all details provided

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hello, I am looking for a new subwoofer. My current "Sub" is a Boston Acoustics PV500. I've had it for around 10 years and it’s time for an upgrade. I am attaching a schematic of my floor plan. Each square is equal to one foot. My listening room is open to the entryway, dining room, kitchen, and hallway. The ceiling in the listening room slopes from 8' on the left to 13' on the right. I did a very rough calculation and came up with around 6500-6800 cubic feet of open space to fill.

My system is around 60-70% music and the rest TV and movies. My primary goal is to get really good musical reproduction of the bottom two octaves or so. I'm looking for tight, articulate and detailed base first, a good chest whacking bass slap second and plumbing the depths below 20 hz for movies third. My musical tastes run from bob marley, Jack Johnson, norra jones, Led Zepplin, Sarah McLachlan, cat stevens to some hip-hop, top-40 and the occasional classical

My budget is around $1000 if I'm going with one sub, maybe $1500 if there is a very compelling reason. I know most people will suggest several subs is best and while that may be so, I think I may have room for two subs at most. My current sub resides along the same wall as my main speakers in the corner and that is probably where the first sub will go. If I end up going with a second sub, it will probably go between my first sub and my left front main speaker (see schematic below). Therefore, because I won't be placing them very far apart, there may not be a large benefit to going with more than one. However, If I do go with two, my budget probably changes to $700-$800 per sub with the purchase of the second sub spaced out six to twelve months to defer cost. I am open to both new and used.

I currently have Salk SongTowers that I plan to high pass around 80 hz and let the subs take the lower frequencies. I am leaning toward a sealed sub but I'm trying to keep an open mind. I'd like to go with a sub that has PEQ features to tame any bass modes that I may encounter. I am looking for input and advice as to which sub I should get to fill my bill. I also have pics of my listening room if people think that would be helpful.

Thanks, Garth

Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #2 of 28
For your budget, I would suggest PSA-XV15, or the PSA-XV30F. Give them a look and send an email to Tom.

http://www.powersoundaudio.com/
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
It seems that the PSA and the HSU offerings are similarly priced. Do you think that the PSA XV15 is superior to the HSU VTF-15? Anyone compared these two side by side? The similar Rythmik is more expensive but well regarded. Additional thoughts?
post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by gakaudio View Post

It seems that the PSA and the HSU offerings are similarly priced. Do you think that the PSA XV15 is superior to the HSU VTF-15? Anyone compared these two side by side? The similar Rythmik is more expensive but well regarded. Additional thoughts?

The XV15 is not more powerful, if anything it is less powerful, but not by a whole lot. The VTF15h also has more features and a nicer finish, whereas the XV15 is a barebones sub. The FV15HP is quite a bit more powerful than both the PSA and Hsu subs.
post #5 of 28
The XV-15's amp is rated at 500 watts RMS/Continuous/ long term and 1,000 watts dynamic/peak/ short term.
The VTF-15H's amp is rated at 300 watts RMS/Continuous/ long term and 1,400 watts dynamic/peak/ short term.

So the XV-15 has more RMS power and the VTF-15H has more Peak power.

I would go with the XV-15 cuz its very similar in performance and the price of $799 includes shipping, where as the VTF-15H is $879 + shipping which brings it to about $1k.
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by flickhtguru View Post

The XV-15's amp is rated at 500 watts RMS/Continuous/ long term and 1,000 watts dynamic/peak/ short term.
The VTF-15H's amp is rated at 300 watts RMS/Continuous/ long term and 1,400 watts dynamic/peak/ short term.

So the XV-15 has more RMS power and the VTF-15H has more Peak power.

I would go with the XV-15 cuz its very similar in performance and the price of $799 includes shipping, where as the VTF-15H is $879 + shipping which brings it to about $1k.

Just a note, if we rated our "peak power" in the same manner it would spec at "2000 watts". It is very common(among manufacturers) to rate the BASH amplifier topology "peak" at 4x the specified RMS rating. Instead of 4x we choose 2x as we choose to be somewhat conservative here.

Tom V.
Power Sound Audio
post #7 of 28
Watts don't mean much without sensitivity ratings anyway biggrin.gif
post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by its phillip View Post

Watts don't mean much without sensitivity ratings anyway biggrin.gif

Well, that sure doesn't do Watts any good. tongue.gif
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by flickhtguru View Post

The XV-15's amp is rated at 500 watts RMS/Continuous/ long term and 1,000 watts dynamic/peak/ short term.
The VTF-15H's amp is rated at 300 watts RMS/Continuous/ long term and 1,400 watts dynamic/peak/ short term.

So the XV-15 has more RMS power and the VTF-15H has more Peak power.

I would go with the XV-15 cuz its very similar in performance and the price of $799 includes shipping, where as the VTF-15H is $879 + shipping which brings it to about $1k.

The 15H is rated at 350W rms, not 300W rms. The amp actually puts out about 400W rms into 4 ohms, and can deliver peaks of up to 80V. Additionally, the woofer has a lower than normal impedance (3 ohms), so it effectively draws more power from the amp. Peak power is V²/R. With the VTF series, you are effectively buying multiple subs which greatly improve the chances of getting the sub to work best for your room. Sure beats buying multiple subs to try and keeping the one that works best and paying for the shipping of the other units back! That would increase the cost in a hurry. biggrin.gif Additionally, you are effectively keeping all the subs so you can use any one of them anytime. Whether this feature is worth the extra money is definitely your decision. smile.gif
Edited by dr_hsu - 5/30/13 at 1:22pm
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

The XV15 is not more powerful, if anything it is less powerful, but not by a whole lot. The VTF15h also has more features and a nicer finish, whereas the XV15 is a barebones sub. The FV15HP is quite a bit more powerful than both the PSA and Hsu subs.

The xv15 is far from a bare bones sub....have you personally seen one? Also it is a smaller foot print than the vtf15, but both will get the job done. I still have yet to see any concrete proof on which is more powerful.
post #11 of 28
It might not quite be barebones, but it's pretty sparsely featured. On the amp, the only controls are for gain, phase, crossover, and on/off/auto. It only has line level inputs. These are the bare essentials. If it had anything less, it would be an incomplete subwoofer.
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

It might not quite be barebones, but it's pretty sparsely featured. On the amp, the only controls are for gain, phase, crossover, and on/off/auto. It only has line level inputs. These are the bare essentials. If it had anything less, it would be an incomplete subwoofer.

i would say it has all the essentials...but hey whatever I agree. definately not feature rich like the vtf15 or fv15.
post #13 of 28
The additional features on the hsu and fv15 are a nice bonus but do most buyers use anything other then the gain and LFE? No, so why pay for it...
post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
The one thing that I assume would be very helpful and that I would like in my controls is a parametric EQ so as to tame bass modes in my room (not ever sure I will have any at this point). From what I understand neither the HSU or the PSA have this feature, correct? How important do people think this feature is? If it is not on the sub, how else would you impliment it if necessary? Through a berringer type Pro audio do-dad (insert correct name here =). If I will have to buy a seperate EQ, then it might make sense to apply those funds and pay more to go with the rythmik. Thoughts?
post #15 of 28
If you are using a modern AVR, it will have room correction equalization that will deal with peaks. Nulls can't really be dealt with by EQs, only by placement or adding more subs. The Rythmik and Hsu subs do have ways of dealing with room gain, either boosting it or reducing it, which is not something that can be done with an AVR.
post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 
How would the paradigm reference servo 15 v2 compare to either the HSU vtf 15 or the PSA 15xv. I have lusted after the paradigm for a while but it is older now and may not out perform the newer subs. Thoughts?

In addition, I recalculated the volume of my space and it appears to be closer to 5900 cubic feel. I know, not a huge difference. Part of me is still considering to get a sealed sub now for around $750 and pick up another similar one down the road. any recommendations for a reasonably price sealed sub where two would give me enough output to fill my room?

Thanks, Garth
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by gakaudio View Post

Thoughts?

In my opinion, there are two classes of subwoofers, one intended for Home Theater and one intended for music. The point, to be happy, one is served well which they wish their subwoofers to serve and Paradigm, my opinion, best serve one's need to enhance and replicate music.

Quote:
In addition, I recalculated the volume of my space and it appears to be closer to 5900 cubic feel. I know, not a huge difference. Part of me is still considering to get a sealed sub now for around $750 and pick up another similar one down the road. any recommendations for a reasonably price sealed sub where two would give me enough output to fill my room?

If you haven't taken the time to include room measuring into your analyzing capability, you'll never know what-cha got. With that in mind, even if measuring and doing Home Theater based sound reproduction, I'd be looking to three or four, sealed, subwoofers, not one or two.

Your budget will have to address issues of what's "reasonable." If I had to step down a bit in price, I'd go with a set of three, SVS, SB-12, NSD's. I like what sealed units do with room gain.

No two subwoofer solution is going equal the smoothing affect of three subwoofers and a four subwoofer solution is proven to be the medium ideal.

FWIW, we're a three subwoofer family (we being me), wanting four subwoofers but the WAF factor limits us to a three subwoofer solution. Just saying.

-
Edited by BeeMan458 - 6/2/13 at 11:28am
post #18 of 28
What about building yourself two flat-pack 18" subs using this enclosure http://www.diysoundgroup.com/subwoofer-flatpacks-2/4-sub-flat-pack.html
And pick yourself up two of these Dayton Audio RSS460HO-4 drivers from http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=295-472
And grab two Bash 500W Digital Subwoofer Plate Amplifier http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=300-752

It would be a little over budget but would give you great bang for the buck, it also gives you the flexibility of multi-subs to work with you rather large area.
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by gakaudio View Post

How would the paradigm reference servo 15 v2 compare to either the HSU vtf 15 or the PSA 15xv. I have lusted after the paradigm for a while but it is older now and may not out perform the newer subs. Thoughts?

In addition, I recalculated the volume of my space and it appears to be closer to 5900 cubic feel. I know, not a huge difference. Part of me is still considering to get a sealed sub now for around $750 and pick up another similar one down the road. any recommendations for a reasonably price sealed sub where two would give me enough output to fill my room?

Thanks, Garth
I will politely disagree with a previous poster who stated that there are certain subs good for HT and certain subs good for music. Bass frequencies are bass frequencies and a sub can either accurately reproduce those frequencies.. or it can't. No subwoofer is capable of differentiating music from explosions... and then doing one "better" than another.

Having said that, some general properties of sealed vs. ported subs require different subwoofer "system" design considerations.

Sealed subs generally roll off higher, but their roll-off is shallower, (12 dB/octave), than vented, (ported or passive radiator), subs, (24 dB/octave.) Sealed subs generally benefit more from "room gain" than vented subs. The shallower roll-off is reinforced more by the "pressure vessel gain" of the room. Therefore. although they roll off higher, a system of multiple sealed subs should be able to extend deeper than a system of multiple vented subs. Of course, these are generalities and every individual sub will be different, as will each room be different.

Bottom line, system design depends on your goals. If you only want 25 Hz extension, a single or dual ported sub setup could easily do that. If you want deep infrasonic extension at high output, multiple sealed subs is your best bet. A single sealed sub will only dig so deep at a given SPL. Therefore, determine how much output you need at the lowest frequency you want, and keep adding sealed subs until you get to that point. It's likely a more expensive way to go, but it is probably the easiest way to get deep infrasonic extension.

Craig
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by gakaudio View Post

The one thing that I assume would be very helpful and that I would like in my controls is a parametric EQ so as to tame bass modes in my room (not ever sure I will have any at this point). From what I understand neither the HSU or the PSA have this feature, correct? How important do people think this feature is? If it is not on the sub, how else would you impliment it if necessary? Through a berringer type Pro audio do-dad (insert correct name here =). If I will have to buy a seperate EQ, then it might make sense to apply those funds and pay more to go with the rythmik. Thoughts?

you can buy a mini dsp that will do a better job than any on board sub peq control all for 155.00 shipped including software plugin. so a xv15 @ 799.00 + 155.00 = 954.00 shipped. the vtf15 @ 1018.00 + 155.00 = 1163.00 shipped. which is still significantly cheaper than a Rythmik FV15HP...and no I am not implying the other subs are better!
Edited by basshead81 - 6/2/13 at 8:43pm
post #21 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrown15 View Post

What about building yourself two flat-pack 18" subs using this enclosure http://www.diysoundgroup.com/subwoofer-flatpacks-2/4-sub-flat-pack.html
And pick yourself up two of these Dayton Audio RSS460HO-4 drivers from http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=295-472
And grab two Bash 500W Digital Subwoofer Plate Amplifier http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=300-752

It would be a little over budget but would give you great bang for the buck, it also gives you the flexibility of multi-subs to work with you rather large area.

I had to step away from my sub search but I find this post intriguing. I have shied away from a diy type scenario because I didn't want to tackle building a box. But assembling a box is a different story. What do people think of this type of set up. It might be naïve of me to think that I can slap a couple of parts together and think it will match something from HSU but I suppose it is possible right?

A few questions. I noticed that the above woofer's literature suggested a one cubic foot box but the poster suggested a 4 cubic foot box, why the discrepancy? In addition, the woofer states power handling of 1000 watts but the 500 watt plate amp is linked. Would a 1000 watt amp be better suited? I know that TC Sounds drivers are well regarded; Would a 15 in LMS driver outperform the Dayton Audio 18 in driver linked above.

Thanks for your help, Garth
post #22 of 28
Thread Starter 
Can people suggest a site where I can get more info on a DIY type subwoofer project. Maybe my above post hasn't received any responses because this isn't the right venue for these types of questions. I am not looking for an advanced diy project but a very basic "cookie cutter" type project. Thanks
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by gakaudio View Post

Can people suggest a site where I can get more info on a DIY type subwoofer project. Maybe my above post hasn't received any responses because this isn't the right venue for these types of questions. I am not looking for an advanced diy project but a very basic "cookie cutter" type project. Thanks

Ummm, there's a whole section devoted to the DIY world.

Clicky
post #24 of 28
Hi new to hi fi picking up the marantz 8801/8077 next week I am running paradigms monitor 9 fronts and matching center surrounds and rears. Room is 12wx24lx8.5 h connected to another room same size. Kitchen/ dinning Want that awe dropping ht but also want good musical sub probabbly %70 being ht. Music country, rock, classics etc. No rap pop or r&b. Looking to be around $1000 to $1500 per sub and will eventually get 2. Looking at the rhythmik and svs. Help can't make up mind.
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by 90s mash View Post

Hi new to hi fi picking up the marantz 8801/8077 next week I am running paradigms monitor 9 fronts and matching center surrounds and rears. Room is 12wx24lx8.5 h connected to another room same size. Kitchen/ dinning Want that awe dropping ht but also want good musical sub probabbly %70 being ht. Music country, rock, classics etc. No rap pop or r&b. Looking to be around $1000 to $1500 per sub and will eventually get 2. Looking at the rhythmik and svs. Help can't make up mind.

Rythmik FV15HP
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post

Rythmik FV15HP

+1, this is where I would go.
post #27 of 28
My dealer keeps trying to sell me on paradigms subs and brings up rel also. Reviews I have been reading past 3 days never mention these over the svs or rythmiks. Unless I jump to studios. I do really like what I have seen on the fv15hp and people often recommend it over the svs plus for couple hundred more.rolleyes.gif
post #28 of 28
So is anyone running the f15hp or new f25 from rythmik and how do they perform.
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