My room is an irregularly shaped open living room and kitchen that is approximately 3,500 cu. ft. It is also connected to a hallway, and a staircase, but 3,500 cu. ft. is a slight overestimate to account for this. My usage will be 80% movies and 20% music. Currently, I have a Klipsch RW-12D, which is okay, but it struggles with the size of the room, and I'm looking to get clean sub-20hz extension, which the RW-12D can't do.
While I don't have a set budget, like everyone else, I'm looking to get the best value for my money. Also, space is an issue, and both of the subs that I'm considering are pretty much as big as I can accommodate. Before you guys suggest other options, here are some reasons why I have ruled out other models:
- HSU: The VTF-15H is too big for my space, and beyond the tuning options, it doesn't seem to offer anything that the XV-15 can't do. The VTF3.4 seems to be a slightly better version of the LFM-1 EX, but the fact that it is side-firing makes placement a problem. Also, I live in CA, so the sales tax reduces the value of HSU's offerings.
- Rythmik: The LV12R is new, so there aren't any 3rd party measurements available yet, but the size of the enclosure suggests that it will lack the output and extension of the Outlaw or PSA. The FV15HP is too big, and more than what I want to spend. Rythmik is an attractive option, but it's too bad that they don't have a ported model in between the LV12R and FV15HP.
- SVS: While the trial and double free shipping is nice, the PB-12 NSD performs poorly against the Outlaw and PSA according to the measurements on Audioholics.
Therefore, I'm down to either the Outlaw LFM-1 EX and PSA XV-15. I had been leaning towards the Outlaw because I can place it flush against the wall since the ports at the bottom. However, the PSA is 2" shallower in depth, and I gave PSA a call this morning, and they told me that I only need about 2"-2.5" of clearance for the port. As a result, the footprint will be similar for both subs.
If I go with the Outlaw, I plan it run it in 1-port mode. In this mode, the Outlaw is on par with the PSA at 16-20hz, but the PSA has a 2-3db advantage at 25hz and up.
I have a slight concern that the THD+N% numbers are almost double on the PSA at 16 and 20hz. Does this mean that the Outlaw will be cleaner at these frequencies? If so, will this difference be audible?
Also, if my goal is to get the flattest response down to 16hz, will either sub have an advantage achieving that? I live in a townhouse and share a wall with a neighbor, so I can't crank it up to reference levels. Will Audyssey be able to handle either one the same, or will the Outlaw be easier to calibrate because it has a flatter max SPL curve to start with?
Finally, the last consideration is the price. At regular prices, the Outlaw is slightly cheaper ($738 vs $799), but the bigger driver and better warranty on the PSA makes it a toss-up. If the Outlaw is on sale and I can get it for $650 shipped, I'd snatch it up. As is, I'm pretty torn between the two options. Has PSA ever ran a sale in their short history? Which sub do you think will give me the best performance? Keep in mind that I can't crank up the volume too much, so the extra output of the PSA is not that useful in my current situation.