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AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › Subwoofers, Bass, and Transducers › HSU VTF-15H or PB12-NSD noticable upgrade from Mirage S12?
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HSU VTF-15H or PB12-NSD noticable upgrade from Mirage S12?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, I am new here. I am building a home right now and it has got my home audio interest peaked again. Overall I try to keep my budget on equipment tight to keep my wallet and wife happy. I always try to research and find components that their quality far exceeds there price. The SVS and HSU subs have intrigued me for this reason. To be honest there is not really anything wrong with my Mirage S12, it has been a great sub, but looking at HT stuff again has got me interested to try something that has a little more output, especially in the lower frequencies. I know the S12 got really good reviews when they were still be sold and I figured it has been around long enough that one of you have possibly owned or at least listened to both an S12 and a VTF-15, or PB12-NSD. 

 

I also like the idea of two subs. My original thought was that I could pick up a second S12 used pretty cheap, but so far I have not found a single one online.

 

So options would be:

1: Wait until a used S12 pops up online. I am not in any big hurry.

2: Sell it and put the money towards the HSU or SVS

3: Keep it and add a HSU or SVS, although I don't like the idea of mixing, what I assume are two pretty different subs.

 

If I did replace the S12 with the HSU would that be a noticeable upgrade in both output and low range extension? Or am I underestimating the S12's power?

 

I apologize if I rambled on too much. I appreciate any and all feedback.

 

The basic info:

- Not too worried about size/finish.

- Don't want to spend much more than the HSU.

- Mostly HT use but like to crank some music from time to time.

- Room (for now) will be in a 18x16.5' upstairs "Game Room" that has walls on all 4 corners but does not have a door, just a door width open entry. Ceiling is 9'. I do have the option of opening min-french doors on the back wall that overlook the entry of the house.

 

Thanks!

Steve

Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #2 of 28
Thread Starter 

Also, if it helps my fronts and center are both Athena Auditions and then I recently picked up a pair of BIC Formula FH8-W in-walls for surrounds.

post #3 of 28
Both the VTF15H and the PB12-NSD will produce deeper and louder bass. The VTF15H is the most powerful of the three by a significant margin.

You'll have a hard time finding a second S12, and even if you find it, it'll be pretty old. I think you should look to buying a second, more powerful sub (like either you've mentioned) and integrating it with your S12; or replacing it.
post #4 of 28
I would take the VTF15. Since you are planning to get dual, dual PSA XV15's are probably the best performance for the price. VTF15 is better but about $200 more each.
post #5 of 28
Sell the S12, take that money and apply it towards a pair of PB-1000's(998.00 shipped) or Rythmik LV12's(1070.00 shipped). Both these options are a significant upgrade over the s12 and come in under your budget.
post #6 of 28
Btw there's only bad news about the current state of the Energy/Mirage/Athena brand frown.gif
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaviorMachine View Post

Btw there's only bad news about the current state of the Energy/Mirage/Athena brand frown.gif

 

Purchased by Klipsch correct? I believe the Athena name has already been vanished. Sad as the Athena's are amazing for what I paid. 

 

I appreciate all the feedback! I think to go dual right now it would have to be a second S12. Right now a single VTF15H is at the top of the budget and I think for the long term I would like to start with a single sub I really want and then eventually add a second instead of getting something a little less and wishing I had saved up a little more for what I really wanted. The main question was if one of these subs were a big step up from the S12, which it appears that it is, which is a good thing.

post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post

Sell the S12, take that money and apply it towards a pair of PB-1000's(998.00 shipped) or Rythmik LV12's(1070.00 shipped). Both these options are a significant upgrade over the s12 and come in under your budget.

SVS gives a discount on dual purchases so $949 shipped for dual PB-1000. Any of these options will kill the Mirage sub.
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnatalli View Post

SVS gives a discount on dual purchases so $949 shipped for dual PB-1000. Any of these options will kill the Mirage sub.

Yes I am aware...typo. smile.gif
post #10 of 28
I wouldn't be so certain about the PB1000's killing the S12. The PB/PC12-NSD, yes definitely, but the S12 was no slouch for output. I'm sure the PB-1000's 20Hz output is stronger, but there's more to bass than just that frequency.
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by 88Formula View Post

Purchased by Klipsch correct? I believe the Athena name has already been vanished. Sad as the Athena's are amazing for what I paid. 

I appreciate all the feedback! I think to go dual right now it would have to be a second S12. Right now a single VTF15H is at the top of the budget and I think for the long term I would like to start with a single sub I really want and then eventually add a second instead of getting something a little less and wishing I had saved up a little more for what I really wanted. The main question was if one of these subs were a big step up from the S12, which it appears that it is, which is a good thing.

Purchased by Klipsch, and then Klipsch in turn by Audiovox, of all things.

Definitely plan for a second sub smile.gif And I think the VTF15H is certainly the bigger step up in terms of both output and extension. But to be honest, if you're planning for duals and the long game, there are a number of really attractive options to consider.
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaviorMachine View Post

I wouldn't be so certain about the PB1000's killing the S12. The PB/PC12-NSD, yes definitely, but the S12 was no slouch for output. I'm sure the PB-1000's 20Hz output is stronger, but there's more to bass than just that frequency.

I didn't say killing I said significant upgrade, which they most likely would be in terms of extension and sound quality. There is more to bass then just output. wink.gif
Edited by basshead81 - 10/15/13 at 3:35pm
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post

I didn't say killing I said significant upgrade, which they most likely would be in terms of extension and sound quality. There is more to bass then just output. wink.gif

True story. Whereas, rnatalli used the "kill" terminology and I was referring to this smile.gif
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaviorMachine View Post

True story. Whereas, rnatalli used the "kill" terminology and I was referring to this smile.gif


Ahh yes I agree, I don't think they would kill the s12 either.
post #15 of 28
Give the semantics a rest folks smile.gif
post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaviorMachine View Post

But to be honest, if you're planning for duals and the long game, there are a number of really attractive options to consider.

Anything specific you recommend? Wanting to keep price in range of VTF15H. I don't think I will be able to justify much more than that on a sub for quite a while.

post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnatalli View Post

Give the semantics a rest folks smile.gif

Hehe, yeah, sorry, that probably came across as pretty nitpicky. I just meant to say that if he's looking to be blown away, he might check other options. PB-1000 is certainly remarkable for what it is, and a *pair* of them absolutely would blow the doors off his lone S12, so... yeah smile.gif
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by 88Formula View Post

Anything specific you recommend? Wanting to keep price in range of VTF15H. I don't think I will be able to justify much more than that on a sub for quite a while.

Well, I think Cowboy's suggestion of an XV15 is a good one, especially if you get a second one later. It's most of the performance of a VTF15H, and easier to buy twice.

Hsu's own VTF3 MK4 ($800 shipped) is similar if you're into that brand, and their configuration features. In years of visiting this and other AV sites, I've only ever read I think one complaint about the VTF3's sound quality. Pretty universally praised.

Slightly more expensive ($1200) would be an SVS PC12-Plus, which has a really high quality component list and fancy hardware features, along with very generous warranty coverage and service features.

Disclosure: I currently run a PC12-NSD in my little theater and an XS15 pair in my slightly less little theater. Love the hell out of both designs and both manufacturers.
post #19 of 28
The Mirage S12 was a relatively well regarded sub for a B&M brand. Two S12s would not be a bad system. However, it won't have the output of a VTF15h, especially in 2 ports mode. If you want something that hits harder, the VTF15h is the way to go. For $1k for a single subwoofer, something you might look at is the Dayton dual 12" kit. It needs just a little bit of assembly, and it is large and pretty heavy, and it also only comes with a 1 year parts warranty, but the drivers are very good for the price, and you get two of them. They are engineered for low distortion and a tight sound. The cabinet is absolutely inert, it will have no negative contribution to the sound. The amp has plenty of power. This will give you a lot of punch and very tight sound quality. Maybe not quite the output of the VTF15h, but the sound quality is not likely to be matched by any other sub near its price.
post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

For $1k for a single subwoofer, something you might look at is the Dayton dual 12" kit.

 

Very interesting, seems to get good reviews but it seems to be two in a single box. The main reason I would want to go duals is to even out the bass thought the room.

post #21 of 28
haha I'm in a very similar situation. I'm looking to upgrade around that price range (currently using a AV123 X-Sub), and I also don't want to buy 2 now and regret not getting something like the VTF15H. It seems like almost all the Subs in the $800-$1000 range are really well liked, so my plan is to wait to Black Friday and see which ones go on sale. If I can save some $ on the first one, it'll make getting the 2nd easier.
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by 88Formula View Post

Very interesting, seems to get good reviews but it seems to be two in a single box. The main reason I would want to go duals is to even out the bass thought the room.

That sub can't really be considered two subs in a single box, it is simply one sub with a single driver. With a dual opposed woofer design like that, cabinet resonance and vibration are greatly reduced. You could think of two 12's as a single 16" driver, the woofer area is about the same. While those drivers do not have huge xmax, they do have an above average BL and not bad Mms, which means it will have a tight grip on the woofer, so it will have very good cone control and thus sound quality.
post #23 of 28
Thread Starter 

Alright, so I am torn again. There is currently a S12 on eBay right now. Now it could end up going way too high, but I feel like if I could get it for a pretty good deal it would be worth it to go ahead and bump up to two subs without having to drop a grand on a new single sub. Even if I still am not satisfied with the dual S12s I could sell them both after a while and be fairy close to getting the VTF-15H. Ultimately the VTF-15H is where I want to end up but it might be a while before I can pull the trigger on one of those. I just wish I could demo/hear how much better the VTF-15H is than the S12. I used to be big into car audio when I was in my teens and the bass in my car would almost make it hard to see straight. Now my S12 sounds great, but nothing like car audio levels.

post #24 of 28
Make your choice, there's no new information. Most people here will encourage you to aim higher.
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by 88Formula View Post

Alright, so I am torn again. There is currently a S12 on eBay right now. Now it could end up going way too high, but I feel like if I could get it for a pretty good deal it would be worth it to go ahead and bump up to two subs without having to drop a grand on a new single sub. Even if I still am not satisfied with the dual S12s I could sell them both after a while and be fairy close to getting the VTF-15H. Ultimately the VTF-15H is where I want to end up but it might be a while before I can pull the trigger on one of those. I just wish I could demo/hear how much better the VTF-15H is than the S12. I used to be big into car audio when I was in my teens and the bass in my car would almost make it hard to see straight. Now my S12 sounds great, but nothing like car audio levels.

There would be no comparison. You could try and SVS sub risk free. Last I looked they had an outlet PC12+ for $1049 which still includes the 45 day free trial. IMO it would be close to the HSU 15 in over all performance.
post #26 of 28
Thread Starter 

Alright, so an update if anyone cares. For now I have purchased an Energy S12.3 off eBay (which other than slight cosmetic differences is the same sub as my S12) for $185 shipped. For that investment it made a lot more sense to step up to a dual sub setup and put the cash towards a new receiver and other needed items. At some point I will step up to something heavier but for now I think I will be happy with this choice. Once I receive the sub and get it setup I will update the thread on the improvements over the single S12 incase others are searching for info on a similar setup in the future. 

post #27 of 28
Thread Starter 

Ha, well so much for that. Person was either trying to be shady or really just had no clue. What they has was an S8.3, not 12.3... Search is still on. 

post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 

Brining this thread back from the dead one last time. I have decided I am giving up trying to find another S12 and just going to bite the bullet when I move into my new house. I should be in there by mid February. Right now the plan is a PSA XV15 with hopes of dual PSA XV15s if there is enough leftover after new furniture, blinds, fence, etc. etc! I'll be sure to start a new thread on my experience with the PSA when I get it.  

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AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › Subwoofers, Bass, and Transducers › HSU VTF-15H or PB12-NSD noticable upgrade from Mirage S12?