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Is HSU's VTF dual port design gimmicky?

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

I will be purchasing a ported 10" sub for my HT.  I use it for movies 75% of the time.  I've narrowed my options to the SVS PB1000 and HSU's VFT-1 MK2 or the STF-2.  I'm leaning toward HSU because my friend's experience with the VTF-2 has been so good.  I would just get the VTF-2 but I really think it's a little too big for my needs.  (3000 ft^3)  I'm not a huge bass freak but I do want some head room.  Because the STF-2 is so much cheaper, it would be great to save the coin if the variable tuning feature of the VFT is something I wouldn't really utilize.  Just looking for some straight forward insight on this from the experts.  I've combed these forums and threads thoroughly and I realize that I will be satisfied with any of the subs.  Just want to know if the extra $ for the VFT or SVS PB100 is money well spent.  $500 is my absolute spending limit.

 

Thanks for taking the time to review my post.

post #2 of 39

Take a look at this:

 

2013 Subwoofer Roundup: 6 Subs For $500 Or Less | Audioholics

 

At your price point, I would buy the SVS PB-1000.  You will not be able to find a subwoofer that goes deeper and gives you a flatter frequency response at that price point.  It is a very respectable subwoofer, with a good warranty and good customer service.

 

 

As for your question about variable tuning, it is not a "gimmick," if by that you mean something that does not work.  It allows the user to decide some of the characteristics of the subwoofer.  However, if you know what you want it to do, then buying one that is configured to be as you want it without any other options is fine.  In other words, variable tuning is not necessary, but it is something that allows the user to choose between deeper bass and louder bass (one, not both at the same time; one trades deep bass for higher volume, or higher volume for deeper bass; one does not get something for nothing).  The SVS I recommend at your price point is not configurable for different bass tunings, but as I stated, it is not necessary, even though it can be a good thing.

post #3 of 39
Variable tuning is not gimmicky. It lets you partly determine the trade-offs that come from different tuning points. That being said, I wouldn't be really concerned about it with your budget, I don't think any of those subs are output monsters. For a room of your size, I would be looking at the Reaction PBS212, that might be better than any of those.
post #4 of 39
Thread Starter 

"Gimmicky" was probably a poor word choice.  It seems that HSU is the only manufacturer with this feature and I just wanted to get an idea of how people were receiving and utilizing this lines' versatility.  Other than the PB1000 having a lower feq. response, what's superior about it compared to the STF-2 with regard to SQ?  There's a $150 difference there.  I really don't see a lot of people talking about the STF-2.  You clearly rank the PB1000 #1 and VFT-2 #2  Does the STF-2 even deserve to be compared to these?  I'm really just trying to isolate what accounts for the $150 extra in price.

post #5 of 39
Thread Starter 

ShadyJ:

 

I did consider the PBS212 early on but I have really narrowed my options to ported subs.  I prefer their output for movies.

post #6 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpshannonjr View Post

"Gimmicky" was probably a poor word choice.  It seems that HSU is the only manufacturer with this feature
Using multiple ports and blocking them to change the tuning of the sub is hardly unique to Hsu. It is a valid concept, but it has its drawbacks. When you block one port to lower the box tuning response will go lower, but reducing the port area also can lead to chuffing noise at high levels. It's a compromise, but audio is always a series of compromises. The alternative to realize lower extension without port chuffing is a much larger cabinet.
As for a single ten inch sub in your size room mainly for movies, that would be fine...if you get at least two of them. cool.gifcool.gif
post #7 of 39
3000 ft^3 is pretty big. If it has openings to other rooms, even bigger. If you only get 1 sub, I would go for output over low frequency extension and probably lean towards the PA-150. I think everything else will sound anemic in a room that big.
post #8 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpshannonjr View Post
 

"Gimmicky" was probably a poor word choice.  It seems that HSU is the only manufacturer with this feature and I just wanted to get an idea of how people were receiving and utilizing this lines' versatility.  Other than the PB1000 having a lower feq. response, what's superior about it compared to the STF-2 with regard to SQ?  There's a $150 difference there.  I really don't see a lot of people talking about the STF-2.  You clearly rank the PB1000 #1 and VFT-2 #2  Does the STF-2 even deserve to be compared to these?  I'm really just trying to isolate what accounts for the $150 extra in price.

 

The PB-1000 has a flatter frequency response.  This means that different frequencies will be reproduced closer to the correct relative level than with the STF-2.

 

Also, given that Hsu charges for shipping, the prices are closer than you are saying.  STF-2 is currently on sale for $329 + $46 shipping and handling, for a total of $375.  The PB-1000 is $499 delivered.

 

According to this:

 

http://www.audioholics.com/how-to-shop/500-subwoofer-roundup

 

the maximum SPL in the upper bass will be nearly the same with the STF-2 and the PB-1000.  So, the extra money gets you a flatter frequency response and deeper bass.  And the warranties are different.

 

If you wanted louder, you would either need to spend more money, or give up some of the deep bass that the PB-1000 will give you (see link above).

 

 

Also, with some of the higher models, SVS has variable tuning.  Just not at your price point, and not on all of their models at higher prices.  There are probably other brands that offer such a feature on some models.

post #9 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KidHorn View Post

3000 ft^3 is pretty big. If it has openings to other rooms, even bigger. If you only get 1 sub, I would go for output over low frequency extension and probably lean towards the PA-150. I think everything else will sound anemic in a room that big.


3000 includes the open area to the right of the right main and a hallway leading from there forward to the bedrooms.  The listening area is only 1600^3.  Everything else is closed off.  The entire house is only 900sq ft.  This is why I'm strictly shopping for a 10" sub.  Everyone would agree that a 1600^3 listening area will be sufficiently serviced with the subs I'm considering, right?

post #10 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpshannonjr View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KidHorn View Post

3000 ft^3 is pretty big. If it has openings to other rooms, even bigger. If you only get 1 sub, I would go for output over low frequency extension and probably lean towards the PA-150. I think everything else will sound anemic in a room that big.


3000 includes the open area to the right of the right main and a hallway leading from there forward to the bedrooms.  The listening area is only 1600^3.  Everything else is closed off.  The entire house is only 900sq ft.  This is why I'm strictly shopping for a 10" sub.  Everyone would agree that a 1600^3 listening area will be sufficiently serviced with the subs I'm considering, right?

 

That kind of thing is impossible to agree upon.  Some people want bass that is really, really loud, like in a dance club.  So how much output you need is not merely a question of space, but of what you want.

post #11 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper View Post
 

 

That kind of thing is impossible to agree upon.  Some people want bass that is really, really loud, like in a dance club.  So how much output you need is not merely a question of space, but of what you want.

Absolutely, it's totally subjectional.   I'm not a bass nut but the reason for this upgrade is because I'm not happy with the boominess and inaccurate rumble I get with my current sub most noticeable during explosions scenes of action movies on blu-ray.  I really want to feel the low bass more than hear it and maybe that's a tall order for a 10" or any sub at this price point.  Just looking for a decent, affordable upgrade with more accuracy and low-end output than I have currently.  I don't have a lot of sub listening experience as far as comparative analysis but I do know that I prefer the SQ of a ported enclosure.

post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper View Post

The PB-1000 has a flatter frequency response.  This means that different frequencies will be reproduced closer to the correct relative level than with the STF-2.

Also, given that Hsu charges for shipping, the prices are closer than you are saying.  STF-2 is currently on sale for $329 + $46 shipping and handling, for a total of $375.  The PB-1000 is $499 delivered.

According to this:

http://www.audioholics.com/how-to-shop/500-subwoofer-roundup

the maximum SPL in the upper bass will be nearly the same with the STF-2 and the PB-1000.  So, the extra money gets you a flatter frequency response and deeper bass.  And the warranties are different.

If you wanted louder, you would either need to spend more money, or give up some of the deep bass that the PB-1000 will give you (see link above).


Also, with some of the higher models, SVS has variable tuning.  Just not at your price point, and not on all of their models at higher prices.  There are probably other brands that offer such a feature on some models.

The PB-1000 will only have a flatter frequency response at max spl...both the hsu and svs have a flat native response. If you are continually pushing the subwoofer to its limits then you need more sub. We are discussing this currently in another thread.
post #13 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper View Post

The PB-1000 has a flatter frequency response.  This means that different frequencies will be reproduced closer to the correct relative level than with the STF-2.

Also, given that Hsu charges for shipping, the prices are closer than you are saying.  STF-2 is currently on sale for $329 + $46 shipping and handling, for a total of $375.  The PB-1000 is $499 delivered.

According to this:

http://www.audioholics.com/how-to-shop/500-subwoofer-roundup

the maximum SPL in the upper bass will be nearly the same with the STF-2 and the PB-1000.  So, the extra money gets you a flatter frequency response and deeper bass.  And the warranties are different.

If you wanted louder, you would either need to spend more money, or give up some of the deep bass that the PB-1000 will give you (see link above).


Also, with some of the higher models, SVS has variable tuning.  Just not at your price point, and not on all of their models at higher prices.  There are probably other brands that offer such a feature on some models.

The PB-1000 will only have a flatter frequency response at max spl...both the hsu and svs have a flat native response. If you are continually pushing the subwoofer to its limits then you need more sub. We are discussing this currently in another thread.

 

Not according to Hsu and SVS.  See the graphs at:

 

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/stf-2.html

 

http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/ported-box/PB-1000#.Uvk9bhyKkud

 

Neither are representing maximum SPL with their graphs.

post #14 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpshannonjr View Post

Everyone would agree that a 1600^3 listening area will be sufficiently serviced with the subs I'm considering, right?
That depends. What do you have for mains? The physics of sound dictate that the requirements for subs to be able to match mains in output is that the power and displacement of the subs be at least twice that of all the mains speakers combined. If your mains are all loaded with no larger than 4 inch drivers, and only one each, then a single ten is probably sufficient for moderate levels. That assumes that the uneven response throughout the room that's pretty much a given with only one sub isn't an issue. If your mains are larger than single four inch drivers each and you would prefer reasonably smooth bass response throughout the room two ten inch loaded subs would be a minimal system.
post #15 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post


That depends. What do you have for mains? The physics of sound dictate that the requirements for subs to be able to match mains in output is that the power and displacement of the subs be at least twice that of all the mains speakers combined. If your mains are all loaded with no larger than 4 inch drivers, and only one each, then a single ten is probably sufficient for moderate levels. That assumes that the uneven response throughout the room that's pretty much a given with only one sub isn't an issue. If your mains are larger than single four inch drivers each and you would prefer reasonably smooth bass response throughout the room two ten inch loaded subs would be a minimal system.


I'm running Polk RTiA1's.  It's a 5 1/4" driver.

post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper View Post

Not according to Hsu and SVS.  See the graphs at:

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/stf-2.html

http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/ported-box/PB-1000#.Uvk9bhyKkud

Neither are representing maximum SPL with their graphs.



The stf-2 is +/-2db from 25-100 or +/-3db from 22-125hz.

Pb-1000 is +/-3db from 19-270hz.

While yes you correct the PB-1000 is flatter, its not a big enough difference to use it as a selling point. That being said if the budget is there for the PB-1000, then get the PB-1000.
post #17 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post


The stf-2 is +/-2db from 25-100 or +/-3db from 22-125hz.

Pb-1000 is +/-3db from 19-270hz.

While yes you correct the PB-1000 is flatter, its not a big enough difference to use it as a selling point. That being said if the budget is there for the PB-1000, then get the PB-1000.


Is that preference taking into account the VTF-1 as well?

post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpshannonjr View Post


Is that preference taking into account the VTF-1 as well?

No the VTF-1 is flat from 22hz out to 200hz. I would think the VTF-1 and PB-1000 would be very close in performance. If you want variable tuning and q control go for the HSU. If you want a 5yr warranty, 45day trial period, and the full credit trade up policy, then go SVS. I see the VTF-1 is on sale for 467.00 shipped.
post #19 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpshannonjr View Post

ShadyJ:I did consider the PBS212 early on but I have really narrowed my options to ported subs.  I prefer their output for movies.

The deep frequency output of any of these 10" will be negligible, and their mid bass output will not be amazing either. If you push these 10"s to a point where their deep bass will be significant, it will be very heavily distorted. Case in point.. The STF2 and VTF1 are not likely to fare any better. I would much rather have good bass from 30 Hz on up than so-so bass from 20 hz up.
post #20 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post


The deep frequency output of any of these 10" will be negligible, and their mid bass output will not be amazing either. If you push these 10"s to a point where their deep bass will be significant, it will be very heavily distorted. Case in point.. The STF2 and VTF1 are not likely to fare any better. I would much rather have good bass from 30 Hz on up than so-so bass from 20 hz up.

I'm looking for a recommendation for a ported 10" sub for $500. More specifically if the additional $ for the PB1000 and VTF-1 compared to the STF-2 is worth it. I understand the limitations of these design and budget restrictions.  I know it's hard to recommend a product that is far inferior to your standards but please try to be constructive.  I would also like to know if there are any other products worth considering that meet my guidelines mentioned above.  I have no brand loyalty and asthetics are not a concern.

post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post

The PB-1000 will only have a flatter frequency response at max spl...both the hsu and svs have a flat native response. If you are continually pushing the subwoofer to its limits then you need more sub. We are discussing this currently in another thread.

As I said over there with some examples when where we discussed the term "linear response," it seems like you are allowing more tolerance in your evaluation of whether or not a sub has a linear response, whereas others of us are using it as a relative term to describe finer differences in the anechoic frequency response.
post #22 of 39
If you can swing it, go for the vtf2, the difference is substantial IMO. 600 shipped.
post #23 of 39

Look for professional reviews with actual measurements for comparing.  Here is the SVS PB-1000:

 

http://www.soundandvision.com/content/review-svs-pb-1000-subwoofer-measurements

 

These numbers are scaled for 1 meter (see text); some professionals show measurements at 2 meters, so make sure you compare things appropriately.

 

This is a great subwoofer for the money.

 

 

If you want to trade deep bass for more output from 40 Hz on up, then the Premier Acoustic PA-150 would be more what you would want:

 

http://www.audioholics.com/how-to-shop/500-subwoofer-roundup

 

I personally value depth and flatness of response more than having a very high output, but some people prefer going the other way.  That is a decision for you to make; you have to decide what matters most to you.

 

Whatever you do, look for real measurements to compare.  People make all sorts of claims in forums.

post #24 of 39
If I remember correctly those measurements are skewed(look at sound and visions test on the PC-12NSD http://www.soundandvision.com/content/review-svs-pc12-nsd )

PC12NSD- 20-31hz 115.6
40-63hz 118.1db

PB-1000- 20-31hz 113db
40-63hz 121.6db

Something looks wrong with that picture. I think one would get a better idea by sutbracting 3db from the PB12NSD numbers over at www.data-bass.com/systems
Edited by basshead81 - 2/10/14 at 7:58pm
post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post

If I remember correctly those measurements are skewed...

 

As I explain in my post (and as is clearly explained in the text at S&V), the measurements that S&V did for the PB-1000 are scaled for 1 meter.  

 

To compare with measurements at 2 meters (which is a common measurement distance; one needs to know what distance a measurement is taken in order for it to be meaningful), one should subtract 6dB from the 1 meter measurements (or alternatively, add 6dB to the 2 meter measurements to know what they would be at 1 meter).  For every doubling of distance, one should subtract 6dB from the SPL for subwoofer measurements.  Thus, at 4 meters, one would subtract 12dB from a 1 meter measurement.  See:

 

http://www.audioholics.com/loudspeaker-design/subwoofer-measurement-data

 

When comparing, one needs to know the distance of the measurement.  Many reviews are done with 2 meter measurements, so if one is comparing with one of those, one should adjust according to what I state above.  

 

Here, for example, is a chart with measurements scaled for 2 meters:

 

http://www.audioholics.com/loudspeaker-design/subwoofer-measurement-data/tab2.jpg/image_view_fullscreen

 

Here is another chart with measurements scaled for 2 meters:

 

http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/subwoofer-tests-archived/5748-cea-2010-standard-compilation.html


Edited by Jack D Ripper - 2/10/14 at 8:19pm
post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper View Post

As I explain in my post (and as is clearly explained in the text at S&V), the measurements that S&V did for the PB-1000 are scaled for 1 meter.  

To compare with measurements at 2 meters (which is a common measurement distance; one needs to know what distance a measurement is taken in order for it to be meaningful), one should subtract 6dB from the 1 meter measurements (or alternatively, add 6dB to the 2 meter measurements to know what they would be at 1 meter).  For every doubling of distance, one should subtract 6dB from the SPL for subwoofer measurements.  Thus, at 4 meters, one would subtract 12dB from a 1 meter measurement.  See:

http://www.audioholics.com/loudspeaker-design/subwoofer-measurement-data

When comparing, one needs to know the distance of the measurement.  Many reviews are done with 2 meter measurements, so if one is comparing with one of those, one should adjust according to what I state above.  Here, for example, is a chart with measurements scaled for 2 meters:

http://www.audioholics.com/loudspeaker-design/subwoofer-measurement-data/tab2.jpg/image_view_fullscreen

I fully understand how to scale data smile.gif...What I posted above was taken from sound and vision...both subs tested from the same place @ 1m. And fyi S&V supposedly scales 1m peak which is a 9db difference from 2m rms. Again it would be more accurate to simply subtract 3db from the NSD at data-bass.

I don't know how you would not think something is up. SVS strives to maintain a ultra flat peak frequency response so how would the PB-1000 have a 12db swing in output from 20-63hz when the PB12NSD and PB13 Ultra only have around a 6db swing from 20-63hz. Even if you add 9db to the data-bass numbers for the PB13Ultra would equal 125.6db @ 63hz. So you really think the 500.00 PB 1000 can hit 122.5 db @ 63 hz 1m peak?? That is withing 3db of the Ultra...
Edited by basshead81 - 2/10/14 at 8:34pm
post #27 of 39
You can go back and forth between recommendations here forever.

Buy the SVS PB1000 try it for 45 days if you like it keep it, if you don't return it. This will cost you $0 and more importantly allow you to test a subwoofer in your room, your listening position, with your set-up.
post #28 of 39
You are doing the right thing to seek some guidance. I have rabidly read thousands of pages on this forum over the past 8 years for all of my audio and video purchases. There is fabulous advice but don't get paralyses trying to determine which is perfect. It is likely that all of these suggestions would satisfy you given your budget and it is also certainly possible 1 is slightly better than the others for your needs but in reality any of them will probably make you very happy. Read the pages for a few days and then plunge. I have not regretted a purchase done this way.

I personally have 2 Hsu VTF15Hs and it is overkill for my house. The only reason I have them is I bought them used and got a great deal. One would be plenty for my room and really for most peoples room other than fanatics. Nothing wrong with fanaticism but some of us have to balance the budget...

Enjoy whatever sub you purchase and remember all of the companies I see recommended are reputable companies with great products.
post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpshannonjr View Post

I'm looking for a recommendation for a ported 10" sub for $500. More specifically if the additional $ for the PB1000 and VTF-1 compared to the STF-2 is worth it. I understand the limitations of these design and budget restrictions.  I know it's hard to recommend a product that is far inferior to your standards but please try to be constructive.  I would also like to know if there are any other products worth considering that meet my guidelines mentioned above.  I have no brand loyalty and asthetics are not a concern.

If you are dead set on a 10" sub and can spend $500 IMO its a no-brainer. SVS PB-1000.

But just so you know I used to have about a 1,000 sq ft house and my livingroom/HT was in the basement. It was a sealed room at 1,771 cu/ft. I had 2 Outlaw Audio LFM-1 Plus's in that room, 350 Watts RMS each 12" sub each, ran in 1 port max extension mode. While I loved those subs in that room it wasn't excessive, infact I wouldn't have wanted any less sub and I'm NOT a basshead. My point being unless you are going to spend close to $1k on a single sub I don't think you will be satisfied. I went with dual subs and I will NEVER go back to a single. I will always stay with duals or maybe even quads. Why? Because of evening out the freq resp throughout the whole room to have even bass at each seat, and to have the headroom for a guy's night when I wanna show off my system.
post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpshannonjr View Post

I'm looking for a recommendation for a ported 10" sub for $500. More specifically if the additional $ for the PB1000 and VTF-1 compared to the STF-2 is worth it. I understand the limitations of these design and budget restrictions.  I know it's hard to recommend a product that is far inferior to your standards but please try to be constructive.  I would also like to know if there are any other products worth considering that meet my guidelines mentioned above.  I have no brand loyalty and asthetics are not a concern.

For a 3,000 cubic feet room, best to step up from the STF-2. That's a large space for a 10" sub.

In this price range of ~$500, the PB-1000 would be my pick. If your budget was a little higher, the Rythmik LV12R.
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