I was looking for a sub that could do it all: Hit below 20Hz/articulate for music/ quality build/reliability/warranty/great customer service/reasonable form factor - oh yeah I didn't want to spend more than I have to.
The HSU VTF-2 MK3 does all that. Now that the sub level is set properly (first used DVE) it's has the physical impact when you play the Darla scene in Finding Nemo. The couch and your body literally resonates with sound. Never had that before. I thought the Athena P4000 was pretty decent for music, but the HSU provides more "texture" as you can hear/feel the cello strings being struck/plucked -whatever. One of the most impressive discs is the pipe organ music they ship with the sub. After I heard that, I knew I made the right choice. I was saving up for a SVS PB10 and if I bought it, I'm sure I would have been happy with the performance upgrade. I haven't heard it personally, but from what I gathered, I think both subs would play movies with the level of performance that's quite a step up, but the HSU surprised me with its music performance.
The graph was my first attempt after a long day just reorganizing the room. I still have to bring the PC down and refine it, but I've been too busy listening the way it is. It's such a revelation for even music, even though conventional wisdom say there isn't much down there, the HSU makes a totally different (fuller, more detailed) sound than the Athena. My two cents.
Your not going to lose going with VTF-3, VTF-2, or PB12, I think the differences aren't going to be that noticeable unless you really dissect them to a minute detail. An analogy is I had a C+ student (Athena) now I have an honours student (VTF-2, VTF-3, PB12). 85%, 87%, 86% the differences between the three is insignificant relative to the difference between the two types of grades. That's what I'm loving right now.
Before any anal retentive type cry foul on the marks, there just numbers not based on any performance numbers but to illustrate the minute differences relative to each other vs. the difference between the different classes of subs.
There's always something better out there, make a choice based on YOUR criteria, weigh out the options, take everyone's opinion/review with a grain of salt and do it. Spend less time obessing (yeah I'm the one to talk) enjoy the sub.