Why are good subs so expensive? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 30 Old 02-24-2016, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Why are good subs so expensive?

I bout 5 good speakers and a good amp for around $1100, so I look around for good subs to match and they're just about as expensive as my speakers and amp. I just don't get why they're so much.

I'm thinking about getting the vtf-15h mk2 or the vt3 mk5. They both have similar specs, is the mk2 worth it to pony up another $100?

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post #2 of 30 Old 02-24-2016, 05:06 PM
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for the same reason good tools are expensive. Better materials, better craftsmanship, more durable, better warranty , etc ...and they just tend to make it easier to do the job the right way the first time.

I had 2 HSU vtf3-mk 3's, and they were fantastic. I would have no problem recommending HSU to anyone.

Joseph

p.s. just give them a call, and ask them about the difference between the 2 models .

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post #3 of 30 Old 02-24-2016, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wlhungdude View Post
for the same reason good tools are expensive. Better materials, better craftsmanship, more durable, better warranty , etc ...and they just tend to make it easier to do the job the right way the first time.

I had 2 HSU vtf3-mk 3's, and they were fantastic. I would have no problem recommending HSU to anyone.

Joseph

p.s. just give them a call, and ask them about the difference between the 2 models .
Yeah, I currently have a JBL es150, a 10" 300 watt sub I got for $150. The HSU will probably be a major upgrade, it sure as hell better be at six times the price!
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post #4 of 30 Old 02-24-2016, 05:47 PM
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other brands to check is SVS, Rythmik, PSA.. with Rythmik my top choice
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post #5 of 30 Old 02-24-2016, 06:02 PM
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well, there's always DIY. If I knew then ....

for many of us, it's a progression ... we start off with a cheap tool, and slowly 'upgrade', step by step, until we get where we want to be. I tried to avoid it, by buying the 'biggest and best' HSU had for sale at the time (ported, anyway) . less than a week later, they introduced the VTF 15. but I was hooked, and about a year later, I bought the second.... and a week later, they introduced the VTF3 - mk 4 .... (sigh). I was still very happy with them. And for some reason I ventured over to the DIY speakers and subs forum .... and down the slippery slope I went. now, I wouldn't even consider anything else.

this is all IMO, and of course, YMMV
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post #6 of 30 Old 02-24-2016, 07:12 PM
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because low, loud, and clean cost money if you want all three. If you just want inaccurate boom, well that can be done on a much cheaper front.
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post #7 of 30 Old 02-24-2016, 07:53 PM
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I went from an Onkyo HTIB subwoofer to that $700 + sub. I really wanted to avoid the 'incremental upgrade' cost. In a way, I did. Although I've spent more than all that combined,many times over, at this point, it's been one helluva fun trip.

I'm still not there, and truly hope I never stop reaching for 'better', but it's getting to the point I need to improve myself, and my knowledge / skills / utilization .... not my gear.... mostly. wow, that's kinda deep...

But I still want new toys. want, not need.

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post #8 of 30 Old 02-24-2016, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djos333 View Post
I bout 5 good speakers and a good amp for around $1100, so I look around for good subs to match and they're just about as expensive as my speakers and amp. I just don't get why they're so much.

I'm thinking about getting the vtf-15h mk2 or the vt3 mk5. They both have similar specs, is the mk2 worth it to pony up another $100?
A lot of it has to do with material cost.

You can have a good tweeter for $33, a good 6~7 inch woofer for $49, build a crossover network, add some wires and binding posts, put it in a box and call that a speaker...

The Eminence 15" woofer used by PSA is $200. The Dayton Audio SPA500 500W subwoofer amp is $286. You also need a bigger enclosure which requires more MDF... So the parts alone for a subwoofer are many times more expensive than that for a speaker.
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post #9 of 30 Old 02-24-2016, 09:40 PM
 
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You got speakers that can't quite do the whole frequency range needed, or at least at appreciable levels. The sub will help you get there. Now, if you wanted multiple speakers that included the bass capabilities of a good sub, well, you'd have paid a lot more for the speakers. The sub is therefore a way to help you gain an overall better bargain, with better placement possibilities for the sub(s), needed for the frequencies they specialize in. What a deal!
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post #10 of 30 Old 02-24-2016, 11:15 PM
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It does seem that subs keep getting more expensive. Go back a few years and we had many high quality ID subs in the <$800 range and even <$500, many of those companies are sadly no longer around (Chase, ED etc) but also lower end options are gone from companies like PSA, SVS. Might be an inevitable result of increasing costs, better drivers, keeping production in the US etc but in the end the result is increased prices.
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post #11 of 30 Old 02-25-2016, 01:04 AM
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A better question may be, "why are bad subs so expensive?"
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post #12 of 30 Old 02-25-2016, 01:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defcon View Post
It does seem that subs keep getting more expensive. Go back a few years and we had many high quality ID subs in the <$800 range and even <$500, many of those companies are sadly no longer around (Chase, ED etc) but also lower end options are gone from companies like PSA, SVS. Might be an inevitable result of increasing costs, better drivers, keeping production in the US etc but in the end the result is increased prices.
Factor in inflation and your 800 dollar sub would be at least 900 dollars these days. Raw materials have gone up....and so on.

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post #13 of 30 Old 02-25-2016, 01:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wlhungdude View Post
for the same reason good tools are expensive. Better materials, better craftsmanship, more durable, better warranty , etc ...and they just tend to make it easier to do the job the right way the first time.

I had 2 HSU vtf3-mk 3's, and they were fantastic. I would have no problem recommending HSU to anyone.

Joseph

p.s. just give them a call, and ask them about the difference between the 2 models .
If you are going to be playing music along with movies, HSU should be on your list. Before home theater as we know it, HSU original claim to fame was subs for music use. They have only gotten better over time.

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post #14 of 30 Old 02-25-2016, 03:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djos333 View Post
I bout 5 good speakers and a good amp for around $1100, so I look around for good subs to match and they're just about as expensive as my speakers and amp. I just don't get why they're so much.

I'm thinking about getting the vtf-15h mk2 or the vt3 mk5. They both have similar specs, is the mk2 worth it to pony up another $100?

Coz you can't cook a steak in water; need to add oil.

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post #15 of 30 Old 02-25-2016, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by chucky7 View Post
A lot of it has to do with material cost.

You can have a good tweeter for $33, a good 6~7 inch woofer for $49, build a crossover network, put it in a box...

The Eminence 15" woofer used by PSA is $200. The Dayton Audio SPA500 500W subwoofer amp is $286. You also need a bigger enclosure which requires more MDF... So the parts alone for a subwoofer are many times more expensive than that for a speaker.
actually the Lab 15 cost 284.99 for a consumer to buy.

725w Ice amp is around 400.00

figure 150.00 for the wood, port, wiring, finish.



So for a consumer to replicate a 15v it would cost them about 835.00 roughly. You can buy it from PSA for 899.00 with a 5yr warranty.

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post #16 of 30 Old 02-25-2016, 05:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defcon View Post
It does seem that subs keep getting more expensive. Go back a few years and we had many high quality ID subs in the <$800 range and even <$500, many of those companies are sadly no longer around (Chase, ED etc) but also lower end options are gone from companies like PSA, SVS. Might be an inevitable result of increasing costs, better drivers, keeping production in the US etc but in the end the result is increased prices.
Yea and why are those companies no longer in business? They were using cheap amplifiers( at least Epik and ED ) and had too low of profit margins.

Today you are getting much better amplification in the ID subs. If anything I think the subs these ID companies are offering are in fact a much better value when you factor price vs performance vs quality. Sure they cost more but look at what you are getting.

Do you want a 800.00 Epik Empire that will have no support or available parts 3years after its creation. Or do you want a 1500.00 S3000i that is built in the USA with top notch components, 5year warranty, and customer service that is second to none? Personally I would rather spend more to know my investment is future proofed.
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post #17 of 30 Old 02-25-2016, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post
actually the Lab 15 cost 284.99 for a consumer to buy.

725w Ice amp is around 400.00

figure 150.00 for the wood, port, wiring, finish.



So for a consumer to replicate a 15v it would cost them about 835.00 roughly. You can buy it from PSA for 899.00 with a 5yr warranty.
http://www.parts-express.com/eminenc...4-ohm--299-391

$198.80 each

Buy 4 of them for $178.50 each

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post #18 of 30 Old 02-25-2016, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post
actually the Lab 15 cost 284.99 for a consumer to buy.

725w Ice amp is around 400.00

figure 150.00 for the wood, port, wiring, finish.

So for a consumer to replicate a 15v it would cost them about 835.00 roughly. You can buy it from PSA for 899.00 with a 5yr warranty.
I'm just listing the known material cost for the OP to prove that a good subwoofer requires parts that are much more expensive. Parts-express is a good source for the parts.

PE has The Eminence 15" driver on sale for $ 198. Yes, I know it's a buy out so it does not reflect fair market value. PSA uses Eminence 15" drivers. It of course is not the very same driver that PSA uses.

Since I don't know how much 700W Ice Power Amps or 600W Bash Amp cost, I used the The Dayton Audio SPA500 500W subwoofer amp, which AFAIK, is not currently used by any of the ID sub companies that we recommend here.

So if subwoofer parts are even more expensive, it further proves my point that the material cost are higher for subs than regular speakers.
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post #19 of 30 Old 02-25-2016, 09:21 AM
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They are more expensive because of size, build and because some can dig really low were you actually feel it. Now one big disappointment is that most are manufactured in China (the cheap or even the expensive ones). Now PSA is made in the USA but I wonder if the parts are also made in the USA.
I guess the manufacturer has to manufacture them over seas or how will they profit otherwise.
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post #20 of 30 Old 02-25-2016, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckless95 View Post
http://www.parts-express.com/eminenc...4-ohm--299-391

$198.80 each

Buy 4 of them for $178.50 each
As others have already noted, these are "buyout" specials. They use some of the same parts as the 15" drivers we source from Eminence(the frame for example) but just about every relevant t/s parameter is different. Often considerably so.

Not a bad deal at the price of course..

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post #21 of 30 Old 02-25-2016, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Vodhanel View Post
As others have already noted, these are "buyout" specials. They use some of the same parts as the 15" drivers we source from Eminence(the frame for example) but just about every relevant t/s parameter is different. Often considerably so.

Not a bad deal at the price of course..

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Yeah, I noticed that. Was figuring that you guys were using a modified version of the Lab 15 regardless.

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post #22 of 30 Old 02-25-2016, 10:26 AM
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My Dayton SUB-1500 was $200 shipped. I would argue that good subs are unbelievably cheap right now.
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post #23 of 30 Old 02-25-2016, 10:38 AM
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A $1,000 sub probably has $600 in parts and costs $100 to ship. That leaves $300 for marketing, support, profit, warranty, etc... . Seems very reasonable to me. Everyone has to eat.
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post #24 of 30 Old 02-25-2016, 11:40 AM
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What I don't get is why are sub amps so expensive (and thus driving up the cost of subs). Is it a matter of supply/demand or are they just that hard to make? All the sub companies that went out of business did so because of amp defects and reliability, I've never heard any issues with the driver used, so amps seem to be the determining factor.

Is it just the difficulty of a plate amp form factor? Because you can get a variety of pro amps at different price points, such as cheap iNuke, with more than enough power, just not the form factor. It's a big reason why DIY subs are more value for money.
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post #25 of 30 Old 02-25-2016, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defcon View Post
What I don't get is why are sub amps so expensive (and thus driving up the cost of subs). Is it a matter of supply/demand or are they just that hard to make? All the sub companies that went out of business did so because of amp defects and reliability, I've never heard any issues with the driver used, so amps seem to be the determining factor.

Is it just the difficulty of a plate amp form factor? Because you can get a variety of pro amps at different price points, such as cheap iNuke, with more than enough power, just not the form factor. It's a big reason why DIY subs are more value for money.
I don't know that much about electronics.

If you know a thing or 2 about computer power supply units (PSUs), you will see that for the same wattage, fanless PSUs are much more expensive than regular PSUs. Fanless PSUs have higher efficiency. This means less heat is generated, better, more heat resistant capacitors/resistors are used... Better numbers and more $$$.

iNuke amps have fans, while Ice Power Amps do not. INuke amps probably only have 1 year warranty and Ice Power Amps come with 2 year warranty. Then Ice Power Amps are very efficient and generate clean power. This would be the product of better design / better parts used... etc.

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post #26 of 30 Old 02-25-2016, 01:02 PM
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^^ Why are sub amps so cheap? That would be my take. There are stereo amplifiers that can cost thousands of dollars or tens of thousands of dollars. Companies that go under aren’t caused by one type of mishap (like a rash of bad amps), but by many blunders, including not having enough financial backing to weather the many storms ahead.

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post #27 of 30 Old 02-25-2016, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chucky7 View Post
I'm just listing the known material cost for the OP to prove that a good subwoofer requires parts that are much more expensive. Parts-express is a good source for the parts.

PE has The Eminence 15" driver on sale for $ 198. Yes, I know it's a buy out so it does not reflect fair market value. PSA uses Eminence 15" drivers. It of course is not the very same driver that PSA uses.

Since I don't know how much 700W Ice Power Amps or 600W Bash Amp cost, I used the The Dayton Audio SPA500 500W subwoofer amp, which AFAIK, is not currently used by any of the ID sub companies that we recommend here.

So if subwoofer parts are even more expensive, it further proves my point that the material cost are higher for subs than regular speakers.
I know and I am agreeing with your point, but I was just clarifying what the actual components cost. Mark Seaton sells the 725watt Ice amp for 400.00, Tom at PSA charges 275.00 for the SE upgrade, which consists of a Custom Lab 15 and amp recalibration. I am sure he is passing some savings on to the return customer. Still it is a safe bet that if you wanted to replicate building any of these 15" ID subs using a ICE amp, you are going to be north of 800.00. So in the grand scheme of things we the consumer are getting a great deal on a high quality product.
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post #28 of 30 Old 02-25-2016, 11:46 PM
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Why are they so expensive?
Because: CEO's have to pay for their Lambo's and posh Golf some-how...
Thanks for making the 1% that much richer and you poorer. Sharing is caring! (Just don't expect them to EVER share back, you get rich by hoarding troves of money and not ever giving it away. )

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now, I wouldn't even consider anything else.
Once they go DIY, they never go back!
(Innuendo intended )

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post #29 of 30 Old 02-26-2016, 03:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defcon View Post
What I don't get is why are sub amps so expensive (and thus driving up the cost of subs). Is it a matter of supply/demand or are they just that hard to make? All the sub companies that went out of business did so because of amp defects and reliability, I've never heard any issues with the driver used, so amps seem to be the determining factor.

Is it just the difficulty of a plate amp form factor? Because you can get a variety of pro amps at different price points, such as cheap iNuke, with more than enough power, just not the form factor. It's a big reason why DIY subs are more value for money.

Just think about what a sub amp has to go through (being mounted to the back of a giant square vibrator) and you then get an idea as to why. They have to be crazy durable, and have to be over engineered just to be able to stand up to the punishment.

Add to that, dropping several hundred watts into some crazy loads, and well...

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post #30 of 30 Old 02-26-2016, 07:33 AM
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Here's a good reason to get a good, low-freq sub
http://www.cnet.com/news/engineering...re-with-sound/
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