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post #1 of 68 Old 11-09-2016, 02:00 AM - Thread Starter
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9 Things to Consider When Shopping for a Subwoofer

The holidays are fast approaching, and for many AV enthusiasts that means it's a time to think about the next big upgrade to their system. If you already own a good AVR and are happy with your speakers, one of the best paths to improved system performance is to add or upgrade a subwoofer or two (or three, or four).

Accurately reproducing deep bass at visceral volume levels is a crucial component to achieving the sense of escape that comes with suspension of disbelief. However, subwoofers span a bewildering gamut of price points, designs, and capabilities, from the familiar "cone in a cube," to infinite-baffle systems, to in-wall subwoofers, to tapped horns, and even designs that use a fan. While I'd love to cover all those options in one article, the focus here will be on standalone subwoofers—the most common type.

Whether you're looking for your first serious sub or are considering an upgrade to the system of your dreams, here's a handy list of things to think about when you're shopping for a subwoofer.


1. One Subwoofer or Multiple Subs?

- Most experts agree that using multiple, well-placed subs can result in more even bass response throughout a room than one sub can achieve. I recommend spending some time in the Subwoofers, Bass, and Transducers forum talking it out with AVS forum members who have experience putting together multi-sub systems.

- Many people have space for only one sub. Others have permission to purchase only one subwoofer. In these instances, get the best one you can afford.

- In a system with two or more subwoofers, the overall performance of the system is more important than the performance of each individual sub. With multiple subs, you might not need as powerful a model as you would with only one.

- Every time you double the number of subwoofers in a system, you increase output by 6 dB (assuming they are playing at the same level). As a result, you can decrease the overall subwoofer level, and each one needn't work so hard to achieve a given volume in the room.

- With a single subwoofer, you can use EQ to optimize bass response for one seat or a small area, but not for a larger audience such as a home theater with multiple rows.

- If you have a home theater with multiple seats and rows, you'll get the best bass response using multiple subwoofers.

- If you deploy multiple subs, they don't all have to be the same model. However, they should be similar in terms of capability.


2. Sealed, Ported, Passive Radiator, Horn-Loaded, Infinite Baffle

- Sealed subwoofers are the simplest design, typically consisting of either one or two drivers mounted in an airtight enclosure.

- If you're looking for compact subwoofer, sealed is the way to go.

- Ported subwoofers rely on a tuned port to amplify bass response at a specific resonance frequency.

- Some ported subs include more than one port, and you can put a plug in one or another port to change the tuning.

- Passive radiators are drivers with no voice coil; they vibrate in response to changing air pressure within the enclosure. They behave similarly to ports, converting energy that would otherwise be lost into extra bass output at whatever frequency they are tuned to.

- Subwoofers that feature passive radiators tend to cost a bit more than similar sealed or ported subs.

- Inexpensive ported subwoofers tend to have high tuning frequencies that compromise performance; if your budget is low, it's probably better to stick with sealed subs.

- Some sealed subs use multiple drivers in a force-cancelling configuration where the cones are facing in opposite directions. This is a very effective design for getting a lot of clean output from a small box, but models that implement it tend to be pricey.

- Large, ported subwoofers often represent the best bang for the buck for home-theater applications.

- Horn-loaded subs place a horn in front of the driver and offer high sensitivity, but they take up quite a bit of space.

- Infinite-baffle subwoofers consist of raw drivers that are typically installed in basements or attics and use that space as a giant enclosure. They can also use an adjacent room to that effect. This type of system can generate bass that is very clean and deep, but it can be very expensive.


3. Output and Low-Frequency Extension

- Output refers to how loud a subwoofer can play, measured in dB SPL (decibels sound pressure level).

- Bass extension refers to the lowest frequency a subwoofer can reproduce at a certain level, measured in Hz (hertz).

- Peak output, continuous output, and low-frequency extension are key specs in determining if a subwoofer is right for your application.

- Typically, humans can hear down to 20 Hz, but subwoofers that play clean down to this frequency are not cheap.

- 16 Hz is the lowest frequency used in classical music; subwoofers that can play clean and loud down to 16 Hz are comparatively rare, but the effect they create is awe-inspiring.

- If you use a subwoofer mostly with music, the output and bass extension you need depends on the genres you listen to and the volume level you typically use. Hip-hop and electronic music demand deeper extension than most orchestral, rock, folk, or jazz recordings. Some compact subs can play very deep, just not at earth-shattering levels.

- Many movies, especially action flicks, include lots of very low-frequency content such as explosions, rockets, etc., and these sounds are normally intended to be played pretty loud. For this application, a sub that has low bass extension and high output is ideal, though satisfying both criteria can be expensive.

- Unless you play music and movies at extremely high levels, you'll probably get more satisfaction out of a subwoofer that offers good low-frequency extension but modest output, as opposed to a subwoofer that offers limited low-frequency extension but a lot of output at higher frequencies.


4. Driver and Cabinet Size

- It's easier to get more and deeper bass out of a larger sub. If you have the room, you will get more bang for your buck with large subs.

- Typically, sealed subwoofers are smaller than ported subs.

- The size of the driver is only one factor in how well a subwoofer performs.

- You won't find subs with 18" and larger drivers in stores, but they are available for folks who need massive quantities of bass from online sources and DIY suppliers.

- Depending on the size and shape of your room, it may be easier to fit two or three smaller subs than one large sub.


5. Powered or Passive?

- A powered subwoofer has amplification built-in. Passive subs rely on external amplification.

- The vast majority of manufactured, standalone subwoofers are powered.

- Powered subs typically include controls to blend the sub with the speaker system, such as volume, phase, and a lowpass filter.

- DIY subwoofers are often passive designs and rely on external amplification. However, DIYers can choose to use a plate amp that attaches to the cabinet if they want to build a powered sub.

- Infinite-baffle subwoofers and other types on in-wall subs are typically passive, relying on external amps and DSP to integrate properly with speaker systems.

- Standalone passive subs are more common in the world of pro audio than consumer audio.


6. Features and Controls

- Entry-level subwoofers often offer only one line-level input and a couple of controls such as volume and lowpass filter. Typically, these are found on the rear of the unit where they are hard to reach. Subs with controls on the front panel are much easier to adjust.

- More advanced subwoofers offer features like stereo inputs, highpass outputs, and variable phase control.

- Top-of-the-line subwoofers feature balanced XLR connections that reject noise and are good for long cable runs.

- If you are using a subwoofer in a 2-channel system that does not offer preamp outputs, then you should look for a sub that offers speaker-level inputs.

- Some subwoofers, such as ELAC's S10EQ and S12EQ models as well as SVS Sound's 16-Ultra series, let you control various parameters with a smartphone app; this can be very useful for making adjustments.

- Subs with built-in EQ are recommended for audio systems that don't offer that functionality as part of the AVR's or pre/pro's feature set.

- If your AVR or pre/pro offers sub EQ, you can avoid that redundant feature in the sub itself and potentially save some money.

- MiniDSP makes a series of products such as the miniDSP 2X4 ($105) that make it easy to EQ subwoofers and perform bass management, with very fine control over parameters.


7. Music vs Movies

- Movies tend to be more demanding than music when it comes to the deepest bass frequencies. If you are a home-cinema nut, it makes sense to prioritize bass extension and output above size and aesthetics.

- Ported subs are much more efficient than sealed subs at their tuning frequency. To get maximum bang for your buck in a home-theater sub, look for a ported model tuned nice and low, preferably under 20 Hz.

- There is no such thing as a subwoofer that's better for music or home theater. If it performs poorly in one application, it's sure to perform poorly in the other.

- Some audiophiles reject subwoofers altogether, but it's rare that a properly integrated subwoofer or two won't improve a system's performance.

- Music lovers looking to extend the bass performance of bookshelf speakers may find that a compact sealed sub is all they need.


8. The DIY Option

- Do you have woodworking skills and a desire to take on challenging project? The DIY community on AVS Forum can show you another way to bass bliss.

- Kits make it easy to build your own subs if you don't have woodworking skills.

- The savings of the DIY approach increase when you get into building multiple subwoofers or very large and powerful subwoofers.

- DIY is obviously not plug and play; if you want a subwoofer that works from the get-go, you need to buy something that's already been assembled.


9. Budget and Recommendations

- Subwoofers don't have to cost a fortune, see this list in AVS Forum for a wide variety of subs priced under $300.

- For under a hundred bucks, you can get the #1 best-selling subwoofer on Amazon.com, the Polk Audio 10" PSW10 ($88). Frequency response is specified at 35 Hz to 200 Hz, with a -3 dB point of 40 Hz; that's deep enough to add oomph to bookshelf or satellite speakers. Another inexpensive option is the Monoprice 12" #9723 ($108), which was singled out by thewirecutter.com as the best budget subwoofer. While you should not expect miracles from an ultra-budget subwoofer, it's surprising how much performance you can buy for around a hundred bucks these days.

- In the zone between $100 and $400, you'll find numerous viable options. The Bic Acoustech PL-200 12" sub ($250) gets mentioned quite often and promises a frequency response from 22 to 200 Hz at a rather low price. The Dayton Audio SUB-1500 15" 150-watt sub ($200) is large and heavy, and it will get you down to 24 Hz without breaking the bank; it too has received much positive feedback.

- The Klipsch Reference 10" R-10SW ($350) offers a frequency response from 32 Hz to 120 Hz (+/-3 dB) in a compact enclosure. Another option under $400 is the Definitive Technology ProSub 1000 ($375), which is often cited as a great performer, even if the specified frequency response from 18 to 150 Hz is a bit optimistic.

- At prices between $400 and $1000, there is an incredible variety of subs in all shapes and sizes. The SVS PB2000 ($800) brings impressive output and infrasonic capability to the table, as does the Klipsch R-115SW ($900), the Hsu VTF-15H MK2 ($900), and the Power Sound Audio 15V ($950).

- The $400-$1000 price range is also a sweet spot for DIY projects and kits; that's a rabbit hole I strongly recommend you dive into if you're interested in getting maximum bang for your dollar; check out the AVS Forum DIY Speakers and Subs section if that sounds appealing. Parts Express has the Ultimax 15" driver and cabinet bundles for $300 each. Assemble a pair of those and power them with a pro amp like a Behringer iNuke NU3000DSP ($280), and you'll have two amazing 15" sealed subs plus access to sophisticated parametric EQ, volume limiting, and crossover controls—all for under a grand.

- Above $1000, the field starts to split between luxury and capability. On the one hand, you start to see unbelievably powerful subwoofers with huge drivers, such as Seaton Sound's amazing SubMersive line and JTR Audio's Orbit Shifter ($3500 factory direct). On the flipside, you see refined luxury subs like KEF's R400b ($1700), a model that packs dual 9-inch aluminum drivers inside a stylish 14" cube, and yet it manages to dig down to 16 Hz. If price is no object, Paradigm offers the Signature Sub 2 ($9000), and if that's still not enough, JL Audio's Gotham G213 V2 sub ($15,000) is worth a listen—it's as over-the-top as luxury subwoofers get.

Subwoofers are a passion of mine, and if you are reading this it's likely they are a passion of yours as well. The topic is too complex to summarize in one listicle, which is why it's great to have the AVS Forum community as a resource. If you are so inclined, leave a comment sharing your most important considerations when shopping for a subwoofer and what models you recommend at different price points. - Mark H.

Please do not click on the Quick Reply button at the bottom of this article, which will quote the entire article in your comment without you knowing it. If you want to quote a portion of the article, click on the Quote button and delete everything that does not pertain to your comment. Otherwise, use the Quick Reply comment editor at the bottom of each page, which does not quote the original post. Thanks!

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Last edited by imagic; 11-09-2016 at 08:35 AM.
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post #2 of 68 Old 11-09-2016, 05:46 AM
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It is a bit of a shame that dual/multiple subs weren't very popular back in 2009 or I wouldn't have ended up with a single PB13. Now I much rather would have had four smaller ones but due to the weight and size of the PB13 it isn't going anywhere unless I have removls people move it again.

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post #3 of 68 Old 11-09-2016, 05:51 AM
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I second the fact that the DIY community on here is awesome..i got alot of help with my DIY sub build and i went into it clueless...
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post #4 of 68 Old 11-09-2016, 06:28 AM
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Thank you for this great post! I'm building out my first HT and this is amazing! I'm in market looking for a sub and I was deciding to stay within Budget of $300 or stretch it to $500 for something like SVS PB-1000.

In your recommendation, I see Klipsch R-10SW for about $350, and today Fry's has the R-12SW on sale for $219.. In your opinion would you suggest BIC PL-200 ($250 on Amazon) vs. Klipsch R-12SW ($219 on Fry's)
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TV: LG OLED55C6P
Speakers: KEF Q100 in 3.0 and Deftech Inwall
Subwoofers: SVS PB-1000
Receiver: Denon X3300
Sony HT-CT380, PS3, Mi Box, NAS, XBOX One S

Last edited by lon3volf; 11-09-2016 at 06:34 AM.
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post #5 of 68 Old 11-09-2016, 07:58 AM
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Mark,

This is a great primer on getting started with Subs (actually good for a "re-read" for those of us who have learned the hard way).
Keep up the good work!

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post #6 of 68 Old 11-09-2016, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lon3volf View Post
Thank you for this great post! I'm building out my first HT and this is amazing! I'm in market looking for a sub and I was deciding to stay within Budget of $300 or stretch it to $500 for something like SVS PB-1000.

In your recommendation, I see Klipsch R-10SW for about $350, and today Fry's has the R-12SW on sale for $219.. In your opinion would you suggest BIC PL-200 ($250 on Amazon) vs. Klipsch R-12SW ($219 on Fry's)
That's a tough call because the BIC is better spec'd in basically every category, and now that they've been around for a while they are a known quantity with a mature owners thread. The main thing is, they appear to be reliable. However, at the same time, the sale price of the Klipsch is attractive. I have not had a chance to compare these subs in a meaningful way, unfortunately. Sorry I can't help more but maybe someone else reading this has direct experience with both.

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post #7 of 68 Old 11-09-2016, 12:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lon3volf View Post
Thank you for this great post! I'm building out my first HT and this is amazing! I'm in market looking for a sub and I was deciding to stay within Budget of $300 or stretch it to $500 for something like SVS PB-1000.

In your recommendation, I see Klipsch R-10SW for about $350, and today Fry's has the R-12SW on sale for $219.. In your opinion would you suggest BIC PL-200 ($250 on Amazon) vs. Klipsch R-12SW ($219 on Fry's)
I owned the R-12SW a few months back , bought it for about $400 out the door from Best Buy....Would I do it again for $400 ? No....For $219 yes! I havent heard the PB-1000 , but I do currently run 2 PC-2000's and there is a night and day difference from the R-12...Instead of the 1 pb-1000 , 2 R-12sw would be under the $500 and I imagine 2 of them would probably sound alot better than the one that I had....
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post #8 of 68 Old 11-09-2016, 06:50 PM
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Hello all,

Long time reader/lurker, first time poster.

Current equipment in a 7.1 system:
Front L&R speakers - Klipsch KF-28
Center - Klipsch KC-25
Surrounds - rbh A-815L (ceiling mounted)
Sub - Mirage FRX-S12
Pioneer SC-1223
Epson 5030ub and 110" Vapex motorized screen
Panasonic TC-P65GT30 wall mounted behind screen

I'm looking to upgrade my subwoofer. I was wanting to stay around the $1k mark. I've been doing a lot of research and am considering the HSU VTF-15H MK2 and the Klipsch R115sw. Both subs have great reviews on here and by reviewers like Brent Butterworth.

The HSU seems to be "better" based on specs but they seem pretty close. At normal pricing, the HSU is $899 plus $148 shipping totaling $1,047. The Klipsch is normally also $899 but with free shipping.

At normal pricing, I'm pretty sure I would go with the HSU mainly because of the specs but the Klipsch is available for $719 right now, still with free shipping, for a little over $300 savings.

I would say my wife and I use the system for about 85% movies and 15% music.

I'm a big "best bang for the buck" guy and am wondering how much of a difference I'd notice between the two subs taking into account the Klipsch's $300+ savings.

I realize sound is very subjective to each individual. I've got friends that spent MUCH more for their LCR speakers than I did but, to me, they didn't sound different enough to justify the extra cost over what I purchased. Again, different for each person.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!
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post #9 of 68 Old 11-09-2016, 09:22 PM
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10. How much do you hate your neighbors?

Samsung QN55Q8FN / Pioneer Elite SC-81 AV Receiver/ Outlaw 5000 Amplifier/ ELAC Uni-Fi B5 Book Shelves/ SVS PB-1000 Subwoofer/ Roku Ultra / Bluesound Node 2 / iFi SPDIF iPurifier/ MiniDSP 2x4 HD
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10. How much do you hate your neighbors?
I imagine mine hate me quite a bit. I can feel my living room floor buckle when my PSA subs hit a deep note.
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post #11 of 68 Old 11-10-2016, 05:49 AM
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Years ago I bought a pair of AV123 15" subs, and they could not fill my large living space. I toyed with the idea of an Elemental Designs 'casket', a ~400lb dual 18" sub to replace them. But the massive size and weight were daunting. I now have qty4 18" subs, each in a corner, powered by a central amp. I am in love with this setup!

Some advantages of a central amp:
Only one outlet/plug necessary - no need for outlets mear each sub
Subs only have one wire
Short signal run has less chance to degrade or accumulate noise/hum
Easy control/upgrade path for sub box/drivers/amp
Quick access to physical signal level (I use an EP4000 with qty2 level knobs) in case a particular movie is too loud or soft
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post #12 of 68 Old 11-10-2016, 05:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by WHATTHEDILEO View Post
Years ago I bought a pair of AV123 15" subs, and they could not fill my large living space. I toyed with the idea of an Elemental Designs 'casket', a ~400lb dual 18" sub to replace them. But the massive size and weight were daunting. I now have qty4 18" subs, each in a corner, powered by a central amp. I am in love with this setup!

Some advantages of a central amp:
Only one outlet/plug necessary - no need for outlets mear each sub
Subs only have one wire
Short signal run has less chance to degrade or accumulate noise/hum
Easy control/upgrade path for sub box/drivers/amp
Quick access to physical signal level (I use an EP4000 with qty2 level knobs) in case a particular movie is too loud or soft
It's a great way to go, nice points about the advantages in dealing with cables.

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post #13 of 68 Old 11-10-2016, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by yippiechicken View Post
Hello all,

Long time reader/lurker, first time poster.

Current equipment in a 7.1 system:
Front L&R speakers - Klipsch KF-28
Center - Klipsch KC-25
Surrounds - rbh A-815L (ceiling mounted)
Sub - Mirage FRX-S12
Pioneer SC-1223
Epson 5030ub and 110" Vapex motorized screen
Panasonic TC-P65GT30 wall mounted behind screen

I'm looking to upgrade my subwoofer. I was wanting to stay around the $1k mark. I've been doing a lot of research and am considering the HSU VTF-15H MK2 and the Klipsch R115sw. Both subs have great reviews on here and by reviewers like Brent Butterworth.

The HSU seems to be "better" based on specs but they seem pretty close. At normal pricing, the HSU is $899 plus $148 shipping totaling $1,047. The Klipsch is normally also $899 but with free shipping.

At normal pricing, I'm pretty sure I would go with the HSU mainly because of the specs but the Klipsch is available for $719 right now, still with free shipping, for a little over $300 savings.

I would say my wife and I use the system for about 85% movies and 15% music.

I'm a big "best bang for the buck" guy and am wondering how much of a difference I'd notice between the two subs taking into account the Klipsch's $300+ savings.

I realize sound is very subjective to each individual. I've got friends that spent MUCH more for their LCR speakers than I did but, to me, they didn't sound different enough to justify the extra cost over what I purchased. Again, different for each person.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!
For $950 you can get two PB-1000 SVS ported sub which is phenomenal for Movies. I listened to it for a good time at near by Sound and Vision. If you dont have space for two subs, consider PB-2000 at $700. You will thank me.

Edit: Also SVS is based out of Ohio, provide 60 days price match, you can trade in your Subs within a year for an upgrade and they give full credit for your current sub, 5 year unconditional warranty, AMERICAN Made! Nobody can beat this.

Not to mention, from specs stand point, again you will thank me.

TV: LG OLED55C6P
Speakers: KEF Q100 in 3.0 and Deftech Inwall
Subwoofers: SVS PB-1000
Receiver: Denon X3300
Sony HT-CT380, PS3, Mi Box, NAS, XBOX One S
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post #14 of 68 Old 11-10-2016, 06:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lon3volf View Post
For $950 you can get two PB-1000 SVS ported sub which is phenomenal for Movies. I listened to it for a good time at near by Sound and Vision. If you dont have space for two subs, consider PB-2000 at $700. You will thank me.

Edit: Also SVS is based out of Ohio, provide 60 days price match, you can trade in your Subs within a year for an upgrade and they give full credit for your current sub, 5 year unconditional warranty, AMERICAN Made! Nobody can beat this.

Not to mention, from specs stand point, again you will thank me.
SVS PB-2000 and Klipsch R115SW are extremely similar performers, but the points on the SVS warranty and trade-in and plus the no-risk trial are all worth including in the equation. That said, from a pure price/performance perspective the Klipsch is also competitive.
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post #15 of 68 Old 11-10-2016, 08:02 AM
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A note of caution,

Roaming to the DIY sub side is like a teenager looking for a movie date for Saturday night and going to the Mustang Ranch--you might get more than you want

If you want to give it a go, use a driver that can operate sealed, ported or (just because) horn loaded. This allows changing the enclosure with your needs or what you spouse allows you to get away with. For instance, an Alpine SWS-15 in a 3 cubic foot sealed box can be changed to a 7 cubic foot ported box at 18Hz--or, if you go overkill--a 6 foot tall tapped horn tuned to 17Hz.

That way if you wife divorces you for putting two tapped horns in the living room, the drivers can be removed and put in two 2 cubic foot sealed boxes for your van down by the river.
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post #16 of 68 Old 11-10-2016, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

- If you are using a subwoofer in a 2-channel system that does not offer preamp outputs, then you should look for a sub that offers speaker-level inputs.

[/I]
Great article! Informative and concise. Really gets one focused. My question is related to the above quote. I have a Nad C370 Int Amp. Rather than use extra speaker wire for the speaker-level inputs, what do you think about using the Harrison Lab PF Mod passive xover, then connecting to the line inputs? This may be a ridiculous question; I guess I'll find out. Thanks.
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post #17 of 68 Old 11-10-2016, 05:43 PM
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Thanks for this great article
Very well written and easy to understand.


Lots of very good information's, this should be put as a sticky on the subwoofer and transducer page!


All the new people getting into this hobby (and some not so new), would have a great starting point for what to look for.


Ray
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post #18 of 68 Old 11-10-2016, 05:52 PM
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shipping/return policies
warranty
max spl
size
finish
dsp
remote control/phone app

price

Power: Marantz sr7008, NAD C 275Bee x 2, Video: Oppo 103, Samsung 75un6300
Speakers: Focal aria 948, Focal cc900, Klipsch synergy KSF 10.5, Magnepan LRS
Subs: Rythmik FV25HP, Rythmik FV15HP
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post #19 of 68 Old 11-10-2016, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torii View Post
shipping/return policies
warranty
max spl
size
finish
dsp
remote control/phone app

price

All good questions


But at one point, people need to do some homework with a starting point.


All those questions, could be ask in a new sticky threads.
And this is where, we can all chime in, as members.


Ray
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post #20 of 68 Old 11-10-2016, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yippiechicken View Post

The HSU seems to be "better" based on specs but they seem pretty close. At normal pricing, the HSU is $899 plus $148 shipping totaling $1,047. The Klipsch is normally also $899 but with free shipping.

At normal pricing, I'm pretty sure I would go with the HSU mainly because of the specs but the Klipsch is available for $719 right now, still with free shipping, for a little over $300 savings.

I'm a big "best bang for the buck" guy and am wondering how much of a difference I'd notice between the two subs taking into account the Klipsch's $300+ savings.

I realize sound is very subjective to each individual. I've got friends that spent MUCH more for their LCR speakers than I did but, to me, they didn't sound different enough to justify the extra cost over what I purchased. Again, different for each person.
Very good question. I've been asking myself this question alot lately wondering how much of a difference us regular guys (and girls) would notice over other systems that cost a few hundred more. Like are they really worth the extra money to non-audiophiles?!
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post #21 of 68 Old 11-11-2016, 09:32 AM
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Good info! Imo DIY is the way to go...I have very limited to no woodworking skills/limited tools and glad I went this route...great route if you have a dedicated space...I know if it was in my living room, probably would NOT go diy. Was skeptical, but ended up doing diy for everything except front stage...6 subs and 4 surrounds. Unbelievable value. I owe great thanks to the diy community!
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post #22 of 68 Old 11-11-2016, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mrcoop View Post
Good info! Imo DIY is the way to go...I have very limited to no woodworking skills/limited tools and glad I went this route...great route if you have a dedicated space...I know if it was in my living room, probably would NOT go diy. Was skeptical, but ended up doing diy for everything except front stage...6 subs and 4 surrounds. Unbelievable value.
Awesome. DIY can be amazingly rewarding and cost effective when it comes to subwoofer systems, glad it worked out.

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post #23 of 68 Old 11-14-2016, 02:37 PM
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This Multiple subs is a bigger scam then valentines day

Have a sub that shakes my house and blows me away and I am supposed to spend another 2K on a sub for my wife who sits 1 feet away who could care less about sound or the 2 times a year someone else comes over that sits a few feet from "listening position 1"? This multiple subs is from either sub-woofer companies or a home theater nut who has money to burn...

I bought an SVS PB13 ultra cause I am somewhat of a nut for $1100 used but the $400 DIY Soundstream 18" shook my house just as much but it didn't rattle the windows like my SVS that's really the only difference. If you can afford it love my SVS if you can't do DIY for a lot cheaper...just my .02 cents...

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Klipsch Original RF-7s LCR & Surrounds, RS-7 Ceiling Atmos YES!! [/SIZE])
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post #24 of 68 Old 11-14-2016, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by derreckla View Post
Have a sub that shakes my house and blows me away and I am supposed to spend another 2K on a sub for my wife who sits 1 feet away who could care less about sound or the 2 times a year someone else comes over that sits a few feet from "listening position 1"? This multiple subs is from either sub-woofer companies or a home theater nut who has money to burn...

I bought an SVS PB13 ultra cause I am somewhat of a nut for $1100 used but the $400 DIY Soundstream 18" shook my house just as much but it didn't rattle the windows like my SVS that's really the only difference. If you can afford it love my SVS if you can't do DIY for a lot cheaper...just my .02 cents...
Even basic measurements reveal the advantages of using multiple subwoofers, there's no voodoo or marketing to it. You get a better result, but it costs more.

Last edited by imagic; 11-14-2016 at 07:23 PM.
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post #25 of 68 Old 11-14-2016, 06:46 PM
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Well, ordered the HSU VTF-15H MK2 today. It should arrive this Thursday. Excited to give it a listen in my room!
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post #26 of 68 Old 11-14-2016, 08:07 PM
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it it better to go sealed when you have neighbors below you? Want the PB2000, but worried it would cause issues downstairs.
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post #27 of 68 Old 11-14-2016, 08:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ultraman352 View Post
it it better to go sealed when you have neighbors below you? Want the PB2000, but worried it would cause issues downstairs.
Sealed doesn't go as low, so from that standpoint the neighbors won't hear as much.
But neither will you.
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post #28 of 68 Old 11-15-2016, 12:41 PM
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

3. Output and Low-Frequency Extension

- Output refers to how loud a subwoofer can play, measured in dB SPL (decibels sound pressure level).

- Bass extension refers to the lowest frequency a subwoofer can reproduce at a certain level, measured in Hz (hertz).

- Peak output, continuous output, and low-frequency extension are key specs in determining if a subwoofer is right for your application.

- Typically, humans can hear down to 20 Hz, but subwoofers that play clean down to this frequency are not cheap.

- 16 Hz is the lowest frequency used in classical music; subwoofers that can play clean and loud down to 16 Hz are comparatively rare, but the effect they create is awe-inspiring.

- If you use a subwoofer mostly with music, the output and bass extension you need depends on the genres you listen to and the volume level you typically use. Hip-hop and electronic music demand deeper extension than most orchestral, rock, folk, or jazz recordings. Some compact subs can play very deep, just not at earth-shattering levels.

- Many movies, especially action flicks, include lots of very low-frequency content such as explosions, rockets, etc., and these sounds are normally intended to be played pretty loud. For this application, a sub that has low bass extension and high output is ideal, though satisfying both criteria can be expensive.

- Unless you play music and movies at extremely high levels, you'll probably get more satisfaction out of a subwoofer that offers good low-frequency extension but modest output, as opposed to a subwoofer that offers limited low-frequency extension but a lot of output at higher frequencies.
Nice guide - I think it applies to me! I'm shopping to upgrade from a Dayton Sub-1200 (which I think was very good for it's cost...).

HOW does one determine if a sub has "good low-frequency extension but modest output"? Is it the +/-3dB frequency spec? How do we tell if it is "moderate output"? I thought the frequency plots were typically normalized to something like 80dB, but I'm not even sure I understand that exactly... So, how do we compare?

How DARE you question my ignorance!?!
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post #29 of 68 Old 11-16-2016, 02:09 PM
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Any opinions on user a receiver's built in room correction vs. a sub with correction vs a "manual" correction like all the phase delay etc. that can be found a SuperNova sub?
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post #30 of 68 Old 11-17-2016, 01:20 PM
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I sold all my SVS subs recently and got into DIY 18's. Not even in the same league! Down the rabbit hole I go...
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