$3,000 subs to "casually" get to reference - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 17 Old 09-07-2017, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
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$3,000 subs to "casually" get to reference

Subwoofer decision time!

tl;dr… What non-ugly subs will get me close to reference for less than $3,000 in a 2,222 cubic foot (62.9 cubic metre) room?

Edit: Please note that I am not located in the US. I am near Dubai. Assume an additional $2,000 for shipping costs ($1,000 per sub) (i'll try to get this lowered)

Now for some context and and ALL of my info… (feel free to skip to suggestions if you don't have time to read)

I'm setting up a small, casual seating, cinema room at home. I have already chosen speakers (Procella) and have wired for 5.1.2. I need help choosing subs to match. (Please don't suggest dual Orbit Shifters )

"Design" goals for the sound system:
  • Ideal/stretch goal: Immersive full-range audio (movies & music) for all main seats. Ability to hit reference SPL at main listening position (MLP) without distortion. Aesthetically pleasing integration, i.e. good-looking or concealed subs... Also, some cake please
  • Minimum requirement: Good and even subwoofer levels at all seats. Get within 6db of reference level playback (my actual listening levels are closer to -12db or -15db, but I'm aiming high). Non-ugly subs.

My Procella speakers (P6 in baffle wall & P5 surrounds/P5iW in-ceiling) should be able to hit reference with just a higher-end mainstream AV receiver (should do reference with ease if I do pre/pro). I would like for the subs to keep up.

Room size and layout:
  • Sealed small rectangular room with 2,222 cubic feet (62.9 cubic metres)
  • 20ft width X 11ft depth X 9ft height. (6.17m X 3.40m X 3m)
  • Screen is along the longer side of the room. This allows for a single row of seating (long U shaped sofa) and a short distance to screen/LCR of 9ft (2.75 metres) from the main listening position.
  • All walls are solid (cinder block type construction), but three corners have doors and there are two regular sized windows behind the seating area. The MLP is 2.5ft (0.75 metres) from the back wall.

I'll attach a rough layout. Will update with a proper one later.

Aesthetics: The LCR speakers will be hidden behind the screen, the atmos/height speakers flush mounted in the ceiling with the surround being the only speakers currently on display (stand-mounted or on wall brackets).

Listening Content: 80% movies (all types, but mostly sci-fi, horror & drama), 15% music (Jazz, Rock, Classical), 5% TV series.

Preferences: I have yet to see a non-ugly ported sub that our interior designer would approve, so I have only considered sealed subs so far. Also, "I'm assuming" for the kind of content I watch good SPL and dynamics above 35hz is more important than extreme low frequency extension into the teens.

Limitations. I don't live in the States and there are few places nearby to audition subs (or speakers in general). Assume $1,000 per speaker in shipping costs when thinking about relative value for now (each manufacturer will be different depending on local distribution or if I import). As a result, no returns and it would cost a lot of money to change a sub I was unhappy with, therefore reliability, build quality and choosing well are key. This is a long term purchase. Aiming for 10+ years use.

Budget (excluding shipping & electronics): Aiming for $2,800. I would like to keep it under $3,000 if possible. Less is better if I can reach my goals. Don't worry too much about breaking out detailed pricing as my costs will be very different from US. I will budget separately for electronics (miniDSP, DSpeaker Anti Mode, etc...)

Subwoofers I am considering at the moment:
  1. A pair of SVS SB-2000 (black piano finish), or;
  2. A pair of SVS SB-13 Ultra (black piano finish), or;
  3. A pair of Power Sound Audio S1500 (Espresso finish)

Looking at the CEA 2010 numbers and data-bass.com the latter two pairs seem like they should hit reference in my room easily. Would a pair of SVS SB-2000 also make it?

What other subs should I consider? Which would you choose in my place? The SVS have very ugly grills, but I can take them off when I have people over. More importantly, am I on the right track performance wise and what am I missing? Do they sound good?

Passive Options:
Are there any passive in-wall or low-profile options that are competitive (sound-wise)? I can put the shipping cost savings towards cheap class-d external amplification. Procella has some pricey subs but have one price globally which is good and I liked the way their subs sounded (dynamic?) when I auditioned their speakers. I would consider alternatives. I can also order QSC, Pro Audio Technology, JBL and JL Audio through dealers locally (actually in a nearby city), but no auditions. I can drive and pick those up so will save part of shipping, but we're talking more money overall.

I'm new to all of this. This is my first "proper" home theatre, but I'm willing to learn. I've just bought Dr. Floyd Toole's book and have actually started reading it and messing around with REW sims.

Learning fast from all of your posts and experiences. I only wish I got into this earlier and had more time to plan, but converting the extra room to a casual theatre was a last minute decision and we're at the latter stages of a home renovation.

P.S. Please spend my money wisely! It's a lot of money for me and I worked hard for it
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Last edited by Uppsalaing; 09-09-2017 at 09:21 AM. Reason: location added. shipping costs added.
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post #2 of 17 Old 09-07-2017, 04:25 PM
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For the size of room you have, there are a lot of choices available which can meet your requirements. If I was making the purchase for you, at the top of my list would be two Rythmik FV15HP in black matte finish. These are ported subs and should be able to get you 10Hz performance, 110dB in that room, at $2560 shipped to you. If you must have sealed subs I would get two Ryhtmik F15HP subs. They would probably get you to 12Hz performance, approach 110dB and would cost $2334 for a pair delivered.

But if I were ordering the subs for you I would get you the FV15HPs.
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Packing a lot of sound into a small room.
268 square feet/2144 cubic feet
7.2 surround sound.
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post #3 of 17 Old 09-07-2017, 04:32 PM
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get some sealed 18's...maybe seaton? rythmik, psa, jtr...

in smaller sized spaces sealed can dig low(lots of room gain)

I like the looks of seaton...but I like rythmik because they sound very clean/musical...you said 80% home theater so i bet most will make you happy.
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post #4 of 17 Old 09-07-2017, 05:08 PM
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First sentence in your post should have been " I don't live in the States and there are few places nearby to audition subs (or speakers in general)." Not living in America and not knowing where you live handcuffs any possible advice given or budget exchange rates.
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Subs>RBH I-12e/I-12. HSU VTF-15H mk2. Monolith THX 12(x2)/THX 10(x2). XTZ 1X12. SVS PB-1000(x2). Speakers>JBL Studio 530/520c, 270/235c/230/225c, Arena 130/125c. Jamo S807/S803. Pioneer FS52/BS22A/C22. Sony CS3/CS8/CS5. QA 3020i/3090Ci, 2020i/2000c. Monolith AM Cinema 5 bs. Polk RTiA1/CsiA4. Infinity R152. Other Audio>Sony MDR-Z7m2, WH-XB700, XB32, XB31.RBH EP1. Logitech GPro HS. Plantronics RIG 500 Pro HS. LG FH6,RK8,PK5,PH4. UE Boom3.
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post #5 of 17 Old 09-07-2017, 05:32 PM
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When you say you're not in the "states", by chance are you in Canada?

...if so, Funk Audio ...based just outside of Vancouver B.C.
makes some of the finest custom "non-ugly" subs you could hope to own.

I have a pair of Nathan's sealed 18.0's finished in Walnut,
but he can apply almost any finish you can dream of.





My room is about the same size as yours,
The 18.0 has a 2.4k watt amp (4.8kw peak)
and can easily dig down to 10Hz in room

Send Nathan an email for a personalized quote to meet your needs,
he's pretty good at working with his customers to get the best product to meet your needs.



a Lot more pics here: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-su...l#post50804481


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post #6 of 17 Old 09-07-2017, 06:26 PM
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I doubt either of the SVS options you listed will get you Reference Level playback volumes, and PSA S1500s most likely wouldn't either (under 30hz anyway)
At a minimum I'd be looking at dual PSA S3000i's, should do great in your moderately small, sealed room
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TV: Panasonic P65ST60 AVR: Denon 4311ci Speakers: PSA MTM-210C (Centre), PSA MTM-210 (Left & Right), PSA MT-110 (Surrounds) Subwoofers: Dual Seaton SubMersives
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post #7 of 17 Old 09-07-2017, 08:44 PM
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I might try to raise the budget, drop your requirement for size/aesthetics, or just focus on the MLP. Then you could get one great sub that would produce great results for you at the MLP. No one else understands/cares like you do about sound, so be selfish.

Consider a SVS PB 16.
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post #8 of 17 Old 09-07-2017, 09:00 PM
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If you factor in shipping and you can avoid shipping with JL Audio, maybe an F112 Fathom is in budget. That would be tough to beat for a small, aesthetically pleasing sub that still performs. If you are in Canada I 100% agree with the Funk Audio suggestion.
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post #9 of 17 Old 09-07-2017, 09:04 PM
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op said procella + metre ... i would bet australia ... unless by Uppsala he means Sweden

non-ugly
non-ugly ported sub that our interior designer would approve. .. hmmm. is that a wife or hired person ?
"non-ugly" is a personal preference or a WAF issue. an interior designer would have to eat my choice if they wanna get my $$$
i dont like round ports. I dont like SVS & their silly grill. i/wife dont like psa form. Seaton F18 looked aggressive in pictures but in person they're very low key and unobtrusive. JTR are usually big animals. Funk are beautiful.

its pretty easy these days - you have a list of brands, websites, pictures. ... - you can decide what you like to see, and then ... you adjust your budget .
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L/C/R - Chane 2.4, SURROUND - dayton 3in cubes *temporary
BASS - 2x Seaton F18 + JTR 1400 "the wind machine" (not port noise)
2100 ft^3

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post #10 of 17 Old 09-07-2017, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulls View Post
op said procella + metre ... i would bet australia ... unless by Uppsala he means Sweden
Checking the OP's post history, I'm guessing Dubai.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-spe...l#post54618094

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uppsalaing View Post
I have Yamaha (full range including pro audio) available to audition as well. KEF, B&W and such only have the towers and bookshelves available (I can order anything from their catalogues, but not audition). I can audition anything in Dubai speaker-wise.

What are your thoughts? Any other speakers to audition? Am I on the right track? What would you do given those restrictions?

I've learnt quite a bit over the past few days reading these forums. Still trying to catch up.
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post #11 of 17 Old 09-07-2017, 09:41 PM
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metre meter canada dubai ... eh. close enough.
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display - vizio p65
AVR x4300h +lepai 2ch amp = 7.2.4
L/C/R - Chane 2.4, SURROUND - dayton 3in cubes *temporary
BASS - 2x Seaton F18 + JTR 1400 "the wind machine" (not port noise)
2100 ft^3
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post #12 of 17 Old 09-08-2017, 01:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PioManiac View Post
When you say you're not in the "states", by chance are you in Canada?

...if so, Funk Audio ...based just outside of Vancouver B.C.
makes some of the finest custom "non-ugly" subs you could hope to own.

I have a pair of Nathan's sealed 18.0's finished in Walnut,
but he can apply almost any finish you can dream of.





My room is about the same size as yours,
The 18.0 has a 2.4k watt amp (4.8kw peak)
and can easily dig down to 10Hz in room

Send Nathan an email for a personalized quote to meet your needs,
he's pretty good at working with his customers to get the best product to meet your needs.



a Lot more pics here: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-su...l#post50804481

I'd also send David Gage of Deep Sea Sounds a message to see what he can do.

I'm a big fan of both companies
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post #13 of 17 Old 09-08-2017, 02:44 AM
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Quote:
Minimum requirement: Good and even subwoofer levels at all seats.
you need dual subs for this effect

they might be ugly because now they are $1500 each

if you can stretch the budget 2 psa 3000i would do what your asking and more
they have many aesthetic options as well

but at 110lbs each, thats a hefty shipping charge

svs has many international dealers and may have a closer option and yes 2 - sb2000 should get close to reference like you are looking for

for a single sub:
Funk audio
Jtr
Psa
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post #14 of 17 Old 09-08-2017, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Many choices! Much thanks

Wow!

Thank you all for the suggestions. You've expanded my choices and have given me a lot of things to consider.

Apologies for not mentioning that I was not Stateside at the beginning of the thread. Yes, I'm in Dubai.

It seems I'll have to figure out the shipping cost issues as it would give me much better options if I could sort that out. I would still welcome suggestions "as if" I were based in the States. It's not like they make Subwoofers here

I'll try and address each point in turn.

@They_call_me_Roto

I had only heard about Ryhtmik in passing before (only good things), but had forgotten about them. I'll read up on the F15HP and FVHP. It seems they have a custom installation series as well, so I'll have to check out whether or not that is also an option.

Your room seems similar size to mine.


@torii

That's interesting do you feel the Ryhtmiks make a big difference when it comes to music over other similar subs?

@MIX_MASTER_ICE

I appreciate that the cost/benefit ratio is different outside of the US and accurate budgeting advice is therefore not possible. That was certainly the case with speakers (which is a factor in why I ended up with Procella). Still, if you feel like it, I'd welcome your thoughts assuming that it wasn't an issue as I won't have the ability to audition the speakers and there are non-budget considerations as well. Your advice wouldn't be wasted as it seems like you have at least 4 times the subs that I'm considering

@Reddig

Thanks for the offer. I'll keep that in mind, although I might have to stick with buying new at the moment.

Funnily enough, I was on the JTR website yeaterday and for a split second was trying to rationalise getting the Captivators … "Unfortunately" reason prevailed as they're far too big... They must sound amazing paired with your JBLs. I had considered JBL for my speakers (the C211), but ended up going with smaller Procellas instead. What's the biggest difference that you notice with your subwoofer upgrade?

@PioManiac

Those Funk Audios are beautiful. My room is relatively understated, no cool guitars hanging on the wall so the subs will be noticed. As a guitarist, how do those subs sound?

@jamiebosco

I'll have to look into those PSA S3000i's. If I'm being "rational", I considered the dual SVS SB-2000s as they should be able to get within 6db of reference above 30hz assuming room gain from being against a wall and my relatively close seating distance (CEA 2010 number with my "novice" assumptions). So enough headroom for normal listening levels of -12db to -15db. But if I'm realistic, I know I want to be able to push my system a bit. Say when I have friends over who haven't seen Dunkirk and I want to do it justice

I know every room is different, but how do you find your SVS PB-2000s when pushed? I suppose the ports make a significant difference.

@gamelover360

Haha! Thanks for keeping it real. It's true that I shouldn't compromise the MLP. If I end up with a choice between one good sub or two "just ok" subs, then it might make sense to start with one solid subwoofer and then add another later. What i can't do is buy something I end up being unsatisfied with as there is not much of a secondary market here. Hopefully it doesn't come to that.

@jjackkrash

I haven't done a price/shipping cost check yet. I need to shortlist some subs first. I will make sure to include the JL Audio F112. I think the F110 might also work if the F112 ends up costing too much. I'll have to read up and make sure.

@bulls

"non-ugly" is partly my taste, but also the interior designer is a member of the household and will spwnd almost as much time in the room as I will

The Procella P5s will be exposed at the back of the room, so the subs don't have to be hidden. As you say, there's a lot of choice.. I like the way the single driver Seatons look (F18?), but they are probably out of my budget. Our rooms are similar in size. Are they overkill for your room? I have no idea how big a sub to get, so I'm measuring off getting close to reference SPL.

Size: At least one sub will be below the screen so 24 inch (60cm) height is probably my limit. I'd like to keep the depth below 18 inches (45cm) as we'll have to walk around one. No real width restriction.

@madhuski

I've looked at Deep Sea Sound's website after seeing his work on these forums and in your tasteful room. Probably out of my budget, but still an option. I also enjoyed reading about all the subs you've used. Lucky man

@littlefoott

I think you've summed up my current choices well. Also, good to hear that you think the SVS SB-2000s should pass my minimum sound requirements. At least I know I have a good fallback position.


Guys,

Here's an additional thought, are there any good large-driver in-wall subs? Assuming that they're lighter I can spend the shipping savings on amps. I'll have an 8 inch (20cm) baffle wall for the LCR. I "assume" these subs wouldn't go very low, so are these something I should be considering or with my sound priorities and shallow baffle wall am I better off with in room subs? I think the latter, but just wanted to check.

You have all been generous with yout time and experience. Much appreciated.
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post #15 of 17 Old 09-08-2017, 04:35 PM
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rythmik ported subs that I own remind me of my sealed velodyne sub only better. thats a pretty big achievement imo. but I have not heard all the subs out there...with subs they are usually so big and ugly or small and useless you really need to do your homework and get what best fits your needs. lots of great options.
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post #16 of 17 Old 09-08-2017, 04:58 PM
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No problem @Uppsalaing

Yes in your area buying new will probably be the most realistic option.

Thanks yes the JBL Pro speakers and JTR subwoofers are an awesome combo! It took me about 9 years and many many combinations of gear to get me the sound I was looking for; which is great imaging and clarity at each seat, dialogue intelligibility, great seat to seat bass response, HUGE dynamics and mid-bass, and all this at any volume level. The latter being the biggest to conquer lol.

Your Procellas will sound amazing Im sure!

The biggest difference in upgrading subs I would say is their almost limitless headroom, fantastic mid-bass, and ability to dig extremely deep without compressing or running out of steam and sounding really good while doing it.

Edit: JL Audio has some nice in-wall subs but not sure on output using those alone. I see them used as balancing subs a lot in some installs. Maybe something to look into. Not sure on exact price but I do know they are pricey.
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post #17 of 17 Old 09-11-2017, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Shipping cost & REW sim update

Ok… Time for an update:

Shipping costs... I have gotten this down to $1,000 for any combination of packages that is less than 150 lbs (68 kg) in weight. So, I can now compare between US manufacturers and models. I'll compare freight forwarding prices ahead of placing an order, so might be able to reduce it further at the time.

Room layout and REW simulations: I've played around with subwoofer locations in Room Equalization Wizard (REW). I don't really know what I'm doing as I've never used it before, but thought I'd post some results if it would help.

I can't put any subs in the top corners nor in the bottom left corner as there are doors in these three positions.

Would DSP equalisation be able to smooth these out enough, or is my room simply too small for deep bass? I will get either a MiniDSP or AntiMode with relevant mics to take measurements and calibrate once I have everything installed.








The layouts show the MLP in the middle with the two secondary listening positions. Secondary positions will be used 50% of the time at least.

Crossovers: The crossovers to the LCRs should be set at 80hz, but the crossovers for my smaller surrounds and in-ceiling speakers should be set to 90hz according to the speakers manuals. So, I think I need a subwoofer that can do well in mid-bass, right?

Do I assess this by looking st the frequency response tables/graphs for the subs, or do I rely also on diver size?

I was looking at the Rythmik Subs and they recommend their 15" drivers as opposed to their 12" drivers for speakers with crossovers above 90hz.

What are your thoughts? Should I stick with the plan for two mid size subs (say PSA S1500, Rythmik 15", etc...)? Or am i better off with 3 - 4 SVS SB-2000 subs?
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Last edited by Uppsalaing; 09-11-2017 at 10:01 AM. Reason: Fixed links
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