Originally Posted by FaintReality
If picking up, the difference was only like $60. But I do know there is a shipping difference for all those not local, making the price difference greater.
But yes, to me, the looks and size were more important that the slight increase capability in low end (Kevin stated they will sound identical down to ~25hz), so I went with the VTF3 MK5. I did not mind the price increase, and would have went with the other if it weren't so deep which would change up my location.
Like they say, buy the biggest you can afford. If you are good on looks and size, and can afford the extra 150 ish, play it safe and go that route. However, I can guarantee you will not be disappointed either way. And if you are, you will be disappointed with both.
Same story as FaintReality. Visited Kevin at the showroom yesterday, spent about 90 minutes with him. Same exact setup and test material, and FR's post sums up well my own takeaways. Walked out with 2 VTF3 MK5's for my 15x15x9 =~ 2,000 cu ft family room, which opens up on one wall to a 15x12x8 ~ 1,440 cu ft kitchen. I assumed about 3,500 cu ft as my requirement. Right away, after showing Kevin a quick iPhone video of the space, Kevin thought 1 sub was bare minimum, especially how open it is with windows all along the back. Initial diagnosis - 2 VTF3's will work great, 2 VTF15H's will bust out my new windows. In side-by-side testing, as FR noted there was almost no discernible difference between subs at the listening levels he selected. The placement of the VTF3 directly behind the chair surely helped it provide that chesty-tactile feedback, but in terms of how the Boston Audio CD Track 1 sounded at 16 Hz, both fluttered similarly. What I really learned from this experience is that the technical differences highlighted on all these threads are really more important at very high volumes, I mean very high. At medium-high listening, about as high as most people can take I guess, these subs pressurized the demo room quite equally.
As FR noted, what's also clear to me now is that the #1
factor to consider is simply the volume of space you need to fill. I'm guessing all the other technical factors combined are less important than this consideration. Since the VTF15H will output higher SPL, then logically it will fill a larger space more effectively than the VTF3. And if you are one of those who searches out source material that you can feel but not hear, the VTF15H will extend lower for sure and is the required choice (among HSU options). But for the reasons FR outlined, given that most source material is 20+ Hz and given that the drivers/amps are the same, and given the weight of the VTF3 is much more manageable, I went with the VTF3's. Actually, that's not quite the whole story. The final determining factor was subwoofer depth - I have to fit in a space 24" deep, couldn't make the VTF15H work without major mods so I lost out on that option. Otherwise for $200 more, and no space limitations, for sure I would have bought the VTF15H's just for the extra oomph if I ever needed it. BTW I'm replacing my venerable Paradigm Servo 15v2 with these VTF3's, wanted to try out ported solutions for improved bottom end wow factor.
Set up the 2 VTF3's yesterday with Yamaha RX-A3050 and ran YPAO. One sub is in a corner, other in the open. Per Kevin's instruction, ran cal with both at EQ1/left port open/0 degrees/10'oclock gain. The corner sub barfed - gain too high, pegged YPAO to -10 dB (lowest it goes). The other sub cooperated, but YPAO set it to -2 dB, which is above the -5 to -8 dB range I was told to look for. So I set Q's on both to 0.3 and re-ran YPAO, this time both came in at -7 dB and -8 dB. From there, I turned the non-corner sub Q up to 0.5, and left the gains as-is. Initial impression - pretty great. Place Track 1 of that Boston CD, and I learned I can't hear 16 Hz but I can sure as heck see it. My Samsung 65" was literally flexing on the wall, my gas fireplace chimney inside the wall was rattling like crazy, and something in the kitchen was dancing around too. This was at Yamaha volume of -10 dB, believe max volume is around + 10 dB so gives you an idea of how much harder I could push the subs but my ears wouldn't be able to take it. I played various source material - a DTS:X demo disc, some YouTube basshead stuff, some classic rock with mid-bass (Fleetwood Mac, Black Sabbath, Bad Company, etc.) and fell right in love. My space is completely filled with tight, full bass and I haven't even done the REW tuning yet.
After all the studying, spreadsheets of 20+ subs, videos, reviews, on and on, in the end I'm happy with two 15" subs from a great sub company. My other choice was the PSA V1811, an 18" ported sub with compact form factor. It begins shipping soon. I have enough space for those, so I'm sure I'll ruminate for the next year or two and maybe pull the upgrade trigger after I let the "what if??" sink in further!