Originally Posted by thephatp
@Jack D Ripper
- So, one thing I know for sure--I want a much lower response than what I have now (ASW600). I do not
need shaking the walls and I don't listen incredibly loud (often times theaters are little louder than I prefer), but I would like to be able to crank it up in certain situations. Additionally, I'm much less concerned about optimizing for multiple LPs b/c my wife doesn't really notice/care about the difference, and neither do my kids.
My main question is this - Do the recommendations of "depth of bass" vs "evenness of response" hold true if the difference is, say, VTF-2 MK5 (12") vs VTF-3 MK5 (15")?
One last note. If I'm thinking about what I can afford now and that I want deeper response, I would lean to a single VTF-15H MK2, but if I'm thinking about the future (adding another one later), I would probably go with the 3.5. I say that because, of the two best placements I've found through my sub crawl, only one reasonably supports the larger size of the 15.2.
Will I miss much in the depth by going with the 3.5 over the 15.2?
Generally speaking, a better subwoofer will play louder and deeper (though, of course, it depends on what one means by "better"). Using 2 subwoofers tends to enable one to deal with room issues better, so that one can have a flatter response (that is what is meant by evenness of response), and over a wider range of seats. So it is not a question of which of the subwoofers we are discussing for this issue of 2 subwoofers; it is having 2 of them that can matter for this. How much of an issue it will be in your room is impossible for any of us to know, as it depends on your room acoustics, where you place your subwoofer(s), and where you will be listening to it. Many people get good results with one subwoofer, though some have problems with the frequency response due to room effects/placement issues. The only way to know in your room would be to try it and see. Sorry, but that is just how it is.
For the depth of bass and loudness, look at reviews in which measurements are taken. Pay attention to the standardized measurements, rather than the "in room" response that some publish, because your room is likely different from the room of the reviewer.
As for how loud you want it or how deep you want it, that is something you have to decide. I know I want bass down to around 15Hz, so at your price, I would be going for depth of bass. But you may not care about that, and might prefer one that will play only down to 20Hz, but play louder. One can see this tradeoff on the various variable tune subwoofers, where one can plug ports and change the tuning, so that one chooses between depth of bass and maximum volume (at the upper part of the subwoofer range). Which is better depends on how loud we are talking about, how deep we are talking about, and personal preference regarding these issues.
Regarding the Hsu Research VTF-15H MK2 & VTF-3 MK5 HP subwoofers, there is not a huge difference in performance:
There is also not a huge difference in price.
But comparing the frequency response curves:
The more expensive VTF-15H MK2 does give a deeper, flatter response (so it is not just a question of maximum volume), and I would prefer its level of performance. (Note that the price difference is greater than it may seem at first, because the shipping is significantly different). For the price difference, I would think that the more expensive one is the better value, at the current sale price. I would, though, rather dislike its weight, as it will be harder to move around, and, like everyone else, I am not getting any younger. When I think about that, I am really glad I have SVS cylinder subwoofers, as they are much easier to move than comparable box subwoofers. And my SVS CS-Ultra
subwoofers are unpowered, which makes them even lighter (though they still weigh about 70 pounds, as the woofer in them is quite heavy). I wish they still made unpowered subwoofers, but as I do not feel the need to ever upgrade, it is not a problem for me. Anyway, if the weight does not bother you, I would choose the VTF-15H MK2, as it is a better performer (as it should be, given that it costs more).