Subwoofer recommendations for media & family rooms - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-16-2019, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Subwoofer recommendations for media & family rooms

We've just moved into our new home, and I was looking for some help on subwoofer recommendations for two of the spaces. I've done a bit of reading, and searching, but could use a little bit of tailored guidance to point me in the right direction.

I'm eyeing the Monolith 12" deal on Amazon right now, as well, so part of this is asking whether that sub might be a good fit for one or both locations. Additionally, I currently have a Martin Logan Dynamo 10" sub (doesn't say exactly which model, but it's probably about 10 years old) which could be used in either location as needed.

Room 1: Media Room
  1. Budget: $1200 or so, but would prefer to spend less and get the best bang for the buck
  2. Size limits: none, within reason. I've got a corner of the room set aside for the sub.
  3. Dimensions: Approx 19' x 22'. Concrete slab (basement) with carpet on top. 8' ceilings. Rectangular room, with a window/glass exterior door, and a bunch of interior doors that can close it off completely.
  4. Uses: Movies and Music. The room is a basement play/media room -- goal is eventually to install a projector. Currently will be paired with Monitor Audio RS6 LCR and Sonance surrounds.
  5. Appearance: It will be visible in the room, so would appreciate something that looks decent. And we also have young kids, so something sturdy is good.

Other notes: I'm not sure on ported vs sealed, front or down firing, here. If the Monolith 12" is a good fit, I'd probably jump on that deal for this room.

Room 2: Family Room (open floor plan)
  1. Budget: Would love to stay under $800 here, give or take.
  2. Size limits: 16" w x 16" d max
  3. Dimensions: Room is approx 20' x 30', but the whole floor is basically open, including stairways both upstairs and downstairs. Flooring is hardwood (over 1.5" gypcrete). Ceilings are 9'.
  4. Uses: Mostly TV and movies, occasional music. This is in a family/great room that's part of a open main floor with kitchen, dining room, etc.
  5. Appearance: Should be "nice" looking as it will be visible, and ideally somewhat kid-proof (down-firing?)

Other notes: This room has a Triad Micro LCR soundbar, and Sonance in-ceiling surrounds. The soundbar definitely needs some bass to help it out. I'm currently using the Dynamo here and it seems to be fine. I'm happy to keep it and put the $ towards the other room, or if there's something that will provide a noticeable step up for not a huge investment, I'm interested! My low voltage installer suggested a dual 10" here (he liked Sunfire HRS and Velodyne).

Appreciate any suggestions/opinions you can share, and let me know if you need additional details to help narrow things down.
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-16-2019, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seadan View Post
We've just moved into our new home, and I was looking for some help on subwoofer recommendations for two of the spaces. I've done a bit of reading, and searching, but could use a little bit of tailored guidance to point me in the right direction.

I'm eyeing the Monolith 12" deal on Amazon right now, as well, so part of this is asking whether that sub might be a good fit for one or both locations. Additionally, I currently have a Martin Logan Dynamo 10" sub (doesn't say exactly which model, but it's probably about 10 years old) which could be used in either location as needed.

Room 1: Media Room
  1. Budget: $1200 or so, but would prefer to spend less and get the best bang for the buck
  2. Size limits: none, within reason. I've got a corner of the room set aside for the sub.
  3. Dimensions: Approx 19' x 22'. Concrete slab (basement) with carpet on top. 8' ceilings. Rectangular room, with a window/glass exterior door, and a bunch of interior doors that can close it off completely.
  4. Uses: Movies and Music. The room is a basement play/media room -- goal is eventually to install a projector. Currently will be paired with Monitor Audio RS6 LCR and Sonance surrounds.
  5. Appearance: It will be visible in the room, so would appreciate something that looks decent. And we also have young kids, so something sturdy is good.

Other notes: I'm not sure on ported vs sealed, front or down firing, here. If the Monolith 12" is a good fit, I'd probably jump on that deal for this room.

Room 2: Family Room (open floor plan)
  1. Budget: Would love to stay under $800 here, give or take.
  2. Size limits: 16" w x 16" d max
  3. Dimensions: Room is approx 20' x 30', but the whole floor is basically open, including stairways both upstairs and downstairs. Flooring is hardwood (over 1.5" gypcrete). Ceilings are 9'.
  4. Uses: Mostly TV and movies, occasional music. This is in a family/great room that's part of a open main floor with kitchen, dining room, etc.
  5. Appearance: Should be "nice" looking as it will be visible, and ideally somewhat kid-proof (down-firing?)

Other notes: This room has a Triad Micro LCR soundbar, and Sonance in-ceiling surrounds. The soundbar definitely needs some bass to help it out. I'm currently using the Dynamo here and it seems to be fine. I'm happy to keep it and put the $ towards the other room, or if there's something that will provide a noticeable step up for not a huge investment, I'm interested! My low voltage installer suggested a dual 10" here (he liked Sunfire HRS and Velodyne).

Appreciate any suggestions/opinions you can share, and let me know if you need additional details to help narrow things down.
If you're Ok with the ML and you really want the best HT experience in the Media room, then put the money towards dual subs for the media room. Because of the size and being on concrete a pair of 15" ported subs would be the minimum IMO.

HSU, PSA, Rythmik, Monolith and SVS all have subs that should fit your needs.
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-16-2019, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
If you're Ok with the ML and you really want the best HT experience in the Media room, then put the money towards dual subs for the media room. Because of the size and being on concrete a pair of 15" ported subs would be the minimum IMO.

HSU, PSA, Rythmik, Monolith and SVS all have subs that should fit your needs.
Wow, I certainly wasn't thinking I'd need dual 15's down there! Sounds like you think the Monolith 12" wouldn't be big enough for the space, then?

If I bump up to 15", I'm probably only getting a single sub to start due to cost (and not having heard them in person). I've looked at some of the ones you listed; any in particular stand out at a sweet spot of price/performance? The Rhythmik's seem to get good reviews; seems like the FVX15 might be a good choice, or is it worth it to bump up to FV15HP (or something else)?

I also see a nearly new SVS PB12-NSD 12" 400w ported sub locally for $475, and a PB12 Plus for $990 -- any of those tip the balance given the price?
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-17-2019, 06:52 AM
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Much of your decision will also lie in how loud you listen to music/movies and what are you looking for in a sub. Do you listen at reference level, -10, -20 MV? Are you looking to feel the base, or just something to add a little bit to the experience? Do you want to be able to feel gun shots hit you in the chest?

Both of your rooms are very large (one on concrete) and will require quite some horse power to get any amount of decent bass (going with a ported sub might be best for the basement since it is on concrete). Lastly, once you go down this path and you go too small to begin with you will soon be upgrading as you will want more. For me personally, I've been through 5 subs in the past 10 years (3 in the past year) - each being larger than the other trying to get the amount of bass I am looking for (and I would NOT consider myself a basshead when compared to others on this forum). I only have one sub in my very large open floor plan on concrete but it is a large one (PSA TV36 ipal, dual 18" drivers).

Bottom line, much depends on your listening volume and how much bass you are looking for. If you provide that information we could help out more. But if you want to be immersed in the movie/music, I just don't think a single 12" sub will be large enough for your two environments. You'll need at least a single 15" in each room, and most likely more.
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-17-2019, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seadan View Post
We've just moved into our new home, and I was looking for some help on subwoofer recommendations for two of the spaces. I've done a bit of reading, and searching, but could use a little bit of tailored guidance to point me in the right direction.

I'm eyeing the Monolith 12" deal on Amazon right now, as well, so part of this is asking whether that sub might be a good fit for one or both locations. Additionally, I currently have a Martin Logan Dynamo 10" sub (doesn't say exactly which model, but it's probably about 10 years old) which could be used in either location as needed.

Room 1: Media Room
  1. Budget: $1200 or so, but would prefer to spend less and get the best bang for the buck
  2. Size limits: none, within reason. I've got a corner of the room set aside for the sub.
  3. Dimensions: Approx 19' x 22'. Concrete slab (basement) with carpet on top. 8' ceilings. Rectangular room, with a window/glass exterior door, and a bunch of interior doors that can close it off completely.
  4. Uses: Movies and Music. The room is a basement play/media room -- goal is eventually to install a projector. Currently will be paired with Monitor Audio RS6 LCR and Sonance surrounds.
  5. Appearance: It will be visible in the room, so would appreciate something that looks decent. And we also have young kids, so something sturdy is good.

Other notes: I'm not sure on ported vs sealed, front or down firing, here. If the Monolith 12" is a good fit, I'd probably jump on that deal for this room.

Room 2: Family Room (open floor plan)
  1. Budget: Would love to stay under $800 here, give or take.
  2. Size limits: 16" w x 16" d max
  3. Dimensions: Room is approx 20' x 30', but the whole floor is basically open, including stairways both upstairs and downstairs. Flooring is hardwood (over 1.5" gypcrete). Ceilings are 9'.
  4. Uses: Mostly TV and movies, occasional music. This is in a family/great room that's part of a open main floor with kitchen, dining room, etc.
  5. Appearance: Should be "nice" looking as it will be visible, and ideally somewhat kid-proof (down-firing?)

Other notes: This room has a Triad Micro LCR soundbar, and Sonance in-ceiling surrounds. The soundbar definitely needs some bass to help it out. I'm currently using the Dynamo here and it seems to be fine. I'm happy to keep it and put the $ towards the other room, or if there's something that will provide a noticeable step up for not a huge investment, I'm interested! My low voltage installer suggested a dual 10" here (he liked Sunfire HRS and Velodyne).

Appreciate any suggestions/opinions you can share, and let me know if you need additional details to help narrow things down.
Performance for Dollar , I'd avoid SVS after a certain point...Their 2000 series are priced ok , but beyond that it gets a little skittish and if you are looking for a used PB12NSD , you may be better off grabbing from the outlet since you will get all of SVS support and benefits if you feel like upgrading.
You didnt quite say what type of bass you are looking for , teeth rattling or background music bass? I always assume teeth rattling and give what little advice I can based off that. Rythmiks are great subs from what I have read and never really see anything negative on them , but I have never heard or dealt with them.Same with HSU. I went from SVS to PSA , and havent looked back!
As someone said previously , I would looking into at least one 15" minimum to get an idea of what you are getting into and add accordingly to your taste. The PSA V1510DF for $1k is probably one of the best intro to 15" subs you can get , with a full 5 year warranty , great customer service and trade-in program if you get the upgrade itch. There also might be some great deals in the outlet coming as a lot of people are trading in to get some of Tom's new monster subs , so you can probably save some $$$ that way if you are patient. There are also some other gems he is working on that are supposed to be smaller/cheaper and probably just as great, just all depends on your timeline...
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-17-2019, 07:35 AM
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-18-2019, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Ol View Post
Much of your decision will also lie in how loud you listen to music/movies and what are you looking for in a sub. Do you listen at reference level, -10, -20 MV? Are you looking to feel the base, or just something to add a little bit to the experience? Do you want to be able to feel gun shots hit you in the chest?

Both of your rooms are very large (one on concrete) and will require quite some horse power to get any amount of decent bass (going with a ported sub might be best for the basement since it is on concrete). Lastly, once you go down this path and you go too small to begin with you will soon be upgrading as you will want more. For me personally, I've been through 5 subs in the past 10 years (3 in the past year) - each being larger than the other trying to get the amount of bass I am looking for (and I would NOT consider myself a basshead when compared to others on this forum). I only have one sub in my very large open floor plan on concrete but it is a large one (PSA TV36 ipal, dual 18" drivers).

Bottom line, much depends on your listening volume and how much bass you are looking for. If you provide that information we could help out more. But if you want to be immersed in the movie/music, I just don't think a single 12" sub will be large enough for your two environments. You'll need at least a single 15" in each room, and most likely more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GatoGoat View Post
Performance for Dollar , I'd avoid SVS after a certain point...Their 2000 series are priced ok , but beyond that it gets a little skittish and if you are looking for a used PB12NSD , you may be better off grabbing from the outlet since you will get all of SVS support and benefits if you feel like upgrading.
You didnt quite say what type of bass you are looking for , teeth rattling or background music bass? I always assume teeth rattling and give what little advice I can based off that. Rythmiks are great subs from what I have read and never really see anything negative on them , but I have never heard or dealt with them.Same with HSU. I went from SVS to PSA , and havent looked back!
As someone said previously , I would looking into at least one 15" minimum to get an idea of what you are getting into and add accordingly to your taste. The PSA V1510DF for $1k is probably one of the best intro to 15" subs you can get , with a full 5 year warranty , great customer service and trade-in program if you get the upgrade itch. There also might be some great deals in the outlet coming as a lot of people are trading in to get some of Tom's new monster subs , so you can probably save some $$$ that way if you are patient. There are also some other gems he is working on that are supposed to be smaller/cheaper and probably just as great, just all depends on your timeline...
Thanks for the advice! I'm not sure I have a good answer to the question on "how much" bass I want -- in general, I like bass that's in balance with the rest of the audio, and not overpowering or too overly boomy. My room is somewhat insulated, but by no means sound-proof, and I don't need to shake the entire house. So, I guess I'm somewhere in the middle here, wanting bass that's powerful but not overwhelming?

Since I'm still figuring out what I want, it seems like starting with a single 15" is a good plan, and then having the option in the future to add a second, or go up in size if needed. I'll take a look at the PSA; is there a big difference between the V1510 and V1510DF in terms of output? The down-firing might be a good option for the family room, though it might be a little big for the space. Seems like PSA or Rhymik might be the way to go.
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-19-2019, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seadan View Post


Since I'm still figuring out what I want, it seems like starting with a single 15" is a good plan, and then having the option in the future to add a second, or go up in size if needed. I'll take a look at the PSA; is there a big difference between the V1510 and V1510DF in terms of output? The down-firing might be a good option for the family room, though it might be a little big for the space. Seems like PSA or Rhymik might be the way to go.

I think you have a good plan in mind. I can't give you an answer as to the difference between the V1510 and V1510DF but I know Tom from PSA could. I would suggest you reach out to Tom via email, explain your situation as you have done here and ask for his opinions. He'll steer you down the right path.
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