Compact(ish) sub recommendation for music/HT - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 24 Old 10-06-2019, 05:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Compact(ish) sub recommendation for music/HT

I am looking to purchase a somewhat compact sub (max width ~15 inches) for my family room (dimensions 17' x 11'). My speakers are centered along the longer wall. The sub will be used for a combination of TV/movies and music listening. My primary speakers are a pair of Buchardt S400s powered by 2 Schiit Aegir amps running in monoblock configuration. My budget is $1,500, though I would prefer to spend closer to $1,000. I currently have the following subs on my shortlist, so any thoughts or additional recommendations would be greatly appreciated:
  • SVS SB-3000
  • REL T/9i
  • Martin Logan 1100X
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post #2 of 24 Old 10-06-2019, 07:14 AM
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If you don't mind a tall profile, take a look at the Rythmik L22. Good sound quality and output, well under your budget.
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post #3 of 24 Old 10-06-2019, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Would that dual-sub configuration not be overkill for the room? Would something like the F12 not be more appropriate given the space?
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post #4 of 24 Old 10-06-2019, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vingard View Post
Would that dual-sub configuration not be overkill for the room? Would something like the F12 not be more appropriate given the space?

When you get your sub you're going to calibrate it to play at a certain volume relative to your main speakers. Most people like their subs to be 3-5 DB louder than the rest of the speakers, but that is preference. How loud the subs get is then based on what overall volume setting you choose. You will have more headroom with the L22 but it won't play any louder than the F12 until you reach a point where the F12 is tapped out.


For movies, the better you're able to reproduce lower frequencies the better; the L22 has 4 DB more output potential at 20hz than the F12, a bigger difference than it sounds. Given your movie use, the L22 would be a much better choice.
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post #5 of 24 Old 10-06-2019, 01:19 PM
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I recommend trying options that allow free shipping and returns first so you can audition with a peace of mind (such as SVS). Rythmik L12, Hsu ULS-15 MK2, PSA S1510 get recommended a lot here, but all cost return shipping if you don't like them.

You may want to look at SVS PC2000 in addition to SVS SB3000. It's a ported sub, but slim and tall. Better than many sealed offerings.

Lastly, if you can stretch budget slightly and have space, go dual sub.
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post #6 of 24 Old 10-06-2019, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Vingard View Post
Would that dual-sub configuration not be overkill for the room? Would something like the F12 not be more appropriate given the space?
Only YOU know what will be overkill as tastes for bass vary. If your goal is to have good low output for movies and music yet have a controlled sound. The twin 12" servo sub is a great option to meet your 15" width space requirements yet have it all. Yes, you could always go with the F12 if you think that is what YOU are after.

However, some in your situation that have a limited width might go with something like the ported HSU VTF-2 MK5. This offeres the best of both worlds, 15" width, ported for movies and can be plugged(sealed) for music. http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-2mk5.html
Its only $607 shipped. Can spend the other money on a room correction device if needed like the miniDSP, DSPeaker Anti-Mode 8033 SII, etc.

Or, if a 15.5" width sub will work, used JL Audio Fathom f113v2 sub are out there in the $1600 price range.

https://www.usaudiomart.com/details/...n-gloss-black/


Just a few options in the ~ 15" width with the largest driver / surface area possible for the money.


Do you have any depth restrictions?

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post #7 of 24 Old 10-06-2019, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vingard View Post
Would that dual-sub configuration not be overkill for the room? Would something like the F12 not be more appropriate given the space?
The L22 isn’t anywhere close to overkill. I run dual sealed 18” subs in a 22x11x8 room. Many members here have more sub than I do in a similar space or smaller. You can never have too much headroom.

My humble main system:
Vizio M75-E1; Oppo 203 universal UHD player; Denon 4300H AVR, Dual PSA S1801's; Monitor Audio Silver RX-6 mains, RX center, and RX surrounds; one pair NHT mini Atmos speakers; Home-built HTPC (Xeon E1230, 16gb RAM, Crucial M500 480gb SSD, GeForce 980Ti, Corsair CX600, CoolerMaster mini-ITX case); Roku Premiere+; Amazon 4K Fire TV
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post #8 of 24 Old 10-07-2019, 08:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of your suggestions. The JL F112v2 has piqued my interest. Seems like a compelling option given its reputation for musicality, coupled with highly-regarded EQ. Also fits my size requirements. The price is quite daunting though, but doable if I buy pre-owned. Are there any more wallet-friendly options out there that could match (or possibly exceed) the performance of the F112 for music (I care much more about music than HT). I think EQ is a must, either as a separate component or built into the sub.
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post #9 of 24 Old 10-07-2019, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vingard View Post
Thanks for all of your suggestions. The JL F112v2 has piqued my interest. Seems like a compelling option given its reputation for musicality, coupled with highly-regarded EQ. Also fits my size requirements. The price is quite daunting though, but doable if I buy pre-owned. Are there any more wallet-friendly options out there that could match (or possibly exceed) the performance of the F112 for music (I care much more about music than HT). I think EQ is a must, either as a separate component or built into the sub.
For both music and ht, I think Rythmik with their servo controlled subs would work well. They produce very tight bass, which is good for music, and the reach down deep which you want for movies. Depending on where your located, Rythmik is located in Round Rock, Texas you could demo one there. Or put a post in the Rythmik owners thread here https://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-s...er-thread.html There might be a member near you that would let you have a listen. I have a LVX12 in my living room and even though its open and office and kitchen still does quite well.
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post #10 of 24 Old 10-07-2019, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vingard View Post
Thanks for all of your suggestions. The JL F112v2 has piqued my interest. Seems like a compelling option given its reputation for musicality, coupled with highly-regarded EQ. Also fits my size requirements. The price is quite daunting though, but doable if I buy pre-owned. Are there any more wallet-friendly options out there that could match (or possibly exceed) the performance of the F112 for music (I care much more about music than HT). I think EQ is a must, either as a separate component or built into the sub.
Check out the PSA V1512 or V1512DF, add a miniDSP for EQ and you're good to go for around $1300 total. The "12" series from PSA uses pro woofers with neo motors, and they really sound amazing for both movies and HT. Another option is a pair of their upcoming compact sealed 12s, you could get a pair of those plus a miniDSP also for around $1300.
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post #11 of 24 Old 10-07-2019, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Vingard View Post
Are there any more wallet-friendly options out there that could match (or possibly exceed) the performance of the F112 for music (I care much more about music than HT). I think EQ is a must, either as a separate component or built into the sub.
Given your strict 15" width requirement, I think the options already listed cover some of the best performing options available for the money.

Let's not forget that the Fathom f112 is a $4000 sub and performs great! However, its a sub for those wants one of the top performing compact subs out there and are willing to pay for it. As @dpc716 stated, the Rythmik Audio L22 at $899 (5 year/3 year warranty) is such a performer within your 15" width requirements that I'm sure dpc716 as well as I are wondering why you haven't ordered it yet? It seems obvious that you are after a sealed sub...and the dual drivers = added headroom which = cleaner bass because two cones will move less vs. one playing the same output level.... rather it be for movies or music. The L22 is supposed to have equivilent output to their F15HP 15" sub @ 20Hz!

Add in a miniDSP, or some other room correction and you will have it all for a little over $1k Give those guys a shout and see what they have to say. They have a 45-day satisfaction guarantee!

Quote:
Looking for an affordable truly musical sub that can also used be used for home theater? L22 uses our proprietary servo design to gain low frequency clarity and articulation. For home theater use, L22 uses two 12" drivers to deliver low frequency impact and output that dynamic home theater demands. It was our goal to offer the benefits of our advanced Direct Servo technology in a more affordable option, and in doing so - we held nothing back. As a result, you get tight and musical bass you wouldn't normally expect from a subwoofer at this price range.
https://m.facebook.com/rythmikaudio/...5437721685571/



IMO, its a cool looking sub and a smart space saving design. How many dual 12" stacked servo subs are in the market? not a lot.

Here it is next to its family


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post #12 of 24 Old 10-07-2019, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Vingard View Post
Thanks for all of your suggestions. The JL F112v2 has piqued my interest. Seems like a compelling option given its reputation for musicality, coupled with highly-regarded EQ. Also fits my size requirements. The price is quite daunting though, but doable if I buy pre-owned. Are there any more wallet-friendly options out there that could match (or possibly exceed) the performance of the F112 for music (I care much more about music than HT). I think EQ is a must, either as a separate component or built into the sub.
If your width limitation is based on one and only one position in the room, then it is probably a waste of money to buy a sub of that quality. Bass response in a room is all about position. The position of the sub and the the position of the seating. Based on these factors, the bass can be both boomy and flaccid (depending on frequency) with poor placement. Purchase a more modest sub, if you must position it for looks and not performance.
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post #13 of 24 Old 10-07-2019, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
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@WLDock @ratbuddy - What would be the optimal way to insert the miniDSP into my system, given the current configuration: Lumin U1 mini (streamer) -> Schiit Ygrassil (DAC) -> Schiit Freya S (preamp) -> Schiit Aegir x 2 (monoblock amps).

@RayGuy fair point. My thought would be that room EQ largely corrects for sub-optimal placement, no?
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1) The miniDSP would go between the preamp output and the subs input. Or...you can get one to correct your entire system. Many 2 channel guys frown at room correction however I've listened to some great sounding 2 channel systems using it....examples: Kef LS50 Wireless, Sanders Sound Systems, Emerald Physics, Legacy Audio, etc.

2) Subwoofer placement. You have a very nice 2 channel system that you have put together. I would hope that you have read about the importance of subwoofer placement before EQ. Subwoofer placement can be the single most importance piece to integration.

Is this 15" wide space the only practical placement option? If not, how many other placement option do you have in your room? No one here knows if your 15" wide placement option is bad or not. At the very least you will have to listen to the sub in different location to find the best spot. The sub crawl may or may not help. The more complex way of measurements, bass traps, etc. takes some serious knowledge, times, money, and sweat. One might be able to get a single sub to sound good at the sweet spot but maybe not at other listening locations. This is one of the main reasons some go with two subs. Room correction can help smooth out some of the response errors when using a single or multiple subs.


There's a ton of reading out there...this is just a drop in the bucket...

https://www.psaudio.com/article/simple-subwoofer-setup/

https://www.audioholics.com/subwoofer-setup

https://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=43669

https://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=48286

https://www.youtube.com/user/Acousti...arch?query=sub

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post #15 of 24 Old 10-07-2019, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Vingard View Post
@WLDock @ratbuddy - What would be the optimal way to insert the miniDSP into my system, given the current configuration: Lumin U1 mini (streamer) -> Schiit Ygrassil (DAC) -> Schiit Freya S (preamp) -> Schiit Aegir x 2 (monoblock amps).

@RayGuy fair point. My thought would be that room EQ largely corrects for sub-optimal placement, no?
No, it does not. That is a huge fallacy that the industry tries to use to sell product. In fact, the position is the only way to correct huge dips in the frequency response (peaks can be equalized out, dips cannot). No way to know if your chosen position is going to result in bass issues, but odds are pretty good that it will.

Subs tell you where they should go, not visa versa! Imagine if the industry told folks that before purchase ... lost sales and internal firings would result!

The very best thing you could do for your system is to find multiple possible positions for your sub (be creative: Plant stand, End table, etc ...). Alternatively, folks implement a two sub solution, which helps to even out the bass frequency response within the room. That requires you find two places to put a sub instead of one. It's a never ending battle for truth, justice, and accurate bass!

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.

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post #16 of 24 Old 10-07-2019, 12:22 PM
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@RayGuy fair point. My thought would be that room EQ largely corrects for sub-optimal placement, no?
Not quite. Room correction and PEQ can only do so much, and most of that relates to cutting down peaks vs boosting nulls which are much more about placement within the room. This is why I'm surprised you have not given much consideration to/nor have been given much guidance towards duals. With a 1500 budget, dual 12's are in range.


2 x Rythmik LVX 12 = $1600 - multi sub discount (ported option)
2 x Rythmik F12 300 = ~$1460 - multi sub discount (sealed option) There is currently one black oak available B stock for $700 which could bring the price down further.


EDIT: Removed F18 and HSU reco's due to width criteria.
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post #17 of 24 Old 10-08-2019, 07:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Looking closely at SVS or Rythmik + MiniDSP as a more budget-friendly option. Can MiniDSP automatically calibrate levels, or do I need to do this manually (I would rather not).
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post #18 of 24 Old 10-08-2019, 11:36 AM
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^^^ there are two main methods to calibrate levels for multiple subs: gain matching and level matching. Both are simple procedures and not much more complicated than setting the proper level for one, which you will have to do regardless. The miniDSP will provide low frequency EQ beyond Audyssey's ability and timing flexibility. Timing flexibility being more important if you only have one sub out and have two or more subs positioned in non equidistant locations.


Which method is right for your situation will largely depend upon where you place them in your room relative to your main listening position. The point of having more than one sub is not to blow your neighbors out with added SPL, but to even out the response across the room. When done right, this actually minimizes the mad neighbor affect. Counter intuitive I know, but peaks and nulls (often associated with one sub) are a bigger problem for the owner and his neighbors. i.e. you're sitting in a null, so you crank it up on certain tracks/movies, but your neighbor is sitting in a peak. Next thing you know, you have a Cop Knock at your door and you're wondering if it was a real knock or if it is from the movie you're watching.


With your budget and usage, I would only consider a single sub if I was sure I could not fit another with some flexibility for placement. If you do determine one is indeed the only option, then that L22 from Rythmik is a top choice. Assuming you want to stay sealed.


I know musical fidelity is your top priority despite usage percentage, but Rythmik ported models are generally considered to be as "musical" as everyone else's sealed models. Kind of a best of both worlds. Question: when listening to music, will you be sitting in the sweet spot, or moving around and expecting a balanced sound?


As far as bag for buck, SVS generally ranks last amongst the ID sub mfgrs. Their key benefit is their return & upgrade policy/Customer Bill of Rights which you will pay a premium for upfront. This may or may not have value to you. You'll have to be the judge on that but Rythmik has top notch support in addition to other customer loyalties. PSA & HSU also enjoy great customer loyalty due to their product performance and customer support philosophies as well.


I would rule out Rel and ML.


If you have not done so already, I would highly recommend you read through this https://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-s...rences.html#II


The whole guide is well worth the investment of time, but if you want to skip to level calibration that should be the right link, I think.

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Based on your speakers/amplifier and your comments about music being a priority - I would lean toward a sealed subwoofer.

What are you running for a preamp? Also what are your upstream audio sources for TV/movies?

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Counter intuitive I know, but peaks and nulls (often associated with one sub) are a bigger problem for the owner and his neighbors. i.e. you're sitting in a null, so you crank it up on certain tracks/movies, but your neighbor is sitting in a peak. Next thing you know, you have a Cop Knock at your door and you're wondering if it was a real knock or if it is from the movie you're watching.


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Question: when listening to music, will you be sitting in the sweet spot, or moving around and expecting a balanced sound?
Sweet spot, of course!

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If you have not done so already, I would highly recommend you read through this https://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-s...rences.html#II
I will take a look at this, thanks.

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Based on your speakers/amplifier and your comments about music being a priority - I would lean toward a sealed subwoofer.

What are you running for a preamp? Also what are your upstream audio sources for TV/movies?
My preamp is a Schiit Freya S. Netflix and cable for TV/movies. Main emphasis here is music, for which my source is Tidal, streamed via a Lumin U1 Mini.
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I would rule out Rel and ML.
Why so?
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post #22 of 24 Old 10-08-2019, 12:28 PM
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My preamp is a Schiit Freya S. Netflix and cable for TV/movies. Main emphasis here is music, for which my source is Tidal, streamed via a Lumin U1 Mini.
This is a really nice system. Not sure if you have a DD 5.1 decoder in the signal chain - if not you won't be capturing and properly down-mixing all 6 audio channels in a DD 5.1 broadcast. Might be worth a closer look if that's a priority to you. But it does seem like the primary mission statement is music. It's not a very big room and music typically isn't played at high levels - so a single sealed sub should have more than enough output for this type of application.

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post #23 of 24 Old 10-08-2019, 01:10 PM
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Why so?
Rel T/i9:
Driver 10"
-6dB at 28 Hz (per Rel website) -3db point???? Not published.
Watts 300 RMS
FR, no specs found/posted????
Distortion???? no spec listed


ML:
12" driver
22–200 Hz ±3 dB

650 Watts (1,300 peak)
Distortion ???? No specs listed
This sub has not been test by Data-Bass.com but the ML 1500x was. https://legacy.data-bass.com/data?page=system&id=99
Same amp, larger driver. Notice Josh's note about this sub only achieving 20htz flat with DSP that limits headroom. This will be further exaggerated with the lesser model you're considering.
Measurements on the 1500x https://legacy.data-bass.com/data?pa...id=99&mset=113


Rythmik publishes all their numbers and specs on their website for you to compare. Also Data-bass.com has tested a number of Rythmik subs including the F15HP and FV15HP which will provide a reference point in comparing other Rythmik offerings such as the L22, LVX12 and F12 300 to any other options you might want to consider.

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post #24 of 24 Old 10-08-2019, 02:50 PM
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Why so?

$1100 for a 10" sub or $899 for a dual 12" servo sub?

The cost to performance value is much greater.

derekmoore likes this.

HDTV - Sharp AQUOS LC-70LE600U 70" | AVR- Anthem MRX 300 | Media Player - Fire TV Box 2nd Gen | Blu-Ray/Media/Gaming - PS3-320GB / Xbox One
Speakers - Main - Boston Acoustics Lynnfield VR965 | Center - Boston Acoustics Lynnfield VR920 | Rear - Artison Portrait LRS
| Sub - DIY Stereo Integrity HT 15 | Sub Amp - O Audio BASH 500
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