Aquaman on Atmos is too much for my old sub -- Upgrade Time! - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 60 Old 11-10-2019, 10:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Aquaman on Atmos is too much for my old sub -- Upgrade Time!

I've had a $1,000 HSU sub (I think it was a VTF3 MK 4?) for about 12 years and it has served me very well. However, I just upgraded my preamp to an Atmos model (Marantz 7705) and, after watching the Aquaman UHD for about an hour, I feel like my sub is crying and limping. It seems to be bottoming out (loud sound of something banging against wood) every five minutes in that movie. So, while I hate to part with the old girl, I am forced to wonder if I need to step up to today's tech.

I have a pretty big theater (13 wide by almost 30 feet long), but I can only use one sub (as I have space for only one box to house it outside the room and one hole for it to blast through). For $1,000 to no more than $1,500, can I get a new sub that is not going to bottom out when I watch the Atmos track of Aquaman at reference levels (0 DB)? The sub it not visible from anywhere in the room, so I don't want to pay any extra for a pretty one.

What do you think hivemind of AV geniuses? Should I upgrade? Will it solve my problem? SVS SB-3000? JL Audio Dominion d110 Subwoofer? What would be the best choice at this proice point?

Thanks in advance for the help!

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post #2 of 60 Old 11-10-2019, 10:47 PM
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The SVS SB3000 and the JL D110 are really the exact opposite of what you need, any single, compact, sealed sub will really struggle in that room. You need the biggest ported sub you can squeeze into your budget.
Personally I'd go for something like the Monolith 15, Rythmik FV15HP (or stretch the budget and get the FV18)

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post #3 of 60 Old 11-10-2019, 10:56 PM
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From Nebraska?

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post #4 of 60 Old 11-10-2019, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamiebosco View Post
The SVS SB3000 and the JL D110 are really the exact opposite of what you need, any single, compact, sealed sub will really struggle in that room. You need the biggest ported sub you can squeeze into your budget.
Personally I'd go for something like the Monolith 15, Rythmik FV15HP (or stretch the budget and get the FV18)
Thanks. I will look those up.

I was just researching the SB3000 and I realized that part of its appeal is its appearance and small size, neither of which matter to me at all. What about the PB3000? More appropriate?
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post #5 of 60 Old 11-10-2019, 10:58 PM - Thread Starter
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From Nebraska?
Absolutely. From 2 to 18 and then from 22 to 24. Am now a Californian, but there's nothing interesting about that.
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post #6 of 60 Old 11-10-2019, 11:08 PM - Thread Starter
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The Monolith does look like an interesting choice, though it almost feels like overkill. I know my room is big, but that sub is a bona fide monster.

Can it also be musical and accurate? Interested in any all all perspectives.

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post #7 of 60 Old 11-10-2019, 11:16 PM
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Add the PSA V1512 to your list.
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post #8 of 60 Old 11-11-2019, 12:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffNebraska View Post
The Monolith does look like an interesting choice, though it almost feels like overkill. I know my room is big, but that sub is a bona fide monster.
lol
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post #9 of 60 Old 11-11-2019, 01:06 AM
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffNebraska View Post
The Monolith does look like an interesting choice, though it almost feels like overkill. I know my room is big, but that sub is a bona fide monster.

Can it also be musical and accurate? Interested in any all all perspectives.
Yes. There's a Youthman You Tube review done very well comparing the two Subs you mention.

In it he uses Aquaman as a reference (another bonus for you) and note it has sound down to about 10 Hz. That's well below where almost all Subs roll-off so much you can't hear/feel them - but the Monolith plays there. The Monolyth is not a pretty as the SVS and doesn't have the App Gadget but if you are looking for the lowest of the lows at this price point - it looks like it fits your needs.

I hope this was helpful.

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post #10 of 60 Old 11-11-2019, 02:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffNebraska View Post
The Monolith does look like an interesting choice, though it almost feels like overkill. I know my room is big, but that sub is a bona fide monster.

Can it also be musical and accurate? Interested in any all all perspectives.
You want Aquaman played at Reference Level without the sub making audible distress? The Monolith 15 would be the absolute minimum

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post #11 of 60 Old 11-11-2019, 04:10 AM
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Add the PSA V1512 to your list.
I'd go V1811/V1812 in that room :P
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post #12 of 60 Old 11-11-2019, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jamiebosco View Post
You want Aquaman played at Reference Level without the sub making audible distress? The Monolith 15 would be the absolute minimum
Thanks, Jamie. Does that mean you think the PB3000 is not up to it? I can see that the Monolith 15 will be even stronger, but I like the app and the ability to do a parametric EQ from the app.

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post #13 of 60 Old 11-11-2019, 01:59 PM
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A single sub that can handle aqua man at reference level? Likely will need a Rythmik FV25, PSA TV36, or Cap 2400.
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post #14 of 60 Old 11-11-2019, 02:59 PM
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A single sub that can handle aqua man at reference level? Likely will need a Rythmik FV25, PSA TV36, or Cap 2400.

I agree. For that size room, and it appears a dedicated theater (not to mention the fact that you run at reference levels), you don't want your weak link to be your sub. I think the above would all be good choices, and the minimum entry level. The subs you have listed so far just seem too small for a dedicated theater of that size, running at reference levels and the fact that you can only accommodate one sub. I know they are above your price point, but it would be worth it to stretch your budget or save up for a bit and not skimp on the sub . I know, I upgraded three times until I finally ended up with something that could fill my room with bass as if I was there in the movie or concert. I ended up with a single PSA TV36 ipal .
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post #15 of 60 Old 11-11-2019, 03:05 PM
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I'd go V1811/V1812 in that room :P
You're right. I didn't look at the room size or reference level requirement.

The sub is going to need to be much higher power.

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post #16 of 60 Old 11-11-2019, 03:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Hmmm. This thread is making me question the wisdom of upgrading at all.

Right now, my HSU VTF3 (I'm thinking now it's a Mark 2) is doing fine on most material. It's not up to Jurassic World and not at all up to Aquaman, but, for most action movies, it sounds great with the system at 0db (calibrated just using Audyssey). I think the Monolith 15 and the SVS PB3000 would be big upgrades, but if those are also potentially not going to be able to handle Aquaman, then maybe I just can't watch that movie at references levels in my one-sub room.

Is that reasoning silly? Are the upgrade options I'm considering going to be big leaps forward, even if they are not actually big enough for my very large room?

FYI - the room is a family room with mobile furniture that turns it into a dedicated theater.

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post #17 of 60 Old 11-11-2019, 03:29 PM
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Ok, I was skeptical, so I looked up the output on that sub (mk5 figures).

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-3mk5HP.html

It is indeed capable of reference level playback.

I would suggest getting a 2nd one.

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post #18 of 60 Old 11-11-2019, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by JeffNebraska View Post
For $1,000 to no more than $1,500, can I get a new sub that is not going to bottom out when I watch the Atmos track of Aquaman at reference levels (0 DB)?

In a room that size? Highly unlikely for that price.

You mention reference for volume level, but is your sub being run where Audyssey set it, or have you boosted it? If it's running "hot" (most people boost their sub level a few dB after Audyssey), that's even more demand. Also, you could be sitting in a null that lowers your output.

How far do you have to back the master volume down to keep it from bottoming out? That will give you an idea of how much more output you need.

BTW, that loud clanking noise is not good. Don't keep running it that loud.
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post #19 of 60 Old 11-11-2019, 03:42 PM
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Ok, I was skeptical, so I looked up the output on that sub (mk5 figures).

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-3mk5HP.html

It is indeed capable of reference level playback.

I would suggest getting a 2nd one.
A couple of things to note.

First- Op doesn't have a VTF3.5, he has an older 12" model.

Second- Even a single VTF3.5 is not even close to reference capable in a room the size of the OP.

Third- I would base reference capability off of the lowest frequency the sub is capable of.

Fourth- I wouldn't look at 1m peak data for anything useful. Those numbers are taken 3ft from the sub. 2m rms better(subtract 9db from 1m peak numbers) represents what you might seen in room. 106-108db @ 20hz isn't even close to reference capable.

Fifth- This is all based on the fact that the OP doesn't run the sub hot. MV -0 is only reference if the sub is calibrated to 75db. Many run their subs hot(5-10db), so the bass levels are actually hitting 115db peaks at lower volume levels.

Lastly, I have a 2400^3 room, it takes 3 ported PSA 15" subs to achieve reference level playback down to 16hz in my room. My subs are similar in capability to the VTF3.5 15".

My guess is the OP isn't actually playing anywhere near reference level because that 12" sub wouldn't even come close hitting reference level under 30hz in any room larger then a closet.
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post #20 of 60 Old 11-11-2019, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post
A couple of things to note.

First- Op doesn't have a VTF3.5, he has an older 12" model.

Second- Even a single VTF3.5 is not even close to reference capable in a room the size of the OP.

Third- I would base reference capability off of the lowest frequency the sub is capable of.

Fourth- I wouldn't look at 1m peak data for anything useful. Those numbers are taken 3ft from the sub. 2m rms better(subtract 9db from 1m peak numbers) represents what you might seen in room. 106-108db @ 20hz isn't even close to reference capable.

Fifth- This is all based on the fact that the OP doesn't run the sub hot. MV -0 is only reference if the sub is calibrated to 75db. Many run their subs hot(5-10db), so the bass levels are actually hitting 115db peaks at lower volume levels.

Lastly, I have a 2400^3 room, it takes 3 ported PSA 15" subs to achieve reference level playback down to 16hz in my room. My subs are similar in capability to the VTF3.5 15".

My guess is the OP isn't actually playing anywhere near reference level because that 12" sub wouldn't even come close hitting reference level under 30hz in any room larger then a closet.
He stated he has a VTF-3 mk4, which is a 15" sub.

Otherwise, all good points.

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He stated he has a VTF-3 mk4, which is a 15" sub.

Otherwise, all good points.
It's actually a side firing 12" sub...

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-3mk4.html
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post #22 of 60 Old 11-11-2019, 04:20 PM
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It's actually a side firing 12" sub...

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-3mk4.html
Ok, odd...

1) I couldn't find that on the site
2) One would think that revisions of a model would add more power or change drivers, not a complete redesign!

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post #23 of 60 Old 11-11-2019, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
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This thread made be curious to confirm what my sub is. My sub is an HSU VTF3-HO. 12" side firing woofer with two ports and a "turbo" box added to the ports for better performance below 20HZ. 500W Amp (RMS). In short, well less sub than either of the two I'm looking at now, which everyone is saying are inadequate for my room.

I don't run the sub hot. When I calibrate using Audyssey (mic set up in primary seating position and then seven later positions), it made me turn the sub volume dial down to about 30% to "level match" and then calibrated the sub to -2db from there. As I understand it, according to the Audyssey mic in the room, the sub is calibrated to be the right volume relative to the speakers. All I meant by "reference" is that I often watch movies at 0 DB on my Marantz 7705 preamp. Maybe I am misusing the term "reference?"

Bottom line, I want to watch Aquaman at the 0 DB setting, and my preamp, amp, and speakers are all up to the task, but my current sub is not. If I get a Monolith 15 or a PB3000, I assume they will not suffer the way my VTF-HO does, but that's the question I'm trying to answer. Is this upgrade worth it?

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post #24 of 60 Old 11-11-2019, 05:09 PM
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This thread made be curious to confirm what my sub is. My sub is an HSU VTF3-HO. 12" side firing woofer with two ports and a "turbo" box added to the ports for better performance below 20HZ. 500W Amp (RMS). In short, well less sub than either of the two I'm looking at now, which everyone is saying are inadequate for my room.

I don't run the sub hot. When I calibrate using Audyssey (mic set up in primary seating position and then seven later positions), it made me turn the sub volume dial down to about 30% to "level match" and then calibrated the sub to -2db from there. As I understand it, according to the Audyssey mic in the room, the sub is calibrated to be the right volume relative to the speakers. All I meant by "reference" is that I often watch movies at 0 DB on my Marantz 7705 preamp. Maybe I am misusing the term "reference?"

Bottom line, I want to watch Aquaman at the 0 DB setting, and my preamp, amp, and speakers are all up to the task, but my current sub is not. If I get a Monolith 15 or a PB3000, I assume they will not suffer the way my VTF-HO does, but that's the question I'm trying to answer. Is this upgrade worth it?
A monolith 15 will have double(+6db) the output of your current sub. So I believe it will handle what you are trying to do.
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Like mentioned before at what volume can your sub handle Aquaman? That difference from 0 dB is how much more sub you need. Adding another sub like yours will gain you 6 dB if correct placement is used.
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post #26 of 60 Old 11-11-2019, 06:10 PM
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Like mentioned before at what volume can your sub handle Aquaman? That difference from 0 dB is how much more sub you need. Adding another sub like yours will gain you 6 dB if correct placement is used.
Agree...Op needs to turn the volume down to where the current sub can play without any struggle and report back the the level.
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post #27 of 60 Old 11-11-2019, 06:12 PM
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Audyssey famously sets bass levels too low. Most of us add 3-6 dB after calibration.

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post #28 of 60 Old 11-11-2019, 07:31 PM
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Yes Audyssey levels is much too low. Even regular cinemas have better bass impact compared to Audyssey. The test tones from the processor sets much better bass levels and I still turn it up.

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post #29 of 60 Old 11-11-2019, 07:58 PM
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JeffNebraska - not sure where you live in the bay area, but I live in Brentwood. You can come listen to my TV36 if you wish to see how a larger sub might sound to you.
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post #30 of 60 Old 11-11-2019, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Ol View Post
JeffNebraska - not sure where you live in the bay area, but I live in Brentwood. You can come listen to my TV36 if you wish to see what a larger sub might sound to you.
You will ruin him forever lol. He will always want that experience as it will be the best he has heard whether he could afford it or not. This is where DIY comes into play.
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