Subwoofer Recommendation ($1,500 budget) - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 23 Old 11-11-2019, 08:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Subwoofer Recommendation ($1,500 budget)

Hi all,

I'm in the planning stages of setting up my first ever home theater. As a noobie, I'm looking for advice about which subwoofer(s) to purchase. Some details about the room/setup below:
  • 17x13.5 ft room
  • 7.75 ft ceiling
  • 5.x.4 sound system
  • Theater is primarily for movies and TV shows
  • $1,500 budget for sub

Originally I was thinking of going with a PSA V1811, but I'm not sure given my room size if that's overkill. Also at this price point I'm not sure if it makes more sense to get two subs instead of one expensive one.

Thank you in advance for any advice!
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post #2 of 23 Old 11-11-2019, 09:05 AM
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In a room that small, assuming it's not open to other spaces, you're probably better off with a pair of $750ish subs rather than a single $1500 sub. You won't really give up much extension and the importance of the (much) more even coverage provided by dual subs can't be overstated.

If you can stretch a little for shipping, the Hsu VTF-3 Mk5 is on sale right now for $759 each. A pair of those would be my top choice.

If that doesn't work, look at a pair of PSA's upcoming Value 12 for $1099 shipped, a pair of Hsu VTF-2 Mk5 for $1029 plus shipping, or a pair of Rythmik LV12F for $1198 shipped.

If you just want a single sub with good extension, any of the usual suspects would serve you well: PSA V1812, JTR 1200XS, Rythmik FV15HP.

The PSA and JTR you'd have to call/email about, I don't think they are listed on the PSA/JTR website yet. PSA also has a pretty long backlog right now and JTR may or may not have the 1200XS left in stock - it's a limited edition sub made using the cabinet from another product that was cancelled due to chuffing issues, but at $1399 you probably won't find anything close.
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post #3 of 23 Old 11-11-2019, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by ratbuddy View Post

If you can stretch a little for shipping, the Hsu VTF-3 Mk5 is on sale right now for $759 each. A pair of those would be my top choice.
Agree, it’s really the only dual 15” option at that price. Dual 15”s is a big step up from a single or dual 12”s.
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post #4 of 23 Old 11-11-2019, 10:04 AM
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+1 on dual VTF-3 Mk5s. That’s what I’m using in a larger room than yours and they are ridiculous for the price.

I bravely (stupidly?) watched the beginning of Blade Runner 2049 at reference level last night and I don’t think my head has fully recovered yet from the pounding it received.
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post #5 of 23 Old 11-11-2019, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by tbird8450 View Post
+1 on dual VTF-3 Mk5s. That’s what I’m using in a larger room than yours and they are ridiculous for the price.

I bravely (stupidly?) watched the beginning of Blade Runner 2049 at reference level last night and I don’t think my head has fully recovered yet from the pounding it received.
Yeah. I see posts speaking of being blasted by bass from other movies, but I have never heard anything close to Blade Runner 2049. Makes me wonder whether the producers of the UHD BD really intended that. I can't imagine listening anywhere near reference. I use the subs as set by Audyssey XT32/SubEq. Typically I have the volume set at 16 dB down, and the subs are not run "hot". I have dual VTF-3 Mk5s in my living room (not a dedicated HT), and the results are seismic.

A pair of 10" VTF-1s (one a Mk2, the other a Mk3) couldn't reproduce that bass well. Lots of distortion, and not enough LFE.

I'm not sure that the Hsus are the best buy, but I'm happy with mine.
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post #6 of 23 Old 11-11-2019, 10:44 AM
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Dual SVS PB-2000 subs would rock that place.

https://www.svsound.com/products/pb-2000
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post #7 of 23 Old 11-11-2019, 11:08 AM
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post #8 of 23 Old 11-11-2019, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k2snow7
...
  • 17x13.5 ft room
  • 7.75 ft ceiling
    ...
  • Theater is primarily for movies and TV shows
  • $1,500 budget for sub
...
~1,713 cu.ft. isn't a very large space. A pair of powerful 12" subs would work nicely in there. The aforementioned SVS PB-2000 is one option. Another option is the well-rated Outlaw Audio Ultra-X12, currently on sale for $579, shipped.
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post #9 of 23 Old 11-11-2019, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobknavs View Post
Yeah. I see posts speaking of being blasted by bass from other movies, but I have never heard anything close to Blade Runner 2049. Makes me wonder whether the producers of the UHD BD really intended that. I can't imagine listening anywhere near reference. I use the subs as set by Audyssey XT32/SubEq. Typically I have the volume set at 16 dB down, and the subs are not run "hot". I have dual VTF-3 Mk5s in my living room (not a dedicated HT), and the results are seismic.
I’m thinking it’s intentional, if for no other reason than the original Blade Runner (4K disc at least) hits basically the same at the beginning. They are my new go to bass demo discs...just check your long term hearing at the door.
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post #10 of 23 Old 11-12-2019, 08:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the advice! After doing some research on the recommendations I'm going to go with dual HSU VTF-2 MK5's. I liked the SVS subs as well, they had similar performance but I personally liked the aesthetics of the HSU's better. I may have to post about configuration advice in the future, but at least I got my subs picked out. In the mean time I'll make sure to grab Blade Runner 2049
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post #11 of 23 Old 11-12-2019, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k2snow7 View Post
Thank you all for the advice! After doing some research on the recommendations I'm going to go with dual HSU VTF-2 MK5's. I liked the SVS subs as well, they had similar performance but I personally liked the aesthetics of the HSU's better. I may have to post about configuration advice in the future, but at least I got my subs picked out. In the mean time I'll make sure to grab Blade Runner 2049
The members who have been around here for awhile have one thing in common: almost all of us bought what we considered "enough" subwoofer in the beginning and later ended up wishing for more dynamic peak reproduction capability, or deeper extension, etc. and we lost money a few times in the process of selling and upgrading to finally arrive at what we should have bought to start with years ago. If I were you, I would grab a pair of VTF-3 mk5's that are currently on sale for $759 ea. (plus shipping) and you will have a notable step up in dynamic headroom, deep bass power, less potential for port noise, and lower distortion since the 15's won't be working as hard. To me that is well worth the extra dollars - you will have a better likelihood of being satisfied for a long time by the VTF-3 mk5's, they are huge value.

Ross

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post #12 of 23 Old 11-12-2019, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rossandwendy View Post
The members who have been around here for awhile have one thing in common: almost all of us bought what we considered "enough" subwoofer in the beginning and later ended up wishing for more dynamic peak reproduction capability, or deeper extension, etc. and we lost money a few times in the process of selling and upgrading to finally arrive at what we should have bought to start with years ago. If I were you, I would grab a pair of VTF-3 mk5's that are currently on sale for $759 ea. (plus shipping) and you will have a notable step up in dynamic headroom, deep bass power, less potential for port noise, and lower distortion since the 15's won't be working as hard. To me that is well worth the extra dollars - you will have a better likelihood of being satisfied for a long time by the VTF-3 mk5's, they are huge value.

Ross
I second this. I have been one of the bass chasers with 4 upgrades in less than 2 years. Some of the early stuff I bought I got cheap, so i didnt take too bad of a bath, but i lost $300 on a PB2000 that was used for 8 months to upgrade to a JTR 15. If its in the budget buy 15's right away. Those HSU's are a great value. I almost bought the VTF-15 myself til this deal on the JTR came along.
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post #13 of 23 Old 11-12-2019, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
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I thought about the VTF-3 MK5's. My concern is that my theater room is pretty small (~1,713cu.ft) and I thought getting the VTF-3's might be overkill in there. In a room this size do y'all still think I'd be getting a large benefit from the VTF-3 MK5 compared to VTF-2 Mk5?
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post #14 of 23 Old 11-12-2019, 01:14 PM
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IMO it depends on how much of a basshead you (think you) are.
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post #15 of 23 Old 11-12-2019, 01:17 PM
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Check out the Rythmik FV18 paper cone or the PSA V1812.
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post #16 of 23 Old 11-12-2019, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post
IMO it depends on how much of a basshead you (think you) are.
I think I'm a huge basshead, but my wife who will be watching movies with me on the other hand.... that's TBD.
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post #17 of 23 Old 11-12-2019, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k2snow7 View Post
I thought about the VTF-3 MK5's. My concern is that my theater room is pretty small (~1,713cu.ft) and I thought getting the VTF-3's might be overkill in there. In a room this size do y'all still think I'd be getting a large benefit from the VTF-3 MK5 compared to VTF-2 Mk5?
You can always turn them down and have plenty of headroom, but there is a point on the 12's where you will have them maxed. Ultimately its up to you.
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post #18 of 23 Old 11-12-2019, 01:58 PM
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A lot depends on how loud you will typically set the volume on your AVR. If you often listen at moderate to low volumes, likely you’ll be more than satisfied with the VTF-2s. If you’re truly a bass head, the 15” drivers are in a different league. Even in a small room, the benefits of having loads of headroom available are significant. It’s difficult to explain, but at similar dB levels, a sub working at close to its limit simply won’t sound as effortless, as smooth, as satisfying as one that is being pushed far less even if it’s achieving practically the same raw output. The VTF-3s will also of course offer more low end extension, even when not cranked up. All of that considered, I don’t think we’re approaching “overkill” status quite yet.
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post #19 of 23 Old 11-12-2019, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by tbird8450 View Post
A lot depends on how loud you will typically set the volume on your AVR. If you often listen at moderate to low volumes, likely you’ll be more than satisfied with the VTF-2s. If you’re truly a bass head, the 15” drivers are in a different league. Even in a small room, the benefits of having loads of headroom available are significant. It’s difficult to explain, but at similar dB levels, a sub working at close to its limit simply won’t sound as effortless, as smooth, as satisfying as one that is being pushed far less even if it’s achieving practically the same raw output. The VTF-3s will also of course offer more low end extension, even when not cranked up. All of that considered, I don’t think we’re approaching “overkill” status quite yet.
Perfectly said and so true!

Ross

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post #20 of 23 Old 11-12-2019, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tbird8450 View Post
A lot depends on how loud you will typically set the volume on your AVR. If you often listen at moderate to low volumes, likely you’ll be more than satisfied with the VTF-2s. If you’re truly a bass head, the 15” drivers are in a different league. Even in a small room, the benefits of having loads of headroom available are significant. It’s difficult to explain, but at similar dB levels, a sub working at close to its limit simply won’t sound as effortless, as smooth, as satisfying as one that is being pushed far less even if it’s achieving practically the same raw output. The VTF-3s will also of course offer more low end extension, even when not cranked up. All of that considered, I don’t think we’re approaching “overkill” status quite yet.
Thank you for the reply, you've successfully talked me into getting dual VTF-3 Mk5's... I'm very excited to see what they can do!
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post #21 of 23 Old 11-12-2019, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by k2snow7 View Post
Thank you all for the advice! After doing some research on the recommendations I'm going to go with dual HSU VTF-2 MK5's. I liked the SVS subs as well, they had similar performance but I personally liked the aesthetics of the HSU's better. I may have to post about configuration advice in the future, but at least I got my subs picked out. In the mean time I'll make sure to grab Blade Runner 2049
Congrats! You will be upgrading again in no time...I give it a year tops. see you back here soon!!

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Thank you for the reply, you've successfully talked me into getting dual VTF-3 Mk5's... I'm very excited to see what they can do!
Smart move! See you in 2 yrs instead.
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post #22 of 23 Old 11-12-2019, 10:32 PM
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I would recommend dual sealed subs. They will integrate better in a small room.

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post #23 of 23 Old 11-13-2019, 04:52 PM
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I would recommend dual sealed subs. They will integrate better in a small room.
I don't really agree, but anyway, the VTF in VTF-3 stands for Variable Tuning Frequency. He can run the subs in 2 port, 1 port, or sealed mode. Buying a dedicated sealed sub, you don't have the option of trying a ported mode. Buying a VTF, he can see which mode works better in that space. I think he's made a good decision here.
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