Great Room, 1 Big vs. 2 Little - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 19 Old 11-29-2019, 11:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Great Room, 1 Big vs. 2 Little

Yeah, another question on one vs. two subs based on the room. I have been reading up on this and I think I would prefer two subs but the wife would prefer one. Due to the WAF, I have four locations they could be placed and most of the locations size is a limiting factor. The room is pretty big but I will only have two bookshelf speakers and a Denon AVR 3500H. The Denon will have outputs for two subs and the Odasy(sp?) system to handle two subs as far as I understand. Due to the four locations I have availible for the subs, I am not sure if two is really better then one more powerful sub for my situation. I tried to detail everything below. Please let me know if you need any additional info.



1. Your budget. Well... it started at $1,000 but seems to be climbing to $1,500. Rather stay under $1K but...

2. Size requirements/limits. I have a few locations with WAF. Largest possible location would be 23" H x 21" W x 28" D. Two other locations would be ~ 18" H x 15" W x 15" D

3. Room dimensions. Listening area is about 12" from the front wall. I am not sure of cubic feed but it is a fairly large living room that is open to a dining room behind the listening area about with a total length of just over 30" long. The front half of the room with the listening area is 2 stories high and has a vaulted ceiling from there that opens into a loft to the side of the listening area.

4. Primary uses. Probably 70% TV/Movies, 25% music, 5% games. My wife and I probably prioritize musical sound quality over big HT feel though.

5. Listening habits. We don't listen too loud and value clarity over volume. I would guess we are fairly average in volume level and every now and again you just need to turn it up some right? Neighbors are pretty close so we never go too crazy for long.

6. Appearance requirements. The smaller and fewer the better as far as the wife is concerned. They will be somewhat hidden away most likely so not too worried about looks as long and it does not stand out.

7. Timeframe. As long as needed to get it right.


Locations available:
Option 1. Between couch and wall around the middle of the room length wise. Subs would be under or replace end table. I could possibly fit 2 subs back to back facing opposite directions but don't know if that is a bad idea. 23" H x 21" W x 28" D limit
Option 2. Corner of front wall with TV. Behind an Ikea chair. 18"H x 15"W x 15"D limit.
Option 3. Corner of back wall ~18' back from listening area along same wall as option 1. Smaller the better as it would be in the open. Opposite corner from option 1 would need to be under 13.5" deep while same wall as option one is not very restricted by size other then WAF.
Option 4. Along front wall with TV but up on stair landing ~5' up. 1" railing ever 4" on stairs between listening area and where sub would be. I don't know if being up and behind the rail would ruin sound. Wife says 16"x16" max if on landing.

Subs considered already: HSU HP 15 and VTF-3 both seems a little too big but maybe in Option 1. Rymithic seems a little big too. 2 RSL speedwoofer 10S may be a decent option but I am not sure it will have enough for our big room. Monolith 15" seem too big to fit for me. Rel T7 and T9 both seem like they would not have enough power running alone and I don't have the budget for 2. BIC America seems like a cheap option but no DSP I think. ELEC Debut seems a bit underpowered.

I am leaning in the direction of 2 SVS SB-2000. They stretch the budget a bit but it seems like it would be a noticeable step from the SB 1000. I am also considering one SVS SB-4000 or one SVS PB-3000 in location option 1 above.

I know the locations available really limit how well my system will be able to function which has left me unsure if I would be better off with two smaller subs or one big one in my budget. They are my only options available after going over everything with the wife.

Based on my location limitations, what would you recommend I do for subs? Should I rule out the location on the stairs 5~ up or would that be a better location then I realize. Would you recommend something else to me and could I possible save some by going with less power then I am thinking? Am I over doing the subs when using just 2 bookshelf speakers?

Most importantly, out of my options, where should I put the sub/subs?

Thanks for the help everyone. I am starting to learn as much as I can about all of this and am really getting into it.
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post #2 of 19 Old 11-30-2019, 12:05 AM
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How about two HSU ULS-15 MK2s?

I'd suggest that two subs is not excessive as much as your room is probably underpowered for speakers. Can you at least do two towers and a center for a 3.2 setup?
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post #3 of 19 Old 11-30-2019, 03:37 AM
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With bookshelves you dont need less sub, you might need more
You should probably go ported not sealed box since most use will be TV/movies. Ported give a more physical feel, if you go sealed you might need 3 or 4 subs instead of 2 ported to get the same feel.
Unfortunatly size does matter for subs but they do seem mostly invisible after a while unless very out in the open.

Might be good to get one nice ported sub then see if you want/need another after a while. Might be one will be fine since you dont seem to need the whole house to shake if lucky with placement, and no way to know until you try each spot.


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post #4 of 19 Old 11-30-2019, 07:49 AM
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Your room is quite large, so I think the advice from many before me holds true in your situation. That is, buy the single largest/best sub you can afford stretching the budget. Later down the road if you are itching to add more bass you can add a second as funds are available. In the size you listed for your largest placement location you may be able to get an 18 incher, such as the PSA V1812. This would be pretty close to your stretch budget (including shipping) and the size is just one inch taller than you would like. I believe it would also be a significant upgrade to the other subs listed. Lastly, although a large sub like this may look large at first, you will get used to it fairly quickly. You can also disguise it with a table cloth etc.

Many of us have been down this route before. That is, buy a lesser sub(s) due to budget or perceived size constraints only to upgrade down the road because you decide you want MOAR. And it is much more expensive to upgrade two subs vs. adding an identical sub down the road. My room is very similar to yours. That is, not a dedicated HT and a house with a very large floor plan. I am able to get all the bass I desire with just one large sub. Granted, it may sound better and flatten the response with two, but I am so pleased with the one I have no desire to add another (and don't have the room anyway).
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post #5 of 19 Old 11-30-2019, 07:55 AM
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+1 to a pair of HSU ULS-15 MK2. As for placement, I'd experiment with different combinations of locations and put the subs in the two spots that provide the best overall frequency response (FR) at and across the main listening position (MLP).
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post #6 of 19 Old 11-30-2019, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Bit of an update. I ended up ordeirng some Zu Omen Dirty Weekend Mk.II as the wife viewed them as more "furniture" then "speaker". Never actually listened to a Zu speaker before but I am excited for them. I like the idea of what they are doing with a high sensitivity full range driver and think the design is terrific. I'm not sure if the full range driver floor standing speakers without a crossover would change the sub recomendatoins from everyone but I thought I should not it in case this changes things. I'm not sure if I would set up subs the same for this type of speaker or if I would lose some of it's advantages from the Zu's not having a crossover if I did?

I'm still compleatly unsure about what my best options for set up are but it sounds like most people think I would be best served by a ported sub. I only have room for one ported sub, so I guess that means one big sub is for us. Right now it seems to be between the HSU VTF-15H and the SVS PB-3000. The sealed SVS SB-4000 would be a little awkward for the size of the space and it sounds like I would be best served by a ported sub. Will we still get much benefit from the ported if the port is not pointed at the listening area but is next to it? Also, would it be possible to add a second ported sub later or can you not effectively pair a ported and sealed sub?

Thanks.
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post #7 of 19 Old 11-30-2019, 06:33 PM
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I would go with dual PB12-NSD’s for $1,000. And pull the trigger quickly before SVS runs out or the sale is over.
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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 19 Old 11-30-2019, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABuilder View Post
Bit of an update. I ended up ordeirng some Zu Omen Dirty Weekend Mk.II as the wife viewed them as more "furniture" then "speaker". Never actually listened to a Zu speaker before but I am excited for them. I like the idea of what they are doing with a high sensitivity full range driver and think the design is terrific. I'm not sure if the full range driver floor standing speakers without a crossover would change the sub recomendatoins from everyone but I thought I should not it in case this changes things. I'm not sure if I would set up subs the same for this type of speaker or if I would lose some of it's advantages from the Zu's not having a crossover if I did?

I'm still compleatly unsure about what my best options for set up are but it sounds like most people think I would be best served by a ported sub. I only have room for one ported sub, so I guess that means one big sub is for us. Right now it seems to be between the HSU VTF-15H and the SVS PB-3000. The sealed SVS SB-4000 would be a little awkward for the size of the space and it sounds like I would be best served by a ported sub. Will we still get much benefit from the ported if the port is not pointed at the listening area but is next to it? Also, would it be possible to add a second ported sub later or can you not effectively pair a ported and sealed sub?

Thanks.

I agree that ported would be best for both your listening preferences (70% movies/TV) and the fact that you have such a large room. In most cases it takes more sealed subs to equal the output of a single ported sub. Don't worry about the port orientation as it does not matter. For example, the port on my sub fires down. And as far as mixing ported and sealed subs, most do not recommend this.

As I mentioned in my previous post, you really ought to at least take a look at a few 18 inch offerings based on the size of your room. You don't want your sub to be he weak link in your system and the fact that you just upgraded the mains makes this even more of a consideration. The new PSA V1812 with their B&C NEO drivers should be phenomenal and comes in a very small footprint (for an 18 inch) and are pretty close to your size requirements. If you haven't looked into PSA, I would highly recommend you to at least take a look.

Lastly, to my "buy the single largest/best sub you can afford" comment in my previous post. I wish someone had mentioned this wisdom to me years ago. I am on my third sub in the past two years and a lot of money out of my pocket due to not being happy with the sound- until now.
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post #9 of 19 Old 12-01-2019, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
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I think I could probably make the PSA V1812 work, but it would be pushing things. I have added it to my list and will look into it more. What advantages do you think it has over the SVS-PB-3000 or the HSU VTF 15H? Between those three, is there anything that would make you pick one over the others for my situation? Thanks.
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post #10 of 19 Old 12-01-2019, 01:41 PM
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If the wife wants to prioritize music over movies, then you might do better with two smaller subs over one big. It should also help with evening out the FR in the entirety of that large room. Rythmik L12 x 2, or if you can fit it, LV12F x 2.
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post #11 of 19 Old 12-01-2019, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Ol View Post
I agree that ported would be best for both your listening preferences (70% movies/TV) and the fact that you have such a large room. In most cases it takes more sealed subs to equal the output of a single ported sub. Don't worry about the port orientation as it does not matter. For example, the port on my sub fires down. And as far as mixing ported and sealed subs, most do not recommend this.

As I mentioned in my previous post, you really ought to at least take a look at a few 18 inch offerings based on the size of your room. You don't want your sub to be he weak link in your system and the fact that you just upgraded the mains makes this even more of a consideration. The new PSA V1812 with their B&C NEO drivers should be phenomenal and comes in a very small footprint (for an 18 inch) and are pretty close to your size requirements. If you haven't looked into PSA, I would highly recommend you to at least take a look.

Lastly, to my "buy the single largest/best sub you can afford" comment in my previous post. I wish someone had mentioned this wisdom to me years ago. I am on my third sub in the past two years and a lot of money out of my pocket due to not being happy with the sound- until now.
Made that same mistake a few time before. And did learn my lesson, the reason I also recommend buying the best single sub for now and add a second one down the road if required. A lot cheaper in the long time.


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post #12 of 19 Old 12-01-2019, 04:36 PM
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I think I could probably make the PSA V1812 work, but it would be pushing things. I have added it to my list and will look into it more. What advantages do you think it has over the SVS-PB-3000 or the HSU VTF 15H? Between those three, is there anything that would make you pick one over the others for my situation? Thanks.

First off, let me state that the SVS PB 3000 and the HSU VTF 15H are great subs and I have nothing against them. They work great for many a home theater. My main reason for recommending a larger 18 inch sub is the size of your room. I’m not sure in the end you would be happy with the smaller drivers in that size of room. The second reason is what many others have suggested to those looking for a sub. That is, buy the single best sub you can afford. This way, if you feel the need to upgrade down the road you can simply add another sub to match the first once you have enough funds available. And finally, a larger driver will have a potential advantage for increased low-bass tactile response (TR). Since you have such a large room, and your usage is 70% movies/TV you need a larger sub to create more weight and pressure for the room so you can feel the bass. I had the same dilemma over the past several years. I first had an SVS PC Ultra (12 inch driver) and then an SVS SB16 Ultra (15.5 inch driver). Both were great but just couldn’t deliver the bass that I could feel in my large room (granted, the 16 Ultra was a sealed sub). It wasn’t until I went to an 18 inch sub that I could feel the bass. Bottom line, a lot of wasted money had I just gone with a larger sub in the first place.

Why the PSA V1812? First off, it is a wonderful sub. And the new B&C NEO (Neodymium) driver takes this sub to another level and provides very crisp and clean bass. It is one of the better drivers on the market and has great mid bass TR that PSA is known for. And the support and service that PSA provides is top notch. Email PSA on a Saturday or Sunday with a question/concern and you will most likely get a response the same day.

Now there are other great 18 inch sub offerings out there. JTR and Rythmik come to mind, and offer some great 18 inch subs. But their size and price does not meet your criteria. However, the PSA V1812 comes very close to both your size and price point.

I hope this helps. Good luck with your decision.

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post #13 of 19 Old 12-01-2019, 05:03 PM
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I'm in the same boat you are, and have been doing a lot of research. I was almost all set on the PB3000 (PB-4000 was just too big to fit), but then I found the PC-4000 on the SVS site. It's the cylinder version of the PB-4000, so supposedly almost as strong as the PB-4000 but also easy to place (it's only 16" diameter but 47" high, so perfect behind a sofa). Really thinking about pulling the trigger on it, but not sure if its worth the extra $500 over the PB3000?
Also, I have thick hardwood floors, so concerned a downfiring sub isn't ideal?

Anyone else try it yet?
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post #14 of 19 Old 12-01-2019, 10:33 PM
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Well, just pulled the trigger on the PB-3000. They just went on sale on the SVS outlet store. Will let you know how it goes! Hopefully a major upgrade over the ancient M&K v125 I'm running now...maybe I'll hear actual bass now!
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post #15 of 19 Old 12-02-2019, 11:13 AM
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Well, just pulled the trigger on the PB-3000. They just went on sale on the SVS outlet store. Will let you know how it goes! Hopefully a major upgrade over the ancient M&K v125 I'm running now...maybe I'll hear actual bass now!
Congrats! Now, some care in placement will be required to get it right. Be sure you test the frequency response at the wife's seating position. You do not want her subjected to a large peak which she will perceive as boomy and a bad investment.

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post #16 of 19 Old 12-03-2019, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Congrats on the new sub. The wife came in while I was watching sub videos and saw a sweep of large ported subs showing them blowing the carpet in front of the speakers and the youtuber commented on it shaking the windows an the shampoo bottles upstairs. My wife does not want the house rattling at all, so I am thinking of sealed subs again with rubber isolation feet. We would like to blend the subs in to fill out the music but we are not looking to share windows. In fact, the wife says the sub will be returned it if shakes the house.

The above post about the outlet led me to a new option in the SVS-SB16 Ultra. They have a discount in the outlet store for units with damaged finishes right now that would bring it to the top of my budget. I am also thinking more about the 2 seal SVS SB-2000 or 2 RSL speedwoofer 10s. What do you guys recommend?
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post #17 of 19 Old 12-03-2019, 12:30 PM
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Congrats on the new sub. The wife came in while I was watching sub videos and saw a sweep of large ported subs showing them blowing the carpet in front of the speakers and the youtuber commented on it shaking the windows an the shampoo bottles upstairs. My wife does not want the house rattling at all, so I am thinking of sealed subs again with rubber isolation feet. We would like to blend the subs in to fill out the music but we are not looking to share windows. In fact, the wife says the sub will be returned it if shakes the house.

The above post about the outlet led me to a new option in the SVS-SB16 Ultra. They have a discount in the outlet store for units with damaged finishes right now that would bring it to the top of my budget. I am also thinking more about the 2 seal SVS SB-2000 or 2 RSL speedwoofer 10s. What do you guys recommend?
2 x Rythmik L12s would be your best solution. Tight controlled bass is what you are looking for and that is Rythmik's forte. Add the SVS isolation feet, if necessary.
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post #18 of 19 Old 12-03-2019, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
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2 x Rythmik L12s would be your best solution. Tight controlled bass is what you are looking for and that is Rythmik's forte. Add the SVS isolation feet, if necessary.
I sure like the idea of tight controlled base and the price of two L12s better then two SB-2000s. Do you think this will be enough for our big room? The SB-2000s are rated at 500 watts RMS each compared to the L12s 300 watts. I think there is more to it then just power but I don't really know what to look for. Can you add some detail for me on why the Rythmic L12s are a good solution for me. I see lots of people recommend the Rythmic subs, and I am sure they are great, I just don't know how to compare them to companies offerings. Does the direct servo make that big of a difference that not as much power is needed?

How would 2 L12s compare to two RSL Speedwoofer 10s? I was also thinking a pair of the RSL subs may be a good option for me. I like the idea of fast tight base and I could get two wireless ones for under $1K.

Thanks.
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All the extra power adds up to about 2dB, which is negligible (assuming each speaker has a similar sensitivity). I guess it's possible that the SB2000 may have more raw output at certain frequencies (haven't looked it up), but what difference will it make, as the wife won't let you use even 50% of either sub's ultimate capabilities. I think you need to look reality square in the face, and realize that you are on the edge of having no sub whatsoever, if you attempt to push either choice up to non-WAF dB levels. No matter which you select, your main task will be to integrate the subs such that they draw NO attention to themselves whatsoever. Your goal will be to improve the apparent bass extension of your current speakers, not shake the house with chest punching bass.

Alternatively, you can sleep on the couch for the rest of your marriage ... your choice

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