2x SVS PB12-NSD or 1x HSU VTF-15H MK2? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 39 Old 12-06-2019, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
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2x SVS PB12-NSD, 1x HSU VTF-15H MK2, or 1x Rhythmik FVX15?

Hello everyone,

I recently purchased an SVS PB12-NSD for $499 shipped for the Black Friday sale. I upgraded from a Pioneer SW-8MK2 8" 100W sub, and the difference was monumental. I should have upgraded that sub years ago! I'm well within my 45 day free return period (return shipping covered) and am trying to decide whether to keep the PB12-NSD and add a second unit at a later point, or upgrade to a single HSU VTF-15H MK2 (with the possibility of upgrading to duals later). The HSU VTF-15H MK2 is currently on sale for $839 + $173 S/H making it only about $100 more than the VTF-3 MK5 HP ($799 + $96 S/H). The Rhythmik FVX15 is also on sale for $1069 shipped. Based on SVS's Cyber Monday Outlet deal, I will likely have the opportunity to add a second PB12-NSD for $450 or $500 (shipped) in the future. The sub(s) will be used exclusively for movie watching and I watch at fairly loud volumes (-5dB to -10dB).

I have a dedicated home theater in a 12'x32' space with 8' ceilings (~3000 ft3 as the rear 7ft section is only 10' wide due to a utility closet) but I'm only using about half of the room for the theater. I have a 123" 16:9 Stewart Luxe screen. With the 3.25" frame, it is 113.5" in length and there is only 24" of clearance from the floor to the bottom of the screen material. As such, it is not practical to place the subwoofer(s) in front of the viewing area. I currently have the SVS PB12-NSD placed several feet behind my viewing position, a few feet from the left wall. Setting the gain at 50% on the subwoofer, Audyssey XT applied a trim of -7dB and measured a distance from the main seating position of 7 ft. I am mostly concerned about only two viewing positions, mine and my wife's, both of which are within about 1-2'. Output doesn't seem to be a problem - I ended up purchasing the SVS anti-vibration feet as the walls and floor were shaking (the sub is sitting on a concrete foundation over carpet), causing my 45 lbs projector to change alignment and Atmos speakers to slide from their position.

Would I see a significant upgrade with the VTF-15H MK2 and would it be superior to 2x PB12-NSD? Also, does the MK2 have 4 or 6 feet (I purchased the 4 pack of anti-vibration feet)?

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post #2 of 39 Old 12-06-2019, 09:13 AM
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If adding a second HSU is a option then by all means return the SVS and get the HSU. You didn't even make it 45 days from purchasing the PB12 and upgraditis has already kicked in... which is common when entering into the world of quality ID subs. A 500.00 sub moistens the pallet but leaves you wanting more. A pair of 1000.00 subs should quench the thirst for bass unless your are a nut job like many of us here are. This place is like rehab for bass addicts. lol
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That is a fairly large room and you seem to already be wanting more. Since you have the space, I would recommend going up to the HSU VTF-15 mk2. If you are already thinking of upgrading, you are going to do it. It is just a matter of how long you wait and what you want to move up to. If you are still in your return window of the SVS's, at least this upgrade won't hurt come with any extra pain.
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post #4 of 39 Old 12-06-2019, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post
If adding a second HSU is a option then by all means return the SVS and get the HSU. You didn't even make it 45 days from purchasing the PB12 and upgraditis has already kicked in... which is common when entering into the world of quality ID subs. A 500.00 sub moistens the pallet but leaves you wanting more. A pair of 1000.00 subs should quench the thirst for bass unless your are a nut job like many of us here are. This place is like rehab for bass addicts. lol
I should clarify my reason for asking. I don't find anything wanting about the PB12-NSD. To the contrary, I was shocked at the level of improvement I obtained upgrading from the puny Pioneer sub. It was the most night-and-day difference I have experienced with a HT upgrade. I just didn't think you could get theater quality bass at home (whereas I already consider my calibrated JVC RS600 and Studiotek 130 screen to be superior to almost any commercial theater in terms of contrast). I was so impressed that I began looking at front and center speakers to replace my existing Pioneer 5.1 setup. Out of curiosity, I asked whether I should keep the PB12-NSD or move up to a more powerful sub and several people suggested buying one of the 15" HSU subs. Basically, I didn't know what I was missing, and given that I haven't auditioned more powerful subs in my home theater, it's hard for me to assess the impact of moving up to the MK2. So, I'm relying on the experience of others that have taken the jump to larger and more powerful subs to inform me.

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post #5 of 39 Old 12-06-2019, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post
If adding a second HSU is a option then by all means return the SVS and get the HSU. You didn't even make it 45 days from purchasing the PB12 and upgraditis has already kicked in... which is common when entering into the world of quality ID subs. A 500.00 sub moistens the pallet but leaves you wanting more. A pair of 1000.00 subs should quench the thirst for bass unless your are a nut job like many of us here are. This place is like rehab for bass addicts. lol
I bought 4 sb12 and wasn't enough after owning dual rythmik fv25hp. You tend to always want to reach higher peaks.

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post #6 of 39 Old 12-06-2019, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tuner1129 View Post
I bought 4 sb12 and wasn't enough after owning dual rythmik fv25hp. You tend to always want to reach higher peaks.

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Is the main benefit the low-frequency extension that you get with the larger subs? My understanding is that human hearing only goes down to 20 Hz so anything below that you're going to feel rather than hear, right?
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post #7 of 39 Old 12-06-2019, 09:59 AM
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Is the main benefit the low-frequency extension that you get with the larger subs? My understanding is that human hearing only goes down to 20 Hz so anything below that you're going to feel rather than hear, right?
Yes to my understanding that is Correct. The benefits are ofcourse lower frequency but mostly tactical feel or thump in your chest from the pressure building.

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post #8 of 39 Old 12-06-2019, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes to my understanding that is Correct. The benefits are ofcourse lower frequency but mostly tactical feel or thump in your chest from the pressure building.

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Am I correct in assuming the MK2 will significantly improve on the PB12 in this regard? The CEA 2010 Measurements indicates the MK2 peaks at 111.3dB at 16Hz and 116.3dB at 20Hz with one port open (120-127dB at higher frequencies), which is significantly louder than the PB12. I guess the question is whether people are cranking up the subwoofer volume relative to the rest of the speakers. I find listing at reference volume to be painfully loud, hence prefer -5dB to -10dB depending on the movie. Audyssey Dynamic EQ is designied specifically to do this (increase subwoofer gain as the MV drops), and of course, you can just manually increase the gain for the subwoofer.
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post #9 of 39 Old 12-06-2019, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by jasonwc07 View Post
Am I correct in assuming the MK2 will significantly improve on the PB12 in this regard? The CEA 2010 Measurements indicates the MK2 peaks at 111.3dB at 16Hz and 116.3dB at 20Hz with one port open (120-127dB at higher frequencies), which is significantly louder than the PB12. I guess the question is whether people are cranking up the subwoofer volume relative to the rest of the speakers. I find listing at reference volume to be painfully loud, hence prefer -5dB to -10dB depending on the movie. Audyssey Dynamic EQ is designied specifically to do this (increase subwoofer gain as the MV drops), and of course, you can just manually increase the gain for the subwoofer.
Yes I would have to agree with you. It will also depend in listening reference level as you said as all subs eventually find a distortion level especially running them hot +. I myself am guilty of doing so I tend to find the limits and moving up the chain. My next subs with have to be 18" or higher maybe DIY 24"

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post #10 of 39 Old 12-06-2019, 01:49 PM
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For that amount of $$ spend a lil more and go JTR or PSA.

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For that amount of $$ spend a lil more and go JTR or PSA.
What is the PSA equivalent - the V1512? The V1512DF is downfiring, and I'm not sure how well that will work with medium pile carpet.
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post #12 of 39 Old 12-06-2019, 02:23 PM
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What is the PSA equivalent - the V1512? The V1512DF is downfiring, and I'm not sure how well that will work with medium pile carpet.
Yes it would be a V1512. I used to own a PB12-NSD ( great sub) I was always left wanting more...more LFE and more Mid-bass. I brought my V1510 over to my Bro-inlaws and we watched a couple of bass heavy scenes from some movies. The mid-bass gun shots from John wick , The thunderous sound from Godzilla, the Race scene from ready player one, beginning of blade runner 2049 & the 1st 15min of Aquaman. My Bro-inlaw returned the PB2000 and Pre-ordered a V1512 and he will buy a 2nd one later.


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Originally Posted by tuner1129 View Post
I bought 4 sb12 and wasn't enough after owning dual rythmik fv25hp. You tend to always want to reach higher peaks.

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Well 4 SB12 is slightly ahead of a single PB12-NSD in the 16- 30hz so that doesn't surprise me.
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Yes it would be a V1512. I used to own a PB12-NSD ( great sub) I was always left wanting more...more LFE and more Mid-bass. I brought my V1510 over to my Bro-inlaws and we watched a couple of bass heavy scenes from some movies. The mid-bass gun shots from John wick , The thunderous sound from Godzilla, the Race scene from ready player one, beginning of blade runner 2049 & the 1st 15min of Aquaman. My Bro-inlaw returned the PB2000 and Pre-ordered a V1512 and he will buy a 2nd one later.


http://imgur.com/a/b7o9oZL
I don't see any professional reviews of the PSA V1512 and the site doesn't have frequency response data. What makes it superior to the VTF-15H MK2?
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post #15 of 39 Old 12-06-2019, 06:15 PM
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I don't see any professional reviews of the PSA V1512 and the site doesn't have frequency response data. What makes it superior to the VTF-15H MK2?
Yeah it's too new. Data-bass has info on a really old XV-15 so the V1512 will be much better. For one thing is the Amp is hand assembled in the United States, hence why they can offer a 5 year warranty on the electronics with no extra charges...HSU charges extra for a 5 year warranty so if that's important to you... all of PSA & JTR subwoofer components the cabinet and electronics are hand assembled in the United States. The new drivers for PSA are pro drivers from B&C made in Italy. JTR uses their own high performance professional driver and assembled in-house IIRC. PSA & JTR customer service is one of the best. You should go check out the owners thread here on AVS there you can find REW graphs.

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I just noticed the Rhythmik FVX15 is priced at $1069 shipped making it only $57 more than the MK2. I'm wondering how these two subs compare.
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post #17 of 39 Old 12-07-2019, 09:55 AM
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You are going to go through paralysis from analysis...At some point you just gonna have to stick to a game plan and roll the dice. Most of us here have not heard every available sub. I have owned SVS, Outlaw, PSA, and JTR. All make good products. I have spent way too much time in the past mucking over which sub is better and what should I buy.

The general consensus on different brand ported subs.

Rythmik- aluminum cone subs sound great and offer deep extension. Really good with music being they have a leaner sound signature with very little decay time. For some they sound almost too lean for Home Theater even with damping set low. They do offer a paper cone driver for the FV18 which adds more punch and tactile response.

SVS- They lack mid- upper end output but they are clean sounding and have strong low end. They have great perks that are factored into the cost, so unless they are running a really good sale like the PB-SB12 stuff you can find a better value elsewhere if all the perks SVS offers doesn't appeal to you. Top Notch customer service

PSA- lots of punch and mid upper bass TR. New 12 series subs should replicate Rythmik far as low distortion with more TR but they lack the extension(comparing single driver ported options). The V1512 and V1812 are 18hz tune where Rythmik FV15 and 18 have 12hz tunes. PSA does offer low tune options but they are large(TV36 and TV42). Top Notch customer service

JTR- bottom end monsters. Easily pressurize the room and they have crazy amounts of port wind. Some find the JTR to be a little biased to the low end and lack a little mid bass quality. Customer service had been suspect at times.

HSU- you don't really hear much about these subs lately. The VTF3.5 is arguably the best bang for buck sub at it's price point. I would probably place it in the category of PSA older models(01 series), good balance of low end and mid-upper bass capability. Not super deep tuned(17hz range).

Outlaw- unless they run sales most do not even consider them a player in the ID game at this point(Dr. HSU helped with some of the designs). I have a M8 in my garage setup and it sounds good. I believe the latest HSU offerings kind of shunned Outlaw out of the market with their latest updates. The VTF2.5 and 3.5 are hard to beat in the 600-800 range. The Outlaw X12 is solid though when it's again on sale for 579.00 shipped. The X13 is over priced. Last year when they were discounting it for 999.00 shipped it was a decent option.
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Originally Posted by jasonwc07 View Post
Am I correct in assuming the MK2 will significantly improve on the PB12 in this regard? The CEA 2010 Measurements indicates the MK2 peaks at 111.3dB at 16Hz and 116.3dB at 20Hz with one port open (120-127dB at higher frequencies), which is significantly louder than the PB12. I guess the question is whether people are cranking up the subwoofer volume relative to the rest of the speakers. I find listing at reference volume to be painfully loud, hence prefer -5dB to -10dB depending on the movie. Audyssey Dynamic EQ is designied specifically to do this (increase subwoofer gain as the MV drops), and of course, you can just manually increase the gain for the subwoofer.
Those numbers quoted for the HSU look to be 1m peak numbers, not 2m RMS numbers, so you'd need to subtract 9dB to make it comparable to the databass and Audioholics numbers for the PB12-NSD
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Originally Posted by tuner1129 View Post
I bought 4 sb12 and wasn't enough after owning dual rythmik fv25hp. You tend to always want to reach higher peaks.

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I had 4 as well, really enjoyed them. However, I guessed by the time I had enough(16? 32?) it would be ridiculous. When Rythmik finally came out with 18, I bought two F18 with the end game being 4. Hopefully this summer.


AS far as the OP, remember, the PB12-NSD is only available about 2 months every year, it's a special run for Black Friday, and sells out much faster than the SB. Also, there is no guarantee that SVS will continue to do this.
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I had 4 as well, really enjoyed them. However, I guessed by the time I had enough(16? 32?) it would be ridiculous. When Rythmik finally came out with 18, I bought two F18 with the end game being 4. Hopefully this summer.





AS far as the OP, remember, the PB12-NSD is only available about 2 months every year, it's a special run for Black Friday, and sells out much faster than the SB. Also, there is no guarantee that SVS will continue to do this.
I agree. I am waiting on the fv28 next year and I am confident after 8 years of trying subs here and there. I will settle on 2 of these for a good while.

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Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post
You are going to go through paralysis from analysis...At some point you just gonna have to stick to a game plan and roll the dice. Most of us here have not heard every available sub. I have owned SVS, Outlaw, PSA, and JTR. All make good products. I have spent way too much time in the past mucking over which sub is better and what should I buy.

The general consensus on different brand ported subs.

Rythmik- aluminum cone subs sound great and offer deep extension. Really good with music being they have a leaner sound signature with very little decay time. For some they sound almost too lean for Home Theater even with damping set low. They do offer a paper cone driver for the FV18 which adds more punch and tactile response.

SVS- They lack mid- upper end output but they are clean sounding and have strong low end. They have great perks that are factored into the cost, so unless they are running a really good sale like the PB-SB12 stuff you can find a better value elsewhere if all the perks SVS offers doesn't appeal to you. Top Notch customer service

PSA- lots of punch and mid upper bass TR. New 12 series subs should replicate Rythmik far as low distortion with more TR but they lack the extension(comparing single driver ported options). The V1512 and V1812 are 18hz tune where Rythmik FV15 and 18 have 12hz tunes. PSA does offer low tune options but they are large(TV36 and TV42). Top Notch customer service

JTR- bottom end monsters. Easily pressurize the room and they have crazy amounts of port wind. Some find the JTR to be a little biased to the low end and lack a little mid bass quality. Customer service had been suspect at times.

HSU- you don't really hear much about these subs lately. The VTF3.5 is arguably the best bang for buck sub at it's price point. I would probably place it in the category of PSA older models(01 series), good balance of low end and mid-upper bass capability. Not super deep tuned(17hz range).

Outlaw- unless they run sales most do not even consider them a player in the ID game at this point(Dr. HSU helped with some of the designs). I have a M8 in my garage setup and it sounds good. I believe the latest HSU offerings kind of shunned Outlaw out of the market with their latest updates. The VTF2.5 and 3.5 are hard to beat in the 600-800 range. The Outlaw X12 is solid though when it's again on sale for 579.00 shipped. The X13 is over priced. Last year when they were discounting it for 999.00 shipped it was a decent option.
Thanks, this is all very helpful - and I agree on the choice paralysis. I'm inclined to get the HSU VTF-15H MK2 for the improved extension as it is only ~$100 more than the VTF-3 MK5 HP due to the BF sale (about $1000 shipped). The PSA V1512 looks interesting but is a few hundred dollars over what I want to spend. I'll ask Tom if there's much difference in performance between the V1512 and V1512DF, as the latter is much closer to my target price and the only difference I see in the specs is slightly greater extension for the V1512.
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post #22 of 39 Old 12-07-2019, 12:45 PM
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Thanks, this is all very helpful - and I agree on the choice paralysis. I'm inclined to get the HSU VTF-15H MK2 for the improved extension as it is only ~$100 more than the VTF-3 MK5 HP due to the BF sale (about $1000 shipped). The PSA V1512 looks interesting but is a few hundred dollars over what I want to spend. I'll ask Tom if there's much difference in performance between the V1512 and V1512DF, as the latter is much closer to my target price and the only difference I see in the specs is slightly greater extension for the V1512.
For all practical purposes, the DF is identical in performance.

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post #23 of 39 Old 12-07-2019, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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For all practical purposes, the DF is identical in performance.
In that case, what is the justification for the $150 price premium on the V1512, aesthetics? Given that PSA provides a 5 year warranty on the amplifier and drivers (whereas HSU charges an additional $70) and PSA includes shipping in the price, there is only a nominal $50 price difference between the V1512DH and the MK2. Sigh :/
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post #24 of 39 Old 12-07-2019, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by jasonwc07 View Post
In that case, what is the justification for the $150 price premium on the V1512, aesthetics? Given that PSA provides a 5 year warranty on the amplifier and drivers (whereas HSU charges an additional $70) and PSA includes shipping in the price, there is only a nominal $50 price difference between the V1512DH and the MK2. Sigh :/
The V1512 is slightly larger and +/-3db 16-200hz, where the V1512DF is smaller and +/-3db 18-200hz. Output wise they are pretty close above 20hz, the standard unit simply has a little better extension.
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post #25 of 39 Old 12-07-2019, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jasonwc07 View Post
In that case, what is the justification for the $150 price premium on the V1512, aesthetics? Given that PSA provides a 5 year warranty on the amplifier and drivers (whereas HSU charges an additional $70) and PSA includes shipping in the price, there is only a nominal $50 price difference between the V1512DH and the MK2. Sigh :/
I asked Tom the same and he said the increase cost was due to the grill. I ended up buying the V1512... No regrets.

Living Room: 5.1.2 PSA MT110L/R | PSA MTM210C | Polk TSi100 S/R | Atmos in-ceiling Mag6R
SUB: PSA V1512
RECEIVER: Denon X3400H
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SOURCES, MISC, & 2ch: Xbox One X, Harmony Elite, Aircom T10, Chane A1.5 & AD18
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post #26 of 39 Old 12-07-2019, 06:33 PM - Thread Starter
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I asked Tom the same and he said the increase cost was due to the grill. I ended up buying the V1512... No regrets.
That's good to know since I don't intend to even use the grill. I like the look of the bare subwoofer, and it's behind my couch anyhow.
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post #27 of 39 Old 12-07-2019, 06:36 PM
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That's good to know since I don't intend to even use the grill. I like the look of the bare subwoofer, and it's behind my couch anyhow.
So it's gonna be on carpet right?

Living Room: 5.1.2 PSA MT110L/R | PSA MTM210C | Polk TSi100 S/R | Atmos in-ceiling Mag6R
SUB: PSA V1512
RECEIVER: Denon X3400H
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post #28 of 39 Old 12-07-2019, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
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So it's gonna be on carpet right?
It will be on carpet. However, since the theater is in my basement, beneath the carpet is the concrete foundation. I read that the ability to feel infrasonic sound is heavily impacted by the room, seating position, and subwoofer position. Thus, I wonder whether the concrete foundation will impact my ability to benefit from output below 20Hz. On the other hand, the subwoofer is positioned immediately behind my wife's seating position and about 2' to the left of mine, so the tactile response is very satisfying. While perhaps not relevant, I was pretty shocked by the amount of vibration that did transmit through the concrete floor. Specifically, my Atmos speakers slid on the front speakers and my 45 lb projector shifted position. The use of SVS’s anti-vibration feet almost completely resolved these issues, however.

The HSU VTF-3 MK5 and VTF-15H MK2 appear to have very similar output above 20Hz (https://www.audioholics.com/subwoofe...-hp-subwoofers), so the benefit of the larger and heavier MK2 appears to be focused on these infrasonic frequencies. It appears the same is true of the V1512DF versus the V1512 (16Hz vs. 18Hz). So, I’m wondering whether I’ll actually see any benefit to this improved extension given my concrete floors.

Last edited by jasonwc07; 12-07-2019 at 06:58 PM.
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post #29 of 39 Old 12-08-2019, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
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I just finished reading the AVS Subwoofer Calibration FAQ and found it to be a great resource that gives insight into the above issues (https://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-s...eferences.html).
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post #30 of 39 Old 12-08-2019, 09:46 AM
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Yeah with concrete it's not gonna be worth it, you're better off building a boss platform or some of these

http://www.crowsontech.com/
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Living Room: 5.1.2 PSA MT110L/R | PSA MTM210C | Polk TSi100 S/R | Atmos in-ceiling Mag6R
SUB: PSA V1512
RECEIVER: Denon X3400H
DISPLAY: Vizio P65-C1
SOURCES, MISC, & 2ch: Xbox One X, Harmony Elite, Aircom T10, Chane A1.5 & AD18
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