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post #1 of 16 Old 01-08-2020, 03:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Advice on a subwoofer(s) primarily for music

I have lurked and done a bunch of research on these forums and elsewhere and have finally decided to take the plunge to get what I hope to be an end-game subwoofer for me. Here is my basic information.

I am located in Hawaii, so all bets on prices you see on the internet are not in the cards for me. I've corresponded with the various ID companies and in general, I can expect to add about $300+ per 15 inch sub and closer to $500 per 18 inch sub. I don't know if it is even feasible to get into the really large sub realm. Given the added shipping costs, I am not going to be able to demo and return anything, so what I end up buying will be it. Also, the market for used subs in the category and price point I am looking for is basically non-existent.
My room is a living room approximately 4800 cubic feet with an open kitchen that adds about another 1100 cubic feet. It is not a dedicated listening area and I (well really my kids) pretty much have stuff everywhere. It looks like Toy R Us reopened for business in my living room.
My existing gear is a denon (soon to be yamaha) avr, Klipsch epic c3s and dual Hsu vtf-2.
In terms of usage, it will be 90/10 music/HT.
Music wise I listen to just about anything from classical to heavy metal. I would also note that I only listen in the primary listening position maybe 50% of the time. Between doing things around the house and having little ones playing around, I don't really do any critical listening. I have to save that for my headphones.
Volume wise, I probably spend the bulk of my time listening around -30 to -20 on the avr so I am not looking for reference level output.
Budget is $2000-3000.

In terms of what I am looking for, obviously the big thing is gaining more output in general and headroom. Not surprisingly, my Hsu's are pretty inadequate in the space I have. I have my existing sub gains set pretty conservatively because I don't want to push them beyond their limits. Since my use is primarily music, I am mostly looking for output in the 30-80Hz region. Ulf is not a big deal to me and realistically, I probably wouldn't really hear/feel much ulf given my room and budget anyway. I am looking for ported over sealed because of the size of the room they are currently in (and in terms of future planning, I anticipate any move would be to a bigger place). The main reason I would consider a lower tuned port is to shift the group delay as far down the frequency spectrum as I can. I'm open to one bigger sub even though I know the benefit of dual subs. Again this comes back to the added shipping cost I will incur. WAF has a pretty high threshold. My wife has seen the evolution from bookshelf speakers to the current epics, which are 100 lbs towers so another 100+ box is doable. Oh and last thing, I am not looking for DIY. I have neither the time nor interest.

What I am considering right now is either dual 15s, either vtf-3s, fvx-15s or v1512s (or the df to save a little). I could also go with a single 18, either a v1812 or a f18. I've read about the ipal drivers from PSA, but am not sure that I really need it.
I don't know if some of the big boys like the tv3612, fv25hp or jtr 2400 are even feasible given the costs of shipping. They would be doable if the added cost of shipping were $500, but I suspect it would be quite a bit higher.

So given the above situation and my options, what do you think?
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post #2 of 16 Old 01-08-2020, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by iwong28 View Post
I have lurked and done a bunch of research on these forums and elsewhere and have finally decided to take the plunge to get what I hope to be an end-game subwoofer for me. Here is my basic information.

I am located in Hawaii, so all bets on prices you see on the internet are not in the cards for me. I've corresponded with the various ID companies and in general, I can expect to add about $300+ per 15 inch sub and closer to $500 per 18 inch sub. I don't know if it is even feasible to get into the really large sub realm. Given the added shipping costs, I am not going to be able to demo and return anything, so what I end up buying will be it. Also, the market for used subs in the category and price point I am looking for is basically non-existent.
My room is a living room approximately 4800 cubic feet with an open kitchen that adds about another 1100 cubic feet. It is not a dedicated listening area and I (well really my kids) pretty much have stuff everywhere. It looks like Toy R Us reopened for business in my living room.
My existing gear is a denon (soon to be yamaha) avr, Klipsch epic c3s and dual Hsu vtf-2.
In terms of usage, it will be 90/10 music/HT.
Music wise I listen to just about anything from classical to heavy metal. I would also note that I only listen in the primary listening position maybe 50% of the time. Between doing things around the house and having little ones playing around, I don't really do any critical listening. I have to save that for my headphones.
Volume wise, I probably spend the bulk of my time listening around -30 to -20 on the avr so I am not looking for reference level output.
Budget is $2000-3000.

In terms of what I am looking for, obviously the big thing is gaining more output in general and headroom. Not surprisingly, my Hsu's are pretty inadequate in the space I have. I have my existing sub gains set pretty conservatively because I don't want to push them beyond their limits. Since my use is primarily music, I am mostly looking for output in the 30-80Hz region. Ulf is not a big deal to me and realistically, I probably wouldn't really hear/feel much ulf given my room and budget anyway. I am looking for ported over sealed because of the size of the room they are currently in (and in terms of future planning, I anticipate any move would be to a bigger place). The main reason I would consider a lower tuned port is to shift the group delay as far down the frequency spectrum as I can. I'm open to one bigger sub even though I know the benefit of dual subs. Again this comes back to the added shipping cost I will incur. WAF has a pretty high threshold. My wife has seen the evolution from bookshelf speakers to the current epics, which are 100 lbs towers so another 100+ box is doable. Oh and last thing, I am not looking for DIY. I have neither the time nor interest.

What I am considering right now is either dual 15s, either vtf-3s, fvx-15s or v1512s (or the df to save a little). I could also go with a single 18, either a v1812 or a f18. I've read about the ipal drivers from PSA, but am not sure that I really need it.
I don't know if some of the big boys like the tv3612, fv25hp or jtr 2400 are even feasible given the costs of shipping. They would be doable if the added cost of shipping were $500, but I suspect it would be quite a bit higher.

So given the above situation and my options, what do you think?
You would be happy with any of the Rythmik subs for music and you could ask @enricoclaudio for a shipping cost estimate. If its reasonable, the FV25HP would be the one to go for especially if you are considering one sub only

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post #3 of 16 Old 01-08-2020, 09:51 PM
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You would probably do fine with any of them. Rythmik is proven to be low distortion and very musical, and the new PSA are probably similar. Tbh, if you aren't going to be doing any critical listening, you might not even notice any difference between the 3 models. One advantage with PSA might be getting the down firing version, both saving you money, and keeping the drivers away from little fingers.
All 3 give good to very good customer service, although that will probably be complicated living in Hawaii.

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post #4 of 16 Old 01-09-2020, 07:28 AM
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Might save some $$$ on shipping if you go the DIY route.
Rythmik sells subwoofers in KIT form, all you need is furniture shop to build a box for you out of 3/4 MDF. Sub boxes can be even be made to look like end tables

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post #5 of 16 Old 01-09-2020, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imureh View Post
You would be happy with any of the Rythmik subs for music and you could ask @enricoclaudio for a shipping cost estimate. If its reasonable, the FV25HP would be the one to go for especially if you are considering one sub only
Shipping quote on an FV25 came in at $800 so that's a tough pill to swallow. Then again, 2 smaller subs with additional shipping cost of almost $400 each is basically the same. I guess it comes back to the often asked question of whether one FV25 would be better than say 2 or FV15HP or even 15FVX. In that case, go dual?

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Might save some $$$ on shipping if you go the DIY route.
Rythmik sells subwoofers in KIT form, all you need is furniture shop to build a box for you out of 3/4 MDF. Sub boxes can be even be made to look like end tables
Not inclined to go the DIY route, but I will keep that in mind. Thanks
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post #6 of 16 Old 01-09-2020, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by iwong28 View Post
Shipping quote on an FV25 came in at $800 so that's a tough pill to swallow. Then again, 2 smaller subs with additional shipping cost of almost $400 each is basically the same. I guess it comes back to the often asked question of whether one FV25 would be better than say 2 or FV15HP or even 15FVX. In that case, go dual?



Not inclined to go the DIY route, but I will keep that in mind. Thanks
You can buy SVS subs from Crutchfield and they will ship them free. Return shipping if needed, you would need to check with them. If the product is defective they will pay for the return shipping though.

So something like a pair of PB4000s would cost about the same as a pair of Rythmik or PSA 15s once you add shipping to those. Or you could save about $1000 with something like a pair of the PB/PC2000 pros. May or may not have enough output depending on your preferences.
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post #7 of 16 Old 01-09-2020, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by drh3b View Post
You would probably do fine with any of them. Rythmik is proven to be low distortion and very musical, and the new PSA are probably similar. Tbh, if you aren't going to be doing any critical listening, you might not even notice any difference between the 3 models. One advantage with PSA might be getting the down firing version, both saving you money, and keeping the drivers away from little fingers.
All 3 give good to very good customer service, although that will probably be complicated living in Hawaii.
That makes sense. But part of what I am planning to do is buy more subwoofer than what I currently need with the idea that if/when I move to a place where I can have a better setup, my sub(s) should be good there too. Once I have something I like, I tend to hold on to that gear for a long time. Heck the sub in my SUV is about 20 years old.
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post #8 of 16 Old 01-13-2020, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
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You can buy SVS subs from Crutchfield and they will ship them free. Return shipping if needed, you would need to check with them. If the product is defective they will pay for the return shipping though.

So something like a pair of PB4000s would cost about the same as a pair of Rythmik or PSA 15s once you add shipping to those. Or you could save about $1000 with something like a pair of the PB/PC2000 pros. May or may not have enough output depending on your preferences.
I would imagine the level of performance of the PB4000 vs. the 15 inch Rythmik or PSA is probably about even? Any pair of those with the added shipping for the Rythmik and PSAs push over the high end of my budget (over $3,000). At that point, it opens the door of moving up to a single higher level sub like the jtr2400 (the really big ones like the FV25 or TV36 are out because shipping is about a grand). With the shipping costs, the dual route is more than a single jtr.

I know the general advice is to go with 2 smaller subs vs. 1 bigger sub. However, I've seen posts from different posters being happier going from dual lesser subs to a single better one, which makes this decision tougher. In my case, I have some limitations in that I pretty much can only place my sub(s) along the front wall, either inside or outside of the 2 mains (if outside, 1 would be in a corner and 1 would not). I am also not that interested in doing fine tweaking and would not likely get a umik and REW. In that case, would the advice be to still go with duals?
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Originally Posted by iwong28 View Post
I would imagine the level of performance of the PB4000 vs. the 15 inch Rythmik or PSA is probably about even? Any pair of those with the added shipping for the Rythmik and PSAs push over the high end of my budget (over $3,000). At that point, it opens the door of moving up to a single higher level sub like the jtr2400 (the really big ones like the FV25 or TV36 are out because shipping is about a grand). With the shipping costs, the dual route is more than a single jtr.

I know the general advice is to go with 2 smaller subs vs. 1 bigger sub. However, I've seen posts from different posters being happier going from dual lesser subs to a single better one, which makes this decision tougher. In my case, I have some limitations in that I pretty much can only place my sub(s) along the front wall, either inside or outside of the 2 mains (if outside, 1 would be in a corner and 1 would not). I am also not that interested in doing fine tweaking and would not likely get a umik and REW. In that case, would the advice be to still go with duals?

Hi,

I never posted on this thread, but I just saw your question on the Rythmik thread and decided that I would post my response here. The Cap 2400 is a very fine subwoofer, with very strong ULF TR. For a movie first application, I especially consider it a good choice.

But, you said that your application would be 90/10, music to movies, so I would assume you may be valuing clarity a little more than maximizing the <20Hz output and TR. The fact that you are already considering the Rythmik FV18 lends weight to that assumption. Rythmik ported subs are know for their clarity, and that is often considered a real plus for music.

My only reservation about the FV18 is that you are already coming from dual VTF-2 MK5's. I ran the numbers, and the FV18 with the paper cone would give you an advantage at all frequencies. I particularly looked at mid-bass frequencies, and at 16Hz and below. But, I don't know if the single FV18 would give you quite as much of an output increase as you may be looking for in a 4800^3 room, with an opening to another space.

If you are willing to consider dual FV18's, I think they could be a very good choice. In my opinion, the dual paper cone FV18's would give you everything you might be looking for with respect to improved clarity, and therefore musicality, and with respect to significant output increases at all frequencies.

If, on the other hand, you would prefer to limit yourself to one really large sub, my personal recommendation would be a PSA TV3612. I know that you said that the shipping for that subwoofer would be exorbitant, but perhaps it might be slightly negotiable? That single subwoofer, with its pro-audio driver would have a great deal of mid-bass SPL, which you will enjoy for music, as well as the clarity that I believe you are looking for. And, it will also extend quite deep with its ~14Hz port tune.

I think that, in this particular case, either of those options would serve you better than the Cap 2400, as good as it is. Incidentally, don't give up on the idea of experiencing good ULF if you ever want to enjoy it, just because you couldn't achieve much with the HSU's. I have a 6,000^3 room, on concrete, and I can get all the ULF SPL and TR I want. Others in even larger rooms can do the same. (I won't mention which ported subs I have, because that isn't really relevant.) The point is that any of the three options listed in this post will be able to deliver much more ULF than you have previously experienced.

I hope this helps!

Regards,
Mike
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post #10 of 16 Old Yesterday, 05:28 PM
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Dual PSA S1512 or DF version. You don't need large ported subs for 90% music. The smaller cab of these sealed subs should save you on shipping cost. The main advantage of ported subs over sealed is much higher output below 30 Hz for movies. You don't need that. The pro audio drivers in the S1512 will put out gobs of clean, accurate mid bass, and should be adequate for moderately loud movie listening. Dual subs will allow you to spread them out for the best sound quality throughout your large space. If you want to limit to one sub, get the S3012.
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Hi,

I never posted on this thread, but I just saw your question on the Rythmik thread and decided that I would post my response here. The Cap 2400 is a very fine subwoofer, with very strong ULF TR. For a movie first application, I especially consider it a good choice.

But, you said that your application would be 90/10, music to movies, so I would assume you may be valuing clarity a little more than maximizing the <20Hz output and TR. The fact that you are already considering the Rythmik FV18 lends weight to that assumption. Rythmik ported subs are know for their clarity, and that is often considered a real plus for music.

My only reservation about the FV18 is that you are already coming from dual VTF-2 MK5's. I ran the numbers, and the FV18 with the paper cone would give you an advantage at all frequencies. I particularly looked at mid-bass frequencies, and at 16Hz and below. But, I don't know if the single FV18 would give you quite as much of an output increase as you may be looking for in a 4800^3 room, with an opening to another space.

If you are willing to consider dual FV18's, I think they could be a very good choice. In my opinion, the dual paper cone FV18's would give you everything you might be looking for with respect to improved clarity, and therefore musicality, and with respect to significant output increases at all frequencies.

If, on the other hand, you would prefer to limit yourself to one really large sub, my personal recommendation would be a PSA TV3612. I know that you said that the shipping for that subwoofer would be exorbitant, but perhaps it might be slightly negotiable? That single subwoofer, with its pro-audio driver would have a great deal of mid-bass SPL, which you will enjoy for music, as well as the clarity that I believe you are looking for. And, it will also extend quite deep with its ~14Hz port tune.

I think that, in this particular case, either of those options would serve you better than the Cap 2400, as good as it is. Incidentally, don't give up on the idea of experiencing good ULF if you ever want to enjoy it, just because you couldn't achieve much with the HSU's. I have a 6,000^3 room, on concrete, and I can get all the ULF SPL and TR I want. Others in even larger rooms can do the same. (I won't mention which ported subs I have, because that isn't really relevant.) The point is that any of the three options listed in this post will be able to deliver much more ULF than you have previously experienced.

I hope this helps!

Regards,
Mike
Thanks Mike, that was very helpful. Since I've been recently reading these forums more intently, I've found your posts some of the most objective. I can definitely be swayed to dual fv18s though that bumps up my budget to $4k. I also re-read my original post and realized I made a typo. My hsu subs are stf-2, so the entry level 10 inch ones. In my room they are anemic and I want to bypass the usual 12 and 15 inch sub recommendations to basically future proof me if I move to a bigger place and need more output.

One follow up question I would ask is if I don't use dsp and rew, would it still be better to get duals vs the 1 larger sub. I'm just not that interested in doing much more than ypao and some basic stuff with an spl meter.


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Dual PSA S1512 or DF version. You don't need large ported subs for 90% music. The smaller cab of these sealed subs should save you on shipping cost. The main advantage of ported subs over sealed is much higher output below 30 Hz for movies. You don't need that. The pro audio drivers in the S1512 will put out gobs of clean, accurate mid bass, and should be adequate for moderately loud movie listening. Dual subs will allow you to spread them out for the best sound quality throughout your large space. If you want to limit to one sub, get the S3012.
Given my space I worry that I need ported because my existing subs basically run out of steam when the MV goes above -40. I agree that I probably would be fine with the good 15 inch offerings from the usual suspects. I just want to bypass that step and go bigger because the cost for me to upgrade is higher than most and so that I am not left feeling what if.

Same question I asked Mike, but if I go dual but don't use dsp/rew, still worth it?
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Originally Posted by iwong28 View Post
Thanks Mike, that was very helpful. Since I've been recently reading these forums more intently, I've found your posts some of the most objective. I can definitely be swayed to dual fv18s though that bumps up my budget to $4k. I also re-read my original post and realized I made a typo. My hsu subs are stf-2, so the entry level 10 inch ones. In my room they are anemic and I want to bypass the usual 12 and 15 inch sub recommendations to basically future proof me if I move to a bigger place and need more output.

One follow up question I would ask is if I don't use dsp and rew, would it still be better to get duals vs the 1 larger sub. I'm just not that interested in doing much more than ypao and some basic stuff with an spl meter.

You are very welcome, and I appreciate the compliment!

As long as you have some flexibility in placement, I think that dual subs can provide an improvement in frequency response, even without REW, and independent DSP. After all, people were benefiting from having multiple subwoofers long before REW became available.

Regards,
Mike
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If you can ask the question on a forum, you can run REW and use a miniDSP to maximize your subs. Just sayin'...

REQ w/miniDSP & umik-1 and any 2 capable subs should be on your shopping list. 2 subs is better than one, and with 2, you need to make sure they play nicely together and you won't know that for sure without REW. If you're going to run REW, it's a couple clicks to generate EQ that fixes trouble in the output on a MiniDSP...

Slippery slopes, my man... Slippery slopes.

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you have a large/very large space...go big. my 1x fv25hp doesnt fill my 20k cuft space and adding rest of my subs in sig doesnt help. so....go BIG

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"Big" subs as in huge ported enclosures won't improve output above 30-40Hz compared to a very high output sealed sub such as the S1512. You said you weren't after crazy about below 30 Hz and mainly wanted more output in the 30-80 Hz region. PSA is using extremely high quality pro audio drivers that have very very high sensitivity which yields much higher output above 40 Hz than most competitors, while maintaining very good output down low as these drivers also have excellent excursion, very strong motors, and very low distortion. A pair of S1512's would be a *HUGE* upgrade in output vs your current Hsu's. A single should hold a solid output advantage over your Hsu's, duals should yield at least a 6-9 dB advantage. I'll go on record to say that I believe dual S1512's will have more output above 40 Hz than even the giant Rythmik FV25HP.

You don't have an easy upgrade path from here though. If you start with one larger, dual driver sub, you could add another some day.

But don't discount how big of an upgrade the S1512 would be above 30 Hz. The S3012 might be an option....It will have more output above 40 Hz than any other sub I can think of short of PSA's dual driver 18's.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
You can buy SVS subs from Crutchfield and they will ship them free. Return shipping if needed, you would need to check with them. If the product is defective they will pay for the return shipping though.

So something like a pair of PB4000s would cost about the same as a pair of Rythmik or PSA 15s once you add shipping to those. Or you could save about $1000 with something like a pair of the PB/PC2000 pros. May or may not have enough output depending on your preferences.
Agreed, and I'd probably throw dual PB-3000's into the mix as well.
OP can be bang on budget, and the PB-3000 is very capable in the 30-100Hz range, duals would be capable of over 120dB. As the OP listens in the -30dB to -20dB range, these would be absolutely coasting along
mthomas47 likes this.

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TV: Panasonic P65ST60 AVR: Denon X4000 Speakers: PSA MTM-210C (Centre), PSA MTM-210 (Left & Right), PSA MT-110 (Surrounds) Subwoofers: Dual Seaton SubMersives
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