Originally Posted by Steve Huss
Good day to all. I posted a general request/advice over in the home theater forum but will reiterate some sub ?'s here too. Hope this is okay mods?
10x11x9 room, movies at reference or near reference. Music pretty loud as well: rock, blues, contemporary jazz, a bit electronic.
Looking at dual subs for around 2k. Sealed or ported? This room has one doorway in lower left corner. Can be left open or sealed. This will be part of 5.2 system.
House built 1923, suspended wood floors and lath/plaster. I would like to have plenty of headroom (right term?) but not waste too much as I will be using this room for say 5 years or more. Example: don't need a Ferrari to drive on city side streets. What sub gives me enough and a little more for that room but no overkill? Also 4 12 in subs or 2 15in?
Open to new ideas and critique. Thanks much!
Originally Posted by Steve Huss
. Are you recommending maybe going smaller and higher quality subs? I am looking at all the ID companies as they seem the best. Also for reference I had 2 Klipsch R 115SW in room in 2018 and didn't think that was too much. If anything I wouldn't mind more
Originally Posted by Steve Huss
Last year I spoke with Tom at PSA and recently with Enrico at Rythmik and both recommend sealed for my room. I am finding that sealed versus ported is somewhat subjective for my room depending on what I value most. Also looks like to 15 inch will be the best option to get the levels of SPL I would like. I have been on this board reading for a long time but just recently joined. I would love some feedback from @mthomas47
and the like to see what their thoughts are. I want to have my ducks in a row as best I can before I pull the trigger. Thanks much to all for your help.
I'm not sure how much I can help, but I will certainly be glad to try. You have a very small room (~ 1000^3), on a suspended wood floor, which would ordinarily suggest sealed subs. But, you like to listen at Reference, and you have had dual ported 15" Klipsch subs in that room, and wouldn't have minded a little more firepower. I have known other people who preferred powerful ported subs, even in very small rooms, so that simply shows the wide range of listener preferences that we may experience.
I don't normally suggest this, as a routine recommendation, but in your case I am going to recommend that you order a calibrated UMIK-1, and that you download REW. REW is a free download, and I have seen some people get up to basic operating speed with REW in as little as a day. The following thread will be all you need to get started:
The reason that I am recommending REW is that you have a very difficult room, almost cubical in shape, and I can't be sure that you weren't experiencing significant cancellation, at some frequencies, when you had the two Klipsch subs in your room. They are only 400 watts RMS, but they are still pretty decent 15" ported subs. So, I don't know whether to recommend one larger sub, or two slightly smaller ones, even if ported subs turn out to be the right way to go.
I think you need to be able to measure your frequency response to help you to pick the best location for a single sub, and to help you to determine whether dual subs will improve your overall frequency response. At that point, you will also be able to tell more about the whole sealed/ported question.
One of my concerns, if you buy sealed subs, is that the tactile sensations will be quite different. At low-frequencies, ported subs produce much more TR (tactile response) than sealed subs playing at equivalent loudness levels. The ports themselves create additional particle velocity. If you are used to that sensation from the Klipsch subs, and wouldn't have minded having more of it, then I think you might miss that sensation with sealed subs.
Sealed subs will pressurize your room at low-frequencies, with sensations that are similar to what you would feel when an airplane pressurizes. But, the TR won't be nearly as inherently overt as it is with ported subs. And, low-tuned ported subs will be even more impactful in that regard than higher-tuned ported subs. So many choices!
I like the recommendation for dual HSU VTF-3 MK5's. They would fit within your budget, and they would give you a nice incremental upgrade from the Klipsch subs. But, it would just be an incremental upgrade, and we still have the issue of whether dual subs were really helping you in that small room. Perhaps an even more powerful single sub would work even better. That's why I think you need REW.
I think that my personal recommendation would be to buy a single SVS PC4000. That is a cylinder sub, with a small footprint, which might be helpful in your room. (It can also lie on its side behind your couch if necessary.) It has three tuning options: Sealed, Standard (20Hz) ported, and Extended (16Hz) ported mode. That is similar to what the HSU offers, but it is more powerful and it goes deeper.
The most important reason I am recommending this is because SVS offers free 45-day trial periods. The free return is built into the price, so you don't have to feel guilty if you do end-up returning it. I think that being able to move the sub around your room, while measuring with REW to find the best FR will be helpful. Then, it will be equally helpful to try the sealed mode and the two different ported modes to determine what you really prefer in your room. (You will need to rerun Audyssey each time you change modes.)
If you discover that dual subs will work best in your room (and you can use REW's room simulator to help you make that decision) then you can always return the PC4000 for a full refund. At that point, you might buy two sealed subs, or two MK5's, depending on your experiments with sealed and ported. Or, you might determine that you really like having one more powerful ported sub, with a lower port tune. At that point, you might keep the PC4000, or pivot to another low-tuned ported sub.
As consumers, we currently have more really good subwoofer choices than ever before. But, we still need to be able to make informed decisions about our own rooms, and our individual bass preferences, to know which ones to select. I think that the process I have described will give you the information you need to do that, and then you will still have several good choices available to you. But, the first thing you need to do is to narrow the range of options in an analytical way.
I hope this helps! It took awhile to write.