Speaker Selection for a 2.1 HT System - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 29 Old 05-18-2019, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Question Speaker Selection for a 2.1 HT System

Hi Everyone,
I want to preface this by saying that I have very little experience when it comes to speaker design/expertise, and I came here for recommendations that may be basic to you, but to me are a lot of research and work!
I am looking to make a new 2.1 set up for our modest home theater, and I have about 1000 dollars to spend on the L/R and sub. I have a Sherwood RX-4109 receiver, supplying 105 watts per channel that I've used for years with a set of smaller Fluance bookshelf speakers, and I am anticipating using it for this set up as well, unless group wisdom steers me in the direction of assigning part of my budget to a different receiver as well.

So, in a nutshell:
-You have 1000 USD to spend on a 2.1 speaker system for HT use in a medium sized room.
-Listeners are sitting 3-5 meters from the display
-You already have a Sherwood Stereo Receiver giving 105 watts/channel dependably

What do you purchase?


Supplementally:
My sonic priorities are fairly balanced. I am a classical musician (opera singer), and love detailed and accurate sound. I also am a glutton for low frequency effects. I know I will probably not achieve both on such a spartan budget, but a balance of the two would be nice with the pairing of sub and mains.

Thanks to all of you in advance for your wisdom and expertise!

Luke
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post #2 of 29 Old 05-18-2019, 07:58 PM
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Well let’s start with your subwoofer.

Monolith, RSL, and HSU will be your best picks for 10” subwoofers. They range from $375-$500 depending on which and what sale they have going on.

At the worst you’ll be left with $500.

This leaves you with plenty of options. A few standouts:

Emotiva B1’s, currently on sale for $269. That leaves you a few extra bucks to either get a nice steak dinner to enjoy your classical music with, or you can upgrade your subs.

Ascend Acoustics CBM170’s. These are the most neutral, accurate speakers on the market for the money cureently. Priced at $300+shipping, this also leaves a few bucks to spare.

Chane A1.4’s. These utilize a planar tweeter that plenty rave about. If you like a bit softer sound than the dome that Ascend uses, then this or Emotiva could be a good pick.

Polk LSiM 703’s. These MSRP for $1500 a pair. Lucky for you, they are $700 a pair since Adorama has a sale on them currently. This would require you to go a bit over your budget, as I really do not recommend skipping on subwoofers, but would be a really solid pick.

Good luck!
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Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #3 of 29 Old 05-18-2019, 08:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
Well let’s start with your subwoofer.

Monolith, RSL, and HSU will be your best picks for 10” subwoofers. They range from $375-$500 depending on which and what sale they have going on.

At the worst you’ll be left with $500.

This leaves you with plenty of options. A few standouts:

Emotiva B1’s, currently on sale for $269. That leaves you a few extra bucks to either get a nice steak dinner to enjoy your classical music with, or you can upgrade your subs.

Ascend Acoustics CBM170’s. These are the most neutral, accurate speakers on the market for the money cureently. Priced at $300+shipping, this also leaves a few bucks to spare.

Chane A1.4’s. These utilize a planar tweeter that plenty rave about. If you like a bit softer sound than the dome that Ascend uses, then this or Emotiva could be a good pick.

Polk LSiM 703’s. These MSRP for $1500 a pair. Lucky for you, they are $700 a pair since Adorama has a sale on them currently. This would require you to go a bit over your budget, as I really do not recommend skipping on subwoofers, but would be a really solid pick.

Good luck!
Thank you Russ! I will look through your suggested speakers!

Luke
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post #4 of 29 Old 05-19-2019, 04:27 AM
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I would suggest allocating more of your budget towards getting better speakers now and saving up to add a sub later. Speakers tend to last for decades. The money will be well spent.

If you look at Accessories4less, you can get the KEF LS50, or Focal 906 speakers for less thank $1000 which are world class speakers (Stereophile rated the LS50 as a recommended speaker regardless of price, as was the tower speaker version of the Focal within the same line) that said, the Focals would probably do better without a sub.

Spending more on speakers within your price range does yield excellent results.

As for subs, the above recommendation is good, wait for a sale from HSU, Rythmik, Outlaw, or Emotiva and expect to pay 300-500 - sign up for their newsletters
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post #5 of 29 Old 05-19-2019, 04:48 AM
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My 2.1 media room system is a pair of used PMC TB2 and a new Polk HTS10 sub bought on sale. That came in right at the top end of your budget.
Speaker stands would put you over, and yet another $100 would mean a 12" HTS12 versus the ten inch HTS10.
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post #6 of 29 Old 05-19-2019, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke Selker View Post
Hi Everyone,
I want to preface this by saying that I have very little experience when it comes to speaker design/expertise, and I came here for recommendations that may be basic to you, but to me are a lot of research and work!
I am looking to make a new 2.1 set up for our modest home theater, and I have about 1000 dollars to spend on the L/R and sub. I have a Sherwood RX-4109 receiver, supplying 105 watts per channel that I've used for years with a set of smaller Fluance bookshelf speakers, and I am anticipating using it for this set up as well, unless group wisdom steers me in the direction of assigning part of my budget to a different receiver as well.

So, in a nutshell:
-You have 1000 USD to spend on a 2.1 speaker system for HT use in a medium sized room.
-Listeners are sitting 3-5 meters from the display
-You already have a Sherwood Stereo Receiver giving 105 watts/channel dependably

What do you purchase?


Supplementally:
My sonic priorities are fairly balanced. I am a classical musician (opera singer), and love detailed and accurate sound. I also am a glutton for low frequency effects. I know I will probably not achieve both on such a spartan budget, but a balance of the two would be nice with the pairing of sub and mains.

Thanks to all of you in advance for your wisdom and expertise!

Luke
Your mention of meters rather than feet as well as USD suggests you're not in the US. Where are you located so we can look up what is available to you?
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post #7 of 29 Old 05-19-2019, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Luke Selker View Post
Thank you Russ! I will look through your suggested speakers!

Luke
Luke, if you were in the US Russ's suggestions would be on point with another very good speaker to consider being the 3 way NHT C3 which measures very very well.

https://www.amazon.com/NHT-3-Way-Boo...71607475&psc=1

That with an RSL speedwoofer which has speaker level inputs would be a great setup.

If not in the US I'd look at Q Acosutics' Concept 20 bookshelf with a BK Electronics (UK made but they ship to the EU) subwoofer.

Interestingly enough I am setting up a 2.1 system for some friends and am gifting them my old Sansui 881 stereo receiver.

But yesterday they indicated their needs were more modest in terms of sound so likely they will end up with the Ascend 170s Russ suggested and a modest Polk subwoofer with speaker level inputs for less than $500.
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post #8 of 29 Old 05-19-2019, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
Well let’s start with your subwoofer.

Monolith, RSL, and HSU will be your best picks for 10” subwoofers. They range from $375-$500 depending on which and what sale they have going on.

At the worst you’ll be left with $500.

This leaves you with plenty of options. A few standouts:

Emotiva B1’s, currently on sale for $269. That leaves you a few extra bucks to either get a nice steak dinner to enjoy your classical music with, or you can upgrade your subs.

Ascend Acoustics CBM170’s. These are the most neutral, accurate speakers on the market for the money cureently. Priced at $300+shipping, this also leaves a few bucks to spare.

Chane A1.4’s. These utilize a planar tweeter that plenty rave about. If you like a bit softer sound than the dome that Ascend uses, then this or Emotiva could be a good pick.

Polk LSiM 703’s. These MSRP for $1500 a pair. Lucky for you, they are $700 a pair since Adorama has a sale on them currently. This would require you to go a bit over your budget, as I really do not recommend skipping on subwoofers, but would be a really solid pick.

Good luck!

I'd rather have the NHT Superones at just under $200/pair.
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post #9 of 29 Old 05-19-2019, 12:50 PM
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Can you fit tower speakers? If so the Emotiva T1 are great and onale for 600 a pair. The rsl speed woofer is 400 but there are other option in your price range or wait for a sale on a 10” monolith thats been under 400 not to long ago.
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post #10 of 29 Old 05-19-2019, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Your mention of meters rather than feet as well as USD suggests you're not in the US. Where are you located so we can look up what is available to you?
I actually am from the USA, I just prefer to use metrics for most things Obviously I don't use it when speaking to my neighbors here in the states, but I find it helpful to use online! Thank you for your considerate questions!
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Can you fit tower speakers? If so the Emotiva T1 are great and onale for 600 a pair. The rsl speed woofer is 400 but there are other option in your price range or wait for a sale on a 10” monolith thats been under 400 not to long ago.
I can definitely fit tower speakers! I have actually been wondering why they have been generally omitted as selections. Maybe you just get less quality per dollar? In any case, I do have room for towers, within reason (the almighty wife check has to be passed, so aesthetic elegance is a big plus)
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Luke, if you were in the US Russ's suggestions would be on point with another very good speaker to consider being the 3 way NHT C3 which measures very very well.


That with an RSL speedwoofer which has speaker level inputs would be a great setup.

If not in the US I'd look at Q Acosutics' Concept 20 bookshelf with a BK Electronics (UK made but they ship to the EU) subwoofer.

Interestingly enough I am setting up a 2.1 system for some friends and am gifting them my old Sansui 881 stereo receiver.

But yesterday they indicated their needs were more modest in terms of sound so likely they will end up with the Ascend 170s Russ suggested and a modest Polk subwoofer with speaker level inputs for less than $500.
Thank you for the insight! I'll add the NHT's and RSL sub to my spreadsheet!
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I would suggest allocating more of your budget towards getting better speakers now and saving up to add a sub later. Speakers tend to last for decades. The money will be well spent.

If you look at Accessories4less, you can get the KEF LS50, or Focal 906 speakers for less thank $1000 which are world class speakers (Stereophile rated the LS50 as a recommended speaker regardless of price, as was the tower speaker version of the Focal within the same line) that said, the Focals would probably do better without a sub.

Spending more on speakers within your price range does yield excellent results.

As for subs, the above recommendation is good, wait for a sale from HSU, Rythmik, Outlaw, or Emotiva and expect to pay 300-500 - sign up for their newsletters
Thanks for the suggestions! What do you think of Focal's Chorus Bookshelf speakers? They are half the cost of the Arias, are they half the quality? I'm leaning towards HSU for my sub, maybe the VTF2 MK5
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Originally Posted by Luke Selker View Post
Thanks for the suggestions! What do you think of Focal's Chorus Bookshelf speakers? They are half the cost of the Arias, are they half the quality? I'm leaning towards HSU for my sub, maybe the VTF2 MK5


I haven’t heard the Chorus line, so unfortunately I cannot compare. I would imagine they would be pretty good, and the difference would come down to detail and punch - which you wouldn’t really notice unless you were doing a direct comparison. You should also get a good resale value on the Focals (or any major brand) if you change your mind later - this works well if you buy them at a good discount from MSRP.

You cannot go wrong with the VTF2. Not sure if they will have a Memorial Day sale. Also consider the Rythmik L12 (sealed) or LV12 (ported) - Servo subs. Should be the same price or cheaper than HSU when you factor in shipping. Servo subs will have a faster attack and decay for very tight and punchy bass.


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post #15 of 29 Old 05-19-2019, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Luke Selker View Post
I can definitely fit tower speakers! I have actually been wondering why they have been generally omitted as selections. Maybe you just get less quality per dollar? In any case, I do have room for towers, within reason (the almighty wife check has to be passed, so aesthetic elegance is a big plus)
Towers are generally more expensive and larger. The emotiva just have a great deal on the t1 on closeout. I would not call the emotiva T1 elegant at all though 😅. They sound great but definitely dont put much into style at all.
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post #16 of 29 Old 05-19-2019, 08:17 PM
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The Monolith THX Ultra 12 is currently on sale for $640, so that is for sure where I would start without a doubt. That leaves $360 for a pair of speakers and there are some nice options in that range. One that comes to mind is the Polk RTIA3 bookshelf speakers for $239.99/pair. These are the larger of the 2 bookshelf speakers available in the RTiA line. These have nice detail and clarity and the cabinet has a real wood veneer finish, not vinyl wrap like most speakers. Available in black and cherry colors.
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post #17 of 29 Old 05-20-2019, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Luke Selker View Post
Thanks for the suggestions! What do you think of Focal's Chorus Bookshelf speakers? They are half the cost of the Arias, are they half the quality? I'm leaning towards HSU for my sub, maybe the VTF2 MK5
Being a musician, you'll probably be listening to music fairly often with this setup. The previously mentioned Emotiva T1's certainly offer excellent value/performance if they can pass WAF aesthetically. Q acoustics Concept 20 would be a good option. Very good sound with curved cabinets and smaller form factor generally score high WAF points. Kef Q350 may also be a good option. It's concentric driver and excellent off axis response would be advantageous if you have multiple seating locations throughout the room. If you've listened to and like the Focal Chorus, by all means. Ordering from A4L would save you money however, you may want to listen and make sure you like them since their return policy isn't favourable unless there's a defect.
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ck-pair/1.html
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ck-pair/1.html
https://www.qacoustics.com/bookshelf...aker-pair.html

For the sub, if music is a main priority, Rhtyhmik would be the best option.
http://www.rythmikaudio.com/LV12F.html
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Being a musician, you'll probably be listening to music fairly often with this setup. The previously mentioned Emotiva T1's certainly offer excellent value/performance if they can pass WAF aesthetically. Q acoustics Concept 20 would be a good option. Very good sound with curved cabinets and smaller form factor generally score high WAF points. Kef Q350 may also be a good option. It's concentric driver and excellent off axis response would be advantageous if you have multiple seating locations throughout the room. If you've listened to and like the Focal Chorus, by all means. Ordering from A4L would save you money however, you may want to listen and make sure you like them since their return policy isn't favourable unless there's a defect.
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ck-pair/1.html
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ck-pair/1.html
https://www.qacoustics.com/bookshelf...aker-pair.html

For the sub, if music is a main priority, Rhtyhmik would be the best option.
http://www.rythmikaudio.com/LV12F.html
If Emotiva pass any WAF test than your wife is ugly too
LMAO
Hence the reason im single and dont have to worry about my ugly Emo's
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Thanks for the suggestions! What do you think of Focal's Chorus Bookshelf speakers? They are half the cost of the Arias, are they half the quality? I'm leaning towards HSU for my sub, maybe the VTF2 MK5
That is a very nice sub indeed but it is quite large so make sure to make a cardboard cutout before buying.

No need of a tower if getting a powerful sub; ideally a 3 way bookshelf for your musical needs like the NHT C3 or LSim 703...but the latter pushes you way over your budget with a $600 sub.

PORTED SUBWOOFERS $600 AND BELOW, DELIVERED

NOTE:
*THE LARGER PORTED SUBS DELIVER AT LEAST 40% MORE SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL
THAN THE SAME BRAND'S SEALED VERSION WITH SAME SIZE WOOFER AND AMP
*IF LOOKING AT LARGER/MORE EXPENSIVE SUBWOOFERS ADD PSA TO THE LIST OF BRANDS
*IF YOU ARE NOT AN ACTION MOVIE FAN A SUBWOOFER WITH 22-30HZ EXTENSION WOULD BE FINE
*FOR MUSIC A 30HZ SUB IS A FINE CHOICE
*BEFORE BUYING MAKE A CARDBOARD CUTOUT OF THE SIZE OF THE SUB TO MAKE SURE IT IS NOT TOO LARGE FOR YOU
Specs are from the manufacturer unless noted otherwise.
Warranty
for AMP
1 year 150watts =12w7h24d= 25 lbs 8" [23hz] $219 EARTHQUAKE LOW PROFILE CP8 (Amazon price)

3 years 120watts =13w15h16d= 29 lbs 10" [29hz] $250 MARTIN LOGAN DYNAMO 500, limited time offer

2 years 350watts =15w16h17d= 40 lbs 10" [30hz] $399 RSL SPEEDWOOFER 10S, (extension from Sound & Vision review)

2 years 250watts =15w19h17d= 42 lbs 10" [25hz] $455 HSU VTF 1 MK3 (extension from Audioholics review)

5 years 300watts =15w19h20d= 46 lbs 10" [18hz] $499 SVS PB1000, (extension from Sound & Vision Review)

5 years 500watts =15w19h20d= 72 lbs 10" [20hz] $500 MONOPRICE MONOLITH THX 10"

3 years 300watts =16w22h21d= 69 lbs* 12" [19hz] $569 RHYTHMIK LV12F

2 years 350watts =15w21h22d= 62 lbs 12" [18hz] $607 HSU VTF2 MK5, (extension from Audioholics review)
* = shipping weight

SEALED SUBWOOFERS $650 AND BELOW, DELIVERED

3 years 300watts =12w13h13d= 27 lbs 10" [24hz] $399 MARTIN LOGAN DYNAMO 700W, limited time offer Amazon.
NOTE: WIRELESS TRANSMITTER INCLUDED

5 years 300watts =13w14h16d= 27 lbs 12" [23hz] $499 SVS SB1000, (extension from Sound & Vision)

5 years 500watts =13w16h21d= 50 lbs 10" [20hz] $500 MONOPRICE MONOLITH MTS10 THX

3 years 300watts =14w14h16d= 58 lbs* 12" [18hz] $539 RHYTHMIK L12

5 years 500watts =14w15h17d= 35 lbs 12" [19hz] $649 SVS SB2000 outlet, (extension from Sound & Vision)
* = shipping weight

Geoff A. J., California
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post #20 of 29 Old 05-20-2019, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
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If Emotiva pass any WAF test than your wife is ugly too
LMAO
Hence the reason im single and dont have to worry about my ugly Emo's
Hahaha! I showed her a picture of them and her comment was "Hell no", so I think that's a no from her ;P
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post #21 of 29 Old 05-20-2019, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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That is a very nice sub indeed but it is quite large so make sure to make a cardboard cutout before buying.

No need of a tower if getting a powerful sub; ideally a 3 way bookshelf for your musical needs like the NHT C3 or LSim 703...but the latter pushes you way over your budget with a $600 sub.

PORTED SUBWOOFERS $600 AND BELOW, DELIVERED

NOTE:
*THE LARGER PORTED SUBS DELIVER AT LEAST 40% MORE SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL
THAN THE SAME BRAND'S SEALED VERSION WITH SAME SIZE WOOFER AND AMP
*IF LOOKING AT LARGER/MORE EXPENSIVE SUBWOOFERS ADD PSA TO THE LIST OF BRANDS
*IF YOU ARE NOT AN ACTION MOVIE FAN A SUBWOOFER WITH 22-30HZ EXTENSION WOULD BE FINE
*FOR MUSIC A 30HZ SUB IS A FINE CHOICE
*BEFORE BUYING MAKE A CARDBOARD CUTOUT OF THE SIZE OF THE SUB TO MAKE SURE IT IS NOT TOO LARGE FOR YOU
Specs are from the manufacturer unless noted otherwise.
Warranty
for AMP
1 year 150watts =12w7h24d= 25 lbs 8" [23hz] $219 EARTHQUAKE LOW PROFILE CP8 (Amazon price)

3 years 120watts =13w15h16d= 29 lbs 10" [29hz] $250 MARTIN LOGAN DYNAMO 500, limited time offer

2 years 350watts =15w16h17d= 40 lbs 10" [30hz] $399 RSL SPEEDWOOFER 10S, (extension from Sound & Vision review)

2 years 250watts =15w19h17d= 42 lbs 10" [25hz] $455 HSU VTF 1 MK3 (extension from Audioholics review)

5 years 300watts =15w19h20d= 46 lbs 10" [18hz] $499 SVS PB1000, (extension from Sound & Vision Review)

5 years 500watts =15w19h20d= 72 lbs 10" [20hz] $500 MONOPRICE MONOLITH THX 10"

3 years 300watts =16w22h21d= 69 lbs* 12" [19hz] $569 RHYTHMIK LV12F

2 years 350watts =15w21h22d= 62 lbs 12" [18hz] $607 HSU VTF2 MK5, (extension from Audioholics review)
* = shipping weight

SEALED SUBWOOFERS $650 AND BELOW, DELIVERED

3 years 300watts =12w13h13d= 27 lbs 10" [24hz] $399 MARTIN LOGAN DYNAMO 700W, limited time offer Amazon.
NOTE: WIRELESS TRANSMITTER INCLUDED

5 years 300watts =13w14h16d= 27 lbs 12" [23hz] $499 SVS SB1000, (extension from Sound & Vision)

5 years 500watts =13w16h21d= 50 lbs 10" [20hz] $500 MONOPRICE MONOLITH MTS10 THX

3 years 300watts =14w14h16d= 58 lbs* 12" [18hz] $539 RHYTHMIK L12

5 years 500watts =14w15h17d= 35 lbs 12" [19hz] $649 SVS SB2000 outlet, (extension from Sound & Vision)
* = shipping weight
Thank you so much for the info, Geoff! I'm going back and forth between the Rythmik LV12F (599USD) and the VTF2 MK5 (539USD). I'm thinking about picking up a high quality sub to start since I have simple, but functional mains already, and upgrading those mains later when I can really spend some money on a really high quality pair, unless you think 400USD is enough to get a pair of mains that will produce efficient, relatively well detailed sound.

Does anyone have an opinion between those subs? I would say that accuracy is important to me, but not at the cost of attempting to replicate an earthquake at home. I'm a glutton for the Sub-bass extension/SPL.
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post #22 of 29 Old 05-20-2019, 10:23 AM
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Thank you so much for the info, Geoff! I'm going back and forth between the Rythmik LV12F (599USD) and the VTF2 MK5 (539USD). I'm thinking about picking up a high quality sub to start since I have simple, but functional mains already, and upgrading those mains later when I can really spend some money on a really high quality pair, unless you think 400USD is enough to get a pair of mains that will produce efficient, relatively well detailed sound.



Does anyone have an opinion between those subs? I would say that accuracy is important to me, but not at the cost of attempting to replicate an earthquake at home. I'm a glutton for the Sub-bass extension/SPL.

Each sub is special in its own accord. Rythmik utilizes servo tech for the cleanest, tightest bass possible. HSU offers you multiple different tuning options to suit your needs and room the best.

$400 is more than enough for quality mains.

I was not lying or over exaggerating by saying Ascend CBM170’s are the best measuring speakers in their price class of $300, and many classes above. Princeton actually uses them in their highly specialized 3D Audio and Applied Acoustics lab. The listening window is absolutely impeccable. If you want, pure, uncolored music, these should be your top choice.
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Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #23 of 29 Old 05-20-2019, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Luke Selker View Post
Thank you so much for the info, Geoff! I'm going back and forth between the Rythmik LV12F (599USD) and the VTF2 MK5 (539USD). I'm thinking about picking up a high quality sub to start since I have simple, but functional mains already, and upgrading those mains later when I can really spend some money on a really high quality pair, unless you think 400USD is enough to get a pair of mains that will produce efficient, relatively well detailed sound.

Does anyone have an opinion between those subs? I would say that accuracy is important to me, but not at the cost of attempting to replicate an earthquake at home. I'm a glutton for the Sub-bass extension/SPL.
That's a smart plan to start with the sub.

IDK, I've always been the minority here on AVS in preferring sealed subs, (though the speaker guru Floyd Toole is also a sealed sub fan...in his case using two), and last year an AVS member in your situation actually replaced his ported Rhythmik, (which is the brand I'd get but HSU makes great subs too), with a sealed on and vastly preferred the sealed sub despite giving up the last degree of maximum volume potential.

Where are you located in case there is a local speaker maker near you or an excellent well known retailer.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #24 of 29 Old 05-20-2019, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Luke Selker View Post
Thank you so much for the info, Geoff! I'm going back and forth between the Rythmik LV12F (599USD) and the VTF2 MK5 (539USD). I'm thinking about picking up a high quality sub to start since I have simple, but functional mains already, and upgrading those mains later when I can really spend some money on a really high quality pair, unless you think 400USD is enough to get a pair of mains that will produce efficient, relatively well detailed sound.

Does anyone have an opinion between those subs? I would say that accuracy is important to me, but not at the cost of attempting to replicate an earthquake at home. I'm a glutton for the Sub-bass extension/SPL.
If that's what you're looking for step up to the HSU VTF-3 MK5.
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That's a smart plan to start with the sub.

IDK, I've always been the minority here on AVS in preferring sealed subs, (though the speaker guru Floyd Toole is also a sealed sub fan...in his case using two), and last year an AVS member in your situation actually replaced his ported Rhythmik, (which is the brand I'd get but HSU makes great subs too), with a sealed on and vastly preferred the sealed sub despite giving up the last degree of maximum volume potential.

Where are you located in case there is a local speaker maker near you or an excellent well known retailer.
I'm currently in Tallahassee, FL. I'll be moving to eastern WI over the summer though. I love the idea of a sealed sub and the accuracy involved, maybe if I went and heard a few side by side, I'd be convinced to give up a few dB for the change in sound quality.
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If that's what you're looking for step up to the HSU VTF-3 MK5.
I'd love to, though I'm afraid of losing some accuracy in the mid bass (40-80hz) by increasing the size of the woofer beyond 12 inches. Is that a realistic concern, or does the size of the sub have no bearing on this?
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I'm currently in Tallahassee, FL. I'll be moving to eastern WI over the summer though. I love the idea of a sealed sub and the accuracy involved, maybe if I went and heard a few side by side, I'd be convinced to give up a few dB for the change in sound quality.
Best Buy carries the very good SVS subs so maybe they have a ported and sealed version on hand for you to demo.

But an SVS would not work for you, just the demo would give you a good idea of ported vs sealed, as SVS subs lack speaker level inputs which you need.

These are vendors nearish where you live now and near where you are moving to.

ACCESSORIES 4 LESS*** NEAR ORLANDO FLORIDA
CHANE TAMPA FLORIDA
HI FI HEAVEN*** GREEN BAY WISONSIN

Chane is a manufacturer of well regarded speakers on AVS, the other two are well regarded retailers albeit Accessories4less charges a restocking fee on returns.

The subs for you to consider are from HSU, RSL, and Rhythmik as Monoprice and SVS do not offer speaker level inputs.

Martin Logan also has a line of great new subs that come with built in Anthem Room Correction and speaker level inputs.

They are a bit pricier than the others but the room correction, in my mind, justifies the additional cost especially with using a receiver/amp with no built in EQ.

HiFi Heaven carries those.

In the meantime maybe visit Chane and A4L to audition speakers?

Call and make an appointment though.

These might be well worth a listen as they claim 40hz extension and many AVS members love them.

https://www.chanemusiccinema.com/A5.4

Geoff A. J., California
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I'd love to, though I'm afraid of losing some accuracy in the mid bass (40-80hz) by increasing the size of the woofer beyond 12 inches. Is that a realistic concern, or does the size of the sub have no bearing on this?
If you want accuracy and better musical performance, you'd be better off with a Rhythmik LV12F to start and add a second later. You could even go with a Rhythmik L22, but you be sacrificing some low end TR.
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I'd love to, though I'm afraid of losing some accuracy in the mid bass (40-80hz) by increasing the size of the woofer beyond 12 inches. Is that a realistic concern, or does the size of the sub have no bearing on this?
I'm unfamiliar with that concern.

The quarter wavelength of sound at 80 Hz is 3.64 feet (1.11m). I'd expect that any driver of diameter less than that would function pretty much as a point source. That covers most subs on the home market.

I have a pair of Hsu VTF3 Mk5s. I like them. They're ported, but the ports can be plugged so they can be configured with 2, 1, or no ports. If you're prepared to forgo some of the max volume or low-frequency response and would like a more compact speaker, you could consider the sealed ULS-15 Mk2.

I can't claim a lot of experience with subs. There are more modern designs than Hsu, which have no built-in DSP or servos. Hsu subs seem to be widely regarded as good values, but they may not be the best for in-home auditions because they don't offer free return shipping.

I'm intrigued by the Power Sound Audio V1811. That uses an 18" driver in a surprisingly compact vented enclosure. At the least, owning one of those (108 lbs.) would offer a good chance to injure your back.
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