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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few comments:


1. Since this is just about the only subwoofer comparison I am interested in hearing about, I'm resurrecting this topic in the hopes that someone else has had a chance to compare these since bareyb's excellent review.


2. Disregarding the performance of a single vtf-3 versus (say) a single 20-39 PCi for the moment, I'm frankly quite surprised that hardly anyone has talked about a very simple usability advantage that the vtf-3 would appear to have over cylinder subs (including Hsu's TN subs); namely, for the many people who are interested in eventually having two subs placed in an optimal configuration, it is a heck of a lot easier to stack two 20x15x22 boxes one on top of the other, than it is to stack two 39x16x16 cylinders one on top of the other.


I recall a thread a while back by someone who actually managed to successfully join two of the cs subs together. But really....why? Without even getting into the stability issue of having such a tall structure sitting on a (round) 16x16 base, from a sheer usability standpoint, you're essentially choosing between a 40inch tall sub vs a 78inch tall sub, using the models mentioned above. 78 inches is six and a half feet tall, for crying out loud.


No doubt someone will chime in to say that they have had great success placing two cylinder subs standing side by side, and hence there is no need to be able to stack them vertically. I'm no physicist, but from my layman's eyes, it seems intuitive that (all other things being equal) two subs stacked one on top of the other, with their respective woofers and ports firing in the same directions, should result in the most complimentary wave pattern (i.e. resulting in sound reinforcement), and the least amount of wave cancelation. If someone thinks differently on this issue, I'd love to hear it.
 

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I currently own 2 20-39 CS subs with a Samson S700 amp. I also have 2 Hsu VTF-3 subs on order. They should be here soon I hope. I plan on stacking them. I'll post my experience when they show up.

BTW. My wording is not going to be anywhere near the quality review type that bareyb gave to us but I'll try. :)
 

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Sean,

You da man.

BTW, did you ever have any luck with that # I sent you?
 

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Sean D, make sure to send a fax of your room layout to Hsu. You might also want to call him and talk with him. Finally, there is a "feedback" link on the website, and you can submit system info to him from there.


Also, you might want to first try using only 1 VTF-3, and experiment between "max extension" and "max output" modes.


Max extension mode: keep the right port plugged, and flip the switch on the amp to max extension.


Max output mode: keep both ports unplugged, and flip the switch on the amp to max output.


Good luck, and enjoy!
 

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Sean,


It doesn't matter if you don't word it nicely, as long as you listen carefully, and not just with plaster cracking HT LFE boom.
 

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Thanks Russ, I haven't tried that number yet. I'll probably give them a call tomorrow.

Bob, thanks for the advice. I have emailed back and forth a few times with Dr.Hsu , I gave him a written desription of my room. I will try one sub first just to see whether or not one will be enough in my room. I will play with the max extension/output as well.

Mike, I also certainly hope that the thread I post will not end up in a fiasco as well. I am an SVS owner and do like them. In fact I had no intention of getting rid of them but I was given an offer that I couldn't refuse. I also have alot of respect for Tom and Ron, their customer service is top notch.

lwang, thank you for the words of advice. I will be listening to alot of music when the subs arrive as well as HT but my main focus will be music.
 

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I'll chime in and say that I think this is a very fair thread to pursue. We can't let the other threads inhibit people from asking fair questions. These are two of the highest value sub alternatives on the market and a very logical "final 2" to come down to at the end of the decision process.


It would be great if someone performed a fair and extensive comparison of these two configurations:


SVS: Dual 20-39 CS+; Sampson 1000 amp; Marchand Black Box

HSU: Two VTF-3


Prices are $1658 (I think) for the SVS package and $1698 for the Hsu.


Another good comparison would be a Hsu TN1220HO package with two subs, two 250wpc amps, for $1528 vs the dual SVS 20-39 CSi w/Sampson 700 (350wpc)amp at $1199 .


This would be a great shootout.


As to the issue of "stackability." I think this would be problematic for the SVS subs as they port out of the top of the cylinder. You'd have to build some kind of spacer, to separate the two by several inches in order to allow the port pressure to function as designed. That would make the stack even taller. It could be done, if someone was really determined!


And then there is the question of: 2 VTF-3's vs 1 SVS CS-Ultra?


The up side of all of this confusion is that it is hard to go wrong.


Tom B.
 

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Tom_Bombadil, if using Hsu amps, the TN series and VTF series do not need the "bass optimizer", so dual 1220's w/ two 250 watt amps would be about one hundred bucks less than what you quoted. If using dual TN's from Hsu, it would probably be best to wait for their 500 watt amp which is being updated right now, which has some extra features and is a rack model and allows one to hook up two subs with each sub receiving somewhere between 400-500 watts of power (summed output is over 900 watts I think). I think that the price of dual TN's with two 250 watt amps vs. dual TN's with one 500 watt amp will be more or less the same, so probably worth getting the 500 watt amp. But who knows when the updated amp will be available. The VTF-3's can also be found for cheaper than list, but direct from Hsu the prices for dual VTF-3's are correct as you stated.
 

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Sean D, with you living in Canada, how much did these subs cost you? You could probably get a Servo 15 or a BPS-400 for a pretty good price, yes?
 

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Tom,


Bob is right, if one dual the TN subs, it would be better to get the 500w amp since it would put out close to 900w into the 2 subs while 2 VTF-3 would do 500w. Plus the 500w amp has a much better crossover, more suitable for 2ch integration.
 

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I think the VTF-3 subs came in around the same as 2 servo 15's . Although I didn't really do alot of searching on the Servos.
 

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Well, I would have quoted with a 500 watt amp, if I could have found one on the HSU site. But since I couldn't, I quoted what they were offering. I'll correct the quote by removing the bass optimizer. Thanks.


I didn't note that one of the advantages of the SVS combo/Sampson amp vs the quoted Hsu TN or VTF-3 subs was that the SVS would have 500wpc vs the Hsu 250wpc.


One of the interesting differences in prices is that while the totals are close to the same, there are significant differences in the component prices. The SVS 20-39 CS+ passive cylinder lists at $599 each vs the Hsu TN1220HO at $449 (internet). I know SVS is using a more expensive driver in these units than Hsu is. So perhaps the more direct comparison is to use the standard SVS CSi sub, which is also $449. But then the Hsu amps have more features and cost more per watt than the SVS amps. So the price comes out very close.


One of my local dealers is officially a Hsu dealer, but doesn't normally stock the line. I'll give them a call to see if they plan to get a VTF-3 in. I could bring it home and demo it vs my SVS 16-46 CS+ (which I presently use only for HT and not for music, as my main speakers go flat to 28Hz).


And Erikk, nice picture of those stacked SVS subs. Looks like it might be a little harder to do that with the CS+ line, as they have three ports, but I'm sure it could be done too. I couldn't stack a 2nd 16-46 on top of mine as it would hit my ceiling.


Tom B.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
For those who have the vtf-3 or vtf-2, what do you have the gain knob set at? Right now, i have the sub output level flat (0db) coming out of my receiver, and the gain knob on the vtf-3 set at almost the lowest possible position - about 8 or 9 o'clock (6 o'clock is the zero position), b/c i find that turning it up any more than that makes the sub output completely overwelm all the other channels (and not in a good way, b/c it starts to sound very unnatural). I currently have the sub parallel to the left wall, about 4 feet in from the front left corner, woofer facing the seating position, 1 port blocked. The room is approx 25x15 with an avg ceiling height of 9.5 feet.


Before I got this sub, i read many comments from those who felt that "you can never get too much bass", and that some were running their receiver sub out levels at up to +6db hot relative to their other channels. Now that i've tried it myself, i have to say that i can't really comprehend these comments. Even at the close-to-lowest settings described bove, the bass is barely under control.


By the way, my point of reference for the above comments is: (1) intuitively how i think the dvd/cd should probably sound; and (2) in the case of dvds, how i remember the movie sounded in the theaters. Anything beyond, say, the 12 o'clock position on my vtf-3 certainly produces prodigous base, but it also makes it painfully obvious that i've cranked up the sub to an absurd level relative to the other channels. Rather than being an enjoyable thing (read: objects rattling, pant legs flapping, etc.), i would say that it actually becomes quite an annoying and unpleasant experience: anything past the 12 o'clock position on the gain is so overwelming that (1) you can't really make out the dialog clearly any more; and (2) you become distracted and can only focus on the bass rather than the movie. It really makes you wonder what all this ranting and raving and frothing at the mouth about max spl levels is all about.


This is all compounded by the fear that i must be really annoying my neighbors every time the sub belts out 20hz sound effects at 90 - 100 decibles. This is true even though i live in a detached house and not in an apartment. I suppose if i lived in a subterraineon cave complex this would not be an issue, but i live in the real world, and it is very much an issue.


I suppose this is really a comment on the "more bass is better" school, rather than the vtf-3 per se, since from what i can see, the sub is producing exactly what it promised - deep bass and lots of it. I have often heard people say that less bass (or no sub) is often preferred for 2 channel music, but i don't know if i've ever heard anyone say that less bass may be better for movies also.


I didn't think i'd find myself saying this, but if anyone is about to buy a large, powerful sub thinking that "you can never get enough bass", you might want to demo a velodyne HGS15 or something at a store before you commit, to see whether you really want that type of bass. It may not be what you think it is....


By the way, i've read many accounts of how clean and non-boomy the hsu and svs subs are even when they're cranked wide open. While it's true that i haven't detected any port noise or driver problems so far, and I don't pretend to be the last word on what is or isn't boomy, when i have the vtf-3 cranked at more than 60% gain, the sound sure sounds a lot like a "boom"....
 

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King have you calibrated with a SPL meter? Without doing that you have no way of knowing where your sub is at compared to your other channels. You might have the receiver at -10 db but the sub is actually 5 over the other channels.


EDIT: I apologize if that came off as anything but sincere. King's post was entirely about volume level of the sub overpowering other channels.
 

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I respectfully to remind all to please keep this thread in check due to past issues with sub comparisons. Remember...some of this is subjective.


Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
David: Congrats on the article on your beautiful home theater in the latest audio/visual interiors mag. Looks like a million bucks (and a million hours of work!) = )


Erik, thanks for the reminder. I have a radioshack analog meter sitting in my drawer, but i have yet to use it. I'll give that a try when i have some more time.


However, in all fairness, i'm using a 25x15 room with a sloping ceiling height going from around 8 feet to 11 feet. Let's say the avg ceiling height is 9.5 feet. The room also opens to a hallway and sitting area in the front right corner, and a dining room in the rear right corner. If we count those rooms, we're talking almost 10,000 cubic feet of volume being driven. If we don't count those rooms, we're still talking approx 3,562 cubic feet. Notwithstanding whether the sub's volume is properly set relative to the other channels, if all by itself the sub is sounding overwelming at the 25% position in a room this size, my honest question is why anyone wants one of these mega subs....
 

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Quote:
Notwithstanding whether the sub's volume is properly set relative to the other channels, if all by itself the sub is sounding overwelming at the 25% position in a room this size, my honest question is why anyone wants one of these mega subs....
Good question. Does this not imply that the usable gain on subs is really around 5-20% of gain? Has anyone out there set the gain past 50% via calibration?
 

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King Roland,


I just received my VTF-3. Lots of deep, powerful base! I calibrated my sub using a sound level meter. I have my sub volume set at about 7 o'clock and the sub out on my receiver set at about -2dB. This gave me 85dB at my listening position using Avia test sounds.


With these settings, I think music sounds good, but movies could use a bit more. When I watch movies I end up boosting the sub 3 - 4dB. This makes explosions and what not very powerful, but no distortion.


Do you have a sound pressure meter? You may want to get one to see what kind of output you're really getting from your sub.


Bob
 
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