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Given my needs, which subwoofer do you think is best?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been contemplating a new subwoofer because the one I currently have is not quite sufficient for my needs (it's an 8" ported design). While it's really not a bad sub -- it can actually hold it's own for the most part -- I find myself wanting something more accurate and detailed. And with a bit more stones too.



My room is fairly small, measuring just 13x17x8. It's carpeted too. Because of that I'm looking at subs with 10" drivers. They must be acoustic suspension as well; I'm not a big fan of ported designs, since I value clarity above all else, so I'm going sealed enclosure this time. My AVR is a Sherwood R-904n. The system gets used at least 90% of the time for TV and movies, with the remainder being 2 channel music.


Size matters here, but in this case smaller is better. I'm trying to keep it less then 14" per dimension (HxWxD). And lastly, I have budgetary restrictions (who doesn't). If at all possible I'd like to spend no more then $400.


My priorities are the following:
  1. Precision
  2. Precision
  3. Precision

In that order too.
Basically I'm looking for subs that can be described with words like clarity, detail, accuracy, speed, definition, "musical". Thump and bang are not welcome. That doesn't mean I want something weak or thin, I just value clear, articulate sound reproduction above all else.


I've narrowed it down to the following subs, roughly in order of preference:


Emotiva Ultra Sub 10

Elemental Design A3S 250

Pinnacle Baby Boomer

NHT B 10d


The Emotiva and eD have the upper hand at the moment because they seem to hit virtually all of the marks; size, price, value, etc. The Pinnacle would normally be too much money but there are a few on Amazon now for around $460, which might be doable. The NHT will probably end up being too much $$ though, so I doubt that will be a realistic option.


The Pinnacle and NHT have very few reviews, professional or personal, so it's difficult to judge them. The Emotiva and eD have no such shortage, and in both cases almost everything I read is quite favorable with those.


I'm open to suggests for other potential candidates of course, but when factoring in the price note that it must be for new equipment and include shipping/tax (if applicable). No ported cabinets either, sealed only. And please no debates about which is better - that topic has been beaten to death, so I don't wish to rehash it here.


So, there you have it. Any thoughts, advise, opinions, ideas or personal experience is being solicited and would be greatly appreciated. FWIW: I have done quite a bit of research thus far, so I do have more then a passing familiarity with these four subwoofers, but what I'm looking to obtain now is something a bit more pointed. I even tossed in a poll to make it easier on those who have an opinion, but not the time to comment directly...
 

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Even thou you mentioned the 13" mark, the ED 250 measures at 14.25" sq. In that case you would be better off going the Ultra 12 at 14.5... just a thought thou.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by 575rider /forum/post/20788914


Unless you're buying used, you can remove the Ultra 10 from the running.

This seems a bit vague. Any particular reason why you would make this statement?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by skally /forum/post/20791375


Even thou you mentioned the 13" mark, the ED 250 measures at 14.25" sq. In that case you would be better off going the Ultra 12 at 14.5... just a thought thou.

Ooops, typo - it should have been 14". I fixed it now.


The Ultra 12 is a little deeper then I would like, an quite honestly is probably too big (output wise) for the room. My little 8" sub can make the blinds rattle sometimes, I can only imagine the cacophony of noise that 12" would make.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimWilson /forum/post/20791594


This seems a bit vague. Any particular reason why you would make this statement?

They are out of stock and discontinuing the present model. So, unless you want to wait for the new model (supposedly better but at a higher price), you'd need to find a used one.


Perhaps consider the Ultra 12 on sale for $429 shipped?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by 575rider /forum/post/20791614


They are out of stock and discontinuing the present model. So, unless you want to wait for the new model (supposedly better but at a higher price), you'd need to find a used one.


Perhaps consider the Ultra 12 on sale for $429 shipped?

OK, now it makes sense. That s#cks - I wasn't aware they were being discountinued.
 

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After posting it I did realize it was a bit deeper... sorry. You may be able to find a very good used Ultra 10 for sale, never know. The ultra 12 seems to be the better seal ( to me that is ) is at least it wouldnt let you wonder " maybe i should of gone with the 12" in the back of your mind... never know when the "bug" may hit again ( just thinking ahead is all)
. Otherwise it looks like the ED 250 have the vote. Have fun!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimWilson /forum/post/20791604


......

The Ultra 12 is a little deeper then I would like, an quite honestly is probably too big (output wise) for the room. My little 8" sub can make the blinds rattle sometimes, I can only imagine the cacophony of noise that 12" would make.

Unless the 12 doesn't fit your size requirements, I would easily go this route. Having the extra horsepower in reserve, is the entire principle for subs at any level of performance. Headroom cures nearly all your sub-woofer issues. Distortion lowering is the chief reason for buying headroom into a design. Additionally, a sub-woofer driver must possess a 400% capability margin to plunge each additional octave.


Quote:
I can only imagine the cacophony of noise that 12" would make

A smaller, lesser sub would actually make more "noise", THD, than a superior more capable design. At $30 more, the 12" version would be preferable wrt performance.



Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by FOH
A smaller, lesser sub would actually make more "noise", THD, than a superior more capable design. At $30 more, the 12" version would be preferable wrt performance.
Perhaps the way I said it lead to confusion... what I was referring to was the noise of everything in my living room rattling.



The price difference is certainly alluring, no doubt, but it's still a concern that the sub would over-power the room. Or my other speakers for that matter. Turning the gain down is an option of course, so I'll have to think about this one a bit further.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimWilson
Perhaps the way I said it lead to confusion... what I was referring to was the noise of everything in my living room rattling.



The price difference is certainly alluring, no doubt, but it's still a concern that the sub would over-power the room. Or my other speakers for that matter. Turning the gain down is an option of course, so I'll have to think about this one a bit further.
Please, no disrespect intended, however a sub over-powering a room, in the manner in which you inferred, is something that borders on absurd.


One places a sub into a HT system to cover the bottom octaves in a manner in which the other speakers in the system can't handle. Placing mains in done with imaging in mind, in placing a sub, one has the freedom to place it to optimize the acoustic aspects,...without negatively affecting imaging. So, more ideally suited to cover the bottom octaves is the point. As I've stated, for a sub to plunge merely one additional octave, a 400% increase in capability is needed to retain the same playback level. That said, to claim a sub would overpower the remainder of a system is absurd. Balancing the system, equalization in both the frequency and time domain, and optimizing the location, even the largest and most capable sub system one could assemble, would be appropriate with even the most modest mains.


Good luck
 

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"The Pinnacle Baby Boomer sub is a perfect fit for those who want a lot of bass, but don''t have room for a sub with a 12 or 15" woofer".


I think you are barking up the wrong tree and should stick with the sub you have.

Otherwise, in order to get better sound, you need to lighten up slick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by kesando /forum/post/20792743


How about the REL T3? I am personally considering this sub (open box) for use in my bedroom. It measures 11.8" x 13.5" x 14" hwd


Vanns has it in black (new) for $399 shipped:
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...5/rel-t3-black


Review:
http://www.hometheater.com/subwoofers/108rel/

Interesting. I knew of REL, but didn't think they were available in the US. The T3 only has an 8" driver, but the passive radiator could mitigate that to a certain extent. I'll have to look into this one a bit further.


Thanks for the suggestion and the links.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perpendicular /forum/post/20792170


My vote is here: http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-1.html


Though, this is a ported sub.

A ported sub? Really? Instigator! There's always one in every crowd....



Quote:
Originally Posted by Perpendicular /forum/post/20792170


You could always build your own.

Says who? Ever hear of a person who can't dance being described as having 'two left feet'? Well, I have two left hands. Were I to attempt something like this I would more then likely be down to just one of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by FOH /forum/post/20792114


Please, no disrespect intended, however a sub over-powering a room, in the manner in which you inferred, is something that borders on absurd.


One places a sub into a HT system to cover the bottom octaves in a manner in which the other speakers in the system can't handle. Placing mains in done with imaging in mind, in placing a sub, one has the freedom to place it to optimize the acoustic aspects,...without negatively affecting imaging. So, more ideally suited to cover the bottom octaves is the point. As I've stated, for a sub to plunge merely one additional octave, a 400% increase in capability is needed to retain the same playback level. That said, to claim a sub would overpower the remainder of a system is absurd. Balancing the system, equalization in both the frequency and time domain, and optimizing the location, even the largest and most capable sub system one could assemble, would be appropriate with even the most modest mains.

Absurd?
Hardly. Truth be told, it's quite a lucid and rational assessment.
{editors note: any sentence which begins with "no disprespect intended" is always followed by a statement that is specifically designed to achieve the exact opposite, so you get no mulligan for that}


It would be foolish -- and a complete waste of money -- to buy something that was simply too much for the particular situation. Balancing a system by using channel levels and distance is mandatory for any HT, but why pay for a subwoofer that would essentially have to be emasculated in order to accomplish the proper balance? Now that's an absurd position.


My current sub has the gain set at about 50%, with a channel level of around +8dB. I suspect a 10" sub would drop the channel level to perhaps +4dB or +5dB, with the gain below 50%. So what happens if I get an even larger sub? The channel level drops to almost 0dB and the gain to around 25%? So I should pay more money to buy something that I turn into a eunuch? Shrewd. Matching the components to my room, needs and other equipment is really the only intelligent way to proceed, so I think I'll stick with that route.


I'd rather not have the thread get polluted further by any type of back-and-forth debate about this so if you wish to proceed with this discussion you should take it off-line and PM me instead.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kesando /forum/post/20792743


How about the REL T3? I am personally considering this sub (open box) for use in my bedroom. It measures 11.8" x 13.5" x 14" hwd

You know, I completely forgot about the T3. It received a great write up and would be great in your system.

Add that to you choices and I'll vote for it.
 

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I keep reading in the sub forum that you can never have too much bass!! What happened to that statement in this case?? How about Lava subs?


Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I keep reading in the sub forum that you can never have too much bass!! What happened to that statement in this case??


Personally, I'm not convinced that's an accurate sentiment. I tend to believe that you can be too thin, you can work out too much, you can be too rich. OK, maybe not the last one
but I think you see where I'm going with this -- you can over do it with anything, bass included.


Realistically, what's the logic behind having something you'll never use? To me it's analogous to buying a 1 ton pickup truck to tow a popup camper; overkill. If a 1/2 ton truck is more then sufficient to perform the task, then why bother wasting money on capabilities that will go completely unused?


I suppose I'm simply being pragmatic. I'm not a "bass head", so I'm trying to purchase a subwoofer that fits into my room, budget and needs a bit better. I guess we could all get one of these and just be done with it...



How about Lava subs?


I had already checked Lava's site, but didn't really see anything that would work (it seems they only sell 3 subs). The 10" is physically too large, and it's ported, so it doesn't fit my needs. The prices are certainly attractive though.
 
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