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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Greetings you magnificent bastards. Would love to get your thoughts on what I should do. Due to the irregular size of the room I'm thinking I want to split my budget into two subs. For my mains I need to do in-wall and I'm leaning toward three DefTech UIW RLS IIs.

1. Your budget. Around $1K to $1,500

2. Size requirements/limits. As small as I can get away with, realizing I likely need some size. The wife is all up my ass, but I think I could get like a SVS PB2000 size and act all surprised when it arrives and get away with it.

3. Room dimensions. This is where it's tough. I have a 28 x 13 main room which halfway opens up to a 14X16 room. About 4400^3 SF total.

4. Primary uses. We're finishing our basement and most commonly we'll probably have a game on the TV or music at a reasonable volume (which I realize won't be a problem). But I do want to be able to turn up the music or put a movie or concert blu ray on and get blown away as much as possible, realizing that will be tough with my space, size restrictions, and budget.

5. Listening habits. I love this stuff but probably don't have the discerning ear that many of you do. I tend to like the volume higher than most people.

6. Appearance requirements. The TV wall will likely be black shiplap so a less beautiful black sub would be fine.

7. Timeframe. Next 4 months or so.
 

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You are not far from me! Welcome.


Get the biggest you can afford now knowing you will want a 2nd down the road. Some starting points


Do you do more music, movies or what?


Any dimension limits for the enclosure?
 
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If you need two subs within that budget, it seems Hsu is likely the only option. If you spend it all on a single sub now and plan on a second sub later, the FV15HP is a good option. Given your space, I suspect many people will recommend you exceed your budget and go for a single FV18-PC or TV1812 now.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies!

My attempt at illustrating the size limitation was to say SVS PB-2000-size, haha. I suppose that is about 21h, 17w, 24d. I can't go bigger than that if I am going to have two, however, the suggestion seems to be to go with one. I can do one but it will have to go in a back corner of the listening area. I know it would be ideal to 'crawl' but that just isn't an option as this is a multi-purpose space and not a dedicated home theater. So I guess my question is, would I get more output from one FV15 than two PB-2000s? That is a concept I don't fully understand. I know that the idea of two subs is to better smooth your sound across a large listening space, but doesn't it also provide more punch to have two? Or would I need to go to an FV18 in order to accomplish that?

If I am to go with a gigantic sub I will not be adding one later because there isn't a place for it.
 

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Thanks for the replies!

My attempt at illustrating the size limitation was to say SVS PB-2000-size, haha. I suppose that is about 21h, 17w, 24d. I can't go bigger than that if I am going to have two, however, the suggestion seems to be to go with one. I can do one but it will have to go in a back corner of the listening area. I know it would be ideal to 'crawl' but that just isn't an option as this is a multi-purpose space and not a dedicated home theater. So I guess my question is, would I get more output from one FV15 than two PB-2000s? That is a concept I don't fully understand. I know that the idea of two subs is to better smooth your sound across a large listening space, but doesn't it also provide more punch to have two? Or would I need to go to an FV18 in order to accomplish that?

If I am to go with a gigantic sub I will not be adding one later because there isn't a place for it.

This will all come down to how well your room responds to one sub. IMO, there are going to be a lot of questions and guesses that need to be finished to come to your conclusion. If you get a good room response, the largest singe sub like a TV1812 would be perfect. If your room is difficult and you need dual subs that are smallish the consider the following duals:
1) HSU ULS (sealed for smallest footprint)
2) HSU VTF3 (ported)
3) Rythmik LVX12 (ported)
4) SVS PB-2000 (ported)
5) SVS SB-2000 (sealed)


I think your best bet is to get an SVS PB-2000 or two and try it risk free. Even if you like it, you can send it back for full refund and then upgrade or go with something that will likely work better. There is no way to predict what will make you happy in your space. Too many variables.
 
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Yeah I think trying out a pair with the option to return seems to make the most sense. I was thinking the VTF3 MK5 were significantly bigger than the SVS PB2000 but it's close enough that perhaps I shouldn't let that stop me. On the other hand, I hadn't read much on the sealed ULS15-MK2 but it seems like two of those may even get the job done at 18x18x18 size which is quite appealing. AH rated them at 'extreme' and 'large' room size, respectively, of which my basement falls into the latter. Would certainly help the sell the mrs.
 

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Greetings you magnificent bastards.... The wife is all up my ass, but I think I could get like a SVS PB2000 size and act all surprised when it arrives and get away with it.
I love your sense of humor. I got two good laughs out of your post.

THIS might help you a bit. I realize I'm in the minority on AVS regarding a single vs. dual subs, but I maintain that if you're at the MLP and you're the only one who give a hoot about bass response, and if you can position your single sub properly in order to optimize response at the MLP, and if your room "agrees" with all this theory, a single large sub can work, even in a big room.

I've got a single Klispch low-end boomy sub that literally shakes pictures in my 4600 cubic foot of space at 1/3 gain and -8 dB trim, and sounds decent (a bit boomy) at the MLP. If I move to another seat, I get either more ULF or less, but nobody else in the family notices/cares.

All this to say: I hope to go dual subs in the next 2 weeks, thanks to a re-issue of an older sub design at killer prices. But it's a limited run so I'm not telling you what brand. ha ;)

P.S. If you go duals, I highly recommend investing in a UMIK-1, getting REW, and also buying a miniDSP 2x4HD. Otherwise, you might just be wasting your money (two subs, improperly placed, can give worse in-room response than a single).
 

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Yeah I think trying out a pair with the option to return seems to make the most sense. I was thinking the VTF3 MK5 were significantly bigger than the SVS PB2000 but it's close enough that perhaps I shouldn't let that stop me. On the other hand, I hadn't read much on the sealed ULS15-MK2 but it seems like two of those may even get the job done at 18x18x18 size which is quite appealing. AH rated them at 'extreme' and 'large' room size, respectively, of which my basement falls into the latter. Would certainly help the sell the mrs.

The VTF3 is significantly better but if you order one and don't like it you pay return shipping. Just getting an idea of whether you need 12", 15", one sub, 2 subs, etc. will help make a much better final decision.
 
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My expectation is that 12" subs will be overmatched in your room if you listen at fairly loud volumes, as you indicated.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I love your sense of humor. I got two good laughs out of your post.

THIS might help you a bit. I realize I'm in the minority on AVS regarding a single vs. dual subs, but I maintain that if you're at the MLP and you're the only one who give a hoot about bass response, and if you can position your single sub properly in order to optimize response at the MLP, and if your room "agrees" with all this theory, a single large sub can work, even in a big room.

I've got a single Klispch low-end boomy sub that literally shakes pictures in my 4600 cubic foot of space at 1/3 gain and -8 dB trim, and sounds decent (a bit boomy) at the MLP. If I move to another seat, I get either more ULF or less, but nobody else in the family notices/cares.

All this to say: I hope to go dual subs in the next 2 weeks, thanks to a re-issue of an older sub design at killer prices. But it's a limited run so I'm not telling you what brand. ha ;)

P.S. If you go duals, I highly recommend investing in a UMIK-1, getting REW, and also buying a miniDSP 2x4HD. Otherwise, you might just be wasting your money (two subs, improperly placed, can give worse in-room response than a single).
This is a really good thought. I will say that I'm certain my guests/family will be blown away with any of these options whereas my expectations will certainly be higher, so that gives credence to your one sub theory. I had not heard that multiple subs could be worse which is frightening - I'll take a look at those calibration tools. In either scenario I'm sorry to say my options for placement will be limited though. I will have drywall ceilings and feaux wood laminate floors which probably amplifies the location concerns although the main listening space will have a large rug.
 

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I had not heard that multiple subs could be worse which is frightening - I'll take a look at those calibration tools. In either scenario I'm sorry to say my options for placement will be limited though.
I wouldn't worry about it too much - it's only worse in cases where you get reinforcing of nulls (which isn't necessarily routine). And you might not even be aware of it without measurement tools or listening to test tones at specific frequencies. It's interesting b/c if you do a sub crawl, you won't be able to detect the nulls at all (or hardly at all). I assume performing a second crawl with a second sub would have the same issue. And so, if you can't "hear" the nulls during crawl(s), you'll likely remain ignorant of them when listening to movies/music, too.

And don't worry too much about placement, either. Even folks with dedicated spaces have trouble locating subs, especially larger ones.

But yes, if you truly want to maximize your investment, REW/UMIK-1/miniDSP 2x4HD is highly recommended, albeit a total pain in the ass. I haven't tried it yet (I'm ordering the UMIK-1 later this week), but I've watched a bunch of video tutorials and it seems like a lot of trial and error, not to mention the added expense (~$350 all told) for tools, some of which (UMIK-1) will be used for a few hours/days and then likely shelved, although the miniDSP will be used in perpetuity. At the end of the day, ignorance can be bliss, and if you get powerful subs, you can probably overlook these purchases (so long as you're not concerned about maximizing returns).
 

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My expectation is that 12" subs will be overmatched in your room if you listen at fairly loud volumes, as you indicated.
Yeah I'm basically sold on the 15" at this point, and given their praise I'm focusing in on HSU and the VTF3 MK5 and ULS15-MK2. I hear a lot about the VTF3 MK5 but curious if anyone has thoughts / experience with the ULS15-MK2. While it no doubt sacrifices some power to the VTF3 I'd love if it could get the job done due to size. Right now I'm leaning toward getting the ULS15 (realizing I'll be out shipping $ if I'm left wanting and return) then probably adding a second if I'm satisfied. That said, I've changed my mind about 5 times today so what's one more.
 

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Yeah I'm basically sold on the 15" at this point, and given their praise I'm focusing in on HSU and the VTF3 MK5 and ULS15-MK2. I hear a lot about the VTF3 MK5 but curious if anyone has thoughts / experience with the ULS15-MK2. While it no doubt sacrifices some power to the VTF3 I'd love if it could get the job done due to size. Right now I'm leaning toward getting the ULS15 (realizing I'll be out shipping $ if I'm left wanting and return) then probably adding a second if I'm satisfied. That said, I've changed my mind about 5 times today so what's one more.
Both get good reviews but for a room your size, sealed is a tough sell. The guidance would probably be 4 sealed vs. 2 ported by most on here...and with 4, placement is really difficult!

The only way to know for sure is to try them out, but realize your might have to pay return shipping if they don't cut it, and that you might be hankering for an upgrade in the future. Standard AVS guidance: buy the best single sub you can now, then start saving for a second. For those of us on a budget, it's not always helpful! :)
 

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I wouldn't worry about it too much - it's only worse in cases where you get reinforcing of nulls (which isn't necessarily routine). And you might not even be aware of it without measurement tools or listening to test tones at specific frequencies. It's interesting b/c if you do a sub crawl, you won't be able to detect the nulls at all (or hardly at all). I assume performing a second crawl with a second sub would have the same issue. And so, if you can't "hear" the nulls during crawl(s), you'll likely remain ignorant of them when listening to movies/music, too.

And don't worry too much about placement, either. Even folks with dedicated spaces have trouble locating subs, especially larger ones.

But yes, if you truly want to maximize your investment, REW/UMIK-1/miniDSP 2x4HD is highly recommended, albeit a total pain in the ass. I haven't tried it yet (I'm ordering the UMIK-1 later this week), but I've watched a bunch of video tutorials and it seems like a lot of trial and error, not to mention the added expense (~$350 all told) for tools, some of which (UMIK-1) will be used for a few hours/days and then likely shelved, although the miniDSP will be used in perpetuity. At the end of the day, ignorance can be bliss, and if you get powerful subs, you can probably overlook these purchases (so long as you're not concerned about maximizing returns).

I agree with most of this except for you can easily notice phase issues with dual subs if they are not aligned properly. When I first tried dual subs I got everything setup and even when I didn't know what I was getting into, it sounded like crap to start with. There was nothing there. You could see the sub drivers moving but very little sound. Getting them phase aligned changed that and then they sounded good without any EQ or knowing about any nulls.


EDIT: I forgot to add that manually fixing phase issues isn't that hard and doesn't require fancy tools if you get subs with analog adjustable phase control. You can do pretty good by ear or with a phone spectrum analyzer app. If you are going to get a MiniDSP 2x4HD, then it doesn't matter if the subs have phase control or not.
 
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I agree with most of this except for you can easily notice phase issues with dual subs if they are not aligned properly. When I first tried dual subs I got everything setup and even when I didn't know what I was getting into, it sounded like crap to start with. There was nothing there. You could see the sub drivers moving but very little sound. Getting them phase aligned changed that and then they sounded good without any EQ or knowing about any nulls.
That's a great point - phase issues can effectively neuter a system. I'm curious - did you phase align with amp settings or a miniDSP? If amp, was it a 0 degree vs. 180 degree switch or an analog switch?
 

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That's a great point - phase issues can effectively neuter a system. I'm curious - did you phase align with amp settings or a miniDSP? If amp, was it a 0 degree vs. 180 degree switch or an analog switch?

They were Rythmik subs with analog phase control.
 
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They were Rythmik subs with analog phase control.
Got it. Sorry for the follow-up question, but how difficult was it to fix your issue with an analog knob? Did you immediately go towards 180 degrees on the second sub and then maybe just have to tweak a bit, or was it more a matter of starting at 0 degrees and slowly adding and then testing/listening? I assume the changes were readily/immediately apparent?

It's one of the things you've got to like about Rythmik amps - infinite tuning capability. I'm just curious if it's "necessary," i.e. 0/180 degrees is sufficient in most cases (or not).
 
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