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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
For those who have been following along on the Official PSA thread, I've shared that I finally came to a decision (of sorts) about what to do in my 7500 cubic foot room. After wavering back and forth between sealed and ported options, the release of the new ICE-powered line from PSA prompted me to do my own, in-home test between the two options most likely to work well in my room: the ported, single-driver V1500 and the sealed, dual-opposed driver S3000i. Before I go any further, I want to thank Tom V and Jim F for offering their free in-home demo and both-way shipping that made this test possible! I also want to thank Tom for convincing me to do the test; telling me explicitly not to feel guilty about ordering both knowing that I would return one.

That said, whichever of these two products is returned will simply be exchanged for a duplicate of the one I decide to keep. My room is large enough that I am going to want 2 subwoofers and I do plan do place one near-field.

Latest Updates

V1500 Unboxing Photos (3/23)
V1500 Initial Setup and First Impressions: Movies (3/27)
V1500 First Impressions: Music (3/28)
S3000i Unboxing and side-by-side with V1500 (3/31)
V1500 post-measurement conclusions (Holy 14hz, Batman!) (3/31)
S3000i vs V1500 Best location found graph (4/2)
S3000i in the best location found with Audyssey (4/2)
S3000i Compression

Why PSA?

Stellar reputation. Stellar customer service. Made in USA Products. Free in-home trial with free both-way shipping. And, with the announcement of the s3000i, I suspected (for the first time in my budget) that there was a sealed option that (when dual was considered) could be powerful enough for my room. Everyone has leaned me towards ported; I have a bias towards sealed. Ultimately, I needed to try both myself.


The first subwoofer, the V1500 is scheduled to arrive about a week before the S3000i and is currently listing as arriving on 3/23. Tom gave me the option and I chose to get the V1500 early so I had time to learn the controls and get it well-dialed in before the S3000i arrived.

About Me, My Room, and My Tastes

I would be absolutely remiss if I didn't admit up front that I am a total amateur when it comes to anything objective that I'll present in this thread. I do have a UMIK-1 and MiniDSP coming with my order; however, I have absolutely no experience with them. Those hoping for a really great, wonderfully measured shootout are, sadly, going to be disappointed. I will do what I can to take measurements and post graphs; however, I think it's important to understand that, for me, the results of this test are going to be almost entirely subjective: the sub I keep will be the one I like best.

My room is an unfortunately enormous 7500 cubic feet. I say "unfortunately" as almost all of the space is vertical, I have vaulted ceilings all the way up to my roof which mean that, while the room is huge, the usable space for placement is not. Part of the space is a second-level loft space which is completely open along the longest side of the room between the upper-and lower level--so I include it fully in my space measurement. My room is not treated for acoustics--so don't expect a great looking waterfall.

My usage is about 60% music, 40% HT. My primary concern for speaker and subwoofer performance is music. While I do use HT regularly, my general opinion is that as long as it's exactly what I want for music, it will do well-enough to make me happy with HT. While I recognize this opinion is not prevalent, it's my opinion--so my decision will ultimately come down to what makes me happier with music.

My Setup

Marantz AV7702 Pre/Pro (hooray Audyssey XT32)
Emotiva XPA-5 Amp
Martin Logan Theos L+R speakers
Ps3 for Blu Ray & CD

If I can get it done in time, I'm trying to get a Martin Logan Motif X center channel delivered quickly so I can work with a 3.1 setup for the testing on film; however, that may not happen in time. Atmos is in my future; but it's a pretty distant future. :D

Test Material - Music Updated 3/19

I've tried to select music that reflects my broad taste. Some of it is good 'subwoofer test' music while others are just tracks that I know well and love. I am absolutely open to suggestions and will add anything that falls in line with the types of music I listen to. The list is in no particular order.

Looking at the list, it's currently slanted too heavily towards rock music; I'll be making some adjustments to remove mostly redundant tracks and add more electronic, hip-hop, classical, jazz, and "crooner" music--all things I listen to regularly but don't have tracks off the top of my head or sitting in a playlist to look through. I will also likely change some the songs out in favor of listening to certain albums front-to-back.

Garbage - Queer
Smashing Pumpkins - Bullet with Butterfly Wings
Smashing Pumpkins - Mayonnaise
Telefon Tel Aviv - I Lied
Telefon Tel Aviv - Fahrenheit Fair Enough
Beck - Where It's At
Kansas - Carry on My Wayward Son
Bjork - Hyper-Ballad
The Crystal Method - Trip Like I Do
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony - 1st of the Month
Daft Punk - Human After All
Boston - More Than a Feelin'
BT - Madskillz - Mic Chekka
BT - Every Other Way
Ellie Goulding - Lights (Bassnectar Remix)
Ellie Goulding - Figure 8
Coheed & Cambria - The Camper Velorium I: Faint of Heart
Coheed & Cambria - The Crowing
Delerium - Truly
Depeche Mode - I Feel You
Dr. Dre - Nothin' But a G Thing
Econoline Crush - Home
Madeon - Technicolor
Foo Fighters - Learn To Fly
Foreigner - Double Vision
Gorillaz - Feel Good, Inc
Hybrid - Finished Symphony
Jamiroquai - Canned Heat
K's Choice - To This Day
Marilyn Manson - Personal Jesus (Depeche Mode Cover)
Mars Lasar - Lords of Truth
Mat Zo - 24 Hours
Massive Attack - Dissolved Girl
Michael Jackson - Man in the Mirror
Michael Jackson - Love Never Felt So Good
Nine Inch Nails - Closer
Nine Inch Nails - Terrible Lie
Orbital - Halcyon & On & On
Orbital - Belfast
Orgy - Blue Monday
Outkast - BoB
Outkast - Rosa Parks
Paul Oakenfold - Get 'em Up (ft. Ice Cube)
Solarstone - Seven Cities
The Prodigy - Voodoo People
REM - Losing My Religion
Rabbit in the Moon - Out of Body Experience
Royksopp - Remind Me
Sneaker Pimps - Wasted Early Sunday Morning
Stabbing Westward - Save Yourself
Tiesto - Wasted
Sting - Desert Rose
VAST - Touched
Veruca Salt - Volcano Girls
Yanni - Live at the Acropolis (full album)
Dido - Here with Me

Test Material - Movies (Updated 3/19)

I'm keeping this list relatively short--limiting it to what I have on Blu Ray as well as keeping it short as I intend to watch the full movie rather than selecting individual scenes.

The Dark Knight
The Avengers
Iron Man
The Matrix
Pirates of the Caribbean
Harry Potter (Random selection--probably the last 2 though)


Join me for the ride--I hope to learn a ton about both of these products and, regardless of which I choose to keep, I know the next few weeks are going to be insanely fun!

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At one point, I had a blu-ray rip (Perfect m2ts rip--not transcoded) of it--I need to find it.

Yeah when I had my four monster ported 18" DIY sub cabinets I could literally make my whole house shake with the scene. I cracked the drywall in the room above the Theater from those subs and I think that scene helped with that!....lol

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I'm going to go out on the limb based on your usage criteria & you'll prefer the 3000i once the gloves come off....of course this is purely based on my own experiences. I will also like to subscribe to this thread. It should be a fun read...one other thing I would like to mention based on your playlist and some of the bands selected...One of my personal favorite demo tunes comes from A Perfect Circle "The Noose"....it layered with each passing verse getting louder and deeper...gives me goose bumps when played really loud on my XS30se!

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Ok, this is going to be great thread to follow!! I have an xs30se now in my 7500cf room with 10 to 20 foot ceiling. It sounds great now but have been thinking of another sub. Like to hear your personal observations on music from another new guy like me.

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm going to go out on the limb based on your usage criteria & you'll prefer the 3000i once the gloves come off....of course this is purely based on my own experiences.
This is actually why I'm really happy to be getting the V1500 first and having it for about a week. While my bias tells me that I'll prefer the S3000i, I'll have plenty of time to work with the V1500 to get it where I want it before the S3000i arrives. The part of me that would rather spend a total of $2k on the dual V1500 as opposed to $3k on the dual S3000i will be really happy if, by spending enough time with the V1500, I can't make the S3000i enough of an improvement to warrant the extra $1,000 (if, in fact, is is an improvement).

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I predict dual S3000is. :D

Tron:Legacy "Lightbike Race" scene is the absolute best to test those subs! ;)

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I predict dual S3000is. :D

Tron:Legacy "Lightbike Race" scene is the absolute best to test those subs! ;)
I've been meaning to buy Tron: Legacy for a while. This seems like as good an excuse as any!

Edit: I mean, if I had $6k budgeted, I would be going with dual T-18's like someone. :p

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Well, that was not my original budget. ;)
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Great thread! I wonder how ULF you'll get in a room that size?

If it were me I would try the grenade scene from World War Z on each sub. It plunges so low you'll be able to see what useful output difference you get down low.

Also the bass drops in theove Inception will probably illustrate the difference.

Maybe try the "F'in Irene" scene from Blackhawk Down as well.

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Great thread! I wonder how ULF you'll get in a room that size?
ULF is going to be really tough in my room. It's the main reason I'm giving ported a shot; but, to be honest, I'm not going to be able to have more than 2 subwoofers in my room given its layout. So if 2 V1500s can't give me that meaty, down-low response, I'll know that I basically have to live with it.

Could 2 Orbit Shifters be up to the task? Probably--but it's way out of my budget and size constraints. After all, this is a family room and not a dedicated theater.

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Edge of Tomorrow (especially the opening minute)
Pulse (the server scene)

Both EOT and Pulse will let you know if you have enough headroom under 20hz for your room. Both scenes are known to turn even some of the best subs into wheezing asthmatics. :)

Music, I like anything from Tool, APC or Puscifier for music testing.

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Try the Darla tapping the aquarium scene in Nemo. That's a really cool one to try with a good sub. It will literally sound/feel like a giant is outside slamming on the side of your house. lol
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I, for one, can't wait to read your shootout between the two.

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