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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After visiting RMK's amazing theater, I was infected by his upgraditis :eek:

The biggest improvement I think I'd do for my system is a subwoofer upgrade to replace my 10'' 120W sub.

What's a realistic expectation of an improvement by going to a Martin Logan Dynamo 1500X or a SVS SB13 Ultra? Can I expect room shaking bass for movies in a 2000 cu ft room?

EDIT: I'm in Canada, so I can't really get the juicy ID companies in the US. If I import, the prices are approaching the ML and it isn't worth the hassle. The recent weakening of the Canadian dollar is also making the US subs 25% more expensive.
 

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I will assume that your room is NOT open to other rooms. I will also assume that the subwoofer is mainly for movies and not music. That being said, I haven't auditioned the ML sub, but do own the SB13-Ultra. I have it in a room that's around 3,500 cu. ft. and rather open. And yes, it can hit the walls hard. But I use this sub for music only. There are many sealed and ported designs that will have more output, can dig deeper and be more impressive for movie LFE. Add to that, they are cheaper than the ML or SVS. That does not necessarily mean these subs are better, however.

Look at subwoofers from the following companies: Funk Audio, JTR Speaker and Seaton for the most powerful (and expensive).

For great quality at reasonable prices, look at the following companies: Hsu Research, Power Sound Audio (PSA), Reaction Audio, Rythmik Audio and other subs from SVS.

Note: The difference between any of these subs and what you own now would be rather large :).
 

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DIY/AIY appeal at all? How important is appearance/size? Ported subs not a consideration? Of those two choices I'd lean towards the SVS myself, I don't consider the Martin Logan subs to be anything special but their prices tend to be on the high side for what they are. After experiencing something like RMK's setup, though..... :) If I were Canadian I'd think Funk for a good looking and excellent performing sub...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
It's about 70/30 music vs movies, but I value movies more. The room is open to a hallway leading to the rest of the house.

The ML 1500X seems to be comparable to the SVS SB13 Ultra from looking at measurements. The SB13 still looks to be a better sub, but the ML is also $200 cheaper.

DIY is a pain for someone like me with poor woodworking skills (yes, I've built DIY speakers before). I could probably do something like a Zv4 15'' in a 17'' cube and power it off a iNuke, and I'll get 5-6dB gain over the ML or SVS, but it'll probably end up being more expensive, and it'll take a lot of time.

Yes I want a sealed sub because of its small size. The JTR Captivator 1400 is really tempting, and I toyed with the idea of "screw it, I'm buying a big ass sub", but decided against it, maybe for a future upgrade.
 

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What's your budget? :)

If you can contemplate a SB13-Ultra purchase, then it would definitely be worth your while to at least reach out to US-based ID companies and get a quote from them. They would basically handle all the "hassle" i.e. shipping/customs logistics, and give you a final price in USD. You then decide if it would be a worthwhile purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
The budget is around $2000 CAD, or $1600 USD, and more like $1400 USD to cover the 13% taxes.

I did ask around. For example it costs $285 to ship a Captivator 1400 to me, and after duty and stuff it'll be $500-600 over my budget.

The Gamma 218 is too large. If I can swing that big I would have gotten a Captivator 1400. Most houses near my university do not allow parties (lame university, I know...). It would be very difficult to convince a landlord that having a sub as massive as the Cap or the Reaction 218 is not for partying... Even the ML and SVS is pushing it.

"Oh yeah, those two 18s over there? Ummmmm, I'm an audiophile? :eek:"

Plus, I prefer a smaller sub, and I sort of like having upgraditis. It gives me something to look forward to. Even if I didn't have a size limitation I'd still want to go with a small sealed at this time in my life when I'm sort of obsessed with small speakers. Never had a sealed sub before either.
 

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It's about 70/30 music vs movies, but I value movies more. The room is open to a hallway leading to the rest of the house.

The ML 1500X seems to be comparable to the SVS SB13 Ultra from looking at measurements. The SB13 still looks to be a better sub, but the ML is also $200 cheaper.

DIY is a pain for someone like me with poor woodworking skills (yes, I've built DIY speakers before). I could probably do something like a Zv4 15'' in a 17'' cube and power it off a iNuke, and I'll get 5-6dB gain over the ML or SVS, but it'll probably end up being more expensive, and it'll take a lot of time.

Yes I want a sealed sub because of its small size. The JTR Captivator 1400 is really tempting, and I toyed with the idea of "screw it, I'm buying a big ass sub", but decided against it, maybe for a future upgrade.
Buying from a U.S. company has its pains when one lives outside the U.S.

Since the SB13-Ultra performs exceptionally well in my large room (and is more open than yours), it should do wonders in your room. It's a massive driver for its cabinet size and has shown itself to be exceptional at music definition and very good for movies. I don't know what the return or shipping policy is in Canada, but the SB13 is quite a sub for its size. I doubt you'd be disappointed.
 
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The budget is around $2000 CAD, or $1600 USD, and more like $1400 USD to cover the 13% taxes.

I did ask around. For example it costs $285 to ship a Captivator 1400 to me, and after duty and stuff it'll be $500-600 over my budget.

The Gamma 218 is too large. If I can swing that big I would have gotten a Captivator 1400. Most houses near my university do not allow parties (lame university, I know...). It would be very difficult to convince a landlord that having a sub as massive as the Cap or the Reaction 218 is not for partying... Even the ML and SVS is pushing it.

"Oh yeah, those two 18s over there? Ummmmm, I'm an audiophile? :eek:"

Plus, I prefer a smaller sub, and I sort of like having upgraditis. It gives me something to look forward to. Even if I didn't have a size limitation I'd still want to go with a small sealed at this time in my life when I'm sort of obsessed with small speakers. Never had a sealed sub before either.
The reaction Gamma 18 is smaller, and fits your budget PERFECTLY.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Buying from a U.S. company has its pains when one lives outside the U.S.

Since the SB13-Ultra performs exceptionally well in my large room (and is more open than yours), it should do wonders in your room. It's a massive driver for its cabinet size and has shown itself to be exceptional at music definition and very good for movies. I don't know what the return or shipping policy is in Canada, but the SB13 is quite a sub for its size. I doubt you'd be disappointed.
Thanks! That's the opinion I'm looking for. SVS has a dealer in Canada, so it is the only ID company I have access to in Canada without dealing with importing.
 

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Buying from a U.S. company has its pains when one lives outside the U.S.

Since the SB13-Ultra performs exceptionally well in my large room (and is more open than yours), it should do wonders in your room. It's a massive driver for its cabinet size and has shown itself to be exceptional at music definition and very good for movies. I don't know what the return or shipping policy is in Canada, but the SB13 is quite a sub for its size. I doubt you'd be disappointed.
I'll echo dsrussell's sentiments: the SVS SB13ultra is quite a sub ... in my open, 5,500 cu.ft. space, it has power/output to spare, provides great detail, and looks fantastic as well.

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While I agree that shipping and other logistical costs make getting a large sub into Canada quite impractical, I think you can still import "smaller" subs at or below the cost of a SB-13. By that, I mean something like the PSA S1500 or Rythmik E15, for less than the cost of the SVS. Not to say the SVS isn't a good choice itself.
 

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The SB13-Ultra is a strange little beast and never quite gets the accolades it deserves. All one has to do is go to data-bass and you’ll see a slew of subs outperforming the Ultra in output tests. As I stated in a post above, there are many subs that have more output, dig deeper and for less money. Wow, so who would even consider the Ultra? Anyone who likes the detail and clarity those others subs often can’t or don’t provide. For music, the Ultra was an easy choice for me and beat the other highly regarded subs I auditioned in my home. Sometimes by a little and sometimes by a lot. Matter-of-fact, I consider the price on the Ultra to be a bargain for what it has given me that the others simply could not. For movies, it’s a slightly different story. While precision was exactly what I was looking for in music, it wasn’t my main concern for movies. That’s why I own two different subs.

From the above paragraph one might assume the Ultra is great for only music. That’s not true. One might also assume that the other subs I tested were only good for movies. That too is not true. But there are differences. One must judge a subwoofer by one’s personal parameters, and not by a spec sheet alone. And that’s why we audition.
 

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