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I'm new to this forum and have been reading through old posts for the last several days. There is some great info on here. I tried searching but I can't seem to find any definitive answers. Just wanted to put up the 3 subs I've been debating and get some thoughts.

I currently have a Paradigm Cinema 5.1 system that is about 10 years old....and the sub just died. Slightly to my delight, because now I have an excuse to upgrade. The main part of my living room is 2000 cu ft, but with the open dining room and stairs leading upstairs, I figure just under 3000 total.

I've been looking at the Hsu VTF-2 MK5, Rythmik LV12R and Outlaw Ultra-X12. The Outlaw is around 750 shipped and that's over my budget, but I'm willing to spend a little more if it's worth it...since my last sub lasted a decade. I've also looked at SVS. Aesthetically, the Outlaw is much nicer than the other two...it bugs me that the Hsu VTF-2 MK5 doesn't have the same nice satin finish as the older model, but got a black vinyl wrap instead. The Rythmik is as bland as it gets. Ultimately performance trumps aesthetics, but this will be a huge highlight in my living room so looks are important to me.

I can't seem to find anyone who actually owns or has auditioned the new Hsu sub for an opinion, and there are no reviews. The MK4 has excellent reviews however, in fact they all do. Just looking for a nudge in one direction or another. I'm open to other suggestions as well for something under $750.

I'll be upgrading my receiver and speakers as well. Sticking with a 3.1 setup for now, looking at Q Acoustics Concept 20 or Dali Zensors or something in that ballpark. Thanks for the help!
 

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One sub you should also consider in this price range is the RBH I-12, which is $500/shipped. I have the I-12 and it's a very good performing and good looking subwoofer. I also have a LV12R arriving today. IMO, the Ultra-X12 is a bit overpriced at $723/shipped. Outlaw has, however, previously had a sale during Thanksgiving weekend in the past. If you can hold off a while longer, there may be some sales on various subs.

EDIT: Concerning the price of the Rythmik LV12R, the price is currently discounted a little to $569. I wouldn't expect it to be any less by the end of the month..
 
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I saw that RBH and it's a beautiful sub! I'll take a serious look at it. If you wouldn't mind, can you write an update when you get your LV12R and let me know how they compare?
 

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Also look at RSL Speedwoofer 10S. In your budget, you can get two of these which is always better than one sub no matter how big.
 

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Also look at RSL Speedwoofer 10S. In your budget, you can get two of these which is always better than one sub no matter how big.
That's bad advice. Adding a second sub can increase output 3-6dB depending on placement and two will smooth frequency response. No matter how many subs you throw at a room, extension won't be increased. While the Speedwoofer looks to be a good little sub for certain applications, it doesn't have the output or extension of some of these other more capable subs. I would buy the Jamo J-112 for $250 before I would buy the Speedwoofer 10S for $400.

EDIT: This is a good price on the J-112. It's also available in white from the same seller. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Jamo-J-112-DA-12-Inch-Front-Firing-Premium-Woofer-Dark-Apple-/131975983879?hash=item1eba61b307:g:p38AAOSw4shYB5mk

RedC, I'll let you know how the LV12R compares to some of the other, similar subs I have.
 
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I agree the Outlaw is not longer a contender since they raised the price. The HSU or Rythmik would be a better value. If you were considering a X12, I would add the outlet PB2000 or HSU VTF-3.5 to your list. I think in the long run you would be happier starting with a sub at this price point and going from there. It seems the majority of folks that start with a 4-600.00 sub enjoy them, but end up moving to a more capable unit fairly soon. The thing is with the 4-600.00 range subs is you are paying for the extra extension and flatter response that the 150-300.00 subs do not have. The cheaper subs tend be perceived as "louder" due to the higher port tuning and humped response in the 50hz...gives them that car audio one note sound. So if you want deep, clean, and accurate bass, with more output everywhere, it really takes about 800.00 to get that. This is coming from somebody that has owned 15+ different subs. When I made the switch to a 15" ID subs, I gained on every metric. The mid range SVS subs I owned(SB/PC12NSD) were much cleaner and deeper but they do not really have anymore output then lets sat a Polk PSW 505 or some thing along that lines above 40hz. Hope this helps.:)
 

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So far not too impressed with the Rythmik LV12R. Still have a lot of stuff to run through it, but did get the chance to try out a very LFE intense movie, Underworld Awakening. The scene with the giant Lycan is very taxing and using the exact same settings and subwoofer level (my receiver lets you set the sub level to the recommended 75dB or whatever you set it to at the beginning of the setup) I used with the RBH I-12, the LV12R had some noticeable port noise and even sounded like some cabinet rattle. Didn't get any of that with the I-12 2 port or 3 port modes. Did also quickly try the grenade scene in WWZ with a secondary setting setup and was very underwhelmed. Anyway, still lots of stuff to run through it when I can, plus fiddle with some various settings.
 

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So far not too impressed with the Rythmik LV12R. Still have a lot of stuff to run through it, but did get the chance to try out a very LFE intense movie, Underworld Awakening. The scene with the giant Lycan is very taxing and using the exact same settings and subwoofer level (my receiver lets you set the sub level to the recommended 75dB or whatever you set it to at the beginning of the setup) I used with the RBH I-12, the LV12R had some noticeable port noise and even sounded like some cabinet rattle. Didn't get any of that with the I-12 2 port or 3 port modes. Did also quickly try the grenade scene in WWZ with a secondary setting setup and was very underwhelmed. Anyway, still lots of stuff to run through it when I can, plus fiddle with some various settings.
Will you conduct any music evaluations? I for one would love to hear your impartial thoughts/impressions on these subs...if your inclined. You often hear tight, articulate in describing traits associated with Rythmik...I hope you find a happy medium doing some adjustments and get things straighten out...underwhelmed + port noise exacerbating the situation are not commonly used...unless there is something wrong or defective.
 

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Will you conduct any music evaluations? I for one would love to hear your impartial thoughts/impressions on these subs...if your inclined. You often hear tight, articulate in describing traits associated with Rythmik...I hope you find a happy medium doing some adjustments and get things straighten out...underwhelmed + port noise exacerbating the situation are not commonly used...unless there is something wrong or defective.
I think this sub, as far as home theater goes, is better suited for small rooms. I am using the sub in home theater mode (bass extension low). My room is medium sized, around 2700 ft^3, but this sub is struggling a bit compared to what the I-12 does. I tried it in a corner, which boosts the output, so I could dial down the gain to take some of the stress off the amp. Still yet, the end of the grenade scene exhibits some very noticeable port noise. The LV12R is a smaller sized sub compared to say the PB12-NSD and I-12 subs I have, so that might play a part in its capability. I'm just surprised it is struggling as much as it is in my room. Port noise like this isn't something I expected.

I will get to some music when I get a chance. I like to run a variety of genres. Wayman Tisdale, Ludacris, Steely Dan, George Strait and Metallica are my usual suspects.
 
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I went back and re-read Jim Wilson's review of the LV12R and he did make mention that there was a little port noise on occasion with the movies he tested. His room is about 1700 ft^3, so I'm probably running the sub a little hotter than he did in attempt to fill a substantially larger space. He also didn't test the sub on WWZ or Underworld Awakening, with the latter being a real bass bruiser.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Also look at RSL Speedwoofer 10S. In your budget, you can get two of these which is always better than one sub no matter how big.
This actually intrigues me. I also completely get what Basshead81 is saying about getting the most sub I can right now...the thing is, a small sub wouldn't overpower my current speakers, which are very small satellites with 3.5" midrange drivers. If I spent less now then I could upgrade to better speakers than I could if I balled out on a sub right now. Then I can get a taste for what real bass is and upgrade next year :) It tough to be on a tight budget.

All of a sudden I'm looking at the Hsu VTF-1 MK3 and the RSL Speedwoofer 10S. Still debating the larger subs too, pretty much ruling out the Outlaw unless it goes on sale next weekend.

Thanks for all the feedback...still hoping someone with a Hsu VTF-2 MK5 can chime in.
 

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I think this sub, as far as home theater goes, is better suited for small rooms. I am using the sub in home theater mode (bass extension low). My room is medium sized, around 2700 ft^3, but this sub is struggling a bit compared to what the I-12 does. I tried it in a corner, which boosts the output, so I could dial down the gain to take some of the stress off the amp. Still yet, the end of the grenade scene exhibits some very noticeable port noise. The LV12R is a smaller sized sub compared to say the PB12-NSD and I-12 subs I have, so that might play a part in its capability. I'm just surprised it is struggling as much as it is in my room. Port noise like this isn't something I expected.

I will get to some music when I get a chance. I like to run a variety of genres. Wayman Tisdale, Ludacris, Steely Dan, George Strait and Metallica are my usual suspects.

My room is around the same size in total. The thing I don't like about the Rythmik is the rear ports...I don't have a ton of room to pull it away from the wall further than a couple inches. But I'm super intrigued by the servo system. Mix Master, keep us posted if you get your new toy dialed in and sounding the way you want.
 

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a small sub wouldn't overpower my current speakers, which are very small satellites with 3.5" midrange drivers.
A big sub won't over power them either. You'll hook the sub up to your AVR, adjust the gain on the back of the subwoofer, and run your speaker calibration. Big or small, the sub will be set to work with your speakers once you set the crossover on the receiver.

The other reason to go with one of the bigger subs is the better 20hz extension for movies. It's a nice effect to have.

Personally, I would go for the BIC PL-200 before the Speedwoofer 10s. When you start comparing it's distortion levels and output, doesn't seem a lot better than the PL-200 to me. Just a bit smaller.
 
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A big sub won't over power them either. You'll hook the sub up to your AVR, adjust the gain on the back of the subwoofer, and run your speaker calibration. Big or small, the sub will be set to work with your speakers once you set the crossover on the receiver.

The other reason to go with one of the bigger subs is the better 20hz extension for movies. It's a nice effect to have.

Personally, I would go for the BIC PL-200 before the Speedwoofer 10s. When you start comparing it's distortion levels and output, doesn't seem a lot better than the PL-200 to me. Just a bit smaller.
That's good to know. I just figured a massive sub might drown out my little satellites. I plan on upgrading the speakers anyway though which is why I may look for a cheaper sub for now. Still intrigued by the Rythmik for $569 shipped or the Hsu VTF-2 MK5 can be had for $660 shipped with the 5 year electronics warranty. The couple reviews of the previous generation MK4 which is down firing, are pretty outstanding. And the newer version got a 100W boost in the amp. Seems like a really legit sub.
 

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One thing I'm curious about...if I have to reduce the volume of the sub (for neighbors) should that factor in to my decision? I share a common wall with a neighbor who doesn't really care, but in my kitchen, which is somewhat open to my listening room, the wall is shared with a neighbor who would probably complain if the volume was too loud. Chances are they wouldn't hear it, but with a beast of a sub they might if it is capable of rattling the dishes across the house, which I've read in some reviews.

I know the larger subs would provide the bass extension I'm looking for, but super high output is not my main focus. I'm looking for clean bass that sounds good at moderate volumes. In that case, would I really even notice much of a difference between these options? I've never had a good sub so I don't know what to expect. If I wait until Black Friday and find a screaming deal on a PB-2000 outlet or find an Outlaw for $500 shipped which they did last year apparently, i might just buy it regardless.
 

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If it were me, I'd go for the Rythmik LV12R given that you are waffling back and forth on how much to spend. You can also add another later. It's going to be a big improvement over the small Paradigm sub you have been using.
 
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Ran the LV12R through some more material today. Musically this is a very nice sub. The sound is tight and crisp if I had to describe it. I tried both mid and high amp settings for music and really couldn't tell much of a difference in the two. Compared the LV12R head to head against the I-12 (in 2 and 3 port open modes), both same spot in the room and same settings exactly. Overal1l the LV12R had a bit tighter sound, but output was a bit less. I-12 seemed to produce a deeper, more powerful bass level in bass heavy music.

As for movies, still not good. Could possibly be an issue with this particular b-stock sub. Sub was producing noise from the driver. I sent a video of the sound issue to Brian and he agreed it was something that shouldn't be going on, especially with the limiter not even engaged. Sub levels set to 75dB, Audyssey set sub level to -4dB and I bumped it up 4dB to 0, no dynamic EQ or dynamic volume engaged for all testing I did. The LV12 just wasn't handling deep LFE well at all. Port noise and driver noise was an issue.


 

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Ran the LV12R through some more material today. Musically this is a very nice sub. The sound is tight and crisp if I had to describe it. I tried both mid and high amp settings for music and really couldn't tell much of a difference in the two. Compared the LV12R head to head against the I-12 (in 2 and 3 port open modes), both same spot in the room and same settings exactly. Overal1l the LV12R had a bit tighter sound, but output was a bit less. I-12 seemed to produce a deeper, more powerful bass level in bass heavy music.

As for movies, still not good. Could possibly be an issue with this particular b-stock sub. Sub was producing noise from the driver. I sent a video of the sound issue to Brian and he agreed it was something that shouldn't be going on, especially with the limiter not even engaged. Sub levels set to 75dB, Audyssey set sub level to -4dB and I bumped it up 4dB to 0, no dynamic EQ or dynamic volume engaged for all testing I did. The LV12 just wasn't handling deep LFE well at all. Port noise and driver noise was an issue.
This is fascinating to me as well Mix. Mostly because you've owned lots of different subwoofers and I like hearing your feedback based on that experience but that's a space sized closer to large than medium (1500-3000 cu. ft.) What interests me the most is how well the Emp-tek I-12 seems to handle it with similar conditions and I trust your objectivity/fairness. That's a testament to the Emp's chops in that sized space. Never thought I'd wish for a broken/ defective Rythmik sub😟 but maybe it's just the physics of the room after all and the I-12 deserves the respect. Thanks for your honest feedback. I'm keeping my LV12R's though.
 

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I'll be upgrading my receiver and speakers as well. Sticking with a 3.1 setup for now, looking at Q Acoustics Concept 20 or Dali Zensors or something in that ballpark. Thanks for the help!
Tested the Concept 20 and they are a bargain at $430/pair.

If my sub died tomorrow and couldn't be repaired for whatever reason I'd go Rhythmik as i've had Servo sealed subs for 35+ year in my 5.1 system, (yep, before there were AVRs), and I'm never going to have anything else for my main HT.

Why sealed/servo?

Medium sized room, prefer smaller footprint and I listen at no more than 90db...plus I like the tight bass servo has delivered.

I'm sure other technologies have tight bass too but I'm not about to guess when I know what I like personally.

Most others will tell you that for HT you have to go ported.

Not buying it unless you have a huge room and want SPLs well above 95db at your MLP.
 
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