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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want a sub for TV and Movies. Minimal music. I like clean and tight base, but I can't have too much base and it needs to play well at lower volumes.


I have several already in consideration, and welcome suggestions.


My room (to be frank) sucks for HT, so I'm not looking for a dream here. Just some opinions


Green = speakers/sub

Red = couches

Blue = windows (and yes I'm dressing them with heavy blackout)

Grey = fireplace

Black = TV (Samsung 60" 7100)

Orange = just measurements




Basically, I think I can only put the sub in the location above b/c of WAF. Maybe to the right of the TV if smaller (like sealed)


Let me repeat, I'm not a base head. I don't need to be shaken out of my seat. I just want to be smart with my money (~$1000 on sub only).

I don't want to pressurize the entire house.

Room with the TV is open to the left. It is 1550 cubic feet. (11.5 x 15 x 9)

Room to the immediate left is another 1380 cubic feet (12.5 x 12.25 x 9) (2930 cubic foot so far)

Room to the left left (kitchen without the 'n') is easily another 1400 cubic feet. (4330 cubic foot with kitchen...and then it opens to stairs and second living room and foyer)


Like I said, don't want to pressurize all of that. Just want decent movie watching pleasure in the main TV area.


I'm giving all Hsu examples, but my question applies to most brands I guess.

So, would something like a VTF-15H turned down be better than a VTF3-MK4 played loud?

Should I look at a sealed sub like ULS 15 b/c I don't want to have the bass all over the house? Maybe if sealed, I could place to the right corner of the TV?


So I guess I'm asking...

Not a bass head, which type of sub for Movies without blowing up my house

1. Ported big sub not turned up?

2. Ported smaller sub turned up?

3. Sealed sub for more localized sound?


TIA!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfer  /t/1520688/sub-for-non-basshead#post_24431268


I'm giving all Hsu examples, but my question applies to most brands I guess.

So, would something like a VTF-15H turned down be better than a VTF3-MK4 played loud?

Should I look at a sealed sub like ULS 15 b/c I don't want to have the bass all over the house? Maybe if sealed, I could place to the right corner of the TV?


So I guess I'm asking...

Not a bass head, which type of sub for Movies without blowing up my house

1. Ported big sub not turned up?

2. Ported smaller sub turned up?

3. Sealed sub for more localized sound?


TIA!

You will soon find out that the subwoofer itself will choose the best location. It doesn't matter if a subwoofer is sealed or ported, bass will travel throughout the house, and you'll have to silence rattles in many different rooms. It's standard operating procedure
. I found paintings and doors rattling in many areas with a very low volume piece of music that never came close to reaching 60 dB (it had a two-minute sustained 16 Hz organ pedal note).


Hsu, Rythmik, SVS and PSA (among several other top-notch sub makers I haven't mentioned) all make very fine subwoofers that should suit your modest needs. Just choose what company you'd like to deal with and what model looks the best for your room's aesthetics. Ported subs are larger than sealed, sometimes much larger. I would also caution on side of getting a sub with sufficient headroom, whether you think you need it or not. There may be times that even non-bassheads may want to let loose a bit.


BTW, I auditioned the Hsu ULS-15 and thought it was an excellent subwoofer and surprisingly solid for movie LFE content, especially if one considers its relatively small size. Although I ended up with another subwoofer and returned the Hsu, it's certainly one of many solid choices that are available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by eljaycanuck  /t/1520688/sub-for-non-basshead#post_24431300


Your overall requirements have HSU VTF-15H written all over them. It's well-rated, powerful and tune-able. And it falls within your budget. Since you're only going to get one sub for your space, you might as well make it a good one.

One vote for big ported sub!
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsrussell  /t/1520688/sub-for-non-basshead#post_24431395


You will soon find out that the subwoofer itself will choose the best location. It doesn't matter if a subwoofer is sealed or ported, bass will travel throughout the house, and you'll have to silence rattles in many different rooms. It's standard operating procedure
. I found paintings and doors rattling in many areas with a very low volume piece of music that never came close to reaching 60 dB (it had a two-minute sustained 16 Hz organ pedal note).


Hsu, Rythmik, SVS and PSA (among several other top-notch sub makers I haven't mentioned) all make very fine subwoofers that should suit your modest needs. Just choose what company you'd like to deal with and what model looks the best for your room's aesthetics. Ported subs are larger than sealed, sometimes much larger. I would also caution on side of getting a sub with sufficient headroom, whether you think you need it or not. There may be times that even non-bassheads may want to let loose a bit.


BTW, I auditioned the Hsu ULS-15 and thought it was an excellent subwoofer and surprisingly solid for movie LFE content, especially if one considers its relatively small size. Although I ended up with another subwoofer and returned the Hsu, it's certainly one of many solid choices that are available.

So, are you recommending sealed?


For the record, I'm open to other brands. Let's say $800-1200.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfer  /t/1520688/sub-for-non-basshead#post_24431444


So, are you recommending sealed?


For the record, I'm open to other brands. Let's say $800-1200.

Not at all. I just didn't want you to think that a sealed sub was somehow local in sound. And since you mentioned the ULS-15, I thought I'd share with you that I did audition that particular sub. I have a preference for sealed based upon a few things, including size. I own the SVS SB13-Ultra for music, and the PSA XS30 for movies. However, for your volume area, a ported sub will give you more output.
 

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You can't have too much sub, so I wouldn't worry about that. Buying an overkill sub does have advantages. First of all, the less the sub is strained, the cleaner it will play. The cone and moving assembly which undergoes less mechanical exertion plays with greater fidelity to the signal. A further consequence of this is the sub will last longer. If you run the sub hard, it will have a shorter life, due to greater heat, more mechanical stress, and so on. The more powerful sub you get, the less hard it has to played to get your desired SPLs, and the longer it will live.


Here is something else to think about: in a $1200 budget, I would go for two Hsu VTF2s. If you think there is no need for two subs, let me explain dual subs is not for increased loudness (although it will gain more headroom). In fact, it's a bit better for low level listening. The reason for that is rarely will a single sub get you a completely even response at a single listening position. Usually the response from a single sub in a normal room is pretty ugly, and to compensate for a lack of bass in certain frequencies, some people turn the subs up which make other bass frequencies play too loud. Multiple subs setups can even out the bass frequency response more for a wider area of listening positions. A tamed response means less startling peaks. There is also the matter of lower distortion and greater longevity as the drivers will be taxed much less than a single driver. Not only that, but it's also more energy efficient, needing only a quarter of the wattage to achieve the same SPL, in addition to not needing as much loudness to compensate for response dips. What's more is since you are contemplating buying bookshelf speakers, the subs can also be used for speaker stands, so you save money there.


Another advantage of dual subs is you don't need to restrict yourself to the usual 80 Hz crossover point. 80 Hz is the most used crossover because higher frequencies become localizable, meaning the sub draws attention to its location and itself, which weighs the soundstage to its location- like one speaker being louder than all the others. With two subs, especially if co-located with the front left/right speakers, you don't need to worry about a tilted sound stage when going above 80 Hz. The advantage of going above 80 Hz is the subs have a hell of a lot more dynamic range than the speaker woofers, so you get much punchier and cleaner mid and upper bass if you let your subs take that range, and if your subs are able to evenly play that high. In that kind of setup, I would recommend trying 100 Hz, 120, and you could even give 150 a try. The Hsu subs are all linear to 200 Hz.


One more thing, since your room looks too big to shore up a gradual roll-off, I would get ported subs. Your room is too big for sealed subs to get useful deep bass gain.
 

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I agree with the recommendation of dual ported subs for your space.  The HSU mentioned(VTF2.4), and you should look at the Rythmic LV12R as well.
 

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Thread states subs for a non basshead and by post 6 we're at duals...this forum never ceases to amaze me...next it will be DIY projects or somebody will recommend quads....OP buy the largest sub your budget will allow ported or otherwise...post #2 offered you a very likely candidate for ~1000.00. Fwiw....every $200 or so...will likely yield you a slightly better sub...if that is the road you want to travel. The choice is yours, but if your not a huge basshead a single unit like the 15h will work in that room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ  /t/1520688/sub-for-non-basshead#post_24431818


You can't have too much sub, so I wouldn't worry about that. Buying an overkill sub does have advantages. First of all, the less the sub is strained, the cleaner it will play. The cone and moving assembly which undergoes less mechanical exertion plays with greater fidelity to the signal. A further consequence of this is the sub will last longer. If you run the sub hard, it will have a shorter life, due to greater heat, more mechanical stress, and so on. The more powerful sub you get, the less hard it has to played to get your desired SPLs, and the longer it will live.


Here is something else to think about: in a $1200 budget, I would go for two Hsu VTF2s. If you think there is no need for two subs, let me explain dual subs is not for increased loudness (although it will gain more headroom). In fact, it's a bit better for low level listening. The reason for that is rarely will a single sub get you a completely even response at a single listening position. Usually the response from a single sub in a normal room is pretty ugly, and to compensate for a lack of bass in certain frequencies, some people turn the subs up which make other bass frequencies play too loud. Multiple subs setups can even out the bass frequency response more for a wider area of listening positions. A tamed response means less startling peaks. There is also the matter of lower distortion and greater longevity as the drivers will be taxed much less than a single driver. Not only that, but it's also more energy efficient, needing only a quarter of the wattage to achieve the same SPL, in addition to not needing as much loudness to compensate for response dips. What's more is since you are contemplating buying bookshelf speakers, the subs can also be used for speaker stands, so you save money there.


Another advantage of dual subs is you don't need to restrict yourself to the usual 80 Hz crossover point. 80 Hz is the most used crossover because higher frequencies become localizable, meaning the sub draws attention to its location and itself, which weighs the soundstage to its location- like one speaker being louder than all the others. With two subs, especially if co-located with the front left/right speakers, you don't need to worry about a tilted sound stage when going above 80 Hz. The advantage of going above 80 Hz is the subs have a hell of a lot more dynamic range than the speaker woofers, so you get much punchier and cleaner mid and upper bass if you let your subs take that range, and if your subs are able to evenly play that high. In that kind of setup, I would recommend trying 100 Hz, 120, and you could even give 150 a try. The Hsu subs are all linear to 200 Hz.


One more thing, since your room looks too big to shore up a gradual roll-off, I would get ported subs. Your room is too big for sealed subs to get useful deep bass gain.

That makes sense to me. Everything but the subs as speaker stands!


I also like the fact that wiring will be much easier to run. I won't be drilling holes in the basement for the sub. Just hide the wires with some modified quarter round trim.

Question, would a 7.2 or 5.2 receiver be necessary or offer a superior advantage over a 7.1 or 5.1?
Quote:
Originally Posted by bear123  /t/1520688/sub-for-non-basshead#post_24432006


I agree with the recommendation of dual ported subs for your space.  The HSU mentioned(VTF2.4), and you should look at the Rythmic LV12R as well.

Thanks, I'll look into the LV14R.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy p  /t/1520688/sub-for-non-basshead#post_24432254


Thread states subs for a non basshead and by post 6 we're at duals...this forum never ceases to amaze me...next it will be DIY projects or somebody will recommend quads....OP buy the largest sub your budget will allow ported or otherwise...post #2 offered you a very likely candidate for ~1000.00. Fwiw....every $200 or so...will likely yield you a slightly better sub...if that is the road you want to travel. The choice is yours, but if your not a huge basshead a single unit like the 15h will work in that room.

I'm not against 2 subs if it is true that they'll play better at lower levels. It is pretty close to the same money. Kinda nice too with the symmetry of putting the subs under the bookshelves I planned to mount on the wall. (I know, not optimal).


Are you disagreeing that 2 subs won't necessarily play better at lower levels?


Thanks everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Another thought on going dual 12's. If I decide to go that way, I can get 1 and see how it is. If not enough, I could get another. Might be the best option the more I think about it, unless dual 12's (or even 10's) isn't the way to go.... ROFL.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfer  /t/1520688/sub-for-non-basshead#post_24432571


I'm not against 2 subs if it is true that they'll play better at lower levels. It is pretty close to the same money. Kinda nice too with the symmetry of putting the subs under the bookshelves I planned to mount on the wall. (I know, not optimal).


Are you disagreeing that 2 subs won't necessarily play better at lower levels?


Thanks everyone.

No, I am not opposed to going duals... that certainly seems to be the trend on all these forums nowadays. My entire main floor is roughly ~6300^3ft (conservatively speaking)and I've had no problem filling it with sufficient bass with a single unit. Hell...even the SB13U is more than adequate...I like bass and I don't consider myself a basshead....YYMV?
 
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The subs will serve fine as speaker stands. One thing I would do it place the baffle flush with the front of the subwoofer. I would also use some blu tac to make sure the speakers don't fall off when rockin' out at spirited levels, I had this happen to me once, and it messed up my speaker). The speaker may sound better on the sub as opposed to wall-mounted, as it is further away from a surface boundary, so less reflectivity to mess up the response.


As for .2 receivers, there aren't many receivers that can actually deal with multiple subs individually. The Denon AVR-X4000 can. I believe the more recent higher end Yamahas do. I know the high end Onkyos do, but those Onkyos are $2k+ receivers. The higher end Integras do, but those are also expensive. Yo don't really need an AVR that handles multiple sub calibration, you can just use a Y-splitter on the receiver's subwoofer jack. I think it would also be worth it to get a cheap SPL meter to take some readings of the subs' response too. By the way, you don't have to take my word for the benefits of multiple sub systems, just ask around here or do a google search. This is not some new fad, this is a proven technique to get better bass. And of course, there is also the advantage of symmetry...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ  /t/1520688/sub-for-non-basshead#post_24433758


The subs will serve fine as speaker stands. One thing I would do it place the baffle flush with the front of the subwoofer. I would also use some blu tac to make sure the speakers don't fall off when rockin' out at spirited levels, I had this happen to me once, and it messed up my speaker). The speaker may sound better on the sub as opposed to wall-mounted, as it is further away from a surface boundary, so less reflectivity to mess up the response.


As for .2 receivers, there aren't many receivers that can actually deal with multiple subs individually. The Denon AVR-X4000 can. I believe the more recent higher end Yamahas do. I know the high end Onkyos do, but those Onkyos are $2k+ receivers. The higher end Integras do, but those are also expensive. Yo don't really need an AVR that handles multiple sub calibration, you can just use a Y-splitter on the receiver's subwoofer jack. I think it would also be worth it to get a cheap SPL meter to take some readings of the subs' response too. By the way, you don't have to take my word for the benefits of multiple sub systems, just ask around here or do a google search. This is not some new fad, this is a proven technique to get better bass. And of course, there is also the advantage of symmetry...

Thanks. I like the symmetry idea very much. I have hardwood floors and looking at the VTF1 or VTF2, they have fixed spiked feet and down fire. Not sure how that would work for me as well. I'd need to get pads or something and that can start to look thrown together. Want it to look nice. I see the VTF3 has non-spiked feet. A little easier to deal with but getting expensive for 2x.


Here is a pic of setup. TV will be wall mounted soon. I have a large thick area rug in the room. Coffee table is blocking most of that.




Also, you think a Denon avr-x1000 will be enough for Hsu bookshelf speakers?
 

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I think a Denon 1000 would be enough for most people. By the way, the higher you cross over the subs, the more headroom your AVR amplifier can reserve for the speakers, in care you are concerned about having enough amplification. A higher crossover should give you a boost in the dynamic range of the speakers and receiver.

Here are some rubber shoes for spiked speaker feet . You could probably find the same sort of thing at Home Depot for a couple dollars.


I would go for some VTF2s over VTF3s or VTF1s in your situation. VTF1s just won't pack that much punch or dig very deep. VTF3s basically only give you more headroom, and mostly only in the deeper frequencies, but since you are not a bass head, I don't see that it would be a lot better. The chief advantage of the VTF3s is the large enclosure and huge ports, this gets you more headroom from the high teens to the low 30s. However, I believe the driver is the same from the VTF2 to the VTF3, so you don't gain any advantage in driver based distortion in moving up to a VTF3. Since the VTF2 is using the same driver, it should stay as clean as the VTF3 above the 30s Hz region for the same output level. With the VTF2 you are getting a hell of a driver for a $600 sub, which is actually a bigger draw to me than its variable tuning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ  /t/1520688/sub-for-non-basshead#post_24434141


I think a Denon 1000 would be enough for most people. By the way, the higher you cross over the subs, the more headroom your AVR amplifier can reserve for the speakers, in care you are concerned about having enough amplification. A higher crossover should give you a boost in the dynamic range of the speakers and receiver.

Here are some rubber shoes for spiked speaker feet . You could probably find the same sort of thing at Home Depot for a couple dollars.


I would go for some VTF2s over VTF3s or VTF1s in your situation. VTF1s just won't pack that much punch or dig very deep. VTF3s basically only give you more headroom, and mostly only in the deeper frequencies, but since you are not a bass head, I don't see that it would be a lot better. The chief advantage of the VTF3s is the large enclosure and huge ports, this gets you more headroom from the high teens to the low 30s. However, I believe the driver is the same from the VTF2 to the VTF3, so you don't gain any advantage in driver based distortion in moving up to a VTF3. Since the VTF2 is using the same driver, it should stay as clean as the VTF3 above the 30s Hz region for the same output level. With the VTF2 you are getting a hell of a driver for a $600 sub, which is actually a bigger draw to me than its variable tuning.

Thanks for the confirmation on the Denon X1000. I'm a total newb here. Never bought any audio equipment of any worth before.


So, I can remove the spikes from the VTF2 and install the rubber feet or do these just go under the spikes? I don't understand how they are attached to the VTF2's.


So, I finally think I know what I'm going to do.


$450 - Denon AVR-X1000 (80w 5.1 with the full Audyssey and Airplay - apple user) - If anyone knows a better place than crutchfield, let me know.

$1166 - Hsu 3.1 system VTF2-MK4

~$150 for some good speaker stands for HB-1's. Something I can fill with lead shot. I found this post where someone has this putty that is really strong and if you twist the speaker it'll come off without damage.

Already have some 12g or 14g speaker wire from monoprice and banaclips


So, $1766 for now with maybe another $596 later if I get a 2nd sub. I'm under my $2500 budget!!!!


Happy to have finally made a decision!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Also, I called Hsu, the spiked feet are not removable. Recommended rubber cups from home store.
 

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Looks good. Its better that you use stands instead of mounts, because once you have installed a mount, it's a real PIA to move it. The distance the speakers are apart from each other effect the sound stage. Ideally what you want to do is form an equilateral triangle with the left and right speakers and the listening position. With the Hsu speakers, its often recommended to toe the speakers in so their 'vectors' cross just a bit in front of the listening position. I would advise you to try different speaker placements and toe-ins and keep whichever sounds best. Remember to experiment with different subwoofer placements as well, where you have the freedom to do so. That can make a very big difference in the sound.
 

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Your proposed system will sound amazing for the amount of money you will have invested in it.  Not a bad idea to start with one decent sub like the Hsu you are looking at, maybe it will be everything you want. Like you said if not you can add another to smooth out and improve the quality of the bass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks guys. Really appreciate the help. Just ordered the AVR-X1000 from Crutchfield. Now onto Hsu!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
That was easy on Hsu's site. Now comes the waiting. 3 days.....


Oh yeah, I need to shop for speaker stands!


Can you tell I'm excited....and relieved to be done picking...
 
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