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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello there,


About 5 months ago, I sprung for a B&W 600 series - 683 Fronts, 686 rears and HTM62 center, along with a Pioneer SC07. I decided to utilize my old sub for this setup. Unfortunately, I discovered yesterday that it has died. No lights anymore. Fuse perhaps? Possibly. In lieu of that, I'm looking for some recommendations for a replacement.


A diagram of my room is attached. I've listed the dims in the subject, but it's actually an L-shaped room at approximately 384 square feet / 3456 cubic feet. The floor is wood, and there's nothing on it or the walls, really, to absorb any sound reflection.


Listening: let's call it 50% music, 50% HT.


Budget: Well, since I feel like I sort of blew my budget on the other speakers, I didn't really have one. Performance is important, but again, this is an unplanned purchase, so I don't really have one. I'd definitely like to keep it under $750. And for that matter, it should be in the smaller side on form factor;
 

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Sealed subs generally have a less 'boomy' and tighter sound character than ported subs, but a well-designed ported sub shouldn't have those problems. Sealed subs have to give up output in order to achieve this though, and they are commonly regarded to be more of a subwoofer for sound quality rather than loudness, and so are used more for music than home theater. Those are pretty broad generalizations though, as there are great ported subs for sound quality and great sealed subs for high output, do a search for 'ported vs sealed' on this forum to find out more about that.


Right now the VTF3.3 is on sale, and shipped, it will come under your budget. It's a very good balance between fidelity and output, so it has the quality for music and the output for movies. This sale won't last that much longer, so don't wait too long on this one if you decide to get it.


I would suggest the Rythmik F12 , but I'm not sure one sealed 12" would be enough for that room. If you could get one now and another one later, that would be better. It would probably end up sounding better than one ported sub, but I don't know if it's worth the price difference to you. The ported subs I am recommending all sound very good.


There is the Outlaw Audio LFM-1 EX , which is a lot like the VTF3, I would almost call it a clone but there are some minor differences. It's designed by the same guy, Peter Hsu.


There is the SVS PB12-NSD , it's commonly regarded more of a home theater subwoofer, but I think it would do fine for music as well. It would go easier on your budget, and still have enormous output. There is also the PC12 NSD . There is also the SB12 plus , but, as with the Rythmik, it's a sealed 12" and may be a bit short of output for your room.


There is also the Elemental Designs A3-300 . I believe there is a wait on this one due to all the back orders. It will have a lot of output for the least money, but it is somewhat large.


There is also the Epik Vanquish , a sealed 12". It fits your budget and size requirements, but, like the other sealed 12"s, it probably won't have massive output.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Shady - very informative.


Just so I understand clearly, if my preference is to balance out and emphasize the lows in music, rather than the room shuddering reproduction of an explosion on a movie, I might lean towards the sealed sub. Does that sound about right?
 

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A quick small (and admittedly irrelevant) correction: Peter is not the subwoofer designer for Hsu Research. His name is actually Peter Marcks. The designer of Hsu subwoofers and Outlaw's subwoofers is Dr. Poh Ser Hsu.


Back on topic, there are ported and sealed subwoofers that will sound excellent for music. Hsu subwoofers are actually well known for sounding great with music (though I have not personally heard any of them). The Hsu VTF-3 MK3 should sound very good with both music AND explosions in your room. I think it's a good option for you in terms of sound quality and output, but it might be a good deal larger than you want. The dimensions on the VTF-3 MK3 are 21.5"h x 17"w x 25"d
 

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Arcux, that is kind of right. A ported will do lows just as well as a sealed sub, but a sealed sub will generally be tighter, there will be less decay, and you don't have to worry about noises from the enclosure or ports, so there will be less 'boomines' and 'buzziness', ie improper sounds generated from the enclosure itself. Of course, in a well-designed ported subwoofer, these are much less of a problem, and shouldn't be an issue.


A better way of phrasing your sentence would be if you wanted more articulation and less distortion in your music, your preference would be for sealed subs. Like I said before though, this is not a hard rule, there are exceptions out there.


In a sealed sub, you give up quite a bit of output to achieve that sound quality. As I said, a single sealed 12" subwoofer may get lost pretty easily in a room of your size. Depending on where you are listening from, the bass may be absent altogether. This will be less of an issue with a ported sub. If you get a sealed that you like which is not enough for your room, get another identical model when you can afford it. Two should be enough and the sound will be great.
 
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