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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the market for a subwoofer and am somewhat overwhelmed with the choices available, all of which seem reasonably good. My listening habits include both music and movies, and I would prefer a subwoofer that is capable of reproducing the lowest frequency sounds in the 16-30 Hz range. I would prefer clean, accurate, controlled sound to massive output, though I do enjoy the impact of good bass. Also, I would prefer to spend less than $1500, something closer to the $1000 range. Any advice or help on making a decision would be greatly appreciated. Some of the models I am considering are:


SVS SB13-Plus

SVS PB12-Plus DSP

SVS PC12-Plus DSP

Emotiva X-Ref 12

Epik Empire

Epik Legend

GoldenEar ForceField 4

Rythmik F12

Rythmik FV12

Rythmik F15HP

Rythmik FV15HP

eD A5-350

eD A7S-450
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_science_guy
I am in the market for a subwoofer and am somewhat overwhelmed with the choices available, all of which seem reasonably good. My listening habits include both music and movies, and I would prefer a subwoofer that is capable of reproducing the lowest frequency sounds in the 16-30 Hz range. I would prefer clean, accurate, controlled sound to massive output, though I do enjoy the impact of good bass. Also, I would prefer to spend less than $1500, something closer to the $1000 range. Any advice or help on making a decision would be greatly appreciated. Some of the models I am considering are:


SVS SB13-Plus

SVS PB12-Plus DSP

SVS PC12-Plus DSP

Emotiva X-Ref 12

Epik Empire

Epik Legend

GoldenEar ForceField 4

Rythmik F12

Rythmik FV12

Rythmik F15HP

Rythmik FV15HP

eD A5-350

eD A7S-450
my vote goes for the eD A7S-450
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_science_guy /forum/post/0


I am in the market for a subwoofer and am somewhat overwhelmed with the choices available, all of which seem reasonably good. My listening habits include both music and movies, and I would prefer a subwoofer that is capable of reproducing the lowest frequency sounds in the 16-30 Hz range. I would prefer clean, accurate, controlled sound to massive output, though I do enjoy the impact of good bass. Also, I would prefer to spend less than $1500, something closer to the $1000 range. Any advice or help on making a decision would be greatly appreciated. Some of the models I am considering are:


SVS SB13-Plus

SVS PB12-Plus DSP

SVS PC12-Plus DSP

Emotiva X-Ref 12

Epik Empire

Epik Legend

GoldenEar ForceField 4

Rythmik F12

Rythmik FV12

Rythmik F15HP

Rythmik FV15HP

eD A5-350

eD A7S-450

My neighbor just got a rhythmik fv15hp and I helped him get it setup last weekend. It is a great sub and definitely setup to go low with output. Depending on your room size I think this sub would be hard to beat. I have also heard dual empires that sound very good for music and would roughly fit your budget and you would get all of the advantages of dual subs. I have not heard the eD subs nor do I ever see much on them on the forums that I follow at least as far as measurement data is concerned.


If you want better output from this forum, I would say you need better input. Give room size, maybe even a sketch of your room and you will get better output.


I know how overwhelming researching all of the subwoofer choices can be. I just did it a few months ago agonizing over which subs to buy. It is a nice problem to have!
 

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As you are finding, picking a sub can be a bit daunting with all of the products and recommendations.


Besides your budget , what is the room size you are addressing? Is placing a large box sub an issue?


I too was in your shoes, spending several weeks and many hours researching subs, in the end I went with the SVS PC-12 Plus. The reason for my choice was that I wanted a sub that would compliment my sound system and have a small footprint. The box subs are large, difficult to move, and I didn't want another end table.


The Pc12 Plus has the same output as the box, fully capable of delivering quality bass down to the very low ranges. SVS says in a blind test , you can not tell the difference. It will be difficult to find a better company than SVS to deal with.



Before making the decision to go with SVS I had given strong consideration to Rythmic, in the end the advantages of the PC12Plus and SVS won out.
 

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No matter what room size...and a budget of 1500 max, 2 is always better than 1. We shouldn't just be suggesting items on price alone. There are many more factors involved which can be found in the sticky section. We need some more info like size of room, size of enclosure. If you buy one now will you be able to purchase one to match in the future? What are your goals? What are you hoping to accomplish? What are your listening habits? What other equipment do you have? Ported vs sealed will relate to room size but which do you prefer? What other equipment are you running so we can get an idea if you crossover at 60hz or 120hz. Basically we need more information in order to make an informed decision on anything other than what one may think is a good price. Please read the sticky section to get an idea of the questions that should be answered.
 

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I'm with Mpray1983, more info would help. And get two matched subs - especially if you have a larger room. I'd even go with two in a smaller room unless it has doors and can be sealed during music/movie sessions. Scale the sub size to the room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I apologize for not originally including information about the room size, in my haste to post a message I just forgot. The place I am currently staying (by no means permanently) has a 13' x 11' room that is open into a hallway and an 8' x 8' kitchen. The architecture is also rather uninspired, simply painted cinder block walls. The living arrangements right now are temporary as I finish school, so I would like a subwoofer that I can use in a larger, dedicated room in the future. The WAF factor in my case is essentially infinite as I have been given free reign in the audio/video department, so the size and appearance are not as important to me as the performance. I have no specific preference between sealed or ported enclosures, though though my previous listening experience has consisted mostly of ported enclosures (an SVS PC20-39 Plus in my parent's home theater, and a JL Audio 12-W7 in a ported enclosure in my car). Currently, I am using a collection of Cambridge Soundworks sattelite speakers, but I intend to upgrade to a fast planar type speaker such as Magnepan or Martin Logan. My listening habits are pretty varied, I have a large movie collection and an equally large music collection with genres ranging from classical to r&b, though I generally prefer to listen to jazz or more mellow rock such as John Mayer.
 

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My vote goes to svs plus-sub - ported - pb12-plus pc12-plus (I have and love my pc12-plus dsp) - In a size room like that they should be very capable and a lot more powerful than the sb13 in the lower register, which is great and very important if you move to a larger room.
 

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With the information you have provided and saying that you have a large movie and music collection and a relatively small room now, I would say go for a sealed 15" sub since by you already having a w7 in your car you are used to quality. I'm a big fan of the hsu uls15 and it's not a huge sub so not intrusive. When you move to your future room add a 2nd ULS and you could be getting into the low teens with frequency extension. Sealed SUbs will dug deeper and most of the time sound a little better for music but it is all personal prefererence. Since I got my dual sealed 15's I will never go back to a ported because I think it sounds so much better and I also love hitting those 12hz frequencies. That my opinion but any sealed sub will work for my idea. I'm sure others will recommend ported Which is fine i just don't want this to turn into a sealed vs. Ported discussion.
 

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I just love it when someone gets their opinion in and then wants to end the discussion.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90
I just love it when someone gets their opinion in and then wants to end the discussion.
I dont want to end the discussion I just don't want to argue over Something that has been done a 1000 times before. Go ahead and give your opinion.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_science_guy /forum/post/20905045


I apologize for not originally including information about the room size, in my haste to post a message I just forgot. The place I am currently staying (by no means permanently) has a 13' x 11' room that is open into a hallway and an 8' x 8' kitchen. The architecture is also rather uninspired, simply painted cinder block walls. The living arrangements right now are temporary as I finish school, so I would like a subwoofer that I can use in a larger, dedicated room in the future. The WAF factor in my case is essentially infinite as I have been given free reign in the audio/video department, so the size and appearance are not as important to me as the performance. I have no specific preference between sealed or ported enclosures, though though my previous listening experience has consisted mostly of ported enclosures (an SVS PC20-39 Plus in my parent's home theater, and a JL Audio 12-W7 in a ported enclosure in my car). Currently, I am using a collection of Cambridge Soundworks sattelite speakers, but I intend to upgrade to a fast planar type speaker such as Magnepan or Martin Logan. My listening habits are pretty varied, I have a large movie collection and an equally large music collection with genres ranging from classical to r&b, though I generally prefer to listen to jazz or more mellow rock such as John Mayer.

I loved the musical accuracy of the Rythmiks and they play really low too. I built a pair of 12" servos in small boxes, (1.5 cu. ft. IIRC) and they were simply superb and only bested slightly by my 4 x 15" IB sub.

The servo's really work, the FR of these subs required very little EQ to be ruler flat down to 15hz in my room.

Based on my expereince in your situation and budget my first choice would be to get a pair of F12's, you'll never look back.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpray1983 /forum/post/20904572


No matter what room size...and a budget of 1500 max, 2 [subs] are always better than one.

I thought this too. I've always prefered two subs over one, even recently owned a pair of SVS PB13 Ultras (2 months ago), before that a pair of Jamo D7subs (four months ago), before that a pair of Infinity HPS-1000 subs(eight months ago), and in the middle of all of this a four 15 DIY subwoofer setup. Yes this statement was true -- until I heard a single JTR Captivator at the KC sub meet which I would take without reservation over a pair of any other subs listed in this thread including any of the pairs I've owned --- so the dual sub advice is for the most part is accurate, but not absolute. The 7,200 watt peak, 4000 watt RMS rated 18" Captivator subwoofer with its excursion capability and associated in your face tactile feel is just in another playing field. That said... You room is small and you may not need this much sub...

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_science_guy /forum/post/20905045


my previous listening experience has consisted mostly of ported enclosures (an SVS PC20-39 Plus in my parent's home theater, and a JL Audio 12-W7 in a ported enclosure in my car).

The JTR Captivator is worth a look since you know and like ported subwoofer sound. The dual captivator pros in my 3500 cubic foot room sound and feel like a high end car audio subwoofer sounds a car's comparatively tiny cabin.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea /forum/post/0



I thought this too. I've always prefered two subs over one, even recently owned a pair of SVS PB13 Ultras, before that a pair of Jamo D7subs, before that a pair of Infinity HPS-1000 subs, and in the middle of all of this a four 15 DIY subwoofer setup. Yes this statement was true -- until I heard a single JTR Captivator which I would take without almost reservation over a pair of any other subs listed in this thread ---


The JTR Captivator is worth a look since you know and like ported subwoofer sound.

I havnt had the pleasure to hear one yet. So I'm guessing one of these blow away a Pair of ultras.


Are you talking SPL or getting a flat response or impact?
 

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One Captivator even a passive one with an external amp will blow away a pair of Ultras in output and impact, but probably not for a flat response. Of course the response gets down to how the sub and room interact, but the edge in the flat response department is likely to go to the pair of Ultras. The passive Captivator doesn't have a flat response right out of the box. Depending on the room, eq may be needed.


The powered Captivator is internally eq'd flat measured outdoors.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpray1983 /forum/post/20907702


I havnt had the pleasure to hear one yet. So I'm guessing one of these blow away a Pair of ultras.


Are you talking SPL or getting a flat response or impact?

I'm talking about fun filled tactile sound reproduction that you can feel in every ounce of your body. --- so impact....


also SPL levels.


Two SVS PB13 Ultras double stacked in the front left room corner hit 115dB clean in my room at the listening position.


Two JTR Captivator pros placed midwall (one on each side of the projector screen) powered by a single Behringer EP4000 amp in stereo 2ohm mode hit 125dB clean in my room (just tapping the ep4000 clip lights). The captivator's setup in my room can be seen in my signature link. Both SPL measurement were gathered on the same day, same song, same equipment, same listening position. The Ultras are great subs by all accounts and you can't go wrong with them, but a 13" high excursion driver, even of such quality, can't compete with an 18" higher excursion driver.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea /forum/post/0



I'm talking about fun filled tactile sound reproduction that you can feel in every ounce of your body. --- so impact....


also SPL levels.


Two SVS PB13 Ultras double stacked in the front left room corner hit 115dB clean in my room at the listening position.


Two JTR Captivator pros placed midwall (one on each side of the projector screen) powered by a single Behringer EP4000 amp in stereo 2ohm mode hit 125dB clean in my room (just tapping the ep4000 clip lights). The captivator's setup in my room can be seen in my signature link. Both SPL measurement were gathered on the same day, same song, same equipment, same listening position. The Ultras are great subs by all accounts and you can't go wrong with them, but a 13" high excursion driver, even of such quality, can't compete with an 18" higher excursion driver.

Personally I don't use my subs for extreme SPL. I prefer flat response and impact/tactile sound so that's why I use multiples. I have two dual opposed mfw's and I'm about to add a 3rd dual opposed for near field.

I need to find someone close by with a captivator and go have a listen just to see for myself! I think the ultras are way too overpriced at 2k a piece.

That's awesome you were able to measure two ultras against two captivators like that.


On another note...which sub are you going to recommend to the OP?
 

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Mpray1983,


From the OP's list I've only heard a couple in the same conditions/environment/room.


I've heard in my room within the last four months the Epik Empire (fantastic for music, but lacked tactile umpf for movies in my room) the SVS PB12+ (good for movies) and the PB13 Ultra (great for movies). I'm not really able to comment on the others because I haven't experienced them, but I will note that there are plenty of roundups that seem to point out these subs on the OP's list are more or less all in the same class or within striking distance of each other. In that instance I'm with you -- that two subs in the same general class are better than one sub from the top of the same general class in most rooms.


Truthfully previous to hearing the Captivator I would have been satisfied with any of my previous pairs, but the darn things kept dying. I lost one Infinity on three occassions over the years (2002 I think is the year I got my first one and bought the second a couple years later) I got tired of the repair bills and bought the Jamo pair in march timeframe of this year. I was happy with the Jamo pair until one died and the survining Jamo wasn't enough to keep me satisfied, just as a single Infinity HPS-1000 wasn't. (I ALWAYS have liked two subs better than one too.)


Then I heard the single Captivator at our subwoofer meet in KC, and felt it and the Submersive were in a completely different class all together, not just best of class, but completely different class. After the meet I had the opportunity to buy a couple used PB13 Ultras for a good price and so did ---- I enjoyed them, but couldn't shake the feeling that I prefered (in my room) the single Captivator from the recent meet over any sub or pair of subs I'd ever heard my room or elsewhere, including in my subjective memory this pair of ultras. So I ended up selling them and buying a pair of Captivators Pros.


So back to the OP listing and following traditional advice and my experience with dual subs...I'd advise buying a matching pair of subs near the bottom of the price rung or middle teir in the "categrory or class" of subs you are looking to buy and avoid the higher priced subs that are regarded in that class becuase I don't think they will be that much different --- at least within the same class. Now don't stop reading here because this isn't what I personally would do -- but generally speaking it is a solid plan and would likely work well for the original poster. I.E. if the budget is ~$1500 and he wants a pair of subs then I'd look for a pair of Epik Empires or perhaps HSU VTF-3 MK4s, they are on the cheaper end of the class, but still quality subs and a very standard recommendation for this price range.


However, having my experiences as of late---- if it were my dollar again, I'd stop nothing short of a Captivator because it is NOT in the same general class as these other subs in this list and most likely your home theatre guests have never heard or felt anything like it in their entire lives. The Captivator really stands out, and not only at unreasonable SPL levels to which is is capable! It is fun to listen to, and tactile much more than any sub I've ever owned and quite probably more so than any sub I've ever heard - car, home, theatre, and public audio systems included...


I had some guests over on Friday night for a movie and we had put a sleeping bag down on the ground in front of the projection screen for the kids to play on while we watched a movie. Before we settled in I demoed the theatre briefly with a couple of LFE heavy clips. The sleeping bag lifted off the ground multiple times and was blowing around like it was possessed. It was remarkable, but speaks to the amount of air these subs move. I'll repeat this trick and film it and put a video up in the Captivator thread at some point in the near future. There are videos in the Captivator thread now that show a tissue being blown around on a couch that looks to be a dozen feet away from the sub. That shows just how much air the subs move. All of that makes for a tactile presentation that is in your face and very unique and incredible...
 
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