A Subwoofer Under $500 That's Not Boomy?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Joel McIntosh, Aug 28, 2003.

  1. Joel McIntosh

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    In my 15'x15' living room, I have a CHT-12" Velodyne subwoofer that I find too boomy (earlier, I posted that I thought it was too big, but I've come to realize the problem is my personal preference for a subwoofer that is not boomy). I would like to return it and get a subwoofer for under $500 that is not boomy and offers more distinct bass than the Velodyne. For me, shaking the walls during a movie is not nearly as important as clean, clear bass for my music. Any suggestions?
     
  2. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    I am not sure what SVS offers under $500 but I would check them out.

    My personally preference is that for a room like that you won't really need too much power. I like Klipsch subwoofers and I was actually looking into there new RW line. It is there Reference series speakers and they just came out.

    From what I have heard this new line is supposed to be incredibly and when my local retailer gets this subwoofer in I am going to go see what the rave is about and I might buy me one.

    I believe the Klipsch RW-10 can be had for about $400 and it gets frequencys as low as 25Hz which is pretty good. As for anything else in the price range I am not sure, most subs are somewhat more expensive but I would definantly look at the Klipsch reference, there new series is very good with performance/cost it seems.
     
  3. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    SVS(maybe a powered one used)
    Adire Rava
    Hsu VTF-2
     
  4. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Have you played around with room placement of the sub and/or your primary listening spot?

    Good quality subs normally are not boomy. Rooms are boomy.

    Unless a sub has serious frequency response issues (I doubt Velodyne fits into that category, since they are well respected as a sub company), this issue is more likely the room and the sub's location in the room, rather than than the sub itself.

    Have you taken any measurements to see just what the response looks like? I would bet you might find that certain frequencies are much more prominent then others, resulting in what you perceive as boominess.

    I would suggest first spending about 30 bucks on a rat shack SPL meter, and a CD with bass frequency test tones (I like Bass Mekanix 5.0). Then you will know what you are up against.

    And if you were to find that the response is all over the map (not at all unlikely) you might consider a Behringer Feed Back destroyer. These are parametric EQs that can work wonders with a sub. They also are pretty cheap (about $100). If you search for BFD in the forums, you will find lots to read.

    BGL
     
  5. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Adire Rave @ $400 and Rocket ELT SW-10 @ $300.

    I don’t consider either sub ‘boomy’, but be mindful of your room, as Brian has indicated.
     
  6. Jeff-Watson

    Jeff-Watson Stunt Coordinator

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    Having owned a Velo cht-15 I can tell you that room placement is critical (with any sub really) and the culprit is not the sub. I have owned $99 subs and currently use a 17-39 pci SVS. All of the subs I have owned (8 total) exhibited some boominess in certain areas of the room, but careful placement of the sub, even moving them by a few inches, made a tremendous difference. That is most likely the problem with your Velo, especially in a square room like yours. I am sure some of the sub gurus will be along to help out. Good luck.[​IMG]
     
  7. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Adire Rava and Hsu VTF-2 are the most recommended in that price range. I have not heard the Rava, but I have heard the VTF-2, and I can highly recommend it.

    Rocket ELT SW-10 is new, and seems to be getting good praise from new owners.

    Hsu also will be coming out with the STF series in the beginning of October. I have heard the STF-8($330) and it sounded great. The STF-10($440) is said to have the performance as a VTF-2 that is tuned to maximum output mode.
     
  8. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I’d second the VTF-2. I put it in the $500 range, not the sub-$500 range, but on consideration that might be nit-picking (and also inaccurate, as I don’t know the current price).
     
  9. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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  10. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    The new Klipsch line is good and I am probably going to get one myself. I was look at the RW-10 for a little more than $350 and I am sure you could find the RW-12 for under $500. I've heard there awesome and the bass on thse new subs is very tight.
     
  11. Jack Keck

    Jack Keck Second Unit

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    I got to hear a Rava used with Adire Kosala's about six months ago. I was impressed. That may be my nest upgrade.
     
  12. Thomas J. Coyle III

    Thomas J. Coyle III Stunt Coordinator

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    Joel
    The PSB Subsonic 5i was just reviewed in the latest Sound and Vision mag. It was very flat to 25 hz which means that it will not sound boomy if placed correctly in your listening room. It retails for $449 and you can usually get 20% or more off of that price.
    Regards,
    TCIII
     
  13. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    I'd take the Rava for a sub under $500. I'm extremely familiar with both the driver and amp used in the Rava and am pretty sure that it is of higher quality than any retail subs in it's price range.

    The VTF-2 or a used SVS are the only other subs that would be worth looking at in this price range.
     
  14. Joel McIntosh

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    Hey, thanks guys. I really appreciate the help. I finally ordered the HSU VTF-2. I did get a sound level meter, and to get the Velodyne 12" to calibrate to the other speakers, I had to turn the volume on the subwoofer down to almost 15%. I think the trouble is just that the thing is too big for my room and/or my preference in bass. I'm hoping the VTF-2 (which has a setting that allows for a more full range at the cost of greater volume), will be more in line with my situation and preference. Thanks again for the help.
     
  15. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

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    If your room is 15x15, you're going to have some really weird stuff happening around 75 Hz. You might want to check into a parametric EQ to help w/ that. It could be the source of the perceived "boominess".

    The Hsu VTF-2 is an excellent sub. If it doesn't sound right in your room, it's definitely a placement/acoustics issue, not the sub.
     
  16. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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  17. Peter Jessee

    Peter Jessee Stunt Coordinator

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  18. JohnDG

    JohnDG Stunt Coordinator

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    Another thought on location, if the sub is small enough, is in the middle of the room under a coffee table. You lose output, but it really tames the peaks.

    jdg
     
  19. Ron Alcasid

    Ron Alcasid Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree with the above posters. Your problem most likely room acoustics. I recently "fixed" my booming sub just by moving it a few feet. My room is actually smaller than yours about 12' x 11.5' and I've got a 15" sub! The trick is to find the right spot but it can be done. This is how I did it.

    I did a frequency plot at my listening location to determine the frequency of the spike. In my situation it was at 45 Hz. Then I heaved my subwoofer onto my listening chair. While playing a 45 Hz sine wave I used a SPL meter to measure the level as I moved along the walls. As I progressed around the perimeter of the room I noticed in some areas the meter spiked and in other places it dipped. I placed my sub at the point with the lowest dip. I did another frequency plot at my location and verified the spike was gone. In fact the frequency response was flat within 5 dB and it sounds awesome.
     
  20. Joel McIntosh

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    You guys have been really helpful. Here are a few conclusions this novice has drawn. (1) I just got the HSU VTF-2 delivered today, so I've been able to conduct a side-by-side comparison of the Velodyne 12" and the VTF-2 -- both properly calibrated with my system using a sound meter. There is a difference. I was having trouble putting my finger on it until I played Charley Pride's "Does My Ring Hurt Your Finger." Pride's voice is so much richer and more powerful with the VTF-2. There is a clarity and clean bass with the VTF-2 that I can't reproduce with the Velodyne. The Velodyne is a good subwoofer, but, for my ears, the VTF-2 offers a level of bass clarity not offered by the other subwoofer. (2) You guys were totally right about calibrating the system using a Radio Shack sound meter. 90% of the Velodyne's boomy quality was eliminated once I had my system properly calibrated. (3) Thanks for all of the information about room acoustics and placement. It was really informative. Right, now it is not as helpful as it could be because I am very limited in what I can do where this room is concerned. Anyway, thanks again for the great information!
     

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