Need subwoofer recommendation for an apartment

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Basi Nanda, Jul 23, 2003.

  1. Basi Nanda

    Basi Nanda Stunt Coordinator

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    I have had my home theater set up since 1998, but never got into subwoofers due to the fact I live in an apartment and did not want to disturb my neighbors who live above me.

    But lately I have been itching to experience what a sub feels like, and I would like some advice on what kind of a sub I can buy that I can keep down and still enjoy my movies without creating too much of a racket. Can anyone here help?
     
  2. Basi Nanda

    Basi Nanda Stunt Coordinator

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    I have been eyeing the Passive SVS 25-31CS subwoofer. Is this good for an apartment?
     
  3. Pablo Abularach

    Pablo Abularach Supporting Actor

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    Basi,

     
  4. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Adire Rava @ $400
     
  5. Curt C

    Curt C Agent

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    Basi,
    Do yourself a favor and check out the Velodyne SPL subs. Fantastic performance from a tiny box. Available in 8",10" and 12". What sets them apart is the very low distortion. Perfect for an apartment.
    Curt
     
  6. Basi Nanda

    Basi Nanda Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks everybody. I appreciate the information. [​IMG]

    I wish readers in the TV/Display section would be this helpful in my quest for a widescreen TV. If any of you kind folks could please visit this thread and give me some suggestions I would appreciate it very much.
     
  7. Basi Nanda

    Basi Nanda Stunt Coordinator

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  8. Pablo Abularach

    Pablo Abularach Supporting Actor

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    Basi,

     
  9. Basi Nanda

    Basi Nanda Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Pablo. Much appreciated. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    You might start your own thread in displays with a more specific question about what you want Basi. I skipped over that thread altogether, as I’ve never seen that specific set (nor indeed any Phillips HDTV).

    I do have some thoughts about 16:9 HD CRT displays, however.
     
  11. Basi Nanda

    Basi Nanda Stunt Coordinator

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    BTW, I couldn't find the subs that Pablo had suggested (Sony SA-WM500 & Sony SA-WX700) at Amazon but found the following instead:

    Sony SAWM40 Home Theater Subwoofer ($229.00 )

    The price is within my range, but is it any good for listening at low levels within my apt?

    BTW, I have calibrated my Yamaha RXV795 receiver at 60 dB (using AVIA and a radio shack analog sound level meter) and that is the max I permit my volume levels to go. Anything beyond that would bring the apartment management on my tail. With that consideration in mind would the Sony be good enough?
     
  12. Basi Nanda

    Basi Nanda Stunt Coordinator

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  13. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but the notion of a sub that's "good for apartments" is a contradiction in terms. Subs produce deep bass tones. Deep bass tones are known to travel through walls, floors and ceilings and to irritate neighbors. The only way to get a sub that's "good for apartments" is to get a sub that doesn't produce deep base tones.

    That being said, a lot depends on the layout of your apartment and the building in general. I manage to get away with a sub in an apartment because (1) my HT room doesn't share a common wall with any other apartment on the floor, (2) the bedrooms in the apartments above and below me are at the opposite end of the building, (3) the building is from an earlier era, when thicker floors and heavier construction were the norm in this part of town, and (4) I don't crank up the bass beyond a properly calibrated level (which isn't to say that it doesn't get forceful with the appropriate material).

    I analyzed all of these factors very carefully before adding a sub, and even then I knew there was a risk that I might be hearing from a neighbor at some point. Every space is different, and you never know until you try just how sound will be conducted in a particular structure.

    Good luck!

    M.
     
  14. Basi Nanda

    Basi Nanda Stunt Coordinator

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    Michael,

    Thanks for the feedback. I share one wall with my next door neighbor. And there is a neighbor right above me. On one side, I have the street, behind me is the laundry room, and the front of my apt is the lobby. There is no one below me as I live on the ground floor. So I can keep the sub as far away from the next door neighbor's wall, but there is no way I can keep the sound far away from the ceiling.

    This is the reason why I never got a sub for the past 5 years I have had my home theater. I guess I will just have to live without one. [​IMG]
     
  15. Basi Nanda

    Basi Nanda Stunt Coordinator

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    I think I will pick up a JBL PB10 ($199) at Best Buy and try it out and then check with the neighbors. If the neighbors complain I will just return it.
     
  16. DavidES

    DavidES Stunt Coordinator

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    Mr. Nanda, go with the sub. You won't regret it. Upstairs people usually won't notice most noise from downstairs until it's really loud which you do not do by your own admission. Heck, I can barely understand movie dialog at 60 dB.

    Do realize though that you will have room modes showing up that if un-corrected at moderate to loud levels they WILL tick off the neighbors.
    Sub and seating placement and EQ will tame those modes and even out the response.

    Hope this helps.
     
  17. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    Yes imo it is definitely worth the try and effort to add a sub. Just under-calibrate it and keep it tamed. A sub adds so much to the HT experience that I would't even consider not running one. I think you will find the benefit of adding a sub very pleasing and shouldn't cause a problem if you use restraint on the gain. Good Luck
     
  18. Basi Nanda

    Basi Nanda Stunt Coordinator

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    Is the JBL PB10 a good brand? It is cheap ($199) and I read good reviews at CNET. If I have to spend more than $400 I would rather go with SVS, but since I dont really need that kind of power for my small apartment, I will go for something that is cheap and moderately good.
     
  19. JeremyFr

    JeremyFr Supporting Actor

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    You could look at the Energy s8.2 price is right around 250 I think and it's enough to keep you happy without ticking off the neighbors a whole bunch. I've got an Energy exl-s8 and love it and yes it can and has pissed the neighbors off but it does a good job of playing loud without shaking the whole apartment and gives good tight bass, I've yet to have anyone who's come over and heard it say a bad thing about it.
     
  20. GregC

    GregC Stunt Coordinator

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    If I were you, I'd first try the Acoustic Research s108ps. It's a small sub that that will fit well in the apt. (12" cube), and it's cheap, $99.00 at JandR.com.

    This is an excellent beginner sub that won't put out a huge amount of bass, but will work very well in an apt. where you must restrict your bass response to keep your neighbors happy. Be sure to play with the position of the sub in the room and, as already mentioned, tune it conservatively taming any room modes. Otherwise, your experience (and that of your neighbors) will be unsatisfactory.

    If you decide on the AR, be sure to put in on a concrete block (available at any Home Depot). This will tighten up the bass and somewhat decouple the sub from the floor (your neighbors will thank you).

    Last but not least, don't assume that you can't have a sub in an apt. You can if you are respectful of your neighbors.
     

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