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Sub for under $300 my three choices please advise

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by feral, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. feral

    feral Auditioning

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    Just completing my new Panasonic TC-P54VT25 Plasma TV theatre family room install. Have a new Onkyo TX-NR609 and my budget is about dead. I have identified three powered 12" subwoofers as canidates for the system. Which one will give me the best theatre performance? Not going to be used for just music often if at all. The three that seem within the budget and each has good features are;' BIC F12 12" 475-Watt Front Firing Powered Sub, Bic V-1220 12" 430 Watt Down Firing Powered Sub or the Polk Audio PSW505 12" powered Sub. I like each and am having trouble deciding.
    The room is odd shaped, 8' ceiling, seating about 12'-15' from screen offset along one side of the room which is about 20' square and opens into the kitchen, another 8'x12' area.

    Please help
     
  2. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Keith:


    Welcome to the HTF!


    Your post was a bit delayed in making it onto the forum because of some weirdness with some extraneous text...but all is now fixed and I'm sure some our our resident gurus will be by soon to give you some ideas.


    I have a guess that you will be steered towards the BICs. Most people here don't seem to like Polk's subwoofers..even though their speaker lines are well-received.
     
  3. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    My brother has the BIC V-1220 and it's a pretty good sub (but subs aren't my area of expertise so...). Also look at the Lava-LSP10. And PartsExpress.com has a few others. And ya, pass on Polk. Decent to excellent speakers...so-so subs. Sub woofer placement is as critical as the sub itself. A great sub in a bad spot equals lousey performance.
     
  4. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Or the Lava SP12, which lists on their site at $338 but they have recently been offering a 15% discount to members of Home Theater Forum which brings the price to $287. For me, that was it -- no tax, no shipping. A wonderful sub for the money.


    http://www.lavasubs.com/12_inch/powered_home_subwoofer.html
     
  5. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    I'll also recommend a Lava sub. I'm greatly enjoying my SP12.


    As Charles mentioned, Lava has been offering a 15% discount to members of HT forums. Simply email Lava customer service with the name of the forum you belong to and your username, asking for the discount. They should reply with a coupon code good for 15% off (providing they haven't ended the offer).


    There's more recent discussion of subs in this thread:


    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/forum/thread/309232/picking-a-sub-for-small-5-1-surround-system
     
  6. feral

    feral Auditioning

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    Well thank you all for your advice. Strange as it sounds I sent Lava an email today, Sunday and received a discount code and placed my order. I have the LSP12 on its way to me at slightly more than I would have paid for the Polk Sub. I am counting on this being a good purchase. After the system is all set up I will report back. Thank you for those that posted a reply.
     
  7. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Thanks to Charles and Malcolm for mentioning the discount code. I didn't mention the LSP12 because I figured it was quite a bit more than the others. I hope it works out well for you.
     
  8. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Awesome story, Keith.


    Please report back to us and let us know what you think.
     
  9. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    I have nothing constructive to add other than keeping my 'posting in sub threads' streak alive.
     
  10. bobgc3

    bobgc3 Auditioning

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    Hey great thread! Looking for a "budget" amp as well. Also looked at Elemental Design and Hsu. This Lava is pretty attractive though, especially with the discount. Pretty beginner set up. Paradigm Mini Monitors all around, Paradigm cc-370 all powered by a Denon AVR-688
     
  11. bobgc3

    bobgc3 Auditioning

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  12. feral

    feral Auditioning

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    Ordered Lava 12" sub on Sunday had it in San Diego by Wednesday. Starting install of all speakers and the sub today.
     
  13. bobgc3

    bobgc3 Auditioning

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    Awesome. Looking forward to hearing what you think once you have some time to listen to it. I think I've decided on the Elemental Designs A2-300. Emailing about the discount now! Thanks for posting this thread, exactly what I was looking for as well.
     
  14. feral

    feral Auditioning

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    Well it has been lots of work and lots of fun to get my home theatre put together. My last component was the Lava 12” Sub as recommended here. To start off I had significant loud hum from the sub so I did the two prong plug converter trick and that worked great, thank you here for the solution or I would have been very unhappy with the hum. I found the Lava has an auto on feature that took some experiment to get right. It is a three position switch marked off and on at each side and in the center underneath it is marked Auto. I am thinking to get auto I need to set it to on which resulte4d in the sub staying on 24/7 and I didn’t like the very warm back panel. I found if I leave the switch in the center position it works to turn on and off with input from my receiver (not clear in the brief manual go figure)


    I know I will cause the purest here to cringe but here goes. I have installed two in ceiling Monoprice 8” front speakers, I purchased the type with the angled speaker so I could direct the sound. I ran a set of three string lines on the ceiling using blue painters tape that converge at the most often used seat. One to over the center of the TV screen and one to the right and one to the left. The right ceiling speaker is limited to the back and side wall so took the left string and using the distance to the seating position I moved it the same distance left of center as the right speaker is right of center and marked a space between floor joists that put both speakers equal distance to seating. The hole I cut there about 10” diameter was dead on an exhaust duct between joists. Well I kicked myself for not going outside and looking to see where the duct cap was and saving myself a patch job. This caused me to move the left speaker back and to the left to the next joist space. I tried to move the right further right but they are slightly off now but the best I could get. A day and a half later I had managed to route the speaker wires, this done by removing some flush ceiling down lights for access and lots of fishing with fish tape and some homemade wire hooks.


    The rear speakers on the old system were set on a 42” wall that separates my wife’s office area from the family room. My intent was to run new wire from the receiver to the new in wall rear speakers. The route would have to have been from the front built-in cabinet through the side wall into my workshop, into the garage and then back into the family room under my wife’s built in desk counter top. After the joy of routing the ceiling speaker wires I took the easy way out and used the old speaker wires which were combination of 14 and 16 gage. I managed to get them out of sight and into the wall for the rear wall speakers also from Monoprice a pair of 6” with tweeters. I scratched my head about confirming the red and black on the speakers were matched with the red and black on the receiver. Some net searching I found the suggestion of using a 9 volt battery and watching the speakers move out or in depending on how the wires were placed positive or negative. I didn’t like the 9 volt idea so I used a AA battery and it worked great with some alligator clips and wire I already had. I managed to get both back speakers hooked up to the receiver red to red, black to black.


    With my new Onkyo TX-NR609 receiver the sound system rocks. I never intended it for music CD’s but my wife came in a short time ago and wanted to see it play music so we are listening to Three Dog Night and loving the sound. I cranked it up to the pain level and you can feel the base vibrate, wow what a system. Now down to a moderately loud volume we are treated to some good sounds. This all started with me wanting to have a plasma HD TV in the family room to replace the rear projection box. Then it snowballed into 3D Panasonic TC-P54VT25 and of course that required a new 3D BlueRay player also Panasonic and look at that 14 year old receiver with the 3 Bose front speakers hooked up to an Acoustimass box, that just won’t do so I found the new Onkyo 609 that will handle 3D and as related above the new speakers. I forgot to mention that I found a Boston center speaker to handle the front center work.


    This all may not please the purest but it sure pleases me and I am excited about 3D home theater something I never thought I would be interested in. Thank you everyone here with my sub search, it works just fine.
     
  15. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    In-ceilings and a Boston center? Ya, a bit off for most of us but hey, as long you're happy that's all that matters .


    BTW, if you like Three Dog Night then I highly recommend their live concert-dvd. It's a hoot!
     
  16. feral

    feral Auditioning

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    Yes the Boston is a stand alone center speaker and is on a shelf with the receiver but about to move to a shelf under the wall hung TV. I think an Ikea shelf with no visible bracket. Other than the sub the only speaker not in the wall or ceiling.



    It is the “Best” of Three Dog Night. I have to look around for my copy of Inagaddadaivda by Iron Butterfly, now that rocks, lots of base.
     
  17. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    You mean "In The Garden Of Eden" by Iron Butterfly don't you ). Ah, the 60's.
     
  18. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Screenwriter

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    The album and track were called "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida". There is speculation that what they were trying to say, but were too stoned, was "In The Garden Of Eden"; but heck, that translation could be the product of the 60's! (Now I have to dig that album out, I haven't heard that song in 30 years.)
     
  19. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    I find the Lava's 3-way auto-on switch a bit tricky. First, it's so tiny that the 3-way movement is downright microscopic, so it's easy to move it two clicks when you think you're putting just enough pressure on it for one.


    Attempting to set it to "auto" with the receiver already on and something playing was tricky, too: When I moved the switch from "off" to "auto", the red light stayed on so long that it seemed like it wasn't ever going to respond to the signal. But when I forced it on by going to "on" and then moving it back to "auto", the green light stayed on and it has continued to function properly thereafter.


    I think the switch itself could be a little more substantial. I'd also prefer the red/green light to be on the front for easy visual confirmation that I'm in business. If it wasn't the case that practically every component has such lights visible nowadays, I wouldn't think anything of it. But it is an amp, after all, and even my cheap Onkyo HTiB sub has the light where you can see it.


    But this is nitpicking. I'm thrilled with the sub, let there be no question about it.
     
  20. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Yes, there are a number of issues with the in-box documentation with the Lava. They're not clear about the 3-way switch which I also found confusing at first. I emailed them about it, and also watched the installation video on their website (more helpful than the owner's manual), which clarified things for me.


    I haven't tried using the "auto" function yet. I'm a little skittish as I've had a couple of "auto on" speakers over the years (an old powered center speaker and my prior sub), and neither auto-function seemed to work correctly. Either the unit did not want to come on, or it would shut off intermittently. I've just been switching the Lava on and off. Though as noted above, having all the controls on the rear of the unit is kind of inconvenient. But I'm also very happy with the performance of the Lava sub.


    I don't think the warm rear panel is anything to worry about. I've mistakenly left mine on for over 24 hours and the rear panel was warm, but not what I would consider "hot."
     

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