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Looking for the best sub at $650 or less...


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33 replies to this topic

#1 of 34 Ryan_MF

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Posted April 22 2003 - 08:41 AM

I have auditioned both the Paradigm PS-1000 and the B&W ASW600 and I'm considering purchasing one of the two. Are there any other makes/models at $650 or less that I should audition before I make my decision?

#2 of 34 DerrickW

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Posted April 22 2003 - 10:36 AM

If you are capable of building your own, that is an excellent option. There are many of us here who would be willing to help you design an even cheaper and higher performing sub than what you're looking at. What are your specific goals? Music or home theater? SVS and HSU are favorites around here for manufactured subs.

#3 of 34 Ryan_MF

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Posted April 22 2003 - 10:44 AM

I've considered DIY as long as I can get a kit. I don't have access to the right tools or workspace to build from scratch. I've looked at the Adire and Madisound kits, but I'm not sure of their quality compared to the B&W, Paradigm, etc.

#4 of 34 DerrickW

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Posted April 22 2003 - 10:58 AM

I love B&W speakers, but this subwoofer doesn't have very impressive specifications:
http://www.bwspeaker...m/...el ASW 600
This is only a single 10" on 150watts, so even though they describe it as "long throw" I think you can do a lot better.

Again, Paradigm speakers are great, but their sub is only a 10" on 175 watts:
http://www.bwspeaker...m/...el ASW 600

Now compare that to these:

Rava sealed 12" on 250 watts for $399:
http://www.adireaudi....eries/rava.htm

Dharman, ported 12" on 280W for $599:
http://www.adireaudi....es/dharman.htm

These are completely pre-manufactured subs from Adire that you don't have to build anything for. But they should seriously destroy the two subs you mentioned. But there are other options too:

SVS ported 12" on 320 watts for $599:
http://www.svsubwoof...s_pci_20-39.htm

Tell us more about your tastes and we can probably help you find a good match among these or other subwoofers.

#5 of 34 Ryan_MF

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Posted April 22 2003 - 11:28 AM

I'm looking for something to use in a 5.1/HT setup. The A/V receiver will be a Rotel RSX-1055. The L/R fronts and rears will be Dynaudio Audience 42s or Paradigm Studio 20s. The center channel will be the brand-appropriate driver-matching unit. My listening will be a combination of DVD, CD, DVD-A, SACD, MS Xbox and general television viewing.

I've browsed the Adire site, but I've never seen/heard one of their subs in person. I know they have a great reputation among DIYers, so that is somewhat comforting.

For kits, I've found that Madisound has some interesting offerings, a few of which are on sale. They also have KT Sonicraft woofer kits. Has anyone here ever purchased from Madisound?

http://www.madisound...59 sub kit.html

http://www.madisound...ht10subkit.html

#6 of 34 DerrickW

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Posted April 22 2003 - 11:36 AM

Ryan,

Besides Adire, I would look into HSU, SVS. The links I gave you are not kits, they are completed subs! Acoustic-visions.com sells several kits (including the Adire ones), and so does parts express at http://www.partsexpr....536&filter=kit

Read around the forum and check out those links. I'm sure you'll find something to make yourself happy if you have $650 to spend.

#7 of 34 Edward J M

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Posted April 22 2003 - 11:55 AM

http://www.svsubwoof...s_pci_20-39.htm

http://www.svsubwoof...ubs_pb1_isd.htm

I also recommend SVS - best bang for the buck if you are not going DIY, and unsurpassed Customer Service.

Ed
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#8 of 34 Elliot_W

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Posted April 22 2003 - 02:06 PM

You can pick up a new, fully warranted PSB Subsonic 7 on ebay now (I did) for $475. 330W BASH amp with a 15" driver - and it is sealed. I use it w/ Studio 20s as mains....and it does a great job with music as well as HT. Prob. won't punch like the SVS - but it is a relatively small box should placement be an issue. Anyways, it is a better buy the VTF-2 at that price.

BTW, I auditioned the ASW600 and PS-1000....I thought the B&W would be tighter than the bandpass designed paradigm - bought I thought they sounded very similar! The PS-1000 was actually 'ok' for music, and cheaper than the B&W (and I think goes a lot lower for HT too). However, the aforementioned choices are prob. better.

#9 of 34 DarwinU

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Posted April 22 2003 - 02:15 PM

I've heard the Adire Dharman and it's an very impressive sub...would be my pick for a <$650 sub.

The Aperion Intimus
http://www.edgeaudio.../pr_ss_s12.html

and The Axiom EP350
http://www.axiomaudio.com/ep350.html

are also highly regarded subs within your price range.

#10 of 34 Stephen Hopkins

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Posted April 22 2003 - 02:48 PM

Elliot,

The paradigm design is not a bandpass, it's a regular ported bass reflex. A bandpass enclosure has 2 chambers w/ the driver completely enclosed and all of the sound exiting the sub via the port.

#11 of 34 Elliot_W

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Posted April 22 2003 - 04:03 PM

Stephen....the paradigm factories are within 10 miles where I live. Admittingly, we don't know much in the Great White North, but we do know 2 things:

1. Hockey
2. Paradigm products...

...and I can assure you that the Paradigm PS-1000 is a bandpass design, in all its Dual-Cavity-Bass-Shaping glory!

#12 of 34 Ryan_MF

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Posted April 22 2003 - 06:57 PM

Thanks. I'll do more research on the Adire and SVS products. Of those two brands, the Adire Rava, Adire Dharman, SVS 20-39 and SVS 25-31 look like winners. I'm very much intrigued by the SVS 25-31. It looks like a great combination of power, price and performance. Can anyone here comment on how the 25-31 handles music (as compared to DVD).

#13 of 34 Frank Mowry

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Posted April 23 2003 - 12:00 AM

Another Shiva option

No affiliation. You could finish it yourself.

Frank

#14 of 34 Andrew JC

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Posted April 23 2003 - 12:39 AM

Frank stole my suggestion but you can check out this post for more information http://www.audiocirc....223&highlight= Also there both driver and amp upgrades to this package. Good luck!!!!

#15 of 34 EdNichols

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Posted April 23 2003 - 01:18 AM

Another sub that can be bought in a kit is the VMPS sub. It is passive so you have to use an amp. I have read some great reviews on it. I have one on order so I am anxious to hear it.

www.vmpsaudio.com

#16 of 34 James Zos

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Posted April 23 2003 - 05:19 AM

What skills are required to build a sub from one of these kits?
I myself have no skills, but my girlfriend actually builds things (tables, chairs, etc) out of wood. Are electrical skills required, or just woodworking skills? What are the steps involved in putting one of these subs together?

#17 of 34 CurtisSC

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Posted April 23 2003 - 06:00 AM

Make sure you read about the Hsu VTF-2 as well.

http://www.hsustore.com/vtf2.html
curtis
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#18 of 34 Phil Iturralde

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Posted April 23 2003 - 06:04 AM

Quote:
I'm very much intrigued by the SVS 25-31. It looks like a great combination of power, price and performance. Can anyone here comment on how the 25-31 handles music (as compared to DVD).

I have the SVS 25-31PCi and once I located in my HT/family front right corner and calibrated the ...

- analog bass - (Yamaha RX-V1300 SWFR Level Control = -8 {Range: 0 to -20})

... the musical bass support in my Jazz Music CD's by Bob James, David Benoit, Dave Grusin and Diana Krall was as full, quick and impressively natural, as the electric & upright bass sounded live, ... comparing when we played this one great gig @ the SF California Club many years ago!!! (My wife - Ludwig drums w/Zilgin Cymbals, my brother Voxton electric bass/a borrowed upright bass, family friend electric/acoustic guitar and me on-stage 9' Concert Steinway Grand Piano & Fender Rhodes 88-key Electric Piano)

I personally love the seamless full-spectrum bass subwoofer blend from my SVS 25-31PCi from 20 Hz up to my Studio Monitor like super-flat mids/crystal clear 20 kHz highs - JBL S26's.

Some of the key subjective and objective comments comes from John E. Johnson, Jr. in his SVS 25-31 PCi Powered Subwoofer Product Review - December, 2002 ...

Quote:
I can summarize here by saying that I have never seen a sub less than $1,000 - from any company other than SVS - that performs like this. ...

On the Bench

Here are the reasons the 25-31 does so well. Even at 20 Hz, which is a killer for many subwoofers, the SVS only produced 3.37% THD, at 100 dB, 8" from the port. ...

What I look for is smoothness in the parabolic curve, and no bumps or dips. But, the really important thing is how much distortion the subwoofer produces, and the 25-31 has less distortion than some subs costing several times its price. Frankly, it is almost beyond belief what this thing does for $549.

Conclusions

SVS has set standards to beat with its product line, and the 25-31 is certainly a blockbuster for $549. ... It has powerful, deep output at low distortion, and would be a killer addition to any home theater, especially an entry-level system which tends to have subwoofers in this price range, but not even in the same league as to performance.

I bought mine without auditioning, just solely based on the great SVS customer reviews over the years here @ HTF and the personalized customer support by Tom and Ron.

I knew it was time to get the SVS last year when SVS ...

1) Improved the SVS 12" Driver -
.... a) US-built 12" long throw SVS ISD (Improved Standard Driver) woofer, hence PCi (i = improved)

2) Updated the AMP
.... a) 320 Watt RMS Amplifier custom designed for SVS, it features patented BASH technology

3) Lowered the price!!! Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Yes I emailed Tom & Ron before I pre-ordered my SVS 25-31PCi (S/N: 00034) and received my answers with unexpected speed!!!

Received: APR. 2, 2002 & still impressing my usual family/friends during my once or twice Friday NITE DVD's presentations!!!

Phil
My HT Enthusiasts Google Website
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JBL S-Series + SVS 25-31PCi (SN: 00034) w/NSD Upgrade!

#19 of 34 Frank Mowry

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Posted April 23 2003 - 06:05 AM

James,

According to the desciption at Creative Sounds,

"This is the first DIY subwoofer kit which can be assembled without any additional tools; everyhting is included from glue, wood filler, sandpaper, acoustic stuffing, to the required wrench and screwdriver to install the driver and amp after finishing the outside to taste."

The sand paper would only be used to sand down the screw holes that were patched with woodfiller before painting (I'd imagine). If you can use a screwdriver, you should be able to put the sub together.

Frank

#20 of 34 James Zos

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Posted April 23 2003 - 10:22 PM

Thanks for your detailed response, Frank.

I still find it hard to believe that no skill is involved, for the simple reason that it seems like everyone would then be buying these kits and gaining quality while saving money. Maybe some people don't like building their own gear. Personally I'm starting to see these kits as the ultimate "tweak" for my hometheater, and since I've run out of other inexpensive tweaks, this looks like it might be next.

Thanks again for your answer.





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