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anyone directly compared SVS 25-31 PCi and HSU STF-2?

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#1 of 11 BradZ


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Posted February 02 2004 - 08:16 AM

Well, those of you who followed my previous post- ISF or SVS have probably realized that the overall results have pushed me to get a sub first and ISF calibration down the line.

Now my question is about the sub- Obviously, I’m still considering the smaller SVS 25-31 PCi. I even e-mailed SVS and Ron’s opinion was that the 25-31 PCi tuned down to 22Hz would be great for my small room- 10w x 15l x 8h.

In all my research I’ve run across the HSU STF-2 which seems to be a great sub at a bargain price. Obviously the HSU has a 10” driver vs. the SVS 12” driver. My listening habits are 100% HT (have a separate 2 channel system) and rarely, if ever, do I listen at reference levels. I’ll be mating my new sub to an Energy Take 5.2 speaker system and replacing the 8” Energy Sub.

Has anyone directly compared the SVS 25-31 PCi to the HSU STF-2 (or VTF-2, for that matter). What does one give up by going with the cheaper and smaller HSU? With my system and listening habits which would be the better option.

I know that both SVS and HSU have fervent supporters and I don’t want this to be a pi$$ing contest thread. I just want to know if anyone has direct experience with both of these products and what their comparison impressions are. I’m still leaning toward SVS for future-proofing, but is the HSU in the same category?


end of transmission...

#2 of 11 WayneO


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Posted February 02 2004 - 09:12 AM

Haven't seen anyone claim to have compared these two in any forum recently. I'll leave accuracy out of the equation since we know both products perform well. What your looking at now is box vs. cylinder for asthetics and SPL output. My guesstimate would be based on enclosure volume, amp and driver will put the SVS clearly ahead in HT performance and would be my choice, but at the same time your looking at a $200 price difference, the STF-3 would probably more it's equal. But between the two, I'm thinking the SVS will be better suited for your HT application.

Edit: I just saw they closed the same thread over at AVS Forum, that was unnecessary with people being pretty civil. I know the Hsu vs. SVS posts can get testy quickly but the Admin completely overreacted, hopefully you'll get some good opinions here in a civil manner.
If the best advice is "listen for yourself", then why offer your opinion?

#3 of 11 CurtisSC



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Posted February 02 2004 - 10:09 AM

I with WayneO. The STF-3 would probably be a better comparison and for future proofing.

You room is not really that big...STF-2 would handle it with no problem, The 25-31PCi probably more so. Either will have a significant improvement over the little Energy sub.

Having heard a STF-2 in my 14x18x9 room....I'd say pocket the savings and buy some movies.

If you were planning on moving into a bigger place, then I'd say look the 25-31PCi and/or the STF-3.
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#4 of 11 Dan Halchak

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Posted February 02 2004 - 10:22 AM

I say always try to plan for the future!!!

Right now I have (will have) a PC+ 20-39 in a 9x11x8 room...which is completely overkill...

...but I know that it will eventually sit in a much larger room and I was more willing to buy to what the future HT room will be. Though this thinking doesn't work for everyone, as the price/comfort issues is dependable upon each individual's budget.

I found that I liked the SVS better for movie viewing and the HSU for music...however when I went to pick, I had to give 1 (out of a 30 point scale) to SVS, because both are very close. I think what really pushed me is all the help and effort (making changes in purchasing) that SVS has done for me without any question. The Customer Service is what definitely sold the deal for me.

And I also love how the cylinder is such a very nice conversational piece. Most people can't believe how it can produce the "sound" or "feeling" that it does. Might be a point for the SVS...I dunno!?

You can trust me in saying this...either sub you get, you will love!!! Posted Image

#5 of 11 yung cheng

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Posted February 02 2004 - 10:39 AM

It looks like STF-2 goes deeper(-2db vs -3db@25hz).
It looks like STF-2 goes cheaper($315+tax@Compusa vs $549+shipping).
So the key point is how loud do you want in HT.
My room is 12(w)x15(l)x8(h) with sub in the center of one side and sofa next to the wall of the other side.
My receiver is 85w/ch and speaker is 90db sensitivity.
After calibration, my sub is 0db gain on receiver and 40% on sub dial and it gives me 2db hotter in Sub balance.
For 85db playback in listening position, I can't bottom my STF-2 in Finding Nemo chpt 25.
Unless you buttom it, I can't see the benefit of 25-31 given not deeper.

#6 of 11 WayneO


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Posted February 02 2004 - 11:05 AM

It looks like STF-2 goes deeper(-2db vs -3db@25hz).
That spec is really so close and the room and placement can change all that very quickly so as not to call any advantage to either. But having it tuned to 22hz to be a 22-31Pci like Brad mentioned from SVS will bring it lower.
If the best advice is "listen for yourself", then why offer your opinion?

#7 of 11 MuneebM


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Posted February 03 2004 - 05:23 AM

I have an STF-2 in a 13(w) x 23(l) x 8(h) room. The STF-2 is in a corner and I am having trouble calibrating it: with DVE I calibrated it to 77 dB and that was way too low, then I turned it up by ear and now its too loud. My only beef with the STF-2 is that I can't feel it very much from my couch (12-feet away from the corner the HSU is in) and HSU Research recommended this sub to me given my room size. Had I known better I may have gone with the STF-3 or an SVS sub. Now I am considering adding a cheaper Dayton sub to the mix OR a 2nd STF-2 OR an SVS.

#8 of 11 Chris A H

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Posted February 03 2004 - 05:42 AM

I bought a SFT-2 which I for about 3 weeks and returned it to Hsu. I then bought a SVS PB1-ISD (22Hz box version of the 25-31) which I have now and plan on keeping.

SFT-2 was good on the music side, but the HT end seemed lacking. PB1 has a slightly different "sound" on music than the STF-2 but I couldn't call one definitively better. On the HT side, PB1 is better, no question IMHO, and worth the extra money.

If 100% HT is the goal then I would go with SVS.

As always YMMV...

#9 of 11 Dan Halchak

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Posted February 03 2004 - 06:03 AM

I agree with Chris, but that's just from the experience of my friend's HSU VTF.

#10 of 11 yung cheng

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Posted February 03 2004 - 09:30 AM

If you want to spend $600 in sub, you should consider Outlaw LFM-1.

#11 of 11 Chester II

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Posted February 03 2004 - 01:17 PM

Bradz dude,

I had a VTF-2 in my living room with the dimensions of 11W X 19L X 8H. Signal came from a Rotel 1055 receiver. Placement was TWO FEET from the left corner of the room and SIX INCHES away from the front wall. I opted for leaving the plug in which I believe means it drops off around 27Hz or something. The output setting was so close to off the sub was barely on and you know what? IT SHOOK THE WHOLE DAMN HOUSE ! ! ! !
Fantastic with music, fantastic with Hollywood action movies, fantastic with any audio source. I have no idea what the materials are that make up your room and that is critically important as you probably know. If you have a dedicated stereo setup (good for you by the way) and rarely listen at reference levels then I believe you are into sound quality over quantity. I don't think you'll suffer with either brand. By the way...sounds like you can ask Ron about the two. I'm sure he gets that question ALL the time. Sadly, I have since moved into a duplex and that means...NO SUBWOOFER......sigh......
Good luck dude,