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2 small subs vs. 1 big sub?


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#1 of 9 OFFLINE   eddieZEN

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Posted December 29 2005 - 12:36 PM

I was wondering what you guys thought about the pros and cons of having 2 (10") Hsu STF-2s vs. 1 (12") STF-3 or VTF-3.

In a 6000 cubic foot space would the two STF-2s provide more even response, greater coverage and SPL?

I am willing to sacrifice the extra 5Hz or so of bass extension in order to get better overall SPL. My use is about 60-70% music, and I don't really watch that many LFE-intensive action flicks.

I am also attracted to the greater flexibility of having 2 small subs, in that if I move to a smaller space I can put one sub to my bedroom system.

My concern is if having 2 subs might create weird phase interactions in the room, but I guess I can always put the subs side by side in that case?

I guess what this boils down to is whether 2x10" drivers at 2x200wpc is a significant improvement over 1x12" driver at 300wpc (350wpc for the vtf-3).

#2 of 9 OFFLINE   Peter Marcks

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Posted December 29 2005 - 03:40 PM

This is a great tough question eddie. It is true that response can be smoothed out using multiple subwoofers, and there is definitely merit to the idea that one can use one of these subwoofers in one setting and the other in another setting. At the same time, as you noted, the larger subwoofer in this case does provide significantly more output and/or extension in the lowest frequencies due to larger enclosure/driver/amp/ports. Also, two of the 2 series subwoofers encroaches upon VTF-3 HO territory price-wise, and the HO features all of our newest technology, can accept turbocharger upgrade option, and is available at a discount right now during pre-order stage.

I would be inclined to go with the HO (or go with one of the other 3 series models to save some money), but there are certainly some valid arguments for the multiple subwoofer route too.

Sincerely,
Peter Marcks
Hsu Research

#3 of 9 OFFLINE   eddieZEN

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Posted December 29 2005 - 04:46 PM

Peter,

Thanks for your input. I was looking at a pair of b-stock STF-2s, so that would run me closer to $650 before shipping. The idea of a single "super" sub like the VTF-3 would seem more palatable to me if I were able to place it in a corner or a nearfield position, however this is not possible due to room and WAF constraints.

Basically, my listening position is up against an exterior wall, about 12 feet from the mains which are in front of an interior wall that separates the living room from the kitchen and is open on 3 sides: at the top (18 foot vaulted ceiling), on the left (opens into the breakfast and kitchen) and on the right (opens into a hallway and stairs. To top it off it's a second story room so the floor offers little or no bass reinforcement at all.

In other words, the ROOM FROM HELL!!! Posted Image

I once tried out a friend's Rocket UFW-10 sub for a few days and it was barely audible. With another friend's single STF-2 I had the gain cranked to 3 o'clock for movies and 1 o'clock for music and had to turn the sub at an angle so that the rear port would bounce off the interior wall towards my listening position. I know the VTF-3 will go lower and cleaner than the STF-2 but am a little concerned about getting sufficient SPL.

#4 of 9 OFFLINE   John S

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Posted December 29 2005 - 10:16 PM

I would use two Velodone DLS5000R's to tell you the truth, either of those configs are grossly inadaquate for that room.

In other words, two 15" subs at least, or two dual 12" subs....

You need to be more realistic about demand and room volume on this one.

#5 of 9 OFFLINE   Peter Marcks

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Posted December 30 2005 - 04:46 AM

Yes, two of those Velodynes should work very well!

eddie, if possible I recommend trying out some different multiple and/or single subwoofer configurations at home in your room. The nice thing about the smaller/lighter subwoofers is that they have lower shipping cost and therefore lower opportunity cost involved in trying out the unit at home. Some companies even offer free one-way or two-way shipping. At least this way you would be sure about what product to actually keep. Feel free to ask for Dr. Hsu's opinion too!

Take care

Sincerely,
Peter Marcks
Hsu Research

#6 of 9 OFFLINE   eddieZEN

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Posted December 30 2005 - 01:36 PM

Well those Velodynes are probably great but at $800 each, that's about $200 above my sub budget.

I measured my actual listening area and it's only 12 x 10 feet, it's the vaulted ceiling and all the open space along the sides that just sucks away at the bass. I think I will give the 2 x STF-2s a shot...

I'll contact Dr. Hsu on Monday, thanks for the tip Peter.

#7 of 9 OFFLINE   Peter Marcks

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Posted December 30 2005 - 06:18 PM

Sounds good eddie, please let me know how things go for you!

Sincerely,
Peter Marcks
Hsu Research

#8 of 9 OFFLINE   John S

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Posted December 30 2005 - 10:39 PM

The best part is that of they don't meet the demand, you can change it failr easily, HSU subs are extremely easy to sell if you so choose down the road and hold their value well.

#9 of 9 OFFLINE   eddieZEN

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Posted December 31 2005 - 03:05 AM

> The best part is that of they don't meet the demand, you can change it failr easily, HSU subs are extremely easy to sell if you so choose down the road and hold their value well.

Sure seems like it, they certainly don't stick around long on Audiogon...I've been watching like a hawk! Posted Image