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Mirage S12 vs. PB10 vs. STF-2?


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19 replies to this topic

#1 of 20 OFFLINE   eddieZEN

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Posted January 04 2006 - 03:22 AM

Have only found one detailed review of the S12 but it seems to be compared to the Hsu STF-3 a lot, which is supposed to be one level above the PB10, which is supposed to be slightly better than the STF-2.

Do I have all the hearsay correct? Posted Image

If it's true, I love the idea of getting the oomph of the $600 STF-3 for a mere $400 shipped.

#2 of 20 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted January 04 2006 - 03:43 AM

I haven't heard much about the S12. If it isn't beating the STF-3, then it probably is probably close to the PB-10. I'd say the PB-10 is a pretty noticable step up from the STF-2, not just slightly better.
HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
(stolen) : Marantz SR-8300, GR Research A/V-2s, Sony SCD-222ES SACD, Panasonic BD-65, PS3 60G (250G)

Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

 


#3 of 20 OFFLINE   eddieZEN

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Posted January 04 2006 - 04:03 AM

John,

You've probably heard about my room woes before but in any case here's a refresher:

I have a 6000 cubic foot nightmare of a space. Well the actual listening area is only 10x12 but opens on one side to the breakfast/kitchen and on the other side is a hallway and stairwell. It's a 2nd story room with a 18 foot vaulted ceiling and due to WAF any sub(s) would have to go next to my mains, i.e. against the interior wall that separates it from the kitchen and is open at the top...so zero bass reinforcement available, nor corner loading, nor nearfield positioning (the sub will be about 12 feet from the listening position though).

Given the above (all that empty space AROUND the listening area; the room is 2nd floor, and basically zero placement options), what would be the pros and cons of a front vs. downward firing sub?

I'd imagine that if the same room were on the first floor, a downward firing sub might have more punch than it would for a second floor room?

Though my application is about 75% music, I do enjoy the occasional bone-crunching LFE-intensive action flick.

My previous sub was a god-awful side-firing JBL ep150 which I'm gald to say I've managed to unload for only a 30% loss of what I paid for it. Its output did improve significantly after I rotated it so that the woofer (instead of pointing towards the listening position) was pointing at the interior wall behind my mains at an angle that would bounce off towards my listening position.

I had a downward-firing Hsu STF-2 on loan from a friend for about a week and while it was a far better sub than the JBL, it helped a lot when I also directed its rear ports at an angle that would bounce off the interior wall towards my listening position.


So here are my options:

a pair of the STF-2s (b-stock = $660 shipped),
one Mirage S12 ($400 shipped), or
one VTF-3 MK2 at $650 shipped?

#4 of 20 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted January 04 2006 - 05:41 AM

Are you in Canada then? Between 2 STF-2s and one VTF-3, I'd go with the VTF-3. You'll get more output from the STF-2s, but they still won't go quite as low as the VTF-3, IMO, and will probably give you less calibration issues due to potential placement problems with 2 subs. The S12 probably won't be in the same category of either setup, but it also doesn't cost as much. Downfiring ports with a front firing driver sounds interesting on the S12.
HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
(stolen) : Marantz SR-8300, GR Research A/V-2s, Sony SCD-222ES SACD, Panasonic BD-65, PS3 60G (250G)

Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

 


#5 of 20 OFFLINE   mackie

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Posted January 04 2006 - 11:19 AM

Ask the guys a Hsu for recommendations. They're very patient and will give you all the time you need to make the best choice.

#6 of 20 OFFLINE   Reginald Trent

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Posted January 04 2006 - 12:46 PM

eddieZEN,

Read recommendations here and other forums and read reviews from independent reviewers then make your decision.

#7 of 20 OFFLINE   eddieZEN

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Posted January 04 2006 - 03:31 PM

Thanks guys. Below is the email I just sent off to Dr. Hsu:


=============

Dear Dr. Hsu,

Peter Marcks suggested that I contact you directly with my dilemma.

Attached is a scaled drawing of my living room, which is an acoustic nightmare.

Right now I am trying to decide which of these options to choose:

1. (2) of the STF-2s, in the SW1 and SW2 positions. (b-stock, $660 shipped)

2. (1) VTF-3 Mk2, in the SW2 position. ($650 shipped from a friend, less than 1 year old)

3. (1) Mirage S12, in the SW2 position. ($400 shipped)

Unfortunately, due to WAF reasons SW1 and SW2 are the only 2 places where I can put a subwoofer. Moving the furniture around or running cable underneath the carpet for corner or nearfield placement is out of the question.

The receiver I'll be using is the 7.1 digital switching Panasonic sa-xr55 which has a subwoofer pre-out.

My application is about 60% music to HT. The space is carpeted except for the kitchen and small area in front of the fireplace.

I know the VTF-3 will go deeper and cleaner than 2 of the STF-2s, but I would be willing to sacrifice that if the two STF-2s will produce more output in that 6000 cubic foot space. I also like the flexibility of having 2 smaller subs in case I move to a smaller place, then I could move 1 of the subs to my bedroom system or resell it.

I am considering the Mirage S12 only because it is currently discounted at half of MSRP at vanns.com and because I have heard a number of people on audio boards say that its output is comparable to the STF-3...would you say this is an accurate statement, or no?

There was also an independent review which said that it was surprisingly close behind the VTF-3:

http://www.hometheat....e_omni_s12.htm

I am also curious whether a front-firing subwoofer like the S12 or SVS PB10 would have any advantage over a downfiring sub in an upstairs room like mine that does not provide much floor bass-reinforcement at all, compared to a ground-floor room.

Thank you very much for your expertise and help!


===========

Will post back when I hear from him.

#8 of 20 OFFLINE   kevin tate

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Posted January 18 2006 - 10:52 AM

Did you ever hear back from Dr. Hsu?

#9 of 20 OFFLINE   eddieZEN

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Posted January 18 2006 - 03:38 PM

unfortunately, no.

I went ahead and got the Mirage sub, have been quite happy with it so far.

#10 of 20 OFFLINE   Peter Marcks

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Posted January 18 2006 - 03:53 PM

Oops, sorry about that Eddie, the email must have gotten lost in his mailbox while we were at CES Posted Image

Good call on the Mirage, that is an amazing price for that unit, a really good find! Mirage makes very good speakers and subwoofers!

Sincerely,
Peter Marcks
Hsu Research

#11 of 20 OFFLINE   kevin tate

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Posted January 18 2006 - 03:54 PM

They were at the Las Vegas convention. That might explain the email not being responded to. They're back now, so the email should've been responded to. They make good subs, but they're slow in responding to emails.

#12 of 20 OFFLINE   kevin tate

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Posted January 18 2006 - 03:58 PM

Just read Peter's comment after posting my previous post. Peter explained it.

#13 of 20 OFFLINE   eddieZEN

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Posted January 18 2006 - 04:17 PM

no worries Peter, I figured CES had something to do with that! Posted Image

Actually right now I have TWO of the Mirage subs in my LR (originally home demoed one from Tweeter before ordering from Vanns) and am almost tempted to order another one, having two subs does incredible things especially with music! Probably should've just gotten the two STF-2s to begin with, oh well...

can you tell I've become an incorrigible basshead? Posted Image

#14 of 20 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted January 19 2006 - 02:01 AM

I dindn't think I'd want more than a PB-10 either Posted Image
HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
(stolen) : Marantz SR-8300, GR Research A/V-2s, Sony SCD-222ES SACD, Panasonic BD-65, PS3 60G (250G)

Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

 


#15 of 20 OFFLINE   Peter Marcks

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Posted January 20 2006 - 05:05 PM

Quote:
no worries Peter, I figured CES had something to do with that!

Actually right now I have TWO of the Mirage subs in my LR (originally home demoed one from Tweeter before ordering from Vanns) and am almost tempted to order another one, having two subs does incredible things especially with music! Probably should've just gotten the two STF-2s to begin with, oh well...

can you tell I've become an incorrigible basshead?

Oh no no eddie, you made a great decision in going with the dual Mirage S12 subwoofers. That is really a bargain of major proportions, and you will be happy for many years to come, I am sure of it.

Sincerely,
Peter Marcks
Hsu Research

#16 of 20 OFFLINE   Srinivas Reddy

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Posted February 08 2006 - 09:00 AM

Hi Eddie,
I also bought a S12 at vanns. Got it just 2 days back. For some reason, my sub makes a humming sound when connected to the power and turned on, even if no input is connected. It increases if I increase the volume. I tried different outlets in my house, same problem. Do you have any such problems ? I am going to call in for an exchange, but just wanted to make sure its not a common issue.

Thanks
SR Loka
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#17 of 20 OFFLINE   Tom Vodhanel

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Posted February 08 2006 - 12:09 PM

Sometimes that can be caused by in line(AC line) interference(s). Esp if you have large "thermostats" on the same circuit(water beds, light dimmers, ect). Try a couple of different outputs in other areas of the home. If it hums on all...(and the hum is audible at a reasonable distance---say a few feet away)...that might indicate a problem with the unit.

Tom V.
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#18 of 20 OFFLINE   Srinivas Reddy

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Posted February 09 2006 - 06:52 AM

Thanks Tom. Here is what I tried and noticed

With no input connected, the hum is a little less than with the input connected but not much.

With input connected, if I set it to auto and slowly turn up the level, when it reaches about 3/4, it turns on as if it detected an input(the receiver is off).

At about 1/2 level, the noise is negligible. You have to put your ear next to the sub to hear it. But if you crank up the level about 3/4 and over, it is audible across the room. If I mute my receiver, I can clearly hear it.

I took the sub to the top floor (man, that thing is heavy), same problem( I had no input to connect). There are no connections on this breakers except 2 or 3 lights which were off.

Could it be the noise from a transformer within the sub ? One thing to note is, in my Home Theater room, I cranked up my Onkyo 702 all the way to 85 (with the input DVD player off), but there was no noise from any speaker. If line noise, wouldn't that feed into the receiver too ?

Thanks
SR Loka
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Under Construction(Always): http://www.geocities.com/ls_reddy

#19 of 20 OFFLINE   Chris Quinn

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Posted February 09 2006 - 12:13 PM

I've heard the S12 in Eddie's system and there is no hum.

#20 of 20 OFFLINE   eddieZEN

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Posted February 09 2006 - 02:43 PM

Nope, no hum here.

I'd love to AB the S12 with an STF-3 sometime though, just out of curiousity...