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The best subwoofer


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26 replies to this topic

#1 of 27 stud_wit_style

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Posted June 24 2009 - 10:24 AM

Currently I have Kef Floor, center, and rear speakers. My sub is a Sony SA-WM40 that I bought about 8 years ago. Its time to upgrade my sub. I was considering the Kef HTB2 just because my other speakers are Kef. I'm not up to date on the decent brands out there anymore. I would like to keep it under $1,000. This would be for a home theater.

Thanks in advancePosted Image

#2 of 27 JohnRice

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Posted June 24 2009 - 12:52 PM

SVS and HSU are the nearly universal favorites around here. Both are sold internet direct. For 1K from either, you can get something that will humiliate the Sony you have now, as well as the KEF you mention.

The Hybrid System

The Music Part: Emotiva XSP-1, Thiel CS 3.6, Emotiva XPA-2, Marantz SA8004, Emotiva ERC-3, SVS PB-12 Plus 2

The Surround Part: Sherbourn PT-7030, Thiel SCS3, Emotiva XPA-5, Polk & Emotiva Surrounds.


#3 of 27 Robert_J

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Posted June 24 2009 - 02:06 PM

Besides John's recomended companies, check out Epik Subwoofers, Elemental Designs and AV123. As I always do, if you have the tools then a DIY sub will beat them all.

-Robert

#4 of 27 stud_wit_style

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Posted June 24 2009 - 11:28 PM

Yeah I've been reading through the threads and notice SVS is always recommended along with a DIY sub.

What makes the SVS so much better than others?

I probably have the tools I dont know anything about making one.

#5 of 27 Robert_J

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Posted June 24 2009 - 11:56 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by stud_wit_style
What makes the SVS so much better than others?
SVS along with the other internet direct sellers is direct from the manufacturer. You don't pay the mark-up by a middle man. Basically you get more sub for the money. But I like the fact that you can usually call them up and talk to an expert or sometimes the guy that designed the sub. The SVS founders met on this forum. The owner of Epik Subwoofers is a member here. Elemental Designs has their own forum where you can communicate with everyone from the owner down to the guy that packages your sub in a cardboard box. But most of all these guys are nuts about sound reproduction and it shows in their products. If you go retail you will just need to buy the sub that with meet your goals while staying under budget.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stud_wit_style
I probably have the tools I dont know anything about making one.
Can you build a box like this or this? If you can build it, can help with the details like which driver and amp to buy. As an example, my sub has more output and more extension than the JL Audio Gotham sub. I have about $1,000 invested in it but I already had all of the necessary tools like router, saws, clamps, etc.

-Robert

#6 of 27 stud_wit_style

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Posted June 25 2009 - 05:07 AM

After seeing the DIY subs I think I better stick with one I purchase.

What is the difference in sound between between Ported and Sealed boxes?

#7 of 27 Robert_J

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Posted June 25 2009 - 08:12 AM

First, there is no perfect sub. If there was then that would be the only sub on the market.

The ported vs. sealed debate has been going on for decades and there is no winner. It really all depends on your goals. Ported subs are usually larger but it is easier for them to produce the really low bass. Sealed sometimes sounds cleaner due to the group delay of ported subs. But sealed subs require more power to have the same low bass output as ported subs. Some say that sealed subs are better for music while ported subs are better for sound effects in movies. I say why don't you buy an accurate sub and experience both as the sound engineer intended.

All subs will sound different in your room. Auditioning them in a store or at someone elses house is almost worthless. Your room size, shape as well as sub placement in the room will have a huge impact on the sound. Once you decide on a sub and listen to it, you should use your SPL meter to plot the in-room frequency response. If it looks like a mountain range then you may need a parametric EQ to flatten it. There are a few options like the SVS AS-EQ1 but at $699 that eats up 70% of your budget. I use a Behringer Feedback Destroyer which cost $100. It made a HUGE difference in the sound of my subs.

-Robert

#8 of 27 Greg_R

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Posted June 25 2009 - 10:44 AM

Quote:
Ported subs are usually larger but it is easier for them to produce the really low bass. Sealed sometimes sounds cleaner due to the group delay of ported subs.
It should be noted that ported subs can maintain higher SPLs at lower frequencies until a certain point where they sharply roll-off. A similar sealed sub will lack some of the output but will have a more gradual roll off, allowing it to play lower frequencies. Certain subs (like the SVS cylinders) allow you to tune the sub for different types of playback (greater extension, less output vs. less extension and more output). If you are into low bass (<20Hz) then it is important to understand the tradeoffs. Talk with any of the guys at the mentioned companies and they will steer you toward your ideal sub solution. Good luck!

#9 of 27 stud_wit_style

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Posted June 25 2009 - 11:30 PM

Great info...thanks.

I think what I'll do is give one of the companies a call and go over what i am looking for then just go from there. On the parametric eq, I think ill wait til I get the sub and try it out for a while then look into getting one. I know I dont want so much bass that it drowns everything out.

I'll keep you posted on what I go with.

Thanks again!

#10 of 27 Robert_J

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Posted June 26 2009 - 03:07 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by stud_wit_style
I know I dont want so much bass that it drowns everything out.
If that happens than is your fault for not properly calibrating your system. You could use a dozen 18" subs and it shouldn't overpower the rest of your system if it has been set up correctly. You would just have a bunch of headroom and very, very low distortion.

The more you push a sub, the more distortion it will have (except subs that use XBL^2 technology). So if an 8" sub running full blast meets your goals but you can aford a 10" sub, get the 10". It will work less and sound better all things being equal.

-Robert

#11 of 27 stud_wit_style

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Posted June 27 2009 - 01:37 AM

I'm trying to decide between the HSU ULS-15 and the SVS PB12-Plus. They are both a little over my budget but I think it will be worth it.

Thoughts??

#12 of 27 Robert_J

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Posted June 29 2009 - 02:46 AM

I'd go with the Hsu. It uses XBL^2 low distortion technology. No, it doesn't mention it but if you look at the picture of the driver, it is an underhung model based on the size of the top plate on the magnet. The only low distortion underhung design is the XBL^2.

-Robert

#13 of 27 stud_wit_style

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Posted June 30 2009 - 04:40 AM


Does the XBL^2 make a big difference? I also read in quite a few places that the ULS-15 is designed more for music. I want one for movies.



I started leaning towards the SVS PB12-Plus. The only issue is they arent willing to budge on the price. When I talked to HSU they were willing to budge on the price.


#14 of 27 Robert_J

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Posted June 30 2009 - 06:33 AM

I'll let you read about XBL^2 and determine that yourself.  Besides the links below, search the archives for Dan's postings as well as other users reviews of this technology.
Dan Wiggins the inventor - http://www.acousticd...id=44&Itemid=55
XBL^2 white papers - http://www.acousticd...id=12&Itemid=64

Why don't you get a sub that is accurate and reproduces both music and movies as the sound engineer wanted?  The Hsu sub is a good starting point on that.  Then you can properly integrate it into your room with calibration and placement.  Measure the sub's in-room response.  If needed add a parametric EQ to flatten the reponse.

-Robert

#15 of 27 werty7777

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Posted July 04 2009 - 04:30 AM

For what it's worth, I don't know anything about the SVS or HSU subs but my Martin Logan Dynamo is pretty freaking nice. I got it for 540 at Best Buy. Now for a grand you can get the Abyss which is great. Maybe I'm just one of those guys that bought from an overpriced middleman but I am happy and just wanted to provide another option.

#16 of 27 Stephen Tu

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Posted July 04 2009 - 07:19 AM


Quote:
Originally Posted by werty7777 

For what it's worth, I don't know anything about the SVS or HSU subs but my Martin Logan Dynamo is pretty freaking nice. I got it for 540 at Best Buy. Now for a grand you can get the Abyss which is great. Maybe I'm just one of those guys that bought from an overpriced middleman but I am happy and just wanted to provide another option.
Glad your happy, but you did buy from an overpriced middleman :).  The internet direct subs generally, for the same money, give you much bigger subs with bigger drivers, cabinets, that play louder & deeper.  Or you can go for equivalent performance for a lot less money.  Just compare the size of the Dynamo vs. an eD A3-300, SVS PB-12NSD, or Hsu VTF2.  The other subs are like 2.5-3x more enclosure volume, 12" drivers vs. 10", more than twice as heavy.

There are things in life where "size doesn't matter".  But bass reproduction isn't one of them. The retail stores don't like to carry big subs because they are costly to ship and take up too much space.  Plus there is large segment of population that really don't want something the size of a mini-fridge in their living rooms.  If you don't listen at really loud volumes, and don't care much about missing response below 30hz, the small subs are fine.  But if you are a bass head, and have the space, bigger is usually better.


#17 of 27 werty7777

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Posted July 04 2009 - 06:13 PM

Like I said just providing another option :) With my Def Tech 2004TL's and my Dynamo I'm stupid happy but maybe I just don't know what I'm missing huh? Thanks for busting my chops Stephen.

#18 of 27 Brian Serene

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Posted July 06 2009 - 04:22 AM

Not to bust anyone's chops, however, the Dynamo can't keep up with the bigger offerings from the internet direct companies.  Internet direct companies don't have the dealer network to add cost to the final price of the product. 



#19 of 27 douglas-b

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Posted July 06 2009 - 02:06 PM

Posted Image
I LOVE MY SVS SUBS- That's just my two cents.



#20 of 27 werty7777

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Posted July 06 2009 - 08:02 PM

Holy crap you have two kegs on the sides of your TV! 


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