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Can someone help a novice regarding subwoofer selection?

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8 replies to this topic

#1 of 9 duncansfree



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Posted July 08 2009 - 10:33 PM

 I live in an apartment, listen mostly to classical, have a large room (open architecture) to fill though, because of neighbor's sensitivities and my own tastes as well, am looking for something to fill in the lows my Polk RTi-A1s can't fill in more than blowing someone away with my sub's power. I own a Harmon Kardon reciever with 50 watts per channel and am looking for something small, attractive looking if possible, with very clean, tight, reproductive bass.

I've considered Yahama's YST-FSW150BL though perhaps more for aesthetics than performance. I am attracted to low profile subs and would prefer such type.

I have a budget of $400.

Any suggestions from any of you here would be most appreciated.

By the way, I'm 60 and live in Charlotte, NC.

Thank you,


#2 of 9 Robert_J


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Posted July 08 2009 - 11:17 PM

Yamaha isn't know for their speakers and I didn't know they even had subs.

With your budget, I'd go with something from Elemental Designs.  This one is $400 shipped to your door - http://www.edesignau...products_id=309


#3 of 9 duncansfree



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Posted July 09 2009 - 12:53 AM


#4 of 9 gene c

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Posted July 09 2009 - 02:53 PM

Yamaha subs are generally designed for their htib speakers. In other words, form over function. I'd avoid them. Here's a smaller alternative to the one Robert suggested (but he's the subwoofer expert). This is what PartsExpress.com has to offer. The ES8 looks pretty decent for $99 but you probably want something better.This one from Boston-Acoustics might look better than it performs but it's only $199. Here's a boatload of subs available from OneCall.com just so you can see what's out there. And, of course, there's always SVS and HSU.

Just a few others for you to look at.
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.


#5 of 9 MaxL


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Posted July 09 2009 - 03:40 PM

 i just recommended the martin logan dynamo on another thread.  it was the best sounding sub i had heard at its price point when it was around $600.  now it's on sale for $470 here.  also $480 from audioadvisor.com.  i think part of the reason i love the sound of this sub so much compared to its competition is that it is sealed.  it sounds like a good speaker to me just lower, not like a low frequency noise making machine which is how i feel about many inexpensive subs.

i also like the monitor audio asw100 for $299 also form saturdayaudio.com sounds very good for it size and price.  

that said, i don't think of either of these for really large rooms, but compromises will be significant at this price point.  you can can have a loud $400 sub or a tight, clean $400 sub but not a clean, tight and loud $400 sub.  so i guess the question becomes what is your priority, filling the room with loud bass or adding musical bass at moderate levels?

what kind of volume do you listen at and how big, exactly is the room?  

i think a high quality low profile sub is out at this price point, but you've got some smaller cubes to look at.

anyway, good luck...

HT: Marantz SR8000, PSB Alpha B fronts, Alpha C center, CSW Newton S200 surrounds, Martin Logan Dynamo Sub, Marantz DVD, Sony CRT TV

Stereos include vintage Sony receivers/amps into vintage AR and KEF speakers.

#6 of 9 duncansfree



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Posted July 09 2009 - 10:51 PM

 Wish to thank all of you who replied. I'm considering the Polk PSW111 though (it hardly offers much from the esthetic standpoint) and will also look seriously at all of your suggestions.

Have also considered Audio Source AST Sub 10 (nicer from an esthetic POV) though no longer manufactured (?) and I'm a bit skeptical. No, there is nowhere in my area to hear a number of possibilities.

Again, thank you for your time and willingness to share.


#7 of 9 David Willow

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Posted July 10 2009 - 01:18 AM

Polk, although decent speaker company, is not known for their subs either.  Have a look at Robert's and Max's suggestions or check this one out:  http://www.svsound.c...b-box-10nsd.cfm - its just been redesigned. The original was quite a performer, can't wait to hear the upgrade.

#8 of 9 Jeff Gatie

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Posted July 10 2009 - 02:07 AM

Duncan, please note that although it is recommended all your speakers be from the same manufacturer and series, it is definitely not necessary to match your sub manufacturer to your speakers.  Sub frequencies are much lower than your mains and surrounds, and timbre matching is not necessary (or even possible) because of this.

#9 of 9 duncansfree



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Posted July 10 2009 - 08:35 AM

I'm seriously considering the Martin Logan Dynamo. Assume you feel it is quite musical with excellent reproductivity for its' price range. That's what I wish versus earth shattering power. Will make a decision by Monday and thank you again for your advice.


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