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Looking for a new sub, what's the best bang for the buck around $200-$250?


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#1 of 15 OFFLINE   wmblalock

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Posted May 15 2011 - 03:12 AM

Hey guys, I could really use some advice! I don't have a big budget in the way of home theater subs, but I would like to get the best bang for my buck. I'd like to be at around $200-$250 unless a couple dollar more would get me a much better sub. I am looking for something that sounds great with movies, but at the same time will pound good for loud volume music. I've already blown two subs (actually the amps) because I guess they were just turned up too loud while listening to music. The first was a 12" Jensen JS1000, the second I killed was my 10" Onkyo SKW-570 that came with my Onkyo HT-5200 7.1 surround sound system. I plan on using my HT-5200 system with this new sub, but might buy some better speakers later down the road. Right now, I'd really just like a sub that won't blow up on me after a year! If its a better bang for the buck, I am perfectly capable of building a sub from plans. Also, the room size is 15x20


I read some good things about the Dayton SUB-120 for $205 shipped


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I was also looking at the Infinity PS212, but the $300 price tag is a bit much for me.


Would two $100 Polk 10" subs be better than one $200ish 12" sub?


What do you guys suggest I do?? Thanks guys!!



#2 of 15 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted May 15 2011 - 06:28 AM

10 $100 Polk subs wouldn't be as good as a one $200 12 in sub.


Look at these.


Lava-LPS10,  BIC-F12, BIC-EV1200, and the BIC-1220.


Building a sub is better. Others around here can help you more than I can with that.


And yse, better speakers down the road but get the sub first.


Most speaker companies make pretty good speakers but not so good sub woofers. Especially $100 subs from Polk.




"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.
 
 

 


#3 of 15 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted May 15 2011 - 08:08 AM

The Lava 12 is $285 shipped since you are a member here.  Contact them with your user name for a discount code.



#4 of 15 OFFLINE   wmblalock

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Posted May 15 2011 - 11:24 AM

Thanks for the options! Now to sort through them!


How would I decide between those 3 BIC 12" subs? They are all 3 in my price range.


The BIC F12 looks like a great idea because I can get it for $187 shipped and it comes with a 5-year warranty. The warranty would be great since I seem to blow these things up on a regular basis :-)


The BIC V1220 looks nice because it is 200watts RMS while the other two BIC subs are 150watts RMS. I can buy it for $182. The down side I see is that it only has a 2 year warranty on the amp. This one is also down firing while the other two are front firing... should that be a plus or a minus?


The BIC RTR-EV1200 looks nice and has a fancy red speaker, but otherwise appears to be the same as the F12 except it only has a 2 year amp warranty and is ab out the same price as the other two.


The Lava 12" is a great deal at $285 shipped and looks like an amazing sub. It's 250watts RMS and has a 5 year warranty. Is it really worth $100 more than the BIC F12 sub? How much more punch will it have being 100watts RMS more?



If you guys were in my shoes, which sub would you go with? The Lava has the best specs, but is also a good bit more than I wanted to spend.. The F12 BIC looks good, but should I skimp on the warranty and get 50watts more from the RTR-EV1200 down firing sub? Any advice or experience with these subs would be great!!



#5 of 15 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted May 15 2011 - 01:29 PM

The BIC F12 gets more discussion than the V1220.  I've never heard of the 3rd model.


The Lava isn't just 100w more power.  It has a better driver and a lower frequency response.  A sub isn't just the amp, it is a complete system including the amp, driver and enclosure.  They all work together.



#6 of 15 OFFLINE   wmblalock

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Posted May 15 2011 - 01:34 PM

Originally Posted by Robert_J 

The BIC F12 gets more discussion than the V1220.  I've never heard of the 3rd model.


The Lava isn't just 100w more power.  It has a better driver and a lower frequency response.  A sub isn't just the amp, it is a complete system including the amp, driver and enclosure.  They all work together.


Yeah, I understand that. I had read some people saying the LSP12 doesn't do so well under 35hz. I didn't see those comments about the F12, but I am sure you are correct. I do want to go as low as I can in my budget, so you think the LSP12 would be significantly better? How do you think it would compare to two F12s? I cannot afford two F12s now, and would prefer to not have to buy another sub in the future, but if I thought I needed more punch and volume it would certainly be easier to buy another F12 at $185 than another LSP12 at $285.




#7 of 15 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted May 16 2011 - 04:59 AM

As a disclaimer, I've never heard either of these subs.  My recommendations are based on reviews and specs alone.


Two F12's don't player lower, just louder but that is the same with any sub.  Using dual subs helps when you need to even out bass in a large room.



#8 of 15 OFFLINE   wmblalock

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Posted May 16 2011 - 05:05 AM

Yeah, I just keep flopping back and forth. One LSP12 or two F12s. The room is about 15x20 with an open path to the kitchen and simi-high ceilings. I think it would be really nice to have one sub on each side of the room to really rumble it up in movies and thump for music. At the same time, I don't want to sacrifice the sound quality. I guess that is my real issue, how much cleaner, harder, and lower would the one LSP12 be, or is the F12 pretty comparable as far as sound quality to the LSP12.. ahh



#9 of 15 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted May 16 2011 - 05:25 AM


I think it would be really nice to have one sub on each side of the room to really rumble it up in movies and thump for music. At the same time, I don't want to sacrifice the sound quality. I guess that is my real issue, how much cleaner, harder,

Descriptive words like this are a clue that you may be expecting too much from a bargain sub especially with an open floor plan.  This isn't car audio.


As a forum, we strive to promote accuracy in audio and video reproduction hence the constant suggestion for calibration.  For my 14 x 25 room, dual 15's with 1,600w of power is complete overkill.  But my system is set up so that a first time listener may not even notice that I have a sub.  It does not call attention to itself unless called to during scenes in an action movie.



If its a better bang for the buck, I am perfectly capable of building a sub from plans.

This will be your best bet based on budget and goals.  Let's start with this:

15" Dayton high fidelity sub - http://www.parts-exp...tnumber=295-468 - $160

BASH 300w amp - http://www.parts-exp...tnumber=300-750 - $150

4x8 sheet of MDF - $30

Finish - totally up to you

Plans - http://www.danmarx.o...n/tcsounds.html


This is head and shoulders above any subs in your list in both quality and quantity of bass.



#10 of 15 OFFLINE   wmblalock

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Posted May 16 2011 - 06:00 AM

Oh, I know I am asking a lot for my budget, but I also think that I might be asking for more than I need to be satisfied.

The only two home theater subs I have owned are my Jensen JS1000 12" (amp died) and my Onkyo 10" (amp died). I wasn't overly impressed with either of them, but I wasn't in a hurry to spend $400 to get better either. I probably wouldn't be having this conversation if the Onkyo hadn't died. I just figure that if I am going to have to spend money, I might as well go better than what I had.


Better sound quality and volume would be great, but I really want something that will hold up as well. I am tired of killing these amps. That is my only hesitation to building one like the Dayton 15" setup above, the amp only has a 1 year warranty. I really like the 5 year warranty on the F12 and LSP12 amps.. I know my luck, I am already 2-0. I'd hate to spend $400 making a bad ass sub just to end up with another bad amp in a year or two. Is there any other reasonably priced amps that come with a better warranty? I know I will be tempted to push that amp if I am going to put a 300watt amp on a 500watt sub :-)



#11 of 15 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted May 16 2011 - 07:41 AM

If the warranty is a concern, use the 240w Dayton amp.  5 year warranty - http://www.parts-exp...tnumber=300-804



I know I will be tempted to push that amp if I am going to put a 300watt amp on a 500watt sub :-)

Ignore the wattage rating of subs unless you are using extremely high power products.  That 500w rating means that the sub will handle a 500w sine wave at 1khz for 5 minutes to 1 hour (depending on how conservatively they rate the subs) before adhesives start to melt.  The majority of the subs that are killed in home theater are from over excursion.  You can't put a wattage rating on that because power handling varies by enclosure.  Both of the amps mentioned have very good subsonic filters that will not allow the amp to reach mechanical failure in the design that I linked to.  On the other hand, neither amp will fail when listening to normal program material.  Both have adequate cooling to keep them from burning up.  In the event they do get too hot, they have thermal protection.  I've run my Dayton amp into 2 ohm by accident and it ran fine for about 15 minutes.  By the time it shut off, it was extremely hot.  Once cooled and I corrected the wiring, it ran fine for years after that.



#12 of 15 OFFLINE   wmblalock

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Posted May 16 2011 - 07:54 AM



Originally Posted by Robert_J 

If the warranty is a concern, use the 240w Dayton amp.  5 year warranty - http://www.parts-exp...tnumber=300-804



Ignore the wattage rating of subs unless you are using extremely high power products.  That 500w rating means that the sub will handle a 500w sine wave at 1khz for 5 minutes to 1 hour (depending on how conservatively they rate the subs) before adhesives start to melt.  The majority of the subs that are killed in home theater are from over excursion.  You can't put a wattage rating on that because power handling varies by enclosure.  Both of the amps mentioned have very good subsonic filters that will not allow the amp to reach mechanical failure in the design that I linked to.  On the other hand, neither amp will fail when listening to normal program material.  Both have adequate cooling to keep them from burning up.  In the event they do get too hot, they have thermal protection.  I've run my Dayton amp into 2 ohm by accident and it ran fine for about 15 minutes.  By the time it shut off, it was extremely hot.  Once cooled and I corrected the wiring, it ran fine for years after that.


Good information, thanks. I'm still not sure about that amp having a 5 year warranty, If I click on the pdf file on that amp's page it says all Daytons products have a 5 year warranty EXCEPT electronics such as amps, which carry only a 1 year warranty :-(




#13 of 15 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted May 16 2011 - 08:23 AM

I need to read slower.  Same warranty then I'd go with the BASH.  It's a proven amp used by hundreds of companies.  If it lives through the year, it will last much longer.


#14 of 15 OFFLINE   wmblalock

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Posted May 16 2011 - 12:23 PM

Oddly enough, I got my Onkyo sub working tonight. The signal wire is quad shielded coax that runs through my attic and somehow the coax had come out of the connector behind the wallplate... DOH.  Anyway, after listenting to it tonight, I realize how "muddy" it sounds, as it is a low end sub that came with my Onkyo HT-S5200 system. I still want to sell it and get something better. Spacifically, I want to get as much clean, hard, "kick in my chest" bass for music as I can for around $350 or less. I would still really like something with a 5 year warranty, as I know my luck. Do the BIC F12s put out non-muddy crip clean hard bass? If so I am still considering two of them. The 15" diy sub idea is great, I just want a better warranty. Is there something cleaner and harder hitting than two F12s with a good warranty? I would like dual subs to spread out the bass more evenly in my 15x20 room, but if I will get a much better, cleaner, "punch" from a single sub in the $350 or less category then I would consider it. Sorry I've sorta changed price range and what I am looking for, I guess I have just evolved a little from my research and know now more of what I want :-)


Oh yeah, also is there an inexpensive inline equalizer that I can use in the signal wire of the sub(s) so that I can fine tune it to my needs? I don't think my Onkyo HT-S5200 system has those advanced settings built into the receiver :-(



#15 of 15 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted May 16 2011 - 02:51 PM

I use the Behringer Feedback Destroyer as my EQ.  You need either the PEQ spreadsheet and a Radio Shack analog SPL meter or Room EQ Wizard and the associated hardware to set it properly.  Any of the auto sub EQ's cost more than what you want to spend on two subs.