Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
- - - - -

Pardigm Sub 12 VS Paradigm Seismic 110 VS HSU VTF-2 MK 3 VS SVS 12NSD


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
23 replies to this topic

#1 of 24 OFFLINE   SensibleSystem

SensibleSystem

    Auditioning



  • 14 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 26 2011

Posted June 27 2011 - 04:46 PM

Hi All,


This is my first post to this forum: I have been an audio/video enthusiast for 18 years or so. I am currently rebuilding my HT system after many years of neglect.


I'm running all digital sources (pana blu-ray player, Sony TV with Pandora and other apps, direct digital connection from PC). Receiver is Integra DTR 30.1 driving Paradigm Studio 20s in a bi-amp configuration (each speaker gets 180 watts). All my cables are from monoprice. I sold my old Paradigm PS-1000 some years ago when I was in a tiny apartment. It was decent but not amazing.


I now live in a large modern apartment, and the main room, where the system is is 30x12x8.5 (3060 cu ft). I have shared walls only on the floor. I will not be able to turn the volume up particularly loud, as I want to live in peace with my neighbors, but this is a well-build high-end apartment complex with pretty good soundproofing.


I'm looking at a variety of sub options and am flexible also open to suggestions. I have used and loved paradigm equipment for nearly 20 years so my instinct is to go with them again, but I would like to hear opinions.


My desires are in order:


- clean accurate sound (I will level match the sub using the Audessy in the Integra)

- deep bass

- looks

- size (smaller is better)

- price (600-1000)


I'm looking at:


Paradigm Sub 12

Paradigm Seismic 110

SVS SB12 NSD

HSU VTF-2 MK3

A small Carver cube like the Sunfire True Sub


The big paradigm is in another price level - I would only buy this if I could find an amazing deal. The Seismic 110 can be had for around a grand, the SVS $750 and HSU around 500 bucks.


There are things I like about each of these (this is pre-listening test). I assume the Sub 12 is the best quality, and it looks pretty good. I love the looks of the Seismic 110. The SVS and HSU look to be great deals. The HSU looks to be butt-ugly which would be a deal-killer.


Would a big sub be overkill in my situation? Should I be looking at smaller subs like the Carver? How much does it matter getting a sub that goes down to 18HZ? My old paradigm went to around 30 HZ and was adequate for most, but not all material.


So what should I be looking at? Strong opinions welcome.



#2 of 24 OFFLINE   Robert_J

Robert_J

    Lead Actor



  • 8,160 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 22 2000
  • Real Name:Robert
  • LocationMississippi

Posted June 28 2011 - 12:17 AM


I assume the Sub 12 is the best quality

Don't assume anything.  The specs are almost non-existent on the Paradigm site.  The only thing I could find was that it would play down to 16hz.  Is that the -3db or the -10db point?  How was that measured?  Yes, the finish of the cabinet looks great but I think that is the high point for this sub.


SVS SB12 NSD

The SVS is a proven sub.  You posted the link so you can see the performance data on it.  What you might not know is that Stephen Ponte is the driver engineer at SVS.  He is one of the best transducer designers in the world.


HSU VTF-2 MK3

Dr. Hsu has been designing subs for his company as well as other companies for a few decades now.  It's another proven company and recommended here a lot.


Would a big sub be overkill in my situation?

In my opinion, big subs are never overkill.  You more you stress a sub, the higher the distortion.  If a larger sub can reach the same performance at while at only 25% of it's potential, then the distortion will be much, much lower.


Should I be looking at smaller subs like the Carver?

You can go smaller but you keep running into Hoffman's Iron Law (Google it).  Basically, the larger the sub, the more efficient it plays.


How much does it matter getting a sub that goes down to 18HZ? My old paradigm went to around 30 HZ and was adequate for most, but not all material.

As you can noted, it is not perfect.  If you want a sub that is adequate for all material then get one of the Paradigms.  If you want a sub that is great on all material, then go for the SVS.  If you want a sub that is outstanding on all material, look at the larger subs from SVS, Hsu, Epik Subwoofers, Seaton Sound, etc.  But you will have to up your budget a little.....It was very important to me to have a sub play down to 18hz.  In fact, my subs play flat to 17hz.  -3db is about 14hz.  I still have significant output around 10hz.  There were no commercial subs in my price range that could do this so I built my own.  I use dual 15" TC-3000 drivers, a Behringer EP-2500 amp for power and a Behringer Feedback Destroyer as a 10 band digital parametric EQ.  I have about $1,000 in my dual sub setup.



#3 of 24 OFFLINE   SensibleSystem

SensibleSystem

    Auditioning



  • 14 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 26 2011

Posted June 28 2011 - 01:13 AM



Originally Posted by Robert_J 


  If you want a sub that is adequate for all material then get one of the Paradigms.  If you want a sub that is great on all material, then go for the SVS.  If you want a sub that is outstanding on all material, look at the larger subs from SVS, Hsu, Epik Subwoofers, Seaton Sound, etc.  But you will have to up your budget a little.....


So you are saying that if I pay 1.5-2X the price for the paradigms I am basically paying for looks? I guess if you count advertising and dealer mark-up it makes sense they would cost some 40% more for the same quality.


The paras both claim 18HZ (as you said it is not clear what this means) - I can audition these in my area (Oakland ca) I see that the review of the older SVS noted it could not play the bottom octave, but the SVS website says the new sub plays lower and is better.


I have to say I have never seen so much love for a company as I am seeing for SVS and I am strongly leaning towards them - they stress the good looks of the unit: can someone verify these are nice looking subs? My wife is pretty easygoing but there is a limit - I showed her the bazooka-like HSU and she was none too keen on having a 3 ft high tube in the living room.




#4 of 24 OFFLINE   SensibleSystem

SensibleSystem

    Auditioning



  • 14 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 26 2011

Posted June 28 2011 - 01:17 AM

So I guess this bad boy would be superior to everything above. It looks pretty good in the picture - can anyone verify? If I could find a deal on this, like 1K I would go for it.



#5 of 24 OFFLINE   theresme1

theresme1

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 104 posts
  • Join Date: May 27 2011

Posted June 28 2011 - 02:50 AM

Maximus, I just bought the SVS PC-12 NSD http://www.svsound.c...yl-pc12_nsd.cfm.  I could not believe the size of it when I got.  All I have to tell you is that you will be listening to all your music all over again with the SVS.  My dad and I listened to Pink Floyd The Wall album and it was simply amazing!


http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/



#6 of 24 OFFLINE   Robert_J

Robert_J

    Lead Actor



  • 8,160 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 22 2000
  • Real Name:Robert
  • LocationMississippi

Posted June 28 2011 - 03:14 AM

So you are saying that if I pay 1.5-2X the price for the paradigms I am basically paying for looks? I guess if you count advertising and dealer mark-up it makes sense they would cost some 40% more for the same quality.

If you local dealer is getting them, he isn't buying directly from Paradigm.  He is buying from a distributor who is also marking up the price.  Factor in a much larger company with more overhead and tons more advertising and the fixed costs keep going up.  SVS is factory direct.  When you order from them, they will assemble, pack and ship it directly from their factory in Ohio.


I have to say I have never seen so much love for a company as I am seeing for SVS

The founders of the company met at this forum.  Ron S needed some help building a sub and Tom V stepped in to lend a hand.  Here's the first sub Ron built - http://www.hometheat...ptember-99.html .  There is one guy here on the forum that has an SVS sub with serial number 3.  Other long time members of this forum are now employees of SVS in roles like customer service.  We know the passion these guys have for audio reproduction.  But SVS isn't the only sub company represented here.  The guys from Hsu show up sometimes.  The owner of Elemental Designs is a member here.  Chad from Epik Subwoofers was a frequent poster when he ran Ascendant Audio.


My wife is pretty easygoing but there is a limit - I showed her the bazooka-like HSU and she was none too keen on having a 3 ft high tube in the living room.

I built some 4 foot cylinder subs with SVS drivers recently and put them in my theater room.  My wife thought they looked great.  When we were watching a show, they easily blended into the shadows.  A little too much because my wife would run into them.  I recently traded them for a car sub.


So I guess this bad boy would be superior to everything above. It looks pretty good in the picture - can anyone verify? If I could find a deal on this, like 1K I would go for it.

Yes.  This is the next step up in the SVS line.  Plus it is ported.  More efficient and with much more low end.  You can guarantee that it will look exactly like the picture.  Google the model number and look at the images.


Bass is all about moving air.  More efficient designs, larger drivers, more drivers, more power.  These guys -

I'll throw another company into the mix - http://www.rythmikau.../products1.html even have 15" subs.


#7 of 24 OFFLINE   SensibleSystem

SensibleSystem

    Auditioning



  • 14 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 26 2011

Posted June 28 2011 - 06:34 AM

Wow Johnny: that cylindrical sub is ridiculously huge and ugly. I don't think I could deal with that. My wife would probably freak out. Too bad because the price/performance ratio seems amazing.


Robert, The E15 Direct Servo looks like it might be somewhat less obtrusive than the other high performers. I really don't want a huge box in my living area - I'm really happy with the way the HT looks and don't want to overwhelm it with a giant and/or ugly sub. I have never heard of this company either, but this looks like a direct competitor to the Paradigm Servo-15 (discontinued) available used for around the same price as a new E15.


http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/





#8 of 24 OFFLINE   Robert_J

Robert_J

    Lead Actor



  • 8,160 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 22 2000
  • Real Name:Robert
  • LocationMississippi

Posted June 28 2011 - 07:30 AM

Rythmik has been a source of components for DIY sub builders for years.  Only recently did they start selling completed subs.  They are highly regarded in the DIY community and we will push the components past their normal limits all of the time.  They will stand up to anything you can throw at the sub.



#9 of 24 OFFLINE   theresme1

theresme1

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 104 posts
  • Join Date: May 27 2011

Posted June 28 2011 - 01:49 PM

Maximus, I understand that this SVS sub is huge and will take some space in your living room, but to be honest with you, it's really not ugly. If anything it's Impressive! My friends came over and their jaws just drop to the floor. They think that something that big and sound that good got to be worth thousands. I tell them I spent less than $800 and they are all trying to get one too now. If you need floor space then yes this speaker is ridiculously huge, but to me it is not at all ugly. I can not say enough about how this beast of a sub sound.

#10 of 24 OFFLINE   Robert_J

Robert_J

    Lead Actor



  • 8,160 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 22 2000
  • Real Name:Robert
  • LocationMississippi

Posted June 29 2011 - 01:18 AM

Maximus, I understand that this SVS sub is huge

You guys make me laugh. Here's the largest sub I've ever read about that wasn't built as part of the room. It was built using the 78 pound Resonant Engineering XXX 18" driver. http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/

#11 of 24 OFFLINE   SensibleSystem

SensibleSystem

    Auditioning



  • 14 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 26 2011

Posted June 29 2011 - 02:13 AM

I am aware that this sub is by no means enormous in relative terms: http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/ But I don't need a sub that doubles as a guest room. :D My main compunction with the tube is it is so damn tall. Maybe lay it on it's side? Does that work?

#12 of 24 OFFLINE   SensibleSystem

SensibleSystem

    Auditioning



  • 14 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 26 2011

Posted June 29 2011 - 02:47 AM

Thanks for the education everyone: thanks to this thread I won't be buying Paradigm as it is clearly a waste of money (although there is a Servo-15 on sale on eBay that could be had for a grand with shipping: thoughts?) After researching (obsessing) over this for several days here are my finalists in no order of preference: Epik Legend Pros: CHEEEAP! Dual 12" Drivers Cons: Ugly Rythmik E15 Pros: Great looking! 15" driver. 104 pounds!! Cons: with shipping exceeds my budget by several hundred bucks even in cheapest configuration. 104 pounds!! SVS SB12NSD Pros: Small, within budget, great reviews, gorgeous Cons: suggested for rooms up to 2400 cu ft, mine is 3000 cu ft NSD PC12NSD Pros: Best bang for buck Cons: insanely tall. Ugly. poor SAF HSU VTF-2 MK 3 Pros: Cheap (on sale)! Great reviews. Cons: hideous Please give me some impressions of these remembering, as above my #1 desire is accuracy: I am not interested in deep, boomy sound as much as somewhat less deep tight sound. Of course both would be nice. Also I really won't be playing it loud. 90 db (lawnmower), tops. Also even though my head is already spinning from all these options I am open to other suggestions, especially stuff on sale or used deals. I did realize I can go with large/ugly if I put it next to the couch, but there is no guarantee that will be the best place, right? It is in one of only two available corners (other is in picture above, next to lamp): http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/

#13 of 24 OFFLINE   Robert_J

Robert_J

    Lead Actor



  • 8,160 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 22 2000
  • Real Name:Robert
  • LocationMississippi

Posted June 29 2011 - 03:13 AM

My main compunction with the tube is it is so damn tall. Maybe lay it on it's side? Does that work?

Yes. That works just fine.

Epik Legend Pros: CHEEEAP! Dual 12" Drivers

Since the work load is divided, the drivers don't need as much excursion. Also, Chad (the owner) has been in the sub business for quite a long time. These are quality drivers even if they aren't flashy. Most of his drivers are sourced from Fi Car Audio. Fi's owner, Scott Atwell, designed the RE XXX that I linked above.

my #1 desire is accuracy: I am not interested in deep, boomy sound as much as somewhat less deep tight sound.

If these subs weren't accurate, we wouldn't recommend them. Also, a lot of people mistakenly think that a sub is "tight" when in fact it has a peak in the upper bass response region. A good test of a sub is listening to music with an acoustic bass. It shouldn't overpower the rest of the music. At the same time, it should blend seamlessly with the rest of the speakers. Any of these subs set up properly will fit that requirement.

#14 of 24 OFFLINE   SensibleSystem

SensibleSystem

    Auditioning



  • 14 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 26 2011

Posted June 29 2011 - 10:03 AM

Found a used local Paradigm Servo-15 V1 for 500 bucks, no shipping. So that is what I am going with - picking it up tomorrow, very excited!

#15 of 24 OFFLINE   Robert_J

Robert_J

    Lead Actor



  • 8,160 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 22 2000
  • Real Name:Robert
  • LocationMississippi

Posted June 29 2011 - 11:06 AM

It's no slouch based on the review towards the bottom of the page - http://www.rythmikau...om/reviews.html

#16 of 24 OFFLINE   SensibleSystem

SensibleSystem

    Auditioning



  • 14 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 26 2011

Posted June 29 2011 - 06:14 PM

Hopefully I will report sonic nirvana tomorrow PM.

#17 of 24 OFFLINE   SensibleSystem

SensibleSystem

    Auditioning



  • 14 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 26 2011

Posted June 30 2011 - 11:51 AM

I brought home the big Servo15 today. Set-up was easy using Audyssey. In fact I now have an X-30 I don't need which I will eBay bringing the price down further. This sub is absolutely rediculous overkill for my set-up. I turned it up past my normal (apartment) listening levels and some bass-heavy material (Mikey Hart, Planet Drum) pressurized the room nicely and shook the floor. Mostly it gave me visions of an eviction notice. The plus side of course is that at my listening levels I get deep effortless bass. The driver barely moves. I have engaged the Audyssey "medium" dynamic volume management, which I think is about 60 db in range (light is 80 db and heavy is 40 db so it makes sense). This should enable me to listen to rap, but, ironically, at less volume (but waaaay more bass) than before. I'll bust out the stereophile test CD and Shack SPL meter tomorrow and see what we have as far as a flat response curve. My initial guess is damn flat to 25Hz with usable sound right down to 18 or so.

#18 of 24 ONLINE   Jason Charlton

Jason Charlton

    Screenwriter



  • 2,981 posts
  • Join Date: May 16 2002
  • Real Name:Jason Charlton
  • LocationBaltimore, MD

Posted June 30 2011 - 02:08 PM

I got my Servo 15 on a buddy's corporate discount when he worked for Dolby Labs in San Francisco (not quite the deal you found, but close). I've never actually cranked it up all the way. The closest I ever got was the first day I had it, and I put in "Contact" and played the scenes where they first get the "whoomp whoomp" message from outer space. I was in an apartment at the time, and I only kept it up loud for about 30-45 seconds. The next day, I saw my next door neighbor and I pre-emptively apologized for the loud noise (figured I should be up front about it). When I told him it was me, his response was, "I couldn't tell where the hell that rumble was coming from - the whole place shook." I knew then that I had a subwoofer that would last me a long, long time. Enjoy!

Are you new to the Home Theater Forum? Stop by the New Member Introductions area and introduce yourself! See you there!


#19 of 24 OFFLINE   Robert_J

Robert_J

    Lead Actor



  • 8,160 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 22 2000
  • Real Name:Robert
  • LocationMississippi

Posted July 01 2011 - 01:25 AM

I'll bust out the stereophile test CD and Shack SPL meter tomorrow and see what we have as far as a flat response curve. My initial guess is damn flat to 25Hz with usable sound right down to 18 or so.

I created my own test disc with sine waves matching the frequencies on the PEQ spreadsheet ( http://www.pvconsult...udio/eq/peq.htm ). When I measured my room, I had an inductance peak of 14db at 54hz that really impacted my MCACC auto calibration. I used the parametric EQ in the spreadsheet to lower the the peak and boost the low end to give me a flat response to 17hz. I then added those setting to my Behringer Feedback Destroyer. The change in the bass was amazing to say the least.

#20 of 24 ONLINE   Jason Charlton

Jason Charlton

    Screenwriter



  • 2,981 posts
  • Join Date: May 16 2002
  • Real Name:Jason Charlton
  • LocationBaltimore, MD

Posted July 01 2011 - 03:07 AM


Originally Posted by Robert_J 

I created my own test disc with sine waves matching the frequencies on the PEQ spreadsheet ( http://www.pvconsult...udio/eq/peq.htm ). When I measured my room, I had an inductance peak of 14db at 54hz that really impacted my MCACC auto calibration. I used the parametric EQ in the spreadsheet to lower the the peak and boost the low end to give me a flat response to 17hz. I then added those setting to my Behringer Feedback Destroyer. The change in the bass was amazing to say the least.


One of these day's I'm going to carve out the time to do this for my system.  You've mentioned this in many times in other threads and I'm really intrigued and curious to see how a BFD might improve my setup.  Unfortunately, there are simply too many other things going on for me to get around to it.


Are you new to the Home Theater Forum? Stop by the New Member Introductions area and introduce yourself! See you there!