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Any other HSU vtf-3 reviews out there? Still cant decide on this or the 20-39 pci


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#1 of 21 OFFLINE   Todd smith

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Posted April 30 2002 - 09:43 PM

I would like to get this thing ordered one way or the other and am trying to be patient. I know it will take a bit once I order it to receive so I would like to make a decision as soon as possibe. Barrys review has been great, but I would like to get a little more feedback before making a decision. Anyone have any experience with the vtf-3 or know where I can find more reviews or info? TIA

#2 of 21 OFFLINE   Barry Barnes

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Posted May 01 2002 - 12:42 AM

[quote]

I would like to get this thing ordered one way or the other and am trying to be patient. I know it will take a bit once I order it to receive so I would like to make a decision as soon as possibe. Barrys review has been great, but I would like to get a little more feedback before making a decision. Anyone have any experience with the vtf-3 or know where I can find more reviews or info? TIA




[quote]



I don't blame you for wanting more info. I was literally starving for info and couldn't find much of anything. It's one reason I posted such a lengthy review process. In hopes that it might be helpful to anyone who is out there looking high and low and doing research. As I said, they are both great subs. I recommend getting both and unplugging your mains and listening for yourself. It was worth a hundred bucks to me just to KNOW I got the subwoofer that was right for me. In my case I obviously fell in love with the Hsu. I like it more every time I hear it. Good luck. Either way you go, you will be happy. They are both awesome. Posted Image

#3 of 21 OFFLINE   Tom Vodhanel

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Posted May 01 2002 - 07:38 AM

I agree with Barry on one point...they both seem to offer good cost/performance ratiosPosted Image



I don't agree with the idea of turning off the rest of your speakers to figure out how *musical* the subwoofer is though. Most music bass is >45hz to begin with...and since the *pitch/sound* of the music is going to be completely dependent on the harmonics produced...(all things being equal)you would almost assuredly pick the subwoofer that is simply producing the most harmonics(harmonics are actually distortion in this context). So if you hit a 45hz *note*....harmonics at 90/135/180hz(ect) are going to play a HUGE role in how *musical* you consider the subwoofer to be. There doesn't need to be much difference here either. A simple one dB increase in the 180hz harmonic would almost ALWAYS have you picking the higher distortion as more *musical and sounding real*. Of COURSE it does...that is how a bass would sound if you hit the 45hz string in your hand(with all the associated harmonics of that string Posted Image ).



IMO---you would be much better served listening to the subwoofer with the rest of the system operating normally...you might find the missing distortion/harmonics from the subwoofer are picked up by the main speakers...and are being produced from the speaker they are supposed to be in the first place. And if you want to optimize the location/calibration/phasing of the subwoofer...you really have to have the rest of the speakers working normally.





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#4 of 21 OFFLINE   SVS-Ron

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Posted May 01 2002 - 08:44 AM

One other thing worth noting. Useful as Barry's experience may be to some folks, the question at hand (based on Todd's Subj. line) is one about the SVS PCi, which I don't believe Barry's ever heard, in comparison to the VTF-3. It's impossible to know if the amp channel Barry used was operating at its full rated power (about 250 watts I think) but it's well known that many amps do not (optimistic ratings are legend in the amp world, even among very expensive and high quality ones). The PCi on the other hand has been rigorously verified to produce a clean 320 watts RMS, and had literally hundreds of design tweaks by Tom and his resident techs (not to mention all of Indigo's engineering staff) optimizing the PCi amp for its enclosure. There should NOT be a substantial difference between the CS sub Barry listened to and a PCi (especially if it was operating in a very linear fashion at full rated power with low distortion), but we simply can't say his experience is completely representative of what a PCi buyer would have. Suffice it to say that when you control the entire design, as with the PCi, or even the CS with the Samson amps and interconnects we use, there is a much greater confidence that you are dealing with a known set of circumstances. Certainly this is not meant to discount Barry's subjective opinions about HIS CS subwoofer (since returned) or his amp, but a 20-39PCi is something of a different animal. The fact it's a full $200 less expensive than what might be a comparable Hsu product might well be a factor in the overall cost/performance equation too. We're working to get other reviews published on the 20-39PCi Todd, but this is a relatively long lead-time thing. In the mean time holler at us privately or publicly should you want any more detail from us. Ron

#5 of 21 OFFLINE   Martice

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Posted May 01 2002 - 09:18 AM

Jennifer Connelly or Katherine Zeta - Jones.

Take your pick Posted Image
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#6 of 21 OFFLINE   jeff lam

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Posted May 01 2002 - 09:20 AM

Considering the price difference, I would choose the PCi from what I have heard about both. If you have the money and absolutely want the better one, order both to try out for a month and keep the one you like best.

#7 of 21 OFFLINE   Sean D

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Posted May 01 2002 - 10:25 AM

I'm kind of torn now too after reading Barey's review. I was considering going with a dual 20-39cs+ with Samson s1000. I wonder how 2 VTF-3's would stack up?

#8 of 21 OFFLINE   Todd smith

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Posted May 01 2002 - 10:48 AM

It would be great to get a svs 20-39PCi HSU VTF-3 head to head review to see how the PCi compares.

#9 of 21 OFFLINE   Erik Fornander

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Posted May 01 2002 - 10:57 AM

[quote]

Jennifer Connelly or Katherine Zeta - Jones.

Take your pick Posted Image


[quote]


So you're saying I should put a VTF-3 and SVS to the left and right of me in the sofa with one arm around each? Posted Image



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#10 of 21 OFFLINE   Martice

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Posted May 01 2002 - 11:13 AM

[quote]

So you're saying I should put a VTF-3 and SVS to the left and right of me in the sofa with one arm around each?

[quote]



No I think both would require you to put 2 arms around them so you would have to make a choice. Unless of course you have more than two arms! Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
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#11 of 21 OFFLINE   Tom Vodhanel

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Posted May 01 2002 - 11:34 AM

>>>I'm kind of torn now too after reading Barey's review. I was considering going with a dual 20-39cs+ with Samson s1000. I wonder how 2 VTF-3's would stack up? <<<



If you planned on shutting down the whole HT except for the subwoofer to test how good it was...it wouldn't shock me even if a bose module was preferred because of the upper harmonics. For the reasons I outlined above...the higher in frequency the *subwoofer* is designed to play(relatively flat)...the more musical it is going to sound in this type of subwoofer *test*. The SVs have a natural rolloff in the upper bass(mainly >100-120hz). This is a design compromise that goes hand in hand with looking for the deepest/cleanest performance from a given enclosure.



If you comparing the two options from a *content* POV, the SVs would have 3x the port flow and double the amp power behind them. The vtf-3s would eliminate the need to find a space for a rack amp and if you stacked the 3s...they would take up a little less floor area. As mentioned...this would likely be akin to "Jennifer Connelly or Katherine Zeta - Jones"...I seriously doubt you would be unhappy with either one Posted Image



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#12 of 21 OFFLINE   Stacy Huff

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Posted May 01 2002 - 11:54 AM

I like Catherine Zeta Jones, but man oh man, I love Jennifer Connelly!!! I've been hooked on her since Career Opportunities.
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#13 of 21 OFFLINE   Martice

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Posted May 01 2002 - 11:55 AM

Tom since you're saying that you would be happy with either Kathrine or Jennifer, I have one question to ask you. How many arms do you have and are you a one arm or two arm kinda guy?



Posted Image Posted Image



I too prefer Jennifer but I've never gotten a chance to really measure her bottom end performance.
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#14 of 21 OFFLINE   Tom Vodhanel

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Posted May 01 2002 - 12:05 PM

From an *extension* POV...J-Lopez just takes it for me. Requiem for a Dream puts Connelly in some interesting situations....but Ryder's eyes....she would get some free subs for sure Posted Image





I'd also like to mention the PCi won't sound day/night different than the CS.(assuming the CS has a like powered amp with a like FR and a like XO section...) Having the ability to completely design the amp to be optimized with our subs has led to a some nice *tweaking* Posted Image...but to be honest...trying to maintain a flat(or even boosted) FR out to 150-200hz never occured to me.(I really never thought of someone turning off the rest of the system to see how much *pitch* our subs would produce in the bandwidth that the other speakers are supposed to handle)



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#15 of 21 OFFLINE   Sean D

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Posted May 01 2002 - 07:03 PM

[quote]100-120hz). This is a design compromise that goes hand in hand with looking for the deepest/cleanest performance from a given enclosure.

[quote]



Thanks for the reply Tom,

I currently have dual 20-39cs subs with the s700 amp. I am selling these only because I was given an offer I couldn't refuse Posted Image and my plan was to go with the 20-39cs+ /s1000 combo. I suppose that Barry's review has me me wondering what to do now. It would be interesting to hear the cs+ stacked up against the VTF-3. I live in Canada and it would be way too much hassle to send one or the other back.

Thanks again Tom, I guess I'll have to sleep on it. Posted Image



P.S. Apparently I don't quite know how to use the quote function....I tried to get your whole response. Posted Image

#16 of 21 OFFLINE   Tom Vodhanel

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Posted May 01 2002 - 07:07 PM

>>>Thanks for the reply Tom,

I currently have dual 20-39cs subs with the s700 amp. I am selling these only because I was given an offer I couldn't refuse and my plan was to go with the 20-39cs+ /s1000 combo. I suppose that Barey's has me me wondering what to do now. It would be interesting to hear the cs+ stacked up against the VTF-3. I live in Canada and it would be way too much hassle to send one or the other back.

Thanks again Tom, I guess I'll have to sleep on it.<<<



No problem, like I said...you won't be sorry with either option from the sound of thingsPosted Image I think Barry said he got a big discount on the vtf-3 at av123. I'd try them to see how they were willing to deal on it.





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#17 of 21 OFFLINE   Barry Barnes

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Posted May 02 2002 - 12:26 AM

[quote]

IMO---you would be much better served listening to the subwoofer with the rest of the system operating normally...you might find the missing distortion/harmonics from the subwoofer are picked up by the main speakers...and are being produced from the speaker they are supposed to be in the first place. And if you want to optimize the location/calibration/phasing of the subwoofer...you really have to have the rest of the speakers working normally.


[quote]



I suggest listening both ways. Once you get an idea of how a subwoofer actually plays bass you can more easily hear the strengths and weaknesses when full range music is being played. In our blind listening tests we tested both ways. Mains on and mains off. The Hsu was easily picked out each time as having the superior sound. Harmonics and optmization aside, the simple fact of the matter is there are really only four folks on the planet (that I know of) that have heard both subs side by side and we all picked the Hsu as the clear winner.



I really have been pulling my punches in the reviews and trying to be as kind as possible here, but it's getting less easy with every time I have to come back and re-clarify how the subs were tested... The brutal truth is that it was probably not a fair fight. I believe the Hsu has a much more expensive driver in it. Just a guess on my part to be sure, but it certainly acts and sounds like that might be the case.



I also don't think it's fair to make characterizations on how the Hsu sounds or might perform if you have never seen or heard one. It's simply not fair and I know both Tom and Ron have had a very big problem with people doing that very thing to their product. I think it's safe to say that using old VTF-2 data is going to be less than reliable and even if that were true, the only bottom line that matters is which one sounds the best? So far the only known humans on the planet, including two VERY big SVS fans, that have heard both in direct comparisons, have all given that honor to the Hsu. I honestly think even if Tom and Ron compared them in blind listening tests that they too would choose the Hsu. I think the Hsu simply won this round. Not to say SVS might not win the next one. I bought both and tested both. In point of fact, I was pulling for the SVS to win. The SVS wins most of the time, but in this case and in this comparison, It simply did not.

#18 of 21 OFFLINE   Tom Vodhanel

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Posted May 02 2002 - 07:05 AM

>>>The Hsu was easily picked out each time as having the superior sound. Harmonics and optmization aside, the simple fact of the matter is there are really only four folks on the planet (that I know of) that have heard both subs side by side and we all picked the Hsu as the clear winner.<<<





Well,I think the SVs mentioned in this thread were the 20-39PCi,and the 20-39CS+...and you have seen/heard neither one. You used a 20-39cs matched with your own spare amp channel. So the facts are...no one has compared these subs.





>>>I really have been pulling my punches in the reviews and trying to be as kind as possible here,<<<





I think may be the root of a of our disagreement then. Every time I attempt to put an objective flavor on some of the subjective *boing* comments(not even made by yourself)...you retract your current review and tell everyone the SVS performed worse,and then worse and then worse. If you would have just started out saying the SVS sounded like total crap to you...that would have actually been better then to see you alter your review for the worse on a daily basis. Let's face it...at the current rate of *review evolution* by you...the SVS will be crap in what 3-5 days? Posted Image







>>>I believe the Hsu has a much more expensive driver in it.<<<



It might, I thought the vtf-3 used the same *1202* driver in the TN series? If so, the opposite is likely true. I still think the differences could be traced back simple FR issues....esp >100hz.But just because I think that, you don't have to keep altering the SVS review again to makes things worse and worse to punish mePosted Image





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#19 of 21 OFFLINE   Sheldon C

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Posted May 02 2002 - 07:18 AM

Man this is getting ugly. To me it's a moot point since there is quite a difference in price between the subs. The true comparison will be between the pci plus and the HSU.Posted Image

#20 of 21 OFFLINE   Martice

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Posted May 02 2002 - 08:01 AM

I think a more valid comparison between subs would be the Dharman, 2039pci(or +) and the HSU VTF-3. For commercial offerings that would be very interesting but I wonder if numerical superiority really matters when comparing subs like these? I guess what it all comes down to is how you like the performance of the sub (sound & feel) and how much it cost to get it in your house. Would either of the above offerings leave the "average" HT fan wanting for more bass? I doubt it. As the reviewer said earlier in so many words 'listening to both of theses subs and comparing them is the only true way to see which one if any, is for you'. What if you didn't like either one? What would you do? Where would you go? Hmm.....
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