A question for the subwoofer experts

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Saurav, Feb 17, 2002.

  1. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Hi,

    This might seem silly, but I thought I'd ask anyway. For $400, the Adire Rava seems to be the current obvious subwoofer of choice, especially for a music-only application in a smallish/medium sized room.

    My question is, how does the Rava compare to what $400 can buy on the used market? For instance, the M&K V125 - there are a couple on Audiogon for around $400. AFAIK, this lists for around $900. So, common sense says that this should be a much better sub than the Rava. However, it has a 12" driver (is the Rava 12" or 10"?) and as far as I can tell, is ported. So, potentially, the Rava might sound "tighter" or "faster" or whatever the technically accurate term is. Of course, I do realize that sealed vs. ported means little by itself, and the implementation of the design has as much to do with the basic principle used.

    Anyway... opinions? And anything else in that price range that would make a good sub for music? It needs to fill in from about 50 Hz on down, and I don't need pipe organ bass.

    Thanks,

    Saurav
     
  2. Robert Lovejoy

    Robert Lovejoy Stunt Coordinator

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    From what I've read, Rava is a first rate musical sub and should be perfect for your needs. I need a sub that excels in both music and HT so I'm torn between Adire's Dharman, Hsu's 1225 250 watter, or one of the new upcoming subs due out from SVS momentarily. The first two run $200 more than Ravam but I suspect the new SVS subs may be well worth the wait!
     
  3. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

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    Saurav, most of those other subwoofers which are considered to be "musical" are much more expensive than the Rava, correct? Anyway, there is always something reassuring about purchasing new. Maybe you could try to find someone who lives relatively close by, and try to audition the Rava there.

    Robert, also look at the Mirage BPS-400 (list $1300) which can be had at some Tweeter stores for $800 right now.
     
  4. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Yes, if I were to buy them new, they'd be much more expensive than the Rava. And I agree, there is something to be said for buying a new product with warranty, but right now I'm trying to see what $400 will get me, new or used. Since I don't have any woodworking tools or skills, all the DIY options around that price point seem to be equivalent in quality to the Rava, and maybe even a little inferior.
     
  5. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Saurav,

    The Rava uses Adire's Shiva, which is a 12" driver. It's true that for $400 you could meet or excede the Rava with a DIY sub depending on what type of finish you want. It would be pretty close price wise though. The reason is that you can buy the exact same amp and driver used in the Rava from Adire but you're paying a much higher price for both than what Dan Wiggins is paying on a per unit basis. So he makes a decent profit by both selling to the DIY crowd and by selling a finished product to the rest of the folks out there.

    Brian
     
  6. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Brian,

    Thanks, that confirms my research on my DIY options, especially since I'll have to ask someone to build a cabinet for me.

    Do you have any opinions on used subs in that price range? Specifically, the M&K V125, which I happened to notice being offered for sale at a similar price?
     
  7. Steve Stogel

    Steve Stogel Supporting Actor

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    I went the used SVS route ($250 for a 25-31CS w/ 22Hz tuning). It basically has none of the upgrades (new driver or birch endcaps), but it is absolutely awesome. So figure on $300 for the sub, and that leaves another $100 or so for an inexpensive amp (which is all these guys need). There's your $400 subwoofer, and it will sub with the best most of the best out there [​IMG]. So, even with just $400, I'd keep my eye out for a used SVS. With the Pluses grabbing everyone's attetion, the CS is a great budget buy right now, IMO.
    Steve
     
  8. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Saurav,

    Nope. Sorry I don't have any real opinion on subs new or used as I'm totally out of touch with "retail" subs these days. I'm strictly a DIY'er when it comes to subs and look for really high quality kits for main speakers.

    If I weren't doing the DIY thing I'd be inclined to buy from the online manufacturers such as ACI, Adire, SVS, etc. I'd think if you're looking for used one of these manufacturers would be a great way to go. But used will probably be very hard to find for these folks.

    Brian

    P.S. If I were to buy a Rava it would have to be with the piano black finish. I just think that the whole red oak veneer with red oak hardwood corners is horrid. But as they say, different strokes...
     
  9. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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    Brian,
    "If I weren't doing the DIY thing I'd be inclined to buy from the online manufacturers such as ACI, Adire, SVS, etc."
    Well, the ACI Titan II LE and the SVS CS-Ultra made my final list of two. Talk about completely different subwoofer designs! I have been meaning to ask you over at SMR about these two subs, but I gather from your comments that you are only casually aware of them, is that right?
    We currently have opted for two Titan II LEs, but with a four week wait to get them built, we can (and may) still may choose the CS-Ultra. I wish I could have the Titan II LE's ease of integration for music, and the CS-Ultra's high SPL output for movies, all in a downfiring sub. No one said that "sub life" was easy! [​IMG]
    Michael
     
  10. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Well, SVS is out, purely from size considerations. I did look into NHT's passive subs, I've heard good things about them in the past.

    Brian, thanks for your help.
     
  11. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Michael,

    A friend of mine has built an entire ACI system from kits (I helped build the Jags!) based on my recommendation. A Titan II was used as the subwoofer. I wish I could tell you more about it but have never actually heard it in action. He lives about an hour from me so I haven't been able to audition it yet. Every time I've been in town he's been off somewhere. I'll hook up with him soon to check out the entire system and help him calibrate it.

    I can tell you that the driver is very nice though, as both of my subs are built around ACI's SV12. Both of my enclosures are about double the size of a Titan sub. I really like low Q sealed subs for music and HT but it's hard to deny the output of a ported sub. I'm still going to build a monster 18" either sealed with a lot of EQ down low and a huge amp or use the same driver with PR's.

    Saurav,

    Unless the NHT sub has a newer driver than their old NHT 1259 driver then I think you could do much better. If you're looking for a passive sub you could have one custom built easily for $400 (probably less). It's just a matter of whether or not you can handle close to a 24" ported cube for a cabinet. A sealed enclosure like the NHT's could be done even cheaper.

    Brian
     
  12. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Well, I don't know too much about subwoofers. Do I need a 24" ported cabinet for playing music in a 20'x15' room? My guess would be that I don't.

    I think the Rava fits my bill perfectly, in terms of size, flexibility and cost. I'm just trying to see if there's anything else out there, probably in the used market, that would fit my application better.
     
  13. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Saurav,

    You are correct. For a music system a ported sub tuned low may not be necessary unless you listen to organ music or the 1812 Overture's cannon shots.

    The Rava is a heck of a deal and would definitely be hard to beat for such an application. Even if the NHT was half the price I'd still pick the Rava for it's superior driver.

    Brian
     
  14. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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  15. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Thanks. I appreciate you taking the time.
     
  16. mike_decock

    mike_decock Supporting Actor

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    Hey Saurav,

    Did you end up getting the Rava? If so, how does it integrate with the Paradox 1s and what crossover frequency did you use?

    -Mike...
     
  17. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Actually, I didn't. It's weird seeing this thread resurrected [​IMG] Someone offered to give me their DIY subwoofer, which was an NHT 1259 (a pretty well-respected driver, from what I've read) in a sealed enclosure, so I took it. It works well enough for me - the thing is heavy, he built is using 1.5" MDF! Getting it up the stairs wasn't fun.
    Crossover - I ended up with a pretty funky crossover. I got an SPL meter and measured my speakers themselves, then the sub by itself (powered by a regular Parts Express plate amp, crossover wide open). My speakers actually start to drop around 60-Hz, and my room has a big hump around 35-40 Hz. I experimented a bit, and finally ended up with a 4th order crossover at around 70Hz, cascaded with the plate amp's 2nd order crossover at around ... I think 50'ish. So the effective crossover is a 6th order with two corner frequencies [​IMG] It worked out pretty good though, I think I have it down to a 5 or 6B range from 200Hz down to around 30Hz, which is good enough for me. I can't hear the subwoofer as a separate sound from the speakers, but I can tell when it's switched off because something's missing. It's a little boomy in other rooms or in the corners of my living room, but it's fine at the couch.
    That was pretty rambling... hope that helps.
     
  18. John F. Palacio

    John F. Palacio Supporting Actor

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    Saurav says: "and as far as I can tell, is ported. So, potentially, the Rava might sound "tighter" or "faster" or whatever the technically accurate term is.

    Ported, sealed or whatever has NO BEARING on a subs sound.

    Neither does driver size. Although a larger cone area can seemingly move more air, it is all relative to the excursion of the driver.
     
  19. mike_decock

    mike_decock Supporting Actor

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