best small sized sub?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by David Lach, Jan 20, 2003.

  1. David Lach

    David Lach Auditioning

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    Hi all
    I just bought a very nice set of 5 Paradigm speakers (Monitor 5 for fronts, ADP-370 for surrounds and CC-370 for center). The thing is that I'm currently looking for a small sub to complement those nice speakers. I never bought a subwoofer before and don't know where to look (Polk, Paradigm, Def Tech, Klipsch, B&W...)

    However, I have some specific things I'm looking for. I'm living in a small apartment and don't want to be murdered by my neighbors or find a cheap and fun way to get the wallpaper come off the walls.

    1) I want a sub that is musical (tight, uncolored and well defined bass, not boomy, fast (especially for fast paced music). The reason is that I will use this sub for both HT and music (in a 50/50 ratio).

    2) Auto on/off

    3) RCA plug for use with the sub out of my Sony STR-DE885 receiver.

    4) Enough adjustments to shape the sound as pleased

    5) 10" (this is to keep the size small and limit the headaches of the neighbors)

    6) Magnetically shielded (the sub will probably go in a specially designed place bellow the TV)

    7) Not too big in size unless there is no way to get good sound from small subs. (ideally no more than 17" in height and width... the depth isn't important).

    8) Unless there's a reason not to, the sub should be front firing, again to keep good relationships with the people surrounding me. Also like I said the sub will be directly bellow the TV.

    Finally I should point that price is not a factor here. I just spent $3000 for my HT components so I'm not gonna start being cheap in the last step of the process.

    What I would like is people to help me narrowing the choices down to 4 or 5 good brands/models that would both suit my needs and complement transparently my Paradigm Monitor series speakers. Of course the logical choice would be to go right to Paradigm's PS1000 but I really wonder if this is the best way to go for a musical sub. Again what matters is only quality... I'm not shoping for a new toy with enough power to kill birds or cook food here [​IMG]

    So feel free to throw some names in there and sorry for the long post but I've never been good to summarize my thoughts. [​IMG]

    Thanks!
     
  2. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I’m not sure how many subs are shielded, but the Adire Rava would probably fit your requirements (except for the shielding).

    You might want to consider having someone do a custom job.
     
  3. John Spicer

    John Spicer Agent

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    Hmm, I would personally disassocaite size with loudness. I would suggest SVS. Many of the disqualifying factors seemed to stem from neighbors. Id say get the SVS and turn it down [​IMG]
     
  4. William_Morr

    William_Morr Extra

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    I recommend you research the M&K VX-100 and MX-700 subs. They are small but load a room most effectively. I have the VX-100 and I'm very happy with it. With any small sub, placement will play a large role in getting good response. There's a review of the VX-100 posted at the M&K website, www.mksound.com
     
  5. Joe Wilmore

    Joe Wilmore Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't know how much you want to spend, but Von Schweikert is coming out with the VR sub. It goes clean to 20 hz, and supposedly is very musical. It is a 10" driver made for Von Schweikert only. He told me the price would be around $1500.00. From what he told me over the phone, I am considering selling my SVS, and trying one. I also can't tell you how nice it was to call out of the blue, and speak to Albert himself. The man is brilliant.
     
  6. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I have a Definitive ProSub 100. It's ver small, relatively inexpensive and sounds good. I've had a big dual SVS setup in my house, as well as a single SVS, brought for demos by people who came to HT meets at my house and I'm not left wanting. I've very happy with my little Definitive and would recommend it.
     
  7. David Lach

    David Lach Auditioning

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    Thanks for all the inputs. I've never heard of the VR sub. $1500 seems a bit pricey to me... However, I would not disregard it if it were the only one able to give me the sound I'm looking for. The tricky part is knowing if the sub I'm going to choose will blend well with my Paradigms.
     
  8. Tim Morton

    Tim Morton Stunt Coordinator

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    You might want to "borrow" a sub and play it in your appt for a week or 2 at levels a bit louder than you would intend on playing it. Nothing would piss me off more than to pop for a nice sub and before the first CC payment was do i get a knock on the door from some crazy lady who claims my sub is knocking dishes off her walls. This is what happened to my brother who bought a condo and the first month he was in he had this happen to him. He had to look at his sub for almost 2 years unplugged before he sold the condo and moved into a new house. Food for thought.
     
  9. David Lach

    David Lach Auditioning

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    Tim, those are words of wisdom [​IMG]

    This is the exact situation I'm trying to avoid. It does sound like like a must to at least find a store that will let me return it if that kind of situation would ever happen. I will not move in a house any time soon so I'll have to make compromises...
     
  10. Bri~A

    Bri~A Agent

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    Sunfire subs are relatively small and have gotten good performance reviews in general. Two possible problems with these though...first, they are not front firing (they are dual driver side firing). Second, I have read some reviews and the one complaint about the sunfires I have read is that they are too loud for apartment dwellers (such as myself) and tend to cause neighbor complaints[​IMG] Good luck in your search. Report back and let us know what you decide on.
     
  11. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    The best small sub I'm aware of would be an Adire Tumult in a 16" cube with an LT circuit and a 1.6kW proamp. Still wouldn't be using the drivers full protential, but you could expect performance pretty similar to an HGS18 but with better sound quality. Eitehr build it yourself or get it costum build for you (Acoustic Visions or Rutledge Audio). I know Brian hates it when I do this, but rough guess on cost would be $1500-$2000 (less of course if you build it yourself, go cheap on the finish and find a good deal on a used amp).
     
  12. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    David,

    I don't know if Widescreen Review's Subwoofer Buyers Guide means anything to you, but the M&K MX-700 and 3 other subs were the only subs out of 50 reviewed that received excellant ratings in 6 categories of music and tonal qualities. Tonal Definition, Overhang, Rythum and Pace, Midrange Coloration, Box Integrity, Distortion.

    The other 3 subs were Linn and Vandersteen models, much larger sized subs and more expensive.

    List price on the MX-700 used to be $1395 in black and $1450 in white.
     
  13. David Lach

    David Lach Auditioning

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    Bruce, I was considering the MX-700 and also its little brother VX-100. I've heard very good things about those subs, both on HT and music config. Plus they're magnetically shielded, which is a big plus considering I'm going to put it about 2-3 inches bellow the TV. The problem is that I don't think they have the auto ON/OFF feature and I cannot see myself turning it on and off manually every time I use my system. This would be a very good choice if I could find a work around for that problem. I really want it to shut off automatically...

    Right now I'm considering the Adire Rava / ACI Force / Paradigm PDR-12 / Paradigm PS1000 / Def Tech ProSub 100 / Polk PSW404 / B&W ASW675 / Klipsch RSW-10 / M&K (if I can find a work around for the auto ON/OFF problem)

    I know these subs are pretty different but they are all potential candidates until I actually hear them. This is based on the reviews and feedbacks I got.
     
  14. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Dustin,

    Your rough guesses are getting better! [​IMG]
     
  15. Dave Getson

    Dave Getson Stunt Coordinator

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    I enjoy my Mirage FRx-10 sub. It sounds quite good with music and great for HT! I've had it LOUD watching big bass movies (LOTR and The Haunting, etc) and so far it's done me quite well. I live in a duplex and my neighbours said they're pictures fell off the wall once. Not bad considering it was through a cement firewall, and my sub is on the opposite side of the room! They didn't even ask me to turn it down, they just laughed. I love my neighbours [​IMG]

    I'll have an SVS when I upgrade though.
     
  16. William_Morr

    William_Morr Extra

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    David,

    You're correct about the M&Ks not shutting off. However, you should be able to get a power switching powerstrip for it or just leave it on. My VX-100 is on all the time. I didn't see a difference in my electric bill and the electronics don't suffer from being powered all the time. The magnetic shielding is a plus.
     
  17. Tim Ranger

    Tim Ranger Stunt Coordinator

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    For my money, you can't beat ACI subs. I own a Titan II LE and have had extensive use of a friend's Force. They both excel at making music. I auditioned and home demoed a crap load of subs over a year plus period. I could not live with most of them. Many could play loudly enough and go deep enough, but you could always hear them as a separate addition. The ACI subs blend seamlessly into the soundstage. Some other things about them I like:
    -The company is awesome. They have the best warranty in the industry, not just the money-back part, but the total committment to happy customers. If you have any problems in the first year, they take care of it including all shipping charges! Total warranty 5 years.
    - The subs are extremely well built. Heavy, solid, attractive.
    - They are designed to be "always on" no annoying on and off stuff. I've been told that they draw about as much current as a night lite at idle.
    - The Force is really a pleasant surprise. I figured it would sound good. What amazes me is that it also plays nearly as powerfully as the Titan. At the price and size, it is a little killer.
     
  18. John F. Palacio

    John F. Palacio Supporting Actor

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  19. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    David,

    I think you should re-think the auto-on-off feature.

    Realize it's a much easier point of failure, and many have expressed problems with this feature on the HT forums over the years. By that I mean the sub going to auto-off while watching a movie because of no activity as an example.

    The idle mode of most subs is so small as to not matter with respect to electricity. If you insist on turning the sub off, then get a power strip, even one with a 12 volt trigger and use the processor's 12 volt trigger to turn the power strip on/off and thus your sub also.
     
  20. Dale Ridgeway

    Dale Ridgeway Stunt Coordinator

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    hi david,
    I had my def-tec prosub 100 in my apartment for a year in a half and I loved it. In a small yo average living room it was simply overpowering and it went very low for a sub its size /price. However, we have moved into a new home and now the sub falls a little short. although I guess having twice the area along with 13 foot ceilings will do that to a sub. [​IMG] While it still sounds very nice, it no longer has that kick-you-in-the-chest feeling it had in our apartment.
    Im scratching and pinching pennies to take the SVS plunge. Hopefully my prosub will find a new home. I can highly recomend this sub to others.
     

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