Choosing a subwoofer when you can't hear them....

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Steven Larson, Apr 28, 2004.

  1. Steven Larson

    Steven Larson Stunt Coordinator

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    I am on a quest to complete my HT system. I have Polk RTi70 fronts, and a CSi40 from Nemos2 (thanks!). I will likely order some FXi30's from Crutchfield.

    I was almost set on buying an SVS 25-31 PC Plus sub, based on the recommendation of Ron at SVS.

    But then I started wondering, and have found good things about HSU and the Outlaw sub. Since I can't listen to any of them, how do you choose?

    I know a lot you love SVS, but $800 is a lot of money....but it sounds like it would be a heckuva sub.....

    Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated...

    Steve
     
  2. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I think it really depends on your needs. If you're only going to be listening to music, and none of that music is pipe organ, then you only need extension down to about 30Hz which you can get in a low-end Hsu with great sound quality. Now if you want good HT sound down to 20Hz and below you would have to get a Hsu that is closer in price to the SVS. For instance, if you compare the 25-31 to the VTF-3 you'd probably have fairly similar subs, but don't try to compare the STF-1 to the 25-31. I know nothing about the Outlaw, so I'll plead ignorance on that one.

    Bottom line: I think you'd be really happy with the SVS or with a Hsu of similar quality. Ask around to see if there are people in your area who would let you listen to their subs.
     
  3. John F. Palacio

    John F. Palacio Supporting Actor

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    It depends how important the low end is to you. If you really appreciate low, accurate, gut wrenching bass $800 is not an inordinate investment. If on the other hand, you believe bass is "nice" maybe $800 is a lot of mula.
     
  4. Dan Halchak

    Dan Halchak Stunt Coordinator

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    Set a price for yourself, find which subs will fit that price. That's where you start.

    Then you SHOULD be able to order all the subs you want and test them in your house. Heck, SVS has a 45 day return policy, if you don't like it you send it back, then your out a couple bucks (costs me $17 to ship my PC+20-39 back if I wanted to). I believe HSU has the same type of policy (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong), so you should worry about it tooo much.

    Or you can just take a blind faith leap, and when you get your (SVS, HSU, Outlaw), see if you really like it.

    I guarantee that you'll like any of those better than about 95% of the "retail store" brands. [​IMG]
     
  5. Bill Blank

    Bill Blank Stunt Coordinator

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    My SVS PC+2039 arrived yesterday. I, and I'm guessing most other SVS and HSU owners, would be happy to arrange an audition for potential customers.

    Someone here posted a link before to a site that specialized in just that. Members that were willing to open up their homes for demos registered their gear and potential customers contacted them via email to set up a time.

    Anyone know what that link was??

    As others have said, both companies have great reputations and both offer in-home trials, provided you pay return shipping. If I'm not mistaken the Outlaw is just a rebadged HSU.

    Bill
     
  6. Steven Larson

    Steven Larson Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks guys! I live in Eastern Washington State, so I feel a little out of the "loop" so to speak. I was almost on the edge of the "blind faith" thing and just ordering the 25-31 PC+, then started seeing the other subs for less money....and it gave me pause.

    Does anyone know if we have any members in eastern WA or northern Idaho with one of these subs?

    I currently have a basic Onkyo "entry level" 5.1 setup, and the sub is only rated to 150 watts. I haven't done anything to optimize the layout of it. My system is in transition right now... My living room is 13 x 19.5 feet, with a window on one side, and two exits into the kitchen on the other side. I do listen to a lot of music (rock, classical, etc) but also want an impressive HT system for movies....[​IMG]

    Steve
     
  7. WayneO

    WayneO Supporting Actor

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  8. Steven Larson

    Steven Larson Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I probably should have waited till I got home and checked out that website, but I just went ahead and took the plunge today and ordered the SVS PC+ 25-31....it should be sent out tomorrow....

    I can't wait....

    Thanks for the advice everyone....

    I will let you know what I think when I get it....

    Steve
     
  9. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    Steve:

    You made the right choice. The Outlaw LFM-1 is an STF-3 clone. The STF-3 matched up pretty well against the PB1-ISD in my shoot-out review, but ultimately lost the comparo because the SVS had better deep extension and a considerable advantage in clean (i.e., distortion-limited) output in the lowest octave.

    As good as the ISD woofer is, the dB-12 Plus woofer is noticeably more potent. It can outgun the ISD by 2-3 dB in the more common bass ranges, and below 30 Hz it walks away with a 5 dB (which is huge since the dB scale is log10 based) advantage in clean output.

    The PC+ line is such a good performance value, it's scary. Trust me on this count, the 25-31PC+ towers (pun intended) over the LFM-1 in the performance arena - not even close, not even in the same zip code. And considering the LFM-1 is a pretty damn good subwoofer, that's saying a LOT.
     
  10. Shane Morales

    Shane Morales Second Unit

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    It's a keeper! I bet that after a few minutes listening to it, and after saying "holy crap!", you'll know you won't be sending it back.
     
  11. Steven Larson

    Steven Larson Stunt Coordinator

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    According to UPS, it should be here next FRIDAY!! A whole week!! argh!

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Craig Chase

    Craig Chase Gear Guru
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    I am not sure why buying a subwoofer without hearing it is so hard... Look at how many guys review subwoofers without hearing them !
     
  13. Joey_V

    Joey_V Second Unit

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    dude... i have the 25-31PC+... it is nuts! u cant mess with its musicality and its accuracy. this thing is able to blend perfectly with my axiom m22s and can pound beyond the room's structural limits when watching a movie!!

    worth 800$... oh yeah!!! worth 1200? oh yeah!! worth 1600? oh yeah! (that is if u dont count the other svs subs)

    performance-wise... u would be hard pressed to find an equal outside svs, especially at such a low price.

    of course i got mine for 580 so i couldnt be happier!

    good luck on yours! calibrate it, set the right crossover, and position the sub well.... then u are good to go!! [​IMG]
     
  14. Steven Larson

    Steven Larson Stunt Coordinator

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    Holy Crap, Dudes!!! I received the SVS PC+ 25-31 today, came home, hooked it up, and didn't even wait to calibrate it, just put it in the corner, and fired up The Haunting (DTS), Phantom Menace (pod race) and a few others.....

    All I have to say is WOW....!!! Just the knocking and the crashing at the doors in the Haunting about scared the crap out of me.....This sub is amazing, and I can only imagine what it will be like after I get it calibrated....definitely worth the bucks.....[​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  15. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    All I have to say is WOW....!!! Just the knocking and the crashing at the doors in the Haunting about scared the crap out of me.....This sub is amazing, and I can only imagine what it will be like after I get it calibrated....definitely worth the bucks.....
    __________________________________________________ _________

    Good decision Steven. Now your in the bass that you will never tire of. The characteristics of the 25-31PC+ are like a fine bottle of champaign mixed with a stout bottle of Kentucky. Smooth but down-right menacing when called upon. [​IMG]

    Congrats
     

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