Help with additional Subwoofer decision

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by paul-F, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. paul-F

    paul-F Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2006
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have an HT system consisting of a Yamaha HTR5790 Rec
    a pair of Klipsch KG 5.5 Mains a KV-3 center B&W Solids for rears and an ADS MS3 Sub. I have a larger media room (23 x 23 )with cathedral ceiling. I use the system mainly for HT and sometimes music. The sound for music is fine but for HT I think I need a bigger Sub for really great sound/feeling on action movies.
    I have read a lot of opinions here on sub but don;t see any talk about many that look good as per the printed specs so thier must be more than meets the eye when comparing Subwoofers. Subs I am looking at are SVS PB12-IS, Outlaw LFM-1,HSU STF-3, Mirage S12 and two that I never see mentioned here the Sony SA WX900 and the Yamaha YST SW1500. I am trying to keep the price around $500 but it is not an absolute Number . I don't want to get carried away and spend $ 1000- $2000.
    As i want the extra low end for movies and may not use the additional Sub all the time I don't know if the extra money spent on some units like a Velodyne will be worth the bang for the buck!

    Any help with making this decision will be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
    Paul
     
  2. Tom Donaghue

    Tom Donaghue Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm not familiar with your ADS sub, however I can tell you that in that large a room, you may need a fairly sizable subwoofer. Depending upon your budget flexibility, I would suggest the following as a "Top 5" for price & performance combo:

    1. SVS 25-31 PCi tuned by SVS to 22hz ($549 + shipping)
    2. SVS 20-39 PCi ($599 + Shpping)
    3. SVS 25-31 PC-Plus tuned by SVS to 22hz ($775 + shipping)
    4. HSU VTF-3 MK 2 (699 + Shipping)
    5. HSU VTF-2 MK 2 ($499.00 + Shipping)

    The SVS cylinders are cheaper (so is shipping for them) than the ISD box subs, so if aesthetics or WAF isn't an issue, these are an excellent value. Their box subs are still very good values, but the cylinders are that much better. HSU's offerings are also excellent values, but for this size room, anything short of the VTF-3 might not be enough.

    All of these are excellent movie as well as musical performers. Tight, accurate, punch when called upon and plenty of solid boom when needed as well. SVS offers a 45 day money back guarantee and HSU offers a 30 day, so in-home trials are that much easier. Support and service are superior with these companies as well.

    I can personally vouch for the SVS 20-31 and 20-39 PCis, I have one myself and setup and configured another in mid sized rooms. If you haven't used or heard a higher end subwoofer or haven't for some time, these will more than fit the bill. As I mentioned earlier, I'm not familiar w/the ADS, but with one of these, you might not be needing that sub any longer! [​IMG]

    Good luck and have fun![​IMG] -TD
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    You left out the SVS PB-10, which is $429 and competes very well with the VTF-2, actually having better low end extension (didn't drop off until 16Hz in my room), but neither of them will cut it in a room that large. The STF-3 and VTF-2 both start to drop off around 25Hz, but they should both be great above that. If you want extension, you'll need to look at a VTF-3 or an SVS. I'd actually recommend you might need to look at something like the PB-12/2 ISD, but the cylinders should do well too.

    I haven't heard the S12, but it's numbers look pretty decent.

    You can drop the Sony and Yamaha off your list. They won't compare, that's why you don't hear them mentioned much.
     
  4. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2004
    Messages:
    568
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have a Hsu STF-3 in a 17x30 room with vaulted ceiling, and it works great.

    With the STF-3 you can plug one of the ports in a way similar to the VTF-3 and get better extension. Mine will hit 85dB at 16hz with one port plugged. You give up a little headroom by plugging the port, but with a max SPL at 25 hz of about 107dB you've got a little room to work with.

    Another option with the STF-3 is you can have Hsu modify the amp so that switch the tuning point of the sub from 25hz to 20hz so that it functions pretty much like the VTF-3. They charge $50 for this mod, but this brings you close to the price of the VTF-3.

    As far as sound is concerned which is really what's important it sounds great. It has an amazing amount of detail, and with movies it shakes the whole house. Its sounds funny but it plays loud but it doesn't sound loud just like a good set of speakers with good amplification. It's rockin the house and you know it's loud but it simply sounds amazing. IMO the STF-3 is a bargain and one of the best kept secrets out there.
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    I know what you're talking about mackie. The VTF-2 and PB-10 sounded loud when I had them, but my 15" produces more rumble without sounding loud, yet it is giving me more SPL almost across the range.
     
  6. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 1999
    Messages:
    2,568
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The ADS sub isn't giving you much below 25Hz. I would go with something that has 16Hz extension. If the lack of a crossover is not an issue for you, it is hard to beat the PB-10 for the money.
     
  7. paul-F

    paul-F Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2006
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It looks like the PB10 is very close in performance to the PB12 on the graphs.
    The Outlaw audio LFM-1 claims an SPL of 115db @ 25-180 but does not show a graph. Is this a real fact or just advertising Bull? and has anyone seen a test comparing thes Subs?
     
  8. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Messages:
    3,168
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Keeping in mind Paul's $$$ limit......

    I dunno-I'm no Sony fan boy but a sub that weighs 95lbs, uses a 1,000 watt amp and dual 12" long-excursion woofers ought to do something right. I finally was able to properly audition (correct room placement/xover point/etc) its little brother-the WX700 with dual 10" drivers-in a Circuit City 20' X 12' demo room and for a $220 piece of gear, IMO it did a very good job with my music (Stereolab's Dots and Loops and the Beastie Boys' Video Anthology*) and it had a respectable amount of boom-free subsonic rumble with Attack Of The Clones.

    I've never heard that Yamaha (it includes it's own remote-a very useful feature), but I think their other smaller subs sound good for their price.

    * I've been getting bitched at by some managers when I play a CD because then their $X,XXX monitor has no picture (a legit complaint...I guess), so lately I've also been using music dvds to demo speakers.
     
  9. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2004
    Messages:
    568
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Review of the LFM-1. It's quite impressive especially when you look at how it performs in a real world situation where a properly calibrated sub that's level matched with speakers evens out the max extension/ max SPL debate.

    http://www.audioholics.com/productre...lawLFM-1_1.php

    I was very close to buying the Outlaw instead of the STF due to the specks of both are similar and Dr. Hsu consulted with Outlaw on making the sub. I haven't seen measurements but many feel they perform similarly. I'd like to see a comparison. What made me choose the Hsu was the ability to plug a port to get greater extension and that I can add the upcoming Turbo for minimal cash.
     
  10. brendy

    brendy Agent

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I use 2 of the SA-WX700 with the HSU Ventriloquist VT-12 and my Onkyo 602 receiver.Using my Delos surround setup CD's I get usable response down to around 26hz in my room.Not bad for a pair of subs that cost less than $500.
     
  11. paul-F

    paul-F Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2006
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    What is the upcoming Turbo?
     
  12. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 1999
    Messages:
    2,568
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The Turbo is a port extension device that in very simple terms allows the performance of a sub in a much bigger cabinet without the much bigger cabinet.

    The majority of subs are ported (as opposed to sealed). Port physics are beyond me, but to make a vast simplication, more port area is better than less.

    The Turbo is a device that attaches to the rear ports of some Hsu subs and by adding perhaps 12 inches of port length to each of the two 4 inch ports (3HO), allows for significantly enhanced performance at the lowest frequencies and highest volumes.

    Here is what it looks like on the Hsu VTF-3HO

    http://www.hsuresearch.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1796

    Perhaps the engineers will chime in with a more scientific explanation of how it works etc.
     
  13. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John

    One PB-10 gave me usable 16Hz and it was also less than $500 shipped.

    I've also heard the PB-12, and the numbers don't quite show everything; the PB-12's larger driver yeilds a bit more rumble at the bottom (low 20s). It is also a bit larger than the PB-10.
     
  14. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Messages:
    3,168
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Here's what I was taught about this subject: a larger port outlet area reduces the chance of noise during high volume levels (sometimes called port "chuffing"). Flared port outlets also help reduce this effect.

    *Longer* ports (i.e. the tube behind the port itself) allow lower frequencies to be reproduced. The weight of the additional air mass inside allows this to happen (IIRC passive radiators are used for the same reason; and, there is no chance of chuffing).

    But if you want to use a larger port outlet, because of the laws of physics, the port length also has to be increased to maintain the same tuning frequency. This usually means the cabinet has to be made larger so the tube can physically fit inside.

    Since I'm always yacking about more budget priced gear, here are two examples of the above: The well-known Sony SA-WM500 subwoofer is ported and uses a rather small cabinet....but a large portion of its port actually extends out the rear of the cabinet to allow for an acceptably low tuning frequency. Using a smaller cabinet keeps costs down, important at this price point (the cabinet makes up a very large portion of any speaker's total price tag).

    On the other hand.........

    My ported Pioneer S-H253 bookshelf speakers w/8" woofer have a lower limit of 45Hz but (presumably) to keep the price down on these entry-level models, to get to that low frequency they use a very small port outlet coupled with a very short port tube length. When I first got them set up & while listening to them at high levels, sitting about six feet away from them, I suddenly felt small puffs of air on my arm. I walked up to them and put my hand over the port and WOW, the speaker was literally launching "air bullets" into the room! [​IMG] These speakers have a slightly boomy quality & now I could tell where some of that effect originated (they only cost $99/pair on sale, so I can't complain; and they are only being used for my rear channels until I can afford something better).

    In contrast, my Boston Acoustics CR9s which also use an 8" woofer in a ported cabinet, use a much larger port with a much larger flare than the Pioneer's (and the CR9s also use a flare on both ends of the tube); and the port tube is also much, much longer. They are rated down to 42Hz (+/-3dB scale). These speakers also can blow my posters around at high volume levels (the ports are rear-mounted), but I've never heard anything from them, even when I put my ear directly up to them.

    Like the Bostons, my ported Infinity SL30 center channel (actually a bookshelf speaker; rated down to 55Hz), also has never made any noise-it uses two ports but they are rather short & quite narrow. This model only uses a single 6.5" woofer but I'm guessing the use of two smaller ports has the same effect as using one very large/long port....? My knowledge base is fizzling out at this point so I'll shut up now. [​IMG]
     

Share This Page