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HSU STF-2 or 2 Sony wm500

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Nathan Bjork, May 17, 2004.

  1. Nathan Bjork

    Nathan Bjork Stunt Coordinator

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    I just got $400 for my b-day and I need a little ore bass in my room. I already have a Sony WM500 (12", 150watt), and it seems to struggle when I the bass that I need. So I can upgrade and I dont know what to do. Add another WM500 for only $99 or get one HSU STF-2 (10", 200watt) and replace or add to my 1 wm500.

    So what should I do? Is there another sub anybody can recommend for $400-$450 (shipped) that is better than the HSU?

    Thanks
     
  2. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    JBL S120PII or Velo CHT-15 - either will pound far harder than your above two choices, and the JBL is under $400 on line.
     
  3. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Edward...have you heard those two subs?

    Nathan, How big is your room?

    Read through this entire thread on AVS.

    In it there is a comparison of the CHT-12 and STF-2. The person was able to compare both and went with the STF-2

    The CHT-15 is also mentioned, and does not seem to be able to reach as low as the 10" Hsus....although does have higher output at higher frequencies.

    It is a good read.
     
  4. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    Hi Curtis:

    Yes - the JBL at BB and the Velo at CC. Both can definitely pound out the SPL, in fact the JBL actually matched the clean 32 Hz output of the CHT-15 in Nousaine's test, which is pretty remarkable.

    Nathan was looking for a lot more SPL than his Sony can deliver. Both of the choices I recommended will play far louder than either the STF-2 or his current Sony.

    If he had worded the question differently, I would have answered it differently. Hsu designed the STF-2 for SQ first and output second; it's simply not an SPL champ and if Nathan wants clean power and slam he would do well with the two choices I listed.

    In the 22-25 Hz region, it would take three STF-2's to match the clean output of one STF-3, and it also doesn't dig as deep as the STF-3, despite having the same rated extension. When viewed in that light, the extra $200 for the STF-3 is suddenly a downright bargain.
     
  5. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    How did they sound?

    According to TN's test, the CHT-15 is only significantly louder between 50-62hz, and can not extend nearly as low as the VTF-2 in max ext mode (which is essentially what a STF-2 is). The VTF-2 tested louder from 25-50hz.

    http://members.cox.net/frankcarter/T...Sub%20Data.htm

    Now throw in the better sound quality....
     
  6. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    Without an extended in-house demo, hard to draw firm conclusions against my reference standards.

    For sure, both can play loud/clean and hit hard in the >30 Hz region on HT tracks, which it seemed to me would well satisfy Nathan's needs.

    If you are trying (in a round about way) to solicit my opinion on the SQ of the STF-2, I've said it before and I'll say it again - it sounds great at moderate playback levels, especially for music. On aggressive HT source material (where the LFE channel is boosted 10 dB, etc.), the STF-2 reaches its clean limits quickly, starts to noticeably compress, and is all too easy to bottom out. It is simply not my first recommendation in the $400 price class if someone like Nathan is looking for more slam than a 12" Sony can deliver.
     
  7. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Edward,

    You have a constant claim that the STF-2 will not suffice for HT needs, yet you recommend the CHT-15. Now looking at the numbers, the CHT-15 has hardly a difference in overall output compared to the VTF-2 in max extension mode. In fact the Hsu has higher output from 20-50hz.

    You even recommend the JBL which is even farther down the list in terms of output.

    In overall performance, these two can not match the Hsu.

    If your recommendations suffice...why wouldn't the Hsu?
     
  8. Matt_Smi

    Matt_Smi Second Unit

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    As an owner of an STF-2 and the pervious owner of a Sony SA-WM40 (the older model of the one you have). I can say that you will be much happier with the HSU over another Sony. The Sony could not go nearly as low as the HSU can, and it could not play as tight accurate and clean as the HSU, not to mention it was much too boomy for HT use. As for the Velodyne and JBL mentioned in this thread I cannot comment as I have never heard them. I was considering the Velo CHT-15, but ruled it out because I could only find it for $400 online, and I did not want to order a subwoofer online, pay for shipping and deal with the hassle of a refund if it was damaged. The HSU more than suffices for my HT needs, I have pushed it pretty hard at loud volumes with the level of the sub between 11 and 11 o clock and I have yet to get it to sound too boomy or bottom out. It will start to distort if the level is up to high and you play a movie at very loud volumes. But for my listening habits it seems to be fine. One word of caution though, if you are used to boomy non-accurate bass it takes to time to adjust to clean bass. I was at first a bit dissatisfied with my HSU, but now I am starting to like it more and more.
     
  9. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    Don't mean to spend your $$ Nathan but if you could hold out just a little longer you could pick up a http://www.svsubwoofers.com/subs_pb1_isd.htm and be in real good shape or a higher end HSU? It would be a longer lasting decision and save in the long run. Maybe you have considered and its a no go? Please forgive then if this is the case?

    The CHT Ed speaks of is a slammer in the higher hz range if thats what your looking for. It has a limiter which enables you to play at what ever level you decide and will not bottom out. You might find that a benefit? It will not have the high SPL in the lower freqs but is very capable in its boundaries. I used to run a couple of them.

    Good luck
     
  10. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    Hi Curtis:

    I have never heard nor tested the VTF-2. Maybe it uses a far more capable woofer than the STF-2. Nousaine's numbers for the VTF-2 would certainly seem to suggest that.

    Before claiming the STF-2 is the performance equal of the VTF-2 in ME mode, it would probably be prudent to prove it under controlled conditions.

    Regards,

    Ed
     
  11. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Edward,

    Lets be fair about this, you compare subs from companies, as well as claim ones to be better or equal to subs from the same company without having controlled measurements.

    The STF-2's driver is virtually identical to the VTF-2's driver. The VTF-2 that Nousaine tested was about 4-5 years old, and the current 10 inch driver is superior to that older driver. Also, the STF-2 has more RMS and peak power than that older VTF-2. So really, it should be even more capable than TN's numbers suggest.
     
  12. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Sorry Edward, but among the several "cheap" subs I've played with over the last year or so there happened to be a 12" Sony. It was easily buried by the STF-2 both in impact and accuracy.

    I don't know what your standards for HT source material are, but my STF-2 will produce 108db on the RS meter when playing the Darla tank tap scene in Nemo at reference level with no hint of distress, measured 13 feet away from the sub.

    There was a thread over at AVS regarding some defective STF-2s that got shipped around last January--bad driver seals causing air leaks. Perhaps the sample you tested was one of these as I can't imagine any other reason why you reached the conclusions you did with this sub.
     
  13. Matt_Smi

    Matt_Smi Second Unit

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    I would have to agree, for $350 at CompUSA I cannot see why he would not recommend this sub. BTW I rented finding Nemo today just to make sure I do not have an air leak on my STF-2. Even though I e-mailed HSU giving them my serial number, and they responded telling me that mine was made after the problem was corrected, I just wanted to make double sure it was fine before my two week return period is up. I played the fish tank tap scene pretty loud with the gain of my sub at around 10:30 (it’s not calibrated though) and it was pretty impressive. I also did not hear any strange sounds, so I am pretty sure that I don’t have an air leak, as I have heard that it would be obvious. The sub was not showing signs of distorting at all, I was just getting deep and still tight clean bass even on this very demanding scene.
     
  14. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    I pulled the driver and it had the woofer gasket and it wasn't leaking air. There was nothing wrong with the subwoofer; it is simply a matter of physics - a 10" woofer with an 8 mm clean excursion can only move so much air. The 12" unit in the STF-3 can (with an 18 mm xMax) move about 3X the amount of air the 10" unit can and represents a much better value IMO.

    Here's the clean output (10% THD) figures I got from the PB1-ISD, the STF-3, and the STF-2, all tested under the same conditions:

    Hz / PB1-ISD / STF-3 / STF-2 (all 1 meter near-field corner loaded)

    20 94.6 87.7 78.2
    22 103.3 100.6 92.8
    25 110.3 108.7 100.2
    30 119.7 118.1 114.5

    No surprises here at all. In the 20-25 Hz region, it is about 8 dB down on its bigger brother the STF-3. At 30 Hz, it closes the gap considerably and gets to within 4 dB of the larger driver unit. This performance is exactly what one would expect given the relative differences in driver area, excursion, internal volume, and amplifier power. In the 20-25 Hz region, it would require three STF-2's to match a single STF-3, and above 30 Hz you'd still need two STF-2's. The STF-3 is a bargain when viewed in that light.

    It's also clear viewing the above numbers that my subjective impressions of the STF-2 being able to deliver clean bass peaks of 95 dB at the seat, with noticeable compression at 100 dB makes perfect sense; it is hitting 10%+ THD @ 100 dB @ 25 Hz @ 1 meter. At 10% THD, the suspension stiffness is about 4X that of resting, BL has fallen to 70% (you are about at xMax), and noticeable dynamic compression can start set in above that point.

    Regardless, the only way to determine if the STF-2 and the VTF-2 in ME mode are equal performers is to get them in the same room and hash it out. Until then, I don't think it's wise to conclusively state the two will perform equally.

    If I can ever get my hands on a CHT-15 or a S120PII, I'll run the numbers and see how they stack up under the same conditions against the numbers I measured for the STF-2; it's the only way to be absolutely sure.

    Until then, the STF-2 remains a solid choice in the $400 category for overall FR and extension, with the caveat it should not be expected to deliver huge SPL at the seat and it will bottom out if pushed much above 105 dB in most moderate size rooms.

    If the consumer wants more oomph and resistance to bottoming under aggressive HT playback conditions - at the expense of a loss in deep extension below 30 Hz - the CHT-15 is hard to beat; it really can move some serious air >30 Hz and is damn near impossible to bottom even when pushed very hard. There is no substitute for cubic inches and that 15" woofer is a big honkin' unit that can waffle your pants when called upon.

    Regards,

    Ed
     
  15. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Edward,

    This is the issue I have: You are a champion for SVS and you often compare one SVS sub to another SVS sub stating their equality or inequality, without ever having them in the "same room" to "hash it out". But here, I have done it with Hsu subs and you write you do not think it is wise.

    In fact, there is another current thread where you implied similar performance of subs from the same company without testing.

    No need to bring up testing and the numbers you came up with on other products, just allow folks the same liberties that you take.

    Hsu Research has stated that the perfomance of the STF-2 is almost exactly like that of a VTF-2 in ME mode.
     
  16. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    Fair enough, Curtis.

    That would mean the STF-2 should be capable of pulling 93 dB @ 20 Hz @ 2 meters @ 10% THD in a 7,500 ft3 room. I'd be interested to see if TN can duplicate those numbers with the STF-2. If he can, you stand vindicated; if he can't, well...[​IMG]
     
  17. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Thanks Edward.

    There are quite a few subwoofers that TN still needs to test. [​IMG]

    For now, we can look at the designs of STF-2 vs VTF-2 ME: virtually identical drivers, 50 watt difference in power, identical port area and length, virtually identical box size.
     
  18. Nathan Bjork

    Nathan Bjork Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow, thanks everyone for the reply's. I considered saving for a SVS, but $600 is $200 more than what I have. Im in a 10x10 room, btw. I will do some reseach on the other subs that all of you have listed, then I will see what I want.

    Thanks again

    -Nathan
     
  19. Nathan Bjork

    Nathan Bjork Stunt Coordinator

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    I was wodering where I can find the Velo CHT-15 for a decent price. I dont no where to start looking. Also is there any place I can demo the Velo (major stores)? I see the CHT-10 at CC for $299. Can the CHT-15 be found for $400?
     
  20. Nathan Bjork

    Nathan Bjork Stunt Coordinator

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    Good news, I got $100 extra for my b-day and im selling some gaming stuff so it looks like im getting an SVS 25-31! Any things i should know before I order it?
     

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