HSU VTF-2 or SVS 25-31PC..please help.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ed_A, Dec 20, 2001.

  1. Ed_A

    Ed_A Stunt Coordinator

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    Please help me choose. If you have auditioned either or both I would love to hear from you. I'm debating between these two subs. The room is 18x13 and it's primarily for HT. It will be matched with Paradigm Mini Monitors and the CC370.
    The HSU is $500 and the SVS is $670. The cost difference would be nice to save going with HSU but I don't mind spending more knowing I'm getting the better performing of the two. [​IMG]
    But the SVS price is my ceiling for a subwoofer budget.
    I'm not locked into these two but I have read so much positive feedback regarding these two subs that I thought they would be good choices.
    Thanks for your help,
    Ed
     
  2. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Hi Ed,
    All I can speak of directly is the Hsu. It is, in my opinion, an amazing sub. I just love it. But, and here is the big "But", I hear even greater things about the SVS. My Hsu is in my master bedroom and cranks out plenty of quality for the space therein. And, I do mean plenty. It is a real room shaker. If, however, I was going to get something for my living room, I would probably look toward the SVS. Both are considered excellent by most, so I don't figure you could go wrong with either. Sorry I couldn't be of more help, but I haven't, as yet, heard the SVS personally. [​IMG]
     
  3. Barry BB

    Barry BB Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a VTF-2. I bought my entire theater system (speakers, woofer, TV, receiver) all at once so cost was an issue for me. Since I bought everything from the same dealer I was able to get my VTF-2 for $425 so there was an over $200 difference for me between the VTF-2 and SVS. It is excellent for the money. But if I could have afforded it I would have gone with an SVS. You can't go wrong with the VTF-2 but if you can spend the extra money there is no question that you should get the SVS.
     
  4. Dzung Pham

    Dzung Pham Second Unit

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    There are some good deals on the HSU available at the moment. Check out this thread. You may also want to look for the latest issue of The $ensible Sound since they review an SVS 16-46PC and the HSU VTF-2.
     
  5. JerryW

    JerryW Supporting Actor

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    Between those two I'd go with the SVS. By the specs and numbers, it seems to be the better performer.
    To be honest though, for $575 I'd go with the 214L custom built Tempest sub from Acoustic Visions. You'll get clean, tight, accurate bass to
     
  6. Ed_A

    Ed_A Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the replies! [​IMG]
    Dana - I'm really happy to hear that the HSU is working out so well for you. It's good to know that it really shakes! [​IMG]
    Barry - I got a great deal on my speakers and receiver, both bought separately. So this is where I'm kinda biting the bullet, so to speak (I won't be getting a "package discount" on the sub...but the savings on the rest of my system, IMO, exceeds what I could have done with a package).
    Dzung - thanks for that link...just confirms that the Hsu is a great sub. And looks like I could get it for cheaper if I really shopped around...maybe saving another $50?
    Jerry - I thought about going the custom route but I'm pretty clueless about custom boxes. I'll have to look into the 214L and the Dharman. Thanks.
    Thanks for the inputs! I appreciate all the feedback...this is a great place for talking with freindly folks with great experience!
    This isn't getting easier, but I guess it's good problem to have.[​IMG]
    Ed
     
  7. Chris Purvis

    Chris Purvis Stunt Coordinator

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    For what it is worth, I briefly owned a VTF-2 before returning it. Here's why (lifted from my post on Audioreview.com - by the way, although I appear to be in the minority, there are several other reviews there that agree with my overall sentiment) :

    I really wanted to like this sub. Dr. Hsu was the nicest guy you could ever ask to do business with. I spoke to him personally when I ordered this subwoofer from his factory and he was great to talk to.

    Now for the sub itself - I used this sub in a home theater setup. I calibrated everything with a sound level meter and spectrum analyzer to make sure sub & sat's were properly integrated. At low volume levels the VTF-2 worked well, and seemed to have very good low-end extension for such a small unit. However, the VTF-2 never really seemed to deliver much of a solid punch unless it was driven pretty hard, and even then the impact was somewhat anemic sounding. At higher volume levels the VTF-2 couldn't keep up with my surrounds. Beyond a certain point I could still drive the rest of the theater louder without losing clarity or dynamic range but the VTF-2 gave up early and couldn't keep increasing in volume. Nor could it really fill my relatively small theater room (14 x 12 X 8) with sound the way you would expect.

    The sound became quite distorted on Dolby Digital tracks like the Tyranosaurus Rex on Jurassic Park with sound levels above 100 dB. During especially loud peaks in action movie soundtracks at volume levels that were loud (but not unlistenable) the VTF-2 would whistle like the dickens with port noise which was quite distracting and effectively ruined the immersion factor of the scene you were watching. The sub's driver could also easily be made to blat and thwack (hitting the limits of excursion? I think that's what this was) In essence it was very easy to overdrive this sub, and it happened at volume levels you would normally expect to be usable.

    This sub is probably not any worse than other subs in this price range, but for a serious home theater system it just doesn't have the authority to get the job done. To be honest it turned me off to this price category of subs, as I realized that to get true high-output 20Hz extension at near-zero distortion you gotta spend a little more cash. The VTF-2 would make a good apartment subwoofer, or nicely compliment a value-priced system that was not going to be used at theatrical sound levels.

    In retrospect, I think I was being unfair trying to integrate this sub into my home theater. I'm on a tight budget, but I'm not afraid of used equipment and so I have hardware that would not normally be seen in a HT costing less than $1000.00 (3 separate adcom GFA-535 amps, separate burr/brown 20 bit DAC, etc.) and I like to play movies louder than most people probably would.
     
  8. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

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    If they were the same price I'd say it was no contest. The 25-31PC would trounce the VTF-2. But they aren't the same price.

    I think the extra cost for the 25-31PC to be well spent (more driver, bigger/better amp, and to some, better looking), so if you can stretch your budget to $670, I don't think you would regret it. The "Small" SVS "kicks butt" as someone with dual 20-39CS's said just yesterday here.

    If you are tapped out financially by the Hsu, then likewise I don't think you can do substantially better for it's budget price. You pay more, you get more, in this competitive category.

    Ron
     
  9. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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  10. MichaelO

    MichaelO Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris, it really sounds like you got a bad sub. Did you talk to Dr. Hsu? If so, I'm surprised he didn't offer to trade it for another one.
    I have had the HSU VTF-2 for well over a year now (before SVS started up) and the sub really impresses me (and everyone who comes over for a listen) everytime I turn it on for both movies and music. It is in my main living room which is about 18' X 18' with a terribly large opening leading into my dining room. I spent a while testing other subs before deciding to give the HSU a try. I tested the Velodyne CT-120 and CT-150, Klipsch KSW-12, Infinity HPS-250, DefTech 15TL (cant remember exact model #), and the B&W ASW1000 & ASW2000. The B&W ASW1000 and the Velo CT-150 were the only ones in this group that impressed me enough to ponder a purchase. But then I happend upon Tom Vodhanel who was speaking very highly of the Hsu and then I read the Nousain article in S&V where he did a sub showdown with the Hsu taking home the prize for best sub in the group he tested. So I did some research and Hsu offered a 30 day no obligation trial. Well I just had to give it a go. Well, I was sold immediately by its performance, no sub that I had tested could best it, the B&W ASW1000 and the Velo CT-150 gave it a run for its money but I liked the sound and the feeling in the floor the Hsu created a lot better.
    I have just about any action movie you can think of, Jurassic Park dts (the good one), SPR dts, U-571, Pearl Harbor, Gladiator, Matrix, the list goes on and on. I have not once heard a whistle or any kind of port noise whatsoever. I listen to my Hsu in the Max Extension mode with one of the ports closed off. The thing digs deep and hits you in the chest harder than the other subs I mentioned and trust me, the B&W ASW1000 is no paper weight.
    Anyway, I thought I would jump in here and give you an idea of my experience with the Hsu and the other subs I tested before purchasing it. If I were purchasing a sub today, I would probably go with an SVS because while the Hsu is an excellent woof I don't think it could hang with a mighty SVS.
    For what it's worth, my system consists of Infinity Kappa speakers. 8.1's for the mains, 5.1's for the center and surrounds. I run all separate components, Carver m500t main power amp (~300 watts RMS X 2), Carver m200t for center power amp, and Yamaha M-65 for surround power amp.
     
  11. Chris Purvis

    Chris Purvis Stunt Coordinator

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    To be fair, yes, I could have gotten a bad VTF-2. I thought that maybe that was the case and so I experimented with it a lot over a long weekend but was never able to convince myself that it was actually defective - it just seemed like it couldn't do what I wanted it to. It COULD shake the room, it COULD play low, just not quite to the point that I expected. Also it didn't bottom out or distort until I cranked it way up, which could have been a damaged voice coil or maybe was just reaching the limits of the driver.

    I was still trying to make up my mind when I got wind of a great deal on a returned M&K MX-125 mkII (someone's wife thought it was too big or something) for $420.00 and I snapped it up as fast as I could, making the 3-day old (and either unsatisfactory or defective) VTF-2 redundant.

    And no, I've never looked back. Whatever the case with the VTF2, the M&K absolutely crushes it (as you'd expect, it is not really a fair fight - that's why Dr. Hsu makes the TN-1220HO).

    While there are, I'm sure, other subs that match or exceed the M&K's performance at it's retail price, for what I paid it's unbeatable.
     
  12. Chris Purvis

    Chris Purvis Stunt Coordinator

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    again, maybe my VTF2 WAS defective, but I don't think so.

    I had the two side-by-side, and those numbers don't necessarily translate into real-world performance.

    I have never heard an ounce of distortion from the M&K no matter how loud I've played it. I can't say the same thing for the HSU at all.
     

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