Hsu VTF-2 vs. Adire Rava

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Eric_Singer, Apr 11, 2002.

  1. Eric_Singer

    Eric_Singer Agent

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    I'm looking for an under-$500 subwoofer, and I think I have it narrowed down to these 2. Usage will be about 85% music, 15% HT. I presume the HSU will be better for HT, but how much better? And is the Rava any better for music? What are the pros and cons of the sealed vs ported cabinet? Has anyone heard both? Any thoughts?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Dave_P

    Dave_P Stunt Coordinator

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    Eric,

    First, welcome to the HTF! I'm sure you will find all the help you could ask for around here.

    I can only comment on the Rava since I have not heard the HSU.

    If you are going to use this for 85% music, I would definitely recommend the Adire Rava. The 12" driver, the shiva, in a sealed sub design is very tight sounding in this set up. If your looking for accuracy in your music, this sub will deliver. If your looking for bloated bass that distorts the rest of your music, this is not the sub for you. Also, if you have a really large listening room, this sub might not be big enough to fill a large room with high amounts of bass.

    About the HSU, I have not heard this sub, but I would like to comment on it. This sub has a fine reputation for music and HT use. The sub might not be as tight for music as the Rava, but its ported design surely gives more output in a HT environment. I hope this helps.
     
  3. Eric_Singer

    Eric_Singer Agent

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    Dave,

    Thanks for the suggestion and welcoming me to the forum. Being rather unfamiliar with subs, I have some more questions... My living room is about 200 SF. Not huge, but not tiny, either. Will the Rava be able to fill a room of this size? Also, how do you have yours hooked up? I have a mono sub output on my receiver; would this be preferred method to connect the sub, or should I run speaker cable to the high-level in/outs on the sub? I use Axiom M22's as mains; do you imagine there would be any problems integrating the two?

    Thanks!
     
  4. Dave_P

    Dave_P Stunt Coordinator

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    Eric,

    I would contact Dan Wiggins at Adire Audio to see if the Rava can fill 200 sq.ft. I'd say that it just might make it.

    As far as your connections, I got this from Dan at Adire Audio:

    For your connections, you want to run a speaker wire from your main

    left/right speakers to the high level inputs of Rava (you can use thin 20

    gauge wire for this), and set the crossover around 80 Hz or so. Set the

    receiver to two channel (music) mode. Then adjust the subwoofer volume for

    a good balance between the mains and the subwoofer.

    Now, set the receiver to home theater/surround mode. Set the mains to

    small. Run an RCA cable from the receiver's LFE output to either RCA input

    of the Rava. And adjust the subwoofer volume/mains balance with the LFE

    output adjustment of your receiver.

    What happens is that in music/two-channel mode, the mains are run

    full-range. Rava will receive its "signal" from the mains, and reinforce

    the mains down below 80 Hz. Since there's no LFE signal (two channel mode),

    you'll only get the input from the signal to the mains.

    Now, in home theater/surround mode, you'll get a signal from the LFE output.

    This is normal. And by setting the mains to small, you remove the bass

    signal from them, which means the sub only receives its input from the LFE

    connection.

    Actually, right now, I only have the sub hooked up through the one sub pre-out on the back of my receiver. I have used a y-cable to have both the L and R channels in the sub RCA inputs plugged in for a 6db gain on the sub output. I still have to experiment with the other connections as I've only had the sub for a little over a month and a half. I was away for some of the time and had to play with the set up of the furniture in my room first to find the best place for the sub in a corner.
     
  5. Ryan Muldoon

    Ryan Muldoon Auditioning

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    Dave_P:
    Do you find that the quality of the >80Hz signal is degraded at all in 2 channel mode? I am somewhat befuddled on this, as I consider purchases. I am realizing that I will probably use whatever I buy for music a good amount of time, so it will probably be a 50/50 split between music and HT. So I was wondering if it would be wiser to invest the money that I would use to buy a Rava in better mains...or if a subwoofer is the better way to go. I think that the "Direct mode" on receivers is better for music, but I don't quite understand how that will effect use of a subwoofer. Any clarification would be most appreciated.
     
  6. KonradN

    KonradN Stunt Coordinator

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    the rava might be tighter in the 40hz to 80 hz region but what if you have large floorstanders and intend to crossover to the subs at a very low xpoint such as 40hz?

    I am not sure if tightness is much of an issue in the sub 40hz region, but the hsu should be able to go lower and provide cleaner output down low.
     
  7. Cam S

    Cam S Screenwriter

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    The HSU will play a little louder overall and go deeper, due to the fact that it's in a ported box. However, the Rava will still be loud and may sound alittle better to you if you prefer tight, defined bass. You can't go wrong with either, but personal I'd take the Rava over the HSU.
     
  8. David_ME

    David_ME Auditioning

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    Ryan,

    i have an integra 5.2 and the direct mode bypasses the recievers DSPs which is were the crossovers for the sub out would be located. to listen to music with the subwoofer i have to use the "stereo" setting. that said i just got a rava last week and i'm very impressed, i listened mostly to the paradigm pdr 12 (i think), velodyne ct 120, and the def tech something, before trying out the rava. the biggest difference i've noticed is that on a couple paul oakenfold tracks (others also) it almost sound like its playing two different bass lines, its hard to describe so i don't know if you get this. i've used this cd to test the other subs and it always sounded like just one tone. beyond that the build quality is amazing.

    david
     
  9. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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  10. Dave_P

    Dave_P Stunt Coordinator

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    Rich,

    In your case you could just adjust the x-over on the sub to say 40-60hz to just have the sub enhance the bottom end. It just may be a process of adjusting the phase to get the sub properly intergrated into your system.
     
  11. Dave_P

    Dave_P Stunt Coordinator

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    Ryan,
    I find listening to music in 2-channel mode a much more enjoyable experience now. The Rava has allowed my mains to have a much more open quality in the mids since most of the power strain(on my receiver)from producing the bass has been eliminated with a powered sub.
    I'm not sure how using my receiver in "direct mode" would affect the sound. I'll have to do a little experimentation this weekend to see what kind of results I can get with different connections and listening modes.
    Btw, David_ME, I agree that the build quality on the Rava is very good where I have heard (not seen) that the build on the HSU is not as refined.
    I am still loving my Rava. I enjoy it more everytime it sends out waves of bass. It's just so impressive to me in my room environment. I don't see myself needing anything else for at least a couple of years. [​IMG]
     
  12. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    FWIW, I highly recommend going direct mode. On my Outlaw 1050, the only way to bypass all digital circuitry is to plug directly into the "5.1 direct" (I only have 2 channels, so I just plug into the L and R mains).
    It's a subtle difference, but nonetheless unmistakeable on my setup. Running 2-channel sources from either my HK-FL8450 or Pioneer DV-414 results in a slightly wider soundstage, but I think this may be equipment-peculiar. More generally noticeable, I think, is a greater sense of harmonic richness and detail. The sound of fingers sliding across guitar strings or a slight breath in a closely mic'ed vocal seem much more pronounced and natural in the bypassed mode. Overall, a greater sense of transparency and "airiness" (dunno if I'm using that term in the conventional sense) is achieved in the bypassed mode.
    The downside is no bass management, thus I wasn't able to integrate a sub... until I came across your post above, that is. I feel rather dim for not being aware of this. Is it a usual sorta setup? Will it increase the load on the amp, requiring me to switch it over to a 4-ohm setting? Any other variables I should be aware of for this kinda setup?
    Thanks for the help! [​IMG]
     
  13. ChrisAG

    ChrisAG Supporting Actor

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    I have an 11x20 room - too big for the Rava?
     
  14. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    I was looking into the alternate "bypass/direct" mode hookup that Dave described above, and I found a great review of the HSU at Goodsound that (I think) describes this and other setups:
    http://www.goodsound.com/equipment/hsu_vtf2.htm
     
  15. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Oh, and one more question (and this is very important I think and not so easy to explain):
    Can the HSU and/or RAVA be setup simultaneously in "home theater mode" (using the RCA sub output jacks for the sub and the receiver's internal crossover to integrate the other speakers - you know, the usual home theater setup) and also in either of the following setups (to allow for easy switching from home theater to 2-channel music applications without re-wiring/cabling):
    (1) a "high-level filter mode", that is, sending R and L main speaker cable outputs to the sub and then from the sub to the L and R mains, using the sub's internal high pass filter to integrate
    -or-
    (2) a "bass fill mode" (aka "augmentation mode"), with R and L speaker cable outputs going to the sub and and another set of speaker cables from the same outputs going to the the L and R mains (leaving it to the sub's high pass filter to integrate with the mains running full-range). I think this is running the mains and sub in "parallel series".
    And, finally, any impedance issues with either of the above setups?
     
  16. Eric_Singer

    Eric_Singer Agent

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    Rich,

    Could you explain the advantages of such a setup if it were to be doable? Why would running separate wires from the L&R outputs on the receiver to the sub (bass-fill mode) be better than simply using the RCA sub-out for stereo sources? If you run the RCA cable from the receiver to one of the sub's RCA inputs, don't you get the bass-fill as well by setting the crossover on the sub? In both cases, the mains run full range, correct?
     
  17. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Hi Eric,
    The reason I'd like to be able to use the latter two setups for music is to completely bypass the digital circuitry of my receiver in order to achieve a direct "pure" connection from my 2-channel audio source to my speakers. This setup takes all digital circuitry out of the signal path, leaving only the preamp and the volume control between the source and the speakers. I prefer the sound quality in this way as discussed in my post above ( http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...343#post607343 ).
    But I'd also like to have it hooked up as you suggest for home theater applications (where I must use the digital circuitry of my receiver anyway to decode DD-5.1/6.1/DTS). What I'm asking is can I run the RCA sub outs for home theater apps and also run the speaker cable outs into the sub in one of the latter two configurations for direct-mode music (I don't know which of the two would be preferable for me), so that all I have to do is switch between home theater and music applications without re-wiring/re-cabling the sub and speakers.
     
  18. Barry Barnes

    Barry Barnes Stunt Coordinator

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    Personally I prefer the sound of a well designed ported sub. I have not found these to be less "tight" at all, but in fact more sensitve and with better roll off on the low end. The VTF-2 is a very musical sounding subwoofer and in fact made Sterophiles A list of recommended components. Those guys hate everything (almost) that doesn't cost a zillion dollars or more. [​IMG]
    I also think the VTF-2 will be a better all around sub for movies and music. In Tom Nousaines tests they actually put out more low bass at 20 Hz than other top rated subs using 12 inch drivers... Mainly, you have to decide which type of box sounds better to you. Sealed vs. Ported vs. Servo controlled, all have different sound characteristics.
     
  19. Vin

    Vin Supporting Actor

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  20. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Well done, Vin - and I think I follow you! [​IMG]
    Second part first:
    So, if my main speakers accurately reproduce bass to around 40hz (or even 50hz, 60hz), then wiring in parallel and setting the sub's low pass cut-off at the frequency where the main speakers begin to roll off would be advisable?
    So then it's a question of how flexible the low pass cut-off is on the Rava? Presumably, it can be dialed from 60hz (80hz?) down to 30hz on the VTF-2, per the review I quoted above.
    And will wiring the sub and mains in parallel change the impedence?
    Now back to the first part, the home theater mode, I do see what you're saying about the sub receiving signals simultaneously from the RCA out and the L/R speaker outs in that setup. Would the easiest work-around be to simply pull the speaker cables from the sub whenever in HT mode? Or would the unterminated sub speaker wires screw up the parallel signal to the main speakers, making it preferable to pull them from the receiver instead?
     

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