Hsu VTF-2 vs. SVS 25-31CS

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by David_Rivshin, Jan 8, 2002.

  1. David_Rivshin

    David_Rivshin Second Unit

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    Since the model subwoofer I was planning on getting has been discontinued while I wasn't looking, I'm back to square one in that search... I've come to what I think are the best two options I have:
    Hsu VTF-2
    SVS 25-31CS + cheap plate amp + some woodworking
    They are both in the same price range, although the SVS would be abit more expensive if I can't manage to sneak a B-stock. Since I'm in an apartment (first floor with a garage under me, end unit, so only neighbor is directly above), I'm not planning on playing at reference level or probably anywhere much near [​IMG] However, being the perfectionist that I tend to be, I'd like good extension so I can feel those nice low notes.
    For reference, here is what I'm planning on pairing the sub with:
    JBL S38 mains
    JBL S-Center
    JBL S36 surrounds
    Sony DA5ES (or maybe an Onkyo 797...)
    Panasonic RP-56 DVD player
    Sony CE775 SACD player
    floorplan: http://www.eastwoodmanagement.com/loconebed.gif
    entertainment center is at about the middle of the left wall, with couch opposite it, subwoofer would most likely be placed in the lower left hand corner, or perhaps alittle closer to the entertainment center.
    So finally to my question: Is one better than the other on an absolute scale? And if the better one is the more expensive one, then is it subjectively likely to be worth the difference in cost?
    BTW, does anyone have a graph of the VTF-2's frequency response? In max extension mode I've seen reference to 25Hz -1dB, but I have no idea what it's 20 or 22Hz level would be.
    --
    Dave
     
  2. Steve Zimmerman

    Steve Zimmerman Second Unit

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    I don't think you'll be making a bad decision with either subwoofer choice. I will say that you will probably be able to find someone who owns the CS 25-31 who is looking to upgrade to the CS+ and would be willing to sell you the CS at or below the B-Stock price.

    --Steve
     
  3. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    I'd keep looking at eBay or the for sale area on this site.

    I can barely hear a 22hz tone at 80db, so I don't think I would spend any extra $$ for extension. The SV I have is accurate and smooth. I haven't heard the Hsu.

    Are you going to be in the apt for a while?

    It sounds like the HSU is for you. Have you seen the Adireaudio.com Rava?

    Looks count, and it's a good looking sub.
     
  4. JerryW

    JerryW Supporting Actor

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    Colin, are you saying you can't feel lower tones (
     
  5. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    "I can barely hear...."

    Feel is something else, but dude said that he's an apartment dweller.

    You need it to be LOUD in the first place before you can really feel it. Unless you like to play nothing but test tones all day long....

    Yeah, yeah, I know, sometimes you can feel it a bit at less than 80 db or so, but you can't get shoved around the room by SPL and keep the neighbors happy at the same time. Besides, his budget only allows for so much.

    I was p.o'ed when I realised I shot $750 on a sub for a few seconds here and there of deep bass in movies. But it's with music that I got the best value. Hence my opinion of 'useable' bass.

    USEABLE bass means - to me - the stuff you can hear. The rest is icing on the cake.

    - CM
     
  6. Michael St. Clair

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    Bass preferences are pretty personal. The majority of movies I watch don't have dinosaurs or explosions. And music is very important to me, even though I watch more movies in the HT than I watch/listen to music (in the HT).
    It is not a mistake to get a HT sub what doesn't peel wallpaper at 16hz as long as you get a sub that matches your HT preferences.
     
  7. JerryW

    JerryW Supporting Actor

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    Well, he mentioned his only neighbor was above, so I figured he could get away with a little more bass than other apt dwellers. [​IMG]
    If low bass isn't a concern, I'd go with the Adire Rava. It's more musically accurate, IMO, than the SVS or Hsu.
    But, if I had to choose between the 2 listed subs, I'd go with the VTF-2... with it you can plug a port and get more of a sealed sub sound. If that's what you're after.
    Michael, I feel it would be a mistake to not get a lower extension sub. Yes, IMO, a sub for HT that doesn't reproduce all the sound that's intended is an underachiever. But hey, I watch a lot of action flicks in my HT, so my views may not be shared by all.
     
  8. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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  9. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Supporting Actor

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  10. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    Delicate Sound of Thunder
    [​IMG]
     
  11. David_Rivshin

    David_Rivshin Second Unit

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    Steve, Colin,
    I will definate keep a look out for any VTF-2's or SVS's for sale, might just be my perfect solution [​IMG]
    I did take a quick look at the Rava, but it spec'ed a -3dB point at 27Hz, which does not compete with the Hsu or SVS in my opinion (if you think otherwise, let me know [​IMG] )
    Jerry,
     
  12. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    On the 25-31
    You can power a CS with an $80 receiver from Best Buy...giving the price edge to SV.
    HSU - 0
    SV - 1
    Performance? Based on numbers alone, SV squeeks by.
    HSU - 0
    SV - 2
    That's as far as the numbers on paper can take you. Now it's up to your ears and eyes. Some people don't like cylinder subs. I didn't, at first, but now I couldn't care less, I love the SV. Some people think the Hsu is ugly in it's own right.
    As far as sound, you need to be the judge. I've never heard a Hsu, so I can't really say the SV's are better. I just know that I'll not be looking for any upgrade in the sub department for a long, long time.
    Take advantage of the 45 day test SV offers. You'll be out about $25 - $40 in shipping, a dollar a day. Not a bad rental price for one of the best reviewed subs around.
    - CM
    PS - All of this info is from memory...sorry if I got the pricing wrong....
    The 107.1 number is the average SPL over the range of frequencies.
    I think F8 = In room numbers.
    http://audioreview.com/reviews/Subwo...uct_7348.shtml
    Good Luck
     
  13. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    1 - The prices off of the website.

    HSU = $499

    SV = $669 for the powered, $369 for the non-powered plus $80 for the Rec. = $449.

    2 - Numbers? I forget, but I thought the Hsu lost on max average spl and extension...hence my "all of this is from memory" disclaimer...

    3 - 107.1db average spl from 20 - 93hz, right?

    If you are pro-Hsu, note that I added a link to a site that HEAVILY recommends the Hsu.

    - CM
     
  14. David_Rivshin

    David_Rivshin Second Unit

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    Colin,
    Actually I can get the latest update of the VTF-2 for $450 including shipping. On the same note the 25-31CS and 20-39CS both have $15 shipping charges from SVS, which I actually consider to be quite resonable. If I went the SVS route I would get a sub plate amp for $50-150, which would probably be a better match than an $80 reciever.
    As for the numbers, it's hard to really compare the SVS to the VTF-2, since the same set of numbers for each is hard to find. The frequency response graph on SVS's site is great, but specifies in relative dB, instead of absolute (vs human sensitivity), so I don't know it's max output at say 20 and 25Hz. Whereas I have some numbers for the VTF-2 in terms of max output at those frequencies, I don't know the relative output drop at 20Hz vs the 20-80Hz max or average.
    I just wish Tom Nousaine would do a comparison with the VTF-2, Rava, 25-31CS and 20-39CS so we can compare apples to apples.... Hey Tom, ya listening? How about another poor-man's subwoofer shootout? [​IMG]
    BTW, for those interested it looks like I found a copy of Tom's original comparison that included the VTF-2: http://members.iinet.net.au/~colinf/...2%20Review.PDF
    -- Dave
     
  15. ling_w

    ling_w Second Unit

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    That's $425 including shipping. Good deal if you live in Katmandu or Addis-Ababa.

    You also have to compare apple to apple. You can't go out and get a $80 receiver that gets a 35wpc and clips at 36 watt for $80. If you want to get a totally junk receiver, you still have to get one of comparable power, meaning 150 real watts into 4ohm.
     
  16. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    Right. Apples for $499 (or whatever) to oranges for $499 (or whatever).
    I mentioned the price of the powered SV.
    I will now STFU, please forget my post.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. JerryW

    JerryW Supporting Actor

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    Ling has a good point. The KLH is really not ideal for an SVS sub. The receiver's ratings are:
    100W @8ohms at 1KHz w/ 5% THD
    The real world ratings, for lower frequency material is about 25-30W at
     

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