lost in sub research

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by MaxL, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. MaxL

    MaxL Supporting Actor

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    i know the short answers are 1) i have to listen to them and 2) any sub will fill out the bottom end. i am putting together my first HT on a tight budget. i am also moving soon and not sure what my room will look like. so far i have a used marantz sr8000 ($200 w/ trade in of onkyo 2 channel and tuner) and psb alpha B's and C ($300), plus my old csw new ensemples for surrounds. so far i'm very happy with it. while i listen to lots of music it's mostly through my vintage sony and ar 2ax's for stereo (i love how this sounds and put a premium on warm, rich and full over accuracy or detail). The question is which way to go on the sub. i'm thinking small for a few reasons: price, space, and i'm not interested in truly shaking or breaking anything. what i do want is something that matches well with what i've got, can handle music nicely, and fills in the LFE without being boomy or muddy. i've read tons of reviews and am lost. here's what seem the most promising options:
    athena p4000 @>$200
    psb subseries 5i @$400
    svs pb10 @$430
    deftech prosub 80 @$350
    hsu stf2 @$400
    aperion s-8 @$280
    the list could go on. any suggestions, comments are welcome. anything to stay away from on this list or to add to the list would be appreciated. i really don't think i could be any more confused than i am now. all things being equal i want to go cheaper, but if an extra $100-200 makes a huge difference i figure my enjoyment is worth it. what should i do? what would you do?
     
  2. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Max, if you can swing the four bills for the PB-10, you won't find better....not for movies, not for music, not for nuttin. No need to keep racking your brain...
     
  3. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I agree that the SVS PB-10 is the way to go. If you want another less expensive option the Acoustech H-100 is a very good sub as well.
     
  4. MaRtIn^dB

    MaRtIn^dB Extra

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    I concur with the previous posters...hands down!...you'll be doing yourself a disservice by not "seriously" considering the SVS Pb-10...I'm assuming you are looking at a 10" or 8" driver...the SVS is the only way to go at this price range and is the most cost effective 10" vented solution commercially offered...bar none. Good luck with your selection.
     
  5. BrianTwig

    BrianTwig Second Unit

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    Well, I gotta add my voice here. Without question go with the SVS PB10.

    As the proud owner of an SVS PB12-NSD/2, bought unseen and unheard on the recommendation of others, I can honestly say it was the single greatest audio purchase of my life. Bar none.
     
  6. BrianTwig

    BrianTwig Second Unit

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    Well, I gotta add my voice here. Without question go with the SVS PB10.

    As the proud owner of an SVS PB12-NSD/2, bought unseen and unheard on the recommendation of others, I can honestly say it was the single greatest audio purchase of my life. Bar none.
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Max, how big is your room?
     
  8. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Max: make sure you listen to the SOUND of whatever sub your auditioning. SPL numbers and bass extension specs only tell part of the story. I've heard plenty of subs that "hit hard" and go very low but (for example) they sounded sterile and uninvolving. While another sub that didn't do as well on the test bench sounded more realistic, richer and well, just more fun to listen to.

    I tend to be about 90% objectivist when it comes to choosing audio gear, but with speakers and subwoofers, that drops to about 50%: there are just too many variables involved in speaker design/construction to rely strictly on numbers to base a buying decision on (i.e. woofer materials, amp design, enclosure design and how all these things interact to finally produce the sound you hear >>> synergy).

    FYI: the fact that you own those particular ARs will give you a great reference point as far as what good bass is all about.
     
  9. MaxL

    MaxL Supporting Actor

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    like i said i'm moving so i'm not sure about the room. but most likely, it will be in a large room about 20x20 with a high ceiling maybe 20' at its peak.

    so far the svs is the hands down IMO winner. anyone know if there are any decent acoustic suspention subs in this price range? i might be able to get my hands on a used M&K v125 thx for $350. worth a listen?
     
  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    My room is 19x20 with high vaulted celing and the PB-10 did fairly well, but you may find yourself wanting a bit more over time. For a room that size, I might recommend stepping up to a 25-31PCi. The PB-10 will still be the best of those you listed, IMO [​IMG]

    When I asked them how to improve my sound in a room that size, SVS's recommendation was to add another PB-10 or move up to something like a Plus or PB-12/2.
     
  11. Barry_B_B

    Barry_B_B Second Unit

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    Max, from the suggestions I've recieved and reviews read my choice will be SVS. I emailed them yesterday with specifics and Ron was very helpful steering me in the right direction for my style of listening. Checking with them can't hurt if you're considering the SVS line [​IMG]
     
  12. Josh Haugo

    Josh Haugo Extra

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    If you're up to it, you can build yourself a pretty decent sub for not a whole lot of money. You can make a ported 250 watt 12" AA assassin sub for about $250-300.
     
  13. MaxL

    MaxL Supporting Actor

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    thanks for you're comments.

    i just purchased my sub yesterday. i did go listen and it was clear. i went to saturday audio exchange where i got my speakers and receiver. i listened to two psb's, a klipsch, a monitor audio and the martin logan dynamo. i was able to audition them with my psb alpha B's and listened to thievery corporation's dance on veseline remix and the incredibles chapt 8 i think (mr incred's first mtg. w/ the robot).

    the klipsch was the only one that truly sucked (or blew) it was all boom, boom, boom no notes, no different sounds. next, a very significant step up were the psb's, bass notes and sounds did sound different, but not clear, there was plenty of thump, a real feel it in your gut power. this was more true (more power= louder/ less strain at high output) for the 5i than the subzero but they did sound good. The monitor (smallest one) sat about half way between the psb's and the martin logan, more musical than the psb's but not as clear as the dynamo and a little thumpier. these were all in the $350-$400 range (discounted prices).

    so then i listened to the dynamo. it had everything i was looking for fast and clean, loud and clear bass. while i could feel the big bangs in my chest, it was not the psb's bawhoooomp. there was no sphincter clenching response, and that's a good thing for me. the only negative i could see (for some) is that one might want more, but not better bass. even at very loud volumes the bass never seemed overwhelming. that and it was $600. for me the choice was clear. $200 dollars over budget but this thing should be improving my quality of life for years to come.

    they were out of stock on the black, which i want. the plus side is they're shipping it so it's one less thing i have to move 1000 miles. it'll probably be close to a month before i have everything hooked up and ready to go. i can't wait.

    as for the svs, had i been able to audition it i certainly would have. after listening to many ported subs and hearing the difference between them and the acoustic suspension i knew i wasn't looking for a ported sub. i'm sure at $600 the pb12 would deliver more earthshaking power, going louder and lower, but i can't imagine that it would sound better to me. thanks agian
    -max
     
  14. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Glad to see you found a sub you like - subs can be really tricky to audition properly.

    And for others that are looking for a good acoustic-suspension subwoofer (this was double your price range so I didn't mention it, and it's Internet-only [only two physical dealers listed]), there's the 12" Adire "Rava". I would like to hear this one myself.
    That's basically what I also hear with the Klipschs sold at Best Buy (I've never heard a Klipsch Reference Series sub). They are quite loud but IMO it sounds like there isn't enough damping material inside, and the enclosure itself feels like its built of too-thin particle board (the top panel in particular vibrates a lot). The Athena subs sound much better to me.
     
  15. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I have an Adire Tempest (in a vented enclosure) right now. It does surprisingly well with music for being a 15" with no EQ, and is very fun with movies too. Damn fine products they make.
     
  16. MaxL

    MaxL Supporting Actor

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    i came across the rava in my research but the new ones were too expensive. they do look good on spec though. used to be only $400 when it was first on the market. oh well.

    as for the dynamo, one feature i've seen up for debate here is front or down firing. the dynamo is designed to easily switch between positions.
     
  17. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The difference between down firing and front firing is negligible at best.
     
  18. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Well Max, I can say this; people generally have good things to say about Martin Logan subs.

    I understand that it is hard to buy things sight unseen, however, with subwoofers, it largely comes down to how low, how loud, how flat, how much distortion. All three subs I have purchased were sight unseen, but had tested out very well. I've not been disappointed.

    I trust you will enjoy your purchase.
     

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