My New Hsu VTF-3 Arrived- Best Sub Yet To My Ears

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by James Edward, May 22, 2005.

  1. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2000
    Messages:
    855
    Likes Received:
    0
    I received my VTF-3MK2 a few days ago. Anyone considering this sub should not hesitate to give it a try.

    I'm going to list the subs I've had in my difficult(12x13, cement slab) room, along with my impressions.

    Velodyne 810
    (8" driver, 10" passive radiator) circa 2000. This was my first- not bad, but definite limits on loudness and low frequencies. But it was punchy, not boomy- as it should be-I don't think it had much below 40Hz to offer. It was a start, but I always felt as if I were missing something. My neighbor is still using it; since he does not read A/V mags and forums, he's happy.

    Hsu VTF-2- circa 2000-2001
    I replaced the Velo with this- great move. The VTF-2 went much lower than than the Velo, and retained the texture and punch too. This sub was great. No boominess, just great bass feel. Several people I know bought this sub after listening to demos at my house.

    SVS 20-39PC circa 2002-2003
    As soon as this sub arrived, I sold my VTF-2. The 20-39PC definitely went lower, and louder, but was not nearly as 'clean'. It certainly played down to 20Hz and below, as checked with my trusty SPL meter. But something was missing. No more punch. I even ordered the 25Hz tuned port for it, hoping the higher tune would change my impressions. I moved it around the room, trying various placement, to no avail. Oh well, I lived with this sub for about 1.5 years and sold it.

    SVS 25-31PC+ circa 2003-2004
    The new SVS seemed about the same as the old- since I have a small room, I was not able to fully realize the extra output available to me. I figured the new amp, driver, and different tuning points available would give me back the punch of the VTF-2. No. The SVS just did not have the texture and 'speed' of the Hsu VTF-2.

    PSB Subsonic 6i circa 2004-2005
    Alright! I was able to buy this sub at cost, since I was now working for a PSB dealer. This sub gave me back the 'texture' that was missing in the low-end. It sounded really good, but I knew that it's ultimate loudness and ability to go low were not strong points. Points to the SVS in those regards. However, it made movie and concert watching extremely enjoyable- it was not a 'one note bass' sub. I started a thread at the time that became somewhat contentious, where I stated I preferred the sound of the PSB to that of the SVS.

    Hsu VTF-3 current
    Take the good things I've said about the above subs, put them all together, and it equals the VTF-3. It plays LOUD.
    It plays LOOWWW. It is 'fast'. It has texture. It sounds like my original VTF-2 on steroids. I can heartily recommend this sub. I've been bringing out all the old standbys- U-571, Ronin, T2, Desperado, World Is Not Enough, etc. All have a newfound vitality.

    I don't know what voodoo is in the VTF-3 box, but it truly rocks.
     
  2. Peter Marcks

    Peter Marcks Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    0
    Good morning James,

    We feel absolutely humbled by your impressions. I've expressed my opinion many times that I feel that our customers are some of the most kind and gracious out there, and this just reinforces that belief again!

    The VTF-3 follows a formula that Dr. Hsu has been using for a while: start with a very fundamentally sound design in the beginning, and refine that design to the nth degree over several years of time. These same principles will be carried on to the VTF-3HO too.

    The one word that probably sums up the VTF-3 best is "balanced".

    If you ever need to kick it up to a higher gear for the ultra low bass in maximum extension mode, we will have something ready for you at some point in the future.

    Thanks again, take care, and enjoy!

    Sincerely,
     
  3. Tah_Chai

    Tah_Chai Auditioning

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    [​IMG] very good review summary!

    I like bass with texture and fast. If it can go low, that is a plus!

    I've been reading tons of threads about SVS and HSU. SVS PB10-ISD and HSU STF-2 is the one that fall within my budget. The problem is I've never experienced any of them on my own. I'm worry making wrong decision to purchase something wihtout hearing them myself.

    I've been auditioning many subs in hifi shops. The bass character I like is M&K subwoofers family. It is a sealed sub, very fast, tight with texture. But they are pricey.

    Just wondering what is the design technology behind HSU, that VTF-3 is not sealed, yet it is tight, fast and go low?

    If HSU can give similar bass character like M&K, definitely I'll go with HSU
     
  4. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Messages:
    910
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the review James. I too am looking at getting a VTF2.....I would love a 3 but I don't think I could get the funds together. I love the fact the the VTF subs seem to have such great output and great bass for with a small footprint and an attractive finish to boot!!
     
  5. Christian M

    Christian M Agent

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Interesting to here from someone who has had two of the most prominent internet brand subs.... This puts a twist into my decisions - BLAST!! [​IMG]

    Thanks james

    Christian
     
  6. Ron T

    Ron T Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the review. Hope this doesn't become like the PSB vs. SVS thread.
     
  7. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    945
    Likes Received:
    0
    I currently have an SVS sub PB2+ thats about 2-3 years old. Now that I have gotten that done with. I think its great to hear from folks about the differences of HSU and SVS from someone that has actually had both and willing to take the time to share. Will I be changing subs soon, No as the PB2+ is not close to the lines mentioned and I really like the air this thing moves in my big room where the other one I tried just didn't do it. I too hope this is a thread that won't end up in a this vs. that one as both companies have great reputations and I would not hesitate to order a sub from either when down the road I feel the need to upgrade. Of course since I have an SVS and love it, it would be pretty stupid of me to change. Plus Ron there is just a great guy with a lot of knowledge to share to those looking into great HT subs...
     
  8. Drew Bethel

    Drew Bethel Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Messages:
    1,209
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the write-up. It's good to get the impressions of those with experience from reputable sub makers - unlike users upgrading from their sony boom boxes.
     
  9. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Messages:
    910
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree, hopefully we can keep this thread civil..... I am sure it will....especially since Hsu a forum sponcer now (am I the first one to notice that??) so fanboyism should be kept out [​IMG].
     
  10. Eric C D

    Eric C D Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2001
    Messages:
    285
    Likes Received:
    0


    As I started to read this paragraph, I thought he was going to finish the first sentence as follows: "If you need to kick it up a notch - BAM!"

    [​IMG]

    Hmmm, Now I wonder what Emeril would sound like with the sub engaged. [​IMG]
     
  11. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 1999
    Messages:
    2,568
    Likes Received:
    0
    James

    Good purchase. Just one question. Can you please describe what you mean by texture.

    Thanks
     
  12. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Messages:
    411
    Likes Received:
    0
    James,

    which plug setting do you have your VTF-3 on? I read somewhere that the most common setting is the 25Hz one, which is essentially what the STF-3 is, only without the adjustability.
     
  13. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2002
    Messages:
    2,418
    Likes Received:
    0
    Congrats on your new purchase James! Sounds like your in bass heaven and the VTF-3MK2 is every thing your looking for in a sub.


    Probably timbre? All the different flavors of bass?
     
  14. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2000
    Messages:
    855
    Likes Received:
    0


    That's a tough one. I just seem to hear more 'attack' and decay and differentiation of sound. Be they explosions or bass lines, there just seems to be more transient response, which I equate with texture. With bass, that's a tough thing to get. I don't know that I'm using the right word, but it's what I feel best describes it.

    Someone in another review put it this way(I'm paraphrasing): The SVS sub felt like someone hitting you in the chest with a boxing glove on. The Hsu sub felt like someone hitting you barehanded. It's a great analogy.
     
  15. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2000
    Messages:
    1,313
    Likes Received:
    0
    Quote:

    I received my VTF-3MK2 a few days ago. Anyone considering this sub should not hesitate to give it a try.

    I'm going to list the subs I've had in my difficult(12x13, cement slab) room, along with my impressions.

    Velodyne 810
    (8" driver, 10" passive radiator) circa 2000. This was my first- not bad, but definite limits on loudness and low frequencies. But it was punchy, not boomy- as it should be-I don't think it had much below 40Hz to offer. It was a start, but I always felt as if I were missing something. My neighbor is still using it; since he does not read A/V mags and forums, he's happy.

    Hsu VTF-2- circa 2000-2001
    I replaced the Velo with this- great move. The VTF-2 went much lower than than the Velo, and retained the texture and punch too. This sub was great. No boominess, just great bass feel. Several people I know bought this sub after listening to demos at my house.

    SVS 20-39PC circa 2002-2003
    As soon as this sub arrived, I sold my VTF-2. The 20-39PC definitely went lower, and louder, but was not nearly as 'clean'. It certainly played down to 20Hz and below, as checked with my trusty SPL meter. But something was missing. No more punch. I even ordered the 25Hz tuned port for it, hoping the higher tune would change my impressions. I moved it around the room, trying various placement, to no avail. Oh well, I lived with this sub for about 1.5 years and sold it.

    SVS 25-31PC+ circa 2003-2004
    The new SVS seemed about the same as the old- since I have a small room, I was not able to fully realize the extra output available to me. I figured the new amp, driver, and different tuning points available would give me back the punch of the VTF-2. No. The SVS just did not have the texture and 'speed' of the Hsu VTF-2.

    PSB Subsonic 6i circa 2004-2005
    Alright! I was able to buy this sub at cost, since I was now working for a PSB dealer. This sub gave me back the 'texture' that was missing in the low-end. It sounded really good, but I knew that it's ultimate loudness and ability to go low were not strong points. Points to the SVS in those regards. However, it made movie and concert watching extremely enjoyable- it was not a 'one note bass' sub. I started a thread at the time that became somewhat contentious, where I stated I preferred the sound of the PSB to that of the SVS.

    Hsu VTF-3 current
    Take the good things I've said about the above subs, put them all together, and it equals the VTF-3. It plays LOUD.
    It plays LOOWWW. It is 'fast'. It has texture. It sounds like my original VTF-2 on steroids. I can heartily recommend this sub. I've been bringing out all the old standbys- U-571, Ronin, T2, Desperado, World Is Not Enough, etc. All have a newfound vitality.

    I don't know what voodoo is in the VTF-3 box, but it truly rocks.

    --------------------------------
    James,
    Would you rate all of the subs mentioned on a 1 - 10 scale with 10 being the best?
     
  16. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2000
    Messages:
    855
    Likes Received:
    0
    Reginald, I'll rate them in order of which I liked best. It's hard to put a number on them. Here goes, with my favorite first:

    VTF-3MK2
    VTF-2
    PSB Subsonic 6i
    SVS 25-31PC+
    SVS 20-39PC
    Velo VX-810
     
  17. Dan Lindley

    Dan Lindley Second Unit

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2000
    Messages:
    396
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry to distract, but the joke about Emeril lurks in mind... WWEP? What Would Emeril Pick? Unfortunately, for all his kick it up talk, in reality he adds only a tiny pinch of cayenne, so as not to lose his TV audience in real heat....

    Now, the Pain is Good sauce guys might have something to say about subs...

    In any case and seriously speaking, I too think that this is one of the better comparison threads, and I welcome HSU to HTF even though I am a happy SVS owner, and enjoyed great interactions and no upselling as I planned my setup with them.

    A central point to be made is how much a subwoofer of any sort is KEY to the HT experience. It is absolutely incredible to be shaken by the sound in your own home. As this realization grips people, let many flowers bloom in an ever expanding market. Welcome to HSU, and may the rising tide float all boats.

    Dan
     
  18. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    1,412
    Likes Received:
    0
    James,
    Your findings are in line with the in home comparisons I have done over the last couple of years with my VTF-3, a 20-39PC+, and a PB1+(PB12+).
     
  19. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2001
    Messages:
    1,074
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just one note. The PB12-Plus you tried Curtis is wholly different than the PB12-Plus sold today. The competitive subs and PC+ subs were older still IIRC. Different woofer, different cabinet, different ports, significantly different amp (at least this is definitely the case of the SVS PB12-Plus). The older the comparison the less relevant it is probably. Not that you don't already know this.

    Who knows how a PB12-Plus circa 2005 might fare with you (that's a rhetorical question, no need to answer ;^) What "was" is an imperfect guide to what "is" today. With each new platform shift (ours or others) re-evaluation is key or relevance is questionable... unless you are comparing subs available in the used market naturally. I doubt any progressive OEM would take exception.

    It's great news that James finally got a sub that "gets it" for him. Anyone with that much patience in trying brands deserves to hit paydirt. We're just glad he gave us a shake. If one brand was always the best for EVERY person (and in every room, the only thing more variable than personal taste), well, it'd be a pretty boring world. The "best" sub for an individual is all that matters in the end. No sour grapes here, we say this all the time.

    Ron
     
  20. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    1,412
    Likes Received:
    0
    Totally understood and agreed. My VTF-3(old design and old amp) is now a little over 2 years old.

    The 20-39PC+ I tried was purchased around 4-5 months after the VTF-3. The PB1+ a few months that. I think the dates right.

    Would love to try one of the newer subs in my home. I have not tried anything since the PB1+.....any brand for that matter. Everything in the past year has just been demos.

    I agree that home evaluation is key, but it can be costly with subs. Not many have the opportunity to compare side by side. So past experiences I think are key...just like when buying cars. Otherwise we only have marketing rhetoric to wade through.

    Something new is always around the corner.
     

Share This Page