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Subwoofer driver size: Is there a noticeable difference between 8" and 12" driver? (1 Viewer)

Koschei

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I'm in the midst of upgrading my home theater system - last year, I went to 4K for my TV, receiver, and disc player. This year, I'm changing up the speakers.

I currently have a Yamaha YST SW012 - 8" driver, frequency response is 28-200 Hz. The room the system is in measures about 25 feet by 12. This will be a 7.1 system, using a mix of Sony and Polk speakers for center, front, and surround. The receiver is the Sony STR-DH790.

I originally wasn't going to change out the sub - it's been performing well for over a decade now. And the frequency response range seems pretty good in comparison to similar sized and priced subs. But the driver size is basically as small as you can get.

So I'm wondering: is there a big/noticeable difference between a sub with an 8" driver and one with a 12" one? Is it worth spending the extra money on? (My budget for a new sub is modest - I'd like to stay under $250, if I get a new one.)
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Yes, get a (much) better, real sub -- that Yamaha 8" one you have is not a real sub... and the quoted FR spec is very suspect at best (and probably simply can't pump out nearly enough volume across that range, if the quoted FR is remotely real/accurate and close enough to "flat").

For your very limited budget, maybe you can get one of these from Monoprice (although I really wonder how good they are at those prices, especially the 15" one):



They're currently sold-out w/ in-stock ETA at least 2 months away (and more like 4 months for the 12" one) though...

_Man_
 

GeorgeHolland

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It is difficult to find a “Subwoofer” that measures worse than the Yamaha, this spreadsheet lists a few measured subwoofers for comparison. Notice Yamaha doesn’t include any useful measurements, for example, what is the F3? (Where the woofer starts dropping in SPL by 3db).



For example, I’ve broken out from the linked spreadsheet your Yamaha and included the Monoprice subs ManW_TheUncool referenced.

CEA-2010 specifies a method for measuring subwoofer's maximum SPL (before subwoofer distorts) at various frequencies.



CTA-2010 results scaled to 1M peak equivalent (updated 10/22)
NM = not measured, NA = no measureable outputavg.avg.
MODEL
Driver
Loading
80 Hz
40-63 Hz
63 Hz
50 Hz
40 Hz
20-31.5 Hz
31.5 Hz
25 Hz`
20 Hz
16 Hz
Yamaha YST-SW012
8"
ported
116.2
105.8
109.9
105.5
98.7
84.2
91.5
80.0
62.0
NM
Monoprice SW-12
12"
ported
123.0
120.7
122.9
119.7
119.0
111.1
115.2
111.1
102.7
90.6
Monoprice SW-15
15"
ported
123.5
123.7
125.6
123.7
111.1
112.9
116.7
112.6
106.7
100.9
 

Koschei

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I appreciate the responses. I will definitely be upgrading/replacing the Yamaha. I think I have it narrowed to a few choices, but it can be overwhelming trying to make a decision.
 

John Dirk

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I appreciate the responses. I will definitely be upgrading/replacing the Yamaha. I think I have it narrowed to a few choices, but it can be overwhelming trying to make a decision.
Honestly I'd keep the Yamaha until your budget allows for at least a $500.00 expenditure. That way whatever you settle on will last and satisfy you for a good while.

This is an excellent bargain if you're willing to go the used route. New units run $449.00 [free shipping] and RSL can't keep them in stock.

 

JohnRice

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CTA-2010 results scaled to 1M peak equivalent (updated 10/22)
NM = not measured, NA = no measureable outputavg.avg.
MODEL
Driver
Loading
80 Hz
40-63 Hz
63 Hz
50 Hz
40 Hz
20-31.5 Hz
31.5 Hz
25 Hz`
20 Hz
16 Hz
Yamaha YST-SW012
8"
ported
116.2
105.8
109.9
105.5
98.7
84.2
91.5
80.0
62.0
NM
Monoprice SW-12
12"
ported
123.0
120.7
122.9
119.7
119.0
111.1
115.2
111.1
102.7
90.6
Monoprice SW-15
15"
ported
123.5
123.7
125.6
123.7
111.1
112.9
116.7
112.6
106.7
100.9
Yeah, the Yamaha plummets below 50Hz. That's not a subwoofer. That's a bass module.

The Monoprice Dayton SUB-1200 & SUB-1500 subs are probably your best choice in your current price range.
 
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GeorgeHolland

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I’ve built all my subwoofers and would put them up against most the higher end options. Mine are sealed with the exception of a 9" ScanSpeak 23W/4557T-02 with the 9" 23W/0-00-02 Passive Radiator in a 1 cubic foot cabinet delivering a frequency response with the passive down to 25Hz. Not the most efficient and is only rated for 225w but it sure sounds fantastic with great measurements. Goes to show size isn’t everything. The driver design, enclosure design, room, placement, DSP, all contribute to performance. I’ve also built two 18”, two 15”, two 13”, an 11 inch and a pair of 10” that I remember off the top of my head. Just another hobby outlet for me. Takes a table saw, router and should be fun for you or I wouldn’t recommend trying it. Some places offer flat packs, pre-cut for you to assemble, glue and clamp.

Speaker_Collage.jpg
 

Koschei

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George, that's amazing (building your own). That's essentially sorcery to me! It would not be fun or easy for me, so I'm going to stick with buying a completely constructed one.

And to another poster above: telling someone to "not bother" buying something unless it's twice over their budget isn't terribly helpful. I'm not on board with the idea that the only acceptable, enjoyable home theater is one that costs at least a couple of grand.
 

Clinton McClure

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If you can stick back a little money here and there to increase your budget after a few months, I’m with John Dirk in that I would wait, save up, and buy a better, more capable sub down the road. If you absolutely have to replace the Yamaha now and can’t wait, then go for a Monoprice model.
 

Koschei

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You guys realize the Monoprice ones are out of stock, yes?

It's a little frustrating to be told there are exactly two subs under $500 worth buying. I've done a good amount of reading of reviews/watching videos, and I've yet to see any other source say "If you're not willing to spend half a grand, don't buy anything."

I'm not looking to crack the foundations of my house (or my neighbors!). I was just want good bass for watching movies and listening to music.
 

DaveF

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You guys realize the Monoprice ones are out of stock, yes?

It's a little frustrating to be told there are exactly two subs under $500 worth buying. I've done a good amount of reading of reviews/watching videos, and I've yet to see any other source say "If you're not willing to spend half a grand, don't buy anything."

I'm not looking to crack the foundations of my house (or my neighbors!). I was just want good bass for watching movies and listening to music.
$400 for a factory outlet sale SVS entry sub. Buy it now and enjoy for years.

Or for $500 the SB-2000!
 

ManW_TheUncool

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You guys realize the Monoprice ones are out of stock, yes?

It's a little frustrating to be told there are exactly two subs under $500 worth buying. I've done a good amount of reading of reviews/watching videos, and I've yet to see any other source say "If you're not willing to spend half a grand, don't buy anything."

I'm not looking to crack the foundations of my house (or my neighbors!). I was just want good bass for watching movies and listening to music.

We don't always like the truth.

Still, nobody's actually telling you not to bother for less than $500 though. You're just jumping to that conclusion yourself.

Basically, you're gonna get what you pay for (assuming you choose from whatever best options w/in each price range)... while it's also true the law of diminishing returns apply here.

Maybe you will be plenty happy for a very long time w/ a sub-$200 upgrade to the Monoprice 12" sub I suggested (though it's unfortunately out-of-stock for at least 4 more months). That's certainly probable enough given you seemed happy enough w/ much less before. But nobody else will know for certain of that. Only you can tell after you give it a chance for yourself. Others can only give opinions/recommendations/advice based on their experience and knowable criteria -- there's more than enough we can't fully know about you and your criteria.

_Man_
 

ManW_TheUncool

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IF you want some viable alternatives, look thru the spreadsheet George provided above and see which ones are affordable enough and seem comparable enough to the couple Monoprice ones. There might be another or two I guess...

You should look for ones that don't have steep dropoffs too early in the FR -- steep might be 5db-plus from one point to the next in that spreadsheet and say 20db total from the 80hz point. The very gradual rolloff ones will likely be (far) beyond your budget.

_Man_
 

ManW_TheUncool

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As this wirecutter article recommends and supported by the data/measurements in George's spreadsheet, the Dayton SUB-1200 probably makes a worthy alternative at same price range, if you can't wait for the Monoprice SW-12 (or SW-15) to become available again...

You might not notice whatever diff between them, especially given where you're coming from...

_Man_
 

John Dirk

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George, that's amazing (building your own). That's essentially sorcery to me! It would not be fun or easy for me, so I'm going to stick with buying a completely constructed one.

And to another poster above: telling someone to "not bother" buying something unless it's twice over their budget isn't terribly helpful. I'm not on board with the idea that the only acceptable, enjoyable home theater is one that costs at least a couple of grand.
 

JohnRice

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I should be careful when I post in a hurry at work.

I said Monoprice, but I meant the Dayton SUB-1200 and SUB-1500, which are well within your budget. My mistake.

And... You're welcome. :wacko:
 

Mike Up

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I'm in the midst of upgrading my home theater system - last year, I went to 4K for my TV, receiver, and disc player. This year, I'm changing up the speakers.

I currently have a Yamaha YST SW012 - 8" driver, frequency response is 28-200 Hz. The room the system is in measures about 25 feet by 12. This will be a 7.1 system, using a mix of Sony and Polk speakers for center, front, and surround. The receiver is the Sony STR-DH790.

I originally wasn't going to change out the sub - it's been performing well for over a decade now. And the frequency response range seems pretty good in comparison to similar sized and priced subs. But the driver size is basically as small as you can get.

So I'm wondering: is there a big/noticeable difference between a sub with an 8" driver and one with a 12" one? Is it worth spending the extra money on? (My budget for a new sub is modest - I'd like to stay under $250, if I get a new one.)
I have that exact Yamaha sub. IMO, that's the 2nd worst sub I've had. Only 2nd to the Jamo S810 which was nearly unlistenable. BTW, those specs are WRONG. It really only goes down to about 50Hz.

I replaced it with a Polk TL1600 8" subwoofer that went down to 45Hz, much more accurate, much tighter, harder hitting punch, but only marginally lower in the bass at 45. I then upgraded again to the Klipsch R-100SW (10" sub) and what a night and day difference. Actually a 'true' subwoofer for media room. This thing is more accurate with harder hitting punch while going much lower in the bass and shaking the room. Sounds very similar to my bigger R-120SW (12" sub) but with less low end and punch.

So a 12" sub (normally) will go lower in the bass, have harder hitting punch, and have more output/loudness. And yes, it's a large difference.

My 2 subs, that I'm currently using are on Amazon. The Klipsch R-120SW (12") is $295 and the R-100SW (10") is $199. Both are really good subs IMO, especially for the price.

My Klipsch R-120SW replaced my Velodyne CT-100 which has the same specs but Velodyne a 10" instead of a 12", and has has lower power. I feel the Klipsch is a more accurate sub that hits harder and goes as low and sounds even lower. I like the Klipsch BETTER.

You have to watch out with some of the more expensive subs. While they may go lower in bass at frequencies you actually can't hear, they sometime have a dip in the midbass frequencies. Those midbass frequencies are more important in music than the ultra low bass that are often not even produced in music.

My Velodyne had strong low bass output, but rolled off it the mid to high bass which accounted for the bass punch being worse than both Klipsch subs I have. Sound and Vision measured the following year model sub, the Velodyne CHT-10 which is the same as the CT-100, but with a higher power amp. That sub was 3 decibels lower at 80Hz than it was at 40Hz, and I could tell.
 
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Koschei

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Against my better judgment, posting a response...I decided on a subwoofer. It's not anything mentioned in this thread, but it is a very close relative to the ones mentioned by Mike Up in the post immediately preceding.
 

Mike Up

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Against my better judgment, posting a response...I decided on a subwoofer. It's not anything mentioned in this thread, but it is a very close relative to the ones mentioned by Mike Up in the post immediately preceding.
I will say if it's the Klipsch R-12SW or R-12SWI, its worth the extra cost to get the R-100SW or R-120SW. The newer R-100/120SW subs are more accurate with less high bass emphasis and have a much better cabinet laminate. The R-12SW scratch way to easy, just by looking at it! I had the R-12SWi from Costco and returned it.

Another I would consider is the RSL Speedwoofer for $450. It's sold out though. It seems this sub is rarely in stock. Makes sense by it's performance and price. Measurements look better across the entire frequency range than many subs costing 2X it's cost. It has really good low frequency extension to below my hearing at least. It was never in stock so I bought the Klipsch. It has gotten great reviews but is almost 2X your budget though.
 
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Nelson Au

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Interesting thread! I’m actually quite interested in what George Holland posted about building a sub myself. I have the hand skills and tools. So that cabinet is not a problem. It’s selecting the right drivers and amplification and determining the cabinet size. This is a project I hope to do some time soon. Should be fun! So some research should be done.
 

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