Subwoofer guidance - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 13 Old 08-07-12, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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Subwoofer guidance

I am in need of some informed guidance on potentially upgrading the subwoofer setup in my HT.

The theater is located in my basement. The dimensions come in at 2050 cubic feet (12.5 x 20.5 x 8).

The space in enclosed with french doors at the rear corner. I have insulated gypsum walls, carpeted floors with a heavy pad, and acoustic panels on at least 1/3 of the vertical surfaces; so, the acoustical control and properties of the room are pretty well controlled.

I have Polk TSi series 500s up front, 200s in the rear and a CS20 in the center. My subs consist of a pair of DSWMicroPro 2000s. Currently driven by a Pioneer VSX-1020-K (which will be upgraded inthe next year). Use is 90/10 theather/music.

The problem is, I do not like my the bass quality. It is decent for music; but the theater effects are missing a great deal of quality/effect.

I'd like something that retains the tight music effects of the enclosed sub; but, definately delivers more punch to the theater sound and the ability to drive much lower frequencies.

I have looked at both the HSU VTF-3 MK4 and SVS PC12-NSD subs and they look like very good options; but having not seen or heard them, I am not sure if they will fit my needs and/or if I should look at alternatives that would better suit my setup.

My budget is under $1,000 (pending spouse approval).

Thanks in advance for your feedback.
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-08-12, 12:04 AM
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Re: Subwoofer guidance

Chase Home theater. I have 2 (bigger room than you) of their 18" subs with one Dayton amp that they sell and am very pleased. I have the sealed subs...they are tight and knock stuff down regularly
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-08-12, 05:20 AM
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Re: Subwoofer guidance

First, welcome to the 'Shack.

There are many options for selecting a sub. The internet direct manufacturers offer the best bang for the buck. Hsu and SVS are very popular. I have 4 Hsu ULS-15s in my HT and am very well pleased. Many folks also are very pleased with SVS. I chose Hsu because they offered a very pretty walnut finish, plus offered discounts for buying more than one at a time. The walnut finish is no longer available, but I bought another ULS-15 for a second system in the standard satin black and was blown away by the quality of the finish. No truck bed liner finish here!!

If you have the room for the large cabinet, the HSU VTF-15 fits your budget and provides very good performance and very high output. I have never heard one, but have read many favorable reviews. It is a ported design. Some folks prefer sealed subs due to perceived better "speed" or transient response. However, the VTF-15 has foam plugs that allow selection of ported or "almost sealed." Be sure to check out dimensions and the weight of it, tho. If you decide on Hsu, post your room dimensions and layout on their forum and Dr. Hsu will give you recommendations on which sub and where to place it. I have seen him recommend a lower priced sub to a customer - rare customer service indeed.

I have not had good luck with Dayton plate amps. Perhaps I got a bad batch, but I have had failures in 3 of their plate amps in just over a year. Again, this is solely my experience. I did have a Hsu ULS-15 amp fail outside warranty, but Hsu provided outstanding customer service in getting it repaired at a reasonable cost.

Both SVS and Hsu have great reputations for customer service. You can't go wrong with either brand.

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post #4 of 13 Old 08-08-12, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Subwoofer guidance

I had looked at the Hsu VTF-15H and the ULS-15 as well. They both look awesome; but they are on the higher end of my budget range (at least the current "forgive me honey" range). Has anyone compared the performance.

The room is dedicated, so space is not too much an issue. I have 126" diagonal screen with 26" of clearance under the screen and 17" on each side (where the TSi500's reside). A sonotube solution would likely need to sit to one side of the seating area.

I recently found a PC12-NSD (used for $~550) that I'm considering; but I'm starting to think the plus upgrade may be a better fit for the room.
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post #5 of 13 Old 08-08-12, 10:58 PM
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Re: Subwoofer guidance

Ive been doing a lot of reading in my search for a sub, including dB results from comparative testing. If $1000 was my budget, I thint it'd be a no brainer for the VTF15H for me. I have a VTF2 in a 3500cuft room now, and while it was a great upgrade from my Klipsch sub, it's not enough for me. Go as big as you can the first time with the sub.
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post #6 of 13 Old 08-08-12, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Subwoofer guidance

I might be able to stretch the approval budget; but I'd have to offset the costs by selling the 2 micropro subs that are there now.

If I can, the VTF-15H is an option.
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post #7 of 13 Old 08-09-12, 11:21 AM
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Re: Subwoofer guidance

Welcome to the Forum. I do recommend getting the biggest (sound wise) sub/s you can afford. I love my SVS's. Have fun. Dennis

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post #8 of 13 Old 08-09-12, 06:26 PM
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Re: Subwoofer guidance

hjones4841 wrote: View Post
I have not had good luck with Dayton plate amps. Perhaps I got a bad batch, but I have had failures in 3 of their plate amps in just over a year. Again, this is solely my experience. I did have a Hsu ULS-15 amp fail outside warranty, but Hsu provided outstanding customer service in getting it repaired at a reasonable cost.
Dayton has many plate amps made in various places. If you are referring to the amp supplied with the Chase subs, it is rack mount amp that has a pretty good reputation.

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post #9 of 13 Old 08-10-12, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Subwoofer guidance

A friend of mine has also suggested that I look at the Epik Empire subwoofer in comparison to the Hsu and SVS subs mentioned. Thoughts?
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-11-12, 12:30 AM
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Re: Subwoofer guidance

When I was sub shopping it was very hard to choose without being able to hear them, but I took the leap of faith and picked the Outlaw LFM1-EX, I am very pleased with it.
I do not think you can go wrong with either the HSU VTF-3 MK4 or the SVS PC12-NSD.
I think they are both better than my sub.
Your room is only 2000^ft, either one of these should be up to the task.
If you want the bass to be over exaggerated then maybe you will need more, but my home is an open floor plan and the sub is probably exposed to over 9000^ft and it sounds real good.
I am not claiming to have kick in the chest bass, but everytime we watch a movie my wife tells me she can feel it and its not exactly a complimentary statement so in my case if the sub hit harder I would have other issues to deal with.
In your room a sealed sub might be a good option, I like the better quality ported subs because they have a flat response to the tune freq and do not depend on room gain to help.
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