Please help me choose a subwoofer amp :) - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 11 Old 05-25-11, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Please help me choose a subwoofer amp :)

I'm a first time poster, but have been reading this forum for a few years now. I've also been building speakers for about 10 years. The listening area is medium to small and a lot of output is not required. Design goals are for an enclosure of 2.5 cubic feet, or smaller. Either sealed, or ported, but for simplicity and somewhat for cost I would like to stay away from passive radiator(s). What is a must requirement, is the highest possible sonic, performance, and component quality (within reason). I've narrowed down my choices to the following subwoofers:

1.) Exodus Audio Shiva X-2 12" (XBL2 motor, great xmax, a little over budget, never in stock)
2.) CSS XDS10 10" (XBL2 motor, good price)
3.) Rythmik DS1200 12" (Good TC Sounds subwoofer, only sold in a kit with their servo amplifier)
4.) TC Sounds Epic 12" (great xmax, no XBL2 motor, almost over budget)
5.) TC Sounds Epic 10" (great xmax, no XBL2 motor, expensive for a 10")
6.) Dayton RSS315HF-4 12" (great price, but are they at the performance level of the above subwoofers?)
Dayton RSS315HO-4 12"
Dayton Audio TIT320C-4 12" Titanic Mk III
Dayton Audio RSS265HF-4 10"
Dayton Audio RSS265HO-4 10"
Dayton Audio TIT280C-4 10" Titanic Mk III

So far I've only been looking at plate amplifiers, as it would be nice to have a stand alone all inclusive subwoofer unit. My initial instinct is to pick a classic A/B high fidelity power amplifier, DC coupled, with bipolar, or metal can MOSFETS and a toroidal transformer. But I would be open to consider a high quality H, D, or BASH plate amp. Here are the amplifiers that I've looked at so far:

1.) BK Electronics BSBPV300 (meets all of my criteria, but how much does BK charge for shipping to the U.S.?)
2.) BK Electronics BSBP300 (same as above)
3.) O-Audio 500 watt BASH (will this amp have the sonic quality of BK's? great features, never in stock)
4.) Rythmik Audio A370PEQ and A370XLR (not really interested in servo, expensive, class A/B, can it be used
without the servo?)
5.) Keiga KG5230 (class AB, does it use high quality components, like a toroidal transformer?)
6.) Dayton Audio SA240 (class H?)
7.) Dayton Audio SPA500 (class H?)

Which of the above is the overall highest quality performer? Are there any pro amp and active crossover solutions available that are priced similar to what's above, but with better performance?
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-25-11, 08:14 PM
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Re: Please help me choose a subwoofer amp :)

I can't really comment on the first three on your list. I've been hanging around the PE talk tech and I've read that the RS subs are VERY high in SQ. The Titanic Mk III have been recommended more for home theater because they have a stronger low end, but don't have the same quality as the RS line. TC sounds would give more SPLs and maybe a little higher SQ, but if you don't need the extra SPL, then it probably isn't worth the extra price.

As for amps, you might just want to pick the one with the longest warranty. After reading reviews on Dayton, and Bash, they seem to be having a lot of problems. I had a Emotiva Sub 12 amp fail in 6 months, but it was repaired and still has 4.5 years of warranty left.

If your after high SQ, you might really want to consider Emotiva, SVS, or Epic smaller sealed subs. I love my Emo, even if it did fail on me.

Last edited by Generic; 05-25-11 at 09:31 PM.
post #3 of 11 Old 05-26-11, 06:12 AM
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Re: Please help me choose a subwoofer amp :)

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post #4 of 11 Old 05-26-11, 08:03 AM
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Just a comment I believe rhythmic sells there ds1200 alone with no amp also.
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post #5 of 11 Old 05-26-11, 03:50 PM
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Re: Please help me choose a subwoofer amp :)

Its the servo that makes the Rythmik special. I use a Behringer EP4000 amp with Exodus Shiva and Tempest drivers. The EP4000 requires a mod to use, the fan must be replaced with a quieter one which I did.
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post #6 of 11 Old 05-26-11, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Please help me choose a subwoofer amp :)

I was thinking about going with a pro amplifier, but then I will also need some sort of an EQ, like the Reckhorn. My system is 2 a channel with monitor loudspeakers, preamp, and amp. Problem with the Reckhorn is that it's kind of low fidelity. In addition, I was planning on using the DSPeaker Anti-Mode 8033, so even though by itself the Behringer EP4000 is a good value, the prices add up rather quickly. I would have no problem making the fan mod

I took a look at Rythmik's website again and they do sell their plate amplifiers separately, but not the DS1200. The Exodus Audio Shiva X-2 seems like an incredible subwoofer, but is it ever going to be in stock again? I believe they've been out of stock for a very long time

I'm realistically only left with these choices, at least for now:

1.) TC Sounds Epic 12"
2.) TC Sounds Epic 10"
3.) CSS XDS10 10"
4.) Dayton Audio 10 inchers
5.) Dayton Audio 12 inchers

I would really prefer for the finished sub to be in a rather small enclosure, under 2.5 cubic feet, have an F3 in the mid 20Hz, and preferably be of a sealed design for ease of construction.

Any suggestions which one is the best from this list?

I was also thinking of just buying a finished subwoofer, like the BK XLS200 DF MKII, or BK XLS300 DF, or even a Rythmik F12SE...

Does anyone know if BK sells to the U.S. with the correct voltage?

Last edited by burokas; 05-27-11 at 12:35 AM.
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post #7 of 11 Old 05-27-11, 05:50 AM
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Re: Please help me choose a subwoofer amp :)

You're right, the costs add up quickly. I use a balanced miniDSP for equalization of the subs and for the crossovers of my fronts I use unbalanced miniDSPs. It may be a long wait for the Shiva. I have one and have not been disappointed.
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-27-11, 05:54 AM
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post #9 of 11 Old 05-27-11, 10:00 AM
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Re: Please help me choose a subwoofer amp :)

I have 2 of the Dayton SPA500 plate amps and I just love them. Paired with the RSS315HF-4-12 the sound is unbeatable for the investment compared to many ID brands that cost upwards of 3x as much to attain the same performance level.

Reliability has has been excellent and the amp SQ is just top shelf, audiophile quality. I get no hum like some have reported, tho I do use a nice APC power conditioner/surge protector (as any high end HT should have in my opinion) though and highly recommend if not APC, a quality brand.
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post #10 of 11 Old 05-27-11, 10:06 AM
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Re: Please help me choose a subwoofer amp :)

Glad the Dayton amps worked out for you. There are a number of reports of the Daytons only able to deliver half their advertised power. Perhaps this has changed or maybe its only their "1000 watt" amps.
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