HSU Research VTF-3 MK5 HP Discussion Thread - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 67 Old 06-27-15, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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HSU Research VTF-3 MK5 HP Discussion Thread

HSU Research VTF-3 MK5 HP

By Jim Wilson (theJman)




On audio forums an all too common question is some variation of "what subwoofer should I buy for XXX amount of money?". There are a handful of Internet Direct (ID) manufacturers mentioned repeatedly, but all too often those potential candidates do not include anything from HSU Research. That's rather interesting when you consider how long this company has been around. Truth be told I was among those who only gave their products a passing acknowledgment, but after having lived with the VTF-3 MK5 HP for over a month I won't be omitting them any longer. Put succinctly, this subwoofer is amazing. It wants for absolutely nothing and can hold its own with any product being sold for under a grand. When you consider all the tuning options, and realize the flexibility that affords, you quickly come to the conclusion it has few legitimate rivals. The HSU VTF-3 MK5 HP should be on your short list if both quality and quantity is what you're after.

For the full review Click Here
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post #2 of 67 Old 06-27-15, 02:44 PM
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Re: HSU Research VTF-3 MK5 HP Discussion Thread

Great review. I was going to buy and actually did purchase the VTF-2 MK5 HP but with some advice from members on this board and discussing with HSU directly I quickly called and have them charged me the extra money for the VTF-15H MK2.

Both share the same amp, same driver just the MK2 offers a larger cabinet with more port area. I'm pleased with my decision. It's a great sub. My room is right at 3000cuft though so I'll be adding a second soon.

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post #3 of 67 Old 06-27-15, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: HSU Research VTF-3 MK5 HP Discussion Thread

The HSU turned out to be a pleasant surprise. I knew of their reputation but hadn't heard anything they made. It's just an all-around performer, no matter what someone wants; depth, output, appearance, quality.

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post #4 of 67 Old 06-29-15, 07:41 AM
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Re: HSU Research VTF-3 MK5 HP Discussion Thread

Nice review Thanks! I used to own the VTF3 MK4 and it was a solid sub. HSU does make great products and they also have excellent customer service.
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post #5 of 67 Old 07-06-15, 05:17 PM
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Re: HSU Research VTF-3 MK5 HP Discussion Thread

Quote:
theJman wrote: View Post
HSU Research VTF-3 MK5 HP

By Jim Wilson (theJman)



On audio forums an all too common question is some variation of "what subwoofer should I buy for XXX amount of money?". There are a handful of Internet Direct (ID) manufacturers mentioned repeatedly, but all too often those potential candidates do not include anything from HSU Research. That's rather interesting when you consider how long this company has been around. Truth be told I was among those who only gave their products a passing acknowledgment, but after having lived with the VTF-3 MK5 HP for over a month I won't be omitting them any longer. Put succinctly, this subwoofer is amazing. It wants for absolutely nothing and can hold its own with any product being sold for under a grand. When you consider all the tuning options, and realize the flexibility that affords, you quickly come to the conclusion it has few legitimate rivals. The HSU VTF-3 MK5 HP should be on your short list if both quality and quantity is what you're after.

For the full review Click Here
Quote:
theJman wrote: View Post
The HSU turned out to be a pleasant surprise. I knew of their reputation but hadn't heard anything they made. It's just an all-around performer, no matter what someone wants; depth, output, appearance, quality.
I participated in sub-buying threads here and other forums ... and Hsu came up from time to time, usually in glowing terms, though not as much as SVS, PSA, et al. I started by shopping for a sub-US$400 sub, but the entry level SVS PB/SB-1000 had me really tempted, as well as their free return shipping if I wasn't happy. But ... for my room, my listening preferences, my blend of music and film viewing (both equally important to me), the flexibility of the Hsu VTF subs kept tempting me, even with no free shipping (either way).

I finally threw up my hands and realized that reviewers' evals of both brands assured me of a great sub from either. I held my breath, crossed myself, and ordered a VTF-2 (edging out the VTF-1 due to its lower reach to 18Hz). ... I've been supremely happy with it, particularly after I played the included Boston Audio Society/Hsu test cd. The first track of the CD, an excerpt from Saint-Saens' Organ Symphony, second movement (Poco Adagio), readily demonstrated the sub's gentle and assured performance at sub-aural freqencies, more succinctly than test tones that I'd downloaded from audiocheck.net. From the liner notes:

Quote:
WARNING: When playing this track for the first time, lower the volume, as your woofers may be at risk. The bottom octave of this recording may damage vented or planar loudspeakers. (The opening string passage should be quite soft.) Boston Civic Symphony conducted by Max Hobart, James David Christie, organist. Two AKG 414 ORTF cardioids, about the third row in Boston's Jordan Hall, spring 1983. This was one of the last times that the Jordon Hall organ, already showing signs of serious asthma, was heard in a public performance. (Micha Schattner)

This recording has the strongest and cleanest 16Hz of any recording I have come across.
Not sure who to attribute that last sentence to, but I have to agree. I can feel it in my living room. I can feel it in my gut. The Hsu VTF subs really deliver. Those removable plugs and adjustable options on the back can yield hours of fun tweaking and experimenting.

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post #6 of 67 Old 07-08-15, 09:41 AM
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Re: HSU Research VTF-3 MK5 HP Discussion Thread

Hey Jim,

Thanks for the review!

Usually the spectrographs are presented in their own chart.

They are smaller, but still show in the top right corner of the frequency response graphs.
It looks like there are 5 spikes. Can you comment on this?



Thanks,
Kurt
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post #7 of 67 Old 07-08-15, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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Re: HSU Research VTF-3 MK5 HP Discussion Thread

Unfortunately something happened to the screen captures for most of the spectrograph's, so instead of only including the few that did take I opted to not include any.

Realistically there are only 3 spikes of (potential) concern, those that occur above 125Hz can be considered irrelevant because your crossover will be set well below that threshold. Even at 100Hz the rolloff will be such that neither of those will be audible. Since most people us 80Hz - or even less - you can safely ignore the top 2.

Based upon what I experienced HSU programmed the VTF-3 to have a little kick centered around 23Hz, which is probably what lead to the favorable performance during movies. Since that's below the area the vast majority of music extends to it shouldn't impact sound quality in a 2 channel setup. To me that says HSU did their homework and gave the user the best of both worlds.

-Jim

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post #8 of 67 Old 07-08-15, 11:08 AM
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Re: HSU Research VTF-3 MK5 HP Discussion Thread

Quote:
theJman wrote: View Post
Unfortunately something happened to the screen captures for most of the spectrograph's, so instead of only including the few that did take I opted to not include any.

Realistically there are only 3 spikes of (potential) concern, those that occur above 125Hz can be considered irrelevant because your crossover will be set well below that threshold. Even at 100Hz the rolloff will be such that neither of those will be audible. Since most people us 80Hz - or even less - you can safely ignore the top 2.

Based upon what I experienced HSU programmed the VTF-3 to have a little kick centered around 23Hz, which is probably what lead to the favorable performance during movies. Since that's below the area the vast majority of music extends to it shouldn't impact sound quality in a 2 channel setup. To me that says HSU did their homework and gave the user the best of both worlds.
Good points, the ones above 125Hz would not be an issue (for any typical setup), and the one around 23Hz is certainly below all traditional musical instruments (with the exception of pipe organ).

However, the two sitting just north of the 63Hz tick seem like they would be problematic when listening to piano or walking bass where those pitches would stand apart from the rest.
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post #9 of 67 Old 07-08-15, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: HSU Research VTF-3 MK5 HP Discussion Thread

Quote:
FidelitySeeker wrote: View Post
Good points, the ones above 125Hz would not be an issue (for any typical setup), and the one around 23Hz is certainly below all traditional musical instruments (with the exception of pipe organ).

However, the two sitting just north of the 63Hz tick seem like they would be problematic when listening to piano or walking bass where those pitches would stand apart from the rest.
Even those two might not prove to be an issue. The reason I put the word "potential" in parenthesis before is because they may be of no consequence. Bear in mind those are close mic'ed measurements, so they reflect the raw output from the sub. Due to room interactions the response will be vastly different at the seating positions, so those peaks could actually become a null for some. Additionally, most people use some manner of room EQ so you can expect whatever remains to be tamed.

There is a bit of a misconception that a billiard table flat measured response is necessary, but that's really not the case. Sure, you don't want it bouncing all over the place, with 20dB gaps, but some "ripple" isn't really anything to be terribly concerned with. Bear in mind that no matter what the manufacturer does from the beginning the room will affect the output greatly, so all that careful tuning may be for naught in the long run. The other downside is headroom; depending upon how much wattage it takes to program the DSP to achieve a flat response there may be little left over for dynamic swings recorded in the source material. These charts infer HSU didn't use up a lot of amplifier power on the final output response, which if true has the advantage of allowing the sub to act on those dynamics. Based upon what my ears heard I suspect that's the case; the VTF-3 didn't want for headroom, so as the intensity of the soundtrack went up and down the sub was able to handle it.

-Jim

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post #10 of 67 Old 07-09-15, 12:04 AM
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Re: HSU Research VTF-3 MK5 HP Discussion Thread

It's a pleasure to be learning at your knee, sir.

“Say, was you ever bit by a dead bee?”
A: Yamaha RX-V775. Bose 401 mains, 301 Series III surrounds, Yamaha NS-C444 center, Hsu VTF-2 Mk4.
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