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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys. A little over a year ago I pieced together my first decent home theater with surround sound running older speakers. Currently running a Samsung 55" 4k tv, Pioneer 5 channel amp, nht towers, center and bookshelf speakers with a boston acoustics vr500 subwoofer.

In general I'm very happy with the sound and picture from the system but I've always been underwhelmed from the subwoofer. It always seemed really poppy sounding and didn't have much deep or powerful bass. Long story short a couple weeks ago I had some girls over and cranked up my subwoofer and forgot to turn it down. Was just watching a movie and I blew the woofer. The surround is completely detached from the cone and the cone has this horrible noise when you push it in and out. Because of the underwhelming performance of it originally I'm not very inclined to have it rebuilt.

Doing a bit of googling the amp is rated at 100w (assuming rms), the box is about 1.5 cubic feet, ported and it's tuned for 30hz. Physically the box is in great shape and I'd hate to just throw it out. Is it worth putting any money into this or should I just grab another used sub for $100-$200?

I found this driver, it's cheap and seems to have good reviews. It also seems like a perfect match for the enclosure and the amp size. Is it worth buying or is realistically a $20 woofer just throwing money in the trash? I live in canada so after shipping and tax and everything it's probably going to end up costing me more like $60

Apparently I cant post a link because I'm a new member. Its a grs 10sw-4 woofer from parts express.
 

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From my own experience with the GRS SW12-4, I'd say it's worth a shot. I have 4 of them in an IB setup and they're performing splendidly. GRS drivers are marketed as "replacement drivers" in a lot of cases, so they're spec'd to be pretty forgiving. It may or may not be better than the factory driver in that sub, but I'd bet it will do the job just fine.

I should note that my own personal approach to this hobby is to spend as little as possible for any given operation, provided the money is spent on gear worth owning... so what I'm suggesting, based on my own bias, is that you save some cash and get the GRS driver as I believe it will solve the problem and cost a fraction of what buying a complete powered subwoofer would cost.

Might you have an application for an additional subwoofer at some point in the future? If so, then I would argue that replacing the driver and using the BA sub in your HT until you decide to upgrade would be the most economical approach to taking care of your future need.

There are plenty of decent options in the $100-$200 range. I am quite pleased with the Dayton SUB-800 (it's in a 2.1 setup in a walk-in closet), so I wouldn't hesitate to get the SUB-1200 should the need arise. And if you can find something used, as you suggested, then the possibility exists that you can get something even more robust than the new offerings in that range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. I'm normally a build it Once build it right kinda guy but I was at the end of my budget and I grabbed this sub for cheap. I need to figure out if it's worth repairing or just using this as an excuse to get a better one...

I don't think I would have much use for a 2nd sub in the future but I could always sell it when it's time to upgrade. I'm starting to think I just need a more powerful sub. I don't need mind numbing base but I could barely hear let alone feel the original sub. Its in a fairly big room roughly 20' by 10'. It has hardwood floors and I keep the sub in the corner beside my couch. I don't really need the whole room to be filled and shaking but noticeable from 5 feet away would be nice.

Thinking I'll have a look on craiglist and see what I can find in the $200 range, if nothing comes up I'll just order the woofer.

Could the original woofer have been damaged the entire time which caused poor performance? I'm sure I inspected it when I bought it and I would have noticed in the foam was broken or breaking. Could some other issue make it be underwhelming or is that just because of the lack of power (100w)?

Most of my audio knowledge is from car audio. I can't seem to find a impedance rating on the built in amp. Are most home audio subs run at 4ohms? Most of my vehicles have had 12" subs running 250-350w rms and they pounded substantially harder then my home theater sub.
 

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Well, with a 10'x20' room, and assuming you've got 8' ceilings, that's 1600ft^3. While your room isn't absurdly large, it's probably quite a bit bigger than a 100w 10" sub can handle efficiently. If it was popping and not very deep, I'd suspect there was indeed some other issue... perhaps the driver was already on its way out or the amp has some sort of fault. Did you buy new, or was it purchased used? Perhaps you were already running it on the edge, and cranking it up from there made it finally give up the ghost.

If you were never particularly satisfied with that sub, maybe replacing it entirely is the more economical choice. You'll probably be happier with a 12" or 15", if your space allows for the bigger box. There are many good options to choose from. Check out some of the reviews here on HTS for some ideas, and definitely ask for people's opinions. Everyone here is very nice and willing to share info.

Between theJman and AudiocRaver here, you have some of the best-written reviews of an extremely wide variety of products.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks! My budget is pretty low but there are a few options on craigslist in the $200 range. None of them seem overly powerful though. How many watts would you suggest for my size of room? With my sub at full it was decent, but yeah you might be right about it on its way out. It was used and I think it was over 10 years old so definitely is a possibility. The reviews I have found on the sub showed it to be fairly good though which kind of surprised me when I actually fired it up. I'm pretty broke at the moment and I'll keep my eyes out for a good deal.

There is a paradigm pd-10 for $80 locally. Seems be fairly well reviewed but is also another 100w sub...
 

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Well, with a 10'x20' room, and assuming you've got 8' ceilings, that's 1600ft^3. While your room isn't absurdly large, it's probably quite a bit bigger than a 100w 10" sub can handle efficiently. If it was popping and not very deep, I'd suspect there was indeed some other issue... perhaps the driver was already on its way out or the amp has some sort of fault. Did you buy new, or was it purchased used? Perhaps you were already running it on the edge, and cranking it up from there made it finally give up the ghost.

If you were never particularly satisfied with that sub, maybe replacing it entirely is the more economical choice. You'll probably be happier with a 12" or 15", if your space allows for the bigger box. There are many good options to choose from. Check out some of the reviews here on HTS for some ideas, and definitely ask for people's opinions. Everyone here is very nice and willing to share info.
+1

1600 ft^3 is anything but a large area, so don't worry about that. If it never really did what you wanted anyway perhaps fate stepped in and helped you decide on a different course. Given your budget check out the Dayton SUB-1200 or the BIC H-100II. The latter probably will go for a little over $200, but it's still worth considering nonetheless.


Thanks! My budget is pretty low but there are a few options on craigslist in the $200 range. None of them seem overly powerful though. How many watts would you suggest for my size of room?
Watts, taken in isolation, is fairly meaningless, so don't get hung up on that. There are many other factors to consider that when combined make up the performance of a subwoofer.
 

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It's a slightly more complex issue than just getting a sub that claims a higher wattage. In order to produce higher SPL in a larger space, your driver needs to displace more air. That means one or both of two things: 1) higher excursion and/or 2) larger diameter piston. Either of those translates to more displacement. But in terms of how a driver interacts with it's amp and cabinet, it's a question of sensitivity. A driver with a sensitivity of 92dB (1w/1m) is going to seem a lot louder than one at 86dB (1w/1m).

Basically, not all 100w subwoofers are created equal.

If it's a budget question, that Paradigm might be a good bet. Perhaps down the road, you can drop the GRS driver into the Boston box to resurrect it and the two subs together might round out your bottom end.
 

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Good advice above.
For me if my budget were 200 bucks and and I was never happy with the original BA sub I wouldn't buy a new driver for it unless it was going into another space like an office or garage etc. I'd wait and watch for something used just exactly like you are doing. IMO it was under matched from the beginning. Waiting to replace equipment sucks plain and simple but I would hold out as long as you can. No sense in rushing in just to end up where you've been already. Lots of great deals to be had if you watch closely. As said above don't worry about watts too much but personally I would look for something with at least a 12" driver. Also good extension and by reputable manufacturers and read reviews about subs that pop up and have your interest. Dq was right about displacement. Bass is about moving air and a smaller driver has to use more excursion to get the same output as a bigger driver would. That means more power and better drivers. That costs money. Wait for the biggest one you can afford. It will show up.


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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
There's a few energy s10.2 subwoofers locally for like $100. From what I've read they are supposed to be pretty loud with good strong base for the price.
 
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