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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Velodyne HGS-15 (HGS15BG) subwoofer has finally crapped out. It sometimes works, but usually just sputters and crackles. I had it serviced (third time in 20 years) a couple months ago but, apparently, it suffers from a "known issue" for which Velodyne no longer supplies replacement parts. Some band-aid fixes and workarounds were applied but didn't last - the same symptoms are back again. Time to punt.

So, I'm in the market for a comparable sub. Any suggestions? I haven't looked at subs since we purchased this one, so I'm totally out of the loop.

Any assistance is appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Any budget?
I was expecting to spend under $3k, since the MSRP on the HGS-15 was around that (ca. 2005) and everything I'm reading online says sub technology has improved since then. But then, last night, I got some suggestions from our local installer. Egads! JL Fathom F112/F113 ($6k), Paradigm SUB 2 ($11k), Paradigm Persona SUB ($7k) and some esoteric, architectural offerings from a local outfit called Wisdom Audio (no prices, but I'm guessing they're the richest of the bunch).

I really don't want to spend that kind of money. My room is technically "large," at 3,680 cubic feet, but with low ceilings (8') and not acoustically treated, so I suspect the benefits of these over-the-top audiophile options will be wasted on me. Then again, while the system is for home theater, music is a priority, so something super-clean, tight, and unported is probably in order (and maybe more expensive - I don't know). Oh, and I don't need crazy loud. I listen at modest levels and am more interested in accurate bass than loud bass.

Thank you for getting back to me.

Any ideas?
 

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Well so far it looks like you’re stuck with me for advice, lol. In any case, I am not a believer in the sealed for music thing. Imo, that shipped sailed a long time ago and quality modern ported designs have closed any performance gaps that may have existed between the two styles, while giving much more output below about 35hz. In fact, it can take as many as four sealed subs to equal a comparable ported sub at 20hz.
I also believe JL subs are overpriced.
Having said all that, I would considered a pair of subwoofers vs one. Especially if you have placement options, multiple subs can much more effectively balance out room modes/nulls giving you smoother bass response overall.
The usual recommendations are for subs from Rythmik, HSU, PSA, monolith, and svs. HSU probably represents the best value. Imo Svs used to, but their amazing CS has added a lot to the premiums of their subs. This means you can try their subs for free essentially, and ship back on their dime. The problem imo is that just raises the bottom line for everyone involved. They do make excellent subwoofers just to be clear, and if you’re interested in sealed, their sb3000 is a great option at $1099ea,(with multi sub discount) although the PB is better IMO.

If I was shopping for you, I’d buy a pair of Rythmik fv15hp’s but at 1,999ea, that might be out of budget by about a grand. Rythmik Audio • 15" servo subwoofer FV15HP, but other options could work as well.

Saving some money, the HSU dual package is excellent value. VTF-15H MK2 DualDrive Package
Coming in closer to 3k, is a pair of these by monolith. CS has been reported to be hit or miss, but performance is excellent.

Ok, hopefully there’s something useful in there for you!
 

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My suggestion would be to rebuild the Velodyne with Rythmik kit. Gut the Velo driver and amp and replace with Rythmik driver and amp. Since you liked the servo-Velodyne (low distortion), you might be not happy with non-servo subs.
 

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My suggestion would be to rebuild the Velodyne with Rythmik kit. Gut the Velo driver and amp and replace with Rythmik driver and amp. Since you liked the servo-Velodyne (low distortion), you might be not happy with non-servo subs.
Well truthfully, and as much as I love Rythmik subs, I don’t think they’re servo tech is be all end all. If you look at measurements of other modern subs, the dsp and limiters etc that are available nowadays kind of make the servo tech superfluous. Also, imo it’s ill advised to just toss a driver in a box without taking T/S parameters fully into account.
 

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Hi Willis, the T/S parametres (other than volume of box) are irrelevant (as you are buying matched amp and driver) as long as you have recommended size of the box. (if vented then of course the size and length of the vent must match). I checked with Rythmik (as I am planning to rebuild Velodyne F-1500) and it seems that most Velodyne 15" boxes volume is within the specs of Rythmik drivers.
Dsp will help you tune the sub, but will not reduce distortion. Limiters might reduce distortion at the cost of reducing dynamics.
Regarding servo vs non servo AND sealed versus vented, I am firmly on the sealed and servo side. But this is personal preference and opinions vary. However (except IB subs) I find sealed servo subs much more accurate. If money is no object, arround $10K, 15" Velodyne Digital drive servo subs have < 0.5% distortion (typical). I don't believe ANY non servo subs can come even close. Lets keep in mind that Velodyne servo uses accelerator and Rythmik uses second coil as a sensor so it might be (or not) less effective.... :)
 

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Re. Hsu Research subwoofers. Their single driver subs with 15 inch driver in a ported box (VTF3 Mk5) can be converted to sealed box performance with 2 solid rubber port plugs shipped with each subwoofer. Sealed-box subwoofers sound better for music, but low frequency extension is limited compared to ported boxes. The SVS 3000 sealed box sub is pretty much done with bass around 22 Hz. The SVS ported box 3000 series will reproduce everything down to about 15 Hz. The Hsu 15-inch models will reproduce sounds below 10 Hz, but you can't hear anything... meters can measure it, and you can feel air moving as though somebody turned-on a fan, but there is no sound. The performance at 16 Hz for the ported SVS or standard Hsu Research (2 ports and includes 2 port plugs so the sub can be used with 1, 2, or Zero active ports). You can get one of these subs for under $1200 last time I looked at Hsu Research. You ABSOLUTELY DO NOT have to spend $3000 to $10,000 on a subwoofer. SVS tends to be a little more expensive than Hsu Research these days, but that's likely because of the extensive and generous customer services like applying your full purchase price to upgrading to a more expensive subwoofer during your first year of ownership and free return shipping if you decide not to keep the sub.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you, all, for the great advice! This has given me a good start - lots of affordable options here that appear to meet or exceed the specs on my ol' Velodyne. On paper, at least. I'm researching the options and will let you know what I ultimately decide on. If it would fit in our room, I probably would've purchased the PSA S2112 already, but alas, no such luck. Rythmik Audio F18 is another option, but also a tight squeeze. I might have to stick with 15".
 
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