Follow-up Review - VTF-15H (Yamaha RX-A3000, Aperion Verus, Oppo BDP-93)

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by Digi, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. Digi Audioholic Intern

    Digi
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    I wasn't sure where to post this as it includes other components, but I'll start here since you guys were very helpful in troubleshooting my new sub.

    The system is finally completed and hooked up and has exceeded my expectations. It's a complete sleeper system. It looks nice enough on the outside (not overly so), but will bring the even the largest room to life (I have quite a "live" room and which is about 20x20x20 ft) and will knock your socks off (or at least feel the floor through your socks).

    HSU Research VTF-15H -
    I bought it before the crew wrote up the final review, so I wasn't swayed either way by it. I'm operating it in Mode 1, EQ2, 1 port open. It wasn't tested this way, but after a little experimenting, this is what I'm settling on for now. For me it's the most bang for the buck, a little more smooth in the approach and less "punchy". It's supposed to deliver a little more extension this way, but subjectively never thought it lacked anything for my needs. If you like to shake the floorboards loose, you can probably do it with this - it has a large presence both sonically and physically. The WAF was a little low, but keep reading to see how that changed. Hsu also says you don't need to hook it up with a splitter to the subs "out" connectors, but that's the way I have it and it works. Once the receiver knew it was there, the setup went well. I have it in the corner of my room, which was recommended by Hsu and the placement is perfect for my room.

    Aperion Verus -
    Smooooooooth!!! They fill my large room effortlessly with sound. I'm not listening at deafening levels either. The sub, along with Verus sound great. The receiver definitely helps, but it gave my wife goosebumps the first time we sat together for a listen. :)

    Aperion was very helpful and everything came packaged extremely well (I love the silky purple covers they wrap them in, but I digress). They look smart, sound so detailed, but non-directional. Off-axis sound is almost non existent. I was hesitant at first as my room isn't exactly text-book perfect as far as sound goes. I have tile floors and high ceilings. The WAF for sound modifiers isn't high either.

    The first thing I noticed when I hooked them up is their low end is better than I would've thought. I didn't have the sub working yet and played some Diana Krall on SACD and it was like being at a small, local venue for live music. So far so good. The entire system blends together well and you can tell they were built to work together. Nothing sounds like it's standing out.

    Yamaha RX-A3000 -
    Flexible and Powerful. I think Yamaha has a winner with this new line of receivers. Out of the box, w/o much reading (still need to print/read the online manual) I was able to update it with the latest firmware. The first time I ran through the Auto setup routine, it wouldn't Identify my sub and set the rest of the speakers to "large". After a cable fix, I re-ran it and it did everything correctly, even the physical measurements from the unit to my speakers were within a few inches. So far, I've found it easy to use and set up, it drives my speakers with ease and does it's job. I've played around with some of the cinema settings, but I mostly let it auto detect the source and it works great that way and plays it as originally intended. There are a series of sub-menus you can only get to by going to the unit and selecting certain buttons to pull them up (somewhat annoying), but overall I'm happy

    Oppo BDP-93 -
    A simple but powerful unit. I have this, my receiver, the TV and Dish box all connected to the net via my router and updating firmware doesn't get any easier. Oppo has had 2 updates since I've owned it and haven't had any issues.

    It plays nicely with my other components, has almost every feature you want and need (or don't) and provides the best picture I've seen on my Plasma (Panasonic Viera 54"). It's one of the few BD players that handles most formats at this price point and I haven't seen any flaws in processing yet (my old DVD player would occasionally hiccup or freeze). The menus are easy to navigate on screen and it identifies source materials quickly and accurately.

    Enough of the boring stuff you already know. Let's listen!

    As I mentioned earlier, my first listen was Diana Krall SACD. I swear her piano was right there in the room. The sound from this system is so natural - it's very unobtrusive - the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts. It also brings out any imperfections in the music and/or production of the music. You can also hear things you don't normally pickup, like fingers changing positions on instruments, subtleties that come out for better or worse. Vocals were smooth and instruments "alive". I could just sit and listen and it would be hard to wipe the grin off my face :D.

    Next up was Sting, Live in Berlin on BD. Whether you like Sting or not, you must get this and listen. It's both visually sonically compelling. It's one of the best BD's I've ever listened to. Live productions can be hit and miss depending on how it is produced and the camera work can be dizzying on some concert BD/DVD's. Not so with this. It's smooth and the sound and video quality is very professional. No quick pans or seasickness on this one. He's also playing with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, so you have many more instruments coming into play in a live setting. He plays mostly his own stuff with some improvised Police songs, that include orchestra. I loved it and this what sold my wife. She was almost giddy and smiling and really noticed how great it sounded (she normally couldn't care less). Brilliant!

    That's the short of it. I will be doing some more listening to break things in more with varied material (more rock music - the Who DVD is waiting :)), and some other BD movies to test out the sub's capabilities.
    I'll also try and get some photos of my setup.

    That's it for now.
    Digi,
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  2. Matt34 Moderator

    Matt34
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    So where are the pics of this impressive system? :p
  3. Digi Audioholic Intern

    Digi
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    Don't egg me on ;)

    Attached Files:

    Digi,
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  4. Digi Audioholic Intern

    Digi
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    A few more....

    Also the Sanus surround stands are almost a perfect match for these speakers - in both size and color.

    Attached Files:

    Digi,
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  5. dapack69 Senior Audioholic

    dapack69
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    Very nice setup.
  6. GranteedEV Audioholic Ninja

    GranteedEV
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    I looove how far apart you've got your speakers. I bet the soundstage is huge!
  7. Digi Audioholic Intern

    Digi
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    Huge... :D - like my own little concert hall. I could use a little sound damping, but everything's a compromise.

    Digi,
  8. GranteedEV Audioholic Ninja

    GranteedEV
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    I would do a good RTA before buying any panels to know exactly what is necessary.
  9. Sounds Good Senior Audioholic

    Sounds Good
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    Thats a great looking room Digi

    I also have a large room and I am shopping for a subwoofer <$1000.
    SVS Cylinder, HSU, Epik, Rythmic... there are just TO MANY to pick from... and they are so close to each other in performance...

    Anyhow just wondering how you think the HSU is in your open air room? what is your listening like? (mine is 50/50 music movies) I would LOVE to have an earthshaking sub that gets really low, but it wouldn't be the best choice for music...

    Judging by your review, it seems more about the music... is the HSU good for music?
  10. Digi Audioholic Intern

    Digi
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    You've probably read most of the sub reviews by now and all things considered for my room and application, the HSU is excellent.

    If you're looking to constantly shake the roof off, you may want to look elsewhere. I mean the HSU will do it, ;), but that's not why I have it. It provides plenty of low-end for movies and is just plain smooth for music.

    I'm probably 60/40 music to movies and I enjoy music movies too -concerts,etc. :). For the money, it's probably one of the best subs out there (I think that's what the Audioholics guys were trying to say). There are definitely more powerful subs (for more $$) and having two would be a guilty pleasure, but I'm more than pleased with it for movies and music. I'm sitting here right now watching an old ski flick w/ a pretty good soundtrack and the it's lighting up the bass nicely.



    Digi,
  11. Matt34 Moderator

    Matt34
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    The subs you mentioned in the $1000 price range are all going to be very similar in real world performance IMO. I don't think you could really go wrong with any of them.

    However ;), I firmly believe if you are looking for a single sub solution to rattle your teeth and shake your intestines you should save up a bit more and get a JTR Captivator + EP4000 amp for around $1500-1600. A user on AVS compared one to his SVS PB 13+ and basically came to the conclusion that it would take at least TWO of them to equal the JTR (15hz native tuned version).

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showpost.php?p=19692823&postcount=531
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2011
  12. digicidal Full Audioholic

    digicidal
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    Well, my room isn't nearly as large, but the setup will be nearly identical. ;)

    Down to the furniture even! I had to laugh when I saw that PB console - that's what I have too. The question I have isn't actually about the speakers... enjoying them right now (although they're out of the towers so I have to use the bookshelves as fronts ATM) - it's about your center...

    How do you have your center channel supported? Did you put a stand behind the TV somehow? Is it a DIY solution or were you able to find some magical product that I've been tearing my already limited hair out looking for?

    I ordered an 18" center stand with my speakers and although it works, the center is just wide enough to block access to... well, EVERYTHING. I had originally planned on using a stand/mount for my TV so I could use the top of the console for the center - as I have a window behind I can't wall mount. After measuring I determined that it would put the TV up way too high for good viewing - so I'm working out building a solution. When I saw your pictures I nearly had to change pants (OK... maybe not but still it was exciting anyway).

    Would you mind taking some pics of the stand and if it's commercial let me know where you found it? Thanks!
  13. Sounds Good Senior Audioholic

    Sounds Good
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    I have, and to be honest i am getting tired of reading them too... they all start to blur together because all the subs i have looked at get the same positive comments...

    I am actually scared of that... I am scared to death that the sub i pick will be this uncontrollable beast in the corner, growling and showing its teeth, rattling things off shelves and things like that... that is not what i want..

    coming from a sub/satellite system i want something that sounds integrated and refined, seamless transitions from the cut off of the towers to the lowest freq provided by the sub...


    Maybe i am being a little ignorant as i have never owned anything but a small 10" single port sub...

    I just cant help but going back to my high school days and remembering my friends cramming the largest woofer and highest power amp in their trunks.. it sounded hideous...


    on second thought..
    Ive also looked at "higher end, small footprint subs" like NHT B12d, SVS SB12, Rythmik F12...

    and i feel those would also work well fro me, BUT when the time comes when i want to watch a move with great low end, or i want to "show off" to someone... these smaller subs will go flat... :(

    so i am left with the old adage, Go big or go home. but i am scared to pull the trigger on a possible uncontrollable beast...
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2011
  14. digicidal Full Audioholic

    digicidal
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    The answer is isolation.... seriously I wouldn't worry that much anyway. I have 2 12's in a fairly small room/house and everything stays nailed down without issue. Sure an explosion or car crash will make you jump out of your seat (like it should) but everything stays nice and calm in the kitchen cabinets which are less than 20 feet away. Throw that 'growling monster' on a SubDude or Gramma or DIY and problem solved. Plus as long as you can adjust your gain on the sub you can easily tune it for maximum effect and then take a notch off at the sub afterward. The effect may not be as dramatic, but if you're wanting a more "subdued sub, dude" then that's your ticket.

    Oh and I run my Emotiva Ultra 12's at a gain level of just one 'nit' on the dial above minimum - with two of them I don't have to worry about coverage and the impact is still totally visceral when the movie calls for it... and the rest of the time - perfectly blended with tons of headroom to spare. Don't write off a 12" (or better yet 2+ of them)... unless you are watching movies in a gym... you'll still get plenty of couch-shaking from a decent 12" sub or two. And with some isolation... still save the plates and the marriage. :)
  15. Digi Audioholic Intern

    Digi
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    Okay digicidal - this is your baby - http://www.crutchfield.com/p_769CSB1210/Center-Stage-Bracket-CSB-1210-BLK.html?tp=36255

    I searched high and low and finally found this great solution. I'm assuming you have the same center, so this should work. They do have another model for smaller centers. It sits right on your TV, so no drilling, no hassle. I thought the weight of it would be a tad heavy, but the center weighs 39 lbs, so just under and it's perfect.

    Sounds Good: The sub is great - don't fret, just buy it and be done with it. If you're on the fence and want a bit more power, save up a few more $$ and buy one of the others. "Integration" is this sub's middle name. It's nothing like the the big power subs you may have heard (or still) hear in the import pulled up next to you.

    I listen to music/movies for the whole package, not to listen to my sub. Others may like to constantly "feel" the beat, but I want deep accent, the occasional dramatic effect to really shine and that's what this does. It doesn't make my breakfast or do my work, but it fits the bill nicely at a good price point.

    Good luck



    Digi,
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  16. digicidal Full Audioholic

    digicidal
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    Thanks... but unfortunately I'm still screwed... :(

    I have an LED LCD - so I don't meet the "at least 1.5 inches thick" criteria for that stand... I guess it's back to the table saw for another DIY solution for me. Your setup looks so clean and nice. Congrats!
  17. Digi Audioholic Intern

    Digi
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    Do you see this guy?? - http://www.crutchfield.com/p_769CSB3006/Center-Stage-Bracket-CSB-3006-BLK.html?tp=36255

    There doesn't seem to be any depth requirements and it supports up to 40lbs. It seems worth a try...


    Digi,
  18. jcisbig Enthusiast

    jcisbig
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    Thanks for posting the pics of your room and for the review! Looks like a great set up!

    Digi, where in WA are you located? I'm about 2 hours north of Seattle. If you're kinda close, and if you're willing, I'd love to schedule a time to come check out your system as I'm looking at getting both the Aperion Verus speakers and the 15h after I've saved up for them!

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