First and foremost, I'm actually a fan of yours @shadyJ
! I stay away from interacting on most audio forums for obvious reasons. I do read several sites, but your reviews are by far the most informative, accurate and helpful of anyone else in the industry! You follow a consistent format that makes them easy to digest, and you backup your statements with objective data coupled with easy to understand explanations. I just wanted to take the opportunity to show you some appreciation for your work and I'd love to send you a $20 as a thank you if you can give me a PayPal email to send it to? With my fanboying out of the way I'll move on...
I've considered HSU along with most of the usual suspects. To summarize:
HSU - I like the ULS 15 mkii and may buy a pair for my second system, but for this one I want ported. The VTF 15H mkii is just not my cup of tea. The black satin paint looks much better than the black oak of SVS but I don't like the look of the triangle ports at all!
Monoprice - I'm not opposed to giving up the convenience of having an app and buying a Minidsp, but any model above the 12 v2 is just too big and heavy IMO! I'm only 41 and plenty strong enough to move them, it's just a PITA to deal with. The 12 v2 seems to be a better performer than the 1723 1V according to CEA 2010 but again, I don't want to put too much importance into that? Maybe I should just get a pair of those and save HALF of what I'd spend on the 1V's? The SVS don't look any better than the Monolith imo anyhow.
PSA - I live in NE Ohio only an hour from them and a few people have urged me to call Tom and make arrangements to go in and demo their models. I've been told he may give discounts for not having to ship them, etc, etc. Unfortunately I don't think I'd feel confident in making a purchase without the third party measurements. I've skimmed through threads where I've read a few reasons why he hasn't gone that route, but with all of the measured and proven options available today I prefer to go with something I can be certain about.
Rythmik - I like that they are one of the few with nice satin and gloss white finishes! The FV15HP seems to be a nice option, but there isn't a lot of recent data out there on it. Also, all of the options and controls on their plate amps is a bit of a turnoff to me. I'd just want to use a Minidsp in that case and it would all seem pretty unnecessary.
So I guess what I'm asking is are these performance differences between the 1723 1V and PB-3000 large enough to be a massive difference in normal usage with actual music and TV content? I do like to listen to my music loud at times, up to 95db I'd say. Also, with the Monolith subs appearing to have a flatter shape with higher amplitude(or compression tests?) compared to Arendal/SVS, does this make for higher fidelity or significantly better performance? I'd like to keep this under $4k and I know I'm probably focusing too much on small details.