Dual subs for new room

T

tparm

Audioholic Intern
I know I know, questions like this are asked all the time, but here is my version; I'm building a new home and will have a dedicated room in the basement. So far I have amassed an Arcam AVR850, Emotiva A-150 2-channel amp for one set of Atmos speakers, Polk LSiM707s, 706c, 703s and four 700-LS ceiling speakers. I need subs, two of them. The room as it stands today is 16x31x9. The back of the room is a 6' deep bar with an open hallway beside it leading to a bathroom.

I am trying to change the configuration to a wall bar and a door to the hall sealing the room and making it 25-26' deep.

70/30 music to movies, tonality is paramount, all sorts of music but nothing that goes super deep. I do like being impressed when I crank up Bladerunner 2049 and I also listen critically to music down to resonance of drums and fingering on stand up bass. I listen loud but not at reference, I’m 48 and have raced cars and played drums for years so I probably can’t hear as well as I think.

Lastly, both SVS and HSU talked me out of sealed subs. Subs will be located at opposite front and rear corners or 1/4 way from both front side walls in the front of the room (seating could end up being a room mid-point). Mid-point of room is not an option for sub placement.

Crazy thing is there are s ton of options: PB-3000s, VTF-15H Mk2 (current front runner), PSA V15s, FV15HP, Monolith 15s...... No way I will order all these things, set them up, calibrate and return what I choose against.

They don't need to be pretty and size doesn't matter. If you have a preference for or against one or a few of the options please specify. I'm not interested in sweeping remarks about something sucking or being the best; back up your comments with personal experience or at least reference a review or measurements.

Thanks.
 
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lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
All sound like good choices. I'd lean towards the Hsu, tho.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
Hsu is the value leader, excellent performance at a great cost. The Monolith is probably the more beastly between the two with the THX certification... but is it worth the added cost over the Hsus? Rythmiks are solid based on the things I hear from other owners....
More than anything, I'd urge you to do the subwoofer crawl and find the best acoustical placements for your subs rather than relying on corner-loading or 1/4 wall placements. I'm a big fan of keeping the subs away from the mains, and using strategic asymmetrical placement to help excite as many room modes as possible and overcome any nulls or cancellations.
Have fun!
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Spartan
I know I know, questions like this are asked all the time, but here is my version; I'm building a new home and will have a dedicated room in the basement. So far I have amassed an Arcam AVR850, Emotiva A-150 2-channel amp for one set of Atmos speakers, Polk LSiM707s, 706c, 703s and four 700-LS ceiling speakers. I need subs, two of them. The room as it stands today is 16x31x9. The back of the room is a 6' deep bar with an open hallway beside it leading to a bathroom.

I am trying to change the configuration to a wall bar and a door to the hall sealing the room and making it 25-26' deep.

70/30 music to movies, tonality is paramount, all sorts of music but nothing that goes super deep. I do like being impressed when I crank up Bladerunner 2049 and I also listen critically to music down to resonance of drums and fingering on stand up bass. I listen loud but not at reference, I’m 48 and have raced cars and played drums for years so I probably can’t hear as well as I think.

Lastly, both SVS and HSU talked me out of sealed subs. Subs will be located at opposite front and rear corners or 1/4 way from both front side walls in the front of the room (seating could end up being a room mid-point). Mid-point of room is not an option for sub placement.

Crazy thing is there are s ton of options: PB-3000s, VTF-15H Mk2 (current front runner), PSA V15s, FV15HP, Monolith 15s...... No way I will order all these things, set them up, calibrate and return what I choose against.

They don't need to be pretty and size doesn't matter. If you have a preference for or against one or a few of the options please specify. I'm not interested in sweeping remarks about something sucking or being the best; back up your comments with personal experience or at least reference a review or measurements.

Thanks.
I have a pair of VTF-3 MK5s (almost identical in performance with the VTF-15H MK2) in a room with somewhat similar dimensions to your planned room and they loaf most of the time. Don't get me wrong, I'll light 'em up from time to time but "not enough bass" isn't part of the equation at all.

I mostly listen to music also and can vouch that it's good, clean bass too. They don't call attention to themselves unless I want them to. Bang for buck I'd say Hsu is your best value. If I had lots of money I'd be looking at SVS. All of my speakers are from their Ultra line and I think their products ooze quality, but their big subs ain't cheap!
 
T

tparm

Audioholic Intern
Hsu is the value leader, excellent performance at a great cost. The Monolith is probably the more beastly between the two with the THX certification... but is it worth the added cost over the Hsus? Rythmiks are solid based on the things I hear from other owners....
More than anything, I'd urge you to do the subwoofer crawl and find the best acoustical placements for your subs rather than relying on corner-loading or 1/4 wall placements. I'm a big fan of keeping the subs away from the mains, and using strategic asymmetrical placement to help excite as many room modes as possible and overcome any nulls or cancellations.
Have fun!
Thanks ryanosaur. I will likely play with positioning once in the space. I’m running interconnects to a few locations. I use Dirac and (as I’m sure you know) you can‘t measure for room correction without being hard wired so it’ll likely be a combo of a few preferred locations (can only place a sub on side of rear wall as the door on the other, for example) and being happy with the corrected results. I’m also pretty anal and don’t want cables everywhere. I’ll do all home runs without using any wall plate connections (for speaker cables too, I did a rough estimate the other night and it’ll be 225’ of speaker cable haha).
 
T

tparm

Audioholic Intern
I have a pair of VTF-3 MK5s (almost identical in performance with the VTF-15H MK2) in a room with somewhat similar dimensions to your planned room and they loaf most of the time. Don't get me wrong, I'll light 'em up from time to time but "not enough bass" isn't part of the equation at all.

I mostly listen to music also and can vouch that it's good, clean bass too. They don't call attention to themselves unless I want them to. Bang for buck I'd say Hsu is your best value. If I had lots of money I'd be looking at SVS. All of my speakers are from their Ultra line and I think their products ooze quality, but their big subs ain't cheap!
Great info, thank you! I could post up for SVS option but if I recall it would be over $1000 upspend from the option you raise above and there is now way (we’ll never say never I guess) they are 60% better! HSU initially recommended your set up over my initial inquiry involving the ULSs. Thanks again.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
Thanks ryanosaur. I will likely play with positioning once in the space. I’m running interconnects to a few locations. I use Dirac and (as I’m sure you know) you can‘t measure for room correction without being hard wired so it’ll likely be a combo of a few preferred locations (can only place a sub on side of rear wall as the door on the other, for example) and being happy with the corrected results. I’m also pretty anal and don’t want cables everywhere. I’ll do all home runs without using any wall plate connections (for speaker cables too, I did a rough estimate the other night and it’ll be 225’ of speaker cable haha).
Just an example, if you don't mind. I had a great spot for a sub on my rear wall! When I crawled out my room, though... I found that spot was totally and completely in a null.
You don't know what you don't know. ;) Try it with a current sub... put it at you main LP, turn off all other speakers, and play Get Lucky over the Sub by itself. Crawl around the perimeter of your room, or anywhere a sub MIGHT go... and see what you HEAR.
If you've never tried this exercise, crude as it is, you may be surprised at what the LF Soundwaves are doing in your space. It took me an hour roughly to do it in my small room... most of that time was spent getting my ears adjusted to hearing the Low Frequencies. I sat near a corner, moving in and out of it for about 10 minutes experiencing what corner loading was actually doing (and how it didn't sound good in my room). :) But once I got used to the sounds, I crawled out my room in about 15 minutes. Yes I still use Room Correction, but the subs are already halfway optimized for ideal placement! :D

Cheers!
 
T

tparm

Audioholic Intern
Interesting, I just a pair of lightly used PSA V15s two hours away from me for $1,000 asking price. Hmm.
 
T

tparm

Audioholic Intern
Just an example, if you don't mind. I had a great spot for a sub on my rear wall! When I crawled out my room, though... I found that spot was totally and completely in a null.
You don't know what you don't know. ;) Try it with a current sub... put it at you main LP, turn off all other speakers, and play Get Lucky over the Sub by itself. Crawl around the perimeter of your room, or anywhere a sub MIGHT go... and see what you HEAR.
If you've never tried this exercise, crude as it is, you may be surprised at what the LF Soundwaves are doing in your space. It took me an hour roughly to do it in my small room... most of that time was spent getting my ears adjusted to hearing the Low Frequencies. I sat near a corner, moving in and out of it for about 10 minutes experiencing what corner loading was actually doing (and how it didn't sound good in my room). :) But once I got used to the sounds, I crawled out my room in about 15 minutes. Yes I still use Room Correction, but the subs are already halfway optimized for ideal placement! :D

Cheers!
Oh I’ve done it! It is a fascinating exercise. I currently live in a townhouse and had little Martin Logan Motion bookshelf speakers and an SVS sb12-nsd. I bought the SVS wireless kit just for the crawl, never ever would have guessed the sub would sound best behind my sofa and to the left of the LP.
Now I’m white trash with no sub and these 707s about 9’ from me in a 10x12 room. When I find a great deal I buy stuff for my new place. Aside from architectural limitations I have carte blanche with my space so I’m pretty excited. I’m a year out (still designing the rest of the house) and I’m not a patient man.
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Ninja
The SVS subs have that cool iPhone App but HSU is the value leader. My subs are dual HSU in one room and Rythmik in the other 2 rooms but mine are 12in ported. I don’t have 1st hand experience with the 15’s

There’s reviews with measurements on many of the subs you listed here on AH by Shady. Monolith 15, HSU VTF15 mk2, and SVS PB3000.

The description you made of cranking it up makes me think the Monolith 15 might be what you are looking for. Possibly the Outlaw x13 is another option too.

Lots of great options out there. Good luck! :)
 
K

kini

Audioholic
I know I know, questions like this are asked all the time, but here is my version; I'm building a new home and will have a dedicated room in the basement. So far I have amassed an Arcam AVR850, Emotiva A-150 2-channel amp for one set of Atmos speakers, Polk LSiM707s, 706c, 703s and four 700-LS ceiling speakers. I need subs, two of them. The room as it stands today is 16x31x9. The back of the room is a 6' deep bar with an open hallway beside it leading to a bathroom.

I am trying to change the configuration to a wall bar and a door to the hall sealing the room and making it 25-26' deep.

70/30 music to movies, tonality is paramount, all sorts of music but nothing that goes super deep. I do like being impressed when I crank up Bladerunner 2049 and I also listen critically to music down to resonance of drums and fingering on stand up bass. I listen loud but not at reference, I’m 48 and have raced cars and played drums for years so I probably can’t hear as well as I think.

Lastly, both SVS and HSU talked me out of sealed subs. Subs will be located at opposite front and rear corners or 1/4 way from both front side walls in the front of the room (seating could end up being a room mid-point). Mid-point of room is not an option for sub placement.

Crazy thing is there are s ton of options: PB-3000s, VTF-15H Mk2 (current front runner), PSA V15s, FV15HP, Monolith 15s...... No way I will order all these things, set them up, calibrate and return what I choose against.

They don't need to be pretty and size doesn't matter. If you have a preference for or against one or a few of the options please specify. I'm not interested in sweeping remarks about something sucking or being the best; back up your comments with personal experience or at least reference a review or measurements.

Thanks.
My vote would be for you to try a pair of the new PSA v1512s. They have a pro style driver that is supposed to be very clean sounding. 60 day trial and I don't think return shipping would be too much if you don't like them.
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic Field Marshall
Crazy thing is there are s ton of options: PB-3000s, VTF-15H Mk2 (current front runner), PSA V15s, FV15HP, Monolith 15s...... No way I will order all these things, set them up, calibrate and return what I choose against.

They don't need to be pretty and size doesn't matter. If you have a preference for or against one or a few of the options please specify. I'm not interested in sweeping remarks about something sucking or being the best; back up your comments with personal experience or at least reference a review or measurements.

Thanks.
Room is bigger than mine but unless you intend to crank it...but from my experience of rarely turning my sub volume past the 9 o'clock position, a pair of VTF-3mk5HP (my subs) will suffice.

But if you have the budget for a pair of the bigger VTF-15mk2...why not?
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
The Monolith 15"s might have the best all-around technical performance of that bunch, but my god they are large and heavy, however it is one of the lowest distortion subs that money can buy, period.

The PB-3000s are great subs with the most advanced feature set, but you do give up just a few dB of headroom compared to the larger 15" that you listed, but only below 25 Hz or so. It's probably also the easiest sub to physically manage of that bunch. I actually managed to carry one up a flight of stairs without a dolly which would be unthinkable with any of those other subs.

The VTF15h mk2 is a pretty well rounded sub; low distortion, not insanely heavy but you still need a friend to help lift it, nice feature set but no advanced DSP, and solid extension down to 16 Hz. One advantage that an analogue amp can have is DSP tend to add some latency in signal processing. That DSP latency can throw some people off when their calibration says that the sub is 20 feet further away than it actually is.

The FV15HP will have the deepest extension and it also has an analogue amp so it avoids the problems pf DSP latency. It is a proven performer, although I think the touted advantages of the servo mechanism are overblown. The key areas that the servo tech is supposed to be vastly superior to other subs can and have been bested by subs with traditional amplifier and driver architectures.

I'm not a fan of PSA for a list of reasons, and one reason I would dismiss them from consideration is that they don't make any attempt to have the performance of their products verified. That is pretty significant when you make objective performance data such a major selling point as they have.

One sub that you should also consider is the Paradigm Defiance X15. It is slightly short on extension compared to these others, but the output at 30 Hz and above is no joke. It also has a sophisticated app control as well as ARC automated room correction. It definitely deserves to be in this conversation.
 
T

tparm

Audioholic Intern
@shadyJ Thank you for your thoughtful remarks. A lot of what you've said resonates with me and I'm glad you mentioned the Paradigms. In reading reviews it certainly meets many of my needs, especially on the musical side of the spectrum. It would be interesting to see how Dirac responds after using ARC; in other words does the latency issue come into to play or do I simply use one or the other and not both. I love Dirac and it's one of the reasons I bought the Arcam along with it's clean consistent power.

I have a while until I need to make this purchase but will keep my eyes out for discounts on the X15s. While they may be limited on the ultra-low end of frequency response it appears they would perform well where most of my bass resides, are quite toneful, very low distortion and should match well with my 707s.

Thanks to everyone for your input!
 
T

tparm

Audioholic Intern
$2820 Monolith 15 THX
$2878 Paradigm X15
$2670 Rythmik 15HP
$2200 PSA V1512DF
$2100 HSU 15H Mk2
$1800 Rythmik F18 paper cone (single)

The output (even limited ULF of the X15) and distortion combo for the first two according to the reviews on Audioholics are tough to ignore. I'm still perplexed.
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Ninja
On another thread a member has an amp issue on a new Monolith 12 sub and he has to ship the entire sub back. I don’t think HSU or Rythmik would make you do that. They would probably just send you the plate amp. Anyhow something to consider.

 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
$2820 Monolith 15 THX
$2878 Paradigm X15
$2670 Rythmik 15HP
$2200 PSA V1512DF
$2100 HSU 15H Mk2
$1800 Rythmik F18 paper cone (single)

The output (even limited ULF of the X15) and distortion combo for the first two according to the reviews on Audioholics are tough to ignore. I'm still perplexed.
I would rule out the Rythmik F18. A two sub system will have a very significant sound quality advantage over a single sub system by virtue of smoothing out the room mode problems. It gets you a flatter response over a wider area. It's also a sealed sub and will not be able to handle low frequencies as well as any of the ported subs. Something else to consider, if you can find a place for a third sub, is to go for a Hsu VTF-3 mk5 system. That could go even further in smoothing out the room response and thus increasing sound quality, and it wouldn't even exceed the cost of most of the dual sub systems you have selected.
 
T

tparm

Audioholic Intern
I would rule out the Rythmik F18. A two sub system will have a very significant sound quality advantage over a single sub system by virtue of smoothing out the room mode problems. It gets you a flatter response over a wider area. It's also a sealed sub and will not be able to handle low frequencies as well as any of the ported subs. Something else to consider, if you can find a place for a third sub, is to go for a Hsu VTF-3 mk5 system. That could go even further in smoothing out the room response and thus increasing sound quality, and it wouldn't even exceed the cost of most of the dual sub systems you have selected.
The F18 is actually ported and has super low distortion due to its paper cone but I totally understand what you’re saying about solving modal issues. A third 3 Mk2 is a great idea. It is interesting that adds a bunch of complication with calibrating three subs, kinda like finding ideal location for a single sub. Not sure how Dirac works with multiple, especially three, subs?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
The F18 is actually ported and has super low distortion due to its paper cone but I totally understand what you’re saying about solving modal issues. A third 3 Mk2 is a great idea. It is interesting that adds a bunch of complication with calibrating three subs, kinda like finding ideal location for a single sub. Not sure how Dirac works with multiple, especially three, subs?
He's actually suggesting the model slightly below the VTF-15H m2, the VTF-3 Mk5 (same driver, just a bit different). Saves some money.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
The F18 is actually ported and has super low distortion due to its paper cone but I totally understand what you’re saying about solving modal issues. A third 3 Mk2 is a great idea. It is interesting that adds a bunch of complication with calibrating three subs, kinda like finding ideal location for a single sub. Not sure how Dirac works with multiple, especially three, subs?
The F18 is a sealed subwoofer: Rythmik F18. You must be talking about the FV18. The cone has no bearing on distortion unless it is a really bad cone. The distortion level is pretty good on the Rythmik but the distortion performance of most of the subs under discussion is going to be good.

A third VTF15 mk2 would be cool, but I meant the VTF-3 mk5 as lovinthehd noted. It has similar performance of these other 15"s but it gives up a few Hz of extension. Dirac won't have any problem with three subs. The new version of Dirac can EQ each one individually, but the standard version equalizes them all as a single system. Three subs might be a curve ball for something like Audyssey 32XT, but if you are using Dirac you should definitely not be using Audyssey.
 

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