Dual subs for new room

T

tparm

Audioholic Intern
audioholics don’t let their friends post after pre-dinner cocktails.... understand both of you guys @shadyJ and @lovinthehd

Thanks. Three Mk5s are even less than the top two options which is pretty nuts. And yes, Dirac only (on-board Arcam) after crawling and REW if I’m not feeling definitive results with sub crawl. Hopefully my two or three ideal spots aren’t walk-ways.

Side room placement will be a challenge unless it’s front third of the room. Behind listening position and rear of room are do-able.
 
T

tparm

Audioholic Intern
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.

I've heard this from a few folks, not to mention just the seemingly questionable level of quality. Thanks for pointing this out. Kind of coming down to HSU and Paradigm. The $340 difference in cost from VTF-3 to VTF-15 isn't a big deal, but jumping another $800 makes me question the ROI so HSU most likely choice.
 
T

tparm

Audioholic Intern
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.
This is kind of an interesting response from HSU..... “There's about a $600 difference between the two. Usually most people go with either two or four subs this is mainly due to the idea of symmetry. Also when you go from 1 to 2 subs, assuming they perfectly reinforce each other, you gain about 6 dB. To get another 6dB increase in output you actually have to double the amount, so you would need to go from 2 to 4. Though three subs can give you more output than two VTF-15H MK2's, the bass may end up being greater on one side than the other due to the lack of symmetry.”

Symmetry? As @shadyJ mentioned, I think we are going after smoothing out the room response and not necessarily increasing output, right? And even as this thread points out my ignorance, I’m not sure I’ve heard of symmetry when it comes to low frequency response, but I could be wrong.

Lets assume for a second the only remaining brand is HSU (even though I can’t quite get the Paradigm x15 review out of my head); 2 VTF-3 Mk5s are $1741, three are (without assuming a further discount) $2636 and 2 VTF-15 Mk2s are $2095. What’s the best buy? How much better are the 15-2s versus 3-55s ($354 difference, seems if two is the play upgrading to 15-2s is a no brainer)? And how much better is three subs versus two?

Paradigms would be +$8-900 and FV15HPs +$600 over 15-2s. Which makes it roughly $1,200 and $900ish more than 3-5s.... :) How does one get off the merry-go-round, just pick a jumping off point? I just want the cleanest, most linear and highest output bass in my room for, maybe not the least, but most reasonable amount of money.

There will be great care in setting up this room. So one last time, If you were spending your money, and could swing for the Paradigms but can’t stop questioning the ROI, what would you buy?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
I don't consider subs to have ROI particularly as they're never going anywhere :) I've used three subs just fine. The extra headroom from multiples is nice but it can vary. 6dB gain from two subs is ideal with the subs positioned within one quarter wavelength of each other, but in real life can range from 2-4 dB easily enough. To me the three VTF-3 Mk5s for the budget seems like a great deal as long as you have the room and willingness to set them up decently....the differences in output are mostly at extremes, keep in mind.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
Re: Symmetry: There are of course different schools of thought. Geddes, for example, recommends strategic asymmetrical placement. By choosing the best acoustic locations for the subs to perform and support the LFs already coming from your mains up front, you can get very smooth bass performance with 2-3 subs.
Other approaches recommend putting 2 or four subs in room at 1/4-wall, 1/2 wall, opposing- or all-corners- loaded... Front wall only... the list goes on...
My own experiences show me better performance with asymmetrical placement. YMMV. :)
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
This is kind of an interesting response from HSU..... “There's about a $600 difference between the two. Usually most people go with either two or four subs this is mainly due to the idea of symmetry. Also when you go from 1 to 2 subs, assuming they perfectly reinforce each other, you gain about 6 dB. To get another 6dB increase in output you actually have to double the amount, so you would need to go from 2 to 4. Though three subs can give you more output than two VTF-15H MK2's, the bass may end up being greater on one side than the other due to the lack of symmetry.”

Symmetry? As @shadyJ mentioned, I think we are going after smoothing out the room response and not necessarily increasing output, right? And even as this thread points out my ignorance, I’m not sure I’ve heard of symmetry when it comes to low frequency response, but I could be wrong.

Lets assume for a second the only remaining brand is HSU (even though I can’t quite get the Paradigm x15 review out of my head); 2 VTF-3 Mk5s are $1741, three are (without assuming a further discount) $2636 and 2 VTF-15 Mk2s are $2095. What’s the best buy? How much better are the 15-2s versus 3-55s ($354 difference, seems if two is the play upgrading to 15-2s is a no brainer)? And how much better is three subs versus two?

Paradigms would be +$8-900 and FV15HPs +$600 over 15-2s. Which makes it roughly $1,200 and $900ish more than 3-5s.... :) How does one get off the merry-go-round, just pick a jumping off point? I just want the cleanest, most linear and highest output bass in my room for, maybe not the least, but most reasonable amount of money.

There will be great care in setting up this room. So one last time, If you were spending your money, and could swing for the Paradigms but can’t stop questioning the ROI, what would you buy?
One thing I would consider with a triple sub placement is two in the corners and one right behind your seat. That is called near-field placement, and it can be a really great experience. It could also be a symmetrical placement. Hsu is kind of right that if you place 2 subs on one side of the room and one sub on the other, that might weight the bass on one side of the room, especially if you place two subs close together. However, if you have freedom of placement, you don't need to have any of the subs close together. The advantage of the extra sub isn't extra output so much as it is a smoother response, so it's more about greater sound quality (although you do get a bit more dynamic range as well). However, if you do place one in a near-field position, you do get a lot more output at listening position rather than just throwing them in the corners or whatever.

The advantage that the VTF15h mk2s have over the VTF-3 mk5s is that the larger cabinet and ports of the VTF`5h mk2s allow them to play deeper bass and less chance of port turbulence. Other than that, they have pretty much the same performance. At 25 Hz and above, it's basically the same.

As for the Paradigm X15, great sub, but again, three subs can gain you a more even response than two. Furthermore, the onboard ARC equalization of the Paradigm subs can not deal with more than just one sub. The Paradigm subs have some more sophisticated features, but two of those probably can not equal three VTF-3 in raw performance.

I will put this in another way. A lot of time I see people talking about wanting the best sound quality in bass and buying one really expensive sub thinking the bass will be amazing. The problem is that room modes are so chaotic in low frequencies that a single sub rarely provides better than middling sound quality, even if you spent $20k on the sub. In my view, the thing to do is look at subs that have achieved a good baseline performance and buy multiples of those or subs with at least as good performance. The good news is that good baseline performance, in my opinion, can be had affordably, like for around $500 to $600, subs like the Monolith 10" THX Select or SVS PB-1000 or Hsu VTF-2 mk5. If you can afford better, good for you, but really all you are getting is more dynamic range and a bit more extension by buying better subs (not that there is anything wrong with more dynamic range or deeper extension).

The more subs you get, the soother the response across all listening positions get, and the frequency response is by far the most important factor in sound quality in low frequencies. More subs also require less EQing for a flat response, and the ideal is to use minimal or no equalization. If you ask me, the best way to get a great bass sound is figure out how many subs you can get that can be spaced out over the room, and then getting the best subs that budget allows for those positions.

Placement is important in getting the best bass, and measuring is important in getting the best placement, so also consider getting a USB measurement mic to see how good of a response can be had. You can get decent ones for like 70 to 100 bucks. You will want to measure the response of each sub at the listening position, and then figure out which subwoofer positions add up to the flattest response.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
One thing I would consider with a triple sub placement is two in the corners and one right behind your seat. That is called near-field placement, and it can be a really great experience. It could also be a symmetrical placement. Hsu is kind of right that if you place 2 subs on one side of the room and one sub on the other, that might weight the bass on one side of the room, especially if you place two subs close together. However, if you have freedom of placement, you don't need to have any of the subs close together. The advantage of the extra sub isn't extra output so much as it is a smoother response, so it's more about greater sound quality (although you do get a bit more dynamic range as well). However, if you do place one in a near-field position, you do get a lot more output at listening position rather than just throwing them in the corners or whatever.

The advantage that the VTF15h mk2s have over the VTF-3 mk5s is that the larger cabinet and ports of the VTF`5h mk2s allow them to play deeper bass and less chance of port turbulence. Other than that, they have pretty much the same performance. At 25 Hz and above, it's basically the same.

As for the Paradigm X15, great sub, but again, three subs can gain you a more even response than two. Furthermore, the onboard ARC equalization of the Paradigm subs can not deal with more than just one sub. The Paradigm subs have some more sophisticated features, but two of those probably can not equal three VTF-3 in raw performance.

I will put this in another way. A lot of time I see people talking about wanting the best sound quality in bass and buying one really expensive sub thinking the bass will be amazing. The problem is that room modes are so chaotic in low frequencies that a single sub rarely provides better than middling sound quality, even if you spent $20k on the sub. In my view, the thing to do is look at subs that have achieved a good baseline performance and buy multiples of those or subs with at least as good performance. The good news is that good baseline performance, in my opinion, can be had affordably, like for around $500 to $600, subs like the Monolith 10" THX Select or SVS PB-1000 or Hsu VTF-2 mk5. If you can afford better, good for you, but really all you are getting is more dynamic range and a bit more extension by buying better subs (not that there is anything wrong with more dynamic range or deeper extension).

The more subs you get, the soother the response across all listening positions get, and the frequency response is by far the most important factor in sound quality in low frequencies. More subs also require less EQing for a flat response, and the ideal is to use minimal or no equalization. If you ask me, the best way to get a great bass sound is figure out how many subs you can get that can be spaced out over the room, and then getting the best subs that budget allows for those positions.

Placement is important in getting the best bass, and measuring is important in getting the best placement, so also consider getting a USB measurement mic to see how good of a response can be had. You can get decent ones for like 70 to 100 bucks. You will want to measure the response of each sub at the listening position, and then figure out which subwoofer positions add up to the flattest response.
Ya. What he said!
;)
 
T

tparm

Audioholic Intern
One thing I would consider with a triple sub placement is two in the corners and one right behind your seat. That is called near-field placement, and it can be a really great experience. It could also be a symmetrical placement. Hsu is kind of right that if you place 2 subs on one side of the room and one sub on the other, that might weight the bass on one side of the room, especially if you place two subs close together. However, if you have freedom of placement, you don't need to have any of the subs close together. The advantage of the extra sub isn't extra output so much as it is a smoother response, so it's more about greater sound quality (although you do get a bit more dynamic range as well). However, if you do place one in a near-field position, you do get a lot more output at listening position rather than just throwing them in the corners or whatever.

The advantage that the VTF15h mk2s have over the VTF-3 mk5s is that the larger cabinet and ports of the VTF`5h mk2s allow them to play deeper bass and less chance of port turbulence. Other than that, they have pretty much the same performance. At 25 Hz and above, it's basically the same.

As for the Paradigm X15, great sub, but again, three subs can gain you a more even response than two. Furthermore, the onboard ARC equalization of the Paradigm subs can not deal with more than just one sub. The Paradigm subs have some more sophisticated features, but two of those probably can not equal three VTF-3 in raw performance.

I will put this in another way. A lot of time I see people talking about wanting the best sound quality in bass and buying one really expensive sub thinking the bass will be amazing. The problem is that room modes are so chaotic in low frequencies that a single sub rarely provides better than middling sound quality, even if you spent $20k on the sub. In my view, the thing to do is look at subs that have achieved a good baseline performance and buy multiples of those or subs with at least as good performance. The good news is that good baseline performance, in my opinion, can be had affordably, like for around $500 to $600, subs like the Monolith 10" THX Select or SVS PB-1000 or Hsu VTF-2 mk5. If you can afford better, good for you, but really all you are getting is more dynamic range and a bit more extension by buying better subs (not that there is anything wrong with more dynamic range or deeper extension).

The more subs you get, the soother the response across all listening positions get, and the frequency response is by far the most important factor in sound quality in low frequencies. More subs also require less EQing for a flat response, and the ideal is to use minimal or no equalization. If you ask me, the best way to get a great bass sound is figure out how many subs you can get that can be spaced out over the room, and then getting the best subs that budget allows for those positions.

Placement is important in getting the best bass, and measuring is important in getting the best placement, so also consider getting a USB measurement mic to see how good of a response can be had. You can get decent ones for like 70 to 100 bucks. You will want to measure the response of each sub at the listening position, and then figure out which subwoofer positions add up to the flattest response.
@shadyJ I can't thank you enough for your thoughtfulness in your responses. I own a UMIK-1 that I use with my Arcam for Dirac. I haven't played with REW but may for this room. I will have polished concrete floors so I'll need to find a solution for running an interconnect to a location behind my sofa if I go the three sub route and place one there, but that's a minor issue to overcome. Thanks again and now I just need to get this house built...... unfortunately it will be sometime until I can report back on my success (or lack there of) in setting up this space but I will!

Thank you all and continue the chatter, I always enjoy learning from others and have been benefited from it many times, hopefully one day I can give back to this community. Thanks to @lovinthehd and @ryanosaur too.

Happy listening.
 

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