Help! I need to pick a new Subwoofer and speakers!

S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
Has anyone connected an HSU VTF-3 Mk5 HP to a receiver using a SVS SoundPath Tri-Band Wireless Audio Adapter? Does it work well? I already checked and my Denon AVR 1912 can connect a subwoofer to the receiver wirelessly (has RCA connection).
There is no reason why the SVS Wireless Adapter wouldn't work with the Hsu sub. It was made to work with nearly any sub. The only subs it wouldn't work with are subs that do not have unbalanced inputs, i.e., RCA inputs. Some subs only have XLR inputs, but those subs are usually pro-audio subs or very high-end subs.
 
D

Danzilla31

Audioholic Spartan
There is no reason why the SVS Wireless Adapter wouldn't work with the Hsu sub. It was made to work with nearly any sub. The only subs it wouldn't work with are subs that do not have unbalanced inputs, i.e., RCA inputs. Some subs only have XLR inputs, but those subs are usually pro-audio subs or very high-end subs.
Yeah I was just going to post and you beat me to it I have one of those SVS wireless adapters in my living room setup it works just fine no issues and you can use it on any sub with RCA inputs
 
W

Wardog555

Junior Audioholic
Someone posted on another forums site that they have issues with wireless subwoofer like popping and the output being half of what it should be. I have my opinion/view of not using one regardless of the situation but other people can ultimately have different opinions/views.

Also you really should lower the surround speakers to about half the current hight difference. It's fine if you unwilling to relocate the terminals or wires through the wall but all you use is trunking to hide the wire and you could paint it to match existing wall.

Regards
 
M

mvp

Junior Audioholic
There is a lot behind those specs, and a lot of ways to misread those specs. I can only say a few things. First, don't pay too much attention to wattage, either RMS or short-term. The system type (ported or sealed), sensitivity of the driver, and enclosure size have more to say about overall performance than how much wattage is on tap. Second, driver size can also be misleading. Just because a sub has a bigger driver does not make it a better performer, much like wattage. For example, that 13" driver on the SVS is a real beast, comparable in performance to many 15"s. On the other hand, some 15" drivers out there aren't all that amazing. The Hsu sub has a pretty good 15".

If you are primarily interested in performance, you should be looking at performance measurements rather than build specs. The most commonly used performance metric for subwoofers is called CEA-2010. This metric shows you how much output the sub can produce within a certain distortion threshold for a certain frequency. Hsu has these numbers on their products page and the SVS numbers can be seen in reviews. Keep in mind that the Hsu sub can be configured to run in single port or dual ported operation, and this does change the potential performance. I'll make it easy for you and just post a table, since some math has to be done on these numbers to make them comparable.

Frequency (Hz)VTF-3 mk5 (1 port)PB-2000VTF-3 mk5 (2 port)PB-3000
169993.897.896.2
20105.4105.1105.2108.3
25110.1111.8110.4113.3
31113.6113.2115.2114.9
40117.1113.7118.9118
50117.5113.6119.3119.6
63116.8113.4118.1118.6
80116.4113.1117.4117.8
It should be mentioned that these numbers aren't exactly comparable since testing conditions can change somewhat from test to test, but I would say they should be good within +/-1dB.
Hi Mr ShadyJ, I have a few questions if you have some time to help. Q1: Would you know the critical frequency ranges for the bass for home theater? It looks like the VTF-3 mk5 performs as well as the PB3000 except in the 20-25 hz range. I am wondering if that range is more important for music rather than capturing the bass of action movies. This table is awesome. It really helps me see the comparison of the subs. Q2: Do you have a similar table for surround sound speakers? Also, people have spoken about moving the location of the surround sound speakers lower. That would create a mess on my wall and or floor and would cause me lots of money to fix the wall (thousands). I want to avoid that hassle and cost. I am wondering the impact of angling the speakers at about a 45 degrees downward to offset the effect of being higher than optimal. Q3: what are your thoughts on that; do you think it would work to improve the quality of the surround sound system? Thanks very much for your help. I am anxious to make a decision and get the new system up and running. :)
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
Hi Mr ShadyJ, I have a few questions if you have some time to help. Q1: Would you know the critical frequency ranges for the bass for home theater? It looks like the VTF-3 mk5 performs as well as the PB3000 except in the 20-25 hz range. I am wondering if that range is more important for music rather than capturing the bass of action movies. This table is awesome. It really helps me see the comparison of the subs. Q2: Do you have a similar table for surround sound speakers? Also, people have spoken about moving the location of the surround sound speakers lower. That would create a mess on my wall and or floor and would cause me lots of money to fix the wall (thousands). I want to avoid that hassle and cost. I am wondering the impact of angling the speakers at about a 45 degrees downward to offset the effect of being higher than optimal. Q3: what are your thoughts on that; do you think it would work to improve the quality of the surround sound system? Thanks very much for your help. I am anxious to make a decision and get the new system up and running. :)
To answer your questions in order:
The most important bass range is pretty much 30Hz and above. 20-30Hz is great too if you can get it. Having output from 15-20Hz can be advantageous as well, but it isn't as important as anything above 20Hz.

There can't really be a similar table for surround speakers. Surround speakers can't quite be compared in such an easily quantitative way. I wouldn't worry about the surrounds as much. They don't add as much to the experience as the front stage or subwoofers. If it becomes a hassle to accommodate surround speakers, just skip them; you won't be missing much.
 
M

mvp

Junior Audioholic
Thanks for the quick reply. Based on your answer for question 1, I would think the HSU VTF-3 mk5 would be the best choice as it nearly matches the performance of the SVS PB3000 at
To answer your questions in order:
The most important bass range is pretty much 30Hz and above. 20-30Hz is great too if you can get it. Having output from 15-20Hz can be advantageous as well, but it isn't as important as anything above 20Hz.

There can't really be a similar table for surround speakers. Surround speakers can't quite be compared in such an easily quantitative way. I wouldn't worry about the surrounds as much. They don't add as much to the experience as the front stage or subwoofers. If it becomes a hassle to accommodate surround speakers, just skip them; you won't be missing much.
Thanks again for the quick reply. I am not sure what you mean by front stage though. I call surround sound speakers the 2 rear speakers (back left and back right) and the 3 front speakers (front left, front right, and front center). Is that language not correct? I was thinking of getting either 1. SVS option (Satellite prime in front and back left and right and prime center) or the HSU option (CCB-8 for all 5 locations).

BTW, after speaking to SVS and HSU folks today, I was getting somewhat differing information. Specifically about the 3db difference in the 20-25 hz range between the SVS PB 3000 and the HSU VTF-3 mk5. Is that a big difference or not? SVS folks reminded me that although 3 db doesn't sound like alot, because of the logrithmic scale that equate to a 50% difference in output. What do you think? Also, since the frequencies below 40 hz are vibrations you feel rather than hear,and since I am mostly buying the system for watching action/sci-fi movies, isn't that range of importance to me? One person told me that very few movies actually have frequencies in that range because in movie theaters with the large rooms they can't effectively fill the room with frequencies of that range.

I am so torn on what to get. Help! And thank you for all your help already!!!
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
Thanks for the quick reply. Based on your answer for question 1, I would think the HSU VTF-3 mk5 would be the best choice as it nearly matches the performance of the SVS PB3000 at

Thanks again for the quick reply. I am not sure what you mean by front stage though. I call surround sound speakers the 2 rear speakers (back left and back right) and the 3 front speakers (front left, front right, and front center). Is that language not correct? I was thinking of getting either 1. SVS option (Satellite prime in front and back left and right and prime center) or the HSU option (CCB-8 for all 5 locations).

BTW, after speaking to SVS and HSU folks today, I was getting somewhat differing information. Specifically about the 3db difference in the 20-25 hz range between the SVS PB 3000 and the HSU VTF-3 mk5. Is that a big difference or not? SVS folks reminded me that although 3 db doesn't sound like alot, because of the logrithmic scale that equate to a 50% difference in output. What do you think? Also, since the frequencies below 40 hz are vibrations you feel rather than hear,and since I am mostly buying the system for watching action/sci-fi movies, isn't that range of importance to me? One person told me that very few movies actually have frequencies in that range because in movie theaters with the large rooms they can't effectively fill the room with frequencies of that range.

I am so torn on what to get. Help! And thank you for all your help already!!!
3dB is a significant difference in low frequencies. It's not really a 50% difference in output but rather a 50% difference in power. There is a difference. It would take a doubling of amplifier power to effect a 3dB difference. However, a 6dB increase would be required for a doubling of output, and that would require a quadrupling of power. The difference is that power scales with a log base of 10 whereas output scales with a log base of 20.

I wouldn't say that frequencies below 40Hz are ones you can feel so much. In fact, I would say the most tactile bass is lower mid-bass, around 80 to 90Hz, since this is where the resonant frequency of the lungs normally is, and that is what causes that 'chest punch' sensation whenever you hear a loud kick drum. There can be a physical sensation of bass in low frequencies, but I think it is often overstated.

There are quite a few movies that do have very deep bass. Sometimes the theatrical sound mix filters out the really deep bass because most cinemas aren't really capable of reproducing super deep bass. But the home audio sound mix can bring that stuff all back. It depends on the movie, but there are plenty that have some very deep bass.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Thanks for the quick reply. Based on your answer for question 1, I would think the HSU VTF-3 mk5 would be the best choice as it nearly matches the performance of the SVS PB3000 at

Thanks again for the quick reply. I am not sure what you mean by front stage though. I call surround sound speakers the 2 rear speakers (back left and back right) and the 3 front speakers (front left, front right, and front center). Is that language not correct? I was thinking of getting either 1. SVS option (Satellite prime in front and back left and right and prime center) or the HSU option (CCB-8 for all 5 locations).

BTW, after speaking to SVS and HSU folks today, I was getting somewhat differing information. Specifically about the 3db difference in the 20-25 hz range between the SVS PB 3000 and the HSU VTF-3 mk5. Is that a big difference or not? SVS folks reminded me that although 3 db doesn't sound like alot, because of the logrithmic scale that equate to a 50% difference in output. What do you think? Also, since the frequencies below 40 hz are vibrations you feel rather than hear,and since I am mostly buying the system for watching action/sci-fi movies, isn't that range of importance to me? One person told me that very few movies actually have frequencies in that range because in movie theaters with the large rooms they can't effectively fill the room with frequencies of that range.

I am so torn on what to get. Help! And thank you for all your help already!!!
The fronts generally mean your L/R/C speakers (maybe just L/R if no center). Surrounds are used in a 5ch setup, with 7.1 you add rear surrounds. I would pick from the SVS/Hsu choices mostly on price, aesthetics/feature set more a secondary set....either will be very good.
 
M

mvp

Junior Audioholic
3dB is a significant difference in low frequencies. It's not really a 50% difference in output but rather a 50% difference in power. There is a difference. It would take a doubling of amplifier power to effect a 3dB difference. However, a 6dB increase would be required for a doubling of output, and that would require a quadrupling of power. The difference is that power scales with a log base of 10 whereas output scales with a log base of 20.

I wouldn't say that frequencies below 40Hz are ones you can feel so much. In fact, I would say the most tactile bass is lower mid-bass, around 80 to 90Hz, since this is where the resonant frequency of the lungs normally is, and that is what causes that 'chest punch' sensation whenever you hear a loud kick drum. There can be a physical sensation of bass in low frequencies, but I think it is often overstated.

There are quite a few movies that do have very deep bass. Sometimes the theatrical sound mix filters out the really deep bass because most cinemas aren't really capable of reproducing super deep bass. But the home audio sound mix can bring that stuff all back. It depends on the movie, but there are plenty that have some very deep bass.
Wow! I had to do a little math refresher just now. So with HSU VTF-3 mk5 being 3 db less than SVS PB 3000 in the 20-25 hz range means that the OUTPUT (which is the most important, right?) of the HSU would be 37% that of the SVS? Is that correct? I just used a simple online tool to calculate log base 20 values. :)

If that is so, you are right that that is significant.

Based on your comment that you can get the low frequencies at home even if they are not able to be "felt" in the theater makes me think that is a significant value for going to the higher output in these ranges. But then you said that the most tactile base is around 80-90 hz. Both the HSU and SVS models do well in the 80 hz range based on your table.

One of the sales people said that it doesn't matter if the output is less in the 20-25 hz range because you could turn up the power to the amp and get the higher output. Is that right? Wouldn't this test have been performed at the maximum output for each frequency?

Thanks again!
Maria
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
Wow! I had to do a little math refresher just now. So with HSU VTF-3 mk5 being 3 db less than SVS PB 3000 in the 20-25 hz range means that the OUTPUT (which is the most important, right?) of the HSU would be 37% that of the SVS? Is that correct? I just used a simple online tool to calculate log base 20 values. :)

If that is so, you are right that that is significant.

Based on your comment that you can get the low frequencies at home even if they are not able to be "felt" in the theater makes me think that is a significant value for going to the higher output in these ranges. But then you said that the most tactile base is around 80-90 hz. Both the HSU and SVS models do well in the 80 hz range based on your table.

One of the sales people said that it doesn't matter if the output is less in the 20-25 hz range because you could turn up the power to the amp and get the higher output. Is that right? Wouldn't this test have been performed at the maximum output for each frequency?

Thanks again!
Maria
The take-home here is that the PB-3000 will have a bit more deep bass than the VTF-3 mk5. You have to remember that these measurements aren't exact to the dB. As standardized as the test protocol is supposed to be, there is still some imprecision because of all the variables that can occur. I have experience with both subs, and while I didn't compare them directly, I would say that you can expect the PB-3000 to have slightly more oomph in deep bass. I doubt that most people would consider it a big difference. Both are good subs.

But yes, you can't turn up the power to get more than the dynamic range that is shown in these test results. These tests are maximum output tests.
 
-Jim-

-Jim-

Audioholic Chief
... the HSU option (CCB-8 for all 5 locations).

I am so torn on what to get. Help! And thank you for all your help already!!!
I think having CCB-8s for all 5 locations would sound great, you wouldn't miss them much for the Surrounds if you went to their HB-1 MK2s bookshelf speakers. As per the comment of many, the Fronts and Subs are the focus as over 90% of the typical program material comes from them. But if your budget allows then go for the 5 CCB-8s. (I have them across my fronts and have never regretted my purchase of them.) Personally, I think either Sub you are looking at will be outstanding. I'm with @lovinthehd that this probably boils down to price.

Good Luck with your purchase. Make certain to update us on what you buy, and how it sounds at your home.
 
M

mvp

Junior Audioholic
The take-home here is that the PB-3000 will have a bit more deep bass than the VTF-3 mk5. You have to remember that these measurements aren't exact to the dB. As standardized as the test protocol is supposed to be, there is still some imprecision because of all the variables that can occur. I have experience with both subs, and while I didn't compare them directly, I would say that you can expect the PB-3000 to have slightly more oomph in deep bass. I doubt that most people would consider it a big difference. Both are good subs.

But yes, you can't turn up the power to get more than the dynamic range that is shown in these test results. These tests are maximum output tests.
Quick question: what size sub do you think I should get for the room? I was planning to get the SVS PB 3000 but was just told by the SVS sales manager that I really needed a SVS PB16 ultra to feel the bass. That PB16 is huge and like 185 lbs. I don't think I can manage that. He said the PB400 has about 15-20% more output than the PB3000. Can you confirm that? If that is true, I don't see rationale to upgrade to the PB400 as it is about 43% higher in cost for only 15-20% increase in output. Do you agree?
 
M

mvp

Junior Audioholic
What do you all think about getting SVS prime pinnacles for the front R & L speakers, the SVS ultra front center speaker, the SVS Prime satellites for the back R & L, and the SVS PB3000 for the sub?
 
D

Danzilla31

Audioholic Spartan
What do you all think about getting SVS prime pinnacles for the front R & L speakers, the SVS ultra front center speaker, the SVS Prime satellites for the back R & L, and the SVS PB3000 for the sub?
That would be a very nice setup we are talking the prime pinnacle towers right? Those are nice speakers. If you are going to use the PB 3000 nearfield you don't need the extra the 4000 or 16 ultra would give and for the money they are asking there are better subs out there at the 2500 to 3000 buck level. Just not as nice looking as the 16.

I owned the 4000 and they were massive in size and weight difficult to get around I'd go the 3000 route and set the sub up nearfield
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Warlord
That would be a very nice setup we are talking the prime pinnacle towers right? Those are nice speakers. If you are going to use the PB 3000 nearfield you don't need the extra the 4000 or 16 ultra would give and for the money they are asking there are better subs out there at the 2500 to 3000 buck level. Just not as nice looking as the 16.

I owned the 4000 and they were massive in size and weight difficult to get around I'd go the 3000 route and set the sub up nearfield
I completely agree with danno here. The only thing I would add is that, frankly, there’s only one way to go here, and imo @mvp, you will be blown away no matter what!
 
M

mvp

Junior Audioholic
That would be a very nice setup we are talking the prime pinnacle towers right? Those are nice speakers. If you are going to use the PB 3000 nearfield you don't need the extra the 4000 or 16 ultra would give and for the money they are asking there are better subs out there at the 2500 to 3000 buck level. Just not as nice looking as the 16.

I owned the 4000 and they were massive in size and weight difficult to get around I'd go the 3000 route and set the sub up nearfield
Did you see the size of the room in the pictures I posted on the second page of this thread? With that size, do you still think the PB3000 will provide enough bass?
Thank you!
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
Quick question: what size sub do you think I should get for the room? I was planning to get the SVS PB 3000 but was just told by the SVS sales manager that I really needed a SVS PB16 ultra to feel the bass. That PB16 is huge and like 185 lbs. I don't think I can manage that. He said the PB400 has about 15-20% more output than the PB3000. Can you confirm that? If that is true, I don't see rationale to upgrade to the PB400 as it is about 43% higher in cost for only 15-20% increase in output. Do you agree?
The interesting thing about the PB-3000 is that it has pretty much the same mid-to-low bass output as the PB-4000 or PB16-Ultra. Those other subs both have more deep bass output. For a lot of content, all of those subs would sound the same. Where they separate themselves is in movies with lots of deep bass. The PB16-Ultra and PB-4000 would sound a bit more authoritative.

If I were you, I would go for a multi-sub setup if you have the room. Two or more subs spread out over the room will just yield a better bass sound. They don't have to be expensive subs. I would be looking at some Outla Audio Ultra-X12s or some Hsu VTF-2 mk5s or some Monoprice Monolith 12" THX-Ultras or SVS PB-2000s.
 
D

Danzilla31

Audioholic Spartan
Did you see the size of the room in the pictures I posted on the second page of this thread? With that size, do you still think the PB3000 will provide enough bass?
Thank you!
That's why I'm suggesting the PB 3000 nearfield that space is so big and so open to the rest of the house even 1 PB16 unless you set it up nearfield is not going to fill all that space. And nearfield a PB 3000 will work just fine
 
D

Danzilla31

Audioholic Spartan
Did you see the size of the room in the pictures I posted on the second page of this thread? With that size, do you still think the PB3000 will provide enough bass?
Thank you!
But if you can't go nearfield I agree with Shady 2 subs would be better and since the PB 16 is 3000 with tax right now you can afford a lot of really good dual setups for that amount of money
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Another vote for multiples vs single sub.....even if they're a bit smaller and easier to move around :)
 

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