HSU Research VTF-3 MK3 Subwoofer Review

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admin

Audioholics Robot
Staff member
The Hsu Research VTF-3 Mk3 is a well designed product, packing a terrific driver, obviously crafted with an emphasis on the basic features that are important to deliver maximum bang for the buck in a product in its price class. Within its limits, it did a number of things exceptionally well. Add to all that product support, a very useful, interesting manual and small enough to fit comfortably in all but the tiniest locales and in the VTF-3 Mk3 you find a truly top-flight product and an excellent investment for the discerning movie and music lover. I was consistently surprised by how well Dr Hsu managed to get this thoroughbred with a 12” driver to perform on a consistent basis. I’ll close with a strong buy recommendation; buy two if the budget allows for it!




Discuss "HSU Research VTF-3 MK3 Subwoofer Review " here. Read the article.
 
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acacia987

Junior Audioholic
so what is the difference between this and the turbo version? besides the 100 bucks?
 
GlocksRock

GlocksRock

Audioholic Spartan
I'm guessing the turbo version just adds the ugly turbo charger, for more bass.
 
Gimpy Ric

Gimpy Ric

Moderator
I'm guessing the turbo version just adds the ugly turbo charger, for more bass.
I've got the "ugly" Turbo on my more powerful HO and by extending the port length you do indeed get deeper bass. And remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
 
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Peter Marcks

Banned
Thanks to Mark for the kind and well-written review!!!

Turbocharger increases the low-turbulent air-moving capability by doubling the port length--and hence maintaining full port cross-sectional area--instead of reducing the port cross-sectional area in half in order to obtain the lower extended bass tuning mode. I'm not sure why anyone would care to characterize it as "ugly", it is just a small box sitting on top of a much much larger box. The bent ports of the turbocharger really can't even be seen from the listening position. Also, it takes mere seconds to remove the turbo when not in use.

Most of the time, when using a single VTF-3 Mk3 without MBM-12, it would be best to run the subwoofer in max output mode for widest dynamic range and maximum output capability. Only on material with very deep bass (pipe organ music and some movies) would it be beneficial to use turbocharger.

Note that an MBM-12 will work really well with a VTF-3 Mk3 (with or without turbo). The MBM will take system performance to a much higher level.

Sincerely,
 
annunaki

annunaki

Moderator
The turbo is a good idea but I don't like the idea of so many bends in the ports. There is one bend inside the enclosure and then two? outside if using the turbo. The bends just increase the likely hood for port noise. This seemed to show up in the review.

It is a great product and innovative design, no doubt though. Why not make a new sub that is a bit bigger (enclosure to house everything) with longer, straighter ports? Problem solved. I can see it as a great add on to existing sub systems though.
 
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Peter Marcks

Banned
The bent ports in this patent-pending design were engineered specifically to reduce turbulence associated with the port bend.

Mark did not review the turbocharger. He mentioned port noise tendencies only in the extended bass mode with port plug, which is exactly the situation we were trying to move away from with turbocharger. Port noise is definitely not an issue with the turbocharger.

Sure one could design a larger enclosure, but even that would see a performance benefit from using turbocharger instead of plugging a port to reduce port tuning. The idea was definitely to make the unit install in a modular fashion.
 
annunaki

annunaki

Moderator
The bent ports in this patent-pending design were engineered specifically to reduce turbulence associated with the port bend.

Mark did not review the turbocharger. He mentioned port noise tendencies only in the extended bass mode with port plug, which is exactly the situation we were trying to move away from with turbocharger. Port noise is definitely not an issue with the turbocharger.

Sure one could design a larger enclosure, but even that would see a performance benefit from using turbocharger instead of plugging a port to reduce port tuning. The idea was definitely to make the unit install in a modular fashion.
That makes sense.
 
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paulf7509

Audiophyte
thanks for that review - it was very helpful as I am currently searching for subwoofers for my home theater system
 

bigbangtheory

Audioholic
I've been doing a lot of research and talking to manufacturers lately about subs. My conclusion has been that HSU and SVS Sound probably offer the best bang for the buck performance of ANY sub company. I also know from word of mouth and some anecdotal evidence too that these companies are in it for the long haul and know how to take care of their customers.
 
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ooobbbccc

Audiophyte
Can someone please tell me the Bassaholics ratings is this certified "Medium" or "Large"?
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Look at the review for the Outlaw Audio LFM-1 EX, the performance will be similar. Under those guidelines I would expect a VTF3 to rate a large room.
 
j_garcia

j_garcia

Audioholic Jedi
Yea sort of. But I'm looking at the VTF-3.4 I heard they were the same.
Well, they are not the same, but I'd expect them to be similar in room size rating. The LFM-1 EX is closer to the VTF-3 MkII I believe.

I guess the question then is how big is your room? Unless you have a massive area to fill, this one should do well. I've heard the MkIII in a good size room (~15'x24') and I thought it sounded great.
 

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