HSU VTF-2 MK5 vs SVS PB-1000 Pro

axedaxed

axedaxed

Audiophyte
I'm looking to get a good subwoofer, and I'm stuck between the HSU VTF-2 MK5 and the SVS PB-1000 Pro. I'm having trouble deciding because while the VTF-2 MK5 appears to be more powerful and variable, it only has a warranty of 2 years on the electronics. With shipping, this would total to $750, or $820 with the extended warranty. Looking at the warranty policy, the customer will be responsible for the shipping costs of the damaged part regardless of whether or not its under warranty or not. How reliable are the HSU subwoofer/amps, and how long do they typically last?

The PB-1000 Pros appear to not perform as strong on paper, but their customer support looks to be far better than HSU. Looking on google, I see them dropping to 599 on holidays, so I might wait until 100 days from black Friday to get it for the 45 days trial, and if there isn't a labor day sale, to return and rebuy it to take advantage of the 60 days price protection policy. Although the pb1000pros aren't as strong, I'd be content if I can get it for $200 cheaper than the vtf2mk5, especially to get the customer support aspect that SVS provides. Plus I'd have more $$ to invest into a more decent pair of speakers / amplifier.

Can I get some opinions on this matter?
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
Hsu's amps are pretty reliable. I have a few Hsu subs and have not had any problems. One I have had since 2008, a VTF-3 mk3. I have had some ULS-15 MK1s since about 2009 or 2010 I think, and so far so good. I have not heard of any widespread reliability issues.

SVS does have more customer service perks, but the Hsu is essentially a higher performer. You will have to decide what is more important to you. If SVS does put the PB-1000 Pro on sale again, I wouldn't bet a lot on a big discount given the supply chain problems. Either sub is very good, so I am sure you will be happy with either one.
 
axedaxed

axedaxed

Audiophyte
Hsu's amps are pretty reliable. I have a few Hsu subs and have not had any problems. One I have had since 2008, a VTF-3 mk3. I have had some ULS-15 MK1s since about 2009 or 2010 I think, and so far so good. I have not heard of any widespread reliability issues.

SVS does have more customer service perks, but the Hsu is essentially a higher performer. You will have to decide what is more important to you. If SVS does put the PB-1000 Pro on sale again, I wouldn't bet a lot on a big discount given the supply chain problems. Either sub is very good, so I am sure you will be happy with either one.
do you think the exteded warranty is a necessary add-on, or just a feel-good buy?
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
I would say it's a feel-good buy. I have had a bunch of Hsu subs and never had a problem with the amplifier. Besides, the amplifier will likely fall in the 'bathtub curve' of reliability; it will either fail right away or many years down the line.
 
axedaxed

axedaxed

Audiophyte
I would say it's a feel-good buy. I have had a bunch of Hsu subs and never had a problem with the amplifier. Besides, the amplifier will likely fall in the 'bathtub curve' of reliability; it will either fail right away or many years down the line.
alright, I was worried because as I was doing research, I saw a post where someone went through a lot of trouble dealing with their amplifier dying just out of warranty. Thanks for your help!
 
j_garcia

j_garcia

Audioholic Jedi
check b-stock too. I got a great bstock deal on my SB4000 and I cannot see any flaws. Piano gloss, so minor flaws are almost a given. If it was there, it isn't visible to me.

Now, I had an amp go out twice from one manufacturer. They replaced it free the first time. That manufacturer is now defunct though, so after another 5 years and I could not get a replacement the second time. I've owned HSU and SVS subs before. Never had any issues with either. Based on the amp issues I had, I went back to SVS.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Warlord
alright, I was worried because as I was doing research, I saw a post where someone went through a lot of trouble dealing with their amplifier dying just out of warranty. Thanks for your help!
There are always stories like that no matter where you go. Unfortunately, too, a single online post is sufficient to scare 100 people away from making a decision that is otherwise harmless. Doesn't matter if it's a bad story about a restaurant or an Amplifier. ;)
But like Yelp... one complaint is just as likely a person having a bad day (usually the reviewer!) but when you see a pattern of such complaints you need to take note.

I've never seen anything but good stories about Hsu. Likewise SVS.

Happy hunting!
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
alright, I was worried because as I was doing research, I saw a post where someone went through a lot of trouble dealing with their amplifier dying just out of warranty. Thanks for your help!
That's easy to counter as you can't find 100s of posts like that. Most manufacturers shoot for less then a half of a percent failure rate. If there isn't a pattern, I wouldn't worry.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
check b-stock too. I got a great bstock deal on my SB4000 and I cannot see any flaws. Piano gloss, so minor flaws are almost a given. If it was there, it isn't visible to me.

Now, I had an amp go out twice from one manufacturer. They replaced it free the first time. That manufacturer is now defunct though, so after another 5 years and I could not get a replacement the second time. I've owned HSU and SVS subs before. Never had any issues with either. Based on the amp issues I had, I went back to SVS.
Epik definitely had amp issues, just sourced too cheap an amp; my Empire's amp died early on but the replacement has been going for 9-10 years now....and if it fails I'll just hook up an external amp. Still got that Empire kicking around?

@axedaxed I've not heard much about amp issues for Hsu, maybe more with SVS, but think SVS probably is ahead in number of subs sold, too. Can't say it appears to be a problem for either of them and think it's more that the amp will either fail earlier or later and personally wouldn't bother with an extended warranty (on anything, altho if Hsu backs up the warranty themselves on same terms as the two year deal, they're probably better terms than the add-on extended warranties I've looked at terms for). If you buy with some credit cards you might get a year of extended warranty, too (my credit card does that).

How about moving it up a bit in size and going for the VTF-3 mk5? :)
 
j_garcia

j_garcia

Audioholic Jedi
Epik definitely had amp issues, just sourced too cheap an amp; my Empire's amp died early on but the replacement has been going for 9-10 years now....and if it fails I'll just hook up an external amp. Still got that Empire kicking around?

@axedaxed I've not heard much about amp issues for Hsu, maybe more with SVS, but think SVS probably is ahead in number of subs sold, too. Can't say it appears to be a problem for either of them and think it's more that the amp will either fail earlier or later and personally wouldn't bother with an extended warranty (on anything, altho if Hsu backs up the warranty themselves on same terms as the two year deal, they're probably better terms than the add-on extended warranties I've looked at terms for). If you buy with some credit cards you might get a year of extended warranty, too (my credit card does that).

How about moving it up a bit in size and going for the VTF-3 mk5? :)
I think SVS had some early sledge amp issues, likely supplier issues. A friend had one of the affected subs and they sent him a replacement no questions asked. I have not heard many of those failures in years, though I am sure there are a few here and there as with any MFG.

Yes, Epik was also harmed by supplier QA, not design. Yes, that sub is still sitting here like an end table lol. My Empire lasted maybe 7-8 yrs on the first one and ~5 on the second one, which was probably from the original batch and was sort of already doomed. When I had asked here, TLS said you would need to replace the drivers and the amp. The design won't work with any old passive amp. I asked Rythmik about it as well since they have servo amps, and they more or less said the same.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I think SVS had some early sledge amp issues, likely supplier issues. A friend had one of the affected subs and they sent him a replacement no questions asked. I have not heard many of those failures in years, though I am sure there are a few here and there as with any MFG.

Yes, Epik was also harmed by supplier QA, not design. Yes, that sub is still sitting here like an end table lol. My Empire lasted maybe 7-8 yrs on the first one and ~5 on the second one, which was probably from the original batch and was sort of already doomed. When I had asked here, TLS said you would need to replace the drivers and the amp. The design won't work with any old passive amp. I asked Rythmik about it as well since they have servo amps, and they more or less said the same.
I can see that with servo subs, as the amp and driver are a set, but don't understand why an external amp wouldn't work just peachy on the Empire (with a little eq available to match the curve of the original amp). Got a link to that thread?

I've not been back to the bay area in ages, but if I do I will check with you about that end table :)
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
I think SVS had some early sledge amp issues, likely supplier issues. A friend had one of the affected subs and they sent him a replacement no questions asked. I have not heard many of those failures in years, though I am sure there are a few here and there as with any MFG.

Yes, Epik was also harmed by supplier QA, not design. Yes, that sub is still sitting here like an end table lol. My Empire lasted maybe 7-8 yrs on the first one and ~5 on the second one, which was probably from the original batch and was sort of already doomed. When I had asked here, TLS said you would need to replace the drivers and the amp. The design won't work with any old passive amp. I asked Rythmik about it as well since they have servo amps, and they more or less said the same.
Im using a crown xls2502 on both of my empires and have no issues. I just added a transform (minidsp) at 30hz to start the low end boost and it's much better then the original amp with just a boost and a HPF. Even a simple shelve filter would work better then the orginal. I have the TS parameters for the driver if you ever need them..

Edit: I'll just post them in case anyone needs it

T/S Specs

Znom 8 ohms
Re 5.7 ohms
Sd 805 cm^2
Pmax 400 W
Mms 200 g
Cms 250 uM/N
Vas 231 L
Fs 22.5 Hz
BL 23
Qms 4.1066
Qes 0.3061
Qts 0.2848
Le 3.15 mH
Spl 91.192 1W/1M
Xmax 13
 
JasonGSG

JasonGSG

Junior Audioholic
SVS -PB1K Pro
CEA 2010 2M, Hz/dB
16/93, 20/101, 25/107, 32/108, 40/111, 50/113, 60/114, 80/114, 100/113

HSU - VTF2
CEA 2010 2M, Hz/dB
16/97, 20/102, 25/104, 31/107, 40/111, 50/113, 63/113, 80/113, 100/113

The HSU offers better output at 16hz by +4db & the SVS a +3db gain at 25hz...
These two subs are almost identical beyond that.
 
McC

McC

Audioholic Intern
I recently purchased a Hsu VTF-3 MK5 and asked some of the same questions. Personally, I didn't want to settle for something I considered to be a (slightly) lesser performer for fear of something that may, or may not happen. I did opt for the extended warranty, but I doubt that was necessary. So far, it's proven to be completely reliable and an outstanding performer.
 
j_garcia

j_garcia

Audioholic Jedi
I can see that with servo subs, as the amp and driver are a set, but don't understand why an external amp wouldn't work just peachy on the Empire (with a little eq available to match the curve of the original amp). Got a link to that thread?

I've not been back to the bay area in ages, but if I do I will check with you about that end table :)
You know how heavy it is lol. Bring a dolly and a truck. Since everet got it working, that maybe gives me more inclination to get it running some day.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
You know how heavy it is lol. Bring a dolly and a truck. Since everet got it working, that maybe gives me more inclination to get it running some day.
Well, was thinking a trip south in a coupla months but my buddy who was organizing the trip went otb and got a fractured vertebrae. I do well remember how heavy it is :) I do have a dolly. Got stairs? :) I'd just get it working myself, tho.
 

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