I know I'm opening Pandora's box, but . . . (looking for audio advice)

lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Just imagine owning a 216LBS Monolith sub. If the internal amp malfunctions under warranty, you would have to ship this 216LBS monster back to Monolith.

And unlike with Yamaha, Monoprice (like most companies) don't pay for your shipping either.
Didn't they pay for shipping in the case of the guy in Canada who shared recently, tho? If that was an exception to the policy, that's good to know. Always good to know your warranty terms. I'm liking it less if they can't pay shipping within warranty.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Didn't they pay for shipping in the case of the guy in Canada who shared recently, tho? If that was an exception to the policy, that's good to know. Always good to know your warranty terms. I'm liking it less if they can't pay shipping within warranty.
I was hoping you would check on that thread to see. Haha. :D

I thought he had to pay for his own shipping, which is the case for just about every company including Denon, Marantz, JVC, ATI.

The only company I know of that pays for warranty service (both brand new and refurbished) shipping is Yamaha. Yamaha actually pays for shipping from clients to them and from them back to the clients.

I have never heard of a company paying for shipping both ways for warranty service for both New and Refurbished products until I learned about this with Yamaha.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
I was hoping you would check on that thread to see. Haha. :D

I thought he had to pay for his own shipping, which is the case for just about every company including Denon, Marantz, JVC, ATI.

The only company I know of that pays for warranty service (both brand new and refurbished) shipping is Yamaha. Yamaha actually pays for shipping from clients to them and from them back to the clients.

I have never heard of a company paying for shipping both ways for warranty service for both New and Refurbished products until I learned about this with Yamaha.
LOL and I was hoping you'd go find it :) I did and @JRED 1219 said: "Monoprice is paying return shipping across the border and DHL is picking it up from my house tomorrow. Customer service was great on the phone. Didn't ask too many questions, just a few diagnostic questions. Still a pain, but with the 5 year warranty and super fast customer service turnaround is comforting."
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
LOL and I was hoping you'd go find it :) I did and @JRED 1219 said: "Monoprice is paying return shipping across the border and DHL is picking it up from my house tomorrow. Customer service was great on the phone. Didn't ask too many questions, just a few diagnostic questions. Still a pain, but with the 5 year warranty and super fast customer service turnaround is comforting."
Wow. That's great service for their sub. Maybe Monoprice is reading this forum and know that they would be losing a lot of business if they didn't step up. :D

The other subwoofer companies would ship the plate amps and the customers would have to replace the amps themselves. I had mentioned before that a friend of mine had SVS sub and they had to ship him the plate amps twice (about a year apart).
 
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lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Wow. That's great service for their sub. Maybe Monoprice is reading this forum and know that they would be losing a lot of business if they didn't step up. :D

Do they pay for shipping the Monolith amp for warranty service? :D

I can't remember who it was that had to pay shipping for his Monolith amp for warranty service. Or was it free shipping?

The other subwoofer companies would ship the plate amps and the customers would have to replace the amps themselves. I had mentioned before that a friend of mine had SVS sub and they had to ship him the plate amps twice (about a year apart).
I'm thinking when @Pogre had his incident with his Monolith 7 they paid for shipping, too....even Epik paid for shipping both ways on an amp replacement for my Empire...altho that eventually bankrupted the company as he bought too many bad amps....
 
Jonabrim

Jonabrim

Audioholic Intern
Keep in mind that Hsu's ported subs also support sealed operating modes, as does SVS and Monolith subs. You could just get those, and switch between sealed and ported operation, and just keep whichever you prefer.
@shadyJ. You've heard just about every sub out there and have a lot of expertise (I've read your reviews).

Is it true that even if you plug the ports that the bass isn't quite as tight as a sealed sub? And if you were me and your budget was $1800 (the $5000 I originally posted was if I got speakers and not just subs), what would you ultimately get? I'm leaning toward 2 ULS-15 MK2s because they:
  • Are reasonably powerful
  • Are relatively small
  • Have a finish that's complimentary to my Focals
  • Come in a discounted set and it seems that two is generally better than one
 
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C

chrysler82000

Junior Audioholic
I know I'm opening Pandora's box with this post because everyone has an opinion, but I'm in the market for some new speakers and I believe this is a good forum for advice.

Important details:
  • I currently own Focal Solo 6 Be's for music listening and I really like them because of how clean the mids and highs are, but they are nearfield monitors and don't have the soundstage, bass, or room-filling sound that I want
  • My main focus is music, but I want something that would also work well for movies
  • I listen mostly to ballads, pop, choral, and orchestral music (virutally no rap, metal, rock, or techno) and value very clean mids and highs, but having clean bass is important
  • I've heard Dynaudio Special 40s and was blown away by the soundstage, but found them to be a bit warm (at least compared to my very bright Focals)
  • I'm looking for a 2-channel or 2.1 channel setup (quality is more important to me than the number of speakers)
  • My budget is $5,000
I've gone back and forth between a few scenarios:
  • Save money by keeping the Focals and just add an SVS SB-3000 or REL T/7i subwoofer to get extended bass
  • Buy a set of passive bookshelf speakers and then start the journey of finding the right DACs/Amps/etc. to make them sing
    • RBH Audio, Kef, and ELAC are a few speaker brands that come to mind.
  • Buy a set of active speakers that are ready to go
    • Buchardt A500s and A700s (soon to be launched floorstander version) have caught my eye because they are beautiful speakers, the reviews are very good, and they can be purchased as a fully contained system with DSP, room correction, a source, etc. (https://www.buchardtaudio.com/products/a500-walnut-bundle)
Opinions?
I'm also in the market for some new loudspeakers. But after the 3 day discussion on this forum I've decided to just start a new 5.1 system, geared more for music. The svs pb3k's are stunning. I am a proud owner of a pair and all I can say is WOW!!! Truly impressive in my small room. You can see pics in my previous post. They don't have a heavy base just a good accurate punch. And they dig so deep, your never asking for more only saying, where did that come from. Having the app is really nice. I have multiple settings saved so whatever I'm watching or listening to I just load that saved setting. Plus you can play with the volume never leaving your seat. I'm still in awe how well they perform. They really completed my theatre room.
 
AVUser001

AVUser001

Full Audioholic
Just in case anyone is curious and wants measurements, here is a file for the Focal Twin6's. You will see that they do a lot right! Unfortunately I have not found detailed measurements for the Solo6's, but I suspect they are very similar.

One thing to note is that the horizontal off-axis measurements get pretty squirrelly, while the vertical off axis performs very well (like I said it does not lag too far behind the BMR). Obviously, I stand these speakers up on end to get the excellent horizontal off-axis performance and let the floor and ceiling get the squirrelly stuff!
DTS doesn't worry about this (I presume) because their seating is well within the 30 degrees off-axis before things go south!
@KEW No wonder you love these :) . Not that I'm looking anymore(at this point), but wonder if you have heard the Focal Trio6 Be
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
@shadyJ. You've heard just about every sub out there and have a lot of expertise (I've read your reviews).

Is it true that even if you plug the ports that the bass isn't quite as tight as a sealed sub? And if you were me and your budget was $1800 (the $5000 I originally posted was if I got speakers and not just subs), what would you ultimately get? I'm leaning toward 2 ULS-15 MK2s because they:
  • Are reasonably powerful
  • Are relatively small
  • Have a finish that's complimentary to my Focals
  • Come in a discounted set and it seems that two is generally better than one

The notion that ported isn't as 'tight' as sealed subs has a lot of problems. Ports do contribute to group delay, but only at port generated output, and that only tend to be in very low frequencies on the kind of subs we are talking about. At very low frequencies, like below 40 Hz or especially nearing infrasonic frequencies like 20 Hz, it is very difficult to detect. If it is audible at all, you would been to be in laboratory grade conditions to sense it. If you seal the port on a vented sub, you do remove all ported output as well as its contributing group delay. However, ported subs will have high-pass filters that also raise group delay, but then almost all sealed subs also have high-pass filters as well.

However, this is all academic, as these group delay quantities are basically inaudible. When people complain about overhang or tightness in a sub, they are really complaining about some aberration in the frequency response, which is almost always a product of room acoustics. The best way to address that is to use multiple subs to shore up nulls in the response and parametric equalization to take down peaks in the response.

It seems like dual ULS-15 mk2s are a good choice for you given your criteria. If you are using these subs for movie watching as well, VTF-3 mk5s offer more deep bass performance for only a slight markup, but they are larger and not as pretty.
 
Jonabrim

Jonabrim

Audioholic Intern
The notion that ported isn't as 'tight' as sealed subs has a lot of problems. Ports do contribute to group delay, but only at port generated output, and that only tend to be in very low frequencies on the kind of subs we are talking about. At very low frequencies, like below 40 Hz or especially nearing infrasonic frequencies like 20 Hz, it is very difficult to detect. If it is audible at all, you would been to be in laboratory grade conditions to sense it. If you seal the port on a vented sub, you do remove all ported output as well as its contributing group delay. However, ported subs will have high-pass filters that also raise group delay, but then almost all sealed subs also have high-pass filters as well.

However, this is all academic, as these group delay quantities are basically inaudible. When people complain about overhang or tightness in a sub, they are really complaining about some aberration in the frequency response, which is almost always a product of room acoustics. The best way to address that is to use multiple subs to shore up nulls in the response and parametric equalization to take down peaks in the response.

It seems like dual ULS-15 mk2s are a good choice for you given your criteria. If you are using these subs for movie watching as well, VTF-3 mk5s offer more deep bass performance for only a slight markup, but they are larger and not as pretty.
Thanks for the recommendation. The VTF-3 MK5s are beasts! Unfortunatley, I am concerned about their size. Since I've gone a few years with just the Focals, having the ULS-15 mk2s will be a major step up. I will be visiting Hsu Research in Anaheim in just a few weeks so I can hear them both before making a final decision.

@shadyJ - I almost forgot to ask. While I know that there are other great brands out there, I'm basically focusing on Hsu and SVS at this point. How do the SVS SB-3000 and ULS-15 mk2s compare? Is it like comparing an Acura to a Lexus?
 
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Jonabrim

Jonabrim

Audioholic Intern
@KEW No wonder you love these :) . Not that I'm looking anymore(at this point), but wonder if you have heard the Focal Trio6 Be
@AVUser001 - The guy I bought my Solo6 Be's from ended up getting the Trio6s because of the power and bigger soundstage, but they sound similar. An NBA player here in Utah actually had some Trio6s and Solo6s into his personal theater. They're amazingly clear sounding speakers, if that's your thing.
 
AVUser001

AVUser001

Full Audioholic
@AVUser001 - The guy I bought my Solo6 Be's from ended up getting the Trio6s because of the power and bigger soundstage, but they sound similar. An NBA player here in Utah actually had some Trio6s and Solo6s into his personal theater. They're amazingly clear sounding speakers, if that's your thing.
Cool.., yes I have the Focal Electra 1028s & Focal Chorus 826vs. Such is my thing ;-)
 
CajunLB

CajunLB

Full Audioholic
I don’t know the size difference between the sealed 15 inch HSU subwoofers and The 12 inch ported sub Woofers. But the 12’s are very potent and dig low. I’d recommend those based on budget and performance. Just my opinion.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
@shadyJ. You've heard just about every sub out there and have a lot of expertise (I've read your reviews).

Is it true that even if you plug the ports that the bass isn't quite as tight as a sealed sub? And if you were me and your budget was $1800 (the $5000 I originally posted was if I got speakers and not just subs), what would you ultimately get? I'm leaning toward 2 ULS-15 MK2s because they:
  • Are reasonably powerful
  • Are relatively small
  • Have a finish that's complimentary to my Focals
  • Come in a discounted set and it seems that two is generally better than one
Curious to hear what you think after your trip to HSU. Hopefully they have demo space to illustrate that sealed is NOT tighter. That myth needs to die. It is mostly a function of being properly integrated. Sure, cheap fart boxes will be bloated and boomy, but the subs in question are well designed and built. I would personally go with the VTF’s over the ULS, but my WAF(wills approval factor lol) is very tolerant. I also have a penchant for deep movie(and some electronic music) bass, and my house is on a concrete slab and pretty large, so that also means more sealed units than I care to fit in here.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
I'm thinking when @Pogre had his incident with his Monolith 7 they paid for shipping, too....even Epik paid for shipping both ways on an amp replacement for my Empire...altho that eventually bankrupted the company as he bought too many bad amps....
Yeah, they paid for the shipping both ways. They kept me in the dark for a few days but aside from that it wasn't a hassle and they took care if me.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
Curious to hear what you think after your trip to HSU. Hopefully they have demo space to illustrate that sealed is NOT tighter. That myth needs to die. It is mostly a function of being properly integrated. Sure, cheap fart boxes will be bloated and boomy, but the subs in question are well designed and built. I would personally go with the VTF’s over the ULS, but my WAF(wills approval factor lol) is very tolerant. I also have a penchant for deep movie(and some electronic music) bass, and my house is on a concrete slab and pretty large, so that also means more sealed units than I care to fit in here.
Having owned both (currently own a pair of VTF-3s - no need to shop anymore!) I can say that's been my experience. I'm in the same spot as you, on a concrete slab with lots of space to fill.

@Jonabrim you said it yourself, Shady's listened to a pile of subwoofers and if you've read his reviews you know he generally prefers ported. The advantages outweigh the inaudible differences on paper. Sealed subs are a compromise in performance for form factor at the end of the day.

*Edit: Not to mention the VTF series all have 2 different EQ settings for running both ported and sealed modes.
 
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Jonabrim

Jonabrim

Audioholic Intern
Curious to hear what you think after your trip to HSU. Hopefully they have demo space to illustrate that sealed is NOT tighter. That myth needs to die. It is mostly a function of being properly integrated. Sure, cheap fart boxes will be bloated and boomy, but the subs in question are well designed and built. I would personally go with the VTF’s over the ULS, but my WAF(wills approval factor lol) is very tolerant. I also have a penchant for deep movie(and some electronic music) bass, and my house is on a concrete slab and pretty large, so that also means more sealed units than I care to fit in here.
You bet! I'll be happy to get back to you on this. I'm excited to finally hear some good subs in a good listening setting.
 
Jonabrim

Jonabrim

Audioholic Intern
@shadyJ @William Lemmerhirt

I visited Hsu Research last week and had a great experience listening to their subs! It's nice to have finally experienced what people are talking about when they mention musicality, nodes, headroom, when it comes to subs. I only understood in theory before because I've never owned subs.

All of the subs sounded great to me. I don't think I can go wrong between either then ULS-15 MK2 or the VTF-15H. The biggest issue is that the VTF-15H is huge! I didn't realize how big it is until I saw it. You can't casually fit a sub of that size into a room. The only way I see it working is if I put it in a corner and hide it behind my La-Z-Boy. Would you say that this would be a possibility because low waves travel better? Or should a sub be pointed directly at my listening area?

I'm no expert, but to me the sealed ULS's did sound slightly more sharp or crisp, if that makes sense. In sealed mode the VTF came close, but it wasn't quite the same.

The low end extension on the VTFs was more effortless because of the size, but the ULSs were no slouches! With two it seems that I can keep the volume levels down and avoid any compression issues.

I have another question for you both. While I was listening to the subs, my hearing went all wonky. It's like someone stuffed cotton balls in my ears and for 45 minutes to an hour afterward I couldn't hear right. Have either of you ever experienced this or heard of it?
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Ninja
There’s a Q control knob so you can adjust a bit. I had to adjust that on my VTF2 mk5 pair to get it right so long listening sessions were good. It’s also important that the room has carpet or at least area rugs.

There’s a CD with low test frequencies and songs that HSU includes with each sub.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
@shadyJ @William Lemmerhirt

I visited Hsu Research last week and had a great experience listening to their subs! It's nice to have finally experienced what people are talking about when they mention musicality, nodes, headroom, when it comes to subs. I only understood in theory before because I've never owned subs.

All of the subs sounded great to me. I don't think I can go wrong between either then ULS-15 MK2 or the VTF-15H. The biggest issue is that the VTF-15H is huge! I didn't realize how big it is until I saw it. You can't casually fit a sub of that size into a room. The only way I see it working is if I put it in a corner and hide it behind my La-Z-Boy. Would you say that this would be a possibility because low waves travel better? Or should a sub be pointed directly at my listening area?

I'm no expert, but to me the sealed ULS's did sound slightly more sharp or crisp, if that makes sense. In sealed mode the VTF came close, but it wasn't quite the same.

The low end extension on the VTFs was more effortless because of the size, but the ULSs were no slouches! With two it seems that I can keep the volume levels down and avoid any compression issues.

I have another question for you both. While I was listening to the subs, my hearing went all wonky. It's like someone stuffed cotton balls in my ears and for 45 minutes to an hour afterward I couldn't hear right. Have either of you ever experienced this or heard of it?
I have heard of some people having a similar effect on their hearing after being exposed to lots of low bass. I don't know the cause. It is difficult to sustain hearing damage from low frequencies, so I wouldn't worry about lasting effects. However, I would give your ears a break from loud noises for awhile afterward if you encounter this sensation in the future. It isn't easy to cause hearing damage from low frequencies themselves, but the effects of very loud low frequencies may make it easier for damage to occur from exposure to loud noise at higher frequencies afterward. Audioholics recently had a good conversation about this in a livestream, but I don't remember if they mentioned that fact.

The sub does not need to be pointed at your listening position. It is mostly an omnidirectional sound emitter, so you will get hit by roughly the same SPLs regardless of where you aim it.

I don't think that the ULS is 'sharper' than the VTF15h. One thing that can easily account for that difference is the placement. Even a slightly different room placement can have a major effect on the sound character. Another explanation is that the VTF15h will still have more deep bass output, even in its sealed mode. Deep bass tends to sound 'heavier' or 'slower'. Reducing deep bass output can often make a sub sound subjectively more 'detailed' however that greater sense of detail is basically due to linear distortion, i.e., a lack of deep bass.
 

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