Six Polk 505's or a nice SVS Sub

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RedCharles

Enthusiast
Ratings
1
#1
I currently have two Polk 505's but I was considering getting two more, but then I thought, why not get four more and stack them for a total of six subs. But then I thought wouldn't it better to have on quality sub? So what's more awesome six used subs ($700ish used) or a new SVS SB 16 Ultra ($2000)?

Is it really overkill to put six 12 inch subs in a 4x8 listening area?

This is not for a home theater. This is a video of my current set up.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
1,631 6 1
#2
Well for me that’s easy. One SVS over any amount of polks. I have 2 pc pluses AND a 505 as a midbass module(traded my friend for an sb2000 who needed a sub more than I did.

No matter how many 505’s are in the room, they will never extend deep enough for movies, and when pushed they can make some bad sounds. The SVS is better in every single way. Power, control, linearity, and in and on. The 505’s can be ok enough if you’re on a budget but no matter how many you have, IMO the single “better” sub will win.
To answer, get the SVS. It if you have 2k to spend, there are plenty of options.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic General
Ratings
705
#4
Looks like a tight space... is 4x8 the actual encoded space, or is it more open still?
I would agree with Snake that multiples would be better, though, and for that space you could get two pb2000 and rock it out! Hsu would be nice too. If you’re open to the idea of a second sub over time, consider a 3000 or 4000 series now, and get a second when ready.
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Ratings
4,165 32 17
#5
You could put six 12"s in room, but the more that you add (assuming randomized placement and not stacking them all on top of each other) the more the room response starts to resemble the subwoofer's intrinsic response. So you would want that sub to have a nice flat response, and who knows if the PW505 does that (I would think not). One expensive sub will only get you a poor room response, and six cheap subs will only net you the prro response of a cheap sub. Rather than getting six cheap subs or one expensive $2K sub, I would look into getting two or three proven performers. For $2k, you could get dual SVS PC2000s or duals or triples of killer models from Outlaw Audio, Hsu Research, or Monoprice Monolith.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
1,631 6 1
#6
You could put six 12"s in room, but the more that you add (assuming randomized placement and not stacking them all on top of each other) the more the room response starts to resemble the subwoofer's intrinsic response. So you would want that sub to have a nice flat response, and who knows if the PW505 does that (I would think not). One expensive sub will only get you a poor room response, and six cheap subs will only net you the prro response of a cheap sub. Rather than getting six cheap subs or one expensive $2K sub, I would look into getting two or three proven performers. For $2k, you could get dual SVS PC2000s or duals or triples of killer models from Outlaw Audio, Hsu Research, or Monoprice Monolith.
Why would one expensive sub necessarily give him a bad response?
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
1,631 6 1
#8
A single sub in-room rarely yields a good response, due to the room acoustics of low frequencies.
It why can’t he address that with placement and phase and XO settings? Not saying anything against multiple subs(as I’m a believer and user),but it seemed like kind of a blanket statement.
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Ratings
4,165 32 17
#9
It why can’t he address that with placement and phase and XO settings? Not saying anything against multiple subs(as I’m a believer and user),but it seemed like kind of a blanket statement.
There is only so much that placement can cure, and phase/crossover settings don't address things like room modes. Even subs that have parametric equalizers onboard can only trim peaks, but that doesn't do much to address nulls. Also, people rarely have the freedom to place the sub where it provides the most optimal response, and the optimal response that does provide is only good for one listening position.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
4,747 18 47
#10
A Night at the Roxbury music! That's Judas Priest? Thought it was some disco band....love it in the movie, tho.

Your room is 4 x 8 feet by what height? Or? Sealed room or just part of a larger room?

For $2k I'd think about dual Hsu VTF 2 Mk3s or maybe VTF 3 Mk5s more than the single SVS....
 
R

RedCharles

Enthusiast
Ratings
1
#11
The room is the room in the video. 15x10, maybe 15x12. The listening area is where the desk is, a 4x8 space. 8 foot ceilings.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
4,747 18 47
#12
The room is the room in the video. 15x10, maybe 15x12. The listening area is where the desk is, a 4x8 space. 8 foot ceilings.
I just noticed more the camera pointing at the floor or computer in any case. Is that a sealed off room? Or open to others? Doesn't matter what the space is for the listening area with subs, subs see the volume of space open to them. 1400 cuft (or more) is a much different room for a sub than a closet :). Try this article https://www.audioholics.com/loudspeaker-design/subwoofer-room-size
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic General
Ratings
705
#13
For that room volume, ~1500’3 rounded up, two pb2000 would do you very nice indeed. Or two Hsu vtf2s or vtf3s. Multiple subs will yield a far greater response than any single sub, and the 16 ultra though nice, is overkill for you, especially as a single source, you’ll still get uneven response.
 
j_garcia

j_garcia

Audioholic Jedi
Ratings
7,252 8 26
#14
That's like saying should I buy 6 Prius to try to equal one Ferrari? No, it won't add up.

My room is ~4500^3 (vaulted ceiling) and I have one dual 15" sub and it does not struggle but response is uneven. I only tune it for the listening position which is pretty much the only place we sit. 2 subs would give you even response, but I have to say one good 15" would be plenty, and probably even a single VTF-3 which received a large room rating, would work. It depends on if you are looking for body crushing bass or just clean output / flat response.

The other thing is, all of the subs mentioned are already in a completely different league than the Polk subs so even going with one will still yield benefits in sound quality.

Nearfield placement does affect some aspects of performance, but the whole room still needs to be considered.
 
R

RedCharles

Enthusiast
Ratings
1
#16
So in conclusion, four or even six 505 subs do not equal a single pb2000. And two pb2000s will sound better than one sb16, but they will have less slam. So there are some pros and cons, although getting two pb2000s or hsu subs is probably the best choice for me Thank you for your responses.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
4,747 18 47
#17
So in conclusion, four or even six 505 subs do not equal a single pb2000. And two pb2000s will sound better than one sb16, but they will have less slam. So there are some pros and cons, although getting two pb2000s or hsu subs is probably the best choice for me Thank you for your responses.
Consider that when combining subs you can't lower their extension (the lowest they can go),you're sub limited so to speak. Ported subs are naturally more efficient above tuning up until 50/60 hertz or so then a sealed sub can often have superior output above that. Depends on the specific sub and eq of course. Generally I just wouldn't keep buying Polk subs rather than getting better subs....
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Ratings
4,165 32 17
#18
That's like saying should I buy 6 Prius to try to equal one Ferrari? No, it won't add up.
This is an interesting analogy with regards to subs, but I think its only half right. Once a sub get to a very good qualitative level, then multiples using these mid-level subs can quickly exceed the performance of a higher end sub, especially in qualitative indicators. By far, the chief metric that determines sound quality in bass is frequency response. Two subs can get a much flatter response in room than a single sub. So, qualitatively speaking, you could get a better fundamental sound from two PB-1000s than you could with a single SB16-Ultra. Qualitatively speaking, the Ultra would still have an advantage of deeper extension, but the more neutral response of dual subs would be a far more audible advantage. The SB16 would still have an advantage in dynamic range, but that can be made up for by just adding more PB-1000s, which could also further flatten out the response which further increases their sound quality advantage. A properly set-up quad PB-1000 system is going to sound much better than a single SB16-Ultra system yet costs the same.
 

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