Sub for a fairly large and odd-shape living room

R

rlk

Audioholic Intern
We have a somewhat odd-shaped living area. The main living area is about 15'x15', with a ceiling vaulting from 9' to maybe 14', averaging about 12', so that's about 2700 ft^3. But it's completely open to the left side and extends diagonally a further 15', with the ceiling vaulting down. At a SWAG, this is another 1000 ft^3. It in turn opens to a dining area that's maybe 15x12 with 8' ceiling. Overall it's a V-shape ceiling, with the TV and mains/center along the inside of the V. The house as a whole is very much open.

About a year ago I upgrade the audio to B&W 603 mains (the latest available at the time, which I'm pretty sure is the new version -- 2x6" woofer, 6" mid plus tweeter) and an ASW610 sub, with a Marantz SR5014 receiver. I'm reasonably happy with the mains, but that sub (sealed box that's barely more than 1' cube on the outside and 10" driver w/200w amp) is pretty clearly underpowered and I should have researched it better. It's located in the corner of the living room under the high ceiling, along the same wall as the TV and mains. Whatever I do, that's where the sub will be. It's where my wife wants it and there really isn't any other good location; 2 subs are out, and realistically I'm limited to about 18" wide. The room is overall quite live; we have a large area rug and L-shape sofa and chair, but no heavy drapes. The speakers are all matte black finish.

My personal interest is music. I sometimes want to listen to music with an organ (e. g. Saint-Saens's Organ symphony) or jazz or rock with strong bass. I was listening to an album by one of my favorites, The Warning, whose bassist is very strong and a key part of their dynamic. The bass wasn't very satisfactory, although that may be partly the mix. The bassist recently got a 5-string (B0 at 31 Hz) and I expect she'll be using it enthusiastically in the next album.

My wife is more into movies and TV. Usually I don't watch that much, but some of the movies I like (e. g. Apollo 13) probably do have significant bass and it would be appealing, at least to me, to get more of a kick. We don't listen at inordinately high volumes.

I'm not looking to spend a huge amount (under $1K, preferably a bit less), and I'd like something that one person can move (there are 6 steps up from the entrance) and that isn't too imposing. The ones I've been looking at are:
  • Hsu Research VTF2 mk5 (small and cheap, but still appears to be a big step up from the ASW610)
  • Hsu Research VTF3 mk5 (obviously a bit of a different category and rather bigger; the ULS-15 doesn't look all that appealing and is right on the edge width-wise)
  • SVS PB-2000 Pro (the SB-2000 Pro isn't a whole lot cheaper and it appears to give up a lot of low bass)
  • SVS SB-3000 (the PB-3000 looks a bit much; the SB-3000 is definitely on the high end of what I'd want to pay)
The VTF2 has impressive-looking specs at least on paper (other than the 350w amp) for the price, but this is definitely not a small room. The SB-3000 looks on paper like it rolls off significantly even at 30-40 Hz if I'm interpreting the numbers correctly, but I don't know what that translates to in real life. The VTF3 is very bulky. It's sounding from this like I'm leaning either VTF2 or PB-2000. I like the price of the VTF2 if it's going to yield results in practice close to the PB-2000.

Thoughts/opinions?
 
CajunLB

CajunLB

Full Audioholic
Pc 2000 pro
Don’t let just 350 watts fool you the 12” HSU is a powerful deep digging sub. Also the 12” outlaw is also a fine subwoofer.
 
R

rlk

Audioholic Intern
Pc 2000 pro
Don’t let just 350 watts fool you the 12” HSU is a powerful deep digging sub. Also the 12” outlaw is also a fine subwoofer.
Why the PC-2000 vs. the PB? The shape? Acoustic differences?

It appears that the Outlaw was originally designed by Dr. Hsu.
 
CajunLB

CajunLB

Full Audioholic
The pc is just shaped different. That’s why the Outlaw is a great sub because Dr. HSU helped with the design.imho
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Warlord
Why the PC-2000 vs. the PB? The shape? Acoustic differences?

It appears that the Outlaw was originally designed by Dr. Hsu.
Acoustically the pc and Pb are the same. The shape allows placement options that might not be available with a big fat box.
 
R

rlk

Audioholic Intern
Even the B&W ASW-610AXP falls off significantly below 40-50(!) Hz per the review on this site, and the non-AXP has much less power.
 
R

rlk

Audioholic Intern
Got it. The shape of the PC is rather different from everything else; the other speakers are boxy.

The PC/PB-2000 is obviously going to be a stronger piece than the VTF-2; the question I have (and I realize it's rather subjective) is whether it's going to be sufficiently different to merit the difference in price.
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord
If your room is that large with open areas to other large areas don't waste your time or cash with those $1000 subs. Will not pressurize the volume.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
If your room is that large with open areas to other large areas don't waste your time or cash with those $1000 subs. Will not pressurize the volume.
This is a bit of a myth in audio, that you need a sub to "pressurize" the entire room. You only need sufficient SPL at the listening position, the entire room doesn't matter. You can get sufficient SPL at the listening position without having to equally charge the whole room with sound pressure waves.
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord
This is a bit of a myth in audio, that you need a sub to "pressurize" the entire room. You only need sufficient SPL at the listening position, the entire room doesn't matter. You can get sufficient SPL at the listening position without having to equally charge the whole room with sound pressure waves.
So your saying based on the description of the room dimensions the small HSU's or SVS 2000's would work?
 
Kingnoob

Kingnoob

Audioholic General
This may work

Why are the svs subs like wayyy more expensive??
This beats the pb 16 ultra

216 pounds I’d pass ...

Duel ports probably add lot of output?
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Got it. The shape of the PC is rather different from everything else; the other speakers are boxy.

The PC/PB-2000 is obviously going to be a stronger piece than the VTF-2; the question I have (and I realize it's rather subjective) is whether it's going to be sufficiently different to merit the difference in price.
The SVS subs are going to have a bit more output on the low-end, and it will be handled a bit better. The Hsu actually extends slightly deeper. They both have about the same mid-bass performance. The SVS will be a bit better behaved at 30Hz and below.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
So your saying based on the description of the room dimensions the small HSU's or SVS 2000's would work?
They can work, sure. It depends on placement. They would be weak if they were placed on the opposite end of a large room, but if they were closer to the listening position, you are still getting hit with pretty serious amplitude. Remember that the burst testing we do at Audioholics measures subs at 2 meters outdoors. So these subs are all hitting 110dB+ in mid-bass with absolutely no room gain.
 
R

rlk

Audioholic Intern
The sub will be between 8-15' or so (call it 3-5 meters) from the listening position.

Cheaper is definitely better, everything else reasonably close to equal. The VTF-2 looks like enormous bang for the buck.

In any event, I'm not likely to make the decision immediately, due in part to an unrelated situation. But I want to do my research up front before blowing another $700 or so. I'm definitely annoyed with myself about the 610.
 
K

kini

Audioholic
The sub will be between 8-15' or so (call it 3-5 meters) from the listening position.

Cheaper is definitely better, everything else reasonably close to equal. The VTF-2 looks like enormous bang for the buck.

In any event, I'm not likely to make the decision immediately, due in part to an unrelated situation. But I want to do my research up front before blowing another $700 or so. I'm definitely annoyed with myself about the 610.
Don't discount the advantage of the app control and remote adjustability of the SVS subs. Can come in handy and makes it easy to change settings depending on what you're listening to.
 
R

rlk

Audioholic Intern
Don't discount the advantage of the app control and remote adjustability of the SVS subs. Can come in handy and makes it easy to change settings depending on what you're listening to.
Yeah, the issue is whether that (and the additional power of the SVS) is worth $283 (since the SVS ships free and the Hsu doesn't) and the significant extra size.
 
Kingnoob

Kingnoob

Audioholic General
Don't discount the advantage of the app control and remote adjustability of the SVS subs. Can come in handy and makes it easy to change settings depending on what you're listening to.
Is that why they cost so much ? Wow you can remote control them ?
They look amazing tho

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
R

rlk

Audioholic Intern
The PB-2000 Pro looks attractive, and I've seen a number of people who consider it to be stronger than the VTF-3 in practice. However, the VTF-3 shows much higher numbers than the PB-2000 Pro in the CEA-2010 tests -- up to 5-6 dB. Is that difference real in real life, or is it a measurement artifact or something?
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
The PB-2000 Pro looks attractive, and I've seen a number of people who consider it to be stronger than the VTF-3 in practice. However, the VTF-3 shows much higher numbers than the PB-2000 Pro in the CEA-2010 tests -- up to 5-6 dB. Is that difference real in real life, or is it a measurement artifact or something?
The VTF-3 is a powerful sub, but it doesn't quite have 5 to 6dB of a difference in output. That would be an enormous advantage. If I recall right, the PB-2000 Pro and VTF-3 are similar around 20 to 30Hz, but the VTF-3 can be made to extend slightly lower. The VTF-3 does have a mid-bass advantage, but it's more like a 3 to 4dB advantage. That is still a significant advantage though.
 

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