• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Are subwoofers pretty much the same?

Joined
Aug 10, 2018
Messages
64
Likes
35
#1
I am in the market for subwoofer. The price difference of some of them is vast and spec wise seems similar.

My question is, are they pretty much the same? What makes a subwoofer "good"?
 
Joined
Jul 10, 2020
Messages
57
Likes
22
#2
What makes a sub “Good” is probably somewhat subjective but basically can the sub play low, loud, flat, and without distortion but can also output enough for your room. People also consider multiple subs to help even out the bass in the room too.
 
OP
momo7G
Joined
Aug 10, 2018
Messages
64
Likes
35
Thread Starter #4
For spec I mean the frequency response, let's use the Presonus T10 an SVS SB-1000. T10 list as 20-200 hz SB-1000 list as 24-260hz

In Australia T10 is selling at A$700 and SVS is about A$1200.

If I am using the amplifier sub rca out, set the crossover at 80hz, rather than some input option differences.

The $500 dollars are buying me 4hz deeper in SVS.

Or am I missing something in between?
 
Joined
Jul 10, 2020
Messages
57
Likes
22
#5
I know most HT people like to get their sub to dig down to 20Hz if possible. Anything past that is just extra nice to have. Kind of also depends if you will feel the extra cost is worth that extra 4Hz etc also what other people have actually measured as well as the actual output. Anything thing that may come into play is the size of certain subwoofers too but a SB-1000 should be manageable since it is on the smaller size of things. Any possibility of auditioning them?
 
OP
momo7G
Joined
Aug 10, 2018
Messages
64
Likes
35
Thread Starter #7
@theory no chance to look at the real stuff yet, as not many shops open.
@North_Sky if you mean buying american, they both are US company
 

waynel

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 14, 2019
Messages
571
Likes
610
#8
Frequency response is not sufficient to characterize a subwoofer. You need to look at compression curves and maximum output before distortion due to amp clipping or mechanical limitation. Look at https://data-bass.com/#/systems?_k=sdagmi for examples of good sub measurements. And no they are not pretty much the same.
 
Joined
Mar 29, 2020
Messages
10
Likes
8
#9
Like many things, the devil is in the details. The specification of "20-200hz" or "24-260hz" raises all kinds of questions. How loud? How much distortion? How flat is the frequency response?

One website where subwoofers are examined in great deal is Data-Bass: https://data-bass.com/

Back to your original question, are they pretty much the same? I would say that if they have similarly low distortion and noise, and similar output capability and uniform response, then subwoofers tend to sound much more alike than full range loudspeakers.
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2019
Messages
48
Likes
30
Location
Denmark
#12
Just a tip: if you’re looking at the cheaper SVS options, there’s often good deals on the previous line prior to the current SB series, which performs about the same. The SB12-NDS ($800 on offer) is the precursor of the SB-2000 ($1700).
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Messages
55
Likes
65
#13
For spec I mean the frequency response, let's use the Presonus T10 an SVS SB-1000. T10 list as 20-200 Hz SB-1000 list as 24-260 Hz. In Australia T10 is selling at A$700 and SVS is about A$1200.
Here is the manufacturer's frequency response curve for the PreSonus T10 (a 10" ported subwoofer):
1595415061836.png

And here is the manufacturer's frequency response curve for the SVS SB-1000 (a 12" sealed-box subwoofer):
1595415252836.png

We need to ignore the different reference levels, concentrating instead on the deviations from a maximally-flat response function.

Before applying any low-pass filtering, the SB-1000 is -3 dB at about 24 Hz or so, and -10 dB at around 20 Hz. In comparison, The T10 is -3 dB at about 45 Hz (almost 1 octave higher!), and -10 dB at about 37 Hz (almost 1 octave higher). The SB-1000 looks like it has way more low-frequency extension and being a 12" driver with a relatively high Xmax, it is highly likely that it will usefully outperform the T10 by a large margin across many performance parameters.
 

hyperplanar

Active Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2020
Messages
177
Likes
304
Location
Los Angeles
#14
For spec I mean the frequency response, let's use the Presonus T10 an SVS SB-1000. T10 list as 20-200 hz SB-1000 list as 24-260hz

In Australia T10 is selling at A$700 and SVS is about A$1200.

If I am using the amplifier sub rca out, set the crossover at 80hz, rather than some input option differences.

The $500 dollars are buying me 4hz deeper in SVS.

Or am I missing something in between?
The T10’s claimed frequency response extension to 20 Hz is complete bullshit. I bought one over the LSR310S only to find out it only went down to about 40 Hz in reality. This, combined with its high sensitivity, extremely finicky gain knob, and 12 dB/oct crossover made it almost useless for mixing music. On the other hand, I think the LSR310S actually does go to 28 Hz as stated so I would rather get that as a studio sub in the same price bracket. Presonus has a frequency response graph on their site now but you have to go out of your way to see it. Really soured me on the company as a whole.

I upgraded to a KH750 recently. It goes down to about 17 Hz as far as I can tell, in a very large open space. Being sealed and slightly smaller than the T10, I can’t say it has mindblowing headroom, but it’s way more than enough for mixing and house parties.

The SVS is likely to be at least as good as the KH750 in terms of raw performance. Studio subs have a hefty tax due to the unique connection situation required, resulting in a bit of a captive market.

The thing with subs is that you’re unlikely to be able to seamlessly integrate them without having access to delay and EQ functionality. That’s basically a requirement IMO.
 
Last edited:

North_Sky

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 31, 2019
Messages
2,741
Likes
1,359
Location
Kha Nada
#15
I agree; integrating a sub or two in a system is no small peanuts.
You need a good bass management system, read the proper x-over slope, frequency and phase.

Another option is DSP...Room Correction and EQ system...a good one.
Some hate that, others love it. It all depends...analog, digital, solid state, tubes.
 

rccarguy

Active Member
Joined
May 9, 2020
Messages
185
Likes
65
#16
I am in the market for subwoofer. The price difference of some of them is vast and spec wise seems similar.

My question is, are they pretty much the same? What makes a subwoofer "good"?
Is a Yugo similar to a Bugatti Chiron? No.

Subs start from £50 to roughly £30,000.
 

North_Sky

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 31, 2019
Messages
2,741
Likes
1,359
Location
Kha Nada
#17
For music stereo listening, without organ and electronica (synthesizer) and orchestral symphonies, I'd go with a $500 or so sub. I think SVS have some in that range or $700 (sealed).

For movies the SB-1000 traces the graph pretty good for its intention...two of them.
 

FrantzM

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 12, 2016
Messages
1,808
Likes
2,286
#18
Is a Yugo similar to a Bugatti Chiron? No.

Subs start from £50 to roughly £30,000.
Thing is the Bugatti Vryron does a few things better than most cars. Approaching its performance seems to be the province of a few cars in the same stratum of price.
Not so in the subwoofer (and many things audiophiles) where you can find gems at sane price. One of the best exemples, can be found here in ASR where a $9 Apple dongle beat the crap out of a DAC costing $15,000.00 , no typo: Fifteen Thousand US Dollars
To answer your questions. No they are not all the same. Extension ( how low they go) varies.
Distortion too
Maximum output.
On-board signal processing.
built quality
connectivity.
etc.
I am of the advice that in most cases multiple subwoofers are better than one. The audiophile must be aware that integration of a sub, let alone more than one, is not a simple endeavor. I would say that if one has the knowledge to integrate well 3 subwoofers... then for a fixed budget, in a given room, say $1000, it is better to have 3 less expensive subs than a single, $1000 sub.. Results from correctly integrated multiple subwoofers, even cheap ones can be shockingly good/ I am learning, I will try to share what I have learned with the collective. Those who know more should chime in. This is most interesting and important subject.
 

Theriverlethe

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
Messages
351
Likes
223
#19
Here is the manufacturer's frequency response curve for the PreSonus T10 (a 10" ported subwoofer):
View attachment 74630
And here is the manufacturer's frequency response curve for the SVS SB-1000 (a 12" sealed-box subwoofer):
View attachment 74631
We need to ignore the different reference levels, concentrating instead on the deviations from a maximally-flat response function.

Before applying any low-pass filtering, the SB-1000 is -3 dB at about 24 Hz or so, and -10 dB at around 20 Hz. In comparison, The T10 is -3 dB at about 45 Hz (almost 1 octave higher!), and -10 dB at about 37 Hz (almost 1 octave higher). The SB-1000 looks like it has way more low-frequency extension and being a 12" driver with a relatively high Xmax, it is highly likely that it will usefully outperform the T10 by a large margin across many performance parameters.
I don't think it should be legal to call a 10" driver a "subwoofer."
 

Chrispy

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
627
Likes
422
Location
PNW
#20
Lots of good information as well as independent testing for subs at data-bass.com....

ps No, they are not pretty much the same....
 
Last edited:

Similar threads

Top Bottom