• 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.

Best bang for the buck subwoofer according to ASR

Joined
Nov 29, 2019
Messages
29
Likes
22
#1
I'm new to this community, but in my short time I've learned a lot. I love how you guys just slice through all the audio bull crap which is so rampant out there. It really is refreshing.

That being said, I wanted to find out what the best cheap sub might be that aligns to ASR's philosophy.

I'm looking at buying a couple subs specifically for integrating with my 2 channel music set up.

Thanks!
 

Jmudrick

Active Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
176
Likes
142
#2
I bought two JBL LSR310s powered subs for about $500. I can't speak to how they align with ASR's philosophy.
 

watchnerd

Major Contributor
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Messages
6,951
Likes
3,871
Location
Seattle Area, USA
#3
I'm new to this community, but in my short time I've learned a lot. I love how you guys just slice through all the audio bull crap which is so rampant out there. It really is refreshing.

That being said, I wanted to find out what the best cheap sub might be that aligns to ASR's philosophy.

I'm looking at buying a couple subs specifically for integrating with my 2 channel music set up.

Thanks!
How cheap and how big do you want?

And how big is your room?

There is no "best", even at a given price, without knowing the requirements.
 

watchnerd

Major Contributor
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Messages
6,951
Likes
3,871
Location
Seattle Area, USA
#5
Pick a pair from SVS, Hsu and Rythmik that fits your budget and size constraints. Don’t forget to properly integrate the subs with your mains and with your room. That’s it.
Nah.

That wasn't it for me.

I prefer Martin Logan Dynamo because I like ARC.

There are a lot of feature trade-offs and variables that come into play.
 

bigx5murf

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2018
Messages
452
Likes
252
#6
subs are tricky, low frequencies are most effected by room reflections, and are thus highly room dependent. Dual subs go a long way in alleviating this, so might want to budget for two. I run a pair of Velodyne DLS-3750R for my HT setup. I have a pair of AV123 MFW15 in storage. I ran those passive for awhile powered by a crown xti2002. They're in storage now, as they're just a bit too much for my space.
 
OP
T
Joined
Nov 29, 2019
Messages
29
Likes
22
Thread Starter #8
I was hoping there was something out there in the $300-400 price range per sub that is really a killer deal. Ideally would want 2 12 inchers, but not sure if that budget is reasonable. I like the Rythmiks but those are more than I want to spend atm...
 

watchnerd

Major Contributor
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Messages
6,951
Likes
3,871
Location
Seattle Area, USA
#9
I was hoping there was something out there in the $300-400 price range per sub that is really a killer deal. Ideally would want 2 12 inchers, but not sure if that budget is reasonable. I like the Rythmiks but those are more than I want to spend atm...
@RayDunzl had good results with multiple "Cheese Woofers" that I think were in that price range.
 

Willem

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
1,538
Likes
2,455
#10
Subs have not been tested here. With this budget I would go for dual subs like the svs sb1000. You get a discount if you buy two. The biggest impact is from the room. So I would add some dsp room eq. I use an Antimode 8033 for good effect.
 

digicidal

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 6, 2019
Messages
1,258
Likes
1,823
Location
Sin City, NV
#12
I was hoping there was something out there in the $300-400 price range per sub that is really a killer deal. Ideally would want 2 12 inchers, but not sure if that budget is reasonable. I like the Rythmiks but those are more than I want to spend atm...
Much of that will depend on taste, size of room, and specifications of the speakers you're using as the mains. If it's a large room, you listen loud and want 20Hz to hit you in the chest, and you're running small monitors... likely not. On the other hand, if you have a smallish room or just want some decent extension and have pretty capable towers or large monitors... definitely possible.

In addition to the option @bigx5murf linked above, and the JBL310's @Jmudrick mentioned in the second post... the HSU VTF-1 MK3 squeaks in under $400. You could "roll your own" and get 15's for that price (but factor in another $300 or so for a Crown amp with DSP to power them). Or the budget options from monoprice and spend almost nothing now - then save up over the next year or two for a pair of nice Rythmiks... at which point you just give those others away, use in a second system, etc.

I've done the budget subs thing in the past... they work fine... but it's worth it (IMO at least) to up that budget some and get something better. It's really up to your priorities, but if it were me - I'd blow the whole thing on one good sub now (and deal with less than optimum integration perhaps) and then save up for another one when finances allow. :cool:
 

Blumlein 88

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
9,195
Likes
12,034
#13
Best bang for the buck I think are the Dayton Audio (cheeze woofers as Ray calls them).

Two or three or four are better than one. I have an LSR310. My friend has two Rhythmiks (some of the best subs I know of if they fit your budget). We used a couple of the Dayton subs in my friend's video setup. They work pretty darn well.

To get the best of any sub no matter the price you'll need to do some measuring with REW and a microphone. Find the best spots in your room for them. The Dayton's are so cheap it might seem scary. They aren't as powerful for their size as some, but otherwise really work to meet the specs given for them. A couple 10 inchers would be better than a single 12. A pair of 12's if you have the budget and space work nicely too.

https://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-sub-1000-10-100-watt-powered-subwoofer--300-628
10 inch for $119 each.

https://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-sub-1200-12-120-watt-powered-subwoofer--300-629
12 inch for $149 each.

https://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-sub-1500-15-150-watt-powered-subwoofer--300-634
15 inch for $199 each.

So you could go four 12 inchers for $600 leaving money for a Umik 1 for measuring with. Or start with 2 and if you like them and find out where in the room they work get two more later.
 

Ilkless

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
739
Likes
1,209
Location
Singapore
#14
I'm new to this community, but in my short time I've learned a lot. I love how you guys just slice through all the audio bull crap which is so rampant out there. It really is refreshing.

That being said, I wanted to find out what the best cheap sub might be that aligns to ASR's philosophy.

I'm looking at buying a couple subs specifically for integrating with my 2 channel music set up.

Thanks!
Power Sound Audio, JTR and Seaton are frequently mentioned as engineering-centric direct-sale subwoofer brands that offer exceptionally high performance for the money as well. And all their stuff measure well from what I've seen (eg. at Data-Bass).
 

digicidal

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 6, 2019
Messages
1,258
Likes
1,823
Location
Sin City, NV
#15
Power Sound Audio, JTR and Seaton are frequently mentioned as engineering-centric direct-sale subwoofer brands that offer exceptionally high performance for the money as well. And all their stuff measure well from what I've seen (eg. at Data-Bass).
Only familiar with JTR and Seaton somewhat... but those are all big-budget subs for TOTL performance. I'd say even higher-end than JL Audio with some models... they make Rythmik seem like bargain units. ;)
 

Ilkless

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
739
Likes
1,209
Location
Singapore
#16
Only familiar with JTR and Seaton somewhat... but those are all big-budget subs for TOTL performance. I'd say even higher-end than JL Audio with some models... they make Rythmik seem like bargain units. ;)
Yeah, but they do lower the price of admission for such performance, or in some cases offer even more than overpriced boutique subs like JL or REL.
 

FrantzM

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 12, 2016
Messages
1,609
Likes
1,911
#17
I'm new to this community, but in my short time I've learned a lot. I love how you guys just slice through all the audio bull crap which is so rampant out there. It really is refreshing.

That being said, I wanted to find out what the best cheap sub might be that aligns to ASR's philosophy.

I'm looking at buying a couple subs specifically for integrating with my 2 channel music set up.

Thanks!
I'll venture a reply:
Your budget target, "cheap" is not a concrete notion. A number would have better. It wasn't provided, I'll choose one: $1000
ASR Philosophy is based on measurements. That begs the question: What are the measurements relevant to subwoofer performance? So far ASR through its leader Amir is pondering/working about/toward acquiring a speaker measurement system. We are not there yet. We know however that this is a project.

One can speculate though, I'll surmise that frequency response and THD at various frequencies, are very important. I could also add maximum output at various frequencies.
Bass performance however is a function of many variables. Among those and listed in no particular order:
Size of the room
Material the room is made of
How many openings in the room..
How "leaky" in the bass the room is
Actual bass absorption of the room with furniture, décorations and what make a room .... a room ...
The capabilities of the main speakers in the bass.
etc .. because there is more.

I cannot fathom optimum bass performance without multiple subwoofers, measurements, EQuing and DSP. It simply cannot. One may get lucky: Every week someone wins at least $100, 000 in some lottery, legal or otherwise. Every week. The odds of such remain infinitesimal, nonetheless. The same could be said of getting optimum bass in most people in a room without subwoofers (emphasis on plural), DSP and measuring.

One of the best ressource for bass I know is Data-bass.com. This website is dedicated to subwoofers and their measurements. I defer to the seriously knowledgeable people on this forum to read on their testing procedures and let us know if their method and protocol are sound (pun intended :D) enough to pass the ASR muster or scientific validity. I tend to think that they are very good, that is an opinion based on the little I think I understand about bass measurements. Click here for references to their method.

I am in favor of sealed over ported for music reproduction. I would like to open a thread on the matter but along the years, I have subjectively preferred sealed to ported ... although the speakers and subwoofers what I am using at the moment in my HT, are all ported .. Talk about contradicting oneself :D Be as it may. I would suggest the following based on my previous budget of $1000 and making sure to go over it, since this my post :cool: and your money:p ... :D:

miniDSP 2 x 4 HD ..... $200
REW ( A fwonderful software) .................................$ 0.00 (Would be nice to donate ...)
miniDSP UMik1 or equivalent ......$100
Based on Databass measurements: a pair (2) of SVS SB12-ND for $800 .
Total ..............................................................................................................................................$ 1100

Those SVS go low very low , being capable in half space to produce 91 dB at 20 Hz .. In a medium room , a pair of those subs may produce higher output at 20 Hz.. How much? , I can't tell but I wouldn't be surprised. The notion of "room gain" is another debate but a sub in a room may activate some room modes that work in favor of producing large output at some frequencies , the corollary is that same room/sub combination may produce close to 0 dB at other locations of said room, this location could be the main listening position ..

I cannot cease stressing that you need to measure. You can then, finish it off with some subjective tweaking. The way low bass work in a room makes equalizing a good solution. Under 200 Hz is what is called as steady state solution , in layman term you can equalize with a good rate of success, keeping in mind that cuts are always preferred to boost when equalizing.

Please Read , re-read several times and research Blumlein post in this thread.
You better be ready to read, learn, despair, ask questions ... It will take time. You will be rewarded.
I intended that post to be short .. I didn't succeed .. :(
 
Last edited:

PaulD

Active Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2018
Messages
287
Likes
650
#18
I tested a few subs about 4-5 years ago, and SVS had the lowest distortion and I bought 2 of those (sealed not ported, to go with Quad ESLs). I cannot remember all of the other subs I tested, one was a B&W. I have used a JBL pro sub in a studio and it is also very low distortion. Beyond that I cannot comment.
 

CDMC

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
515
Likes
776
#20
I'll venture a reply:

REW ( A fwonderful software) .................................$ 0.00 (Would be nice to donate ...)
miniDSP UMik1 or equivalent ......$100

I cannot cease stressing that you need to measure. You can then, finish it off with some subjective tweaking. The way low bass work in a room makes equalizing a good solution. Under 200 Hz is what is called as steady state solution , in layman term you can equalize with a good rate of success, keeping in mind that cuts are always preferred to boost when equalizing.

Please Read , re-read several times and research Blumlein post in this thread.
You better be ready to read, learn, despair, ask questions ... It will take time. You will be rewarded.
I intended that post to be short .. I didn't succeed .. :(
FrantzM points out a very important issue and I don’t think the benefits of REW can be emphasized enough. What took weeks of experimenting prior to things like REW can be done better in less than an hour with REW. Adjusting phase and crossover by ear is difficult and inexact. With REW you can instantly see when you have matched properly as large suckouts and peaks disappear at the crossover point when (and is shows why a variable phase control is much more useful than a two position). Unless the crossover and phase are dialed in, you will always have a disconnect between your mains and your sub(s). Keep in mind that phase and the crossover point are intertwined, as the crossover itself induces phase changes, so when you change crossover points, you also change phase of the speakers relative to each other. Also, don't get caught up in the term phase, for these purposes, it is simply matching the time delay at the crossover point between the mains and sub(s).
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom