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Subwoofer Comparison

staticV3

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@sweetchaos
Small corrections for the spreadsheet: the ESI Aktiv 10s has a 100Hz HPF:
aktiv10s_sub1_large.jpg

The KRK S8.4, S10.4, S12.4 also have an HPF at 70/80/90/100Hz.

PS: please consider changing the metric units for volume and footprint to liters (=dm³) and square meters (m²), respectively.
They're just more relatable and readable.
 
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oldskool1

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This is my first post here, long time reader. If this is not the right place for this please let me know and I will attempt to move it. I am building a music mastering room of dimensions 21x18x12. I never listen louder than 85dB, and I try to work at 75-80dB on my SPL meter. My distance from the speakers is 8', and they are Yamaha NS1000x, which I will raise to the proper height by placing them on top of the subwoofers. For various unchangeable reasons I will be facing a corner of the room with the speakers placed along the long walls. I am using AVID MTRX with separate outputs for speakers and subwoofers, each with dedicated DSP PEQ and time delay. I am searching for dual subwoofers to augment the low end of the NS1000x, and in my budget I found the following:

used Genelec 7070a (not sealed, but they are really tight, downside is they are old, ~$1300 each)
HSU ULS-15 MK2. (sealed, like the NS1000x which is a plus, ~$1000 each)
SVS SB-16 Ultra. (sealed, but not really in my budget, ~$1600 each used)

I'm really leaning toward the HSU because of the excellent price and performance, but I'd like to solicit input from those of you who will have ideas about this endeavor before I make a decision.
 

Willem

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Welcome here. I would avoid second hand subwoofers. The drivers may have deteriorated, and there is a lot of electronics that can go wrong. Two subwoofers is indeed the minimum number, but If it were me I would buy one bigger sub and two smaller ones. See here for Earl Geddes' take on this:
Also, subwoofers really need dsp room equalization. The best is Multi Sub Optimizer (with a miniDSP 2x4HD), but your existing eq may also work. So, my suggestion for the subs would be two SVS SB1000 and one SVS SB2000, all of them in the cheaper 'classic' version without the inbuilt filter options, since you already have filters in your existing electronics. If you have some money to spare, you could either add a third SB1000 or move up to an SB3000 for the bigger one, depending on your preference for smoothness or extension.
 

oldskool1

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Hi Willem, that is an interesting talk, thanks for forwarding it. I do have a Genelec 7060 in the back corner of the room already, and since Dr. Geddes suggests a corner as an ideal location for one sub this is covered (although it won't necessarily be bigger than the other 2). Unfortunately, he no longer performs the calculations for people, and he no longer sells subwoofers, and he doesn't publish his custom software, so there is no point, because I don't think I'll be able to come up with the complex curves to make 3 subs interact in order to achieve flat response at the listening location, but I will give it a go with REW.

Dr. Geddes states at 4:42 that his discussion assumes that we are not so close to the subs that the wavefront moving past you is overwhelms the standing waves. However my situation is exactly that; I have only one fixed near field listening location, directly in front of the mains/subs, and I don't do many attended mastering sessions, so it doesn't have to be flat anywhere else. That brings me to your suggestions of the SVS subs, which I assume are excellent.

Regarding SVS and extension, I think I would save up for SB16 Ultras for the extra 1/2 octave of extension, but at the low levels I work at wouldn't the HSU ULS-15 MK2 perform just as well for half the money? I appreciate the data in the multi-sub comparison chart, but I am wondering if there are data points other than frequency response, THD, and maximum level before clipping that affect a subs perceived quality, or is that truly all that matters? There is an engineer that rents one of my studios and had his own sub in there, and when I lent him a Genelec 7050b subwoofer he raved about how tight and even it was. I'd like to buy this type of quality, but I'm not sure if these datasets are published for most subs. Or if I know how to read them. I really hope I'm not derailing this thread too much.

I do take your advice to heart not to buy old 7040a subs... I've spent enough time fixing my Genelecs with their finicky IC amps and dearth of published schematics.
 
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Willem

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Indeed, I learned a lot from the work by Geddes and Toole et al. Years ago, having bought my first subwoofer (a B&W PV1d) to complement my Quad 2805 electrostats, I was quite disappointed by the woolly sound (were people really right that electrostats and subs are an impossible combination?). When I turned down the sub's volume the woolllyness disappeared, but having a sub at such low levels seemed pretty pointless. So I started reading, and discovered room modes. I bought an Antimode 8033 dsp room eq unit, and the sound immediately cleared up, and integration was no longer an issue. However, this only worked for one listening position, so I added a second and then a third subwoofer, and I changed to MSO and a miniDSP 2x4HD to fully benefit form the multiple subs across a large listening space. I also added a high pass filter. MSO is functionally the same as the fancy software by Toole/Harman or Geddes. It optimizes response over a wide area by measuring and equalizing the subs individually for multiple listening positions. It is not easy to implement, and I still have some way to go, but already I am very impressed.
By the time you use multiple subwoofers, and more so the more subs you are using, their extension becomes less of an issue. Each sub adds another 3-6 dB output, so there will be less compression. My biggest sub is a SB2000 located in a corner behind one of the main speakers, and between them my three subs have a healthy flat output to about 16 Hz, in a large room.
As for subwoofer quality, I have the impression that my B&W PV1d with its two opposed drivers (in the back of the room) sounds a bit cleaner than either my SB2000 or my little Kef Kube 8b on a side wall. I don't know whether that is just my imagination or not. HSU subs are not for sale in Europe, so I have no idea. What I do know is that e.g. Toole advises not to mix ported and sealed subwoofers. You may want to investigate Arendal subs as well. Reviews (with measurements) are very positive. Unfortunately they have gone up quite a bit in price. That was one reason not to buy one when I bought my last sub (I could get a SVS SB2000 classic for just 600 euros), the other reason was that the single driver models have the driver on the side, and that would not have worked in the location that I had for that sub.
By and large I think the way you implement the subwoofer system is more important than the choice of the subs themselves: how many subs, how are they equalized, do you use a high pass filter for the main speakers, do you also equalize the range up to about 250 on the main speakers?
 

oldskool1

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Flat output down to 16Hz is very impressive with the subwoofers you have. Congratulations on achieving that. Thank you for mentioning MSO, I googled it and found the "Multiple Subwoofer Optimization" tool. I had no idea of its existence. I was already trying to imagine how to go about using trial and error to manually "solve" the state space representation/differential equations for eq curve settings, and that there probably are many valid solutions. Having this MSO software to do all the calculations is a godsend. And it also optimizes the main speaker eq!
Thanks again Willem!
 

Willem

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Flat output down to 16Hz is very impressive with the subwoofers you have.
I think there are two causes for this. The first and probably most important is the corner location of the biggest sub. This reinforces the low frequencies quite considerably. Some time ago, when I did not yet have the SB2000 and while the PV1d was being repaired, I used the little Kube 8b as my only sub, in precisely the same corner location. It went down more or less flat to 25 Hz. The downside of such a corner location is that in many rooms it reinforces room modes, but those can easily be equalized. Morover, the same location usualy produces fewer nulls that cannot easily be equalized.
Using multiple subs also helps a bit with low end extension. Subs tend to have a flatter response at low levels than when pushed hard. So adding extra spl from additional subs allows all of them to operate at levels where their response is a bit flatter. Having the very lowest frequencies generated mostly by one sub is not that problematic for the equalization because the equalized listening space is wider, the lower the frequency.
Some time ago Alan March posted some graphs here comparing the response of increasing numbers of small subwoofers in his own listening room, and they were very educating. Unfortunately I cannot find them.
 
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So looking at subs for mainly music. The Monolith THX 10" is well-regarded, especially when discounted, and has been measured to be pretty flat up to 200Hz or so. However, it has less output at 40-60Hz area compared to the level-entry sealed SVS1000 pro, as the chart demonstrates. So wouldn't the SVS be the better sub in a medium room, say 1,300 to 2,000ft3, for mainly music playback? And if opting for ported (as some here advocate, including the OP), would you not be better off with beefier output at 40-60Hz?

I've probably answered my own questions...lolz.. but shame it's only the 10" Mono of that range that gets discounted, in my country at least, while rival subs get pricier.

View attachment 178189
I just sold two of these SVS subs and replaced with a single Mono 10 THX v2 and couldn't be happier. The SB-1000 Pro's just didn't have the output I wanted. Ported is the way to go for me and my taste.
 

Willem

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Ported gives more low frequency output, but that output falls off more steeply. Two (or more) subs usually produce a smoother response acrosss a wider listening space, particularly if combined with dsp room eq. So in my view that is the way to go for music.
The Monollith series give very good value for money, i.e. a lot of output for a relatively low price, but the downside is a larger size. WIth subs you can mostly pick only two out of these three: price, performance and size.
 
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supersecretjim

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Just noticed a bunch of SVS subs are on Black Friday Sale.

NamePrevious Price USDCurrent Sale Price USD
SB-1000 Pro (ash)599499 (or 15% off)
PB-1000 Pro799None
SB-2000 Pro (ash)899799 (or 11% off)
PB-2000 Pro1099999 (or 9% off)
3000 Micro899799 (or 11% off)
SB-30001099None
PB-30001599None
SB-4000 (ash)17991699 (or 5% off)
PB-4000 (ash)22992099 (or 8% off)
SB16-ULTRA22992099 (or 8% off)
PB16-ULTRA2899None

Didn't update spreadsheet with this yet. Will update when I get the chance.
Its really sad that I picked up my SB16 Ultra in may of 2020 for $1399.99. Undamaged Outlet purchase. Same undamaged outlet unit available today for $1999.99, or damaged for $1899.99
The price hike is a bit unreasonable. Thankfully, my pay didnt go up along with everything else, lol.
Fast food up 30%, Gas prices 30%, SVS sale items up 30%+...my wage to pay for all this, Same as pre-covid...

I do love that sub, though. Works great with my newly acquired Revel M106.
 

anarchist

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Good afternoon,
I would appreciate any advice on a potential dual subwoofer purchase/exchange. Back information:
  • Basement family room (concrete slab) at 26x11x7 (~2,000cf) open on right side to stairway and 4’ hallway to a 11x13x7 room (~1,100 cf).
  • 60/40 movies/music use but really like music listening
  • Klipsch RF7III and RC64 for front stage
  • Currently have dual PB-2000 non-pro
  • Typically had ported but curious about sealed for mid-bass punch and overall accuracy
  • Looking for accurate lowend without bloat but sense of tactile feel (not doing bass transducers)
  • I think room gain also make sealed subs have better low end feel. Not sure how to measure or predict room gain.
I am considering the following: SVS SB-3000, SVS PB-3000, Klipsch RP-1600SW. Also considered REL T/9X and JL Audio D110 (not sure will be enough low end).
Heard great things about 1600SW but a bit skeptical because it’s new. I like the DSP from SVS to add to mini-DSP calibration process.
I have called SVS customer service a few times over the last few weeks. Their recommendations are good but also vary.
For music you'd need a non DSP sub and preferably sealed, like REL, most DSP subs have poor group delay (other than B&W DB4S) which makes 2-ch music bass sound mushy. I'd suggest 2x REL HT/1205 or even 1510, in room they easily go down to 15 Hz, very fast and tight bass.
 
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sweetchaos

sweetchaos

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Changelog:
2023-12-25:
296 manufacturers (unique), 2137 models (all, non-unique), 1922 models (unique), 445 models with CEA-2010-A data (all, non-unique) PLUS 10 models with CTA-2010-B data (all, non-unique)
-Separated into 2 columns: 'High Pass filter for mains/output' and 'Self High Pass filter', to avoid confusion.
-Added 'Announced date' column to keep track of newly released subs
-Added new subs from my 'New Speakers thread'
-Changed the metric units for volume and footprint to liters (=dm³) and square meters (m²), respectively, as per user feedback.
 

Willem

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For music you'd need a non DSP sub and preferably sealed, like REL, most DSP subs have poor group delay (other than B&W DB4S) which makes 2-ch music bass sound mushy. I'd suggest 2x REL HT/1205 or even 1510, in room they easily go down to 15 Hz, very fast and tight bass.
Respectfully, but I think this is both untrue and not very good advise. Mushy sound has little to do with the subwoofers, and everything with the room. Dsp room eq is the tool of choice to deal with room modes that are responsible for the mushy sound, and is particularly effective if combined with multiple subwoofers. The most powerfull dsp tool is Multi Sub Optimizer, because it optimizes the response of multiple subs across a wide listening area, and not just for a single listening position. Unfortunately it is not easy to implement. There are many other dsp eq options, but without more information about the electronics in the system it is hard to advise. In any case, the first step should be to buy a Umik-1 measuring microphone, and measure the current situation. You will be horrified.
I don't quite know what @drelldrell wants to achieve beyond a tighter/cleaner/faster bass and how much budget there is, but other than dsp room eq which is undoubtedly the first thing to do, I would stick with what he has, and either add (one or) two PB2000s for a smoother response across a wider area, plus more power, or one (or two) additional big subs like a PB4000 for the ultimate in extension (see e.g. the Earl Geddes video that I linked to above). Experts seem to agree that it is unwise to mix ported and sealed subs. Selling the current subs and buying something else seems a waste of money. The sound signature of subwoofers is largely in their integration with the room's acoustics, and not in the subs themselves.
 

anarchist

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Respectfully, but I think this is both untrue and not very good advise. Mushy sound has little to do with the subwoofers, and everything with the room. Dsp room eq is the tool of choice to deal with room modes that are responsible for the mushy sound, and is particularly effective if combined with multiple subwoofers. The most powerfull dsp tool is Multi Sub Optimizer, because it optimizes the response of multiple subs across a wide listening area, and not just for a single listening position. Unfortunately it is not easy to implement. There are many other dsp eq options, but without more information about the electronics in the system it is hard to advise. In any case, the first step should be to buy a Umik-1 measuring microphone, and measure the current situation. You will be horrified.
Well, I'm speaking from personal experience listening to different DSP and non DSP subs and using REW for comparison measurements as a confirmation of what I hear, DSP is useless for 2 channel music and adds undesired effects due to delays in processing and unnecessary EQ, and I'd say given the cost of acquiring a good DSP also not worth the money for most people.
"Room modes" effects on your average residential listening room are way overblown by sales and marketing people which are rather active on this forum and similar social platforms.
I'd suggest when integrating subs just use your hearing as first judgment tool, this is also what most established sub vendors recommend, and then confirm with REW using psychoacoustic smoothing - in my experience this smoothing is closest to what you actually hear.
My 2 cents, your mileage may vary.
 
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Sancus

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For music you'd need a non DSP sub and preferably sealed, like REL, most DSP subs have poor group delay (other than B&W DB4S) which makes 2-ch music bass sound mushy. I'd suggest 2x REL HT/1205 or even 1510, in room they easily go down to 15 Hz, very fast and tight bass.
Unusually elevated group delay is mostly an SVS "feature", it's not common to sealed DSP subs. You pick out the B&W DB4S, although the Arendal 1961 S performs better above 20hz and GD below 20hz is irrelevant. The Neumann KH750 also performs well. So do Rythmik's sealed subs which also use DSP for EQ. In fact most sealed subs use DSP and do not have excessive group delay.

You provide no evidence for your claims and then proceed to recommend REL which is specifically known for poor performance, overpriced products, and snake oil claims with their high-level inputs.
 
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sweetchaos

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Have you seen this?

This topic has been beaten to death.

REL makes mediocre performing subs (that’s not an opinion, since we have CEA-2010-A data) and sells snake oil concepts with every chance they get… high level inputs and musical subwoofers.

On this forum, we promote high performing products. And REL is no where near the top.
 

AdamG

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@AdamG please take care of this.
Multiple posts removed and perm thread ban issued. I will let you decide what remaining posts of yours to delete that no longer make sense.
 
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