Need a new subwoofer [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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07-04-2008, 10:04 AM
I currently have an 11 yr old klipsch ksw200 12" down-firing ported 200w sub rated down to 28hz. always did a good job for HT but lacked a little with music accuracy (set with radio shack spl meter). does a closed-box sub have an advantage when i comes to music or overall reproduction? Which is considered better- acoustic-suspension(closed) or bass-reflex(ported)? The B&W asw700(10'',500w,closed,22hz) or 750(12',1000w,closed,20hz) , Axiom EP350-v3(12",300w,ported,18hz) , and HSU RESERCH VTF3-MK3(12",350w,18hz) have all caught my eye. Also, when it comes to side- firing or down- firing, is one better than the other, and for what reasons? Looking for recommendations. Thanks!

07-04-2008, 01:46 PM
I have (two sets of) Mackie HR824 active studio monitors and I am looking now at the Mackie HRS120 active powered 12" sub.

"Active" in Mackiespeak means servo-controlled, i.e. like a Velodyne servosub.

The Mackie HRS120 has response of +- 1.5 dB, 20 hz to 150 hz.

The Mackie HR824 active studio monitors are super clean and articulate, so I would expect the same performance from the Mackie HRS120.

The Mackie HRS120 is $1200. net at Musican's Friend and/or Music123, and Shipping is included while other dealers will charge $75 for standard UPS.

07-04-2008, 10:37 PM
I believe Outlaw Audio may have the best down firing sub for your money.

But if you have the bucks you could go for the undisputed champ.

07-04-2008, 10:58 PM
I think down firing subs are aiming for better dispersion of bass though bass disperses very well by nature. Can't remember whether carpet or hard floors is desirable here. I owned a Paradigm 10" sub that fired to the rear via three ports. This set up was good especially for movies but you had to adjust volume a lot depending on source. It also rattled wall hangings and windows rather easily. Front firing subs are aiming at musical/accurate bass with less boom, perhaps. Bottom line, I believe is your listening room's type of flooring and whether big/low bass is your priority (movies, gaming) or tighter, faster ,more accurate bass (music).

07-06-2008, 04:31 AM
SVS also makes really good subs

07-06-2008, 08:20 AM
SVS, HSU, and Velodyne make very nice subs, and generally give good return on the money you spend.

Parts express lets you make it yourself from very easy to assemble kits

for excellent value.

A lot depends on how much space you want to give up. The best small footprint 12" sub is the JBL HTPS400, a sealed design with 1000W and great musicality. But you pay for this kind of quality.

As an aside, getting two subs is better than one in almost all situations. With correct placement, often two subs handily take care of the standing waves and void problems that a single exhibits. I'd rather have two really good subs than one great sub for this reason. What's the value of great output if it's uneven: too loud in some spots, too weak in others?

(Of course, having two great subs is even better.)

07-06-2008, 02:03 PM
Looking for recommendations. Thanks!
I'm with filecat in that I prefer using a pair of subs. Many times, I hear systems with a single, huge sub that - while it's capable of plumbing the depths of bass, there exists a huge chasm between the response of the sub and the mains.

With a pair of subs, I am able to set the high pass to the mains at a higher frequency than is possible - say 120 hz rather than lower. A single woofer would be noticeably directional there. The satellites in my HT are similar to yours in that they use a small woofer which is really not happy reproducing second octave bass. Also, most room modes do have components higher than the *traditional* 80 hz crossover setting. Finally, I use an equalizer on the sub channel only to get the smoothest response. It is only with the higher crossover setting that the woofers can participate in the room correction. My room requires -12 db correction at 63 hz and 120 hz with smaller 4 db boosts at 80 hz and 100 hz.

Ported designs are more efficient, but typically sealed systems do lower bass. As for me, I strive for linearity and headroom vs. ultimate low end response. I prefer forward facing drivers due to my choice of a higher low pass cutoff.


07-06-2008, 06:06 PM
to E-stat an Filecat-13, i think you're right. Dual subs will give a more even response. 2 10"(or 12"), front-firing subs is how i'm going to go. are SVS(thank you, F0rge) definitely excellent quality? their prices are pretty good. i'm thinking about the pb10 or pb12-nsd. Would you put both subs between the front speakers, or 1 on each sidewall, or 1 in the front right and the other at the rear left?

07-06-2008, 10:52 PM
Here's some info from Axiom Audio:

As far as down versus forward firing subs, ACI (Audio Concepts, Inc) says:

"At lower frequencies, there is very little difference in the performance of a down-firing vs. a forward firing sub. If anything, the down firing sub will have a slight advantage in lower perceived distortion at extreme output levels. Why? Because the harmonics, (distortion components), are directional and will be more apparent if the woofer cone is aimed directly at the listener rather than diffused by the floor...........Subwoofer sound quality is determined by many factors including: driver design and construction, cabinet design and construction, internal damping, and amplifier design and construction. These factors yield real, measurable and audible differences between subwoofers. Down-firing vs. forward firing is just not a factor."

I recommend besides HSU and SVS you seriously consider Outlaw Audio (I own the 12" LFM-1 Plus which has been replaced by the LFM -1 EX and is now at a great price for two, $899: ($449 each is a steal!)

Or the smaller 10" model LFM-1 Compact, two for $725:

The Outlaw subs were made with design help from Dr. Hsu. They inlcude (not clearly visible in the photo) a beautiful inlaid black gloss plexiglass top along with the satin black sides. My wife thinks it is gorgeous. The somewhat taller and narrower box design lends it to blend in with the room and furniture nicely. The sound is excellent.


07-07-2008, 08:29 AM
thanks for the suggestion. Those are great prices from Outlaw. Ikeep going back and forth between Outlaw, SVS, and HSU. i like the B&W asw700 but think it is a little overpriced,and still not convinced a closed -box design has the same impact. The Axiom 350 v3 looks good for $758 and free shipping, but the 1st 3 get awesome reviews for less money. decision won't be easy. thanks to all who responded. if you have any other thoughts, please keep them coming.:thumbsup:

07-08-2008, 01:39 PM
I just bought a SVS PB12 NSD to go with my Paradigm Studio 40's. $600 + shipping &tax was well worth it to me. Ordered it and 2 days later recieved it. I am in the same state as them however. I had a little trouble dialing it in so I e-mailed on a Saturday and recieved a response within a couple of hours. Killer service.Great sound. I recommend them highly.

07-08-2008, 09:38 PM
i like the B&W asw700 but think it is a little overpriced,and still not convinced a closed -box design has the same impact.

The best subs I have are some JBL HTPS400s. They're 12" Aluminum cones in a sealed 14.62" cube enclosure with a 1000W amp. I have many 14" and 15" ported subs as well, and they can pump out the bass, but none of them is more articulate, clean, and musical than the 12" driver in the sealed cube.

I'm not recommending you get the JBL (if you can even find it at $2000), but I'm putting in an endorsement of a sealed sub as a great alternative to the sometimes boomy and uneven output of ported subs.

07-09-2008, 10:47 AM
To answer the OP: A ported design will yield more volume for the same input (louder). This works well for pop / club music. The downside is that the driver will 'ring' with overtones (echoes if you will) at high volumes/big inputs.

The sealed units deliver a tighter ('dry') bass that wroks much better (IMHO) for classical/movies/Metallica (and other heavy metal with complex dual kick drums). The price is that it takes more power to drive them decently.


What is more important to you? Volume or accuracy? With more money i am sure you can get both. I am generalizing assuming you are operating within the constraints of a budget...

07-09-2008, 08:18 PM
thanks for the replys. I'm looking at either 2 SVS pb10 nsb's, 2 Outlaw LFM-1 plus, or a B&W asw700 10", sealed design i can get for $700 and wait till i can get another.The svs and outlaws are a great deal, but Hydroman makes a good point about accuracy especially with music.Still not sure which way to go.

07-10-2008, 09:10 AM
I can't help thinking that this would end up being a killer sub.