Looking for a Subwoofer under $400 [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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03-31-2004, 06:46 AM
I'm a casual listener who just recently purchased a HT system for the first time. My current set up includes:
Yamaha Rxv730 receiver
Bose701 main (I know... but let's leave the bashing to another thread)
Infinity Alpha center
Old Technic rear speakers (20yrs old and still rockin')
and I just bought a Velodyne CHT10 (10 inch) subwoofer 2 days ago.

And here's my question:
I'm just not happy with Velodyne -- for some reason, it is just not loud enough. It does give me a ok bass only if I crank the volume up all the way -- I'm afraid if I leave it at this level it will blow sooner or later...

My living room is a decent size --23*13 so I'm wondering if 10 incher is just not big enough or Velodyne just suck with this model.
I only have less than $400 to play with (my wife will divorce me if I go higher than $300 but I'll somehow wing another $100) -- is there any other budget subs out there that are loud enough for my room size?

Another newbie question: is it possible to play a sub when playing music CDs? When playing CD, my receiver receives 2 channel signal and doesn't use sub no matter what setting I use. Thanks!!

This Guy
03-31-2004, 02:20 PM
How about slightly over $400? The adire rava is the sub to pick in this price range. www.adireaudio.com .

Another one would be the dayton 10" kit. $350. It is only a 10", but has a LOT of excursion so it will go louder and move more air than your current velodyne.


The adire would be the best pick, but if you can't spare the money the Dayton will do just fine.


03-31-2004, 02:59 PM
....for 349 which is 50 less than on HSU website....and can pick up locally with warranty from major retailer.

03-31-2004, 04:56 PM
I have a feeling that your problem has nothing to do with the subwoofer, but how you have it setup. There are several things you should try first before concluding that your subwoofer's the problem.

The most common thing that you should try first is to move the subwoofer into the corner, which gives you maximum reinforcement of the low frequencies.

An alternate approach that you could also try is to go into your receiver's setup menu and select the -10 db option for the mains, and adjust the levels for the center and surrounds to compensate. That will lower the level of the mains and give you some maneuvering room to maintain the subwoofer at a decent level.

If you have not yet bought a SPL meter, you should get one and use that with your receiver's test tones to make sure that all of the levels are equal. In general, the subwoofer level should be about 4 db higher than the other speakers.

Another trick that will add 6 db to the level on the subwoofer is to use a Y-splitter to split the subwoofer output, and plug it into BOTH the L and R subwoofer inputs.

If you're letting the receiver handle the bass management, you should also bypass the crossover on the subwoofer (if a bypass is unavailable, then you need to turn the crossover frequency all the way up to the limit).

But, keep in mind that the volume position on the subwoofer has NOTHING to do with how powerful it is or how close you are to blowing it. If the input level is too low, then you can turn the subwoofer level all the way up and it will still sound soft. But, the subwoofer would also be nowhere close to its maximum output level. If you hear the subwoofer audibly bottoming out all the time or you pick up distortion, then the unit is definitely underpowered. But, all of these troubleshooting steps should be tried first, because if your Velodyne's not bassy enough, there's no guarantee that other models won't be equally lacking without changing the settings.

In order to activate the subwoofer in two-channel mode, you have to have the main speakers set to "Small" (which you should do anyway). That activates the receiver's bass management and crosses over the frequencies below 90 Hz, redirecting them into the subwoofer. If you have the speakers set to "Large" then the subwoofer is only audible with DVD soundtracks that have active LFE channels. Most of the bass still gets sent through the 701s, and their bass extension is probably nowhere near what the Velodyne is capable of. In fact, the FIRST thing you should do is set all of your speakers to "Small" and let the receiver redirect the lows into the subwoofer. That step alone should make a huge difference.

03-31-2004, 05:44 PM
Excellent advice Woo.

03-31-2004, 06:42 PM
On my KLH and Sony Receviers, I listen to 2-channel mode with a sub on all the time (no matter what size setting I use, I happen to use Large). I'm not sure how you're not able to listen to a sub in 2-channel mode with yours... (On my Sony all I have to do is set it as AFD [Auto Format Decoding], there's a 2-channel mode with the sub enabled, and on the KLH all I have to do is have the subwoofer enabled when listening in Stereo mode). It's probably different if you're using analog connections with your CD player (I use digital connections to listen to all my music, try listening to your CD's with your DVD player that has a digital connection to your receiver and try different sound settings).

Another way to use your sub on everything is to hook it up using the High Level speaker inputs of the subwoofer, and output from the sub to your speakers... You might notice a change in subwoofer output compared to using an RCA cable (You have to use the subwoofer's crossover setting when doing this).

Remember placement is probably the most crucial of all... My SVS sub sitting smack in the middle of my living room can't compare to my little 35-watt Aiwa sub nicely positioned in a corner...

04-01-2004, 06:12 AM
First, play around with placement of the sub. Put it in the listening position and crawl around to see where it sounds best. (Make sure you calibrate it beforehand!) If that doesn't help, you may wish to look around for another sub. You should be able to get a used HSU VTF-2 or SVS 25-31PCi for around $350. Keep your eyes open. (May even run accross a deal, such as I got, with buying a passive VMPS sub on eBay for $181 shipped and get an amp to power it with.)

04-01-2004, 08:16 AM
Thanks for all the tips - especially Woochifer.. my set up was not optimized to your suggestions. For example, my main speakers were set to large (0 db I think), my crossover switch was set to subwoofer not by-pass, and I only have mono-input for subwoofer (Y-splitter idea sounds good...). And as for playing subwoofer in music CDs, I figured it out after careful re-read of my Yamaha manual: I had to redirect LFE to both Main and Subwoofer (I guess that will do the automatic crossover...what do i know).
I'm at work right now but I can't wait to go home and try these new settings as well as playing around with placement. Thanks!

Ricardo ferreira
04-04-2004, 11:28 AM
AR PR1212 Good sub for U$220,00, powerfull

04-06-2004, 12:04 PM
Woochifer's points are all relevant, but I think you still won't be satisfied with the sound because of the disparity in your speakers. The rears are not as important, but the center and fronts will not sound good together. If you can. replace the Bose's with Infinity Alpha 40 or 50 towers, an excellent speaker that will match the center. If that's too expensive, try the Alpha 20 bookshelves, with the sub, even they will sound better than the Boses.

I think in the end, you'll find that this very subwoofer that you wanted to swap out, is the best speaker in the whole setup....

04-08-2004, 12:40 PM
I followed your recommendation and wow.. what a difference. I changed my speaker settings to small and got myself a Y-splitter cable and now the house is rocking with trembling bass. I guess the speaker also needed sometime to tune itself...anyhow I'm glad that I don't have to return that 50lb speaker back to Circuit city.

As for those Bose bashers... it ain't great but it ain't bad either (at least for the price I paid - 50% off the market price) and I like Infinity Alpha center a lot. Thanks!