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  1. #1
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    How important is it to pick the right subwoofer.

    I am wondering how important picking a subwoofer really is. Dont't they all just essentially do the same thing? I can understand that different sizes may influence output power. But can one really sound different than another? I am asking this since I have the opportunity to purchase an PSB HD 8 for $500, down from $1000. I like that it is small but supposedly still powerful. Which I think is perfect for an NYC aprtment. But would that really be a wise investment? I am mainly interested in the PSB since I already have PSB speakers, and figured it would be nice to have them match. Klipsch subwoofers come a lot cheaper and Amazon offers great discount on some of them. I even found one from YAMAHA for $89. The Definitive Technology SuperCube 2000 Subwoofer looks intersting as well, a little more expensive though, coming in at $600. Still I am resistant going the budget route since don't want to unkowingly mess up my sound. What would be a wiser choice? Maybe you could recommend a sub for me as well. Small and compact is something I am after.

    Psb HD8 specs:

    Frequency Response: Lf Cutoff -10 dB, 28 Hz; On Axis @ 0-degrees, +/-3 dB, 30 - 150 Hz
    Crossover: variable 50 - 150 Hz
    Amplifier power: continuous, 750 watts; dynamic, 1,000 watts; dynamic peak, 2,000 watts
    Internal Volume Design Type: passive radiator
    Dimensions: 12" wide, 12" high, 12" deep
    Weight: 38 lbs.
    Shipping weight: 45 lbs. each

  2. #2
    Audio casualty StevenSurprenant's Avatar
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    As a comparison... HSU VTF-2 MK4 @ $529.00

    VTF-2 MK4 Subwoofer

    Product At a Glance
    Amplifier Power (RMS) 1000 W Short Term, 250 W Continuous
    Hybrid Tuning 18 Hz Ported, 25 Hz Ported or Sealed
    Woofer Down Firing 12 Inch
    Q Control Range 0.3 - 0.7
    Crossover 30 - 90 Hz, Bypassable
    Crossover Slope 24 dB/Oct
    Phase 0/180
    Inputs Line Level (2), Speaker Level (2)
    Power Outlet Requirement 300 W, 120/240V
    Enclosure Dimensions 20 1⁄2" H x 15" W x 22" D
    Weight 64 lbs

    This goes lower, has a steep crossover slope, and can be crossed over lower than the PSB.

    I think this would integrate better because of the 24db crossover slope , but your receiver would probably handle that. Also, 18Hz is a lot better than 28Hz. You'll get lower bass that greatly adds to the excitement of watching movies. Trust me that the 28Hz of the PSB will leave you wanting.

    I'm sure other people will have other recommendations.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Not all subs are created equal. Cheap subs will be boomy, muddy and mushy sounding and not be able to go real low in frequency. Do yourself a favor and buy your self a good sub or you will regret it in the long run. A good sub will give you nice tight controlled bass and will be musical and compliment those $1000pr PSB GB's.

    Here are psb's specs for that HD8 which is different than what you quoted-

    http://www.psbspeakers.com/content/1...ifications.pdf

    I would give a look at some of these subs-

    VTF-1 MK2 Subwoofer

    here is a nice compact sub-
    SB-1000 - SVS

    I think that both of these subs will be better than the Psb. Don't get caught up in the fact that your speakers are PSB and that you need a PSB sub.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp, Pass X-1 Preamp
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  4. #4
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    I'm wondering why you need a sub in a small apartment anyhow. Your speakers should provide tons of bass, if not, you should look at your amp because it's probably not matched well. Save your money...

  5. #5
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    Picking a sub is important, although it's a bit more difficult to audition subs, even if you hear one in a store so many variables would effect how it works in your own room. If you buy one with built in equalization and uses a microphone it helps greatly integrating into your own area. As you know a sub has it's own amp and driver, just as these units vary in other components or on their own, they vary in a subwoofer application. Just because a sub has 1,000 watts don't mean it will be louder than one with 500 watts, maybe the 500 watt unit has a more efficient driver. It does take a great deal of power to reproduce those lower frequencies. Also, every one will recommend their favorite or what they currently feel is great. My advice would be to buy from a retailer who will allow a return with no restock fee if not happy. Then you try it for yourself, if it meets your expectations then keep it, if not, send it back and try another. For instance, I like SVS, they just happen to allow a return policy. With that being said I have no direct comparison of how that will compare to the HSU or PSB, the only thing I can say is it surpassed the performance of the Velodyne SPL 1200 it replaced by a lot. So when taking recommendations they don't mean much unless you know what the unit recommended was ever compared to. Also, a ported sub can get away with using less power than a sealed or passive radiator, the port allows the unit to be more efficient, not better or worse, just more efficient, there's good and bad in every design.

    The PSB looks to be a decent sub and the passive radiator would help to increase bass output. Instead of the air pressure releasing from a port it pushes against the radiator to move more air in the room. I've heard Klipsch subs before in a home theater set up and I thought it did a great job but I've never used one myself. I like Martin Logan subs as well. If you will be using the sub for both music and movies some subs offer more than one input or presets to save separate settings for music and movies.

    Any way you said "all subs do the same thing" so do all speakers or all amps but some do the job better than others, this is a fact across the spectrum of electronics no matter what component you are considering.

    Stay away from the Yamaha or Polk or any other cheap sub, they ten to have low power and designed for smaller use and hit a price point. If you buy a sub too small it won't work because it can't keep up with your power amp, it will be a waste.
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  6. #6
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    I would ask myself what the purpose of a subwoofer would be from myself. Is it for home theatre "low frequency effects? Or for music, do I want deeper response, of do I mainly want louder, (more "powerful"), response?

    I think that a subwoofer is pretty essential for HT LFE; you need a subwoofer capable of -3db at no less than 30 Hz. In your case with a small apartment room, I should think that the size and power of the subwoofer is less important.

    Considering music, which PSB mains are you using? What is their -3dB cut-off? If their cut off is 50 Hz or higher, you will might want a sub to extend the response lower, say down to 35-40 Hz -- but not necessarily 30 Hz or below because most musical content, (including Rock bass), is above 40 Hz. If your speakers's mid/bass drivers are small, say under 6 inch, you might what a sub to augment the mains and provide more loudness, (but keep you apartment neighbours in mind).

    However your mains are larger (e.g. multiple drivers), and good to -3dB at 40-42 Hz, I see little need for a subwoofer either for lower response or loudness (in you small apartment).

    Personally I use a sub in my stereo system to extend my response down to 25-30 dB from the main speakers' -3db of about 40-45 Hz.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    I agree with Mr. Peabody to stay away from cheap subs that can not keep up. I just moved into a new house and my system went from a 10 by 12 room to a room that is around 18 by 21 and even though I love how my system sounds in this bigger room I can tell my JBL sub has to work harder to put could low end in this room. I only use my sub for tv and movies and not music so i mainly look for good low end and output rather than for music but my JBL was not a good sub until I used my extensive knowledge of speaker cabinet design and dampening to dampen the cabinet and also add a new plate amp that was able to better power the driver that JBL put in this sub. The cabinet in my sub was built well it was just was not dampened, the driver is a very good driver it just did not have very good power to it. I am not saying for anyone to do what I did every time since I mostly did it as a self challenge and a hobby and without doing these things it would not be able to do what it does in this bigger room.
    I also say to stay with a SVS, or something that is quality built and has the amp, driver and cabinet that will allow the sub to put out the kind of quality output to keep up with home theater needs and also have the tightness to keep up with musical needs as well if you choose to use it also with music.

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  8. #8
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Here is a great deal on a compact Martin Logan Dynamo 1000 sub used from audiogon. I have the original version of this sub. It is a nice compact size. The one for sale has the wireless option which is nice because you can place it any where in the room. There are better subs that will go a little deeper and be a little better for home theater but this sub excels for music and will be fine for Ht use especially in a smaller space. The newer vesion has 3 times the power of my older Dynamo and mine fills a 17x17x9' room with plenty of bass. It is a very musical sub with no boom or muddiness.

    Martin Logan Dynamo 1000 W, wired or wireless including wireless adapter, Virtually new condition, used for only 20 hours or less | Subwoofers | Mill Creek, Washington 98012 | AudiogoN - The High-end Audio Community


    MartinLogan Dynamo 1000w Review | Digital Trends
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp, Pass X-1 Preamp
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    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

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