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  1. #1
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    VTF3 or Titanic 12" kit

    I'm looking to buy either the VTF3 or the Titanic 12" kit from parts express. I'm aware of the advantages and disadvantages of ported versus sealed . While theory is all well and good this doesn't always translate into practise. I know sound is very subjective and is often a matter of personal preference and my question is posed to those who might have actually heard these subs preferably both of them.

    it will be used for both music and HT with music being higher up in the priority scale.

    Which one of these subs would be a better sub in your opinion ?

  2. #2
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Why would you think that theory doesn't translate into practice? The characteristics of sealed and ported subs are pretty easy to verify with a test disc and SPL meter, or with a mic and RTA software.

    IMO, the real variable when it comes to subwoofers is the room acoustics, and in many cases it can be more significant than the differences between the subs. The effect of the room also increases as the room dimensions get smaller. If you have a small room, the room gain might actually give the sealed sub a significant advantage, whereas in a larger room, you might more prominently notice the earlier low frequency dropoff with the sealed sub.

    Because of these room variations, I think that the real substance of your question should be direct towards someone who might have compared these subs in the same room. Given that the one sub is a mail order unit and the other is a DIY kit, I doubt you'll find anybody on this board who's done a valid comparison. Hearing these two subs in different rooms IMO is an invalid comparison because the room affects the low frequencies so drastically.

    I think that the comparison between these two models should really consider the cost difference and whether or not you like the idea of a DIY kit.

    Regardless of which sub you opt for, I suggest that you also get a SPL meter and test disc, so that you can measure the room effects when you install the sub. In most small to medium sized rooms, you'll see significant peaks or cancellations at specific frequencies. These are room induced and will affect any sub that you install. Fortunately, these effects can be corrected with room treatments such as bass traps and a parametric equalizer. Learning how to measure for room effects and do the necessary corrections will likely make a much bigger difference than which of these two subs that you go with.

  3. #3
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Red face Wooch as usual, is right....

    Very few here would have done a side by side with both those subs. I own the VTF-3 and love it. I couldn't reccomend it more highly. It's the brand of sub I prefer although I've heard some marvelous subs from SVS, Velodyne and Aegis. DIY is cheaper and nothing is better than the satisfaction of building something from scratch but I've only built computer's by hand not speakers, although I've done some in-home speaker repairs.

    Wooch is correct about room treatments and acoustics. He proved it to me by helping me tame a new set of mains in my house. Listen to the man on this he's steering you right.

    Da Worfster

  4. #4
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    [QUOTE=Woochifer]Why would you think that theory doesn't translate into practice? The characteristics of sealed and ported subs are pretty easy to verify with a test disc and SPL meter, or with a mic and RTA software.

    If only life was so simple that theory could be translated into practice exactly. We would then have everyone manufacturing speakers which all sounded perfect and alike.

    Having pottered around with audio for around 30 years during which I've built my own amps and speakers I know how difficult it is to build good equipment. On paper it looks perfect but when you actually build it you realize it's not so perfect.

    I'm well aware that room acoustics play an important part but this would apply to any subwoofer. I'm not really concerned about room acoustics as that's something I would have to tackle later.

    What I was looking for were some opinions on which of these subs sounded better (based on actually hearing them) and then go from there.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selvyn
    If only life was so simple that theory could be translated into practice exactly. We would then have everyone manufacturing speakers which all sounded perfect and alike.
    The point about sealed versus ported designs is not just theory, it's relatively simple to measure and hear how the enclosure affects the sound. Your statement presumes that even in theory it's possible to design a perfect speaker, but as we all know, speakers are mechanical transducers and imperfect by nature. The design approaches are all tradeoffs and compromises. Which compromises you're willing to make determine the approach and sound that you prefer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Selvyn
    I'm well aware that room acoustics play an important part but this would apply to any subwoofer. I'm not really concerned about room acoustics as that's something I would have to tackle later.
    Actually, this should be a big part of the discussion. The amplitude and frequency of the room gain increases as the boundary dimensions and the frequency decrease. By design, sealed subs start to dropoff in the low frequencies sooner but more gradually, while ported subs are more linear down to the tuned frequency and then drop off much steeper below that point. The audible effect of the room gain will be different because of those characteristics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Selvyn
    What I was looking for were some opinions on which of these subs sounded better (based on actually hearing them) and then go from there.
    And as I mentioned, because you're comparing two mail order subs, I doubt that you'll find too many people who've done the kind of comparison that you're looking for. Plenty of people on the board own or have heard, the VTF-3, Worf101 being one of them. Others have built the Titanic kits, like kexodusc and Sealed. At one point I think kex also owned a VTF-2.

    15 Dayton Titanic MKIII subwoofer kit review

    Even if someone has heard both the VTF-3 and the Titanic 15" kit, you don't know if they're really comparing the differences between the subwoofers or the room acoustics unless the listenings were done in the same room using identical placement and settings. And on this board at least, I'm not aware of anyone who has done this.

  6. #6
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    okayyyyy... Now does anyone who has actually HEARD these two subwoofers have an opinion ?

    TIA

    Selvyn.

  7. #7
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Woochifer gives some excellent advice...
    You're really expecting a bit too much if you think anyone here has owned the Titanic AND the VTF-2 and has done a worthwhile comparison...you might check the PE forum, but you are likely to get ridiculed for even trying to suggest that a commercial sub at this price is in the same league as the Titanic kits. Those guys can get carried away, but they might be of some help to you.

    I'll chime in as I have some unique perspective here. This'll be long as I didn't get a chance to compare the VTF-2 to the 12" kit, but I can deduce a few things. The VTF-2 I owned (the older version, I believe it's been redone recently) was a solid bang for buck performer that replaced an even older 12" Velodyne that was bigger, had more power, but didn't sound as nice. I really liked the VTF-2 (bought used).
    Then I heard the PW-2200 v.2, and went with one of those...Paradigm really did a good job improving things in the v.2 models. For awhile I had a PW-2100 as well because of a great deal (not a fan of owning 2 subs, sold the PW-2100 on ebay later). The 2100 is a better sub than the VTF-2, IMO, though probably not as much better as you'd hope for the money and specs it has. The PW-2200 is probably not as good a deal as the VTF-3, I think, but easily outperformed the VTF-2.
    I think I would expect the VTF-3 to be as good or better thant he PW-2200.

    Last year, I built my parents a 12" MKIII unit. That sub outperformed the PW-2200 for the week I had it in every way I could think of, and was really cheap, and easy to build. It's also a bit ugly, and requires some skill. The only comparisons I did not think to do with it compared to the PW-2200 was measuring the variability in amplitudes above 40 Hz and performance at max output (ie: max SPL). They are both plenty loud for me. It really performed much better for music than any sub I've ever owned...bass was just a lot more defined and the notes were more precise. I really like the Titanic 12" kit.
    If I extrapolate a bit, I can say that the 12" Titanic MKIII is probably very, very close in performance to the VTF-3, and I would expect it to be slightly better on the surface, but I don't really know. Either way it'd be close.
    However, at the price (with free shipping), I just can't imagine the VTF-3 being that much better. For the price of the VTF-3 you can get the 15"Titanic MKIII or something similar.

    If you are capable of building a subwoofer (easy) it would be my recommendation for getting the most "bang for the buck"...

    I've since decided to sell my PW-2200 and embark on a 15" kit.

    I did not compare these two subs in question directly however, so take it for what it's worth.

  8. #8
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    Good afternoon gentlemen,

    I recommend trying out various different products at home if possible, and choose the one that most closely matches your preferences in sound, aesthetics, and features.

    On a side note, I would like to mention that we are working on some new VTF HO high output subwoofers that will feature some brand new cutting edge technology. In addition to this, we will be offering some very cost-effective performance-enhancing upgrade options on the current VTF-2 MKII, STF-3, and VTF-3 MKII.

    Assembling your own subwoofer is generally a very rewarding experience for various reasons. Costs can sometimes be minimized to a certain degree too.

    Best of luck to you!

    Sincerely,

    Peter Marcks
    Hsu Research

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