Subwoofer Advice

Posted by: FrankeeD

Subwoofer Advice - 01/31/11 10:32 PM

I'm looking for a subwoofer to go with my M60 v3 towers. I'm thinking about the EP350, the Hsu VTF-1 or Hsu VTF-2 Mk-3.

I listen to about 95% classical and the sub is to bring out the bottom end, especially for pipe organ music.

Any suggestions or comments on the advantages of one sub over the others? I know the price and specs on paper, but am interested in hearing from anyone who's heard any of these subs in action, especially for pipe organ music.

Thanks.
Posted by: Wid

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 01/31/11 10:39 PM

Another $600 sub to look at.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 01/31/11 10:50 PM

I was listening to Holst: The Planets on my M80s and EP350 the other day, and it quite shook the house in a pleasing sort of manner. But I haven't heard the other subs mentioned.
Posted by: FrankeeD

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 01/31/11 11:52 PM

That's the feeling I'm after . . .
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/01/11 12:01 AM

Of course, I was also running it just a TAD hot... and most CDs don't have that much bass.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/01/11 01:54 AM

I'm pretty sure I know what my next subwoofer is going to be. The Epik Empire




Status: Ships Immediately MSRP $1499
Regular Price $999
Introductory price $799
Single Empire

MSRP $2998
Regular Price $1998
Introductory price $1499
Dual Empires

MSRP $5996
Regular Price $3996
Introductory price $2799
Quad Empires

•Reference dual 15 inch high output subwoofer
•Exclusive 600W RMS amplifier
•Parallel Drive Technology ™
•Sealed cabinet design for improved sound quality & subsonics
•Opposed side-firing drivers cancel out cabinet vibration
•Stackable for multiple sub setups
•Outstanding midbass performance
•Massive 1 inch thick cabinet
•Dual 1 inch thick grills with acoustically transparent fabric
•Compact CAD designed enclosure
•Precision CNC machined
•Full 1 inch radius corners throughout
•High quality black laminate finish
•RCA and XLR inputs
•1500W short-term RMS
•Frequency response : 20-300 Hz +/-3.5 dB anechoic
•True 15 Hz or lower in-room extension
•Weight: 140 pounds shipped
•Size: 22 H x 18 W x 24 D (16W w/o grills)
•Designed & assembled in our USA factory
Posted by: fredk

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/01/11 02:02 AM

The EP350 will do very well with classical music. If you want the ultimate in low rumble for movies, you would want a sub that goes lower.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/01/11 09:45 AM

Nice sub! You sure could fit a lot of mansions into that thing.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/01/11 09:54 AM

Does your classical music listening have a lot of pipe organ? Neither of the subs you mentioned in your OP will give you true 20hz and below output. Each will roll-off much earlier and will be helped by any room gain.

If you really want low distortion, high output pipe organ you will have to spend a bit more money especially if you have a large room to fill.
Posted by: casey01

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/01/11 11:14 AM

Originally Posted By: FrankeeD
I'm looking for a subwoofer to go with my M60 v3 towers. I'm thinking about the EP350, the Hsu VTF-1 or Hsu VTF-2 Mk-3.

I listen to about 95% classical and the sub is to bring out the bottom end, especially for pipe organ music.

Any suggestions or comments on the advantages of one sub over the others? I know the price and specs on paper, but am interested in hearing from anyone who's heard any of these subs in action, especially for pipe organ music.

Thanks.



If you choose not to go the Axiom route and preferred the HSU models, I would suggest you look at the "Outlaw" LFM-1 Plus or EX, they are essentially re-badged HSU models slightly modified for less money. Along with the fact that they are both "down-firing" subs, Outlaw chose to change the porting to the bottom of the cabinet beside the speaker whereas HSU has the ports on the rear.

If you look at the specs of the HSU VTF-2 Mk3 and the Outlaw LFM-1 EX, they are virtually identical. With its gloss top the Outlaw, aesthetically, actually looks a bit better too for about $60-70 less and even more so if they have one available in B-Stock.

ED are excellent subs, however, in recent times since they have been caught up in the financial meltdown and can only build most items on a "special order" basis, as a result, they have been plagued with delivery date reliability.
Posted by: alan

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/01/11 11:43 AM

Hi FrankeeD,

One of the CDs I use for Axiom's double-blind tests has some excellent pipe-organ pedal-note content. As kcarlile points out, the EP350 does a fine job of deep bass reproduction, including organ pedal notes. During the listening tests, my notes included the comment "Sub A almost as deep and powerful as Sub B on organ pedal notes." Sub A turned out to be Axiom's EP350. Sub B was the Axiom EP500. The latter has Axiom's DSP processing to produce more linear performance, which translates into slightly deeper extension and more output at the lowest frequency extremes, but it was a very close contest between the two subs.

Regards,
Alan
Posted by: Jasper

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/01/11 11:57 AM

Originally Posted By: Dr.House
Does your classical music listening have a lot of pipe organ? Neither of the subs you mentioned in your OP will give you true 20hz and below output. Each will roll-off much earlier and will be helped by any room gain.

If you really want low distortion, high output pipe organ you will have to spend a bit more money especially if you have a large room to fill.


Another sub to consider, depending on the size of your room, is Rythmik Audio's F12. According to Rythmik's specifications, it's 3 db down at 14 Hz. Also, the internet says, it's supposed to be excellent for music.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/01/11 12:58 PM

What's with some of these ID sub manufacturers and their MSRP pricing?

MSRP $2125.00 but my price is $850?

....$800 if I buy 2 ??

I'm not questioning the quality of any of these subs as they are excellent performers by most accounts, but there seems to be a marketing war of "how much savings over 'MSRP'" going on between a couple of these players.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/01/11 01:04 PM

Yeah, I love how they're direct from the manufacturer, but they're giving you a deal off of their own suggested price! Puh-leeze.
Posted by: Wid

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/01/11 01:08 PM


I never did understand it either. It's not like you'll be seeing them in a show room at full retail. On the sub I bought they claim retail is 2K and the price is $800.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/01/11 02:40 PM

Av123 pioneered that type of pricing for ID speaker/sub manufacturers. Except their slashing of the fake MSRP changed on a weekly basis. Of course the psychology of pricing has been around forever and we deal with it on a daily basis.

The supermarket is the most common example, such as showing 99 cents instead $1 or having the same two products next to each other, same price (different brands) and one has an inflated price which has been slashed. Obviously many consumers would perceive the product that has the inflated (fake) MSRP as better value. But we all know it very well might not be the case. It is an effective strategy on a lot of consumers because they believe they are getting a better deal. There is an actual term for this type of pricing strategy but it has slipped my mind.

I do like the MSRP/price adjustment if you buy 2, 3, 4 etc. This type of strategy should be a commonplace with subwoofers as it is ideal to have multiple subwoofers and this will offer incentive to do so.

Posted by: Adrian

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/01/11 03:23 PM

A lot of products made offshore have a price(in dollars) already on them....the merchant then puts their own "discounted" price or gives 30% off of the "suggested" price. Funny, I'll bet that every country who uses the "dollar" as it's denomination(CDA, US, AUS ect) get the same "suggested" price slapped on offshore products.
Posted by: FrankeeD

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/01/11 06:17 PM

My M60s do well with most classical music -- it's only the pipe organ that lacks complete satisfaction. Movies I don't care about.
Posted by: FrankeeD

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/01/11 06:20 PM

Originally Posted By: Dr.House
Neither of the subs you mentioned in your OP will give you true 20hz and below output. Each will roll-off much earlier and will be helped by any room gain.


The VTF-2 MK3 claims 18 Hz in extension mode, which would cover most of the lower end of pipe organ music.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/01/11 08:05 PM

I don't know whether that is in room response or not. Those sort of frequency response specs can be misleading without more information. To bad there are no actual comprehensive measurements of this subwoofer to get any real idea what it can do in the 18hz extension mode. I'd bet it isn't really exciting.

With pipe organ, listening preferences and how loud you listen to is important. Pipe organ is very demanding and I would be concerned with mechanical/driver noise or even port chuffing with any of these budget subwoofers at higher output levels.


Posted by: Wid

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/01/11 08:09 PM


Having had 3 Hsu subs I'd bet it would be exciting. Dr. Hsu has a tendency to be very conservative with his ratings.
Posted by: FireGuy

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/01/11 08:24 PM

I have been very pleased with the Outlaw LFM1 Plus sub. It's design includes two down ports of which one can be plugged for the 18 Hz region. I'd keep this one under consideration.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/01/11 08:27 PM

Dr. Hsu makes excellent subs that's for sure. I would however recommend the OP spend a few hundred extra dollars and go for the HSU VTF-15H as pipe organ is a big part of his listening preferences.
Posted by: Wid

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/01/11 08:32 PM

It's easy to recommend a higher price sub when it's not our money we're spending. For almost $600 less the eD A5-350 could certainly be considered.
Posted by: billy p

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/01/11 08:36 PM

That thing cost about 1350.00 shipped to Ontario...otherwise, I like it very much.... grin
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/01/11 08:38 PM

Thanks for pointing that out, didn't realize he was from Canada. Shipping, brokerage duty etc makes that not a good option. The budget american subwoofers from ED, HSU etc, lose their appeal of value IMO as well with the added costs once they cross the border to Canada.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/01/11 08:46 PM

Maybe an Axiom auction 350 would be a good option now, if price is a consideration, of course that would be up to the OP to decide.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/01/11 08:54 PM

This link will give you an estimate of what it will cost you to import these products. Importing electronics has significant costs/fees added beyond the shipping costs from the manufacturer.

http://www.thefinalcost.com/
Posted by: Wid

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/01/11 08:56 PM


Not very cost effective for you fellas.
Posted by: FrankeeD

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/14/11 12:23 PM

An update on my subwoofer search. Future Shop had a one-day sale on the Velodyne DLS-5000R for $600, so I picked one up to see how it sounds. The sound is fine and I really liked having a remote to change volume, etc. However, it's a big black box. If I were putting it in a home theatre setup where everything was black I wouldn't have any problems with that. However, it's in the living room where I have the Boston Cherry M60s and the rest of the furniture is maple done in a "coffee" coloured stain, so it didn't do anything for the décor.

I took it back for a refund and ordered an EP 350. That will match the M60s and should be less visually obtrusive. It would be nice to have a speaker that goes lower, but I'm not going to obsess over that (although I realize the point of these forums is to obsess over details just like that).

A good torture album for subwoofers is Dupre's Symphony in G Minor for Organ and Orchestra, played by Michael Murphy on the organ in the Royal Albert Hall. The organ has a 64' pipe and there are some places where I'm sure it drops below 20 Hz.

Anyhow, I'll let you know how the EP350 does when it arrives.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/14/11 10:27 PM

Having tried the DLS 5000R myself and having heard the EP350, the EP350 is the better sub, you made a wise/good choice and I beleive the 350 in room response to be very close to 18-20hz depends on the room of course.
Posted by: terzaghi

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/14/11 11:14 PM

great choice, let us know what you think
Posted by: FrankeeD

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/19/11 10:32 AM

My EP350 arrived yesterday. The setup went without incident. I hooked it up and played a number of my CDs that stress the bottom end. My initial impressions compared to the Velodyne DLS 5000R are:

1. Visually it fits into the living room a lot better as it's smaller and the finish matches my M60s.
2. It's been much easier to blend sound with the M60s. I never did get a good blend out of the DLS 5000R/M60 combination and was able to identify where the bass notes were coming from.
3. It's a much more musical speaker, meaning it reproduces the actual notes of the music rather than giving out muddy low rumblings.

I'll continue tweaking it this weekend, but so far I'm very pleased with my purchase.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/19/11 01:28 PM

Excellent, glad to hear you are enjoying the new sub.
Posted by: fredk

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/20/11 10:54 PM

Quote:
2. It's been much easier to blend sound with the M60s. I never did get a good blend out of the DLS 5000R/M60 combination and was able to identify where the bass notes were coming from.
3. It's a much more musical speaker, meaning it reproduces the actual notes of the music rather than giving out muddy low rumblings.

#2 is interesting. I found the same thing with my EP350: no effort to blend.

#3, well duh!! Axiom takes music reproduction very seriously.

At some point I would like to compare a sub that reaches down into the teens with my EP350 to satisfy my curiosity, but for pipe organ music, I am quite satisfied with the EP350.
Posted by: FrankeeD

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/21/11 12:10 AM

Originally Posted By: fredk
[quote] At some point I would like to compare a sub that reaches down into the teens with my EP350 to satisfy my curiosity, but for pipe organ music, I am quite satisfied with the EP350.


I've wondered how a pair of EP400s would sound for pipe organ music. The specs say they go down to 18 Hz and a pair of them should fill my 2500 cu/ft living room quite nicely. I realize a couple of EP800s would be more impressive, but I sort of like to have somewhere to sit in the living room as well.
Posted by: fredk

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/21/11 12:12 AM

Originally Posted By: FrankeeD
I realize a couple of EP800s would be more impressive, but I sort of like to have somewhere to sit in the living room as well.

laugh
Posted by: avjunkee

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/21/11 02:33 AM

Originally Posted By: FrankeeD
I realize a couple of EP800s would be more impressive, but I sort of like to have somewhere to sit in the living room as well.


Unless you plan on sitting on top of the sub that won't matter because they take up almost the same amount of floor space. The EP800 is only wider by a 4.5 inches.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/21/11 09:37 AM

Originally Posted By: FrankeeD
[quote=fredk]
Quote:
At some point I would like to compare a sub that reaches down into the teens with my EP350 to satisfy my curiosity, but for pipe organ music, I am quite satisfied with the EP350.


I've wondered how a pair of EP400s would sound for pipe organ music. The specs say they go down to 18 Hz and a pair of them should fill my 2500 cu/ft living room quite nicely. I realize a couple of EP800s would be more impressive, but I sort of like to have somewhere to sit in the living room as well.


The EP400 is a small, sealed enclosure with an 8 inch driver. DSP can only do so much. It is meant for WAF above all else. The EP400 is a small sub which means it needs to be placed in a small room. 2500cu/ft is not what I would consider small and would be pushing to the limits of the EP400. It might play down to 18hz but don't expect much output at that frequency. The EP400 will be outclassed by bigger subs (its just the laws of physics) at the over $1000 dollar price point including the EP500/EP800.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/21/11 03:23 PM

^^^^
+1
Posted by: fredk

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/21/11 03:44 PM

I was quite surprised at how much output the EP400 had compared to the EP350.

No doubt you can get a lot more output with a properly designed 15" driver, but my guess is that the EP400 has a long throw 10" driver in it. The long and short of it is that it depends entirely on the driver design.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/21/11 03:49 PM

Nope, it's an 8".
Posted by: fredk

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/21/11 04:03 PM

Interesting. I thought it was a 10.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/21/11 04:10 PM

I always exaggerate too.
Posted by: BobKay

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/21/11 04:20 PM

Originally Posted By: Adrian
I always exaggerate too.


Sooner or later, someone will figure out that it's a toilet paper tube. THEN what will you have to say for yourself? Hmmmm?
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/21/11 05:46 PM

It's biodegradeable?
Posted by: fredk

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/22/11 12:14 AM

Originally Posted By: Adrian
I always exaggerate too.

I wasn't exaggerating, I was stretching. Its part of my new exercise routine.
Posted by: BobKay

Re: Subwoofer Advice - 02/22/11 10:56 AM

Then your weight plates have twine through 'em?