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#315157 - 07/17/10 05:21 AM Sub addition
Crimson Wrath Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/30/09
Posts: 86
Loc: NC
Greetings HT enthusiasts. Iím finally considering getting a subwoofer after using my 5.0 system for over a year now. I recently moved from my small and HT unfriendly apartment and into a decent sized house that I can have better speaker placement in, and more importantly, have a good subwoofer in. I can finally experience those low frequency effects Iíve been craving from a subwoofer. Iím looking for something that will really punch me hard in the chest and kick my ass, but I really donít want something that will overwhelm the experience (I keep thinking about the really loud car subwoofers that blare so loud that you canít hear anything else but the loud and horrible boom.) I probably listen to more music and games than movies in terms of HT use, though naturally I want to really feel the LFE from movies also.

Because Iíve never actually heard a HT subwoofer that I can recall, I have nothing to go by but reviews and comparisons. From reading the differences in ported and sealed subwoofers, it seems that a sealed subwoofer might be what I would prefer, due to the sound quality advantage and tight bass that Iím reading they can have over ported subs. However, I see that with the exception of the EP400 and EP800, Axiom only makes ported subs. I see that many on here that seem to be true audiophile experts have Axiom subwoofers in their system. Insight on ported versus sealed please?

Thereís also the DSP consideration to look at, which seems to be a big deal in some subwoofers but not all. I now have a 12í x 17í x 8í HT living room that my system is located in thatís also completely open in an L-shape to the dining room and kitchen, so thereís quite a bit of space to fill. Space is not an issue really so Iím willing to fit an 18Ē or bigger sub in if I can afford it. Is it safe to assume bigger is not always better in driver size with relation to bass output? Remember, Iíve gone for a long time without a subwoofer and have never really heard one in a HT setting so any sub will be an amazing addition to have for me.

My budget will be about $1000 max. Shopping around it looks like there are quite a few out there that are considerably cheaper in the $1K range than Axiom subwoofers that are both larger and more powerful. Elemental Designs seems to be a good deal for the price, such as the A7s-450 (sealed 18Ē for $850.) HSU and Paradigm also seem to be good choices. SVS seems to be among the best, however are very expensive, as are Axiom subwoofers comparatively. (SORRY AXIOM!) frown

Any guidance would be much appreciated.

Edited by Crimson Wrath (07/17/10 05:28 AM)
M60|VP150|2xQS8|PSA XS30+Epik Empire|Pioneer Kuro 6010FD|PS3|Denon AVR-X4000|Parasound 5250v.2|

#315158 - 07/17/10 05:26 AM Re: Sub addition [Re: Crimson Wrath]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11675
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Like you, I'd lean toward eD in that price range. fredk will probably have some good information to share.

#315161 - 07/17/10 08:06 AM Re: Sub addition [Re: CV]
CatBrat Offline

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 6015
Loc: Milky Way Galaxy
I'm no expert by any means and I've never experienced one of those car subs, except by registering on the annoyance factor. But my room and layout is almost exactly the same as yours. 17 x 11.5 x 8-12 vaulted in an L shape opening into dining and kitched and I'm perfectly satisfied with a lowly EP350.

#315178 - 07/17/10 12:12 PM Re: Sub addition [Re: CatBrat]
pastuch Offline

Registered: 07/13/10
Posts: 29
Loc: Ottawa
I've never heard an Axiom sub. I have the base-level $500 SVS PB-10 and it's terrific. It's great for music and movies. It's detailed and not boomy but it can shake my house in films.

A very good friend has a $2200 Totem Thunder (SEALED) and I can't say I'm amazed by it. If I were you I would probably buy an SVS PB12-plus or SB12-plus. They are a little less expensive than the Axiom 500. The PB12-plus won Sound and Vision magazine editors choice award. The reviewers had some great things to say about this woofer, check it out:
Colin's Home Theater

#315187 - 07/17/10 02:22 PM Re: Sub addition [Re: pastuch]
bdpf Offline

Registered: 06/28/08
Posts: 769
Loc: Toronto, Canada
You might also check out the Epik Empire, I've read good reviews about it.
"The problem is choice..."

#315195 - 07/17/10 02:46 PM Re: Sub addition [Re: bdpf]
DreamTheater Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/03/10
Posts: 92
Loc: East Haven, CT
I recently upgraded my sub to the HSU VTF-2 MK3 which I highly recommend. You can change the tuning characteristics of it, and its a monster that is a true value. My friend also has a SVS PB10, and it is an amazing sub, especially considering the cost and that it is a 10" driver. Both muscial, both can go very low (~18 HZ clean), both can be had with shipping included under $600
M60, VP150, QS8, HSU VTF2-MK 3, Marantz SR8002, Oppo BDP-83SE, 50" Panasonic Plasma

#315206 - 07/17/10 03:31 PM Re: Sub addition [Re: DreamTheater]
Wid Offline

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6789
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.

I have had 3 different Hsu subs, 2 VTF-2 MK1s and a STF-3. Hsu make one heck of a sub for the money. As of right now I run an eD A3-300 and must say it does best the Hsu models I have had.

eD has some really great subs for the money. I can and have recommended them to folks that want some serious woofage for their money.

#315278 - 07/18/10 01:03 AM Re: Sub addition [Re: Wid]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10415
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
Epik, Elemental Designs, SVS all have subs under $1000 that are great sounding, even Axiom's lowly EP350 as was mentioned can hold it's own against many of the other subs, pick the one with the price and driver size you want and don't look back. I spent 2 years looking at different subs, it will drive you just as crazy as the decision to buy speakers will.


#315306 - 07/18/10 10:55 AM Re: Sub addition [Re: jakewash]
fredk Offline

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7786
Loc: Canada
For $1000, you do have quite a range of choice. Do you have room for a larger sub, or are you limited by space.

If you have the space, I would go for a larger ported sub with an 18" driver. When it comes to low frequencies, there is no replacement for displacement, and ported subs are more efficient in output. ED, SVS EPIC and HSU all make good subs.

Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!

#315308 - 07/18/10 11:05 AM Re: Sub addition [Re: fredk]
Wid Offline

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6789
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.

Do they all offer an 18" driver?

"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud

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