Affordable subwoofer for music cont'd

So a while back I posted a thread asking for opinions for a sub that would go well with audio as opposed to home theater. I laid out my system, NAD w/ MA Silver 3i speakers, and that I've spend well under $1000 on it all so far. Many people suggested that the only suitable sub for music would be a $1500+ sub; well out of my price range.
So, I did some thinking, and realized that if I either limited the cone mass/size, or had a sealed enclosure, I would have a tighter sounding, more musical subwoofer.

In light of these simple observations, I've been looking at some used subs on here and ebaY. So far I've found the following, all within my price range.

My question is this: assuming the same price on all of these, which one would you choose?
Paradigm PDR-8
Defintive Technology ProSub 80
M&K K9

I am asking for this advice because I have no way of auditioning any of these subs. The Paradigm seems like a decent affordable sub that is a compromise between the DefTech and the M&K. The DefTech has really low bass response (21Hz) and a decent amount of power, but I'm not sure how musical it is. The M&K only is rated down to 35Hz (I think) and has only 75W, but is probably really musical. Any comments are appreciated!
I have found that sealed box subs seem to be tighter and quicker that ported subs. Ported subs give you more "grunt" for HT by moving more air. I think all the subs on your list are ported.

That said I can give a recommendation to the Dayton Titanic 10" sub from Parts Express. I picked one up on eBay new for $240. I run it in a second system with Omega TS-2 single driver speakers.

It is not a thing of beauty with its black pebble finish but the small sealed box makes it quick and tuneful. No slop, no boom, no overhanging resonance to muddy things up. Adjustable phase and a wide range in crossover point make it easy to integrate. I think that 35 hZ is about the bottom for it but unless you are listening to pipe organ or Rick James you don't miss that last octave.

here is a review:

I think that trying to get by cheap will end up being a compromise in the quality of the bass. Only your ears can be the final arbiter.
I've owned several moderately priced subs and the two I liked best were:

Pinnacle Baby Boomer-Tiny, sealed box with 2 8" drivers. Nice!

NHT SubOne(i)- This is a great sub for the price. It is not sealed, but I found it to be fast enough to keep up with every monitor I've owned. It also has some nice features via its seperate controller, like the ability to be attached to an HT system via LFE port and attached to a music system via sub-in port, at the same time. "LFE" and "sub" have independant gain settings so you can customize for both with no need to touch the knobs again! Set it and forget it!

My $.02 worth.........


But the Infinity Intermezzo 1.2s that's listed on Audiogon. It's superb and reasonably priced.
The Aperion Audio S-8APR is a very musical sub and amazing at it's price point. It is a sealed passive radiator design. A great option when budget is the primary driver.
And again, all of the above are home-theater junk that will compromise the quality of bass. Watch the A'gon - sometimes there are some remarkable deals to be had(Rel etc.), as long as you don't mind them to be a few years old... Better yet, save the money or borrow it and by one new/gently used in the $1k range.
Oh stupid webpage, this forum doesn't cache your pending response so when you click on a link, then go back, what you've typed isn't saved. Crap. No offense, but this is the first forum I've encountered in a while that doesn't have this feature. :(

Anyway, to answer a few questions.
Bottom line, my budget is roughly $200 for a sub. I spent $200 on my CD player, $200 on my receiver, and about $200 on my speakers. I spent $35 on cables. I would love to have a larger budget that would get me into NAD Silver stuff and some Paradigm Reference Studio 80's, but it's just not in the cards. I don't have a "real" job yet. So, recommendations above $300 don't mean much to me as I simply cannot afford them.
That being said, the Infinity is out of my price range, though I'll check out the Pinnacle, NHT and Aperion Audio.
For what it's worth, the K-9 is a sealed sub, the only sealed sub of the three I listed. That's why it doesn't play as low, or have/require as much power, but also why I speculate that it will be able to keep up better with the music.
If anyone has any opinions comparing these subs that I listed, I would really appreciate it as they are the only subs I have to choose from right now. And hey, if I don't like one, I can always sell it and buy another one at a small loss (the beauty of buying decent stuff).
Don't let the "audio snobbery" cause you to spend more than you comfortably can - it doesn't have to cost megabucks to be good.

All the other responses read your original post and considered your budget in their recommendation. If it sounds good to you and suits your ears then low price makes it that much sweeter.
I've seen some of the PSB subs come up in the $200-250 range. Like all PSB pieces, superb value for the money.

It seems the "voice of reason" has taken over the later part of this thread. Bravo! It's great that you have a budget and aren't going to let others talk you into spending more money than you have readily available to you at this time. I commend you for sticking to your guns!

If you are going to stick to around $200, you might want to look at the PartsExpress DIY sub. They sometimes show up here or you could buy a new one and assemble it. I think it is $200, but it may be a bit more. Sorry if I'm recommending something over your budget.

Both the NHT and Pinnacle Baby Boomer will be out of your budget at about $350-450 used.

I do sometimes see a less expensive Pinnacle sub on AudiogoN for $199 new. I'm not familiar with it myself, but I've heard good things about it.

Good luck and enjoy,

I second the Dayton 10" Titanic from Audio Express. I use two of them and although they dont go much under 30hz with any power they certainly provide the rich weighty foundation that most monitors cant deliver alone. They feature a phase a control as opposed to a phase switch and when dialed in can keep up without sounding like they are lagging behind.
Sure we all want to call inexpensive stuff "junk" and buy the best, but in the real world sometimes "cost effective" will have to suffice.
Blkadr, Your response reminds me of a parallel situation with cars. I love Subaru's. I drive a '97 Impreza Outback Sport. Decent car. I'd love to be driving a 2005 Impreza Sti. Too bad it costs 3x as much, and I'm still paying the '97 off. Sometimes we have to sacrifice what we want for what we can afford.
And anyway, a stereo isn't "my all" in life. I also DH/freeride mountain bike, hike/backpack, rock and mountain climb, and drive my car on gravel roads very fast for fun. These are also money-gobbling pursuits. If I only sat at home and listened to music and watched movies, I'd have nicer stuff. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your outlook) I'm a very active person, and only a fraction of my play money can go to a stereo. So, I buy as high end of audio as I can afford and appreciate after a long night in a storm or after a hard mountain bike ride.
I have checked out those Dayton Audio DIY subs on ebaY. I looked them up on Parts Express, and they were out of my price range new. I'll keep an eye on ebaY for them, or maybe parts, and build an enclosure myself I am just afraid of getting the right frequency response out of a particular driver/amp/sealed box combo. I have modeling programs that you can input T/S parameters into, and get a response graph, and I could use a woofer's parameters combined with the box size to get what I desire. I would just need to make sure that the amp was up to par as well. For that I would like an on/off switch, phase adjustment, LP crossover and a single RCA input jack. I can't think of anything else I'd want for music, though it'll probably have speaker-level inputs, outputs, and RCA outputs as well.
The main problem with all of this though is that even if I get the parameters right, the box right, etc etc... it could still be a mediocre sounding sub that cost just as much as a reputable manufacturer's offering that DOES sound good. So, I'd like to try DIY, but I'm just skeptical that it will turn out as well as something "engineered." I'm not afraid, or even uneducated, just wary.
Anyway, I'm rambling on, so any more advice on the subs I have available to me would be great, and I'll check out Dayton.
Dude the Def Tech Pro Sub 80 is an excellent choice for your budget. THe Pro Sub 80 out of the Pro Sub line has the best sound it is the fastest of the line. It is musical I use it with JM Lab 906 speakers and it sounds fine. I do not see much use in paying for a more expensive sub because our ears really can not pick up on it that well. It is ported and when you get it loud and have real base heavy music it does have port noise which is to be expected. My budget was 500 and I chose this sub becasue I did not see or hear anything that would be a drastic improvement in the sound for the same price. I did like some subs better but they are out of the range you want to spend. Remember it is a sub. And one annoying thing about the def tech all of them actually and most other subs aroudn is they are signal sensing so you can not turn them off or on it just happens automaticly and even closing a door loud or playing guitar can turn it on. But over all i enjoy my Pro Sub 80.

Erik i am in the same boat you are I got all of my equipment cheap and when i go to a store esp when i was looking for a sub i wanted to spend 500 max and the audio guy was like for your speakers you need a sub that cost at least 1.5k i was like hahahahaha lets see I Mt. Bike, I Rock climb and have other expensive hobbys too. So i understand your situation. Ok its off topic what bike do you ride where do you climb and what all. peace bro Nick
Thanks for the opinion. I will more seriously consider the DefTech (I think it's mostly between the DefTech and the M&K, though I was leaning toward the M&K because I don't have much music that has bass below 35Hz). I am also looking for a deal on a Dayton Titanic 10, but it'll have to be under $200 shipped as well, or I just can't afford it. They do look cool though.

I ride a custom SC Bullit around Bellingham and on the North Shore, as well as Whistler and Hemlock in the summer. I climb around Bellingham, though I get to start that up again this summer after a two year hiatus due to a broken toe, then as soon as that healed, a broken wrist. Never done much more than sport, but I enjoy that enough! I boulder a lot too because climbing partners can be hard to find.

I stopped in my local Best Buy today and they were closing out the Celestion s20 Sub for $99. I have not heard this sub, but Celestion has a good reputation and you could always return the sub to Best Buy for a refund if you don't like it.


Well, the M&K was sold out from under me, and the seller of the ProSub 80 backed out on selling once I confirmed the desire to buy, so I'm back to square one. Suck.
I'll continue to watch the auctions for Daytons Titanic MKIII's as well as the Pinnacle Baby Boomer, Aperion Audio S-8APR and anything else sealed and small. There can't be much demand for small sealed in home audio because everyone wants deep bass for movies, right? I hope not...
The Celestion is sealed, is only $99 (closeout) and is easily returnable for a full refund...


This sub is fast and powerful. The added benefit of RABOS was huge in my room. Got rid of a 50/60hz room node and for the first time I have tight tuneful bass. A bonus is, to me its not quite as ugly as the typical black box woofer and its a bit smaller.

What sub are you talking about?


Note the Def Tech sub is a bit of a boomer and probably won't suit your needs very well.

I have used a Paradigm PDR-10 sub previously and found it to be very musical and to integrate well with main speakers. It didn't has the highest output but was killer at its price. FYI, my reference point are my two Velodyne ULD-12's.
Dear Erikellison: Right now you can buy a Velodyne HGS-12 for less than 1K.

THis Velodyne HGS series outperforms easily all of the ones in your list.

The HGS and DD Velodyne series are great for stereo music/sound reproduction.

My advise is that for stereo music reproduction you need two subwoofers not only one. Maybe you can find two HGS-10 within your budget, that's will be great.

Please take a look at:

Regards and enjoy the music.