Check out HT Shack subwoofer Tests. Look for low group delay, high SPL output (without compression) and low distortion. (If you want audiophile music quality then THD less than 1% is a worthy goal but near impossible to find in most commercial subs)
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I am not concerned with music as much with HT. I am running vandersteen 5a with two 12" built in subs in the main speakers. They are increable and rock the room for music. I need more something for effects and i do listen to some dts music dvd's so it can't be all movies. But I want to feel explosions in movies.
REL is very good. I have just what you need for HT. A pair of Nelson Reed 1204s. They were designed by a California company for the movie industry to play back soundtracks at full volume in large spaces. They will reproduce 20 Hz at 120db levels. They use 4 12" Volt drivers on each channel, 2 forward facing and two facing back. The cabinets are large but not huge. I have the electronic crossover for them. When I used them on the cannons in the 1812 it would scare you. They were only used for a year or two before I moved into a smaller house and packed them up , where they have been the last 14 years. They were reviewed in Stereophile in the late 80s. I will sell them for$2900 with crossover, which is a fraction of the cost of building something like this now. The freight will be considerable , as they weigh 110lb each. I had intended to keep them but my present listening room will not hold them and I do not contemplate moving. There is info on them on line.
Parts-Express has the Titanic subs and a few of them use the Dayton Reference drivers.These probably aren't necessary ,due to being used strictly for HT.I use 2 subs,each with two of the Reference 10" and the IB woofers for LFE.They have on sale the D-dub kit for $320.These have 15" woofers mated to 240W plate amps.The Titanics are about $750 each,though they do have 1000W and a parametric EQ.
I use a Bag End Infrasub 18. Very nice reviews. Wish i had room for two so i could have one next to each speaker. Excellent IMHO. Don't know if this is out of your price range but i saw a very nice one used a week or so ago for around $900. A very unique and great sounding sub. Good luck on the down low.
Shadorne, yes , it is. I use to have the 804s as well. I was a dealer for them in the distant past. Their factory was destroyed in the San Fran. earthquake and they never rebuilt. I don't think there is anything quite like them on the market now. Probably cost prohibitive as 8 12" Volts are a considerable expense. My REL Stadiums use one 10" Volt and do a great job, but of course will not play at anything like the same level.
Unfortunately this site http://www.servodrive.com/ is down. ServoDrive uses belt driven motors to actuate their cones. These are not self powered or crossed over and they require much less power. Ask around, these are the loudest cabinets by a large margin.
Meyer Sound has a nice selection of bins and powered units. There stuff sounds much better than their specs would have you believe.
Bag End ELF systems are typically in sealed enclosures and they also require less power and come in many sizes. Their designs may seem dated but they go lower than most anything out there, they simply work. There were two 18" cabinets, processor, and an amplifier for sale here for $1200.
12K for a sub is a joke. Do your homework. Whatever you select use a Velodyne SMS-1 then let any HT room correction take it from there.
12K for a sub is a joke. Do your homework
I agree for pure HT applications (just movies) it is a waste and a joke.
HOwever, it is not a joke if you want THD less than 1% and excellent transient response (say a Q of 0.5 or less) and capability to 120 db SPL or so in a large room. (As opposed to a "bass bin")
Large high quality TC Sounds drivers start around $1000 and shipping one of those 80 LB babies (yes that is JUST the driver) will cost you an arm and a leg too. (I am not sure you can even find these drivers in the DIY market anymore). Then you need a cabinet and a big amplifier. Even if you build it yourself and buy the amp you are probably looking at around a minimum $4K in parts.
See interesting pics from HT Shack. What a beauty!
I'd opt for two Fathoms. I use two now and am very happy with the sound. However it depends on how much work you want to do. If you want to set it and forget it for home theater, then if you can swing it the one Gotham will sound great, I believe. Two subs (or really one sub if you want the best sound)take some tweaking especially if you are using them for two channel only as I am. I was very impressed with the setup directions and performance of the auto setup procedure from JL Audio. The setup system from Velodyne is much nicer but one cannot run balanced cables only single ended. The Fathoms work well with my Salons and a friends electrostats so I'm sure they will work with the Vandersteens as well.
Two separate subs has the advantage, assuming placement freedom, of providing a smoother frequency response over a wider seating area.
Read the Stereophile review by Larry Greenhill of the SVS PB13-Ultra. It was compared against a pair of F113s (along with a $2500 Bryston active crossover).
I have an SVS PB 13Ultra in my 23x18 basement with carpet on concrete and it shakes(O.M.G) with great finesse, detail, dynamics, very low distortion & extension is unbelievable. Usefull tuning ports too......ALSO: I'm buying a Sistrum SP-101 stand for it to raise it up off floor as suggested by many. Can't wait ......buy 1, or maybe 2 and shake a city block.....It'll rip yrrrr chest apart too.....
As a Velodyne dealer, I'm going to recommend dual DD18's for that size of room as I have the most experience using these subs in that size of room. To be honest, I don't think a single sub of any caliber will get you what you want.
Other options are dual JL Fathoms or Triad Platinum Powersubs. On a budget, the HSU subs are tough to beat.
The G213 has a huge sweet spot as well as 2 F113's. For the money you may want to go with the two F113's. DD18's would be another great choice. I use the F113's because I felt they have great slam and extension with zero overhang. They look great and have a small foot print but play more like a bigger sub. Don't look at graphs, just go demo them if you can. Guys will try to steer you towards looking at graphs but in the end you either like what you hear or you don't. I have never bought a speaker based on a graph. I read reviews and posts and then try to find a place to hear them. The reviews are pretty much dead on with the F113. They are getting better as I put more hours on them too. The guy at HT shack shows a graph and it shows the F113 distorting at high spl's. Then in the forum he says the F113 is the best commercial sub he has heard. Go figure!
I own a single F113 and all I can say, WOW! There isn't anything it can't do. I have tried it in three different locations in my living room, none of them being where it should go (my living room is wierd), and it sounded amazing in all three positions. It is the one piece of my system that I don't think will ever be outperformed.
I can't even imagine what a pair of them would do!
Christian_coach, I agree. I have only one Fathom F113 for a couple of weeks now, but it blends in great with my main speakers.
You can hear the bass lines walk through the music.
Even older music has a defined bass line.
I have several other Subs that I use for HT, but the Fathom F113 is used strickly for 2 channel audio.
Value goes to the HSU. I would do 2 15's in that room, upfront near mains, possibly in center on front wall behind/near the center, run in mono (.1 channel). Better would be two Paradigm Servo 15's (musically even more accurate).
Other dual sub options available, obviously, (yes, I like dual subs for you, EQ'd, up front for best integration....FORGET THE SUBS AROUND THE ROOM TO SMOOTH RESPONSE WITH TODAY'S TECHNOLOGY - besides, it looks unsightly and cluttered around the room) but would likely run more for the quality. Earthquake dual 15's will run more, and not out-do the Servo 15's.
Did I leave any out?
Jp1208, my room is comparable size except I have 8 foot ceilings. The adjustments, and automatic calibration is well worth it when it comes to sound quality are worth whatever it might cost above some of the other subs people have mentioned. I thought is sounded good, then I ran the auto calibration and it was like night and day! I used to have a Paradigm PDR12 which I thought sounded good with my fronts, but the Fathom blends even better with them.
Some day I hope to have a space that can handle 2 Fathoms. I think the structural integrity of my home would be compromised if I had 2 in it!
After much research and listening to them it was a toss up between the dd18's and the Fathom f113. I chose 2 fathom 113. It was just a smaller faster and a more powerful sub, the DD18 won in the software and set up I like tweekeing and the eq is awesone on it however the Fathom can be tuned almost as well just doesn't hwave the feedback the dd18 has and at the end oc the day the fathom was just a more impressive sub.
Myself, 1 sub. was great. A 15" Velodyne.Life was grand.
Once committed to a room evenly filled with sound.
My thought was, the 15" sub. was great for the rear.
I use a Velodyne FSR-18( just before the H.G.S.) in front, and a
F-1500 in the rear.
Both are very quick, and very musical.
Dialed in properly, they literally disappear!
Some how, Velodyne seems to get the max.
power to the cone, with such speed and accuracy.
Better than many others rated with more power.
Plus, with 2 subs, neither one is straining ever. so they
have plenty of headroom.
I have yet to hear an "Organ"/pedals at 16hz.reproduced
Similar to a seismic tremor's, the Velodyne's produce.
The Velodyne is as a Iron Fist, and the entire bldg.
flexes to the smooth waves of true foundation bass
Often "feeling", before actually "hearing" the music is not
Movies are so Dynamic, if I am not careful; Structural
damage,is likely, as well as kissing the crockery
and other glass kitchen wares good-bye. NO JOKE!
So really, you just have to go out and listen to music,
and listen to what the sub. does right, or wrong.
The big Bag-End sub. goes deep, but I was not impressed
with it's performance. Slow driver(18") sounds kind of
mushy,with fast electric bass lines IMHO that is.
In Conclusion: If you desire a big sub. 18", IMHO I feel
the Velodyne FSR-18 is going to be tough to beat, in any
comparisons. Plus I scored mine for a great deal.
I give Velodyne 5 Stars overall, for them both.
I can't think of any negative things about either one.
Enjoy The Music!
I find the Velodyne remote on my DD-15 a very handy feature, which I believe the Fathom subs are lacking. My room is about 19x20 with several openings so is unable to be properly "pressurized". Velodyne suggested moving up to at least the DD-18, if not 2, saying I should hear a considerable difference with just that change. Anybody else had this dilemna and how did you solve it?