i've heard teh older hsu subs, & the newer 1225, tho older w/the hsu amp, the 1225 w/another amp. hsu subs *are* nice, but i prefer my vmps subs. what ever brand ya choose, get a pair for best audio response...
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I purchased one of the 1220 Hsu Research amps as part of my Home theater setup. It is matched with sunfire amps and M&K s150 and ss150 speakers. I am extremely pleased with the response that I get. My system is used about 95% for movies but the little music that I do play through it also sounds very nice. This even though the M&K's are not the best musical speakers that you can get. I also went up and met Dr. Hsu at his office and had a chance to speak with him and some of the members of his staff and found them all very friendly and helpful. I have no regrets with my purchase but am thinking of adding another even though this one will shake all of my pictures from the wall when turned up.
The Hsu amps have an equalization circuit in them that boosts peaking at about 19 hz and then cutting off at the low end. Essentially, the Hsu's are detuned a half octave lower than a true fourth order and then the boost brings them to flat down below 20 hz. The nice part of this is that in the range of boost, the port is radiating all the energy while the cone is not moving much (port resonance). Thus, the distortion remains very low
I use 2 TN1220HO subs & Hsu's Model 500 Subwoofer Amp crossed at 51 Hz to augment the low end of my Magnepan 3.5R speakers. For 95% of the music I have listened to, the 1220's blend into the speakers seemlessly; the 1220's are very clean sounding and powerful, but not boomy, and I have had no need to turn the dial on the sub amp past the 9 o'clock postion; I have listened to a home theater system pairing Velodyne's top-of-the-line 18-inch subwoofer with MG 3.5Rs, but the Velodyne's boomy sound muddied and ruined the sound coming from the speakers; If you just want to shake the building, go with something like Velodyne, but for reference-quality bass extension, I find the TN1220HO subs worthwhile.
Thanks, everyone, for your opinions and advice, esp. to Doug, who I pestered/pelted with questions. The search still goes on, however. I will soon be trying out a pair of Vandy 2wq subs at home on a loan. They were remarkable r/t blending with the mains when heard in the store. I will also be trying out a pair of ported Focal 15" subs (driven by an older Levinson 200w/ch amp) in the next couple of days. I will post again in a couple of weeks after hearing the Vandy's and Focal's.
Roachone: I also owned the original pair of 10" subwoofer that HSU offered. I must have bought them over 10 years ago when subwoofers are not that popular or have that much choice to choose from. Come to think of it, it's extremely cheap for a pair of subwoofers. There is no serial # or model # shown on the sub and when I called Dr. Hsu, he told me that the pair that I bought is the 6th pair that he ever manufactured - probably made in his living room while watching TV! I used them now for my home theatre set up and they are still incredible after all this years!