My funds are limited to $450.00. I have narrowed my search for a subwoofer down to a HSU STF 10" or a Paradigm PDR 12". I will be listening to SACD music 90% of the time. I have been told that the front by two saleman that the front throw would be better for music while the downward throw would be better for movies. My room is 15' x 22'. I have two Polk LS 70's for mains and two Kiplsch RN35's for rear. There are two archway's that lead into the kitchen from the living room. Could someone give me some advice? It would truly be appreciated. I realize most of you on this forum have truly high end equipment, but retired school teachers just don't have the funds most of you have. Thank you for any response. - greg [email protected]
If you have a wooden floor on joists (don't most of us?)... a downfiring sub will excite your floor. May or may not be what you're looking for, but in my case (wood floor, downfiring Klipsch KSW12), I found my sub response muddy and slow... and the floor will emit lots of tone. In a basement rig with concrete floor and maybe carpet - that might be a better fit for downfiring. The Klipsch sub is probably slow to begin with - it really cleaned up when I put a pair of Kimber Tonik ICs (copper, cheap) on it instead of the Ixos crud I was using. Don't overspend, but don't overlook a decent, fast pair of ICs to the sub. I got a 2m pair of Toniks for $35 used, a good find any day of the week, but my sub thanked me well beyond that - I can live with it comfortably for a while longer.
I have never heard the new STF subs from HSU, but I did have an VTF. And it was a great sub. Excellent extension and fast. Was mostly used for music. Also did a great job on movies. Mwilson, I am glad you liked those Kimbers.
I boutht the Kimbers on a whim after giving my brother an intro HT system out of some of the things I had, and needed some low-priced ICs. I tried them with the sub first, and it was really love at first sight. One of those "omigosh" moments. I had always cheaped out re: connecting my sub, and this really opened my eyes. They made a huge difference, it was a great match.
Down-firing subs will lack detail, definition and impact if crossed over too high. You have to use them as SUB-woofers i.e. crossed over WAY low. If you cross them over too high, the increased delay in arrival times between the subs and the mains becomes far more apparent. Having said that, a properly designed down-loaded sub can produce a great quantity of bass due to increased reinforcement from the floor boundary reflections.

On the other hand, a front firing sub will typically produce a higher amount of audible distortion and will be easier to localize due to those distortions and upper harmonics. As such, they have to be crossed over slightly sharper but can sound "punchier" and "more defined" if done properly.

Either way, both units are probably decent for the money involved. Which ever one is more versatile in terms of adjustability, power and has a sharper low pass filter is the one that i would go with. Subs should use a 24 dB per octave filter slope although most come with a 12 dB per octave from the factory. Given that Hsu is a smaller company and more geared towards customer satisfaction, you might be able to have them build you a unit with a 24 dB slope easier than you could get Paradigm to do the same thing. Believe me, this makes a BIG difference in performance and ability to get the unit to blend with the mains. Sean
The Adire Rava sub is said to be a great sub at $399, you may want to check these out also.