I use a stereo pair of Vandersteen 2Wq subs. They do an excellent job with both music and home theater, although they are not the best for reproducing LFE from DVD soundtracks. What they are is musical, with excellent pitch accuracy, good frequency response down to about 20 Hz, and quite fast. Their adjustable "Q" and efficiency really enhances their ability to blend seamlessly with main speakers. For someone who wants a sub that works well for both music and HT, the 2Wq is hard to beat in my opinion. If you intend to use the sub(s) mostly or exclusively for HT, then the Vandy V2W is the better choice, since it has about 6db higher output.
26 responses Add your response
I'm currently using an all Paradigm set-up and finally purchased the Paradigm PW 2200 sub. I think it goes down to 18 Hz and is front-firing. I couldn't be any happier with Paradigm products. Very reliable, well made and not too expensive. I too like deep bass and this sub shakes the foundation.. I'm serious! If you don't want to spend over $1000.00 for a sub, you need not look any further. The PW 2200 goes for $900.00 CAD
If you are a fan of 18" sub drivers, believe it or not, the Triad Platinum sub (or subs in my case) are VERY musical, and of course can hurt when needed for home theater.
I swapped out a pair of HGS-18s, and have been the owner of a pair of Aerial SW-12s. The SW-12s are probably the best subs I have owned/heard. AT TIMES, I didn't feel one was enough for some very serious levels of movies, but two will seriously knock your socks OFF! The Triads, in pairs, are all of the HGS-18s (one to one, the Triad won't reach the same SPL's) and are one of the best values on the 'sub' market.
Triad, a home theater speaker company that has designed a sub that is a rather 'small' box 18", sealed cabinet, powerful amp, and just a good, quick, clean bottom. Everyone loves a clean bottom.........
Stehno - chime in about the Triad Platinum.
I guess it depends on how big your HT is.
My AV room is 12ft x 26ft. kinda a Big long hallway.
I use a Definitive Technologies ProSub 200. Its only 250W rms, but it shakes the hell outta my HT when needed. Good dispersion, and pounds out some very good concussion. I honestly cannot see any reason to get something bigger than this unless my listening room gets alot bigger or i feel like cracking my foundation.
In the beginning of "Attack of the clones" when the luxury liner escorted by fighters flys overhead, it gave enough power to rattle a glass off my coffee table. Its not "Too picky" about placement either.
Works great with music too. Gives great impact, very tight control and doesent sound too boomy.
Ive auditioned Subwoofers from Infinity & Velodyne that cost quite a bit more and still, IMHO believe the ProSub 200 outperformed them in many ways. If there is a local "SoundTrack" audio store, you can check these out there. They also carry the Sunfire brands as well as several others.
MSRP $549.00 So it doesent break your wallet
I started my HT system with 2 cheapo Velodyne CT-80 under both endtables on two sides of the couch, extremely happy with that setup. Not only did it rattle everything, but it also "vibrates" my clothes and goose bumps....
Then I thought it even gets better if I upgrade ... you know what I mean.
So out the CT-80s and in pair of HSU VTF-2s, believe it or not, I missed the CT-80s right from first 30 minutes.
Then out the VTF-2s, and in a pair of servo controlled Velodyne F1200, still nothing like the CT-80s.
Only problem of CT-80s is music, even though I have SPL-1000 just for music, but my task is not done yet.
I don't have a sub hooked up to my home theater right at the moment.
However...... I am looking at adding either a JM Labs Sib/Cub System or a Definitive Technology ProCinema 60 System sometime over the next year or so. Whichever one I end up selecting will be paired to a Yamaha RX-V740 Audio/Video Receiver (which I will be buying in September or October).
This system is going to be used in a small sized, squared bedroom that is furninshed to the max. So to me, the size and performance of the sub will become major issues to me. I am going to be looking at a small and compact sub that can give me the most bass for the size (without making it overbearing or overpowering to the point of where I cannot turn up the system high enough, which will then hender my ability to enjoy movies). And since the sub is going to be small (no matter what), then cost won't be a major issue either (the expected cost of my sub will be in the neighborhood of $600.00 to about $850.00). I am looking to strike a medium between 20 Hz. and about 35 Hz.. For the room I am talking about using it in, I think that about the mid 20's to about the low 30's would be ideal.
So then, with those parameters in mind, the system I am leaning most toward right now is the Definitive Technology ProCinema 60 which features a ProSub 60 Powered Subwoofer. The ProSub 60 features an 8" Woofer that is driven by an internal 150 Watt Power Amplifier with binding posts on the back of the sub. I am looking for this sub to give me a satisfying amount of boom given its size, but be fast, go deep and go very low when the signals embedded in the movie soundtracks call for it. In short, when I fire up Apollo 13 or Diehard # 1, I want to feel like I am either in that spaceship, or at the scene when John McClain blows up that tower and kill all of those terrorists.
And at a price of just $700.00 (for the whole speaker system) plus about $600.00 more for the Yamaha RX-V740 that I plan to buy this fall, I will then be a flat screen television (be it plasma, LCD, DLP or LCoS..... and that will be decided upon when the dust is settled, a standard is decided, and when the reliability, reparbility and technological issues are settled and the prices drop to $2,000.00 or below) and a progressive scan or a HD-DVD player away from having a killer of a home theater setup.
I plan to use two subs in my audio system however. When selecting those subs, I am going to striving for definition and musical accuracy over power and slam.
But that's another issue entirely.
Multiple subs can help. I had a system with a sub for the mains , center , surrounds and a dedicated sub for the lfe. Gary Reber at 'WIDESCREEN REVIEW" has been a great advocate of this configuration for years . The first few pages of each issue outlines each of his many theatres the magazine uses for references in reviewing products. I plan on adding 2 more Aerial sw 12 subs this year to my multichannel/ theatre .
While my HT mains each have two 12's per cabinet, the center channel has two 8's and the rears have two 10's per cabinet, i'm also running two good sized DIY sealed and stuffed subs. Each cabinet houses a 12" driver with a Q of .5 at resonance. The F3 of the subs is appr 23 Hz. The mains are powered by 1200+ wpc rms with the center, rears and each sub being fed by 800+ wpc rms.
I also have two RTR subs that are of a VERY unique design called a "negative pressure chamber". Each cabinet is divided into three separate sealed chambers. The two outside chambers each house their own 15" drivers on opposing sides of the box. The center chamber houses a 12" driver that is down-loaded. The three chambers are internally linked by two passive radiators, which do not contribute to the output that one hears at all. Like i said, it's a "weird" design. These are phenomenally fast and tight and about -1 dB at 17 Hz. I think that the factory rating was -1.5 dB at 16 Hz if i recall correctly. These subs were given to me by a friend that owns a speaker repair facility for free : )
I also have a large Sumo Andromeda sub that will probably end up over at my Dad's house. This uses a 15" JBL 2235 driver in a double vented 5 cu ft enclosure. Factory rated for 25 Hz at -1.5 dB's. This one almost broke the bank as it set me back a whopping $40 and is in phenomenally good shape : )
In another system, i'm running eight NHT 1259's ( four per side ) in a low Q sealed and stuffed arrangement with 3000 watts rms + 2.2 db's of dynamic headroom driving just the woofers : )
My bedroom system uses two subs, each housing a down-loaded 10" in sealed and stuffed low Q boxes. These are fed by their own "measly" 100 wpc amp and the monitors have their own 100 wpc amp also. After all, you don't need a lot of power when listening in bed : )
Last but not least, take a look at the folded horn sub that a friend of mine in Ohio built. The one that i'm talking about is the picture on the bottom right with his wife standing next to the partially built cabinet. He's running THREE of these in his system !!! For the record, YES, this man IS completely insane !!! Luckily, Mike has a VERY understanding wife : ) Sean
I do not run a subwoofer at all in my system, but my mains can put out enough bass that adding a sub would decrease my bass output and response by bleeding the LFE track from my mains. I just run all channels as large and feed the LFE back into the mains.
What I did add for more effect was add an Odyssee motion simulator by D-BOX Technologies. It is the most amazing piece of home theater equipment on the market today. In addition to adding the bass effects of shaking the room, it can even give you the G-force sensations you would experience when riding in a car or the rolling waves you get when being on a boat.
The information on it is right here:
As far as the best sub, there is no sub in the world that can do what the Odyssee can. At some point, more bass isn't going to give you the effect you are looking for anymore than a projector with greater light output will make up for a lack of resolution or inaccurate colors.
The Odyssee has a response curve from 0Hz to 100Hz and can hit with 2G's of force. The XL system I have at home can lift 1.2 tons with as much ease as lifting one pound. And unlike tactile transducers, it has its own discrete motion track. I have more bass in my sound system than anybody can ever need in a home setting (+/-2db to 15Hz. Max SPL: 141 db at 80Hz, 132db at 25Hz, 128db at 20Hz, 120db at 12.75Hz anechoic) and it just pales in comparison to what you can accomplish with the Odyssee.
If you want the deepest, lowest, non boomy fast bass with realistic stereo sound then look into the TacT W410 corner subwoofer. This is the best of the best, but it has no amplifier (I'm using a pair of Bryston 7B-ST amps), and it has no crossover (I'm using a Marchand active crossover). Each subwoofer has four 10 inch drivers and easily goes down to 12Hz. Fair warning... tie down everything in the room. TacT has a smaller version with two 10 inch drivers and goes down to 16Hz. Keep in mind that you will need a 47 foot wall to fully develop the 12Hz, and a 35 foot wall to fully develop the 16Hz. Each W410 costs $4,000 and the half sized subwoofers cost $2,000. You can build the enclosures yourself with plans they provide. Each driver is about $125. You can really get a good deal by getting one of their prototypes. I got the W410 sub prototype for $700 instead of the usual $4,000. The catch is that it's black with no fancy wood.
Rel Stadium III at this time, but if I had the money I would go with the Rel Studio III. I don't know of a deeper, faster, more accurate sub. The Studio III has 2 10" Volt drivers and goes down to 9Hz. You may have to double dry wall the room for it to survive. The Stentor III would also be well worth a look. The Stentor III goes down to 11Hz and the Stadium III down to 12Hz. These are very musical subs as well with versatile hook up options The Stadium III retails for $3000, Stentor III $5000 and the Studio III is $9000. Forgot to mention that the finish is beatiful on these subs. I love mine and the reason being is that the bass is as it should be and does not distract from the movie. It is quick, tight, deep and accurate. www.rel.net
SVS Ultra with Samson S1000. Goes deep, is quick and accurate. Everyone who has heard this sub in my house has left in awe of the impact this speaker dishes out. You have to experience it to believe. My room is only 12'x18' but one of the sides is completely open to the rest of the house which is 50' long. Check out all the experiences of owners at www.hometheaterforum.com. You will be hard press to find a better sub for ht anywhere especially for the money.