can anybody give me their learned opinion on testing subs.are there major differences as you move up in price as you find in loudspeakers.there are numerous subs priced under $1000 then you see names like sunfire rel velodyne proac that have subs around $2000,are they worth the extra expenditure. thanks in advance for all of the excellant comments i have recieved on audiogon.
I think the subs closer to $2K such as REL, etc, are worth it if you have the money. The Stratus III or Storm III are both good choices, the Strorm having more power for a larger room. Subs at or under $1K to consider are the Monitor Audio ASW110 ($700 List), or ASW210 ($1000 List). Velodyne makes some decent subs at or under 1K also. Also look at HSU Research TN1220 or TN1225 . If you have an amp you can use to drive the HSU you can buy it without the amp which is separate for around $500 for the sub only (The amp is $700 more). TSU also makes a power sub the VTF-2 for only $500.
While it doesn't take much skill to build a sub that will move a lot of air, it's a completely different story if you want it to be fast, tight, extended and well controlled with minimal ringing. To do this TYPICALLY means that the sub will be SPL limited unless size and number of drivers is of no concern. As many others will testify, the biggest problem with getting subs dialed in correctly has to do with crossover points, placement and matching the subs "speed" or "timbre" to that of the mains. Sometimes what gives optimum extension plays havoc with localization, imaging and timbre of the notes and vice-versa. Finding the right blend of all of these things is typically a compromise unless you have dual subs, a small fortune and a lot of time to dial them in. Keep in mind that some rooms will NEVER have good bass due to their dimensions, so pumping more and more funding into that situation might be a massive waste of time and money. My suggestion is to first OPTIMIZE your speaker placement and room acoustics and THEN think about a sub(s). Keep in mind that MOST "real" subs have a VERY limited operating range as to where they work most efficiently and trying to blend completely bass shy speakers with a sub will NOT make a great system. The subs would be forced to run up higher in their range than most are really designed to do and this results in compromised performance. "Subs" should be used strictly to extend what is already there, NOT to fill in what is non-existant. Producing "normal" amounts of bass would be the job of a woofer. If you don't have enough "reasonable" bottom end out of your mains, you simply need better speakers. NOT subs. The one exception that i know of to these generalizations would be "panel" type speakers with the use of a Rel or similar "sub". The Rel is designed to augment & "blend" with these and as such, is different than most of the other type subs on the market. In other words, do the basics first and then look at what would blend best with your specific room acoustics and speakers. Nobody has the same room or system to deal with so results can vary drastically. Sean > PS.... very small subs may produce a LOT of low frequency energy, but they typically lack TRUE "deep" bass and try to fool you / make up for it with a large peak at appr. 35 - 45 Hz. These types of subs lack "timbre" and attack while all the bass notes end up sounding the same. Great for movies and such but not for music.
for less tha $2500, you can purchase a brand-new pair of vmps larger subs, a brand-new tweeked marchand active x-over, & new-or-used decent high-power amp(s) of your choice. this system wil be easy to mate w/most any speakers, and all except maybe a pair of the most expensive offerings from muse/rel/etc., won't touch the level, or deep, quality, textured, output of this system. the only system i ever heard that equalled the bass response of the vmps' as described, was the bass response of a pair of infinity irs-lll's, i heard several years ago. this is my opinion, of course!

regards, doug

What you want to use the sub for (music or movies) is an important factor when choosing a sub. Not all subs are
musical, but a good low frequency extension (below 20 HZ) is always a good starting point. See my posting under the title "Which sub is better for audio". You can get a decent sub for under $1500.
Have maggies 1.6's and REL storm II (older model) but it does the job.. It works directly off the speaker out put of your amp and you can blend it perfectly to any good speakers
My dealer even uses them on highend B&W's Nautilus 802's etc....
The effectmust be heard to be believed.. the Bass is superble blended and the entire dynamic range is subtly improved...
In my experience with music I found that the REL method of connecting directly to speaker out puts is by far the best way to use a subwoofer..there may be others that connect this way but I am unaware of such...
hope this helps..