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post #1 of 47 Old 01-11-2019, 12:14 AM - Thread Starter
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HSU VTF-3 MK5 or Rythmik FVX15?

With a budget of at most $1,100 for now (and that's a bit of a stretch), and for mainly home theater use, I think I've boiled it down to the HSU VTF-3 MK5 or Rythmik FVX15. The listening area is about 5,000 cubic feet, and behind the listening area is completely open to the rest of the house. The ceiling in the listening area is 10 feet, and is on a suspended floor. DIY isn't an option, due to us having no idea how to build presentable furniture. I'm aware of the HSU VTF-15H MK2, but I would simply buy the Rythmik for that price. The main reason I would go with HSU over Rythmik, is to save some money, and have a higher chance of getting dual subwoofers.

I have almost no real life subwoofer experience, but I do know that I don't want boomy bass, and my budget doesn't allow for enough sealed subwoofers that would be suitable for my needs. And although the price difference between the two for duals in the future is $400, that's not a negligible amount of money in my situation. Don't worry, I'm not risking going broke for a home theater, but I am looking for the best quality AND bang for the buck, and these two seem to look about right to me. What you would choose in my situation, and why?

Thanks for any help or opinions you can offer.

Edit: Despite my username, I live in the US. So shipping isn't a difficult factor.

Last edited by Canadianatlas; 01-11-2019 at 06:30 PM.
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post #2 of 47 Old 01-11-2019, 01:26 AM
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Your name implies to me that you may be in Canada. Will you have the sub shipped to Canada? If so you may want to factor in the cost of shipping.
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post #3 of 47 Old 01-11-2019, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadianatlas View Post
With a budget of at most $1,100 for now (and that's a bit of a stretch), and for mainly home theater use, I think I've boiled it down to the HSU VTF-3 MK5 or Rythmik FVX15. The listening area is about 5,000 cubic feet, and behind the listening area is completely open to the rest of the house. The ceiling in the listening area is 10 feet, and is on a suspended floor. DIY isn't an option, due to us having no idea how to build presentable furniture. I'm aware of the HSU VTF-15H MK2, but I would simply buy the Rythmik for that price. The main reason I would go with HSU over Rythmik, is to save some money, and have a higher chance of getting dual subwoofers.

I have almost no real life subwoofer experience, but I do know that I don't want boomy bass, and my budget doesn't allow for enough sealed subwoofers that would be suitable for my needs. And although the price difference between the two for duals in the future is $400, that's not a negligible amount of money in my situation. Don't worry, I'm not risking going broke for a home theater, but I am looking for the best quality AND bang for the buck, and these two seem to look about right to me. What you would choose in my situation, and why?

Thanks for any help or opinions you can offer.
Both will be roughly the same final price

the FVX15 cost roughly $335 to ship/duties/taxes
the HSU will cost closer to $500 for ship/duties/taxes

thats from he quotes i requested last year. Rythmik does have the cheapest shipping/duties to Canada

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post #4 of 47 Old 01-11-2019, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadianatlas View Post
With a budget of at most $1,100 for now (and that's a bit of a stretch), and for mainly home theater use, I think I've boiled it down to the HSU VTF-3 MK5 or Rythmik FVX15. The listening area is about 5,000 cubic feet, and behind the listening area is completely open to the rest of the house. The ceiling in the listening area is 10 feet, and is on a suspended floor. DIY isn't an option, due to us having no idea how to build presentable furniture. I'm aware of the HSU VTF-15H MK2, but I would simply buy the Rythmik for that price. The main reason I would go with HSU over Rythmik, is to save some money, and have a higher chance of getting dual subwoofers.

I have almost no real life subwoofer experience, but I do know that I don't want boomy bass, and my budget doesn't allow for enough sealed subwoofers that would be suitable for my needs. And although the price difference between the two for duals in the future is $400, that's not a negligible amount of money in my situation. Don't worry, I'm not risking going broke for a home theater, but I am looking for the best quality AND bang for the buck, and these two seem to look about right to me. What you would choose in my situation, and why?

Thanks for any help or opinions you can offer.
One for sale right now in Edmonton. Could get it for less than asking.
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post #5 of 47 Old 01-11-2019, 09:04 AM
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Why just these two options


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post #6 of 47 Old 01-11-2019, 11:23 AM
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If the final price is the same then FVX15...similar output with deeper extension.
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post #7 of 47 Old 01-11-2019, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B3ntwooki3 View Post
Your name implies to me that you may be in Canada. Will you have the sub shipped to Canada? If so you may want to factor in the cost of shipping.
I live in the US. Sorry, I should have thought about adding that to the opening post.

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Why just these two options
I've looked around a bit, and I found those two the most interesting. I'm open to other ideas.
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post #8 of 47 Old 01-11-2019, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadianatlas
With a budget of at most $1,100 for now ... and for mainly home theater use, I think I've boiled it down to the HSU VTF-3 MK5 or Rythmik FVX15. The listening area is about 5,000 cubic feet, and behind the listening area is completely open to the rest of the house. The ceiling in the listening area is 10 feet, and is on a suspended floor. ... I'm aware of the HSU VTF-15H MK2, but I would simply buy the Rythmik for that price. The main reason I would go with HSU over Rythmik, is to save some money, and have a higher chance of getting dual subwoofers. ...
You've made an excellent case for getting one powerful and well-rated VTF-3 MK5 HP now and adding another one later on.
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post #9 of 47 Old 01-11-2019, 06:45 PM
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HSU VTF-15H mk2 is currently $1022/shipped. I would pay a little more than the VTF-3.5 and a little less than the $1099 FVX15 and get the VTF-15H. The FVX15 would still be a good option and keep you right under your $1100 budget.
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Subs>RBH I-12/e (x2), RBH I-12. HSU VTF-15H mk2. Monolith THX Ultra 12 (x2), THX Select 10. XTZ 1X12. SVS PB-1000. Speakers>Polk S 30/20/15. Infinity Primus P363 T, P163 bs. Jamo S807 T, S803 bs. Energy CF70 T, CB20 bs. CC10 c. Sony Core CS3 T, CS8 c, CS5 bs (x2). QA 2020i bs, 2000c. Other Audio>RBH HP-1B, EP1.Sony MDR-Z7m2.Skullcandy Crusher 360 LE.Logitech G-Pro.Plantronics RIG 500 Pro HS.Alienware Wireless HS. LG FH6, FJ5, RK8, PK5
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post #10 of 47 Old 01-11-2019, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MIX_MASTER_ICE View Post
HSU VTF-15H mk2 is currently $1022/shipped. I would pay a little more than the VTF-3.5 and a little less than the $1099 FVX15 and get the VTF-15H. The FVX15 would still be a good option and keep you right under your $1100 budget.
I strongly considered it for a little while, but I don't like the grill or port design on the VTF-15H, and if I were to pay a price premium, I think I would rather spend the extra $75 for the Rythmik.

Subjectively speaking, how much more accurate "tight" is the Rythmik than the HSU? Does anyone here have a decent amount of experience with both brands? Although its main use is for movies and gaming, my use would include a fair amount of music use as well, because it would be part of the sound system we sometimes use while eating, as it's in the same, large room.
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post #11 of 47 Old 01-11-2019, 11:32 PM
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I have no experience with the HSU but I can say that my FV15HP (with damping on High) hits just as tight/fast/accurate as my SVS SB2000 and SVS SB12NSD did. Obviously there is a whole lot more output as well. Also, based on my experience with Rythmiks extremely helpful customer service I would highly recommend them and their product.


+1 vote for FVX15

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post #12 of 47 Old 01-12-2019, 02:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Canadianatlas View Post
I strongly considered it for a little while, but I don't like the grill or port design on the VTF-15H, and if I were to pay a price premium, I think I would rather spend the extra $75 for the Rythmik.

Subjectively speaking, how much more accurate "tight" is the Rythmik than the HSU? Does anyone here have a decent amount of experience with both brands? Although its main use is for movies and gaming, my use would include a fair amount of music use as well, because it would be part of the sound system we sometimes use while eating, as it's in the same, large room.

Rythmik makes great subs and if you don't mind giving up a little max output capability, the FVX15 is a good alternative to the VTF-15H mk2. Just my personal preference, but I prefer subs with the ports not covered by the grille and I think the triangle shaped ports on the VTF-15H look bad ass. It kind of sets it off to all the cookie cutter big black-box subs. The HSU satin finish is also slicker than the vinyl wrap of the FVX15. I haven't kept up with Rythmik to see if they have changed/enlarged the ports on the FVX15 like they did the FV15HP to reduce port chuffing. Another advantage the VTF-15H has over the VTF-3.5 is less chance of port noise. In 1 port mode, the VTF-3.5 is one of the more known subs to have chuffing. Both HSU subs can be operated ported or sealed, while the FVX15 is ported only.

Subs>RBH I-12/e (x2), RBH I-12. HSU VTF-15H mk2. Monolith THX Ultra 12 (x2), THX Select 10. XTZ 1X12. SVS PB-1000. Speakers>Polk S 30/20/15. Infinity Primus P363 T, P163 bs. Jamo S807 T, S803 bs. Energy CF70 T, CB20 bs. CC10 c. Sony Core CS3 T, CS8 c, CS5 bs (x2). QA 2020i bs, 2000c. Other Audio>RBH HP-1B, EP1.Sony MDR-Z7m2.Skullcandy Crusher 360 LE.Logitech G-Pro.Plantronics RIG 500 Pro HS.Alienware Wireless HS. LG FH6, FJ5, RK8, PK5

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post #13 of 47 Old 01-12-2019, 06:29 AM
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I would cast a vote for the VTF15.2. I think it has some substantial advantages over the FVX15. The 15.2 will be very close in output to the FV15HP if not even a little higher in the upper bass. So it will have a solid output advantage over the FVX15 down to at least 16 Hz or lower. Below this frequency, in all honesty, any small output advantage the FVX15 might hold won't be noticed as its not enough output to be easily detected in a large room. The satin black finish on the Hsu, as another mentioned, is a VERY high quality and very nice finish. Not a vinyl wrap or whatever.

As far as sound quality, the Hsu is highly adjustable with both port tuning options and Q control that affects how tight or how in your face you want the sound to be.

I think all three options would be very good for the price, but you have to weigh the pros and cons of each choice and choose what matters the most to you.
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post #14 of 47 Old 01-12-2019, 06:46 AM
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Another sub I would consider is the monolith 15 thx. It would have deeper extension then both and have no port noise. I also looked at both the subs your considering. Size wasn't a factor for me so I went with the one that had the best specs that fit what I was looking for. I'm extremely satified with it.

Good luck!
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post #15 of 47 Old 01-12-2019, 01:18 PM
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I would cast a vote for the VTF15.2. I think it has some substantial advantages over the FVX15. The 15.2 will be very close in output to the FV15HP if not even a little higher in the upper bass. So it will have a solid output advantage over the FVX15 down to at least 16 Hz or lower. Below this frequency, in all honesty, any small output advantage the FVX15 might hold won't be noticed as its not enough output to be easily detected in a large room. The satin black finish on the Hsu, as another mentioned, is a VERY high quality and very nice finish. Not a vinyl wrap or whatever.

As far as sound quality, the Hsu is highly adjustable with both port tuning options and Q control that affects how tight or how in your face you want the sound to be.

I think all three options would be very good for the price, but you have to weigh the pros and cons of each choice and choose what matters the most to you.
Agreed...the VTF15.2 does looks like it is neck and neck with the FV15HP. Larger port too for max extension mode.
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post #16 of 47 Old 01-12-2019, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
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All of my family listens at relatively low volumes, so I'm not very concerned with overall output. Extension and low-distortion relative to price are the two biggest concerns, with visual appeal mattering somewhat. I do agree with many people here when they say the satin finish looks better. What about durability of the finishes? Which one do you think would hold up better over time, say, 8 years?

Again, my main reason to go with HSU, would be to save a substantial amount of money that could go into a second subwoofer later on. Two VTF-3 MK5's should have plenty of output and extension to satisfy us, but the issue that arises is the quality of sound. And I am quite picky when it comes to bass, because I'm coming from headphones with very good bass: the Panasonic RP-HD10. There's a strange, large dip around the 450 Hz mark that doesn't sound too strange due to how headphones work, but it has undeniably good bass. But because they are headphones that also means I'm used to bass coming perfectly equally from both the left and right side.

The rest of the family would be content with either choice, but now you see my personal conundrum. Rythmik for sheer quality, but HSU for a much better chance of dual subwoofers for even coverage. I could just plop down extra cash for a second Rhythmik, but this kind of mental challenge has me caught up more than any amount of money could solve on its own. I like knowing what I'm getting, as well as I can, before I get it.

Sorry for being a pain.
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post #17 of 47 Old 01-12-2019, 04:57 PM
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If you don't listen very loud then comparing distortion is moot because it will be low on all the subs being discussed. The Rythmik and 15.2 extend quite a bit deeper then the vtf3.5. That is what you are paying extra for is 12hz extension vs 16hz. Either way you are splitting hairs...all of these subs will be great performers.
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post #18 of 47 Old 01-12-2019, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post
If the final price is the same then FVX15...similar output with deeper extension.
The extension is actually about the same(with both in max extension mode). This assumes the fv15 is the same as the fv15hp. Goto databass and bring up both..

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post #19 of 47 Old 01-13-2019, 03:31 AM - Thread Starter
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That is what you are paying extra for is 12hz extension vs 16hz. Either way you are splitting hairs...all of these subs will be great performers.
Would I really notice the difference between 12 and 16 or 17 Hz? I did spend more on my speakers for that bit of extra sound because I could listen to them against others in the same room, but I don't know how much content goes to 12 Hz in the real world (Movies/Games/Music). And you say I shouldn't worry too much about distortion because I listen at lower volumes? At this very second, the VTF-3 MK5 is sounding like a better idea to me, unless those extra 5 or 6 Hz make a difference in real life. Would that little extra add more tactile response? I know I'm splitting hairs, but I'm a bit confused as to what that extra extension translates to in real life.
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post #20 of 47 Old 01-13-2019, 06:47 AM
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Honestly no one can describe to you in text what the sub bass difference would feel like. In this case it's best you really find a few subwoofers to audition in person. Ones that can get down into the teens. Then you can really make a educated decision on what makes a difference to you.

If you cant audition subs in person , then I would suggest taking the guess work out and order a few subs that your interested in. Keep the one you like and send the others back.

It sounds silly, but you will take out all of the what ifs and questions you have coming into choosing what sub is right for you.

I have a bunch of friends that have a mix of diy subs and Id brand subs. I listened to them all extensively. I took all the guess work out.

You can only get so much information on something before you actually have see/hear it in person.

I hope this doesn't come off as rude. I just think your past the point of information and really need to hear the differences yourself.
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post #21 of 47 Old 01-13-2019, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom Vodhanel View Post
The extension is actually about the same(with both in max extension mode). This assumes the fv15 is the same as the fv15hp. Goto databass and bring up both..

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Hi Tom,
I believe the op was inquiring originally about the VTF3MK5 and FVX15 which I do not think have the same tuning point?(That is what I was referring to until the 15.2 was brought into the conversation). The VTF3.5 is 18hz tuned, the 15H.2 is 16hz tuned, the FVX15 is 14hz tune all in max extension mode. If you compare the FV15HP to the older 15H.1 on data-bass.com, they are close, but it still looks like the FV has 2hz deeper extension on the base response measurements.


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Would I really notice the difference between 12 and 16 or 17 Hz? I did spend more on my speakers for that bit of extra sound because I could listen to them against others in the same room, but I don't know how much content goes to 12 Hz in the real world (Movies/Games/Music). And you say I shouldn't worry too much about distortion because I listen at lower volumes? At this very second, the VTF-3 MK5 is sounding like a better idea to me, unless those extra 5 or 6 Hz make a difference in real life. Would that little extra add more tactile response? I know I'm splitting hairs, but I'm a bit confused as to what that extra extension translates to in real life.

I couldn't tell the difference between reference level(115db) down to 13hz compared to 16hz in my room. However many claim they can and also claim deeper 12hz tuned subs add more weight to the fundamental. This is going to vary greatly on the room. I believe if you can get strong output down to 16hz, then you have 95% of everything covered. Some will agree others will disagree...Imho the HSU VTF3.5 offers a tremendous value vs performance. Reminds me of the original PSA XV15 you could get for 799.00 shipped or 1518.10 for a pair.

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post #22 of 47 Old 01-13-2019, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post
Hi Tom,
I believe the op was inquiring originally about the VTF3MK5 and FVX15 which I do not think have the same tuning point?(That is what I was referring to until the 15.2 was brought into the conversation). The VTF3.5 is 18hz tuned, the 15H.2 is 16hz tuned, the FVX15 is 14hz tune all in max extension mode. If you compare the FV15HP to the older 15H.1 on data-bass.com, they are close, but it still looks like the FV has 2hz deeper extension on the base response measurements.
Databass said the 15h was tuned about 17hz in one port mode. Not sure about version2.

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-3mk5HP.html

-3 looks to be 17hz.
-6 about 15hz
-15 about 12hz?

fv15hp

-3 about 16
-6 about 14
-15 about 10hz?

So a LITTLE(measurable) edge to the rythmik. I'd say the vtf-3 and 15h are just about equal trying to eyeball the hsui charts.

anyway, i've said my piece. The above isn't anything I would bass a purchase decision on but opinions certainly vary..

Tom V.
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post #23 of 47 Old 01-13-2019, 02:55 PM
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The 15.2 is +3 dB at 16 Hz vs the VTF3.5, which is 50% more output at that frequency, and +2 dB, or 33% more output, at 20 Hz. This assumes you would ever exceed the output capability of the 3.5 over the course of however long you own the sub.

IME, I find 16-20 Hz to be a very tactile, very noticeable frequency range for movies with reasonable output levels. The further you go below 16 Hz, the less noticeable it is and the more output is required to notice what might be there.

Do I think the extra output potential is worth it for the price going from the 3.5 to the 15.2? Absolutely definitely yes. Is the 3.5 a GREAT value with tremendous output and extension for what you pay? Absolutely yes.

Im not sure you'd be happy with the 15.2. It seems like you don't like the appearance as much, and are hesitant on the extra cost.

So get the 3.5. Add another if you'd like someday for another 6 dB of headroom, and potentially much better sound quality with proper placement.
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post #24 of 47 Old 01-13-2019, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinnyg747 View Post
Another sub I would consider is the monolith 15 thx. It would have deeper extension then both and have no port noise. I also looked at both the subs your considering. Size wasn't a factor for me so I went with the one that had the best specs that fit what I was looking for. I'm extremely satified with it.

Good luck!
If you don't mind me asking, what did you end up going with?? Monolith??
Thanks.
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post #25 of 47 Old 01-13-2019, 04:55 PM
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Yes , I picked up the monolith 15. It's one hell of a good sounding sub. I'd recommend it all day over the hsu and rythmik in this thread.

I guess it suffers some (popularity) from not having a fancy id brand name stamped on it. But that doesn't bother me in the least.
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post #26 of 47 Old 01-13-2019, 06:39 PM
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>>>Another sub I would consider is the monolith 15 thx. It would have deeper extension then both <<<

The mono15thx is well built and powerful but it doesn't extend deeper.

Tom V.
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post #27 of 47 Old 01-13-2019, 07:00 PM
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Really ? Looks like the M15 has an advantage over both of these subs from 12.5 - 31hz range. Unless I'm reading something wrong.
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post #28 of 47 Old 01-13-2019, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinnyg747 View Post
Really ? Looks like the M15 has an advantage over both of these subs from 12.5 - 31hz range. Unless I'm reading something wrong.
Output isn't FR/extension. The two often correlate but they are very different metrics.

"extension" refers to the frequency response of a product---usually measured at a nominal 85-90dB.

"Compression graphs" show how the frequency response changes with volume.

I'm probably getting a bit pedantic and apologize if so.

Another important thing we need to keep in mind is that cea-2010 output is irrelevant without looking at the system FR. We tend to "oooh and ahhh" about a 10/12.5hz score(when most subs don't register cea-2010 that low) but if the FR is down 25-30dB at 12.5hz...what difference would it make? Are you EQ boosting the signal 15dB(let's say room gain gives you 10-15) at 12.5hz? No? Then don't worry about 12.5hz because it's never going to be reproduced (audibly)anyway.

Another pet peeve is pooh poohing mid and upper bass efficiency and on focusing on a single frequency like 16hz. (not saying that is what you did).

I'm not sure who posted this originally but it represents the problem well(see attached).

You can move the cea tone burst to 15hz, or 20hz or 25hz or whatever. That is such a tiny little burst compared to a typical "bassy scene" in a movie. Now, let's say you have two subs.

Sub A hits 100dB (cea) at every frequency from 15hz to 100hz.

Sub B hits 103dB (cea) at 15hz and 20hz. 100dB at 25hz and 31hz. Then 97dB above 40hz.

Many look at those cea scores and assume "okay, sub B will be stronger 25hz and down for sure". But that's not accurate. Look at how MUCH information is 40hz and up.

Sub A will be significantly less taxed in the mid/upper bass.

Eventually I think we'll see the CEA protocol include input signal more indicative of true source material. I'm trying to come up with something like this in house. What would it show for the above two examples? Maybe more like this.

Sub A hits 99 at every frequency
Sub B hits 99-100 at 15/20/25 and 96 above 40hz.

Anyway...

If someone had the vtf-3/fv15/mono15thx all for a listening session I wouldn't be surprised if they did have a preference for the mono15. It's a very powerful product. Now, put the fv15hp against the mono15 and I'd bet it's a toss up. But you're talking two standout subs so it's not like there's a bad pick. Not really a bad pick out of the entire field of four. Oh and the listening sessions would be a large variety of movies and real music not just the opening 10 seconds of EoT looped or "bass I luv you"..

Tom V.
Power Sound Audio
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post #29 of 47 Old 01-13-2019, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Vodhanel View Post

anyway, i've said my piece. The above isn't anything I would bass a purchase decision on but opinions certainly vary..

Tom V.
Power Sound Audio

I see what you did there
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post #30 of 47 Old 01-13-2019, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinnyg747 View Post
Another sub I would consider is the monolith 15 thx. It would have deeper extension then both and have no port noise. I also looked at both the subs your considering. Size wasn't a factor for me so I went with the one that had the best specs that fit what I was looking for. I'm extremely satified with it.

Good luck!

The Monolith THX Ultra 15 is a beast for sure. However, OP had a max budget of $1100 and the Monolith is $1300. It can be had occasionally for $1200 from the Monoprice ebay store when they offer those coupon codes that carry a max discount of $100. If I were in the market for a sub and had a budget of $1300, the Monolith THX Ultra 15 would be my choice in a heartbeat. I've experienced first hand how awesome the Monolith THX Ultra 12 is. Staying under the $1100 budget, however, the HSU VTF-15H Mk2 for $1022 really stands out.

Subs>RBH I-12/e (x2), RBH I-12. HSU VTF-15H mk2. Monolith THX Ultra 12 (x2), THX Select 10. XTZ 1X12. SVS PB-1000. Speakers>Polk S 30/20/15. Infinity Primus P363 T, P163 bs. Jamo S807 T, S803 bs. Energy CF70 T, CB20 bs. CC10 c. Sony Core CS3 T, CS8 c, CS5 bs (x2). QA 2020i bs, 2000c. Other Audio>RBH HP-1B, EP1.Sony MDR-Z7m2.Skullcandy Crusher 360 LE.Logitech G-Pro.Plantronics RIG 500 Pro HS.Alienware Wireless HS. LG FH6, FJ5, RK8, PK5
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