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  #1  
Old December 28th, 2004, 5:24 PM
wildgoose wildgoose is offline
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Angry Did I get too big of a sub?

I bit the bullet over the Christmas and ordered a VTF-3R. It arrived yesterday. Pretty fast delivery by HSU as I was expecting it to be shipped this week.

But somehow after unpacking it and setting it up, I am not as impressed as I should be. There are several things that bother me slightly and I wonder if I should've gotten the VTF-2 instead...

I have Onkyo TX-SR601 with a pair of Axiom M22ti bookshelf speaker. I have an average sized living room with hardwood floor and not too much furniture (yet). The sub is in the front, in front of the TV and right speaker. The sub level is calibrated to be about the same as the front speakers using a radio shack digital sound level meter. My listening position is between the middle and end of the living room. I am using the sub out on the receiver, crossover is set to 80.


The first (strange) thing I noticed is the volume on the sub needed to match the front two speakers (at 75db) is a very low setting. In fact, I'd estimate it to be less than 1/4 of the overall dial range. The 2nd thing I noticed is, due to the hardwood floor, the whole floor sort of shake (not a lot, but noticeable) when the sub is working (not loud, just working). This is a little annoying, I mean I want to 'feel the sub' but I don't want to feel it on my foot. I wonder if prolonged use will cause any structural problems. When I do turn up the volume more, I can feel slight vibrations on the wall as well. It may sound like I am using high volume setting, but I am not. I want to feel the sub, but not on the floor and in the wall!

So with all that set, I popped in a few DVDs. I can feel more 'punch' compare to just using my main speakers, but the results are not as impressive as I thought it should be. It's hard to say exactly what's wrong, but I don't feel the punch as often as I think I should, compare to when I am in a movie theater.

So here are some of my thoughts/questions.

1. Does the sub need break in time?

2. I have a mixed feeling with my setup. Due to the volume dial on the sub being so low, I feel the sub is not working very hard. I watched LOR chapter 30, while it is not bad, I don't feel it's a jaw dropping experience that I want to show off to my friends. I feel the sub should kick in more than it is right now, yet I am having a slight ear fatigue after a while for some reason... Are there anything I can do to lessen the floor shaking effect?

3. Does my room, with not much furniture and hardwood floor, reflects too much (bass) sound? The problem is I feel the sub shaking the floor, but part of me still feels I am missing the punch. Maybe if the sub was firing backwards instead of downwards, then I won't feel the floor shaking as much and would've felt more 'punch' as I can probably turn the volume knob slightly higher to achieve the same db?

4. Did I get too big of a sub for my room? I'd estimate my living room to be about 13'x15' or something. If I got a smaller sub, with the volume dial more in the center, would it make a difference? I feel like I got a BMW but I can only drive it at 50mph.


I jumped on the discount deal, so right now I am kinda stuck with the $800 purchase if it does not improve... The other thing is, the sub is HUGE! It's so big that one person moving it is a little trouble some... I was trying to save 'upgrades' down the road, but I think I may have gotten more than I wished for. the thing is big I am having a hard time trying to decide where to put it. If it's not as deep it would've been slightly easier...
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  #2  
Old December 28th, 2004, 6:07 PM
Michael Bain Michael Bain is offline
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Any subwoofer needs very careful setup and calibration in order to perform optimally.

Send Hsu your room and setup information (there is some form on this website that you can use), and work with them to get your sub set up properly.

Try using the different tuning modes to see what you prefer. Try using an Auralex Gramma pad on the hard wood floor underneath the sub. Finally, try using different equalization tools to smooth out in-room response.
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  #3  
Old December 28th, 2004, 6:14 PM
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Rob Babcock Rob Babcock is offline
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I don't think you got too much sub. Hell, I don't think it's possible to have too much sub! Better to have more than you need and turn it down. That give you room to upgrade and also more dynamic headroom.

Is this the first sub you've owned? If so, the fact that you feel it thru the floor is normal (and actually pretty cool!). You may be able to minimize it by placing a rug with a rubber backing beneath the sub. No, you won't cause structural damage to your house- no danger of that.

As for the volume setting on the sub, well the gain setting you use is arbitrary and irrelevent. It merely means that given your present setup, you don't need to turn the sub up very far. Again, this is a very good thing.

Concerning the "punch," or lack thereof: that's a bit more complex. You should get pretty good slam on the LotR's discs. But not all of the slam comes from the sub; a good amount of it's not bass. Likewise in a theater you may get a lot of midbass but very little real low bass. Plus, a theater has many speakers- if you're just using stereo you won't get as much impact. Are you using the digital output of the DVD to feed the receiver? Are you watching in Dolby Digital or Pro Logic? Have you examined the bass management options?

Another possiblity is that the sub or mains might be engaging a bad room mode. Best thing would be to run some test tones thru the whole system, from 4-5 khz down to 20 hz and see if there're any big peaks or nulls. All speakers are very sensitive to placement, but subs more than the rest. This is because only at very low frequencies is the wavelength long enough to create huge peaks and valleys in the response. It's not odd to find peaks or nulls of 15-20 dB in the frequencies under 100 hz.

Lastly, it might just be a matter of acclimating yourself to the sound. Sure, it sometimes takes some fiddling over time to get everything set how you like it, but it also takes time to get used to a new peice of gear.
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  #4  
Old December 28th, 2004, 6:56 PM
craigsub craigsub is offline
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Wildgoose ... Do you, by chance, have a place behind your listening area in which you could place the VTF-3 ? Also, reduce the volume to the subwoofer on your Onkyo... this will allow you to more easily integrate the VTF-3 properly...

We also have hardwood floors, and, as suggested above, a carpet and/or the Auralex Gramma (both would be the best route) will help.

Positioning the VTF-3 behind you will also help, the other possibility would be to use it as an end table, the closer to your listening position, the better. Right now, assuming you DO have 15 x 13 foot dimensions, you likely have a pretty strong and broad resonance peak at 36-44 Hz, and a null at 54-66 Hz ... The peak would cause your "wall rattling" and the null would keep you from getting the "slam" you mentioned.

The "endtable" or behind the couch position SHOULD help ease both of these problems...
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  #5  
Old December 28th, 2004, 8:21 PM
wildgoose wildgoose is offline
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Thanks everyone for the helpful suggestions.

I measured my room, it is 14' x 18' x 8' (tall).

The TV and my front speaker is infront of the 14" wall. The sub is currently 2.5' from the back wall and 3 ft from the right side. My listening position is 10' from the front wall, and 6' from the back wall.

Ok, so with all these numbers, how do you figure out the peak and null frequencies?
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Old December 29th, 2004, 4:55 AM
craigsub craigsub is offline
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WG ... Your primary peaks will be at 40, 31 and 71 Hz .... with primary nulls at 60, 46 and the third is outside the sub's operating range. The 71 Hz peak will be from the ceiling height, and is likely the least of your problems....

The 40 and 31 Hz peaks will have some overlap, and will cause your subwoofer to sound a bit "thick" ... the 46 and 60 Hz nulls will also have some overlap ... and those are the areas in which you get a lot of the "slam" ...

You have moved the sub to behind you, have you noticed any change ?
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Old December 29th, 2004, 5:14 AM
jbhungvt jbhungvt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigsub
Wildgoose ... Do you, by chance, have a place behind your listening area in which you could place the VTF-3 ? Also, reduce the volume to the subwoofer on your Onkyo... this will allow you to more easily integrate the VTF-3 properly...

We also have hardwood floors, and, as suggested above, a carpet and/or the Auralex Gramma (both would be the best route) will help.

Positioning the VTF-3 behind you will also help, the other possibility would be to use it as an end table, the closer to your listening position, the better. Right now, assuming you DO have 15 x 13 foot dimensions, you likely have a pretty strong and broad resonance peak at 36-44 Hz, and a null at 54-66 Hz ... The peak would cause your "wall rattling" and the null would keep you from getting the "slam" you mentioned.

The "endtable" or behind the couch position SHOULD help ease both of these problems...
I tried placing the VTF-3 behind my listening area... and it's real nice. I have hardwood floors and currently don't have a rug or any padding under the sub...but I'll try to see if it will improve any. So far I'm happy though.

As far as measuring peaks and nulls....that's foreign to me...though one day i'll learn how. Are there software tools that allows you to measure this?
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  #8  
Old December 29th, 2004, 9:13 AM
jbhungvt jbhungvt is offline
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How is the Finish on the VTF-3Rosewood?

Hey Wildgoose,

How is the Rosewood finish on the VTF-3? Can you see any flaws in them?
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Old December 29th, 2004, 12:39 PM
wildgoose wildgoose is offline
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Hi jbhungvt,

The Rosewood finish is pretty nice. There is a minor scratch, about 1" or so, on one side of the sub, it's not terribly noticible, but I noticed it when we were taking out the sub. Other than that I see no other flaws. In general I am happy with the finish, it looks nice....

I moved the sub out to be an end table, I think it helped it a little. I feel the bass to be more tight.

How do you hide the cables if you want to use it as an end table? It seems a little 'tall' to be an end table. I will try moving it behind the listening position.

Actually I do have a position on the right side of the sofa, next to the wall. I wonder if it is a good place to put it.... This is the position where the sub will be least obvious.
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Old December 29th, 2004, 1:12 PM
craigsub craigsub is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildgoose
Hi jbhungvt,

The Rosewood finish is pretty nice. There is a minor scratch, about 1" or so, on one side of the sub, it's not terribly noticible, but I noticed it when we were taking out the sub. Other than that I see no other flaws. In general I am happy with the finish, it looks nice....

I moved the sub out to be an end table, I think it helped it a little. I feel the bass to be more tight.

How do you hide the cables if you want to use it as an end table? It seems a little 'tall' to be an end table. I will try moving it behind the listening position.

Actually I do have a position on the right side of the sofa, next to the wall. I wonder if it is a good place to put it.... This is the position where the sub will be least obvious.
Try it in that position, next to the wall, as an end table. As for hiding the wires, you bought a high performance product. Be PROUD of the wires...

Also ... have you put anything under the "feet" yet ?
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  #11  
Old December 29th, 2004, 3:38 PM
Pete_Hsu Pete_Hsu is offline
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Very good suggestions everyone. Thanks for the assistance! Let us know how things go for you, wildgoose.

Enjoy
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  #12  
Old December 30th, 2004, 9:05 PM
wildgoose wildgoose is offline
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I got a long cable and tried the behind the sofa position, Dr. HSU suggested that I position the sub sideway, so the port is facing the right wall. I do have a small rug that I am using under the sub.

It actually sounded better than the end table position, in fact, I am beginning to enjoy the sub now, finally! I think this position helped to smooth out the sub’s frequency response. The bass is pretty tight and seems to integrate much better with the front speakers. I am starting to enjoy it. I think the problem I had before is there were some peaks due to the sub placement that were making the sub sounding very boomy. My ears gets tired after a short while. Now it’s much better. I can “feel” the sub now yet my ears are not fatigued…

Thanks everyone!
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Old December 31st, 2004, 3:46 AM
jbhungvt jbhungvt is offline
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Hey Wildgoose,

Glad that worked out for you. I've mine behind the sofar also and it's been great from day one. There is one dislike about this setup is that I've a nice Rosewood VTF-3 and have to hide it behind the sofa, I rather have it in front...but feeling the good bass is more important for me.
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  #14  
Old December 31st, 2004, 4:14 AM
craigsub craigsub is offline
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WildGoose ... Sounds like everything is working out ... Cool !

JB ... You might spraypaint your VTF-3 Black ... THAT should make you feel better about hiding it...
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Old January 1st, 2005, 9:28 PM
riker1384 riker1384 is offline
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Yes, definitely.....

You definitely got a sub that is too big. I will help you out. Send me the VTF-3, and I'll send you an STF-1. This will solve your problems.
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  #16  
Old January 2nd, 2005, 7:12 AM
frankrizzo frankrizzo is offline
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Just ask any female on size...Most say BIGGER is Better!!!

Rizzo
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  #17  
Old January 8th, 2005, 3:52 AM
Steve nn Steve nn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankrizzo
Just ask any female on size...Most say BIGGER is Better!!!

Rizzo
Of course your speaking sub, right?
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