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  #1  
Old August 1st, 2011, 6:44 AM
petaylor petaylor is offline
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Subwoofer Recommendation

I'd like recommendations for a subwoofer for my Denon 1611. Some constraints:

1. I'm upgrading all my speakers, but I'm focusing on the subwoofer first.

Because I've read a lot of good things about HSU woofers, I've focused on them for the subwoofer. What model? Do I need more than one?

I'm thinking floor speakers without woofers, since I'll have the powered subwoofer. I can be corrected, though. They will be complemented with a matching center and two surrounds.

2. The room is 15'2"W X 18'6"L X 15'6"H. If my calculation is right, that's about 4350 cubic ft.

This room, however, is entered from the foyer of the house and is connected to the breakfast area, too. I think this affects the needs for the system, too. The foyer is to the right of the listening area and the breakfast area is to the rear. Both have 9' ceilings. As stated above, the ceiling in the room is almost 16' high.

3. The system is used 50% for watching TV/Movies, 30% for games, and 20% for music.

4. Volume levels vary.

We will turn up the volume for movies, concerts, and some games... low for background music for entertaining... higher for pure music listening... in the middle for TV shows.

5. I'd prefer a wood grained finish, but it's not a deal killer.

I'd love to hear your advice,
Ed
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  #2  
Old August 1st, 2011, 1:36 PM
shadyJ shadyJ is offline
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You should always buy as much subwoofer as you can comfortably afford. The advantage of this is greater headroom and also lower distortion for the same level of output that you would have otherwise.

The advantages of multiple sub system is greater room coverage and better frequency response through out the room. It also substantially lowers distortion for the same amount of output. One thing multiple subs doesn't typically give you is a lot more output, unless you place the subwoofers right next to each other. You have to decide if the advantages are worth the extra cost. Personally I strongly recommend at least a dual sub system, even if the subs you get are a step down from a single more powerful model, for example I think it is a better system to have two VTF2s rather than a single VTF3.

You have a large space to fill, if it was just that room you talked about, it wouldn't be so bad, but any openings, like the ones you described, take a toll on the ability of a sub to pressurize an area. If I were you I would be looking at a VTF15h at the very least, and two if you can afford it. Two VTF3s should also get the job done, and the Rosenut finish is on sale currently. However, depending on the subwoofers placement and your listening area, you may not necessarily need that kind of power. You should talk to Pete, and send him a rough sketch of the room if you can, he will be able to advise you on placement, setup, and model recommendations.
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  #3  
Old August 1st, 2011, 3:12 PM
petaylor petaylor is offline
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Shady,

I appreciate the info. Perhaps this will help. If need be, I sure don't mind sending the info to Pete.

Name:  Room Size.jpg
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This is rough layout of the room. The foyer to the left is about 800 cuft and the breakfast/kitchen area... although, it's gated by the opening... is another 2540 cuft. The room, alone, is about 4350 cuft.

Ed
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  #4  
Old August 1st, 2011, 9:44 PM
Pete_Hsu Pete_Hsu is offline
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Hi Ed,

Do you have any particular budget and/or enclosure size constraints when it comes to a subwoofer(s)?

What available placement positions do you have in the room for one and/or two subwoofers?

Thanks!

Sincerely,
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  #5  
Old August 2nd, 2011, 2:41 PM
petaylor petaylor is offline
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Pete,

Thanks for repsonding. In an attempt to clarify, I've updated the picture with some more detail. The floor standing speakers do not yet exist. If I went with book shelf speakers, I'd be able to put a sub on either or both sides of the media center shown against the top wall. The depth of that unit is 18". So, if I put the sub or subs beside it, the depth of the sub(s) would be limited to 18", too.

I guess I could put a sub at the corner, where the foyer meets the room by the chair, at the top left. There's actually a crendenza against that wall in the foyer. The sub would, if that's a possiblity, sit beside it. Other than that, I don't know what choices I have.

Budgetwise, I've estimated $1000 for the sub(s). BTW, the floors are wood, but there's a 8X11 rug between the media center and the couch.

Thanks in advance for your help,
Ed

Name:  Room Size.jpg
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  #6  
Old August 2nd, 2011, 3:03 PM
Pete_Hsu Pete_Hsu is offline
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Thank you for the feedback Ed. I noticed that you have what appears to be a doorway sized opening in the front left corner of the room (as viewed from the main listening position, ie. upper left corner of the diagram). Is that permanently open, and if so, what are the dimensions (HxWxD) of the open area it leads to?

In general, it is best to put a subwoofer(s) as far away from the largest openings as possible. Looks like the front wall placement (near your main speakers) is actually pretty good because it is away from the large openings to the kitchen and foyer.

Will you have enough width to accomodate a subwoofer turned sideways and placed up front near the main speakers? When our subwoofers are turned sideways, depth is no more than 18" on any of our models. And will you be able to accomodate a subwoofer that is 22-26" tall up front near the main speakers?

If bookshelf speakers will give you some flexibility in terms of subwoofer placement, then it's well worth getting those instead of tower speakers.

Thanks

Sincerely,
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  #7  
Old August 2nd, 2011, 6:55 PM
petaylor petaylor is offline
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Pete,

That opening in the upper left corner is an doorway that is, indeed, permanently open. It's 3'W X 6'10"H. It's the access to a small hallway that's 3'W X 7'L X 9'H that leads to a bedroom on the left (door is usually closed), a bathroom straight ahead (door is usually closed), and another bedroom on the right (door is usually open).

The space along the wall from the media center left to the door way is 20". On the other side of the media center, it's more than 20". But, the problem on that side is that the hearth to the fireplace, though it's level with the floor, juts into the space on that side. So, putting a sub on the right side would cover part of the hearth. The media center could be moved right towards the fireplace about 4". That would give 24" on the left.

Bookshelf speakers would definitely give some flexiblity. Floor standing speakers would eliminate placing a sub on either side of the media center. I've already started researching those instead.

Tough room, huh!

Thanks again,
Ed
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  #8  
Old August 3rd, 2011, 3:24 PM
Pete_Hsu Pete_Hsu is offline
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Wow, tough room indeed Ed! It seems that placing a subwoofer up front will be pretty tight. Any chance that you can place two subs as endtables on each side of the couch? Or perhaps you can place a subwoofer(s) sideways behind the couch or in the back left corner of the room near the display case?
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  #9  
Old August 4th, 2011, 2:29 PM
petaylor petaylor is offline
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Hi, Pete,

Sorry to say, there are end tapes on both ends of the sofa, a coffee table, which I haven't shown in the diagram, and there's only about 4' between the back of the sofa and the wall for passage. I probably should take some pictures. I'd have to convince my wife to let me move the display case and put the sub there, instead. But, I'm willing to do that.

How big a single unit would be needed or two, guessing they'd be smaller? Perhaps I can use the measurements to play with the footprint.

Thanks,
Ed
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  #10  
Old August 4th, 2011, 3:24 PM
Pete_Hsu Pete_Hsu is offline
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Hi Ed,

At a very minimum you should look at 12" (VTF-2 MK3, VTF-3 MK4, etc) or 15" (VTF-15H, ULS-15) subwoofer(s).

If you could use two subs literally as endtables (with a glass piece cut for each) on each side of the couch, that would be neat, but if not then do the best you can placing the subwoofer(s) in a different location. You can try the subwoofer crawl test where you place the subwoofer literally on the listening chair, and then you crawl around the room to find out where the bass sounds the strongest, and then place the subwoofer there.

Sincerely,
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  #11  
Old August 15th, 2011, 7:44 PM
mikesfweb mikesfweb is offline
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I recently bought a Denon AVR-3805 receiver, a pair of Paradigm Studio 60 towers and a Studio CC-470 center channel. My next purchase is a subwoofer to pair with this system. Iíve heard good things about HSU and SVS but havenít heard either. Iíd also probably take a look at what Paradigm offers. Any recommendations based on personal experience with the above mentioned components?
I will second the post about the paradigm siesmic 12 but you are paying a premium for the technology (design and parts) of a sub that has a very small footprint. The siesmic 12 will reach to 17hz -3db. Now take a look at the paradigm pw-2200. Much bigger less technology, less power, and way less money. And oh ya, will reach to 18hz -3db. The pw-2200 will shake your fillings out. It is very musical and will pound very hard for ht. So if you have a budget and 1 siesmic 12 never mind 2 is out of your budget, rest assured 1 pw-2200 will be all you will need.
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Old August 15th, 2011, 11:57 PM
rwjr rwjr is offline
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petaylor,

My room is similar in layout. Basically, flip your entire sketch as a mirror image, except keep the kitchen opening in the same place. My adjacent rooms are laid out slightly different (my kitchen is on the right, bottom corner and adjoins the room to the right, in my mirror-image representation).

My rooms are smaller, too, but I'm with Pete thinking next to the fireplace is a good location. Either side of my similarly-situated fireplace is a REALLY good location in my room. I would also bet that the display case's location would likely be really good.

DO you have a current subwoofer? Although the results would differ slightly, you might try a room crawl with an existing sub and find the locations that are best and compromise from there. The 2 best locations in my room were very unfeasible. Either side of my fireplace tied for 3rd best place. Since I went with dual VTF-15Hes, I placed one one each side of the TV. One near the fireplace to take advantage of room gain, and the other between the TV and my front-wall opening that's like your hallway (again, mirror-imaged to yours) to smooth overall response.

I hope all that wasn't too confusing......

Also.....Heed the warnings. You can dimensionalize this thing all you want. Unless you either make a cardboard replica or actually get one, it will be bigger than you anticipated.
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  #13  
Old August 24th, 2011, 11:40 AM
petaylor petaylor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete_Hsu View Post
Hi Ed,

At a very minimum you should look at 12" (VTF-2 MK3, VTF-3 MK4, etc) or 15" (VTF-15H, ULS-15) subwoofer(s).

If you could use two subs literally as endtables (with a glass piece cut for each) on each side of the couch, that would be neat, but if not then do the best you can placing the subwoofer(s) in a different location. You can try the subwoofer crawl test where you place the subwoofer literally on the listening chair, and then you crawl around the room to find out where the bass sounds the strongest, and then place the subwoofer there.

Sincerely,
Pete,

I haven't given up on this. If it's OK, I'll post some pictures of the room.

Would that corner in the upper left be a possibility... on the left side of the passage way to the bedrooms/bathroom? Would the performance be overly affected by being so close to an open passage way.

Does it matter what direction the speaker faces for the VTF-3 MK3 or MK4?

Thanks,
Ed
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  #14  
Old August 24th, 2011, 12:00 PM
petaylor petaylor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwjr View Post
petaylor,

My room is similar in layout. Basically, flip your entire sketch as a mirror image, except keep the kitchen opening in the same place. My adjacent rooms are laid out slightly different (my kitchen is on the right, bottom corner and adjoins the room to the right, in my mirror-image representation).

My rooms are smaller, too, but I'm with Pete thinking next to the fireplace is a good location. Either side of my similarly-situated fireplace is a REALLY good location in my room. I would also bet that the display case's location would likely be really good.

DO you have a current subwoofer? Although the results would differ slightly, you might try a room crawl with an existing sub and find the locations that are best and compromise from there. The 2 best locations in my room were very unfeasible. Either side of my fireplace tied for 3rd best place. Since I went with dual VTF-15Hes, I placed one one each side of the TV. One near the fireplace to take advantage of room gain, and the other between the TV and my front-wall opening that's like your hallway (again, mirror-imaged to yours) to smooth overall response.

I hope all that wasn't too confusing......

Also.....Heed the warnings. You can dimensionalize this thing all you want. Unless you either make a cardboard replica or actually get one, it will be bigger than you anticipated.
rwjr,

No confusion! And, I really appreciate your response.

I'm replacing an old Bose Acoustimass 7 set up, which means that I really don't have a subwoofer that I can move around or try the room crawl. It's the main reason I'm upgrading. The room is way to much for it. So, I'm looking to replace it first (by adding a real subwoofer) and replace the other speakers with B&W 600 series (just not their sub).

I'm going to take your advice and make a mockup of a sub like the MTF-3 MK4 and see how it goes. It'll help my wife to actually see something in a spot rather than trying to visualize it there. I'm not sure she'd go something as big as a VTF-15H, but I can show her (and me) what that really means.

Thanks,
Ed
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  #15  
Old August 24th, 2011, 3:23 PM
Pete_Hsu Pete_Hsu is offline
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Hi Ed,

Upper left corner is fine. At least it is far away from the large opening to the kitchen area.

The orientation of the driver doesn't make too much difference, especially at low frequencies (below ~ 50Hz). The mid-bass response may change a bit when re-orienting the driver, but I wouldn't worry about it too much. Rather, orient the subwoofer so that it aesthetically looks the best, and if you are able to rotate the unit in 90 degree increments, feel free to experiment with that.

Sincerely,
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