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  #1  
Old April 21st, 2014, 9:50 AM
Daven Daven is offline
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VTF-3 MK4 (bottoming out?)

Hello:

I have been playing around with the placement of this sub quite a bit over the past few days adjusting by Q control settings and EQ modes. Finally I have found a decent spot for the sub but have experienced a successive popping sound during a more intense LFE moments in a movie I was watching.

The movie was War of the Worlds (2005 remake) and a few of the scenes within the first 45 minutes of the film caused a successive pop (2-3 pops) during intense LFE sequences of the film. Immediately hearing this I turned off the movie and began to worry about damaging the speaker.

My settings and equipment are as follows:

AVR: Denon 1613 (I have an X4000 which died and is being repaired)
Listening Volume: 70db (on the receiver)
Sub mode: EQ1 (one port open) Q 0.7

The subwoofer is located in a corner with the ports between 3" and 8" from the wall and the driver about the same. The room shape is rectangular 19.5' x 14.5' (just going off memory not sure of exact dimensions).

Notably, I put in another movie (Tron) and to the last chase scene before they reach the portal (end of the movie). Did not get any popping sound and I listened to it at the above volume.

Perhaps my issue is just with the Ward of the Worlds movie or maybe there is something else going when signal of lower frequencies is sent to the sub?

Thanks for reading.
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  #2  
Old April 21st, 2014, 12:00 PM
shadyJ shadyJ is offline
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Sounds like it could be bottoming out. I would bring the Q down closer to .3 rather than .7 for starters. You will lose a bit of deep bass output, but it's better than have a smashed driver. If that doesn't work, run the sub in two port mode. One more thing to keep in mind is if you are running the sub so hard it's bottoming out, you are probably hitting some pretty thick distortion before you get to that point. To me, that sounds like it's time to get another VTF3. Remember how easy the Denon X4000 makes it to dial in dual subs. That AVR is just crying for a dual sub setup.
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  #3  
Old April 21st, 2014, 1:39 PM
Daven Daven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post
Sounds like it could be bottoming out. I would bring the Q down closer to .3 rather than .7 for starters. You will lose a bit of deep bass output, but it's better than have a smashed driver. If that doesn't work, run the sub in two port mode.
I actually dialed it back to .5 (one port) EQ2 but I haven't been able to try it yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post
One more thing to keep in mind is if you are running the sub so hard it's bottoming out, you are probably hitting some pretty thick distortion before you get to that point. To me, that sounds like it's time to get another VTF3. Remember how easy the Denon X4000 makes it to dial in dual subs. That AVR is just crying for a dual sub setup.
Actually, there is no distortion whatsoever which would have queued me to dial it back on the volume. Perhaps this movie is just mastered with a lower LFE track than most? No other films have given me an issue prior. I am wondering if the LFE track is recorded a lot lower than the typical 25hz (which it seems to be) than most action or sci-fi movies and this is why the sub has bottomed out? I guess I would expect it to just roll off if it was, forgive me ignorance.

(edit)

Furthermore, the gain on the sub is not quite at the 9 o'clock position (more 8ish).

Last edited by Daven : April 21st, 2014 at 2:12 PM.
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  #4  
Old April 21st, 2014, 5:41 PM
Kevin_Hsu Kevin_Hsu is offline
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Hi Daven,

Yea it sounds like the VTF-3 Mk4 is bottoming out. Curious to know if it goes away with EQ2. What is the channel level set to on your receiver?

Sincerely,
Kevin
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  #5  
Old April 21st, 2014, 5:43 PM
shadyJ shadyJ is offline
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War of the Worlds has some extremely low and very bass, so if any movie can overdrive the sub's limiter, that one can. It has powerful bass down to 5 Hz. It is by no means the only movies with strong bass that low. If I were you I would either:
1) dial down the Q to .3
2) give up some extension and run the sub in two port mode
3) dial down the sub output in the AVR's LFE channel

Protect your driver, you are hitting it too hard if it is bottoming out. I assure you that you are probably running into heavy distortion if you are driving it to that point, although it was likely masked by all the other noise when watching these kinds of movies that those output levels. I don't blame you for running it that hard though, deep bass scenes are lots of fun with a sub like the VTF3. If you don't want to give up that output level of deep bass, I would get another VTF3.
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  #6  
Old April 21st, 2014, 6:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post
Protect your driver
which is exactly why I turned it down once i heard the popping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin_Hsu View Post
Hi Daven,

Yea it sounds like the VTF-3 Mk4 is bottoming out. Curious to know if it goes away with EQ2. What is the channel level set to on your receiver?

Sincerely,
Kevin
Gain is between 8 o'clock and 9 o'clock on the amp receiver has the sub per the audyssey eq (1.0db) that's negative 1.0 db.

Slightly off topic... but would a VTF-15h help with the issues I am experiencing rather than go the route of two subs. I am already on thin ice with the wife and speakers! If I add another monsterous sub it's game over.

Thanks again for the responses and insight to my post.
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  #7  
Old April 21st, 2014, 7:35 PM
Daven Daven is offline
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Okay, I have ran the sub per what I have had it dial back to. EQ2 Q 0.5 and one port open. I ran the same scene(s) on WotW again and it did not give me the popping (or rather bottoming out issue. I adjusted the Q to 0.7, set next to the sub, and noticed that it was some distortion but not terrible so I brought it back to 0.5 and that seems to be the perfect spot.

I tried ShadyJ's method and that's just a noticeable difference all around. I get slightly better mid bass but less low end that's more noticeble from EQ1 and EQ2.


So while I wait for the 4000 to come back from Denon, would it be best to look at upgrade options with the VTF-15h? Or am I going to do better with two MK4's running in the original EQ1 configuration?
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  #8  
Old April 22nd, 2014, 2:53 PM
Kevin_Hsu Kevin_Hsu is offline
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Hi Daven,

It doesn't really seem like you're overplaying the sub with those settings. If you are only experiencing it during a couple of scenes in WOTW, I would just set it on EQ 2, Q.5 for that movie instead of getting another sub. Question though, if you set your channel level to -5 on the lfe out and play the same material with EQ1, do you still get that popping noise?

Sincerely,
Kevin
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  #9  
Old April 22nd, 2014, 3:25 PM
Daven Daven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin_Hsu View Post
Question though, if you set your channel level to -5 on the lfe out and play the same material with EQ1, do you still get that popping noise?

Sincerely,
Kevin
I will set it back to EQ1 Q 0.7 and drop the LFE channel to (5.0db) and see if it gives me those results. However, I must I am hesitant to do this. I have only heard about five pops from the sub (total) and I don't want to void warranties or damage the driver.

-edit-

Dialed the LFE channel to (5.0db) kept Q at .5, and EQ1 - some mild distortion but no popping. Seems like this sub hates being in EQ1 with this movie. I suppose I could just adjust it each time I watch this movie but going to be once in a blue moon. I don't want to damage my sub but this is rather annoying having to adjust and tweak for fear of over driving the sub because of intense LFE sequences.

Last edited by Daven : April 22nd, 2014 at 6:15 PM.
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  #10  
Old April 23rd, 2014, 12:58 AM
SME SME is offline
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Do you use Audyssey Dynamic EQ? You may want to consider adjusting the "reference offset" up from "0" for some features. Many if not most DVD and Blu Ray releases are now mastered at levels in the range of -3 to -10 dB below theatrical reference, so setting reference offset to 5 or 10 deserves consideration anyway. Doing so will reduce the amount of boost to deep bass as well as surround output.

Something tells me you're going to miss that extra bass though. War of the Worlds has some very heavy deep bass. Where in the room do you sit? If you are in a deep bass null, then you may not be getting as much bass as you could be.

Anyway, I think the sub can bottom with heavy content in the low 20s and particularly around 20 Hz in EQ1 mode. Once, I got some popping from my VTF-3 when running the THX Amazing Life Trailer. The big mushrooms hit very hard near 20. It turned out that my VTF-3 was gain matched way too hot relative to the 15H.

Since then, I've moved both subs to my front wall where they have at least 6 dB of additional headroom at 20 Hz (big room resonance there). Up there, they are practically flat to 16 Hz, -3 dB at 14 Hz, and -9 dB at 12 Hz. Hearing 12 Hz produced cleanly (even if not loudly) is pretty awesome. They drop off like a rock below 12 Hz. Of course, I may just be blessed with a good room for bass.
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  #11  
Old April 23rd, 2014, 10:03 AM
Daven Daven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SME View Post
Do you use Audyssey Dynamic EQ? You may want to consider adjusting the "reference offset" up from "0" for some features. Many if not most DVD and Blu Ray releases are now mastered at levels in the range of -3 to -10 dB below theatrical reference, so setting reference offset to 5 or 10 deserves consideration anyway. Doing so will reduce the amount of boost to deep bass as well as surround output.
Yes, the AVR I am currently using (Denon AVR 1613) only has MultEQ Audyssey and dynamic EQ is enabled (without compression).

I have read about offsetting reference volume I will give that a try.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SME View Post
Something tells me you're going to miss that extra bass though.
Of course, it's the lower-end that this sub has the ability to produce that I like. However, risking damaging to the driver I am running it rather conservatively for the time being. It's like going from a sports car to a generic american Sedan... You've had the taste of luxury and don't want to go back to sub par performance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SME View Post
Anyway, I think the sub can bottom with heavy content in the low 20s and particularly around 20 Hz in EQ1 mode. Once, I got some popping from my VTF-3 when running the THX Amazing Life Trailer. The big mushrooms hit very hard near 20. It turned out that my VTF-3 was gain matched way too hot relative to the 15H.

Since then, I've moved both subs to my front wall where they have at least 6 dB of additional headroom at 20 Hz (big room resonance there). Up there, they are practically flat to 16 Hz, -3 dB at 14 Hz, and -9 dB at 12 Hz. Hearing 12 Hz produced cleanly (even if not loudly) is pretty awesome. They drop off like a rock below 12 Hz. Of course, I may just be blessed with a good room for bass.
The Amazing Life trailer has never rendered any popping for me and this was when I was running the sub in EQ1 Q 0.7. The results you're getting is where I would like to be but with my recent issue it makes me think I either need that other VTF-3 or upgrading to a single 15H.
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  #12  
Old April 26th, 2014, 11:12 PM
SME SME is offline
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Ehh, minor correction to my sub performance claim. I'm actually -3 dB at 15 Hz. At 14 Hz, I'm about -6 dB. I do still have -9 dB at 12 Hz.
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  #13  
Old April 29th, 2014, 11:29 AM
Daven Daven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SME View Post
Ehh, minor correction to my sub performance claim. I'm actually -3 dB at 15 Hz. At 14 Hz, I'm about -6 dB. I do still have -9 dB at 12 Hz.
After speaking with Kevin I think the best alternative is going to be going with a 15H. Until then I am just living with the MK4 dialed back to the lowest possible settings as to not damage and void warranties.
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  #14  
Old May 1st, 2014, 2:33 PM
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Sounds good. You may also be able to integrate the VTF-15H and VTF3-MK4 for even better performance. I am using this pair and am very happy with it. They should be gain matched with the VTF-15H playing about 3 dB higher. This probably works best using pink noise instead of a pure frequency.
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  #15  
Old May 15th, 2014, 8:34 AM
Daven Daven is offline
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I actually had not given that a thought. My X4000 was shipped back to me last week and I am just waiting for the time to hook everything up.
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  #16  
Old May 15th, 2014, 10:11 PM
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My VTF-15H and VTF-3 MK4 are on my front wall on either side of my entertainment center. One spot is closer to a corner and has a bit more deep bass gain, so I put the VTF-3 there. The two compliment each other very well, and the response from them from 15-45 Hz is very smooth over a wide area of the room.
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  #17  
Old June 2nd, 2014, 4:37 PM
Daven Daven is offline
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I have not had the ability to order a 15H from HSU but the VTF-3 MK4 is getting worse and this is at very low playback. I noticed that even in music I am getting distortion, bottoming out, and generally "gross" sound from the sub unless I dial it back to where there is little to no gain. I am am begining to think I have a bad sub and this is not the result of over extension from WotW.
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  #18  
Old June 2nd, 2014, 9:59 PM
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What if you turn Audyssey off completely? Do you still have these problems, even with music?
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  #19  
Old June 3rd, 2014, 9:26 AM
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Yes, the LFE channel seems to go away completely and the sound stage is much more bland.
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  #20  
Old June 4th, 2014, 12:38 AM
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You say that turning off Audyssey limits the bass you hear and makes the sound stage more bland, but do you still hear the distortion and bottoming out when playing music with Audyssey turned off? Audyssey works fairly well most of the time, but it can be quirky and unpredictable. It may be applying too much boost somewhere causing the distortion you are hearing. With Audyssey turned off, your sub should be able to play music quite loud without distortion. If not, then you should probably call Hsu Research for support.
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  #21  
Old June 4th, 2014, 9:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SME View Post
you should probably call Hsu Research for support.
This is my next course of action but going to assume it's a lost cause. According to what you and ShadyJ have posted I assume that due to playing WotW at reference in EQ1 (one port open) Q 7 that I have probably damaged the driver. I have followed Kevin's advice and others from the responses itt.

This is my first 'true' HT sub but I have never had any issues with other subs (played at reference) but perhaps due to the complex nature of calibrating and configuring this sub I will assume I damaged the sub beyond repair. If I recall correctly, the instructions clearly state that 'user error' does not fall under acceptable coverage for warranty.

I disconnected the sub last night and am weighing my options on another subwoofer. An expensive mistake that I probably should have read and researched about prior to buying and choosing the right sub for me.
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  #22  
Old June 4th, 2014, 6:11 PM
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Sounds to me like Dynamic EQ is boasting the low end frequencies too aggressively. I had a similar problem and increasing the reference offset to 10db was the only thing that fixed it. If you haven't tried using the reference offset feature I suggest you do. I would start with the reference offset at 5db and see if that helps. If it does not work increase it to 10db. And if that doesn't increase it to 15db. Basically the higher the number the less aggressive dynamic eq is. I would do this running the sub with 1 port open, eq 1, and q of .3. If that doesn't work try the same steps but with 1 port open, eq 2, and q .7. I hope this helps.
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TV: Panasonic VIERA TC-P55ST30 55-Inch 1080p 3D Plasma
Receiver: Onkyo TX-SR706, Blu Ray: Sony BDP-N460
Fronts/Center: Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1, Rears: Ascend Acoustics HTM-200
Sub: HSU VTF-3 MK-4
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  #23  
Old June 5th, 2014, 1:22 AM
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Actually, Dynamic EQ doesn't do anything when the "volume" is at reference (minus the reference offset). The farther the volume is below reference, the more boost gets applied, although output always decreases at least some when the volume is decreased.

Of course reference can be very demanding. For a 5.1 soundtrack, each of the five full-range channels can provide 105 dB rms and the LFE track can provide 115 dB rms for a maximum of 126 dB peak or 123 dB rms. Even the most demanding sound tracks don't use all of that headroom, but they get close.

See measurements of WOTW here:
http://data-bass.ipbhost.com/index.p...ge-11#entry317

Some scenes appear to have bass hits with material in the 15-20 Hz region approaching -10 dBFS. That's something like 116 dB rms, which is a lot to ask from a single VTF-3 in 1-port/EQ1 mode. Is that enough to permanently damage it? I don't really know, but I would expect it to take more than a few "pops" to cause serious damage. I could be wrong.
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  #24  
Old June 5th, 2014, 8:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SME View Post
Actually, Dynamic EQ doesn't do anything when the "volume" is at reference (minus the reference offset). The farther the volume is below reference, the more boost gets applied, although output always decreases at least some when the volume is decreased.

Of course reference can be very demanding. For a 5.1 soundtrack, each of the five full-range channels can provide 105 dB rms and the LFE track can provide 115 dB rms for a maximum of 126 dB peak or 123 dB rms. Even the most demanding sound tracks don't use all of that headroom, but they get close.

See measurements of WOTW here:
http://data-bass.ipbhost.com/index.p...ge-11#entry317

Some scenes appear to have bass hits with material in the 15-20 Hz region approaching -10 dBFS. That's something like 116 dB rms, which is a lot to ask from a single VTF-3 in 1-port/EQ1 mode. Is that enough to permanently damage it? I don't really know, but I would expect it to take more than a few "pops" to cause serious damage. I could be wrong.
I am by no means an expert. And you are correct there is no compensation at reference level of 0db. I'm only telling of something that worked for me. But then again I don't listen at reference levels. In my case running the receiver at -20 caused distortion when running dynamic eq without reference offset. I wasn't sure if he listens at reference or not. Probably just missed it.
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Fronts/Center: Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1, Rears: Ascend Acoustics HTM-200
Sub: HSU VTF-3 MK-4
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  #25  
Old June 6th, 2014, 8:40 AM
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Originally Posted by kinggimp View Post
I am by no means an expert. And you are correct there is no compensation at reference level of 0db. I'm only telling of something that worked for me. But then again I don't listen at reference levels. In my case running the receiver at -20 caused distortion when running dynamic eq without reference offset. I wasn't sure if he listens at reference or not. Probably just missed it.
I have probably listened at reference a handful of times. Usually I listen 10-20db below, when I moved to a house were I could have a dedicated listening room, that changed. I wouldn't think that just listening to wotw ONE TIME would damage the speaker, but maybe I am wrong. Oh well... I need to reconfigure with audyssey and I still need to talk to HSU about warrantying the speaker.
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  #26  
Old July 4th, 2014, 11:39 AM
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I think my issue was the X4000 failing once again as the sub sounded better on my X1000, I have since upgraded to the VTF-15h and I may consider using the VTF-3 MK4 as a MBM once i get the X4000 back from the RMA yet again...
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Old July 5th, 2014, 4:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daven View Post
I think my issue was the X4000 failing once again as the sub sounded better on my X1000, I have since upgraded to the VTF-15h and I may consider using the VTF-3 MK4 as a MBM once i get the X4000 back from the RMA yet again...
I have a couple of VTF-3 MK4's and was thinking of purchasing a Denon X4000, simply to take advantage of the Sub EQ HD (Audyssey's capability of equalizing two subs individually and then EQing both together), which not too many AVR's have in this price range, in fact the X4000 may be the least expensive with this feature. It sounds like you are not happy and having some issues with the X4000? Would you recommend something else?
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Old July 5th, 2014, 8:00 AM
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I have a couple of VTF-3 MK4's and was thinking of purchasing a Denon X4000, simply to take advantage of the Sub EQ HD (Audyssey's capability of equalizing two subs individually and then EQing both together), which not too many AVR's have in this price range, in fact the X4000 may be the least expensive with this feature. It sounds like you are not happy and having some issues with the X4000? Would you recommend something else?
Would I recommend something else? If you can afford it go with a Marantz. I have owned nothing but Denon over the last 15 years but I am not a expert in this hobby. I just purchase denon because it's a name I have trusted. I owned a few Onkyo AVR's but when two died because of HDMI issues I gave up on their products.

Concerning the Denon X4k, my unit has probably been a defective unit since it was assembled... Denon doesn't get a lot of these units sent back to them. You can find a lot of positive reviews about this AVR from: AVS; audio/video bloggers; general online reviews; and even your local A/V store will recommend it. Lets not forget that at it's price point you're getting a good deal considering it has XT32 and Sub EQ for just under $1,300. It's going to be hard to to beat that...

Off track a bit... I picked up a X1000 from amazon for $249 about a month or so ago out out impluse because it was a good price. On a whim I decided to hook the VTF-3 MK4 to the AVR and my issues seemed to have disappeared.

When the VTF-3 was connected to the X1000 the issues I was having with the X4000 seemed to have gone away, no more hollowed out sound or boomy notes. This lead me to believe the X4000 was south of cheese... When I spoke to Denon they indicated it may be an issue with EQ and something may not be calculating correctly. Furthermore, they explained to me (as have others in this thread and Pete from HSU research) that WotW is intense and not uncommon to cause a bottoming out during a few scenes in the movie. Lastly, they told me to disable EQ which DID fix the sub issue but the LFE track is almost non existent. Alas, it's going back for a 3rd RMA....

I am sure you're going to be fine with the X4000 and I doubt you'll have the issues if you go that route. If you really want a good alternative though, the X1000 is not a slouchy AVR--it's just 5.1 and it's nice to have a 7.2 even if you don't plan to go 7.2 right away... Good luck on your decision.

Last edited by Daven : July 5th, 2014 at 8:11 AM.
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