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View Full Version : New Ascend 170SE owner--thoughts on the Mirage Omni S12



ebh
01-23-2006, 01:32 PM
Hi folks,

I just got my 170SEs--though I'm still waiting for stands to arrive so they are sitting on top of my tv stand right now.

What I want to do is find a sub to go with them. I'm looking pretty hard at the Mirage S12 because of its $400 shipped price tag and (hopefully) good performance with music (~60-70% of my listening) as well as relatively deep bass.

Anyone have experience with this sub?

Here is an attachment of a diagram of my room: http://forum.ascendacoustics.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=53&stc=1

Ceilings are ~9 feet. Thanks for any help. I can't wait to put everything together and really listen to these speakers, though I am enjoying them quite a bit full-range right now.

Quinn
01-23-2006, 02:10 PM
I heard it this weekend. Good for HT not so great for music.

ebh
01-23-2006, 02:17 PM
that is disappointing. thanks for your response though. what was it that didn't sound right?

Quinn
01-23-2006, 03:04 PM
It wasn't able to handle two quick bass notes in a row and smeared it into one longer note.

ebh
01-23-2006, 03:13 PM
thanks for your input. i guess it will be back to the drawing board on what to get for a sub. any impressions on the SVS pb10 for music in comparison?

Quinn
01-23-2006, 03:18 PM
thanks for your input. i guess it will be back to the drawing board on what to get for a sub. any impressions on the SVS pb10 for music in comparison?

Haven't heard it but Hsu and Onix are going to be better than SVS if music sound quality is your top priority. If loud and low are your top concerns then SVS is a very good choice.

ebh
01-23-2006, 03:34 PM
i must say, deciding on a sub is a lot more difficult than picking to go with Ascends.

curtis
01-23-2006, 03:43 PM
i must say, deciding on a sub is a lot more difficult than picking to go with Ascends.
Well...it really is a matter of listening, the problem is it is more difficult to listen to the internet direct subs. Three years ago, I almost went with one sub, but just so happenned to communicate with two people that were very familiar with the subs and didn't seem to have a vested interest, advising me of the characteristics....so I went another route.

I can see for newcomers, it is very difficult to weed out the BS. Make every effort to listen to different subs. It is how they perform in your conditions....not the loudest and lowest.

curtis
01-23-2006, 04:09 PM
Since I seem to be on a rant today....

It is also about finding opinions and companies you can trust. It can take a lot of research.

GaryB
01-23-2006, 04:09 PM
Since you asked, ebh, you might be interested in einsteinjb's assessment of the SVS PB10 in the following thread:

http://forum.ascendacoustics.com/showthread.php?t=1548

Apparently not everyone agrees with the "conventional wisdom". :)

ebh
01-23-2006, 04:20 PM
thank you both. in the sub world there seems to be so much FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt)... it's hard to get to the bottom of things. And unlike speakers, which would cost maybe $20 to ship back if i don't like them, a sub is a much bigger hit on the budget just for a demo period.

Part of my problem is I think I am looking for a mythical perfect sub that probably doesn't exist (at least in my price range)--really great sound for music, but deep response for DVDs. I don't plan to listen to it at loud levels since I live in an apartment, but I do want to hear it and feel it when appropriate. I also have a mildly large space when taking into account adjacent openings, and I'm not sure how that contributes to the overall issue.

And I know what you mean about trust Curtis. It's great that the internet companies especially are very consumer-oriented but I have felt a bit of a hard sell at times. And the Mirage just doesn't have the reviews behind it to make me feel completely comfortable.

Quinn
01-23-2006, 05:10 PM
Since you asked, ebh, you might be interested in einsteinjb's assessment of the SVS PB10 in the following thread:

http://forum.ascendacoustics.com/showthread.php?t=1548

Apparently not everyone agrees with the "conventional wisdom". :)

He says he prefers it for HT. We are talking about SQ with music.

"It has greater output and deeper extension.....but for HT I definitely prefer the SVS."

GaryB
01-23-2006, 05:26 PM
It's quite amazing to me how so many people only see, hear, etc. what they want to. Here's another quote from the same post:
I own an SVS PB10-ISD and a Hsu VTF-2 Mk2. They're both AMAZING subwoofers for their price range, extremely musical and clean, very accurateThe emphasis is mine.

To quote Forrest Gump, "That's all I have to say about that." This issue has been beaten to death in every audio forum on the 'net.

ebh
01-23-2006, 05:30 PM
To quote Forrest Gump, "That's all I have to say about that." This issue has been beaten to death in every audio forum on the 'net.

understood. That's why this is such a PITA. Seems that there are partisans on either side. Add to the problem that each person is different, each room is different etc., and it just makes it hard to figure out which way is up.

That's why it's understandable that people say just listen to it, but that's not always the easiest thing to do either. I can't be draggins 60 pounds of sub up 3 flights of stairs all the time, and my credit card and fiancee certainly wouldn't appreciate it either, heh.

curtis
01-23-2006, 06:37 PM
Above are prime examples of all the gotchas......

Here is some advice I would give:

1. Take opinions from those that have not heard the subs you are considering with a lot of salt.

2. Take opinions from those not suggesting you listen to the subs and give more weight to numbers with salt as well. Nobody has come up with a set of defined measurements for judging how a subwoofer will sound such as Floyd Toole has done for speakers.

3. And take opinions in general with salt.....even mine. :)

ebh
01-24-2006, 03:12 PM
while we're on the topic of subs i have a few general questions that some of you more experienced in the speaker world could help me understand.

First, the concept of room size to subwoofer. When Dr. Hsu tells me that for my size room the STF-2 isn't enough, what does that mean? Is it that it won't go loud enough (which I don't think could be true) or that the room size affects the ability of a sub to produce some of the lower frequency notes? Or something completely different? I'd love to understand some of the variables at work here.

Sort of as a corollary, I see people asking whether a big sub will really rattle walls and not work in an apartment, while others say there is no such thing as too much sub--just turn it down. Properly calibrated shouldn't a more powerful sub play at the same level as a smaller sub, just with less chance of distortion, more headroom and potentially more response in the lower frequencies? Again, I think you could get an STF-2 to a loudness that would piss off the neighbors but it wouldn't be in balance with the speakers. All subs are going to produce vibrations I'm sure, I'm just trying to understand whether there is anything inherent in a bigger sub that makes it worse for apartment living (except perhaps the deeper frequencies the bigger sub will reach).

I'm now thinking strongly about reaching for a VTF-3 and just being done with it--all this second guessing is frustrating. But I'd like to understand some of the dynamics at work before I make such a leap.

curtis
01-24-2006, 03:39 PM
Dr. Hsu probably means it could not handle the room at louder levels. My Parents have a STF-2 in a large room and it is fine for them, and plays quite loud.....the room is about 25'x15'x12' and can not be sealed off....but a larger sub could handle it easier.

All things being equal, a bigger and more powerful sub can play louder, but you can always adjust the gain on the sub.....which in fact you will do when you calibrate your system....it won't over power the speakers. What a bigger sub will be able to do better is recreate lower frequencies.

When I was putting my system together, it was suggested to get the largest sub I could allow for in my space, and that my budget could afford.

ebh
01-25-2006, 02:29 PM
dang, Hsu has a super-long waitlist for b-stock VTF-3 MK2s. Back to having no good ideas what to get, heh.

ebh
01-27-2006, 12:08 PM
alright, i think i'm going to forget about really putting together a home theater sort of setup for now and will just stick with 2.1 for a bit.

I'm leaning towards the Rocket ULW-10 (the cheaper one). Other than the finishes and the small difference in box size, what are the differences between the ULW-10 and UFW-10?

My only other concern is that if the STF-2 wasn't enough for my room according to Dr. Hsu that the ULW-10 won't be nearly enough. But hopefully with music at least it will do well, and will give at least some rumble and pop with DVDs as well.

Mag_Neato
01-27-2006, 02:09 PM
The UFW is 500 watts, ULW 350. The UFW has a single band parametric EQ to flatten the largest hump in your bass response, and allows for bandwidth adjustment. The ULW uses an auto-type EQ that picks it's own setting, and cannot be bandwidth adjusted. Also the UFW has the traditional Rocket finish with the piano black top and bottom. For a room your size I'd look at minimum the UFW-10, perhaps two of them. Of course, it depends on your preference for how loud you like bass, in which case neither one of these are going to give you high SPL's. They are tight and tuneful though, and that is why I like mine. It will kick for HT, but not like two of them, or even a 12" sub will.

You could always add a second UFW-10 down the road should you need to for HT use.

curtis
01-27-2006, 02:36 PM
The EQ in the ULW is an automatic single band parametric EQ. With the use of a microphone, it adjusts the frequency and bandwith for you to tame the biggest FR "hump" in your room.

ebh
01-27-2006, 03:08 PM
It's the $600 (UFW) vs. the $400 (ULW) that gets me. If I go up to $600 I might as well go to $700 and get a new VTF-3 Mk2. $400 is just easier to swing. Of course I'd really like the UFW-12 but at $1200 and more than 100lb., that will have to wait for the future.

Gov
01-27-2006, 05:13 PM
EBH,

As far as I am concerned as well as other owners of the S12 on AVS, this sub is great with music. Yes, it is better with HT stuff, but is very musical. I listen to a lot of smooth jazz stuff and I am VERY happy with this sub. I have only had it for a few days, but with what I have heard with it thus far, I'm thrilled for $400. This sub replaced a Velodyne CHT-10 that I have had for the last year and a half. This sub is much more musical, not to mention, louder and deeper than the CHT-10. Don't be afraid to seriously consider the S12. In one review it was compared to HSU's VTF-3 sub!!
I just received my HTM-200's which replaces my Velodyne CT-41 as surrounds and now await a pair of 170SE's and a 340SE center to replace my JBL Northridge speakers. The 200's are awesome, and I am looking forward to the rest of the Ascends to come in and pair up with the Mirage S12. It will be sweet!!!

Good luck!

ebh
02-01-2006, 04:32 PM
in the end i decided to go with a Rocket UFW-10. It was a bit more than I wanted to spend (even after they were kind enough to bring the price down $100) and it may not play as deep as I think I want it to go, but the EQ function and the comments about the sound quality of sealed subs sold me.

Can't wait for it to arrive and to set it up (along with the stands I'm waiting for) to finally get my 170SEs sounding their best.

Trench
02-17-2006, 12:51 AM
in the end i decided to go with a Rocket UFW-10. It was a bit more than I wanted to spend (even after they were kind enough to bring the price down $100) and it may not play as deep as I think I want it to go, but the EQ function and the comments about the sound quality of sealed subs sold me.

Can't wait for it to arrive and to set it up (along with the stands I'm waiting for) to finally get my 170SEs sounding their best.

How'd it happen that they took $100 off?

ebh
02-19-2006, 12:57 AM
How'd it happen that they took $100 off?

i'm not sure, maybe i got a nice salesman? really i was just asking them about the differences between the ulw and ufw. I knew there was a $100 off deal for the ulw on their website that brought it to $400 and asked if there was a similar deal for the ufw and they said they'd knock $100 off.

it's a great looking sub. I like the sound so far, though I'm concerned about how high i've got it turned up to be about 5dB hotter than my mains--around 3 o'clock. I haven't had a lot of luck with the parametric eq--my room is actually pretty flat except for an annoying null around 65 hz. i'm still considering ordering another sub just to get a better idea for the type of sound im looking for.

einsteinjb
02-19-2006, 01:00 AM
Hey I've been quoted! Cool! :cool:

ebh how do you like your UFW-10? I've never heard any of the Rocket subs or the Mirage so I can't comment on them other than to say I've seen a lot of positive comments about both of them.

Quinn, you da man but I have to say in this case, Gary was right. You did quote my comments out of context and misinterpreted my meaning (purely by accident I'm sure). Do not for a moment think that I meant the SVS PB10-ISD is less musical (to my ears) than the Hsu VTF-2 Mk2. While I must disclaim by saying I haven't tested both of them in the same exact room in the same exact position, I do have both in my house in different rooms and I love both of them for music. When I said I prefer the PB10 for HT, I meant simply that for HT use, between the two, the PB10 stomps the VTF-2 pure and simple due to much greater output and extension. I did not mean I prefer the PB10 for HT rather than music. PB10 sounds great on musical material.

Bottom line is they're both excellent subs and I bought and kept both of them because each of them was better suited to a different application for me personally. If I had to use the VTF-2 Mk2 for HT in my 14' x 12.5' x 8' room, or if I had to use the PB10-ISD for mixing in my little mixing room, either sub would be fine in either context. It's just a matter of the more appropriate tool for the job.

Gov if you're still reading, how are you enjoying your new Ascend setup? Forgive me if you've already posted about it elsewhere... :)

curtis
03-01-2006, 04:07 PM
Here is a thread that I thought might be relavent...granted it is on the Hsu forum:
http://www.hsuresearch.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2005

Gov
03-01-2006, 05:43 PM
Too bad there is no comparison to the Mirage S12.

JohnnyCasaba
03-01-2006, 07:49 PM
Interesting read Curtis, I think the latest issue of What Hi-Fi had a short pre-view of the PB-10 and it was similar to what this poster stated. I've yet to hear one myself.