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Thread: Best sub for S2EX, Music + HT?

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Best sub for S2EX, Music + HT?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pogre View Post
    Servo subs are cool, but a modern approach with computer modeling, newer drivers and advanced design the tech has narrowed the gap very significantly in the last 15 years and has pretty much caught up.
    I have been following the technical reviews of subwoofers reviewed on Audioholics and Data-bass, since they have been doing such technical measurements, rather than previously where there was simply impressions of how it sounds after listening to several different well known audio tracks and such. I agree that the measurements that are taken in such reviews shows only small differences at best between a servo sub and a sub that using DSP.

    I do think that there are things that measurements can't capture that make a servo sub superior still though. The best analogy is with ribbon tweeters. I own Sierra 2s for critical listening in one room and CMT 340s for causal listening in the other. There is something about the ribbon tweeter where I can listen at -20 to -15 dB for several hours without fatigue. On a dome tweeter like that of the CMT 340 fatigue sets in for me much earlier at lower volume levels. Looking at the CSD measurements there is not a huge difference between the two tweeters though to explain this. I'm not at all talking bad about the tweeter in the CMT 340. It is far superior to other tweeters where fatigue sets in much earlier still, for me, and at even lower volume levels. From a theoretical standpoint we know that the ribbon tweeter is going to start and stop much more quickly than just about any other kind of tweeter, which partially explains what I am experiencing. But, the measurements are quite similar outside of the a few small resonant frequencies that don't die out quite like the ribbon tweeter. Maybe it is as simple as those few resonant frequencies lingering that aggravates my tinnitus, but I'm not so sure that is the only thing going on here. I don't really care, as I have found the speakers that work for me.

    Getting back to subs versus a dsp sub. The servo sub can minimize the standing waves in the cabinet coloring the sound, where dsp does nothing. The servo sub can address unit to unit variation, because nothing can be manufactured exactly the same from one time to the next, there are tolerances on components in the driver, cabinet, even the port. When there is anything about how the signal is being reproduced that differs from what is supposed to be done, it continuously and instantaneously fixes the problem. Another downside of a DSP sub is the flipping back and forth from analog to digital and then back to analog. Something is lost in the signal from each conversion, since that process involves approximation rather than a closed form exact solution. But, a servo sub can avoid the conversion altogether, keeping the signal more accurate.

    To my ears switching from my previous dsp sub (designed by Hsu) to a Rythmik servo sub was quite a step up. The dsp sub didn't have the transient response to match my Sierra 2s, where I needed to choose a crossover of 50 to 60Hz to not have the 50 to 80Hz region lose detail. With music this isn't a problem, but with movies there can be huge swings in the output in that region where I'd be worried about damaging the Sierra 2 asking it to play those frequencies at high levels. With a Rythmik sub, I can have that 80Hz crossover and not lose the detail. I'm sure that there are DSP subs that can do better in that 50 to 80Hz region than my previous dsp sub could do, but subwoofers are expensive to return if you hook them up in your room and find that they don't have an improvement in the upper bass region. Several others on this forum have experienced this same phenomenon, so I figured the easiest solution to try out Rythmik's servo subs, and it fixed the problem.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Best sub for S2EX, Music + HT?

    Quote Originally Posted by N Boros View Post
    To my ears switching from my previous dsp sub (designed by Hsu) to a Rythmik servo sub was quite a step up. The dsp sub didn't have the transient response to match my Sierra 2s, where I needed to choose a crossover of 50 to 60Hz to not have the 50 to 80Hz region lose detail. With music this isn't a problem, but with movies there can be huge swings in the output in that region where I'd be worried about damaging the Sierra 2 asking it to play those frequencies at high levels. With a Rythmik sub, I can have that 80Hz crossover and not lose the detail. I'm sure that there are DSP subs that can do better in that 50 to 80Hz region than my previous dsp sub could do, but subwoofers are expensive to return if you hook them up in your room and find that they don't have an improvement in the upper bass region. Several others on this forum have experienced this same phenomenon, so I figured the easiest solution to try out Rythmik's servo subs, and it fixed the problem.
    This is exactly what I experienced, but it started with the Sierra-1.
    -curtis

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Best sub for S2EX, Music + HT?

    Hsu.. is considered entry level...imo.

    One of the features I was advised to extrapolate from DB...using drivers or subs is how much they compress & destort at certain sweeps and what frequencies they start to stagger. This is often overlooked....nor understood...but we all know the better and more linear the driver measures...the more likely it will behave that way. From my laymen understanding you can take 2 different subs mfg.. all else being equal can exhibit similar numbers at 105db sweep...increase to 110 and after 115... you'll see how the more linear design unit will hold true and the distortion levels remain stress free or composed...the latter will compress and distortion rises into the audible range...in this case you'll need 2or more subs to equal the same clean output as a singular unit which most likely cost more..so in terms of subs....cost is relavent...much like the RAAL comparison above. As mentioned....the servo technology...helps the driver remain composed and within itself....when pushed...
    Speakers 5.1.2: TitanTowers v2 & STC(RAAL v2), MA CP-WT&CT260
    Sub: Funk Audio 18.0 SantosRW

    Source: Denon X3800H, Oppo BDP 103D, UBK-90 4K & LG B9 65"
    Office 2.0: Philharmonic True Mini(coming-soon), Fosi TB10D via Wiim mini.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Best sub for S2EX, Music + HT?

    Quote Originally Posted by N Boros View Post

    I do think that there are things that measurements can't capture that make a servo sub superior still though. The best analogy is with ribbon tweeters. I own Sierra 2s for critical listening in one room and CMT 340s for causal listening in the other. There is something about the ribbon tweeter where I can listen at -20 to -15 dB for several hours without fatigue. .
    Doesn't Dave have a whole suite of objective measurements that show and explain how and why ribbons are superior performers?

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Best sub for S2EX, Music + HT?

    Quote Originally Posted by billy p View Post
    Hsu.. is considered entry level...imo.

    One of the features I was advised to extrapolate from DB...using drivers or subs is how much they compress & destort at certain sweeps and what frequencies they start to stagger. This is often overlooked....nor understood...but we all know the better and more linear the driver measures...the more likely it will behave that way. From my laymen understanding you can take 2 different subs mfg.. all else being equal can exhibit similar numbers at 105db sweep...increase to 110 and after 115... you'll see how the more linear design unit will hold true and the distortion levels remain stress free or composed...the latter will compress and distortion rises into the audible range...in this case you'll need 2or more subs to equal the same clean output as a singular unit which most likely cost more..so in terms of subs....cost is relavent...much like the RAAL comparison above. As mentioned....the servo technology...helps the driver remain composed and within itself....when pushed...
    I didn't bring up or recommend HSU or any other brand. Tho I do think HSU make great sounding subs... but then so does Rhythmik and that's what op was looking at so I stayed the course and talked about Rhythmik.

    If I were to recommend I'd probably go with Monolith's THX subs. For starters the Monolith 15" THX has lower group delay and lower distortion figures than the FV25.

    Not that the FV25 is a bad sub or anything. They're fine subwoofers and the distortion and group delay are still well outside the range of human hearing. I don't think it'd have a negative impact on the sound tho, so I'd never recommend against Rhythmik. They make great subs. Thats why my recommendations in this thread were all for Rhythmik subs...

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Best sub for S2EX, Music + HT?

    Quote Originally Posted by billy p View Post
    much like the RAAL comparison above.
    And again, there are indeed plenty of objective measurements of RAAL ribbons that explain why so many prefer them. It's not some magic, immeasurable unexplainable mystery...
    Last edited by Pogre; 04-02-2022 at 08:27 AM.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Best sub for S2EX, Music + HT?

    I'm curious to hear how this turns out. I have completely different circumstances, but a similar goal; improvement in mid-bass hand-off . I'll post separately when I need help; just bumping this one to see if progress was made. Thanks!

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Best sub for S2EX, Music + HT?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pogre View Post
    And again, there are indeed plenty of objective measurements of RAAL ribbons that explain why so many prefer them. It's not some magic, immeasurable unexplainable mystery...
    I’ve looked at the measurements of both the Sierra 2s and CMT 340s. The only measurements that might explain, which were done for both speakers are the CSD plots. Both speakers die out pretty quickly at or around the 0.58 msec mark. But the lower end tweeter exhibits some resonances between 8kHz and 15kHz that linger for about 3 times as long. They are quite low in level in comparison to the original signal though. I don’t think that this completely explains it. I’m not saying that it is “magic”, but this is the only plot that helps explain it a little bit. The full explanation is most likely that the ribbon tweeter has the advantage in transient response over all frequencies, and there aren’t any of those extra resonances in the ribbon tweeter either. Also, I’ve also heard Dave mention that we won’t hear a ribbon tweeter clipping, like you would with a dome. Perhaps this means that even when pushed hard we don’t hear some of the harshness that we would hear from some dome tweeters. Maybe distortion measurements would show this difference, but we don’t have those to look at.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pogre View Post
    I didn't bring up or recommend HSU or any other brand. Tho I do think HSU make great sounding subs... but then so does Rhythmik and that's what op was looking at so I stayed the course and talked about Rhythmik.

    If I were to recommend I'd probably go with Monolith's THX subs. For starters the Monolith 15" THX has lower group delay and lower distortion figures than the FV25.

    Not that the FV25 is a bad sub or anything. They're fine subwoofers and the distortion and group delay are still well outside the range of human hearing. I don't think it'd have a negative impact on the sound tho, so I'd never recommend against Rhythmik. They make great subs. Thats why my recommendations in this thread were all for Rhythmik subs...
    I only brought up Hsu, since that was my first subwoofer and I recently upgraded to Rythmik and it was quite an upgrade, where the 60 to 80Hz region was clearly handled better with the Rythmik subs.

    I too have looked into the Monolith subwoofers, mainly because Audioholics keeps reviewing them and, at least until recently, they seemed to be one subwoofer company seemed unaffected by inflation. In my living room setup, I'm about ready to retire the Hsu subwoofer and upgrade. I've already upgraded in my theater room with Rythmik's. I love the FV15HP's, but my wife didn't want something so large in the living room. I love the price and performance of the Monolith subwoofers and the group delay as you mentioned, but all of the Monolith subs are just massive and heavy. When Audioholics recently did a preview of the ported dual 10 or 12 inch subs, I was excited at the price and performance. Then I looked at the weight and dimensions and the Rythmik FV15HP, as nearly the exact same base, but the Monoprice subs are quite a bit taller and heavier. The Rythmik subs have a slight bit more output from 20 to 40Hz, if I recall, than the dual 12 inch Monolith sub but the two are close outside of that. But the price of the two subs are nearly the same, so I'd still choose the FV15HP over the Monolith M212. I have as larger room, so I definitely want a ported sub, but even the 10 inch ported models from Monoprice are huge. I saw similar trends across the line of Monolith vs. Rythmik. If you don't mind huge and heavy subwoofers, the Monolith subs seem like a reasonable choice, but I think I'm going to end up with a pair of ported Rythmik subs in the living room too.
    Last edited by N Boros; 04-12-2022 at 02:29 PM.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Best sub for S2EX, Music + HT?

    I've been curious about subwoofers, so I looked at a number of them (even though it doesn't make sense for us).

    Monoprice has a new 8 inch THX subwoofer that looks interesting - it's smaller and lighter than you'd expect:

    Monolith by Monoprice THX Certified 8in 150-watt Powered Subwoofer - Monoprice.com

    It's reasonably priced, and goes down pretty far, although maybe not as far as some would want. They just posted that they're expecting more in stock in 9/22, which might be too long to wait.

    One thing I liked is that they have line level inputs and outputs, with a real crossover, which would be what we'd want with our 2 channel system with older equipment. We'd put it in between our preamp and amp.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Best sub for S2EX, Music + HT?

    Quote Originally Posted by N Boros View Post
    I’ve looked at the measurements of both the Sierra 2s and CMT 340s. The only measurements that might explain, which were done for both speakers are the CSD plots. Both speakers die out pretty quickly at or around the 0.58 msec mark. But the lower end tweeter exhibits some resonances between 8kHz and 15kHz that linger for about 3 times as long. They are quite low in level in comparison to the original signal though. I don’t think that this completely explains it. I’m not saying that it is “magic”, but this is the only plot that helps explain it a little bit. The full explanation is most likely that the ribbon tweeter has the advantage in transient response over all frequencies, and there aren’t any of those extra resonances in the ribbon tweeter either. Also, I’ve also heard Dave mention that we won’t hear a ribbon tweeter clipping, like you would with a dome. Perhaps this means that even when pushed hard we don’t hear some of the harshness that we would hear from some dome tweeters. Maybe distortion measurements would show this difference, but we don’t have those to look at.
    It isn't clipping, it is ringing / breakup modes. All dome tweeters exhibit a rather harsh break-up mode while RAAL ribbons do not.

    There are basically 4 characteristics that I attribute to why RAAL's sound so go.

    1. They are generally about 1/50th the moving mass of a dome tweeter. They basically accelerate and decelerate instantaneously, a near perfect transient response.

    2. Extremely wide and linear horizontal dispersion

    3. No break-up modes (as I described above)

    4. There is no voice coil, no former, no surround - the only moving part is the resonating diaphragm itself, that combined with the extremely low mass = practically zero stored energy.
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    Good Sound To You!

    David Fabrikant
    www.ascendacoustics.com

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