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Last Fall, I got the subwoofer upgrade bug. I was looking to move up from my SVS PB12-NSD - a tremendous performer, especially for its price - to something more potent and satisfying, and I was down to two contenders:
- dual Rythmik Audio F15 subs (two 15" powered subs, sealed and front-firing, each w/ a 370W PEQ amp); and
- the Chase Home Theater (CHT) SS-18.T Duo (two passive 18" subs, sealed and down-firing, powerd by a 1000W PEQ amp).

I placed an order with Rythmik in late November, but the finish I wanted (Black Matte) was back-ordered into early Spring. While I waited, I began to read more about CHT. The business appears to be a side-venture started by Craig Chase (a.k.a. craigsub on AVS - known and, as far as I can tell, respected for his subwoofer tests) and I got the impression (rightly or wrongly) that his offerings - primarily subs and HT speakers - are a sort of like "really good DIY, for close to DIY money, but without the need to invest all that DIY time and effort".

There was also a lot of really good buzz from some very non-fanboyish owners of CHT products, including my buddy down in Grimsby, who purchased the potent CS-18.T Duo subs (predecessors to the SS-18.T Duo subs) and astoundingly-good SHO-10 HT speakers.

So, when March rolled around and Rythmik still didn't have the Black Matte finish in stock, I decided to cancel that order and place my order for the newer SS-18.T Duo. About a week later (or a little less than two weeks ago), they were sitting in my basement. (Pics) The newer cabinet style is very nice, the finish is pretty good (but not as good as some of the better matte or gloss finishes), and the subs are terrific performers! :cool:

I've fiddled a bit with placement (limited to the front) and settings, and run calibrations a couple of times. (I've yet to really play with the PEQ but, for that, I'm going to wait until my buddy hits town with his Dayton Omnimic - an extremely useful calibration tool - to properly tweak the subs.) The way my current set-up stands, I'm very impressed with how these subs perform. When called upon, they effortlessly produce HUGE amounts of tight, bloat-free bass, and they dig noticeably deeper than my PB12 ever could...and it could dig pretty deep!

Overall, and so far, I'd have to say these are great subs for the money (~$1,830 for two passive 18" subs, a 1000W amp, shipping and taxes).
 

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now that is a smart setup ... congratulations eljay

wish we could hear those beasts rock the reservation !
 

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I knew that it wasn't an earthquake that produced that rumble around Ottawa the other day.:)

Those things look good.
 

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your welcome .. deservedly so.

beyond mannerly formalities :) ....i would like discuss further these fabulous subs. my interest is piqued, so let's get down to business. :) could we please have a response to the following ..(in no particular order, or coherence !)

- Is the fundamental difference between a passive and active sub simply that a passive sub is powered by an external amp ?

- are passive subs more difficult to integrate into an HT system ? Albeit, the benefit of being powered externally means - much better performance ?

- additionally, what are, or rather, what differences can one expect when comparing a front firing sub, vs. a down firing sub ?

- the x2 subs up front indeed look formidable, and i can understand the aesthetics 'factor" .. however, I'm wondering why you don't have one of these subs behind your listening position. wouldn't this make for more equilibrium within your setup ? eg: LFE within a film would be evenly distributed within your space, vs. an LFE scene being all up front ?

- If external amp needed for these subs, where does the amp take it's direction from ? and how is it hooked into your system ? eg: is the amp linked to your AVR, or directly from your Oppo BDP83 ? In fact, do you have your system (speaker setup) directed from your blu-ray player ?

- what does PEQ mean ?

- more images welcomed if you have !

once again, congrats. and thanks for taking the time to share the gear on DHC.

Oh, (not sure if your aware) ...it's a given, if any of us are in the Ottawa area. We're inviting ourselves over (ok, i really mean - me !)

Scotch in hand .. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
beyond mannerly formalities ...
Yes, enough of that, eh? ;)

....i would like discuss further these fabulous subs. my interest is piqued, so let's get down to business. ... could we please have a response to the following ..(in no particular order, or coherence !)
I'll do my best.

- Is the fundamental difference between a passive and active sub simply that a passive sub is powered by an external amp ?
Yup.

- are passive subs more difficult to integrate into an HT system ? Albeit, the benefit of being powered externally means - much better performance ?
More difficult, no. But with dual (or multiple) subs, the advantage of having powered subs (or passive subs each with a dedicated external amplifier) is that you can tailor gain and EQ for each sub. Dual passives with a single external amp, by contrast, is somewhat limiting. Not an issue if you co-locate the subs, or if you place them in spots (as I have) with similar gain and FR properties.

- additionally, what are, or rather, what differences can one expect when comparing a front firing sub, vs. a down firing sub ?
I've gone from a single, front-firing, ported sub to dual, down-firing, sealed subs, so I'm hearing bass very differently from how I used to. I would describe the difference as:
- less "bloat", which I would describe as "exaggerated" FR at the tuning frequency, something that was shown when my buddy measured my room and my last sub with his Omnimic (note: "bloat" is not at all the same as "boominess", something my PB12 never exhibited); and
- a tighter/cleaner sound.

- the x2 subs up front indeed look formidable, and i can understand the aesthetics 'factor" .. however, I'm wondering why you don't have one of these subs behind your listening position. wouldn't this make for more equilibrium within your setup ? eg: LFE within a film would be evenly distributed within your space, vs. an LFE scene being all up front ?
Aside from aesthetics, I really don't want to run wires all over my room. That being said, LFE never appears to come from the front. It's a wave of bass that washes over me. It's everywhere. And it's very sweet.

- If external amp needed for these subs, where does the amp take it's direction from ? and how is it hooked into your system ? eg: is the amp linked to your AVR, or directly from your Oppo BDP83 ? In fact, do you have your system (speaker setup) directed from your blu-ray player ?
My receiver's sub output connects to the LFE input on the amp. From there, speaker wire (12ga., in my case) runs to each sub. My receiver manages all of the audio settings; the sub amp has its own gain and PEQ adjustments.

- what does PEQ mean ?
Parametric equalization (if I'm not mistaken). My basic understanding is that PEQ allows you to select:
- a FREQ (frequency) that you want to adjust;
- the BANDWIDTH (a.k.a., the "Q" - that is, the range above and below the chosen frequency) to which you want the adjustment applied (smaller # is a wider range; higher # is a narrower range); and
- the LEVEL of boost or cut you wish to apply.

Without some sort of room EQ software (REW or Omnimic), however, I think this amounts to a lot of guesswork. Which is why I won't tamper with the flat EQ settings until the next time my buddy hits town with his Omnimic (which will allow me to see which frequency I need to focus on, what bandwidth I need and how much level is actually necessary to flatten things out).

- more images welcomed if you have !
I'll see about taking/posting a few more.

once again, congrats. and thanks for taking the time to share the gear on DHC.
Thanks! I'm happy to share new HT info., especially if it's stuff that others might find enjoyable and/or useful.

Oh, (not sure if your aware) ...it's a given, if any of us are in the Ottawa area. We're inviting ourselves over (ok, i really mean - me !)

Scotch in hand .. ;)
If you're ever in the area, you're welcome to drop by for a Scotch*. Others will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. :D

(*I always have some nice stuff on hand, so don't worry about bringing your own.)
 

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interesting ...interesting ...

thanks eljay. good information to filter through, investigate further.

It's a wave of bass that washes over me. It's everywhere. And it's very sweet.
i like the way your sail is trimmed. eg: the cut of your jib .. ;) .. meaning interesting style, or description.

i think anyone, everyone with an interest in fine HT should experience (at least once) elevated HT performance.

I'll see about taking/posting a few more.
no worries. i clued in to your link. can see the manufacturer's images clearly. (including the external amp)


enjoy the subs (i'm sure you are)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
thanks eljay. good information to filter through, investigate further.
Glad to help.

i like the way your sail is trimmed. eg: the cut of your jib .. ;) .. meaning interesting style, or description.
Well...okay...as long as that's all you're talking about... :p

enjoy the subs (i'm sure you are)
Yes, yes I am. :D
 

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Glad I found this thread as I was wondering if you ever did the upgrade.

Congrats on the new subs and they sound very nice (pun intended). Hope you do a 3 month update one you get use to the new sound.

One of these days I'll have to get back up to Ottawa cause I'd love to hear these things.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
wantmorehd said:
Congrats on the new subs and they sound very nice (pun intended). Hope you do a 3 month update one you get use to the new sound.
Thanks. Yes, they do sound (and sound) very good. I will do an update once my buddy has a chance to hit town with his Omnimic so that I can properly EQ the subs. But I was watching "Tron:Legacy" this weekend (an unexpectedly enjoyable movie, with reference-quality audio and video) and the big, beautiful LFE just blew me away. :cool: :D

One of these days I'll have to get back up to Ottawa cause I'd love to hear these things.
There's Scotch in the cupboard and beer in the fridge. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So, my buddy came to visit back in April and we used his Omnimic to determine the best location(s) - in the vicinity of the front of the room - for the subs. As it turns out, it's pretty much where I had them (flanking the center channel speaker). Then we fiddled with the PEQ on the sub amp to slightly boost the null at 45Hz. All in all, not a whole lot of tweaking required, but it was pretty cool having the Omnimic to map everything out for us easily and in real time.

The subs are flat down to ~17Hz:



And I'm still very happy with how they perform. The play loud and deep, they're great with music (considerably better than the PB12-NSD ever was) and they blend extremely well with the rest of my system. Money well spent. :)

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Two things the subs don't do, neither of which represents a flaw or a shortcoming of the subs themselves:
1. They don't dig as deep as my buddy's CS-18.T Duo subs do in his room (he's measured them ruler-flat to 12Hz) or hit as hard, but given that my room is a little over 50% larger than his (~3,375 cu.ft. vs. ~2,025 cu.ft.), they still do manage to perform quite well. (I'd love to double up with another SS-18.T Duo, but I don't have the room for more subs!)
2. They don't provide that mid-bass "slam" that I was after prior to the upgrade. As I've come to understand it, "slam" is the result (in part, at least) of a non-flat FR (i.e., peaks at mid-bass frequencies). I could probably fiddle with the PEQ to boost those frequencies, but I've come to appreciate "reference vs. preference" and I'm happy to let the subs keep doing what they're doing. :)
 

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Eljay: freakin amazing setup dude. One thing I will be considering for the future is a "mid-bass module". Consider the drive size increments in your set-up, from tweeter to subwoofer. Maybe a smaller subwoofer with a high & low pass filter to give you some mid-range slam in the 100-200 (ish) range? Not sure what the FR is of the SVS you have is, probably too low to take care of this, but maybe the 12" driver would react a little faster to give you more "snap" if you integrated it? Just throwing ideas around...
.
Anyway, I am ordering a Quartet12H kit from CSS this week to replace my sealed MA. Good to see you about! Latron...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
caper_26 said:
... freakin amazing setup dude.
Thanks! :D

... Consider the drive size increments in your set-up, from tweeter to subwoofer. Maybe a smaller subwoofer ... to give you some mid-range slam in the 100-200 (ish) range? Not sure what the FR is of the SVS you have is ... but maybe the 12" driver would react a little faster to give you more "snap" if you integrated it?
I don't have the SVS anymore. My preferred solution - given the way my buddy's CS-18.T performs in his smaller room - would be to double up my subs in order to proportionately pressurize my larger room, but I don't have the space to set them up they way I'd like. So maybe a single MBM is an option. I'll have to give it some thought. Thanks for the tip. :)

Anyway, I am ordering a Quartet12H kit from CSS this week to replace my sealed MA.
Yup, I noticed that over on HTS. Best of luck with the new sub! :cool:
 
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