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Newbie looking for a little more advice on a below $1k sub...

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  • Newbie looking for a little more advice on a below $1k sub...

    Ok, so I've been a looong time lurker at many of the audio forums (since the turn of the century), and tend to obsess over purchases. Thus, I've still got my repaired and rebuilt Paradigm PS1200 (4th order bandpass 12" one note wonder) sub I bought in '94. I've been somewhat satisfied with the volume of output from the Paradigm in my 2300cuft. room (15x17x9 with the back end mostly open to a double vaulted ceiling great room), so I don't think much extra oomph will totally be necessary. I don't tend to listen real loud and I mostly listen to music with an occasional movie get together with friends. My wife is open to most any box, but I'd like to keep from going to an Epik Castle or similar.

    My initial price cap was the $500-700 range, but I've upped it to $1000, but not over. I realize just over $1k will open up other options from Hsu, SVS, etc., but I gotta stop somewhere. I've even contemplated non-co-located pairs of the lower cost systems for more even room response in all seating areas, but I know this can be a pain to setup, so perhaps too much to bite off initially.

    Now with the new under $1k limit, I'm close to committing to a sub and wanted any feedback y'all might give, if you've listened to it, on the 15" Rythmik Servo sub. Initially I wanted a sub 18Hz box (classical & organ music, new action movies), but now also like the idea of a sealed system rather than ported, so the low end is more gradually rolled off. Do you have any experience with this unit? I've read through the long post with the sub rankings and about some vendors not interested in Craigsub's evaluation of their units and thought the Rythmik might be one.

    Other subs (ported) I've contemplated are the Hsu VTF-2MK3 or 3MK3, SVS PB12-NSD, Outlaw LFM-1 (or EX). The AV123 MFW-15 is attractive, but with ground loop hums, amp issues (though limited) I'm not as enthused. Long lead times with Epik and eD Audio are also discouraging.

    Thanks for reading my lengthy initial post of questions. I try to glean all I can from searches and thread reading, hence my many years of lurking.


  • #2
    Tim, you've obviously done your homework and have considered many of the very good subs in your price range. It may have been I who speculated that either Rythmik or HSU chose to not be evaluated by Craig, but that in itself should not keep you from considering their sub. Although I've never heard the Rythmik, I have every reason to believe it to be a fine sounding sub. It's main limitation may be it's peak output, but you have expressed that big volume is not a priority for you.


    • #3
      Don't have any advice re the Rythmik, however I would like to know the reasons in your preference for sealed.

      A well designed ported sub will perform very well. In fact I believe the Rel is a ported design and is highly regarded as a musical sub (too expensive, though)

      I will put in a plug for the MFW, or even pair. I think you can still get a pair for $999, but with shipping will put you above your budget. This would be my top recommendation. The SVS PC+ is another great sub, I loved mine and wish I still had it.
      Never Argue With An idiot. They'll Lower You To Their Level And Then Beat You With Experience!


      • #4
        Not "allowing" the review of their sub isn't a huge mark against them if it is in fact them, which we don't know - this is all speculation. I'd like to see a few opinions of comparison to other popular internet subs (Hsu, SVS) by several people and the craigslist was a convenient way to do this.

        I think the servo portion of the Rythmik is more what turned me on to it versus the sealed bit. I've read about and heard several servo subs to know they typically are well received and perform well. But the sealed bit gives it a smaller size and typically deeper extension (no port tuning frequency with sharp rolloff below). With the built in matched eq amp and servo feedback it makes sense it'd be a balanced unit and mesh well. This again is speculation.

        I know the larger ported boxes also go deep and have plenty of headroom, but they dramatically increase in size (Epik, eD, sort of MFW-15). The flexibility of placement then becomes more challenging. I love my room's current "visual feel". I walk in and don't get overwhelmed with furniture (couches, drapes, sub., speakers). This is not a dedicated theater. It's the coommon family/sitting room. All components are behind closed doors with IR repeaters to transmit remote signals. Just the main/center speakers sit out and the flat panel TV is on the wall. I'll try to take a pic and post it later.

        I might be able to incorporate a couple subs, but I think the limit on size would be the MFW-15. However, with leadtimes and other posts on AV123's website, I'm a bit concerned.


        • #5
          That's what's great about the SVS cylinder's. Their footprint is small. They do have a unique look that turns some off. I personally like the look. They tuck into corners quite nicely. Also, you have variable tuning if you really want to go deep deep....

          The MFW is big.
          Never Argue With An idiot. They'll Lower You To Their Level And Then Beat You With Experience!


          • #6
            Cylinders are what I originally looked at (when SVS only had cylinders!), but the taller (deeper extension) versions would not fit the decor well - the wife said no - they look odd. So, box it is! Now, which one? We'll see...


            • #7
              I'd like to post a pic, but I can't yet, so here's a link to a photo of the room...

              The sub is currently near the front right speaker against the wall, but not quite in the corner. For a second sub, I've got room on this end of the couch on the right and either end of the couch on the left, but preferably this end.


              • #8

                How well are you building things? You might want to look at gr-research's servo sub. You can find additional information at


                • #9
                  The 46" models are more intruding. But I found I had all the extension I wanted with the 39" version. Also, you can use a port plug to go even deeper. I wouldn't recommend using more than 1 plug, though as port noise can become a slight issue if you play loud enough.
                  Never Argue With An idiot. They'll Lower You To Their Level And Then Beat You With Experience!


                  • #10
                    My tastes in subs aren't as explosive as the rest of the guys, I really annoys me when the house rattles. I like tight, tuneful bass and the Outlaw LFM-1EX has made me very happy. Its power is wasted on me because I turn it down to minimize the earth shaking thunder.


                    • #11
                      Tim, I can certainly agree with your wife about not putting a cylinder sub in your room, which looks very sweet. I think the Rythmic option would look great. I've never heard one either, but the reviews are very solid.

                      A nice piano finish mfw-15 would look great too, but I think you are smart to avoid that one for the time being.
                      As it turns out, I was never banned. I was wrong yet again. First Obama, now this. :)