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Sub recommendation for ML Ascent-i

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kamran

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Now that I have got my stereo setup with ML Ascent-i and Parasound A51/C2 I am need of a subwoofer without breaking the bank. My usage will be 40% music and 60% home theater. The room size is 14x23x14. I wanted to get ML Descent but it is out of my budget. My budget is $1500. I will be going with Theater-i and Fresco for center and rear speakers in the next 2-3 months.

At another forum people recommended HSU VTF-3 MK2 ($700) and SVS PB12-Plus/2($1400). I want to get your expert advice and recommendation. I also want to know what would I lose going with non-ML sub in stereo and HT.
 

aliveatfive

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Depth gets my vote too. I used one when I had Ascent is - a nice combination. Still use one for ht with my Summits.
 

Kaliar

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Another vote for a Depth !

The Depth is really a nice sub, clearly a fitting complement to a wonderful stat like your Ascent-i ! If you can, go for it ! ;)
 
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kamran

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I was hoping to get some details in comparing the two and a variety of recommendations and why people like a particular sub over the other. It appears that Depth is very popular on this forum.
 

aliveatfive

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Reason: the Depth was voiced to compliment ML electrostats. For a woofer, it's quite fast. Bass frequencies are reproduced the way they are heard in a live performance. I found that when properly positioned, you could not tell where the sub was in the room in which it was situated. (In other words, it did a disappearing act.)
 

LaserMark4

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Munster said:
I think the svs is superior performance-wise but if looks are important than the depth wins.
I second that! If you are looking for great performance at half the price, SVS/Outlaw/HSU is the ticket for GREAT musical subs that will shake the foundation.
 

roberto

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aliveatfive said:
Reason: the Depth was voiced to compliment ML electrostats. For a woofer, it's quite fast. Bass frequencies are reproduced the way they are heard in a live performance. I found that when properly positioned, you could not tell where the sub was in the room in which it was situated. (In other words, it did a disappearing act.)
Agreed here...if you are looking for transparency and clean bass, fast and robust at the same time, go for the Depth. Trust your ears and not specs...also listen the music with heavy bass content, like an organ in a church, listen for how the low notes are there with no boom or blast sound...with all respect, I like better quality than quantity!!! Happy listening,
Roberto.
 

DTB300

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Sub recommendation is tough due to each individual having a different opinion on how a sub "should" sound. Many different things to consider and think about
  • What is "musical" (a term defined many different ways) to one individual, is boomy to the next.
  • A good sub to one individual is high SPL levels, while quality not quantity is good to another.
  • The room has a great affect on how the sub will sound
  • Some love Ported Subs, other love Sealed Subs
  • Some prefer Servo controlled, others don't
  • Some love many small drivers, some love one large driver
  • Some base it totally on testing data
  • What is a "fast" bass driver? There are many discussions and document out on the net which discuss/argue this term.
  • Try to audition them at home if possible - Internet only companies to demo will/may cost you some cash to send them back if you do not like them, but don't rule them out if you can

Here is a site to read up on some testing:
http://www.avtalk.co.uk/forum/index.php?t=thread&frm_id=50&rid=0&SQ=0

Here is another site to read up on reviews:
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/masterindex_subwoofers.html

Then there is a forum where MUCH discussion goes on. The hard part is to weed through the many, MANY posts there and find the good posters who know what they are talking about:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=113

The three sites will give you some starting points, but remember reviews are someone's opinion, and testing data is, well, testing data, you do need to listen and make your own decisions.

I just went through some of this when purchasing a new sub, and I found for my tastes and my room, I prefered a sealed servo controlled sub. I already had the Velodyne SMS-1 for Bass EQing, and I also use some Bass treatments, but I could use some more.

Dan
 
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K

kamran

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DTB300 said:
Sub recommendation is tough due to each individual having a different opinion on how a sub "should" sound. Many different things to consider and think about
  • What is "musical" (a term defined many different ways) to one individual, is boomy to the next.
  • A good sub to one individual is high SPL levels, while quality not quantity is good to another.
  • The room has a great affect on how the sub will sound
  • Some love Ported Subs, other love Sealed Subs
  • Some prefer Servo controlled, others don't
  • Some love many small drivers, some love one large driver
  • Some base it totally on testing data
  • What is a "fast" bass driver? There are many discussions and document out on the net which discuss/argue this term.
  • Try to audition them at home if possible - Internet only companies to demo will/may cost you some cash to send them back if you do not like them, but don't rule them out if you can

Here is a site to read up on some testing:
http://www.avtalk.co.uk/forum/index.php?t=thread&frm_id=50&rid=0&SQ=0

Here is another site to read up on reviews:
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/masterindex_subwoofers.html

Then there is a forum where MUCH discussion goes on. The hard part is to weed through the many, MANY posts there and find the good posters who know what they are talking about:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=113

The three sites will give you some starting points, but remember reviews are someone's opinion, and testing data is, well, testing data, you do need to listen and make your own decisions.

I just went through some of this when purchasing a new sub, and I found for my tastes and my room, I prefered a sealed servo controlled sub. I already had the Velodyne SMS-1 for Bass EQing, and I also use some Bass treatments, but I could use some more.

Dan
I will go throught the posts. BTW, what did you end up getting for yourself?
 

jolen1aub

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You can't go wrong with ML subs

They matched my Ascents very well. My room size (15'x16'x11').
You can find them at Audiogon below $1400 used.

Try if you can audition the Depth at a local dealer with similar ML speakers that you have. Bring with you CDs that you are familiar with and trust your ears. Bottom line you have the last say if the ML sub is for you. Good luck.

:)
 

Rich

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I can't speak directly to the performance of the Depth, because I have limited experience with it. But I have a Descent matched with my Ascents and it is incredible. It matches up so well with my Ascents that I can't imagine using a different sub. My room size is 22'x20'x10' and the Descent fills it with deep tuneful bass that blends perfectly into the upper to mid bass put out by the Ascents. If the Depth is half as good as the Descent, I would highly recommend it to pair with your Ascent-i's. If you can wait and stretch your budget for a used Descent, I would recommend that route as well.

By the way, I also recognized a significant improvement in the upper to mid bass when I bi-amped my Ascents with Outlaw Audio 200 wpc monobloc amps on the woofers. These were reasonably priced and gave a noticable improvement in sound. Good luck with your decision.
 
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kamran

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Thanks everyone for the valuable informaiton. I'll start listening and see if I can find a used Descent. Will let you know what I end up getting, hopefully in the next 30 days.
 

mondoribo

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Forgot to mention...

My room is 25'Lx15'xW16'H and the Depth is plenty. Also, sub placement is important, e.g. placing in a corner vs. out in the room more. There will be room nodes where the bass frequencies cancel (and others spots where they reinforce). I found some interesting white papers on this on the Harmon Kardon web site. Let me know if you are interested and I can dig them up.
Jon
 

Dominick22

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OK,

I hate to do this, but I am about to rag on the depth,

I also have the Ascent i's and had to make a similar decision. I am asumming that you were not able to do a side by side comparison of the Descent and Depth? Tell me if this is so, because if it is, you are at a huge disadvantage to make your decision.
I did a side by side comparison of the 2 subs and obviously the Descent sounded better in multi channel music, but when the audition was done with a movie (Star Wars) The difference was HUGE. I decided right then that I was either getting the Descent or not getting a sub at all. This is what I would reccomend to you. Either wait and get the Descent, work a deal, get another sub, or whatever, but the descent is in a separate class from all other ML subs. I only say this because you list 60% as the time spent on Home theater use. You may be happy with the depth, which I would hope, but it will only be because you don't know what you are missing.
I hope this doesn't offend anyone as I recognize that it is only my opinion so it should be taken as just that.
I waited 2 more months before I bought my first Descent-Now I am looking to mate it with another!

Good Luck
Dominick
 
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kamran

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I did listen to both depth and descent and of course, descent sounded full and powerful and I really liked it. My only issue was the price, so I started looking at other available options with similar performance at lower price. Depth is what most on this thread recommended and seems very popular on this forum. I can possible stretch my budget to $2000 so I would have to settle for a used one or wait another month or so to save a little more.
 

SteveInNC

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I own Ascent Is and a Depth. A Descent is better, but it's also physically bigger and more expensive. Summits are better than Ascents, too...

I think that for the price and performance level of the system considered as a whole, the Depth pairs well with the Ascents. Your room size may be a factor here also. Mine is roughly 17x16x8 feet (5.2x4.9x2.4 meters). A Depth easily "thunders" this room when listening to HT sources or to quality music sources.

As another view, just to confuse the issue more, the sales mgr at the audio store where I buy my gear has Ascents and two Descents - he also lives in an apartment (you know the neighbors must hate him :) ). Of course, he gets to buy his gear at a discount...
 
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