HSU Research VTF-3 Subwoofers

VTF-3

Built-in 250 Watt amp. 18 Hz maximum extension. 30-90 Hz, 24 dB/Oct bypassable low pass filter. 2003 Editor''s Choice Gold Award in Stereophile Guide to Home Theater.

User Reviews (21)

Showing 1-10 of 21  
Greg   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 04, 2010]

A great true sub for the price. Hits 15htz without complaint. Tight and accurate bass. A joy to own.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
vforrest   AudioPhile [Mar 16, 2004]
Strength:

Fast, tight bass; easy to adjust to match speakers. Goes really deep. Dr. Hsu modified the amp to make it more compatible with my preamp; try finding another company that would do that!

Weakness:

Power cord should be replaced for best performance. My Blue Marble Audio power cord made the Hsu faster, deeper, and tighter. It wasn't bad to start with, but the Blue Marble cable made it even better.

Fantastic, musical sub that is easy to integrate with demanding main speakers.

Similar Products Used: M&K
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
johnwalker   AudioPhile [Mar 10, 2004]
Strength:

The real and credible reviews speak for themselves

Weakness:

Keeps you listening to your audio system over and over again.

You are right, looks like some SVS lowlife has tried to bring down the rating of this highly rated product. This reflects very poorly on the company and it's owners in my opinion. The VTF-3 is also not less musical than the VTF-2. Far from it, the VTF-3 improves on VTF-2 in every way while retaining the musicality. My goodness where do these reviews come from!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
BillGrahamTheThird   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 09, 2004]
Strength:

Very high quality internals, excellent definition to the bass, very very musical, lowww frequency response, extremely high output, non-pushy marketing from the company

Weakness:

Trolls who are attached to other companies and spread negative and false reviews about this wonderful product

What a wonderful product! For the price, I cannot think of any other subwoofer that has such a good combination of sound quality and features for music and movie. Well done Dr. Hsu!

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
WallySeagal   AudioPhile [Mar 05, 2004]
Strength:

Performance-to-Price ratio; Feature content; High Output-per-Size capability

Weakness:

None at this price

This sub is the sub to beat in the 700 US dollar price range. The VTF-3 sounds significantly more musical than the SVS PB1-ISD, plays louder, looks better, has more features. No comparison really. The Hsu has more amp power and more porting that helps it get louder; The Hsu has perhaps a better quality driver with 20 pound magnet that helps it sound better; The Hsu has ability to tune lower than 20Hz, that helps it have more features; The Hsu has a smoothed out Ascend-type finish that helps it look better.

Similar Products Used: SVS PB1-ISD Paradigm PW2200 Velodyne CHT-15
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Tom Beckley   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 07, 2003]
Strength:

Deep bass response (sub 20 Hz) Beautiful rosewood cabinet Tunable configuration is very helpful Incredible service and support

Weakness:

None

I have the VTF-3 in a rosewood cabinet. This is an incredible piece of equipment. Hz responsiveness and clarity for music and home theatre is remarkable for the price. And the service and responsiveness from Dr. Hsu and his staff is even more impressive. Everyone in my family and every friend that has heard my system (I have Axiom speakers with a Yamaha RCV1400 receiver) is blown away. I can't say enough positive things about Hsu Research.

Similar Products Used: First standalone powered subwoofer, but have used many high end speakers before.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Justin Busch   AudioPhile [Jul 29, 2003]
Strength:

Just about impossible to improve on for the money. Excellent SPL capability, integrates well with my NHT speakers, very low distortion.

Weakness:

Maybe not fair to ask at the price, but something like Infinity's RABOS would help smooth out the in-room response a bit.

My system: Lexicon DC-1, Harman/Kardon Signature 2.0 amp, NHT SuperTwos (front), SuperCenter (center), SuperOnes (surround), Pioneer DVL-909 LD/DVD player, H/K FL8300 CD player. I heard the Hsu VTF-3 at the Home Entertainment 2003 show in San Francisco. I had not particularly been in the market for a sub, having lived happily with a Definitive PF-15TL since 1998. However, Dr. Hsu had quite an impressive demonstration going, including a very cleanly reproduced 16 Hz pipe organ note from a recording of Saint-Saens' 3rd symphony. The demonstration was so effective that I went through it 5 times in 2 1/2 days at the show. Since Dr. Hsu was offering the new VTF-3R for about the same as the regular VTF-3 (the difference being a nice rosewood veneer instead of black paint), I purchased the 3R at the show. Based on my show experience, I expected it would absolutely kill the Definitive sub. So I was quite surprised when the Definitive was able to keep up with the Hsu in reproducing the same pipe organ material in my living room. More listening over the course of a week revealed the Hsu's advantages. It produces significantly less distortion than the Definitive, something which becomes easily audible when the subs are played alone, with the main amps turned off. It also is somewhat better damped than the Definitive, something which is clearly audible with solo bass guitar (try the first track of Geddy Lee's solo album, "My Favorite Headache"). I haven't seen distortion specs for the Definitive, and I don't have an oscilloscope at home to do them myself. The VTF-2 has been measured as having 1.7% distortion at 30 Hz w/90 dB SPL, and even lower distortion at higher frequencies (The Audio Critic, issue 27). I would guess that the VTF-3 (regular or R version) is at least as good in that respect. It certainly sounds it. SPL measurements with the Pierre Verany test discs, Hsu test disc, and Radio Shack meter suggested that the two subs were actually pretty closely matched in my room, being about 1-2 dB apart at all frequencies, and both flat to about 20 Hz (and 6 dB down at that 16 Hz pipe organ note). That's about the limit of the meter's accuracy, so essentially the room is in control, rather than either of the subs. This is not the same room where I measured the PF-15TL as being 6 dB down at 20 Hz (in my review from January 1999). Clearly, my current living room is more sub-friendly. I ended up deciding to keep the Hsu in my primary system, and have relegated the Definitive to my home office system. While the two are pretty evenly matched in terms of in-room response, the Hsu is clearly a lower-distortion device. It's also much more attractively finished than the Definitive (I would not say that if I had bought the regular VTF-3). Overall, I'm very happy with the Hsu VTF-3R. It plays with very low distortion, can get louder than I can tolerate, and is quite attractive to boot. It's a better sub than the Definitive, for more money. Seems fair enough.

Similar Products Used: Definitive PF-15TL
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Dave Muller   Audio Enthusiast [May 15, 2003]
Strength:

Tight powerful bass and great customer care and support.

Weakness:

Could use a bit snazzier logo plate, maybe a diecast version to more proudly show-off the Hsu brand name

I upgraded from a pair of older classic NEC 12" Subs to this single VTF-3, and am amazed at what bass punch and clean low-end power I have been missing all these years. It makes you want to re-listen to everything you have, whether vintage albums or movies or old reels of your grandparents travels. When you don't need the bass, it is so transparent you cannot tell if it is even on -- and then whammo! Yeah, it's hsuu good! As for the look, I really like the thick pebbled texture and robust strength of the enclosure. My unit arrived with a very slight surface imperfection, and Mr. Hsu promptly took great care of the problem and compensated me accordingly. I can't recommend highly enough for any audio system.

Similar Products Used: Velodyne servo 1200 NEC SW-300E
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
Porknbeans   Audio Enthusiast [May 08, 2003]
Strength:

Price, Quality-( build and sound) and Service. Hsu research was VERY quick to answer all of my questions. NICE FOLKS!

Weakness:

My back may never be the same after moving this beast.

There is not much more to say! The other reviewers have pretty much covered it. TIGHT, CLEAN, LOW Hz, & POWERFULL! I had to move a wall clock because this sub was making it run way too fast. LOL. Anyway...If you are even thinking about getting an EXCELLENT sub..The VTF-3 should be on your list. You will not regret it............

Similar Products Used: Klipsch
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Rodman   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 25, 2003]
Strength:

Tight bass, Competitive price, outdoes or equals subs costing up to Two grand (read about it)Works best with both ports open-max output in my room.

Weakness:

Can shake drywall loose at joints.

I defaulted into another speaker purchase when my Infinity HPS-1000 continued to malfunction. It had 1000watts a 15 inch driver. Now I say this to compare - The VTF-3 had great reviews and I decided to order it. Compared to what I had - ITS GREAT! My room config is similar to the other reviewer with the family room and the kitchen-large room. I have 4 subs and I literally had to turn them ALL lower after the purchase of this. Also, without any equipment but my ears I can honestly report that this is a MUSIC sub. Great for movies but a MUSIC sub. I had to turn the HPS off for music but this sub enhances it - tight non booming bass classical and jazz are terrific. I ran the test cd and actually felt the lower HZ but did not hear anything. That is lower than I have ever experenced with the other subs. I went to the local highe end hi-fi store and heard the boomy Velodyne models they had for $1100 and $1900 and there was no comparison. One actually rattled across the store's wood floor - all noise no feel during the movie segment I chose to bring with me to play/test these subs. Nice sub.

Similar Products Used: Infinity HPS-1000, NHT SW-1, Infinity Overture 2 w/built-in subs. It outdoes all of these! I still have all except the HPS.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 21  

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