Hsu STF-2 for music


New member
Username: Palmtree

Post Number: 3
Registered: Mar-06
Today I took delivery of new Hsu STF-2.

About a year and a half ago, after extensive research and listening, I put together what I hoped would be an entry level audiophile 2 channel system(music only):

Ohm Micro Walsh Tall speakers
Denon DVD-2200
Denon AVR-1804 receiver

I was not disappointed-- this system sounds great! Very musical, very quasi-real. But after listening with Sennheiser HD-580 headphones, I realized I was missing some low bass. Not that there wasn't bass through the Ohms, but I began to think I was missing some weight and heft, especially in heavy orchestral music. Also, at VERY loud levels, heavy orchestral music seemed to become a little hard, and more two dimensional. I didn't know if this was due to speaker or amplifier limitations.

So I began to think adding a subwoofer would be a good idea. But I was put off by thoughts of placement, integration, and calibration. I didn't want mar the great sound I had.

Finally, after reading about 3 trillion threads, I decided to pull the trigger on the Hsu. I figured if it didn't work in my dedicated music system, I'd use it downstairs in the home theater I'm putting together.

The Fed-ex man dropped it off 2 hours ago. Took all of 10 minutes to unpack it, hook it up, and change the setting on my receiver. Put the level at the 10 o'clock position. No calibration. Put the Hsu between the Ohms. My room is about 14' by 20', and opens via a staircase into the kitchen downstairs.

Holy crap! I've spent the last 2 hours resampling CD's. It's an absolutely amazing upgrade! First off, the weight and depth in symphonic music is now tangible. Beethoven and Wagner have an underpinning and power that they didn't before. And they were great before. The drums on Brubeck Quartet's Take Five sound like they're in the room. Johnny Cash sounds like, well, really sounds like Johnny Cash.

It's as if a burden has been lifted from the Ohms. As clear and real as they were before, now they really sing. It's like a layer of wax paper has been removed from the sound. And now, as loud as I go, the sound stays supple, the soundstage intact. Maybe the Outlaw 2150 I have on order will now be merely an aesthetic upgrade.

But it doesn't stop there. On all music, the sense of reality is much improved. I suppose(as I've read), that the subwoofer is creating a sense of space by generating ambient sound?! As I listen to Schiff playing from Book 1 of The Well Tempered Clavier, I'm aware that there's not a lot of deep bass for the Hsu to reproduce. But the sense of the piano being a real instrument in a real room is much higher! And sure enough, the woofer cone is vibrating.

So I'm posting this in an effort to give back to all the posters(and lurkers) who have contributed to my buying decision process. If you're on the fence, get off. You won't be sorry.

One last thing-- I'm not saying buy the Hsu. This isn't a commercial. I probably would have been just as happy with an Onix rocket, an SVU, Mirage, or other high quality, well regarded sub.

Silver Member
Username: Gavincumm

New York USA

Post Number: 919
Registered: Feb-05
trust me you wouldn't have been as impressed with the SVS. They are nowhere near as good for music until you get up to the ultra high end of their line, with the subs that have drivers on the side(s) of the woofer enclousure.

Silver Member
Username: Stone

West CoastUSA

Post Number: 178
Registered: Dec-03
I have been thinking about doing the same thing with my Ohm Micro Tall's. They sound very good but are far from bass heavy. However would prefer to to get a front firing sub since I live on the second floor of a shared home. Not sure yet if there would be less bass for the downstairs neighbors with a front firing sub.

Silver Member
Username: Rysa4

Post Number: 456
Registered: Jul-05
Stone--just get an Aurelex Gramma, your downstairs neighbors wont hear more than they already do, and subs perform better when decoupled from the floor/carpet ( thats why they come with spikes but an Aurelex is a beter solution )

Silver Member
Username: Stone

West CoastUSA

Post Number: 179
Registered: Dec-03
The Aurelex Gramma looks like a good solution unless a DIY alternitive is cheaper than 50 bucks.

New member
Username: Palmtree

Post Number: 4
Registered: Mar-06
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 01:33 am:

Stone--just get an Aurelex Gramma, your downstairs neighbors wont hear more than they already do, and subs perform better when decoupled from the floor/carpet ( thats why they come with spikes but an Aurelex is a beter solution )

The HSU manual says specifically that the sub is designed to fire down onto carpet.

How bout an Onix rocket ULW-10? $399 if you follow the link from the review on Audioholics.

Bronze Member
Username: Mrspeeed

Parts Unknown

Post Number: 39
Registered: Jun-04

Nice post. I have the same sub and will swear by it.

My bookshelf fronts are a decent speaker however they really lack in the low end as one would expect. I have traditionally set my cross over at 80 but just recently set it at 100. That extra burden taken away from my bookshelfs made an immediate difference.

Though it doesn't apply to you I would suggest for others that have this sub to set the cross over a little higher to really open up your speakers. I would have never thought to set the cross over at 100 but I am sure glad I did. It was not a question of what my speakers could handle but what the STF-2 could.


Gold Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 3809
Registered: Mar-05

just curious: are you running your Ohm speakers full-range or crossed over? If crossed over, what's your filter setting?

New member
Username: Palmtree

Post Number: 5
Registered: Mar-06
I've been experimenting with the crossover set at 60, 80, or 100. I find the Ohms' sound smoother, especially at higher volume, with the crossover at 80 or 100. I think I prefer the sound of the Ohms' with the crossover set at 100; they just sound effortless, but at this setting, it seems like I can localize the Hsu, so I think 80 is the best compromise.

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