Test Report: Hsu Research VTF-15H Subwoofer Page 3

"Effortless" is the first word in my listening notes for the VTF-15H, and it's one that came to mind over and over again. None of the toughest bass tests I know of, including the opening scene of Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones, the depth-charge scene in U-571, and pipe-organ showcases such as Jongen's "Symphony Concertante," and Saint-Saëns' "Symphony No. 3," could faze the VTF-15H. Despite the fact that these tracks contain some of the most intense low bass I've heard (as low as 16 Hz on "Symphony No. 3"), the VTF-15H coasted through them as easily as if they were solo flute recordings.

To sum it up, the listener will distort (i.e., throbbing head, aching eardrums, bruises inflicted by aggrieved cohabitants) before the VTF-15H does. In terms of sheer output, it's the most capable subwoofer I've tested. If the VTF-15H can't shake your couch, your name must be Fred Flintstone.

Not only was the output incredible, the entertainment experience it delivered was singular. I felt the spaceship explosion that opens Attack of the Clones in my chest, the same way you feel it when the driver of a semi-trailer truck starts his engine as you're walking by. Movies, especially, benefited from this seemingly direct interface between the subwoofer and the listener's body; action-movie scenes became much more involving and entertaining.

My adjustments and tweaks got the VTF-15H singing the wonderful, melodic bass lines from Steely Dan's "Aja," pulsing with the English Beat's "Hands Off She's Mine" and perfectly plucking out the delicate lines of jazz virtuoso Marc Johnson on my vinyl record of the Bill Evans/Toots Theilemans collaboration Affinity. However, while I'd rate the VTF-15H a little above average in pitch definition, subtlety, and detail, I have heard a few subs that sound more melodic. Given that many of the big bruiser subs out there aren't terribly musical (and cost a lot more), the VTF-15H's achievement in this case is as surprising and impressive as a WWF wrestler dancing "Swan Lake."