Paradigm DSP-3200 vs SVS PB12-NSD?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by DaveF, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I could use some good old HTF insight: Paradigm PSD-3200 vs SVS NSD-PB12? The price is the same (give or take $50).

    If you've followed my little soap opera, you know I'm shopping for a new 5.1 (or more) speaker system. I've decided on a Paradigm Monitor system and was planning on getting the Paradigm DSP-3200 sub. It sounds good at the store, fits my budget, and has WAF in size and style (rosenut finish, matches rest of kit).

    But having watched SVS from afar for nearly a decade, I emailed them and asked for an equivalent SVS sub. They responded in great detail, advising the PB12-NSD would perform as good or better, at my price point, with lower extension to sub-20 Hz. I have no reason to doubt SVS, but I always look for confirmation on bold sales claims :)

    Buy blind and go with SVS and really get better performance? Or is Paradigm just dandy for the price?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    If looks are important, Elemental Designs now has subs available in hardwood finishes.
     
  3. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Looks are relevant, but not the driving factor.

    I'm specifically interested in SVS vs Paradigm comparison. The broader question is whether the online sub people provide significantly better value than the retail / brand-name products? Or is it, for equal cost, about the same performance no matter which (reputable) manufacturer you buy from.
     
  4. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    The internet direct companies provide much more sub for your dollar. Paradigm has to sell through a retailer who will mark up the price. They may even have a wholesaler as the middle man. Based on that, they have to cut corners at every step to turn a profit. Yes, they are getting some of their parts cheaper because they buy in bulk.

    On the other hand, SVS has one of the best transducer engineers in the world working for them. Since leaving TC Sounds and going to work at SVS, he has re-vamped their entire driver lineup and brought all driver manufacturing in-house. I've even used some of his hand-made drivers from the TC Sounds days and they were amazing.
     
  5. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Thanks for the perspective. Do you think that applies to their conventional speakers (bookshelves, towers, centers)?

    I've since realized that even their smallest, cheapest box sub is quite large. Even to me, wanting such a sub-sonic box in my price range, it's a tough fit for my room. I'm now re-considering one of the cylinder subs, as well.

    It turns out one of their employees lives near me, and has offered a demo of his MTS system, albeit with a much larger sub. We're trying to work out a time that works for both of us. Really hoping to give it a listen.
     
  6. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    I've never heard their full range speakers but I bet they are just as good.

    The cylinders are great when you can't give up floor space but can go vertical. It also helps since tuning these subs low requires long ports. I recently finished a DIY cylinder sub that was painted yellow and white to match the wall and trim of a family member's living room. I'm making a pair of passive cylinder subs for me using used SVS Plus drivers.
     
  7. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    The cylinder may be a good solution for my room. Glad to hear they're still considering a quality product and good sub design. SVS seems to be putting ever more emphasis on their box subs. To a layman like me, it's hard to know if it's because boxes are better or boxes sell better.
     
  8. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Boxes with furniture quality finishes have a higher WAF. A few months ago, my wife asked how much longer my 15" subs would be mounted in their test boxes. I figured after a few years she would have gotten used to them especially since we watch TV in total darkness. Nope. It has bugged her for this long and she just couldn't take it any longer.
     
  9. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I need to show my wife the cylinder sub pictures and see if they are acceptable.

    A pity, for me, that SVS doesn't have "furniture finish" in their cheaper subs. Paradigm has a nice faux rosenut finish on a $600 sub. Paradigm doesn't get into that until you break $1000. I'm also a little anxious about whether the fabric wrapper on the cylinder subs are magnets of pet hair...
     
  10. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Yes, it will be a pet hair magnet. I have to use duct tape instead of a regular sticky lint brush to get the cat hair off of my speaker grills.

    Another option is to order a bare box sub from someone like ED and finish with a hardwood. It can be done with minimal power tools. Here is an example of an MDF box wrapped in oak. http://www.danmarx.org/audioinnovation/tc3000.html
     
  11. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Tonight I spent about 3 hours with an SVS sales pitch and MTS speaker demo tonight. :) The subwoofers shown exceed anything I'd buy, but it was remarkable to hear what the low-end sounds like :). Some great customer service.

    And he also noted that a lint brush will take pet hair off the cylinder sub's fabric cover.
     
  12. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    That must've been a blast. I envy you that experience.
     
  13. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    It really rattled my cage, so to speak, in that the setup wasn't that outrageous. I could achieve such a system if I chose to spend my money that way (and had spousal approval to "decorate" the living room). Granted, the SVS gentleman has some benefits in more affordable access to certain pieces of HT gear. But his system was less costly than what is commonly discussed by aficionados in these type forums.

    My guess: it was about $12k in gear (speakers, projector, receiver, monoblock amps, room treatments). High-end, but obtainable if that's one's priority.

    So now I've got external amps and room treatments on the brain. External amps could be a gift in the future years. Room treatments, though, are not an option in the living room


    The sub's performance was nothing I've heard in a home before. Rich, deep, clothing-moving performance. And perfectly integrated with the surround speakers. It was gorgeous at times. And movies were a different experience. I hope to capture some bit of that with my upgrade.
     
  14. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Too cool.
     
  15. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    I'll bet you could achieve that only a a slightly lower SPL by going with one of the ported NSD subs. Add a $100 Behringer Feedback Destroyer to achieve a flat response.
     
  16. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Good tips. While I don't see the BFD in my near future, I'm hoping MultEQ will do some good.

    My SVS contact gave me similar practical advice -- I asked him what I should expect with a lower end sub in my open-floor plan living room. He acknowledged, on multiple fronts, I can't get Reference Level from my current system. But he noted that I can choose my priorities between bass extension and SPL with port plugging.



    One remaining anxiety, regarding these speakers is they are both lower efficiency (~89 dB/V) and 4-ohm and I have a modest Onkyo 707. The Paradigms have a much higher efficiency (~95 dB/V) at 8-ohms, which (I think) means higher SPL from my receiver before it distorts.
     
  17. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Sort of. Louder with less power output from the receiver. Less power output from the receiver means less amp distortion. That doesn't mean you aren't already driving the speakers into mechanical distortion.

    My DIY speakers aren't very efficient and I can turn them up to ear bleeding levels. My Pioneer VSX-1014 is drawing so much current that the UPSs that keep my DVRs running will kick in due to low voltage. And this is with my sub on a separate 20 amp circuit. Get what sounds good to you because they will all get into hearing damaging levels if you want them to.
     
  18. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Helpful perspective.

    I guess, if I really have volume issues that need improvement, I can follow the urging of my SVS contact: buy another toy.
     
  19. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    My Pioneer is 5x110. The difference between 5x125 and 5x110 when driving the exact same speakers is probably .1db. While my Pioneer is straining, that amp is probably just loafing along.
     
  20. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I don't know about your receiver. Most mid-range receivers, like my Onkyo, are described as ~100Wx5, but perform at ~100Wx2 continuous. That external amp claims 125Wx5 continuous. I can imagine could matter when watching an action movie at reference level.

    I assume that I'll be fine with my Onkyo. But if I do find I need more power, I now know where to start looking and have a new item for some gift-giving holiday :)
     

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