SVS: Love and Hate

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Nick Breckon, May 15, 2004.

  1. Nick Breckon

    Nick Breckon Stunt Coordinator

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    So I absolutely love my PC+ SVS. But I often end up loathing it at the same time. I'll make this short and sweet. This is what usually ends up happening.

    Here I am, watching Master and Commander, completely blown away by the bass I'm getting, and on the VERY last gunblast, the sub bottoms out. This makes me so paranoid that for the rest of the movie I'm forced to lower the volume, freak out, worry about the sub, etc.. pretty much everything besides concentrate on the movie. This usually happens at the start of a movie too.

    The thing that's especially aggravating is that different movies are mastered at different settings. There's no real "reference", no matter how many times you calibrate by a disc. I'm forced to guess how hard I can push the sub on each specific DVD, and again, it makes me paranoid to the point where I often can't enjoy it. If I bottom the sub out on a movie, the next time I watch that movie is spent fiddling with the receiver rather than simply watching it. It's just entirely too much work.

    The problem is, my ideal setting is usually about five decibels too loud for the sub to handle. Five lousy decibels. The only thing I can think of, short of playing with the phase dial (which has yet to make any difference to me), is to go out and buy a second PC+, which I'm sure SVS would love. And so would I. But damn they're expensive. I wish they'd put an inhibitor on them. I know the reasons why they don't, but still. This is happening so often that it's seriously irking me. Damn my large room.

    Anyone have similar experiences with their sub/SVS? Or any suggestions so I can sleep better at night?
     
  2. KeithY

    KeithY Stunt Coordinator

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    How big is you room?
     
  3. Ned

    Ned Supporting Actor

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    Serious lack of info [​IMG]
     
  4. Nick Breckon

    Nick Breckon Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, lack of info because I've been through the whole calibration/room size stuff before. This was more just getting my frustration out there. Anyway, room size is 4700 cubic feet, plus a large opening to a kitchen. I'm guessing you'll all just tell me to buy another PC+ because I'm expecting too much. Am I right?
     
  5. Tom Vodhanel

    Tom Vodhanel Cinematographer

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    Hi Nick,

    All of the powered SVS subwoofers have fairly advanced limiters built in. However, there is always a balance that needs to be struck in these regards because the same limiters that can protect the driver from over excursion often flatten the dynamics of the subwoofer at moderate to loud levels. How old is your PC+? Also, do you have the subwoofer in a corner of the room---preferably a corner near the key seating positions? Lastly, if you don't have it set to 25hz mode(all ports open, amp set to 25hz)...be sure to try that.

    Tom V.
    SVS
     
  6. frank manrique

    frank manrique Supporting Actor

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    Quote:

    "Anyone have similar experiences with their sub/SVS? Or any suggestions so I can sleep better at night?"

    Nope...not me since I don't have that "problem"...but then my 8-SVS 16-46 (passive) handle dynamics with ease even at high sound pressure levels. [​IMG]

    Perhaps you ought to consider getting another SVS sub to increase playback dynamic range. I really believe you won't be losing any sleep then!... [​IMG]

    -THTS

    '...hi, my name is Frank...and am an SVS bassaholic..."
     
  7. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    Hi Nick:

    This is a VERY valid point, and one which is lost on many people.

    Underworld is probably the worst case I have ever seen. During my PB2-Ultra review, I recorded the highest SPL bass peak of any DVD I have ever tested on Underworld at -13!! And my system is very carefully calibrated to RL (MV at 0.0 Avia calibration 85 dB) and the sub is only running maybe 2 dB hot (correction factor included).

    This compared to both Reloaded and Revolutions (known bass fests) which were reviewed AT reference level with NO problems and with lower SPL bass peaks than I encountered on Underworld at -13!

    This type of disparity between DVDs is totally ridiculous and CAN result in equipment damage if the user isn't aware of the potential for such huge differences between DVD mastering levels.

    Anyway, M&C is a brutal track, and the last cannon shot is indeed a doosey. Since the dB scale is log10, that "five lousy decibels" is atcually a huge increase in volume, particularly where subwoofers are concerned. Adding a second subwoofer in the same location will yield a 6 dB increase in headroom - about what you need.

    People's tastes in bass vary widely. If a single PC+ (optimized for location and tuning, etc.) is not enough for your needs and your room size, then you really should consider a second PC+, or a PB2+.

    I owned a 20-39PC+, and similar to you, I often worried about playback level and hurting the sub, although I was careful to never bottom it. With the PB2 series (Plus and now Ultra), those worries went right out the window - I can play my system at RL (wherever that may be on the MV scale) without constantly wondering if the sub can take it. The PB2+ is the best thing since sliced bread for bass heads with bigger rooms - it is virtually bulletproof in the 25 Hz tune (all ports open and tune switch to 25 Hz) and still gets down to 20 Hz with total authority in most rooms.

    Regards,

    Ed
     
  8. frank manrique

    frank manrique Supporting Actor

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    quote:

    "This type of disparity between DVDs is totally ridiculous and CAN result in equipment damage if the user isn't aware of the potential for such huge differences between DVD mastering levels."

    Indeed!

    On the otherhand, there also exist DVDs whose levels are so low that with audio processing equipment such as those made by Lexicon (I use a DC-1, Version 4.0 pre/pro) and other playback gear combination that one can barely hear what's going on even when the volume control is cranked all the way up. Truly frastuating!
    I encountered this phenomenon with couple of live jazz concert DVDs some time ago (can't remember the titles at this moment, but will post that information later on)...

    -THTS

    "...hi, my name is Frank...and am an SVS bassaholic..."
     
  9. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    I'm guessing you'll all just tell me to buy another PC+ because I'm expecting too much. Am I right?

    I guess this is what it boils down to Nick. If you have done what Tom V suggests> what els is there that one can do with out putting constraints on your sub?

    In my leaky 2880 cf HT room running one CS+ would foot the bill in my placement option close to seating. But two placed in the FR corner would give me a very good amount freedom. With three a guy is just idling along no matter what comes his way. (totaly worry free) at any level of playback.

    In a room your size with the level of performance it requires, in my mind dual (or better) are very much warranted. It will not only give you the headroom you desire but add a substantial amount performance/quality to your bass experience. If your budget allows,? imo you would consider it $$ well spent after the fact. That has been my experience anyway and I haven't ever heard of anyone regretting it after doing so.

    Limiters are just what the name implies. SPL in the lower freqs are very desirable by many. So the right sub or right amount of (personal preference) tuned subs will stand up to the plate and deliver.

    Say if a guy goes elk hunting with a 22 rifle.> If the Game Wardin officer Stadinkoe stops him, it's going to be very hard for him to talk his way out of getting a ticket.[​IMG]
     
  10. John F. Palacio

    John F. Palacio Supporting Actor

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    Hello, Nick. As I see it, you have several options:

    1- Optimize the sub's location to obtain higher room gain and therefore more headroom. (Follow Tom Vodhanel's recommendations)

    2- Get a second sub and collocate it. This will give you an additional 6dB headroom.

    3- Sell your sub and get a higher output one with more headroom.

    4- Play your movies at a lower volume and/or with lower setting on your sub.

    5- Take Sominex.
     
  11. Dan Halchak

    Dan Halchak Stunt Coordinator

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    B4+ is your only hope! MWAAA HA HA HA [​IMG]

    Seriously, it just sounds like you need to do some type of upgrade so that you don't have your worries!!! Not a complex problem there.... [​IMG]
     
  12. John F. Palacio

    John F. Palacio Supporting Actor

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    Exactly. After all, it's only money! [​IMG]
     
  13. BrianKR

    BrianKR Second Unit

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    Darn you Dan you beat me to it![​IMG]
     
  14. Ronneil Camara

    Ronneil Camara Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey guys,

    I am new to HT and I also have the 20-39Pci. I would like to know what it means or what it sounds like when the subwoofers gets bottom out so that in the future, I know what to do?

    Thanks.

    Ronneil
     
  15. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I've never bottomed out my 20-39PCi but it's supposed to make a "CLACK" sound. I've read it's rather obvious so when you hear it you will know.
     
  16. Nick Breckon

    Nick Breckon Stunt Coordinator

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    Ugh. Thanks for the replies guys. My PC+ is only about two months old, and already I need an upgrade, eh? Wish I had just gone with the PB2+ to begin with now. Seems like that'd take care of it more than another 6 decibels might. Not sure I'll have the cash to do it for quite a while though.. [​IMG]

    And thanks for the comments on bass disparity. It really does bug me. I guess the only way to conquer the problem is to overbuy. Wish I had paid attention to you months ago and gone for the PB2+, Tom V. At the time it was just hard to fathom why I'd need a $1200 subwoofer.

    At the time.

    Oh, and to the guy wanting to know what a bottoming sounds like - you'll know. Trust me. If I can hear it over 100+db of cannon-firing carnage, and still freak out enough to immediately hit mute, you shouldn't have a hard time.
     
  17. Ronneil Camara

    Ronneil Camara Stunt Coordinator

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    Is this problem normal to other subwoofers too?
     
  18. Matt_Smi

    Matt_Smi Second Unit

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    Yes just about any sub can bottom out if pushed too hard. I don’t think I have ever bottomed out a sub, I never heard any type of clack from my old Sony SAWM40 and I have not heard it from my HSU STF-2 either. I can relate with you though Nick, I have often found myself worrying more about my sound system that what is going on in the move, mainly with my old Sony though, with the HSU it is much better [​IMG] Does anyone know how bad it is to bottom a sub? I would think a few times would not hurt much, but doing it over and over would.
     
  19. Nick Breckon

    Nick Breckon Stunt Coordinator

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    Okay, possible problem here? I just made a double-check of the settings, and lo-and-behold, my subsonic filter was set to 12hz. I don't think I've ever touched that since getting it in the mail. I've got a 20-39PC+, so I'm guessing I should have had it set at 20hz. Would this be making a significant difference as far as bottoming it out?
     
  20. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    Bottoming out a SVS sounds like two bowls being hit together from the back side. Not very pleasant.

    Sorry Nick that you need more. You do have allot of space to fill but it is very doable when funds permit.

    EDIT> HOLY MOLY! Yes, setting the Filter to 20 hz will be a definite help.[​IMG]
     

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