SVS PB10-ISD Subwoofer Test & Review

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Edward J M, Oct 9, 2004.

  1. TonyWright

    TonyWright Second Unit

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    Outstanding review Ed!

    I sent to link to my father who I am trying to convince he needs to invest in an SVS. This may just do the trick!


    Thanks for all the hard work!


    Tony
     
  2. kevin tate

    kevin tate Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow, the long awaited review is finally completed & published. This is one of the most anticipated reviews for many forums. Ed, thanks for another excellent review, and congrats on being published on Secrets.
     
  3. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    Thanks guys - it was a lot of hard work, and I had some trusted and respected peers in the forum community review the draft before submittal, and they made helpful suggestions, too.

    I'm also pleased that my objective findings and opinions stated in my product reviews have been consistently corroborated by other owners, and other reviewers. The PB12-Ultra/2 is the latest example; my comments about its sound quality and the TV-12 driver in particular, have been mirrored by other reviewers and by new owners - especially those who have heard both the PB12-Plus/2 and the PB12-Ultra/2.

    I stand by my objective data (which is repeatable for any third party), and my subjective opinion of the PB10-ISD. I'm confident once it hits the streets that others will find it equally impressive and that it lives up to its billing. [​IMG]

    Regards,

    Ed
     
  4. MikeDuke

    MikeDuke Stunt Coordinator

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    ED,
    I wish to add my praise. Very well writen and thought out. It is obvious that a lot of hours and hard work went into that review.
    Mike D
     
  5. EdNichols

    EdNichols Second Unit

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    How does the output of the PB10 compare with the PB12's?
     
  6. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    Very close at 20-22 Hz, and above 25 Hz the PB12-ISD will exhibit a 2-3 dB advantage, simply due to its larger driver (40% more surface area).

    The reason the PB10-ISD performs so well at 20-22 Hz is because it has a deeper tuning point and a large amount of enclosure volume, which helps improve efficiency/output down deep.
     
  7. ScottCarr

    ScottCarr Second Unit

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    Ed,

    Great job and I am looking at snagging 2 of the PB10s.

    Having had the PC+ and PB12+ and now dual PCU. FWIW I agree with the ultra driver and the sound.
     
  8. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    Hey Doc,
    You got a PM waiting for you at the "Other Place."
     
  9. GrahamT

    GrahamT Supporting Actor

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    Great work as usual Doc[​IMG]

    Frank, I think it's about time you got an SVS [​IMG]

    gate
     
  10. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    WAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHA!! That's some finny stuff!![​IMG]
     
  11. Zack_R

    Zack_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Great review Ed! I really like the consistency in your testing methodology. It helps out with the comparison I am attempting to make further down in the post.

    I've been following the review comments here and elsewhere and these our my observations (opinions).

    One of the reasons I feel the pb10-isd performed so well in the outdoor testing (besides quality parts and fabulous engineering) is due in part to the woofer and port being front firing.

    Even though the mic was at 2 meters from the sub and the frequencies are extremely long, it still could be close enough that meter reads higher than it would if the port was mounted to the side, top or bottom.

    I've never tested my csu outside but indoors I obtain higher readings when I locate the mic 3 feet directly above the ports. At 6 feet there is not much difference but this is also indoors where boundary enforcement can come into play making the distance a moot point. This may be the case for outdoors as well but I thought i'd post my thoughts on this.

    Anyway, I say all this because if you compare the indoors time stamp spls of both the PB10-ISD and the PB12-2U (in 20 hz tune, no less) from the same movies, the Ultra has anywhere from a 10-12 db advantage in most of the scenes.

    As an example, Matrix Rev. Driller Outrigger stomp Ultra = 114 db ; PB10-ISD = 102. Since it is well documented that tuning a sub down loses ~2db, a dual PCU set-up would likely achieve a db or 2 more output than the PB2-U achieved in those low frequency spl hits. This would create a gap of 12-14 db more than the single ISD. Therefore if you added a second PB10-ISD it would still fall well short of the dual Ultra in most cases(6-8db).

    So I think the spl attacks are proof to any doubters that ED did not massage any numbers for the PB10-ISD review. If he was going to play up the ground plane test numbers, wouldn't he have boosted the LFE numbers? The PB10-ISD is definitely one heck of a sub for the money but it does not violate the laws of physics. What it does though is just plain outperform many subs costing much, much more. That can be tough pill for some to swallow.

    Great review, great sub!


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  12. MikeNg

    MikeNg Second Unit

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    Wow. Nice write-up Ed.

    Has anyone done the math? Does the PB10 now represent the best bang/buck from SVS?
     
  13. frank manrique

    frank manrique Supporting Actor

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    quote:
    __________________________________________________ ________

    Frank, I think it's about time you got an SVS
    __________________________________________________ ________

    He, he, he...by George...I think you're right! [​IMG]

    Funny stuff, really...and it has taken a big bite out of the bitter pang I felt on account of what has transpired in a thread (now closed, of course) that someone started in the speaker Forum at AVS regarding SVS' "little big sub" review--"nightrain" was at it again with his usual vitriolic and venomous hateful biased ways, smearing all sorts of dirt (I would even say in a libelous manner, but then am not an attorney), paraded as "opinions," on SVS, Ed, Secrets, and anyone who owns or even merely admires the products made by this great American subwoofer manufacturer...all the while exhibiting abysmal ignorance about the laws of physics and what entails to conduct technical tests and their related methodologies.

    How the principals at AVS have tolerated this guy for as long as they have is truly beyond me... [​IMG]

    -THTS

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

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    Hi Zack:

    At 2 meters outside, you can rotate the subwoofer in any orientation (except with the woofer and port firing into the dirt) and it won't measureably affect the data. Anyone who ground planes regularly will support this.

    No, the PB10-ISD doesn't violate the laws of physics in terms of maximum output. The dynamic compression limit is 104-105 dB. The STF-2 for example is right behind at 102-103 dB. So don't expect it to "blow you away" like a PB12-Ultra/2 can. And my data certainly reflects that; in the 25 Hz tune the PB12-Ultra/2 can hit 118 dB ground plane before compression sets in. And this is also corroborated (as Zack states) in the DVD SPL peak testing.

    Here is where the PB10-ISD excels: From a dynamic compression and bandwidth linearity standpoint, a perfect subwoofer would have the same distortion limited output across its entire operating bandwidth, and this would ALSO represent its dynamic compression limit. The PB10-ISD almost perfectly exhibits this characteristic at 25 Hz and above. It does fall short at 20-22 Hz, but its performance there is still exceptional.

    Even at its maximum operating limits, it will exhibit less than 10% distortion at all frequencies above 25 Hz, with the 20-22 Hz bandwidth not far behind. In fact, while the amplifier will allow transients to occur in the 20-22 Hz bandwidth (as evidenced by the dynamic compression FR sweeps), it will ramp down any steady state signal in that bandwidth, thereby limiting distortion to between 3-8% (as evidenced by the THD tests).

    Translation: Even when pushed to its limits, the PB10-ISD remains very well behaved, with low distortion across the board, and exceptional bandwidth linearity from 20-80 Hz which approaches unity with its dynamic compression limits at all frequencies above 25 Hz. That is what's remarkable about the PB10-ISD. You'd swear this subwoofer had a servo under the hood if you didn't know better; all for $400.

    Hi Frank:

    I didn't have a chance to check out that AVS thread, and I'm not sure who nightietrain is?

    Regardless, my review is really comprised of two major components: Objective test data, and my subjective opinion on sound quality.

    The test data can be reproduced for any third party and I'm sure SVS can vouch for its veracity (since we both test ground plane at 2 meters), and I have no doubt it will be tested by others and found to perform the same.

    As for my subjective opinion on sound quality, I have found that my opinions and preferences correlate well with the objective data. If a sub rolls off early, or exhibits noticeable distortion/compression artifacts in the lowest octave, or has a large peak in the mid bass, these things can definitely be heard in music and movie demos.

    I try to describe how a scene or passage sounds to me - a tight sounding kick drum, a cleanly played organ note, good detail and timbre on the acoustic bass, or solid impact and foundation on a DVD special effect.

    Bottom line - when the PB10-ISD hits the streets, the new owners will be the best judge of its performance. Given how well it performs, I can't imagine anyone being anything but thrilled with this subwoofer, but SVS offers a 45 day in-home trial period just to be sure. [​IMG]
     
  15. Robb Roy

    Robb Roy Supporting Actor

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    Well, time for me to start adding my 2 cents about the PB10-ISD. I am one of the very lucky few (actually, Ed is the only other one I know of) to have one of these in his possession. I just got the thing hooked up on Saturday, and have been too busy to do much with it. One thing I did do, however, is integrate it into my HT, and turn off the PB12-Ultra/2. I’ve only been watching Deep Space 9 DVDs (not much bass to those) and music (background, not critical listening) but so far I do not miss the PB12-Ultra/2! I’m going to say more, especially over time, but I’m not sure I can give a subwoofer higher praise than that!

    Lest someone at another forum thinks I’m lying (Ron or Tom: did one of you guys run off with someone’s date at the prom or bully someone to the point of permanent psychological trauma?) here is a shot with and without the grill stacked on top of my Ultra:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Note for conspiracy theorists: I may make my living on the Internet, but I’m a software developer who wouldn’t know a Photoshop filter from a cigarette filter.

    Fortunately for my blood pressure, I did not see any of the thread at the other forum. In case anyone here has any doubts, I did do one quick test last night: Darla Tapping. At minus 5 from reference, I hit 105 dB uncorrected at the seating position in my 3,400 cubic foot room. I did not try to go any louder than that, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it could. I plan over the next couple of weeks to listen to some more material and get back to you all.

    BTW, if you are in the Phoenix area, I plan to hold a get together on the afternoon of the 23rd (probably) where we can listen to a PB12-Ultra/2, a PB10-ISD, and drink some beer with fellow enthusiasts. If you’re interested, PM me with your contact information, and you can listen to this guy before he officially hits the streets. Hearing is believing, and this thing is so good for a single 10” driver you’ve got to hear it for yourself.

    -Robb
     
  16. Ilkka R

    Ilkka R Second Unit

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    That sounds VERY good!
     
  17. kevin tate

    kevin tate Stunt Coordinator

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    Robb & Ed, what are the dimensions of your rooms (as measure in width, depth & height)?
     
  18. Robb Roy

    Robb Roy Supporting Actor

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    Kevin,

    My room is 20 x 22 x 7.5 - 8 (the ceiling is a different height in part of the room.

    -Robb
     
  19. Scott Goldsmith

    Scott Goldsmith Stunt Coordinator

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    Robb - do you think the sub would sound better/louder with it on the ground instead of ontop of the Ultra? I have no clue, just curious [​IMG]
     
  20. Robb Roy

    Robb Roy Supporting Actor

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    Scott,

    I suppose it's possible that placing it on the floor in that corner might reinforce it, but maybe someone with some *real* knowledge like Ed, Ron, or Tom can verify. For the purposes of the meet I intend to have both calibrated to the same levels and each Equalized with Rane PE17s. I also want it so that we won't be moving any subs so we can do some blind testing if we want.

    Speaking of Equalizing the second sub, I want to pass along a HUGE thank you to SVS for loaning me a second Rane so both subs can be equalized for the meet. I suppose a public thanks for allowing me to preview this thing is also in order!

    -Robb
     

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