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newbie subwoofer question

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by LilRed2, May 21, 2007.

  1. LilRed2

    LilRed2 Member

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    I'm just beginning to buy surround sound "stuff". My local stereo shop is convincing me that Paradigm is a good way to go, and what I've heard is good. I have a question about subwoofers, though.

    Paradigm and the stereo shop recommend the Paradigm PS-1000 10" subwoofer with the Studio 20 speakers I'm considering. However, I can pick up a used Servo 15 for slightly more money, or a used PW-2100 for somewhat less.

    Are subwoofers a case of "bigger is better", or would I be making a mistake by buying too big/too powerful of a subwoofer? I don't want to overwhelm the soundtracks of movies, or sway the music when I'm just listening to tunes.

    Any advice would be appreciated!

    John
     
  2. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Well-Known Member

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    Too small is a problem. Too big is never a problem (except for finances). When you hook up your system, you will have to calibrate each speaker so they all output the same dBs at the same master volume setting. Think of it as a "balance" knob for regular stereo, except you balance all the speakers. This includes the subwoofer. So when calibrated correctly (see the Primer for more info on calibration), there is no chance of the sub "overpowering" the other speakers, because it will be calibrated to the same output. However, there is a chance of an underpowered sub running out of steam before the desired volume is reached, causing a lack of bass or distortion.
     
  3. Paul_Dunlop

    Paul_Dunlop Well-Known Member

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    From what I have read, the used Servo is your best buy out of those 3

    You can look elsewhere for subs - they don't need to be Paradigm

    Sub brand does not need to be matched to the regular speakers
     
  4. Greg Gable

    Greg Gable Well-Known Member

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    I was unimpressed with all the Para subs except the Servo. The Servo is awesome! I tested the SVS pb12 plus 2 or whatever it is called side by side with the Servo in my home and performance was really close. Best bang for the buck goes to SVS and the SVS looks better if you dont mind the size.
     
  5. LilRed2

    LilRed2 Member

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    Thanks, guys!
     
  6. joseph westcott

    joseph westcott Well-Known Member

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    I second the servo 15! Very clean and quite powerful!
     
  7. Brian Elwood

    Brian Elwood Well-Known Member

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    When I got onto this forum I was asking about subs and people were BEGGING me to look seriously into SVS Subs. You can ONLY buy them on the internet.

    I purchased an SVS cylinder sub and I have literally had friends jaws drop when they hear it.

    I have had it for 3 years now and STILL it gives me a wow factor.

    google SVS! and go to the Speaker forum
     
  8. Chris Moe

    Chris Moe Well-Known Member

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    I am a proud owner of a Paradigm Servo-15 and if you can swing it with your budget go for it, it's a monster sub and probably the last subwoofer you will ever have to buy.
     
  9. LilRed2

    LilRed2 Member

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    I bought the used Servo 15. Time will tell how well I like it.

    This device will arrive without a user manual. Does anyone reading this list have one they could copy and e-mail? I don't know what is in the user manual - perhaps some hook-up directions or cautions.

    Thanks!

    John
     
  10. Chris Moe

    Chris Moe Well-Known Member

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    You won't really need a manual. You just plug the subwoofer into your receivers sub-out and then there is a gain knob on the back of the subwoofer which you set to your liking. If you have any questions during setup I am sure people here can lend you a hand
     
  11. joseph westcott

    joseph westcott Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations!!! That is a great sub with very low distortion and very accurate. Something that can not be said for many of the popular subs available today.

    To properly calibrate your new baby, you will need an SPL meter (Radio Shack is a popular choice) and a calibration DVDCD like Digital Video Essentials andor Rives Audio CD. I think the latter is better for audio but the DVE will get you 98% there with a capable DVD player with a repeatloop feature and will calibrate all of your displays in the house.

    Play with the placement until you get the flatest frequency response from 20Hz to 90 or 100Hz. If your AV receiver has EQ, remember you can only chop humps but not raise dips. Remember, corner placement may get you more dB, but is usually at the expense of a flat frequency response so do not be afraid to try a LOT of placement positions. This is a tedious process so take notes and experiment, experiment, experiment. Seating distance and location make big difference in ideal placement so no one position is right for everyone.

    If you need more calibration tips, let us know.

    Good Luck and enjoy!!!!
     
  12. Greg Gable

    Greg Gable Well-Known Member

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    Just happens to be my first choice in a sub...

    The owners manual has all of about 15 words and 3 pictures so just follow the advice above.
     
  13. LilRed2

    LilRed2 Member

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    Good info - thanks!

    How effective are the Audyssey EQ features? I'm thinking of an Onkyo 605, partly because of the Audyssey 2EQ feature. It is supposed to take sound measurements at 2 locations and adjust the different speakers to get the best sound at those two locations.

    Some of the Denon products use Audyssey MultEQ - that takes measurements at 6 locations and adjusts the speaker output.

    As you can see from the above statements I don't actually have the AV receiver yet. The Onkyo is supposed to be available after the end of this month. Is there a way I can hook up the sub to my old stereo receiver? I'm pretty sure it doesn't have a specific subwoofer out, but I'd sure like to know if this used sub actually works [​IMG] !
     
  14. joseph westcott

    joseph westcott Well-Known Member

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    My opinion is that they may work Okay for people with perfectly symetrical rooms and ideal conditions but for the average Joe, they are not quite there yet. I have the Audyssey MultiEQ in my Denon 3805 and it is not very accurate in my room. But, it does provide for a very flexible manual EQ that can be speaker specific (not sure why but it is possible) or global which is what I use. Unless you have some really fancy and expensive hardware and software that have sample rates unheard of in you average software package, you are better off with your SPL meter and adjusting the EQ manually. EQ should be used sparingly and correcting one frequency range can change the response of others so going back and checking is mandatory. I recommend EQ as a last resort and speaker placement should be exhausted before making final adjustemnts via EQ.

    If I were buying a new receiver, I think my priorities would be more aimed at video processing and switching capabilities and other features important to you. The Onkyo TX SR605 looks like a very capable AV receiver and the price is hard to beat for such a feature rich receiver with HD audio support and HDMI 1.3a support.

    http://www.gspr.com/onkyo/txsr605.html
     

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