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SVS PB10-ISD Subwoofer Test & Review

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

  1. Edward J M

    Edward J M Screenwriter

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    The SVS PB10-ISD Subwoofer Review is posted at Secrets of Home Theater and Hi-Fidelity.

    We can hold a discussion thread here, just like we normally would. I'd like to personally thank John E. Johnson for the opportunity to post a subwoofer review at Secrets.

    Regards,

    Ed
     
  2. Scott Goldsmith

    Scott Goldsmith Stunt Coordinator

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    GREAT review Ed, that little bugger sounds like a winner in that $400 class for sure!! Apartment dwellers will eat this sub up I am sure. I'm very tempted to get one for my bedroom or something, just too bad ass to pass up [​IMG] You never cease to amaze me with your review and detail.

    I need to PM you on a seperate question regarding the PB12-Ultra/2 and the ss setting.
     
  3. John E. Johnson

    John E. Johnson Auditioning

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    Ed jumped the gun a bit. The PB10 review is not published yet, since I am in the middle of editing it. It will be made live on Monday.

    John Johnson
    Editor - Secrets
     
  4. Edward J M

    Edward J M Screenwriter

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    Apologies, John. I didn't realize the review was still being finalized. Scott; you got a "Secret" peek - lucky dog. The rest of you people will have to wait another 48 hours. Sorry for the teaser - an honest mistake! :b

    Regards,

    Ed
     
  5. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    i saw it too!

    [​IMG]
     
  6. David Bikeman

    David Bikeman Stunt Coordinator

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    Nice write-up Ed. I'm trying to think of a reason to consider the Hsu but you've made it very difficult. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    David
     
  7. frank manrique

    frank manrique Supporting Actor

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    Ed,

    Congratulations! You have made the major league. [​IMG]
    Am looking forward to read your take on the little guy... [​IMG]

    -THTS

    "...hi, my name is Frank...and am an SVS bassaholic..."
     
  8. Yung

    Yung Stunt Coordinator

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  9. steve nn

    steve nn Screenwriter

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    Congratulations Ed. It seems a bit odd to read your Review on over at Secrets, but thats where it really belongs and Much deserved. Great work as expected[​IMG]
     
  10. Eric Hargrove

    Eric Hargrove Stunt Coordinator

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    Outstanding write up as usual Ed![​IMG] That it unheard of output for a $400 dollar subwoofer. Makes me think about purchasing one and with dual Ultras at this point, I really don't need one. I think if I could figure out how to cross it over, it would outstanding coupled with my Lsi7' for a 2 channel setup. Can you or Ron or Tom tell me how it compares to a 25/31 Pci?
     
  11. JackRI

    JackRI Stunt Coordinator

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    Location:
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    Jack Richard
    Ed,

    I always appreciate your plain language reviews that even non-techies like me can understand, and this one is no exception. Another great job. Thanks.
     
  12. frank manrique

    frank manrique Supporting Actor

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    Well Ed...what can I say but...told you so! [​IMG] What an incredible review of a product I predicted would set the entire subwoofer manufacturing community on fire! Ed, you're 'da man! [​IMG]

    Oh, by the way...that was kettle *drums* in reference to the Tchaikovsky Symphony #6 comments you made in the subjective section of your review, right?

    Also, am glad you enjoy listening to, and use acoustic instruments music--in progressive jazz form, no less!--from master musicians Dave Brubeck, Eugene Wright, Paul Desmond, and Joe Morello for audio reviewing purposes; a very telling and valuable tool!... [​IMG]

    -THTS

    "...hi, my name is Frank...and am an SVS bassaholic..."
     
  13. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Very nice Ed! [​IMG] Congrats on getting published by Secrets.
     
  14. Edward J M

    Edward J M Screenwriter

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    Glad to see the review hotlink went live a bit early. Boy, you guys are sure on the ball! [​IMG]

    I don't see it linked on the Secrets home page yet (a sure sign it is final), so I'm hoping no one jumped the gun again. Regardless, I'll still address comments posted here.


    I'm glad you appreciate the cross section of music I included in the review. Acoustic instruments are the best for evaluating the subjective qualities of a subwoofer, because we can compare to live music. I've certainly been to my share of night clubs and concerts over the years. [​IMG]
     
  15. Robb Roy

    Robb Roy Supporting Actor

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    The one disadvantage I can think of with having the review at Secrets is that if you needed to change anything, it would be more difficult. Then again, this is probably your most bullet-proof review to date, so I can't imagine needing to change anything.

    -Robb
     
  16. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

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    Ed,

    Wow. Thanks very much for the extraordinary job on reviewing our subwoofer. You got one of the few early units to go out and it's clear we chose wisely there.

    I must say I've never seen a review (either in print mags or on the web) done with more care and professionalism.

    All of us at SVS appreciate you taking so much time to do such a thorough job.

    Ron Stimpson
    Director, Sales and Marketing
    SV Subwoofers
     
  17. John E. Johnson

    John E. Johnson Auditioning

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    Quote -

    "The one disadvantage I can think of with having the review at Secrets is that if you needed to change anything, it would be more difficult. Then again, this is probably your most bullet-proof review to date, so I can't imagine needing to change anything."

    Actually, Ed did make some corrections to the semi-final draft. We can edit out mistakes or insert new info if needed just like you can here on the forum. It is the printed magazines that have a problem making corrections.

    JEJ - Secrets Editor
     
  18. Robb Roy

    Robb Roy Supporting Actor

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    John,

    Glad to see you're taking advantage of the medium! I wasn't sure if your publication policies allowed for the flexibility (obviously it does).

    -Robb
     
  19. Edward J M

    Edward J M Screenwriter

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    Actually, a HTF forum member just pointed out (in a PM) that I made a reference to disabling the low pass filter on the FR sweeps, when the PB10-ISD has no such feature. This was an oversight on my part and carry-over verbage (boiler plate) from a previous subwoofer review. It took John about 1 minute from receiving my email to correcting the report - now that's great response time! [​IMG]

    I received some other PMs about the disparity between the dynamic compression levels on the FR sweeps vs. the THD limits at 20 and 22 Hz.

    I am using different test signals for the FR vs. THD. The FR is measured with the TrueRTA QuickSweep which takes around 500-750 ms (I can ask John Murphy the exact time if anyone wants). I think it can be successfully argued that this type of sweep better represents actual music and movie transients with respect to measuring dynamic compression.

    Other testers (like SVS R/D) use a somewhat slower sweep like LMS. While LMS is certainly slower than QuickSweep, it by no means approaches steady state. It is my understanding that SVS R/D reached dynamic compression on the LMS sweep about the same point I did - around 104 dB. This is prima facie evidence that although LMS is slower than Quick Sweep, it is no more stringent with respect to revealing dynamic compression.

    For THD, I use strictly straight sines. According to designer Tom V, the PB10-ISD amp will react far differently to steady sines than it will to transients. The amp will start to motorboat on sines long before it limits out in a transient. Thus the disparity between the level of the dynamic compression FR sweep, and the THD values at 20 and 22 Hz.

    FWIW, SVS R/D also uses steady sines to measure THD. I do know that other testers (Nousaine, Yates) use some type of ramped sine burst to measure THD. They might indeed measure a somewhat higher value than I would on the same subwoofer at the lowest frequencies since the amp might not limit out with a ramped burst as it does with a continuous sine. In this respect, steady sines would be a more conservative means of measurement.

    Also, there is nothing saying a given subwoofer cannot play louder than its 10% distortion limit at a given frequency. I'm not suggesting this is a positive characteristic, I'm just saying it's certainly possible. The STF-2 is a perfect example of this; it exhibited dynamic compression at 102-103 dB in the 25-40 Hz bandwidth, but its 10% distortion output at 25 Hz was 92 dB. I didn't measure the distortion at 25 Hz @ 102 dB, but it most certainly would be much greater than 10% (assuming the amp didn't limit out first).

    Really, 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 trait at 25 Hz and above. It falls short at 20-22 Hz, but its performance there is still exceptional.

    Regardless, I test every sub in the same manner, so if there is any inherent bias in this methodology, it is applied equally to all products and thus ceases to become a variable in any comparisons. The most important thing to me is generating repeatable test data with consistently applied methodology under the same test conditions for every product tested. Then valid comparisons can be drawn.

    I switched to ground plane testing after the PB12-ISD vs. the STF-3 review, in which Dr. Poh Ser Hsu suggested that room modes can affect THD values to a significant extent. If I ever get the chance to ground plane both of those subwoofers again, I'll update that report with the new data, too. Since then, the PB2-Ultra, STF-2, and PB10-ISD were all tested ground plane under the same conditions and with the same methodology. And the same will hold true for all subs tested in the future.

    Regards,

    Ed
     
  20. Aaron Waters

    Aaron Waters Extra

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    Ed,

    thank YOU for all of the information you bring to this forum as well as the in_depth_analysis of superb products from HSU and SVS. you're a very informative resource here.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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