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SVS still the best?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by ace peterson, May 25, 2007.

  1. ace peterson

    ace peterson Second Unit

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    It's been a while (about 6 years) since I've been in the subwoofer market, but now that my trusty JBL PB12 has conked out I am back in the hunt. It looks like SVS is still popular and their website looks promising. Is SVS still considered to be the best (or near best) for quality, performance, and prices?

    Thanks in advance for any input.
    Ace
     
  2. Alon Goldberg

    Alon Goldberg Screenwriter

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    SVS and HSU are by far the most popular on the forums for home theater, but there are many excellent options available to you. Outlaw makes a fantastic sub (designed by Dr. Hsu, coincidentally) which is very highly rated. If you're a DIY type of guy, my first pick might be a Dayton subwoofer from Parts Express.

    My own system is geared far more towards music than home theater, so I chose a REL subwoofer (designed for bass speed and tunefulness, not for output and resonance).
     
  3. bobbyg2

    bobbyg2 Supporting Actor

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    What sick, twisted, world would we be in if the answer was no?
     
  4. Burke Strickland

    Burke Strickland Second Unit

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    SVS subs remain a great value, but even within the parameters of quality, performance and price, the question remains "what do you mean by best?".

    There are a number of other brands that do some special things very well that may or may not be important to you, such as Velodyne's active room correction circuitry, Vandersteen's method of integrating "seamlessly" with the main speakers, Bag End's techniques for plumbing the depths of sub-hearing frequencies, REL's multiple drive configuration that yields a "musical" presentation that emphasizes "detail" over "bombast", and there are other brands such as Hsu and Outlaw with similar price/performance trade-off.

    I've heard several SVS subs in various systems that were quite pleasing with both music and movies. I also heard a demo of one of their smaller subs in a very large space that was not up to the task of properly loading the room. Of course, that demo unit was side by side with one of their much larger models which more than adequately did the job, illustrating the point that choosing the right model for your space is as important as choosing the brand.

    SVS does a very nice job of helping most people make a selection from their staggering array of choices, although they have never answered my inquiry, possibly because I asked for a recommendation to replace a Velodyne FSR-18, which remains an awesome competitor to anyone's current offerings even though it is a 10 year old design. (For the record, I have been considering all of the brands I've listed above, and have managed to audition most of the relevant models.)

    So there are a lot of choices on the market these days, and it comes down to what you want to pay for features and performance. I'd suggest that you listen to as many brands/models that appear to fit your needs as possible before making a final purchase commitment. Although your first impression of suitability can be made at a dealer for brands sold that way, making your final choice should be done preferably after listening at length within your own space (or a comparable installation in someone else's private home if you want to avoid return freight charges for direct sale brands), not at the dealer for the final selection. Which means the local dealer must be willing to work with you as a serious customer, allowing full return privileges with no restocking fee if the sub on trial doesn't cut it.

    Within your own space also recognize that proper placement and correction of frequency peaks can make a big difference in the acceptability of the sound of a given sub. So the home audition requires more work than just connecting up the sub and playing some tunes.

    Good luck!
     
  5. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

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    Ace,

    Please let us know if you have any general or specific questions about particular products, while we don't spend the time on the forums we'd all like we (nearly) never let a call or e-mail slip by us.

    Burke, having said that, if there is an instance where you don't get a response in 24 hours (usually much less) please resend. The experience of seeing thousands of e-mails parsed a week over several years now has convinced me that SPAM filters, clogged servers etc will require as much now and again.

    More on topic, the old 18" FSR is indeed a great old sub. Please resend any note you have on this issue and one of the staff here will respond in substance for sure. Our latest offerings and those coming up shortly will certainly be worthy of your consideration I believe. We have a veritable encyclopedia of reliable comparative data that's derived from trusted third party testers, and of course our own data which we can share where appropriate and relevant that should help your research.

    Ron
    SVS
     
  6. ace peterson

    ace peterson Second Unit

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    Burke,

    I find it nearly impossible to make any judgement on how a speaker will sound in my own theater when I'm hearing it in a store. You just don't know how many punks have run the speaker past it's limits already. Plus, room dementions, amp/receiver settings... I've never heard of a place that will let you demo a speaker at home and then return it.

    Ace
     
  7. Don T

    Don T Stunt Coordinator

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    While I am not a genius or know that much about speakers, but SVS's policy of a 45 day return is a very generous proposition. No sub reacts the same in the show room as it does in the home. The only true place to know if you will love the sub is in your own home.

    Having recently purchased products from SVS, I might be slightly biased. But I can tell you that their customer service is spot on, their products arrive quickly and are well packed, and of course, the sound is incredible.

    The bottom line is it is worth a shot, give them a try, or you could always ask your best buy or whatever store to let you take it home to try it.

    Seriously, I can't imagine anybody not loving SVS subs.

    Thank you,
    Don
     
  8. Burke Strickland

    Burke Strickland Second Unit

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    Ace --

    I said "first impression of suitability", not "judgement (sic) on how a speaker will sound in my own theater". No one can make an accurate judgment of exactly how a speaker will sound in their own space by listening to it elsewhere (has to do with those "room dementions" which can drive you crazy). :>)

    However, at some specialty dealers, (they typically would NOT be the hang-out of punks who run the system past its limits), where systems are properly set up in rooms with dimensions that bear some resemblance to at least someone's home environment, it is possible to get at least a beginning impression of whether a brand / model is worthy of further investigation. But not every city has such places. And of course, (I think we all agree on this point), the best place to listen when making the final decision is in your own home using your own system.

    Home equipment loans do happen, but a person will probably not be offered a take-home demo if they walk into a place for the first time and ask the salesperson to beat an internet price (or if it’s the type of place where punks typically run the system past its limits). The key to getting a home equipment loan is convincing a reputable local dealer with whom you have established a business relationship that you are seriously interested in what they sell. If you are really more interested in a direct sale brand, don’t even bother to try.
     
  9. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    JL Audio Fathom F112 and F113 are what are picking up all the accolades these days.
     

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