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SVS PB2-Plus Test and Review - Long


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#1 of 402 Edward J M

Edward J M

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Posted June 21 2003 - 02:43 AM

Introduction:

I upgraded from a single SVS 20-39 PC-Plus to the new SVS PB2-Plus because I don’t quite have the space for dual cylinders, and I wanted Dolby Labs reference level playback capability in my 2,000 ft3 HT room. At the time of this writing, the PB2-Plus costs $1,200 plus a flat delivery fee of $50 CONUS.

The PB2-Plus was shipped via freight, and weighed 145 pounds including packing materials and the pallet. The packing materials were thick, strong, well engineered, and very protective. The subwoofer is fairly heavy, so two people are recommended to move it into place.

Technical and Design Details:

The owner's manual is comprehensive and well written, with easy to understand set-up, calibration, and tuning advice. There are several basic diagrams showing various connection methods, and good advice on how to avoid common set-up errors. Also included are some recommended DVD and music demo selections. SVS Customer Service Director Ron Stimpson even encourages new owners to send him a personal e-mail if they have questions.

The PB2-Plus external dimensions are roughly 18” wide, 25” tall, and 28” deep, including the integral base-plate. The sub weighs about 105 pounds and feels extremely solid and strong, so enclosure flexing should not ever be a concern.

Despite its size and weight, the PB2-Plus looks quite svelte in the corner of my home theater (HT) room. Design cues are quite modern, and the overall impression is understated, elegant, and masculine. The black finish is an extremely high tech polymer texture that seems virtually impervious to chipping or scratching, and actually contributes to the structural integrity and damping of the enclosure. Fit and finish are very impressive.

The rear flush-mounted Indigo BASH amp is rated at 900 continuous watts. Amp features include auto-on, high/low level inputs, a variable low pass filter control with a defeat switch, an infinitely variable (0-180) phase control, and a four position (25, 20, 16, and "Bypass") subsonic (SS) filter switch.

The PB2-Plus is a ported design which employs two TC-Sounds ultra high output 12" downward-firing "dB12" woofers. Venting is accomplished with three widely flared 4" rear discharge ports. The tune point with three ports open is 25 Hz, and lower states of tune can be achieved by plugging one port (20 Hz) or two ports (16 Hz), and adjusting the SS filter switch accordingly. Two high-density foam port plugs are included with the PB2-Plus.

Equipment Used In The Review:

Polk Audio RT800i, CS400i, f/x 1000, CS245i (x 2)
Denon AVR-3803
Denon DVD-2900
Monster Cable M1.4 bi-wire speaker cable (mains)
Monster Cable MB300 subwoofer interconnect
Monster Cable IDL 100 digital coaxial interconnect (DVD-V)
Signal Cable Analog Two analog interconnects (CD, SACD, DVD-A)

SPL Meter:

A recently calibrated Bruel & Kjaer (B&K) Model 2205 SPL meter set to C-weighted Slow was used for all calibration and frequency response (FR) sweeps. The meter was mounted on a tripod and set at the listening position 11 feet from the PB2-Plus.

All the FR curves in this report have been converted from C-weighted to unweighted using correction factors specific to the B&K meter. It should be noted the B&K correction factors are considerably smaller than the Radio Shack meter correction factors, especially below 25 Hz.

Set-Up and Calibration:

The MB300 subwoofer cable was connected to the left low level input, and the PB2-Plus low pass filter switch was set to "Disabled" to avoid filter cascading. After experimentation, the phase control was set to 180 degrees, as this provided the smoothest transition from the mains.

For Dolby Digital and DTS movie signal processing using the AVR-3803, all speakers were set to "small", and 80 Hz was selected as the subwoofer crossover frequency. The subwoofer channel level was set to -5 to minimize pre-out signal distortion from the receiver. Using the Avia Guide To Home Theater disc, the seven surround speakers were calibrated to 85 dB at Master Volume 00 in order to obtain a Dolby reference level benchmark. The PB2-Plus was calibrated to 88-89 dB.

For CD, SACD, and DVD-A music signal processing using just the DVD-2900 external analog outputs and bass management system, all speakers were set to "small" and the sub was set to "yes". This configuration sets a fixed 80 Hz crossover to the subwoofer. Using the 2900 internal test tones, the five surround speakers were calibrated to 75 dB at Master Volume 00, and the PB2-Plus was calibrated to 77 dB.

Frequency Response and Tuning Configurations:

The FR sweeps consisted of 1/12 octave test tones from 10-100 Hz. Each sweep was conducted off an 80 dB benchmark at the 100 Hz tone. Whenever a port was plugged, the subwoofer channel level was increased 1.5 dB to compensate for the volume loss. Six FR sweeps were conducted as follows, and are shown in the accompanying graphs:

Conventional Tune Configurations:
1) Three ports open, SS switch set to 25 Hz
2) Two ports open, SS switch set to 20 Hz
3) One port open, SS switch set to 16 Hz

Non-Conventional Tune Configurations:
1) Three ports open, SS switch set to 20 Hz
2) Three ports open, SS switch set to 16 Hz
3) Two ports open, SS switch set to 16 Hz


Posted Image


Posted Image


Three ports open and the SS filter set to 25 Hz provides excellent in-room extension to about 22 Hz. While this tune doesn't provide the deepest extension, it does offer maximum output capability, and is recommended for large rooms and/or very high playback levels on DVD.

My favorite tune for sensible (i.e., moderately loud) playback levels is three ports open and the SS filter set to 16 Hz. This configuration provides a strong response in the 20-22 Hz region, utilizes all available port area, and provides good extension to 15 Hz.

Plugging a port and setting the SS filter to 20 Hz provides very strong extension to 15 Hz, and setting the SS filter to 16 Hz further improves extension to about 13 Hz. If you're a real bottom dweller and maximum output is not your first priority, two ports plugged with the SS filter set to 16 Hz provides a still-rising curve all the way to 11 Hz!

It should be noted that "non-conventional" tune configurations increase the potential for bottoming the drivers at extreme levels, so take appropriate and sensible precautions when running the PB2-Plus in these states of tune. If you are shooting for maximum SPL in a large room, SVS strongly recommends three ports open and the SS filter set to 25 Hz, or two ports open and the SS filter set to 20 Hz. These two tune configurations offer the best combination of high output, extension, and woofer protection at extreme levels.

The "Bypass" setting completely disables the subsonic filter. This setting has the highest potential for bottoming the drivers from subsonic signal content. With the incredible extension available with two ports plugged and the SS filter set to 16 Hz, I can’t envision a situation where the Bypass setting would provide any additional benefit.

Subjective Impressions and SPL Levels For DVD Movies:

For maximum SPL testing, I ran the PB2-Plus with three ports open and the SS filter set to 25 Hz. As stated above, at less extreme playback levels I preferred three ports open and the SS filter set to 16 Hz for the additional extension this setting provides.

The PB2-Plus was absolutely effortless on movies, easily handling the most demanding passages and never sounding strained or compressed, even when playing at Dolby reference level.

Dolby reference level is defined as 105 dB bass peaks from any surround channel, and 115 dB bass peaks from the LFE channel. If the surround speakers are set to "small", the subwoofer is required to handle both low passed surround channel bass and the LFE channel. In the event of a simultaneous bass peak in both a surround channel and the LFE channel, the subwoofer would be required to deliver a 121 dB bass peak.

While Master Volume settings are provided below for reference, certain DVDs are mastered far too hot to be comfortably played at Master Volume 00. Common sense and the SPL meter dictated how loud we played any particular DVD. I'm quite certain the PB2-Plus can play even louder than we pushed it, but the overall playback levels were simply approaching the point of discomfort!

Peak SPL monitoring was done with the B&K set on C-weighted Fast, mounted on a tripod at the listening position. The SPL values listed below are C-weighted; to obtain the approximate unweighted SPL for a given passage, ADD 4-5 dB. Clearly, the PB2-Plus was hitting a true 120+ dB on certain passages; this is one BEAST of a subwoofer.

1) LOTR-FOTR EE (DTS-ES 6.1 Discrete), Master Volume -10

The DTS version has the best bass, with more detail and extension than the original theatrical DD version. The PB2-Plus played this demanding DVD with spectacular power and clarity.

Sauron Ring Drop (0:03:58): 115 dB
Ring Wraiths Leaving Castle (0:32:43): 113 dB
Cave Troll Falling Dead (Disc 2) (0:33:28): 116 dB
The Bridge of Khazad-dum & Balrog Fight (Disc 2) (0:37:33-0:41:26): 113-116 dB

2) Monster’s Inc. (DD-EX), Master Volume -9

Sock Explosion (0:18:40): 115 dB
Boo Crying (0:47:50): 117 dB

3) Titan AE (DTS) Master Volume -11

This DVD contains more pure gut wrenching bass than nearly any other, a torture test that makes wimpy subs beg for mercy. The PB2-Plus chewed up and spit out Titan AE without breaking a sweat, in the process rearranging most small items in the house.

In The Ice Field (1:03:34-1:07:22): 115-117 dB
http://www.svsubwoof....itanAEice4.JPG

Planet Forming: (1:22:13-1:23:34): 114-115 dB

4) The Matrix (DD) Master Volume -4

This DVD has superior bass for a 1999 release, and is deserving of the soundtrack awards. When Morpheus puts his knee through the floor, the PB2-Plus hits you hard in the guts and then waffles your pants with awesome room decay.

Morpheus Knee Smash (0:50:51): 115 dB
http://www.svsubwoof....inginfight.jpg

Chopper Crash (1:51:03): 115 dB
http://www.svsubwoof....rexplosion.jpg

Neo and Agent Smith Landing In Fight (1:54:52-58): 113 dB

5) The Haunting (DTS-ES 6.1 Discrete) Master Volume -12

Still my favorite bass demo DVD, The Haunting in DTS has unparalleled dynamic range. The "door knocks" practically gave us concussions, and the extended 22 Hz bass note at "the cold" literally blurred our vision and rattled everything in the room.

Door Knocks (0:38:06): 117 dB
Door Knocks (0:38:52): 116 dB
Door Knocks (0:39:36): 115 dB
Door Knocks (0:40:21): 115 dB
http://www.svsubwoof....tingcoming.jpg

The Cold (0:39:15): 108 dB
http://www.svsubwoof....ingthecold.jpg

6) Jurassic Park III (DTS) Master Volume -11

Talk about being right there in the Spino T-Rex fight! We cranked it as high as we dared and the PB2-Plus hung tough, dropping our jaws with tremendous power. Every stomp felt like getting hit in the chest with an 80 pound medicine ball.

Dino Fight: (0:26:40-0:27:25): 113-116 dB

7) Star Wars Episode I: Phantom Menace (DD-EX) Master Volume 00

What HT sub demo is complete without the famous "pod race"? The canyon exits were spine shuddering, and the pod explosion felt like a cannon went off in the room.

Pod Explosion (1:01:39): 114 dB
Pod Racer Passing (1:02:17): 118 dB

Pod Race Canyon Exit (1:05:26): 116 dB
http://www.svsubwoof....unnelexit2.jpg

8) Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones (DD-EX) Master Volume -11

George Lucas' sound engineers outdo themselves on Episode II, with the "return to Coruscant" and the "speeder chase" becoming instant subwoofer classics. The PB2-Plus really makes an impressive stretch for clean, effortless, room pressurizing power on these scenes.

Coruscant Ship Passing (0:02:02): 116 dB
Coruscant Ship Exploding (0:03:23): 117 dB
Speeder Drop (0:16:01): 114 dB
Speeder Crash (0:20:53): 115 dB
Column Dropping (2:10:20): 114 dB

9) Pearl Harbor (DTS) Master Volume -10

The percussion blast from the "it's a dud" explosion felt like it was going to blow out the windows, and the ultra deep bass when the Arizona tips over and starts to sink was rendered with extreme authority.

Arizona Explosion (1:29:57): 116 dB
It's A Dud (1:39:03): 114 dB
Arizona Sinking (1:40:00): 112 dB

10) Minority Report (DTS) Master Volume -10

This movie simply gets better with each viewing and the DTS bass track is remarkably strong. The sonic blaster scene made me feel like the guy in the recliner from the old Maxell "Blown Away" ad!

Rocket Backpack Ceiling Crash (0:51:12): 116 dB
Sonic Blaster (0:52:21): 115 dB
Auto Assembly Line (0:54:01-17): 114-116

11) U-571 (DTS) Master Volume -10

Bone crushing bass, there is no other way to describe U-571. The depth charges, ship explosions, and artillery blasts flat out rocked the HT room.

Sub Torpedoed (0:47:47): 114 dB
http://www.svsubwoof....orpedohit2.jpg

Plane Fly-Over (1:06:24): 113 dB
http://www.svsubwoof....71flyover2.jpg

Depth Charges (1:19:30-1:20:25): 112-116 dB
http://www.svsubwoof....pthcharge2.jpg

Destroyer Artillery (1:42:23): 113 dB
Destroyer Torpedoed (1:44:26): 114 dB

Subjective Impressions For Music:

I am fortunate to have nearly ideal room acoustics, and a slab-on-grade concrete floor covered with Armstrong laminate. This floor is acoustically inert and does not transmit any vibration, making it the ideal platform for evaluating the PB2-Plus for both HT and music.

I found the PB2-Plus to be exceptionally neutral, coherent, and articulate on all types of music. It displays excellent attack on transients with absolutely no overhang, and is never sloppy or muddy no matter how complex the bass passage. It blends seamlessly with the mains, reinforcing the lowest octaves without coloring the mid bass. I simply can't get enough of the PB2-Plus on music.

For music evaluation, the PB2-Plus was run with all ports open and the SS filter set to 16 Hz. Music selections were as follows:

1) Kamkiriad (Donald Fagan, Reprise Records). This beautifully recorded CD contains complex electric bass guitar lines that are difficult for a sub to reproduce properly, particularly on Track 3 "Springtime". All bass notes were clean and clear, and the PB2-Plus demonstrated its advantage over just the mains on the deepest notes, lending much more depth and foundation to the soundstage.

2) Gladiator soundtrack (Hans Zimmer/Lisa Gerrard, Decca Records). This is one of my favorite CDs to test the capabilities of a subwoofer, being truly impressive in its depth, power and complexity. The PB2-Plus rendered it perfectly, keeping all the bass notes separate and distinct and hitting the really deep stuff with authority. The sheer emotional impact the PB2-Plus adds to this soundtrack is extraordinary.

3) Giant Steps (John Coltrane, Atlantic Records). A tough test for a sub is the acoustic bass guitar. Paul Chambers launches into a daring one minute solo at the 5-minute mark of "Syeeda’s Song Flute". The fundamentals and harmonics of the bass guitar strings had realistic timbre, and the transition between the mains and the sub was imperceptible.

4) "Toccata & Fugue in d minor" (Organ Works of J.S. Bach, Titanic Records). George Ritchie performs the famous organ movement on the Bedient Organ at Cornerstone, Lincoln, Nebraska. There are strong fundamentals at 18-20 Hz and 30-35 Hz in the first minute of the movement, and the PB2-Plus dug down deep and strong, providing a spine-tingling foundation.

5) "Baby Got Back" (Sir Mix-a-lot - Charlie’s Angels soundtrack, Sony Records). Better known as the "I Like Big Butts" song, this early 90's rap tune has an addictive and throbbing bass line. We cranked it way up to party levels and PB2-Plus happily complied, temporarily turning the HT room into a disco.

6) Everything Must Go (Steely Dan, Reprise Records High Resolution DVD-A). "Godwhacker" opens with an extremely well recorded bass kick drum, and the PB2-Plus nailed the tympanic skin strike and hollow reverb overtones, sounding tight and clean.

7) Rumours (Fleetwood Mac, Warner Brothers Records 1977, 2001 High Resolution DVD-A). The electric bass in "Dreams" is rich and resonant without being thick. The opening kick drum in "The Chain" starts and stops on a dime, and the famous the electric guitar mini-solo in the middle of this song sounds like it was lifted directly from the recording studio.

8) Hell Freezes Over (Eagles, Geffen Records 1994, 1997 DTS 5.1). The drum strikes in "Hotel California", "Life In The Fast Lane", and "Get Over It" have that awesome amplified percussive impact of a live performance. The complex and heavy bass guitar line in "Get Over It" remains detailed and easy to follow even at high playback volumes.

9) Dark Side Of The Moon (Pink Floyd, EMI & Capitol Records 1973, 2003 High Resolution SACD). You haven't heard Dark Side Of The Moon until you've heard the Super Audio version with the lights out. The PB2-Plus is so clean and musical, playing every bass note and instrument exactly as it was intended, allowing the listener to become completely immersed in this masterpiece and providing a very powerful listening experience. When the lights came back on, all I could do was sit and stare at the PB2-Plus in awe.

Summary And Conclusion:

I can say without reservation the SVS PB2-Plus smashes all performance boundaries at its price point. For $1,250 delivered it simply has no competition.

The PB2-Plus provides dual cylinder performance from a single enclosure, it has amazingly flexible tuning options, and is capable of true Dolby reference level playback in moderately sized HT rooms. It is a versatile performer - it can bring down the roof with the most demanding movie passages, and also faithfully render all the nuance of the acoustic bass guitar, kick drum, or pipe organ.

SVS has hinted that the asking price of the PB2-Plus might increase after the introduction phase is over. Get yours now and beat the price increase; this is one purchase decision you will never regret.

Credits:

1) Unweighted conversion factors for B&W SPL meter: DougBW, HTF member
2) 10-100 Hz FR sweep files: Anthony Gomez & Mark Fitzsimmons, HTF members
3) Bass scene waterfall chart hotlinks: SVS
Ed Mullen
Director - Technology and Customer Relations

SVS

www.svsound.com

"What we do in life, echoes in eternity."


#2 of 402 steve nn

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Posted June 21 2003 - 03:18 AM

Great Review Ed! Yip!> The PB2+ will prove to be just one incredible sub for your $$. No doubt about it in my mind. I like the numbers and they ad up to one incredible value for your HT dollars spent.
>
Thanks for taking the time and effort in putting this across in the professional manner that you have. StevePosted Image

#3 of 402 Gordon Groff

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Posted June 21 2003 - 03:24 AM

Wow! Great Review!!
Thanks!
Is this submitted for print publishing? Very professional.
Gordon
Gordon Groff
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Fine Music For "The Rest Of Us"
See Gordon and Sweet Nancy's Home Theater!

#4 of 402 Zack_R

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Posted June 21 2003 - 03:28 AM

Posted Image
Great Review Ed! Well written and detailed. I'm glad you are thrilled with your purchase. I think one of the reasons so many people are satisfied with their SVS of choice is that at their given price point it exceeds your expectations.

So let me be the first to ask how it compares with the PC+?

I noticed that your personal favorite configuration was not what used for testing purposes and that your personal favorite would be used for more sensible playback levels. I'm curious to know if you were to play a particular passage at you sensible PB2-Plus levels and settings if the PC+ could match it. It would also be interesting to note what the PC+ would do configured (20 Hz tune of course) and calibrated to the PB2- Plus levels during these same movie passages you used for the test.

Again, Great Job!

Posted Image

#5 of 402 Edward J M

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Posted June 21 2003 - 03:33 AM

Quote:
Is this submitted for print publishing?


Thanks, guys. I don't know if it will ever show up in print anywhere, but I figured if I was going to do a review on a $1,200 sub, I'd better do it right.

$1,200 is not chump change, and anyone seriously considering a sub in this price range I'm sure is looking for a thorough and detailed review. Anything less would be a disservice to SVS and the PB2-Plus, IMO.

Regards,

Ed
Ed Mullen
Director - Technology and Customer Relations

SVS

www.svsound.com

"What we do in life, echoes in eternity."


#6 of 402 Edward J M

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Posted June 21 2003 - 03:48 AM

Quote:
I noticed that your personal favorite configuration was not what used for testing purposes and that your personal favorite would be used for more sensible playback levels. I'm curious to know if you were to play a particular passage at you sensible PB2-Plus levels and settings if the PC+ could match it. It would also be interesting to note what the PC+ would do configured (20 Hz tune of course) and calibrated to the PB2- Plus levels during these same movie passages you used for the test.

It's funny you ask this Zack. While not part of the review, I ran the 20-39PC+ and the PB2-Plus side-by-side for several DVDs and they were calibrated to the same exact level.

Let me say up front I have never bottomed out the PC+, nor do I intend to bottom out the PB2+. With that said, the 20-39PC+ in the 20 Hz tune was good for 112-113 dB peaks, and that was pushing it very hard. In comparison, even with 3 ports open and the SS filter set to 16 Hz, the PB2-Plus had no trouble hitting similar peaks without bottoming. However, I wouldn't push it up another 5-6 dB unless I upped the SS filter to 20 or 25 Hz.

I also ran the PB2+ very hard in the conventional 20 Hz tune with a port plugged and was easily hitting 115-116 dB on several passages, easily outgunning the 20-39PC+ while providing similar extension. Output with a port plugged does not seem to be a concern in the least.

I also plugged a port on the PB2+ and set the SS filter to 16 Hz and ran it pretty hard (110+ dB) and the extra extension and boost in the 13-17 Hz region was definitely felt on a few DVDs.

The reason I prefer all ports open is because this configuration provides a bit more output in the 25-45 Hz region and this to my ears sounded "better". This is purely subjective because clearly the curves with a port plugged are actually flatter (and hence more accurate) in this region.

Regards,

Ed
Ed Mullen
Director - Technology and Customer Relations

SVS

www.svsound.com

"What we do in life, echoes in eternity."


#7 of 402 Haris Ellahi

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Posted June 21 2003 - 04:08 AM

Wow! Great review! Posted Image

#8 of 402 ScottCarr

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Posted June 21 2003 - 05:28 AM

Edward,
Sometimes I hate reading reviews like yours. I am a happy owner of 2 PC+2039s. I bought the second one because I read so many people having 2 the wondering what 2 would be like was killing me.

Now with the intro of the PB2+, your review is a clear indication Tom and Ron, the sub guys, have once again demonstrates quality and a great price.

I have read several review but your has me wondering again..........

Thank you for taking the time creating the intensive review. now I want one even more. I hope you are spending the weekend enjoying your new toy

Thanks again
Scott

#9 of 402 Edward J M

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Posted June 21 2003 - 06:45 AM

Quote:
I am a happy owner of 2 PC+2039s. I bought the second one because I read so many people having 2 the wondering what 2 would be like was killing me.


Quote:
now I want one even more

Scott:

Neither I nor SVS would try to oversell you on the PB2+ vs. dual 20-39PC+ from a performance standpoint. Dual co-located 20-39PC+ would provide all the SPL and extension of a PB2+, possibly even a smidge more.

If you split the cylinders into two separate corners and lost 3 dB max output in the process, it would be a very close call, with possibly the edge swinging back to the PB2+.

However, if you like the look and/or convenience of a single box enclosure that offers dual cylinder performance, the PB2+ is definitely it. It's also much less expensive (about $500 less) than dual 20-39PC+. When put into that perspective, the PB2+ is an unparalleled performance value.

Regards,

Ed
Ed Mullen
Director - Technology and Customer Relations

SVS

www.svsound.com

"What we do in life, echoes in eternity."


#10 of 402 John Kotches

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Posted June 21 2003 - 07:12 AM

Ed,

The only thing you seem to be lacking is some THD measurements Posted Image

I'm sure it measures very low, but (IMO) driver distortion (or lack thereof) is where the great subwoofers excel.

Regards,
Surround Music Enthusiast / Curmudgeon in Training
Opinions are my own, not representative of the publication I write for.

#11 of 402 SVS-Ron

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Posted June 21 2003 - 07:50 AM

Ed,

Thanks for the review. We've had customers talk about our subs before but you set a new standard in that regard. Maybe WSR is hiring?? ;^)

John,

It won't be long till you can weigh in there 8^). Given your experience with some of the best subs in the business we're going to eagerly await your own review. How's the HT coming BTW?

Ron

#12 of 402 Edward J M

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Posted June 21 2003 - 07:57 AM

Quote:
The only thing you seem to be lacking is some THD measurements. I'm sure it measures very low, but (IMO) driver distortion (or lack thereof) is where the great subwoofers excel.

John:

I agree completely. I'm a champion of THD measuring per Nousaine and Doc Johnson.

There have been a few THD tests of various SVS products, so there is really no new ground to cover in that respect; I agree, I'm also certain it would measure very low.

I'm looking pretty hard at Spectra-Plus and a pro-grade mic, but it just didn't fit from a timing standpoint for this review.

Johnson's and Nousaine's methods are different, but each has merit. Johnson measures THD at a fixed SPL, and Nousaine increases SPL until THD hits 10%. If I were to ever undertake this type of testing, I'd probably use the Johnson method as it seems (at least on the surface) to be less abusive on the subwoofer.

Regards,

Ed
Ed Mullen
Director - Technology and Customer Relations

SVS

www.svsound.com

"What we do in life, echoes in eternity."


#13 of 402 Edward J M

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Posted June 21 2003 - 08:05 AM

Quote:
Thanks for the review. We've had customers talk about our subs before but you set a new standard in that regard.

You mean I'm long winded? :b Just kidding.

In all honesty, the detail in the set-up and calibration section was really just to head off the inevitable questions its absence would have otherwise created.

Sorry I couldn't step up with the THD testing; I'm also looking forward to another review that includes this aspect. Someday I'll have that capability.

When I do, I'll send you an email and you can send me a PB2-Ultra, or the B4-Ultra, or some other similar beast you've got cooking in the R&D labs over in Ohio, and I'll run it through the paces just for SVS. Purely an altruistic offer mind you......Posted Image

Regards,

Ed
Ed Mullen
Director - Technology and Customer Relations

SVS

www.svsound.com

"What we do in life, echoes in eternity."


#14 of 402 Joel~Solid

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Posted June 21 2003 - 01:29 PM

Ed,

I have a pair of PB2s Coming my way Posted Image and I have a question. The room is about 6500 cbft that is why I went with duals. Well the questions is..... since I won't have to push either sub particulary hard since there are two of them do you think I should go the route of All ports open and SS filter at 16hz? or 2 ports open and SS at 16hz? Most of my movie viewing is about -10 or Ref Level. I know I have to play with them when I get them but I simply don't have the equipment you do to set up my HT to it's optimum levels.

Second question.
Your reciever main volume level on many movies in your test are below the 00 reference level. I know this has to do with the fact many movies are recorded high so reference levels on a lot of discs are actually around -10 on the main volume setting. Did you test this levels to find out what is actually reference level on the disks your tested and set the main volume setting accordingly? If that is the case that is excellent information to know.

Thanks,

Joel

I do have a Radio Shack SPL meter, Video Essentials, and Autosound 2000 test disk for setup. Should I invest in a eq?

#15 of 402 Edward J M

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Posted June 21 2003 - 02:09 PM

Hi Joel:

Advance congrats on the dual PB2+!

This might sound like a hedge, but there are so many variables in setting up and calibrating a subwoofer, I would feel uncomfortable simply giving you a "yes" or "no" answer on running your subs in the non-conventional tune configurations you described above.

Again, the concern is bottoming the drivers at extreme levels by allowing them to operate well below the selected tune point. I will admit the in-room curve with two ports open and the SS filter set to 16 Hz is indeed attractive, providing very strong extension to 13 Hz.

I would check with Tom V in detail before I ran even dual PB2+ subs at reference level in a 6500 ft3 room in a non-conventional tune. I wouldn't want you to damage them.

Regarding your question about reference level: I calibrated to 85 dB with Avia at Master Volume 00, but I simply couldn't approach that level (except on the Matrix and SW-PM) without causing pretty serious hearing pain from the surround channels. Everything was still clean and unstrained, but it was quite simply too loud.

For each DVD, I used the SPL meter as my guide and inched up the Master Volume until it was reading 115-117 dB bass peaks on C-weighted Fast. That is approximately 120-121 dB unweighted for bass passages in the 20-25 Hz region. That was certainly far too loud for normal and comfortable playback, but it does prove what the PB2+ is capable of in a moderate sized HT room.

Regardless, if you calibrate your system to a reference level benchmark, you should be able to generate similar SPL's in your HT room at the same Master Volume settings.

Regards,

Ed
Ed Mullen
Director - Technology and Customer Relations

SVS

www.svsound.com

"What we do in life, echoes in eternity."


#16 of 402 Steve Morgan

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Posted June 21 2003 - 03:26 PM

ED,
Great review and I know what you mean when this sub sets a benchmark in this price category. I don't think it can be beat unless the SV guys have something else in the cauldron?
I've had some fairly decent subs in my system; Paradigm Servo 15, 20-39cs, Paradigm PW2200, Von Schweikert S/3 and the PB2 outperforms them in all categories. I thought the S/3 was very quick and tight with no overhang yet the PB2 is its equal in this department.
Joel early congrats on the dos PB2's! I have a 7500+ cubic ft. room and the PB2 and the S/3 have finally let me feel the room being pressurized. At 6500 x3 and 2 of these monsters, well, you will be impressed.
I'm still at the stage where I can't wait to get home and fire up the HT and feel the bassPosted Image

Cheers,
Steve

#17 of 402 Jerry Price

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Posted June 21 2003 - 03:32 PM

Edward,

I was wondering if you or anyone else for that matter have had a similar vision as I have when looking at my pb2+ in the corner of the HT. The vision of 2 pb2+ stacked one on the other, then once that image is solidified in my mind another one in the opposite corner, then one on top of that one , then...... someone stop me I think I need help.

#18 of 402 steve nn

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Posted June 21 2003 - 04:37 PM

Some of you guys have some serious HT rooms. I don't know if thats good or bad? 6000-7500 cubic ft. Major sub is definitely called for. Nice problem to have I guess.
>
I just figured out how to run both of my 25-31 CS+'s off of one side of my QSC 1450 and then a 20 Hz tuned AV15 off of the other side. (Thanks for your help Tom / Ed) This is seemingly working out very well for what I have to work with. It gives me the best of both worlds. Plenty of SPL and extension in my 2880 cubic ft HT and when my PB2+ arrives - I know it will be much better. The AV will go and the PB2+ will replace. Those considering duel PB2+'s might consider running one in it's stock tune and the other in a lower tune option? Something to try out anyway to see if it agrees with you? I never thought this would sound right but at this time I am ready to admit I was wrong. Posted Image
>
Jerry> I will pray to the sub Gods for you. That is one never ending road to have to travel. I have herd of AA but not of BA.> Bass Anonymous Posted Image Just one more sub.

#19 of 402 Zack_R

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Posted June 22 2003 - 01:01 AM

Ed, Thanks for your comments on the comparison between your two subs.


Quote:
I know this has to do with the fact many movies are recorded high so reference levels on a lot of discs are actually around -10 on the main volume setting.


Joel, I think the sub is actually running harder than the master volume would indicate. Ed mentioned that for movies the sub was set at 88-89 db so that is 3-4 db hot. Therefore a -10 master volume puts the sub at more like a -7 or -6 output. Also, I believe that DTS movies are around 4 db louder than dolby digital movies. If this is the case then add another 4 db to the DTS movie scenes and you are -3 to -2 db below reference in some cases.

#20 of 402 MikeLi

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Posted June 22 2003 - 02:05 AM

Ed.. thanks for the great review. I sure hope to get one one of these days... I am drooling as I am sure many others are... Again, thats it was very nice for taking so much of your time to enlighten us. This is how I learn what to buy and its folks like you that make these forums such a great place to learn from.


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