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Doing my HW on Subwoofers...help?


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42 replies to this topic

#1 of 43 Johnal

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Posted April 29 2004 - 06:22 AM

Hey Guys And Gals,
I am hoping to make a subwoofer purchase by late May or early June. Due to this sickness I have in which I must have more power before I even have any, my original budget of about $600 seems to be in the process of stretching out to $1200. (Just please don't tell my g/f) ANYway, due to all the positive feedback I hear regarding SVS and Hsu Subs, I will most likely be going through one of these two fine companies to meet my HT/Music needs. To avoid any kind of comparisons between the two companies this thread will be asking questions regarding the SVS subs only. Ok...here we go...

In a previous post I made, I asked how the timbre between a box sub, and a cylinder sub compared. In response I learned that they both have potentially great sound, and that when choosing between the two, it really comes down to personal preference in what aesthetically I find appealing. Also, that when it comes to pricing between the two I should consider the weight (shipping charge)and the higher price of the boxed sub due to the increased amount of material needed. Last but certainly not least, how much space I have for a sub, and how big a room do I have to fill with sound.

Now, if at all possible, let's pretend none of those things are THAT important. Rather, it was only about the sound quality, strength, and range of the Sub. Let me start by asking about two particular cylinder subs that truly have my attention.

SVS' Single CS-Ultra Package & SVS' PC-Ultra
The first thing that got my attention is that both these subs have the TV-12 Driver which from what I've read is fantastic! The most obvious difference between the two is that one is a passive sub, and the other has the built in amp. What I'm trying to figure out is what advantages come with the powered sub that has 525watts versus the CS-Ultra Package which has almost twice the watts for not that much more. (Considering both already cost over $1000.) Is there something obvious that I'm missing that would persuade me to go with the PC-Ultra? If the only advantage the PC has is that the amp is built in, then I would think that my best bet would be the CS. Any comments are greatly appreciated.

Now, when it comes to the box subs, there is one in particular that is in my price range and I find very appealing. The PB2+ seems to be a great sub, and I have only heard positive things about it. It uses twin db-12 drivers and has 900watts going for it. What I would like to know is if it would be fair to try and compare this box sub to the cylinder subs previously mentioned. I know I need to consider my room space and size, but I truly am more concerned with actual sound differences and capabilities as my living situation will be changing soon. Maybe some questions I may have in comparing the two types are things like, "When it comes to the sound, timbre, or power of these subs, in what scenarios will I find the cylinders to surpass the box, and vice versa?"

Thank you all in advance for taking the time to read my long, and hopefully not redundant post. I look forward to hearing/reading the responses. I especially hope to get some feedback from people that may own or previously owned both types of subs. Thanks!

-Johnal

#2 of 43 Johnal

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Posted April 29 2004 - 09:37 AM

Maybe my post was too long/boring?
Actually...it hasn't been too long since i posted...just at work and anxious.

#3 of 43 SethH

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Posted April 29 2004 - 09:45 AM

Well, I certainly don't have answers for all your questions, but since nobody else has taken a stab, here goes:

I think this comes down to two points: SPL and sound quality. I seriously doubt SPL will be a huge issue unless your room is abnormally large because any of the subs you mentioned would handle an average-to-faily large room with ease. As for sound quality, some people claim you only hear a difference between the plus and ultra at very high SPL and/or very low frequencies. Many others, however, describe the ultra driver as sounding better. Most of these cannont explain exactl how it sounds better, but they just say it does. I think if I were in your position I would get the cs-ultra package. If you ever felt as though you needed the increase in SPL you could use the same amp to drive both and just order another cs-ultra.

#4 of 43 steve nn

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Posted April 29 2004 - 10:15 AM

I should go out and mow the lawn but it will still be there when I finishPosted Image I wont say anything to your girl friend next time I see her also. MUM's the word.

>>>In response I learned that they both have potentially great sound, and that when choosing between the two, it really comes down to personal preference in what aesthetically I find appealing.<<<

Yes, to a certain degree though. With a cylinder you will have less of a foot-print but it will be taller. This could be a factor in your decision and then maybe not? The cylinders are generally easier to move around.

>>>That when it comes to pricing between the two I should consider the weight (shipping charge)<<<

All depends on your budget and what you perceive will serve you best. $$ per db shipment performance should come out fairly close.

>>>The most obvious difference between the two is that one is a passive sub, and the other has the built in amp. What I'm trying to figure out is what advantages come with the powered sub that has 525watts versus the CS-Ultra Package which has almost twice the watts for not that much more.<<<

Twice the watts? No not really. It would be available if you bought another CS-Ultra. You could say that you had a reserve in watts for adding another if you decided in the future? It would bring the cost down in the future also if you added another CS-ULTRA.

I use a Pro-amp and am kind of partial to this rout. I wouldn't say it's a better way to go though. They both have their strengths. The on board amp (Plate-amp) will give you the most tweakability.

>>>What I would like to know is if it would be fair to try and compare this box sub to the cylinder subs previously mentioned.<<<

Yes and no. The PB2+ will have a definite performance edge. No doubt about it. Now if you are comparing dual CS-ULTR's to the PB2+ that's a different story again. The ULTRA's would take it out powered accordingly no problemo.

>>>in what scenarios will I find the cylinders to surpass the box, and vice versa?"<<<

Tweakability with the box version. You can buy the SVS black box http://www.svsubwoof...andsubsonic.htm
This will give you tweakability and other products are available also.

I run three 25-31CS+'s myself with a QSC Pro-amp and have never experienced a ULTRA. Maybe some day I'll swap them for three ULTRA's but It seems as though SVS is going to have some very (even more) interesting offerings in the future. One ULTRA or CS+ for that matter can really do justice though.
Posted Image

#5 of 43 Jesse Sharrow

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Posted April 29 2004 - 10:28 AM

Quote:
Twice the watts? No not really. It would be available if you bought another CS-Ultra. You could say that you had a reserve in watts for adding another if you decided in the future?


Im going to elaborate on this just in case you arnt sure. The sampson S-1000 is a 2 channel amp. It is not bridgable. Therefore you use only one channel per sub. So if you have just one CS-Ultra then you are only using 500 watts. That make sense? Personally I see no reason to get a CS over a PC. Its easier with a PC.

I have heard the Ultra driver and I also feel it has better sound quality than my PC+. Cant tell you what it is but its there. Posted Image

#6 of 43 Johnal

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Posted April 29 2004 - 10:37 AM

YAY! Seeing the responses have just made my day! Seems as if it's generally agreed on that going for the Ultra is worth the additional $$$. Has anyone had a any luck trying to compare the box type subs against the cylinders but only in sound performance? Oh...and I'll admit it...I didn't get the whole 2-channel amp thing... I figured it was too good to be true. :b Thank you guys so much so far for all your suggestions. I think the CS-Ultra package may still be slightly more attractive to me at this point due to the ability to add another CS-ultra if i decided to do that in the future...although...Good god...that seems like you're just asking to have your chest implode by doing so.

-Johnal

#7 of 43 steve nn

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Posted April 29 2004 - 10:52 AM

Johnal > I had to EDIT my last post on account of my computer was ready to crash.

#8 of 43 Joey_V

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Posted April 29 2004 - 11:29 AM

i cant answer all your questions, but here goes:

regarding your question about tubes versus boxes - i love tubes mainly because of the smaller footprint and top ports... this allows for excellent positioning in almost any room. u can corner load a tube with no problems - and port noise (reflected off the wall) will be of no problem to you.

regarding the comparison between pb2+ and the ultra cylinders (either one).. the pb2+ will beat out the ultras. however, i have read - but never heard it myself as i have the PC+ - that the ultras have a sort of "different" sound to it, than do the db-12 drivers.

in the end, stick with svs - it definitely is a cut above hsu - atleast the subs that u are considering are a cut above what hsu has to offer.

Martin Logan + Rotel =
Martin Logans rock!!!

#9 of 43 ScottCarr

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Posted April 29 2004 - 11:32 AM

Johnal,

The subs you are looking at put you in a no loose situation. In my SvS adventures I have had various configurations. The first was a single PC+2039. this left me wondering what two of these would soud like. That wondering was short lived. When it brother arrived the experience was wonderful. After sloppy calibration bottoming the subs occuring but after a more attentative cal it never occured again. When the PB2+ was introduced the curiousity wouldn't rest. The PC+ 2039s were sold, not because the lacked anything but because SvS raise the stakes. Ordering two PB2+ if I could have stored the extra overhead and sold it, I would be rich.

The Pluses never let me down and the bass was demanded respect at every level. the the talk of the PCUltra started hitting the street. As you mentioned all the talk of the TV12 driver caught my attention. The PB2+s were sold and the PCUs replaced them.

The first time the PCUs were fired up it was evident it was not a plus driver. The Ultra driver unleashes a rich harder hitting bass. the osund is slightly different, in a good way, than the plus.

If the PCU had been around when I intially started looking at subs it would have been my only SvS purchase. I opted for the PC models due to room in the equipment rack. Also with the PC models the Bash amps include a phase control built in. This feature has been key for me since the subs are not colocated. Sure having to route power to the subs locations were time consuming it was worth it in he end.

the Plus subs offer the best bang for the buck but the Ultra offers a little more with a good size premium.

if you can spare it the TV12 is the way to go.

Hope this helps

Scott

#10 of 43 Johnal

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Posted April 29 2004 - 02:30 PM

Scott,
Thanks for the reply! I have heard people say that some of the SVS subs are not quite as tight or "quick" as other subs...and I agree that sometimes some subwoofers are a little to harsh, but I worry that with all that great power found in the PB2+ might it also result in a less clear and tight sound. I'm sure it would make my room shake in an explosion in a movie, but if I listen to a bass guitarist play his heart out would you say that the TV-12 driver would have a "tighter" sound?


Steven...


Quote:
Yes and no. The PB2+ will have a definite performance edge. No doubt about it. Now if you are comparing dual CS-ULTR's to the PB2+ that's a different story again. The ULTRA's would take it out powered accordingly no problemo.


Could you expand on this a little... answering this question was VERY important to mePosted Image Oh...and how would a single CS-Ultra compare? Or was that what you were referring to when initially saying the PB2+ has a performance edge? I'm trying to stay in the $1200 range so performance-wise... in this range...what will bring a smile to my face?

-JohnalPosted Image

#11 of 43 Johnal

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Posted April 29 2004 - 02:31 PM

Joey,
Quote:
regarding the comparison between pb2+ and the ultra cylinders (either one).. the pb2+ will beat out the ultras

Can you go into a little more detail...maybe it's obvious as to why...but in what way will the PB2+ beat out the ultras?

-Johnal

#12 of 43 ScottCarr

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Posted April 29 2004 - 03:17 PM

Johnal

Now now lets now confuse operator error to tightness and quickness.

The PB2+ is quite powerful but one of the best features of the powered sub isthe gain control. You can always turn it down or up to suit your desire.

SvS is a very clean sounding sub. If you want your new sub to blend with the fronts the boys at SvS have a number of subs for you. If you want the boom boom like in a car you might be disappointed in the SvS.

the PB2+ will out SPL a single PCU. the PCU comes with a hefty premium. If you want clean rich hard hitting deep bass the PB2+ is for your. if you want cleaner, harder hitting deeper bass the PCU is the one. If you are looking for MAX spl the PB2isd or PB2+ is the one you want.

What are you meaning tight and quick and what subs are you referring too

#13 of 43 Johnal

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Posted April 29 2004 - 03:34 PM

Scott,
Maybe "cleaner" might be the word I was looking for. How exactly does the gain control affect the sound I will hear? (Hope that's not too noobish of a question) I definitely don't want a boom boom like a car. Posted Image Maybe a better word for tight and quick would be "responsive." I am worried that when playing fast paced bass music that it may sound slightly muddled. I don't really know what gives me that impression that I would have to worry about that with SVS... but I know I didn't just make it up either...I guess after reading a lot of posts I somehow got that outlook that SVS has an exceptional HT reputation and only a "Great" musical reputation. (Please don't let this thread turn into a comparison between different brands though) I guess I'm hoping that maybe this big bad TV-12 driver would make the difference. Hope this helps in explaining what I'm lookin' for. Maybe I'm looking for someone to manage to explain this indescribable difference between the two drivers.

-Johnal

#14 of 43 Dave Nelms

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Posted April 29 2004 - 04:21 PM

Johnal-

Since you are so close to HSU you should shoot over there and listen to all of thier subs. They have both box and tube subs in the same room and you can compare them. Also there they have several subs in the same room that you can compare.

Even if you do not go with thier subs I am sure you can always learn alot by visiting.

#15 of 43 Johnal

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Posted April 29 2004 - 04:41 PM

Actually I already went there. Posted Image Unfortunately it was a rather quick visit. They didn't have the VTF3 hooked up either Posted Image At that time though I was still staying in my $600 range and so all I really wanted to listen to were the stf and vtf 2...So the VTF-2 was going to be my sub of choice.
Posted Image
-Johnal

#16 of 43 Jason Brent

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Posted April 29 2004 - 05:20 PM

I would like to throw in this about the PC Ultra vs. the passive package.

The PCU also has a single band parametric equalizer. This may be a very beneficial tool for your room. Also, someone correct me if I'm wrong on this, I believe that SVS builds in a small amount of custom EQ into their amps to more perfectly match them with the driver and enclosure that they are in.

#17 of 43 ChrisBee

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Posted April 29 2004 - 07:15 PM

I ought to add my two cents about the SVS cylinders. My wife and I own a 16-46 PCi.

Normally I listen to classical, organ, choral & folk music with a setting midway between 2 & 3 on the sub's gain control. This is the perfectly flat crossover point between the sub and stereo floorstanding speakers. (9 'o clock on the gain control)

But we regularly crank the gain on the sub to 12 o'clock! :b

The SVS has this amazing ability to just get louder without audible distress or distortion. It doesn't seem to add boom or colour the music no matter how loud you go. At least not in my room.

We often listen at a steady 100dB on some music. (rock & metal) With the sub adding 5+dB on top thanks to its 12 o'clock setting. I check regularly on the SPL meter. We don't want to blow up the sub! Though 110dB on the meter is not that uncommon on Satriani and Metallica! Posted Image

You may well imagine the impact this adds to the music and the vibration this puts into every surface in the room. (and elsewhere in the house)

This is NOT strictly accurate! :wink: By ANY musical or hifi/audio standards it is perfect heresy! But on SOME music it is such fun we do it anyway. Posted Image

If the SVS sub muddied the sound at all we wouldn't do this. We'd SELL it! Our demands on musical sound quality are actually VERY high. We're definitely NOT late fifties head-bangers! Well I'm not anyway. Posted Image

I only offer the above as personal proof of the effortless ability of our SVS cylinder to provide clean, undistorted bass at ANY (sane or insane) level. Posted Image

Perhaps we'll have to grow up one day. But our SVS is making us act just like kids again! Posted Image

ChrisBee

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#18 of 43 Cam McFarland

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Posted April 30 2004 - 01:25 AM

Johnal,

What did you think of the STF/VTF-2 by HSU?

Even though it is nowhere near the power
of the SVS's you are now considering.

#19 of 43 JimmyK

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Posted April 30 2004 - 02:20 AM

Johnal,

Have you contacted SVS? I would strongly suggest you do so. They will give you honest answers and will not try to oversell you!

They will ask you questions about your room and listening habits to determine which of their subs would best suit your needs.

I know with most companies, they would just try get you to buy the most expensive option, but I (and MANY others here) can assure you that SVS will give you an honest assessment. You will be pleasently surprised by SVS's candor and lack of sales pitch.

Also, regarding whether to get a powered SVS or a passive one, the powered versions offer things such as variable phase control, selectable subsonic filter options and adjustable tuning points (and other options) that can go a long way toward optimizing the subs performance in your particular setting.

As far as SVS being more of an HT sub rather than a music sub, that's simply not true! An accurate sub will play ALL material accurately. The sub has no idea if the source is HT or music!

Among the choices you are considering, I'm confident that whichever you choose, you will not be dissatisfied.

JimmyK

PS - In case you are wondering, I ended up purchasing a 16-46PC+ after a YEAR of researching, and am thrilled with my choice!

#20 of 43 Joey_V

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Posted April 30 2004 - 02:26 AM

regarding SVS not being good for music - i can tell you that is a bunch of crock. SVS is great for music - as long as you remember to calibrate it, for perfect blending to your mains. Posted Image

Martin Logan + Rotel =
Martin Logans rock!!!





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