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Thread from the Axiom forums, "Hsu STF-2, Hsu VTF-3, and SVS PB1+"


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#21 of 185 David_D

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Posted May 29 2004 - 04:23 PM

Curtis may not appreciate me sticking my nose in, but here goes anyway. Yes, of course Curtis knows he can get a recommendation from Hsu. Anyone can. The problem is - there are only so many places he can practically put his sub, given his life and his room. I've been there. It may not be optimal, but it isn't bad. In my room, I know my Hsu sub is probably not placed optimally, although I have spoken to Dr. Hsu about it.

What Curtis did is a little different than what you did. Yes, you both compared subs. However, you advertised it as a comprehensive review, with blind testing, frequency sweeps, and listening in (at least) two rooms. Curtis simply posted his impressions. He listened to two subs in the same location. It may be that the SVS wasn't placed in the best position. It also may be that the Hsu wasn't placed in the best position. OK, those are his opinions. I don't think Curtis is making any claims that his comparison can be applied to someone else's room. You are making that claim, I think.

#22 of 185 Craig Chase

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Posted May 29 2004 - 04:41 PM

First, I did not advertise my review as anything. Advertising suggests you are selling something. I DID comprehensive, blind listening tests (for 6 nights) on the subwoofers with calibration to within 0.5 dB of each other using LinearX software.

Second, What I stated about Curtis's review was that he did not use the full abilities of the SVS when setting it up. So I pointed that out to him. HIS response was that he did not maximize the VTF-3, either, yet in the past he has mentioned how the information one gets from Hsu DOES help maximize the potential if the subwoofer in question.

I do believe he got the performance of the Hsu very accurately and thoroughly... and did it well, even if he was limited in room placement. There is nothing Curtis can do in his room with the VTF-3 that he did not do.

I also believe he only got a percentage of the performance of the SVS, based on what I read. I have lived with and done enough testing of both products to know the PB1+ was not even close to being optimally set up.
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#23 of 185 David_D

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Posted May 29 2004 - 05:03 PM

According to the dictionary, to advertise is to announce publicly. It doesn't have to be selling anything, although, of course, it frequently does. You went to multiple web sites and publicly announced your intention to perform the tests you performed. Nothing wrong with that, but by that definition you did advertise it.

I'm not attempting to make any comment on your testing. Although I may have opinions about the tests, I don't have the experience to authoritatively criticize your results or methodology.

However, let's accept the tests Curtis made for what they are. Perhaps he didn't get the most out of the SVS. Perhaps he did. Who really knows? He is simply describing his comparison.

When you go to an audio store and compare speakers, do you really know if they're optimally set up? Probably not, but you still form an opinion. When a member of this forum describes a speaker comparison, did they get the most of all the speakers? Curtis formed an opinion, and reported it. Simple as that.

#24 of 185 CurtisSC

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Posted May 29 2004 - 05:11 PM

Thanks David...I do not mind.

OK Craig...that is fair. You have tested a PB1+ as well?

I did not use the parametric EQ on the SVS...and that could have made a difference. Not sure what more I could have done in my room. What more could have been done in my room?

I did not claim to be as thorough as you. I did post the review(if you can call it that) on three or more forums as you did....in fact, I never even started a thread on the subject.

Would it be fair to say I got the most of PB1+ if it did not have a parametric EQ?

Craig...there are many folks on the boards that have compared subs and not have them optimized. Am I special?
curtis
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#25 of 185 Dave Nelms

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Posted May 29 2004 - 05:23 PM

I think subwoofer reviews are great. I think subwoofer comparisons are great too. One of the excellent things about both HSU and SVS are that they offer the buyer time to have the sub in home with the oportunity to return it if it does not work out right for them.

I was one of the guys who Curtis had over for a listening session and for me the HSU sub just nosed out the SVS when listened to back to back. Was I suprised to read spiffs thread about his observations? In a word, yes. After reading the many posts on thid forum about SVS I must say I was suprsed that I liked the HSU more.

I am not questioning the measurements made by anyone on this forum or the manner in which they made them. What I always want from my equipment is good performance. If I was to buy the SVS I would be extremely happy, it is a great sub. If I was to buy the HSU I would be extremely happy, it is also a great sub. Had I not had the chance to listen to each sub back to back on three separate occasions, in two different locations, I would not have been able to say which sub I enjoyed more than the other.

With that in mind, I don't want to say which sub is better. But I do know which sub I liked more than the other. I know which sub will most likely work best in my system with my room set-up. If I was to buy either sub without knowlege of the other, I would have been very happy.

Which brings me back to what I started with. Measurements are always great but, shouldn't we listen to speakers before we decide to live with them?

A wise mam once told me "Dave, after all , they are just subwoofers."

#26 of 185 Craig Chase

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Posted May 30 2004 - 01:18 AM

Curtis, as I mentioned earlier, you had no problem pointing out to people where reviews that I had done were flawed. I corrected the error made and moved on. I was attempting to do the same with you.

I have personally gotten involved with Hsu Research and Dr. Hsu to have Ed do further tests on both the SFT-2 and STF-3. You may contact him if you like to confirm. Why did I get involved there ? Simple, because regardless of the product being tested, I want to see it get the most possible. Ed was open to talking to Dr. Hsu, and will do additional tests in the same manner as does Dr. Hsu. Can anyone ask for more than that?

For example, Curtis, you were quite vocal in making sure that I was using the Hsu subwoofers in the best position possible, and I did. In fact, I have found (with considerable listening AND measuring) that placing the drivers in a position similar to what the original VTF-3 was in enhances the performance of the subwoofer. Even though that is not the current design, I think it might have altered the outcome of the PB2+ and Twin VTF-3 Mark II test. I no longer own the PB2+, but may try more listening tests with a VTF-3/2 and the B4+ and post results... being careful to keep the levels within the VTF-3's capacity. That is not as hard to do as one might think, either.

I do not think Curtis "oversold" this review. It is also obvious he is as much a "Hsu Fan" as a lot of guys on this forum are "SVS fans". I merely pointed out that he posted his and two other's opinions comparing two products was not a complete, nor fair comparison.

Again, If I see anyone testing a product, and do not think the product was given full effort by the reviewer, whether intentional or not, I think it deserves pointing out.

Finally, consistency seems lacking with Curtis in his challenges to me. Somehow Curtis, YOU can remember that, from a test last fall, to the PB1+ now, that they sound the same. Based on that alone, and with my own experience, there was a problem here. You ask if I have tested the PB1+. No, But I have the 25-31+, 16-46+, PB2+ and now the B4+, as well as having 6 months experience with the VTF-3/2. I think I may have some insight to the pb1+'s performance.

The PB1+ now has a newer driver that was upgraded the first of the year, I have found the Box enclosures DO sound better than the cylinders, and have done so through blind testing. I have also found a huge improvement with ANY subwoofer by using even a single band parametric eq.

Yet you find the 20-39 PC+ and the PB1+ to sound the the same. With both set up properly, The PB1+ will far exceed the audible performance of the 20-39 PC+ everytime.

Of course, it is your home, and your test, and your right to stand by the results you got. If anyone else is readin this thread, he/she can make the decision as to whether this review was done properly.

Regards,

Craig
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#27 of 185 Shiu

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Posted May 30 2004 - 01:25 AM

I really enjoy reading this thread so far because it is not only informative, but the discussion (or debate as it seemed at times)has been polite and genuine. I do get slightly disappointed in knowing that people participated in the comparison did not prefer the SVS. Well, that's only because I just bought a SVS! If I had known about the HSU before, I would have done some research reading on them. I did spend several evening setting it up, using all the tricks, the PEQ, Phase adjustments etc. In the end I only managed to obtain an not so good looking curve between 18 to 100 Hz within +/- 3dB from 30 to 70 Hz. I found the PEQ effective only within a narrow bandwidth. I guess that's why SVS refer to it as a "single band" PEQ.

#28 of 185 Craig Chase

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Posted May 30 2004 - 01:40 AM

Shiu, one parametric band is quite adjustable, but yes, one will only solve the largest problem. What are your room dimensions? Perhaps We can help with you results...

As for being disappointed, don't. Both Hsu and SVS are so far above most subwoofers you buy in a Brick and mortar...
Craig Chase

#29 of 185 Edward J M

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Posted May 30 2004 - 02:09 AM

Craig - we've taken Shiu about as far as we can over at Club Polk. He bought a PC-Ultra and it took a while, but she's up and running strong, now. I think the term he used was "butt massage" during the AOTC ship explosion opener. Posted Image

I'll tell ya what, +/- 3dB from 30-70 Hz is outstanding. The PEQ can be widened to affect roughly one octave, or narrowed down to (IIRC) 0.1 octave (almost pinpoint). If you want an even flatter curve, the multi-band PEQ from Behringer will do the trick, and Craig is an expert user at this point. There is also a Snapbug download manual for new users, Shiu.

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#30 of 185 Shiu

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Posted May 30 2004 - 02:14 AM

Craig, it is 11WX18DX8H, with one 4.5 ft wide opening on the side at one end of the room. My fronts, centre, and sub are all placed at the end without the opening on the side. The sub is located about 6 inches from the end wall and 30" ffrom the side wall. The sub has very strong response between 20 and 45 without the PEQ in effect, and it is very weak from 75 Hz up with a couple of peak (small peaks but still weak relative to the lows) between 70 and 80 Hz. BTW, mine is a cylinder.

Thank you for trying to help but this is a different subject so may be I should start a new thread.

#31 of 185 Craig Chase

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Posted May 30 2004 - 02:32 AM

Shiu ... Plus Ed has already made a great suggestion... There is also a thread being conductd by a gent on Home Theater SPot regarding the different Behringer units...

In the near future, I will be involved in testing a new subwoofer 5 band, completely consumer adjustable parametric Eq. It will allow total control, including the ability for a person to have one EQ set up for movies, and another for music... up to 5 settings within the unit, and more stored in a computer, if you wish...

It looks like production units will be ready before fall, and it will be audiophile in quality... pretty exciting stuff, especially for $400...

Ed - Once Beta testing starts, I would love to get one into your hands... if you are interested.

DAVE NELMS... Yes, I totally agree the listening experience is what a system is all about. I can also tell you that what you hear can be measured. Manufacturers use measuring to make sure their speakers/subwoofers are performing as designed. They also then listen to the product. And they repeat this cycle until they get the desired results.

A simple question for you, and this is a "yes" or "no" question...

"Should a person conducting a product comparison make sure that he/she uses every feature built into each product to maximize each product's performance?"
Craig Chase

#32 of 185 Edward J M

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Posted May 30 2004 - 03:13 AM

Quote:
Ed - Once Beta testing starts, I would love to get one into your hands... if you are interested.

Is the pope catholic? Posted Image PM me with details so we don't derail this thread.
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#33 of 185 Dave Nelms

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Posted May 30 2004 - 03:35 AM

Craig-

In answer to your question of if a person should use every feature built in to a product when conducting testing, is an obvious 'yes'. But I respond with a question back to you. Does that mean that the user is going to use all of the features on the unit when the unit is in actual home use?

I have had pre amps and receivers that have bells and whistles that reviewers say work great but when I get them home I do not like what they do to the sound so I don't use them. And I still recommended the product to friends knowing it had this, in my opinion unusable feature.

I cannot remember if I had said this before but if I had just purchased the SVS sub without comparing it directly with the Hsu, I would be extremely happy. However, when I had the chance to listen to them I just like the sound of the Hsu better. (Which is really a moot point as I cannot afford either subs right now.)Posted Image

I just go back to my original thought, if one sub sounds better in my home than the other, why should I wonder which sub is rated the best? I know which sub I liked best and I am the one who has to live with it. (My wife has told me if I came home with another sub, I will be living in it, so I better be sure of my choice.)

#34 of 185 CurtisSC

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Posted May 30 2004 - 03:35 AM

Craig,

The bottomline is you have a problem with the opinions stated about how the subs sounded in my room.

Yes, my room conditions are less than optimal, for anything I put in it.

Please point out to me the harsh criticism I have posted of your reviews. I think you have me mixed up with someone else. All I have ever done was ask questions, which you answered. Apparently, my answers are not good enough for you.

Quote:
Again, If I see anyone testing a product, and do not think the product was given full effort by the reviewer, whether intentional or not, I think it deserves pointing out.

Judging by your criticism of my "test", I expect you to be quite busy then.
curtis
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#35 of 185 Craig Chase

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Posted May 30 2004 - 04:22 AM

Curtis, I never once said you had "harsh criticism", I said you pointed out areas (ie... the lack of the EQ in the 1220 pair I had, which, by the way, I also stated quite clearly that I only had them for a month, not long emough to form a firm opinion) and that you were quite vocal in making sure that I had contacted Hsu for the best placement of the VTF-3/2's.

They were quite civil conversations. So I point out where your test was lacking, and you seem to think I am somehow wrong for doing so. YOU keep mentioning your room, I am not talking about your room, I am talking about the unit in question, the PB1+. You did not use the subwoofer itself in the most beneficial way.

Dave, There is nothing wrong with you having preferred the VTF-3... but is a fact that a major performance enhancement in the PB1+ was not used. If that is irrelevant to you, ok.

I doubt most people who own subwoofers with a built in parametric EQ find it a "useless option" ... I own four Rocket UFW-10's, and find the EQ to be a great feature.
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#36 of 185 Dave Nelms

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Posted May 30 2004 - 06:57 AM

Well due to rain the Indy 500 is stopped so I have some time to write.

Craig-

I will have to check in with Curtis and others about the use of the EQ feature on the SVS sub. I was just the ears of the test and did not set it up.

When I was refering to features on equipment I know that many times equipment has features that many of us would not use, some of which we would. Personally I do not like to use of EQs and tone controls on equipment but I am always willing to learn.

I will check about the use of the EQ on the SVS and I will post back.

#37 of 185 Dave Nelms

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Posted May 30 2004 - 07:10 AM

I was just able to find out abouth the EQ use on the SVS sub when I had a chance to listen.

When I first heard the sub at Curtis's house I was informed that the EQ was not used.

The second time I heard the sub it had been set up by a third party and the EQ was also not used. And I am thinking that the SVS' performance might have improved with the use of the EQ, that gives me something else to look into again.

My concern would be is as a normal HT guy who does not posses any special equipment would I benifit from the use of an EQ on a sub. As I said before I do not even use tone controls on my main system. But this is a good point and something that will give me an other reason to do another listening session.

#38 of 185 CurtisSC

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Posted May 30 2004 - 07:20 AM

Craig...is that why you are beating me over the head? Because I did not use the parametric EQ on the PB1+?

OK...then I will concede, the PB1+ could have sounded better if the EQ was used.
curtis
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#39 of 185 Craig Chase

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Posted May 30 2004 - 07:32 AM

Dave, It really does not require a lot of equipment... but it does require effort. If you really want to explore this idea of really testing the subwoofers, order one of each, a VTF-3/2 in Rosewood and a PB1+ ... and get some feedback from both Dr. Hsu and Ron Stimpson.

Then grab yourself a Radio Shack Meter, and make sure both subs are calibrated. At this point it would be up to the guys from SVS to help you "dial in" the EQ for your room.

To properly set up either subwoofer would take a couple of hours to do well, but it is well worth the effort.

Then, once you are done, run some blind listening tests... make sure you are familiar with the music and the room... and you will really discover a lot...
Craig Chase

#40 of 185 Shiu

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Posted May 30 2004 - 11:16 AM

Craig, as you now know, I did get a lot of help at club Polk, but there is no way I can get enough from 75 to 100 Hz, let alone from 100 to 160 Hz that the satellites need from the sub according to Polk. So even a multi-band PEQ will not do it. That's why I am considering replacing the RTi38 in the front and relocate the 38 to the side to fill that "hole". Of course this is not a problem in 2 channel material, as the RTi38 is excellent in mid bass down to 50 Hz (XO at 80 Hz) without help from the Ultra. I think SVS and satellites are simply incompatible. For now, I took Doc's advice and set the satellites and sub XO to 100 Hz, and start saving up in the mean time.

Thanks anyway, I am still enjoying reading this thread regardless.





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