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Acoustic Visions MRS-10 Subwoofer Review Thread


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#1 of 45 OFFLINE   Edward J M

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Posted November 26 2004 - 11:52 AM

This review is posted at Secrets. Anyone wishing to discuss the review, or ask questions about the product can post here. And I'm starting a similar thread at the Secrets forum.

Kyle Richardson (owner and operator of Acoustic Visions) will also be available to answer questions about the MRS-10 or other related Acoustic Visions products. Thanks in advance.

Acoustic Visions MRS-10 Subwoofer Review - Secrets Website

Regards,

Ed
Ed Mullen
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#2 of 45 OFFLINE   Eric Hargrove

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Posted November 26 2004 - 12:23 PM

Edward,

Great job on yet another outstanding review. I appreciate your objective methodology. It makes it easy to decipher the data. Looks like Kyle has produced a very nice sub.Posted Image

#3 of 45 OFFLINE   BillHewitt

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Posted November 26 2004 - 02:09 PM

Ed, I have to say, I'm a huge fan of your reviews, and they just keep getting better. Hrm...not to be a downer or anything, but it seems (from comparing the two excellent reviews that Ed has done for Secrets) that the SVS PB10-ISD pretty well sonically dominates this subwoofer for slightly less money. Is that a fair assessment? I realize that there are more things to take into consideration when buying a sub (namely aesthetics and features, which seem to be strong suits of the MRS-10), but looking at the charts...well, I'd have a very hard time picking the MRS-10 over the PB10-ISD. Granted, the MRS-10 still looks to be a very respectable sub. I guess I was just hoping for more out of the Acoustics Vision workshop.

#4 of 45 OFFLINE   Kyle Richardson

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Posted November 26 2004 - 02:58 PM

Eric, I didnt realize we were such close neighbors! Bill, The PB10 is an excellent subwoofer, but the PB10 and MRS10 are quite different subwoofers with different design goals. They both use the same size driver and are near the same price which is why I can see why one would want to compare them but they are really quite different. Think of it this way: You have a sports car that has 300HP that costs $50,000 and you have a diesel truck that also has 300HP and costs $50,000. Both have the same HP and price but the sports car will be much quicker off the line and at top speed but will be crushed by the fifth wheel the truck is towing up the hill at the speed limit. Two totally different design goals with both vehicles excelling at what they were designed to do best. As Ed mentions in the review, the main design goals of the MRS10 were: 1. Sound good 2. Be small 3. Look good. In order to fulfill those goals a sealed design was chosen which tends to usually sacrifice high output in the lowest frequencies. The sealed design does give the ability to make a small subwoofer and that was one of the key design goals. Yes, I could have gone to a ported design to get more ouput down low but then the size would have increased defeating one of the main goals. At 13-3/4" on all sides the MRS10 is a good bit smaller than the PB10 at 18" H x 15" W x 21" D Although output may not be as much as the PB10, the MRS10 is still putting out roughly 110dB in Ed's room which is very good for a small, sealed design utilizing a 10" driver. It is also flat to the low to mid 20Hz range in Ed's room which is what I have measured as well, again, a pretty good feat for a small, sealed design. Maybe Ed can chime in with some of his thoughts. Edited: to add the car analogy.
Kyle Richardson
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#5 of 45 OFFLINE   Edward J M

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Posted November 27 2004 - 01:00 AM

Hi Bill: There is no question the PB10-ISD extends deeper and has higher clean (i.e., distortion-limited) output down deep. This can be expected from the much larger enclosure and the vented alignment. The Destijl XBL^2 woofer used in the MRS-10 would perform quite differently in an optimized vented enclosure roughly the same size as the PB10-ISD. While the quasi-anechoic response of the MRS-10 rolls off pretty quickly, the sealed design will exhibit a shallow in-room roll-off and will take advantage of room gain in a small-mid size room. Hence the extension into the mid 20 Hz region. Take a look at the in-room FR and you will see a very flat and neutral looking curve >35 Hz, which is why the MRS-10 sounds great on music. For HT the MRS-10 absolutely pounds on bass passages in the 30 Hz region, due in part the stout woofer, and also due to a bit of room gain boost peaking at around 28 Hz in my listening room. Below 25 Hz the frequency response and the clean output starts to trail off, and this should be expected with a small sealed unit electronically high passed at 31 Hz. The only way to extend the response even deeper while maintaining the small sealed design would be to use massive amounts of EQ and a much more powerful amplifier - this might tend to overload the woofer at the lowest frequencies and would also add cost and complexity. It's not the design route Kyle wanted with the MRS-10. You rightly point out that size and aesthetics are important purchase considerations for some people. These (along with good overall in-room performance) are strong suits of the MRS-10 and this sub will be a very good choice for certain folks. Regards, Ed
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#6 of 45 OFFLINE   Jack Keck

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Posted November 27 2004 - 03:01 AM

The review says the MRS-10 (well-named, BTW cuz lotsa Mrs.'s should love it - sorry. I can't leave a bad pun alone) will work in a small to medium sized room. My question: What exactly do you mean by "small"? Or "medium"? If your idea of small is bigger than that of your reader, your otherwise well-written review might very well put off of a product that might just be exactly what he needs.
Jack

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#7 of 45 OFFLINE   Edward J M

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Posted November 27 2004 - 03:56 AM

Hi Jack: My room is about 12'x18' with an open stairwell and small landing leading to two other rooms (these doors can be closed, though). Figure 2,000 ft3 of space to fill, all things considered. I wouldn't go much larger than this if the user still wants decent extension into the mid-upper 20 Hz region and SPL peaks in the 105-110 dB region at the listening position. Perhaps Kyle has experience with the MRS-10 in a larger room and/or guidelines on maximum room size. I would imagine 3000 ft3 would be stretching things with respect to useable extension, though. Regards, Ed
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#8 of 45 OFFLINE   dave alan

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Posted November 27 2004 - 04:33 AM

Ed, It's always a pleasure to see the upward movement in your finished product over the years. I notice that you use TrueRTA for THD numbers. I'm not familiar with this software and wondered if you might clarify an observation... Does TrueRTA calculate THD, or do you do the calc yourself, and, if so, do you have to estimate the magnitude of each order in that calculation? Kyle, This sub is a beauty. Congratulations. It deserves mentioning, IMO, that use of multiple (as in stereo subs or even 1 for each satellite with all channels set to large) MRS-10s is a very viable choice (due to price and size). In any case, it was my first thought upon reading Ed's review. It really is a stunner at this price point. Looking forward to hearing one...or more. Dave

#9 of 45 OFFLINE   Kyle Richardson

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Posted November 27 2004 - 04:37 AM

You're right, everybody's idea of small or medium might be different. When I say "medium" I am referring to an average size family room of about 2000ft^3. Obviously, it can be used in a larger room than that but maximum output will start to drop a bit. Some users have no need to hit over 100dB and in those cases it would work even in large rooms so one just needs to decide how much sub they need.
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#10 of 45 OFFLINE   Kyle Richardson

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Posted November 27 2004 - 04:42 AM

Dave, good seeing you in this thread! Yes, you mentioned using stereo subs and many users set them up just like that in their music set-ups. Using a stereo pair of these would provide PLENTY of output for most users.
Kyle Richardson
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#11 of 45 OFFLINE   Edward J M

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Posted November 27 2004 - 05:22 AM

Hi Dave: Thanks for the props; I'm striving for continuous improvement in the review process. In future reviews, look for the addition of power compression (via a slow reverse 100-20 Hz sine sweep) to compliment the dynamic output limits measured by TrueRTA. Also look for MLS based tests (I recently added ETF-5) like impulse response, phase response, and spectral decay. Maybe not all of these will be added, but the capability will be there. I'd also like your feedback via PM on another test parameter I've been developing...... Regarding distortion measurements: No, TrueRTA does not auto-calc distortion. While there are several auto-calc software packages available, it is my understanding the less expensive ones can be prone to some level of error. And many of them show the THD level fluctuating continuously, so you have to guesstimate the SPL if you are trying to hit 10% (or w/e). No, I don't estimate the distortion level. The total SPL and the harmonics are shown on the RTA display to the .01 dB resolution. I have developed an Excel program that does the log10 to linear conversions and calculates the exact distortion level (in %) for each harmonic, and then sums them all for the THD reading. Wherever possible, I extend out to the 10th order if it can be seen above the noise floor. I also apply window weighting (i.e., Blackman-Harris, etc.) to the harmonic structure, if it is represented by several bins. I have recently noted that lowering the input sampling frequency to 8 kHz almost completely eliminates the need for weighting of the harmonic structure, as the total bin resolution increases significantly (it only has to cover from 10 Hz - 4 kHz) and the entire fundamental and associated harmonics can almost always be represented by a single bin value. This slows down the software badly, though and I'm still experimenting with the ideal balance of input sampling frequency vs. software response speed. Regardless, manual calculation may be slower, but it is essentially error free, provided the data is valid. Probably more than you wanted to know, but hope this helps. Ed
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#12 of 45 OFFLINE   Ilkka R

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Posted November 27 2004 - 05:36 AM

Ed: Any chance that you could post that Excel program? I have been playing with TrueRTA also and wondered how to calculate THD. SpectraPRO is another good program, it can calculate many things, also THD.

#13 of 45 OFFLINE   Tim Hoover

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Posted November 27 2004 - 06:17 AM

I don't want to bring up the PB-10 comparison again, but it should be noted that Kyle's sub DOES feature high-level inputs while the PB-10 does not. This is an important consideration for those of us who might have minimalist secondary systems...
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#14 of 45 OFFLINE   Edward J M

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Posted November 27 2004 - 07:23 AM

Ilkka: You've got PM. Tim: Comparing products at/near the same price point is perfectly fine. High level connections would be useful to someone without a Dolby AV receiver or pre/pro for digital bass management.
Ed Mullen
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#15 of 45 OFFLINE   Tim Hoover

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Posted November 27 2004 - 11:01 AM

Ed - yup, exactly my point. My office system is running off a Cambridge Audio A300 w/o a sub out. I guess the best comparison would be between the MRS-10 and the Adire Rava. I'd be extremely curious to see how those two face off...
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#16 of 45 OFFLINE   Edward J M

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Posted November 27 2004 - 11:40 AM

The two subs should be close in overall performance. The Shiva woof can displace a bit more air (1.59 Liters vs. 1.25 Liters) so I imagine the Rava might have a slight edge in max output, but I doubt the difference will significant. Based on the FR posted for the Rava, I doubt it gets any deeper than the MRS-10. Maybe Kyle can shed more light, as he also offered the Rava at one time.
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#17 of 45 OFFLINE   Brian Bunge

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Posted November 27 2004 - 01:53 PM

Ed, I have also built several subs using the same driver and amp but with my own cabinet. IIRC, Dan Wiggins basically told me that this sub and the Rava should track within less than a dB of each other from 20Hz on up. As a matter of fact, I've got the first sub I built with this driver in my living room right now and it does quite well considering I have a completely open floor plan and the house is built on a concrete slab. A pair would be quite impressive to say the least.
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#18 of 45 OFFLINE   Kyle Richardson

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Posted November 27 2004 - 03:01 PM

Yes, as Brian mentions the Rava and MRS10 will be very, very close in performance.
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#19 of 45 OFFLINE   Edward J M

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Posted November 27 2004 - 11:34 PM

I had also heard unofficial reports to the same effect. And with the MRS-10, you get the smaller and better looking cabinet to boot. The MRS-10 woof is certainly a beast. I had a few guests over last night for some demo's, and we hooked up the MRS-10. No one could believe that 14" square sub was flat out pounding the room on bassy DVDs. I pushed it really hard and it never faltered or bottomed out - every one was quite impressed with its dynamics.
Ed Mullen
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#20 of 45 OFFLINE   Tim Hoover

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Posted November 28 2004 - 08:12 AM

Ed, Kyle, Brian - thx for the input. I've been seriously considering a sub for my office to round out the bottom octave, and the MRS-10 definitely looks like a winner. Hopefully I'll get some cash for Christmas Posted Image
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