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SVS or Build


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44 replies to this topic

#1 of 45 Don.l

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Posted August 27 2005 - 11:00 PM

I am building my HT, and will be upgrading the subwoofer. Initially I was thinking about the SVS 25-31 pci. I know that this is a good sub, but it is currently about $549. I'll pay $549 for good quality but, can I build a sub of the same quality for less than $549? That is my question. I have never built a sub before. I really don't want to get into making the enclosue. I just want to get the parts together and assemble. Anybody have any opinions?

Thanks
Don

#2 of 45 Parker Clack

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Posted August 28 2005 - 12:34 AM

Don:

There are a lot of guys in the DIY area of the forum that have built their own subs. I would post a message there about what you are wanting to do.

Personally, I would get the SVS instead of having to build the enclosure, get all the parts and then put it together. SVS builds only high quality subs and for $549 you may be able to build it cheaper by doing it yourself but I would imagine that you would come close to that price too.

Unless you are just wanting to build the sub yourself because you would like the experience I would order the SVS and see what you think. You can always return it if it doesn't do what you want it to.

Anything is that you can call Ron or Tom and talk to them. They will not try to sell you on one of their subs. They will give you all the info you need as to where you can pick up the parts, etc. for DIY and information about their own product line.

Good luck with your choice.

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#3 of 45 Jack Gilvey

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Posted August 28 2005 - 12:49 AM

Quote:
Personally, I would get the SVS instead of having to build the enclosure, get all the parts and then put it together. SVS builds only high quality subs and for $549 you may be able to build it cheaper by doing it yourself but I would imagine that you would come close to that price too.

Agreed. And with SVS, you're guaranteed a certain level of quality and performance.
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#4 of 45 Rory Buszka

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Posted August 28 2005 - 02:50 AM

If you're good with a table saw and a router (or even a sabre saw will suffice) then you can build your own subwoofer. If you're looking into a SVS with the dB+ driver, I recommend checking out the AE Speakers AV12, which is like a dB+ driver but with a heavy cast frame and more linear excursion. (I imagine their mechanical excursion range is about the same, though.) AE Speakers also offers an AV15 which steps up to a 15" cone but with the same motor structure. I have an AV12 woofer in a 3 cubic foot box with two 15" passive radiators massed to 1400g (these are also sold by AE Speakers) and powered by a Parts express 500 watt plate amplifier and it can really deliver the goods. Disney's _The Incredibles_ was even more Incredible with bass that flexed the walls! If you're more of a music person, the AV series drivers are hailed as some of the cleanest sounding bass drivers ever made. If you have never DIYed before, I recommend that you do it once just to see what's possible from a dIY project. In addition, you can finish your project any way you want, not just in the four veneers and two colors SVS offers. I also believe SVS's enclosures are now sourced from China. You can tell they're not nearly as good looking anymore. If it's worth the extra money you spend on a finished product to not have to build your own enclosure, then I guess DIY may not be for you, but if you're interested in a learning experience that will change the way you look at the industry, go DIY.

AV12 = $175
PR15-1400g x 2 = $150 for two
DAYTON HPSA500 = $300

That's my sub. You can get away without the passive radiators if you build a 4 cu. ft. box and tune it with ports. I am just fascinated with passive radiators so I went with them. Port kits are only about $20 each instead of the $75 each for the passive radiators.

Pop on over to the DIY forum and see what other people have to say who have gone the DIY route and couldn't be happier.
"It sounds like it's barfing out the bass." - Zach

#5 of 45 Dustin B

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Posted August 28 2005 - 03:40 AM

If you have the tools, and don't consider the time spent building the sub as an expense, then yes, you can easily build something equivalent or better than a SVS 25-31PCi. If either of the above aren't true, then you can't.

The other thing DIY allows, is for you to control the shifting of trade offs on the efficiency, enclosure size, extension graph. Meaning you can choose to build a massive enclosure to get high efficiency and low extension from inexpensive but very capable 15 or 18 inch drivers. People always call the SVS subs big. In the DIY world they are considered to be on the small side Posted Image

And with DIY an IB (which is the biggest and smallest sub you've ever seen at the same time) is always an option too Posted Image

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#6 of 45 Jordan_Brulotte

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Posted August 28 2005 - 06:06 AM

Really you can't go wrong with either root. Unless SVS has free shipping, I'd expect that to add a lot to the final cost... enough to possibly pay for a DIY cabinet.

I personally am a big fan of DIY.

#7 of 45 MikeLi

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Posted August 28 2005 - 06:17 AM

I have to disagree about the SVS cabinets coming from China. I have an older black PB2+ (now the PB12+2) and recently got an oak PB2+Ultra... Great cabinet and great finish! These cabinets are being made by one of the best cabinet makers that a lot of very expensive well known brands of speakers use here.

#8 of 45 Rory Buszka

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Posted August 28 2005 - 06:30 AM

I know they used to be made in the US and have lots of fancy cabinetry that really turned them into a piece of furniture but now the cabinets are from China where they can be more cheaply made, and they now just look like a veneer-covered box. The older cabinets that used to be made in the USA had such a nice finish that they almost looked like solid wood.
"It sounds like it's barfing out the bass." - Zach

#9 of 45 KeithMoechnig

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Posted August 28 2005 - 10:37 AM

If you don't mind cutting holes in your wall, check out getting 2 12" dayton quatro drivers( 150 + shipping) and an XLS 402 on ebay(around 280-300 with shipping). an IB even with 2 drivers can get pretty extreme.

#10 of 45 billybob_jcv

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Posted August 28 2005 - 10:43 AM

I really envy the folks who have the tools and the know-how to build their own enclosures. I have spent quite a bit of time studying the diy sites trying to screw-up my courage, but I'm just not confident enough in my wood skills to try it. My stupid perfectionist, engineering brain just won't let me start something I'm not sure I can make perfect. Posted Image

What I need is a neighbor with a garage full of tools that loves to build things for other people. Posted Image

#11 of 45 Jack Gilvey

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Posted August 28 2005 - 01:54 PM

I'm gonna have to get me some more Chinese furniture. Posted Image

Posted Image
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#12 of 45 Dan Lindley

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Posted August 28 2005 - 02:25 PM

Are they (SVS) really outsourcing to China now? They used to make such a big deal out of not doing that and using USA whenever possible. Sad. Hope this is wrong....

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#13 of 45 Rory Buszka

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Posted August 28 2005 - 05:03 PM

Yeah, the veneered enclosures without that little black outline close to the edges of the cabinet are the ones SVS is now sourcing from China. FWIW, they may be sourced from Mark Schifter's factory, the same factory that builds cabinets for Onix "Rocket" and VMPS speakers. I understand that Mr. Schifter treats his workers much better than many other cabinet factories in the area, and the output still looks decent enough, but not nearly as good as the original USA-made cabinets, and your money goes toward turning China into a world power. I think they're still technically communist. It grieves me that my H/K reciever was made in China, but I guess I'll really have to shell out in order to get anything that _isn't_ made there, and right now I'm not financially prepared to do that.
"It sounds like it's barfing out the bass." - Zach

#14 of 45 KenWA

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Posted August 28 2005 - 05:06 PM

This is a bit of a "noise" message in comparison to the above "signal" messages, but here is a cool subwoofer kit even though it's not currently available for shipping:

http://www.creatives....l=EZTUBESHIVAP

The assembly manual gives some SPL and THD measurements.

#15 of 45 Jack Gilvey

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Posted August 28 2005 - 11:34 PM

Quote:
Are they (SVS) really outsourcing to China now?

Yeah, this was announced quite a while ago on their site, no big secret. MLS does the work...nice stuff.

DIY can certainly be fun, no doubt,although it's not as monetarily rewarding as it used to be with the cheap, great subs around (I was stunned when I first played with an SVS PB10). It would be cool to see some actual testing to compare something like a cheaper SVS design against a similar DIY job to verify performance claims. I've been tempted to send one of mine to SVS or Ed Mullen for this purpose. I think it might not be too pretty, though...despite what Unibox says.
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#16 of 45 Don.l

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Posted August 28 2005 - 11:57 PM

Hmmm....Well, it looks like I'm getting a fairly good mix to this question. My concerns:

1. I should go with the SVS 25-31 pci (which they could tune down for me), by doing this I know that I will be getting good quality at a price of $549. Plus, I get a 45 day trial period and if I don't like it I can send it back (at my expense). Plus you get the 5 year warranty.

OR

2. Build one. I have looked at a few kits that are really just slightly cheaper and there is no warranty and once it's built, I'm stuck with it. I don't really want to invest in any special tools (table saw mainly), so I would want to get one that is already cut and the cabinet or tube is assembled.

I think I am going to go with the SVS. I do think that I would like to maybe some day build one, but not right now. I am still building the HT. I appreciate everyone's input.

Thanks
Don

#17 of 45 Rory Buszka

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Posted August 29 2005 - 01:06 AM

The drivers and plate amps usually have their own warranties through the Manufacturer.

I also wonder about some of that chinese MDF that MLS's shop is no doubt using. I wonder how migh you'd have to drop a chinese-made PB12/2+ compared to an american made PB12/2+ to get the driver to drop out of the cabinet with little chunks of MDF still holding onto the T-nuts. Somehow I think that the reason MLS can provide decent cabinets so cheaply is that chinese wood is also used, not just low labor costs.

I built my first sub with only a Table saw and a Sabre saw. I think some of these kits are overpriced for what you get, as the designer may think more highly of his or herself than they ought in being able to design a good kit. When you do your own design work, it saves a bundle as well.
"It sounds like it's barfing out the bass." - Zach

#18 of 45 Rory Buszka

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Posted August 29 2005 - 01:21 AM

One more thing:

The sub I built for myself would cost about $700-$750 to build today, cabinet and all. If I built the 4-c.f. EBS alignment with reflex vents, I would have only spent $675. But the SVS sub that is comparable to it, the PB12+, will set you back $900, in textured black, and $1100 in piano black. Both subs have pretty much all the same features except the SVS uses reflex ports and a bigger box instead of passive radiators and a smaller box like mine does. Gents and ladies, I feel it's safe to declare that there still is a large savings (~15%-30% in most cases) in DIY. Especially when you can find good, tested/proven enclosure designs for free in most cases. (My sub is based on the recommended Thunder 12.3 configuration from AE Speakers.) And the driver and plate amplifier (the two most common points of failure in powered subs) are each covered by separate warranties. I believe the one on the 500w plate amp is 1 year, and the one on the driver is longer than that. SVS has certainly buried any warranty information that exists on their site.
"It sounds like it's barfing out the bass." - Zach

#19 of 45 Philip Hamm

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Posted August 29 2005 - 01:21 AM

If you don't mind cutting holes in your walls and you have the space, nothing beats an Infinite Baffle arrangement for clarity and character of bass. IMO, of course. Also, no big box in the room, which IMO is quite neato. Best thing about it is you can do it with very crude fit-and-finish and it will still be perfect.
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#20 of 45 Jack Gilvey

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Posted August 29 2005 - 01:44 AM

Quote:
I think I am going to go with the SVS. I do think that I would like to maybe some day build one, but not right now.

The key is to do it for fun. Don't think that you're automatically going to "equal" so-and-so design because they appear similar...that's all guesswork.

The IB approach mentioned above (here's mine ) is probably the most "guaranteed" success...nothing really needs to be optimized with the common massive displacement overkill.
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