3 SVS sub questions before purchase

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tom_Mack, Nov 24, 2001.

  1. Tom_Mack

    Tom_Mack Stunt Coordinator

    Dec 11, 2000
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    I'm considering upgrading my Paradigm PDR-10 subwoofer to an SVS. I have 3 questions before I make my decision.

    1. Which SVS model 20-39PC or CS??

    I am in the process of moving into a basement home theater room (A contractor is going to be building the room by the new year. I'm using a very odd shaped living room for my theater right now. It has many corners, fireplace, steps to 2nd floor.....I can't wait for the basement to be done!!!) The room should be about 20' by 15' when complete. I listen to movies at a volume less than reference, but still pretty loud. Not sure exactly, but probably 8-10 db lower than reference. I guess I may listen louder in the future. I am using the Paradigm monitor series speakers with a Yamaha RX-V596 receiver if it makes a difference. Will I need the 350 watts of the Samson for my room or will the self-powered sub do fine. Does the Samson amp have auto on-off like the PC?

    2. I would like to get the ART 351 EQ (can't afford the Symetrix). Does using an EQ require an off board amp or can I use the EQ with the self powered sub?

    3. How important is having the phase control? I know the CS would not have one. Will I miss having one?

    Thanks for any help!
  2. Ned

    Ned Supporting Actor

    Feb 20, 2000
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    My opinion-
    1. Go with the CS series and the Samson S700 amp. If you want a 2nd 20-39 later you'll be ready for it (and you will [​IMG] )
    2. I'd suggest not getting the ART until you get the sub, set it up, and take some measurements. If you have some really bad peaks that can't be reduced by changing the sub position then think about getting it. I got it with my 20-39 and then my room ended up measuring nearly ruler flat with the sub stuck in the corner so all the EQ really does now is filters below 20hz (useful but another sub would reduce the need for this).
    3. Don't need phase control. Best setup is to have all your speakers set to SMALL so they won't be producing any bass under 80 or 100hz (depends on your receiver). If they don't produce any bass then there's no phase to match. Easy.
    If you can, go with the dual 20-39CS package with the Samson amp. EQ later perhaps.
  3. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

    Jun 2, 2001
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    Ned nailed it pretty much but I'll add my 2 pfennig.

    First, that's a pretty large space. IF (big if) you want to reach what we call "theater levels" of deep bass, or what's also refered to as Dolby Digital reference levels, you almost certainly are going to need dual SVS's. The distinction of CS or PC is pretty much a personal one, and our FAQ's page talks about this a bit. The bottom line? You'll spend less, and get a bit more performance with a CS setup.

    Now, initially you will spend a bit more for a CS and Samson package, but the ability to double your bass performance by simply adding one CS sub down the road means it's the better upgrade path.

    If you like loud action flicks, and do some spirited demos for the friends and family that will flock to your HT, then again, a single CS-Ultra or one CS (our 20-39CS is the most popular given both good deep extension and high SPL capability)with provisions for a second later is the way to go.

    If you have more modest SPL requirements (not everyone wants or needs high levels of sound for their HT) then a single PC sub will do very well, and exceed the performance of about anything at the like price point (pick the model based on your desires, more on the various tunes of SVSs on our FAQs page). Do keep in mind though that if your mains and other speakers are to be run as "small" then the load on your subwoofer(s) go up significantly. This is why we recommend folks get more sub capability than they think they need. Rather than have one sub running 10/10ths, have two running with plenty of headroom to burn. There are more and more DVD's that demand levels unheard of just a few years ago (Toy Story 2, The Phantom Menace, The Haunting, Fight Club, just to name a few).

    Couple this with the fact that most people find running really clean and capable subs a few dBs over their mains in calibration levels to yield a more satisfying HT experience (especially if you are NOT listening at loud levels, sort of the old "loudness control" idea of the old stereo days). So even at 8dB under in listening levels you can find a single sub stressed badly. One other thing here. As you get better mains, receiver AND subwoofer you will find that listening at reference level to actually enjoyable now and again. Less capable systems will strain and sound fatiguing. Get good gear, calibrate it well, provide a ton of clean bass headroom and you may well find yourself edging thigs up to reference level more and more often.

    As for the auto on etc. I hardly think it's critical. I have turned my Samson's off maybe 2 times in a year. They are dead quiet and draw little power when not cranking out bass.

    You can use an ART 351 equalizer with either a CS or PC subwoofer, but I agree that if price is an issue you can wait to see if you really need one. Again, a great, and powerful tool but one you can live without, at least initially.

    Hope this helps some.
  4. Bob_M

    Bob_M Stunt Coordinator

    Apr 3, 2000
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    Hi Ned

    >If they don't produce any bass then there's no phase to match. Easy. <

    But don't you need to match the phase at the crossover? My understanding is that is not a brick wall and thus you are going to have some overlap there?

    thanks Bob
  5. Tom Vodhanel

    Tom Vodhanel Cinematographer

    Sep 4, 1998
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    Right, a phase mismatch will be less audible if all bass is rerouted to the subwoofer(S)...but it could still be a concern. You can flip the phase on any passive sub by simply reversing the speaker wire leads going into it's binding post(this is the same as a 0/180 phase switch on a sub amp). It doesn;t hurt to have a continuously variable phase knob of course...but imo...a simple 0/180 switch works fine.


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