ACI Force vs. SVS PB1-ISD

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by jack x, Jul 28, 2004.

  1. jack x

    jack x Stunt Coordinator

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    ACI Force vs. SVS PB1-ISD

    Hi All,

    Finally, I am looking to add a subwoofer to my 5.1 setup. Recently, I have done a lot of searching, but have not found any reviews directly comparing these 2 subs.

    FYI, I have a Rotel 1055 A/V receiver, 3 ACI Sapphires (DIY) on B&W stands up front, and 2 Paradigm AMS-300 in-wall speakers for surrounds.

    My 15’x 21’ room has a cathedral ceiling from approx. 17’ down to 9’ and the room is mostly open (there is a knee wall half-way across) to the kitchen on 1 (15’) side.

    My wife really does not want to see a subwoofer in the room. Also, she wants to keep the cost down since we are finally going to upgrade our TV. We have a 10-year old 25-inch Magnavox that we plan to replace with a SONY LCD rear projection KDF-55WF655 (forthcoming Sept 2004) or the current KDF-60XBR950.

    With all this in mind, I am looking on paper at the ACI Force ($749 + possibly another $100 for cherry sides) and the SVS PB1-ISD ($599). I have also considered the SVS PB2-ISD ($899), but I think it is WAY too big for WAF placement in our room. I think the Force is at the top of my list since it is by far the smallest. However, even the ACI Titan ($1100) appears to be smaller than the SVS PB1-ISD.

    I have no experience with subwoofers whatsoever and so I would really appreciate hearing from anyone who has heard both the Force and the PB1-ISD. I would also appreciate feedback from anyone with a similar sized room who has used either of these subs.

    Lastly, I assume about 50/50 HT/music, although it will likely shift to 70/30 (HT/music) once we get a new TV and a subwoofer.

    Thanks for reading and thanks for your feedback!

    -Jackson
     
  2. John Tami

    John Tami Stunt Coordinator

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    I cant speak for the the other two....I just read and read and read and read some more....and IMO for Bang for Buck you can't beat SVS...and no one, I repeat NO ONE has close to their customer service.

    Size dictates performance. Yeah, additional power can help, but always introduces tradeoffs. SVS's are that size for carefully thought out reasons.

    The best way to find what works best, is to use windows paint, and draw your room. Include Equipment placement, furniture, windows, fireplace, openings, speaker placement, and dimesions. Attach it to an email and give your HT/Music preferences and loudness info...and send it to [email protected] That will start an interesting line of dialog, and you will get very useful info on what best works for your room.

    Also, don't discount the cylinders. Yes they are tall (20-39 is the sweet spot) but they have a smaller footprint and tend to disappear in rooms. To my engineering mind...sound waves like cylinders better then boxes...don't see many square speakers do ya! [​IMG]

    The PB1-ISD is tuned to 22hz. My 20-39PCi (same amp and driver) is tuned at 20Hz. Either can extend much lower with little rolloff. It's the size that does that for you. You have to feel the 11hz Machine voice in the last Matrix flik, or the Depth Charges in U571. Just the twit tapping the fishtank in Nemo is a life changing event to most SVS owners! You'll soon find yourself searching hard for the best bass movies. And dont even get me started on music! [​IMG]

    Oh, and my room....15'x20' with cathedral ceiling and open corner. We can feel the concrete slab move! My 4 boys love it! LOL!
     
  3. jack x

    jack x Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi John,

    Thanks for your detailed reply! I did not realize that the PB1-ISD is tuned to 22hz. I think I’d like to go to 20 Hz before roll-off, if possible. Hopefully I could hear/feel some of the stuff around 10-16 Hz if even barely.

    I haven’t seen Nemo since I don’t have kids, but I hear it looks good.

    I really think I’d be happier with the SVS PB2-ISD, but it is like 4.4 times the size (cubic inches) of the Force. If I knew that I could hide it behind a chair, I might be OK with it, but I am afraid that the optimum spot (soundwise) for it will be in the front or middle of the room and in plain sight. Is it ok to put behind a large, fabric "chair and a half"?

    Brand - Model Width x Ht x Depth ______ Cu.inch_Price(US$)
    ACI – Force____ 16.75 x 13.5 x 12.5__ 2826.6 __ $ 749
    ACI – Titan ____ 16.5 x 22.75 x 16.5__ 6193.7 __ 1100
    SVS – PB1-isd __18 x 21 x 20_______ 7560.0__ 599
    SVS – PB2-isd __ 18 x 25 x 28_______12600.0__ 899
    SVS – PB1-plus __19 x 25 x 25_______11875.0 __ 1199


    This leads me to another question. How close can subs be placed to a tv ? If it matters, assume I will be getting a SONY LCD rear projection unit.

    Thanks!! jack
     
  4. John Tami

    John Tami Stunt Coordinator

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    Double Post! Bah!
     
  5. John Tami

    John Tami Stunt Coordinator

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    Jack, it can be retuned (to 20Hz) for free by SVS. But like I said, email Tom....it's really a pleasure to work with him and Ron (and Eric in Shipping) and even if you don't get an SVS, you'll have a better feel for what your rooms needs are by true pro's.

    And even though the stock tune is 22Hz....is still a very gradual roll off....these puppies are amazing. (I don't hear 25-31 owners complaining!)

    And yes, my Sub currently sits right next to my HD RPTV. Not a problem. When I re-carpet, then I'll move it behind my chair. It's currently 14' from me...and there is no lack of bass! [​IMG]
     
  6. Juan_T

    Juan_T Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Jackx, I got an SVS20-39 and at first I thought it was gigantic! when i took it out of the box, I was like.. uh-oh Im dead meat!(WAF) Anyways, once I placed it on the corner with the rest of my speakers, it really didnt take up much space! Also, if you really want to hide it, just buy one of those japanes partitions! you know, the folding wall type of thing.. and hide it behind it!
     
  7. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    Let me put my .02 in first about this statement. I have dealt with both SVS and ACI although I haven't bought anything from SVS as of yet. I would have to say that the customer service for both companies is pretty much equal. There is no doubt that Ron and Tom at SVS are very responsive and first class, but that is EXACTLY what you are going to get from Mike at ACI as well. Both companies answer e-mails promptly and have amazing customer service. ACI has a 30 day money back guarantee and when I got my Essence center channel I was worried that it was too big, Mike said "take as long as you need to evaluate it...and if it doesn't fit your needs, send it back...whenever that may be." Now how can you beat that?

    As for the subs, based on your needs Jack, I would get the SVS for performance based HT applications. I have an ACI Titan II and it's an amazing sub. Furniture grade cabinetry and seamless integration with one of the lowest Q ratings on the market. However, it gives me much more than I need for my HT needs, but it's basically a music sub. It's job is to blend seamlessly, disappear and not make itself known. I have it behind a couch in the corner, out of sight and most people think that great full bottom end comes from my Sapphires, until I point it out.

    If you are going 70/30 HT use, I would probably go with the SVS as it's going to have a more forceful bottom end I would imagine. From the way people on this forum speak about the subs, they are wall shakers. My Titan can do that as well, but that's not it's main job. And I doubt it can do it as well as the SVS.

    They are both factory direct companies with great return policies. Why don't you order both and return the one that doesn't meet your needs?
     
  8. Tim O...

    Tim O... Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a SVS - the PB2-isd - and let me tell you, they are the real deal, in every way. This thing does literally shake the entire house, when asked to (you can of course turn it down). I can't speak for the ACI's, although I've read good things about them.

    On a price to performance scale, I don't think there's anyone out there that can beat SVS' offerings. The PB2-isd especially is one of if not the best they sell in that department; that's why I bought it. On the other hand, it is frickin' huge. There's no question about that. You will be shocked when it arrives.

    My advice: you can't go wrong with SVS. You really can't. If you don't want to look back after your purchase, get the 20-39 PC+ ($825) or the PB2-isd ($899). You won't be under-equipped with either one, and you shouldn't have any regrets, unless you turn into a reall bass-nut (it happens once you hear good, clean bass and lots of it) and decide you want 4 subs or something crazy like that. The 20-39 will disappear into a corner after a few days and your wife will probably forget about it. The PB2-isd can easily be used as an end table, or you could place it in a corner and place some knick-knacks on it, drape a cloth over it, etc. The finish is VERY durable. In sum, what I always tell people is, don't skimp on your sub. Buy a TRUE sub once, and you'll never need to upgrade. Mine will probably last me the rest of my home theatre life.
     
  9. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    On the WAF............ I recently went from a SVS 20-39PC to a PB2+..... My SO preferred the "looks" of the cylinder as it kinda "hid" in the corner alongside cabinetry surrounding my RPTV...... After receiving the PB2+ and realizing how BIG it is, some adjustment to my system config was required to get good placement. I ended up building a faux PB2+, including the textured finish and little feet and now it just appears I have matching speaker stands! Even with its massive size, there are ways to integrate anything successfully.......
    With your roomsize, you may even NEED a PB2+....good luck.
     
  10. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    Here is a Force thread on another board.

    For those that aren't familiar with ACI they are pioneers of(and possibly even the original) consumer direct speaker company. If Mike hadn't shown that it can work many of these other great consumer direct audio companies may never have tried it. They been doing it for about 25 years.
     
  11. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    Size dictates performance. Yeah, additional power can help, but always introduces tradeoffs. SVS's are that size for carefully thought out reasons.
    Also, don't discount the cylinders. Yes they are tall (20-39 is the sweet spot) but they have a smaller footprint and tend to disappear in rooms.
    __________________________________________________ _______

    Very true. Considering the internal volume, I am really impressed how the cylinder lends itself to being tucked away in a corner with it's 16" base. Even with running three 25-31CS+'s in the past> I wouldn't consider them any more intrusive than the large big-block 230L AV-15 box style I once ran with much more performance available with the SVS option. .

    Budget/criteria permitting another good option might be the PC-Ultra? From the short time I have had this sub it has proven itself a very worthy investment. I couldn't imagen you being disappointed in it's bullet-proof performance. Corner permitting, one cylinder can be very stealthy indeed with all the benefits of increased internal volume. Not to mention the TV-12 driver which equates out to headroom and performance.
     
  12. Robb Roy

    Robb Roy Supporting Actor

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    Jackson,

    Both subs and their respective companies have great reputations, so you're in a win-win situation.

    I would imagine both subs (when properly calibrated and EQ'd) will "disappear" while listening to music, and blend seamlessly with whatever speakers you run. My guess is the SVS will have a bit of an advantage on the real deep stuff, but the ACI has a WAF advantage (until you spend a lot more for a wood finished SVS). I think the ACI also has a wow advantage due to the amount of sound coming from such a small box.

    As to the tuning of the SVS, you should get several Hz lower once room gain is factored in (and the ACI, for that matter, assuming the extension claims don't already account for room gain).

    I think Evan gave the best advice: buy both and return the loser. This assumes you're willing to eat the shipping and have the cash/room on the credit card to pull it off.

    -Robb
     
  13. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    Check the hotlink in my signature block for some in-room performance measurements on the PB1-ISD. With room gain, it exhibits strong response to 20 Hz (or a bit deeper) before rolling off.

    Regards,

    Ed
     

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