Acoustic-Visions 12"Dayton Sub Kit review(long)

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

  1. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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    I have been in the market for a powered sub for at least 6-7 months. I would watch the multiple reviews and posts on this forum regarding numerous subs and at one time or another I would say that this was the sub I was going to buy. Unfortunately, if it wasn't money killing the deal it was the WAF pulling the cork on a sale of my future sub.
    After months passed, I decided to take a look at the DIY page and noticed the numerous threads about happy builders who have taken the DIY route with subwoofers. Thread after thread, I researched subs ranging from traditional box to Sono tube styles that people have put together with specs as well as pictures and came away quite surprised at the quality and spec performance of the these projects.
    I found myself getting all excited about putting together my own sub but found my HIGH quickly killed when I realized that I live in a NYC apt first off and had no place to build such a beast, didn't have the tools nor the hands on experience to complete my own sub as well. The costs for parts that people were quoting for these awesome subs were unbelievable and my next thought was to find someone who might build me a powered sub with a high quality 12" driver and powerful amp at similar cost savings.
    Enter Acoustic-Visions.com. I first found out about this company after looking at a sub by a member on this forum by the name of Jack Gilvey. Jack is a regular contributor to the DIY forum as well as others but I've managed to find his inputs mostly on the DIY forums. Anyway, Jack built a beautiful sealed sub in a rich green color that caught my attention in the worst way and I began to do searches using Jack's name and noticed a gentleman by the name of Kyle Richardson and he toted a web site bearing the name of Acoustic-Visions.com that specialized in DIY subs as well as fully assembled subs at low cost. After reading the archived conversations between Kyle and Jack I went to the web-site and the rest is history.
    Once there, I saw a few subs that belonged to customers that had either built their sub using Kyle's company for parts or had them fully assembled. I was able to see color pictures of the construction and finished products that this company helped complete. Kyle is an authorized dealer of parts from companies such as Dayton(Parts Express) and Adire Audio or will even build a sub using a driver of your choice which is a real kicker. I was able to reach Kyle personally on the phone (even called him on Sunday) and I told him what I was looking for. I told him I needed a 12" driver that could provide the bottom feeding duties during HT because I have full range speakers that I would like to run on the large settings. I told him that I wanted to go with the traditional box design. I must admit that I really wanted to get my hands on the SVS 2039 but the wife wasn't having it.
    I didn't want to skimp on performance so I went with a 12" dual voice coil driver from Parts Express from their Dayton line. It measures very similar to the Adire Audio Shiva but is more flexible regarding what cabinet sizes can be used with it(to get more information about this driver go to Partsexpress.com and do a search in the forum section). I told Kyle that I wanted the smallest cabinet for the driver that would allow me a tuning between 20hz and 23hz using a 250 watt amp. I wound up with a 70 litre, 2.5cf cabinet that measured 17x17x25 inches. I also didn't get fancy with my finish because I wanted all of my funds to go towards build and performance. I already purchased a Parts Express 250 watt plate amp ($125 and bass boost defeated free of charge) just before I hooked up with Kyle so there was no need to buy the same amp from him. After we got all the facts straight I was told of my price for construction and assembly which was unbelievable -- $310.00!!
    I was introduced to the builder and partner of Kyle who's name is Rob Lloyd. Rob is also a member of HTF and it was easy to feel secure with the people I was now dealing with. I was told that the sub would take about 2 weeks to finish but was treated to a early release in about a little over a week. All e-mails that I sent (too numerous to count)were answered quickly and on the same day as well. What I thought was the coolest service was that you get progress reports of how your sub is coming along with color pictures to boot. In these pictures I saw the internal bracing that provided the sub with the strength to resist any vibration from the large amount of bass the driver produces and I know no one would like buzzes and strange noises coming from their sub. Needless to say I was very happy with the service.
    The performance of my sub is much more than what I had hoped for. I find that now with the sub I don't have to turn up the volume of my mains to compensate for the lack of extension and dynamics without the sub. Infact, I listen to my movies lower in volume and still get tight, low, dynamic and controlled bass that I always yearned for although when I turn it up it gets quite scary in my room. Infact my wife can now listen to the same movies at the same levels that used to chase her out of the room when using my mains. High SPL's are good but without good low end extention you're out of luck with movies.
    Unfortunately, I can't say how any other sub would sound because this is a custom deal but the beauty of this deal is that by talking with Kyle and making sure that both parties understand exactly what the other wants is the way to make sure that both parties are happy. If you want a musical sub in a high quality sealed design in a REL sort of way, no problem, just ask Jack Gilvey who used similar parts that are offered on Acoustic-Visons site about his sub. If you want a sub that will get you evicted in a NY minute, ask me or better yet, ask Rob Lloyd who has a 85 litre 12" Shiva based sub with a passive radiator.
    In any case, not everyone can afford a highly capable, all out performance sub from one of the manufacturers or put a Sono type sub in their room or convince the wife that a black box or tube won't spoil her tropical setting in the living room but it's nice to know that in a personal hobby such as this, consumers are being offered a choice in what size, color, style and performance they would like their sub to be. To those who are particular about what is in their room and feel that they would like to take advantage of this high performance, high build quality but low cost alternative to what else is out there, give Acoustic-Visions.com a look or better yet, give Kyle a call on his toll free number located on his site. Here are some of the subs that have come through Acoustic-Visons.com.
    After all, isn't flexibilty the key in most choices of HT equipment?
    I will be giving a more detailed review in the coming weeks regarding technical performance.
    http://www.acoustic-visions.com/showcasesubs.htm
    ** I am not employed nor have I received any favors from Kyle and his company. Infact, if you do a search on my name you'll see that I am as much a consumer as anybody and my threads regarding subs are well documented.
     
  2. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    Martice,
    Very nice post..
    Your information and praise of **Acoustic-Visions Kyle & Rob's** first class operation gives others, that where unaware, another ~{excellent}~ alternative to store bought, or, all on your own DIY....
    It is certainly amazeing what a ~{*good quailty sub*}~ can do for your HT/Music experience.
    Im so glade your pleased, and it surely will serve you well for a long time to come. Quality built, good componets, affordable, and Sweet Sounding.
    What more could one ask for! [​IMG]
    Regards
    Geoff
     
  3. Kyle Richardson

    Kyle Richardson Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the kind words Martice! The Dayton 12" DVC is a nice driver and was a good choice for the size of enclosure that he wanted to go with (70 Liters).
    Its fairly easy build a sub to impress a person with a 13" TV and junky speakers but I have seen Martice's equipment lineup and it is quite impressive - his mains are PSB Gold i's to give you an idea. [​IMG]
     
  4. Kyle Richardson

    Kyle Richardson Screenwriter

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    Jack, yes that is the Rustoleum Hammered Metal in black over several coats of primer.
    The overall design is very similar to the Adire alignment but just a bit smaller at 70 liters with slightly higher tuning so I kept the same diameter vent at 3". The enclosure was tuned to 21.5Hz but I cannot remember what the total vent length calculated out to be. 11-3/8" total length comes to mind but dont quote me on that without my papers with me [​IMG]
     
  5. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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    Hi Kyle and Jack. Kyle, I want to follow up with a review which leans more on the performance side. I would like to note equipment used, room and treatments, software used and levels. I just found it so hard to fit the whole experience of not only the sub but the customer service all in one review without writing a novel. I should be getting my Stryke Audio test tone CD any day this week so I'll have some good measurments with my next update review.

    I also spoke to Rob Lloyd about his DIY ITC's and he quoted me an excellent price as well for two pair of 1.5 meters.

    Till next time...

    Darren
     
  6. JerryW

    JerryW Supporting Actor

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    Martice, glad to hear you're happy with your sub. I placed an order Saturday with Kyle for a passive Shiva II driven 142.5L EBS alignment beast. After plugging the numbers from the enclosure and my room into LspCAD it says I should get an F3 of 15.3Hz and an F8 of 12.7Hz. [​IMG] I can't wait to put 200W to this baby and see what it sounds (and feels) like. The price can't be beat either, $385 + shipping!
    I know people love SVS, and I do too. I've listened to a 20-39CS before and it sounded great, but I'd have to go with a 16-46CS to get performance like this... and that would be outside my budget right now. Not to mention the 16-46CS was too tall, my SO wasn't happy with the idea of a 4' tall tube in the living room (and it wouldn't be possible to lay it down on the floor).
    Hot [email protected]! I can't wait to get this sub![​IMG]
     
  7. Samuel Des

    Samuel Des Supporting Actor

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    EXCELLENT post! It is comforting to know that there are ways to spend less than $400 with no compromise to quality. I'm checking the site out now.
     
  8. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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    The best thing is that the gentleman who built my sub Rob Lloyd, has a history on this site. I was able to see his archived threads as well as input. I also had a chance to meet him face to face when I picked my sub up because he wasn't far from my house.

    I guess you can say subs for us made by us.
     
  9. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    Location:
    Utah USA
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    Wes Peterson
    I would like to see some photos of the sub, I have been thinking of up grading my 15"ers and the Daytons are in my price range which is cheep. I have met Kyle at a few HTF meets we have had here in Utah and also have dealt with him when I bought most all my DIY speakers for my newly completed theater. My order of eleven 5 1/4 mids and 5 10" woofs came quickly. Happy customer here![​IMG]
    Wes
     
  10. John*K

    John*K Stunt Coordinator

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    I just wanted to add a little "pre-purchase" buzz that will speak highly about acoustic-visions.com; this was something that really impressed me, even though it may seem simple to others.

    I sent a brief email to Kyle, and he got back to me in less than 5 hours with a detailed and sympathetic response and NOT a one liner. I was shocked that someone had taken the time out to respond with such obvious care. That stuff on the website about service and responsiveness is NOT BS. And by the reports I've read, the quality of the product is virtually impeccable.

    Based on this experience, I am confident about acoustic-visions.com And the price, when compared to some of the others I've seen for similar products, is astonishing. I plan on calling on him with my ideas in mid-December/January once I'm settled into my new house!

    It's so cool how the little guys are starting to be able to compete on the Internet. I am just discovering these brands. Wow.

    Regards,

    John
     
  11. Rob Lloyd

    Rob Lloyd Stunt Coordinator

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    Wes - Pictures are on Kyle's page - http://www.acoustic-visions.com, follow the links for the Sub Kits or Enclosure kits. There are quite a few pictures there from the building process to the finished product. And also some descriptions of finishes, etc.
    The PR sub is mine and the passive one is Martice's.
    (He keeps updating the site so it may have changed a little since I wrote this)
    I just purchased a high-end HVLP sprayer so if I can get the paints everyone wants without those messy annoying spray cans I think they will look even better!
    If anyone has any questions on these let me or Kyle know. We'd be happy to help you out.
    -Rob Lloyd
     
  12. Kyle Richardson

    Kyle Richardson Screenwriter

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    Jack,
    PR's, ports, whatever the cutsomer wants! [​IMG]
     
  13. Rob Lloyd

    Rob Lloyd Stunt Coordinator

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    It's hard to do a "standard" model as everyone seems to want a different color, different leg options (wood or spikes or both), drivers on the bottom, side, front, amp, input cup, and on it goes.

    As standard as we can get is box size (generally by the Adire specs for those drivers) but we can come up w/ anything. The time to ship is about the same. I'd pre-make some boxes but they are just too large to have stored in my current house. I already have pieces of an almost finished cherry china cabinet taking up a lot of room.

    (Of course this opinion might differ from that of Acoustic-Visions).

    -Rob Lloyd
     
  14. JerryW

    JerryW Supporting Actor

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    Martice, how would you compare your sub to the dual SVS 25-31CS you listened to? I know that rooms change a sound greatly, but what is your general point of view?
     
  15. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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    Hi Jerry. First off I would like to say that it has been a while since I heard the Dual 2531's but I will say that I was thoroughly impressed with the output and the deep detailed bass I was treated to. If I remember correctly, the SVS was connected to a Samson 700 amp along with a Denon 3801 which was powered by 3 Marantz mono block amps, Atlantic Technology speaker system using a Panasonic LD/DVD player and was calibrated using a Behringer feed back destroyer.

    I must say that the performance was impressive. The bass was deep and tight as well as impactful. I never heard the subs 'burp' once and I remeber hearing or make that, feeling like the bass was all around me but without being muddy or boomy. We listened and watched Iron Giant and The Haunted as well as some bass heavy music that I brought along for the session. It was truly the best bass that I heard at the time. However, he turned off one of the 2531's and let me hear it with just one and although it was still good, it obviously didn't have the deep impact that the two sub setup had. By the time I left the session, I was convinced that I was going to pick me up a 2039 since I didn't have the room for a dual setup.

    My Acoustic Visions Dayton DVC 12" sub is powered by the Parts Express 250 watt power amp. It is accompanied by PSB Goldi's, PSB C6i Center channel and Yamaha Surrounds. The PSB's are powered by a B&K Ref 4420 200 watt per channel amp and the center and surrounds are powered by an Acurus 100 x3 Power amp. The Processor is the Technics SH500, along with a Pioneer DV333 DVD player. I won't go into the seperate DAC and CD transport and cabling but I will mention that I do have my room treated with DIY bass traps and acoustic wall treatments which is making me feel that I don't really need the BFD as of yet.

    Anyway, my AV-12 as I have come to call it, had me on pins and needles since no one has ever heard my sub before. I was hoping that I didn't lay an egg with this purchase and Kyle at Acoustic Visions did not disappoint. When I first listened to it critically I knew off the bat that this sub had muscle but I thought, so do a lot of other subs. My main concern was could it do bass right and tight? Could it be nimble but also capable of carrying a big can of Whoop Ass?

    I calibrated my sub with the Rat Shack SPL meter and I was off. I used some of the same DVD's that I used with the 2531's as well as some that I didn't like the DTS Demo Disc and U-571. In short, the bass was powerful!! I mean strong and low but with a lot of headroom to boot. At first I wasn't sure that this sub could be as light on it's feet like the 2531 or any other musical sub and even voiced my concern to Kyle & Rob at Acoustic Visions but after playing with the placement for a couple of days I found that it was a very capable beast in fact. I love watching the trailer of Pitch Black because the low frequency on this trailer is very deep and strong and at the levels that I was listening to you would need a capable subwoofer to do it justice.

    I popped in Boyz II Men DTS CD and track #9 is definatley bass heavy and easy for a speaker to get wrong. Well the AV-12 put a smile on my face during that session and also listening to Hell Freezes Over was nice but it was also nice with the 2531-cs as well.

    The differences from WHAT I CAN REMEMBER between the two subs is definately in the bottom end. Maybe it was my room or maybe it was his BFD but I can say that I get a bigger rush from the low end experience when listening and feeling the AV-12. I asked Kyle for a "bottom feeding sub" that could take the low end duties from my PSB mains but without any obvious short comings on performance. There's no hollow sound just realistic sounding bass that just appears and goes as it should. My cabinet is tuned to 21.5 HZ sort of in between the 2531cs and the 2039cs and I never heard the 2039cs although I know I would want a little more oomph than the single 2531cs gave me.

    Is the AV-12 a better performer than the 2531cs? I can't say because it all comes down to what you're looking for just like Tom And Ron say between their own models. However, I don't miss the fact that I didn't go with SVS now that I have my AV-12. I think what I did learn is that if you do subwoofing right, what matters most is build quality and price trade off. This is why Tom & Ron can recommend other subs because they understand that they didn't corner the market on good subwoofing, but they did establish themselves as the dollar for dollar champion on HT forum just as Adire Audio seems to have the HT Talk crowd locked over there.

    Who builds the better sub? SVS or Acoustic Visons?

    I can't say. SVS builds you a hell of a sub that they market.

    However, Acoustic Visons builds you the sub you want.

    You can't compare the two.
     

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