Attention SVS CS/PC owners (pre-2002): Some Good News - A possible Upgrade Option

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by RAF, Feb 13, 2002.

  1. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    I've been given permission by the "sub-humans" to pose a question here for those of you who, like myself, are "early adopters" of the SVS subwoofers, specifically those of us who purchased CS and PC models prior to the middle of December, 2001.
    As you know, SVS has expanded its line considerably with the Ultra and now the new "Plus" lines. These new models exceed the outstanding performance of the original (and still available) CS and PC lines, which for my money are still one of the best price/performance SW buys out there.
    What you might not know, however, is that SVS hasn't been standing still - even with its established original models. Every so often they would make small but meaningful tweaks to the original PC/CS driver during the 18 months of its existence. Recently, I'm told, they made some MAJOR improvements to the PC/CS driver and, since it's mounted in the same enclosure, have been shipping their PC/CS units with this new driver since mid-December, 2001.
    And what are the improvements rumored to be? How about an 8" spider instead of a 7" one, a completely revamped 2.5" voice coil instead of a 2" one, more motor strength and about 20-25% more linear suspension travel! According to at least one source this results in approximately a 20-50% increase in low end bass capabilities.
    The best thing of all? This driver can be swapped out for your original PC/CS driver in about 5 minutes with a simple screw driver! Definitely a DIY upgrade if I've ever seen one.
    I say "seen one" because I was given the opportunity to try this new driver out in the original 16-46PC (Serial #00001) and let me tell you - I was ecstatic about the sub's performance before; now I'm positively euphoric! I'm afraid to push this puppy to the limits of distortion. I might damage my house (not to mention my ears). The way I described it to the "boys" was that where at loud volumes my SVS used to hang on by a thread (while still very clear) I now get the feeling it is hanging on by a rope!
    So now you're probably saying, "How do I get one of these and for how much?" That's the purpose of this thread. Ron and Tom will be looking in (and, I hope, answering questions) regarding their possible plans for an upgrade to be made available to the thousands of customers with original PC/CS units.
    First they want to know if there is enough interest. I think I know the answer to that one, but they want to hear from you. Then comes the matter of how to accomplish all this. I understand that they are considering a process which would end up costing you in the neighborhood of ~$100 per subwoofer. This would involve about $150 for the new driver with a $50 credit if you return the old one. I might be a little off with the actual numbers here because I'm not sure of shipping charges, etc. but they could tell you more if and when this becomes a reality.
    I have to say that I love what the new driver has done to the sound of my HT system. I've been listening to it for more than two weeks (even before I got my new Outlaw 950 pre/pro which is important, since I didn't want the two "beta" tests to conflict.) Even with my Denon 5700 the new driver rocked! And now, FUGEDABOUDIT!
    [​IMG]
    For the record, a few nights ago I switched back to the "old" driver to see if, in fact, I noticed a change. I certainly did. Needless to say the old driver is back in the carton. If this project goes ahead I'm going to try to find some time to post a few pictures that I took during the installation on my HT web site. One look at the size of the back of the new driver compared to the old one shows that this unit means business. (In fact, I'll post two pictures below to illustrate this.)
    SIDE VIEW - Left: Old Driver,Right: New Driver
    [​IMG]
    TOP VIEW - Left: Old Driver,Right: New Driver
    [​IMG]
    So, what do you think of this? I, for one, can't say enough good things about a company that not only offers a great product to begin with, but then even lets the original customers have an upgrade path for their current equipment even while newer and better models make their appearance in the line. This is most refreshing in this industry.
    TSX = The Subhumans are listening
     
  2. Bob-N

    Bob-N Supporting Actor

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    Oh yeah. Since the CS+ ignited a thread a few months back regarding if SVS improved upon the regular CS/PC as production ran, some early adopters might feel that they somehow had a "lesser" product than one that might come off the production line today.

    I'm glad to hear that SVS is considering this upgrade as a testament to their continuing excellent customer service.

    Only one question though: since I am a second hand owner of a 20-39PC (serial number #0001 from another HTF member), will I be eligible for the upgrade or do you have to be the original owner? I did contact Tom a while back (last summer) to do a bit of historical checking to see if indeed, this #0001 was legit (it was!) so they might remember that I have this really early unit from it's original owner.

    If SVS will consider second owner units, I'm in if it only costs ~$100.
     
  3. Bob Christensen

    Bob Christensen Stunt Coordinator

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    I bought my 20-39PC in mid December. How do I know which driver I have? Is there a serial number cutoff or something? If I have the "old" driver, I'm in for an upgrade!
     
  4. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    Let me think here....
    Absolutely. Positively. Unquestionably. Without a doubt. In other words: YES!!!!! [​IMG]
     
  5. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    I'm with Bryan. I need a moment to think about it. OK, time's up! I'd certainly be interested in knowing more details. Please keep us posted. Thanks.

    Steve K.
     
  6. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Supporting Actor

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    Let me chime in with my experience with the new driver. I have a CS 16-46 serial #7. There is so much more headroom with the new driver regarding bottoming out. I have a very large room so I use 2 subs(a Citation 7.4 and an SVS 16-46). The SVS by itself used to bottom out about 12-14 dB below reference level on really tough material. With the new driver, there is about 6-10 dB more headroom(depending on the material). In my experience, a SVS 16-46CS with the new driver about the same headroom as 2 of the same sub with the old driver. The process to change the driver takes about 10-15 minutes.
     
  7. Paul Seward

    Paul Seward Agent

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    Bob,

    I am with you. I also bought my SVS in mid december. I too would like to know how I can tell if my 39pc has the new driver.

    Tom... Ron?

    paul
     
  8. Keith Carlascio

    Keith Carlascio Stunt Coordinator

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    With out a doubt I'm in. If these things get any better my wife will start to monitor my use for fear of me going deaf.
     
  9. Steve Stogel

    Steve Stogel Supporting Actor

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    Nice to see this thread as I PM'd TV a couple of days ago asking about this very issue (didn't want to start a thread without asking privately first). I figure I could always just buy the woofer outright (I think that's okay from what I read on the Web site, something about the parts being for people who either bought from SVS or second-hand, I believe) for $150. Still, saving $50 would be nice, too [​IMG].
    So here is another person in Bob-N's boat. I bought an SVS second-hand also. It's from April of 2001 and thus (confirmed with TV) is pretty much the same as the original SVS subs. Of course, the amazing thing is that this thing is awesome. I'm not saying I wanted it to not have the new driver or birch endcaps, but the fact that it doesn't impresses me even more. Unbelievable quality. So, if they let the second-hand owners jump in, I, too, may be interested. However, it's so good as it is, I may just keep saving up until the PC+s come out [​IMG]. I can hardly wait. SVS is unmatched, IMO, in their customer service (and I feel that way even if you have to be the original owner to get an upgrade).
    Steve
     
  10. Sean D

    Sean D Stunt Coordinator

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    Looks like I have one of each. My 1st 20-39cs shipped on Dec10th,2001 and my second one shipped Jan 4th 2002. I just checked inside with a flash light and I have a different driver in each sub. I don't know what to do now. [​IMG]
     
  11. Neil Weinstock

    Neil Weinstock Stunt Coordinator

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    What would be the effect of the new driver on a powered unit?

    My impression was that the PC's were pretty tough to bottom out anyway, due to limitations of the amp.

    I'd certainly consider the upgrade. I had figured that I'd eventually upgrade to something like a PC+, or a PC Ultra if I were really ambitious, just to coax some more output out of the thing (I have a really big room.) This might help hold the fort for a while....
     
  12. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    I'm hoping that Tom or Ron will jump in here shortly (I've e-mailed them about the thread) since they have the definitive answers and I don't pretend to speak for them.
    However, let me take some educated guesses on a few items mentioned so far:
    • I believe that the upgrade eligibility would not depend on whether you are the original owner or not since you are doing a one-for-one replacement and who cares who currently owns what? After all, this is not a warranty issue. I assume that all original drivers are fair game for upgrades (if SVS decides to follow through on this process.)
    • I need Tom or Ron to answer the question regarding whether you have a new or an old driver. Obviously, with the help of my picture you can possibly tell if you inspect the driver by shining a flashlight down the tube to the back of the driver like Sean D did. Since he had one of each it probably was easy for him to tell the difference. Otherwise you have to look carefully. I remember that one of the SVS gang mentioned "December 17th" as the first date of the new drivers, but please don't hold be to this. I don't know for sure if this is the correct date, or even if it represents the last old one shipped, the last old one made, the first new one shipped or the first new one made. Hopefully SVS will respond. Are you listening Sub-humans?
    • Regarding the PC version benefiting from the upgrade - that's exactly which unit I have (a 16-46PC) so I can answer that with a definite, "YES!" Whether or not the CS benefits even more is something that only a person with both models could answer. I know that Bhagi (obviously another beta tester) gives the thumbs up to the CS mod.
    • Finally, let me say a word or two, based on my discussions with Tom and Ron, of where the upgrade fits into the SVS line. Even though this improves an already great product it is not to be confused with a "plus" model which is even another step up (at an increase in price.) Same thing about the Ultra, the SS, etc. But what it does do is provide a better overall sound for minimal cost. How many manufacturers that you have dealt with in the past let you keep what you have without forcing you to their next higher priced line for improvement?
    • Oh, and one more thing. I think the SVS gang is calling the new driver the i model, for "improved" so you will be creating a 16-46PCi from a 16-46PC, a 20-39CSi from a 20-39CS, etc.
    What a country!
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    I am interested, but maybe not for $100. If there was any way to swing it for a total of $50, I would be much more interested.
     
  14. Doug Drake

    Doug Drake Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd be interested in an upgrade. I have a second-hand 20-39PC from May '01...
     
  15. Dzung Pham

    Dzung Pham Second Unit

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    I'd be interested in upgrading both my 20-39PCs.
     
  16. Jah-Wren Ryel

    Jah-Wren Ryel Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm good at $100.
     
  17. Robert G

    Robert G Stunt Coordinator

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    I am interested if I indeed have the old driver.
     
  18. Bruce N

    Bruce N Second Unit

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    I have a pair of early model 20-39CS subs. Recently I took advantage of the CS+ upgrade deal and got a pair of 16-46CS+ and a K1 amp. Since I used my "upgrade eligibility" on that would I still be able to get the theoretical new driver deal? I'd probably go for it!
    I have a huge space and even the CS+ have a hard time reaching reference. I'm actually considering hooking up ALL FOUR subs!
    Bruce
     
  19. Jeffrey Forner

    Jeffrey Forner Screenwriter

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    Well, RAF, I was going to keep quiet until tomorrow, but since you've stepped forward, I might as well chime in with my own thoughts.
    I also received the new driver as a beta tester. Ron and Tom wanted to know how I felt it would improve upon and/or change the way my 16-46PC sounds. I've had the new driver for about three weeks now, and I am very pleased with it. For those of you who don't want to comb through this entire post, know that the upgrade does make a notable difference, albiet not a night-and-day one. But at the price point Ron and Tom were talking about, I think it would be a great way to improve upon what is already a great subwoofer without unloading hundreds of dollars on a completely new unit.
    For those of you who want to know all the juicy details, read on!
    First of all, let me talk about installing the new driver. It went remarkably well, thanks to SVS's detailed instructions. The only thing that could have made the installation any easier was if they had a pictorial version of the instructions for the tool box impaired. The installation took no more than 20 minutes with the help of an electric screwdriver, and the new woofer fit perfectly over the hole for the old driver. I can't see anyone having a problem installing the new woofer.
    After verifying that everything was hooked up properly, I decided to run-in the new woofer with the most vicious line-up of bass demos the DVD format has ever produced: The Phantom Menace, U-571, Titan A.E., Fight Club, The Iron Giant, Toy Story 2, and the grand daddy of 'em all... The Haunting in DTS. Rather than give you detailed accounts from each movie, I will simply relay my overall experience.
    While watching these movies, I immediately noticed what appeared to be an increase in low frequency effects throughout the room. The 16-46PC had always done a marvelous job of making my Aura bass shakers unnecessary, but now the couch rattled a great deal more, and I could feel the legs on my pants shudder as if they had their own microscopic bass shakers built into the fabric. Even my non-audiophile brother (who refers to the SVS as nothing more than the "barrel of sound") said he could feel more bass radiating from my room... on the other side of the house! This was a very tough subwoofer before, but now it's even more mighty with this new driver. If you like to listen to movies at reference levels, it will be much harder to bottom this thing out now.
    Another, more subtle, change occurred in the way that the woofer generated music bass, mostly in the more common frequencies above 30Hz. At first, I didn't notice much of a difference in the way these frequencies were handled, and I was about to conclude that the increase in LFE was the only noticeable change. However, the more music I listened to, the more I began to hear something I hadn't expected.
    I have always liked the 16-46PC as a music sub. I consider it very smooth and very easy on the ears. It fills out the lower parts of the sound spectrum nicely without calling attention to itself unless you play a song with some seriously deep bass. Unlike most subs I've heard, it doesn't shout out, "Listen to me! I'm a subwoofer!" and crank out ridiculously loud and exaggerated bass. It just simply blended in with my speakers to produce a full, clean sound. Often times, when I demo music for guests, I'll turn off the sub and set the speakers to large to give them an idea of what the SVS adds to the sound. In pretty much every case, the people are surprised by difference, noting that the music sounds flat and tinny without it.
    With the new driver, the SVS has become a much more aggressive music sub, exhibiting an in-your-face attitude, as if it wants to show off a little. The best way to describe it would be to say that it has a little more kick than it did previously. I'm reminded of how my friend Ben wanted the 20-39PC because he wanted bass with a more physical impact. I wouldn't say that the 16-46PC now has that same level of impact as the 20-39, but it has certainly taken a step in that direction. Once I recognized the difference, I have to admit that I was somewhat put-off by it, seeing as I liked the other sound so much. After giving the driver some more time to break in, I've found myself growing more fond of this newly added quality to my music, mostly because the SVS still blends in so well with my speakers. If you didn't know better, you woudl swear that my new Swans Diva 4.1 speakers were pumping out all that bass.
    Once again, let me reiterate that the new driver does make a difference, and at the price point Ron and Tom are considering, certainly worth the money. Also, let me again say that the improvments will not be as dramatic as getting an SVS in the first place; think of it as more of a refinement of already great bass. Whether or not the other SVS models will exhibit the same characteristics as mine and RAF's 16-46PCIs ([​IMG]) I can't say, but I do believe that our experiences might give you a good idea what to expect.
     
  20. Bob Saylor

    Bob Saylor Stunt Coordinator

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    Sounds great to me. I'd be ready for the upgrade.
     

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