Budget Upgrade: SVS or Atheana?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Barry_B_B, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. Barry_B_B

    Barry_B_B Second Unit

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    Hi,

    Looks like my window to upgrade is here and I'll soon be saying goodbye to my trusty but less than stellar KLH/Atlantic Technology/Sony sub and speaker combo. I told my wife I could do this for about $1500 for speakers and sub, and another $1200 or so for a receiver. Our theater room is 12'x25'; carpeted, with a hallway leading to the garage door and a stairwell opening leading up both at the front of the room. Because of the tight space up front I want to go with bookshelves on stands. Listening is 70/30, movies to mostly jazz music. From reading, my leading candidates are the SVS SBS-01 system or a set of Athena Auditions. Sub choices are the SVS PB12-NSD or the Outlaw LFM-1. The receiver will change from an older 60w Yamaha 5.1 to the 7.1 RX-V2600.

    Any opinions? I wasn't sure the PB10-NSD could cover that space, but all the reviews seem to say otherwise [​IMG]
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The SBS package should handle that size room, though I would definitely opt for the PB-12 for sure. I had a PB-10 in a 19x20 room and while it was OK, it didn't quite move enough air. Not familiar with the LFM-1, but it gets good enough reviews too. The SBS-01s are better than the Auditions overall. Though the Auditions have good midrange, they suffer a bit in the highs (a little too harsh IMO). The SBS-01s are pretty neutral and work well with most things.
     
  3. Barry_B_B

    Barry_B_B Second Unit

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    Thanks John; clarity is a must. While the center channel gives away its level of quality with movies, the KLH sats and the Sony sub do surprisingly well with music. I list the LFM-1 since its slightly smaller, but once my wife hears the anticipated SQ increase I don't think she'll mind as much.
     
  4. BrianTwig

    BrianTwig Second Unit

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    Without question go with the PB12 over the 10. And if your a bass nut, I would suggest backing off on the receiver price and stepping up to the PB12-NSD/2. Or don't back off the receiver as much and the the 25-31 PC-Plus.
     
  5. Barry_B_B

    Barry_B_B Second Unit

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    Brian, I had never considered the PB12-NSD/2 although imagining what it would sould like has me grinning. Space might be an issue, I'd have to measure. Not a real fan of the cylinders. The other receivers I was considering are the Rotel RSX-1067, NAD T-763 and Denon AVR-3805; all more expensive I think. I could bring it down a notch or two though.
     
  6. Ron Temple

    Ron Temple Stunt Coordinator

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    That sized room...definitely a Plus sub nearfield or the NSD/2. You're looking at nice receivers, but you really don't need overkill to drive the SBS-01 bookshelves. A Pio 1015 would do an outstanding job for ~ $400. With additional savings you might swing a Plus/2.
     
  7. BrianTwig

    BrianTwig Second Unit

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    Barry,

    I have the PB12-NSD/2 in my family room which measures 19' x 19' into a kitchen that measures 27' x 20'. Thats all one big open room with a knee wall for the only seperation, and that only runs about 8 to 10 feet. And then that all opens into dining room that is 25' x 15'. All with 9' ceilings and a stairway leading to the upstairs with a very large opening to it. And the NSD/2 just kills in that massive space. But I am a bass nut and I know I would have been disappointed with and wanting more if I went with a smaller sub. And for the price, I don't think any other sub on the market can match it.

    The WAF limited my system selections and budget and she demanded inwall speakers after years of looking at my tower speakers and not liking them. So I went with the NHT IW3 inwalls for LCR and Surrounds and a Marantz SR5600 for the receiver. I am very happy with the system. To keep your receiver cost down I would look at some of the Marantz options such as the SR7500. Retail is $1,100 but it can be had for far less at any number of online dealers.

    I was looking at that one myself, but to get the bigger sub I backed off on that and went with the SR5600.

    I built a new system and as mentioned above, the WAF required a new system and inwalls. So for months and month and months I went from audio shop to audio shop in the area (and some of them are super high end audio shops) and I never once left a shop after having heard a sub and said "I have to have it!" They always seemed a weak, punchy, and just plain. I would get in my car with its crapy factory stereo and say "this thing has better bass". But the SVS has just blown me away. I bought it without ever hearing it just from others recommendations and after several long conversations with Ron Stimpson at SVS.

    I would be hard pressed to ever suggest the purchase of a different companies sub.


    On Edit: Take a look at the Marantz SR5600. As the post above this one says, you don't need an overkill receiver to drive those. Retail is $650. Again, far less at many places online. And most high end audio place sell it for far less. My local Marantz Dealer sells it for $539.
     
  8. Barry_B_B

    Barry_B_B Second Unit

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    Ok, maybe I need to rethink my position. I was on the SVS site and noted that while the cylinders are taller, they seem to take up less floor space which is vital in our setup. The 25-31 PC-Plus looks interesting, and with two votes for less receiver power this would be doable.
     
  9. Barry_B_B

    Barry_B_B Second Unit

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    Thanks for the input. After discussing with my wife, its the SBS-01 with the 25-31 PC-Plus. She definitely liked the idea of the smaller footprint but questioned the need for "more" bass. I believe all doubts will be removed when she hears it [​IMG]
     
  10. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    I would certainly take the SBS-01 over smaller Athenas. I replaced a large Athena suite of (original Audition series) F2/C1/R1 with the SVS 5.0 and find it a nice upgrade in my smaller space. You have a big room, and the Athena floorstanders would be worth considering if bigger was an option, but I wouldn't bother with the smaller ones in favor of the SVS.

    Good move on the sub. In that size room, I'd probably go with a 100hz crossover in the receiver to allow the sats to better keep up with it.
     
  11. Barry_B_B

    Barry_B_B Second Unit

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    It was a pretty quick decision between the two; I couldn't find a negative review for SVS and barely any reviews on the Athenas. She's still trying to talk me into the 25-31PC, but I read a couple reviews on audioreview stating it didn't put out as much bass as expected. I realize this is subjective and SVS has a great return policy, but I'd rather get it "right" the first time.

    I was looking at different receivers this weekend; Yamaha HTR5860, 757 and RX-V1600. Ok, I'm a fan [​IMG] currently have the HTR-5140 which has served me well since '97 (I think). I like the look of the RX-V1600, and its Burr Brown DAC's. I'd always read that these are some of the best, but are they? What about THX Select, pure hype? I liked the RX-V2600 since it has the video upconversion feature and we haven't replaced all the VHS tapes just yet but its not vital. Going to spend some time today checking other receiver options.
     
  12. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I've owned the B1s and heard the SBS-01s. I'd pick the SBSs.

    Audioreview is the worst place to look for reviews...these are not professional reviews (which means you have no idea if these people know what they're talking about), so you have to take every one of them with a grain of salt. I've heard the 25-31PCi and I can tell you it has plenty of output for a room that size. It doesn't go quite as low as the PB-10, but it should have a small amount more output higher up.
     
  13. Barry_B_B

    Barry_B_B Second Unit

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    Thanks John; at some point I'll stop reading reviews and just go for it, like I always do.

    I've added the HK AVR635 and the Onkyo TX-SR703 to my list for consideration, both available at good prices. Still mulling Marantz.
     
  14. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Marantz is my favorite, but I am more music than movies. Still, can't go wrong with those choices. H/K has had some quality issues of late, but I wouldn't count them out based on that - I've heard they have very good customer service.
     
  15. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Barry: Great choice on the sub! That 25-31 is my favorite SVS. I had the PCi version and it kicked major ass, so I'm sure you'll be very happy with the plus model.

    Enjoy!
     
  16. Barry_B_B

    Barry_B_B Second Unit

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    Thanks Alan! The hard part is deciding whether to wait and purchase all at once or start now with sub or speakers.
     
  17. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Plus is a great choice. A buddy of mine has the 20-39+ and it was pretty impressive considering it is much smaller (though more powerful) than my 15" cylinder beast.
     
  18. Scotty P

    Scotty P Agent

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    For a receiver, look at the RX-v2500. Everything the 2600 has except HDMI upconversion (run video straight to the TV anyway). More audio features than the 1600 and can be found for less.
     
  19. Barry_B_B

    Barry_B_B Second Unit

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    I told myself I wouldn't start a thread and leave it hanging, so this is just an update on what's taken place so far.

    I decided I liked the Atlantic Technology dipole surrounds, so went with a T90 L/C/R combo as an upgrade. There's more of a timbre mismatch between the fronts and the center to me, but a treble control helps a great deal in balancing. Haven't re-calibrated yet, but very pleased with the result so far; its great to have clear dialog! The thing I noticed immediately was the need to nudge the volume control up to match what I was used to hearing. No surprise, as the T90's are rather inefficient. To help with that I purchased the Denon 3805 on eBay last night. We may have to buy a new car for my wife, so the SVS sub is on hold for now. [​IMG]
     

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