Can I push my sub any harder??

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Sheldon C, Aug 27, 2003.

  1. Sheldon C

    Sheldon C Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2001
    Messages:
    379
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I used a 20hz test tone yesterday which got my spl meter up to 91 db. The sub didn't bottom or anything, it just started to sound a little strained if I tried to go louder than 91. With movies, the highest I have seen on my meter is 107db (monsters inc, toy story). I thought that I had reached 112 back when I first bought the sub last year, but I must have been mistaken because no matter how loud I turned up the sub volume (using receivers volume control or the master volume on the receiver) I could get no higher than 107 db.

    My room is 18 x 23 x 8 with no openings to other rooms. I used a radio shack meter using the c slow settings, and all of the other speakers were on during the movie, and turned off during the 20 hz test tone. I measured from the listening position which is about 13 feet from the sub (sub is in the front right corner. My sub is a 20-39pci, and I am wondering if I should be capable of more output for both 20 hz test tone and during movies.

    I love how it sounds, and it is capable of some very low loud bass. However, I have had it for close to a year and I am wondering if I should add another.
     
  2. Steve Stogel

    Steve Stogel Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2000
    Messages:
    600
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Seems like a big room for a single PCi. That 91dB at 20Hz is closer to 98, I believe, when corrected (the RatShack SPL meter rolls off starting, I believe, in the 40Hz range, so there are correction value that apply below the rolloff point).

    So close to 100dB at 20Hz and 107 during playback in that size room is, I'd think, pretty stinkin' good. That said, if you add another identical sub in the same corner, that should equate (from what I've read) to another 6dB. So 113dB during playback. That's pretty close to reference, and if you want to get really, really close you could sell your current sub and go for a PB2+. Not sure how much more that would get you, but I'd guess close to 116-118 or so (Edward, chime in any time)?

    So, yes, I believe that's good bass response. Yes, you could stand to add more sub. Yes, the SVS has and will serve you well.

    Steve
     
  3. Sheldon C

    Sheldon C Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2001
    Messages:
    379
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Steve,

    Oh yeah, don't get me wrong. The svs is incredible. I was using a cerwin vega lw 15 before, and it doesn't do ANYTHING when I try the 20 hz test tone on it. It is very boomy and if I had known better, I never would have bought it (although svs didn't exist back then).

    Hard to believe that the svs cost me only 50 dollars more!!!

    I know it would be excessive and I don't really need another svs, but where would the fun be if we weren't constantly thinking about possible upgrades?[​IMG]
     
  4. Sheldon C

    Sheldon C Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2001
    Messages:
    379
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I wonder if the sub I have combined with a 20-39+ would get me to reference?
     
  5. Richard Little

    Richard Little Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've set my 16-46PC+ on top a 6 year old Klipsch KSW-200 (ported box, 200W, 12" driver). With both individually calibrated to reference level, I get about +5dB increase when both are running simultaneously. Additionally I've set my mains and rears (KSF-10.5's)to large and set the receiver’s bass management to send all bass under 100hz to both the main/rear speakers as it was intended on the movie and the same signal to the subs. With all that, I get almost +10dB increase over what there should be for the sub frequencies. I don’t think it’s necessary to have matching subs. I've made do with what I already put money into and have plenty enough bass to shake the walls. Just buy the sub that you want and throw it in the mix.
     
  6. Steve Stogel

    Steve Stogel Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2000
    Messages:
    600
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sheldon, don't get me wrong. You absolutely could use more bass [​IMG]. It's just a matter of how you want to get there. The PC+ will definitely get you closer to reference (depending on if you want to consider reference 115dB or 121dB, of course), but I think if you were going to spend that kind of cash, you'd have to look at the new PB2-ISD.

    However, coupled with your current sub, I don't know if it would even match a PB2+, so for $300 extra, you can get a PB2+. You could sell your current SVS to make up the difference (and then some), and you've got more output than adding a single 20-39PC+ and probably will cost you less. Not to mention just having one enclosure. So, if you're looking to add more SVS to the equation, I've got to think that selling your current 39PCi and jumping up to the PB2+ has got to be a primary consideration.

    Steve
     
  7. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2002
    Messages:
    2,418
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    In a room that size being 13 feet away from the sub you are doing very well. I could name a few subs that would do worse that are held in high regard.

    I like Steve Stogel's advice. It ought to put your bass needs to rest in the 3312 cubic foot HT you describe.[​IMG]
     
  8. Sheldon C

    Sheldon C Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2001
    Messages:
    379
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I see your logic, it would make sense to do it that way. However, I am leery (sp?) of selling audio equipment online (since I don't know anyone who would want to buy it) and I have always had the impression that going that route can be a bit of a hassle.

    I will consider it though, that's for sure. BTW, how much do you think I could get for a 20-39 pci?
     
  9. Sheldon C

    Sheldon C Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2001
    Messages:
    379
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Steve nn,

    Yeah, I probably would be in eternal bass bliss if it weren't for the fact that I spend too much time at forums like this ohhing and ahhhing over the next best thing. So I do agree with you that I'm getting some pretty damn good bass; it's just, well, you know how it is.

    However, I sincerely believe (at least I tell myself) that once I replace my old cerwin vegas with an all Axiom set up and then buy another sub then I will truly be satisfied. Of course the Axioms will have to sound the way I am hoping they will.

    If only I hadn't bought those Grado headphones - I could just spend all my money on subs and keep thinking that my speakers are just fine...
     
  10. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2002
    Messages:
    2,418
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sheldon I feal your pain and I do know how it is. Another 10 dB's + roughly with the PB2+ sure would be a kick when called for though. I find that regardless of what I run, it just gives me more headroom. With certain material like SW I and SW II there is plenty of room to run in a +4 to +6 sub calibration and still sound good.

    I finally bit the bullet and replaced my speakers also. Sure is hard to do when your somewhat obsessed with subs. I hope you will be as glad you did as I. Imo your doing the right thing? No use having good bass with out good sound. Now it's done and I know I made the right decision plus I can go back to operation SVS build-up. I want the equivalent of four 25-31 CS+'s. After placing my order next week I might be there?? [​IMG] If I do one it will bring me to three but if I just get it over with and order dual there is going to be some WAF problems here in Sherwood Or[​IMG]. Such a dilemma. Heck I have been married for close to 20 years now so maybe I ought to just take the heat and get it over with??

    Did you go with the SR60's or the 80's? I need a pair of phones/cans and the Grado's are one of three that I am considering.
     
  11. Joseph_ P

    Joseph_ P Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2002
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hello Sheldon,
    I had a SVS 16-46cs+ for about a year and a half and i just finally got another one(TODAY AS A MATTER OF FACT!!!!!!)If you can afford it,
    i'd strongly suggest you add another one!!!. your bass output will be a lot more effortless, mine is.[​IMG]
    If you can't afford it go steal one somewhere, you must have two of em. LOL [​IMG] :p) .
    WHAT AM I SAYING,sorry for that temporary lapse in my sanity
    but adding a second SVS sub today has loosened a couple screws in the 'ol noggin i think.
    Get another one you won't be sorry, i'd stake my SVS T-SHIRT on it!!!!![​IMG]
     
  12. Zack_R

    Zack_R Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2002
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  13. Ron Stimpson

    Ron Stimpson Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 1998
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sheldon,

    Careful with high SPL blasts with test tones (and remember that the RS SPL meter reads VERY low at 20Hz, there's a compensation chart on our site you can use to determine what you are really getting in terms of output) or we'll be chatting soon about how to replace the woofer in your PCi too.

    Test tones like that are meant for low level checks for bass frequency response, not max SPL runs.

    I've personally fried voice coils by failing to heed this in my DIY days.

    Ron
     
  14. Sheldon C

    Sheldon C Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2001
    Messages:
    379
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Steve nn,

    Equivalent of 4 pc+'s!!! Damn that'll be sweet. How big is your room? Also, what kind of speakers did you upgrade to?

    I have to Grado sr 80's. I've heard that they are tough to beat for under 100 bucks, and I have to say that I liked them a lot more than the under 100 Senn model (I can't remember the model).

    I do suggest that you have your dealer include an extra pair of soft earpads if you buy Grados. I read on the forum that if you cut a hole in them the size of a quarter you will get the same sound as before but they will be very comfortable. I tried it and it works great!

    Joseph,

    How big is your room? Good to hear that adding a second svs will make a significant difference!

    Zack,

    My meter says it's fine on the battery tester setting, but I will put in new batteries just to see if that's what happened.

    Ron,

    thanks for the heads up. I guess I won't be showing off the 20hz test tone to any more of my friends. It is a lot of fun though to watch their jaws drop! Can subwoofer damage be cumulative, or is it an all at once kind of thing? I hope I didn't begin the process of destroying my sub![​IMG]
     
  15. Jay Foster

    Jay Foster Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 16, 2003
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sheldon,

    I have Cerwin Vegas for sub and speakers also. What sub for CV do you have? I'm looking at upgrading to an SVS sub also.
     
  16. Ron Stimpson

    Ron Stimpson Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 1998
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sheldon,

    Well, with pure sinewave tones (which are brutal on cooling and excursion of ANY subwoofer drivers, not just SVS's after all) you can quickly overheat the wire on your voice coil and literally burn it up. By this I do NOT mean the more commonly used "test tones" you might have in your surround receiver or on a test DVD like Avia. The latter are broadband noise mixes with bass in the 20-80Hz range and are very safe to use on sub calibration, even at relatively high SPLs.

    Chances are you are fine, you might have smelled a strong (and rather persistent) odor of burning varnish if you had done any real damage. Even if you did you are probably OK as long as things sound fine with normal program material.

    The PC-Plus woofers are very good with thermally induced abuse (that large aluminum cone helps to dissapate heat like a radiator off the VC) but even these brutes have limits.

    Find some good program demo material like those listed on our FAQ's page for wowing the friends instead (and of course start with a good calibration based on use of the SPL meter. Just based on what I've read here, I'd say you are indeed a cadidate for twin subwooferage. I often tell people that it's about the only thing close to gettting your first SVS.

    Running twins so they are not straining lends itself to greater clarity and linear response in any good HT. "Normal" HT fans would probably be OK with one PC-Plus in a room your size. I'm thiking you have some Subhuman in you though ;^)

    Ron
     
  17. Sheldon C

    Sheldon C Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2001
    Messages:
    379
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Jay,

    I have a LW 15 sub and vs 150's for my mains. The Cerwin sub did me well for a few years because I didn't know better. The sub does get pretty loud, but it's output drops off pretty fast when you get into the mid to low 30hz.

    I shouldn't bash my cerwins too much, they served me well for many years and were the perfect speaker back when I was in college and just wanted huge volume.
     
  18. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2002
    Messages:
    2,418
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My HT room is 24 X 12 X 10'c 2880 cubic ft. B&W DM2 S3's and the LCR 600 center. Why 3-4 subs when one will do quit well? I honestly don't know. I just want to know it's there for those rare occasions when called upon and headroom is a good thing. You might want to pay close attention to what Ron is advising you speaking of headroom. Those bass disks can be a sub killer. -20 or lower should be safe... If I go with the Grado's I will be sure to remember your advice. I didn't know a guy could get extra padding. I have heard they can be uncomfortable. Ear pads would be a big help and help in considering.
     
  19. Sheldon C

    Sheldon C Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2001
    Messages:
    379
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ron,

    thanks for putting my mind at ease, I didn't smell anything and it was working just fine during TTT tonight so it looks like I'm ok. BTW, I think we have a new demo disk on our hands!

    Somewhere along the line I think I was infected with the subhuman viurs so I know it's just a matter of time before I either have two cylinders going or a big friggin svs box.


    thanks again for your help
     
  20. Cagri

    Cagri Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2002
    Messages:
    415
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    110
    A side question; does anyone know how low it gets in the beginning of SW II? (where the spaceships pass, before the explosion).Is it low 30s or higher than that?
     

Share This Page