Can't decide on a subwoofer

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by BryanMM, Jul 6, 2004.

  1. BryanMM

    BryanMM Extra

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    I have $600 to spend on a subwoofer for a room about 16' x 16'. I will be using my system primarily for music. I've read some reviews of both HSU and SV Subwoofers but I can't decide exactly which model. A review I read on this forum comparing the PB1 and STF3 indicates the SVS unit would be a better choice, but where does the VTF-2 fit in there? It's $100 cheaper.

    I need some help deciding between the PB1-ISD, STF-3, and VTF-2. I don't really want a cylinder, due to space concerns.
     
  2. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    I haven't personally heard the SVS, but have little doubt that they're a very solid product. I do own the VTF-2 and use it in a room size similar to yours and really like it for music. It needs to be carefully set up and, imho, does a very fine job...especially for the price.
     
  3. BryanMM

    BryanMM Extra

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    How is this setup done? I've heard about people spending quite some time calibrating their subs. Are instructions included with the manual?
     
  4. Glenn Shoemake

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    Calibrating a subwoofer is done with a Sound Level Meter and a Calibration DVD such as Avia or Digital Video Essientials. The idea of the calibration is to ensure that the speakers are matched with the subwoofer, that the bass is inphase as to avoid cancelation.
    Each room/system is different, but for some suggested starting points on your reciver you should try to set your crossover to 80hz, set your speakers to small and enable your subwoofer(LFE). Then start the calibration with the sound level meter and calibration dvd. After calibration is finalized a lot of people will run their subwoofer a few db hot, but this is a personal preference.
     
  5. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

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    Bryan,

    Just adding to what Glenn said, no matter what brand you choose (one of those or some other) do take the simple steps to set the levels of each channel (along with the subwoofer) correctly with that sound pressure level (SPL) he mentions.

    The concept is no different than "balancing" the level of air pressure in your car tires. You wouldn't (I hope!) just stick on an air hose and keep pumping till your tire "looked right"... and it's pretty much the same with the channels of your audio system.

    The simple fact is you won't likely get the channels set to the right level (so sounds appear "imaged" in the right spot in your room, and at the right volume) if you do this "by ear". In the old days with stereo you could just adjust the balance knob till the image of a singer was "just right" in the middle. Imagine trying to do that with 6 channels and a subwoofer. It's just impossible.

    There are test tones built into your receiver (or better yet you can use something like a test DVD like "Avia") which you can measure and set each channel bang on. Again, just like with a tire gauge. Once you set things you rarely need to change them again (though if you move your furniture, or speakers, you just take a few minutes to receck levels.).

    There's a bit of reading on the steps to take here on our website, but the procedure will work with any subwoofer out there:

    http://www.svsubwoofers.com/faq.htm#meter

    We often tell people that the best $40 you can spend on your hundreds (or thousands) of dollars worth of gear is that lowly SPL meter. You can utterly transform your sound (for the better) and make any speaker/subwoofer combo sound its best.

    Ron
     
  6. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Yes, it's hard to imagine why people spend thousands on their system, then are reluctant to go the extra little bit it costs to get a sound meter.
     
  7. BryanMM

    BryanMM Extra

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    Thanks for the calibration advice, now back to the original question. [​IMG] I think I'm leaning toward the SVS. (I wish I could find a place to hear these in my area)

    PS I do have a Radio Shack Digital SPL meter.
     
  8. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Bryan:

    Either sub would be a good choice. SV has a great return policy so I would pick one of them up and try it out in your own system. If it isn't what you were hoping for you can always return it for a full refund. Speakers are a very subjective thing so what might sound fantastic to one may sound like trash to another.

    Parker
     
  9. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    If you wanna drive about twelve hours you could listen to mine.[​IMG]
     
  10. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    Hi Bryan.

    If it were my decision to make I would go with the PB1. Admittedly my opinion is slightly skewed from the experience I have had with SVS but none the same. If you decided you wanted a little more, the sky is the limit with what SVS has to offer in choices.
     
  11. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Bryan
    You could use Audioenvy.com to your advantage. Just go to that site and follow the directions. They will put you in touch with someone to audition an SVS.
     
  12. paul clipsel

    paul clipsel Stunt Coordinator

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    So true. What my friend likes with his system is not what I would chose to buy. But he is super impressed with his setup and doesn't find my system better. As far as bass duties we took very different paths as he chose the sealed 10" Rocket subwoofer while I chose a ported VTF-3, and yet we both are very happy and would buy again from those companies. What we did agree on was that both sound very different so having the 30+ day return ability is a good thing. Perhaps a few Hsu/Svs members who are located in the New Jersey area are willing to invite you over for a listen?


    PC
     

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