I don't get over here much, but as John Garcia is a long time member here, hopefully some of you will find this interesting. No surprises... SVS PB10 vs. Cadence XSub -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I was contacted recently by John Garcia from Audioholics, who lives nearby. He wanted to listen to the Cadence which he'd heard good things about, which we did last weekend and in return offered to let me listen to his system, which we did last night. There's a huge difference between our systems, mine's budget all the way and John has spent years swapping out components and speakers to build a system he's really happy with. I've got to say, I'm very impressed, not with what he's spent, which seemed extremely reasonable to me, but what he's built. This is one very, very sweet sounding system. 5 GR Research AV-2 bookshelf speakers, powered by a Marantz 8300 + 2/180w MA500 monoblocks, Panamax 5100, Panamax Max2 Sub, Denon 2900 and Sony 222ES SACD...and a SVS PB10ISD Conversely, my system is Polk R50, CSi3, R15s powered by a HK 235, Toshiba 2200 DVD ... and a Cadence XSub 12 not exactly apples to apples, more like apples and tangerines (hey I like tangerines). Also John's a part-time installer and his system is dialed and while mine's not bad, my sub needs work. Before I get started, John's a great guy and is offering me help to get my system nailed. I really appreciate his time and interest. Thanks for inviting me into your home. We listened to a variety of music and movie demo material, Patricia Barber, Diana Krall, Porcupine Tree, Godsmack, Yes, Alan Parsons, Diana Krall...M&C, Nemo, LOTR, Hero, Haunting, some Japanese anime featuring awesome bass and the sub killer, Hitchikers Guide. We listened to much more content at John's house, but got a good feel for what both subs could and couldn't do (not much for the PB10). Music is where I realized that I don't have the Cadence calibrated correctly because the PB10 was totally revealing to all bass notes, never heavy or boomy and very refined. I've read that a properly calibrated sub is only noticed in it's abscence for music. I've had mine set to try to deliver punch and extension sacrificing detail. The XSub does provide this, but can be dialed down toward similar performance to the SVS, just not with the detail and clarity or output. The PB10 has no overhang on bass notes and the way that I have the XSub setup now there is. Overall, the PB10 is an outstanding performer and I would rate the XSub as a solid performer with potential. Subjectively, SVS, refined, deep, accurate, great output...Cadence, slightly raw, deep, pretty accurate, good output. Movies is where I realized what I want for Xmas. The XSub does an excellent job down to 25hz, good output and deep bass. The PB10 shines. There is absolutely no distortion down to 18hz where the limiter kicks in. Everything we played put a smile on my face, not only was I hearing the bottom 5-7hz, flat with no distortion, everything above up to his 80hz crossover and beyond was seamless and totally blended with the mains. I was especially impressed with the Haunting in DTS, M&C and an anime scene ( won't attempt to describe it, it was unreal). We did the Darla test. Actually the XSub did a very fair job on this compared to the PB10. Here's the big difference. The XSub has good output from 25hz up, but it tries to play below it's capabilities which stresses the heck out of the driver. The PB10 with it's limiter just outputs everything from 18hz up with no strain. Last we put on Hitchikers on. It was funny watching the XSub try to output 10hz reaching full excursion without any sound. Tried to walk across the floor. The PB10 due to the limiter handled the lead in and destruction of Earth as if it was nothing special. Frankly, it wasn't. There was so much content below 18hz that it wouldn't touch. The only thing missing in John's room (quite large) was chest thump. He tells me that a 25-31 will do it, but the PB10 doesn't, it just delivers huge amounts of bass. I've auditioned the Velo DPS10 (which does), the Klipsch Sub10 (which does) and the XSub does too. None of them deliver the quantity and quality of the SVS. It must be a design choice or the room. The XSub sells for $229 and is a very solid performer. I have a great deal of appreciation for what it delivers at this price. I'd subjectively quantify this by saying it might be 80% of a PB10. I'd also have to say that the additional $200 is worth that 20%. For the last few months I've been playing with subs, trying not to spend too much and get a great deal for the dollars spent. I've come to the conclusion, notwithstanding great deals, you get what you pay for. There is definitely a quality threshold at each pricepoint. Oh, and Exocer, I know you want to know. The PB10 and Velo DPS 10 are different animals as well. I'd say the Velo hangs with the SVS from 35hz up and has more punch. It won't saturate you with deep extension like the PB10 nor is it as clean, but it's a very nice sub too.