Decision Time.. SVS 20-39 CS or PB10-ISD

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Matt Amato, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. Matt Amato

    Matt Amato Stunt Coordinator

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    Okay, so in a few years time I'll be putting together a full-fledged home theater basement, but for the time being, I need a quality on a budget subwoofer that I can be happy with. I've narrowed it down to two possibilities, the PB10-ISD or the SVS 20-39 CS. Now the PB-10 is attractive because it's an all in one package with built in amp. On the other hand, I'm assuming the CS is a superior sub if set up properly. If I went with the CS, I would power it with an old Onkyo TX-36 that I inherited. I believe it's rated at 100 watts mono, but it may actually be 200 watts because it's 50 watts a channel with 4 outputs (stereo A-B), with a mono switch. (I can't seem to find any info on the Onkyo.)

    Anyway, the question is, though the 20-39 CS is technically superior to the PB10, if I only have the Onkyo to power it with, would it be better to go with the PB10 at the same price? I would be pairing it with an HK-235, so I'm not worried about the lack of crossover on the CS, just the output quality. I don't want to get the CS and then be underwhelmed because I'm using a crappy amp or something, but I don't want to settle for the PB10 if I can get good output from my free amp.

    So what would you do?

    Thanks
     
  2. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    You are probably only going to get 100 watts in mono. The A-B is either or, not both. The amp should be able to drive 4 ohms comfortably, the Onkyo may not be up to the task, especially in mono.

    I think you will be better off with the PB-10.
     
  3. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Matt, unless you have a really large, open room, you definitely won't be 'settling' on the PB-10. It surprised the heck out of me, and I was already familiar with SVS subs before I picked one up. There is nothing else in the $400 range that will touch it. My room is 16x25 and it does a fine job of delivering the goods.
     
  4. Matt Amato

    Matt Amato Stunt Coordinator

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    Out of curiosity, how much power would I need in order to get good sound out of the CS? (In a 15x14x10 room). Also, how much does the quality of an amp have to do with subwoofer performance, I assume it's not as critical as powering speakers, or can an amp really change subwoofer sound?
     
  5. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    SVS recommends at least 100 watts if I remember correctly. You might be able to get away with using the Onkyo, but the biggest risk is overheating. In your situation, the quality of the amp comes into play as far distortion, and the ability to handle 4 ohms. Even so, amplifier distortion is usually 10X less than subwoofer distortion.

    You ought to call SVS and discuss the feasibility of using the Onkyo if you still have a question about that.

    Alan is right. The PB-10 is used in a surprising number of high quality systems.
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The PB-10 doesn't have it's own crossover either. IMO, the old Oknyo probably will probably be enough, but it won't be nearly as good as the amp in the PB-10 and you WILL be giving up performance going with the CS/Onkyo route. You can always upgrade to something decent from the Onkyo to something else down the road though. (former PB-10 owner here too [​IMG] ) The PB-10 won't have quite the rumble as one of the 12" cylinders, but it is no slouch. How big is your room? Check b-stock too!!
     
  7. Matt Amato

    Matt Amato Stunt Coordinator

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    Okay, you guys have me leaning heavily in favor of a powered solution. It's going to be a few weeks before I actually purchase though, so I'm going to see if I can scrounge up the extra cash for a 20-39 PCi.
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    A 20-39PCi would be the way to go, even if you have to save longer IMO [​IMG]
     
  9. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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    John G. is right. The 20-39pci is the best of the three choices. Maybe you can get something for the Onkyo to offset the cost of the PCI.
     
  10. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    It looks like there is 1 B-Stock 20-39PCi showing up. Call right now, for $549 it is a steal and I have one myself, perfect condition.
     
  11. Matt Amato

    Matt Amato Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Arthur, but unfortunately I can't make a purchase just yet. I will keep an eye on the B-Stock once I actually have my money in hand though.
     
  12. MichaelEM

    MichaelEM Auditioning

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    Looks like it's already gone. I finally gave up waiting for a B-stock 20-39PCi after checking several times daily for over a month. Splurged for a new one and received it last week. Kind of wish I'd been able to go up a model line, as my room is not dedicated, and has 2 large openings to other parts of the house. So I haven't been able to get the SPL's I was hoping for. [​IMG] Other than that, I'm extremely happy with it. I've done the basic Avia tuning so far, but have a nasty null somewhere between 50-70 Hz. I have the Rives Audio Test CD on order, so hopefully I'll be able to figure out more precisely what the issues are, and come up with a solution. [​IMG]
     
  13. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    You can find MP3s of test tones here: here. A lot of info even if you aren't using a BFD yet.
     

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