Help with subwoofer choice... SVS

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Joshua_M, Jan 10, 2004.

  1. Joshua_M

    Joshua_M Agent

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    I have a 15' x 20' living room and this is my layout.

    `````````````20'
    __________________[......]___
    |........F...TV....F..................|
    |........................................|
    |........................................|
    |........................................|
    |........................................| 15'
    |........................................|
    |........................................|
    |........................................|
    |..LR.....Couch.....RR..............|
    __________________________|


    The drawing above looks about right with the one opening in the NE corner and in the SE corner there is a 4x4 chunk taken out by a wall. It is the reason why the whole living room is shifted to the WEST

    Ceiling height is 7.5' high and this room is on the 1st floor with basement underneath.

    It will be 65% HT vs 35% M split. I like to feel the punch of bass in movies. Music will be EVERYTHING from hip hop, classic rock, newer rock, to classical because my gf is a music major.

    I am looking for this to be "it" for a while and don't want to be thinking what if. Budget is ~$1000. I was looking at the PB2 but am not sure if it is overkill or not. What about the 20-39PC+, or will a 25-31 do the job?

    I also have a fairly old house... 1946 and am hoping it won't shake it apart... will it? :b

    Thanks,
    Josh
     
  2. DaveMart

    DaveMart Auditioning

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    Josh,

    Email the guys at SVS and they will give you a straight answer. They were very helpful with me last year when I ordered a 20-39+. The other factor of the equation they will need to know is how loud (i.e. close to reference) you listen to your stereo.

    Their recommendation worked out perfectly for me and I couldn't be happier with it.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Joshua_M

    Joshua_M Agent

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    yes I emailed Ron and he was very helpful, I just wanted to see what everyone here thought.

    I like watching movies at reference levels or slightly below, however when I watch them with my GF, it is quite a bit lower[​IMG] .
     
  4. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    If you occasionally like to watch movies at/near Dolby Reference Level (i.e., 105 dB peaks from the surround channels and 115 dB peaks from the LFE channel) in a 2300 ft3 room, I think the following subs are all excellent choices:

    20-39PC+
    25-31PC+
    PB2-ISD

    A PB2-ISD will have the edge over a 20-39PC+ when both are set to 20 Hz mode. From about 16-25 Hz it would be close, but the PB2-ISD will edge out the PC+. Above 25 Hz, the advantage grows to the 3-4 dB range. So if you can live with the larger PB2-ISD enclosure, it represents a better performance value over the PC+.

    A few comments about Reference Level:

    If the surround speakers are set to “small”, the subwoofer is required to handle both low passed surround channel bass and the LFE channel. In the event of simultaneous bass peaks in multiple surround channels and the LFE channel, the subwoofer would be required to deliver up to a 121 dB bass peak at RL as measured at the listening position. Now you can appreciate how demanding RL can truly be on a subwoofer, especially when all speaks are set to small!

    There is one variable on the whole RL concept that many people overlook, and that's the actual DVD mastering level. I wish I could say that setting the Master Volume to 00 after RL calibration with Avia or S&V always yielded sound pressure peaks of 105 dB in the surround channels and 115 dB in the LFE channel every time for every Dolby Digital DVD, but it just isn't true. Some DVDs are mastered very hot, and other ones are not.

    "Underworld" is a perfect example of a recent DVD that will yield Reference Level playback volumes at a much lower Master Volume setting than your RL calibration point with Avia/S&V/DVE, etc. That is because Underworld is mastered very hot.

    So ultimately it's best to view RL calibration more as a standardized benchmark for enthusiasts to compare Master Volume settings on playback than to view it as an absolute playback level, because we can't control the mastering level in DVD movies.

    The only way to really be sure you are playing back at true Dolby Reference Level is with an SPL meter at the seat (and correction factors if the meter is C-weighted). Most of the hot bass peaks on DVDs are in the 25-30 Hz region, so I would suggest using an average correction factor of 3-4 dB on C-weighted Fast. If you are hitting bass peaks in the 113-116 dB region on the meter, you are very close to true Reference Level.

    Most subs can’t cleanly hit true RL at the seat, and many enthusiasts find it far too loud for comfortable playback anyway. Personally I play back most of my DVDs at around 10 clicks under RL.

    Regards,

    Ed
     
  5. Dom P

    Dom P Stunt Coordinator

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    So if I ONLY listened to DVDs what tuning frequency should I go with? 25Hz, 20Hz, or 16Hz?
     
  6. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    I can hear/feel a difference on my PB2+ between the 25 Hz tune and the 20 Hz tune on only a handful of DVDs (and I've got all the popular big bass hitters). The ability to go subsonic to about 15 Hz is nice for the few rare DVDs that actually contain information that low.

    SVS offers the 25 Hz tuned models because the VAST majority of DVDs don't contain significant information below about 22 Hz. Not surprisingly, the 25 Hz tuned SVS models are actually flat (or even exhibit a mild rising response) to 22 Hz in room before the SS filter kicks in.

    A 25 hz tuned SVS does justice to about 99% of all DVDs on the market. If you want to capture that last 1%, then tune it down to 20 Hz (if it has variable tuning) or buy a 20 Hz tuned model.

    The 16 Hz models are actually flat in-room to about 11-12 Hz. The amount of signal content in that region on every popular DVD combined probably amounts to about 10 seconds total. Some enthusiasts want to know for sure they are capturing that last ounce of ultra deep subsonic bass in the 10-13 Hz region, even if it only lasts a few seconds on just a few DVDs. The 16 Hz models won't play as loud overall, so you are sacrificing output for extension. Overall, the 20 Hz cylinder models are the most popular as they provide a near perfect mix of output and extension.
     
  7. Dom P

    Dom P Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks alot! 25Hz it is.
     
  8. Joshua_M

    Joshua_M Agent

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    So if a 25-31PC+ is fairly close to the performance of a PB2, should I save some money, or better yet would "you" save the money.

    Thanks,
    josh
     
  9. WayneO

    WayneO Supporting Actor

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    I think at that point I would decide which will fit your HT area better. The box is HUGE and heavier, and might be a reason to go the cylinder route, which is big and tall, but much smaller footprint.
     
  10. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    The PB2 line simply cannot be beat as a performance value. If bang for the buck is your top priority, go with the PB2-ISD for $950 shipped if $1,000 is your limit.

    The Plus cylinders are still VERY potent performers for the money (I should know, I lived with a 20-39PC+ for over a year) and can be moved around easier and placed into smaller spots.

    You would have to push any of the above subs to the limit to exploit the performance differences between them. Any of them will provide superb bass (clean, loud, flat, deep and low in distortion) in that size room.

    I agree with WayneO - you are down to personal preferences and space considerations at this point.
     
  11. Bo Assdale

    Bo Assdale Agent

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    Hey Joshua!!

    I have a similar problem as yours- I am also stuck chhosing between the 20-39 PC+ and the PB2-ISD!
    The following is part of the reply I got from SVS' Ron S. (the ***********x************* is -of course- the answers):

    ----------------

    How does your boxed subs (i.e. PB2-ISD and the PB2+)
    compare to the 20-39 PC+ performance-wise?

    **** The PB2-ISD will edge out the PC-Plus by a bit above 25Hz, but in
    most rooms the PC+ will have more relative depth below that. The
    PB2-Plus will have more output over the entire frequency response
    range,
    about 1.5 times as much as a PC+ roughly. Of course the light weight,
    small footprint of the PC subs mean they are still the best choice for
    many customers. ****

    The PB2-ISD is surely within my budget, but is it a
    better sub than the 20-39 PC+?!

    *********** If you have lots of space for the sub, and like the box
    form
    factor (boxes do allow you to use them as end tables, magazine stands
    etc) then I would certainly recommend it over the PC+, though again
    both
    subs have their advantages. **********

    My Music/Movie-ratio is about 60/40 and i seldomly
    (but sometimes) plan on listening at v-e-r-y loud
    listening-levels!

    *********** PB2-ISD is probably the better choice then for sure
    **********

    --------------------------
    I hope it helps you a bit- in your "search for the perfect sub"!
     

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