How to make an SVS PB2-ISD "disappear"

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Mark All, Oct 13, 2003.

  1. Mark All

    Mark All Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2002
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well folks, I received my SVS PB2-ISD today courtesy of BAX Global delivery. My main two reactions are "it is big" and "it blends seamlessly."

    There's no trick to making the PB2-ISD disappear really. I just set mine up, calibrated speaker levels with test tones and a Radio Shack SPL meter and am now enjoying perfectly blended music. The best thing I can say about any subwoofer is that it does its job without being intrusive for music yet can still provide that "raise the floor" feeling for movies.

    The subwoofer came very well packaged on a shipping pallet. The shipping box was completely unmarred--wish UPS would get it right this way more often. Shipping weight was about 150 lbs and unpacked the subwoofer is about 115 lbs. After unpacking it I wrestled it up a couple flights of stairs and put it near its corner.

    At Tom Vodhanel's suggestion, I removed the base plate from mine and have it sat with the ports and controls facing up and the drivers facing forward into the room. It fits in a corner best this way in my situation. The screws for the base plate are accessed by pulling off the rubber feet. There is no grille available so the two 12" drivers are unprotected, but they do look good. The finish on the PB2-ISD box is plain but extremely durable, kind of reminds me of asphalt shingles.

    My theater/music room is about 20 feet by 13 feet and sits over a garage (wooden floor). I have Polk RTi150 speakers as mains. They are biamped with a Rotel RMB-1075. After calibrating, the first thing I listened to was some of the good bass effect tracks from the Lord of the Rings movies. I then moved on to DVD-Audio from a Toshiba SD-9200. I have a second pair of RTi150s as the rear speakers for multi-channel hi-resolution audio. Next I listened to a bunch of CDs with varied synthesized and natural bass lines that I'm very familiar with--the usual stuff I'd take with me to audition speakers elsewhere.

    I can confirm that the PB2-ISD meets its stated purpose of being an excellent subwoofer for music. It blends well with the Polk RTi150s, which hit effectively down to 26Hz by themselves. I run the Polks large in all media modes. The PB2-ISD is being run tuned to 20Hz (one port blocked). The PB2-ISD really does blend in, adding solid bass where it wasn't before. My previous subwoofer was a Polk PSW-450. The PSW-450 is not a bad subwoofer, but quite anemic, wheezy, and boomy in comparison to the SVS.

    And, for those concerned about home theater with the PB2-ISD, do not be. Although the PB2-ISD is the little brother to the PB2-Plus in terms of drivers, amp, and ports, it does indeed make some serious rumbling effects. I haven't heard the PB2-Plus, but the PB2-ISD is more than enough for me for home theater use.

    This is a heck of a bargain.
     
  2. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
    Messages:
    2,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great review Mark All! Thanks for posting your impressions.

    As you experiment with tune configs, you might try all ports open (SS to 25) for maximum impact and air flow.

    The sub will still troll strong to 21-22 Hz in this tune and will really belt out the SPL for HT. Even for music, my PB2+ sounds best (to my ears) with all ports open - effortless and free breathing - noticeable even at very low volumes.

    Nice amp choice, BTW. Bi-amped Rotel........DROOL. [​IMG]

    Ed
     
  3. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    945
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with the above post. I have gone back to all ports open on my PB2+. Seems to be better for music that way. Still waiting on my speakers so I have not calibrated yet except by ear. Then I'll do a progress report.
     
  4. Ned

    Ned Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2000
    Messages:
    838
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  5. BrianRS

    BrianRS Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2001
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is there any benefit, spl or other wise, to positioning the sub a certain way (right-side up, on it's top w/ base plate removed etc.)? I would be interested in trying it with my pb2+.

    ps. hey Mark, where in N. Va are you located?
     
  6. ScottCarr

    ScottCarr Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    459
    Likes Received:
    0
    I tried my PB2+ is upside down.right side up, base plate off and the sw sitting up like a floorstanding speaker facing the seating area and also facing the wall.

    The difference wasn't worth the effort in trying the different configurations.

    Upside down the spl is not increase but the feeling hits me at the knees.

    Either way I had them they sound get
     
  7. Frank Carter

    Frank Carter Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Messages:
    1,187
    Likes Received:
    0

    I have one suggestion, extend the fingers on both your hands and make sure all fingers are touching each other. Slowly bring your hands up and place them over your eyes and tada, you've just made a SVS PB2-ISD disappear.

    *Frank Carter will not be held liable for injuries or blindess due to eye poking.
     
  8. Sebastian

    Sebastian Second Unit

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2002
    Messages:
    361
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  9. Jon_Krug

    Jon_Krug Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2003
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  10. Jeffrey R

    Jeffrey R Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  11. Robb Roy

    Robb Roy Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2002
    Messages:
    711
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've read of a few people doing this. Most likely it is to reduce the footprint of the sub. Or just to look at the cool drivers...

    -Robb
     
  12. Doug BW

    Doug BW Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2001
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think the answer may be found in Mark's original post. Here's the entire quote (note the second sentence):

     
  13. Mark All

    Mark All Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2002
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ah, lots of questions. My PB2-ISD isn't fully tweaked yet--busy day job, etc. I can say I'm extremely impressed with it even without having to do much of anything to get it to blend into the system I already had in place. Placement of the subwoofer is solely due to space considerations. From what I understand SVS designs their box subwoofers deliberately to be downfiring but I forget the reason--it's on their Web site somewhere.

    I didn't try the subwoofer in its stock downfiring format so I can't say if there are any performance advantages or disadvantages to having it standing up on its front. It would have been useless for me to try it in the stock format because placement due to its size would have forced me to move it too far out of a corner.

    I would not have had space for two cylinder subs so the PB2-ISD is serving in their place. Based on prior experience, the front left corner of my room is the only place a subwoofer should be considered. I was a little concerned about appearance issues, what with the connections and cords on top of the box. It's not an issue really because I put a plant on the box to block the view--a dancing plant now. It is really easy to put the base plate back on should I want to do that in the future in a different house.

    I have tried running my mains as small with other subwoofers and the PB2-ISD. The mains simply sound better in my configuration when set to large. Center and surrounds are of course set to small for movies. The subwoofer is not on for two channel music because I prefer not to use a subwoofer for stereo listening. I haven't tried Ed's suggestion of tuning to 25 Hz yet but may get a chance to try it out this weekend. Although I don't use a subwoofer for two channel music sources, I am making good use of it for DVD-A, SACD, ProLogic II, and movies/DTS discs.
     

Share This Page