Just got my SVS 20-39 PCi. OMG, you guys are crazy

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Charlie B. Ch., Jan 5, 2004.

  1. Charlie B. Ch.

    Charlie B. Ch. Stunt Coordinator

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    The sub is everything I hoped for and it is plenty loud in my 14' x 11' enclosed basement HT room. It shakes eveything in the adjacent rooms even though the volume is about 10 db below reference. While watching Finding Nemo, I was really afraid that my next door neighbor would come knocking down my door (I live in a corner townhouse). I can't believe that some of you have 2 (or more) of deeper and louder (PC+) SVS subs in your room. Anyway, would I "feel" a lot of difference, at the volume I listen to and in the room size my gears are in, if exchange my 20-39 PCi and get a 16-46 PCi or PC+?
     
  2. Jeffrey Forner

    Jeffrey Forner Screenwriter

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    Let me tell you a little story.

    I bought my first SVS back in May of 2001. It was one of the original 16-46PC models, and when I got my hands on it, I was in bass nirvana. My reaction was the same as yours. "Oh my God! I'm going to rip this house apart with this sub!" Fortunately that never happened. [​IMG]

    In early 2002, Ron and Tom contacted me and asked if I wouldn't mind beta testing a new woofer they had designed for the PC and CS lines. This is the same driver currently in all CS and PCi subs at SVS. I swapped out the old driver and installed the new one. Let's just say that I was quite pleased with the results. An already great sub became even better with more headroom and a distinct sense that I was getting more output, more punch, and more of just about everything that I liked in my sub before.

    A year after that, I contacted SVS about purchasing another sub. My home theater was going to be relocated into a room roughly twice the size of my old one, and figured I would need to do something in order to continue enjoying the same levels of bass I had in my old room. I figured I could either pick up a second 16-46PCi or I could sell my old sub and use that money to get the equivalent PC-Plus model. To be honest, I expected them to tell me to get the second PCi, so you can imagine my surprise when they recommended I pick up a PC-Plus instead.

    After a few weeks, I found a buyer for my old sub and ordered the PC-Plus. After an interminable wait, it arrived at my house on a cold January morning. Upon freeing it from the massive shipping box, I ran it through a quick calibration and decided to see what it could reallydo. I threw in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and watched the scene in the beginning where Padme's ship flies past the camera and shortly thereafter blows up. As soon as the ship flew past the camera, I reacted with an emphatic, "Holy shit!" Mind you, I did not simply think that to myself; I actually said the words in disbelief. Keep in mind that I had been a happy SVS owner for a year-and-a-half at this point, and I had grown very accustomed to the deep, rumbling bass that their subs produced. Still, the PC-Plus stunned me to the point of cursing out loud.

    So, yes, there is a difference - a very noticeable difference - between the PCi and PC-Plus lines. Whether or not you need the extra power depends on the size of your room and your listening habits. My guess is that if you don’t watch movies at reference level, you’ll be fine with the sub you currently have. If you were to move to a bigger room though, I would highly recommend that you upgrade to one of the Plus or Ultra models.
     
  3. James L

    James L Auditioning

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    I just received my 20-39 PC+ and even though I do not know what a PCi sounds like, I CAN tell you that this thing absolutely blew me away when I first hooked it up! The bass is so much tighter and deeper than the Polks I replaced (had a PSW 650 and a PSW 404) I really couldn't believe I missed out on this kind of bass. And to think that I paid a similar (although slightly lower) price for the PSW 650! Well, what everybody has raved about for this sub is pretty much true. I really like this sub! Thanks SVS!
     
  4. WayneO

    WayneO Supporting Actor

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    If you set up a PC+ in your room with the same calibration as your PCi, you will not notice one difference. If you wanted to up the Gain for more "volume(SPL)" at all volume levels and don't currently do so because you are pushing it to it's limits, yes you could get more from the PC+. If you can't/don't get near the limits of the PCi in your room, a PC+ will give you nothing more than "headroom", meaning it won't be working as hard to do the same job, not really worth an upgrade IMO.
     
  5. JohnSmith

    JohnSmith Supporting Actor

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    hmm not so sure. Always good to have plenty of headroom, rather than knowing you're near the limits of the sub. It'll sound better, THD will be lower, and the sub will last longer. If you get a new DVD with really heavy mix it could be enough to bring out the limits of the lesser sub (but be will in the better subs capability)

    The price difference between the ISD & Plus is pretty slight- not talking £500-£1000 (ie like Rels line, where each line is doubled on the previous line) Well worth it with adjustable tune (just changed my 20 Plus to 16) and 200W more, better driver, adjustable ss filter.
     
  6. terence

    terence Supporting Actor

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    Some of you know that i own two 20-39 PC+'es. Headroom is word i thought that i would never be using to discribe my HT, and having it is beautiful thing. It's nothing like having the xtra power there when you need it. It's a great feeling.
     
  7. Charlie B. Ch.

    Charlie B. Ch. Stunt Coordinator

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    How can I find out the limit of my sub? Is there a method to determine how loud it can go? This is to determine how much head-room I have left and how much louder can I safely listen to movies and music.

    Thanks,

    Charlie
     
  8. Nathan_R

    Nathan_R Supporting Actor

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    Oh me, I just received my 20-39 PCi this morning, as well. This is one large tube-- looks like I need to go buy some jewelry for the wife before she gets home. [​IMG]

    [Edit:] After listening to the asteroid chase in Episode II and the drop ship sequence in Aliens, I don't care what the sub looks like-- this thing is incredible!
     
  9. Sheldon C

    Sheldon C Second Unit

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    The reason I want to upgrade my 20-39 pci is because there is no difference in the spl of the sub when the receivers volume is turned up from -12 under reference. Granted I have the sub hot at +8 db, but I would like to turn the receivers volume up a bit and maybe run the sub at around +10 db.

    My sub has never bottomed out or anything, it just gets to a point where it won't play any louder (around 107 db at seating position 12 feet from sub, room is 3300 cu feet, sub corner loaded).

    I do love my sub, I just want more of what I have. I never thought this would happen the first few months after purchase!
     
  10. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    This cannot easily be done without risk to the sub.

    The SVS is designed to (within reason) maintain the same shape FR curve and low THD at all volumes within its safe operating range. It tends to give no obvious warning or indication it is about to bottom out - like rolling off the extreme lows, or farting/distorting - like most lesser subs will.

    Eventually, power/port compression will begin to set in, but you may not notice it. Push it any harder and ultimately, the driver will just bottom out (bang the VC former against the magnet backplate). This is not a good thing. A few times probably won't hurt the driver, but repeated bottoming will eventually ruin it.

    If the sub sounds clean and unstressed at the highest volume you would normally play the most bass-aggressive DVDs you own, I'd be happy. If it starts to sound strained, compressed, or outright bottoms, back off a few clicks on the Master Volume and mark that setting/DVD combo as your benchmark for max playback.

    Regards,

    Ed
     
  11. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    This is the power/port compression at work. I'm glad you noticed this non-linear behavior, and trust me you are very close to the limits of the sub at this point. That is a pretty big room and you are 4 meters away, so it is quite a bit to ask of a single 12" woofer. 107 dB on the meter (C-weighted RS on Fast, I take it) is probably about 111-112 dB in reality with the typical (average) correction factor at 20-25-30 Hz included.

    I've got two words for you: PB2-ISD. [​IMG]
     
  12. WayneO

    WayneO Supporting Actor

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    Now there's some valuable info that got left out in your first post...........[​IMG]

    You most certainly need an upgrade if you indeed want more SPL because your about at the end of the rope with the PCi. I agree with Edward on the PB2-ISD if you were only to tune it to 20hz and not lower. That's probably the best cost effective performance jump you can make. If you were dead set on a cylinder, I do love them myself, I'd opt to the PC-Ultra and skip the PC+ to get the most noticeable benefit without questioning your upgrade again, but the PC+ would be no slouch either.
     
  13. Sheldon C

    Sheldon C Second Unit

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    Wayne, that was my only post in this thread.

    Your guys are right, and you have read my mind because the pb2isd is exactly the sub I am wanting to get. However, I am wondering how a pc ultra would compare to it. I would have no problem spending a couple of hundred more to have matching cyliders IF the ultra is pretty close in output to the pb2-isd.

    By the way, my measurements were c-weighted slow with no correction. Amazing output, but I am getting bass greedy.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. WayneO

    WayneO Supporting Actor

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    Sorry I got you mixed up with the original poster(Charlie B.) of the thread.
    My guess it that if you have a PB2-ISD tuned to 20hz that they'll be very close.
     
  15. Ralph B

    Ralph B Supporting Actor

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    Jeff, you got me very excited about my purchase when I read your post. I ordered the 25-31PC+ and was informed it was shipped today. cant wait till it gets here to try out some dvd's! [​IMG]
     
  16. Paul_A

    Paul_A Extra

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    I got a 20-39CS recently, and I have been running it for about two weeks. The thing is, I am running it using an old stereo receiver that gives out 80x2 (non-bridgeable). The 20-39CS performs very well in my relatively small room (15x12) and makes the cabinets and door knobs shake. Sometimes though, I just get this feeling that I am harming my sub. I don't play things very loud either since I don't want to upset anyone else in my house. However, I sometimes think I hear distortion (but not a clank) coming from the sub on certain notes. This could just be me or the cabinets, or perhaps I am not used to the type of bass SVS subs put out.

    I am now thinking about getting a 350 watt amp. After hearing a few recent comments on the PCi subs, I feel I can get a whole lot more out of the sub. Will getting an amp and adding the 270 watts fix the fear I have that I am harming my sub? I know adding 3 times the power I am running on now will do alot but what exactly will adding those watts do?
     
  17. WayneO

    WayneO Supporting Actor

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    It will give it the power it needs to perform to it's ability, I don't see any way your old amp is giving proper power. Your probably hearing the sub choke on the little power it's being given. A new 350W amp should really wake things up.
     
  18. Zack_R

    Zack_R Stunt Coordinator

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    I may be getting my facts mixed up through the various amp and driver improvements of the isd series so forgive me if the following is not accurate. IIRC, at some point reading that a plus sub was 2-3 time the output of the isd sub. If that's the case then the Ultra may produce more output than the combined efforts of a 2039 PCi and PB2-ISD (if tuned to 20 hz). I am fairly confident that a single Ultra in stock tune will record bass peaks below 30 hz significantly louder than a 20 hz tuned PB2-ISD.
     
  19. WayneO

    WayneO Supporting Actor

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    That would require a boatload of power to do that. I think you mean to say about 2-3db more output?, not times. When I had the 20-39PC+ and was going to upgrade, Tom at SVS said I could expect a 2-4db increase going to the PB2-ISD tuned at 20hz. And based on the fact the Ultra is able to output about 2db more than the Plus, that would make it about equal to the PB2-ISD with the fuzzy math.
     
  20. DouglasT

    DouglasT Auditioning

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    I'm glad to see the originator of this thread is happy with his 20-39pci. I ordered one a couple of days ago and am patiently waiting to get it. (I don't know what the turnaround time on getting one of these is right now)

    I have never had a sub in my setup and have only heard $500 to $1500 ones in stores. I was originally looking at the 25-31pci based on some reviews I had read, and stepped up to the 20-39pci on the advice of SVS. I have a 11X19X9 room with an archway open to another slightly smaller than that. SVS's recommendation with the money I was willing to spend (actually about twice what I thought I could get an OK sub for), thought the 20-39pci or the pc+ should be a good fit.

    Since ordering, all I am seeing is talk about how great the PC+ and the ultra and some of the PB series are and I am doubting myself on the pci order.

    I am glad to see someone still likes the pci model. Not having any real sub ever, I'm thinking I will be thrilled with the pci and maybe want to upgrade down the road sometime. I hope so anyway. At least with the money back option if it doesn't fill my room I can send it back and step up to the plus if I have too.

    I'm hoping that all you hardcore posters (not a slam) just expect way more performance then myself. A couple of my friends have $1000ish Paradigm subs and they sound OK to me. So if all the hype I'm reading about SVS is correct, I'm hoping the pci will be a pleasant suprise.

    This is my first post after monitoring this site for the last month or so. I have learned tons from reading others comments. I hope I am qualified to make my own.

    Thanks everyone. I'll let you know how the pci sounds when it shows up.
     

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