My SVS 20-39PCi Review

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by TysonL, Aug 11, 2002.

  1. TysonL

    TysonL Agent

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    Ok....
    So I figured it is my duty to write a review of my SVS 20-39PCi I received on Friday. Without trying to reiterate what everyone else has already said about these subs, although I am sure to repeat some, I'll simply take it from the standpoint of where I have been with HT and where I am now. At least from that perspective, some other guys/gals out there could possibly understand the difference between a sub and an SVS.
    In 1996, fresh out of college in my first home, I decided I must have a home theater. I already possessed some BOSE speakers and some cheap KLH's for the rear. What was next? Well, all I really needed was a cheap KLH center channel, and a goold ole SONY receiver. Best Buy here I come. I purchased the necessary components and I was in business with my VHS tapes, DSS, and Dolby Pro Logic as my standard listening mode. Wow! Did this sound amazing or what? I had friends and family oooh and ahhh at my Best Buy setup. Did it sound good? Sure it did! Was it lacking something? Sure it was.....it was lacking the jarring "boom" in the action movies I loved to watch. What else was I to do besides add a sub? Before we go to the first sub and upgrades, here is what my first system consisted of:
    SONY 32" tube tv
    SONY 6xx series receiver
    SONY VCR
    SONY DSS
    Front: Bose Direct Reflecting
    Rear: KLH
    Center KLH
    Within a year or two, I decided it was time to add the sub and upgrade the center and rear speakers. My wife was in Best Buy one day and noted an open box buy on a 15" Cerwin Vega subwoofer. She calls me and we had it home in the house that night. Once it was hooked up, I could not believe the bass this thing produced! My walls were rattling and the windows in my 1956 home were about to come down. This was unbelieveable and it was clear to me that I had truly been missing out on my home theater experience prior to the sub. Within a few weeks, I added some Cerwin Vega speakers to the suite(a pair for the rear and a center channel). These were only a mild upgrade to the system as nothing was living up to the expectations of the addition of the 15" sub. Soon thereafter, I added an external digital decoder and a dvd player. Of course, we all know how your first in-home experience with Dolby Digital was......yet again....unbelievable. Soo.....in 2000 or so, my theater consisted of:
    SONY 32" tube tv
    SONY 6xx series receiver
    SONY Digital Decoder
    SONY VCR
    SONY DSS
    SONY DVD Player
    Front: Bose Direct Reflecting
    Rear: Cerwin Vega HT series
    Center: Cerwin Vega HT series
    Sub: Cerwin Vega 15"
    Remote: Pronto 1000
    Alrighty then.....by this point I have been reading HT mag and some others off and on, never fully understanding the frequency response charts, performance statistics, etc., or why in the heck they are reviewing equipment that costs as much as a used vehicle! Oh, sit tight my friend, if this is you, just read on.
    Fall 2001. I talked my wife into upgrading most all of the Home Theater equipment....in fact we did upgrade all but the sub. We bought a 65" widescreen hdtv, Klipsch reference speakers, Denon 3802, Lovan rack, Panasonic RP-56 dvd player, streaming mp3 player, DSR6000 tivo, and of course some good interconnects. When all of this was hooked up and tweaked with Avia, I was in HTU. No that does not stand for Home Theater University, it stands for "Home Theater Utopia". I finally realized what timbre matching and channel separation was all about. The sound imaging was incredible. Wait a minute!!! Did I just say the "imaging was incredible"? That's right, all that talk and babble in the magazines was starting to make sense! I now have a Home Theater I am happy with! How did I ever live with that other equipment?
    Well a few months passed and I started to realize I was definitely not happy with my subwoofer. I went and auditioned a few and at the time, and soon decided I could live with the Cerwin Vega 15" a while longer. That is, until I went to a friend's house and heard his Velodyne 12" sub with his itty bitty Klipsch speakers all around. He threw in some flicks and played some scenes for me. Ooohh....now that is what clean bass is supposed to sound like. See, I had heard clean bass before, but never in a HT environment outside of a showroom setup. So 6 months pass and I decided it was time to upgrade the CV. Already have recommended SVS to several friends, I decided it was time for me to buy one as well.
    I received it on Friday and have listened to several cd's and watched several movies over the weekend. After tweaking it for the various sources on my 3802, it was time to try them all out.
    CD's.....Gone was the muddy deep voices often heard with my CV while listening to blues. Hey, where did my bass go? Whooa....wait a minute! What was that note I heard........there it is again. Jeez, I never knew that bass line sounded like that on this track! Heck, I even use direct mode on my 3802. Also gone, was the disarray of the low notes on rock music. All I heard were some hard hittin percussion and some bass guitar. Just how it should be.
    DVD's.....Let me just describe the difference as now I literally "feel" the bass more than ever before. Collateral Damage, Toy Story 2, Shipping News, LOtR, and Boogie Nights(my weekend viewing) No longer do I hear the popping noise as exhibited by the old CV at low frequencies.
    In a nutshell, this thing has really met and exceeded my expectations. A frequency sweep produced some high and consistent SPL levels....something the CV did not do at all. Now that it is all said and done, here is the current setup:
    Samsung 65" HCL552W HDTV
    Denon AVR-3802
    Panasonic RP56 PRogressive Scan DVD Player
    DSR6000 Tivo/DirecTV Receiver
    Front: Klipsch RF3II
    Rear: Klipsch RS3II
    Center: Klipsch RC3II
    Sub: SVS 20-39PCi
    Remote: MX500
    Am I a happy camper now? Damn right I am.... Am I satisfied? For now...... Will I have the urge to upgrade other components in the future? Without a doubt..... Isn't this why we all frequent this forum?
    Go buy an SVS if you are not happy with your sub. You won't regret it.
    Regards,
    Tyson[​IMG]
     
  2. Mark Fitzsimmons

    Mark Fitzsimmons Supporting Actor

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    Congrats, glad you like your purchase. I was going to get a PCi until I decided to go the DIY route instead. Hope I made a wise move... I somehow think I did [​IMG]
     
  3. TysonL

    TysonL Agent

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    Mark,

    How is your DIY project coming? I'd be interested in your results.

    I am really happy with the PCi. It has definitely lived up to my expectations.

    Tyson
     
  4. Gruson

    Gruson Second Unit

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    Love your story....it actually sounds a lot like my own!
    Next Upgrades I would recommend:
    1. Go to a 7.1 set up
    2. Amps for each speaker
    3. Tactile Transducer (or bass shakers)
    4. DVHS
    This hobby never ends does it?! [​IMG]
     
  5. TysonL

    TysonL Agent

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    Gruson,

    Hrmm.....good idea. I think my next will be to add either 1 or 2 speakers in the rear for 6.1 My viewing chair is only about 2-3' from the wall though so it may present some problems.

    Tyson
     
  6. Chris James

    Chris James Stunt Coordinator

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    Just wait Tyson. It never ends! I bought a 16-46PCi about a month ago(and it's a deep bass monster!), and I'm already fixing to purchase 2 16-46PC+'s. Damn, dirty upgrade bug....
     
  7. itai

    itai Stunt Coordinator

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    TysonL, great story, we're all in the same boat it seems...
    thanks for the explanations on the svs behaviour, theres no way to audition it, so this helps. i'm still in the "cheap-sub" days myself, though living in an apartment, im not sure a sub upgrade will be apreciated...
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Colin-K

    Colin-K Agent

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    Great Story!

    For year I thought the Velodyne's where the best until I recently heard an SVS.

    I have a dilemma of whether to get Def. Techw/built-in sub or an energy/SVS combo. As a matter of fact I think I'll post that.

    Best Bang for the Buck up-grade would be:

    1) GET ANOTHER SVS!!!

    2) Then get RF7II's and Send your RF3's to your rear

    3) Then amplification, brother!

    Good Luck! Loved the HTU comments!
     
  9. TysonL

    TysonL Agent

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    Chris,

    You are correct. I have already thought about adding a second. Too many dead spots in my room for my liking. Of course it sounds great in our viewing seat and I shouldn't worry about the rest of the room right? Err....yeah it sounds perfect already, why do I need to worry about someone walking around during the movie and hearing dead spots....or it lacking the enourmous punch in all sitting positions?

    For some reason, I do.....

    Tyson
     

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