Newbie upgrade ??: Biggest Bang for Buck Outlaw 750 or SVS 20-39?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by EricTaylor, Oct 16, 2001.

  1. EricTaylor

    EricTaylor Agent

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    Hey guys,
    I stumbled across this forum a couple of months ago, and have been addicted ever since. It's nice to find a group of people as enthusiastic about this stuff as I am. This site is a veritable bastion of knowledge,from which all my hometheater questions are answered before I even ask them! I get all verklempt just talking about it. [​IMG]
    But anyway, back to the subject at hand. My birthday & the holidays are coming and I think that's as good a justification as any for my next hometheater upgrade!! [​IMG]
    Here is my equipment:
    RPTV: Mitsubishi WT-46807
    Receiver: Denon 3802
    DVD: JVC XV-D723
    VCRs: JVC SVHS HR-S3500U & JVC VHS HR-VP600U
    CD: JVC 200 DISC XL-MC222
    SPEAKERS: Center Polk CS 350-LS
    Fronts Polk RT1000i's
    Surround Polk RT-55i's
    Rears Polk FX500i's
    Sub JBL PB12
    Rear Sub JBL PB10
    The Denon & the RT-55s were my most recent upgrade. I've only had them for about a month, but my b-day & the holidays are coming up & I have to buy myself something right?
    So what do you guys thing would be the best addition to my system? A 5ch Amp paired w/the 3802 or a kitchen cabinet rattling SVS 20-39? Unfortunately I am an apartment dweller right now, so I can only blast it during the day when the neighbor's aren't around, but who cares. My budget is $1200 max. I'm open to other suggestions as well.
    Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to give a little background. I'm looking forward to your responses.
    ------------------
    Eric,
    "Do not try and end your upgrading. That's impossible. Instead,only try and realise the truth."
    " What truth?"
    "There is no end to upgrading"
     
  2. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    How big is your room? Since you only listen to a loud level when the neighbors are gone, I'm gonna assume that the 3802 provides enough power per channel to satisfy you?
    ------------------
    Take Care,
    merc
    ----------------
    [​IMG]
    God Bless America!!!
    [Edited last by John Morris on October 16, 2001 at 12:23 AM]
     
  3. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    i think you'd notice more of a difference with the SVS (duh), so i would suggest going with a new sub. [​IMG] that would add the most to your HT at this point and time.
    btw- are you keeping one or both of the Polks as "rear subs"? just wondering...
    ------------------
    -Thomas
    My HT
     
  4. EricTaylor

    EricTaylor Agent

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    John,
    My room is 12W x17L x 8H with almost the entire side wall opening into the kitchen and a hallway. The Denon has enough power, but I've heard that an external amplifier would improve sound?
    Thomas,
    You bet I would move both subs to the rear if I decide on the SVS. In my 5.1 setup, I had the PB10 hooked FX500s. When I did this I immediately heard a difference(ie. in AFO when the F15s circle around to escort, you could feel the afterburners kick in as they circle behind you. When I moved the PB10 to the rear w/the FX500s, I lost some of that. I was thinking of setting the rears to small & using the PB10 w/the RT55s but if I go with the SVS, I'll stack the ..10 &..12 in the rear.
    Thanks for your help guys! [​IMG]
    ------------------
    Eric,
    "Do not try and end your upgrading. That's impossible. Instead,only try and realise the truth."
    " What truth?"
    "There is no end to upgrading"
     
  5. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    sure you're going to tell a positive difference in adding an amp, i just think the difference will be bigger and better overall with an SVS in the house. just my $.02
    ------------------
    -Thomas
    My HT
     
  6. Jason Merrick

    Jason Merrick Supporting Actor

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    SVS!
    ------------------
    [​IMG]
    [Edited last by Jason Merrick on October 16, 2001 at 04:42 AM]
     
  7. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    For right now, SVS!!!! You may also consider using the additonal money to get a couple of monoblock amps for your fronts and eventually move those monoblocks over to a music only system. Just an idea.
     
  8. EricTaylor

    EricTaylor Agent

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    So it looks like the SVS is the way to go.
    I see alot of people are getting the non-powered version w/the seperate amp. After visiting the SVS website, I am leaning towards the model w/an onboard amp. Am I making a mistake here? Which did you guys buy?
    BryanZ
    Monoblock amps for the frontspeakers, huh? Drool, drool... Do you have any recommendations? Would I need one for each speaker?
    Look at me! I'm already planning my next, next upgrade!!! [​IMG]
    I think I need some counseling. [​IMG]
    ------------------
    Eric,
    "Do not try and end your upgrading. That's impossible. Instead,only try and realise the truth."
    " What truth?"
    "There is no end to upgrading"
     
  9. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    Personally, I've got the non-powered version. Reason being was that the powered version was at least six months away plus I had something laying around that I could use to power it with. You aren't making a mistake by getting the PC vs. the CS. All you are giving up is a couple of dbs but you are gaining phase control, crossover, etc. So don't worry about it.
    As for monoblocks, I've got the nOrh Le Amps. Still breaking in but a very significant improvement over the Outlaw 1050. The Marantz and Parasound ones should be pretty good too. It all depends upon how much you want to spend.
    For now, I'd get a pair with the music system in mind. Later on you may want to get either a five or seven channel amp for your HT.
    As for counseling, take a number. I'm next in line. [​IMG]
     
  10. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    Eric, I noticed your front main speakers already have powered woofers AND they are 90db efficient at 8ohm. With that said, I am surprised you would need either a amp OR another sub for your current setup.
    Do you run your front mains on the LARGE speaker setting?
    Looks like you have an excellent setup.
     
  11. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

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    Eric,
    An SVS powered cylinder a mistake? Hardly. If you have a good amp around then the CS is THE sub to get (or two if you want drop dead bass). A PC is the perfect solution for someone with no amp to power with, or just want an all in one, plug and play solution (and it works well for folks with two channel only setups since it has a built in crossover for bass management).
    Charles. While many disagree vehemently (usually the folks that have them) powered main speakers rarely provide good deep bass. Despite the fact they are often labeled with "built in subwoofers" etc, even modestly priced subs typically outperform "powered towers". Even running them "large" or feeding them the LFE signal from your receiver, powered mains are no substitute for a quality subwoofer in your home theater.
    You might expect a subwoofer maker to say that, but repeated objective testing by the best names in the business have borne this out.
    I know many folks are happy with powered mains (but without a real subwoofer) but that doesn't change the fact they are generally poor bass producers, especially when you start to calculate the cost of this type of speaker.
    Ron
     
  12. EricTaylor

    EricTaylor Agent

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    Thanks, Charles.
    I do run my mains large, and the system sounds great.
    At this point I have rationalized an excuse to further upgrade, and am looking for what would make the biggest impact as an addition to my current setup.
    I have heard great things about the SVSs & was thinking of movint the PB12 to the rear anyway. I am open to suggestions though if you can think of a better investment towards my current setup. [​IMG]
    I was thinking of maybe a PVR or PS2 but sound and impact are my priorities.
    ------------------
    Eric,
    "Do not try and end your upgrading. That's impossible. Instead,only try and realise the truth."
    " What truth?"
    "There is no end to upgrading"
     
  13. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    SVS-Ron, I understand the limitations of powered towers, HOWEVER, you would think those combined with 2 other subs would provide more than ample slam.
    Now am I sure the SVS would be an improvment? Absolutely!
    Would the improvement be worth the outlay in cash?
    Of course I have a prepro that allows me to set my tower speakers crossed over at 40hz (maxing out their potential) and have 400wpc at that. With this kind of bass management flexibility speakers like the Polk 1000i's would greatly benefit in a similar manner. This beats setting this kind of speaker on SMALL and wasting everything below 80hz because you just bought a SVS sub. Music sounds better with this kind of speaker set on LARGE unless BASS is all you want to hear.
     
  14. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

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    I agree with you there Charles. If you got mondo mains with "awesume built in subwoofers" then I'd run them large too.
    A plethora of "so-so" subs is rarely a good idea though, especially spread throughout a room. This is one of the reasons powered towers often run into trouble (given their "so-so" bass reproduction). As main speakers, they rarely have good placement for optimum bass reproduction, plus the fact you might have bass cancellation from all over the place is an accoustical nightmare (for those that worry about such things ;^).
    Tom has studied this to death and the bottom line is that 5 speakers crossed at 80Hz, with a killer sub (or often, subs) in one common location in a corner of your HT will nearly always yield the best and most cost effective bass for both music and movies. It'll be deeper, flatter, and with less distortion typically (since you have room gain working for you and keep amp levels in check a bit more).
    Fortunately for us, the biggest brains in the testing world agree with us (or the other way around perhaps ;^)
    We'll do our best to convince Eric to ditch his other subs and just run a pair of SVSs ;^0
    Cheers.
    Ron
     
  15. EricTaylor

    EricTaylor Agent

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    2 SVSs huh?? How would that work? Would one be for the front and one for the back? Would you stack them???? Could I get one amp to power 2 CSs?
    Wait a minute, nice try. I'm only supposed to be getting one SVS for now. [​IMG]
    I am intrigued though. How do you guys setup dual SVSs?
     
  16. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

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    Eric,
    I have dual SVS 25-31's pwered by the samson s700 and WOW do they slam. Sell your other subs cause you won't be needing them! The best thing to do with dual SVS subs is to place them close together for maximum output. I believe Ron or Tom would agree on this also. You won't find subs in this price range anywhere(or subs costing ALOT more for that matter) that match the performance of SV Subwoofers. I almost went with a $1000 REL sub and am glad I didn't. It doesn't come close to my 25-31's. I chose the 25-31's because they are tuned to get the most out of movies, and i watch alot more movies than listen to music. But the great thing about these subs is they are GREAT for music too! I have been listening to my cd collection all over again!Sorry for rambling on but I just love my SVS subs! YOU WILL NOT regret getting them!
    Best of Luck,
    Dalton
     
  17. Tom Vodhanel

    Tom Vodhanel Cinematographer

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    Multiple woofage is best served by splitting the MONO output of your receiver/processor and running all the woofs off the mono signal. I've found best placing all the woofs in the same corner usually results in the best performance over a variety of listening positions. If you purchase a SAMSON amp with the SV woof...you can set the amp to INTERNALLY split the mono input(into channel #1)...and run it in *dual mono* output configuration.
    The current issue with the setup is that there's 4 subwoofers,and none of them will be capable of clean output(at even moderate levels)in the first octave(16-32hz). So while your bass could (potentially)be VERY loud...it would only be so from about 35hz-40hz and up.
    Ideally, you'd sell the 2 PBs and put the additional funds toward a dual 20-39cs/S700 package. The idea is to try to balance the output capabilities of your system acrsso the entire audio spectrum(say 20hz to 10,000kHz for HT).
    Right now...you have AMPLE output down to about 40hz...but little below. So I'm suggestion you trade off some of the 35-100hz stuff....to gain serious 20-40hz horsepower [​IMG]
    TV
     
  18. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

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    Eric,
    Powering dual CS subs, as Dalton says, is exceedinly easy. The Samson amps we sell allow one input (from the LFE/Subwoofer output of your Dolby Digital receiver) to drive both channels at the same time. The bass signal is split internally in the amp. Powering dual PC subs isn't any more difficult. You simply split the bass signal from the DD receiver with a "Y" cable from Radio Shack (takes one input, gives two outputs) and feed one signal cable to each PC subwoofer.
    Take a look at our FAQs page for more on these and other issues you might still have questions on:
    http://www.svsubwoofers.com/faqs.htm
    Ron Stimpson
     
  19. Guy Kuo

    Guy Kuo Supporting Actor

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    Biggest (and most fun) bang for the buck will be the SVS sub, either powered or passive series. They add a lot to the performance envelope.
    Smart bang for the buck would be http://www.etfacoustic.com/ software and calibrated microphone setup for analyzing your speakers and room setup. It's a complicated program to run, but for $400 bucks you have a tool for really figuring out how to improve your listening experience rather than just guessing. You'll know each speaker's impulse response, low and full range frequency characteristic, fractionon octave analysis, energy time falloff, and waterfalls. Yes, it seems costly, but it lets you take the gear you are currently underutilitizing and bring it up to potential. makes total sense for speakers costing over a thousand to likely double response accuracy. I suspect that for most people doing the analysis, repositioning the speakers and applying room treatments as suggested by the program's readings will be a much bigger improvement than adding a new amp. Takes a bit of thought and work, but you'll learn a lot about how your speakers and room work together (or against each other).
    Finally, I'd add the power amp for that final touch in reduced distortion.
    ------------------
    Guy Kuo
    www.ovationsw.com
    Ovation Software, the Home of AVIA DVD
    [Edited last by Guy Kuo on October 16, 2001 at 10:48 PM]
    [Edited last by Guy Kuo on October 16, 2001 at 10:49 PM]
     
  20. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    If it is all about movies then SVS all the way, as many as you can afford [​IMG]
    If music matter much, then I would go with a single SVS and a 2ch amp or 2 mono blocks. You would have to find out if the amps you buy with $400 will give you any significant increase in sound quality though...
    --
    Holadem
     

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