Powering an SVS CS20-39

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Matt Amato, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. Matt Amato

    Matt Amato Stunt Coordinator

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    Short Version:
    Would a McIntosh MC275 amplifier be powerful enough to power a single SVS CS20-39 subwoofer? If not, what is the minimum power I'm going to need?

    Longer Version:
    So, I've recently been bitten hard by the upgrade bug. Last week I received my HK 235 and am so happy with the results that now I realize how horrible the $40 sub I'm using is. My roommate deals in antique radios and has access to a a few amps. Since I'm on a budget, I was considering buying a CS series sub to save on the price. Also, when I have my own place, I figured I could add another CS 20-39 and use a single amp to power both of them. Does this sound like a good idea, or should I just save up for the PCi series and be done with it?
     
  2. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    I had a CS series sub and I did not like the lack of a crossover, the amp requirement, extra connections. Your receiver has the necessary crossover so that should not be a problem for you.

    If your roommate is giving you the amp for free, the CS will be a good deal and probably worth any compromises that come with it. Otherwise, I would recommend saving for the PCi. I traded my CS for a PCi and it was a good move for me.

    The PCi has a 320 watt amp, the Mac is probably 150 watts, which is decent for most purposes.
     
  3. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    It'll be a waste of a good amp. Does your friend know your intentions? See if he has a beefy solid state amp, preferably one that can be bridged.

    That Mac is best for two-channel.

    Or send it to me, and you can have my QSC RMX830. Seriously.
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I think it would be OK, but I'd have to agree that it's kind of a waste of a nice amp to use it for a sub, even one as nice as the SVS.

    You might consider something like the Behringer A500 that can be bridged and runs only $180, or even just pick up a plate amp from www.partsexpress.com or similar for less. I'm using a 350w plate from www.rythmikaudio.com amp with my 15" Tempest and it's quite powerful and has the advantage of having a selectable subsonic filter (should help keep you from bottoming) and continuously variable phase control for just $150 (but you may need something to mount it in).
     
  5. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    If he is going to spend $150 for an amp, he might as well get the PCi. If he is going to get the amp for free, then he should get the CS. And now that he knows that the Mac is a very good amp, he ought to hang on to it if he gets it.

    Let's all get in line behind Colin to wrest the Mac away from the OP who does not know its value. Nice one Colin.
     
  6. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    *Takes a bow*

    I have that '830 all boxed up and ready!
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Which was going to be my next suggestion [​IMG] (since he already mentioned it). If you have to buy an amp, you are already going to come close to what a PCi will cost you, defeating the savings you got by going with a CS.
     
  8. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    As for what to use, here's what I've used -

    Vintage HK, ~40watts. Worked.
    PE 250w plate amp. Worked great.
    QSC RMX830, one channel, even better, I don't miss the phase or XO function.
     
  9. Matt Amato

    Matt Amato Stunt Coordinator

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    I actually knew it was a crazy good amp, so does he. He wouldn't be giving it to me, rather I'd use it as long as we lived together. I figured at some point, I'd have a house of my own and would need too in a home theater basement. At that time, I'd buy a second and and amp and run both off the one amp. This way, I also get to save some money for the time being. I have good base management in the HK 235, so I figured it would work out well.
     
  10. Matt Amato

    Matt Amato Stunt Coordinator

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    On a side note, if we decided not to use such a good amp, we have an Onkyo TX-36 that's rated at 100 watts for mono. Do you think the SVS would perform sub-optimally with that much power?
     
  11. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I haven't really needed the phase adjust either, but the subsonic filter (which is not the same thing as the x-over) can be a very useful thing to protect the sub from accidentally overdoing it. I have my subsonic filter set at 14Hz now, and thinking about trying it at 20Hz.
     
  12. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    It would work, and probably work fine for all but demonstrations. Headroom is a good thing, and if EQ ever enters the picture, double what you think you need.

    FWIW, I have a 31 band EQ in the chain, with heavy boost applied to counter suboptimal placement. I have yet to do any damage, or even bottom it, no infrasonic filter.

    Sometimes I wonder why that is.
     

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