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Should I have my 25-31 PCi Sub custom tuned

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Rob White, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. Rob White

    Rob White Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Folks,

    It's taken me a while to figure out how to best spend $500 to upgrade my stereo. In the end, the 25-31 PCi SVS sub won out. It's a little over budget. My wife liked the cylinder look so much over the box look of the PB10 (read: she woudn't possibly allow a box sub in the living room) that she's going to pay the extra.

    My question is: Should I have SVS custom tune the sub in any way before they send it. I sent them an email last night asking, but haven't heard back yet. I thought some on you might have an opinion.

    Here are some specifics:
    •Onkyo 502 receiver
    •23 year old Bose 301 mains
    •no center (next upgrade)
    •cheap Radio Shack surrounds
    •Xbox360/HDTV/Music/DVD is around 50/20/15/15
    •I'm 41 years old with 2 young kids
    •don't listen to music way loud; no headbanger muic; more like Steely Dan, Dire Straights, jazz, etc.
    •I would like my bass to be real tight
    •room is tough to explain. Basically, it's an L-Shape that is roughly 16ft by 30ft with 8 ft ceiling. But sitting position is 8 ft from tv and sub. Good amount of normal family furniture, carpet, window treatments, etc.

    I don't know anything about tuning, but I read here that some guys like a custom tune. What do you think I should do?

    Thanks in advance,
    Rob
     
  2. Ron Temple

    Ron Temple Stunt Coordinator

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    You can ask them to do a free customization to make the sub a 22-31PCI. Basically, they put in a longer port and adjust the filter on the amp. This will provide extention down to ~ 18hz, sacrificing about 1.5db output. Since the 25-31 is the output powerhouse of the PCI cylinders, you're not giving away a whole bunch for the added extention. Just got discussed over on AVS this weekend. You might want to ask Erik or Ron about it to get more detail on the trade offs.
     
  3. Rob White

    Rob White Stunt Coordinator

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    So it wouldn't be as loud but it would be able to play deeper notes? Is that right?
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Yes. Losing a small amount of output from this guy is like saying you're only going to drive 100mph instead of 120mph [​IMG] That thing has impressive output in 25Hz tune. My recommendation would be to go 22-31 also. I heard this guy in 25Hz tune in a room that was actually a bit larger than yours and I was impressed with it.
     
  5. John_RO

    John_RO Stunt Coordinator

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    I can't believe I'm disagreeing with Mr. Garcia! I have a 25-31 with the standard tune and for music and video games it is perfect. For movies, it's a beast! If you tune it lower, you are going to lose some output and as a result have to turn the amp up a bit more and lose a bit of that mid-bass thump. I firmly believe that the standard 25hz tune is best for an "all around" sub. Now if it were in a dedicated theater room that would be another issue.
     
  6. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

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    Have to agree with John above... Big difference between a say family room or a dedicated HT room. I would stay with the standard settings...
     
  7. Rob White

    Rob White Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for your help so far fellas. Looks like standard tune is leading in the voting. I still haven't heard back from SVS yet.
     
  8. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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    John heard my 25-31PCi w/standard tuning - recommended by Tom V. himself** for my 20' x 30' HT/family room (based on HT 85% / Music 15%)

    **email copy...

    Love my SVS 25-31PCi purchased/arrived April 2002 (SN 00034) - actively used just about every day since! [​IMG]

    Phil
     
  9. Rob White

    Rob White Stunt Coordinator

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    A follow-up question for Phil (since he has JBL's):

    Hey Phil,

    Right now, I've got 23 year-old Bose 301's as my front left/right. I have no center speaker and my rears are really cheap Radio Shacks (little white ones... don't know the model number, but they were probably $30 a pair 10 years ago). I wanted to get JBL e30s for front left/right and a JBL e35 for center, but that's not happening right now (long story, but basically it's down to WAF).

    Question: Is it worth getting the e35 as a center (since I have none) even if it's going to be playing with the old 301's? How would it sound? Part of me is thinking that the e35 is a good speaker and that it would be handling most of the work with the Bose just handling off camera noise and soundtrack stuff. So I should get it. But part of me is saying that having that many different speakers is strange and that I should just wait until I can work it out with my wife and get center/left/right at once. What would be your advice?
     
  10. Rob White

    Rob White Stunt Coordinator

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    MORE FOR PHIL:

    The thing is that my 301's are up high (7ft in a room with 8ft ceilings) on top of tall pieces of furniture. One's on a tall bookshelf and the other is on a tall, closed-door cabinet. I know I need to bring them down closer to ear level and I know I need to bring them closer together, but my wife is balking at putting them on dedicated wall shelves or speaker stands.

    Maybe the best answer is to buy the e35 in the hopes of buying the e30's some other time (after my wife and I can work it out), but by then I might not want the JBL's anymore and I'll be stuck with the e35 to unload.

    Is the e35 that great? Would it sound that great in my system?

    Thanks,
    Rob
     
  11. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The reason I say that is because after having the PB-10 and getting response to 16Hz with less output than the 25-31PCi, I'd still like to have the lower extension. Your room is quite large, larger than mine is, though, so you may need all the headroom you can get. Perhaps you could take a look at their b-stock offerings and maybe look at a 20-39PCi? Contact them with your budget and room size and I'm SURE they will help you select the right sub for your needs; they've got GREAT customer service. The PB-10 wasn't quite enough for my room, I should have just gotten a 25-31 at the time, but now I have more than enough sub [​IMG]

    Front stage matching is quite important, but that all depends on how picky you are. The front three do the vast majority of the work, so this isn't somewhere you want to skimp. I'm sure the EC35 is a good center, so I don't see a problem going with it, but I'd work that WAF as much as I could and try to get some E series mains too.
     
  12. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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    Rob - WAF can be challenging and it took me years (2-ch 1978 to DPL/5.1 HT 1995 - 1998) to finally convince my wife that to hear the full experience that's better than the local Cinema DD/DTS 5.1 Theater's, that I needed complete control to design (Using Dolby Lab's DD-5.1 Production White Paper) and setup my HT in my HT/family room!

    Purchasing the SVS 25-31PCi just completed my HT puzzle by providing the full frequency foundation from the sub-sonic LFE impact up to the AV Rec x-over!


    In time, I'd recommend building a voice-(timber)-matched HT setup around the JBL EC35. This logic makes sense since the upgrade cost is relatively easy on the budget. For many, the JBL E-Series cost vs. performance has won over and gained the WAF.

    Adding a powered-sub like an SVS will take more work. For me, WAF was not an issue when I was setting up my HT, since my first sub was back in 1983 (Satellites & Passive-Sub 2-ch setup) and have owned 6 sub's (3 passive / 3 powered) before getting my SVS 25-31PCi (APR 2002)! [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Hope this helps,
    Phil
     
  13. Rob White

    Rob White Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Phil,

    I'm definitely getting the SVS 25-31 sub. All I'm wondering about is whether or not to also get the e35 right now. Just wondering if it would sound "wierd" with the Bose 301's at front left/right.

    Rob
     
  14. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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    You'll love the SVS 25-31PCi once you get that!!! [​IMG]


    I don't think the combination should sound "weird".

    Matter-a-fact, the JBL EC35 will handle about 85% of the HT DVD soundtracks and since the JBL's SPL characteristic's is smoother and wider between 88 Hz to 19.5 kHz, it will make the Front Sound Stage sound better than the 301's alone! REF Calibration is a MUST!

    The Bose 301's have a limited high frequency range, probably starts to nose dive like a waterfall around 10-12 kHz and the mid's are not very smooth and exhibits a +8.5 dB peak or so around 8 kHz, so, ... moving the HT dialog to the JBL EC35 for your HT dialog/soundtrack duties will definitely overcome the Bose 301 deficiency's!

    Phil
     
  15. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

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    Doesn't matter what kind of speakers you have.. Any SVS is going to make them sound 100% better!
     
  16. John_RO

    John_RO Stunt Coordinator

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    Now i'll agree with Mr. Garcia.[​IMG]If you want lower extension, get the 20-39PCi.
     

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