SVS “regular” vs. “plus” - My Dual 20-39+ & S1000 review & pics

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Shawn Sefranek, Feb 6, 2002.

  1. Shawn Sefranek

    Shawn Sefranek Second Unit

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    I got my new toys the other day. (2)20-39 PLUS series Subs and (1) Samson S1000 Amplifier.
    They replaced (2) “regular” 20-39’s that were driven by (2) Parasound HCA-1201A Mono Amplifiers.
    These Amps provided 240-Watts each into 4-Ohms.
    My room is pretty SMALL.
    The main area is 12’ x 14’ and there is a small room off to the side where my software collection & PC reside.
    Total volume is only about 1,600 cu ft.
    This is in a finished basement with a LOW ceiling.
    It has a drywall ceiling and exterior grade door, so the room is about as tight as a drum.
    Partial Equipment list:
    Surround Pre-Amp Processor: LEXICON DC-1 THX/AC-3/DTS w/ver.4.0 software
    Front Amplifier: PARASOUND HCA-2003A (220 Watts x 3)
    Surround Amplifier: B&K Video 5 Sonata (105 Watts x 5)
    Subwoofer Amplifier: SAMSON S1000 (500 Watts x 2)
    Front L-C-R Speakers: (3) BOSTON ACOUSTICS 555-THX
    Side & Rear Surround Speakers “Logic-7” array: (4) ATLANTIC TECHNOLOGY 374SR-THX
    If you ask any of my friends that come to visit, they will confirm that I like to listen to movies LOUD !!!
    My other Subs NEVER, I say NEVER gave me a problem and they never “bottomed out” even once.
    The only reason for the upgrade was because of the great discount that SVS was running for previous customers.
    On to the new guys....................
    First impression is the PLUS Subs are much heavier then the old versions.
    I had the UPS guy leave them in my garage and I had to drag the boxes through the unfinished area of my basement into the Theater Room.
    I would venture a guess that they are at least 5-10+ pounds heavier then my old ones.
    I unpacked the two coffin sized boxes and just about missed the two “Port Blockers”.
    These are made from the same material as the packing foam and easily missed.
    I installed one of these in each Sub because I wanted to experiment with the ability to hit the LOWER notes like the 16-46’s do.
    With my small room I figured the loss in overall headroom was acceptable.
    The S1000 Amp is packaged separately and includes the “BetterCables” connector that you need for hookup.
    Hoisting that 45-lb monster up on the shelf requires a serious workout.
    I hooked up the twin SVS’s using Monster XP-HP wire, which is about a 40-FT run to the furthest corner.
    The Subs are placed in the two rear corners of the room.
    The narrow width of the room doesn’t allow them to placed together in the same corner like Tom recommends.
    My two main listening chairs are on the rear 12FT wall, directly between the two Subs with about a 12FT distance to my 50” Toshiba.
    Test material on DVD:
    U-571 (DTS) - Depth Charge attack
    Titan AE (DTS) - Ice Field
    The Haunting (DTS) – The whole DAMN thing
    Phantom Menace – THX Intro & Pod Race
    Toy Story 2 – Intro & Buzz Re-entry
    Gladiator (DTS) – Forest Battle
    Terminator 2 SE (DTS) – Video Arcade shootout & Canal chase
    Steely Dan (DTS) – Two Against Nature
    AC/DC (DTS) – Stiff Upper Lip live concert
    FOX Demo DVD – multiple tracks
    Test material on CD:
    The Great Fantasy Adventure Album – Telarc CD80342- T Rex, Cybergenesis, Jurassic Lunch
    The Big Picture - Telarc CD80437–
    DTS Surround Sampler - Telarc CD84402 -
    Steely Dan – Two Against Nature
    I was REALLY surprised that this system sounds better then my old 20-39’s.
    No matter how many posts I saw from Tom & Ron about the improved performance, I just couldn’t believe I would hear a difference.
    I had heard that people were having problems with “bottoming out” on the THX intro to Episode #1 so I gave this one a run.
    I slowly inched up the volume on my Lexicon while playing this scene over and over.
    I started at –25 and my ears began to give out at about –00.
    No sign of trouble from the SVS’s or the S1000.
    My Radio Shack meter was displaying a peak of 122 dB from the main listing position which is about 6FT to each Sub.
    I know I could have gone higher, but I’ll save that test for when the wife isn’t upstairs. [​IMG]
    When the lightning bolts crash, the BASS goes from ZERO to WOW in an instant.
    No booming or other after effects of the crash. It just hits that one crescendo and then there is silence.
    “The Haunting DTS” is just an INSANE DVD for Bass levels.
    I think SVS should buy these in bulk and toss one in for free with every Sub sold.
    If you don’t have this DTS DVD, you don’t know what your Subs can really do no matter what brand they are.
    Titan AE “Ice Field” scene is another favorite.
    When the blocks of ice collide it sounds like the cement foundation is buckling underfoot.
    On U-571 my favorite scene is during the depth charge attack when they dive to 200-meters.
    The German battleship is dropping the charges too shallow and they are going off way above the Sub.
    This what you might call “distant BASS” has a great rumble, but it’s not quite “in your face” like the high dB attack that happens just before.
    In the middle of the Pod Race chapter of Episode #1 my wife came downstairs, opened the door to my Theater Room and told me that something had fallen in an upstairs closet.
    An inspection showed that it was a wooden & Glass serving tray that decided to commit suicide from the top shelf. (Tom/Ron, I’ll be sending you the bill [​IMG] )
    I was expecting somewhat reduced levels because I was running with the “Port Blockers” installed in each Sub, but this wasn’t the case in my room.
    I do require a higher BASS setting on the Lexicon (sub level) then before which could explain this somewhat, but no loss in overall performance.
    As for music, I used my Steely Dan DVD & CD of the excellent “Two against Nature” release.
    Both the CD & DVD are great for system Demos because they feature deep Bass guitar & Synthesizer notes along with a full brass section for testing the output of your tweeters.
    The AC/DC DVD is another for testing the high dB output of your system as long as the rest of your speakers and your spouse can stand it long enough.
    Again, the new twins came through sounding great.
    They just laughed at everything Angus and the others could throw their way.
    When you have a smaller down-firing Subwoofer in a room with a suspended wooden floor you get added bass effect because the floor actually resonates from the bass energy.
    Normally this effect is hard to achieve in a basement setup with a concrete floor, but I can definitely “feel” the vibrations EVERYWHERE in my room.
    I don’t have the tools to measure it, but I know for a fact that these Subs are going well under 20 Hz.
    There were times while I was watching demo material where I could see that the four lights on the S1000 were flashing to signify output, but I didn’t hear anything.
    Many times when this happened, things would start mysteriously vibrating in the room.
    I have one of those wooden folding tables leaning up against a carpeted support pole.
    The thing just started to resonate and BUZZ in the middle of the Apollo 13 Launch sequence even though I heard NOTHING from the speakers.
    If you’re still undecided about buying one or two of these wonderful Subs, start saving now and DO IT !!!
    If you already have one or two “regular” SVS’s and like me thought there would be no difference, you are wrong.
    I think Tom Vodhanel has sold his soul to the Devil to get performance like this for the price that these Subwoofers sell for.
    Shawn S
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  2. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Real Name:
    Neil Joseph
    Awesome, now I want one. How was the Toy Story 2 intro? That is one wicked transient.
     
  3. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Supporting Actor

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    I love the Fantasy Adventure Album. The T-Rex track has some very low woffing before you actually hear her footsteps.
     
  4. Shawn Sefranek

    Shawn Sefranek Second Unit

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    TS-2 intro was awesome, but the part where the LOGO does a flyby was a bit over the top.
    I had to jump for the volume button on that one.
    When I played it, I wasn’t quite sure what the Subs could do and I didn’t want to blow anything up on the first day.
    One addendum to my review:
    The fans on the Samson are VERY quiet.
    It doesn’t detract from a movie during the quiet passages at all.
    The DTS chip fan inside my DC-1 is actually louder then the two in the Samson.
    My Equipment is in a built-in rack in the front of the room about 12FT from the main chairs.
    Shawn S
    While I’m at it I guess I’ll add a photo of the front of the room.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Leif Wall

    Leif Wall Second Unit

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    Hmmm, I recently ordered a 'regular' 20-39cs. Don't even have it yet and I'm already thinking of going with 2. Hope mine ships soon. I keep getting the feeling I'm building my expectations up too high though. I should of waited tell I found out I was getting $700 back on my taxes. Oh, well I decided to get a new Yamaha receiver to make the new SVS happy. [​IMG]
    I believe I've come down with Upgraditis.
     
  6. SHAWN SZILEZY

    SHAWN SZILEZY Stunt Coordinator

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    Shawn,
    And just who do you know with a vibrating wooden floor? [​IMG]
     
  7. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

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    Your pictures bring a question to mind- I have a 20-39PC circa July 2001. I see the the foam pieces on yours look like they are there to reduce or dampen vibrations from the grill cover(I'm not referring to the port plug).

    Do ALL new SVS subs have this? It seems like a great idea. Time to modify? Would that be considered warranty busting?

    I have to add that I've never experienced rattles from the grill, but still...
     
  8. Glen_L

    Glen_L Stunt Coordinator

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    James, you might want to check out this thread, at the bottom I asked Ron about the foam spacers.
     
  9. Shawn Sefranek

    Shawn Sefranek Second Unit

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    Originally posted by: SHAWN SZILEZY

     
  10. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

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    James,

    Just to reiterate, your older SVS has a different means of damping the grill. Namely 4 rubberized screws that "kissed" the grill with some downward pressure. If they are seated correctly (shifting in shipping was once common) then you should NEVER hear your grill resonate in the least! The screws were difficult for us to assemble but very effective. Keep in mind that even under lab conditions, and with NO screws or foam spacers we could only rarely get the big 15" grill to resonate, but "rarely" wasn't good enough when we launched the original CS and PC subs.

    The foam spacers are just as effective as the screws, but allow new customers to remove the grill easier for cleaning; or as is the case with Plus and Ultra users, it also allows quick access to the ports to customize the tuning.

    Our assembly team just likes the fact they don't go blind putting in the grill screws any more! ;^)

    No need to "upgrade" in this area. I think the foam spacers look trick too FWIW, but don't imagine for a second that you are losing out in any way.

    Ron
     
  11. Shawn Sefranek

    Shawn Sefranek Second Unit

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    Boo Hoo….[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Ron finally responds to my thread and he doesn’t even mention my exhaustive review and excellent photo work.
    Maybe they’ll send me a T-Shirt instead.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Shawn S
    PS….Just kidding guys, I know you’re busy with some “issues” that I’ve been reading about in other threads.
     
  12. Brian Bowles

    Brian Bowles Second Unit

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    Shawn what db level are you running your svs subs at? I have mine +6db over the other speakers. I configured with Video Essentials.
     
  13. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

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    Shawn,

    You are right, I SHOULD have mentioned our thanks for relating your experience. I don't know how many Plus subs we've sent out already (I'm sure we're pushing 200 in the first two weeks), but even if "only" 5 or 10 folks have had setup problems that's what we fixate on until it's all resolved! Most problems will probably turn out to be nothing at all, but there is clearly an issue with a few folks on a few receiver types that we're digging into.

    That 98% of the Plus early adopters have had nothing but GREAT performance with minimal hookup fuss get's forgotten when it shouldn't be.

    I even intend to pull some quotes out of your review and get them up on our website so thanks for that. Hmmm, maybe we create a new policy that says if you make our review page we send you a shirt?

    It could happen.

    Enjoy your subs!

    Ron
     
  14. Shawn Sefranek

    Shawn Sefranek Second Unit

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