SVS 20-39 PCi... wow...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Willem Vos, Jan 20, 2003.

  1. Willem Vos

    Willem Vos Stunt Coordinator

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    I used to have a REL Q150 subwoofer, which is a sealed 10inch sub.
    I sold it, because it was inadequate at playing my new dvd's, specifically Lord of the rings. After that I knew I needed something a lot more powerful. I looked around in local shops, and the only thing available in my price range was the Yamaha YST-SW800.

    I finally decided, even though the shipping and taxes made it the more expensive choice, on the SVS 20-39PCi. The positive reviews I've been reading on this forum really convinced me that SVS was the best choice.

    I didn't choose the PC+ (although I was tempted), because I have a very small room (less than 1400 cu. ft.), and because the total cost would have been more than $1100.

    The PCi was delivered (flown in [​IMG]) last week... and boy, is it BIG! Especially in my small room, this subwoofer tends to really dominate my entire setup (it looks really funny). But luckily, the sound is just as big as its appearance [​IMG]
    Both music and movies now sound very good. I watched some scenes (Behind Enemy Lines - Sam attack blew me (and my brother) away) and they all sounded great.

    I have got some questions though:
    Has anyone ever bottomed-out his PCi subwoofer? If so, which scene, at what gain level on the sub and at what volume on the amp?
    Ever since bottoming my old sub, I want to be careful not to go that far again.

    Is it worth playing a frequency sweep? The only frequency sweep I have is from THX optimode, and that one goes really high (20kHz I think), so I avoid playing it...

    Thanks
     
  2. Guy Usher

    Guy Usher Supporting Actor

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    In your small room it will be plenty load, I have a cs2039 in a room about 2 times larger and calibrated "Hot" (up about 6db from a flat response) I have never bottomed the woofer, sometimes it gets very load. Typically I am at -20 on volume with 86db speakers but on occasion I will play a movie at -10 to -5, still no problems. I have played LOYR at -10 which is really too load for me.
    I found that I kept turning the sub down as it broke in. I would make sure you calibrate it with a SPL meter and give it a little time to loosen up at the same time you are getting used to it. I would slowly work up the level untill it suites you listening carefully for distortion (which comes first) then bottoming out which you dont want to make a habit of. Really this is a question for SVS, I mean for signs of distress.
    I can say I have had no signs of distress and I am using a 450 real watt amp, however I play it to suite my family not to impress my friends (which it does BTW)
    BTW I am happy to report for the first time in years I now have a flat response from 1K down to 20hz, by flat I mean within 2db, it is so nice not to have the 50-60hz bump that I had for so long. Actually I had gotten used to it so at first the SVS sounded a little thin, not now since I have got used to what it is supposed to sound like, no more listener fatique(sp)
     
  3. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    I've never bottomed out my PCi, even on LOTR at reference. I've heard, though, that it has limiters that prevent you from bottoming out (not an issue with the CS), so that may be why. I've not noticed any distortion or clipping that one would expect from a limiter though.
     
  4. keir

    keir Stunt Coordinator

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    pci has no limiter, it has a subsonic highpass filter so the sub does not try to play any bass lower than its tuning point (which is a main cause of bottoming out). i have never bottomed out my 16-46pci either.
     
  5. Rudi B

    Rudi B Stunt Coordinator

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  6. Willem Vos

    Willem Vos Stunt Coordinator

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  7. Tyler DJW

    Tyler DJW Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Willem,
    If you've got a dip around 80 and a peak around 40 then you've got the same problem I do. It is caused for me by standing waves in my listening position. All I can really do is sit off-centre to help balance out the sound. I find it distracting in Lord of the Rings because the frequency sweep when Sauron croaks in the prologue starts fairly quiet and then gets much louder at the end.

    I would play around with room placement. I moved my SVS 20-39PCi from the corner to about 4 feet from the corner on one wall and it helped balance it out. Bottom line, it is more likely caused by your room than the sub itself.
     
  8. Willem Vos

    Willem Vos Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Tyler, I'll have to try moving it around.

    Is it normal for that frequency sweep (THX Optimode from Phantom Menace) to pop slightly at the end? Or am I overdoing something with this frequency sweep?

    Is it at all possible to damage my speakers or sub by doing multiple frequency sweeps (20-200Hz)?
    I know from my previous subwoofer that leaving a test tone running on a sub for a long time can cause the internal amp to get very hot...
     
  9. Willem Vos

    Willem Vos Stunt Coordinator

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    bump
     
  10. Tyler DJW

    Tyler DJW Stunt Coordinator

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  11. Willem Vos

    Willem Vos Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the reply Tyler.

    The AVIA disc always seemed too expensive too me, but I guess it's essential if I want to know exactly what's going on.

    I must have ran the THX frequency test about 20 times (had to skip through all the menu's each time to get to it, very cumbersome) each time experimenting with the crossover (had it turned off) and phase switch.
    But it doesn't give you any info on which frequency it is testing... pretty useless, although it did tell me that there IS a dip.

    It's pretty hard to move the PCi, it's in its intended location, and everything else is sort of built around it [​IMG]. Would moving it from the right-front corner to the left-front corner help eliminate the gap?
    The sub sounds very good, but eliminating the gap will probably make it sound better, right? I'm very pleased with the sound as is, so I'm not sure if it's worth fiddling with any further...
     
  12. Guy Usher

    Guy Usher Supporting Actor

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    A little trick that works for me on sub placement; put your sub in the place where you will be sitting and then walk around with the SPL meter untill you find the spot where it is loadest, put your sub there, a lot easier than moving a big old sub all over the room. when your wife asks "What in the hell are you doing"? tell her you are doing a survey for the forum, you wouldnt want to get caught doing something silly on your own. . .
    Works for me, better than sitting crooked while watching a movie, makes my neck hurt. . . .
     
  13. Tyler DJW

    Tyler DJW Stunt Coordinator

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    That's good advice too. I've never tried it myself, but I've heard it suggested before. I eventually had to settle on my sub placement as well... it's not perfect but it's pretty close.

    If you keep using the Optimizer frequency sweeps one thing I did was to find exactly what track and chapter it is and access it directly... that way you don't need to cycle through all of the other audio tests as well.

    Even though I have everything set up it's still fun once in a while to just let the frequency sweep go and make everything rattle in my apartment (my poor neighbors).
     
  14. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Willem, DO get the Avia disc, along with the rat-shack SPL meter. Its the best tweak you can ever do on your system. You can calibrate your speakers right, you can calibrate your sub right, and even more importantly, you can calibrate your video. I can't stress this enough, how much better you can get the video with a simple $50 Avia disk. I calibrate TVs for friends and such just cause I'm nice, and I walk in on really junky RCA TVs, that look hideous, the color looks bad, overly bright, and I dial it in with the help of avia, and it looks goregous.

    Oh, and BTW, Avia has some bass sweeps that start, at something like 200 hz and go down, and it tells you the freq too, which is really helpful. And the other thing, subs can be VERY placement-picky. One foot CAN make a significant difference, and although I'm sure you're not too partial to lugging that SVS around the room, it can really help find that perfect spot. I remember once I was dialing in a crappy KLH sub for a friend, and there was a HUGE room resonance problem, and I moved it one foot left, and on the next sweep it was almost totally gone. Sure, 5 dbs up still, but much less than what it was before, and it was probably just mid-bass bloom from the cheesy sub anyway.
     
  15. Mathew Shelby

    Mathew Shelby Second Unit

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    I know you probably don't get this question very often, but what is the smallest subwoofer that SVS makes? Can someone please provide me with a link/pic?
     
  16. Tyler DJW

    Tyler DJW Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Mathew, if you haven't already check out the new thread in this forum about the SVS box subs... they're putting out their first box subs in the coming weeks and should be comparable in performance to the cylinders. The smallest cylinder subs are the 25-31 subs. Check out http://www.svsubwoofers.com for more information.
     
  17. Willem Vos

    Willem Vos Stunt Coordinator

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  18. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Hello (hallo) Willem,

    Yes but you can still do it (and perhaps also limit your wandering around to the places where the sub CAN go). At least it will make you think about it - and perhaps see a way to move it to the optimal place in your room nevertheless.

    Cees
     
  19. Willem Vos

    Willem Vos Stunt Coordinator

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    Hallo Cees,

    I've already placed it a little bit away from the corner.
    The dip is still there, but much smaller (although I need AVIA to tell me more exactly where it is and how big).

    Thanks for your advice all, I'm going to experiment further once I receive AVIA. For now, I'm just going to enjoy my SVS with some movies [​IMG]
     

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