SVS, Earthquake & Velodyne comparison

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rob alva, Apr 11, 2002.

  1. Rob alva

    Rob alva Extra

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    First of all, Hello to everyone at the HT site. I've been on a testing frenzy the past few months. I was the proud owner of three of the best subwoofers in the world.

    1- Dual 20-39 CS+/S1000

    2- Earthquake MKIV-15

    3- Velodyne HGS-18

    Before these I owned a Polk PSW 650. First, the SVS package. After finding the best position (both corner-loaded up front) & calibrating via test tones and spl meter, I was initially some-what dissatisfied. After growing accustomed to "TRUE, CLEAN BASS", I quickly fell in love with them. I felt like a little kid after recieving that bicycle for x-mas. These subs are so quick and accurate. Only I didn't "TRULY KNOW" to what extent until later on. However, I did find their limits quickly. Since they play so low & clean, you can bottom them out easily (if you are a bass-head like myself). Oh, by-the-way. My HT area is huge with 18ft ceilings & a loft.

    Mr. Earthquake was next. I was immediately impressed with it's small size and rugged finish (A+ rating). This sub is entirely different from the SVS subs. It has the most powerful amp I have ever experienced in a HT sub...PERIOD!!! Lights would dim and I could only stand the volume on the sub at 3, maybe 4 tops (out of 10)!!! Highly under-rated amp (it MUST-BE high-current or something)! This sub goes very low, but when you reach 25HZ and below, the svs subs & Velodyne are MUCH cleaner & play lower, faster! The earthquake just seems to "rumble a lot compared to the other two below 25HZ. The earthquake sounded best behind the seating position for some reason. This sub has a single 15" driver & a 15" passive radiator. These combined produce the most VIOLENT BASS I've ever heard or felt...PERIOD!!! Leaves the SVS & Velodyne in the dust above 25HZ! Forget the "bass-shakers,etc". This sub is simply put,"the devil, himself" when it comes to moving you!

    Now the Velodyne is an interesting sub. It is huge, and beautiful. The built-in amp is rated at 1250 rms/3000 max! Uhhhhh...yeah, ok. Don't get me wrong, it is a powerful amp but the earthquake amp is in a league of its own! The HGS-18 did prove to cover the ground in-between both the svs & earthquake subs. It played VERY, VERY LOW! It was VERY quick! Amazing, considering it is an 18" driver! It put out the "biggest bass" I've heard in a HT sub. That term I used is sort of hard to explain. The bass just seemed like it covered more area, especially when position behind the seating area. It was almost as quick as the svs subs & much, much faster than the earthquake. It sounded like someone had a "huge air-cannon" up front and felt "like a giant just sat on you" when positioned behind the seating area. However, I had the gain on this sub maxed out.

    Final analysis: For super clean, super quick, & natural low bass, but not as much Body-moving bass as the other two, go with SVS 20-39CS+ subs.

    For "No Holds Barred", "Simply VIOLENT" 25HZ + bass, the earthquake is KING-KONG here! Don't get me wrong, this sub will play way below 20HZ. The sound just isn't as gratifying as the other two.

    For the best of both worlds, choose Velodyne HGS-18. It plays low, almost as clean as the svs subs, but gives you more shake. I must also add that it sounds GREAT up front & just as good in back. Very versitile. The SVS subs had little impact behind the seating position in my HT area!

    I am probably going to keep the Velodyne HGS-18!

    I hope this has helped everyone still uncertain about which sub to choose. These are 3 of the best subs $ can buy. All three are superb, but each is very different. It all depends on what "YOU" want!

    Thank you

    Rob
     
  2. Mark KU

    Mark KU Stunt Coordinator

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    What price are you getting each of these for? Just curious how the 3 options compare to each other.
     
  3. Rob alva

    Rob alva Extra

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    You can buy the DUAL SVS 20-39CS+/S1000 for about $1500.
    The Earthquake goes for about $1500 or so now.
    The velodyne HGS-18 is very expensive. Do some shopping and you might get one for under $2000.[​IMG]
     
  4. Adil M

    Adil M Supporting Actor

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    Wow, the SVS is faster, huh? That's big words. That fact alone would seal the deal for half the people sitting in the fence.
     
  5. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Interesting. So you sent all subs to distortion/compression? Or did you just crank it up all the way and see what happened? I ask this because the Earthquake may have had a higher gain than the others, which made it louder and also might have distorted it causing something along the lines of what you said. Thanks for the review, we don't see something like this every day.
     
  6. Rob alva

    Rob alva Extra

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    All subs were calibrated the same way using my Onkyo 787 test tones & the RS spl meter. Reference level on this reciever is 61. The Earthquake was the only sub out of the three that I could not bottom out. I stopped at about 67 and could not stand anymore punishment from neither the highs or the lows. The HGS-18 bottomed once, Yes the servo-controlled HGS bottomed out during the Haunting at about 63 on the volume of my Onkyo. But it was reproducing some hellatious bass my friends. The SVS went about 59/60.
     
  7. Sheldon C

    Sheldon C Second Unit

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    So am I right in assuming that the Earthquake would be the best of the three for movies but the worst for music?
     
  8. Rob alva

    Rob alva Extra

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    Interesting enough, the earthquake did extremely well for music. I assume that this was due to it's extremely heavy-duty drivers. The passive radiator is so SERIOUS, it has a freakin BOLT holding it together. The driver cones are flat & so stiff, when you tap on them, it feels like you're hitting a block of wood. Yes, that stiff! It surprised me too. However I did not give it the ultimate challenge (Jazz)! But I'm sure it would do alright. Again, it is your personal preference on which is best. What do you want, Violent shake but not quite as quick or accurate? Go Earthquake. Super-quick, super-clean, low bass, but not mving you as much bass? Go SVS

    Best of the two, go velodyne!

    Again, this is only "MY OPINION"!
     
  9. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    Thanks for your great review.I will put this to memory.I plan on a new sub the first of the year.I have had three in the last four months.WAF is kind of worn down,--but we do have a deal struck.I will put this into favorites.
     
  10. Marcus Lewis

    Marcus Lewis Stunt Coordinator

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    The SVS's tight clean bass really spoils you for other subs after a while.
    Before I got my 16-46CS+ and S1000 I used to frequent a video club in my neighbourhood where some movie was always rockin'.
    Anyway I always thought the sub at the club was boomy and inaccurate, but not terribly so ...
    After a month of my SVS at home, driving to insane levels I might add [​IMG]
    If I go to the same club now I literally get headaches in 5 minutes because the boominess and inaccuracy drive me crazy![​IMG]
    I can't get out of that club fast enough ...
    So my take is, If I have to live with "boom" to get the room moving, you can keep it ...
    I'd rater invest in 2 more SVS's [​IMG]
    That would MOVE the room and play as tight and low as you could ever want!
     
  11. Sean Oneil

    Sean Oneil Supporting Actor

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    I wonder if a pair of SVS Ultras would have put this review over the top in favor of the SVS?
     
  12. Mike OConnell

    Mike OConnell Second Unit

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    This makes me feel better about purchasing my Velodyne two years ago before the SVS subs were released.

    My HGS-18 cost me $1704 (including shipping, etc.) two years ago and I have been very happy with the purchase.

    Mike
     
  13. MarcVH

    MarcVH Second Unit

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    Thanks for the comparison; always interesting to hear side-by-sides. Sounds like SVS's 25-31 would be closer in extension to the Earthquake; not sure whether that would narrow the gap you perceived between 'em.
     
  14. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    Hmmn, I wonder how the Paradigm Servo-15 would compare. Probably not in the same league, but I'd like to know...
     
  15. Rob alva

    Rob alva Extra

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    Mike, where did you get the Velodyne HGS-18 at for that price 2 years ago? That is an insane price for back then. You can't really go wrong with your purchase.

    One more thing about the SVS subs that many people don't know about. They are not magnetically shielded! I found out the hard way on my Sony tv. When both were corner-loaded a good distance away, no problem. When I put one on either side of the tv, it put a nice "green spot" in the top, right corner. This happened while I was demonstrating my system to some friends. I immediately corner-loaded both again (put the subs a little further from the tv) and within a few hours, the spot went away.

    Marc I'm not sure how the 25-31's would do against these two brutes up high, but down low I really can just assume that the Vely & the earthquake would just be too overwhelming. If I ever whent back to SVS, I would have to go with a pair of Ultra's or better!
     
  16. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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    If there is anyone out there whose primary interest is music, rather than explosions, I suggest you listen to a Rel (not the "Q" line) to see what a "musical sub" sounds like.

    Larry
     
  17. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Rob,

    Nice review! I've been quite impressed with the Earthquake sub since I heard it at my local dealer. Also, in reference to your comment about the Velodyne being quick, especially for an 18" driver, cone size has nothing to do with the speed of a driver. It's the strength of the motor structure that determines how "fast" a particular driver would be. A large motor structure will have much better control over cone movement.

    BTW, a quick look at the drivers that SVS uses will immediately tell you that they are not shielded.

    Again, nice work on the review!

    Brian
     
  18. PomingF

    PomingF Second Unit

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    Rob, very interesting review in deed.
    Mike, I am with you on this one. I got my Velo more than two years ago (think I beat you in price via the GP [​IMG]) before the inception of SVS and haven't look back.
    I will be looking for a somewhat lighter (both duty & weight) sub for a music system soon and this thread sure helps.
    PF
     
  19. Mike OConnell

    Mike OConnell Second Unit

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    PF,

    I think we probably got the sub from the same source, but I could be wrong.....darn, you might have gotten an even better deal.....

    I would second an REL sub for music only applications. I think they are a little on the pricey side, and are hard to get with a significant discount.

    Mike
     
  20. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    As an alternative to REL, I know of several folks that chose the ACI Titan II LE over the REL. Not only did they like it better, but it is significantly less expensive.
    You can see the Titan II LE here.
    Brian
     

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