SVS Follow-up review: music

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ChrisDixon, Mar 11, 2002.

  1. ChrisDixon

    ChrisDixon Second Unit

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    With the announcements of the new winners on HTF, I thought it might be a good time to post a follow-up review of my 16-46PC that I won in the last contest. Now that I've had the unit for two months, I thought I'd post a review that is a bit more informed than my initial post. Recently, I found out that my unit was shipped with the new driver found in the PCi versions.

    First, to the movies: like most people have said, the quality, tightness, and bass extension were top notch. When compared to my previous sub (a bandpass Paradigm PS-1000) there is a great deal more accuracy and less boom, while going lower (even below 20Hz if you can find the source to do it). I've put it up against some of the best workouts (U-571, Phantom Menace, Pearl Harbor, etc.) and each one shook the room with no sign of bottoming out (though I usually don't run it at reference). I find that I like to run the sub a few dbs hot to get a bit more low end "feel", though I've found that I have to tune it back a bit if there is a very music-heavy soundtrack (such as Almost Famous).

    I'ver read many SVS reviews here that focus on movies, so this time I thought I'd talk about music, which is more of a passion for me. While I do watch DVDs, I listen to music every single day, and when I got the SVS, I felt that I wanted to listen to each CD again. Why? Because my main speakers are Paradigm Monitor 7s, which sound good with no sub, but do not extend low enough for the best results. As I've said in previous posts, I was very unhappy with the music reproduction of the PS-1000. It was simply too slow and boomy to keep up with complex music. For music, I currently set the cross-over at 50Hz and feed the sub through the Left and Right pre-outs of my Marantz SR-7000 (run in source direct mode). With many sub/music configurations, it is easy to differentiate the sub reproduction from the L/R speakers. When calibrated properly, the SVS blends perfectly with the Monitor 7s. My listening tastes are among the most challenging for any speaker, and offer a pretty good workout. I'll give some examples from some of my favorite "reference" CDs. They are sonically superior discs that make the most of different sonic qualities.

    1. Marillion - Afraid of Sunlight remaster (Progressive Rock): The bass on this CD is sublime. The remaster pushes the spunky bass guitar and drums even further up in the mix, and can overwhelm the softer accoustic passages with the wrong equipment. The SVS handled it with ease (though it helped with calibration since it is so fussy).

    2. A Decade of Steely Dan (Jazz Rock) - This is a great workout for tweeters, but the SVS handled the low end quite well too. Some great "feel the bass" moments in Bodhisatva.

    3. Dream Theater - Awake (Prog-Metal) - This one tests out the heavy/crunchy side of metal. Again, it pounded hard. This is the only kind of music that I sometimes like to run hotter in the bass. It ain't always about the clarity, and we all know that SVS can shake the walls.

    4. Nick Drake - Five Leaves Left (Folk) - This one is challenging due to the soft vocals, bass, and older production values. Bad bass can lose some fantastic details on this fine disc. This time, the SVS did its job and stayed in the background.

    So many more... I could go on forever, but I will leave it at this: if you are worried about the larger enclosure and too much boom, fear not. The SVS handles music as well as anything that I've heard, though I must admit to having not heard some of the higher-end models. I have also not heard any of the comperable Internet brands like HSU and Adire, so my ability to offer comparisons is limited.

    Thanks for listening,

    Chris
     
  2. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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    Great Review Chris, thank you. Now you have the SVS wall plate to go with your sub. Man, talk about horshoes up the wazoo [​IMG]
     
  3. GregC

    GregC Stunt Coordinator

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    I also have a SVS with the Marantz 7000 but was under the impression that I could not connect the sub to the L+R speakers to accommodate "direct" (which I think sounds better). Your review is the first I've heard of it being done. Could you please explain, in detail, how you made this connection work? Thanks!
     
  4. ChrisDixon

    ChrisDixon Second Unit

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    Greg,

    Well, it's certainly not simple, but in my opinion, source direct mode is the only way to go, and I'm willing to go through some hoops to get it exactly the way I want. I use an inexpensive Radio Shack switch box to feed the SVS (Left and Right out from the switch to the sub's inputs). I feed the Left and Right pre-outs from the SR-7000 to the "1" position of the switch. The Sub Out goes to a Y adapter, then into the "2" position of the switch. My L/R speakers are always connected directly to the Marantz speaker outs.

    For music and prologic TV, I leave it in position 1. On the sub amp, I set the cross-over to 50Hz. My speakers blend nicely with the sub at this point.

    For DVDs and DD DirecTV movies, I put it on position 2 and bypass the cross-over on the sub. It then falls into the standard 5.1 configuration with SR-7000 doing the cross-over and sending the .1 signal to the sub as well.

    Since I only watch DD/DTS movies once or twice a week at the most (I know: blasphemy), it's not that much of a hassle to flip the two switches. I pretty much use the system for TV and music every day, so position 1 is default.

    Well, you did ask for detailed! I hope it helps...

    Chris
     

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