SVS PB2-ISD thoughts...

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by David Ruggiero, Aug 30, 2004.

  1. David Ruggiero

    David Ruggiero Stunt Coordinator

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    I ordered my sub last wednesday, and it finally arrived today. By finally I don't mean to imply it took too long... just that I was impatient waiting for it to arrive! [​IMG]

    Anyhow, so the truck pulls up in front of my house, and the driver asks me to give him a hand as he doesn't have a hand truck. No problem I think, until I see the size of the box when he opened the door. Holy crap! This thing is huge! I thought I was prepared for the size of it by the dimensions listed on SVS's web site but seeing it in person still suprised me. With packaging it weighed about 150 pounds. I don't blame the driver for not wanting to carry it by himself.

    So after we get in the house I thank the driver and then proceed to unwrap the sub. This thing is packaged extremely well, I don't see any way one of these subs could be damaged without dropping it off a dock or truck. SVS really goes the extra mile to make sure you get your sub in pristine condition. After getting it all unpacked, I'm still amazed by the size of this sub. If you wish to get one make sure you realize how big it is.

    After wrestling the sub into position in my living room, I then decided to fire up some scenes from a few favorites... Star Wars TPM and AOTC, Saving Private Ryan, Pearl Harbor and U571 and a few others. Basically all the ones SVS recommends on their web site.

    Keep in mind that my previous sub was a Sony SA-WM40. Now I know some of you will laugh, but I thought (and still think) it was a good sub for the $150 I paid for it. Needless to say, the PB2-ISD blows it out of the water. Whereas the Sony would strain if pushed too hard on scenes with a lot of bass, the SVS plays them effortlessly. I can't imagine needing a PB2+ or Ultra... the ISD is everything I hoped for. I was especially impressed with the way the beach landing and end battle in Saving Private Ryan sound. Also the Pearl Harbor attack scene (in the movie Pearl Harbor) and the depth charge scenes in U571 are simply amazing. It is like you are in the middle of the war alongside the actors.

    I can say without a doubt that this is by far my best home theater purchase, and I highly recommend looking to SVS if you are in the market for a new sub. They get a thumb's up from me, that's for sure! [​IMG]
     
  2. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

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    David,

    Thanks for that. Indeed, "putting you next to the actors"... or essentially... making you forget about your speakers at all so you are utterly caught up in the action... is just our intent.

    Oddly enough, if you simply reproduce the LFE and associated bass from other channels with the required depth, power (dynamic range) and accuracy... those wiley recording engineers in Hollywood tend to do the rest. Of course "doing" this isn't easy, and typically at this price point requires the robust size you mention.

    One thing: If you have your sub situated in a corner of your room, notice it gets smaller over time. Not literally of course, but any new piece of gear tends to stand out. In reality that sub isn't much larger than the big mains we all had not long ago (albeit turned on its side). After a while it'll just seem totally part of the room there, and before long you and guests won't even notice it.

    I've gone through this dozens of times myself, and we hear it from customers every day "once it was set up and I started watching movies I never even noticed it over there on the other side of the room".

    Tell me I'm wrong in a couple weeks ;^)

    Ron
     
  3. Tuan Vo

    Tuan Vo Stunt Coordinator

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    Whats the volume of your room?
     
  4. David Ruggiero

    David Ruggiero Stunt Coordinator

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    14x17 with 8 foot ceiling. There is one opening on the side to another room. And stairs against the front wall leading up. My PB2-ISD has no problem filling this room with bass.
     
  5. TonyWright

    TonyWright Second Unit

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    The size issue was the last remaining item that I struggled with as I know my wife will give me greif about it. Then Ron said something that put it all in perspective for me. In the sub market, you have 3 options. Size, cost and performance. You get to pick 2, and the other is dictated to you.

    Believe it or not, my wife acutally understood this. However, I know her quite well and with that I know that she is in no way prepared for the size of this piece of equipment. I too will be ordering a PB2-ISD in exactly 1 month now. She has seen the dimensions and I have showed her how much space this device will take up in our room. Hopefully it won't scare her too much.

    Congrats David on your new SVS! If you find any other features and/or general "coolities" (made that one up myself [​IMG]) regarding your sub, please post them. I would very much like to read your further impressions.


    Tony
     
  6. David Ruggiero

    David Ruggiero Stunt Coordinator

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    TonyWright said:



    Before I ordered mine I had tried to explain to my wife that this sub was going to be a lot larger then my old Sony. She had seen me upgrade before from an 8 inch Sony sub to my 12 inch Sony sub so she thought the size difference would be about the same. Boy was she suprised!

    I mean, I had measured it out for her in my living room with a tape measure, but seeing it in the flesh still was a suprise, although for me not an unpleaseant one. This sub is imposing, sort of like the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey! [​IMG]

    The first time my wife saw it, she actually started laughing and shook her head. Then she was like, "Do you really need something that large for the home theater?" I told her to have a seat, and then played the depth charge scene from U571. Even she couldn't help but smile at the sheer wall of sound coming out of the speakers, superbly enhanced by the SVS.

    She understands my hobby, but I did have to move it from it's original position by the tv to a less obvious position next to the sofa to try and hide it somewhat.
    So now she accepts the SVS as part of the family, with the stipulation that I have to deal with any irate neighbors or visits from the police regarding noise complaints. [​IMG]

    If you any specific questions Tony (or anyone else)regarding the sub let me know and I'll try to answer them as best as I can.
     
  7. Allen_N

    Allen_N Stunt Coordinator

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    I also just recently got this sub. My wife was actually happy as she thought it would be bigger.

    Mine is working quite well now. I finally got a new receiver which seems to work quite well with it. I put in Master and Commander not knowing how loud it would be. The cannon shot and I was like "Where is all the boom". Then it hit the ship and the bass smacked me in the chest. Everyone upstairs thought it was thunder until it kept doing it. Then they realized it was my new sub [​IMG]

    I'm very happy with it and it is actually too much sub for the room I am in now. However, when my house is finished it should be much better matched with the room dimensions.
     
  8. David Ruggiero

    David Ruggiero Stunt Coordinator

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    There is no such thing as too much sub... [​IMG]
     
  9. Allen_N

    Allen_N Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah, I have it turned down right now as the inlaws don't like me playing it loud. I can only do it when they are out. It's still amazing the power it puts out with it turned down this much.
     
  10. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    This is a good thread. [​IMG] I've been looking at the PB2+ for almost a year, but I couldn't get past the size and the weight of the thing. (I have tried to have a rule that I won't buy gear that I can't manhandle around by myself.)

    But now that the PB2-Ultra/black is coming (190 vs 140 lbs), it kind of puts things in perspective for me regarding the Plus!

    So I'm trying to convince myself to go for the Ultra in black at that intro price, but I'm just "feeling it" a lot more for the Plus. I've done the same thing: measured and stacked up boxes around my current sub to get an idea of how big the PB2 is. But I suspect like you all mention, it's a lot different in person... [​IMG]
     
  11. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    Kevin:

    Anything smaller than the PB2-Ultra would look out of place in my HT room. After a week, it will simply look right, feel right, and sound incredible and you will kick yourself in the backside for not getting one sooner. New gear tends to "right-size" quickly. [​IMG]
     
  12. Steve RM

    Steve RM Auditioning

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    I have a 5500 cubic foot room that opens into a kitcen, entry way and hallway. I am still trying to decide between a Pb2+ or pb2-isd to go with either my new B&w 703's or paradigm studio 100's.I want to make sure I have enough sub.
     
  13. Robb Roy

    Robb Roy Supporting Actor

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    Kevin,

    I'm a pretty skinny guy who moved a PB2-Ultra from his garage, through two narrow doorways, and into position on my own. Bass this good is worth the extra sweat.

    Steve,

    If you want to make certain you have enough sub in that room, then the PB2+ strikes me as the obvious choice between those two.

    -Robb
     
  14. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Ed - I know. I saw the picture of the Ultra in your room in the review. [​IMG] (And actually, I had the same experieince when I replaced a Velodyne HGS-12, about a 14" cube, with my current Vandersteen V2W, about a 17/18" cube.)

    Ed and Robb- Keep an eye out. I'll probably do a separate thread in a few days asking for help to justify the Ultra (black) over the PB2-Plus... [​IMG]
     
  15. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    I've had to make the same decision lately but this is a good thing if you are SVS [​IMG]. I myself don't want to deal with WHAT IF scenarios and I've gotten the go ahead so in the next few weeks I plan to put my name into the hat and get one. Having a 4,000 Cubic Feet room, I want all the bass I can handle.
     
  16. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    Oh man, don't even think twice about this sub for under $2 grand. Your regret over not buying the Ultra will last far longer than the $600 larger dent it will put in your savings account.

    The dB-12 might be nipping at the heels of the TV-12 in terms of THD limited output, but when you factor in the incredible thermal power handling, the flat BL vs. excursion curve, and the unique sound quality of the TV-12....the Ultra simply rises to the top.
     
  17. David Ruggiero

    David Ruggiero Stunt Coordinator

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    In my opinion if you can afford the Ultra go for it. If you just get the Plus, while you probably would be satisfied with it, you will always have that thought in the back of your mind... "maybe I should have got the Ultra". You will always be wondering "what if". Me, I bought the PB2-ISD because it was the most I could afford. I had thought about getting a 16-46 PCI but in the end got the PB2 just so I wouldn't wish later on I had spent more money on the sub. I'd rather have too much sub then not enough sub. But then again, you could always email SVS and ask them which you should get. They won't tell you to get a more expensive sub then you really need.
     
  18. Robb Roy

    Robb Roy Supporting Actor

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    Kevin,

    I guess the question is: are you trying to be fiscally responsible, or fiscally conservative, and why? If you're trying to be conservative with your money because the extra $600 would be a hardship, then don't get the ultra. If you're trying to be conservative with the money because that much for *any* subwoofer seems extreme to you, or if it's because you want to know what you spend is worth the money (fiscally responsible) then the answer is absolutely, it is worth the extra $600 (as Ed pointed out).

    -Robb
     
  19. TonyWright

    TonyWright Second Unit

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    I am having similar trouble deciding. With a month left to go in my wait before I order, I find myself thinking "what if?" about the PB2+. At only $300 difference, I think I might just be left constantly wondering what the plus would have been like in place of the ISD.

    The wife of course doesn't see the difference and won't understand it. Makes things difficult.

    Tony
     
  20. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    At only $300 difference, I think I might just be left constantly wondering what the plus would have been like in place of the ISD.
    __________________________________________________ ____

    Not to worry. If you go with the Plus-dual driver configuration, you most likely will be wondering about the Ultra driver over the dB driver in time? Same question but different drivers[​IMG]

    A good point can also be made> That if there is going to be trouble with the WAF. It is better to do it once and big rather than the secession approach. - Well - I can think of one wife and pocket-book that would agree with me anyway.

    After the new pricing came up on line with the new Black PB2-Ultra, I just had to go for it for all the reasons stated above including>>> "The dB-12 might be nipping at the heels of the TV-12 in terms of THD limited output, but when you factor in the incredible thermal power handling, the flat BL vs. excursion curve, and the unique sound quality of the TV-12....the Ultra simply rises to the top."
     

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