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SVS PC-2000 Cylinder Subwoofer Review

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Brian Dobbs, Jan 6, 2017.

  1. Message #1 of 30 Jan 6, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
    Brian Dobbs

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    My love for the home theater hobby is credited to my Dad. I grew up around music, speakers, and electronics of every type imaginable. He did his best to teach me everything he knew about putting together an entertainment system, especially how audio and video routed through a receiver. In the late 90s, I remember recording a two hour FM-Radio broadcast of a Pearl Jam live concert to a VHS tape. It was a clever way to get the whole thing recorded uninterrupted, and demonstrated outside-of-the-box thinking at the time. I still have the tape, and since have digitized it.

    Like most home theater enthusiasts, we eventually outgrew the family room, and I convinced my Dad to put an addition on to the house as a dedicated home theater. He’s the handiest guy in the world, so naturally he built it himself.

    I documented that process in 2002 here
    .

    [​IMG]


    Here we are in 2002 moving our old 55" CRT into the newly finished room.

    [​IMG]

    (I still have that 55" RPTV in my basement. Lemme know if you want it.)

    Dad now uses his home theater as a music room as well. Guitars, drums, keyboards, etc.

    But the best part about the room was that we installed two 12" drivers in the floor. See the black squares?

    [​IMG]

    The back row of seating was placed directly on top. Anyone sitting back there got such a thrill while watching action movies, due to the strong vibration the drivers were able to reproduce.

    [​IMG]

    One could compare it to the mythical brown note experience.

    I was a sophomore at UMBC in 2000, and it was around that time that I first came across SVS cylinder subwoofers by way of the Home Theater Forum. I knew from that moment that these subs were in my future, one way or another. I remember never having seen a cylinder sub before, and to be honest, I haven't come across anyone else making them this way since.

    SVS? More like SV(hellye)S.

    I started building my Atmos-capable home theater in 2011 with two things in mind…
    1. Colossal Screen
    2. Tremendous Audio
    Colossal Screen? Check. Mine measures 144” diagonally. My Dad built it for me using perforated screen material I bought from Amazon.

    [​IMG]

    I knew I’d be buying seven GoldenEar TritonThree+ tower speakers. They have built-in subwoofers. But the tremendous Audio? Almost. The seven GoldenEars sounded great, but I was still missing the extreme low end, even with all of them reproducing the LFE signal. I tried reducing the number of active GoldenEar subs, considering possible phase cancellation issues, but that didn't make the bass any better. Each one has a range down to 21 Hz and a dedicated 800 watt amplifier.

    [​IMG]

    I’ve heard and felt better low end. Sure, Dad installed drivers in the floor, which simply vibrated everything, but these weren’t even coming close. Every time I turned up the gain knob on the back past the twelve o’clock position they would overload.

    I contacted GoldenEar and they basically said the speakers were too small for my approximately 23’x15' room. Don’t misunderstand me though, they give me some fantastic bass tone, just not enough rumble.

    You see, watching movies should be an amusement park ride. I’m not talking about D-Box. That’s a little too literal. But just on this side of D-Box is where I want my home theater. To do that, you need a screen that encompasses as much of your field of view as possible. You also just need to move a lot of air. To do that, you need BIG drivers.

    I considered GoldenEar subs, as they would match my towers. And who knows, maybe I’ll still get one in the future.

    But dammit, I’ve been waiting 15 years to get my hands on an SVS Cylinder sub, and that’s just what I was going to do.

    Two SVS PC-2000 subwoofers actually.

    [​IMG]


    34" tall. 16" diameter. 12" down-firing driver. 4" port. 500 watts RMS, 1100 watts peak. 16-260 Hz.

    I knew I would need two to try to approach the results Dad got with his room. Plus, symmetry.

    I set the two speakers at the mid-point of the side walls and played a few blu-rays. I didn’t really notice that much of a difference.

    I then moved them to the front corners, and I noticed a lot more boom and presence. Still not enough though.

    I moved them to the back corners, closer to the seating position. Much better, but not quite there yet.

    The bass nut in me just wanted monster bass, but it meant I had to re-calibrate my levels. I like more bass than the average person, but I recognize when driver popping/farting is a negative quality to the overall sound. To get the sound I wanted required me to have a better understanding of gain vs. volume.

    When we adjust levels in our processor, we’re adjusting the gain for that particular speaker. Too much gain equals too much distortion, and that leads to bad sound.

    I e-mailed back and forth with SVS’s technical customer service (very helpful and quick to respond BTW — Thanks to Nick and Ed from SVS) and confirmed that the knob on the back of the sub worked the same way as the GoldenEar towers. It’s a gain knob. I set it to the twelve o’clock position. SVS suggested I could increase the gain at the pre-amp stage, saying that it’s common to run them 2-4 dB over the other channels.

    I like a lot of bass, and I like watching movies at doggone near reference level. Sh*t gets loud and scary when I watch movies with Dad.

    [​IMG]


    SVS recommended that I run the Audyssey XT32 setup in my pre-amp. I thought that I might do this, but I instead took a different route. I turned all of the OTHER channels down a few dB (just a few!), and kept the sub channel at 0 dB, and the gain knob on the back of the sub to twelve o’clock. This would keep my bass proportionally louder without risking adding any unnecessary gain or distortion to the sound.

    I cued up Interstellar. I selected the scene where Matthew McConaughey’s character breaks free of the mother ship and descends into the black whole. This scene has sustained low end. Wow.

    [​IMG]

    And yeah. My calibrations totally did the trick.

    Anecdotal Testing:
    1. These subs do such a good job at producing the low end, that sometimes there are scenes where the bass ramps up while the sound drops out, and the experience shifts from your ears to your chest cavity. If not for these subs, half of the experience would be missed.

    2. When I stood next to the subs for Interstellar, my pajama pants looked like they were blowing in the wind.

    3. Apparently all the steps I took to soundproof the room (mechanically isolated ceiling joists, double-wall assembly, mass-loaded vinyl, blown-in cellulose insulation) weren’t quite enough to tame the bass these subs throw out. After the Interstellar test, I went upstairs and asked my wife if she could hear anything. It took me a few moments to fully comprehend what she meant when she said, “The ornaments on the Christmas tree started shaking and the baby gate started rattling.” I couldn’t quite believe this, so I had to see for myself. Here’s a video.


    As I’ve gotten older, the HTF is the only online community in which I’ve stayed active. I’m happy I’m still writing, sharing and learning from this community. So happy I could finally write this review!

    [​IMG]
     
    Ron Reda, DaveF and Sam Posten like this.
  2. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Terrific job Brian. I've got a single PC-2000 in my bedroom and love it, can't imagine how cool 2 of em work together.
     
  3. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Great write-up, Brian! I was hanging on every word!

    I'm the owner of only a puny, single SVS PB-1000 ;)...and think it's just great! So I can only imagine what you've got going on there.

    Cheers to you and your dad. Enjoy those films! :cheers:

    [​IMG]
     
    DaveF and Sam Posten like this.
  4. Message #4 of 30 Jan 7, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
    Craig Chase

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    Brian - Excellent write up! The PC-2000 is a terrific blend of deep bass with power in an easy to live with format. When one considers that it out performs the 20-39 plus from 13 years ago and costs about the same as that sub did, it's a terrific value.

    Here is an Omnimic sweep of the PC-2000 in our 25x24 foot theater room:

    [​IMG]

    That's some great extension for such a reasonably priced subwoofer.
     
  5. Brian Dobbs

    Brian Dobbs Ambassador

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    Thanks Sam. So far, so good. You'll have to come down again.

    Thanks Mike. Dad and I have a lot of movies to catch up on. I have a relatively large room, so I didn't even spend time considering what one sub would do for me. Just went straight to two. Probably won't get any more, but bass shakers attached to my seating might be next on the list of things to get.

    Thanks Craig. Yes, I was definitely missing deep bass before these subs. How would I go about taking a measurement of my room like the one you posted?
     
  6. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Oooh. Color me curious about that, too.
     
  7. Wayne_j

    Wayne_j Cinematographer

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    You can use a calibrated USB microphone (under $100) and the free Room EQ Wizard on your computer and make measurements like the one above.
     
  8. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Wayne:

    Is it possible to use a non-USB mic?
     
  9. Wayne_j

    Wayne_j Cinematographer

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  10. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Blue Snowball mics are under $50....
     
  11. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    But I've got nice Sennheisers with mini-plugs and mini-jacks on my laptop... :D

    Don't want to spend $50 to draw a line.
     
  12. Wayne_j

    Wayne_j Cinematographer

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    The calibrated microphones come with a file for that exact microphone that has offsets for how far from accurate the microphone is at each frequency.
     
  13. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Your link above won't open for me, Wayne.

    So a standard voice mic probably doesn't do the job, eh?
     
  14. Wayne_j

    Wayne_j Cinematographer

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    A standard voice mic would work, but wouldn't have accurate readings.
     
  15. Craig Chase

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    Brian - The sweep I posted is from the Omni Mic (Gen 2) available for about $300 from Parts Express.

    I started this in late 2015, and had to take some time off in 2016 when our son broke his neck (he is good now - back in college and recovered nicely).

    We will be testing some additional subwoofers - right now, I have an Axiom EP-800 in the system and the next subwoofer on tap is a Power Sound Audio V-1801.

    Part of the testing will be taking a subwoofer, running Audyssey on it in our pretty large room, then posting a 75 dB sweep at the listening position so we can see the in room extension.

    The Omni Mic is a complete system, with each mic individually calibrated within the software. When you get the system, you put in the code on the mic, which has that mic's curve in the software, and then the system is calibrated to be accurate.

    It's a lot easier than REW, and worth the $300 when testing out subs as often as we do here. I can run sweeps much more quickly with Omni mic than with REW.

    Whether it's worth $300 to you is a tough call when, as others suggested, you can get by for about $100 with a mic and REW.
     
  16. Craig Chase

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    Brian - In re-reading your review, you did say you had used XT-32 to calibrate your subs. Based on the size of your room along with the testing we have done on XT-32 here, I would estimate you are getting a solid 15 Hz floor from your pair of subs.

    Some of the testing we did with XT-32 was extreme. For example, We took a single Chase Home Theater (when I was torturing myself, trying to be in the business side of audio) 18 inch sub and put it smack in the middle of our 25x24 foot room, ran XT-32, then took a sweep.

    We still got a flat response to below 20 Hz using the WORST possible room location.

    The basics we are finding: XT-32 and a powerful sub will give good bass. SVS even stopped selling their stand alone EQ because XT-32 is so good. Even XT will get the job done.
     
  17. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    That kinda makes it pointless though, huh? :laugh:
     
  18. Craig Chase

    Craig Chase Gear Guru

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    It depends - will there be an open bar? Mitigating circumstances are always important. :)
     
  19. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Can't argue with THAT line of thinking! :laugh:
     
  20. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    Great thread Brian. I also recently added a sub to my GoldenEar Triton setup for similar reasons. Although I have Triton Ones and only the L/R pair. The rest of my system is the SuperCenter XXL and Aons for surrounds. I lived with just the Tritons, no other sub, for over a year. They definitely put out some bass.
     

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