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The Official "What Speakers or Subwoofer Should I Buy" Assistance Thread (2 Viewers)

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Conan
Hello,

New here. I'm looking to build my first home theater/music listening system.

I'm considering SVS Ultras with an SVS sub or a pair of KLH Model 5's with a sub. I prefer American products when possible but it's not a hard rule.

What are you looking for (Speakers, Subwoofer or Both)? Speakers, Subwoofer, Integrated Amplifier, the whole shabang. I use my phone to stream Tidal and also have a turn table with phono amp.

Primary Use: 50% Music, 50% TV & Movies

Desired Configuration: 2.1 or 3.1

Room Size: 19x19

Is the room open to other areas of your home: Yes

The back of the 19x19 room is open to the kitchen. Sketch Provided. Tile floors, concrete slab.

Do you already have an AV receiver or amplifier? Nope

What's your budget (low to high): $5000

Any special requirements (Wife Acceptance)? Nope

Thank you!
 

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Well, looks like I can no longer edit my older post so here we go.

After a little research, I'm considering going with two subs.

I'm currently testing out my old PC desktop system (Klipsch R-10W sub, R-15Pm monitors on stands) in my living room and can't seem to get the base dialed in. Too many dead spots when changing listening positions and I've moved that sub all around the room. Tested LFE and also Low-Pass inclemently from 60 to 100Hz to no avail. Don't get me wrong, this older setup works amazingly well for desktop computer duties but just isn't cutting it as a home theater system for me.

So, with that said, I'm considering a pair of SVS 3000 subs. Not completely sold on going ported. Not necessarily due to the difference in size. I'm more concerned on giving up a tight and clean sound for music listening when choosing ported over sealed.
 

JohnRice

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That's a reasonably large room and that PC sub simply isn't going to be up to the task. I think dual 3000s is probably a good idea. You could even take it further, budget permitting. Placement will be tricky and you might have to try multiple locations. If you have a notebook computer and are willing to spend about $120 on a calibration mic to test, you can really dial it in. Adding about $250 for a MiniDSP to really fine tune the subs is always a good idea. That's a bit of a rabbit hole to go down, but worth it.

For sub locations, I think a good starting point might be the front left corner and, if there's power, under the countertop as far to the right (when facing the TV) as possible. Basically, close to diagonally opposite corners. That sub under the countertop can be connected wirelessly, since there's no way to run a cable to that location. SVS has stuff for that. Personally, I like sealed subs for living spaces, but there are factors to consider.

Regarding other stuff, you can get speakers from American companies that aren't actually made domestically within your budget. Fully American made electronics will be out of the budget, probably even used, but you can probably get Canadian (Anthem) if you want. I highly recommend going 3.1 rather than 2.1. Movies and TV will be much better.

The SVS Ultra speakers are very popular and no doubt you'll be happy with them. I also suggest looking into the ELAC UniFi 2 line, or even the UniFi Reference line. ELAC is a German company, but this is a somewhat independent American branch of it. There's actually a big sale going on the UniFi 2 line, but not the Reference.
 

JohnRice

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Well, looks like I can no longer edit my older post so here we go.

After a little research, I'm considering going with two subs.

I'm currently testing out my old PC desktop system (Klipsch R-10W sub, R-15Pm monitors on stands) in my living room and can't seem to get the base dialed in. Too many dead spots when changing listening positions and I've moved that sub all around the room. Tested LFE and also Low-Pass inclemently from 60 to 100Hz to no avail. Don't get me wrong, this older setup works amazingly well for desktop computer duties but just isn't cutting it as a home theater system for me.

So, with that said, I'm considering a pair of SVS 3000 subs. Not completely sold on going ported. Not necessarily due to the difference in size. I'm more concerned on giving up a tight and clean sound for music listening when choosing ported over sealed.
BTW, we've recently had reviews of the top three sealed SVS subwoofers. The SB-3000, SB-4000 and SB16 Ultra, all in dual configurations.
 

charlie87168

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What are you looking for (Speakers, Subwoofer or Both)
Looking for everything, new to this budget is 2k for audio. Brand new house going to run speaker wire before drywall just need to know where to put it, was thinking 5.1 but after reading now thing 7.1
Also looking at a projector just not sure which one roughly 2k budget on that. Roughly 5k total.

Primary Use: 100% theater

Desired Configuration: 5.1 or 7.1

Room Size: 20x20 knee walls and cathedral ceiling

Is the room open to other areas of your home: No above garage bonus room

Do you already have an AV receiver or amplifier?Nope

What's your budget (low to high): $2000-3000

Any special requirements (Wife Acceptance) nope(she hates subwoofers)
 
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That's a reasonably large room and that PC sub simply isn't going to be up to the task. I think dual 3000s is probably a good idea. You could even take it further, budget permitting. Placement will be tricky and you might have to try multiple locations. If you have a notebook computer and are willing to spend about $120 on a calibration mic to test, you can really dial it in. Adding about $250 for a MiniDSP to really fine tune the subs is always a good idea. That's a bit of a rabbit hole to go down, but worth it.

For sub locations, I think a good starting point might be the front left corner and, if there's power, under the countertop as far to the right (when facing the TV) as possible. Basically, close to diagonally opposite corners. That sub under the countertop can be connected wirelessly, since there's no way to run a cable to that location. SVS has stuff for that. Personally, I like sealed subs for living spaces, but there are factors to consider.

Regarding other stuff, you can get speakers from American companies that aren't actually made domestically within your budget. Fully American made electronics will be out of the budget, probably even used, but you can probably get Canadian (Anthem) if you want. I highly recommend going 3.1 rather than 2.1. Movies and TV will be much better.

The SVS Ultra speakers are very popular and no doubt you'll be happy with them. I also suggest looking into the ELAC UniFi 2 line, or even the UniFi Reference line. ELAC is a German company, but this is a somewhat independent American branch of it. There's actually a big sale going on the UniFi 2 line, but not the Reference.
Dual PB-3000 are at the top of my list. I am curious about the SB line but SVS was adamant about going with ported subs for movie watching. Plus, you can seal up the ports and make it a sealed enclosure. Would be interested to experiment with that.

Room correction is very important to me. Mostly because I've never done it and want to learn and try it out.

I spoke with SVS today, and like you, they recommended placing dual subs in opposing corners of the room with the rear one being wireless.

2.1 would be strictly for critical music listening. 3.1 will be my next step once I decide on a TV or projector. Eventually a 5.1 or 7.1 setup would be ideal. Issue being the tile floors. Not sure how in the world I'm going to run clean speaker wires from the rears to the processor or AVR. My goal is to hide as many wires as possible so the wife doesn't get on my case about the potential wiring mess. Going to have to do some homework on that.

Thank you for your insight. It really does help.
 

JohnRice

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Dual PB-3000 are at the top of my list. I am curious about the SB line but SVS was adamant about going with ported subs for movie watching.
That's the standard line, but I think it's grossly oversimplified. I'm kind of sold on sealed subs, as long as they have plenty of power and are well designed. This is especially in living spaces, since they are so unobtrusive. I went into it a bit in my SB-16 review. I don't see going back to ported subs, myself.
 
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That's the standard line, but I think it's grossly oversimplified. I'm kind of sold on sealed subs, as long as they have plenty of power and are well designed. This is especially in living spaces, since they are so unobtrusive. I went into it a bit in my SB-16 review. I don't see going back to ported subs, myself.
Holy Crap! The size difference between the PB-3000 and SB-3000 is massive! I really don't want two giant boxes in my room, lol. Especially since they will be sitting in my living room down stairs. I'm really going to have to revisit the room design. Integrating all of this audio stuff and keeping it feng shui is no easy task. At the end of the day the room has to be livable since its a multi-purpose space open to the kitchen.
1639007830873.png
 

JohnRice

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Holy Crap! The size difference between the PB-3000 and SB-3000 is massive! I really don't want two giant boxes in my room, lol. Especially since they will be sitting in my living room down stairs. I'm really going to have to revisit the room design. Integrating all of this audio stuff and keeping it feng shui is no easy task. At the end of the day the room has to be livable since its a multi-purpose space open to the kitchen.
View attachment 120761
Not to mention the $500 difference in price… each. I’d get SB-4000s over PB-3000s, personally.
 

Dave Upton

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The whole ported vs sealed sub thing is largely a myth - but does somewhat apply to folks who don't calibrate. Ported subs generally have a qualitatively "boomier" sound that can please movie watchers. That's because sealed subs are generally going to produce tighter bass.

I own 5 subs, (2 in my music system, 3 in the theater) and every one of them is sealed despite having no space, budget or design constraints. The reason is that I want the absolute best sound quality, and sealed subs are going to be the better measuring subs. SVS themselves admit as much here: https://www.svsound.com/blogs/subwoofer-setup-and-tuning/75367747-sealed-vs-ported
 
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The whole ported vs sealed sub thing is largely a myth - but does somewhat apply to folks who don't calibrate. Ported subs generally have a qualitatively "boomier" sound that can please movie watchers. That's because sealed subs are generally going to produce tighter bass.

I own 5 subs, (2 in my music system, 3 in the theater) and every one of them is sealed despite having no space, budget or design constraints. The reason is that I want the absolute best sound quality, and sealed subs are going to be the better measuring subs. SVS themselves admit as much here: https://www.svsound.com/blogs/subwoofer-setup-and-tuning/75367747-sealed-vs-ported
I ended up going with a PB-3000. The base is insane on base heavy tracks. After fixing all the room rattles it has been complete bliss the past few days testing out this ported sub in my multi-use living room with base heavy tracks. (I'm not a basehead.... at least I don't think I am......) The space measures a little more than 5,000 cubic feet and the PB-3000 filled the space nicely.

Unfortunately, I found myself constantly adjusting the base level on my little remote when listening to music. (I'm currently using a pair of Klipsch R-15PM speakers I borrowed from my desktop computer) Every single track I listened to was either bloated base or not enough. TV watching was quite distracting. I blame the Klipsch speakers though because of how sensitive I am to their brightness at slightly higher volume levels. Also, watching TV in 2.1 isn't all that great. I rather stick to my old Bose soundbar than the current 2.1 test setup.

Going to test the PB-3000 with plug ports for the next week to see how she does.

I'd like to test the SB-4000 in the bigger living room before I decide which to keep. Dual PB-3000's or dual SB-4000's.
 
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JohnRice

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I'm in agreement with Dave on the subject of sealed subs. I'll take a capable sealed sub over a ported one every time. The fact is, the 4000's driver (and amp) is on an entirely different level than the 3000. For an extra $200 the SB4000 is simply a considerable step up from the PB3000. There's a reason the SB4000 weighs twice as much as the SB3000.
 

JohnRice

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@JohnRice Well, pulled the trigger on an SB-4000 to compare it to my PB-3000 before i decide which one to keep for duals. Oh what fun.... :)
They're going to be different, and the first impression might be that the PB300 is better, due to the generally fatter sound of ported subs, like Dave pointed out. The thing is to listen to them beyond that and appreciate the control and clean bass of the SB4000. They won't tend to draw as much constant attention to themselves, but when they're properly integrated, they will have more impact. Also, most of the problems you've mentioned are either improper integration or calibration. It's a complicated thing to integrate subwoofers. As I said, the 4000 driver is just on a higher plane than the 3000. In fact, that basically used to be their top-of-the-line sub.
 
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They're going to be different, and the first impression might be that the PB300 is better, due to the generally fatter sound of ported subs, like Dave pointed out. The thing is to listen to them beyond that and appreciate the control and clean bass of the SB4000. They won't tend to draw as much constant attention to themselves, but when they're properly integrated, they will have more impact. Also, most of the problems you've mentioned are either improper integration or calibration. It's a complicated thing to integrate subwoofers. As I said, the 4000 driver is just on a higher plane than the 3000. In fact, that basically used to be their top-of-the-line sub.
You are 100% spot on. I really enjoyed the pb-3000 for its visceral impact and heart pounding capabilities. It really fills the space and your soul. Can't imagine 2 of these in my room.

On the other hand, the sb-4000 is on a completely different level. The bass is sweeter, clearer, controlled, rounder, defined, consice and on most tracks, just right. Not as impactful and wall shaking as the pb-3000. I would say the sb-4000 bass sounds euphoric on certain tracks.

I ran audeze room correction on both subwoofers through a Denon 6700x. The pb-3000 was set at -2.5 dB and the sb-4000 at -4 dB on the receiver. In the SVS app, pb-3000 at -25 dB, sb-4000 at -11 dB.

This is making my decision very difficult. I'm strongly leaning towards the sb-4000 but now want to test a sb-16. Need to do a bit more research on the sb-16 before I decide.
 
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Digging deeper into these SVS subs.....

Would a pair of PB-3000s compare to a pair of SB-16s when it comes to output, room filling sound, and deep bass?

Room size: 20'×30'

I really love the clarity of the SB-4000 but I really have to crank it up match the output level of the PB-3000.

Additionally, the physical size of the PB-3000 is as big as I'm willing to go.

I want to have my cake and eat it too.

Decisions, decisions, decisions...
 

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