Took the plunge and ordered a SVS 20-39PCi

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jon_Liu, Aug 31, 2002.

  1. Jon_Liu

    Jon_Liu Stunt Coordinator

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    I finally purchased the SVS 20-39PCi sub and am waiting for it to be built and shipped. I wasn't sure whether or not to go with this one or the 16-47PCi because of the size of my room and also the type of sound I wanted to produce. But I am pretty confident that I chose the right one. The Living Room that I currently have the Home Theater in is about 18'7" x 14'3". The ceiling is slanted so the short wall is 7'9" and the tall wall is 11'9".
    I can tell you that I am very eager to receive this subwoofer. I am currently on a Polk PSW-650. If anyone has a similar upgrade, please leave some feedback on your experiences on the improvement you experienced.

    Regards,
    Jon
     
  2. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

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    Jon,
    Waiting for it to be built and shipped? It's on its way to you already, as of yesterday ;^)
    I'm confident you'll find this sub an upgrade in both extension (how low the sub goes) and clarity at mid-high levels of sound pressure. Please let us know how you feel the SVS stacks up and drop me a line if your shipping notice went to a work account (not that anyone ever orders subwoofers while on the job! 8^) or something and you need a copy sent someplace else.
    [email protected]
    Ron
     
  3. Dylan

    Dylan Extra

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    I've been reading up on the SVS PCi and PC plus and I've come across people mentioning that they've "tuned" their SVS down a few Hz. Is this only true for the PC plus (it mentions this feature on the web page ."..adjustable subsonic filter system...")? If not how would you do this for the PCi series? I'm looking to get a SVS, so I was looking at the PCi 20-39, but I need to upgrade my current Bose HT speaker system as well (thinking maybe Axiom, Ascend or Klipsch) so getting the PC plus is not possible. Therefore, if it is possible to "tune" the PCi 20-39 down a few Hz, please let me know how.
     
  4. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

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    Dylan,

    OK, what it is is this:

    Any PCi can be requested in a non-standard tune when the order is made. 9 of 10 times this is someone that wishes a deeper tune (at the expense of a few dB total SPL capability up higher) of around 22Hz on a 25-31PCi. We can't go lower due to physical restrictions. Size issues, and or budget restrictions usually have driven the customer to the smaller SVS before hand, otherwise the 20-39PCi would be the logical choice. The subsonic filter of the PCi amp is a "one size fits all" affair, which works quite well, but clearly is a small compromise in terms of the "Nth degree" of perfomance (it serves deep tuned 16-46PCi and 25-31PCi in other words... being a tick higher that would probably be optimal for the 16-46 and a tad lower than the best pick for the 25-31. Again, it works very very well but is one of the small concessions made to keep the PCi package affordable and easy to support).

    The PC-Plus better optimizes everthing within our control, with an industry unique (AFAIK) 4 position subsonic filter, PLUS the three 3" ports which allow deeper tuning with a foam plug we call a "port blocker" (we include two with the PC-Plus). The latter feature is NOT unique of course but the fact you can plug one port (dropping the tune of a PC-Plus roughly 5Hz) and STILL have twin 3" ports working for you is unique and a huge performance advantage. Dropping two plugs in (and switching the subsonic filter accordingly) allows still lower tuning (a whopping 10Hz lower than stock) with the expected further degredation of upper bass SPL capacity. So a sub with more plugs added goes increasinly lower and flatter (WAY flat from the testing Tom's conducted) but you just won't be able to crank it quite as loud.

    Getting back to the PCi, we nearly never get requests to mess with the "stock" tuning of the 20-39PCi. With good corner placement you will get very good SPL's in the 15-20Hz range as is, which is more than deep enough for all but those dedicated to true sub-sonic bass that the 16-46PCi brings.

    So you have a user selectable system on the range of PC-Plus subs, and the one-time change you can go with when you order the PCi. Just one caveat to all this: You can order an extra port for the PCi should you want to experiment wtih BOTH a 25Hz and a 22Hz tune (swapping the ports can be done in under 5 min.) Extra ports are $29 I believe. Hope this clarifies and doesn't just confuse the issue more?

    PS, if you set your current Bose system to "Small" (all speakers) on your Dolby Digital receiver configuration, thus routing ALL bass below the bass crossover to an SVS 25-31PCi, I think you will be shocked at how well your system stands up. I've done this on more than one household saddled with Bose Accoustimass systems (generally since they were a sunk cost and perhaps WAF was a driving factor). Relieving the Bose system of all bass below 100-80Hz is nothing short of astounding in my book. Not that I'm a Bose fan, it's just that adding a subwoofer alone could allow you more time to upgrade mains.

    Ron
     
  5. Jon_Liu

    Jon_Liu Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Ron,
    Maybe you can help me with this, (hopefully I haven't bothered you too much already in one day!) But since you were mentioning good placement can bring the tuning down, I was curious to know if you could possibly tell me from looking at a floorplan of mine where would possibly be the best spot for putting the Sub once I receive it.
    Here's a link to my Home Theater:
    http://www.geocities.com/aetherhole6...t_List56k.html
    Note also that the taller wall is not a completely wall. It is opened by a countertop and then a walkway entrance into the Living Room. Hopefully this helps and hopefully you can help me out! Thanks once again!
    Regards,
    Jon Liu
     
  6. Dylan

    Dylan Extra

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    Hmm. Okay Ron, I think I get what your saying. See, when I see the freq. range of a sub (or a speaker for that matter)I think that's as low or as high as it will go. That those numbers reflect the theoretical limits of the speakers ability.
     
  7. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

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    Matt,

    There is no "need" to put an SVS in a corner, no more than any other sub in any case. It's just the arrangement that typically provides the flattest, deepest and most sound pressure (volume), all other things being equal.

    Plenty of folks use the 25-31PCi without corner placement I'd suspect, and I'm sure even if you did nothing but swap the SVS for the Yammy you would find it a significant upgrade on both music and movies. The louder and deeper the program material, the more significant I think you'd discover the improvement. Much in this regard depends on what you find lacking about your current sub of course.

    The 45 day return policy is made for you should any aspect of the SVS not prove worth the cost/effort of the switch.

    2 cents of advice, duly dispensed!

    Ron
     
  8. Richard Harvey

    Richard Harvey Stunt Coordinator

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    Matt,

    I had a similar problem. Although I found a "home" for my SVS where I hadn't earlier considered placing it, another thought was to research a moveable temporary "wall", kind of like a short height cubicle wall, that I could move in place to the side of the SVS during a movie night, and simply slide it under my bed when it's not being used. I have no idea if that would do much, but I would guess an acoustic tile/wall would at least get you some bounce and keep the bass where you want it, not in the adjoining room.

    Rich
     
  9. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    Matthew D:

    I haven't placed my 25-31PCi in a corner either, none is really available within the confines of the living room layout and WAF. but I have no problems with its output, even into a 26 x 13ft living room.

    my only concern right now is how flat the response is, it seems I have a pretty nasty peak somwhereh, but since I haven't gotten my hands on an SPL meter yet, I haven't verified this.

    to the rest of the experts out there, how do you test for "flatness"? Avia's low frequency sweep is continuously going down, so while that is useful for a quick overview, it's changing too fast to actually note down any readings. do you use a custom CD or something?
     
  10. Jeffrey Noel

    Jeffrey Noel Screenwriter

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    Matthew, I would almost guarantee you that the SVS will go deeper, much deeper than the Yamaha. I actually have never heard the SVS but used to own the Yamaha 320. While it was a pretty sub, it just could not play deep at all. I would bet that it rolls off extremely quick around 30hz. My DIY sub is tuned to 22hz and it plays A LOT deeper than the Yamaha.

    Just my $.02.
     
  11. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

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    Mat,

    Carpet will affect room acoustics but it should not have any untoward issues for a subwoofer, including an SVS.

    Regarding the "specs" of any subwoofer, keep in mind there is nearly no standardization in this arena. How the response characteristics are measured (ie indoors? from one inch or 10 feet away?) and just as importantly, the distortion levels involved and the sound pressure levels attained are key. You can make a silk purse out of pig's ear if you know how to spin the numbers ;^) I am NOT questioning Yamaha's voracity, simply stating in general terms you are right to question specs, and to keep in mind there are many ways to make things sound more impressive than they really are.

    Even seemingly concrete issues as what size a woofer really is, and what levels of power an amp can REALLY provide are frequently obscured and inflated, much to the detriment of the consumer. But then most the folks that read this forum already know this. It's the common consumers that fall prey to hyped up claims more often than not.
     
  12. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    Matthew D:

    my living room is also very open. to the left of the sub is a corridor leading to the bedrooms, and at the "rear" (i.e. far-side from the TV area) is a corridor/hall to the front door. the floor area of this living/dining room with corridors, according to the developer's brochure, is some 43 sq m, about 460 sq ft, and with my 10ft ceilings that's 4,600 cubic ft of space to fill... and add large floor to ceiling windows to the right of the TV area.

    so you can see, even the PCi packs plenty of punch. a PC+ would be even more awesome.
     
  13. Jon_Liu

    Jon_Liu Stunt Coordinator

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    That's odd, I've not heard of subs being more "right" oriented. Eitherway, I am just curious and wanted to throw this question up in the air. The most optimal place for my sub would be behind the listeners in the right corner. There will be about a 7 or 8 foot distance between the listener and the sub. I was wondering, with the SVSubwoofer is it gonna sound heavy on the right side if I do so? Cause at the moment my current sub makes it sound "heavier" on the right side and I notice where the sub is. I was thinking that maybe because the port for the SVS is a lot higher than the port for a typical sub, it would change that by dispersing the sound better and be harder to localize where the low freq is coming from. Tell me if my train of thought is way off base here. Because that specific corner actually limits the rattle of the house, cupboards, and windows. Otherwise I will have to keep the sub in the front right corner of the room and just have a rattle-y listening area.

    Jon
     
  14. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    I'm sure Tom V will have better advice than me, but AFAIK, subs with output below 80Hz are supposed to be non-directional. theoretically you can place them anywhere and theoretically you can't locate the position from hearing alone.

    having said that, I imagine that even if this is true, psychosomatics will play a role -- if you see that huge mutha of a sub on the right side, you'll think that you can detect bass coming from the right side. YMMV.

    Jon, I would suggest experimenting with placement, and if you find you can't detect the sub's placement from hearing, then it seems to me the less rattle the better.

    Matthew, I believe to minimize loss of SPL (or maximize gain), your sub should be located in a corner, or failing that (as in my case) against the wall so you get at least two walls reinforcing the bass. locating it near an open area would presumably lead to less gain (or more loss) of SPL.

    the reason mine is located on the left side, between left front speaker and the TV, is simply aesthetics -- the TV sits on a long-ish console, about 6ft, but offset to one side with the receiver on the other. given that my fronts are floorstanders, one has to stand right next to the end of the console away from the TV. the other would therefore stand roughly equidistant from the TV, leaving a decent-sized gap between it and the end of the console. this is where I put the sub. as it turns out, it seems to work better aesthetically with the TV on left side of the console, and therefore the gap is on the left and that's where the sub goes.

    bleh. hope you got that, I think I confused myself :p) to make matters worse, the developer is doing rectification works tomorrow, including a proper polishing job of the marble floor in the living room. which means I get to shift everything out, and rearrange it again later. grounds for experimenting with layout?
     
  15. Andre Aguiar

    Andre Aguiar Agent

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    Hey Ron, quick question. I hear about how the SVS can be tuned down. How about tuned up? Reason I ask is my JBL S38ii can only go down to 45hz. So if I were to get the 25-31pci sub I would lose everything from 32-45hz (is this correct???). What would my options be??

    Thanks
     
  16. Doug BW

    Doug BW Stunt Coordinator

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  17. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

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    Andre,
    Doug pretty much nailed it. All SVS's, regardless of how low they go are very strong well up to 100hz and more.
    If your speakers are rated to 45 Hz you almost certainly want to delve into your receiver's manual and make sure you set them up as "Small" (probably setting all speakers as small) as Doug mentions. This will allow your subwoofer to handle most everything from 100-80Hz and below (some receivers blend this bass to the sub starting at 80Hz, some at 100Hz, some are variable).
    Folks who have very small rooms, or otherwise don't mind sacrificing a bit of total sound pressure capability up high in the bass ranges do request a 25-31PCi to be tuned more like 22Hz (rather than 25Hz) but generally you get the best over all performance by going with our stock configurations.
    By the way, keep in mind that just because the sub is "tuned" to 25Hz doesn't mean you don't get bass below that frequency either. It is the place where the sub's response begins to trail off, but coincidentally this is about the point where your own room (especially if you put the sub in a corner like we usually recommend) really starts to (sort of) amplify the bass. It's called "room gain" and simply means that a sub that can make plenty of clean bass with a 25Hz tune will actually be quite strong to 20Hz typically.
    Hope this helps a bit. There is much more (including charts, and lots of discussion) on the SVS web site if you click around a bit.
    Let us know if you have any more questions, either here or via e-mail. You can drop me a line at [email protected] any time.
    Ron
     
  18. Wendell

    Wendell Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello ROn,

    my bro-in-law is in the market for a sub for his Axiom set-up

    m80 fronts
    vp150 center
    qs8 surrounds
    H/K800 receiver

    the room is 20x24 and open to the kitchen on side. He listens at reference levels. I recommended the 16-46pc+ series. Would a single 16-46pc+ fill his needs in the bass region? or is this an overkill? We're hoping to shake the house! I suggested the 16-46 so he can get the lowest freq on the movies.

    please advise
     
  19. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

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    Wendel,

    With a room that big I'd actually favor the 20-39PC-Plus. It'll go nearly as low, and be tick more robust up in the common HT ranges for your brother.

    It sure wouldn't be overkill. You would probably need two Plus subs to get to what I'd call overkill in that size room. Is it closed or open to other space in the house?

    Tom Vodhanel could probably tell you based on the answer to that what SPL you could expect to hit say 25-62Hz. I don't know of another subwoofer under $1,000 that can hold a candle to this new SVS (and yes, we've already tested against what we feel was the strongest competition out there).

    Ron
     
  20. Wendell

    Wendell Stunt Coordinator

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    Ron,

    the room is open to the kitchen and a small hallway to the formal living room on the left side . The viewing distance from the screen is about 15 ft and 5 ft from the back wall.


    ....so the 16-46 won't play as loud (25hz-62hz) but it goes lower. How many db are we talkin about. the 20-39 does go below 20hz but not as strong as the 16-46, am I understanding this correctly?
     

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