Upgrade SHIVA to SVS PCi/CSi driver

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Stephen Hopkins, Apr 13, 2003.

  1. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I have the opportunity to pick up the upgrade SVS PCi/CSi driver for around $75 and was wondering if it would be worth it as a drop in driver replacement for my EBS SHIVA/PE 250W amp combo? I'm sure I could get at least $50 out of the SHIVA, possibly more. I'm all in all very happy w/ the SHIVA in my 11'x13' apartment living room, but I'm not sure how well it will fill the room when i go home to a 25'x30' bonus room this summer. Will the upgraded SVS driver be less likely to bottom out than the SHIVA when fed more power? I've also been considering an AV12 as a drop in replacement because of the bottoming out issue, but that would a few months down the road and $75 for the upgraded SVS driver seems like a pretty good deal.

    Any input?

    Thanks
     
  2. Ryan Schnacke

    Ryan Schnacke Supporting Actor

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    We don't know the exact numbers for the PCi/CSi driver. But from the information that was provided for the original driver and the qualitative/semi-quantitative comments from Ron and Tom regarding the Improved Standard Driver, the general consensus is that its capable of displacing 1.5 - 1.6 liters when reaching peak-to-peak linear excursion. That's virtually the same performance as the Shiva or PE DVC woofers. So I don't see a real performance benefit in spending more for this driver.

    Now you might think it is aesthetically nicer - the inverted dustcap and looks cool and the Shiva's foam surround isn't exactly pretty. But I still don't think its worth $25 more.

    You could buy the ISD woofer and build a 2nd sub to complement the Shiva you already have. This would be a significant improvement in headroom. 3 to 6dB depending on placement and the room. And $75 is a good price for this woof.

    The AV12 certainly wouldn't bottom out with 250 watts in any typical Shiva alignment. But honestly I think you'll need significantly more than 250 watts to see a real benefit in the AV12 over the Shiva. Its specs show it to have a lower voltage sensitivity, sims show the same and I've heard owners say they had to turn their amp gain up higher to get the same output from the AV12 as they got from other 12 inch drivers like the Shiva. So if, like most, your Shiva is just getting to its excursion limits at max power (250 - 270 watts) then you're probably getting more output than you would from an AV12. Push that same 270 watts into the AV12 and it just wouldn't move the woofer as far. You'd never bottom it, but you'd also be getting LESS output than before. If you had 500 watts or more on hand then the AV12 wins but with 300 watts or less I just don't see the point. The only reasonable argument is if you have roommates that you just can't control and you absolutely NEED to make it monkey-proof or else they will repeatedly bottom out the woofer.
     
  3. Ryan Schnacke

    Ryan Schnacke Supporting Actor

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    Okay, maybe I was a little hard on the AV12. It certainly has a build quality advantage over the Shiva. Cast frame and more excursion than you'll ever use may mean that it will last longer in the end. But the Shiva IS a well built woofer and has a proven track record.
     
  4. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Thanks for your input. I think i'll stick w/ the Shiva for now and possibly upgrade later on once i get into the bigger room (possibly a Tempest or AV15 in a new enclosure).

    Thanks again [​IMG]
     
  5. Ryan Schnacke

    Ryan Schnacke Supporting Actor

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    Anytime.

    The Tempest would certainly be a step up and the AV15 with 500 watts or more would be 2 or 3 steps up!
     
  6. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    I don't think the SVS driver would be worth it.

    However, as a user of both, I found the Stryke AV12 a significant upgrade from the Shiva using an Adire AVA250 in a 5ft^3/18Hz ported cab. I was able to calibrate to the same level as the Shiva with my amp, and in this cabinet the AV12 is actually slightly more sensitive than the Shiva down around Fb (trying to compare sensitivities of drivers without reference to alignments is meaningless).
     

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