Upgraded to Athena and SVS

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Chuck_W, Apr 28, 2004.

  1. Chuck_W

    Chuck_W Second Unit

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    I have just upgraded from the Onkyo model SKS-HT510 6.1 speaker set (with a Pioneer VSX-D912 receiver)to the following:

    Athena AS-F2 fronts
    Athena AS-C1 center
    Athena AS-R1 surrounds
    SVS PB1-ISD subwoofer

    If you are interested in my amateur impressions of this upgrade, I have them on the web at:

    http://swbg1.tripod.com/athena_svs_impressions.htm
     
  2. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    Great review on both the speaks and the sub. If you were running the Avia reverse LFE sweep at high volume, you could have simply blown the amp fuse. Check that first, along with loose connections for the power cord and sub cable. If not SVS will fix you up in a jiffy, and you made the right call emailing tech support.
     
  3. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    Good review.

    I agree, the c1 is the weak point.

    Sorry about the SVS, Ron and Tom will make it right!

    The auto calibration "thing" is a great start, but do yourself a favour and grab Avia and a sound level meter from Radio Shack, You'll be even happier.

    Brent
     
  4. Chuck_W

    Chuck_W Second Unit

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    2 things Edward:

    Thanks for the $600 sub review....it's one of the reasons I ended up with the PB1.

    Secondly, you were right. After the couple of minutes it took me to find the fuse and get it out, it does indeed look blown. I'll head on down to Radio Shack and look for a new one. It would be a nice touch for SVS to include a spare!

    Chuck
     
  5. Chuck_W

    Chuck_W Second Unit

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    Thanks Brent. I did get the Avia disk (which it appears may be how I blew the SVS fuse), and I'm gonna pick up the SPL meter at the shack while lookin for a fuse.
     
  6. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

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    Chuck,

    I'll be at the factory this weekend for quarterly meetings of all the partners. I'll work with our Shop Supervisor to make that happen.

    Blowing fuses is actually pretty rare, but having a spare right in your manual bag is indeed a good idea so I'll see what I can do!

    PS I had answered your e-mail some hours ago so please let me know if you didn't get it. We'll be writing a new conclusion to your review paragraph shortly I promise.

    Ron
     
  7. Chuck_W

    Chuck_W Second Unit

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    I'm working with Ron and SVS to get things sorted out. I'll post the resolution when all is concluded.

    Thanks for the quick response Ron....
     
  8. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    Good write-up. [​IMG] I've been running the AS-F2's with an AS-F1 as a center (one of the blessings of front-projection is the ability to use an uncompromised speaker for a center. I tried an AS-F2, but it was a bit too tall in the middle) and the R1's as surrounds. I have the R1's oriented vertically high above the sides of my couch...I found that the intended horizontal orientation proved too diffuse for multichannel music. The combo is absolutely stunning for anywhere near the price (got them on sale at BB for ~$750 for the whole lot...used up my gift cards). I don't have anywhere near that much break-in on mine...I look forward to their continued improvement.
     
  9. Chuck_W

    Chuck_W Second Unit

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    I was curious to see if Athena had any plans to release a larger Audition series center channel in the future, so I emailed them. Their response:



    I know I've read a couple of reviews that recommended a high quality receiver to appreciate everything these speakers have to offer, which seems to match the response from Athena. And since I haven't yet reached the 100 hour mark, I'm looking forward to seeing if further break-in improves the center channel performance.
     
  10. Adam.Heckman

    Adam.Heckman Second Unit

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    I run Athenas also. Right now it's AS-B2s in the front with the AS-C1 center. As you can imagine, the center is great and not over powered by the bookshelves (however, they are GREAT little performers).
    I was thinking of upgrading to the AS-F2s and will be awaiting another response after you reach 100 and recalibrate! Keep the info coming.
    BTW, I have heard rumors of harshness, and the Denon I use (in my non-golden-eared-opinion) is warm and takes the edge off the speakers nicely.

    Adam.
     
  11. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    i think my Athenas are the farthest speaker from my tastes, i like the exact opposite kind of sound. [​IMG]
     
  12. Chuck_W

    Chuck_W Second Unit

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    Which Athenas do you own Allen? What don't you like about them?
     
  13. Chuck_W

    Chuck_W Second Unit

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    Jack...do you have the F1 under your screen or behind it?
     
  14. Chuck_W

    Chuck_W Second Unit

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    Update on the PB1-ISD:

    Received a new amp from SVS yesterday and it's back in business[​IMG]

    Unfortunately I didn't get the t-shirt Ron said he would include with the amp [​IMG]

    I'll update my impressions page when I have more time to play with some demo stuff.
     
  15. Joe Mihok

    Joe Mihok Second Unit

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    Ron - I've seen a few threads like this where the SVS amps have to be sent back. What exactly is the problem with them when this happens?. I know you guys test everything before shipping them out so do they get damaged in the shipping process?

    NOTE: I'm not picking on SVS by any means [​IMG]. I actually plan on picking one up in the next few months. I was just curious because I recall seeing a few threads like this in the past and was mildly curious.
     
  16. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

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    Joe,

    The failure rate on something like the PB1-ISD amps is so low, that honestly we don't even keep track of it. A fraction of a percent probably. When you ship out as many as we do, it's certain you'll read about the odd ones that go bye-bye.

    These are very complex amps, and yet very rugged (we'd loose our minds if it was otherwise ;^). Temperature shifts, poor handling by the shippers, a single electical component that was not up to snuff... all can be factors.

    Of course, so can calibrations that are set much too hot (all be inevitable if done by ear) or too little sub in too large a room. I'm not saying this is the case with Chuck here, but they are all situations that can lead to "infant mortality" of an amp.

    If we ever see a trend in any of these we work hard to snuff it out, but since it's so rare these days it's hard to ever eliminate every potential failure. Fuses are the last line of defense in some situations and even they aren't perfect.

    This is the reason we make everything modular and very easy to replace. An amp can be swapped with a screwdriver (usually we even include the bit needed) in 5-10 minutes.

    Chuck called us one day, and his replacement shipped that day IIRC. Not sure what happened with the t-shirt but I'll fix that too. ;^)

    Ron
     
  17. Chuck_W

    Chuck_W Second Unit

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    Ron, I know you certainly didn't infer that calibration had caused the failure in my case, but to set the record straight for this thread, I did calibrate using the MCACC on my Pioneer receiver, and never had the gain past the 1/2 mark on the sub (didn't need to). I'm sure the receiver's auto-cal system isn't as accurate as using an SPL, but I would hope its close enough to prevent equipment damage.

    SVS was quick and professional in responding to my questions and problem, and the personal touch of dealing with the same people from pre-order to follow-up is a big plus in my book. Having a single problem with a good piece of equipment doesn't particularly surprise or bother me...how the company deals with the problem is more important to me in the long run. The modular construction Ron mentioned made things easy.

    SVS did indeed include a bit for the square headed screws along with the new amp, and tossing it in the chuck of my cordless drill made the fix pretty simple using the instruction sheet provided. Getting your hands in the enclosure and behind the driver to connect the wires is the hardest part.
     
  18. Chuck_W

    Chuck_W Second Unit

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  19. Chuck_W

    Chuck_W Second Unit

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    Unfortunately, after a month of service with the new amp, my PB1-ISD has died again with the same exact problem. Ron of SVS has offered to replace it with a new PB1-ISD, but I have decided to just return it for a full refund. SVS has kindly offered to refund the full cost (including shipping) so that I am out nothing (but time and frustration).

    From all that I've read, it seems my experience is not typical of SVS reliability. Maybe someday I'll try again with a PB2 (money permitting)...but for now I'm just depressed to be hooking up my old (but tough)little subwoofer again. [​IMG]
     

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