Which SVS subwoofer to buy?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by BrianMe, Jun 12, 2003.

  1. BrianMe

    BrianMe Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Okay, I'm looking at buying an SVS subwoofer and I need some opinions. I did receive some great email support from the guys at SVS (Thanks Tom!) and it backed up some of my assumptions, but I'd like to get some third-party opinion as well.

    My family room/home theater is approximately 22x14, with an 18x14 listening area (the rear speakers are inboard 4 feet from the back wall). I'm running an Onkyo TSXR-600 receiver and HT-500 speaker system (with rear center channel speaker as well).

    I'm replacing a blown BIC VT1200 (12" 150watt), which I actually thought was a pretty decent sub and it lasted me a solid 6 years (before getting hit by lightening). I have the 8"-150 watt Onkyo sub that came with the HT-500 speaker package, and it's pretty darn good for a $150 sub, but not what I want.

    My listening experience is about 95% home theater, and I really don't care about music. I like hard, clean, accurate bass in movies, but am not as concerned about it being ultra-loud. I don't listen near reference levels, I'm sure.

    I'm considering either the PCi 20-39 or the PC+ 20-39. Is the extra power worth it in a room this size and at the moderate listening levels I will be listening too? Will this unit have the power to move with me as I move to a larger listening area in a new home with a 20x20 area, or something similar? Is it worth the extra expense, or am I getting more power than I need? I'm not adverse to spending the money on the PC+, but only if I really need it.

    Are there other subs out there that you would recommend for this setup?

    Thanks,

    Brian
     
  2. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,523
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If you stick with the SVS go for the Plus. I went from the 25-31Pci to the 25-31PC+ and it is well worth it. It gives me a little more SPL and alot more Punch....plus then you don't sit there and wonder "What if"
     
  3. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
    Messages:
    2,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi Brian:

    The 20-39PCi would be fine in your 2500 ft3 room for "moderate" playback levels. However, everyone's definition of "moderate" is a bit different. If your system is calibrated to Dolby Reference Level, and if you could indicate where you normally set your Master Volume (e.g., 10 clicks under Reference, etc.), I might be able to pin down a model recommendation a bit better.

    You say you like "hard, clean, accurate bass". As is the case with any low distortion sub, it is easy to hit higher playback levels than you might realize. Also, playing clean and loud down into the 20-25 Hz region is much harder on a sub than doing the same at 40 Hz (a la your BIC and Onkyo subs).

    If I read between the lines, you might have a bit of "buyer's regret" over not getting the PC+, and you are also somewhat concerned about the sub being adequate in a larger future HT room.

    If you can specify the volume at which you normally play DVD's, we might determine the PCi is perfectly up to the task. With that said, and with no additional info from you, I might hedge toward the PC+.

    For the nominal increase in price over the PCi, you get a much more capable woofer (about 5-6 dB more max output below 30 Hz), 200 watts more amp power, a 4 position SS filter, 70% more port area, port/enclosure tuning capability, and an infinitely variable (0-180) phase control.

    If you think you will suffer from "buyer's regret" if you buy the PCi, the $225 price difference between the two models suddenly becomes pretty insignificant over the long haul.

    Regards,

    Ed
     
  4. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2000
    Messages:
    1,165
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I know TV didn't try to oversell you. He may have suggested the 20-39PCI would work but, if i were you, i'd definately get the 20-39PC+. Headroom and power is always a good thing with subs..even at moderate listening levels. Don't take this the wrong way but, you say you like hard, clean, acurate bass in movies. I can't imagine with the subs you currently have that you get anything remotely near that. You will with an SV sub. Go PC+ [​IMG]
     
  5. BrianMe

    BrianMe Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Wow, you guys are rough. I'm a bit of a newbie.

    No, Tom definitely did not try to oversell me, just gave good feedback and advice. I don't plan on having any "buyers regret" that I bought a PCi and I thought I should have bought a PC+, I'm more concerned about having "buyers regret" that I bought a PC+ when I didn't need to!

    Yes, I look at the subs I have or have had (BIC and Onkyo) and I can't even fathom how nice that SVS will sound based on everyone's reviews.

    I have not calibrated my system. I just remodeled my house and the Onkyo setup is less than a month old. The rear surrounds have only been up about a week as I had to wire them through the attic. Like I said, I'm a bit of a newbie, so I don't yet even know what "reference" levels are, but I listen to movies at about 70 on the Onkyo's 100-scale receiver. It uses a logarithmic volume though, so 70 is not 2X 35, it's more like 10 times. And 80 would probably be double what 70 is. I don't really know. Above 70 it starts to get really loud, really fast.

    Also, I've been playing DVDs through my XBox as my Sony DVD was also hit during the lightening strike. I purchased a new SONY NC665 which will be here next week as well. I have to believe that the Sony with a coax digital sound connection will be much better than the component sound I get off the XBox right now.

    Money isn't an issue, but I don't want to throw away money either.

    Oh, and as soon as I posted the first note, I went ahead and dove in feet first. I ordered to PC+ 20-39!

    Thanks guys!
     
  6. Lee Bailey

    Lee Bailey Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2000
    Messages:
    263
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Central California
    Real Name:
    Lee Bailey
    Brian, first things first. Go out and buy Avia or Video Essentials, and a Radio Shack Analog SPL meter. Then get your system levels set with that. Using the meter while watching a movie at your 'regular' volume, see what type of volume you are really listening to. You'll really need the meter when it comes to setting up your sub. Lastly, enjoy your purchase!
     
  7. BrianMe

    BrianMe Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    What's the best link for telling me what to do with the SPL? My receiver manual gives minimal instruction on calibration.

    Thanks again. I'm looking forward to real home theater real soon. I just wish the big screen would have been hit with the lightening. WOuld give me an excuse to get a new widescreen HDTV.

    Brian
     
  8. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,523
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Which receiver are you running?

    Here is the link: SPL
     
  9. TommyL

    TommyL Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 27, 2002
    Messages:
    590
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    grab avia home theater tune up, and you should be ok[​IMG]
     
  10. Kip Lackey

    Kip Lackey Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My room is 3500 cubic feet and I have a 20-39PCi. Tom from SVS said this sub would be fine for my area and he was exactly right. If I want, I can make the doors rattle and easily get the wife mad at me. I would think in room the 20-39PCi would be just fine.
     
  11. Jon-C

    Jon-C Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2003
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Kip,

    Is your room sealed off or does it have openings into other rooms. I am asking because my room is around 3300 cubic feet, but it has a large opening to my kitchen on one side. The kitchen is another 2200 cubic feet. Do you think that the 20-39pci would be sufficient? [​IMG]
     
  12. Kip Lackey

    Kip Lackey Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My room is an L shape. It has three doors going into the room as well. The best thing to do is to email the SVS tech service with a rough sketch (bitmap/jpeg) of your room layout. Tom V at SVS will definitely steer you in the right direction.
     

Share This Page