Who has a SVS "black box" and any improvements?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeff_Rice, Jun 28, 2002.

  1. Jeff_Rice

    Jeff_Rice Agent

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2001
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi,

    I am thinking of getting the SVS "Black box" because sometimes I do not feel like I am getting the most out of my SVS 20-39CS+ sub/Samson amp 1000. I do not have the "pant leg" moving type bass like some people have said at the is forum. I have the "Denon 3801" were some people have had problems with the sub out connection (impedance problem). I am not sure I am getting the most of my sub but if the black box can give me some more gain I will buy one.

    On the amp (gain is full)...(lights) I routinely hit -40db...-20db on bass heavy movies (Jurassic park III/U571/etc...). I calibrated everything to 75db (sub a little hotter) and I listen to moveis at -15 on the Denon 3801. I have my front speakers bi-amped and center bi-wired to the Harmon Kardon Signature 2.1 amp (100 high current watts). Rear speaker connected to receiver and everything is set to small. I have SW +1 for subwoofer setting on my receiver. My room is 2200 cubic ft. (25x11x8)
    Speakers Polk Audio: RT800's, CS400, RT55, and RT35's for rear centers.

    Can someone help me? Testimonials please. Also did the black box help? Tom or Ron your comments please too.

    Thanks,

    Jeff Rice
     
  2. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2001
    Messages:
    1,650
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have the Denon 2802 and just placed an order for the black box. I have a SVS 20-39CS with the Samson 700. After reading about all of the "pant legs moving" and floorboards ripping up, maybe I expected to much. I also have an audio source SW15 that puts out 250 watts. The SVS is much cleaner than the audiosource. But rather than being more impressed with the SVS, I was more impressed that the SW15, which costs $199 could sound so good. Now I will admit that I have only performed an initial calibration and right now space is confined so I cannot work on finding optimal placement. I'm sure that with more concentrated calibration and better placment, I will notice a big difference. But right now that's not worth doing, since I plan on moving to a new house within the next month or two. I purchased the black box just so I can get the most out of the SVS for when I do move. I figured with SVS's fantastic return policies, I can return it if I don't notice any difference with it.
     
  3. Barry BB

    Barry BB Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    0
    A couple of comments for you Jeff.

    Is -15db your reference level that you calibrated at or are you listening at 15db below your reference level? The "pant leg flapping" bass that many people talk about is when listening at reference levels with a hot sub. So if you are listening at 15db below reference then it makes sense that your bass level is lower than you expect it to be.

    Second comment is that the impedance mismatch is a problem for people that are unable to calibrate their sub. If you are able to calibrate at reference then you probably do not have a problem. The black box may or may not be an improvement but if you are able to calibrate then the $199 purchase may not be necessary.
     
  4. Trevor H

    Trevor H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2000
    Messages:
    336
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a 20-39CS (I just put in the upgraded driver) powered by the Samson 700 and I am running a Denon 3801. I used my Avia disc and RS-SPL to calibrate, I set the 3801's master volume to 0 then used Avia to calibrate all speakers to 85dB except the sub which I set to 91dB, I watch most movies at -8dB and let me tell you the bass is downright frightening, it not only flaps your pants it almost makes you shit them too.
    Jeff, my HT room is 14x14x9 with 2 small doorways, so it's slightly smaller than yours, I think if you recalibrate your system the same as mine and turn up the volume to at least -8db while watching a movie, you too will know what it is like to have your pants flapped [​IMG]
     
  5. Salvador

    Salvador Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2001
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    0
    These are extremely reassuring comments from denon/SVS owners. THis only means one thing for me.....It's only a matter of time before I slay my SVS demons[​IMG] !!!
     
  6. Jeff_Rice

    Jeff_Rice Agent

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2001
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Barry BB- -15 is my reference for calibration. Here are my settings...
    I set my volume on my Denon to -15 and calibrated everything to around 75-77 on my SPL meter. Here are my channel volume settings:
    r=+5
    l=+4
    c=+1
    rs=+8
    ls=+8
    sub=+1 (sub is few db's higher)

    it seems prety good but only impressive on bass only movies like Jurassic Park/U571/Haunting....and turned up. Does this seem right?

    My system:
    front speakers: Polk RT800's (bi-amped)
    center: CS400 (bi-wired and speaker wire is sent to amp)
    rear: RT55's (hooked up to receiver)
    rear center: RT35's (hooked up to receiver)
    SVS 20-39CS+ w/Samson 1000watt amp (samson set to 0db)
    Everything is set to small;

    -Denon 3801 receiver
    -Harmon Kardan 2.1 (5 channel amp...100 watts...high current)
    -Pioneer DV-525 DVD player (will upgrade when there will be a digital connection (not 5 analog interconnects..too many damn interconnects) for SACD and DVD-Audio.))
    -Audioquest interconnects and speaker wire.
    -36" TV that is VE calibrated (will be upgraded when everybody figures what is the standard for HD)

    Room size is 23x11x8.


    Trevor H- My pant legs do not seem to move like most people are saying. I sit about 10 ft from the TV and bass is impressive but that is a reference level which is very loud. I did a test and I hit 116 db for the Haunting. How far are you sitting from the sub?
     
  7. Orin Dym

    Orin Dym Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2000
    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have the black box and use it because I can not achieve sufficient output of the sub without it. I have an Audio Refinement Pre-amp and the speaker level adjustments are only minus from zero. In order to balance the sub output I would have to run the speakers at about -5, but this degrades sound quality. I run the black box at about +6 and am very satisfied. An added benefit is that the LF filter (I set at 20Hz) lets me run the sub a litter harder without bottoming it. As for pant leg flapping, try walking around your room with a sound meter while playing an LFE test tone. .It could be you are in a null zone for the very low frequencies. My theater room is upstairs, so I get the added benefit that the floor tends to get "excited" by the base--no tactile transducers needed here. You can check out my set up on my website www.okdym.com just take the Home Theater Link. In conclusion, if you can achieve proper calibration, then you do not neeed the black box
     
  8. Marcelo T

    Marcelo T Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2001
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jeff,
    If you hit 116db with the sub I believe it´s working fine[​IMG]
    My 20-39 cs+ can hit 116 in the thx demo from TPM and in u-571. Here I feel my arm´s hair move with the bass, but I have a small room. The bass seems to come in waves of sound that you feel troughout the body. I use a sansom s100 and a pioneer elite receiver.
     
  9. Barry BB

    Barry BB Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jeff

    Your individual speaker settings are room dependent so that does not mean much. If you are using -15db as your reference level and calibrating to 75db with the volume at -15 then you are doing things right.

    The movies that you mentioned are bass heavy movies. If you are getting impressive bass then in my opinion you are OK. Not all movies have pants flapping LFE so maybe you are expecting too much.

    If you are achieving the proper output from your sub then the black box should not be required, but I'll leave that for the SVS guys to offer their opinions.
     
  10. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 1999
    Messages:
    6,499
    Likes Received:
    0


    Thank You Barry!

    You hit the nail on the head. This box is a specific solution to a specific problem. This does not magically (or otherwise) improve the performance of the sub.

    If you are able calibrate within tolerant levels on your Preamp unit, you don't need this box. It's not a hot-rod or add on piece to up the output of your sub- it is designed to simply boost voltage for those who can't get enough push from their preamp!

    -V

    PS: Jeff, with your individual speaker settings running so hot, I'd personally recalibrate with a higher position on the Master volume. On my old Denon 3300, I would never run over +4 on any speaker setting because it became very obvious that it ran out of headroom!
     
  11. Jeff_Rice

    Jeff_Rice Agent

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2001
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey guys,

    The only movie were I feel it the "pant leg" thing is Jurassic Park III or The Haunting. U571 is pretty good but not like JPIII. Does everybody use the plug in their SVS sub? How do you open the grill?

    Vince,

    "PS: Jeff, with your individual speaker settings running so hot, I'd personally recalibrate with a higher position on the Master volume. On my old Denon 3300, I would never run over +4 on any speaker setting because it became very obvious that it ran out of headroom!"

    I have an amp attched to my receiver so I have a lot of headroom. Headroom is not a problem it is not getting the POW from the sub on most movies.

    Barry,

    I think you are right, but maybe I should get the box to make sure I do not have the problem. I could always return it so there is no loss for me.

    Basically, I think I should get another sub because I am a bass freak.

    Jeff Rice
     
  12. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 1999
    Messages:
    6,499
    Likes Received:
    0


    One has nothing to do with the other (headroom and external amps).

    You seem to believe that headroom is only a consideration with output wattage, but there are headroom issues all throughout the signal chain. The Preamp stage, when boosted by +5 will often run out of headroom in its output stage. You could connect it directly to a 40,000 watt amp- and it would make no difference-- the signal would have already been limited (and possibly distorted) because the headroom problem was in the preamp stage.

    I'm not suggesting this will solve your bass issues (although I personally feel the issues your having have more to do with expectations than with technical issues, but this is beside the point)-- however I think for the overall clarity of your system and certainly the longevity of your speakers, running your rear preamp outs at +8 is a bad idea.

    So, again, I humbly reiterate the advice I offered above.

    -Vince
     
  13. Jeff_Rice

    Jeff_Rice Agent

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2001
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Vince,

    Since you think I increased the speaker setting too much do you think I should re-calibrate? I set my volume on the receiver to -15 (Denon 3801) and calibrated all my speakers to 75db.

    Should I set the volume to 00 and then recalibrate everything to 75db?

    Jeff R.
     
  14. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2000
    Messages:
    3,716
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jeff,

    The only problem I see you possibly having is room size. A 25x11 room is mighty big for a single 12" subwoofer to tackle. But if you're getting 116dB peaks then you're definitely getting plenty of output. The only thing I'd do is contemplate adding a second sub.

    Brian
     
  15. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 1999
    Messages:
    6,499
    Likes Received:
    0


    Well, judging by the numbers you have- you probably won't be able to calibrate to 75 output at 00 (your center and sub are at +1, which mean an increase of 15 db on the main volume will likely be more than you could overcome with the channel adjustments to still achieve 75db with Video Essentials).

    But, I think even recalibrating with the master volume at -10 or -5 would be an improvement.

    My advice would simply be:
    Put the main master volume wherever it needs to be to get all your speaker settings down closer to 0. I'd approach it attempting for a maximum at +3, with the goal to be everything less than zero if possible. Try master at -10, and if all the speakers end up +3 or lower- that should be better.

    -Vince
     
  16. Jeff_Rice

    Jeff_Rice Agent

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2001
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Brian,

    I think you are right when it comes to adding a second sub. Now I have to convince the wife that I need another one! This is going to tough to convince her but I may have to use my birthday and xmas to get it. Damn, I hate this hobby sometimes.

    Vince,

    I will reset the volume to -10 and re-calibrate everything again. Thanks for the advice.


    Thanks everybody for your input and I hope the wife agree that 'WE' need another sub.

    Jeff R.
     
  17. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2000
    Messages:
    3,716
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jeff,

    I hear ya, but I'd rather spend an extra $529 for an extra sub than $199 for a black box. At least you already have another amp channel waiting!

    Brian
     
  18. BobAlbano

    BobAlbano Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2001
    Messages:
    293
    Likes Received:
    0
    Go with the second sub. I added a second 20-39cs+ to my 12x12x8 room and it is crazy insane bass in there. It kinda reminds me of my old car days. The difference between one and two SVS is incredible. I'm kinda crazy when it comes to bass though![​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  19. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2000
    Messages:
    3,716
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  20. Jeff_Rice

    Jeff_Rice Agent

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2001
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Looks like a second sub will happen in the near future but it will have to wait after our vacations. Anyway, how much is the difference for TWO 20-39CS+ subs vs. one. Tom V. (svs guru) says it is 6db. Is that a big increase?
    Where did you place sub (together, either sides of tv)? Did you have to use a Y-connector for the receiver hookup from the Samson amp? Tell me what the difference for sound (this is what I can use to tell my wife when she asks the same question. This way I will be prepared! [​IMG] )
    Thanks for the help guys.[​IMG]
     

Share This Page