Just got my SVS SB12-NSD sub today, my thoughts so far... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 87 Old 03-13-2012, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Just got the sub in today, it came packed in 2 boxes and very well padded in foam. SVS gets bonus points for the way they package and present their products. Anyhows, when I initially saw the SB-12_NSD sub, I was surprised at how small it is, just 14 inches cubed. Frankly, it looks neat and vicious at the same time with the grill. After placing the sub in a prime corner spot, I got a tinge of buyer's remorse worrying if this sub would be able to hit loud and fast...more on that in a bit.

As to setup, room this size is 12.5 X 10 X 8 = 1000 cubic feet. I am in between speaker upgrades and am just running a stereo setup with Polk Monitor 40s, no MCACC calibration yet on my Pioneer receiver. The sub is dialed in between 10-11 o' clock on the dial as recommeded in the quick startup paperwork. I used a monoprice subwoofer y cable to connect both sub L & R rca inputs to one sub pre-out cable. I checked and the loudness level is higher with the y adapter vs not using it, so any owners of the SB12, definitely recommeded a y splitter.

I started with a Playlist of mp3s that have ample low end, an eclectic mix of trance, house, reggae, drum and bass and some rock. I realized that I can't really crank the sub until I break it in a bit, so I dialed down the listening volume to a low but revealing level. As I listened to some very recognizable tracks, I found myself impressed at how transparent the sub blends in, its fits in smoothly, has a clean tightness that sounds unique and different from my old ported sub. Surprisingly the detail is damn good, very musical and with a seemingly true flat frequency response, this a positive for me, I like my music and moves to come across as intended by the mixers and not with excessive coloration.

Some of the more revealing tracks, particularly drum & bass and some reggae tracks, show a nice refined low end with distinct and clean notes, bass punctuations are clean with no noticeable muddiness. I'm hearing details on the low end that come through on this sub with a cleaner tightness and quicker attacks than compared to my old ported sub. The difference between ported and sealed is starting to become more apparent to me.

This little sub has shown some strong dominance in my small room and I haven't pulled out the big guns yet. After some more break in, I expect to thrown in some action blurays to see how it does. I am impressed at how well this sub blends with my speakers, it might be that the sealed sub sound has better transparency, but there are tracks that I can't really tell where my sub ends and my speakers begin. With my old ported sub, it was a lot more obvious.

Impressive little sub so far, thumbs up from me .

Here are some pics, I know my stereo mains shouldn't be on the floor, my stands are being used in another bigger room, eventually I want to get 2 floorstanders to stand where the monitor 40s are and drop in a center channel:





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post #2 of 87 Old 03-13-2012, 11:50 PM
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Nice review. I just placed an order for one. For the price, I can't see how you can go wrong. And at its size, adding another won't take much thought at all. But I shouldn't get ahead of myself. I just had a Velodyne Optimum 10 in my house for a few days before it crapped out, so I'll be interested to see how this little guy compares.
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post #3 of 87 Old 03-14-2012, 12:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Took a look at the Velodyne Optimum 10, looks pretty brutal on paper with the specs. Too bad Velodyne subs don't seem to last as long as they use to, they seem to cut corner on component costs to save money. If you wanted around the same horsepower as the Vel for a sealed with SVS, I would recommend their higher up sealed sub, the SVS SB13 Plus. The driver on that sub and massive amp power could probably teach the Vel some serious lessons on the low end, if not outright walk all over it.

But if you have a small room, I think you will be pleased with the SB12-NSD. For the money, I feel that its a good value. So far its shown that it has the firepower to move good low end. I have a good feeling that movies will translate just as well. Something about the sealed sub sound, the clean tightness in particular, really satisfies my ear. I guess I got use to how the ported sub sound fattened up the low end, that the sealed sound feels refreshing and more sophisticated to my ears.

Can't wait to try more music and eventually movies with this sub....
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post #4 of 87 Old 03-14-2012, 08:44 AM
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I still have a 20 year old velodyne ULD series that makes loud noises for movies, but I really wanted to try out a compact sub that can blend and augment my mains for 2 channel listening. I haven't shopped for subs in a very long time, but it sure seems everyone is obsessed with output and 'pressurizing the space". I started thinking, well I don't really listen to music at high volumes. I just want to hear the lower octave accurately reproduced and have the sub do as good of a disappearing job as my mains. The plus for the optimum 10 to me was the size and the EQ.
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post #5 of 87 Old 03-14-2012, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I think you'll find the SB12-NSD a nice fit for your system if you have a smaller room. I don't know how much it can be stretched for bigger rooms, the SB13 Plus would be able to handle those duties. Cool thing about SVS is that you have one year to trade in your sub for credit towards a higher up model, so that's a nice option to have.

Yeah, pressurizing room space has become an obsession for us audio bass heads who revel in the joy of dialing up to reference levels once in awhile to shake the foundation of our homes. I would probably be more inclined towards it if I had a bigger budget to get one of the big high roller subs that can dig to deep subsonic territory.
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post #6 of 87 Old 03-14-2012, 12:45 PM
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I agree with your review. This is a very good sub. Have fun!
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post #7 of 87 Old 03-14-2012, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I just listened to a few BT tracks with some heavy breaks in it. My old ported sub usually farted pretty good with these BT tracks, muddying up the low end into a mess. I'm pleasantly surprised to report that for the first time, I can really hear a clean non-muddy low end on these tracks, and they full of a sweetness and detail that puts my old ported sub to shame.

This is indeed a very good sub, SVS is really impressing me, considering this is their lowest end product, it is no slouch for sure.
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post #8 of 87 Old 03-14-2012, 02:04 PM
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I purchased one these also, and have had it about 2 weeks. Its starting to relax and just watched TIN TIN and very happy with this sub, its a 2nd sub along with a Pw 2200 paradigm. I have not ran audyssey on my Integra 80.2 as of yet. Can't wait and is a very musical sub. Also had ran a new sub cable and some room treatment.
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post #9 of 87 Old 03-14-2012, 02:11 PM
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Here is a picture.
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post #10 of 87 Old 03-14-2012, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for posting a picture, I went ahead and updated my original post with pics of my small room setup. Glad to hear others are happy and pleased with this sub!
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post #11 of 87 Old 03-14-2012, 03:26 PM
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Great review of the SB12-NSD!

A couple of things, if I may:
- Your mains - which, if I'm not mistaken, are the boxes on the floor to either side of the A/V stand - really should be up off the ground. (Sorry for pointing out the obvious! )
- You say that your "old ported sub usually farted pretty good with these BT tracks, muddying up the low end into a mess", but I read that your old sub was an HSU STF-2 which you described as "absolutely amazing". Not trying to flame you, just curious to know whether you fell out of love with the HSU over time, or whether the SVS is really just that much better.

Thanks!
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post #12 of 87 Old 03-14-2012, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I know my stereo mains shouldn't be on the floor, I pointed that out in my post, you probably missed that if just looked first at the pics. I'm in between upgrades and I'm using my stands in another room until I get some floorstanders in there.

Yeah, I didn't want to diss the HSU STF-2 out in the open, which is "amazing for the money." In fact, it is being used in another bigger room and it does well there. But I can't deny that the SVS SB12's sealed sub sound has better musicality and detail compared to the STF-2. Of course, it costs twice as much so that should be the case. I could buy a VTF-3 MK4 for a little more than the SVS SB12, but the measurements are gargantuan for my small room and I can't afford a ULS-15 which is more of the ideal smaller size right now, so the SVS seemed like an attractive option with just the right size. This is my first foray into SVS and so far, I am beginning to see that their rep is legitimate.

I will admit, that I'm in love with my SB12-NSD as far as musicality goes. But it doesn't meant I hate my STF-2, every sub has their place as far as price and budget. I will not take back my words on musicality with the SB12 though, it does make the STF-2 look bad during certain familiar tracks that I've listened to for years. The only problem is that this concerns smaller rooms, I'm not sure how well this sub can do in larger rooms, for which the extra output of a ported sub will make a difference.
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post #13 of 87 Old 03-15-2012, 04:59 AM
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Here is some more, my second sub is behind the TV, and worked best there. I'm in the process of adding egg crate foam to the wall behind it. This has been a work in progress.
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post #14 of 87 Old 03-15-2012, 06:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avspace View Post


Why did you do this?

PS I also upgraded from the STF-2, first to an Energy VSW-10 (later re-purposed for use in my music system) and then to a PC12-NSD. I no longer own any Hsu subs

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post #15 of 87 Old 03-15-2012, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avspace View Post

I know my stereo mains shouldn't be on the floor, I pointed that out in my post, you probably missed that if just looked first at the pics.

Yup, I missed that.

Quote:


I will admit, that I'm in love with my SB12-NSD as far as musicality goes. But it doesn't meant I hate my STF-2, every sub has their place as far as price and budget.

Fair enough.
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post #16 of 87 Old 03-15-2012, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaviorMachine View Post

Why did you do this?

PS I also upgraded from the STF-2, first to an Energy VSW-10 (later re-purposed for use in my music system) and then to a PC12-NSD. I no longer own any Hsu subs

Adding the sub y splitter cable is not a requirement, but it does increase the loudness of the signal so you don't have to dial the sub as high. I tested it with and without the cable to confirm there is a loudness difference.

I was considering the PC12-NSD, but then I heard some people complaining that output was weak, how do you like this sub? My thought was maybe they didn't calibrate their subs properly...

HSU subs are good for the money, but from what I've experienced with SVS so far, they seem to take their designs a little bit further in style and refinement. I think I'm becoming an SVS fan.
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post #17 of 87 Old 03-15-2012, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avspace View Post

Adding the sub y splitter cable is not a requirement, but it does increase the loudness of the signal so you don't have to dial the sub as high. I tested it with and without the cable to confirm there is a loudness difference.

I was considering the PC12-NSD, but then I heard some people complaining that output was weak, how do you like this sub? My thought was maybe they didn't calibrate their subs properly...

HSU subs are good for the money, but from what I've experienced with SVS so far, they seem to take their designs a little bit further in style and refinement. I think I'm becoming an SVS fan.

Yes, a 3db+ signal gain from using both inputs on the sub with a splitter as shown.
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post #18 of 87 Old 03-15-2012, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for that clarification, I had forgotten the exact amount of increase, 3db+ should be about twice as loud.
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post #19 of 87 Old 03-15-2012, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avspace View Post

Adding the sub y splitter cable is not a requirement, but it does increase the loudness of the signal so you don't have to dial the sub as high. I tested it with and without the cable to confirm there is a loudness difference.

I was considering the PC12-NSD, but then I heard some people complaining that output was weak, how do you like this sub? My thought was maybe they didn't calibrate their subs properly...

HSU subs are good for the money, but from what I've experienced with SVS so far, they seem to take their designs a little bit further in style and refinement. I think I'm becoming an SVS fan.

Hm, interesting. I've only heard people complain about the PC12-NSD's output when they were really looking for -Plus or -Ultra performance. I mean I haven't heard any cases where somebody returned a PC12 to buy a PB12, and felt like that change gave him the output he was looking for. I would seriously doubt the word of anybody who said so. Also, frankly, there are so many newcomers and other inexperienced users floating around... well, not to put anybody down, but you've got to be careful where you get your testimonials. I'll leave it there.

Me, I love mine; it does a great job with music (I've never heard a sealed sub, so the basis for my comparison excludes fancy stuff like that) and for movies, I couldn't want more output. I run it at Audyssey's recommended level, or up to five decibels quieter. No, I don't hate bass; the PC12 is just a gargantuan force in my room. Yeah, I really just said "gargantuan," because it fits.

I can't speak to the quality of Hsu subs in general--I've only heard one of their lower tier parts. It seemed great at the time, right up until I bought something else for the same amount of money, that sounded startlingly better. Maybe someday I'll hear a VTF-3 and it'll change my mind.

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Originally Posted by mannoiaj View Post

Yes, a 3db+ signal gain from using both inputs on the sub with a splitter as shown.

Is this any different from raising the gain three decibels? Or is it just to make sure that the sub wakes even on a quietly recorded bass signal?

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post #20 of 87 Old 03-15-2012, 04:48 PM
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pc12-nsd output weak? no way. they have tons of output.

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post #21 of 87 Old 03-15-2012, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
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This was awhile ago, saw some threads where people were questioning the output, if it was enough or sufficient.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/archi...t-1167359.html

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/archi...t-1366820.html

The worst response I saw(not in the threads above, can't seem to find it) and this was only one guy, really complained about the PC12. He was so disappointed that he returned it, said the output was terrible and that he would stick to ported subs. I wasn't really looking into the PC12s at the time, but it did stick in the back of mind.

Guess he was smoking something at the time if you guys are happy with yours. Good for you guys.
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post #22 of 87 Old 03-15-2012, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T100 View Post

Here is some more, my second sub is behind the TV, and worked best there. I'm in the process of adding egg crate foam to the wall behind it. This has been a work in progress.

Very nice, thanks for sharing your setup. I can see your AV receiver fits in your cabinet. I was a little ticked to find out that my tv stand/mount's shelves where too short to fit my fat Pioneer VSX-1121-K Receiver, so I have to put it to the side. But probably better for ventilation anyhows.
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post #23 of 87 Old 03-15-2012, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avspace View Post

This was awhile ago, saw some threads where people were questioning the output, if it was enough or sufficient.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/archi...t-1167359.html

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/archi...t-1366820.html

The worst response I saw(not in the threads above, can't seem to find it) and this was only one guy, really complained about the PC12. He was so disappointed that he returned it, said the output was terrible and that he would stick to ported subs. I wasn't really looking into the PC12s at the time, but it did stick in the back of mind.

Guess he was smoking something at the time if you guys are happy with yours. Good for you guys.

well the pc12 is a ported sub. I didn't read all of the posts in those but it sounded like the people who were not happy were pretty inexperienced with setup.

no sub manufacturer breaks The laws of physics. svs subs are great performers in their priceranges. they are not one of the most highly regarded in the business the nothing.

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post #24 of 87 Old 03-15-2012, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avspace View Post

This was awhile ago, saw some threads where people were questioning the output, if it was enough or sufficient.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/archi...t-1167359.html

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/archi...t-1366820.html

The worst response I saw(not in the threads above, can't seem to find it) and this was only one guy, really complained about the PC12. He was so disappointed that he returned it, said the output was terrible and that he would stick to ported subs. I wasn't really looking into the PC12s at the time, but it did stick in the back of mind.

Guess he was smoking something at the time if you guys are happy with yours. Good for you guys.

I don't want to be the kind of user who comes out swinging to defend any particular product--those guys seriously creep me out--but in the cases above, OttawaHiFi solved his problem on the second page of the thread and this was in a room 30 feet long. The total size of his space wasn't particularly large, but in a true theater with any length that great, I expect that sub placement would be critical. He was able to get the response he wanted after tweaking speaker levels and re-positioning his sub.

Also surma84's problem wasn't output, it was configuration. The thread clearly implies that he was confused about the way bass management settings work. Unfortunately, he left the conversation before announcing whether he'd gotten it all straightened out.

As for the last poster you mentioned, the one who said that the output was terrible and that he would stick to ported subs... no offense, but I don't even know what that could mean. The PC12-NSD is a ported sub. That's one of the main reasons why it's so loud. Maybe he was talking about a different model...?

Anyway I'm sure there's to be found the user who felt that the PC12-NSD was inadequate for his needs in his space, but such a user can be found for any product because... well, some users are more than a little insane (howdy, Slickman) I guess the point I'm making is that, for its asking price, weight and size, the PC12-NSD's output shouldn't disappoint anyone except, maybe, somebody who wants to pay less than $800 for car-audio-style bass in a very large room.

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post #25 of 87 Old 03-15-2012, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SaviorMachine View Post

... I guess the point I'm making is that, for its asking price, weight and size, the PC12-NSD's output shouldn't disappoint anyone except, maybe, somebody who wants to pay less than $800 for car-audio-style bass in a very large room.

I think what the guy meant when he said "ported" was a reference to his SVS PB12 ported box sub, which he described as having more output than the ported cylinder. SVS claims that both the PC12 Cylinder and PB12 Box Ported subs have equal output. I haven't heard anyone else complain as much as this one guy about the PC12, so I opt to believe you guys a lot more.

Thanks, good to know, I might consider a PC12 for a possible trade up in a year. But since I like the sealed sub sound so much, I might go for a SB13 instead .
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post #26 of 87 Old 03-16-2012, 04:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avspace View Post

I think what the guy meant when he said "ported" was a reference to his SVS PB12 ported box sub, which he described as having more output than the ported cylinder. SVS claims that both the PC12 Cylinder and PB12 Box Ported subs have equal output. I haven't heard anyone else complain as much as this one guy about the PC12, so I opt to believe you guys a lot more.

Thanks, good to know, I might consider a PC12 for a possible trade up in a year. But since I like the sealed sub sound so much, I might go for a SB13 instead .

I believe that you can only trade up within your own form factor--so SB13 is the route you'd take. I think it could be better overall for your needs, since I can tell that you're really digging the sealed sound. What is the sealed sound? I'll hear it one of these days.

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post #27 of 87 Old 03-16-2012, 04:59 AM
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will the Y-splitter making the output +3dB make it have 3dB more of headroom?

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post #28 of 87 Old 03-16-2012, 05:15 AM
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will the Y-splitter making the output +3dB make it have 3dB more of headroom?

If only!
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post #29 of 87 Old 03-16-2012, 05:36 AM
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so what does +3dB louder with the Y-splitter mean?

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My first HT build threadhttp://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-ded...rst-build.html
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post #30 of 87 Old 03-16-2012, 05:56 AM
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^^^ +1.

Is this something that I should be doing? Sub Experts chime in...
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