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post #1 of 64 Old 07-13-2012, 04:57 AM - Thread Starter
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So I was all set to pick up a Epik Legend but then started reading about all the amp issues. And while I know that forums like this tend to have more stories of failure than normal, I just don't want to risk having to replace the amp in a few years as it will be buttoned up behind a screen wall that won't necessarily be easy to get to.

So, now I'm shifting my thoughts toward either the SVS SB12 or PB12 or the Outlaw LFM Plus or EX.

Room size: 13x22x9, dedicated theater with bass traps in front corners and treatments along all walls and sofits, carpet over sand filled stage, over concrete
Usage: 60/20/20 - HT/Music/Gaming
Likes: strong, but not boomy, doesn't have to rattle the walls, but want to feel like i'm in the scene

So, which one (of the 4) would you go with. (I can only go with one right now, but do plan on a 2nd next year or so)

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post #2 of 64 Old 07-13-2012, 05:33 AM
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A single SVS PB12 NSD would get my vote out of the 4 especially if its going to be behind a screen. Just add a second later down the road.... If it was going to be out in the open I would say the LFM-1 EX basically cuz of the all downfiring design and it looks nicer.

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post #3 of 64 Old 07-13-2012, 06:47 AM
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Outlaw has b-stocks of the EX available right now for $579 shipped.

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post #4 of 64 Old 07-13-2012, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Outlaw has b-stocks of the EX available right now for $579 shipped.
This was why I posted...was leaning toward a SVS but then saw the sale.

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post #5 of 64 Old 07-13-2012, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by blipszyc View Post

This was why I posted...was leaning toward a SVS but then saw the sale.

At $579 delivered, the B-Stock Outlaw EX is the bang-for-the-buck winner. On the other hand, the SVS PB-12 NSD is a more refined product and has a 5 year warranty compared to the 3 year warranty on the Outlaw.

This is the frequency response of the Outlaw LFM-1 EX, showing both Maximum Extension and Maximum Output:

OutlawEXFrequencyResponse.jpg


This is the frequency response of the SVS PB-12NSD:

SVSPB-12NSDFrequencyResponse.jpg

Subs just don't test much better than the SVS. You will probably be quite happy with either the Outlaw or the SVS smile.gif
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post #6 of 64 Old 07-13-2012, 12:34 PM
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I would argue that, given the output difference, the PB12 doesn't really compete with a full priced Outlaw, and at Outlaw's sale price, it's a no-brainer. It's not a big deal to have a flatter frequency response when there is so much less headroom. Throughout most of the bass frequencies, the Outlaw is more than doubling and at certain frequencies more than tripling the sound intensity of the PB12. What's more is that it is doing that at the frequencies that matter the most, the ones most commonly used by movies and music. On top of that if you are interested in extension, the Outlaw has an advantage there too, just plug the port and switch it to two port mode. To the PB12's credit, it does have less distortion per db, but what does that matter if the distortion is largely second harmonic and therefore innocuous.
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post #7 of 64 Old 07-13-2012, 02:51 PM
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The Outlaw gives you more output and extension for your dollar but the SVS PB plays exceptionally cleanly. Take your pick.

I have to echo spyboy's statement that few subs test as well as SVS. They deliberately designed to the sub for most accurate flat response and low distortion profile. It's always great to start off with a good baseline performance. You can't add better accuracy, but you can always add more subs for more output

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post #8 of 64 Old 07-13-2012, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warpdrive View Post

The Outlaw gives you more output and extension for your dollar but the SVS PB plays exceptionally cleanly. Take your pick.
I have to echo spyboy's statement that few subs test as well as SVS. They deliberately designed to the sub for most accurate flat response and low distortion profile. It's always great to start off with a good baseline performance. You can't add better accuracy, but you can always add more subs for more output

Well said!

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post #9 of 64 Old 07-13-2012, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the feedback. I decided to go ahead and order the Outlaw. My plans are to eventually have 2 subs anyway, so flat response out of 1 sub wasn't that critical to me. I was teetering between the Plus and the EX, but decided to go with the EX. As I looked again at my room dimensions, it was closer to 14x23x9, so almost 3000 cu. ft. While many have said the Plus would be great in that size room, I rather turn down the EX than turn up the Plus. And, when it's time for a 2nd sub, I could always add the Plus easily.

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post #10 of 64 Old 07-13-2012, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by warpdrive View Post

The Outlaw gives you more output and extension for your dollar but the SVS PB plays exceptionally cleanly. Take your pick.
I have to echo spyboy's statement that few subs test as well as SVS. They deliberately designed to the sub for most accurate flat response and low distortion profile. It's always great to start off with a good baseline performance. You can't add better accuracy, but you can always add more subs for more output

The PB12 does play exceptionally cleanly, but it sacrifices far too much SPL for what is gained. In Ricci's data bass, the PB12 scores the worst of all subs measured in output at 63 hz, one of the most crucial frequencies regions. Even the BIC PL200 beats it, and the heavily derided Cadence CSX15 clobbers it there.

What's ironic is how hard the Cadence got slagged here after the measurements were released versus how much praise the PB12 received- yes, the Cadence has poor deep bass performance, but in the frequencies that get a whole lot more real world use, the cadence doesn't do so badly. The PB12, on the other hand, ticks a bunch of performance metric check boxes and technology buzzwords (digital amplifier!) that, in reality, are not that great of a benefit to the end user. So what if it has less distortion when the distortion it has less of is second harmonic order distortion which is barely audible, and when it is heard, is actually preferred by most listeners anyway as 'warmth'. So what if it has a pancake flat frequency response when that frequency response is going to get mangled in-room anyway, and likely penalize the sub in some of the very regions where it gives up output.

This sub is basically a not a good choice at all for those seeking the so-called 'mid bass slam'. I don't even think its that bad of a subwoofer, but it seems like it was designed for marketing specs rather than to hit it out of the park when you wanted to rock some music or blast a movie. At its price point there are some clearly better choices, in my opinion.
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post #11 of 64 Old 07-13-2012, 08:58 PM
 
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The LFM-1EX is a great deal, especially when on sale. You really can't beat it for bang for the buck quality, and when you own two (like me) you can have better bass than all but a handful of far more expensive subs. Enjoy!
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post #12 of 64 Old 07-13-2012, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

The PB12 does play exceptionally cleanly, but it sacrifices far too much SPL for what is gained. In Ricci's data bass, the PB12 scores the worst of all subs measured in output at 63 hz, one of the most crucial frequencies regions. Even the BIC PL200 beats it, and the heavily derided Cadence CSX15 clobbers it there.
What's ironic is how hard the Cadence got slagged here after the measurements were released versus how much praise the PB12 received- yes, the Cadence has poor deep bass performance, but in the frequencies that get a whole lot more real world use, the cadence doesn't do so badly. The PB12, on the other hand, ticks a bunch of performance metric check boxes and technology buzzwords (digital amplifier!) that, in reality, are not that great of a benefit to the end user. So what if it has less distortion when the distortion it has less of is second harmonic order distortion which is barely audible, and when it is heard, is actually preferred by most listeners anyway as 'warmth'. So what if it has a pancake flat frequency response when that frequency response is going to get mangled in-room anyway, and likely penalize the sub in some of the very regions where it gives up output.
This sub is basically a not a good choice at all for those seeking the so-called 'mid bass slam'. I don't even think its that bad of a subwoofer, but it seems like it was designed for marketing specs rather than to hit it out of the park when you wanted to rock some music or blast a movie. At its price point there are some clearly better choices, in my opinion.

all I can say is I disagree.

I think it's refreshing that SVS chose to design their sub with accuracy and low distortion in mind. I prefer my transducers to be as accurate as possible in their baseline performance, and I don't like artificial warmth (distortion is distortion).The less corrections my AVR has to make and less bass traps I need to get flat in-room response, the better. I would rather poke my eyes out than to have to listen to and integrate some of those other cheap "higher output @63Hz" subs into my room. If you added a second sub to even out the bass, you are even further ahead if you start off with a good flat response in the first place.

Critizing them because they use a digital amplifer? A well designed digital amp is more tunable, runs cooler, more power efficient, more reliable. If anything, they offer a 5 year warranty. Isn't that a benefit to the end user? Or is a longer warranty another marketing gimmick?

I already said the Outlaw is better output per dollar, but you almost seem to have a beef with SVS in saying it was made for marketing purposes. I think it's just a matter of them choosing to make sure their sub was accurate and reliable.

I think SVS designed the sub for me because that's how I'd want my sub to perform if I were designing it for myself.

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post #13 of 64 Old 07-13-2012, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

The PB12 does play exceptionally cleanly, but it sacrifices far too much SPL for what is gained. In Ricci's data bass, the PB12 scores the worst of all subs measured in output at 63 hz, one of the most crucial frequencies regions. Even the BIC PL200 beats it, and the heavily derided Cadence CSX15 clobbers it there.
What's ironic is how hard the Cadence got slagged here after the measurements were released versus how much praise the PB12 received- yes, the Cadence has poor deep bass performance, but in the frequencies that get a whole lot more real world use, the cadence doesn't do so badly.

You are not making sense to me. In the past, you have recommended the VTF-3 over the Outlaw EX because the VTF-3 has a fairly flat response (pointing to Ilkka's measurements as evidence of this), even though this would likely leave it with less output where the EX is peaky--at 50hz and above. In fact, the VTF-3 may not have any more output than the PB12 in that range.

(Meanwhile, the Cadence deserved to get slagged. For a budget 15" sub, the PA-150 does a much better job at what the Cadence tries to do, and does so for less money.)
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A well designed digital amp is more tunable, runs cooler, more power efficient, more reliable.

I think SVS is ahead of the curve by using digital amps. I noticed this year that the car audio market is moving heavily toward digital amps, and wouldn't be surprised to see digital amps dominate their market within the next few years. Better power efficiency is plenty of reason to do so, and I hope we soon see digital amps in the home audio market reach parity with analog amps in price/performance (if they have not done so already).

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post #14 of 64 Old 07-14-2012, 12:15 AM
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In the past, you have recommended the VTF-3 over the Outlaw EX because the VTF-3 has a fairly flat response (pointing to Ilkka's measurements as evidence of this), even though this would likely leave it with less output where the EX is peaky--at 50hz and above. In fact, the VTF-3 may not have any more output than the PB12 in that range.
(Meanwhile, the Cadence deserved to get slagged. For a budget 15" sub, the PA-150 does a much better job at what the Cadence tries to do, and does so for less money.)
I think SVS is ahead of the curve by using digital amps. I noticed this year that the car audio market is moving heavily toward digital amps, and wouldn't be surprised to see digital amps dominate their market within the next few years. Better power efficiency is plenty of reason to do so, and I hope we soon see digital amps in the home audio market reach parity with analog amps in price/performance (if they have not done so already).

Everything being equal, of course you would want a flat frequency response over a rough one. If I used Ilkka's measurements of the VTF3 as evidence of a flatter FR over the LFM, I think I would have qualified that as speculation or a guess, as Ilkka's meaurements are obviously smoothed over to a greater degree than Ricci's. And there are also Audioholic's measurements. Also, the MK3 had alterations done during its run to gain a flatter FR which I don't think the LFMs' ever did, and both Ilkka and Audioholics were using an older version of the MK3 (although I don't know if that exact version is pre or post FR tweaking). The thing is, even the Outlaw has a relatively flat FR, +/- 3 db from 18 hz up. The only way you would hear the difference is if you were listening really closely during a frequency sweep.

As for digital amps, I'm sure that is a improvement over analogue amps, and I am not knocking the technology itself. I am saying who cares what type of amp a subwoofer uses if the end result is such limited performance. It is merely a means to an end, and not an end unto itself.
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post #15 of 64 Old 07-14-2012, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by warpdrive View Post

all I can say is I disagree.
I think it's refreshing that SVS chose to design their sub with accuracy and low distortion in mind. I prefer my transducers to be as accurate as possible in their baseline performance, and I don't like artificial warmth (distortion is distortion).The less corrections my AVR has to make and less bass traps I need to get flat in-room response, the better. I would rather poke my eyes out than to have to listen to and integrate some of those other cheap "higher output @63Hz" subs into my room. If you added a second sub to even out the bass, you are even further ahead if you start off with a good flat response in the first place.
Critizing them because they use a digital amplifer? A well designed digital amp is more tunable, runs cooler, more power efficient, more reliable. If anything, they offer a 5 year warranty. Isn't that a benefit to the end user? Or is a longer warranty another marketing gimmick?
I already said the Outlaw is better output per dollar, but you almost seem to have a beef with SVS in saying it was made for marketing purposes. I think it's just a matter of them choosing to make sure their sub was accurate and reliable.
I think SVS designed the sub for me because that's how I'd want my sub to perform if I were designing it for myself.

I don't have a beef with SVS, and if I had to choose between the Cadence and the PB12, I'll take the PB12 (thank god I don't have to make that choice), but I do think the fawning over the PB12 is unwarranted when you look at the compromises it is making in order to achieve these performance goals. For its price, it is simply deficient in the frequencies that are most commonly handled by subwoofers.
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post #16 of 64 Old 07-14-2012, 03:23 AM
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post #17 of 64 Old 07-14-2012, 05:24 AM
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SVS killed ShadyJ's whole family.
it's weird world that a high performance sub that performs excellently in the areas of accuracy and still has enough output to fill a medium to large room with clean sound that hit reference level would ever be slagged as being a marketing excercise.

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post #18 of 64 Old 07-14-2012, 05:35 AM
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I don't have a beef with SVS, and if I had to choose between the Cadence and the PB12, I'll take the PB12 (thank god I don't have to make that choice), but I do think the fawning over the PB12 is unwarranted when you look at the compromises it is making in order to achieve these performance goals. For its price, it is simply deficient in the frequencies that are most commonly handled by subwoofers.

Any auto sub EQ is going to cut out those peaks the other subs have and maybe try to push the low end they are lacking so the output increase they have in those higher frequencies over the PB12 becomes nill. Not to mention what the room is going to do, which will have a way bigger effect. thats why i would rather have a sub thats naturally flat to start with. that way your only fighting what the room is doing.

Its not that the PB12 doesnt have the capability to have more output in those higher frequencies, its that svs is doing with the DSP what a good EQ should do. I bet if you were able to shape those other subs, pushing the amp to catch up to the PB12 down low, you wold see that bump up higher drop pretty fast.

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post #19 of 64 Old 07-14-2012, 06:34 AM
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Everything being equal, of course you would want a flat frequency response over a rough one. If I used Ilkka's measurements of the VTF3 as evidence of a flatter FR over the LFM, I think I would have qualified that as speculation or a guess, as Ilkka's meaurements are obviously smoothed over to a greater degree than Ricci's. And there are also Audioholic's measurements. Also, the MK3 had alterations done during its run to gain a flatter FR which I don't think the LFMs' ever did, and both Ilkka and Audioholics were using an older version of the MK3 (although I don't know if that exact version is pre or post FR tweaking). The thing is, even the Outlaw has a relatively flat FR, +/- 3 db from 18 hz up. The only way you would hear the difference is if you were listening really closely during a frequency sweep.

OK. So the PB12 is even flatter from 20hz on up. So I don't understand the beef against it. If I compare the compression sweeps, max long term output, and distortion levels for the PB12 vs. the EX in one port open mode (which is what I think most people use), the PB12 outperforms the EX from 20hz to 40hz. It appears it should have equivalent SPL in that range but flatter response and less distortion. However, I will acknowledge that the EX seems to have better SPL from 40hz on up. I just don't see how that's gives the EX a significant edge over the PB12.

And personally I believe these types of conversations about the PB12, EX, and PB12 may be moot. If we could do listening tests of these three subs in half a dozen different rooms (with varying amounts of treatment and room modes) and with different EQ situations and a variety of media, I'd be really surprised if there was a clear winner, and I believe that listener differences/preferences might be the biggest differential factor. And if there was a clear winner, I suspect that we would be surprised by what sub characteristics contributed to that.

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post #20 of 64 Old 07-14-2012, 10:20 AM
 
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OK. So the PB12 is even flatter from 20hz on up. So I don't understand the beef against it. If I compare the compression sweeps, max long term output, and distortion levels for the PB12 vs. the EX in one port open mode (which is what I think most people use), the PB12 outperforms the EX from 20hz to 40hz. It appears it should have equivalent SPL in that range but flatter response and less distortion. However, I will acknowledge that the EX seems to have better SPL from 40hz on up. I just don't see how that's gives the EX a significant edge over the PB12.
And personally I believe these types of conversations about the PB12, EX, and PB12 may be moot. If we could do listening tests of these three subs in half a dozen different rooms (with varying amounts of treatment and room modes) and with different EQ situations and a variety of media, I'd be really surprised if there was a clear winner, and I believe that listener differences/preferences might be the biggest differential factor. And if there was a clear winner, I suspect that we would be surprised by what sub characteristics contributed to that.

The EX has a significant advantage over the PB-12 in extension, over 4db more output at 16 hz! This extension, coupled with the much higher output of the EX from 31.5 hz upward makes it clear that the EX will be the better performer. The small variation between the two subs at 20 hz and 25 hz is so small as to be insignificant.
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At the sale price of $579 shipped for a b-stock LFM-1EX you'd save almost two hundred dollars, a no brainer.
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post #21 of 64 Old 07-14-2012, 12:57 PM
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I would get the SVS, I am replacing mine with either a pair of HSU's VTF-15's or Seatons.
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post #22 of 64 Old 07-14-2012, 06:34 PM
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Any auto sub EQ is going to cut out those peaks the other subs have and maybe try to push the low end they are lacking so the output increase they have in those higher frequencies over the PB12 becomes nill. Not to mention what the room is going to do, which will have a way bigger effect. thats why i would rather have a sub thats naturally flat to start with. that way your only fighting what the room is doing.
Its not that the PB12 doesnt have the capability to have more output in those higher frequencies, its that svs is doing with the DSP what a good EQ should do. I bet if you were able to shape those other subs, pushing the amp to catch up to the PB12 down low, you wold see that bump up higher drop pretty fast.

Most sub EQs will shave off the peaks, however that doesn't mean the subs will be somehow bereft of their headroom. When the volume is turned up high enough, the sub will be forced to give all it can. In the case of the Outlaw subs, that would be a lot more than the PB12, so an output advantage in any region most definitely wouldn't be nill. A totally flat frequency response is good, but against a sub that simply has more output across the entire range, it would have no advantage after equalization.
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post #23 of 64 Old 07-14-2012, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

OK. So the PB12 is even flatter from 20hz on up. So I don't understand the beef against it. If I compare the compression sweeps, max long term output, and distortion levels for the PB12 vs. the EX in one port open mode (which is what I think most people use), the PB12 outperforms the EX from 20hz to 40hz. It appears it should have equivalent SPL in that range but flatter response and less distortion. However, I will acknowledge that the EX seems to have better SPL from 40hz on up. I just don't see how that's gives the EX a significant edge over the PB12.
And personally I believe these types of conversations about the PB12, EX, and PB12 may be moot. If we could do listening tests of these three subs in half a dozen different rooms (with varying amounts of treatment and room modes) and with different EQ situations and a variety of media, I'd be really surprised if there was a clear winner, and I believe that listener differences/preferences might be the biggest differential factor. And if there was a clear winner, I suspect that we would be surprised by what sub characteristics contributed to that.

I don't quite understand what you are saying. When you compare the data points of the PB12 against the LFM-1 EX, the only point at which the PB12 outperforms the LFM is at 20 hz (by a single decibel). If you are talking about distortion levels, that is another story- a story I would argue is irrelevant if whatever distortion is being measured is inaudible.

As far as listening tests go, I agree there might not be a clear winner, well, at least until you started turning the volume up. When you start hearing the more powerful sub clearing hurdles that the other one is compressing on, you will know which one you would rather have.
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post #24 of 64 Old 07-14-2012, 09:57 PM
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Am I correct in saying that the spl at the listening position is very dependent on the room size? So, it would see to me that the Outlaw would do better in a bigger room, but in a room that the PB12 could pressurize, ie where you don't need the extra headroom, that would be the choice based on the other factors already discussed (flat response, better warranty, Sledge amp, etc.). Honestly, I agree that in most listening situations, one is unlikely to notice the difference.

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post #25 of 64 Old 07-15-2012, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewHTbuyer View Post

Am I correct in saying that the spl at the listening position is very dependent on the room size? So, it would see to me that the Outlaw would do better in a bigger room, but in a room that the PB12 could pressurize, ie where you don't need the extra headroom, that would be the choice based on the other factors already discussed (flat response, better warranty, Sledge amp, etc.). Honestly, I agree that in most listening situations, one is unlikely to notice the difference.

exactly. If output per $ isn't a priority, then the SVS may be a better choice. People here are overly obsessed with CEA max output as the sole criteria to determine a sub's worthiness whereas the SVS can already hit reference levels in a medium to large room. And do it with less distortion, accuracy, and better warranty too.

As I said, you can always add output by doubling or tripling your subs, but adding extra subs doesn't add accuracy to the baseline performance of the sub.

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post #26 of 64 Old 07-15-2012, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewHTbuyer View Post

Am I correct in saying that the spl at the listening position is very dependent on the room size? So, it would see to me that the Outlaw would do better in a bigger room, but in a room that the PB12 could pressurize, ie where you don't need the extra headroom, that would be the choice based on the other factors already discussed (flat response, better warranty, Sledge amp, etc.). Honestly, I agree that in most listening situations, one is unlikely to notice the difference.

That's my question as well. I have a 3,000 cubic foot room that I was planning on getting two PB12-NSD for later this year. I understand the PB12-NSD has conservative limiting in place, but this discussion has made me wonder if I will be missing out on headroom I'd like to have due to this limiting.

The Powersound subs appear to have good measurements at a great price and I will be watching for the reviews that come out. They are offering a 5 year warranty on everything like SVS, so at least the warranty is there in case of growing pains.
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post #27 of 64 Old 07-15-2012, 02:46 PM
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^^^^^^
I have 2 PB12s in a 3200ish cubic foot room and it doesn't leave me wanting more.
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post #28 of 64 Old 07-15-2012, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

I don't quite understand what you are saying. When you compare the data points of the PB12 against the LFM-1 EX, the only point at which the PB12 outperforms the LFM is at 20 hz (by a single decibel). If you are talking about distortion levels, that is another story- a story I would argue is irrelevant if whatever distortion is being measured is inaudible.

Sorry. I should have been clearer. I was comparing the maximum long term output graphs, short term burst measurements, and long term compression graphs all together and thinking about distortion--I'm not looking at just burst--where in a 20hz to 40hz range, seems like the PB12 has the edge in output. The EX, above that.

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post #29 of 64 Old 07-15-2012, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by warpdrive View Post

People here are overly obsessed with CEA max output as the sole criteria to determine a sub's worthiness whereas the SVS can already hit reference levels in a medium to large room

Lol, it is not doing 115 db in a medium to large room, unless your listening position is right next to the woofer! You won't be getting a 6 db gain across the entire bass frequency range, not even close, and you will likely be faced with some serious dips. Whoever is measuring that must be using the same SPL meter that madboynutter is using.
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post #30 of 64 Old 07-15-2012, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Sorry. I should have been clearer. I was comparing the maximum long term output graphs, short term burst measurements, and long term compression graphs all together and thinking about distortion--I'm not looking at just burst--where in a 20hz to 40hz range, seems like the PB12 has the edge in output. The EX, above that.

I see what you mean now, but that is looking at the data from a awfully particular angle. I would also argue that advantage comes into play below 31.5 hz, not 40, at least from comparing both the maximum long term output chart and the long term output compression charts. And that would only matter slightly more if you were listening to something with a sustained deep tone like perhaps a massive pipe organ note. And even then, it's only a matter of a couple db. And only in maximum extension mode at that. Maximum output mode takes away even that slight advantage. Burst measurements matter more for those those watching movies, and not much music has any sustained notes below 40 hz let alone 31.5 hz. To put it another way, the circumstances where that would be an actual advantage are so specific they would rarely ever occur, and when they did it would be close to an inaudible difference. When we are talking about the advantages the LFM have over the PB12, it is a very different story; the advantages the LFM hold over the PB12 are tangible and easily appreciable in real world use.
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