SVS PB12-NSD or Power Sound Audio XV15? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 11-10-2012, 01:42 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm currently looking to upgrade from my Bic Acoustech H100 and have so far narrowed down my choices to either the SVS PB12-NSD or the Power Sound Audio XV15, though I'm open to other suggestions.

My theater room is in a sealed rectangular area that is approximately 2000 cubic feet in size. Usage is 80% tv/movies and 20% music. Max budget is $800 shipped.

After some research and a lot of forum lurking, I'm mostly leaning towards the PB12-NSD at this point - it seems like a well established and proven subwoofer. OTOH, I keep having this nagging doubt that the recently released XV15 may be a better performing unit for the price, but the lack of reviews is making it a difficult decision for me.

In any case, my main focus is on audio quality and accurate bass - I want to be able to hear (and feel!) details that just aren't possible with my current budget subwoofer.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated, thanks!
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post #2 of 25 Old 11-10-2012, 03:24 AM
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I am pretty sure the XV15 will get louder, but it looks like it is tuned a bit higher. I would go for the XV15 between those two, the PB12 might have slightly more deep bass but it will surely have much less mid bass. You might also look at the Hsu VTF3 mk4, it will go deeper than either, but with its adjustable Q and variable tuning, you can exchange extension for accuracy on the fly. I'm guessing its output will be above that of the PB12 but likely below the XV15, at least for mid bass and upper bass. There is no doubt it can have stronger deep bass, depending on where you choose to tune it.
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post #3 of 25 Old 11-10-2012, 05:59 AM
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It may be worth your while to wait for the inevitable Josh Ricci review at Audioholics. It should be coming soon.

Once again, I am sorry to take a sledgehammer to so small and fragile a nut. -- Richard Dawkins, The Greatest Show On Earth
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post #4 of 25 Old 11-10-2012, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ely51um View Post

I'm currently looking to upgrade from my Bic Acoustech H100 and have so far narrowed down my choices to either the SVS PB12-NSD or the Power Sound Audio XV15, though I'm open to other suggestions.
My theater room is in a sealed rectangular area that is approximately 2000 cubic feet in size. Usage is 80% tv/movies and 20% music. Max budget is $800 shipped.
After some research and a lot of forum lurking, I'm mostly leaning towards the PB12-NSD at this point - it seems like a well established and proven subwoofer. OTOH, I keep having this nagging doubt that the recently released XV15 may be a better performing unit for the price, but the lack of reviews is making it a difficult decision for me.
In any case, my main focus is on audio quality and accurate bass - I want to be able to hear (and feel!) details that just aren't possible with my current budget subwoofer.
Any thoughts would be much appreciated, thanks!

I was in a very similar situation to you. I have been looking for a new sub for a while and was originally thinking HSU, but a little bit out of my price range. I had been looking a lot over the last month and was set on a SVS-PB12, and then I saw a thread on Power Sound Audio. No fault to SVS, but I was just about to order one of their subs, when I realized I was getting charged an extra $45 in taxes because I live in Michigan. That put the PB12, over $800.00. At about the same, Power Sound Audio came out with some B speakers for 10% off (base plate broke off to the original recipient). I went ahead and pulled the trigger, and essentially got the sub for $100 cheaper than a new SVS PB12. I believe I would have been happy either way, but I am always looking for a good deal and feel like I got it. The sound is great from the XV-15. Like many others that have upgraded, I can hear different lows that I have never experienced before. I will state that at first I was a little disappointed in the chest thumping that all my fellow XV-15 owners were talking about. I just wasn't getting it. The great thing is the customer service is phenomenal and after about 10 e-mails back and forth ranging from room size, specs, placement, etc...all I needed to do was turn the gain up a centimeter, and boom, I got the chest pounding I was looking for. I cannot comment enough on the customer service. Can you tell me how many other owner's of companies e-mail you at 2:00 o'clock a.m.? Those who want your business! Either way, I believe you will be making a great choice. I felt I was getting a little more bang for the buck going for the 15 inch sub, for $100 less. Obviously the reviews on SVS are outstanding so you can't go wrong that route either. I took a leap of faith and am happy I did! I will say, it is a monster in size...so make sure you understand the size first!
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post #5 of 25 Old 11-10-2012, 11:07 AM
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Good to hear about your positive experience with PSA. I have the same thoughts about that company and can give them nothing but praise with their CS. IMHO, I'd say their CS is currently a step ahead of SVS and I am a big fan of SVS.

I'm torn on what to do at this point myself. I have dual SB12's that I can "trade in" under SVS's policy. However, I'm looking at the SB13's and their prices seem high on this model; and they offered me no dual discount. Which is something that obviously changed with SVS, recently. I bought several subs in the past, or under the older regime, and always received dual discounts. I think the sealed PSA's are at the TOP of my list at the moment...
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post #6 of 25 Old 11-10-2012, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

I would go for the XV15 between those two, the PB12 might have slightly more deep bass but it will surely have much less mid bass.

My mind is telling me that the PB12 is a safe bet, but my gut wants to go with the XV15! I think I would appreciate the difference especially if the XV15 is likely to have more punch / impact when it comes to the movie watching experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

You might also look at the Hsu VTF3 mk4, it will go deeper than either, but with its adjustable Q and variable tuning, you can exchange extension for accuracy on the fly.

I had considered the Hsu model, but I don't really see myself taking advantage of its adjustable settings, nor do I want to get myself into the mindset of doubting whether or not I have everything configured exactly to my liking - but that's not really a fault of the subwoofer itself, its more because I have some slight OCD and I want to save myself hours of constantly trying to tweak the settings tongue.gif

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Originally Posted by SaviorMachine View Post

It may be worth your while to wait for the inevitable Josh Ricci review at Audioholics. It should be coming soon.

I think that's wise, if for no other reason than to give me some peace of mind to see a third party review of it. I just hope it comes out by the end of the month though, it's getting harder for me to resist pulling the trigger on something the more I read about subwoofers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by walke108 View Post

I had been looking a lot over the last month and was set on a SVS-PB12, and then I saw a thread on Power Sound Audio.

Hah, this is exactly what happened to me as well - I was all but set on the SVS-PB12 until I started noticing comments about Power Sound Audio's new products and then suddenly I wasn't quite so sure anymore!

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Originally Posted by walke108 View Post

The sound is great from the XV-15. Like many others that have upgraded, I can hear different lows that I have never experienced before.

Thanks for your impressions of the XV15, so far I've heard nothing but praise from others who've reported back with their experiences. I took the time this morning to read the entire Power Sound Audio thread and I'm beginning to feel more confident that this might be the way to go for me as well, I just need the assurance of an in-depth third party review to help push me over the edge at this point.

I appreciate the helpful responses, thanks guys!
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post #7 of 25 Old 11-10-2012, 12:49 PM
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FWIW: I used to run my 325W RMS, BASH-powered PB12-NSD in my ~3,375 cu.ft. basement HT space. It was a great sub that played loud, hit hard, dug deep and never made any bad sounds. All reports are that the newer PB12 is all that and even more (i.e., tighter / more musical, which was, IMO, the older PB12's shortcoming). I think the PB12 would be a great sub for your HT space.

That being said, the XV15 is very well regarded and by all accounts will provide more output than the PB12 (while, perhaps, trading off a bit of extension). Given that - and the good customer support being offered so far - the XV15's also a solid choice.

So, long story short, just buy one of each. biggrin.gifwink.gif
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post #8 of 25 Old 11-10-2012, 01:09 PM
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I can only comment on the XV15 and I was in the same boat you're in about 2 weeks ago, and did the same thing as walke108. It was the b-stock price that pushed me over the edge to try to PSA instead of HSU or SVS. I've only had it a couple of days and my room is significantly larger than yours (mine is 3400+ and still opens to another room). The thing is great, but again, as I don't have the SVS or HSU to compare it to directly, it's just great compared to what I had before. Customer service has been excellent as well as I did have a couple of questions before and after (emails answered quickly and phone answered on second ring). I don't think you can go wrong and you will likely always wonder if one of the others might sound better in your space. Now I find that I am more dissapointed in the movies and music that have weak bass rather than the sub not being able to reproduce it. The PSA will defintely shake the walls in movies and make you listen to your favorite songs to hear the bass lines all over again. Best of luck.
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post #9 of 25 Old 11-10-2012, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ely51um View Post

I'm currently looking to upgrade from my Bic Acoustech H100 and have so far narrowed down my choices to either the SVS PB12-NSD or the Power Sound Audio XV15, though I'm open to other suggestions.
My theater room is in a sealed rectangular area that is approximately 2000 cubic feet in size. Usage is 80% tv/movies and 20% music. Max budget is $800 shipped.
After some research and a lot of forum lurking, I'm mostly leaning towards the PB12-NSD at this point - it seems like a well established and proven subwoofer. OTOH, I keep having this nagging doubt that the recently released XV15 may be a better performing unit for the price, but the lack of reviews is making it a difficult decision for me.
In any case, my main focus is on audio quality and accurate bass - I want to be able to hear (and feel!) details that just aren't possible with my current budget subwoofer.
Any thoughts would be much appreciated, thanks!

I had an email conversation with Tom Vodhanel (with Powersound but he is also the "V" in SVS.) I asked him about the PC/PB12-NSD and the XV15, I was going to use them together. These are his exact words.
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Tom 
The tuning points on the PB12nsd and the XV15 are relatively close which is important so you don't have any big phase differences down low. Also, their output capabilities are not substantially different...although the Xv15 does have the advantage. Another advantage for the XV15 will be its extension. While the PB12nsd uses a VERY sharp filter around 20hz, the XV15 uses a much more shallow roll off starting around 30hz. There are 2 main benefits to this. First, you'll see a bit more extension from the XV15. It won't manage single digits in your room size but 14-16hz isn't out of the question. The second benefit is sound quality. The shallower slope can lead to a cleaner waterfall chart and less ringing/decay.

I know the ultimate goal is to combine the two subs but before you do I would try comparing them with some of your favorite bassy music. Place them close to one another, be sure the phase is optimized on both...and get the output levels even. Then switch from sub A to sub B a few times and see what you think..smile.gif

Now,regarding your concern about one side of the room getting stronger bass....I would not worry about that too much. If the subwoofer capabilities were significantly different it could be an issue. But here, I'd say the XV15 will have a SLIGHT edge in maximum output capabilities <35hz....growing to a 2-4dB edge from 40-100hz. Remember though, this output advantage will only manifest itself once the PB12nsd reaches maximum output limits. At that point the XV15 will still have a bit more to offer. If you placed one sub in each front corner of this room....and they were within say....4 meters(?) of the key seats I think combined you would be in the 115-118dB range when the PB12nsd runs out of steam. At those levels, a few dB more output from one sub or the other would be VERY tough to localize.

All in all I think adding a XV15 here would give you very audible benefits---even at moderate output levels.
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Tom 
No problem if you want to repeat any of my email...I think it is pretty well known the XV15 performs more like the PC+ series..smile.gif In fact I just got an email from a new XV15 owner who has a 20-39PC+. He considers the XV15 to be superior.

If ANYONE would know which is the better sub, Tom would be that person... since he made them both.

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post #10 of 25 Old 11-11-2012, 07:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post

So, long story short, just buy one of each. biggrin.gifwink.gif

That's probably the only way I'd ever be 100% sure if I made the right decision or not. tongue.gif

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Originally Posted by emesnik View Post

I can only comment on the XV15 and I was in the same boat you're in about 2 weeks ago, and did the same thing as walke108. It was the b-stock price that pushed me over the edge to try to PSA instead of HSU or SVS.

Yeah, I think if I were to get an opportunity on an acceptable B stock unit then it would probably be a no-brainer at this point, and that's awesome that you guys were able able to score those and even better that you're fully enjoying them!

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Originally Posted by wichitadisciple View Post

I had an email conversation with Tom Vodhanel (with Powersound but he is also the "V" in SVS.) I asked him about the PC/PB12-NSD and the XV15, I was going to use them together.

Thanks for the quoted e-mail, that's really insightful and helps to give me a better idea of how the XV15's capabilities measure up. Have you decided what you're going to do in regards to using / comparing both subwoofers? I think there's a few of us who would be very interested to know someone's first hand experience with both models.
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post #11 of 25 Old 11-11-2012, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Ely51um View Post

Have you decided what you're going to do in regards to using / comparing both subwoofers? I think there's a few of us who would be very interested to know someone's first hand experience with both models.

I currently still have the SVS PC12-NSD and instead of getting the XV15, I ended up getting an SVS PC-Ultra that was made in 2007.... the main reason was cosmetic, I chose to stick with two cylindrical subs instead of 1 cylinder and 1 box.

Tom told me that the XV15 is very similar to the current PC/PB12-Plus
I called SVS and they told me that the PC-Ultra was very similar to the current PC/PB12-Plus
So given the fact that I was told the 2 subs I was looking at were comparable to the PC/PB12+... it was my understanding that the performance of the XV15 and PC-Ultra would be very close.

All I can tell you is that my PC-Ultra kills the NSD..... so that leads me to believe that the XV15 would kill the NSD also.

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post #12 of 25 Old 11-11-2012, 08:52 AM
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So mark me down as another who was in this exact same situation recently. I ended up scoring one of the b-stock XV15's and could not be any happier.

The customer service from PSA was fantastic - emails were answered promptly and you felt like you were talking to someone you have known for a while.

After getting it all setup I was blown away by the sound. I can't wait to really sit down and enjoy some bass heavy movies when I get home from vacation.

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post #13 of 25 Old 11-11-2012, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by TheLaw612 View Post

So mark me down as another who was in this exact same situation recently. I ended up scoring one of the b-stock XV15's and could not be any happier.
The customer service from PSA was fantastic - emails were answered promptly and you felt like you were talking to someone you have known for a while.
After getting it all setup I was blown away by the sound. I can't wait to really sit down and enjoy some bass heavy movies when I get home from vacation.

Same here. tom is a great person to work with. I also had many e-mails go back and forth.
here's my two cents. I was looking at the HSU VTF3 my self for HT & music. I ran across articles of the PSA15. after much research comparing the two, I decided to go with the PSA15 ported sub. my deciding factors were the basch 500 watt RMS amp over the HSU smaller 350 W Rms. yes the HSU has a higher short term power of 1400w, but I'm of the old school belief that RMS power is a better standard than total peak power. The psa has no delivery charge. So both amps price out the same. From what I had read, I fill that once some comparisons come out on this sub it will come out tops in it's price range. so I decided to get the PSA15V. I can't give you any comparisons, none of my friends have any thing to compare this to. I will say that I'm happy with the performance of this sub. My sytem composes of an emotiva xp3, Wharfedale 10.1 speakers and a 12" ported non powered sub. I have a large open floor plan with 15' vaulted ceilings. I have not had a chance to test this sub with a THX movie yet, but the indications for this sub are good.

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post #14 of 25 Old 11-11-2012, 03:34 PM
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I don't know if this will help anyone, but here is a review of the PSA XS15.

http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/subwoofer-reviews/63016-power-sound-audio-xs15-review.html#axzz2BtBiqJ00
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post #15 of 25 Old 11-18-2012, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for the suggestions and feedback, it's really helped me through my decision process.

After reading the recently released XV15 review on audioholics, I now feel confident enough go forward with purchasing one for myself - I feel that this will give me the best performance for my money considering the $800 budget I had to work with.
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post #16 of 25 Old 11-19-2012, 06:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cvetan1 View Post

Good to hear about your positive experience with PSA. I have the same thoughts about that company and can give them nothing but praise with their CS. IMHO, I'd say their CS is currently a step ahead of SVS and I am a big fan of SVS.
I'm torn on what to do at this point myself. I have dual SB12's that I can "trade in" under SVS's policy. However, I'm looking at the SB13's and their prices seem high on this model; and they offered me no dual discount. Which is something that obviously changed with SVS, recently. I bought several subs in the past, or under the older regime, and always received dual discounts. I think the sealed PSA's are at the TOP of my list at the moment...

Hi Cvetan1 -

We offer a 5% discount on all dual subwoofer packages - the dual SB12-NSD package is an even larger discount (about 12%). The SB13-Ultra is currently $1499 ($100 off the regular price) during a brief outage, and we'll still honor the 5% discount for duals, even at $1499. Thanks.

Ed Mullen
Director - Technology and Customer Relations
SVS

"What We Do In Life, Echoes In Eternity"

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post #17 of 25 Old 02-02-2014, 11:17 AM
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Old thread, but I'm comparing these two myself.

Dual PB12-NSD $1299usd ($1445.40cdn) + $140cdn shipping + 12% tax delivered to my door from sonicboomaudio.com

or

Dual XV-15s $1518.10 ($1689.19cdn) delivered to US/CDN border address + 3.5hr drive each way ($90 in gas roughly) + 12% tax bringing them back into Canada.
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post #18 of 25 Old 02-04-2014, 08:21 AM
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Old thread, but I'm comparing these two myself.

Dual PB12-NSD $1299usd ($1445.40cdn) + $140cdn shipping + 12% tax delivered to my door from sonicboomaudio.com

or

Dual XV-15s $1518.10 ($1689.19cdn) delivered to US/CDN border address + 3.5hr drive each way ($90 in gas roughly) + 12% tax bringing them back into Canada.
I suggest going to the PSA web page and emailing Jim from PSA. he is a down to earth guy who will lead you to the right choice. ( not necessary his subs by the way.) Jim will ask you questions such as how big is your room, so that you can get the right size of sub. I was amazed by his personal service before I bought my XV15. I can not comment on the PB12-NSD as I have never heard them. I can tell you that I have watched a few DVD's that had bass so low that the room was shaking before you could hear the rumble and that's with one sub in a fairly large room 30x25 with cathedral celling's. I can only imagine what two XV15's would do in a home theater. I have heard that other subs do better with music. I'm ok with the XV15 for music... and totally blown away with it's performance in HT. IMHO Best of luck!!

Check and see if PSA has any "open box" subs. mine had a small blemish on the paint, "hard to find at more than one foot in distance" but I was abel to get a discount because of it!! ask jim if he has any in stock. and if you drive to pick them up, take a truck or van. these subs are BIG.

Bruce

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post #19 of 25 Old 02-04-2014, 08:35 AM
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I can comment on a single svs pb12 vs a single xv15

the XV15 is night and day better than the pb12..so I can only assume duals would be the same.

It digs much deeper and goes much louder. I was blown away in the difference. I now know why it has been measured as closer to the pb12+ in output.

if the extra coin is not an issue...I would recommend the xv15's

Panasonic 65VT30 | Denon x4000 | Emotiva XPA-5 | Emotiva XSP-1 | Emotiva DC-1 | PSB imagine B's |PSB image c5 | PSB B4's | DUAL PSA XS30 | OPPO 103 | minidsp
my HT gallery: http://www.blu-ray.com/community/gallery.php?u=240707

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post #20 of 25 Old 02-04-2014, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZOOM ZOOM View Post

I suggest going to the PSA web page and emailing Jim from PSA. he is a down to earth guy who will lead you to the right choice. ( not necessary his subs by the way.) Jim will ask you questions such as how big is your room, so that you can get the right size of sub. I was amazed by his personal service before I bought my XV15. I can not comment on the PB12-NSD as I have never heard them. I can tell you that I have watched a few DVD's that had bass so low that the room was shaking before you could hear the rumble and that's with one sub in a fairly large room 30x25 with cathedral celling's. I can only imagine what two XV15's would do in a home theater. I have heard that other subs do better with music. I'm ok with the XV15 for music... and totally blown away with it's performance in HT. IMHO Best of luck!!

Check and see if PSA has any "open box" subs. mine had a small blemish on the paint, "hard to find at more than one foot in distance" but I was abel to get a discount because of it!! ask jim if he has any in stock. and if you drive to pick them up, take a truck or van. these subs are BIG.

Bruce

Thanks. I actually already own an XS30. I was in contact with Tom before purchasing and he recommended one or two XV-15s, but because I already owned a different 15" sealed sub, I decided to try the XS30.
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I can comment on a single svs pb12 vs a single xv15

the XV15 is night and day better than the pb12..so I can only assume duals would be the same.

It digs much deeper and goes much louder. I was blown away in the difference. I now know why it has been measured as closer to the pb12+ in output.

if the extra coin is not an issue...I would recommend the xv15's
Thanks. I can afford the XV-15s but just wondering if they are "worth it". The PB-12NSDs would be cheaper and more convenient.
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post #21 of 25 Old 02-14-2014, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by brendelac View Post

Thanks. I actually already own an XS30. I was in contact with Tom before purchasing and he recommended one or two XV-15s, but because I already owned a different 15" sealed sub, I decided to try the XS30.
Thanks. I can afford the XV-15s but just wondering if they are "worth it". The PB-12NSDs would be cheaper and more convenient.

Just my opinion- I never had the svs PB-12, however I upgraded from a klipsch rw12d to the psa-xv15 five months ago. The psa-xv15 is a wonderful sub. I agree with other reviewers that the gain adjustment needs to be set at 2 or 3 o'clock depending on what you are playing. It rocks my apartment living room which is 600sq ft.

My Budget system:
Front: Polk LSI15
Center: Polk LSIC
Sub: PSA XV15
Surround: Polk LSI 7
AVR: Pioneer SC-1522
Amplifier: Parasound HCA 1200 ii
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post #22 of 25 Old 02-14-2014, 08:21 AM
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Just my opinion- I never had the svs PB-12, however I upgraded from a klipsch rw12d to the psa-xv15 five months ago. The psa-xv15 is a wonderful sub. I agree with other reviewers that the gain adjustment needs to be set at 2 or 3 o'clock depending on what you are playing. It rocks my apartment living room which is 600sq ft.

What gain setting should be used is dependent on room size, room acoustics, gain settings your receiver places on the other speakers, and placement in relation to the listening position. One CANNOT use someone else's gain settings that you read on an Internet forum.

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post #23 of 25 Old 02-14-2014, 08:30 AM
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What gain setting should be used is dependent on room size, room acoustics, gain settings your receiver places on the other speakers, and placement in relation to the listening position. One CANNOT use someone else's gain settings that you read on an Internet forum.

Just sayin 99% of all PSA owners have thier gain set between 1-3:00(per instruction manual), however yes you make some good points. smile.gif
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post #24 of 25 Old 02-14-2014, 08:38 AM
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Just sayin 99% of all PSA owners have thier gain set between 1-3:00(per instruction manual), however yes you make some good points. smile.gif

I think it's probably true that on some sub amplifiers, the gain sensitivity results in a certain range being used by many people. I just wanted to dispel the belief that gain settings can be determined by what other people have posted on the Internet. You know how that kind of stuff ends up getting turned into gospel. LOL

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post #25 of 25 Old 02-14-2014, 08:39 AM
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I think it's probably true that on some sub amplifiers, the gain sensitivity results in a certain range being used by many people. I just wanted to dispel the belief that gain settings can be determined by what other people have posted on the Internet. You know how that kind of stuff ends up getting turned into gospel. LOL

Oh yea I agree Cel!!! Thats why I said you make some good points. smile.gif
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