Initial review of SB-1000 and props to the guys at SVS
I recently put together a new system with a Marantz 7010, and Martin Logan Motion 20s, 30 and 2's. I posted that review on page 18 of the Martin Logan Owners Thread -- cant link it here because I am too new to the site. I've had the SB-1000 going on three weeks now. A sub was the last piece of the puzzle, and you guys on AVS were the reason I went for the brand. Please keep up the great reviews and gear discussions.
I have a smaller room space, that really isn't square. Attaching pictures. From the front wall to the rear wall is 13’ feet, with primary sound area width at 10’. But the room also opens up to a hallway to the left of the fronts, and into a bigger living area on the right. For my room size, this guy fits great, both in form factor [its a really small box for a 12in] and for its frequency range capabilities.
I wanted a better sub than my old 7in ported Boston Acoustics which just didn't keep up with the new speakers and receiver. But, I have to be very neighbor conscious in the evening for the kids downstairs, so I wanted the ability to crank, but also the ability to hear the lows well without pissing off the neighborhood. I initially ordered the PB-1000, but before it shipped, I emailed the guys at SVS, told them my concerns, and they agreed that the SB-1000 would probably be better for my overall wants.
Unfortunately the PB hit shipping before they could pull it, but Darren [insanely helpful and responsive] said don't worry about return shipping costs, and got the SB-1000 on order for me and sent a Fed-Ex return shipping label. They did not have to do that but they did.
I listen to a lot of music, and I watch a lot of movies.
Music: the SB really is flexible and a great compliment to different styles of music. You hear the kicks on modern hiphop, R&B, EDM, -- very tight low filling bass, and songs like Outkast, The Way You Move, it feels like you can walk in the lows. Live concert recordings, spatially it really fills that low feeling you get while at shows. Conversely, with a lot of classic and modern rock, Zeppelin, Men at Work, Hall and Oats, Tool, Foo Fighters, 311, Rush, it is a really tight sub that sits right where it should. It is not boomy, but a crisp accurate sounding sub for music. Kick drums sound like kick drums.
Movies: I am sure that everyone watches those movies that have the low lows to see how their new subs hold up. I did exactly the same. Godzilla, Master and Commander, Tron, Andreas, and pretty much any movie with guns or a tank, and it is great. With this room size, the low rumbles are awesome. I have the sub positioned under the TV, pointing almost directly at my listening position. It is like a great sound pocket by my couch, but outside of the 10x13 area, the lows are really subdued. Which is perfect. Sounds great in the listening areas, but not shaking the rest of the apartment or pissing off neighbors. Not that it doesn't have the ability to. A little volume adjustment on the sub and it will shake the crap out of the place. The ability to balance a lotta rumble vs. crisp depending when the neighbors were home was pretty important to me.
Customer Service: Ok, most importantly, is that the guys at SVS were more informative and available to discuss this product moreso that about anything I have ever purchased. Again, props to Darren at SVS who was not only helpful, but almost immediately addressed any questions I had regarding optimal setup for the SB-1000. I am attaching part of the thread where we discussed setup, with my questions and their answers.
On the sub-
1) Dial on the sub is at LFE. Any reason to roll the dial to 80 or 120 or somewhere else?
Darren - Nope, just leave it on LFE.
2) I have the volume on the sub at about 10 o’clock when I did calibration – depending on the time of night, ill move it up or down. Any risk to this? Never having it at full. In that area around 10 o’clock it sounds good. I guess I am asking, is it ok to move the dial off calibration. [thinking it is]. Its never felt hot at a 1-2 O’clock setting.
Darren - No risk in moving it up or down for more/less bass. You can achieve this by adjusting the sub's channel level in the AVR as well. Might be a bit quicker to do it in the AVR rather than going to the back of the sub everytime.
3) Audesssy set the sub at -4db after calibration. That the right range?
Darren - Yep, that's perfect.
On the receiver, trying to get the speakers to play nice with the sub.
1) Once I set the speakers to ‘small’ things started working.
Darren - Yes, Small is what you want for any size speakers. This is going to ensure the sub gets content below the capability of the speakers.
2) The receiver set the sub crossover at 120Hz. Should I take it to 80Hz? I know the SB has a big range. Just curious.
Darren - 120Hz is where you want it.
3) The receiver initially set the fronts and center to 40Hz when I moved them to ‘small’. I moved the center to 80Hz, and the fronts to 60Hz. Should I bump the fronts up to 80Hz? This question I know is loaded, it sounds good right now, just trying to figure out best. The fronts have a 42Hz bottom.
Darren - At at low end extension of 42Hz, you definitely want to select the next highest option in the AVR, being 60Hz. So that is all fine. [note I recently moved the fronts to 80hz]
4) LFE vs. LFE+Main in the receiver setting: right now I have it on LFE. Good or bad to set it to LFE + Main and sending more sound? Im still playing around with how it actually sounds, and I have no idea.
Darren - You'll want to leave it on LFE only. We rarely use LFE+Main as it sends a duplicate main channel signal to the sub when the mains are set to Large. Tends to get a bit bloated and bottom-heavy, so we leave it off for more detail.
I guess in summary, that first, I love the sub. It really fits well with the new system, and is great for my room size. Second, I feel like I bought the right brand. The guys at SVS, and Darren especially, were quick to answer questions to what I am discovering is a mad complicated process to hear sound optimally.
Thanks for reading.