Originally Posted by braveheart123
I see SubSeries 1 and SubSonic 5i subs in your signature. Can you share your experience about their performance? How do they sound?
No worries mate! Just for fun, I'll have a crack at a little mini-review for my 200th post.
I need to preface my comments with a couple of things. Firstly, these are the first two subs I've ever owned, so I've got nothing to compare them with in my room. Secondly, I've only been "into" this audio hobby (obsession!) for about two and a half years, so I haven't really developed a stellar vocabulary to describe what I hear.
OK, here's a snapshot of the setup:
This is a family living room situation. The room is 3.6m wide X 4.8m long with the standard 8ft ceiling. The room has large openings on two sides the to remainder of the living zone. The 1 is positioned out of frame to the right behind the daybed, in a solid corner. Half the 5i can be seen on the left of the entertainment unit. It is adjacent to a 1.4m wide opening, so in 1/4 space. With both sub gain knobs set to about "8:30" (just below "one"), Audyssey has reported sub trims to the AVR of -6.5dB for the 1 and -4.5dB for the 5i, so there's good headroom. I don't run the subs "hot" at all. All main channel crossovers are set at 80Hz (THX). The main listening position is at 3.75m distance.
I got the 1 in March 2011 and it was soon apparent that this is a fairly articulate and musical sub at moderate volumes in a smallish room. At the time I was running a Denon AVR1911, which with my 87-88dB/W/m speakers, was really starting to sound strained/metallic (gritted teeth!) at a calibrated -15dB master volume, therefore most listening was done below this level. At these volumes, the 1 provided nice, unobtrusive support for music content and even though low end extension is understandably limited - reasonable LFE rumble on movies. Most people would be perfectly happy with this little sub as part of a modest living room 5.1 setup, especially if their priority is musical content.
The Denon was clearly not up to the task so it was flicked in favour of the current Onkyo TX-NR1007 in May 2011. The Onkyo is THX Ultra2+ rated and easily capable of reference level playback in this sized room. But guess what? I was now sub limited. Enter the 5i in short order. I can't comment with authority on the performance of the 5i as an individual sub because I've always run them as a pair. It's addition did make a huge difference in volume capability though and I expect it sounds very similar to the 1. I don't think PSB is in the habit of producing "one note wonders" to impress the general populace in the showroom. As a pair, they're great with musical content in this sized room. I listen to concert Blu-rays at -7dB to -5dB MV (about the limit of my little mains!) and the bass remains clear, composed and locked-in to the room. Right now I'm listening to a couple of newish Daft Punk songs (Lose yourself to Dance; Get Lucky; MP3's via USB) at -7dB MV in stereo (+subs) and there's satisfying bass energy in the room; I can easily pick individual bass notes and the drums and electric bass synth is giving me a nice gentle pat on the chest… but all seeming to come directly from the (inactive) centre speaker area. I don't like subs that draw undue attention to themselves and this pair don't, within the limit of my preferred listening levels.
On movies, the pair produce most of the usual crash, boom, bang that you'd usually expect in action flicks and seem to sail along comfortably at my usual volume of between -10dB & -5dB MV. The exception is some of the "5 star" bass movies - due to their size, they won't reproduce the lowest octave of LFE with any authority. For example, I found the "sonic cannons" scene in The Incredible Hulk and "f... ing Irene" in Blackhawk Down to be a bit underwhelming, simply because these subs won't reproduce the "meat" of the LFE in those scenes. They do well with most loud bass movies in this relatively small room though… crockery in the kitchen cupboards rattle, the front door thumps in it's frame, soot is regularly dislodged in the combustion stove flu and I've even had a framed photo (2m from the 5i) jump it's hook and fall off the wall! I enjoy these subs a lot and at my preferred listening levels, I've never heard them make a "bad" noise, bottom out, clunk or chuff from the ports etc. Pretty damn good performance for the price and size I reckon, particularly if music is your priority.
Edit: few extra words here and there.