Sound&Vision Magazine Tests Five ~$800 Subs Including PSA XV15 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 72 Old 08-15-2013, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Doesn't seem to be on line yet.

NHT B-12d
Paradigm Monitor Sub 10
Power Sound Audio XV 15
SVS PC12-NSD
Velodyne EQ-Max12

This is part of the summary.

"...some of these subs are better buys than others. For raw home theater power, our pick is the Power Sound Audio XV15. If you don't like that model's bulky form factor, you'll lose little or nothing by going with the SVS PC-12NSD. For audiophiles who want precision and finesse and don't care about powerful, ultra-deep bass - or who need a decor friendly subwoofer to preserve domestic peace - our pick is the NHT B-12d".

The article is 5 pages long. I hope someone else sees fit to add 2010 data etc.
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post #2 of 72 Old 08-15-2013, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Power Sound Audio XV 15 CEA 2010 measured 125.5 db in the Low bass, from 40-63Hz, and an excellent 116.2 db in the Ultra-Low bass.

The SVS PB-12 NSD (CEA 2010), measured 118.1 in the Low Bass and an impressive 115.6 db.

The NHT B-12D measured 120.4 in the Low Bass, and 105.9 db in the Ultra Low bass.
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post #3 of 72 Old 08-15-2013, 02:37 PM
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Thanks for posting!

Kind of unfair to compare the musical abilities of the NHT which is a sealed design to SVS and PSA ported designs. The SB12-NSD and XS15 would be a more apples to apples comparison and I would take either over the NHT.
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post #4 of 72 Old 08-15-2013, 02:44 PM
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post #5 of 72 Old 08-16-2013, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnatalli View Post

Thanks for posting!

Kind of unfair to compare the musical abilities of the NHT which is a sealed design to SVS and PSA ported designs. The SB12-NSD and XS15 would be a more apples to apples comparison and I would take either over the NHT.

You are quite welcome!

I agree that it is kind of unfair to compare the musical abilities of the sealed NHT to the ported SVS and PSA designs. I also would prefer an SVS SB-12 NSD or the PSA XS15 to the NHT.
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post #6 of 72 Old 08-17-2013, 08:46 AM
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I got my copy in the mail yesterday and read the entire section. The thing that impressed is what one of the reviewers said about the PSA XV-15. He states " I've spent many hours in $200,000+ custom home theaters packed with four or six or 10 subwoofers, and my experience with the XV-15 was similar to those situations. The bass was nothing less than brutal. When I played the 16-hz low notes from the Organ Symphony, the XV-15 whopped the other subs easily. The whole room pulsated, almost as if some sort of monster had plucked my home off the slab and begun shaking it like a toy. Even when I pushed the volume way up to where the XV-15 hit 115-dB peaks, measured from my listening chair, I couldn't hear a trace of distortion in the opening of Attack of the Clones."
I might need to place an order for two of these things....biggrin.gif

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post #7 of 72 Old 08-17-2013, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by capricorn kid View Post

I got my copy in the mail yesterday and read the entire section. The thing that impressed is what one of the reviewers said about the PSA XV-15. He states " I've spent many hours in $200,000+ custom home theaters packed with four or six or 10 subwoofers, and my experience with the XV-15 was similar to those situations. The bass was nothing less than brutal. When I played the 16-hz low notes from the Organ Symphony, the XV-15 whopped the other subs easily. The whole room pulsated, almost as if some sort of monster had plucked my home off the slab and begun shaking it like a toy. Even when I pushed the volume way up to where the XV-15 hit 115-dB peaks, measured from my listening chair, I couldn't hear a trace of distortion in the opening of Attack of the Clones."
I might need to place an order for two of these things....biggrin.gif

Oh no way...according to a member here, the xv15 has a cheap driver and compresses like crazy with terrible sound quality rolleyes.gif. Also there is no way it can perform at the level of the VTF-15H, but yet the numbers show otherwise wink.gif. However I find it funny in another recent thread that member now states to not trust S&V numbers when in fact that member use to copy and paste S&V numbers like it ws going out of style until recently...hmmm. Also tht member said you can not accurately convert data to make a general comparison. However if you subtract 9db from S&V's 1m peak data, it measures dead on with data-bass
2m rms data.

wait for it....smile.gif
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Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post

However if you subtract 9db from S&V's 1m peak data, it measures dead on with data-bass

2m rms data.

wait for it....smile.gif

So if you cut data-bass from 2m to 1m.............and added 9dB.........

Oh! This is just too confusing. biggrin.gif
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post #9 of 72 Old 08-17-2013, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

So if you cut data-bass from 2m to 1m.............and added 9dB.........

Oh! This is just too confusing. biggrin.gif

from 1m to 2m is (-6dB) or from 2m to 1m is (+6dB)

from peak to rms is (-3dB) or from rms to peak is (+3dB)


"So if you cut data-bass from 2m to 1m.............and added 9dB........." (6dB+3dB = 9dB) smile.gif:
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post #10 of 72 Old 08-17-2013, 10:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ZivkoF View Post

"So if you cut data-bass from 2m to 1m.............and added 9dB........." (6dB+3dB = 9dB) smile.gif:

I always worry that one day, the math won't line up, we'll wake up and find there's been a tear in the continuum and all we'll hear is a giant sucking sound; maelstrom!
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post #11 of 72 Old 08-17-2013, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post

Oh no way...according to a member here, the xv15 has a cheap driver and compresses like crazy with terrible sound quality rolleyes.gif. Also there is no way it can perform at the level of the VTF-15H, but yet the numbers show otherwise wink.gif. However I find it funny in another recent thread that member now states to not trust S&V numbers when in fact that member use to copy and paste S&V numbers like it ws going out of style until recently...hmmm. Also tht member said you can not accurately convert data to make a general comparison. However if you subtract 9db from S&V's 1m peak data, it measures dead on with data-bass
2m rms data.

wait for it....smile.gif

You can say my name, it won't hurt my feelings. First of all I never said your sub had terrible sound quality, although the driver is obviously among the more inexpensive ones available. Second of all, I don't trust S&V numbers with good reason. Just compare their measurements between the various SVS subs tested there and tell me if that makes sense. Also, I never copied and pasted S&V measurements- find me a single instance where I have done that. I have cited their measurements in the past but usually only as a way to demonstrate that CEA measuring standards are imperfect for comparisons between different testers. It's nice that they have matching numbers for the XV15 for data-bass, now go compare the other subs they have tested against the numbers at data-bass. They even have a whole article over there on how and why CEA numbers can differ between testers. One more thing I find amusing, the article states that the XV15 easily outperformed the other subs at a 16 Hz note, well yeah, none of the other subs are tuned that low, what a surprise. If he was pushing the XV15 hard, a big chunk of that 16 Hz output is actually 32 hz anyway, so it's going to sound a lot louder than a sub that can do that cleanly. Btw, the less expensive PB12 NSD outperforms the XV15 at 20 Hz easily.
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post #12 of 72 Old 08-17-2013, 11:05 AM
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hey shady welcome! smile.gif
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post #13 of 72 Old 08-17-2013, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

Btw, the less expensive PB12 NSD outperforms the XV15 at 20 Hz easily.

Shady, I would hardly say it outperforms the XV15 "easily", it has more output by 0.5dB according to data-bass.com.

And I'm sure you're well aware the the PB12-NSD's output is 93.3/103.2/105db @ 16/20/25hz, while the XV15's output is 98.1/102.7/106.2dB @ 16/20/25hz.

You do seem to have an awfully big opinion on how PSA subs sound without ever hearing any of them.

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post #14 of 72 Old 08-17-2013, 11:48 AM
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I had a chance to directly compare the SB12-NSD and PSA XS15 recently. The SVS has the better build quality and sound quality; the PSA wins on output. That isn't to say the SVS doesn't have strong output or the PSA has bad sound quality, just that each have more strength in different areas. I personally would take the SB12-NSD as I favor build and sound quality over output and it's $100 less expensive. The PB12-NSD vs XV15 is a bit harder given they're close in price, but I imagine the same pros and cons apply. We all tend to argue which is "better" based on our preference, but that doesn't make it so. Someone may choose the XS15 over the SB12-NSD because they feel output is more important and there's nothing wrong with that. It's like arguing a Vodka martini is better than a Gin one.
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post #15 of 72 Old 08-17-2013, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

You can say my name, it won't hurt my feelings. First of all I never said your sub had terrible sound quality, although the driver is obviously among the more inexpensive ones available. Second of all, I don't trust S&V numbers with good reason. Just compare their measurements between the various SVS subs tested there and tell me if that makes sense. Also, I never copied and pasted S&V measurements- find me a single instance where I have done that. I have cited their measurements in the past but usually only as a way to demonstrate that CEA measuring standards are imperfect for comparisons between different testers. It's nice that they have matching numbers for the XV15 for data-bass, now go compare the other subs they have tested against the numbers at data-bass. They even have a whole article over there on how and why CEA numbers can differ between testers. One more thing I find amusing, the article states that the XV15 easily outperformed the other subs at a 16 Hz note, well yeah, none of the other subs are tuned that low, what a surprise. If he was pushing the XV15 hard, a big chunk of that 16 Hz output is actually 32 hz anyway, so it's going to sound a lot louder than a sub that can do that cleanly. Btw, the less expensive PB12 NSD outperforms the XV15 at 20 Hz easily.

yea it outperforms it easily huh...btw the op in that velodyne thread ended up buying a xs30. just goes to show how many that do not give 2 shits about your biased opinions. smile.gif
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post #16 of 72 Old 08-17-2013, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by rnatalli View Post

I had a chance to directly compare the SB12-NSD and PSA XS15 recently. The SVS has the better build quality and sound quality; the PSA wins on output. That isn't to say the SVS doesn't have strong output or the PSA has bad sound quality, just that each have more strength in different areas. I personally would take the SB12-NSD as I favor build and sound quality over output and it's $100 less expensive. The PB12-NSD vs XV15 is a bit harder given they're close in price, but I imagine the same pros and cons apply. We all tend to argue which is "better" based on our preference, but that doesn't make it so. Someone may choose the XS15 over the SB12-NSD because they feel output is more important and there's nothing wrong with that. It's like arguing a Vodka martini is better than a Gin one.

Just curious how would you classify the svs as better build quality? Not saying it isn't... just curious since I find your opinions to actually be worth considering.
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post #17 of 72 Old 08-17-2013, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by jbrown15 View Post

Shady, I would hardly say it outperforms the XV15 "easily", it has more output by 0.5dB according to data-bass.com.

And I'm sure you're well aware the the PB12-NSD's output is 93.3/103.2/105db @ 16/20/25hz, while the XV15's output is 98.1/102.7/106.2dB @ 16/20/25hz.

You do seem to have an awfully big opinion on how PSA subs sound without ever hearing any of them.

and the fact that Ricci has stated the output numbers are slightly low due to mic placement when testing...of course that means nothing. Oh I also forgot that one frequency is what determines which sub is better lmao.
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post #18 of 72 Old 08-17-2013, 12:31 PM
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Shady, I would hardly say it outperforms the XV15 "easily", it has more output by 0.5dB according to data-bass.com.

The output is about the same, but the XV15 has three times as much distortion. The XV15 is coughing up blood trying to keep up, and the PB12 is coasting by. There is more to performance than raw SPL.
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post #19 of 72 Old 08-17-2013, 12:36 PM
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Turn down the PSA sub a dB or two and watch the THD go down as well! Let's just chalk this up to pick which ever is cheaper or looks the best, performance is close and unless running to the limits wouldn't be able to tell apart. I know people think they hear things but blind tests are wonderful as long as both are within THD and no compression because this is where we start hearing things.
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post #20 of 72 Old 08-17-2013, 12:59 PM
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Turn down the PSA sub a dB or two and watch the THD go down as well! Let's just chalk this up to pick which ever is cheaper or looks the best, performance is close and unless running to the limits wouldn't be able to tell apart. I know people think they hear things but blind tests are wonderful as long as both are within THD and no compression because this is where we start hearing things.

But but you don't understand, Ricci measured them wrong! The XV15 can really get a decibel louder! A decibel louder!!
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post #21 of 72 Old 08-17-2013, 01:17 PM
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But but you don't understand, Ricci measured them wrong! The XV15 can really get a decibel louder! A decibel louder!!

that decibel would be the difference of the pb-12nsd out performing the xv15 easily to the xv15 out performing the pb @ 20hz easily as you put it lol.
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post #22 of 72 Old 08-17-2013, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

Turn down the PSA sub a dB or two and watch the THD go down as well! Let's just chalk this up to pick which ever is cheaper or looks the best, performance is close and unless running to the limits wouldn't be able to tell apart. I know people think they hear things but blind tests are wonderful as long as both are within THD and no compression because this is where we start hearing things.

Your speaking to air my friend...shady can not comprehend this concept.
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post #23 of 72 Old 08-17-2013, 03:50 PM
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Just like to add that I chose a PC12+ over a PSA XV or XS 15 or XS30. The PC was a couple hundred more with shipping ( outlet ) than the 15s and a couple hundred less than the 30.
I like the PC form factor. It fits my room better. And after reading all the reviews and comments in these forums I feel the PC with a more flat response will work better in my squarish 1650 cubic foot room.

It was a tough decision as both Ed and Tom were great to talk to or email with. In the end I think I made the right decision for me.

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post #24 of 72 Old 08-17-2013, 03:50 PM
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Just like to add that I chose a PC12+ over a PSA XV or XS 15 or XS30. The PC was a couple hundred more with shipping ( outlet ) than the 15s and a couple hundred less than the 30.
I like the PC form factor. It fits my room better. And after reading all the reviews and comments in these forums I feel the PC with a more flat response will work better in my squarish 1650 cubic foot room.

It was a tough decision as both Ed and Tom were great to talk to or email with. In the end I think I made the right decision for me.

My sub should arrive (Hawaii) Wednesday.
It will be replacing a Def Tech SC 8000.

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post #25 of 72 Old 08-17-2013, 03:54 PM
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Sweet! I almost went with PC12's but I wanted more mid bass slam since I listen to alot of music...so XV15 was my choice. I dont think you can go wrong either way...pick the sub that meets your goals and be happy smile.gif
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Gotta love the form factor of the PC12+. Enjoy and don't forget to start a thread and let us all know your first impressions. I'm looking to go with a XS30 solution but the SVS, PC form held my attention for a very long time. I had considered a combination of the SVS, PC12-NSD and a pair of Rythmik, E15's (shame on me, wanting to mix ported and sealed) and then the XS30 and the XS30f came out and my eyes haven't been swayed since although I have considered a mix of Rythmik, E15's with PSA, XS30's. The final decision is going be how big our cargo ship is when it docks at the port.

As to the S&V article mentioning of the PC12, in my opinion, there's something special going on with that particular unit and I don't know what it is but the measurements don't seem to be rational as the measurements tells me the unit puts out more than it rationally should.

(and no, I'm not going dig through all my reading as to why I came to this conclusion; it's my conclusion and I'm sticking to it)

I was also smitten by the SVS, SB12-NSD and slowly went to the dark side......stacked XS30's. Our 401(k) ship has been stuck outside the harbor entryway due to a low market tide (rising tides raise all ships) so I've yet to make a final decision as to how the XS30 choice will be played.

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post #27 of 72 Old 08-17-2013, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post

Just curious how would you classify the svs as better build quality? Not saying it isn't... just curious since I find your opinions to actually be worth considering.

Kind of like comparing the lines on a car. The SVS is completely flawless with regards to having no glue showing, everything like the amp plate is exactly flush, screws are exactly straight, etc.; seems more polished overall. That isn't to say the PSA isn't, but it just doesn't hit as high a mark. Think of looking at how the lines on the trunk of a car line up with the brake lights which wouldn't likely affect the overall performance of the car in terms of aerodynamics, but something may if the same level of construction was applied to items under the hood. As for sound quality, the SVS definitely has a cleaner and tighter sound compared to the XS15 in the same exact setup. Again, the PSA sounds fabulous too, but to my ears, that last 5-10% of refinement isn't there. I was also able to get the PSA to strain whereas the SVS never strained; but in fairness, the PSA was at higher output before it showed strain. Both are excellent subs for the money so folks can choose their poison.
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post #28 of 72 Old 08-17-2013, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by rnatalli View Post

Kind of like comparing the lines on a car. The SVS is completely flawless with regards to having no glue showing, everything like the amp plate is exactly flush, screws are exactly straight, etc.; seems more polished overall. That isn't to say the PSA isn't, but it just doesn't hit as high a mark. Think of looking at how the lines on the trunk of a car line up with the brake lights which wouldn't likely affect the overall performance of the car in terms of aerodynamics, but something may if the same level of construction was applied to items under the hood. As for sound quality, the SVS definitely has a cleaner and tighter sound compared to the XS15 in the same exact setup. Again, the PSA sounds fabulous too, but to my ears, that last 5-10% of refinement isn't there. I was also able to get the PSA to strain whereas the SVS never strained; but in fairness, the PSA was at higher output before it showed strain. Both are excellent subs for the money so folks can choose their poison.

Hmm I have 3 xv15's and you could not tell a difference between the 3. The amps fit flush, screws are exactly aligned, no glue showing...etc. Thats why I asked because mine are put together like a piece of precision machinery. Of course the SVS will not strain, they have heavy limiters built in just like Velodyne. I personally do not like heavy limiters for the simple fact when the levels are turned up high most can not hear a slight bit of strain when the sub is balanced with the mains properly. I cant stand the fact the sub quits getting louder but the mains will keep on going. Reminds me of a bose factory car stereo system. I do agree that both are quality subs either way...different strokes for different folks.
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post #29 of 72 Old 08-17-2013, 08:16 PM
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It is all about system matching. Keeping the dynamics the same for both the subs and speakers makes for one heck of a ride! Most people have much more sub ability than their speakers which is sad but I hope they are working on that for future upgrades!
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post #30 of 72 Old 08-17-2013, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

It is all about system matching. Keeping the dynamics the same for both the subs and speakers makes for one heck of a ride! Most people have much more sub ability than their speakers which is sad but I hope they are working on that for future upgrades!

Good point! Hey looking forward to seeing your new build progress...would of been sweet to see those 24's in action, but the 18's do make more sense.
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