Sub question: To Snell or not to Snell? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 09-01-2013, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a specific question, looking for some opinions from the board.

Have a nice Snell PS-10 subwoofer, I bought locally second hand. Specs are 330W, 10" driver, supposedly goes down to 27hz with -6 db. Had good enough performance for me, basically entirely for movie sound effects and video games (negligible audio listening). Unfortunately, all of a sudden the thing just started making a nasty hum and its not usable. Company, of course, has been defunct for several years, though they subcontracted out their service to a private repair company in MA.

Called the service company, and their tech, who was quite nice, told me that he gets in a couple of these in every month, the issue is invariably failed capacitors, and if I disassemble the pre-amp and amp boards and ship them out to him, he'll tear them down and do an entire rebuild of both for $355 using new high quality components. He said there is no point just replacing the defective capacitor(s) since its just a question of time before the others fail too, and that his rebuild should ensure the thing works great for years to come.

So here's the issue/question. This sub is probably 15 years old. At the time it came out it was a >$1000 high end unit, and it does have high build quality. It weighs nearly 60 lbs, and even the the speaker cone has a heat sink built into to it to help keep the driver cool! But I figure for the $355 repair cost, plus shipping costs, plus time it will take for me to disassemble this unit, pack it up send it off, then have to reassemble it on return, I'm in for another $400.

For that cost, does it even make sense for me to have this repaired? Specifically, are there any current production units that will give me equivalent, or perhaps even better performance in the $400 (shipped) price range? I'd even willing to pay a little bit more for significantly better performance, I just don't know which ones I should be looking at in this price range.

FWIW, I live in a rural area, and there is simply no store nearby that sells high-end audio equipment. I went to the local Best buy, and not to be mean, but I just didn't see anything on the floor that I thought was suitable. The other speakers here are all Polks, with Rtis as the front ones, and a CSi for the center. For that reason I was thinking about just getting a matching Polk DSWPro550. Refurbished ones can be had for as little as $300 on Ebay, but I simply don't how these stack up.

Again, any opinions here are appreciated.
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post #2 of 16 Old 09-01-2013, 09:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by looking closely View Post

For that cost, does it even make sense for me to have this repaired?

Again, any opinions here are appreciated.

The short answer: No.

The longer more detailed response: Hell no.

Regarding subwoofers, there's been far too many changes in the last fifteen years to "WASTE" $400.00 on a 10" subwoofer from the stone age.

Today, I'd sweeten the pot a bit ($200.00) and replace your little itty-bitty, waif of a 10" subwoofer from a long past era with a Rythmik, LV-12 and be done with the "WISHFUL" thinking of hoping to turn a church mouse into a fun loving "Big Dog."

Baha Men - "Who Let The Dogs Out"

.......or you can rebuild your 10" subwoofer........"bark, bark, bark."

(lambo doors would look sweet)

-
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post #3 of 16 Old 09-01-2013, 09:13 AM
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I usually don’t do this but considering your restrictions and of course we all want you to have a nice sub.. are you apposed to DIY? and if not do you have some tools on hand or can borrow?

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post #4 of 16 Old 09-01-2013, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
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There's tools (screwdriver) and then there's tools (lathe, etc). . .which ones are you talking about here? In general, I've got mechanical aptitude, access to basic tools, I've worked a soldering iron before, and I have nothing in principle against building my own sub.

What exactly do you have in mind here?

If this is something I can knock together in the garage from a quality kit in an evening, and its going to give me a significant performance/price boost over commercially available complete powered subs, then sure I'm open to building one. But time is a limiting factor for me. if you're talking about constructing a cabinet entirely from scratch, wiring up my own boards from loose electronics, etc, I think I'd rather just spend the money and get something pre-built off the shelf. If its spend 5 hours of my time to save $150, I'd rather spend the extra money and buy something with customer service and a warranty.

Maybe I should just rephrase the question:

Lets say my budget for a pure cinema/gaming home theater subwoofer is $400-500. What are the best models in that price range that I should be looking at?

For what its worth, room is roughly 26' long x 14' wide x 9' high. Actual room volume is a little less than the 3200 sq-ft that implies because the space is in a modified attic with partially sloped sides. Also, FWIW, TV is at one end, and seating/viewing area is only about 12 ft away from TV.
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post #5 of 16 Old 09-01-2013, 02:09 PM
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Your best commercial option under $500 is likely going to be a SVS PB1000 at $499 shipped. It will dig much lower than your old sub, and should be an upgrade in terms of output as well. Your room is on the large side, so as long as you don't expect reference level output, you should be very happy with this option.

More options will open up if you increase your budget from $500, but that will be up to you to research and decide if more capable subs like the Rythmik LV-12R, SVS PB12-NSD, PSA XV15 or Hsu VTF3 MK4 are worth the extra outlay.
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post #6 of 16 Old 09-01-2013, 02:45 PM
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Your best commercial option under $500 is likely going to be a SVS PB1000 at $499 shipped.

+1 The PB1000 is a great sub at $499 shipped.
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post #7 of 16 Old 09-01-2013, 03:08 PM
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post #8 of 16 Old 09-01-2013, 03:56 PM
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If its spend 5 hours of my time to save $150, I'd rather spend the extra money and buy something with customer service and a warranty.

I don’t think I would equate it to that, you would wined up with much more of a sub than what's being suggested, but that being that I totally understand. Anyway in a room your size I think tenderchkn sums up my thoughts going the ID route.
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More options will open up if you increase your budget from $500, but that will be up to you to research and decide if more capable subs like the Rythmik LV-12R, SVS PB12-NSD, PSA XV15 or Hsu VTF3 MK4 are worth the extra outlay.

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post #9 of 16 Old 09-01-2013, 06:10 PM
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I have a SnellBasis 300 which I acquired in March 2007..... for $675. Virtually new. It has in constant use since then providing the bottom end to my 5.1 system attached to the 2nd system in the den.... on @ 6am, off @ 2am 7days a week. Never had as much as a belch !!!!

 

I suggest you give a call to my contact at SNELL----David Logvin @ 978-538-6274 or Bob Graffy - VP -Snell 978-538-6262 or cell 603-493-8600.

 

I bet they could find a much cheaper solution to your issue.

 

Good luck and let us know how you fare.....

 

Thanks,

 

Ginovino

 

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post #10 of 16 Old 09-01-2013, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the good suggestions.

Anyone care to comment on this one? Looks to be on clearance for $500 too:

http://www.vanns.com/shop/Jamo-C80SUB-Dark-Apple-10-1800W-powered-subwoofer/product-549858077
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post #11 of 16 Old 09-01-2013, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by looking closely View Post

Thanks for the good suggestions.

Anyone care to comment on this one? Looks to be on clearance for $500 too:

http://www.vanns.com/shop/Jamo-C80SUB-Dark-Apple-10-1800W-powered-subwoofer/product-549858077

I think that they run a day sale every now and then for $300. That’s about as much as I would consider paying for it if I ever were to consider such a sub which I wouldn’t. wink.gif

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post #12 of 16 Old 09-02-2013, 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by looking closely View Post

So here's the issue/question. This sub is probably 15 years old. At the time it came out it was a >$1000 high end unit, and it does have high build quality. It weighs nearly 60 lbs, and even the the speaker cone has a heat sink built into to it to help keep the driver cool! But I figure for the $355 repair cost, plus shipping costs, plus time it will take for me to disassemble this unit, pack it up send it off, then have to reassemble it on return, I'm in for another $400.

For that cost, does it even make sense for me to have this repaired? Specifically, are there any current production units that will give me equivalent, or perhaps even better performance in the $400 (shipped) price range? I'd even willing to pay a little bit more for significantly better performance, I just don't know which ones I should be looking at in this price range.

If I were in your shoes I wouldn't repair the Snell for that kind of money, but rather buy a new sub. I reckon you can get a new sub for $500 shipped that would outperform the Snell.

The suggestion of the SVS PB-1000 ($499 shipped) is a good one. Up a bit is the Hsu VTF-2 MK4 (currently $596 shipped), etc.
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post #13 of 16 Old 09-02-2013, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
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I think that they run a day sale every now and then for $300. That’s about as much as I would consider paying for it if I ever were to consider such a sub which I wouldn’t. wink.gif

So tell me how you really feel about this subwoofer. . .smile.gif

Seems like the clear consensus here is that the Snell ain't worth a $355 (+ S&H) repair bill. Kind of what I thought.

Thanks for the advice; I'll take a look at the higher end models. If another $100-200 will really buy me something noticeably better, I'll just save my pennies. I am leaning towards that Hsu model.

Next disaster. . .at the same time this Snell blew out, the HDMI board on my Onkyo Tx-SR803 also gave out. So now, in addition to an attractive inert 60 lb18x18x18" black cube sitting on my floor, I also have a wonderful 30 lb 7.1 105W/ch THX-certified receiver that won't process high def video anymore!

Although great, realistically, that Onkyo was way more than I needed. Can't run 7.1 in this room due to odd shape limitations, don't think I ever ran the volume past 30% (so 80W/ch is probably plenty), never really used any of the proprietary sound processing features, and just don't need the ability to run a second "zone" from the same receiver.

At the risk of being silly, can anyone recommend a good dedicated 5.1 home theater type receiver for a replacement? Don't need "the best"/"audiophile" quality, just something simple with good audio quality and a couple of HDMI inputs that won't break the bank. Again, FWIW, this will be pushing 5.1 Polk RTi speakers, plus whichever Sub I end up buying, so a good "match" would be nice.
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post #14 of 16 Old 09-02-2013, 05:47 PM
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For your sake/considering.. It won’t matter what sub you run with your speakers with because it does not need to be timber matched. Since I like Denon I’m going to suggest a lower model Denon but Onkyo, Pioneer all come to mind amongst others. I hear you in regards to over doing it though. I just saw a really nice Denon over in the FS section a week or two ago that must be sold by now. It was a killer deal. Anyway RTi.. good bang for your buck speakers imo.
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So tell me how you really feel about this subwoofer. . .smile.gif

Sorry man.. you will thank me latter wink.gif

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post #15 of 16 Old 09-03-2013, 03:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by looking closely View Post

At the risk of being silly, can anyone recommend a good dedicated 5.1 home theater type receiver for a replacement?

NO! Anything worth recommending is 7.1 or better.

Budget?

One would be well served buying a Onkyo, TX-NR818.

I have a Marantz, SR5007 that's 7.1 and use it in a 5.3 configuration. The reason I recommend going with the Onkyo, TX-NR818 is because it has Audyssey, MultEQ, XT32. Receiver wise, based on current available models, our next upgrade will be a Denon (who owns Marantz), 4520CI which also has the XT32 installed as EQ software.

Yes. When it comes to the ability of an AVR to EQ your room's acoustics, Audyssey, MultEQ XT32 makes that much of a difference in how it integrates multiple subwoofers into your room's acoustics.
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post #16 of 16 Old 09-13-2013, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
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So I took apart the Snell, pre-amp and amp, took a good look at it, and think one of the large transformer filter caps is a bit bulgy at the top.

I figure that's probably the issue and since replacing both large caps should run under $30, plus the cost of my time, I have little to lose in trying to fix it, especially since I'll be replacing it in any case.

In the meantime, could anyone care to say, in a few words, what the main differences are between the Rythmik LV-12R, SVS PB12-NSD, PSA XV15 andr Hsu VTF3 MK4?

Again, I just want something good for movie FX in my home theater. Don't care about "musicality" (though obviously I don't mind having it). This is going in a dedicated cab under my TV so appearance and size aren't really issues. Price isn't a big issue, but I'd just as soon not pay for more performance that I'm not going to use.

Also, to get back to home builds for a minute, are there any outstanding ones that really stand out, performance wise?
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