SVS subwoofer upgrade from PB12 NSD - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 07-25-2014, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Thumbs up SVS subwoofer upgrade from PB12 NSD

Hi all,

I purchased an PB12 NSD for my living room about 9 months ago.

Living room size: 15x14x12 open to kitchen 13x13x9.

It has been good, I can feel the room shakes and not too much of the chest pounding. When I listen to music the bass seem to be mukky not very clear or deep. I was thinking about upgrading it to SB13 ultra or PB12 Plus, due to the room size and placement PB13 ultra is out of question. My friend had one and PB13 ultra is huge! I'm leaning toward the SB13 Ultra. Any suggestion or comment if I should go for the upgrade or wait a little longer to see if a new SB13 ultra will release a new version?

The reason is I want to take the advantage of 1 year upgrade from SVS. I listen to 60% music and 40% movie. PB12 NSD was able to handle most of the movie I throw at it however music seem to be a weaker side.
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post #2 of 33 Old 07-25-2014, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supert View Post
Hi all,

I purchased an PB12 NSD for my living room about 9 months ago.

Living room size: 15x14x12 open to kitchen 13x13x9.

It has been good, I can feel the room shakes and not too much of the chest pounding. When I listen to music the bass seem to be mukky not very clear or deep. I was thinking about upgrading it to SB13 ultra or PB12 Plus, due to the room size and placement PB13 ultra is out of question. My friend had one and PB13 ultra is huge! I'm leaning toward the SB13 Ultra. Any suggestion or comment if I should go for the upgrade or wait a little longer to see if a new SB13 ultra will release a new version?

The reason is I want to take the advantage of 1 year upgrade from SVS. I listen to 60% music and 40% movie. PB12 NSD was able to handle most of the movie I throw at it however music seem to be a weaker side.
Have you done any response testing to check for big dips or nulls? But that is a big room all added up
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post #3 of 33 Old 07-25-2014, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supert View Post
Hi all,

I purchased an PB12 NSD for my living room about 9 months ago.

Living room size: 15x14x12 open to kitchen 13x13x9.

It has been good, I can feel the room shakes and not too much of the chest pounding. When I listen to music the bass seem to be mukky not very clear or deep. I was thinking about upgrading it to SB13 ultra or PB12 Plus, due to the room size and placement PB13 ultra is out of question. My friend had one and PB13 ultra is huge! I'm leaning toward the SB13 Ultra. Any suggestion or comment if I should go for the upgrade or wait a little longer to see if a new SB13 ultra will release a new version?

The reason is I want to take the advantage of 1 year upgrade from SVS. I listen to 60% music and 40% movie. PB12 NSD was able to handle most of the movie I throw at it however music seem to be a weaker side.
At 40% movie watching I would go for the PB12-Plus. Strange to me that you say the PB12 was muddy. SVS subs are supposed to be pretty clean and maintain great composure.

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post #4 of 33 Old 07-25-2014, 08:57 AM - Thread Starter
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I have done some response testing when I first tested it out then we did some rearrangement to the living room (moving couches).

I meant when I listen to music, I feel like some of the bass or note is missing. For example, when I listen to a R&B song on Pandora the bass feel like it was not hitting it and the drum was not very clear.

When watching movie, PB12 is no doubt a winner and clean. I was referring muddy to music and not sure if that is the correct word to describe it. Maybe the room is too much open and not getting the feeling of listen to a closed room where I have listen to other sub woofer perform. I'm hoping if I were to get one of these that would help it a bit.

I want a strong bass, when it hit in the song or action movie. PB12 can perform it, but I feel like I should upgrade to something more powerful so I can really feel it.
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post #5 of 33 Old 07-25-2014, 09:24 AM
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Both the PB12 Plus and SB13 will be a big upgrade over the PB12 NSD. The PB12 Plus should have a roughly 6 db advantage throughout the bass range, which is double the output. The SB13 will have an even larger output advantage at 50 Hz and above, which is where most music bass resides. It won't quite have the output of the PB12 NSD at 20 to 25 Hz, and will have much less 20 Hz output than the PB12 Plus. I would say if you are interested in an upgrade for music performance alone, get the SB13. It will have a bit more punch for music than the PB12 Plus, and without the overhang of ports. But if you also want a bit of an upgrade for deep bass, get the PB12 Plus. You may also think about getting dual SB2000s for a nice boost in music performance.
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post #6 of 33 Old 07-25-2014, 09:31 AM
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^ +1 on JW, JT and testing. Where is your sub placed? Do you have any acoustic treatments in the room? What make and model of AVR are you using, have you used your AVR's offer auto room correction software? I wouldn't jump to the assumption that your PB12 isn't up to the task, or that you'll find a more powerful sub "less mucky".

You find bass performance when watching movies is pretty good, but less so when you listen to music. What audio settings are you using on your AVR in both cases?

The three posters so far all think your issue may not be your current sub, but rather something do with your equipment settings and/or room acoustics, which would have the exact same effect on the more powerful and more expensive SVS sub you are considering.

Post back with your AVR make and model Supert.

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post #7 of 33 Old 07-25-2014, 09:32 AM
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Oops, make that 3 out of 4.

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post #8 of 33 Old 07-25-2014, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supert View Post
I have done some response testing when I first tested it out then we did some rearrangement to the living room (moving couches).

I meant when I listen to music, I feel like some of the bass or note is missing. For example, when I listen to a R&B song on Pandora the bass feel like it was not hitting it and the drum was not very clear.

When watching movie, PB12 is no doubt a winner and clean. I was referring muddy to music and not sure if that is the correct word to describe it. Maybe the room is too much open and not getting the feeling of listen to a closed room where I have listen to other sub woofer perform. I'm hoping if I were to get one of these that would help it a bit.

I want a strong bass, when it hit in the song or action movie. PB12 can perform it, but I feel like I should upgrade to something more powerful so I can really feel it.
I would really test out the response first just to check for nulls at you new seating positions as your only running a single subwoofer. Your probably get large room modes and nulls that with music especially you know your missing out on content, even with 2 subs I can stand up move a few feet outside my mlp and it sounds like **** and when I test that spot with REW it shows huge null between 50 to 90 hertz
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post #9 of 33 Old 07-25-2014, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mogrub View Post
^ +1 on JW, JT and testing. Where is your sub placed? Do you have any acoustic treatments in the room? What make and model of AVR are you using, have you used your AVR's offer auto room correction software? I wouldn't jump to the assumption that your PB12 isn't up to the task, or that you'll find a more powerful sub "less mucky".

You find bass performance when watching movies is pretty good, but less so when you listen to music. What audio settings are you using on your AVR in both cases?

The three posters so far all think your issue may not be your current sub, but rather something do with your equipment settings and/or room acoustics, which would have the exact same effect on the more powerful and more expensive SVS sub you are considering.

Post back with your AVR make and model Supert.
I'm very newbie when it come to HT settings as such, please take it lightly Here is my set-up:

AVR: Marantz SR5008
Subwoofer: SVS PB12 NSD - tune as default from ED mid knob on the back, lfe, and etc.
Speakers: Paradigm monitor 11 s7 set at 80hz or 60hz
Rear: Paradigm Surround 3 s7
Center: Paradigm Center 3 s7

My monitor 11 seem to take over my subwoofer the bass was low and not enough mid bass? It hard to describe it just not perfect like I would of listen in the car or in a closed room. Please share any settings that you should suggest. I use the Audsessy software that plugged in with the microphone to the AVR and changed it front to small as it suggested full band. Settings front 60hz, center 80hz, rear 80hz. No acoustic treatments, since this is a main living room 1st floor for hang out and connected to the kitchen. I understand it can't be comparable to a closed delicate HT room, but I just want to improve it a little at least to the point I can enjoy listen to music. Movie is no problem at the moment.
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post #10 of 33 Old 07-25-2014, 10:02 AM
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Get a PC 13 ultra. Fits in about 17 square inches. A great compromise for movies and music and size.
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post #11 of 33 Old 07-25-2014, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
Get a PC 13 ultra. Fits in about 17 square inches. A great compromise for movies and music and size.
I would love to, but the wife does not want a cat tower shown in our living room. Right now the sub is hidden next to the couch.
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post #12 of 33 Old 07-25-2014, 11:44 AM
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supert: From everything you've indicated, it appears you may be suffering from room modes at the listening position (in your case it may be nulls since as you described sound as missing bass). Before trading up to a "better" sub, make sure the position of your current sub is ideally placed. If it isn't, it won't matter what sub you get. In order to find that ideal spot, do a subwoofer crawl test. Set your sub on top of your couch or chair, play test tones or low, sustained music and crawl around the room noting the best and worst areas. Once that is accomplished, then place you sub where it sounded the best then run your EQ program.

I know a lot of people have traded away perfectly good subs just because the sub wasn't placed properly.
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post #13 of 33 Old 07-25-2014, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supert View Post
I'm very newbie when it come to HT settings as such, please take it lightly ... I just want to improve it a little at least to the point I can enjoy music. Movie is no problem ...
We can improve it. The idea for this is to be fun, not stressful.

When you listen to music, what do you usually listen to as your source -- is it usually a disc like a CD or an SACD, or do you use a streaming source like Rhapsody, or a rip of something?

Also, are you listening to music sources that are captured in stereo or are they multi-channel surround?

Next time you play music that doesn't sound right to you (missing or muddled bass), go look at your Marantz. What does it say the playback audio mode is -- does the display say stereo, or does it say something else?

Depending on your settings, it is quite possible your sub is not even receiving a signal during some or all of your music listening. That would very tidily explain why bass in your movies sound great ("the room shakes"), but bass in your music seems missing.

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post #14 of 33 Old 07-25-2014, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been streaming from my iphone using one of the radio app Pandora or something similar. I also stream youtube music video. I will try to put on a cd and listen to it to see if that make the difference. I'll try to do the crawl this weekend and let you guys know on my findings.

I believe most of the time is Stereo. Also, do I need to select on the remote to as music when I listen to music or does it auto detect? This sub has been great, I wonder if I need to turn down the front two speakers down a bit so the sub can pick it up more?

Let's say I do the crawl and find out the best placement is in the back corner of the room, does that make sense to watch a movie the sub is in the back?
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post #15 of 33 Old 07-25-2014, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supert View Post

Let's say I do the crawl and find out the best placement is in the back corner of the room, does that make sense to watch a movie the sub is in the back?
Absolutely! My svs pc12 is in the back of my room right now and does the best it can for its size and room size.
My crawl test shows the rear of my room is significantly hotter than the rest of the room.
Front area by my towers and under my screen are dead!
Front corners seemed to be a good compromise between the two areas sound wise and aesthetically.
This is all by ear though and cheap spl app to confirm
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post #16 of 33 Old 07-25-2014, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by supert View Post
I have been streaming from my iphone using one of the radio app Pandora or something similar. I also stream youtube music video. I will try to put on a cd and listen to it to see if that make the difference. I'll try to do the crawl this weekend and let you guys know on my findings.

I believe most of the time is Stereo. Also, do I need to select on the remote to as music when I listen to music or does it auto detect? This sub has been great, I wonder if I need to turn down the front two speakers down a bit so the sub can pick it up more?

Let's say I do the crawl and find out the best placement is in the back corner of the room, does that make sense to watch a movie the sub is in the back?
I can't speak for Pandora, but Spotify allows the user to adjust the stream rate. The default quality setting (96 kbit/s) is abysmal and likely responsible for your current experience. The same could be said for YouTube. What happens when you use a raw source for music such as CD or a high-bitrate MP3?

I have a PB-1000 and I've been very pleased with its ability to handle many different styles of music through Spotify's highest quality setting (320 kbit/s).

I know there are a lot of variables here but I at least wanted to comment on the quality (bitrate) of your source material .
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post #17 of 33 Old 07-25-2014, 02:46 PM
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+1 on Pandora quality being an issue.

Also, what music are you listening to? Newer, bass heavy music? Older music usually doesn't have the bass today's music does.

Example: I love Zeppelin, but the bass is just not very impressive. I can't stand Miley Cyrus, but her new album is just chock full of good bass! (Don't judge me, man )
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post #18 of 33 Old 07-25-2014, 03:46 PM
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I suspect source is the main issue...especially streaming from the Iphone. Quality is noticeably better when running the Pandora app on my AVR
Vs streaming from my Note3 to the AVR.
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post #19 of 33 Old 07-25-2014, 04:40 PM
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Quickly read through and didn't see anyone mention this, make sure your speakers are set to 'small'. I ran into this same problem before and it's bc the calibration set my front L and R to 'large', so no bass for music, still some for HT due to center and surrounds being set 'small'.

Edit: I see OP posted crossovers for each speaker, so this is not likely the problem... Continue on, nothing to see here.

Last edited by FattyMcButterPants; 07-25-2014 at 04:50 PM.
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post #20 of 33 Old 07-26-2014, 07:59 AM
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Lots of good comments here for you Supe. Tell us whether you hear a difference when you play an iPhone stream versus a high quality audio disc. And look at the front panel of your Marantz for information on what the AVR is getting, signal wise, in each case.

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post #21 of 33 Old 07-26-2014, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mogrub View Post
... Next time you play music that doesn't sound right to you (missing or muddled bass), go look at your Marantz. What does it say the playback audio mode is -- does the display say stereo, or does it say something else? Depending on your settings, it is possible your sub is not even receiving a signal during some or all of your music listening. That would very tidily explain why bass in your movies sound great ("the room shakes"), but bass in your music seems missing.
Of course, a very poor quality source material could have a similar effect.

The clip directly below is from page 179 of your manual, and your AVR will tell us (and you) everything we need to know about what kind of audio signal your various sources are feeding the AVR:

Audio: Shows the audio information for MAIN ZONE, as follows.
Sound Mode: The currently set sound mode.
Input Signal: The input signal type.
Format: The number of input signal channels (presence of front, surround, LFE).
Sample Rate: The input signal’s sampling frequency.
Offset : The dialogue normalization correction value. (Supe, ignore dialogue normalization, this has nothing to do with your issue.)
Flag: This is displayed when inputting signals including a surround back channel. “MATRIX” is displayed with Dolby Digital EX and DTS-ES Matrix signals, “DISCRETE” with DTS-ES Discrete signals.

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post #22 of 33 Old 07-26-2014, 08:15 AM
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Supe, this is a direct lift from your AVR manual. After playing around with stream versus disc playing, and looking at the audio information your Marantz will display for each, you can give this a try:

Issue: I want to have the subwoofer always output audio.

• Depending on the input signals and sound mode, the subwoofer may not output audio. When “Subwoofer Mode” in the menu is set to “LFE+Main”, you can have the subwoofer always output audio (see page 172 for instructions on how to do this).

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post #23 of 33 Old 07-26-2014, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supert View Post
I have been streaming from my iphone using one of the radio app Pandora or something similar.
You will get much better results using your AVR as your direct gateway to Pandora. Take the iPhone out of the process. See page 80 of your manual:

To listen to Pandora ... associate this machine with a Pandora account by visiting http://www.pandora.com/marantz from your PC.

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post #24 of 33 Old 07-26-2014, 08:35 AM
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The best advice you have been given so far is to measure your room. Most likely, the best way for you to get smooth, even, high quality bass is through measurement, and dual subs. It is very very unlikely that a single sub, placed randomly without measurement, will have a smooth frequency response. As mentioned, you likely have large peaks and nulls which means some bass is loud or pronounced, and other frequencies are just nearly missing altogether. Combined with the PB12-NSD which has very low output above 30 Hz and it is no wonder you feel you are missing something.

Since it appears you have the funds to allow for the SB13Ultra, a better recommendation would be seconding ShadyJ's suggestions of dual PB2000. The SB13 will be a downgrade for movies in the low bass and an upgrade in output for music, but won't fix a bad frequency response. To make the most of the dual subs, download REW from hometheatershack.com to an HDMI laptop and order a Umik-1 mic from miniDSP. This will allow you to measure and properly place, tune, and adjust the subs for a smooth frequency response.

Dual PB2000's will more than double the output of you PB12 on movies, and likely closer to triple the output on music. Also better than a single SB13 in all aspects.

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post #25 of 33 Old 07-26-2014, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mogrub View Post
To listen to Pandora ... associate this machine with a Pandora account by visiting http://www.pandora.com/marantz from your PC.
Spotify and other services are also supported.

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post #26 of 33 Old 07-28-2014, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Here is the test result:
  • Used Spotify and connected via usb to AVR. This is better than using Pandora via wirelessly.
  • Moved the sub to the front and point it toward the front instead of putting next to the couch and point to the wall which I had before.
  • Ran a new Audessey software via AVR, set the crossover: Front 60hz, center & rear to 80hz. Sub: LFE, small for speakers. Use test tone in the menu to boost it a bit.

Overall it has improved and I can hear bass better. I think I will borrow a sp meter from a friend to boost up the speakers & sub to 75-80db. I think the response is off a bit. I feel like I need more power, after listen to a friend HT room: PB13-ultra, ref 82 II and closed door 2800 cubic ft. His sounds a lot cleaner.

I forgot to mention, my family living room is with Hardwood floor and his is carpet. I know closed room vs open is a big difference. But does hardwood floor bring it down a knob? Just thinking, if SB13-ultra would be a problem solver. I have 3 months until my 1 year upgrade plan is voided with SVS. So I got time to troubleshoot to determine if a new sub will be a resolution.

Thanks for all the help guys. Feel free to express your opinions on the SB13-ultra if you have listened to it before and not by specs information. I have heard ported and cylin subs from SVS, but have not with sealed design. Not sure if it would sound the same as putting the plugs for all three ports in the PB13-ultra.
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post #27 of 33 Old 07-28-2014, 08:21 AM
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I would focus on getting the sub setup correctly. Too often I see folks contemplating a sub upgrade when the issue is improper setup. Once given a few pointers, that poster 9/10 times will report back being satisfied with the sub. I would seriously consider downloading REW and purchasing a measurement mic(UMIK-1). This is a much cheaper solution then throwing money at a more powerful subwoofer. Remember a lesser sub with a great response and properly placed will sound better then the best sub thrown in the room with a poor response.
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post #28 of 33 Old 07-28-2014, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post
I would focus on getting the sub setup correctly. Too often I see folks contemplating a sub upgrade when the issue is improper setup. Once given a few pointers, that poster 9/10 times will report back being satisfied with the sub. I would seriously consider downloading REW and purchasing a measurement mic(UMIK-1). This is a much cheaper solution then throwing money at a more powerful subwoofer. Remember a lesser sub with a great response and properly placed will sound better then the best sub thrown in the room with a poor response.

Any recommended place to purchase the UMIK-1? Is there a two models? One with 90 degrees?
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post #29 of 33 Old 07-28-2014, 09:11 AM
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I would purchase directly from cross spectrum.
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post #30 of 33 Old 07-28-2014, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supert View Post
Here is the test result:
  • Used Spotify and connected via usb to AVR. This is better than using Pandora via wirelessly.
  • Moved the sub to the front and point it toward the front instead of putting next to the couch and point to the wall which I had before.
  • Ran a new Audessey software via AVR, set the crossover: Front 60hz, center & rear to 80hz. Sub: LFE, small for speakers. Use test tone in the menu to boost it a bit.

Overall it has improved and I can hear bass better. I think I will borrow a sp meter from a friend to boost up the speakers & sub to 75-80db. I think the response is off a bit. I feel like I need more power, after listen to a friend HT room: PB13-ultra, ref 82 II and closed door 2800 cubic ft. His sounds a lot cleaner.

I forgot to mention, my family living room is with Hardwood floor and his is carpet. I know closed room vs open is a big difference. But does hardwood floor bring it down a knob? Just thinking, if SB13-ultra would be a problem solver. I have 3 months until my 1 year upgrade plan is voided with SVS. So I got time to troubleshoot to determine if a new sub will be a resolution.

Thanks for all the help guys. Feel free to express your opinions on the SB13-ultra if you have listened to it before and not by specs information. I have heard ported and cylin subs from SVS, but have not with sealed design. Not sure if it would sound the same as putting the plugs for all three ports in the PB13-ultra.
In the end you may need more power as the pb12nsd is not a output beast like the pb2000 up higher in the bass region or higher end units but getting the room measured first will prove that, also you may want to bump up the front crossover to 80 hertz and give it a listen if that hasn't been tried.

I had a major problem with cancellation at 80 hertz or lower with my lcr + sub with my room layout and also messing with the delay had a big impact once I had my mic and rew setup and running to see that problem
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