SB12-NSD could be good enough for me - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 28 Old 03-02-2017, 11:19 PM - Thread Starter
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SB12-NSD could be good enough for me

I picked up a used Polk PSW303B as part of a package deal through craigslist a few years ago. While it produced more and better bass than my previous sub (no previous sub), I've found that it is not particularly musical or tight. I've read a lot (too much) on the forum the last couple of weeks, which has taught me a lot about what I didn't know I didn't know.

My system is used primarily for TV/movies with occasional streaming music. The viewing room is 16' wide x 17' deep with a sloping ceiling that probably averages 9-10' in height. The back of the room is completely open to the kitchen, adding another 10' depth to the room. I am not concerned with pressurizing the whole space. I enjoy cranking up the volume periodically, but I can only really do that when the Mrs. is out of the house. I'm not sure what volume level I'm actually listening at since my Pioneer VSX-1022-K starts the volume index at zero instead of negative whatever decibels. The loudest settings I normally get to are in the 40-45 range on the Pioneer (whatever that means).

I'm less concerned about filling all the space and more concerned with getting tighter, deeper, more accurate bass than the Polk is delivering but in a similar form factor. And of course, there is that whole budget limitation. I've perused many of the options discussed here - SVS, HSU, Rythmic, PSA, etc. While the AVS consensus seems to be that I'd "need" multiple subs to fill this space, my budget and WAF are just not going to let that be possible. She'd rather I not have a sub than upgrade the one we've got. So even if I had thousands to throw at this (which I don't), I still wouldn't.

So I've been trying to decide how much of an upgrade is enough. For their price range ($250-329 on Amazon), the BIC H100II and PL200 seem well regarded here and in reviews. They seem better than what I have and would not break the bank. However, I was underwhelmed when I looked at the measurables for the PL200 at data-bass.com.

The SVS SB12-NSD is out of stock on SVS's website but available through authorized dealers on Amazon at $399. It's price is at the upper limits of what I might be comfortable with in the near future. I'm aware the sealed design will not deliver the output of the ported boxes, but that's part of its appeal for this application. It's been rated well for its flat response, going much lower and sounding much cleaner (crisper?) than my Polk. It's still a very nice form factor - my wife may not even notice if I switch it out with the Polk. It's data-bass.com measurables looked pretty good.

HSU's only offering in this price range is the VTF-1 MK3. The website lists it as a St. Patrick's Day sale at $369 + $54 shipping ($423 delivered). With its ported/hybrid design, it's a larger form factor than the other subs I've considered, which may be disqualifying. I didn't see it reviewed on data-bass.com. The frequency response charts and specs provided on HSU's website seem to indicate that it's probably at least close to the SB12-NSD in performance.

I didn't see any other options in this price range from most of the other sub producers frequently mentioned here.

What am I missing? What other subs in this price range perform better for low-medium volume consumption? Is the jump up in quality to the next range of products significant enough that I should continue to suffer longer with this Polk PSW303B for a while longer while I build up marital equity for a more substantial purchase?

EDIT: One issue that is making me feel this is more urgent than it probably is - how many more of the new SB12-NSD units do the authorized dealers have left to sell? If I miss out on this deal, how could I ever live with myself?

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post #2 of 28 Old 03-02-2017, 11:32 PM
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The SB-12NSD is, by most accounts, an excellent sub. I've considered it for my den (13' x 13') but haven't made a purchase as it'll cost me nearly $600 CDN.
Based on your requirements, this is an oft recommended sub, particularly with the reduced price. You won't get ear splitting bass, but it will be a huge step up from the Polk.
If it were me, I'd just get whatever sub I wanted and let the wife be unhappy for a while. If that's a non-starter for you, then it's a tough call.
Most other recommendations will be bigger in size.
Good luck.

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post #3 of 28 Old 03-02-2017, 11:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by stsand View Post
The SB-12NSD is, by most accounts, an excellent sub. I've considered it for my den (13' x 13') but haven't made a purchase as it'll cost me nearly $600 CDN.
Based on your requirements, this is an oft recommended sub, particularly with the reduced price. You won't get ear splitting bass, but it will be a huge step up from the Polk.
If it were me, I'd just get whatever sub I wanted and let the wife be unhappy for a while. If that's a non-starter for you, then it's a tough call.
Most other recommendations will be bigger in size.
Good luck.

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That's kind of the approach I'm considering (easier to ask forgiveness than permission) but I still want the dollars to be in a reasonable realm. It will make the forgiveness easier to come by.

The size issue had me looking at SVS's other sealed boxes. The SB-2000 seems to have better specs across the board, but I'm not ready to pay a 75% premium for it (compared to the SB12-NSD).
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post #4 of 28 Old 03-03-2017, 12:08 AM
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I wouldn't pay 75% more for the SB-2000 either.
I'd say you're reasoning is sound . You could wait patiently for a used sub to come available, however, most offerings are likely to have a bigger form factor.
As I learned about this hobby, I've upgraded from Emotiva to Hsu, to PSA, to diy subs.
I could have saved hundreds of dollars if I'd just gotten the biggest/best sub I could afford right from the outset.
Upgrading is fun but expensive.
Have you considered diy?


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post #5 of 28 Old 03-03-2017, 12:14 AM
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You could roll the dice on the SB-12NSD, knowing that you wouldn't lose much if you decide to sell it a year from now considering the purchase price.
If I lived in the States, I'd have bought one weeks ago, as my major consideration for the den is also size.
Just remember to keep all the packaging!

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post #6 of 28 Old 03-03-2017, 12:19 AM
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the vented rsl 10s speedwoofer would also be in your range at $399

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post #7 of 28 Old 03-03-2017, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by littlefoott View Post
the vented rsl 10s speedwoofer would also be in your range at $399
That's another one I've seen a few people recommend. Powerful amp for a 10" sub.
Don't know much about it. I'm sure others with more knowledge will chime in.

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post #8 of 28 Old 03-03-2017, 12:33 AM
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here is a good read
http://www.audioholics.com/subwoofer...peedwoofer-10s
and
http://www.soundandvision.com/conten...W1pYzA8WO9E.97

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post #9 of 28 Old 03-03-2017, 12:36 AM
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And it's got free shipping both ways. You could order it and give it a try.

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post #10 of 28 Old 03-03-2017, 12:41 AM
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don't rule out the nsd it also a great performer
this is a win - win scenario

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post #11 of 28 Old 03-03-2017, 12:46 AM
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just saw this in another thread

SVS SB12-NSD, new for $359.10. 10% off other subs using code on ebay.

CGAMETECH10 code for 10% off some electronics is active until March 6th on ebay. This means you can once again get in on the SB12-NSD from OneCall for $359.10 after discount.
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post #12 of 28 Old 03-03-2017, 12:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlefoott View Post
the vented rsl 10s speedwoofer would also be in your range at $399
I did spend some time looking at that one. I don't remember seeing how it compared (frequency response graphs) to the SB12-NSD. The one thing I'm not big on is the name. Oh, one other thing - that the name is on the logo. I prefer a more understated look. But that wouldn't be a dealbreaker.
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post #13 of 28 Old 03-03-2017, 01:00 AM
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I was just putting it out there
the nsd measures better
the vented rsl may give more output

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post #14 of 28 Old 03-03-2017, 01:03 AM
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Straight up honest with you, $400 for a SB12-NSD is really pretty much a no-brainer if you're looking for a sealed sub. When SVS had them on sale on their site last year during BF and (Xmas was it?), they were selling faster than fresh new pizzas out of Grimaldi's oven.

It's not worth the 75% premium to get the SB2000. Yes, the SB2000 is technically the better sub but the difference is overall pretty subtle at most (1.5db-3db overall more output across its rated frequency range).

Get the SB12NSD while you still can. The RSL 10s has been recommended by many too, but I've personally never heard it so no comment on that one.
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post #15 of 28 Old 03-03-2017, 01:33 AM - Thread Starter
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just saw this in another thread

SVS SB12-NSD, new for $359.10. 10% off other subs using code on ebay.

CGAMETECH10 code for 10% off some electronics is active until March 6th on ebay. This means you can once again get in on the SB12-NSD from OneCall for $359.10 after discount.
Quote:
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Straight up honest with you, $400 for a SB12-NSD is really pretty much a no-brainer if you're looking for a sealed sub. When SVS had them on sale on their site last year during BF and (Xmas was it?), they were selling faster than fresh new pizzas out of Grimaldi's oven.

It's not worth the 75% premium to get the SB2000. Yes, the SB2000 is technically the better sub but the difference is overall pretty subtle at most (1.5db-3db overall more output across its rated frequency range).

Get the SB12NSD while you still can. The RSL 10s has been recommended by many too, but I've personally never heard it so no comment on that one.
My wife is going to be very upset with you guys when I explain to her that you made me order this.

Thanks for your help in pushing me over the edge.

Anyone want a Polk PSW303B? I happen to have one available for sale.
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post #16 of 28 Old 03-03-2017, 02:07 AM
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if it doesn't vibrate too much, put a picture on it or a furnishing of some sort.

when I first received the huge pb2000
I put it up front like the crawl said I should and the wife balked at it. So I moved it to the corner behind the chair.
Few weeks go by and I moved it back out front and re did audyssey and put an 8x10 picture of her niece on it, she came home said "well that's not so bad" and it has stayed there since.
She has also commented "it works better there!"

so far so good!
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post #17 of 28 Old 03-07-2017, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
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The SB12-NSD just arrived at my office today. I'll plan to get it setup and play around with it this weekend.
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post #18 of 28 Old 03-07-2017, 03:43 PM
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Looking forward to hearing your impressions. Do post back.

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post #19 of 28 Old 03-07-2017, 03:54 PM
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The SB12 cranks out a good amount of bass above 40hz, but it will come up short below 30hz with action oriented flicks.

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post #20 of 28 Old 03-08-2017, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
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The SB12 cranks out a good amount of bass above 40hz, but it will come up short below 30hz with action oriented flicks.
I'm hoping it's enough. In the short-term, it will have to be enough. If it's not, then I may add another sub later. Of course, we've survived with a used Polk PSW303B for the last 3-4 years, so I'm pretty sure we can make due with the SB12-NSD for a while.

Edit: Speaking of the Polk, I had planned on just selling it on craigslist, but I wonder if there would be much benefit to keeping it along with the SB12? If it has less of a load to carry, would it be tighter? If I did keep it, what's the best way to hook them both up - can I just use a splitter on the subwoofer pre-out from my receiver (Pioneer VSX-1022-K)?

Or is it better to just stick to my original plan?

Last edited by capo4u; 03-08-2017 at 01:34 PM.
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post #21 of 28 Old 03-08-2017, 01:46 PM
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I own the SB12 and it is a quality sub, as long as your room isn't too big. Very tight and accurate, I have mine paired with a ported sub, so it took some playing to get it level matched. Way better than my Klipsch Rw12d...and on par with my EMPtek 10i10i!
yes, use a splitter after the subwoofer out from your AV rec and then two single RCA or sub cables...
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post #22 of 28 Old 03-08-2017, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post
I own the SB12 and it is a quality sub, as long as your room isn't too big. Very tight and accurate, I have mine paired with a ported sub, so it took some playing to get it level matched. Way better than my Klipsch Rw12d...and on par with my EMPtek 10i10i!
yes, use a splitter after the subwoofer out from your AV rec and then two single RCA or sub cables...
If I keep the Polk in the lineup, will its deficiencies impair the sound quality of the system overall? Am I better off not plugging it in?
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post #23 of 28 Old 03-09-2017, 07:29 AM
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Well, a couple possible issues with using the Polk and the SVS together...same issues I faced, btw.
Overall, my outlaw sub, being ported is capable of higher output. the SVS is very accurate (of course, so is the outlaw). I didn't level match using a mic like I should have, but just did it with my ears. had to balance turning up the SVS to match the output without putting it into distort mode on some movies with "active lfe"...eventually, I came to the conclusion that the SVS set at 60% gain and the Outlaw set at 35% gain gives me essential similar levels from my two subs. So I am having to sacrafice some output from the Outlaw sub for better "across the room bass response" that you get with two subs...but most of the time, excellent bass in my theater.
Try it and see how well they play together!

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post #24 of 28 Old 03-09-2017, 08:03 AM
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You can try pairing the PSW with the SB12 but I bet you will find that the PSW just mucks up the sound. I have owned a couple PSW505's, I currently own a SB12(PC), Outlaw M8(garage), and 3 PSA 15v's(living room). I have also had experience with about 15 or so different budget oriented subs ranging from(Bic,Dayton, JBL, Kenwood, Klipsch Polk, Paradigm...etc) being I use them with my Touch Tunes jukeboxes for my coin op route. So I have a clue as to what your experience might be.


My guess is if you listen to action oriented movies at spirited levels you will want dual SB12's in that room...at medium levels it will do fine. I use the SB12 for my PC rig and it cranks out a lot of bass in a 10x12 den.

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post #25 of 28 Old 03-09-2017, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capo4u View Post
I'm hoping it's enough. In the short-term, it will have to be enough. If it's not, then I may add another sub later. Of course, we've survived with a used Polk PSW303B for the last 3-4 years, so I'm pretty sure we can make due with the SB12-NSD for a while.

Edit: Speaking of the Polk, I had planned on just selling it on craigslist, but I wonder if there would be much benefit to keeping it along with the SB12? If it has less of a load to carry, would it be tighter? If I did keep it, what's the best way to hook them both up - can I just use a splitter on the subwoofer pre-out from my receiver (Pioneer VSX-1022-K)?

Or is it better to just stick to my original plan?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post
I own the SB12 and it is a quality sub, as long as your room isn't too big. Very tight and accurate, I have mine paired with a ported sub, so it took some playing to get it level matched. Way better than my Klipsch Rw12d...and on par with my EMPtek 10i10i!
yes, use a splitter after the subwoofer out from your AV rec and then two single RCA or sub cables...
High praises for the E1010i sub! I agree. It really is a very solid sub and looks great too. I wish more sub makers would go to this taller look. I need to stop looking at the RBH sx-1212


Capo4u...I know where you can get one! Maybe even a pair of them

Hopefully you're happy with the SVS and the output. Pretty much anything will be better than that Polk. I would also pass on pairing it with the SVS, for the same reason as above.

Seems like I'm seeing a lot of people recommending the RSL sub lately! Looks like it has some pretty solid output down to 24-25hz for a single 10" sub! More than the dual 10" from RBH/EMP-tek, but it's around $100 more. It'd be interesting to see what they could do in a single 15" ported market or a dual 10" like the RBH


*@2m; taken from Audioholics

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post #26 of 28 Old 03-09-2017, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post
Well, a couple possible issues with using the Polk and the SVS together...same issues I faced, btw.
Overall, my outlaw sub, being ported is capable of higher output. the SVS is very accurate (of course, so is the outlaw). I didn't level match using a mic like I should have, but just did it with my ears. had to balance turning up the SVS to match the output without putting it into distort mode on some movies with "active lfe"...eventually, I came to the conclusion that the SVS set at 60% gain and the Outlaw set at 35% gain gives me essential similar levels from my two subs. So I am having to sacrafice some output from the Outlaw sub for better "across the room bass response" that you get with two subs...but most of the time, excellent bass in my theater.
Try it and see how well they play together!
Quote:
Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post
You can try pairing the PSW with the SB12 but I bet you will find that the PSW just mucks up the sound. I have owned a couple PSW505's, I currently own a SB12(PC), Outlaw M8(garage), and 3 PSA 15v's(living room). I have also had experience with about 15 or so different budget oriented subs ranging from(Bic,Dayton, JBL, Kenwood, Klipsch Polk, Paradigm...etc) being I use them with my Touch Tunes jukeboxes for my coin op route. So I have a clue as to what your experience might be.


My guess is if you listen to action oriented movies at spirited levels you will want dual SB12's in that room...at medium levels it will do fine. I use the SB12 for my PC rig and it cranks out a lot of bass in a 10x12 den.
So I plugged it in this morning but haven't done any calibration or subcrawl or anything yet. When I first calibrated the system a while back, my brother had me put the volume/gain dial on the Polk all the way up. So the volume had to be kind of high for the sub to even turn on.

I turned on 13 Hours (thanks, Amazon Prime!) and turned it up. I usually listen with the AVR volume set around 40. I cranked it up to 60ish. It was pretty fun feeling the floor rattle with the explosions. It was controlled chaos. Sounded great.

I don't think I'm going to worry about trying to fit in the Polk. When I have more time (and can find the AVR remote) I'll redo the MCACC calibration with the gain set lower. Should I start it around the midpoint, or even lower?
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post #27 of 28 Old 03-12-2017, 08:18 PM - Thread Starter
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So I still haven't calibrated the system with the new addition, but I've been continuing to use it. Watched Hacksaw Ridge last night along with the Oasis:Supersonic documentary. Was pleasantly surprised at how much low-end kick was in the Trolls soundtrack as I watched with the kids this afternoon. I'm very pleased with this sub so far.

Had a friend in the house that was in another room while we were watching Trolls. She said it sounded like a movie theater. I took that as a compliment (though I've read enough in this forum to know that some of your systems are robust enough that statement could be considered an insult).

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Receiver: Pioneer VSX-1022-K
Sub: SVS SB12-NSD
Fronts: Pioneer SP-BS22-LR
Center: Polk CSi30
Surrounds: Polk R15
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post #28 of 28 Old Today, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Been really enjoying this sub. Redbox appreciates it, too, as I've been renting a few of the blu-rays on the ultimate bass list. The only problem is that I often find the sub unplugged. My marital partner is not a big fan of low frequency bliss.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

Receiver: Pioneer VSX-1022-K
Sub: SVS SB12-NSD
Fronts: Pioneer SP-BS22-LR
Center: Polk CSi30
Surrounds: Polk R15
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