SVS B4 Subwoofer Product Review!!! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 152 Old 09-22-2003, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Finally a pro review of this beast!

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...front-main.jpg

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...er-9-2003.html

Tee

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post #2 of 152 Old 09-22-2003, 07:59 PM
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Note it is a B4 and not a B4-Plus. Solid review with several good quotes for SVS.

Quote:
From my listening experiences with the B4, it is obviously the most powerful subwoofer ever constructed for consumer use.
Quote:
SVS has done it again. For anyone who wants to have the Darth Vader of subwoofers, the B4 is it. With almost unlimited power and low distortion, the B4 is definitely one of the Masters of the Universe.
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post #3 of 152 Old 09-23-2003, 07:09 AM
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Are those distortion numbers typical for a high-end sub?
Also, am I reading correctly that it is +/-10db from 80->15Hz?
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post #4 of 152 Old 09-23-2003, 09:02 AM
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Seriously, all joking aside, in a small dorm room with the volume cranked all the way up, wouldn't that sub be dangerous?
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post #5 of 152 Old 09-23-2003, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by cajunlab
Are those distortion numbers typical for a high-end sub?
Also, am I reading correctly that it is +/-10db from 80->15Hz?
Keep in mind he took those measurements outside.

"40 Hz at 100 dB produced only 1.2% THD. Maximum output was 122 dB, and the amp did not shut off."

I bet his neighbors thought the world was coming to an end. 122 db from 1 meter OUTSIDE. OMG.
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post #6 of 152 Old 09-23-2003, 10:33 AM
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CB,

While that was a very very early sample (read shipping products have been improved in some key respects so I'd say Dr. Johnson's results are somewhat conservative), this was a "B4-Plus".

As noted he used "only" the K1 for power, and as noted tested outdoors -- which totally obviates any room gain which, depending on the room and the frequency would likely be anything like 8-14dB over outdoor ground plane measurements (keeping THD constant).

No port plugs (for lower tuning and enhanced response down low) or subsonic filters were used either as two other caveats to keep the context of the measurements straight. Not that we have any problem with the results.

Ron
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post #7 of 152 Old 09-23-2003, 11:05 AM
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The B4+ was measured in 25hz extension mode. So once frequencies drop much below the tuning point...thd is going to rise very quickly. Hitting 100dBs outside with 3% thd at 20hz isn't too bad considering that is already 1/3octave below the tuning point of the enclosure. But you can see by 15hz the subwoofer isn't working optimally. One thing to remember, John Johnson measured the B4+ outside because he couldn't reach any type of output limits in his room...this is the first subwoofer that forced him to an entirely different measurement method.
In my experiences...going from ground plane to in room...You'll add about 4 to 4.5dB per boundary.(theory indicates 6dB per boundary...but in the real world everything is "lossy") So corner loading is going to add 8-9dBs...with another 1-3dBs for the ceiling depending on height and construction. So figure 10-12dBs just for the boundary effects. "Room gain'' is something entirely different. That is a phenomenon that boosts the deepest frequencies in an enclosed or semi-enclosed listening area. In a typical North American 2500 cu-ft living area with a couple openings to other room areas...you might see 2-4dB of *room gain* in the 16-25hz range. In smaller, well sealed rooms...you can see double that. In larger open rooms...nearly nothing. So going from ground planing to corner loaded in a typical 2500 cu-ft room...you might see something like 12-16dBs of additional output for the same input levels.

When I was using the K1, the B4+ stayed very linear (low distortion) until the K1 reached its output limits...than the odd order THD suddenly skyrocketed and the combination could only manage another dBish.(I remember John Kotches and I discussing this specifically a while back)

His maximum output readings do seem to parallel closely to what B4+ owners measure in thier rooms with the most bass intense DVDs. Until he measures a few other subwoofers outside(if he ever does), it will be tough to gauge just how well the B4+ numbers are in some regards though.

Tom V.
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post #8 of 152 Old 09-23-2003, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by cajunlab
Are those distortion numbers typical for a high-end sub?
To see how those distortion numbers compare with other products, check out the current review in Home Theater Magazine by Keith Yates.

The numbers reported are quite good, with obvious exception of the 15Hz measurement which would have been more interesting if he had taken a couple measurements at 15Hz and 20Hz with different tunings.

Also note that the distortion is at the levels listed in the image, not what was observed as maximum levels.

Mark Seaton
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post #9 of 152 Old 09-23-2003, 03:57 PM
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Since I'm not able to upgrade right now (still building), I'm not going to read this review to avoid the temptation. :)
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post #10 of 152 Old 09-23-2003, 09:09 PM
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Any reason why you guys (SVS) weren't in the Home Theatre magazine subwoofer test? I couldn't believe that you guys (or Hsu) wasn't covered in the review.

Rick
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post #11 of 152 Old 09-23-2003, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sevenfeet
Any reason why you guys (SVS) weren't in the Home Theatre magazine subwoofer test? I couldn't believe that you guys (or Hsu) wasn't covered in the review.
See the Hsu and SVS not in sub shootout? thread for the answer to your question.

This was Ron Stimpson's response with regards to whether or not SVS was invited to participate and declined:
Quote:
Originally posted by Ron Stimpson
Trust me, if anyone had had the balls to invite us, we'd have been there.

There are some bulls you don't invite into your china shop I guess.

Ron Stimpson
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post #12 of 152 Old 09-24-2003, 04:35 AM - Thread Starter
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quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Ron Stimpson
Trust me, if anyone had had the balls to invite us, we'd have been there.

There are some bulls you don't invite into your china shop I guess.

Ron Stimpson
SVS
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I love that responce.:D

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post #13 of 152 Old 09-25-2003, 06:30 PM
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As a B4+ owner, I can say that I am utterly amazed at not only the spl readings I have witnessed here in my 4500 CF room (122 uncorrected on the matrix heli scene for one) but how tight the bass is...accurate to a "T"...beautiful to boot!! Its good to see SVS spreading a bit more, as they make very good subs (I've had 2 myself..upgraditis ya know) and if ever I need another, It'll be with them...glad to see the review as positive as I have viewed it. 3C

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post #14 of 152 Old 09-26-2003, 08:40 PM
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I for one am glad to see so many positive reviews of the B4. I'm debating getting 2 of them. Still trying to evaluate all the angles at this point...but I'm pretty close to taking the plunge.
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post #15 of 152 Old 09-27-2003, 01:02 PM
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Yes, it is a great sub, and not that I don't want Tom and Ron to get a double sale..but try one first...I believe 2 gives you 6db max headroom...the bass is insane...and the product is wonderful...and ya need room....if you put one on each side you'll obviously loose some max ...these suckers are good size:) Check out my site for a few pics of them...3C

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post #16 of 152 Old 09-27-2003, 01:27 PM
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One thing I didn't like about the review is when comparing it to other subs he's comparing it to low quality ones. I mean the sub with amp cost $3500 of course it's gonna sound better than a $500 sub that can't go to 20Hz it better for that price. I wish he would've compared it to say the HGS 18 or a REL sub or something more high end that also can go to 20hz and below so you could get a better reference as to how good it was.

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post #17 of 152 Old 09-27-2003, 01:33 PM
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took a look at your site. Man..is that nice, or what? Thanks for the advise. At this stage in the game, I'll take all of it I can get. I assume you're satisfied with your purchase? Have you tried it on U-571 and LOTR TT? BTW, how does the unit perform during 2 channel?
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post #18 of 152 Old 09-27-2003, 01:37 PM
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If you read the conclusions...and I'm sure Johnson has seen his fair share of subs...I don't think he is leaving out the big guns...as TV said above, "One thing to remember, John Johnson measured the B4+ outside because he couldn't reach any type of output limits in his room...this is the first subwoofer that forced him to an entirely different measurement method.

Could mean they were measureable inside? On the flip side, maybe he hasn't measured them all yet? dunno, but at 2499 its one helluva sub, and its one upgrade I won't be looking at doing for a long ass time:)

Know when to hold'em, know when to fold'em....keep'em tight, or its my money tonight...
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post #19 of 152 Old 09-27-2003, 01:50 PM
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Jav...thanks....yes, I am far more than satisfied...I have cranked up the ring drop, battle scenes from lotr, and all the major "bombs" in dvd...I was very impressed with the helicopter scene as it is about 6 seconds of pure sub destroying bass...with 6 seconds at 122 uncorrected (~ 130 corrected) things start moving around the room. We have vaulted ceilings upstairs with a light fixture hanging from it...my sub sits downstairs(cement/carpet below it), and at one point the light was swinging from the ceiling lol...now this is 20' ABOVE the sub..... in LOTR I ran it at 12 below reference, and couldn't take much more as window treatments, and my TV screen were wavering pretty bad...its intense! As for music...bass is easy to get in many forms...boomy or not, its present and some people love that boom ****...not me... Its this part, not the spls, that amaze me..it is VERY tight, accurate to a "T"...its blends very well with my system, and I actually find myself using it for all my 2 channel listening...Using the Lexicon mc-8, I use the L7 more...sounds great...you won't be disappointed! 2 of these would be overkill in my 4500 CF room...My crown K1 will give out before the sub...long before..and I, nor my house, could take 140 db's ...My wife said one day we'll have a big crack in our wall upstairs lol...then again..I believe her..that's the power it has. 3C

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post #20 of 152 Old 09-27-2003, 01:52 PM
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Jav, how big is your room? I have 2 big openings, 1 going up and one going down a hallway...If my room were smaller, I'd be in big trouble....I'd be buying new windows...and I'm serious.

Know when to hold'em, know when to fold'em....keep'em tight, or its my money tonight...
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post #21 of 152 Old 09-27-2003, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Threecard
Jav, how big is your room? I have 2 big openings, 1 going up and one going down a hallway...If my room were smaller, I'd be in big trouble....I'd be buying new windows...and I'm serious.
Well let's see.....it's about 16x25; so thats' 400sf
and since it's a half cathedral ceiling, the bottom half is 10 ft tall...so that gives us 10*400 = 4,000cf.

then the top half of the half cathedral goes up another 9 feet but it's only on one side of the room. So tha's [400*9]/2 = 1800 cf

then there's the foyer by the front door, which is also open to my living [theater] room which is 12*5*10 = 600cf

so 4,000 + 1800 + 600 = 6400 cf.....

also, the room isn't totally enclosed. There's a 3ft wide opening [hallway] that leads from the living room to the kitchen area and part [about 1/3] of the upper part of the cathedral wall is open to an upstairs loft.

Your thoughts?
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post #22 of 152 Old 09-27-2003, 09:57 PM
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BTW 3C,
There's a dts dvd that IMAX put out called Solar Max. I have the 30 minute version but there's also a longer version. Both have DTS. I was at a friends house a few months ago trying out his dual SVS 20-39s. At the time, I think he was using a Sampson amp. Anyway, we "bottomed out" the 20-39s with the Solar Max DVD. A few weeks later, he went out and bought a K-2. You can pick up the DVD on Ebay.

For 2 channel stuff, try Pomp and Pipes [Reference Recordings], and the second cut on Kiss My Axe [Al Dimeola].
Thanks
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post #23 of 152 Old 09-28-2003, 04:50 AM
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How about Titan AE DTS. I received this as a gift from my friend / installer(Thank you MYSPHYT) and after viewing it last night, I decided that of all of the soundtracks I have, this one is the most potent, deep, intense, sustained bass of all! Far superior in bass to LOTR, Saving Private Ryan, Haunting, U-571, Casper, etc.

My Crown K-2 was in the red (soft clipping) throughout most of the film. I may need a second amp (more headroom)!!

The first rattle I have ever heard in my room was ferreted out by this. It was a Middle Atlantic rack that was loaded with equipment!

I could feel my teeth chattering and hairs on the back of neck wavering!

Give it a try!

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There are more than a handful of [op amps] that sound so good that most designers want to be using them as opposed to discreet transistors. Dave Reich, Theta 2009
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post #24 of 152 Old 09-28-2003, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Jeff what about "We Were Soldiers" have you guys tried that one yet?

Tee

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post #25 of 152 Old 09-28-2003, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by thebland
How about Titan AE DTS. .......... Far superior in bass to LOTR, Saving Private Ryan, Haunting, U-571, Casper, etc.
is that the one with Anthony Hopkins in it?
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post #26 of 152 Old 09-28-2003, 09:03 AM
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Okay guys....sooner or later, I would like to make a decision.
Now, 3C has convinced me that if I go with the B4 setup, I should start out with only one. I'm okay with that. I could always pick up a second unit later if having just one doesn't raise my freak flag high enough. But then Thebland likes the B-DEAP.....and recounts close encounters with the bass gods in his review of that unit. The IB setup is definitley a future possibilty. But that's going to take some serious R&D before I go cuttin into the drywall.....so I'm going to park that one on the back burner for now and just deal with the B4 and the B-DEAP.

As I see it so far:
What it ultimately gets down to is performance in real time.....under real listening conditions. I don't usually play movies at high SPLs. For those of you familiar with a CBII, my typical listening level is around 35. I'll crank it up to 40 for the deep bass stuff sometimes but I hardly ever go beyond that. Performance below 20 Hz is important as long as the empirical data can be translated into something I can use in a real listening environment.

Secondary to performance, I love the look of the B4 but I'm also intrigued by the technology and the feedback to date of the B-DEAP. Just based on what I've read to date, both units are in a dead heat....and I'm looking for a tie-breaker.

The subs I currently have are okay but boomy when cranked up. And they just don't work well with Magneplanars. What I want is tight, fast, quick and fat, earth shattering, house spankin bass that's there when it's supposed to be there and not there when there's no call for it.

If I go with just one unit, it would probably sit about 8 feet behind the listening position....and either unit would work in the space I have provided.

Your thoughts?
Javry
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post #27 of 152 Old 09-28-2003, 10:42 AM
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Cool, I'll have to look for that one. Bottoming out isn't a word in this subs language fyi...the amp will give before anything on the sub does, so that's not a worry. I think Johnson was impressed as his statements lead us to believe...if he is, then why wouldn't we be, as we for the most part seek what he was...tight accurate, and yes some higher spl bass behing the curtain with little or no distortion to cringe our faces.... IF all things(sonically) are equal, and this is a "IF" your choices come down to ---> looks, customer service, size, price, and latter purchases (which SVS will take care of you on when you are thinking about a second sub...(which you shouldn't need, but its still a positive from them)

Looks---> You've seen it....its a 15 hour hand sand job and a 40 hour total unit creation...I was in awe when I received it, and has been my centerpiece and talk about piece since day one....colors galore( they matched mine with a sample I sent them fyi)

Customer service---> I'd have to say, they are the most friendly, fastest people I have ever dealt with...funnny thing is, the OWNERS actually email ya...which is great...problems, if any..or set up help/suggestions are usually a hour away...hell, I've had them email me back in 2 minutes lol...

size---> It's big...but beautiful...and delivered with extra heavy duty packaging.

Price---> 2499...simple as that..and worth every penny!

Latter purchases---> contact them before ordering...the like repeat customers..and a repeat B4+ customer even better:)

Though I can't vouch for a B-deap as I haven't heard it...I can say that my system sounds very impressive, and I can't imagine having a better sub under my roof...accurate, tight, beautiful, and knowing I am in good hands are all thunbs ups for svs and myself. I don't think you could go wrong with either as I'm sure the B-deap is of a caliber as the B4+....but I feel I made the right choice as I am happy, and will not upgrade this ever...seriously...I don't need more bass...more spl's...accuracy...so why would I? 3C

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post #28 of 152 Old 09-28-2003, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
How about Titan AE DTS?
Quote:
Originally posted by Javry
Is that the one with Anthony Hopkins in it?
I think you are thinking of 'Titus'.

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post #29 of 152 Old 09-28-2003, 02:19 PM
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yeah.....you're right. Titan AE huh? I'm heading over to Hollywood video in a couple of minutes. I'll look for it.
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post #30 of 152 Old 09-28-2003, 06:28 PM
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Titan AE

http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=1225

The important part...

"SOUND: In a first for 20th Century Fox, "Titan A.E" offers both a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and a DTS 5.1 edition of the movie. Although I'll talk more about that later, first let me say that this is really one of the most impressive soundtracks I've had the pleasure of listening to lately. Although the constant, forced legion of pop/rock songs doesn't particularly go with the movie, they sound particularly good here - loud and particularly crisp.

In fact, "loud" would be a good word to illustrate the entire soundtrack, which is often extremely agressive. Bluth's previous movie, "Anastasia", also put sound to fantastic use. With the kind of material here to go from, the sound designers have left no stone unturned, with every spaceship sound, electronic effect and explosion enveloping the viewer. Ships scream through the listening space, often making me duck out of reflex. Surrounds are put to hugely active use during the action sequences, which really do a fine job of putting the viewer even further into the experiences of the events of the movie.

Bass is definitely powerful at times, and there are quite a few scenes during the film that are "demo-worthy". The DTS soundtrack offers a minimal amount of additional clarity and fullness, but both soundtracks are for the most part very similar and quite excellent."

-Doug
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