Why have a subwoofer shootout ? - Page 13 - AVS Forum
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post #361 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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One thing I have informally kept an eye on during all these listening tests... is volume.

For most movies the dialog was in the 75-85 db range, and the bass peaks were in the 97 to 105 db range... for brief periods of time.

And Curtis... Regarding the VTF-3 or STF-3 against a pb1-isd...

The VTF-3, with both ports open, is pretty much identical to the STF-3 (at least after that first max extension run... yes guys, I read the Hsu forum...lol) ...

So it would be fair from the Hsu side...

And as far as the comparison of the pb1-isd to the VTF-3/2 ... The 25-31 pc plus had a bit higher output than did the Hsu... the HSu won out in clarity of upper bass and overall...

So.. TOM V. from SVS ... You can chime in here... Do you think the pb1-isd can hold its own with the Hsu ?
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post #362 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 11:05 AM
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It would be very interesting to compare the SVS PB2-ISD ($1,000 with shipping) against any of the subs mentioned since it has two drivers and is still at a good price point.
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post #363 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 11:07 AM
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I'd like to see you get that PB1 Craig, since I believe you, and I know I, believe the boxes to be a little "tighter", more accurate sounding. And it'll give a chance to see how the SQ of the ISD driver measures up to Plus even though in a different enclosure.
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post #364 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 11:12 AM
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A box enclosure will not be tighter and more accurate sounding than a well-designed cylindrical enclosure. If anything, a well-designed cylindrical enclosure may be slightly cleaner sounding with less coloration than a box sub, especially compared to a box sub that does not have extensive internal bracing.
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post #365 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 11:22 AM
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OK...I see where you are coming from. I was looking at $600 vs $600.

Like tusken, I am also interested in the SQ of the PB1-ISD.

Both you and tusken mentioned SQ differences between the SVS cylinder and boxes. What is the theory behind this? Craig, you have heard both now. Tusken, have you? Thoughts?

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post #366 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Threecard
.......only because we normally don't listen to movies at 100+ db's...and if we do, we don't know it because we are Deaf:)
Threecard....great line, but also very true.

So at what point do we stop think about SPL per dollar and start thinking about SQ per dollar?

We all know we can get as much SPL as we need, but SQ is that subjective piece that I think many overlook.

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post #367 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 11:57 AM
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OK...I'm on a roll.....and procrastinating things I have to do today.....

I would also like to see Craig get his hands on a Velodyne DD, also the new Rocket UFW-12.

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post #368 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 12:08 PM
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When My PB2+ arrived, I thought my wife was going to be a little upset. After all this was going in our Great room. To my surprise, she suggested we use it as an end-table between our sofa and love-seat. She wa then able to "Conceal" it. Check out the pictures. I think she did a great job. No one has ever known the difference, of course until you fire up a movie. This room is over 7,000 cubic feet. With the position of the PB2+, we are able to hit 120 db peaks from our listening position easily. Great sub, and matches up perfectly with my Magnepan 1.6QR speakers as well.
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post #369 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 12:22 PM
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bukiwhitey,

That is similar to how I plan to use it. Do you have a link to some pictures?

RICK

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post #370 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 12:33 PM
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I thought I had added 2 pictures, however it did not work. Any tips on adding attachments.

Thanks,

David
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post #371 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 12:59 PM
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http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/misc....=3#attachments

This link has directions for adding a picture. You have to use the post reply button not quick reply. Then browse for the picture using the attach file area.
LL

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post #372 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 01:02 PM
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When My PB2+ arrived, I thought my wife was going to be a little upset. After all this was going in our Great room. To my surprise, she suggested we use it as an end-table between our sofa and love-seat. She wa then able to "Conceal" it. Check out the pictures. I think she did a great job. No one has ever known the difference, of course until you fire up a movie. This room is over 7,000 cubic feet. With the position of the PB2+, we are able to hit 120 db peaks from our listening position easily. Great sub, and matches up perfectly with my Magnepan 1.6QR speakers as well.
LL
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post #373 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 01:03 PM
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Funny it took the picture I attached but the file is shown as if it is blank?? Possibly you will have better luck RICK

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post #374 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 01:04 PM
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Here is another shot. "Concealed PB2+".

Thanks for the info Richard.

David
LL
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post #375 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 01:07 PM
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Thanks for posting the picture. Looks great. Is there any problem with the rear ports or they just not covered enough to be a problem. I was concerned with my set up because my ports will be close to the wall as yours are. I think I will have about 5 to 6 inches of free space from the port opening to the wall. RICK

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post #376 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 01:10 PM
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Rick,

I am 7 inches from back wall. I almost always run it with 25hz tune all ports open. I have never heard a thing from the ports. I have felt some air circulating. And I dont need any bass shakers for the seats.

David
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post #377 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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One of the many fun experiences of this shootout has been debunking some of the myths regarding subwoofers. One of those myths is that a cylinder sounds better than a box. The reasons given are due to the shape of the cylinder, internal standing waves are eliminated, and since the cylinder is open both ends (or a driver is there), the enclosure, being round, won't flex.

I have found the SVS pb2+ to be far superior in sound quality to the pair of 25-31 pc+... and more powerful. By superior, it handles the mid and upper bass areas very well, as well as do the Hsu subs. In fact, as a broad, sweeping statement, the PB2+ sounds a lot like the "big brother" to the Hsu... They both are fast, accurate, and powerful. The biggest difference is when the music goes deep, the PB-2+ just seems limitless, the Hsu does not (quite)...

The single VTF-3/2 sounded better than the single 25-31 pc+ ... it was tighter, and went just as deep.... though the 25-31 seemed to have a bit more "juice" in the deepest bass, and it is the subwoofer of choice for sheer dynamics and home theatre only use. As an overall performer though, the Hsu wins this contest. (There goes my anti-Hsu bias again...lol)

Based on what I have heard to date, If I was spending $700 for a sub, no question, the Hsu gets the prize. It also will fit a lot of environments... it is not a sub that requires a lot of real estate...

So a good question is why does the box sub sound better to me than does the cylinder ? It also does to others (tuskenraider... etal).

That is something I would like to hear theories about...

As for the PB2+... We just finished LOTR..TT... The Hsu's handled disc one, and did a nice job... rumbling, deep... and sounding good.

The SVS did disc two, and this was the absolute top... We have watched this movie at least 10 times. Some of the bass we heard this afternoon was nothing short of amazing. When Tree-beard throws his boulders toward the end, we were getting 110 db peaks on bass, but we had the volume set so dialog was a mild 75 db... and every bass extravaganza from this movie was presented in such a way as we have never heard, and this includes the pair of 25-31's in the same position...

It was the type of bass that brought a smile to my face, even after ten days of testing... which, by the way, I am looking forward to a few day's talking about the first half of the test, listening to music, and getting ready for the Denali...

When we sat down to watch the movie, my enthusiasm was lukewarm, at best... and by the end, it was clear that the pb2+ is a great sub, regardless of cost...

And a little teaser for later... We measured 114 db at 16 hz with a single pb2+... one meter... ground plane...
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post #378 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 01:27 PM
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thanks Craig:) When you said you toned the "dialog" down to 75, were you running the sub really hot or how did you go about calibrating this so you could hit 110+ yet have a dialog of 75...just curious. Oh...I promised ya a pic of the new speakers...the other 3 are on they're way this week via boat, but here is one for ya since you've finally revealed some true thoughts:) -->

http://home.mchsi.com/~toml/wsb/html...ID-623101.html

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post #379 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a funny way of watching a movie... I adjust the volume until dialog is comfortable... like the people were there talking...

In this case, it just happened to be 75 db (give or take) ... and I have the subs running about 3 db hot... This movie just has over 30 db in dynamic range... thus the occasional 110 db peak...

Oh... and in a chat with Kyle Richardson regarding passive radiators... I have renamed his 18 inch MDF's "Aggressive Radiators" ... he seemed to enjoy that...
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post #380 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 01:33 PM
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All else equal, a well-designed cylinder will have some very obvious physical advantages over a box sub. That is no myth, far from it really.

Comparing dual driver sub with new amp to an older design single driver sub with a different amp is an oranges to grapes comparison, hardly representative of a proper box vs cylinder argument. All else equal, the cylinder would have some physical advantages because it does not require internal bracing and it allows for use of longer ports that may be more impractical with a box sub.
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post #381 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Troy... From everything Tom V. from SVS has told me... the PB2-ISD sounds identical to the PLUS... just subtract 3db of headroom.

One thing I have noticed from both Hsu and SVS... They do not embellish, extrapolate (ok, usually don't...lol) , nor falsify claims. Both companies use science, valid approaches, and give straight answers.

What this means is based on a limited amount of exposure, we can get a good idea what a different sub sounds like... which is a good thing...

So Troy... I can tell you safely that for under $1000 delivered the PB2-ISD will be a tremendous sub...

NOW... To Curtis... I appreciate you wanting me to have all these subs... you are a real friend...

:p
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post #382 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 02:12 PM
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So you are implying that PCi subs should also be identical sounding to the PC+, with a bit less headroom? From what I recall, PC+ owners felt the sound quality improved over the PCi even when not pushed to extreme output levels, and that would presumably be mainly due to differences in the driver.
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post #383 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 02:18 PM
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I was under the belief that at lower levels the PCi driver and the plus drivers would sound very similar but when "pushed" near their max the plus driver would sound noticeably better.
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post #384 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Therefore... maybe we will have to get an ISD driver sub... and see what happens... You may also want to ask Tom V... he is a good source...

Troy... how big is the room you want to fill ?
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post #385 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 02:26 PM
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As far as I know, there hasn't been a formal review testing the musical capabilities of PCi vs PC+. Would be interesting. I have seen people who claim that the Ultra driver sounds better than the Plus driver, so it probably wouldn't be a big stretch to find someone who feels the same way about Plus vs ISD driver. At least debateable, no doubt.

The situation with Hsu is a little bit different. Since Dr. Hsu personally custom designs his own drivers, and since the drivers differ based on size, then we can more easily see why the sound quality between different sized models is similar until we reach the output limits of each respective model.
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post #386 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am off to dinner/movie with the wife and kids...

When I get back, I will get all the measurements posted...
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post #387 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by craigsub
Troy... how big is the room you want to fill ?
I have a modest FP theater in my L shaped basement of approximately 4,800 cu ft with no other openings other than the stairs. There are a couple other rooms but they have doors. It is all drywall and carpet with seating for 7 in a stadium type arrangement. Nothing fancy. The ceilings must be around 8' I guess other than a few areas that have concealed duct work. The furniture consists of mostly leather recliners, all with bass shakers under them, or the riser they sit on, with isolators under the risers.

When we built the house, we were coming from a 1600 SF house to this one which is 4,000 SF (not counting the partial basement). I thought that we would only use the basement for storage since the upstairs was huge. I made a really big mistake by not getting the full basement (only $3,000 more at the time). Half the area under our house is 4' high crawl space. You just can't make a basement bigger after the house is built without a lot of expense. A full basement would have doubled the size of my theater area and would have been large enough to really do it right. I am not sure why I am telling you all this except I suspect the PB2+ is overkill for most, including me, but I still hope that our next house in about 5 years will have a much nicer home theater built in to the upstairs floor plan. I value a home theater much more than a dining room or living room and expect to see them incorporated into more homes, not just the very expensive.

If you are building, get the biggest basement you can with the highest ceiling that is reasonable even if you don't need it now. You can add cabinets, finish rooms and such later but you just can't easily convert a crawl space into a usable room without a lot more expense.

Well that should have helped fill the time waiting for craigsub to get back. I bet he would rather be watching the movie in his own home theater. It is hard to go to the movies with all the talking and food munching going on after having my own little theater.
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post #388 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 02:59 PM
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Troy, one thing to think about is that in 5 years, I bet subs with auto EQing will be common place at these prices, better drivers and amps, etc....

If I know I will be upgrading down the road, I get what will be fine for me now, knowing that later I will have something better.

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post #389 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by craigsub
NOW... To Curtis... I appreciate you wanting me to have all these subs... you are a real friend...:p
Think of what a great resource you would be!

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post #390 of 1163 Old 02-15-2004, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by cschang
Troy, one thing to think about is that in 5 years, I bet subs with auto EQing will be common place at these prices, better drivers and amps, etc....

If I know I will be upgrading down the road, I get what will be fine for me now, knowing that later I will have something better.
You are right of course. I tried justifying getting a smaller sub but just couldn't pull the trigger and it was taking up too much of my time worrying about it. For the extra $300 I got the one I wanted. Not a logical choice as much as an emotional one. In reading the comparisions here, all the subs did well but only the PB2+ stood out and put a smile on their face. I want to smile too!

I will often spend a little more to get what I really want. For example, I could of got a new Toyota but for the same money I got a 2 year old certified BMW which was what I really wanted. Both great cars that will get you from point A to B but only one was "Oh what a feeling" and it wasn't the Toyota. :p
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