Why have a subwoofer shootout ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 1163 Old 02-05-2004, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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First, Please let me say the word "shootout" MAY have been a bad choice of names. ( That is what is known as an understatement )

For 13 years, I have been a fan of Hsu subs... I even owned a pair of 1220's with the 500 watt amp last winter.

I more recently became an SVS owner... and thought they also made great stuff....

So... What would happen if we compared them side by side... :

1. Would there be a winner ?
2. Would there be a loser ?
3. Would they be too close to tell ?
4. Would they both be great, yet different ?
5. Is it possible to like them BOTH ?

It seemed a good idea to check them out...

Then... Am I in any way qualified ?

1. I have been an audio nut for 28 years
2. I have owned over 20 brands of speaker, and at least 8 brands of sub...
3. I have ears, and a great place to do the test, and some really good measuring equipment....
4. I can actually (finally) afford to buy 7 subs to compare (OK... three I already had.... but I still paid for them)
5. So I figured, my little test would not suck any more than anyone else's

How serious is this ?

Not really... I think it will be discovered that both companies are great...

Can anyone learn anything from this ?

I hope so... THAT is what this is truly for... We will put both subs through a lot of paces... blind listening, accurate measurements, and yes... How loud/low/clean is it ????... etc...

and even some question/answering sessions... so the guy (girl) ...could possibly get some ideas which sub will work best in his/her room.

Finally... If you are saving for your sub, and are on the fence as to what to buy... this comparo MAY actually help...
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post #2 of 1163 Old 02-05-2004, 01:18 PM
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Craig,

You are a brave man! You also are an optimist and I like that about you. Good luck on your adventure and i shall be watching. :D

Tee

"Enjoy Movies & Music"

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post #3 of 1163 Old 02-05-2004, 01:22 PM
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I think it will be interesting to have at least somewhat of an idea to see how truly close these subs are. I'm betting that there won't be much of a difference, maybe 1db, if that...

Then maybe it can put so much of this whole thing to rest...which is better...

How's the answer.... NEITHER...they are both EQUALLY GOOD!!!!!

That's what I'd like to see.

I guess that makes me a SVSHSUphile/HSUSVSphile huh? :p

Trying to be politically correct here.
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post #4 of 1163 Old 02-05-2004, 01:29 PM
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Oh boy! Here we go again!
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post #5 of 1163 Old 02-05-2004, 01:50 PM
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Craigsub,

I am also eagerly awaiting these results. I am "on the fence" between VTF-3's and PB2+, or VTF-3 and PB1 and this test will help me make that decision with more information. I am surprised that it has taken this long to do a real comparison between these two manufacturers. I almost went and bought my own measuring equipment to do this myself, as underqualified as I may be. I also understand that different rooms may give different results, etc, so have no fear that you are affecting my opinion in an unfair way.
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post #6 of 1163 Old 02-05-2004, 01:53 PM
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"1db."

Lots more to it than that.

Smoothness, quickness, extension, and on and on and on.

I am serious...and don't call me Shirley.
Bryan Pape - Lead Acoustician
GIK Acoustics

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post #7 of 1163 Old 02-05-2004, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Once again... and this is coming from a lifelong Brown's fan...:p

I am sure there will be some differences... and everything posted here will be for information... not confrontation...

Right now, I am axiously waiting for the arrival of the Hsu subs... Their spot in the room is open, and my wife is rolling her eyes...(a lot).

They should be here tomorrow...

and over the next few months, I would like to try an Adire... Everything I hear about them is positive...

THIS will be the interesting part... I have participated in double blind tests before... comparing amps, and we failed miserably... especially those among us who COULD hear the difference when we knew which amp we were listening to (it was Adcom 5500 and Aragon 8008 ST ) ...

And for the blind portion of this listening... The sub(s) hooked up will be known only by my son, and he will switch them at the halfway point each night... and each night sub "A" or "B" will be picked... or no preference... depending on what we hear...

After two weeks of listening... We will post which sub(s) won, if any, each night, for each session. So it might look like this...

night # .......... Demonstration Disc ............. Winner
1 Titan AE A
2 Steely Dan A
3 LOTR...TT B
4 Phantom Menace None
5 Stanley Clarke B
etc..........

And each night, A few notes will be posted regarding that night... what we watched, what sub A and B sounded like... along with the list above being posted at the end...

Once any conclusions have been drawn... THEN we will look at which sub "won" each night... and post that... It sounds complicated... but is pretty simple...
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post #8 of 1163 Old 02-05-2004, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by PewterTA
I guess that makes me a SVSHSUphile/HSUSVSphile huh? :p
How do you pronounce those? :)

-curtis

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Volunteer Mod at the Ascend Acoustics Forum
Like all things on the Internet, do your research, as forums have a good amount of misinformation.
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post #9 of 1163 Old 02-05-2004, 02:52 PM
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bpape, yeah I know there's more to it, but I didn't feel like typing it all out. :p

Cschang, ....uhmmm.... I dunno? Something-something-phile I think. :D
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post #10 of 1163 Old 02-05-2004, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I could not agree more... Steely Dan's Two against Nature DVD is a great test... Randy Travis does nice bass lines, plus his voice goes deep baritone, a "slow" sub makes him sound hammered....

We are going to toss a lot at both subs...

Tonight we calibrated the PB2+... and ran 80 to 20 hz sweeps

It did 110 + db without breaking a sweat....
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post #11 of 1163 Old 02-05-2004, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The Hsu 1220's I had were not used with the HSU amp... Whenever I reference the 1220's, It is habit to refer to them as the 1220's with the 500 watt amp, and they are available seperately....We used a rane parametric eq and a Mackie 800WPC amp... It was flat to 16 hz... but it was NOT the Hsu amp...

Kudos to Curtis for pointing that out, and being gentleman enough to do so privately... He is a Hsu owner, a fan, and a good guy...
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post #12 of 1163 Old 02-05-2004, 07:49 PM
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How loud is 110+ dB? At what point do you start to lose hearing because it's so loud? How loud is it to be behind a jet plane as it takes off? Can the ears handle lower frequencies at higher DB than they can the higher frequencies? How loud does it get inside a typical music theater for a film like Jurassic Park?

People throw around these high dB numbers and I have difficulty appreciating just how important they really are. When people talk about other speakers, they always talk about things like frequency response curves and almost never about dB. Why are dBs deemed so important for subs?

These may seem like stupid questions but I would really like someone to explain to me why there is so much emphasis on dB for the subs but almost no mention of it for the other speakers.

Since every time a comparison is mentioned between brand Z and brand Y subs, measuring dB seems to be the most critical, or at least one of the most critical, factors, I'd really like to understand why.

FYI, obviously I don't own a sub yet, although not from lack of effort in trying to decide.
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post #13 of 1163 Old 02-05-2004, 07:58 PM
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"For 13 years, I have been a fan of Hsu subs... I even owned a pair of 1220's with the 500 watt amp last winter."

"I more recently became an SVS owner... and thought they also made great stuff...."

*Sounds a little subjective.....already

"So... What would happen if we compared them side by side... "

*In all likely hood bound to sound different

"1. I have been an audio nut for 28 years
2. I have owned over 20 brands of speaker, and at least 8 brands of sub."

*It appears your quest is never ending

" We will put both subs through a lot of paces... blind listening, accurate measurements, and yes... How loud/low/clean is it ????... etc...and even some question/answering sessions... so the guy (girl) ...could possibly get some ideas which sub will work best in his/her room."

*This of course entails sophisticated gear , not to mention the room acoustics , and of course all rooms are different , resulting in different results.

* And not everyone cares to listen at 110db

* Tom Nousaine I believe would be more qualified and objective.

* However sounds like you have the time and money , and a lot of fans here waiting to be reaffirmed on their purchases...regardless !

Have fun with it anyway :)

Most people don't know what they want...but, they're pretty sure they haven't got it. ©

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post #14 of 1163 Old 02-05-2004, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You asked... First Rick...

1. The 110 db was not on purpose... I had the meter on, we ran a sweep, and that is the number that came up. I will tell you I would not want to stay in the room for an extended time period. After that, I listened to the Steely Dan DVD-Audio, then watched some of The Fifth eEement.... the SPL meter ran about 85-95 db during normal listening of the Steely Dan... I left the volume at the same level during the movie. There will be peaks during a movie that can easily be 20 db higher than the average... So a 90 db level movie will often have 110 db peaks. If a sub cannot hit this cleanly, it will either make a bad noise (varying from sub to sub)... ot a limiter will kick in (if the subwoofer designer built one in) ... either way, you do not hear what the movie delivered.

2. People most certainly DO talk about dbs with loudspeaker reviews, but you have to know how to read them (the reviews). You will see things like "92 db / one watt / one meter..." ... Which means that for one watt in, you will get an SPL of 92 db's at a distance of one meter from the speaker. Almost all speakers require a separate amp, and for every time you have ten times the power into a speaker, you get 10 decibels more in SPL's... So with this speaker... one watt = 92 db.... ten watts = 102 db... 100 watts = 112 db...

And to our ears, every ten decibels sounds roughly twice as loud.

If you read more of what I am looking for in a subwoofer.... it is also the sub's ability to reproduce a bass guitar, kick drum, deep male vocals, AND the explosions from a movie... now... for Vinyl...

3. Would Thomas Nousaine be more qualified and objective ? Maybe... He does charge for his service... measures a sub, takes no feeback from anyone, and moves on. The two subs in this review have not been tested by him. In fact, it has been (to the best of my knowledge) several years since he did test anything from SVS or Hsu.

4. I never said I listened at 110 db.

5. Thanks for pointing out all rooms are different, I thought they were all identical.

6. Properly designed subs will more than likely sound similar...much less difference than with a full range speaker. Try a blind test sometime.

7. If my already liking the subs makes this subjective, ok. Would this be more appropriate if I tested something I detested ? Or perhaps never heard of ?

Finally - Yes, I have the money to do this, and enjoy the hobby, but thanks for writing anyway...
:)
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post #15 of 1163 Old 02-05-2004, 09:20 PM
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craig,

A few clarifications and suggestions

I don't recommend monster horns not because they could higher SPL at 10khz than the subwoofer at any freq. It is because they are so colored (box speakers are colored enough) that the finer details of sub/speaker transition would be lost.

Nobody said your Mac is mid-fi, They are the only brand for guys whose got money but is not an audiophile, like the way Bose is to the the low-enders. Anyway, only the MC2000 and its smaller sibling are worthy of anything.

Corvette is as good as what Chevy could produce, while the 911 is as much as bottom of the line as you can go (save the Boxster, which is like what Chrysler would do once in a while like the GLH).

Maybe play music with only the sub on, then one could hear all the grudge that gets masked by the speakers.

Also, please provide more detail as to the sub's placement and room/seating layout.

Othewise, have fun on the comparo. Test it with the MMGs if you ever get them, but don't be expecting to do maxSPL tests with them.
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post #16 of 1163 Old 02-05-2004, 09:25 PM
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Funny the guys who say they don't care about your comparison post often in your thread. And boy I can't wait for my REAFFIRMATION to come when your test is done..........hallelujah I shall be redeemed! I might like my sub now. Remember sourpusses, "Find a happy place, find a happy place, find a happy place!"
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post #17 of 1163 Old 02-06-2004, 04:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The 911 is bottom of the line (guess the only REAL Porsche is the... ummmmm..... OH - the new GT at $425,000, after all... The lineup is the Cayenne SUV, Boxter (S), 911 in its permutations, and the New GT).

Every car magazine for 8 years has raved about the C-5 Corvette, but you know better...

My system is worthless... Afterall, I have Klipsch Heritage and a McIntosh MA-6900... the fact that I attend live orchestra for my standard as to what constitutes accuracy, and the Klipsch come the closest is irrelevant.

I will try the sub only idea... sounds like fun...and will post the room layout when it is done. The Hsu's will be going precisely where Dr. Hsu suggested.
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post #18 of 1163 Old 02-06-2004, 05:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rick Hilst
[b]How loud is 110+ dB? At what point do you start to lose hearing because it's so loud? How loud is it to be behind a jet plane as it takes off? Can the ears handle lower frequencies at higher DB than they can the higher frequencies? How loud does it get inside a typical music theater for a film like Jurassic Park?
Here are charts that will help out courtesy of Chris Collins wonderful website also he has an excellent SPL Calculator there click on the link.

http://www.myhometheater.homestead.c...alculator.html

Tee

"Enjoy Movies & Music"

My Home Theater
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post #19 of 1163 Old 02-06-2004, 05:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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A site like that allows those who are confused as to what they need in their room to plug in some numbers... and get useful information...

That is the real reason for doing this (providing useful info)... so here are some invitations...

If you own a BOSE ACOUSTIMASS, old JBL, Polk, Magnepan, Infinity, or any other system, you are welcome here. A good sub will make YOUR system sound better, too. Maybe you like your speakers, but want better bass... COOL !

The only things I ask of those who post here...

1. PLEASE don't start the Bose or Circuit City... etc... sucks stuff.
2. I lke my equipment... it is all posted under Craigsub on Home theatre Spot... check it out if you like. If you think I cannot figure out what is a good sub because of my current equipment, PRIVATE MESSAGE me... this thread is not to debate things like that.
3. Keep it friendly, without resorting to comments about "validating people's purchase..." If it makes you feel superior knowing you are above this thread and its line of thought, GREAT... keep it to yourself...

This may sound arrogant, but there are a lot of people like RICK HILST who ask really good questions. RICK - I DID NOT SAY THIS BEFORE, BUT THAT WAS AN EXCELLENT POST... You wanted to know more... Hopefully my reply made sense, if not... tell me...

enough soap box...
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post #20 of 1163 Old 02-06-2004, 06:04 AM
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Hi-

I did an a/b of a 25-31PCi and a UFW-10 a while back and had a blast! My wife and kid were out of town for the whole weekend, which allowed me the freedom to let the subs run. I have some thoughts that may help you with your process:

First, I assume you have a feel for you room and room response. You need to do that because you'll want to have both subs calibrated and available to you when you a/b, and you don't want the room response to sway your opinion.

Next, calibrate both subs.

Pick a selection that demonstrates different kinds of bass. You will want the bass basics. For movies, I like explosions, punching, tension sounds, clubs, and heartbeats... your basic flavors. The first 10 minutes of Terminator3 is a good start because of the nuke and the tense heartbeat, as is the intro to Toy Story 2. I also used LOTR: FOTR into, and Blade II (various sections). Pick a run of music, too. I used some Jazz CDs to test the mid-bass (~50-80hz), U2's "Love is Blindness" for the low low end, some Beastie Boys, and others.

Have an a/b session with your friend. You need to a/b on the same section several times for a few reasons. First, if you wait a week you won't have a feel for "a" versus "b". Second, when you get into it you will find yourself focusing on tiny subtleties of the test section. For example, it may be the third note of a walking bass line in music, or an extra half-second of rumble during an explosion. It would be nice if you could switch the subs rapidly (i.e. your friend does it while you sit), but that is not a requirement.

Take a break every so often. I had a blast with my a/b sessioning weekend, but my ears were ringing!

If you have several weekends, I'd session, then pick one sub for a week. Then, I'd switch the sub's locations, session, and pick the other sub for a week. When I did my test I had two completely different subs whose strengths and weaknesses depended on what the application was. You are looking a two, very similar subs...

Have fun and beware. You may educate your ears about bass distortion and performance in a way that exceeds your budget!
:D
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post #21 of 1163 Old 02-06-2004, 06:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Regarding all your listening choices... 100% of them are in the Queue, and a few more... nice selection...

We will be taking notes at the end of each session to form a constant, yet fresh, opinion...that way, when we post, you will know wht we heard each night... AFTER we post for subwoofer A and B... Then WE will find out which was which... and post THAT...a true blind report...

We have it down to where switching the subs can be done with a 5 minute break...

and yes, they will be calibrated... very carefully... I have those detail posted elsewhere...
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post #22 of 1163 Old 02-06-2004, 07:15 AM
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Remember sourpusses, "Find a happy place, find a happy place, find a happy place!"

GET A LIFE , GET A LIFE, GET A LIFE ........ :rolleyes:

Most people don't know what they want...but, they're pretty sure they haven't got it. ©

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post #23 of 1163 Old 02-06-2004, 07:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My wife and I are having dinner at the Canoe next week... We will toast you over martinis....
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post #24 of 1163 Old 02-06-2004, 08:33 AM
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Very happy for you both. :D

Let me suggest a toast if I may...........

" MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY WANT , BUT , THERE PRETTY SURE THEY HAVEN'T GOT IT "

Good luck in your quest. :)

Most people don't know what they want...but, they're pretty sure they haven't got it. ©

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post #25 of 1163 Old 02-06-2004, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Speaking strictly in the good bass in your home dept...

"Most people don't know what they're missing, please let us help them find it" ...:D

I won't rest until every American (the continent, not just the U.S.) can experience LOTR, Titan Ae... etal... as it was meant to be experienced....:p
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post #26 of 1163 Old 02-06-2004, 10:04 AM
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"I won't rest until every American (the continent, not just the U.S.) can experience LOTR, Titan Ae... etal... as it was meant to be experienced...."

Craig .... your ambition is to be commended , when are you going to ship me the top of the line SVS so I can share in that experience ?? ;)

Most people don't know what they want...but, they're pretty sure they haven't got it. ©

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post #27 of 1163 Old 02-06-2004, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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And we will see what we can do...

I am actually working, but there is a lot of down time when you own the company... and wait for reports from people...

This keeps me occupied, happy... so think of Home Theatre as helping my employees to have a better work environment...

This IS supposed to be fun, right ?

:p
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post #28 of 1163 Old 02-06-2004, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
GET A LIFE , GET A LIFE, GET A LIFE ........
Well where could I get one of those? Is there on online company that would provide a better bang for my buck than a B&M? :)

See I do have a life, though I seem to waste it sometimes responding to peole like you. Craig is trying an endeavor for his and others benefit, you don't need to respond if your not interested. He has asked for help and you give him sarcasm. You say this is to reaffirm people's purchases, so what are you reaffirming posting here? Don't worry, we know already. Craig has done his best not get nasty despite some sorry treatment from people that don't even know him personally, I applaud his restraint.

P.S. Sorry Craig, I would love to have something more useful to add then putting people in there place, but this seems to be needed often lately don't ya think.
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post #29 of 1163 Old 02-06-2004, 10:42 AM
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You could always race Craig for a sub...pull out fast cars and go to town! lol.

...though you have to put your sub up on the cutting block and be prepaired to loose it if need be. :)
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post #30 of 1163 Old 02-06-2004, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think he thought I was taking this whole idea a bit seriously... and it is for fun...

Besides, as a Canadian, it is his God-given duty to tease Americans...I spend a lot of time in Toronto... we will just say the bantering is pretty good...

Racing for subs ? .... Can't wait to explain THAT to the trooper...:p
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