SVS PB12 - Plus vs Velodyne SPL-1200 II - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 83 Old 11-28-2004, 11:25 AM
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Having a science background and being a Stereophile subscriber almost 20 years, reference (or controls) are mandate of any review/study/or experiment. It aids in giving a fair presention for all. A reviewer owning the review piece is problematic for all those wishing untainted info. That's all.
BTW - Poindexter has an awesome set up. We both put together fantastic audio, cost secondary set ups. I got exactly what I wanted as did he. I'd like to check his out one day....I take it you have??


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post #62 of 83 Old 11-28-2004, 12:04 PM
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I haven't but I have chatted with him and he invited me out but I have not been able to go but I will someday as I believe he doesn't have subs but full range speakers, I looked at his portfolio and his pictures of his home theaters and it just blew me away.Yours will also be awesome when you are thru with your home construction project. Anyway, always good to hear from you in this great forum as you are light years ahead of me in the A/V arena. I was just saying if you reviewed several subs and you needed one wouldn't you buy the one that you thought was the best if you could afford it? I understand the bias part but you have to buy something unless SVS gives it to you free for a good review and I don't think that is the case.
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post #63 of 83 Old 11-28-2004, 05:06 PM
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I am always wary of reviews where the reviewer also owns the sub. Bias would simply to strong for any reader to take anything from such a review.

A reviewer owning the review piece is problematic for all those wishing untainted info. That's all.
Sort of like your "formal review" of the SPL-runts?

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ighlight=runts

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post #64 of 83 Old 11-28-2004, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ed Mullen
Sort of like your "formal review" of the SPL-runts?

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ighlight=runts
Yes, just like that. Good observation.


1. The review was to introduce a new type of speaker to the home theater market (I was one of the first to try out). It was a review and introduction of the speaker. Fortunately, I had a reference system on hand for a valid analysis: former THX Ultra rated Citation 7.1 LCRs - as part of the Citation 7000 THX system. I make it clear that I am no reviewer yet I came through with a reference system that I knew well so as to make valid comparisons. The speakers were EQ'd by the same HAA certified calibrator that set up my Citations. I enjoyed doing such as well. The Runts were loaned by Servodrive as they were considering introducing these speakers to the home theater market and wanted the thoughts of myself and calibrator. No strings were attached. After the review, I bought 'em (it was an easy buy after listening to to Revel, Vanderesteens and such) as dynamics were my goal. The Runts were recently introduced as the 'Radical' to the home theater market.

I am glad you enjoyed the review!

Ed..if you don't have a reference system and you buy the equipment you review, the review becomes more of a 'word salad' than anything else. You should be lauded for your methodology, testing and other reviewer related techniques, but reviewing what you buy and no reference set up is a no-no.


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post #65 of 83 Old 11-28-2004, 05:38 PM
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Does owning the review system somehow "taint" the objective measurements? How might they be biased?

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post #66 of 83 Old 11-28-2004, 06:22 PM
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Originally posted by Jack Gilvey
Does owning the review system somehow "taint" the objective measurements? How might they be biased?
Good question!!

Most if not all reviewers from Mike Fremer, Gary Reber, Fred Mantaghian and almost all others worth their salt have a reference system by which they compare and contrast equipment reviewed. Widescreen Review magazine faithfully details all of their reference systems by which all DVDs. D-Theater, and equipment is reviewed. This is very helpful. All Stereophile, Perfect Vision, Ultimate A/V reviews list the reference equipment as well in every review. There is little sense in doing the review without a reference. Reviewers know their system(s) well, they know their source/test material well and so forth. They know all parts of the chain such that when a new (review) piece is added, differences can not only be measured but subjectively heard and sensed as well.

There must be a reference and a reference that is as close to the ideal as practicality allows. This is the real world and few reviewers have excellent systems..but the best reviews do have incredible systems and treated rooms.

Think of a reference system as analogous to Joe Kane's Digital Video Essentials - a cornucopia of 'ideal' patterns, colors, gray scales, etc that are used by an expert to set up an uncalibrated monitor. They try to compare and as closely as possible reproduce fully the reference patterns with reference equipment on the new monitor. Without such, calibration would have to be done by eye...no good and not reproducible and probably only the eyeballer thinks it looks great! Yes, there will always be a certain amount of bias in any review but the good reviewer works to limit this as much as humanly possible as he knows this can taint ones own words if obvious. The less bias, the more validity of the said conclusions.

Let me give you a scientific analogy [bear with me, I am simplifying] of the importance of a reference system in science and particularly drug efficacy testing (like in a drug that is being tested for human use).

The basic experiment in determining efficacy of action will test the drug against a negative control (placebo - absolutely zero known ability to produce the desired effect the experimental drug is designed to do) AND a positive control...the positive control gives a 100% positive response and is considered a reference for obtaining the desired effect of the drug. The positive control is like the theater reference system as it is 100% in producing the desired response. It is the effect that all others are compared to because it faithfully does so unfalteringly so, time after time.

Keep that in mind.

Now, in testing the experimental drug, you have a scale of 0 (placebo effect) to 100 (positive control effect). Typically the product will fall in between that scale and efficacy can be determined and reproduced. Now you really have some ifo to chew on..Not only can you tell if it works but how well it works and how close to the ideal (positive control) it comes. You can now confidently say whether it is near the best of the best in performace or whether it is middle of the road....or it just sucks! Since you have a reference, comparisons are better made. Comparisons in this regard coupled into the conclusions are critical for validity.

Hence, a reference system that the reviewer knows well can aid not only the reviewer but also the astute reader in that he can properly weight the reviewer's conclusions and recommendations.

Good reviews can be entertaining as well..read Mikey Fremer or Keith Yates. I am not trying to beat up Ed, he seems to have a loyal following and is educated in what he is doing. I am only making observations as to what I look for in reviews.


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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 #67 of 83 Old 11-28-2004, 06:40 PM
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Fortunately, I had a reference system on hand for a valid analysis:...

...if you don't have a reference system and you buy the equipment you review, the review becomes more of a 'word salad' than anything else.
Unfortunately, there is no content in your review regarding detailed comparisons to your previous "reference system". Essentially you state the Citations couldn't cut Reference Level, and hence were replaced by the SPL runts. The entire remainder of the review focused on the SPL-runts, not highlighting the differences (objective or subjective) between the two systems.

Similarly, your raves about your dual SPL B-DEAP32 subwoofer system cannot be viewed as a structured and formal comparison between it and your previous subwoofer system. Yes, you've made it clear it's a huge improvement over what you had before....but even you ultimately rely on performance numbers (FR and SPL) for the system to make your points about it.

Consider the time you informed us that the Casper "Wrecking Ball" passsage was the final word in DVD bass power/depth. That is until you finally got around to hearing the DTS version of Titan AE. Which of course was then recently dethroned by the tidal wave scene in the special DTS-only version of "The Day After Tomorrow".

My point is that "reference systems" are largely a function of our collective listening experience and are inherently subjective; few of us have heard enough high end world class systems to make definitive and absolute statements about the products we review and/or own. But we sometimes fall prey to such things, in spite of our sincerest intentions otherwise.

Which is why I think building an objective database will ultimately be more useful than my subjective impressions of the products I own and/or review. As the objective database is built over time, people can directly compare numbers and draw their own conclusions. The database will in essence become a "reference system". No, it's not huge - but I have to start somewhere. :^)

I did enjoy your review of the SPL-runts, and I think your impressions have been corroborated by other owners. This gives your review more credibility over time. The same can be said about my review of the PB12-Ultra/2; others have since reviewed it and have come to similar conclusions about its sound and performance.

FWIW, I do think you have one majorly kick ass system, and by all reasonable accounts it probably outclasses 99% of what's out there in terms of sheer and outright performance. For this reason I DO respect your opinions, because I think you can speak from a position of relative authority. Just remember that your opinion of what is world class sound is inherently based on your collective listening experiences, and will likely be subject to change in the future. Just when you thought it couldn't get any better........ ;^)

Regards,

Ed

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post #68 of 83 Old 11-28-2004, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by thebland

Ed..if you don't have a reference system and you buy the equipment you review, the review becomes more of a 'word salad' than anything else. You should be lauded for your methodology, testing and other reviewer related techniques, but reviewing what you buy and no reference set up is a no-no. [/b]

So what do you expect Ed to setup as his reference system? I believe the PB12-Ultra/2 is his current sub, is he supposed to buy a Contrabass or build an Infinite Baffle sub just so he can review anything made by SVS?

I understand your point about having a valid reference, but it doesn't really work in practice. Even the WSR "reference" setup only has Velodyne subwoofers. I call those a pretty lame point of reference, where reference should be the accepted best in class or one of. Also, all of the objective results are completely useful, repeatable, and unbiased. Personally, that's the portion of Ed's reviews that I use. Sound quality is totally subjective and way too dependant on room and setup.


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post #69 of 83 Old 11-29-2004, 06:46 AM
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I don't buy the "reference system" bit at all as far as objective data is concerned. The "reference" is the input signal, the infomation I need is how closely the sub reproduces it and at what level. Yates' graphs of these inputs are most informative. Comparative subjective reviews for the most part read like insipid "word salad" to me, although to those who hang on every word of them, I imagine a reference system would certainly be important.

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post #70 of 83 Old 11-29-2004, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jesse S
So what do you expect Ed to setup as his reference system? I believe the PB12-Ultra/2 is his current sub, is he supposed to buy a Contrabass or build an Infinite Baffle sub just so he can review anything made by SVS?

I understand your point about having a valid reference, but it doesn't really work in practice. Even the WSR "reference" setup only has Velodyne subwoofers. I call those a pretty lame point of reference, where reference should be the accepted best in class or one of. Also, all of the objective results are completely useful, repeatable, and unbiased. Personally, that's the portion of Ed's reviews that I use. Sound quality is totally subjective and way too dependent on room and setup.
Velodyne's are no slouches...but Widescreen Review's primary reference system for equipment reviews houses 5 Dunlavy 330 lb SC-V full range speakers as well as 2 TSW-5 subwoofers - also over 300 lbs each. Each speaker and subwoofer is calibrated, EQ'd and is the size of a large coffin! The room is also specialized and customized for theater. They ran a 7 part series on all aspects of design, construction and equipment calibration and installation. Gary has the penultimate reference room as he also feels that a true reference is needed to judge all comers.


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post #71 of 83 Old 11-29-2004, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Jeez - I go out of town for a week and this thread goes crazy! A VERY informative read, with lots of info on speaker testing and horn design theory. All the Ed Mullen threads & tests on HTF are especially good reading. It's amazing how deeply one can get into this stuff.

My original question compared the single-driver SVS PB12 - Plus and the Velodyne SPL-1200 II. Some responders have escalated the SVS to the 2-driver models, and away we go up the price scale. Trying to stay below $1200, with wood finish, I think I'm still looking at SVS, HSU VTF-3 and the Velodyne. From most people's comments, sounds like I shouldn't bother with the Velodyne unless I truly am space limited. I'll need to think carefully about placement restrictions.

Finally, anyone want to advance the case for the small Velodyne? Thanks for all the info guys.

Max
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post #72 of 83 Old 11-29-2004, 02:05 PM
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I just received my SVS PB12 Ultra/2 about 2 hours ago. Hooked it up and played Master & Commander with the cannons ablazing. WOW. Then I put on Pearl Harbor Chapter 22. UNBELIEVABLE!!!! I had to turn it down a bit as things were rattling around. I secured them and now ZZTOP, what BASS!!!! Give Me All Your Lovin, FANTASTIC. Sharp Dressed Man, KILLER BASS. Play these when you get your sub, what a great rock DEMO CD. This Sub Rocks. Can't wait until I have it calibrated with the PEQ and the SPL meter and the AVIA disc. If it gets any better I want be able to live with myself. A friend came by and heard Master & Commander and wanted to know if he could bring by some other people because they wouldn't believe it. I said "Of course".
"Thebland" said in another thread that with something like this you would need to secure things with "Blue Tack" and maybe use screws for some expensive paintings such as my Renoir or some kind of bracket because this "Puppy" moves some air. At one point I was thinking about getting the SVS B12-Plus/4 but I can't imagine what that would do to my environment. I am now listening to the Eagles "Hell Freezes Over" and it sounds fantastic. ZZTOP is really a very good DEMO CD even though I didn't realize it, just stumbled across it on my Yamaha Digital Jukebox.
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post #73 of 83 Old 11-30-2004, 03:26 AM
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plasmamaniac,
Good choice on the Eagles CD. Hotel California from that disc is one of my reference tracks. The bass is exceptional. It sounds great on my PB12-isd, must be amazing on your Ultra/2!
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post #74 of 83 Old 11-30-2004, 07:57 AM
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ranster, also, the Don Henley DVD "Live Inside Job" is fantastic. His new version of Hotel California is updated with a Mexican/Latino flavor with Trumpets and Trombones and if you ever hear it I think you will like it even more than the original one. It is about 8 minutes long. I transferred the DVD to my Yamaha CDR-HD1300 music server's hard drive and then burned a copy to a CD and I can play that CD in my car as well. It is a "KILLER" DVD with lots of BASS and I think you will love it. My Ultra/2 is rattling the windows.
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post #75 of 83 Old 11-30-2004, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by mgamon
Jeez - I go out of town for a week and this thread goes crazy! A VERY informative read, with lots of info on speaker testing and horn design theory. All the Ed Mullen threads & tests on HTF are especially good reading. It's amazing how deeply one can get into this stuff.

My original question compared the single-driver SVS PB12 - Plus and the Velodyne SPL-1200 II. Some responders have escalated the SVS to the 2-driver models, and away we go up the price scale. Trying to stay below $1200, with wood finish, I think I'm still looking at SVS, HSU VTF-3 and the Velodyne. From most people's comments, sounds like I shouldn't bother with the Velodyne unless I truly am space limited. I'll need to think carefully about placement restrictions.

Finally, anyone want to advance the case for the small Velodyne? Thanks for all the info guys.

Max
I'll advance its case :). But like I said way back on the first page of this thread, only if it allows for much better placement. Using a Param EQ can help a lot but you are always better off getting things as right as you can before hand. Yeah it will be outclassed by the other 2 subs you are looking at. Not because it "sucks" . But because of physics. It is common knowledge...you have to balance between power to drive, cabinet size and output. SVS designs don't typically focus much on keeping a small size, and typically maintain a fairly high power....so then it is easier to have good output. A setup like the Bland uses is an even more extreme case....even larger subs with even more power. An IB setup is the ultimate extreme of using massive size to achieve output.

There may be bias when a reviewer owns the equipment....but how about when the reviewer gets the equipment in and is so impressed he decides to buy it? That is how it was for me with the PB2-ultra. First you need to understand that by being part of the "press" you can get discounts on most products. The discounts are the same if reviewed or not, except possibly the shipping one way. A company like SVS being internet direct typically has lower overhead costs. So frankly in comparison to most companies, their discounts suck :) no offense, its just that the average consumer is getting a price much closer to cost than is typical.

So...take that for what its worth. I don't think i have let out any huge secrets here. There may be some cases of more shady deals but I have never really seen it.

I for one am very happy that Ed has joined the secrets team and is covering subwoofers. It takes an extraordinary amount of time and effort and even money for the testing equipment. plus get your flame suit on... because no matter what you say you will get torn apart. On full range speakers people are easy to agree to disagree. Subs....some sort of emotional attachment :)!!!

You may notice a trend at some magazines or review sites as to equipment used. There is a good reason for it, it's not because we are all shills or getting some awesome special deal because you see an ad on that site (well at least not at secrets). You see a fair number of people with such equipment as Anthem SSPs, Denon DVD players, and SVS or Velodyne subs at Secrets. You have to ask why... well because for the $$ we have to spend and for our rooms for many these are the best options we have. The DVD shootout hasn't changed to favor Denon, Denon actively uses the shootout as a tool to improve their players.

I don't consider myself the best reviewer out there, I only have access to a limited amount of testing equipment. I always strive for honesty and to highlight the areas that matter to me in a product. The upcoming review of the Denon DVD-3910 is a good example of that.

Paul Taatjes
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post #76 of 83 Old 11-30-2004, 11:51 AM
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thebland's posts are funny. He makes me laugh!!!
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post #77 of 83 Old 12-01-2004, 12:45 PM
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thebland's posts are funny, kind of biased I guess you could say for someone who is unbiased. Oh Well, still loving the PB12 Ultra/2, I'm rocking and rolling, blowing the roof off of the house.
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post #78 of 83 Old 12-01-2004, 02:32 PM
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Good post PTAATY. Your points are well taken.

Plasma, glad you are morphing into a 'basshead'. Welcome to the club!! :)

Hey, therree are times we need some humor around here..glad to oblige. Me biased??!! Of course I am, now you know why I am not a reviewer :D!


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post #79 of 83 Old 12-01-2004, 02:40 PM
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Well, we do this for fun and I just love it and I am just having a BALL drinking a bottle of Beringer Gewurztraminer and listening to Steely Dan. Jeff, the ZZTOP's Greatest Hits has alot of BASS. I didn't realize it but I stumbled across it on my Yamaha digital jukebox and it ROCKS. I will be listening to Heart's Live CD from Seattle next. Hey, should I hook up my Klipsch RSW-15 with the SVS PB12 Ultra/2 or would that be "OVERKILL" (maybe I'm asking the wrong person as you are the King of Bass) or would the 2 subs interfere with each other?
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post #80 of 83 Old 12-01-2004, 02:55 PM
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You can never have too much bass!! Add the second one...you can never have too much!! :D

I have that Heart Live DVD and it kicks ass! Heavy bass tracks (especially Magic Man)!


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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 #81 of 83 Old 12-01-2004, 03:03 PM
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Jeff, have you heard Don Henley's "Live Inside Job". His version of Hotel California will blow you away. It's a Mexican/Latino style version and it really rocks. The more you hear it the better you like it. I'm listening to Meatloaf's latest Greatest Hits with an orchestra and wow, it is like a rock concerto, another good one to hear great bass.
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post #82 of 83 Old 12-01-2004, 03:15 PM
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Uhhh let me take a wild guess.......you have felt no urge to re-connect the RSW-15 nor run the two subs together.

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post #83 of 83 Old 12-01-2004, 03:44 PM
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Ed, I'm scared to do it. I have $15,000 worth of antique golf clubs circa 1900-1910 and they are shifting and I have to constantly rearrange them. This thing is shaking the dishes is my pantry and I have it on 2 Auralex SubDudes. I am really enjoying it though, listening to Meatloaf right now with an orchestra in tow and it sounds really, really good. I need another sub cable and a "Y" connector which I will get from Radio Shack tomorrow. They were out of the cable. I will calibrate it tomorrow and then add the RSW-15 into the mix and I will buckle my seatbelts on the couch. It could be VERY INTERESTING!!!! I'll let you know how it works out, thanks Ed and Jeff for your help and advice.
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