Originally Posted by confinoj
I have a PC-2000 in a 3100cubic feet living room. It also has a 6 foot fixed opening to our foyer to the left of the front sound stage. I have enjoyed the PC-2000 and I'm considering trading up to PC12-Plus. Duals won't work in my space and not sure I really want to spend the money for the ultra (my wife will unlikely go for the size too). I have another thread about this as well. I typically only listen at moderate levels.
I've been told by several on the forum and SVS that I probably won't notice the upgrade unless I'm really hitting the limits of the PC-2000. But to be honest I don't really know how to tell that. I tried playing with it last night. I bumped up my sub trim to 8dB hot (which is at -1dB). I watched Interstellar last night with DTS-HD soundtrack as it's supposed to be a heavy bass movie, which it was. Master volume was only moderate. There was certainly lot of room shaking tactile bass in certain scenes. What I'm not sure of is how to know if I'm hitting limits of the sub. I don't think the PC-2000 has a limiter light even though it does have a limiter. I will say that the bass in intense scenes didn't seem to have a lot of nuance but more of a rumble. Very enjoyable but is that distortion or just they way it is intended? I have know idea how the soundtrack is supposed to sound though. Without measurement equipment any good ways to subjectively tell if I'm hitting limits of sub?
It's a somewhat difficult question to answer. One thing I would do though, is to increase the volume using the sub gain, rather than the AVR trim. Ideally, you want to keep the sub trim in the -3 to -5 range, and just use the sub gain to make upward adjustments. Very low bass is more of a rumbling sound than a series of separately articulated notes. And, you feel low bass (under about 20Hz or so) tactilely, as a pressure wave, as much as you hear it. So, that rumble that you started to hear, when you increased your sub trim, was the very low bass that you probably haven't been experiencing before.
If you are not hearing the sub make distressed sounds--literally a huffing/puffing sound for port chuffing, then you are probably okay. I think you would hear that before you heard a mechanical noise from the driver hitting its limiter. Where is your sub gain set now, and what is your master volume?
I know we have discussed this on another thread, but the chief advantage of an upgrade, in my opinion, would be for lower extension. More powerful models produce lower frequencies at higher SPL--more rumble, more tactile sensation. But, the extra SPL they add for the rest of the frequency range is secondary to that, if you already have sufficient SPL for your purposes. And, it sounds as if you do.
The Ultra would be a fairly big step up in terms of low frequency performance. The Plus would be a smaller, and in my opinion, less noticeable step. But, it could well be an incremental way to decide whether you would benefit from even more low frequency performance, and it could also be a way to help get you to an Ultra more gradually, if you decide that you would benefit.