SVS SBS-01 Owners thread - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 1330 Old 01-25-2006, 05:33 PM
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Yeah, it looks like I may need to spend more than what I first expected.....

That Pioneer VSX-1015TX Reciever looks nice......And I have also discovered some Ascend 340 SE speakers, coupled with an SVS subwoofer.

How does that sound?
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post #182 of 1330 Old 01-25-2006, 05:38 PM
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Excellent choices. I don't know how it would literally "sound" though, as I've never heard them personally.
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post #183 of 1330 Old 01-25-2006, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmarlow View Post

..........However, so far I'm underwhelmed by dialog from the center and the music performance from the mains............
-Lee

Start your calibration with the center channel to either 75dB or 85dB. Use this as the basis to level match the rest of the system. This should alleviate the weak center channel problem.
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post #184 of 1330 Old 01-26-2006, 10:48 AM
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Quote:


Quote:


Quote:
Originally Posted by lmarlow
..........However, so far I'm underwhelmed by dialog from the center and the music performance from the mains............
-Lee

Start your calibration with the center channel to either 75dB or 85dB. Use this as the basis to level match the rest of the system. This should alleviate the weak center channel problem.

I'll give that a shot. Thanks

I actually took them into a local PSB dealer and did some A/B testing against their Alpha line, which is around the same pricepoint. I liked the PSBs more. They sounded more open. The guy at the store said the SVSs sounded like they weren't as efficient. To me they sounded further away than the PSBs when driven with the same power.

This weekend I plan on auditioning a few other speakers against them at home, PSB B25s, Paradigm Mini Monitors and B&W 600 series bookshelf. This probably isn't a fair comparison for the SVSs, but I think I'm changing plans for my speakers and am willing to spend a "little" more. Actually, it might end up being double.
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post #185 of 1330 Old 01-26-2006, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberbri View Post

$1500 for speakers, a sub and a receiver should be no problem. $300-400 for a receiver, $1000-1100 for speakers and a sub, and $100 or so to get cables, wire, etc. from Parts Express, Monoprice, etc.

Is this the usual breakdown that people are going with? Especially in terms of the ratio between speakers and receiver? I'm looking at spending about the same amount of money and am leaning towards the Panny XR55/70.

Is the $300 range of receivers powerful enough to produce optimal quality from the speakers? or is it a waste/overkill to get such nice speakers where cheaper speakers will be able to produce the same effect?
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post #186 of 1330 Old 01-26-2006, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmarlow View Post

I actually took them into a local PSB dealer and did some A/B testing against their Alpha line, which is around the same pricepoint. I liked the PSBs more. They sounded more open. The guy at the store said the SVSs sounded like they weren't as efficient. To me they sounded further away than the PSBs when driven with the same power.

Did you level match the speakers with a meter when switching? If the speakers are not matched in output, it could make all the difference....the salesman probably knew that.

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post #187 of 1330 Old 01-26-2006, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by cschang View Post

Did you level match the speakers with a meter when switching? If the speakers are not matched in output, it could make all the difference....the salesman probably knew that.

No, we did not do any level matching. That makes it sound like there is no way to do genuine A/B testing, since you'd have to adjust levels each time you switched back and forth. I haven't returned the SVSs yet, so they will be in the mix when I bring the PSB and Paradigm loaners home. I'd like to be fair when testing, so what is the best way to test one set of speakers against another?

My plan was to just setup 2 sets of mains, one on A and the other on the B output from my receiver and just switch back and forth while listening to some music. I'd like to keep it as simple as possible, but I want to do it right.
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post #188 of 1330 Old 01-26-2006, 11:22 AM
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While instant switching between A and B is best.....you should always take the time to level match. Once you know the variance between the two speakers, changing the level between listening should be pretty quick.

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post #189 of 1330 Old 01-26-2006, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by cschang View Post

While instant switching between A and B is best.....you should always take the time to level match. Once you know the variance between the two speakers, changing the level between listening should be pretty quick.

So, if the speakers on A are 3dB lower than the one's on B when my receiver is on -35dB, then just go to -32 on the receiver when on the A's? Sounds simple enough.

Thanks
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post #190 of 1330 Old 01-26-2006, 11:47 AM
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That's about right. It's like the volume difference between DD and DTS - IIRC DTS is 4db higher than DD.

One person somewhere else said that rather than A/Bing back and forth quickly, he would listen to some songs all the way through, write down impressions, then switch speakers (same location, match levels), and listen again - compare notes/impressions.
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post #191 of 1330 Old 01-26-2006, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andytseng View Post

Is this the usual breakdown that people are going with? Especially in terms of the ratio between speakers and receiver? I'm looking at spending about the same amount of money and am leaning towards the Panny XR55/70.

Is the $300 range of receivers powerful enough to produce optimal quality from the speakers? or is it a waste/overkill to get such nice speakers where cheaper speakers will be able to produce the same effect?


It's good that you are questioning this.
Actually with the internet, closeouts, factory refurbs, etc., you can get a lot more receiver for your money.

For example, in 2002 I bought a Harman/Kardon AVR125 for $400 new from Circuit City. Last year, I bought an AVR330 (original retail $800), factory remanufactured, from HK's HarmanAudio store on ebay for under $300.

Also, the technology is getting better, so you can get clean power and lots of features for under $500 now. With a $1500 budget in mind, a $300-400 receiver should be enough, assuming you get a good deal on a receiver. Pioneer, HK, and Denon are good brands and they have good receivers in that price range with plenty of power. It seems like the extra $ gets you more features like video conversion (to component video), more inputs, more EQ features, plus incremental steps up in power ratings. Panasonic has a cheap digital amp receiver (maybe several models), but I personally don't like Panasonic's remotes/usability (user-friendliness), so I personally wouldn't get a Panasonic.

A little research on the Receivers forum should find you some good model #s to look into from the brands I mentioned.
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post #192 of 1330 Old 01-26-2006, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmarlow View Post

No, we did not do any level matching. That makes it sound like there is no way to do genuine A/B testing, since you'd have to adjust levels each time you switched back and forth. I haven't returned the SVSs yet, so they will be in the mix when I bring the PSB and Paradigm loaners home. I'd like to be fair when testing, so what is the best way to test one set of speakers against another?

My plan was to just setup 2 sets of mains, one on A and the other on the B output from my receiver and just switch back and forth while listening to some music. I'd like to keep it as simple as possible, but I want to do it right.

It is pretty pointless to try and compare speakers if they aren't level matched.

To each their own but dialog from the SVS centre is damn clear in my system. I am amazed this centre is as low priced as it is.

ROB
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post #193 of 1330 Old 01-26-2006, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andytseng View Post

Is this the usual breakdown that people are going with? Especially in terms of the ratio between speakers and receiver? I'm looking at spending about the same amount of money and am leaning towards the Panny XR55/70.

Is the $300 range of receivers powerful enough to produce optimal quality from the speakers? or is it a waste/overkill to get such nice speakers where cheaper speakers will be able to produce the same effect?

I'd say to get a good quality receiver. Many don't realize the differences between receivers and how it can impact sound. The better your receiver the better the sound from your speakers so while you may not want to blow your load on a 4K+ receiver, I'd say not to cheap out on one either.

ROB
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post #194 of 1330 Old 01-26-2006, 01:14 PM
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I'm looking to upgrade my speakers (7.1) with a budget of $1,000 to $1,500. For a receiver I have the Outlaw 1070, use the system for only movies and TV and the room is 16X10X7.

I have been strongly considering the SBS-01 System, but the last couple of posts has me looking into the Ascend's or a combination of Ascend & SVS.

The following combination falls within my budget, but is $348 more than the SBS-01 system...

Ascend 170 SE's for the L&R and the 340C for the center
SVS SBS-01 for the Surrounds and Rears
SVS PB10


I am looking for opinions on if this combo is worth the extra $348 and if any one sees a problem with mixing the two together.

I could also just blow the budget and go with the 340SE's for the L&R (an extra $220) instead of the 170's

Your thoughts on how I should go would very helpful.

Thanks,
JR
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post #195 of 1330 Old 01-26-2006, 01:30 PM
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outsider,

I got the 7.1 svs system (with upgraded pc-ultra sub) for movies/tv only use and it is fantastic in this area. It's only "downside" is in two channel where it is good but isn't spectacular simply because IMO, the l&r mains have a bit laid back sound creating the "centre channel" area (me thinks the system was designed as a multi channel set-up first and foremost) but to be honest this could just be how the speakers are set-up now with less/more toe-in need or whatever....the fact is the actual sound is good from the speakers meaning instruments sound good and there is a lot of detail. I wouldn't let the comment about dialog from the centre turn you off...the centre speaker is great and dialog is solid. In my other setup I have a def tech clr2000 centre and the svs centre is practically on par with it.

No doubt I am sure the ascend system rocks and may be worth the extra cost but I truly think if your main/only purpose is HT use then the svs system is tough to beat simply because HT and music playback are two diff beasts. Before I got the svs system I was considering an all Ascend 170 system with 340 centre but saw the diff in price and felt that it may not be worth it for my use (again, all HT) so went with the svs system knowing I could return it if I felt there was something missing with movies...well there isn't and I have no desire to "upgrade" to the Ascend system which I would gather is better in 2 channel playback for music and obviously the 340s and 170s SEs can go lower which works if you want to use a lower crossover or attempt to run them as large/full range instead of small.

My svs system compares very favourably to my other all bipolar def tech speaker set-up (right now I have the SBS l/r mains on top of my BP30x towers and most of the time I keep thinking the sound is coming from the towers) in ht use for much much less in price and that impresses me becuse I wasnt expecting them to sound as good as they do. I'd say the SBS speakers even have more detail than the DT speakers and the biggest diff is the DT speakers create a bigger soundstage (mainly depth) and they can go lower but that is meaningless to me since I never run them as large and cross them over at 80Hz....with the sbs system I have things crossed over at 100Hz because the ultra is a badass sub and blends in perfectly.

Your room isn't that big so it isn't like the svs system won't fill it up with sound.

If you do decide to go for the ascend system I'd suggest getting ascend speakers for the surrounds instead of the sbs speakers.

If you do decide to go for the svs system I'd say you may want to upgrade the sub. The sub is a key part in a bookshelf system like this (or the ascend system or any other system where you'll be running the speakers as small) so IMO you should get the best sub you can afford.

Take this all as my personal opinion based on my listening tests with my different equipment than what you are using.

ROB
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post #196 of 1330 Old 01-26-2006, 02:27 PM
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Rob,

Thank you for your detailed reply. What you said is exactly what I have been debating.

I would much rather go with the SVS system if the movie watching performance is not that much of a drop of from the Ascends. The difference in the price would allow me to upgrade the sub or another component in my system.

Thanks again.

I might just eat the shipping and give both a try. Anyone else get a chance to compare these two head to head?
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post #197 of 1330 Old 01-26-2006, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberbri View Post

It's good that you are questioning this.
Actually with the internet, closeouts, factory refurbs, etc., you can get a lot more receiver for your money.

For example, in 2002 I bought a Harman/Kardon AVR125 for $400 new from Circuit City. Last year, I bought an AVR330 (original retail $800), factory remanufactured, from HK's HarmanAudio store on ebay for under $300.

Also, the technology is getting better, so you can get clean power and lots of features for under $500 now. With a $1500 budget in mind, a $300-400 receiver should be enough, assuming you get a good deal on a receiver. Pioneer, HK, and Denon are good brands and they have good receivers in that price range with plenty of power. It seems like the extra $ gets you more features like video conversion (to component video), more inputs, more EQ features, plus incremental steps up in power ratings. Panasonic has a cheap digital amp receiver (maybe several models), but I personally don't like Panasonic's remotes/usability (user-friendliness), so I personally wouldn't get a Panasonic.

A little research on the Receivers forum should find you some good model #s to look into from the brands I mentioned.

Ironically, researching the Receivers forum pointed me towards that Panny (as well as the 3 other brands you mentioned). Anyway, here's my thinking:

behold my awesome MSPaint/Photoshop skills:


I'm worried that the potential of, even the best, $300 receiver will never reach what the SBS-01 is capable of. If that is the case, I might as well buy cheaper speakers that will still outperform the receiver.

Of course there will always be a bottleneck somewhere, but if moving down to cheaper speakers produces the same results as the SBS-01 due to the receiver being a bottleneck, I might as well do that.

Basically, where is the happy medium? Is the difference in potential between the SBS-01 and anything below that price so great, that I should be looking at purchasing a better receiver, so I can get closer to producin the sound that the SBS-01 is capable of?

Also, the point for the "$300 Good Receiver" might already be at the same potential for the SBS-01 system. Is moving to the next line of receivers (i.e. HK AVR635 @ ~$600) going to surpass the potential of the speakers. For example, right now, it seems as though the $300 receiver is below that point, so my next upgrade would be to get a better receiver or pre/pro. If I bought a avr635, would my next upgrade be nicer speakers?
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post #198 of 1330 Old 01-26-2006, 03:09 PM
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I second rlindo's comments on the center. I thought it sounded great. I also agree with his comments on the sub. While I found it to be absolutely fantastic, I would look into upgrading if you have the $ in your budget. I don't know if SVS is still offering 10% off their subs but you can look into it.

Like I said, the PB10 blew me away (I have a thread over in the sub section with more details) but I now know what a "real" sub sounds like and of course I wonder what a better (one with more volume) sub would sound like. The PB10 has definitely made me a LFE hungry dude!
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post #199 of 1330 Old 01-26-2006, 03:27 PM
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I think rather than the blue line being straight, it would be a curve.

And it depends on what your definition of a $300 receiver is. One that retails for $300? Or one that can be had on special, refurb, etc. for $300. But since you are looking at the 635 for $600, I'll assume the latter. But my HK 330, which originally retailed for $800, I'm sure would be more than enough for the SVS system. It depends on what you get for $300 you spend. The quality goes up a bit with price, but more money usually just buys incremental steps in power, plus more inputs and a few extra features.

The one thing to keep in mind right now is, speaker technology doesn't really change. Heck, I still have my Infinity speakers from 10 years ago, my first HT speakers (minus the Onkyo 100w 10" sub that now rests in my parents' living room).

But in the next year or two, we'll have hi-def DVD players coming out with new lossless DD/DTS audio formats (along with backwards-compatibility with current DD/DTS). And to take advantage of those new formats, you'll need a new receiver once that happens somewhere down the line (it could even be 3-4 years or more before prices are down on the players/media/new receivers). In that case, it might be wise to buy a less-expensive receiver, and put that money towards betters speakers or a better sub.

Maybe a happy medium, say $400-450, maybe in the range of an HK 435, or comparable Denon or Onkyo or Pioneer. Or, look at the different speakers sets, and see how much money that would leave over for a receiver. $1500 is kind of a tight budget for receiver and 5.1 speakers, if you want good quality stuff to start off with. But I'd say get better speakers/sub and hold back on the receiver ($300-$400), rather than spending a 1/3 or more on just the receiver.

The SVS system is about $1K. With Ascend, you could get 2 170s, a 340 center and 2 200s for the surrounds for $830, and a sub from HSU, SVS for around $400, or something cheaper like the Acoustech H100 or Cadence XSub (both about $250). 4 Axiom M3Tis and a 100 center would be $840, and you could add a sub to that. A similar system from Aperion, with 2 532 mains, a VAC center and 2 422s for surrounds would be $840 as well (plus free shipping - Ascend shipping would be about $60, not sure about SVS). One of those three plus a $250 Acoustech H100 ($250) would put you right around $1100, with $400 for a receiver. Down the road you could upgrade the sub if you wanted (or go over budget and get a low-end HSU/SVS off the bat), and look at upgrading the receiver once the new sound formats become more common. For movies, the SVS system would be great. If you are going to listen to more music as well, the other systems may have a slight advantage (they are more expensive anyway), although a sub that fits in the same budget won't be on the same level as the SVS PB10.

Lots to consider...
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post #200 of 1330 Old 01-26-2006, 03:44 PM
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andy,

From what I understand the Panny was one of the receivers SVS tested with the SBS package and it passed with flying colors. For SQ you just need clean power, which it delivers. I also prefer HKs sound... Believe me the Panny won't be a bottleneck though.

I don't lurk as much as I used to and I NEVER listen. Comes from being old and cynical.

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post #201 of 1330 Old 01-26-2006, 03:45 PM
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thanks, cyberbri, and rlindo, and Ron!

The point on speaker technology is something I didn't really think about before. That pushed me over the edge, and I will definitely be going with the SVS system, as I barely use this setup for music.

I'm sure I'll get the itch to upgrade receivers in a few years regardless of what happens, so I might as well get some great speakers first. The tight budget has more to do with not wanting to drop that much of a lump sum... whenever I want to upgrade, I'll probably set the budget at a similar amount, but then I'll be able to drop the entire amount on a receiver or pre/pro & amp, and not have to worry about speakers.
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post #202 of 1330 Old 01-26-2006, 03:58 PM
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Plus, with the SVS system, say down the road you want to upgrade to 7.1. SVS has more speakers coming, a set of towers, maybe other speakers. You can add a few more SVS speakers to your system, either towers and move the fronts to the back, or if they come out with some sort of dipole surround, you could get those for the sides and move the surrounds to the rear surrounds. That's true of any of the brands, though. You can always add a few more speakers for 7.1.


The Panasonic looks like a nice receiver with some good features. I just hate the remote. I love my HK remote (not that it's perfect), and even my father's Onkyo remote was pretty good compared to the Panasonic. I saw a picture of the remote for the Pioneer 1015, and that looks like it has enough buttons to do everything you'd want to as well.
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post #203 of 1330 Old 01-26-2006, 05:50 PM
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Has anyone tested these against a set of Axioms? I have a VP100, M22Ti fronts, and QS4 surrounds. I was wondering if these would perform well in my small living room. If I'm not mistaken my living room is about 8 x 10 x 8. The sub I have right now is the PB12/2 - ISD. However most of the left side of the living room is open to the kitchen, breakfast area, and hallway.
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post #204 of 1330 Old 01-26-2006, 09:47 PM
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Ok, so I have purchased the Pioneer VSX-1015TX-K Receiver, and the SVS Subwoofer Model PB10-ISD Black.

Considering the purchase of the Ascend 340 SE Mains, with the 340 SE Center Speaker, but considering the size of the CBM-170SE Bookshelf speakers, I am leaning towards the HTM 200's for the rear surround's on my back wall. Do you guys think that the HTM 200's would work? If Necessary, I could probably sacrifice the large size of the 170's, but the HTM 200's would better fit on my back wall..........???

Since the Pioneer receiver is 7.1, I could possibly purchase another pair of HTM 200's.

Please excuse me for talking about the Ascend's in this SVS thread, that is not how I started out. I was asking about the SVS speakers, and now it may be that the Ascend's could serve my purpose and set up better.

Comments please.......
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post #205 of 1330 Old 01-27-2006, 07:03 AM
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amerikes,

yeah the 200s would work...they are the speakers the ascend owner recommends for surrounds.

I personally would go for the 170s as surrounds but that's just me. In your situation though you say the 200s would fit better so I'd say don't hesitate getting them.

ROB
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post #206 of 1330 Old 01-27-2006, 05:21 PM
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I would like to know what is everyone impression of the finish of all cabinets? I had read that the finish is vinyl. The SVS system will be used in our family room. Are the seams apparent? This SVS system will carry me over until I build my 20' x 14' theater of which I will use NHT Classic 3's in a 7.1 configuration.
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post #207 of 1330 Old 01-27-2006, 09:26 PM
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viper,

IMO the cabinets look good but I admit I really don't care what my speakers look like so they may be ugly to some since they are just all black.

As for the seams...I do not see them at all so they aren't apparent. They did a greta job in that area.

ROB
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post #208 of 1330 Old 01-27-2006, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by rlindo View Post

viper,

IMO the cabinets look good but I admit I really don't care what my speakers look like so they may be ugly to some since they are just all black.

As for the seams...I do not see them at all so they aren't apparent. They did a greta job in that area.


Thanks, I am going to order a system with an upgrade on the sub...
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post #209 of 1330 Old 01-27-2006, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by DodgeViper View Post

I would like to know what is everyone impression of the finish of all cabinets? I had read that the finish is vinyl. The SVS system will be used in our family room. Are the seams apparent? This SVS system will carry me over until I build my 20' x 14' theater of which I will use NHT Classic 3's in a 7.1 configuration.

I think they are the neatest small speakers I have seen - they have the same curved corners as the PB-10ISD subwoofer, and are all black. I prefer my speakers to look discreet, so I'm very happy with the way they look. If you want to add flames or wood effect panels, you'll have to do that yourself

The only seam I've found is about halfway along the width of the speaker, running front to back. When the speaker is sitting on something (stand, shelf), it's almost impossible to see unless you deliberately look underneath it.
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post #210 of 1330 Old 01-27-2006, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by subbedout View Post

I think they are the neatest small speakers I have seen - they have the same curved corners as the PB-10ISD subwoofer, and are all black. I prefer my speakers to look discreet, so I'm very happy with the way they look. If you want to add flames or wood effect panels, you'll have to do that yourself

The only seam I've found is about halfway along the width of the speaker, running front to back. When the speaker is sitting on something (stand, shelf), it's almost impossible to see unless you deliberately look underneath it.


Thanks for the reply. I am going to buy the SBS-01 5.0 and the PB12-Plus Sub.
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