or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › Subwoofers, Bass, and Transducers › Is SVS the right play here?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Is SVS the right play here?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

I currently have two JBL s310s as my front left and right speakers and a 100W RMS 12" subwoofer that can't keep up with them. I'm considering dual PB12-NSDs to add the low end I've been missing for much too long. I'm a bit of a bass head, as in I actually like Basshead, but would also use this for movies. My room is quite large (over 5,000 cubic feet, and maybe more if you include some rooms it generously opens up to) but I'm not going to spend any more than the $1,600 this will cost me with shipping. All viewers/listeners sit within 12-15' of the speakers.

Two quick questions:
-Is this overkill? I've been very happy with the JBL s310 speakers but I don't know if this lever subwoofer is more than I need.
-My receiver outputs 5.1/6.1. Is it okay to use a splitter for the LFE output to the subs?

Thanks!!!
Mike
post #2 of 28
Thread Starter 
Oh and also, what crossover frequency would you recommend for this setup? I was thinking 80, but considering the quality of these subs relative to the speakers, maybe I should do 100? 120? Thanks!
post #3 of 28
From the description of your room, you will want as much output as you can afford. In your budget, you might look at dual Epik Empires. Including shipping they might be a bit over your budget (like by maybe $100 or so) but they will have way more output than dual PB12s. Since you are contemplating raising the crossover point to 100 or 120, these are especially pertinent, since their output at those frequencies is just monstrous (compare it to the PB12 here; at 63 hz and above more than 10X as powerful!).

Something else to look at is the Hsu VTF3 mk4, while it won't have the massive upper bass of the Empire, it will have stronger ultra deep bass output than the Empire or PB12 in its 16 hz tuning. It has output similar to the Outlaw Audio LFM-1 EX (which is also listed on this chart) but with stronger deep bass output due to its larger ports. Note that the Outlaw surpasses the PB12 at 30 hz and above, and keeps up with the Empire until 40 hz. The Outlaw itself is a great sub too, but the VTF3 nearly the same price now and has a few more advantages, so, unless you were interested in a discount on Outlaw's wireless adapter, there is no performance reason to the Outlaw over the VTF3.
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

From the description of your room, you will want as much output as you can afford. In your budget, you might look at dual Epik Empires. Including shipping they might be a bit over your budget (like by maybe $100 or so) but they will have way more output than dual PB12s. Since you are contemplating raising the crossover point to 100 or 120, these are especially pertinent, since their output at those frequencies is just monstrous (compare it to the PB12 here; at 63 hz and above more than 10X as powerful!).
Something else to look at is the Hsu VTF3 mk4, while it won't have the massive upper bass of the Empire, it will have stronger ultra deep bass output than the Empire or PB12 in its 16 hz tuning. It has output similar to the Outlaw Audio LFM-1 EX (which is also listed on this chart) but with stronger deep bass output due to its larger ports. Note that the Outlaw surpasses the PB12 at 30 hz and above, and keeps up with the Empire until 40 hz. The Outlaw itself is a great sub too, but the VTF3 nearly the same price now and has a few more advantages, so, unless you were interested in a discount on Outlaw's wireless adapter, there is no performance reason to the Outlaw over the VTF3.

Thank you for the thoughtful response.

I suppose what's running through my head is the following:
-My JBLs are only rated to like 91db. I know that 91db at 500hz sounds very different than 91db at 25hz, but do I really need a sub that can put out ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY? (holy ****!)
-You're absolutely right that the Epiks can blow the SVS out of the water at the "higher" frequencies, but isn't there something to be said for how beautifully flat the SVS response curve is? Wouldn't that provide more realistic output?
-Build quality. SVS seems to have an excellent reputation for the quality of their items. From the anecdotal evidence I've seen, the Epiks aren't quite there.
-I also can't get this review out of my head. I haven't found a review that spoke so highly of the epiks that was nearly as well thought out and well written
-I wish there was a nice clear review and comparison of the HSU to the SVS... but maybe I should use the Outlaw as a proxy?

I'm hoping to make a decision today, so a reply or thoughts from anyone else would be appreciated!!
post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenaciousMV View Post

Thank you for the thoughtful response.
I suppose what's running through my head is the following:
-My JBLs are only rated to like 91db. I know that 91db at 500hz sounds very different than 91db at 25hz, but do I really need a sub that can put out ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY? (holy ****!)
-You're absolutely right that the Epiks can blow the SVS out of the water at the "higher" frequencies, but isn't there something to be said for how beautifully flat the SVS response curve is? Wouldn't that provide more realistic output?
-Build quality. SVS seems to have an excellent reputation for the quality of their items. From the anecdotal evidence I've seen, the Epiks aren't quite there.
-I also can't get this review out of my head. I haven't found a review that spoke so highly of the epiks that was nearly as well thought out and well written
-I wish there was a nice clear review and comparison of the HSU to the SVS... but maybe I should use the Outlaw as a proxy?
I'm hoping to make a decision today, so a reply or thoughts from anyone else would be appreciated!!

That rating for the JBLs is sensitivity. That means, basically, that at one watt input, at one meter from the speaker, you'll get 91 dB. At 10 watts, one meter away, you'd expect 101 dB, and at 100 watts 111 dB.

Partly because of the differences in how we hear low frequencies, the LFE channel (ie the .1 in 5.1 or 7.1) actually runs 10 dB louder than the regular channels. Plus the sub needs to deal with the bass managed sound from all the other speakers. A little headroom above that won't hurt anything, IMO.

I too have a thing for flat FR, and would prefer the SVS over the EPik for that reason (unless in-room experience demonstrated that room gain nicely matches the Epik roll off to keep things flat down deep.)
post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
Also, when I look at THD, it's just so much lower for the SVS. Yes, that's a result of it restricting itself, but it can still put out 100db no problem. I'm certainly leaning towards the PB12-NSD.
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHAz View Post

That rating for the JBLs is sensitivity. That means, basically, that at one watt input, at one meter from the speaker, you'll get 91 dB. At 10 watts, one meter away, you'd expect 101 dB, and at 100 watts 111 dB.
Partly because of the differences in how we hear low frequencies, the LFE channel (ie the .1 in 5.1 or 7.1) actually runs 10 dB louder than the regular channels. Plus the sub needs to deal with the bass managed sound from all the other speakers. A little headroom above that won't hurt anything, IMO.
I too have a thing for flat FR, and would prefer the SVS over the EPik for that reason (unless in-room experience demonstrated that room gain nicely matches the Epik roll off to keep things flat down deep.)

Thanks, that makes sense. Using the dual SVS with a split LFE channel would be okay, yes?
post #8 of 28
I would also go with the dual Epiks for your space vs the two SVS subs. More output. If you want a flatter response, you can always EQ it.

And I like SVS, but with your room the Epik is probably a better fit.
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenaciousMV View Post

-My JBLs are only rated to like 91db. I know that 91db at 500hz sounds very different than 91db at 25hz, but do I really need a sub that can put out ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY? (holy ****!)

You don't need a sub at all. But, the way I see it, if you are going to have one, it might as well be one that kicks ass.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenaciousMV View Post

-You're absolutely right that the Epiks can blow the SVS out of the water at the "higher" frequencies, but isn't there something to be said for how beautifully flat the SVS response curve is? Wouldn't that provide more realistic output?
No it wouldn't provide more realistic output, only less. None of these subs are going to have a flat response in your room. If you want a flat response you will have to equalize them no matter what. Note the Epik has the big output in the ranges that are most frequently used. The SVS has nice output at 20 hz, but 20 hz isn't used very often.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenaciousMV View Post

-Build quality. SVS seems to have an excellent reputation for the quality of their items. From the anecdotal evidence I've seen, the Epiks aren't quite there.
Epik has had a spate of amp failures in the Legends, and a few in the Empires too. I haven't seen enough widespread failures of the Empires to dissuade me from recommending it, however I do not recommend the Legend because of that issue. I think you are fairly safe with an Empire.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenaciousMV View Post

-I also can't get this review out of my head. I haven't found a review that spoke so highly of the epiks that was nearly as well thought out and well written
Note that SVS is a big advertiser on Audioholics. Here is a review of the Empire by Josh Ricci who also wrote the Audioholics PB12 review.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenaciousMV View Post

-I wish there was a nice clear review and comparison of the HSU to the SVS... but maybe I should use the Outlaw as a proxy?
You can use the Outlaw as a proxy to a point. The VTF3 will actually have higher performance in the low end and probably a flatter frequency response too. I have two LFM-1 EXs and two VTF3 mk3s, and the VTF3s keep up with the Outlaws every inch of the way and exceed them in the deep frequencies, just as the specs would suggest. I wouldn't trade either one for a PB12-NSD.
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

I would also go with the dual Epiks for your space vs the two SVS subs. More output. If you want a flatter response, you can always EQ it.
And I like SVS, but with your room the Epik is probably a better fit.

Thank you.

I am hung up on a few things:
-The Epik is a sealed sub. I keep reading that a sealed sub is better for a sealed room and a ported sub is better for an open floor plan. The "room" this is going in has three walls and is 3-5,000 cubic feet, but COMPLETELY opens up in the back to another 8-10,000 cubic feet.
-The THD on the Epik is so so so much higher in the tests I've seen versus the SVS PB12-NSD
-The quality of the sub. The more I read the more I feel that SVS builds a more solid product. Am I wrong about this?

Thanks again for any input! I'd love to decide on this today!

Mike
post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

Note that SVS is a big advertiser on Audioholics. Here is a review of the Empire by Josh Ricci who also wrote the Audioholics PB12 review.

Thank you for all of your responses - particularly this one!! I had not realized Josh reviewed it. I'm going to give that a full read now.
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenaciousMV View Post

Thank you.
I am hung up on a few things:
-The Epik is a sealed sub. I keep reading that a sealed sub is better for a sealed room and a ported sub is better for an open floor plan. The "room" this is going in has three walls and is 3-5,000 cubic feet, but COMPLETELY opens up in the back to another 8-10,000 cubic feet.
-The THD on the Epik is so so so much higher in the tests I've seen versus the SVS PB12-NSD
-The quality of the sub. The more I read the more I feel that SVS builds a more solid product. Am I wrong about this?
Thanks again for any input! I'd love to decide on this today!
Mike

Sealed subs can sometimes use room gain to compensate for their high but gradual rolloff. However, to say that one or the other is better for a type of room is a broad generalization. Besides, the Epik defies typical sealed rolloff and resembles that more of a ported sub anyway. In a large room, you will want the sub with the most output, regardless of sealed or ported. You need to pressurize the room as much as possible or else you will end up with a bass null in the center. If your listening position is next to a wall, on the other hand, you won't need to worry about bass nulls very much.
post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 
Another consideration, now that I'm looking at spending that much on two subs... is that definitely a better option than a single PB12-Plus or the Ultra?

I'm torn between:
-Dual MK4s (on sale for $659+$99 shipping each- seems tax free)
-Dual PB12-NSDs ($730 each after multi discount+$60 tax)
-A single high end 650-1200W sub like the ones I mentioned ($1,399+)

This is the hardest fun choice ever.
post #14 of 28
Dual subs are usually preferable just because of their inherent nature of providing even bass response throughout your room.

I would definitely stick with dual hsus or svs. They are "in the same league" and should offer similar results. The Hsus offer more tuning options to fine tailor the bass depth.
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenaciousMV View Post

Another consideration, now that I'm looking at spending that much on two subs... is that definitely a better option than a single PB12-Plus or the Ultra?
I'm torn between:
-Dual MK4s (on sale for $659+$99 shipping each- seems tax free)
-Dual PB12-NSDs ($730 each after multi discount+$60 tax)
-A single high end 650-1200W sub like the ones I mentioned ($1,399+)
This is the hardest fun choice ever.

I'm in a similar boat and I posed a similar question to Svs customer service, and at least for my 3,000 ft^3 room , they highly recommended two Pb-12 Nsd over a single Plus. For your size room you will likely require the brute force of a single (or dual) larger sub. Send Svs an email and see what they say.
post #16 of 28
Either of these companies will charge tax if you are in their state. They both will do local pickup though, so you can save on shipping if you are nearby.
post #17 of 28
I would do duals with a room that large. You could possible do one Plus but it would definitely need to be nearfield.
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenaciousMV View Post

Also, when I look at THD, it's just so much lower for the SVS. Yes, that's a result of it restricting itself, but it can still put out 100db no problem. I'm certainly leaning towards the PB12-NSD.

I own an SVS and love it. The build quality and customer service is second to none. I would go with dual PB12s. There seem to be too many complaints about Epik, but there are also many satisfied customers. Only you can decide if the extra output is worth the risk.

There have been many threads comparing the PB12- nsd, the Outlaw LFM-1 ex, and the Hsu vtf3- mk4. I would think you would be hard pressed to really notice a difference between the three in real world listening circumstances. All three have great reputations and many fans. So, if I was picking between those three, I would stop looking at max spl and instead look at the warranties, if one is on sale, how they look to you(ie the finishes), and whether you prefer a side, front,or down firing cone.

Regardless, dual PB12s, LFM-1 EXs, VTF3s, or Empires will insanely rock. You really have no bad choices among those four.
post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewHTbuyer View Post

I own an SVS and love it. The build quality and customer service is second to none. I would go with dual PB12s. There seem to be too many complaints about Epik, but there are also many satisfied customers. Only you can decide if the extra output is worth the risk.
There have been many threads comparing the PB12- nsd, the Outlaw LFM-1 ex, and the Hsu vtf3- mk4. I would think you would be hard pressed to really notice a difference between the three in real world listening circumstances. All three have great reputations and many fans. So, if I was picking between those three, I would stop looking at max spl and instead look at the warranties, if one is on sale, how they look to you(ie the finishes), and whether you prefer a side, front,or down firing cone.
Regardless, dual PB12s, LFM-1 EXs, VTF3s, or Empires will insanely rock. You really have no bad choices among those four.

Thanks, that makes me feel better about the PB12s. I've measured it out and really the only spots that work are just inside the two front speakers. One would be about four feet from a corner andone about 6 feet. Think that will be okay? Also, I plan to have them firing outwards.
post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 
I did it! I ordered two PB12-NSDs!!!

Thank you all for your help - every single piece of input was considered and (overly) researched.

Ultimately, I feel comfortable with my choice because:
-My only concern on the SVS PB12 was power, but the facts are a) I'm getting TWO of them, b) I'm upgrading from a freaking 100W Sony, c) as it is, I'm going to run the power for one of them from another outlet to ensure I don't overload my family room's circuit breaker (65" plasma, PS3, Onkyo, DVR, a couple lights, and a subwoofer adds up) - that's probably a sign I don't need much more power!
-While my room is extremely large when you consider what it opens up into, each position in the 7-8 person seating area around the plasma monitor and for music will not be further away than 12 feet from either sub, and in some areas within 12' of BOTH subs. smile.gif I think that will do the trick.
-Did I mention I'm getting two $700+ subs to replace one that was under $200? What the hell am I doing?? How did my budget go from $300 to $450 to $590 to $769 to $899 to $1500? smile.gif I rarely make purchases like this, but something tells me I'm going to end up very happy!

Thanks again. I'll post here after I've got everything hooked up. Hopefully this weekend but more likely early next week?
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenaciousMV View Post

I did it! I ordered two PB12-NSDs!!!
Thank you all for your help - every single piece of input was considered and (overly) researched.
Ultimately, I feel comfortable with my choice because:
-My only concern on the SVS PB12 was power, but the facts are a) I'm getting TWO of them, b) I'm upgrading from a freaking 100W Sony, c) as it is, I'm going to run the power for one of them from another outlet to ensure I don't overload my family room's circuit breaker (65" plasma, PS3, Onkyo, DVR, a couple lights, and a subwoofer adds up) - that's probably a sign I don't need much more power!
-While my room is extremely large when you consider what it opens up into, each position in the 7-8 person seating area around the plasma monitor and for music will not be further away than 12 feet from either sub, and in some areas within 12' of BOTH subs. smile.gif I think that will do the trick.
-Did I mention I'm getting two $700+ subs to replace one that was under $200? What the hell am I doing?? How did my budget go from $300 to $450 to $590 to $769 to $899 to $1500? smile.gif I rarely make purchases like this, but something tells me I'm going to end up very happy!
Thanks again. I'll post here after I've got everything hooked up. Hopefully this weekend but more likely early next week?
I'll be eagerly awaiting your review after you get everything dialed in since I'll be making the same purchase in a few months =)
post #22 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lylelljr View Post

I'll be eagerly awaiting your review after you get everything dialed in since I'll be making the same purchase in a few months =)

I'll be sure to follow up. I have to admit, I'm not really sure how to get things "dialed in" :-/ That's what I need to learn more about in the next several days.... I'd rather not buy more equipment to help me do it.
post #23 of 28
I cant wait to hear your feedback!!!
post #24 of 28
Thread Starter 
I already have a tracking number and they are expected to be delivered on Friday! I'm out of town until mid-afternoon Friday but left a note on my door (for a different package) that authorizes UPS and FedEx to leave packages. I hope they leave it if I'm not there to sign.

I'm impressed! Pretty crazy for 164 pounds.
post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 
Ordered: late night Tuesday, 6/26
Delivered: early morning Friday, 6/29
Awesome!

I've been out of town but I'll be home, with two PB12-NSDs waiting for me, in a few hours! FedEx required an indirect signature and the note I left on my door sufficed.
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenaciousMV View Post

Ordered: late night Tuesday, 6/26
Delivered: early morning Friday, 6/29
Awesome!
I've been out of town but I'll be home, with two PB12-NSDs waiting for me, in a few hours! FedEx required an indirect signature and the note I left on my door sufficed.

Congrats! Definitely post pics and listening impressions.
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHAz View Post

Partly because of the differences in how we hear low frequencies, the LFE channel (ie the .1 in 5.1 or 7.1) actually runs 10 dB louder than the regular channels. Plus the sub needs to deal with the bass managed sound from all the other speakers. A little headroom above that won't hurt anything, IMO.
I was just reading through the thread and noticed this. Actually, this is incorrect. The LFE channel is mixed at -10dB relative to the other channels to provide the other channels more headroom in an actual theater. At home, the receiver increases the signal by 10 dB when decoding or the subwoofer amp needs to be turned up 10 dB. In a properly calibrated system, the LFE and speakers are exactly the same volume.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenaciousMV 
I've been out of town but I'll be home, with two PB12-NSDs waiting for me, in a few hours! FedEx required an indirect signature and the note I left on my door sufficed.
This will make for a fun weekend! biggrin.gif
post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hi All,

I got my PB12-NSDs and they are certainly an upgrade from my prior subwoofer. I have them hooked up via LFE/splitter. I've only calibrated them by ear at this point - using a frequency sweep to ensure the volume didn't change much before/after the crossover frequency. Currently the gain is set to about noon.

I originally had the subs on carpet. Even though they have studs, the entire sub was resting on the carpet. The bass sounded pretty good, but certainly a little "muddy" and there wasn't much kick to it. Since then, out of desperation, I put them on the cardboard/ridged Styrofoam they were packed in. It seems to transfer less energy into the carpet/floor and kicks a little better. I've also tried pointing one of them into a corner (only one is near a corner) and that seems to have helped as well. I plan to use some Owens Corning 705 under all 8 of the studs between the two subs. Do you guys think that would help more of the energy transfer into sound? Overall, the bass seems fair for a very large room and $1550, but I suppose a little less than I expected.

I've been able to play music with this setup with my volume set up to about 80-83 (for reference to later in this post, and this is fairly loud, but nothing crazy) with music - from most dubstep songs and even a song I know goes to about 18-22 Hz. I really do wish it kicked a little harder, but I knew that would be a challenge with the size of my room. I plan to put one of the subs in my primary listening position soon and crawl around to try to find some good spots on either side of my plasma to get a little more force.

Tonight, I have been watching Iron Man. Every single explosion, and many other scenes with heavy bass have been causing the limiter to come on, even at volumes muuuuuch lower than the 80-83 I can use music with. Even towards like 74-77, which is a whole different league of volume. Do you think this is just because the Hz drop into the lower/mid teens at these volumes? I've heard that SVS is fairly conservative with their limiters. As long as it's only "flashing" during very heavy scenes in movies, should I have ANY concern about damage? I'd like these to last, assuming I keep them, which I think I will.

I'll come back at some point with a layout of my room and where I have the subs. I'm welcome to ideas on everything I mentioned above!

Thanks!!!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › Subwoofers, Bass, and Transducers › Is SVS the right play here?