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I know they can rock HT, but are SVS subwoofers musical?  

post #1 of 174
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

My deal is that I'm setting up my family room as a combined HT and 2 channel music room. I currently have dynaudio 52se fronts and a Rel strata III subwoofer connected to the high level inputs. I'm using dyn 52's as rears and a 122c for center duty.

I love the set up for music (using the 52se's with the rel). However, I'm not impressed with the rel for HT. In fact, my old small deftech procinema sub seems to sound better with HT than the more expensive and well regarded rel.

My question is this, I would be happy to move the rel strata to another room (a second music only room) if I could find a sub to replace it that will excel both at music AND home theater. It's really important to me that the sub is fast and blends well with the dyn 52se's for music. However, I just don't want to sacrifice good sound effects and blasts from movies.

I've researched the SVS subs a bit and by price point and size, the PB 12-plus seems to be a good choice for me. I know that I could buy the sub and return it if I'm not satisfied, but I really would like SVS owners to give my their impression of the musicality of their subs.

One thing I really like about rel is that I can have different levels set for HT and Music. That's done by dual hookups to the sub.. High level for music and LFE for HT. Can you do that with SVS?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions and comments.

Craig
post #2 of 174
There are certainly more musical subs than the SVS brand.
post #3 of 174
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by NightRain
There are certainly more musical subs than the SVS brand.
Would you care to make suggestions?

Thanks,

Craig
post #4 of 174
I happen to love REL. I would add James, The Servo 15, Velodyne DD and HGS series, HSU and the Mirage Bipolar ones to your audition list. All extremely musical, WELL BRACED and accurate.
By all means try to audition a SVS in your area if possible. You are the best judge of what you are looking for and I have a feeling you'll quickly understand their sound.
post #5 of 174
What is your budget and size restrictions? The ServoDrive subs are killer for HT and very quick and musical. I use a Contrabass for with my Dynaudio's and love it. Very easy to blend in, quick, tight, etc. Drawbacks: Big, expensive, passive.
post #6 of 174
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by NightRain
I happen to love REL. I would add James, The Servo 15, Velodyne DD and HGS series, HSU and the Mirage Bipolar ones to your audition list. All extremely musical, WELL BRACED and accurate.
By all means try to audition a SVS in your area if possible. You are the best judge of what you are looking for and I have a feeling you'll quickly understand their sound.

I love REL as well. I just can't afford their larger subs. My a/v store recommended waiting for the Brittania series by REL. Unfortunately, they start at $2100 mrsp or so.
post #7 of 174
Guess we were posting at the same time. The ServoDrives are considerably more than that unless you can find one used.
post #8 of 174
Quote:
Originally posted by cmr15
I love REL as well. I just can't afford their larger subs. My a/v store recommended waiting for the Brittania series by REL. Unfortunately, they start at $2100 mrsp or so.
Is the Studio out of your range? Any of the alternatives I mentioned are highly suited for music and HT. Tom or Ronald will probably be posting any second as well looking for customers. Trust your own ears not overblown hyperbole.
post #9 of 174
I feel the RELs are grossly inadequate for reference level reproduction of bass. Small drivers in a small enclosure with a small amplifier will not result in adequate SPLs below 30hz. Yes, they are pretty and have a nice crossover.

Go out an audition the usual suspects (Velodyne, Hsu, SVS, etc.). audioenvy.com will allow you to find a local owner for an audition. I am a fan of acoustic-visions pinnacle line of subwoofers but many people balk at the size.
post #10 of 174
Quote:
Originally posted by cmr15
Hi all,

My deal is that I'm setting up my family room as a combined HT and 2 channel music room. I currently have dynaudio 52se fronts and a Rel strata III subwoofer connected to the high level inputs. I'm using dyn 52's as rears and a 122c for center duty.

I love the set up for music (using the 52se's with the rel). However, I'm not impressed with the rel for HT. In fact, my old small deftech procinema sub seems to sound better with HT than the more expensive and well regarded rel.

My question is this, I would be happy to move the rel strata to another room (a second music only room) if I could find a sub to replace it that will excel both at music AND home theater. It's really important to me that the sub is fast and blends well with the dyn 52se's for music. However, I just don't want to sacrifice good sound effects and blasts from movies.

I've researched the SVS subs a bit and by price point and size, the PB 12-plus seems to be a good choice for me. I know that I could buy the sub and return it if I'm not satisfied, but I really would like SVS owners to give my their impression of the musicality of their subs.

One thing I really like about rel is that I can have different levels set for HT and Music. That's done by dual hookups to the sub.. High level for music and LFE for HT. Can you do that with SVS?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions and comments.

Craig
I live in Staten Island, N.y. , you are more than welcome to come and audition my SVS Sub, also bring an extra pair of underwear, you might need them after the audition:), it's the PB12-Plus/2, musical, yea it's musical alright, this thing is a beast, PM me if you are interested.
post #11 of 174
>>>I live in Staten Island, N.y. , you are more than welcome to come and audition my SVS Sub, also bring an extra pair of underwear, you might need them after the audition, PM me if you are interested.<<<

Craig, I would suggest you accept this invitation if at all possible. You can make your own determination of SVS this way. You can also learn more about the "musicality" of SVS products at our reviews page on our website(comments from professional reviewers with DECADES of experience in the audio industry). You'll be able to get a much more realistic cross section of SVS imo. If you need links, feel free to email me at techsupport@svsubwoofers.com


Tom V.
SVS
post #12 of 174
>>>One thing I really like about rel is that I can have different levels set for HT and Music. That's done by dual hookups to the sub.. High level for music and LFE for HT. Can you do that with SVS?<<<

Yes, we have many SVS owners using this configuration with great results.

Tom V.
SVS
post #13 of 174
Tom,

I just received my PB12-ISD...

How do I configure this type of dual setup for music and movies?

Thanks,

PJ
post #14 of 174
Craig, I have a Dynaudio+SVS set, and the SVS complements the Dynaudio beautifully. I tested here with a 52SE from a friend and the addition of the SVS made the bass deeper and the mids much clearer. In HT, this subs kicks ass, but in music, is so subtle that sometimes you wonder if it's on :D
post #15 of 174
>>Tom,

I just received my PB12-ISD...

How do I configure this type of dual setup for music and movies?

Thanks,

PJ<<

Hi PJ,

Which receiver/processor and full range speakers are you using in the system? Also, hopw large is the listening room, and does it have any large openings to other areas of the home? The musicality of any quality subwoofer will largely be determined by factors like...

1)optimizing the subwoofer placement in the room
2)optimizing the lowpass and highpass crossovers
3)getting the phase setting on the subwoofer just right(this can take a bit of trial and error)
4)bass levels that aren't overly "hot" (calibrating the systen with a SPL meter is very helpful here)

Tom V.
SVS
post #16 of 174
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by bpape
What is your budget and size restrictions? The ServoDrive subs are killer for HT and very quick and musical. I use a Contrabass for with my Dynaudio's and love it. Very easy to blend in, quick, tight, etc. Drawbacks: Big, expensive, passive.
I'd like to keep the budget to around $1500. Also, I would like the sub not to be a beast.

Craig
post #17 of 174
Tom,

I have a Denon 3803 mated with Paradigm Studio 60s v.3. The room is about 15 feet wide and 28 feet long. This is kind of a great room so only about half the length is used for the home theatre. I have regular heighted ceilings at 9 ft.

As far as placement goes, the sub is to the left of the front left main speaker and this is the only place it can go. Sitting in this spot, the sub is tucked into a corner.

Thanks for helping out Tom. It's much appreciated.

PJ
post #18 of 174
Quote:
Originally posted by cmr15
I'd like to keep the budget to around $1500. Also, I would like the sub not to be a beast.

Craig
Craig,

Take a look at ACI's Titan as well. Between $1050-1300, depending on finish. They are not big and finished very nicely. I had thier Force, it worked well for music. Here is a link to the Titan: ACI Titan

Also, here is my current (and will be for a looong time) sub. A custom MiniThunder with a Rythmik DirectServo amp/driver. Tight and defined for music, but can put out 113dB of bass for movies down to 18Hz. Check my review on Rythmiks testimonial page here: Rythmik DirectServo My detailed review is the last one at the bottom.

The MiniThunder has two 12" passive radiators opposite eachother. That is one in the picture. The 12" Rythmik Servo sensed driver is bottom-firing. The dimensions are 17" D x 17" W x 20" H. And costs about $800 with your choice of 14 real wood veneers.

I've heard good reviews of the sealed sub with the DirectServo as well. Brian at Rythmik can custom make it to work with a ported/PR design or sealed. What I love about the MiniThunder PR design is from 80Hz (crossover point to my mains) down to around 35Hz it really sounds detailed and tight like a great sealed sub. And from 35-18Hz it can still hit hard like a good ported design (which it does from 35Hz-80Hz as well).

Have fun hunting, I know I did for over 5 years!
Best Regards,
Patrick

http://img26.exs.cx/img26/8805/Mini-Thunder.jpg
post #19 of 174
Quote:
1)optimizing the subwoofer placement in the room
2)optimizing the lowpass and highpass crossovers
3)getting the phase setting on the subwoofer just right(this can take a bit of trial and error)
4)bass levels that aren't overly "hot" (calibrating the systen with a SPL meter is very helpful here)
These are very basic set up requirements for ANY subwoofer in any room regardless of the media used for playback. (Except that you cannot properly set up a subwoofer without using an RTA.)
I would also ask, what are the differences in requirements for "musical" and "HT" playback? I'd suggest the requirements for any sub include: (1) accurate reproduction of the signal; (2) reasonably flat frequency response from 20Hz up to just beyond the crossover point; (3) the ability to adjust the sub's phase from 0 thru 180 degrees to allow for proper integration with the system (phase of mains and sub must match at the crossover point).
Those requirements are exactly the same for music and HT. You cannot measure the "musicality" of a sub. You can measure its accuracy and performance. If a sub cannot past muster on the "accuracy and performance" scale, let's call it musical (or something else) so we can't be held to task if it is, or is not. IE, if we cannot sell subs based upon objective criteria, let's market them on subjective criteria.

BTW, I don't recommend you have the sub's driver facing into the listening positions.
post #20 of 174
Unfortunately the SVS's don't have two volume controls- one for high level, another for low level. Whereas the newer Rel's do. I can understand the need for two volume controls though- as I needed this feature myself in the past (low level from LFE out, high level from stereo integrated amp). However if you're just sending a single input from a AV amp then there's no need to have two signals to the sub (and you want to switch off one signal whilst the other is active, and vice versa)

I own a Rel Storm & SVS. For HT the Rel is a crummy sub. Forget Toy Story II intro :( even at calibrated level. Rel are overpriced and underperform for HT, and in the US the prices seem extortionate.

I can't comment about "musicality" of SVS or Rel subs- I own both, it's all too personal opinion anyway..I could love drum 'n' bass- I could prefer a Yamaha sub booming away, my preference for midbass boom as someone who prefers that.

Ignore Nightrain. He's got a axe to grind with SVS.
post #21 of 174
No axe to grind at all. I am offended by the dominance and fervency of SVS owners who tend to swarm and shove their opinion down other's throats. I just let people know there are alternatives and in many cases much better alternatives to SVS. It's all a matter of balance and anyone in the market should try to listen to SVS as well as other brands.
post #22 of 174
I have a PC Ultra and a DD12, both are very good subs, accurate, low distortion etc. The PC Ultra is the most musical of the 2 IMO.
post #23 of 174
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by fatbottom
Unfortunately the SVS's don't have two volume controls- one for high level, another for low level. Whereas the newer Rel's do. I can understand the need for two volume controls though- as I needed this feature myself in the past (low level from LFE out, high level from stereo integrated amp). However if you're just sending a single input from a AV amp then there's no need to have two signals to the sub (and you want to switch off one signal whilst the other is active, and vice versa)

I own a Rel Storm & SVS. For HT the Rel is a crummy sub. Forget Toy Story II intro :( even at calibrated level. Rel are overpriced and underperform for HT, and in the US the prices seem extortionate.

I can't comment about "musicality" of SVS or Rel subs- I own both, it's all too personal opinion anyway..I could love drum 'n' bass- I could prefer a Yamaha sub booming away, my preference for midbass boom as someone who prefers that.

Ignore Nightrain. He's got a axe to grind with SVS.
So am I correct in presuming that you have a separate setup for HT (with the SVS) and music (with the REL)?

Which svs do you have? Are you pleased with how it integrates with your front speakers for music (if you are actually using it for music)?

Have you heard the new REL's? ... I believe they are called the Brittania series. They may be only geared toward the US market though.

Thanks
Craig
post #24 of 174
With an accurate sub, a properly calibrated and set up system, there is absolutely no reason to have two sub set ups.
post #25 of 174
Fatbottom is right, I'e seen Nightrain bashing SVS on several occasions.

How is it a drawback if Tom and Ron stop by once in a while to help out?
They are consistently helpful about all issues ( even unrelated to SVS) and do not hawk their products here.

Dennis is also right. A sub IS musical if it does the three things listed in his post, period. Take up cybertec on his offer then listen to a few other subs and make your choice. Beware of any advice coming from someone who seems dead against a particular brand of gear (unless it's BOSE... sorry I couldn't resist).
post #26 of 174
Quote:
Originally posted by capecodorthopod

How is it a drawback if Tom and Ron stop by once in a while to help out?
They are consistently helpful about all issues ( even unrelated to SVS) and do not hawk their products here.

They bounce in consistently on threads and that is trolling for customers and looking for business. I've yet to see Dr. Hsu patrolling the fora looking for business or ANY negative feedback. Nor have I seen him pressure a website for a better review than his products got. Suggesting there are better alternatives is not bashing. Do I like their sound? Nope I prefer accurate and well braced subwoofers but anyone looking to buy should listen to all products they can and decide for themselves. If SVS floats their boat then great they got the type of sound they wanted to buy. If one of the competitors sounds more accurate and better to them and they buy that brand then that's good too. It's important that just because people surf in here or at that "other site" and see SVS plastered all over the place that they don't automatically assume they are the best for there needs because in many cases they may be the furthest thing from what will make them happy. Also to the uninitiated they may not realize that SVS is just a small internet only company and there are many established high end brands making fantastic subs.
post #27 of 174
Quote:
Originally posted by Dennis Erskine
With an accurate sub, a properly calibrated and set up system, there is absolutely no reason to have two sub set ups.
Exactly! And some subs are a little more accurate than others. Then one has to consider how much output they need too.

Btw: I've gotten a couple of PMs on the MiniThunder Where people think I "built it". Actualy the MiniThunder cabinet is made by Acoustic Elegance (formerly Stryke Audio) with the finish I liked, and the DirectServo Amp/Driver combo by Rythmik Audio. All I had to do was screw the Rythmik driver and amp in place. Very limited DIY, though I'm sure Brian at Rythmik would send the amp/driver to John over at Acoustic Elegance and I'm sure he'd be willing to install it for you. They are both very accomidating! :)

Best Regards,
Patrick
post #28 of 174
>>>How is it a drawback if Tom and Ron stop by once in a while to help out? They are consistently helpful about all issues ( even unrelated to SVS) and do not hawk their products here.<<<

We've actually been emailed and ASKED to try to spend more time at many forums on the internet. When you have 99 folks appreciating the time spent, and 1% who complains about everything under the sun...it isn't hard to figure out to ignore..:)


Tom V.
SVS
post #29 of 174
Quote:
It's important that just because people surf in here or at that "other site" and see SVS plastered all over the place that they don't automatically assume they are the best for there needs because in many cases they may be the furthest thing from what will make them happy.
I believe you need to give people visiting the forum more credit then you are. Generally, providing objective input, people will make the correct decision on their own. BTW, it is "their" not "there".
post #30 of 174
>>>I have a PC Ultra and a DD12, both are very good subs, accurate, low distortion etc. The PC Ultra is the most musical of the 2 IMO.<<<

Hi Jeff,

I know you have spent a good deal of time comparing those two subs, thanks for taking the time to offer your opinion. It is all a matter of optimizing the system setup. The best subwoofer can be made to sound poor, and an average subwoofer can sound very good....its all in the setup..:)

Tom V.
SVS
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