Originally Posted by steve1616
So maybe the question is what is real in audio? Don't distortion and frequency response tests on databass tell the story? If not I guess Im not sure why they are done. Please feel free to enlighten me.
DataBass is an excellent resource, and most trust the data posted there. But it just provides data and numbers. The true test of any speaker (be it subwoofer or not) is to listen
to it with your
equipment and your
content in your
space, with your
own ears and personal preferences. That's why head-to-head testing, or shoot-outs, are somewhat
more useful than simple data. Of course, the auditioning listener's impressions and preferences during the shoot-out are just that, his/her
impressions and preferences, so they might not match up with yours, but you can glean useful insights about different sound signatures from them. A good example is here
did a nice job explaining differences in sound signatures between brands in his particular space, and how sub A sounded better in his room while sub B sounded better in a friend's room.
As such, the only "real" way to shop for a speaker is to bring it in-house and audition it for a few weeks. Of course, with giant subs weighing 1/8 of a ton, and many ID vendors not offering free return shipping or unlimited audition periods, it's easier said than done! Goodness knows, I'm too cheap to do it. But that's why I read these forums - to get insights from those who have done it.
Oh, and I should add - I've only ever heard good things about SVS sound signatures. I've just heard that other (ID) vendors provide a lot more bang for the buck (i.e. SVS subs are great, but you can get more for less $$ with some of the ID vendors).
And finally, regarding distortion: make sure you're comparing apples to apples, i.e. similar output levels at similar frequencies
, otherwise the data isn't a true comparison.