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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got the SVS 20-39PCi as the replacement for my anemic Klipsch KSW-10. After a quick 'n dirty setup, my initial impressions of the 20-39PCi are that it's both a hit and a miss. I haven't calibrated the sub and need an SPL meter to adjust phase. I've also made adjustments to my A/V equipment in the past, which are subtle but I have grown to prefer and colored my taste today. I'll calibrate the sub and have a better feel for it later on but, no matter what, I seriously doubt that it'll get shipped back.


The 20-39PCi is VERY STRONG. I initially hooked it to my HK AVR 235 LFE, which is split since I was previously considering a pair of KSW-10s. The split signal is being sent to the L/R inputs on the 20-39PCi but, after reading the manual, only one is recommended as being used. I'll unhook one and see what happens. I also set the volume at 1/2, which was another mistake. The sound was very "boomy" and I've since set the volume at 1/4. That was a little low for my taste, so I set the sub at +2 db on the AVR 235.


At this combination of 1/4 volume and +2 db, the 20-39PCi has a commanding presence. It also seems very controlled and only kicks in when sub frequencies are generated by the source material (Star Wars, Matrix, etc.). Other subs I've had, especially the KSW-10, had a tendency to linger or have a low frequency undertone despite being hooked to the LFE. This certainly isn't the case with the 20-39PCi which starts doing it's thang then politely goes away.


The bass tones generated by the 20-39PCi are very strong and deep. 20Hz tuning frequency, go figure. This is a true subwoofer and is appropriately driven with it's internal 325W BASH amp. I'm very sensitive to distortion and bass-fade, none of which I've experienced with the 20-39PCi. Even at reference level, I'm impressed. The battle with the "weapons platforms" toward the end of Appleseed used to make my KSW-10 choke, but the 20-39PCi had no problems at all.


I'm fairly happy but feel the sub still needs some phase calibration. It came factory-set at 180 degrees, and I'd like to have a little more "kick" than "shake". An example would be the musket and canon blasts felt around your diaphragm in The Patriot and Master & Commander. This sensation was very nice on a friend's Klipsch system including KSW-12, which was circa 2003 and a whole league above my '05 KSW-10. I don't have that source material (yet) and I know it's an unfair comparison, but haven't experienced that sensation with the 20-39PCi. I'm hoping my problem is with bass-cancellation due to phase rather than the 20Hz tuning or other choice in speakers. I did pop in DVD Essentials and played the audio test tones, but that's useless without a SPL meter. I've always found DVD Essentials frustrating to navigate, and I'm hoping Avia will be much better.


As always, comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated.
 

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Have you experimented with sub placement? That, and using an SPL meter to set the sub's levels should smooth out your response. I have a hunch you've got a huge room mode that your Klipsch sub never excited. I don't think the input and volume levels you described are relevant measures.


There is a trick where you put your sub at the listening position then crawl around your room. When you find the spot where the bass response is to your liking, you put the sub there. I have never done it but people who have swear by it.


In the future, you may want to get a BFD to remove one or two room mode notches and smooth out the response a bit.


Congrats on your purchase.
 

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I've had one for about a year now, and all I can say is that it is worth the trouble to do a proper setup. Once calibrated and positioned, that sub will provide extremely clean, deep bass.


I would like to comment on one thing you said, however. Prior to the SVS, I tried dual Polk 350's, a single Polk 450 and a Velodyne CHT 12 (well, when I say tried, I actually still have all of them connected to systems in various rooms). Anyway, when I first set up the SVS, I thought it sounded a little "thin" on some CDs, given all the rave reviews.


Well, the "Darla taps the tank" in Finding Nemo removed all doubt about what it can really do. What I had trouble understanding was why it sounded incredible on some material, but almost non-existant on others---and this after going though all the calibration and proper placement. I finally figured out that the SVS produces extremely clean bass, with no overhang or other coloration. If the source material has deep bass, you will hear it. If it doesn't, well, the SVS will not add any of its own. This isn't a defect, but it may take some getting used to.


Now, having said that, most modern receivers let you adjust the sub level on the fly. When you come across something that needs a little extra kick, just bump the level up a notch or two--just remember to re-set it to your calibrated level so you don't cause problems for yourself when playing sources which an abundance of bass information.
 

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911,


As has been well suggested, setup is really key. I'd avoid the DVD Essentials (if that's the Digital Video Essentials?) for calibration anyway. The subwoofer setup routine is off. If it's the old "Video Essentials" it is a PITA to use, but the results are accurate.


Avia will be easier.


Make sure you don't fall into a trap on setup though. Check to ensure your DVD player setup menus is set to "bistream" on the digital audio output (you are using one optical or single lead coaxial connector to your receiver right?), your receiver should for now be set so all speakers are configured as "small", and with an 80hz crossover/bass management setting.


Placement is key you can easily be sitting, (or your sub can be sitting) in locations where you have big nulls in frequency response, or peaks too. This can typically only be helped with a mix of good level calibration (and proper system setup), a bit of use of the variable phase, and experiemenation with the sub's location (or your seat's location).


Drop us a line and we can steer you to some other places to read up on getting the most from Avia and your SPL meter (your manual has a bit of info on setup but there is more on line).


Ron

SVS
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'll try to pick up Avia and a SPL meter this week and play around with the sub. It's not a big deal, and it's something I was anticipating anyway. I will try to make the current sub's "home" work because it's in a very convenient spot, but I can move it around the room. I'll be using the SPL routine as described on the SVS website . Thanks for all the help. I'd also like to thank Ron Stimpson from SVS for speaking up. That's a level of dedication and customer service I don't see very often these days.
 

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anyone know the math for a single sub and placement?


Seth
 
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