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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Why would one want the Ultra over the 16-42?...and why is there such a price difference?


The Ultra goes down to 20 hz at - 3 dB while the other can get down to 16hz at the same dB point. I see that the Ultra has a flat response out past 100hz while the 16-46 has the typical bell curve, but why would I want anything past 60-80 hz?


I have heard that the Ultra is tri-ported making it possible to go lower (frequency), but I have not read anything to back this up...and if it is true, does porting it reduce its flat response?



One last thing, I currently own a Hsu VTF-2 and was considering upgrading to the 16-42. I saw 2 seperate articles by Tom Nousaine, one on the SV20-39 (rated down to 20hz +/-3dB) and one on the Hsu VTF-2 (rated down to 25hz +/-1dB). According to the articles the Hsu was able to put out 20hz at 93dB and delivered 107.1dB from 25 to 62hz range. The SV20-39 was able to put out 20hz at 91dB and averaged 109.5dB from 25hz to 62hz.


Am I missing something? I would expect the SVS to be stronger at 20hz since it is specifically tuned to that frequency. Especially since it is about $400 more than the Hsu. How much of a difference would I feel with a single 16-42 over the Hsu or 2 Hsu's? How much sound goes below 20hz in today's DVDs?
 

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1) The LFE channel goes out to 120Hz -- so in an ideal world you don't want to start rolling off until above that. Also, a crossover is not a brick wall -- please see my ICBM review just published on the Secrets website http://www.hometheaterhifi.com to see how a crossover affects outputs in a managed speaker.


2) By stuffing a port, you lower the tuning frequency, and lower the sensitivity. You're always doing a "dance" with physics trying to balance a series of compromises to get the performance you want.


THe last I heard, SV had a few samples of the port stuffers in the field to be tested on the CS Ultra. They also have custom ports for their standard line of subwoofers.


3) SV is making the tradeoff of sensitivity vs. extenstion, the Hsu does the same. You can switch between max SPL and max Extension on the Hsu VTF-2. That 2.5 dB advantage for the SV is for all intents and purposes twice the acoustic output in the most used range (1.78x is the real number).


Are you really comparing apples to apples? I don't believe Nousaine has published data on the CS Ultra at this time.


Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In response to John who wrote:

Quote:
3) SV is making the tradeoff of sensitivity vs. extenstion, the Hsu does the same. You can switch between max SPL and max Extension on the Hsu VTF-2. That 2.5 dB advantage for the SV is for all intents and purposes twice the acoustic output in the most used range (1.78x is the real number).


Are you really comparing apples to apples? I don't believe Nousaine has published data on the CS Ultra at this time.
I am comparing apples, but one apple is $400+ cheaper for what appears to be almost identical specs. As far as the 2.5dB advantage....if you unport the Hsu VTF-2 Tom reported 109.7dB from 25 to 62Hz. This gives the cheaper Hsu the slight advantage in the "most used range".


I am not dogging the SVS, I just heard a lot of people here rave about them as the best subs for the money, but the Hsu seems to be right up their based on specs, so I was wondering if I was missing something. I am looking to possibly upgrade my sub, but I was wondering if I should sell my Hsu for a SVS 16-42 or should I get a second Hsu? How much material is below 20hz? Why is the Ultra more expensive than the SV16s? Just because of the flat response? Wouldn't a bell curve be better, because you wouldn't want your sub putting out material between 80 to 120hz as loud as lower frequencies or it will be too easy to locate pinpoint...right? Can the Ultra get down to 16hz?


As you can see I have a lot of questions and I am trying to figure out what to look for in a sub. I want the best bang for the buck, and I want that bang to go low but I also want to know that there is a lot of DVDs that bang that lowwww. :D
 

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Max,

It's not just the response curve, it's how well it's maintained as SPL increases. (i.e. many subs are flat at 70dB... very few maintain that up to 110dB). I'd suggest contacting SVS and asking these questions to them directly (unless one of the owners finds this thread)...


Greg
 

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>>>Why would one want the Ultra over the 16-42?...and why is there such a price difference? The Ultra goes down to 20 hz at - 3 dB while the other can get down to 16hz at the same dB point.I see that the Ultra has a flat response out past 100hz while the 16-46 has the typical bell curve, but why would I want anything past 60-80 hz?I have heard that the Ultra is tri-ported making it possible to go lower (frequency), but I have not read anything to back this up...and if it is true, does porting it reduce its flat response? >>I would expect the SVS to be stronger at 20hz since it is specifically tuned to that frequency. Especially since it is about $400 more than the Hsu.
 

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>>>I am comparing apples, but one apple is $400+ cheaper for what appears to be almost identical specs. As far as the 2.5dB advantage....if you unport the Hsu VTF-2 Tom reported 109.7dB from 25 to 62Hz. This gives the cheaper Hsu the slight advantage in the "most used range".
 

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Tom,


With all due respect (and that's a lot), I disagree with you on a subwoofer flat out to 80-100Hz as being "ok" in an HT environment.


The LFE channel is designed to run out to 120Hz, and the critical region between 80-120Hz should be flat to maintain correct frequency response as the Low Pass Filter engages for the subwoofer (assuming 80Hz crossover frequency).


120-150Hz seems more correct in my mind.


Any thoughts on this one?


Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
TV,


Ok, here is the reason I am asking all of these questions. I currently own a Hsu VTF-2 but I have been considering a SVS for down the road. My friend is currently looking at subs and is considering the Hsu and doesn't want to pay more than $400 for a sub. See where I am going? :p I am considering selling my Hsu and saving him shipping while using that money towards a SVS (most likely SV16-42CS).


I currently live in an apartment, but I have been purchasing equipment with the assumption that I will eventually have a decent sized dedicated HT room when I move to a house. I currently do not crank up my system due to where I live, but I plan to when I move! I have the Diva setup hooked up to an Onkyo 787. I have a list of my equipment on my website. :D


So, it sounds like there is no universal method of testing a sub, even by the same reviewer?


When I wrote, "The Ultra goes down to 20 hz at - 3 dB while the other can get down to 16hz at the same dB point"...I meant that the 16-42 was also tested at 3dB down. Sorry for the confusion. So, at 20 hz what is the dB reading of the 16-42 vs the Ultra?


It also sounds like the Ultra is multiported. Is this true? Are the other SVS models ported? By ported I mean similar to the Hsu where you can port or unport an openning to acheive lower frequency vs more "loudness" or visa versa. Thanks for all the help and honest answers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ohh TV, when you wrote:

Quote:
FWIW, we've had a number of customers who added a SV to their VTF-2 and all the feedback we've gotten indicated the SV outgunned the VTF-2...esp down low.
...typically which SVsub did most VTF owners upgrade to? Do you know if most replaced their VTF with SV or are they using one SV and one Hsu?





Are there any ex-VTF owners that now own SVS on this forum, and if so, please feel free to chime in.
 

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MaxC,


Realize that between the two SV subs, the CS is a high value subwoofer, where the Ultra uses much higher quality parts, the driver and porting in particular. The Ultra is a lower distortion driver with a good deal greater excursion. While the numbers do give you an idea of what is goin on, the output numbers from Tom Nousaine are only limited by 10% distortion. They don't tell where the sub bottoms out or how it handles high peak demands. Use the measurements to see what is there, but it's easy to read more into those measurements than is warranted.


The HSU is most certainly a great little subwoofer, but it doesn't cover the bottom octave like the SVS products do. Since right now you won't be overdriving a single SVS in your appartment, consider which one you can afford and fit in your room. If quality of bass is your goal, go for the Ultra if you can find the funds. Otherwise, the CS and PC series with 16Hz or 20Hz tunings are the way to go.


Regards,
 

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>>>TV,


Ok, here is the reason I am asking all of these questions. I currently own a Hsu VTF-2 but I have been considering a SVS for down the road. My friend is currently looking at subs and is considering the Hsu and doesn't want to pay more than $400 for a sub. See where I am going? I am considering selling my Hsu and saving him shipping while using that money towards a SVS (most likely SV16-42CS).I currently live in an apartment, but I have been purchasing equipment with the assumption that I will eventually have a decent sized dedicated HT room when I move to a house. I currently do not crank up my system due to where I live, but I plan to when I move! I have the Diva setup hooked up to an Onkyo 787. I have a list of my equipment on my website.


So, it sounds like there is no universal method of testing a sub, even by the same reviewer?>>When I wrote, "The Ultra goes down to 20 hz at - 3 dB while the other can get down to 16hz at the same dB point"...I meant that the 16-42 was also tested at 3dB down. Sorry for the confusion. So, at 20 hz what is the dB reading of the 16-42 vs the Ultra?20hz).


TV
 

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>>>Tom,


With all due respect (and that's a lot), I disagree with you on a subwoofer flat out to 80-100Hz as being "ok" in an HT environment. The LFE channel is designed to run out to 120Hz, and the critical region between 80-120Hz should be flat to maintain correct frequency response as the Low Pass Filter engages for the subwoofer (assuming 80Hz crossover frequency). 120-150Hz seems more correct in my mind.

Any thoughts on this one?

Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ahhh, it is all starting to make sense now. Thanks for all the input. Please let me know if you hear anything back from the previous Hsu owners comparing the two...in the mean time I will be scrounging through my couch trying to come up with some extra dough. :D


About how much would shipping be to Maryland of a SV16-42 and an amp?
 

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Tom,


It's nice to have a discussion of contrasting viewpoints without it becoming an argument. Thanks for clarifying your point of view for me ;)


If there's duplication in the 100-120Hz range, depending on the number of speakers involved the LFE channel does become extraneous -- I had not considered that. At times I think a little bit too literally. This is likely one of those cases.


Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
One more question...I promise....for now. :p


I currently have my speakers all set to small so that the sub out of the receiver is set to 80hz. The sub is hooked up via the sub pre out. Is this the general consensus for movies or should I consider changing the mains to large and running the left and right speaker wires to the sub and then from the sub to the left and right speakers? If so what should I set my sub to considering that my mains can go down to 27hz....yeah right :D


I also listen to DVD-A and DTS-Cds (in 5.1) as well as regular Cds in stereo ocassionally. My surrounds seem to handle bass really well.


Woahh....do SVS CS subs have speaker out terminals? I know they have banana plugs for speaker in. I also did not notice a RCA terminal (LFE in).
 

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>>>One more question...I promise....for now.


I currently have my speakers all set to small so that the sub out of the receiver is set to 80hz. The sub is hooked up via the sub pre out. Is this the general consensus for movies or should I consider changing the mains to large and running the left and right speaker wires to the sub and then from the sub to the left and right speakers? If so what should I set my sub to considering that my mains can go down to 27hz....yeah right
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just thought of another question.


I noticed that as you go from the SV25 to the SV16-46 you get a lower tuned frequency but it looses some dB's in the more common frequencies (25~35hz).


So if I was to purchase a pair of subs, would it make sense to get one SV25 and one SV16 rather that a pair of one or the other? Do most people just order a pair of the same because they want matching sizes or because they are either more focused towards lower extention vs louder and visa versa?
 

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The primary benefit of *mixing* the SVs would be dependent on the room size(imo). The smaller the room, the more potential there would be to realize some benefits.



After emailing 3-4 of the VTF owners who added a SV, I've only received two responses. One indicated they would try to add they're opinion to this thread in the future. The other said he had no problem with me quoting our email exchange.



So here's the text directly comparing the 20-39PC.



"""Tom,

The SVS really started to win me over by the 2nd day. I don't know if a few

hours of break in helped. The first big victory over the Hsu was a bit

ironic-I tried out the Virgil Fox organ CD that shipped with the Hsu, and the

SVS really belted out notes that had reduced the VTF-2 to flatulence.


U-571 and ID4 gave further confirmation of the improvement.


On the first day, I was concerned a little about music performance. I

thought I heard some muddiness to the sound. Careful calibration helped. I

also was hearing some soft kicks on bass drums that I either hadn't heard or

noticed before, and it took a few listens to recognize these and get used to

them."""




I'm sorry there's only one *sample size* I can reference....but I won't post an email exchange unless I get the go ahead from the customer.FWIW....the rest of the feedback seemed to more or less parallel the email above.Hopefully we see some feedback from folks who've heard/owned both too.


TV
 

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Max,


Based on some of your questions I thought I'd make sure you saw some of the key pages to help you further.


This page lists all three type subs. Note, the Ultra and CS lines use outboard amps, and the PC line use built-in amps (answering your question about inputs, only the PC line has RCA ins) http://www.svsubwoofers.com/subwoofers.htm When you drill down to the Ultra page, note the link to the tri-port arrangement exclusive to the Ultra line, and that MASSIVE TC Sounds driver (vice the still very effective CS and PC line driver). The woofer alone in the Ultra cost MANY times the cost of the PC/CS driver and is very similar to drivers in at least one sub costing several thousand dollars.


This page has some extensive reviews: http://www.svsubwoofers.com/reviews.htm We never want to be caught trashing the competition, the Hsu VTF-2, for its price and size, is a stunning value. The specs published are a bit difficult to explain though. I've heard both. Frankly I don't feel you'll see much comparison between a 25-31PC (or its larger more costly siblings) and a VTF-2. We know the amp, the driver and the box Hsu uses. The PC series will blow you away and be far more sub in every regard, or we'll insist you send it back (hell, I'll send you an SVS t-shirt for your trouble, even if you do).


There's really not much magic involved (though it IS tuned by Tom Vodhanel ;^)... Add more amp, a bigger (cylinder) enclosure, and a larger driver and it adds up to substantially more performance, despite the question about the spec in this case. We've not had time to post much on the Ultra reviews yet, but the owners of this forum chose them and did one (do a search to find it). Soon we hope another major review will pop up on the Ultra though. A set is in the hands of "the man" as we speak. That's all I can say here.


If you are in an apt. now I'd personally recommend the 25-31PC, line up your bud for the "hand me down" (sell me down?;^) and prepare to tell all of us if we were right or not. It's a bet I think I'll win. Free T-Shirt awaits your review Max.


P.S. The bottom line is that a single CS-Ultra gives TWO normal CS subs a run for the money, and actually will do a bit better down low. If you have the $ and think one sub is all you want to make space for, a single CS-Ultra will do more to your HT than a stack of Hsu VTF-2s (which should be expected, given its higher cost). If you just want a nice upgrade from your current sub, the 25-31PC should do the trick nicely.


Ron
 
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