AudioNervosa

Systemic Development => Bipolar System Disorders => Topic started by: Carlman on October 30, 2012, 03:41:49 PM

Title: SVS Subwoofers
Post by: Carlman on October 30, 2012, 03:41:49 PM
I have been considering subs and a couple or few have caught my eye.. I'm in the 'consideration' phase of my process and am not yet sure what my budget should be for the level of performance I want. 

The 2 standouts so far have been the Epik Empire dual subs and the new Ultra 13 from SVS.  However, the cost is different.. but so are the features.

I wasn't sure what I needed so I sent an email to SVS for some clarification and to get some better understanding.  What I got was a LOT more than I expected.

They actually listened, responded quickly, intelligently, and explained with great detail all the things I was asking about.  This was a nice ray of sunshine in my week.  I was heard, understood, and given options.  This type of service is not as common as it used to be so I wanted to applaud SVS on outstanding service.

Here's the dialog:

Quote
From me: Subject: Ultra 13 - 1 or 2 of the 12's?
Message: I have a dedicated listening room about 15' wide by 27' long. This sub or subs will be for music only. I was wondering if I should get a pair of 12's or just 1 ultra 13. My budget is really 1500. I was also looking at a competitors sub, the Dual Empires from Epik.

I'm not sure if the DSP comes with your subs or if that's something I'm doing separately. But, that is a nice feature and saves me some trouble if it does.

Let me know your thoughts.

Thanks,
Carl

From SVS the next morning:
Hi Carl -
 
Thanks for contacting SVS!
 
Please tell me more about your speakers and upstream electronics and if you will be running your speakers on full-range and low-passing the subwoofer(s) to blend, or if you will be using the subwoofer(s) to form a digital crossover between the speakers and subwoofer(s).  That will help me make the best recommendation for your particular application.  Looking forward to your reply!
 
Ed Mullen, PE
Director - Technology and Customer Relations

Ed,
Thanks for the prompt and thorough response. I have the following system and plan:
Speakers: Piega c-8 ltd w/ custom external crossovers.
Preamp: belles 22a w/ minor mods
Macintosh mc402 amp
I plan to crossover my mains around 60hz (just a starting point to experiment) I plan to stuff or seal the c8's ports.
I have in room measurements and I have a 150 Hz hump I need to correct. Otherwise the room measures pretty flat.
I'm just trying to plan a budget.

Thanks,
Carl

Hi Carl -
 
If you are using external crossovers, you can adjust the slope of the high/low pass filters (if the crossovers have that option) to form a phase-correct hand-off with the subwoofer(s).
 
The port tuning frequency of your speakers in vented mode is 36 Hz, and they will naturally roll-off at 24 dB/octave below that point.  How they respond in sealed mode is really dependent on the internal volume and how the drivers react in that enclosed space, but I would imagine they would probably roll-off naturally somewhere in the 50 Hz range.  The natural roll-off slope in sealed mode is 12 dB/octave.  Any high pass filter you cascade over the natural roll-off slope of the speaker will be additive, so keep that in mind when selecting the low pass slope on the subwoofer, as matching slopes on both sides of the hand-off are important to maintain phase coherency.     
 
Considering the quality of your speakers, and also your desire to experiment with vented and sealed mode and various high pass filters and slopes, I recommend the SB13-Ultra for your application.  It has an adjustable low pass filter for both frequency and slope, so you'll have optimal flexibility in experimenting.  Alignment in the time domain is also important particularly for 2-channel applications, so try to keep the speakers and subwoofer in the same acoustic plane and distance from the listening position.
 
We can of course further assist you as needed over the course of your set-up with integration of the speakers and subwoofer.  Thanks Carl!   
 
Ed Mullen, PE

2 questions:
1- is 1 Ultra 13 enough or should I  budget for 2?  Or should I start with 1 and see how it goes?
2- Totally different subject: Would you allow me to post this conversation on my forum?  This is by far one of the best conversations I've had with a manufacturer.  Rarely do people actually listen and then take the time to write a detailed response like this.  It is a noteworthy day in customer service history!
Thanks,
Carl


Hi Carl -
 
I always prefer dual stereo subs in any high-end 2 channel system, but that is not always within the budget of the customer.  Dual stereo subs will provide the following benefits:
 
•         They will provide stereo bass - and there are absolutely directional bass cues in all stereo recordings.  The difference on 2-channel source material between dual stereo subs, dual mono subs, and a single sub are all quite obvious in back-to-back demos in the same room on the same system.
 
•         They will increase headroom, lower distortion, and provide an effortless sense to the bass.
 
•         Each sub will acoustically load the room in a unique fashion from its respective location, so they will increase modal density in the room with less potential for nulls and a smoother FR at more listening positions.
 
•         They will provide acoustic symmetry on the front stage, whereas a single subwoofer can often be perceived as being 'off center' unless it's directly between the mains.     
 
You can certainly start with a single subwoofer but I do recommend duals ultimately for the best overall performance for the reasons cited above.  We can discount your second subwoofer 10% if you purchase it within 45 days of the first one, too!
 
Sure - you can post our correspondence on your forum - no problems with that.  Thanks for asking though.  If you need anything else, or would like to continue discussing your set-up and integration options, please don't hesitate to ask.  Thanks!
 
Ed Mullen, PE



Title: Re: SVS Subwoofers
Post by: richidoo on October 30, 2012, 04:29:47 PM
I agree with SVS on the 2 subs. I'd rather see 2 subs of half the cost than one super sub in the middle. With one sub, stereo LF is summed to one channel, which by definition is blurred and muddy since one cone is trying to play two different channels of information. Maximum potential performance is limited by the summed signal, not the sub.

Dual subs can sit near each main, same distance from listener. A single sub is hard to put in the center, in front of your rack. Hanging it from the front wall will upset the phase integration with the mains unless you apply delay effects to the mains. You have PC source so that is possible, but you should consider it in your decision.

Ed @ SVS does deem to know his stuff. ;)
Title: Re: SVS Subwoofers
Post by: Carlman on October 31, 2012, 11:54:55 AM
Regardless of whether I end up with SVS, I wanted to post this as an example of great customer service, with great explanation of technical aspects.

I agree it's 2 subs for me/my system.  Now if someone would just jump on my vinyl rig (http://www.audionervosa.com/index.php?topic=4243.0), we could get the show on the road! :)

-C
Title: Re: SVS Subwoofers
Post by: bpape on October 31, 2012, 11:58:32 AM
I would also look at HSU Research (more musical than SVS IMO) and Rythmik. 

Bryan
Title: Re: SVS Subwoofers
Post by: Carlman on October 31, 2012, 12:03:27 PM
I have only heard of one person I know that built and uses Rhythmik.. and I haven't heard an HSU in a long time.

(Really good) subs are hard to find and demo... Not many people use/own them.. maybe it's a sign for me. ;)

The only ones I've heard that I thought were 'about perfect' were some VMPS dual-stacked 12"/18".  The system worked great, crossed over and hand-metered with Piega P5 LTD's, sounded great to me.

I've been told that many of the ones I've looked at will be as good.. I think DIY is a real option, if and only if Rich is willing to build boxes.  I have no tools and even less skills. :(

-C

Title: Re: SVS Subwoofers
Post by: bpape on October 31, 2012, 12:53:32 PM
DIY Certainly can work great.  Rythmik sells competed subs also and IMO for what they're giving you, they're a bargain.  Fully adjustable phase instead of 0/180, 1 band of parametric EQ, separate high and low pass if you run through it, sealed cabinets for nice tight, quick bass for music, -2db at 14 hz.  Option for balanced in and out, etc.

Starting at $875 each for a 12"

http://www.rythmikaudio.com/F12.html (http://www.rythmikaudio.com/F12.html)

For DIY - you can get the driver and the amp for $599 and DIY or RIY (Rich it yourself.....) the box.

Bryan

Title: Re: SVS Subwoofers
Post by: richidoo on October 31, 2012, 06:04:46 PM
RIY, I like that!     I think?...  :-k

Rythmik's new high power 15" driver DS1510 looks interesting, with 3" VC and 600w servo amp for $769, but the 12s are probably plenty with 370w for 599 per side.

I think that unless you actually need the higher SPL output then 12 should be enough. I suppose dynamics are better way down low with 15, but how much is enough? You don't want to damage internal organs!   :rofl:
Title: Re: SVS Subwoofers
Post by: shadowlight on November 01, 2012, 06:11:38 AM
If looking at Rythmik and you want a paper cone based woofer look at GR Research.  Same electronics but with a paper cone v/s metal cone. 
Title: Re: SVS Subwoofers
Post by: Face on November 01, 2012, 08:19:26 AM
If looking at Rythmik and you want a paper cone based woofer look at GR Research.  Same electronics but with a paper cone v/s metal cone. 
http://www.rythmikaudio.com/GR_drivers.html (http://www.rythmikaudio.com/GR_drivers.html)
Title: Re: SVS Subwoofers
Post by: mgalusha on November 01, 2012, 03:05:19 PM
I did get to check out the new SVS subs at RMAF this year, freakin' bad ass IMO. They were using it for a HT demo and even the sealed version had no trouble pressurizing the small hotel room. I think a pair of the sealed would be good but I've also owned HSU and had good results with that as well. My first HSU died within minutes of turning it on, an email the next day resulted in them shipping a new one and sending me a return label, no credit card requested. Exemplary customer service from HSU, much like the response you're getting from SVS.

I do have three of the GR/Rythmik 12" sealed servo subs in a music only system. I am completely happy with the results but I didn't build the cabinets. Well, I built some and then had a local guy (outofthewoods on AC) build nice ones; mine were ugly.
Title: Re: SVS Subwoofers
Post by: richidoo on November 01, 2012, 08:29:47 PM
Mike, are the servos as good as the SVS or HSU? for detail, clarity, dynamics?
Title: Re: SVS Subwoofers
Post by: mgalusha on November 01, 2012, 09:31:03 PM
Rich,

I used the HSU for mixed HT/Music and IMO the servos are much better for music. I only heard the SVS in the HT demo, so I can't really say. HSU does make some sealed subs, I had the VTF-2, and ended up with one port plugged and one open. I have no issues with clarity, detail and dynamics with the servo subs but I'm using three in a distributed arrangement, so none of them work very hard. They don't have any trouble keeping up with either the Abbeys or the JBL's, both of which don't play real low but are quite high efficiency.
Title: Re: SVS Subwoofers
Post by: Carlman on November 02, 2012, 05:36:02 AM
I have low efficiency, metal drivers.. and I have no issue with metal cones.. I like paper, though.. I have a feeling any of the above will sound very good but which will mesh best with the highly modified Piega's is anyone's guess.

For the money, the GR, Rhythmik, etc. all sound like good options.  The only thing close to that I've tried was some OB subs which were too soft for me... they didn't really add anything new to the equation in my system.  

A pair of sealed boxes is the only way I'd go at this point.  I have a sealed TC Sounds sub and 1000w plate amp that was 'RIY'd' and is incredible sounding. (dedicated HT sub integrated into the stadium seating platform)  Going that route again is certainly an option.

-C
Title: Re: SVS Subwoofers
Post by: richidoo on November 02, 2012, 07:53:31 AM
Thanks Mike.

Do you play them very hard, like Carl will? I will give him RR Felix Hell (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kvG0nRQRtQ) Organ CD ;)  I wonder if the standard servo amp 370W (@10%thd) is enough power for a happy relaxed sounding sealed sub. If it weren't, I know you would have moved on...

btw How did the paint job come out? o/t
Title: Re: SVS Subwoofers
Post by: hometheaterdoc on November 02, 2012, 08:07:13 AM
didn't we already try the GR servo sub dealio?  wasn't that the H frame OB sub setup that we tried at Richs, Carl's (and I borrowed for a while)?

Title: Re: SVS Subwoofers
Post by: richidoo on November 02, 2012, 09:47:28 AM
The servo must have been broken on those. They sounded like the .7Q Dipole12s I had a couple years later, LF but poorly damped, no detail. The GR 16Rs are actually .7Q without the servo.
Title: Re: SVS Subwoofers
Post by: DaveC on November 02, 2012, 10:34:50 AM
I'd stay FAR away from all the Hsu subs except for the sealed 15, which I think is their highest end model and not cheap. On my demo tracks, the sealed 15 was far faster and more accurate than the ported model they had playing when I walked in. The ported model is not a good choice for audio IMO.
Title: Re: SVS Subwoofers
Post by: richidoo on November 05, 2012, 08:41:09 AM
I got an email from hometheatershack newsletter today. It mentions a few other subwoofer options.

Powersound.com was founded by some SVS people, similar designs, better prices, all American made.      http://www.powersoundaudio.com/ (http://www.powersoundaudio.com/)
http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/sub-zone-subwoofer-testing/62088-power-sound-audio-xs15.html (http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/sub-zone-subwoofer-testing/62088-power-sound-audio-xs15.html)

factory blurb:
Powersound XS15
The XS15 is a powerful, sealed subwoofer able to deliver accurate levels of bass into the lowest audible octave. Priced at $699.

Features
• Proprietary, USA assembled, 15" high excursion driver
• Patented digital hybrid PS BASH® 500W amplifier with DSP control
• American made, highly durable, black textured finished cabinets
• 26Hz-200Hz +/-3dB (16Hz-20Hz typical in-room extension)

Some SVS SB13 measurements
http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/sub-zone-subwoofer-testing/62090-svsound-sb13-ultra.html (http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/sub-zone-subwoofer-testing/62090-svsound-sb13-ultra.html)
Impressive extension.
Title: Re: SVS Subwoofers
Post by: shadowlight on November 05, 2012, 09:49:37 AM

factory blurb:
Powersound XS15
The XS15 is a powerful, sealed subwoofer able to deliver accurate levels of bass into the lowest audible octave. Priced at $699.


Seems that the price has gone up to 749 or they are running a special for HTS.
Title: Re: SVS Subwoofers
Post by: richidoo on November 09, 2012, 06:25:55 PM
Some Rythmik 15s for sale on AC.
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=111072.0 (http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=111072.0)
Title: Re: Subwoofers
Post by: jimbones on November 30, 2012, 07:51:54 PM
I have a Velo HGS 12. At first I didn't like it. One I understood how to adjust it and added room treatments it sounds really good. I spoke to an engineer at Velo and he said that the older HGS is basically the same as the DD without the eq and remote. You can get them for cheep used. Personally I would not buy a sub without servo.
Title: Re: SVS Subwoofers
Post by: sleepyguy24 on February 25, 2013, 07:28:04 AM
Sorry to bump and older thread but this may help others. I was on the SVS site yesterday and found they have this new tool called Merlin that will help select the appropriate sub for your speakers. Seems like a nice place to start.

http://www.svsound.com/merlin (http://www.svsound.com/merlin)

Title: Owls love SVS Subwoofers
Post by: gander on November 24, 2017, 07:46:22 PM
 I lived on Bainbridge Island, Washington in a home on 2.3 acres surrounded by woods. I loved that place. My system included a pair of SVS subwoofers the size of hot water heaters. When I cranked them up the owls would come and roost outside, every time. It was great because I got my bones rattled and I got to see my owls.

Gary
Title: Re: SVS Subwoofers
Post by: rollo on December 11, 2017, 10:29:16 AM
Wonderful product. However I would build OB subs from GR Research. IMHO the best subs I have heard. If you a saw and are handy the price is right and the result magnificent.



charles
Title: Re: SVS Subwoofers
Post by: doug s. on December 17, 2017, 11:40:20 AM
Wonderful product. However I would build OB subs from GR Research. IMHO the best subs I have heard. If you a saw and are handy the price is right and the result magnificent.



charles
i heard the system at caf with two pairs of those subs, six drivers per side.  i was, to be polite, underwhelmed.  i heard better, more tactile bass in a number of other rooms.  mebbe it was the room, i dunno.  but, i was looking to be impressed, and i simply wasn't.  or mebbe it's simply that i really have never much liked dipole speakers.  while some thought the sound in the gt audioworks room was "best of show", i certainly wasn't one of them.  i was underwhelmed when i listened on the 1st friday, and hoping for better when i was told the system was properly dialed in, i was just as underwhelmed on sunday.  not just the bass, but top to bottom - completely underwhelming.
(https://www.avnirvana.com/media/screen-shot-2017-11-09-at-11-16-13-am.2133/full?d=1510244732)

but i am not certain it's just the dipole thing - i did hear a dipole set up at the show that i thought was superb - the pure audio project speakers, in the vpi room:
(https://static.wixstatic.com/media/5e0564_126a28b87f1f46bf81d1478c95f83f0d~mv2_d_4032_2638_s_4_2.jpg/v1/fill/w_630,h_412,al_c,q_80,usm_0.66_1.00_0.01/5e0564_126a28b87f1f46bf81d1478c95f83f0d~mv2_d_4032_2638_s_4_2.webp)

ymmv,

doug s.
Title: Re: SVS Subwoofers
Post by: S Clark on December 17, 2017, 07:20:35 PM
The GR/Rythmic subs have been the darlings of critics, and myself, at multiple RMAF's.  They were clearly at or near the best bass in the show for more than one year.  Dont have a clue why it underwhelmed when you heard it.  I heard an identical pair in Danny Richie's living room... the bass was stunningly fast, accurate, and visceral. 
Oh well, different strokes etc. 
Title: Re: SVS Subwoofers
Post by: doug s. on December 17, 2017, 07:38:02 PM
The GR/Rythmic subs have been the darlings of critics, and myself, at multiple RMAF's.  They were clearly at or near the best bass in the show for more than one year.  Dont have a clue why it underwhelmed when you heard it.  I heard an identical pair in Danny Richie's living room... the bass was stunningly fast, accurate, and visceral. 
Oh well, different strokes etc.
me neither - i've heard great things about them, and was really looking forward to hearing this set-up; i was anticipating great things.  maybe the room?  i dunno...   :-k  but i do know others at the show really liked that room.

doug s.