SVS SB12-Plus Subwoofer: The Mouse That Roars - Page 2 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #11 of 42 Old 02-13-07, 06:30 PM
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Russell
 
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Re: SVS SB12-Plus Subwoofer: The Mouse That Roars

Thanks Wayne. A Jolly good review and a number of points I'd like to back you up on.

A fellow member of AVForums in the UK asked me if I'd help him set up his new SB-12 about six months ago. Having spent a day with it at the UKs importer and being suitably impressed, I readily agreed.

First up, the demo day unit was a 'rosenut' (whatever the dickens that is!) unit and it was simply gorgeous. However, sjalloq's SB-12 was in the piano black finish and I wasn't prepared as to how stunning that finish was. If I weren't butt ugly, I could've spent a long time looking at myself in the depth of that gloss. Very, very nice indeed. I wasted a couple on minutes just pulling the grill on and off trying to make it miss-fit. I couldn't, and gave up.

Tuning. My fellow forumite doesn't run a room EQ device and was having trouble achieving a satisfactory performance in his room. His description of the SB-12s performance was at odds with the demo I'd/we'd had at the open day so the challenge was on.

I have a Velodyne SMS-1 (did I just swear?) and took it round to his, to use as a setup device. I wanted to use it's ability to run it's in built test tones and on screen display to optimise it's in room performance using, initially positional tuning and once happy, to use the SB-12s on board tuning.

After running AV setup 101 using a bog standard RS SPL meter (which made a big difference - why do people ignore the difference this can make?) we moved onto room positioning. The SMS-1 quickly showed several things things.

1. He had it on the wrong side of his room and the best point was about 1ft to the left of and infront of his left main speaker. It should be noted at this point that the SB-12 was being used in a typical UK room, which is indeed less than the 2400 sq ft max suggested by SVS. It also had a stairwell that could not be closed off, which always adds it's own challenges.

2. Surprisingly, he only suffered one major room peak. I figured that this should be relatively easy to tame using the SB-12s on-board EQ. The 'Large' setting (inspite of the small room) seemed to offer the best extension. I might have guessed that 'Small' or 'Medium' may have been nearer the mark, but like Wayne, I hadn't read the destruction manual and so based my settings on what appeared best on the SMS-1's display.

3. Boy, is the PEQ is finnicky. Come to mention it, so is the phase control. I'm pleased to see SVS admit as much. Maybe because I don't have Wayne's understanding of cuts and Qs, I decided that max cut was the deepest cut and turned it full up, to see what it did to the SMS-1s on-screen trace. Because I was leaning over it and couldn't see what was high or low, I then twiddled the Q to give the narrowest band of cut manageable. I then tried to target the problem frequency using, obviously, the frequency control and proceeded to adjust cut and Q to the minimum necessary to flatten the response.

It took me nearly an hour to do so. That surprised me, because I've plugged my SMS-1 into a couple of systems, beside my own and it never takes me more than ten minutes to get a pretty good flat response. The SB-12's controls eventually allowed me to achieve as much, but they were so non linear in operation, that I found that it was all to easy to completely overshoot the position you were trying to achieve. It was a case of nothing, nothing, nothing, EVERYTHING! I was using barely the lightest of finger touches to achieve significant setting changes and spent a lot of time 'touching' them back and forth to nail the point I was trying to hit.

Once I'd managed it, what a sweet sub this is! Sjalloq's neighbours were out (we live closer to people over here) and so we wound it up. Bearing in mind the smaller rooms we have, we never bottomed it and I tried The WOTW demo sequences came very close to delivering the impact and depth of my Monolith (see Illka's tests) and it performed the sort of music sjalloq litens to, to a highly satisfactory degree.

I'd like to have one for review, to live with it and get a real handle on it's performance. I listen to a very wide range of music that my film loving chums don't. I personally feel a really good sub (like a truly good speaker) is only good if it does everything well. The same criteria that make a good movie/music sub make a good music/movie sub. I can't understand how people can separate the two without excepting a massive compromise - maybe that's why I've never warmed to M&Ks? That's another story for another forum.

However, I've heard a good few compact subs, that the average UK room seems to dictate, and I can state without reservation that the SB-12 is truly a king of it's breed.

The caveat is that it's extra features will require an SMS-1 or REW/BFD to get the full benefit. And that's the rub. The SB-12 provides these features so you DON'T need these other EQ devices, but you can't (in it's current form) use them effectively without them.

If space is a consideration, don't let it stop you buying one. REL et all, have nothing to offer in comparrison for the price.

Russell

Mitsubishi HC6000 : Carada 88" Precision Series screen : Sony PS3 : Audiolab 8000CD : Audiolab 8000AP : Cinepro 2k6 : XTZ 99.25 fronts & center : M&K Xenon 25 and LCR 25 surrounds : BFD : EP4000: Dual AV15-X 4cu ft sealed subs
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post #12 of 42 Old 02-19-07, 06:24 PM
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Don
 
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Re: SVS SB12-Plus Subwoofer: The Mouse That Roars

Money to be had renting the SMS-1 or REW/BFD.
I wish i knew someone with one.

I just today ordered my SB-12 plus-piano. Can't wait to tune it.


DN
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post #13 of 42 Old 02-19-07, 09:27 PM
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Re: SVS SB12-Plus Subwoofer: The Mouse That Roars

DN, all you need is an SPL meter, some cables, the free software available right here:

http://www.hometheatershack.com/roomeq/
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post #14 of 42 Old 02-20-07, 10:25 AM
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Re: SVS SB12-Plus Subwoofer: The Mouse That Roars

Quote:
dpnaugle wrote: View Post
Money to be had renting the SMS-1 or REW/BFD.
I wish i knew someone with one.

I just today ordered my SB-12 plus-piano. Can't wait to tune it.


DN
Hi again!

I see you decided to go with the SB-12 anyway. I wanted to point you in the direction of a friendly forum a bit more local to you, but AVF can be a bit funny about mentioning/linking to other forums. You've made the right choice with this one.

Shame you're not more local, I recently used my SMS-1 to set up a fellow AVF members gloss black SB-12. Do some begging and I'm sure there's some AV nut on here willing to help.

However, you're in exactly the right place to download Room Equalisation Wizard for free and you'll need an RS SPL meter anyway. At which point you'll have an even better tool for the job than somebody elses SMS-1. It's not as tricky as it looks either.

Best of luck,

Russell

Mitsubishi HC6000 : Carada 88" Precision Series screen : Sony PS3 : Audiolab 8000CD : Audiolab 8000AP : Cinepro 2k6 : XTZ 99.25 fronts & center : M&K Xenon 25 and LCR 25 surrounds : BFD : EP4000: Dual AV15-X 4cu ft sealed subs
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post #15 of 42 Old 03-01-07, 07:27 AM
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Re: SVS SB12-Plus Subwoofer: The Mouse That Roars

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mike c wrote: View Post
if someone is using this on a 2 channel setup ... and he either uses the LINE LEVEL INPUTS or SPEAKER LEVEL INPUTS ...

is the crossover also variable or is fixed at some frequency? what frequency?
Quote:
Sonnie wrote: View Post
Variable either way... 40-120Hz.
I have to clarify this again ...

if I were to use the LINE level or SPEAKER level inputs, and set the crossover to 40hz ... will the outputs (going to the speakers) be 40hz and UP? or will it be a fixed crossover frequency (like velodyne which also has a variable crossover)
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post #16 of 42 Old 03-01-07, 07:56 AM
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Re: SVS SB12-Plus Subwoofer: The Mouse That Roars

Quote:
mike c wrote: View Post
I have to clarify this again ...

if I were to use the LINE level or SPEAKER level inputs, and set the crossover to 40hz ... will the outputs (going to the speakers) be 40hz and UP? or will it be a fixed crossover frequency (like velodyne which also has a variable crossover)
Hi Mike:

The line level outputs have a fixed 2nd order high pass at 80 Hz. The speaker level outputs have a fixed 1st order high pass at 80 Hz. The line level out is the better of the two options.

The low pass filter on the subwoofer is 4th order and variable from 40-120 Hz.

I recommend using digital bass management in the pre/pro whenever possible, but failing that, I would use the line level outputs and set the low pass to ~80 Hz and then confirm/tweak with measurements.

Regards,

Ed Mullen

Ed Mullen
Director - Technology and Customer Service
SVS
www.svsound.com
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post #17 of 42 Old 03-01-07, 08:05 AM
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Re: SVS SB12-Plus Subwoofer: The Mouse That Roars

thanks Ed! that's what I thought. I asked this of Velodyne as well ... but figure I'd ask you too.

why not a variable high pass? (matching the variable low pass)

I mean, what about 2 channel users who have decent fronts ... (integrated amps, 2 channel separates), they wouldn't want to cross their speakers to 80 and sending full range to the fronts will negate the benefit of having the subwoofer unload those frequencies from the mains.
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post #18 of 42 Old 03-01-07, 09:30 AM
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Re: SVS SB12-Plus Subwoofer: The Mouse That Roars

Quote:
mike c wrote: View Post
thanks Ed! that's what I thought. I asked this of Velodyne as well ... but figure I'd ask you too.

why not a variable high pass? (matching the variable low pass)

I mean, what about 2 channel users who have decent fronts ... (integrated amps, 2 channel separates), they wouldn't want to cross their speakers to 80 and sending full range to the fronts will negate the benefit of having the subwoofer unload those frequencies from the mains.

There is not sufficient demand to warrant the added cost/board space for a variable high pass filter on the line outs. We will, however, be adding a high pass disable in the line outs of the new Ultra line to allow daisy-chaining subwoofers.

For existing 2-channel rigs that lack digital bass management, you would be far better off with a high quality external digital XO like the below products:

http://www.behringer.com/CX2310/index.cfm?lang=ENG
http://www.behringer.com/CX3400/index.cfm?lang=ENG
http://www.behringer.com/DCX2496/index.cfm?lang=ENG
http://www.qscaudio.com/products/dsp/dsp30/dsp30.htm

Ed Mullen
Director - Technology and Customer Service
SVS
www.svsound.com
custservice@svsound.com


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post #19 of 42 Old 03-01-07, 09:34 AM
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Re: SVS SB12-Plus Subwoofer: The Mouse That Roars

super thanks Ed, I was looking at those behringer units. just thought that it wouldn't have cost a lot more to add the variable high pass. but anyway, it's easily solved like you said by the external crossovers.
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post #20 of 42 Old 05-29-07, 11:32 PM
Bob
 
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Re: SVS SB12-Plus Subwoofer: The Mouse That Roars

Howdy Wayne, I hope The SVS SB12-plus is as good as you say it is. I just ordered one in rosenut and I feel like a kid at Christmas time! Yippee! New toys! I have joined this fourm somewhat under false pretenses as I have little or no intrest in home theater, being a music head by nature. the SB12-plus seems like a good choice to add an octave and a half or so of extension to my beloved old Spica TC-60 speakers. I live in a studio apartment so I just can't justify one of the larger SVS subs. Thanks for the great product review.
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