1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Another brief PB-10 review

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by Ian J, Dec 20, 2004.

  1. Ian J

    Ian J
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Messages:
    25,529
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +4,906
    My PB-10 arrived in the worst possible week as I am trying to tie up loads of loose ends before the financial world shuts down for a while but natural curiosity wouldn't allow me to just leave it boxed up until the new year.

    I really didn't have much time to spare this morning so I unboxed the beast, placed it in a suitable space, connected it up and spent a couple of minutes with an SPL meter and the test tones.

    Without being setup properly, sited in it's optimum position or even allowed to bed down, I started to put it through it's paces with heavy bass lines from a few music CD's that I reserve for sub demo's plus extracts from a couple of dts demo discs that I have.

    Suffice it to say that this sub already produces the kind of deep, controlled, distortion free bass that has hitherto been unheard of at anywhere near this price point. The bake off at the end of Drumline is an excellent sub tester as whilst it doesn't plum the depths that a depth charge or tap on a fishtank might, it does sort out the men from the boys in the snap and timing department. The PB-10 passed with flying colours.

    I only tested the depth briefly and certainly the sonic gun in Minority Report had the depth and power that I have come to expect - Nemo, Master & Commander, The Haunting et al will have to wait a while though as I need to do some work.

    I will play my current favourite music DVD by The Cat Empire later tonight to see how it handles the double bass in the band and run it in a little more before trying out the usual suspects at reference level and comparing it to my 20-39 PC PLus.

    In the meantime I have taken a pic of the two subs side by side.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. samhain

    samhain
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2004
    Messages:
    2,703
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    South West Scotland
    Ratings:
    +122
    Nice one Ian. Look forward to hearing more, it seems that everyone needs to have one of these baby's.

    P.S. That tinsel makes the SVS look almost invisible too!!
     
  3. Timh

    Timh
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2000
    Messages:
    4,806
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Altair-4
    Ratings:
    +128
    Ian

    Any chance of an update? Your PB-10 must be well runin by now! :hiya:
     
  4. Ian J

    Ian J
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Messages:
    25,529
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +4,906
    Unfortunately I have been away over Christmas but I will give it a good blasting over the weekend and will report back.
     
  5. Timh

    Timh
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2000
    Messages:
    4,806
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Altair-4
    Ratings:
    +128
    Thanks... I look forward to your views :)
     
  6. Ian J

    Ian J
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Messages:
    25,529
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +4,906
    Having disconnected my PC Plus I have been using the PB-10 as my sole subwoofer and have been running it in for a week with a mixed diet of films plus music in the form of my new bass heavy Cat Empire album which I have been playing every night.

    I have taken advantage of the family out shopping to turn the wick up and put the PB-10 through it's paces to see what it can do and the results were simply startling. Using my 20-39 PC Plus as a reference point even though it cost twice as much I was astounded to hear the way that the PB-10 handled everything that I threw at it so well. The sub took everything in its stride, with deep, tight, distortion free bass including such demo classics as The Haunting, Minority Report and Finding Nemo. The bugbear of many "budget" subs is the wallowy bass produced but the PB-10 handled the transients superbly and stopped on a sixpence with no overhang whatsoever. Having heard quite a few subwoofers of varying pedigrees I have to admit that this one offers incredible performance irrespective of price and if it were available through retail outlets at £1,000 it would sell like hot cakes as it outperforms my old REL Storm significantly on films in every respect except flexibility of setup options.

    I just can't believe how good this machine is and at £350 this subwoofer is a no brainer. The only caveat is that the sub is not small but for those who put pure, unadulterated performance above all else, look no further.
     
  7. Ian J

    Ian J
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Messages:
    25,529
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +4,906
    My geography isn't that good but if Altair-4 is anywhere near the West Midlands you are more than welcome to come round for a listen.
     
  8. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2002
    Messages:
    7,529
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Near London.
    Ratings:
    +208
    Ian, why did you feel compelled to "upgrade" to the PB10 from your allegedly superior PC-Plus?
     
  9. Ian J

    Ian J
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Messages:
    25,529
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +4,906
    I haven't upgraded at all as the PC Plus will remain on duty as my main sub. I got the PB-10 just to see whether it was possible to get something as good as the Secrets of Home Theater review said it was, for such a comparatively small amount of money.
     
  10. Timh

    Timh
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2000
    Messages:
    4,806
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Altair-4
    Ratings:
    +128
    Thanks for the offer Ian but the west midlands is a litlle to far from Altair-4 :)

    You sound really impressed..I guess you might be off loading it cheaply in the near future ;)
     
  11. Timh

    Timh
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2000
    Messages:
    4,806
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Altair-4
    Ratings:
    +128
    Ian

    Do you know how much clearance the port needs to breath freely?

    I would be placing the subwoofer close to a cabinet and the subwoofer would have approx only 10cm clearance from grill.
     
  12. Ian J

    Ian J
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Messages:
    25,529
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +4,906
    The PB-10 is front ported so that isn't a problem
     
  13. Andywilliams

    Andywilliams
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2002
    Messages:
    2,078
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    notts.
    Ratings:
    +63
    Ian i think he means in front of the sub :)
     
  14. Timh

    Timh
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2000
    Messages:
    4,806
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Altair-4
    Ratings:
    +128
    The port will be facing the cabinet but with only 10cm clearance.
     
  15. Nimby

    Nimby
    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    9,198
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    The Danish Bacon Factory
    Ratings:
    +669
    Placing anything close to the ports and driver of a subwoofer (or speaker) will modify the behaviour of the unit. A baffle effect takes place which might easily ruin the flatness of frequency response. Not to mention muffling the output. The baffle effect might even artifically extend the effective length of the reflex port. Thus changing the optimum reflex tuning of the subwoofer or speaker.

    When in doubt let a sub or speaker breathe as freely as possible. I'd say 4" sounds too close for comfort given the size of the PB10-ISD port and all the hard work that went into optimising the reflex tuning.

    But you can always try it and see what happens.

    Nimby

    I should have mentioned that just placing my SVS cylinder beside my left side 753F lifted the bass from that speaker by 10dB! Now that's quite a baffle effect especially for a cylinder! The sub wasn't even turned on! :blush:
     
  16. Timh

    Timh
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2000
    Messages:
    4,806
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Altair-4
    Ratings:
    +128
    Thanks Nimby, I will have to experiment :)
    Thats when I get round to ordering one :(
     
  17. theo cupier

    theo cupier
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Messages:
    1,649
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Amersham, Bucks
    Ratings:
    +113
    If my novice eyes are correct, according to the picture on the SVS site, the PB10 only has a single, low level connector. Is that correct? If so, can someone tell me if it would be possible to connect this sub up to both my DSP-E800 AV processor AND my 2-channel amp?

    I was looking at an XLS200 which can support both low level (from the E800) and high level (from the 2-channel amp) simulatenously - presumably switching between the 2 dependent on something or other. Having read the positive comments here, I'd be quite interested in the PB10, if it can connect to both amps since I wont be using the E800 for music (and if I can afford it...)

    Speaking of which, are these things likely to come up on the classified ads as you lot move up to bigger SVSs, or are they keepers?
     
  18. Ian J

    Ian J
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Messages:
    25,529
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +4,906
    The PB-10 was designed purely for LFe connection to an AV amp and cannot be connected at high level.

    Regarding your question of whether the PB-10 is likely to come up in the classifieds, I would guess that as they have only been available for a month they are unlikely to be available on the second hand market just yet.
     
  19. theo cupier

    theo cupier
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Messages:
    1,649
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Amersham, Bucks
    Ratings:
    +113
    Thanks Ian. I think I'll stick with an XLS for now and upgrade to an SVS after I upgrade to a decent integrated AV amp.

    Early signs of upgraditis, ahoy! :eek:

    If any of you SVS owners have upgraded from an XLS200, please head over to the Classifieds thread where I'm posting a Wanted ad :D
     
  20. General Skanky

    General Skanky
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2000
    Messages:
    4,206
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Ratings:
    +44
    I know you have the bin as your main sub, but I'd be interested to know with hindsight, which of the two you'd have bought if you started again?
     
  21. General Skanky

    General Skanky
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2000
    Messages:
    4,206
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Ratings:
    +44
    Good, clear picture by the way.

    It's about time we had a climpse of Chez Ian.:)
     
  22. Ian J

    Ian J
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Messages:
    25,529
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +4,906
    The cylinder has the edge in outright SPL and ultimate depth but the laws of diminishing returns has set in at a much lower price level now. The PB-10 is a phenomenal performer at £350-£375 and whilst the 20-39 PC Plus is better, that increase in performance is only apparent the louder it is played.

    If I had my time again I would probably go for a pair of PB-10 subs in theory but in practice I would have difficulty fitting them both in my room so would go for the more expensive cylinder.

    Surely you must get to the Midlands sometimes so you can hear for yourself.
     
  23. Nimby

    Nimby
    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    9,198
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    The Danish Bacon Factory
    Ratings:
    +669
    Ian

    Can you hear any difference in the sound quality between the two?

    Can you even tell them apart on sound quality alone?

    Nimby
     
  24. Ian J

    Ian J
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Messages:
    25,529
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +4,906
    In all honesty I can't but I would rather have a second opinion and perhaps will have to ask the Servo 15 owner Orbital to come round and have a listen as he only lives a couple of miles away
     
  25. Sol

    Sol
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Messages:
    3
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hi, Ian
    I'm buying a new speaker set, the Canton Karat M series. I was looking to their sub's the AS200 and AS300. A lot of people recommend me to listen/buy the velodyne SPL800mk2 or the MJ Reference1 mk2.
    I've been reading all these impressive post about the SVS's, so how would you compare the PB10 to them?
    Vasco
     
  26. Ian J

    Ian J
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Messages:
    25,529
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +4,906
    That's a mixed bag that you have conjured up for comparison. I haven't heard the Canton ASW300 but Secrets of Home Theater reviewed the Canton M setup here and commented on the system and subwoofer that "I only had one reservation about this system, and that is the AS-300 subwoofer. Although the sound itself is fine and of sufficient volume, it does not go deep (low) enough for a $1,700 sub. Really, it should go to at least 25 Hz, at 3 dB down, for this price. However, I do have to say that the sound from the AS-300 was very clean. I could not hear any harmonics when I fed it the sine waves for the frequency response tests. It almost sounded like a servo-feedback subwoofer. It would not play really loud though."

    The Velodyne SPL800 is of primary interest to people where size is an issue. The same respected journal has a brief look at the SPL series here and includes the manufacturer's figures including a frequency response of 18Hz to 120Hz which again isn't particularly deep.

    I haven't heard the MJ Acoustics Ref 100 although I hope to at the Bristol show at the end of February. Looking at the spec that shows a 120watt amplifier inside a fairly compact casing isn't really a recipe for deep, powerful bass.

    I'm not sure about the MJ sub but the Canton and Velodyne subs are far more expensive than the SVS PB-10 and on paper offer far inferior performance.

    I am lucky enough to own the SVS offering and can confirm that for it's comparatively low price it offers ridiculously high levels of performance and unlike any of the others mentioned can produce clean distortion free output to below 20Hz.

    PS For the safe of standardisation have a look at the "Secrets" review of the PB-10 here and you will see that think very highly about this sub.
     
  27. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2002
    Messages:
    7,529
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Near London.
    Ratings:
    +208
    Ian, have you actually read that review of the PB10? :confused: Everything I've read including that review at Secrets clearly indicates that the PB10 has a steep infrasonic filter below 20Hz so it will not produce useful output below 20Hz, even with a substantial amount of room gain.
     
  28. Ian J

    Ian J
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Messages:
    25,529
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +4,906
    The following are quotes from the review :-

     
  29. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2002
    Messages:
    7,529
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Near London.
    Ratings:
    +208
    Although I repsect Ed Mullen's review, and am in no doubt that the PB10 is an excellent and very capable of subwoofer I think that just quoting those comments without any context gives the wrong impression.

    To begin with, all of those test results were performed at the absolute limit of the PB10's capability, based on cranking the volume until distortion was audible. With this being the case, the PB10 certainly did look reasonably flat from 19Hz upwards (ignoring the well documented boost from 25Hz below, plenty of info on AVS) but had practically no output below that. A large number of subwoofers can hit those notes when driven above reference levels although the PB10 does seem to have outstandingly low levels of distortion compared to most.

    Again in your next quote he is discussing the in-room gain when driven above reference level. He is also averaging over a number of listening points which is certainly not a good basis for us to be declaring the gospel depth that the sub can reach. The corner position will add 6dB to the output and a substantial cliff-like drop is still clear below ~19Hz. +/-5dB is a crazy figure to be quoting anyway. +/-3dB or "6dB range" is the more accepted value rather than almost doubling the range we're considering.

    In a normal situation I am confident that the PB10 will not struggle to reach the "magical" 20Hz or so but will not add anything discernable below that. Your final quote I find hard to take seriously either here or here or in the actual review; easily reaching 19Hz and falling stone-like below that is not adequately described by saying "gets to below 20Hz". It is massaging the details with spin.

    As I've mentioned, I am confident that the PB10 is an excellent subwoofer but please don't go around quoting your marketing spiel to the general public if you don't fully understand the context of what you're saying and reading.
     
  30. Ian J

    Ian J
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Messages:
    25,529
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +4,906
    Sol asked for my opinion which I gave and backed it up with links to reviews of three of the four subs mentioned plus my own experience with my PB-10

    I disagree with your posts but do not intend to argue the toss with you save asking you to make future posts less inflammatory please.
     

Share This Page

Loading...