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AVForums Podcast: Episode 261 - 15th April 2019

pressure

Well-known Member
There was an interesting comment in a previous podcast that would merit further discussion and maybe a big article. I think @Phil Hinton said that really good subwoofers start at around the £1200 mark. I’d love to hear a lot more about this - intuitively I could definitively accept that budget subs might lack speed and clarity but it would be great to know more and hear some recommendations.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
There was an interesting comment in a previous podcast that would merit further discussion and maybe a big article. I think @Phil Hinton said that really good subwoofers start at around the £1200 mark. I’d love to hear a lot more about this - intuitively I could definitively accept that budget subs might lack speed and clarity but it would be great to know more and hear some recommendations.
I have recently tested a pair of subs in the £500-600 price bracket that I thought were exceptional for the money. So you don't necessarily need to compromise just because you're on a budget. Having said that, I also tested a £1,300 sub that showed what you can get in terms of depth and control for the extra outlay.
 

Toon Army

Well-known Member
I have recently tested a pair of subs in the £500-600 price bracket that I thought were exceptional for the money. So you don't necessarily need to compromise just because you're on a budget. Having said that, I also tested a £1,300 sub that showed what you can get in terms of depth and control for the extra outlay.
What are your thoughts Steve on the one big sub v two smaller subs debate?
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
I can see both sides of the argument, but multiple subs makes more sense to me as a way of evening out the bass and handling peaks and troughs in the room.
 

meltonboy

Well-known Member
Thanks for another fine listen.

I recall an interview with Rian Johnson after SW VIII and he said that he had been given complete freedom with the story line. I think he did say that he had read the script of VII and spoken with JJA (he had started to write his script before VII was finished).

I would say "complete freedom" = no trilogy story arc guidance at all, which is pretty obvious and really really poor !

MB
 

pressure

Well-known Member
This whole area of sub choice at different price points and when to go multi sub versus big sub for what budget would make for both a really good article and an interesting discussion on the podcast. There’s both hifi and AV angles on it too.
 

Toon Army

Well-known Member
This whole area of sub choice at different price points and when to go multi sub versus big sub for what budget would make for both a really good article and an interesting discussion on the podcast. There’s both hifi and AV angles on it too.
I also listen to AV Rant podcast ( US/Canada and on YouTube as well ) and they always recommend 2 subs as a key upgrade to an AV setup for the reasons highlighted by Steve. They also mention AV Forums on a regular basis and are extremely complimentary.
 

SonOfSJ

Well-known Member
Hard to answer that question Ken because Pioneer's PR refuse to send any samples to us, so we've never actually seen one in action. On that basis alone I would never recommend a Pioneer player, plus I think they're way overpriced and there's no HDR10+ support.

So unless you specifically need SACD/DVD-Audio playback, I'd go for the UB9000. I think it's a great player for CDs and the analogue outputs are superb. If you don't want balanced XLR outputs, and the analogue performance is of less importance, then the UB820 is an absolute bargain. It even has 7.1-channel analogue outputs for those that might still need them Ken.
Avengers: Endgame of course Ken. Forget everything else, this will be the biggest film of the year (possibly the decade) by a country mile.
And if you honestly do need SACD/DVD-A playback (I don't believe you but, I'll humour you), just buy one of the obsolete last gen universal players for peanuts and run it alongside.
Many thanks to Messrs Withers and Selley for their posts #21, #22 and #25. Regarding the Pioneer LX500 Blu-ray player (£100 more than the Panasonic UB9000), the printed review did say that "there's a firmware update for HDR 10+ scheduled to arrive in the next few months." And about my possible need for SACD or DVD-Audio that you both make "just buy one of the obsolete last gen universal players for peanuts" - well, you'll see from my signature that I still (since mid-2010) have my Denon 4010UD Blu-ray player in the parlour, which I will keep for as long as possible since (despite costing £1,100 new!) its resale value will be almost zero (no 4K, no 3D) and it weighs 10kg!). However, it does play SACD and DVD-Audio and has 7.1 analogue outputs, as indeed does my Oppo 95 in the kitchen, which I'll also be keeping forever. So I don't really need to get another machine that plays SACD or DVD-Audio!

Avengers Endgame sounds like a certainty for me to buy on disc, about six months after disc release!
 

SonOfSJ

Well-known Member
I have recently tested a pair of subs in the £500-600 price bracket that I thought were exceptional for the money. So you don't necessarily need to compromise just because you're on a budget. Having said that, I also tested a £1,300 sub that showed what you can get in terms of depth and control for the extra outlay.
I'll take a wild guess that one of the cheaper subs was definitely the Fyne Audio F3-12, maybe the other was the REL HT/1205? The £1,300 sub sounds to me like the SVS SB-3000! In fact the SVS SB-3000 seems so good that surely it will draw sales away from its nominal bigger sibling, the SVS SB-4000, a point that SVS President Gary Yacobian acknowledges.

Regarding the two smaller subs vs one larger sub debate, it's my ambition to wire up two Tannoy TS10 subwoofers that are at present unused and unloved in the front bedroom, and either add them to the SVS PC12-Plus in the front bedroom, or to the SVS PC13-Ultra in the parlour. That will need proper room equalisation with REW software and a microscope though, so it'll have to wait for me to get my next chunk of money. Oh, all my subwoofers in all my rooms are down-firing, so that might be better than a mixture of front and down firing? I will have to mix two brands in the parlour or the front bedroom, there simply isn't room to have two of even the space-saving cylinder SVS subwoofers in any of my rooms. I do have three (two symmetrically two feet left and right of my ancient Pioneer in front, and one centrally at the back) Tannoy TS12s in my bedroom though, and I find that since installing the third one at the back some months ago that the bass is better. Initially slightly louder yes, in fact I reduced the subwoofer signal so that overall it's no louder than with just two Tannoy TS12s, but the main improvement is that the bass is more even in the central bed position compared to the the chairs immediately behind the bed. So three subs in one room works for me! :)
 

cjbrooker

Standard Member
Regarding the fragmentation of streaming (@1h14m), I use an app called 'JustWatch' where you can filter what services you have and it shows you what films/series are available on which streaming service. Not always reliable but it's a good start when searching for something to watch or something specific.
Also, I think an honourable mention should go the YouView system that has had a consolidated search facility across all of its available services for years. This has always been its killer feature as a set-top box for me despite its many other shortcomings.
 

SonOfSJ

Well-known Member
Post #28:
What are your thoughts Steve on the one big sub v two smaller subs debate?
Post #29:
I can see both sides of the argument, but multiple subs makes more sense to me as a way of evening out the bass and handling peaks and troughs in the room.
Who better to quote than SVS President Gary Yacoubian? In an interview in Home Cinema Choice magazine, issue number 298, he says: "Twenty-five percent of our subwoofers go out in dual configuration. The reason is not that you need all this horsepower to fill the room with bass, but to remove as much as possible room anomalies from bass cancellation and standing waves.

Usually dual is better. However, if you're compromising the technology in order to get two then you may be making a mistake. For example, our 2000 Series is our best-selling sub, but two of them are not going to be better than a single SB-4000, because the technology is just superior. And that matters too. Although if you had a room that was really messed up, then you might actually compromise on the technology and get two.

Or four, whatever. Three. It doesn't have to be symmetrical. In fact, asymmetrical can be better for subs, it's almost three anywhere in the room will make a huge difference. You don't even have to think about it. But I don't see that often. It's always usually 1, 2 or 4."
 

SonOfSJ

Well-known Member

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