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BK XLS200 vs SVS PB10 results of the contest

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by Kazman, Mar 13, 2005.

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  1. Kazman

    Kazman
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    Lo there

    Got back home a little while ago, traffic was horrendous. Firstly, I'd like to extend my thanks to Ian for hosting and Scott for his input.

    We didn't get time to do many actual measurements apart from calibration, so will save those for another test.

    It was initially a daunting experience coming face to face with the PB10, it's big, a lot bigger than I thought it would be, it dwarfs the BK XLS200, and takes up more floorspace than the 20-39PC+. I took a couple of pics which I will post tomorrow (I left my camera phone cable at work).

    The BK really is dinky when placed next to the PB10 and 20-39PC+, and I was concerned it would be totally humiliated when we ran the demo scenes.

    First up, we played a few scenes from the Blue Man Group DVD, man that PB10 has some awesome slam, and it moves sooooo much air. Both Scotts trousers and mine were flapping madly during Darla :D We played a few well known scenes, including the ship flying into port and explosion intro to Attack Of The Clones, the "Morpheous is fighting Neo" scene from the Matrix, Darla and a few others.

    Each scene was handled with ease by the PB10, and it's quality shone through, I wasn't too keen on its colour, but the build was good for its price tag, the BK has better looks though, and to me, the build was slightly better.

    We then hooked up the BK XLS200. Initially we had to double check it was plugged in, as we couldn't feel or hear it, Ians room has a fairly large volume and therefore the BK needed a little extra coaxing to makes its presence felt. I personally thought the BK was a little bit tighter, and a tiny bit faster than the PB10, but, it did distort :eek: the ship intro scene to Attack Of The Clones showed up some distortion as it panned through the city, the PB10 didn't show any distortion in any of the scenes we tested. The volume was set at -5db for all comparisons (yes, it was loud :devil: ). The BK impressed all, for its size and price tag, it truly is a cracker, but, from a performance viewpoint, it couldn't keep up with the PB10 for outright slam and attack.

    Saying this, the BK, in smaller room, would be ideal, it shines with music, and integrates very easily, it's output was very clean, at times even cleaner than the PB10, but the headroom battle was clearly won by the SVS. The BK is a lovely subwoofer, and very wife friendly, Ian was glad I got it out of the house before his wife saw it :D as he thought she may force him to swap his beasts for the BK :devil:

    Apart from the bit of distortion on the Star Wars demo scene, the BK performed superbly, and to be fair, we were probably pushing it a bit hard in that room size. The PB10 shone through, that large cabinet helps it a great deal. You do have to be careful where you position it though, where Scott was sitting he felt the PB10 to be directional, I personally couldn't notice it from my seating position, and when Scott moved to a more central position he noticed it less.

    The PB10 didn't have it all its own way though, there was a small matter of the 20-39PC+ lurking menacingly in the corner, this sub nonchalantly stamped its authority on the whippersnappers, easily outperforming both the PB10 and BK.

    So, what do we learn? The PB10 is the better sub, but this was to be expected, it is more expensive and has a MUCH larger enclosure, saying this, for £280, the BK is STILL the best sub out there from what I have heard in its price range, and really, under £500, only the PB10 and possibly the Velodyne CHT-12R are better, but they both cost more.

    If you have £400 and the space for it (you will need to have a room large enough to let it breathe too) the PB10 is a cracker of a subwoofer.

    If you have space limitations, or £400 is too steep, then the BK XLS200 remains the perfect choice.

    If budget isn't a concern and space isn't an issue, then the bigger SVS subs really do show their ability and quality of sound.

    I'll let Ian and Scott comment about the Genelecs and the M&K speakers, I thought both brands were superb, the M&Ks were a little bright for my tastes though, but their detail is phenomenal, the Genelecs are warmer, without losing detail.

    Thanks again to Ian and Scott, was fun :D
     
  2. Ilkka R

    Ilkka R
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    How is Ian's set calibrated? With AVIA at 85dB? How about subs, hot or not? I'm curious because you said that SW:AOTC was at -5dB (under reference) and we all know that it is very HOT soundtrack. Atleast 10dB's, so at -5dB would be actually +5dB. When I had my friends PB10 at my place, IIRC I played (beginning) AOTC at -10dB and already sub was giving some signs of compression and limiting. Also "Darla" scene was too much for the sub at -5dB, definitely compressing.
     
  3. Kazman

    Kazman
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    We had all subs calibrated at reference level to 70 - 75dB using the test tone of the Denon receiver, as for more detailed settings, Ian will know this as it is his system :) I'll let him answer that one.

    We didn't notice any compression or distortion on Attack of the Clones on the PB10, and the distortion heard on the BK XLS200 only lasted for a moment. Come to think of it, I think we may have done the Star Wars scene at -10db, for the very reason you mentioned above about the soundtrack being overcooked.

    None of the subs were running hot :)
     
  4. bob1

    bob1
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    I haven't got AOTC,but i have never played the Darla scene no where near as high ,i'm shure my eye balls would pop :eek: in my small room.
     
  5. bob1

    bob1
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    I think the sub falling down the abyss is a better test ,that sounded a lot better than on my last sub,i must get AOTC off my brother again ,i can remember the vx10 shaking the sofa.
     
  6. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    Thanks Kaz, a good and thorough report. I don't think I'll swapping out my pair of BK's in a hurry based on that. :)
     
  7. GFS AV

    GFS AV
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    Kaz,

    Whilst putting the BK under pressure, did you at ny point notice an automatic decrease in volume? The reason I ask is that I experienced this with mine when I first got it. I put a bass heavy dance track on to test it's limits, and when the sub volume was at about half way, and the crossover at 80Hz, I did notice a slight draw back in volume for about a second, till it picked itself back up.

    This sounds worrying for my sub, but my mind was put at rest when I called BK, and they explained that it was the 'automatic speaker protection' kicking in. An ideal feature actually if you ask me!

    I am just wondering whether any of you guys noticed this? What volume roughly did you have the BK, and where was the crossover set?

    Thanks - great review.
     
  8. Ian J

    Ian J
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    My M&K speakers are satellites even though they look like full range stand mounts and they aren't designed to go below 80Hz so that was where the crossover was set.

    I have no idea where the gain control on the sub was set as Kaz was in charge of plugging in but all subs were calibrated to 75db

    Having switched from the PB-10 to the BK and whacking on the Blue Man Group again at -5 I inititially thought that Kaz hadn't switched the sub on but after my ears had adjusted it was just that it was producing less bass than I was used to. The BK didn't have the outright depth or power of the bigger PB-10 but it's footwork was ninimble and fast indeed which I assume is the result of good design coupled with quality internal components.

    The only demo piece where the BK failed (in my opinion) was the AOTC piece - lovingly known as the sub buster - as this was reproduced as a rumble of distortion rather than clear bass notes but this piece was played very loud and I don't suppose that any small subs could manage this bit at those volume levels anyway.
     
  9. PJTX100

    PJTX100
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    Kaz, Ian et al

    thanks for all your efforts - good stuff!

    Could you be more specific on where that AOTC sub buster part is?

    thanks...PJ
     
  10. Kazman

    Kazman
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    It is right at the begining of the movie, as the ship arrives into the docking port, the bass there is massive, and finishes with the large explosion :eek: play it at reference at your peril :devil: a number of people have had their subs break in this film, we daren't not take the volume pass -5db on that soundtrack, -15 to -10 is much safer, as long as your sub is setup properly and the gain isn't set too high.
     
  11. Ree01

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    The BK XLS200 you used in the test, was it the latest model with the 275W amp?
     
  12. PJTX100

    PJTX100
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    ...but that would be the BKXLS275 wouldn't it?

    :) ...PJ
     
  13. PJTX100

    PJTX100
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    OK thanks...

    I'll put the cat out before playing this tonight! :D

    ...PJ
     
  14. Ree01

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    Actually no. Apparently they decided not to change the name of the sub because they didn't think the change was significant enough (or something like that). :confused:

    I didn't believe it either, so I sent them a mail (through their contact form):
    So when was the XLS200 in the test bought? I think they started shipping them with the more powerful amp in the beginning of february..
     
  15. GFS AV

    GFS AV
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    :eek: Didnt know about this! :( gutted. I've only had mine 2-3 months. Has anybody compared the two? Is there much difference? Is the driver the same?
     
  16. Kazman

    Kazman
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    It was the 200Watt version I believe. I'll double check tonight but I'm fairly certain of it.
     
  17. PJTX100

    PJTX100
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    ...only be gutted if you are unhappy with your current unit.

    I'm more than happy with the power of mine, I only have it set at just over 50% gain and it is well powerful enough!

    It probably does make a great unit even greater though, but that's progress!!

    ...PJ
     
  18. GFS AV

    GFS AV
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    Your right PJ... I am very happy with my unit. Its just the fact that if I knew of the increase in power I would have waited. Mind you, I cant see there being a big improvement, my version seems to have more than enough power behind it.

    Any one experienced both?
     
  19. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    Wilmslow Audio sell a similar model with the 100W plate amp without any trouble. The extra power will always be nice but it won't be able to overcome some of the other design limitations based on the unit's size.

    Using 2 of the beasts is a different story though, all of the speed and timing of one plus as much headroom and depth as one could reasonably ask for. :)
     
  20. PJTX100

    PJTX100
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    To be honest a bit more power may have given me an issue. I currently connect my Hifi via the high gain, this is set to approx 10% or perhaps less to get the right amount of bass. With the 275W amp I may have been struggling to adjust with only 5% leeway.

    What do you think? Do I sound convincingly unperturbed? :D

    ...PJ
     
  21. Kazman

    Kazman
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    See how ickle the BK is next to the big SVS bullies :)

    I've placed a CD case next to the PB10 in one of the pics for scale. :eek:

    Sorry about the picture quality, I was using the camera on my phone as I forgot to take my Digi cam with me.
     

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  22. PJTX100

    PJTX100
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    :rotfl:

    For some reason this pic makes the BK remind me of that little robot in the film Silent Running.

    :) ...PJ
     
  23. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Using two of any make sub may give you slightly more headroom but it won't give you any more depth
     
  24. tom_painter85

    tom_painter85
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    I'm thinking about getting my BK this month, so it should be shipped with the 275W amp...if anyone wants to demo the two side-by-side i'd be more than happy to oblige once mine's run in. i'll probably buy next week, but i'll let you all know when i order and when it arrives for testing... :devil:

    Thanks for the test results too guys...confirmed what i think everyone expected, but shows just how good the BK is for the money.

    Thanks again chaps

    Regards

    Tom
     
  25. Ilkka R

    Ilkka R
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    Have you ever used AVIA etc? Any idea how this 75dB would compare?
     
  26. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I think that the Avia tones are recorded 10db louder
     
  27. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    Discussed in depth elsewhere, of course you're right but you'll also remember from previous findings that the BK goes deeper than expected. :rolleyes:

    The details are off-topic here though. Suffice to say that the results basically seem to indicate what was predicted and along those lines going from an XLS200 to a PB10 for example doesn't seem like a worthwhile use of the money.
     
  28. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I think that you must have read a different review to me :confused:

    The PB-10 played deeper, cleaner and louder than the BK and for those that have the room to accomodate this sub it is the best value for money that I have heard bar none in that price grouping.

    Even Paradigm Servo 15 owning Scott3 was impressed by it's performance
     
  29. Kazman

    Kazman
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    I think I should clarify my opinions a little more on the comparison as my initial report appears a little vague after a second reading.

    If one already has a BK XLS200 and are happy with it, then no, there is no need to upgrade. If someone has only £300 burning a hole in their pocket then again, the BK wins hands down. BUT if someone DOES have £400, and has the space to accomodate the PB10, it would be the better buy, the amount of slam it produced was a lot more than the little BK could muster, it was just more effortless and in a league above the BK in most areas. The BK hits back with more compact dimensions, better build, and some great timing, it is just as agile as the PB10 and sometimes even more so. It also looks soooooo lovely.

    The PB10 is the superior subwoofer, but it doesn't mean the BK isn't a great subwoofer too, just not as good as the PB10. I really was bowled over by the size of the PB10 though, it knocks you for six when you first see it, and this is probably its biggest downside, that and you have to be comfortable with importing. Saying that, SVS buyers tend to care little for size :).

    Two BK's vs the PB10, now.......that WOULD be an interesting contest :devil: :D
     
  30. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    Hardly fair considering the price difference though!
     
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