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How much of budget to spend on sub?

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by garyM, Jul 26, 2004.

  1. garyM

    garyM
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    I would like to start putting together an audio upgrade for my Philips 9618 TV with integrated dolby 5.1. Total budget will be around £1000 max probably spread over a few months to avoid the attention of my credit controller :D

    I need to decide how much to spend on the subwoofer and obviously which ones to consider.

    I see the rave reviews about the SVS brand and after checking out the prices it looks like I can import a 25-31Pci for about £470 ish.

    My question is would this be too much of my budget to spend on the subwoofer and if not what else should I consider in this price range.

    Dropping down the budget would I lose much going to the BK for instance considering this would be my first sub and I am going from internal TV sub to ‘Quality’ external. Don't think I have heard a quality sub in use before so not sure what to expect. (Still need to audition some)

    I would mainly use the sub for HT.

    Current listening room is approx 20x10x9’ with a 6x2’ bay.

    Cheers
    Gary
     
  2. Ian J

    Ian J
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    The BK is an excellent sub but I'm afraid that it isn't in the same league as an SVS which plays much louder, deeper and with much less distortion. The price you have to pay for this performance is in the size of the cabinet as the SVS is significantly larger than the BK.

    With a budget of £1,000 for speakers I would suggest that £500 on the subwoofer is a very reasonable allocation.

    You haven't mentioned an external amplifier and I hope that you aren't intending to use the amp and decoder within your TV
     
  3. garyM

    garyM
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    Sorry. I meant that the amp (Receiver) would be included in the £1000 budget leaving quite a bit less for the speakers.

    I see what you mean about size though. Its hard to appreciate on the SVS website but I found a photo of a guy with 4 cylinder subs next to his standard speakers and hifi rack which rams the size issue home :eek:

    I guess from your reply that although I would be impressed by a move from the TV to the BK or similar I would be equally impressed by a move from a BK to the SVS.

    With regard to alternatives would you say the SVS is so good that you would not consider anything else at that price point?
     
  4. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    Only when aethetics come into play. It isn't a coincidence that they sound the best at the price but are generally the largest there as well. I am always particularly impressed by the BK in this regard as it is very small in relation to the energy it throws out.
     
  5. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    I've got a BK and there's no way you'd be disappointed with one. Check the "Budget Sub Test" thread if you havn't already.

    My system was worth about what you're suggesting as your price range and would suggest getting the BK for ~£280, spending ~£300 on a receiver (you could easily pick up a decent Marantz/Denon model for that price - consider second hand or some of the outgoing ranges as I doubt you need all the latest bells and whistles). This would leave you with ~£400 for speakers and cabling.

    Speaker choice is down to how you feel about music/movies. I'd spend far more on a good stereo pair and skimp on the centre and rears, other people obviously wouldn't though :)
     
  6. Kazman

    Kazman
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    Wouldn't skimp on the centre, but the rears could be skimped on.

    A decent stereo pair are important if you listen to music, floorstanders would be great, but if you are getting a sub as well, then decent standmounters could also be an option.

    The BK is a lovely sub, but you wouldn't go wrong with the MS309 or the KEF PSW2500 either. In a room your size, the extra power from the KEF (250W) could be more beneficial, and considering the KEF can be had for £239 if you look hard enough, it is a relative bargain.

    MS309: £230 (can be had for less if you look around on the net)
    KEF PSW2500: £239-£249 (rrp £350)
    BK: £279

    For this example, lets choose the KEF:

    KEF PSW2500 £239
    Marantz SR4400 £199 (Superfi)
    MS914 Floorstanders £249 (richer sounds)
    MS905C (Centre) £119 (Richer Sounds)
    MS903S (surrounds) £149 (Richer Sounds)

    This totals £955 for a very good setup (very close to mine apart from the amplifier)

    The £45 left over from the £1000 budget could be used for a 6th channel speaker or go towards cabling.

    You could mix and match the speakers, so you could swap out the sub for the BK or the Mordaunt Short MS309, or you could change the amplifier to something like the Denon 1804 (very good amp). The new Yamahas are also around, I believe both the 650 and 750 Yamaha amps can be had for less than £400 (please correct me if I'm wrong). The MS914's could be swapped out for AE's equivalent (I don't know the model number, I'm sure Dfour will provide input here). If you live near Luton or Bedfordshire, you are more than welcome to come and have a gander at my setup.

    The only difficulty is choosing, enjoy :) :D
     
  7. Dfour

    Dfour
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    As if on que here i am :D

    OK a full AE Evo series £730 inc subwoofer
    http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/Product_ID/1469

    Leaving up to £270 for the amp. Pioneer 812 of £200
    http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/Product_ID/1547
    Leaves you £70 for interconnects and speaker cables :devil:

    Also a good complete setup with the Kef eggs
    http://www.creative-audio.co.uk/HCS_PIO814_KHT2005.htm

    The agony of choise:devil:

    There is a guy selling QED silver anniversary cheaper on the classified forums (look for a thread marked wtd :goodish speaker cable for my rears His name is Andy400SE) and Mark Grant sells subwoofer, digital & analogue interconnects at superb prices for the quality equiptment he uses :smashin: in the Power Buys forum.
     
  8. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I would indeed as long as the only criteria is a sonic one. Problems arise when threads begin with the words "My wife won't let me......"

    Producing deep bass without distortion requires the shifting of large volumes of air and the purest way to achieve that is with a large driver in a large cabinet. There are other ways to achieve this aim but all require compromises - small drivers in small cabinets with a huge amplifier to compensate is one compromise and servo drives with electronic trickery is another but one is nowhere near as effective and the other is hugely more expensive.

    An SVS 25-31 PCi at £450 leaves you with £550 from your budget for an amp and five speakers giving you an excellent movie system plus a big smile on your face
     
  9. Kazman

    Kazman
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    I'd disagree with that, yes the SVS sub is great, and if the budget was another £200 it is exactly what I would recommend, but the max ceiling is £1000, and taking the budget into account I would say the SVS is just out of reach right now.

    If the amp wasn't in the equation, then it would be a different story again, but it is a requirement and even if the choice goes towards the relatively cheap Marantz SR4400, that only leaves £350 to play with for a centre, fronts and rears. There would have to be a MAJOR compromise on at least one of those areas to enable the purchase of the SVS. And to throw another spanner in the works, if you have to go for an SVS, wait for a while, don't buy ANY sub yet, save up a little more to get the 25-31 PC+ rather than the PCi.

    My next sub will be an SVS, (I'm still deciding between 20-39 PC+ or PC Ultra), but unfortunately I might have to wait a little while (wife approval certification still has to be met). But for now, my little KEF is doing me proud :)
     
  10. Ian J

    Ian J
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    It would be much easier for people asking for advice if we did all agree on everything but such is the nature of the hobby that six answers could all be correct yet completely opposite.

    I was thinking along the lines of a Marantz SR4400 plus two pairs of Mission M71i and a matching centre
     
  11. garyM

    garyM
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    Thanks to all for the advice and examples!!

    Eviljohn2, I checked out the budget sub test which gave some excellent info, nice to have some subjective views from different people on the same test.

    It seems that most of the suggestions are to go for the cheaper sub and spend more on the amp and remaining speakers.
    I can’t believe that IanJ is the only one pushing the SVS though.

    It would be nice to get a decent amp, I currently use a Cyrus 5 with some stand mount Heybrook speakers which I have been very happy with although I’m not listening to so much music these days.

    I think the thing to do as always is get a demo, probably the 309 and something more comparable to the SVS and listen to the difference…. if I can find someone who will demo a £200 and £1000 sub together without thinking I am taking the micky. :laugh: It may be I find the smaller sub impressive enough.

    Kazman, my wife would think I am certifiable spending £450 on a speaker although I think I could pull it off. If I save up for the PC+ she would probably call for the men in white coats and get them to lose the key. :(
    I am sure that the jump from a £250 sub to the Pci would be a big jump which is why I am considering this option but is the jump from Pci to PC+ so great??

    I suppose I may be able to make do with the TV rears (NXT flat panel with zero base) running through a new amp and then upgrade these quite a bit later when more cash becomes available?

    I think Dfour has it right with “The agony of choice” . My head is starting to hurt..

    Don't mind the conflicting views....it generates good discussion :thumbsup:
     
  12. Kazman

    Kazman
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    I totally agree with that :D

    The missions you mention could be a viable alternative :) One plus point of the SVS subs is that they appear to integrate very well into many different speaker configurations, so this strengthens the argument further.

    I would still recommend to hold out on the sub for a little longer and go for the 25-31PC+, or increase your budget ever so slightly :devil:
     
  13. garyM

    garyM
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    I just popped in for a spur of the moment quick demo to my local store and had a listen to a B&W ASW300 and a Rel Q150 to get a comparison of two different price points. Wanted to listen to the MS309 but they didn’t stock it.

    Not sure how well the subs were set up which probably had a large impact on results but here goes:

    The B&W added the bass ok but didn’t seem to have much ‘impact’ to me. Only listened to a DTS demo disk showing a canon scene from Pirates of the Caribbean but there was no punch at all to the cannon shots. It was obviously better than my TV sub but almost seemed just more of the same.

    I expected much more from the Rel and there was the start of some slam to the canons.
    I also started to ‘feel’ the base more which I couldn’t with the B&W. Maybe this was because the base was less ‘woolly’ and more controlled?
    To be honest though I was a bit disappointed with the jump to the REL. Either the setup was way out or I am expecting too much from a sub at this price point.
    I've heard people talk about pressurising the room...is this what I am missing here and is it only possible with the bigger drivers?

    Can anyone give me an idea how I should expect the BK or 309 to compare to the two subs above?

    I didn’t listen to much material so I guess it could also be down to the soundtrack not being good for the demo?

    I obviously need to have a more extended demo with my own material but just wondered what people thought of my impressions?
     
  14. Kazman

    Kazman
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    If you want bassy canons, you have to check out Master & Commander, the opening battle is fantastic!!!

    I would say the BK would perform similar to the Quake. Whereas B&W subs really only come into their own from the ASW675 and upwards.

    The BK has a lot of control, and goes deeper than it's size would suggest, and is a definite giant killer, but it won't pressurise your room with those dimensions.

    If you are looking for serious impact, then you are going to have to sacrifice something else to go for that SVS :D
     
  15. Unlight

    Unlight
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    Where can you get the PSW2500 for only £239? cant find it anywhere..
     
  16. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    I've heard that the BK performs more like a Rel Q200e than a Quake. I've not heard any Rel models though so can't vouch for it myself.

    My experience of subwoofers is that any model with 'only' a 10" driver isn't going to pressurise the room properly to give you trouser-flapping bass. Apart from the Paradigm PDR10 of course which distorts heavily but certainly gave plenty of air movement when we tested that!

    (1000th post :cool: )
     
  17. Ian J

    Ian J
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    You can't get better demo material than the DTS demo disks as that is what they were designed for.

    You don't say where you live but if you live nearly a friendly member of the SVS club you could try and invite yourself round for a demo. The SVS may be too big for you but at least you will know what kind of bass is available for £500 and use that as a reference point for future demos.
     
  18. garyM

    garyM
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    Thanks for the comments.
    Interesting and good to know that the BK performs more like the Q200 (Unless it performs more like the cheaper Quake :) ). I assumed that the Q150 would have been a step up being £500.

    Just wondered if anyone thought my impressions of the Rel were unfair as I left a little underwhelmed in its performance.

    Definately starting to feel the call of the SVS now though :D

    I live near Folkestone and work in Maidstone by the way :smashin:
     
  19. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Kent is a veritable hotbed of SVS owners and I'm sure that one will be along shortly :D
     

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