If you could chouse between a.......

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by Rip, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. Rip

    Rip
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    If you could chouse between a second hand B&W AWS850, & a brand new SVS PB12-Ultra/2, the costs were about the same,& the looks or postioning or anything like that didnt matter. If you could have either one based on its performance (movies only), which one would you chouse, & why ? I myself have been hoping to buy a ASW850, but the Ultra/2 seems to be tempting me a lot more atm.........your opinions please :rolleyes:
     
  2. Pollywoggle

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    I have not heard either but have have a pb12 plus/2 and a 25-31+, so I suppose I am biased. I would choose the svs.
    I know the B&W is reported as stunning but having the pb12+/2 I would now love to own the big box sub with 2 of those ultra woofers in there!
     
  3. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I would choose the SVS for two reasons, firstly it received an excellent review from Secrets of Home Theater complete with "science" whereas the B&W is still an unknown quantity from that point of view and the second reason has no scientific base at all but is because Smurfin has just sold his B&W in favour of the SVS so he must know something that I don't :D
     
  4. rags

    rags
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    The B&W has received a lot of good reviews as well and I don’t think Smurfins reason for selling were performance related (like me he has a tendency to keep changing his kit - but he is definately on a higher level when it comes to frequency of swapping :D ) -

    http://www.homecinemachoice.com/cgi-bin/displayreview.php?reviewid=3688

    http://www.hifichoice.co.uk/review_read.asp?ID=2748

    HiFI news in their AV Tech supplement did a very well written review of it. I cant find the whole article with the graphs but some snippets are here - http://www.bwspeakers.com/index.cfm.../ObjectID/27508A79-B9EF-4D94-89BEDD905012433C


    I truly don’t know whether the SVS is better than the B&W but these things can be quite subjective, the best thing for you to do is demo the kit if you can. Magazine reviews and opinions from people who havent heard either shouldn’t really make the decision for you (no offence to anyone).
     
  5. Pollywoggle

    Pollywoggle
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    I have not heard a dd18 but I would buy one tommorrow if I could afford it :eek:
    It will not be easy to hear the b&w and pb12 ultra 2 in the same room unless..........?
    That would be a good test, you could probably sell tickets.
    Probably be nothing in it if the prices are the same which in this case they seem to be.
     
  6. recruit

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    Rip - I would also consider the THX approved subs from M&K something like the MX150 or MX350 as they are fantastic with movies loads of slam and go low enough to give you the fear factor definitly worth considering... ;)

    Cheers
    John
     
  7. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Rip - my answer was a little tongue in cheek but what size room do you have and what sort of sound levels would you use when watching films.
     
  8. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    Sad but true. I've been immensely impressed with the ASW850, I won't wax poetic (that cliche just sprung to mind, but on reflection I'm sure I've read that in another recent thread) about its performance, just do a search to find other people doing that, or click on the links Rags suggests for some reviews. More than anything else I'm very curious about the Ultra/2. I do have a penchant for changing kit ;) and I've always been impressed with SVS products. Plus, the wood finishes they're about to launch make SVS a contender for me again.

    Is the Ultra/2 better than the ASW850? I truly have no idea as I've not heard the Ultra/2 - possibly it will make little difference in my (current) small room, but with the weak dollar, my love of trying different subwoofers and the prospect of having a much bigger room sometime this year...well why not? If I'm honest I would expect the Ultra/2 to have a little more extension than the ASW850, but the B&W can go bloody loud with no strain...it's brutal.

    At the end of the day only you can decide what's right for you and your room, but demoing can be difficult I know. btw, if you want to hear the ASW850, you're welcome to drop by if you don't mind your ears being pounded :D
     
  9. Rip

    Rip
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    Right, first off i will say that the DD18 is out of my price range anyway so i wont even consider it, secondly, I have heard that the M&K subs are good, but also they are overpriced for what they are (is that true ?). Ian J, my room is about 11 foot by 18 foot approx, with it wider & narrower in a couple of places for fireplace & doorway ect, & the sound level i use while watching films are as loud as i can get away with, about a quater way round with the dial (while watching with the missus),& a little bit louder again when im watching films on my own, when shes out. smurfin, i would love to be able to come round to hear your sub, but i have no idea where bedfordshire is, it sounds far away from wiltshire, also, Ian J says you have sold your sub now in favour of a SVS ? is that right ? TBH, the SVS would probably suite me more really because of its shape, if you look at the pics below, you can see that i have a unit ontop of my sub atm, & i would not be able to do that with the ASW850. I took the covers off for full effect.......... :D , but i think a Ultra/2 would slot in there quite nicely. PS, you will notice the kids toys scatterd about willy nilly, the things i have to put up with........... :(
     

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  10. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    That's speculation on Ian's part, it hasn't even gone up in the classifieds yet.
     
  11. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Rip - your room seems to be a standard sized UK living room so you won't have any problems filling it with deep bass whichever sub you choose.

    The differences between two quality subs are not that apparent at low or medium sound levels but replaying bass notes at or close to reference level is what sorts the men from the boys.

    Most budget subs cannot approach reference level anyway and those that do will be pushing out huge levels of distortion whereas top end subs like the two on your list will reach this sound level with ease and will still be playing crystal clear bass notes with no audible distortion.

    The point being that if you play your films at normal loud levels you may not notice any difference between the two but if you play loud passages at reference level (and that is very very loud) you may hear subtle differences if you listen hard.
     
  12. recruit

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    Rip M&K subs are worth every penny especially the MX350 it kicks out superb distortion free bass and at Reference levels. IMO the SVS will be too big for you're size living room and i could certainly not live with something that big.
    Looking at you're pictures of the space you have it is atleast double if not more than the size of you're existing sub it is huge!!.
    I know SVS subs are good as i used to own one but it is the size of the subs that put me off, both the B&W and the M&K are not exactly small but don't come any where near the proportions of the PB12 Ultra.
    If i was you i would not limit youself to just a couple of subs at this price point but demo as many as you can and make you're own mind up as to which one is for you.

    Just my opinion... :)

    Cheers

    John
     
  13. Rip

    Rip
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    recruit, i have looked at several brands of subs really, & i did narrow it down to the B&W ASW850, its only recently that i started to favour the SVS PB-Ultra/2 more, also, the sub you see there is a 15" B&W ASW3000, its 24" wide as you see it there, & i have 32" of space, the Ultra 2 is 19" wide, by 29" deep, so even at it widest point it will fit in there with 3" to spare.
    What do you guys mean exactly when you say, playing at refrence levels ? surley it cant just mean turning the dial round so it sounds loud, how do you know when you have it at "Refrence level" ? :confused:
     
  14. recruit

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    Rip here is an exert which best describes Ref Levels:-

    Volume level designated to be used as the standard in THX certified theaters and home THX installations setting volume at 85 decibels when fed a continuous test tone and achieving 105 decibel peaks when the volume control is at the reference 0 decibel setting. The 0 decibel setting is the reference on the volume control with negative numbers being the number of decibels below reference and positive number being the number of decibels above reference. The reference level is set using a test tone generated by a surround sound preamplifier and a sound pressure level meter (SPL meter) to measure the sound output or volume.

    While providing a realistic and enlivening auditory experience, the reference level is very loud and is often turned down somewhat by listeners. However, surround sound audio systems should be set to the THX reference level and all channels properly equalized (each channel putting out the same sound pressure levels with a reference signal) even if the system will not be listened to at the true reference level. It is an interesting exercise to demonstrate a home theater system for friends when it is set at the true THX reference level though

    Hope this helps

    Cheers

    John
     
  15. Rip

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    recruit, i have just tried what you said, & where my normal listening volume when watching films with the missus would be 9 'o' clock on my volume dial, when set to refrence level, with 85 decibels from each speaker, the volume dial is now on approx a 12:45 setting, thats a hell of a lot higher. Not sure if i could watch a movie on that setting without getting my kit consficated. Also, how do i go about setting my sub for refrence level, as with my amp, i have no test tone output to the LFE channel, only the normal speakers ?, & even if there was a test tone there, would that be set to 85 decibles also ?
     
  16. recruit

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    Rip - I would invest in a test disc like the AVIA test disc or Audio Video Essentials as that will give you every thing you need to calibrate you're AV setup includeing the Sub.

    Yes Ref levels are very loud and most of the time you would not normally be listening to material at that level only when you want to demo you're Kit and see if it can handle it, I have been told that Smurfin loves to listen to his movies at near ref levels or above and i do sometimes but i also get a good grilling from the missus so the majority of the time i listen at approx -10db or maybe alittle higher.

    Anyway Back to the Subs the SVS / B&W / M&K will all be able to handle Ref levels with ease so with any of these i don't think you could go wrong it's just down to you which you would prefer and if you feel you can accomodate a sub the size of the PB 12 Ultra then i don't think you will be dissapointed.

    Cheers

    John
     
  17. micb3rd

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    If you use a test disk you often calibrate the channels to 85db per channel as the test tone/noise is dropped -20 below reference.

    If you use a tone/noise from a AV Receiver/processor it is often -30 below reference so you calibrate to 75db per channel.

    Full Reference Level is usualy peaks of 105db per channel and 115db for LFE (Bass).

    If you use bass management, run speakers set to small then the LFE and sound below 80hz is passed to the subwoofer. This means peak bass level can be bumped up from 115 to 121 db at reference level.

    Full refenence is very loud and can be damaging to you AV kit.

    Once calibrated there is no real correct volume level you should listen to, just enjoy the movie at your confortable level.

    Movies do seem to be recorded at different volumes so you may have to turn up some moves more than others.

    Personally I watch most movies between -25db below reference at night time and -15db below reference in the day.
     
  18. Jeff

    Jeff
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    Not even a Velodyne 1812 Signature does 105Db @ 20Hz.
     
  19. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    :D Actually Rags is the worst offender I've ever met for movie playback :D My usual is -25db to -30db for late night viewing, and up to -5db for when there's no-one else around:)

    Depends on the soundtrack, for example for LOTR I wouldn't generally take it past -8db (and thats LOUD), but for something like Matrix Reloaded I comfortably played that at reference level. Well, comfortably? Ok that was bloody loud too :smashin:
     
  20. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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  21. Ilkka R

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    Actually for example SVS PCU can do [email protected] It got [email protected] (<10% THD), but that was 2m GP, so with 5dB room gain and boundary effects 105dB is no suprise.

    Bigger models can hit 105dB with ease. Craig Chase measured his PB12-Plus/2 and got [email protected] Also Edward did measure well over 100dB from PB12-Ultra/2 (2m GP).

    I measured [email protected] (5% THD) from PB10, that was of course inside.
     
  22. Ilkka R

    Ilkka R
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    Yep, some movies are recorded much louder than others. LOTR is a very good example of a HOT movie. The Matrix trilogy are the opposite, they are not hot at all. SW:TPM is another non hot movie. Most movies are 5-10dB HOT!
    If you are listening them at RL, you are actually listening 5-10dB *above* RL! :D
     
  23. Jeff

    Jeff
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    Not according to Tom Nousaine's figures

    http://members.cox.net/fabulousfrankie/Nousaine.htm
     
  24. Rip

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    I played the first part of ice age at refrence level earlier, & it was loud, but im sure i could hear a level of detail & clarity, & sounds that i just didnt hear before, does that make sense ? & when that iceburg goes, theres one hell of a thump.... :D great as a demo track i think.
     
  25. recruit

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    And i bet you had a Big Grin on you're face while watching it :devil:
     
  26. Ilkka R

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    Nousaine has only measured old 20-39CS (not even ISD driver). His room is also about 7000 cubit foot, so it's very large, near GP.

    Check newer measurements from Edward JM.

    Power compression limit at 20Hz was ~116dB and THD limited spl was 102.8dB. (outdoors!)

    "The PB2-Ultra is capable of some pretty amazing ground plane sound pressure levels at 10% (or less) THD. Again, considering that moving the subwoofer indoors will typically add 10 dB just for boundary effects (with room gain often adding 5-8 more below 30 Hz), it's clear the PB2-Ultra can easily deliver clean Reference Level playback at the listening position in a typical listening room. This is world class performance; the list of subwoofers that can match the PB2-Ultra's 20 Hz performance (I also measured 109 dB @ 1 Meter @ 8.6% THD) at ANY price is very short."
     
  27. Rip

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    If this is true, how are we supposed to tell when we are really actually listening at refrence levels, or 10, 20 30 ect db below ref :confused:
     
  28. Ilkka R

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    This is true.

    Well actually we can't tell the exact level. We just tell the level compared to reference level assuming that all movies are recorded right (right level), which they aren't. We'd have to measure each movies recording level to be sure, but this is very difficult because level isn't constant. We know that Avia's tones are recorded at -20dBFS level, so 105dB-20dB=85dB, that is out reference level with that tone. But average recording level in movies can be very different. Even 10dB *HOT*.

    We don't want to confuse our little heads with this, so we just assume that all movies are recorded at same level. You just can't watch LOTR (R1) at RL, because it would too damn loud, because of the hot recording.
     
  29. Rip

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    I see, thank you very muchly................ :thumbsup:
     

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