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It's bad for your wallet here; SVS on order. Also, simultaneous connection question.

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by Gary_W, Jul 8, 2005.

  1. Gary_W

    Gary_W
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    I only found this forum 3 weeks ago. Already updated my speakers to Acoustic Energy Evo 3 fronts, Evo 1 surrounds and an Evo centre.

    I was pretty much set on a Rel Stampede, and then started asking questions plus searching the forums.

    Several emails to SVS later and I now have a PB 12 Plus on the way. Cherry. Just like the Evos, though I suspect that the SVS will have had a somewhat closer relationship to a tree than the Evos :D


    It's going to be 2 weeks + until I get it as the cherry cabinets are out of stock. I've ordered a very long cable and SPL meter from them. They're throwing the Avia DVD into the deal. So thanks a bunch for the search function, as it's made me spend more than I bargained for...

    Having read the Rel ethos on connecting, I had expected the SVS folks to also recommend simultaneous connection of the LFE and high level cables. Rel seem to think that some sub-bass always gets fed to the front stereo pair and that this is lost if you only use an LFE cable.

    SVS' argument is that if you set the crossover on the amp to 80Hz and tell it that all speakers are 'small', it will route everything <80Hz to the sub anyway, so what's the point of having the two cables. In 5.1, LFE effects plus anything going to the mains that is <80Hz will go to the sub. They seem to think that 2 channel music will still route the <80Hz to the sub.

    This second explanation makes far more sense to me. Does anyone have any thoughts as to which is best? It seems to me like the SVS will handle simultaneous connection just like the Rel, but that SVS don't see the point. Or is the high level connection better for certain applications such as 2 channel music?

    As far as location goes, it will look better up one of the back corners, though fronts are a possibility. I have bought a long LFE cable so I have the choice. Has anyone got one of these really, really close to a wall? If I have it up the front of the room, it's going to have to be pretty well square to the wall (allowing a little for mains lead etc)

    Thanks

    Gary
     
  2. ttree sound

    ttree sound
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    I use high level connection for two channel music rolling off at 26hz. The low level connection is for the lfe channel for dd/dts films with the crossover bypassed, which I have set at 60hz on amp. If you are listening to two channel music in direct/analogue mode the lfe channel would not be used. Both can be used together when watching a film.
     
  3. Ian J

    Ian J
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    The REL's have independent gain controls for both high and low level connections which I don't believe the SVS does so it may make integration a tad more difficult if both connections are used simultaneously.

    I must admit that I have never tried though as whilst I used to have my REL Storm connected at both high and low level I have never bothered with my SVS and it sounds just great as it is.

    The simplest answer to your placement conundrum is just to wait until it arrives and try it out in the various locations to see what difference it makes in your particular room.
     
  4. Nimby

    Nimby
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    I consider High level connections are best for stereo music. Particularly if you don't have an LFE-out socket on your stereo hifi amp. The precious speaker signal remains untouched. While the subwoofer merely stretches the frequency response downwards below the speakers' natural roll-off point in-room.

    After a lengthy thread on another forum on the subject of High and Low level connections used simultaneously I chose to accept the advice of some of the most experienced sub users on the planet. The basic idea is that yes you do lose some signal using just an LFE feed. Or using just high level connections. Ideally you need both Hi and Lo simultaneously for film sound.

    SVS readily admit that they are not that fond of high level connections even though they fit them on most of their subs for those who want to use them. The high level connections have a slower roll-off than the low level connection. So might be thought to bleed more higher frequency energy into the sub's output. SVS say that a very high percentage of their users only ever use LFE and mostly for film watching. Their customer base for music using high level connections is a very tiny fraction of the other user group. This does not stop SVS subwoofers being excellent for music.

    My own SVS cylinder has a roll-off setting of 60Hz on high level connections with 38Hz(-3dB) speakers. This setting does not flood my large room with unwanted bass but nicely fills a gentle trough in the response. I put that down to the low distortion output from the SVS. Though easy to set to the right balance with the speakers (even by ear) it is possible to turn the gain up on the SVS, on some kinds of music, without destroying the sound quality.

    REL use incredibly low roll-off frequencies. My own interpretation is that REL subwofers distort and so need a low roll-off point just to hide the unwanted harmonics. But that's just my opinion. Some users of very high end stereo systems like the REL Strata for its small size and easily matched output to their expensive speakers. But I wonder if the REL lives up to the necessary output levels at very low frequencies so essential to enjoyable film watching?

    Have fun!

    Nimby
     
  5. Gary_W

    Gary_W
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    Thanks for the interesting replies.

    I'm very new to this (the SVS will be my first ever sub) so please bear with me.

    When listening to music on my Marantz SR5200 (next part to be upgraded) I always use the source direct button. Re-reading the manual states that this bypasses all bass management functions and sets all speakers to 'large'. On 2 channel CD's, there is no LFE channel (obviously) so the sub will be fed absolutely nothing if I use source direct and only use an LFE cable? Am I correct here? I'll try all this out when it arrives but I'm impatient and curious :D

    If this is the case, then I DO need both connections unless I choose not to use direct mode. I've just been for a play with the amp, and if I select 'stereo' then the bass management circuit is left in place and therefore SVS' argument about only needing LFE will hold true as the bass management will route speaker feeds <80Hz (or whatever you set your receiver's crossover to) to the sub. Unless I'm misunderstanding things. Again!

    I'll try it when it arrives and see if my ears think I'm compramising by not using source direct. And that opinion may change when I update the receiver, as certain products nowadays are a considerable way closer to direct than mine is!

    I still cannot see any reason for connecting both if you only have a movie interest / are not bothered about using source direct on music. Can someone give me a reasoned argument against this stance? Indeed, as the crossover on a receiver is going to be more accurate than a subs crossover circuit (SVS' words, not mine) then could this potentially offset the benefits of 'direct mode' on certain receivers?

    If I do feel the need to connect both, it's certainly going to be interesting. I've downloaded the SVS manual and it only mentions connecting the LFE. As Ian says, the sub does not have seperate gain controls. What with me being wet behind the ears on all this stuff I think you all may be hearing rather more of a very confused person when it turns up :eek:

    Thanks

    Gary
     
  6. Ian J

    Ian J
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    That's no problem as advice and sharing problems and experiences is what we are all here for.
     
  7. ttree sound

    ttree sound
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    Indeed, as the crossover on a receiver is going to be more accurate than a subs crossover circuit (SVS' words, not mine) then could this potentially offset the benefits of 'direct mode' on certain receivers?

    The above statement is not totally true. With a Rel sub you can independently alter the gain and/or crossover down to a low hertz level, whereas most receivers will not allow crossover settings below 40 - 50hz. This minimizes duplication of the mid bass, particularly if your main speakers have good low frequency extension.

    Using direct mode for music usually means that you are utilising the cd player's dacs rather than the amps dacs, and in most cases the cd player dacs are of a higher quality with an improvement in sound quality. Another reason is that the digital elements within a receiver are not being asked to work unnecessarily, with a consequent reduction in heat generation from the amp.

    I am possibly looking to upgrade my sub, but only if I find I get night and day improvements. I am due to have a home lone of a Velodine DD15 next week which will be most interesting, particularly with music in direct mode which for me is important as I probably listen to music some 60 - 70% of the time.
     
  8. Pollywoggle

    Pollywoggle
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    An svs is your first sub :eek:

    Can't wait till you get upgraditus :devil:
     
  9. Ian J

    Ian J
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    It's a sensible idea for anyone who looks in here as many others have bought something inferior and cheaper, wondered what all the fuss was about and bought one after having sold their existing sub and taking a hit in the process.
     
  10. Gary_W

    Gary_W
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    Indeed so.

    If it's something you're going to use regularly, I believe in buying the best that your budget will allow at the time of buying. I just cannot stand that feeling of buyers remorse when you know that spending an extra few hundred quid that you had available would have got you exactly what you wanted as opposed to half way there. That half way feeling to me is worse than going without until you can afford the thing that you actually want.

    In fact, this is my upgradeitus; I've improved it in some way every couple of years for the past 20 years and have had a home theatre setup (of sorts) for 10 years so I figure I've waited long enough for my first sub :D

    I felt I had to go for something pretty substantial; our living room is over 22 feet long and > 13 feet wide. Not sure if my assumption is correct, but I feel that I would have lost many lesser subs in that room, especially as our listening position is 14 feet away from where the sub will most likely end up.

    If I had an equivalent priced sub on order over here, I would have been concerned that it wouldn't quite cut it. But I know that this one will do the business :thumbsup:

    FWIW, I would have seriously considered the BK Monolith if they did a downward firing model. The corner where it is likely to end up is too close to a regular walkway to allow a front firing model; the chances of the driver taking an accidental knock are just too high. No other sub I saw reviewed in the pricerange had the size / performance likely to be needed to benefit a room of this size. In my completely inexperienced opinion anyway, though I'm sure I'll get plenty of disagreement here. Oh, and not forgetting the looks. Our room furniture is finished in cherry, so whatever I went for had to fit in.

    And why is it so difficult to get a hifi shop to demo a sub properly? Why do they think that the entire floorboards honking and groaning is what the customer wants? Perhaps it's what many people expect a sub to sound like? Has your average punter been sold on what they think bass should sound like (bloated, flabby and just way too loud?) I heard a Rel Stampede demoed and the guy had it set up so badly that films just rumbled constantly through dialogue and music was utterly ruined by its presence.... I made a £650 improvement to the speakers I was demoing by disconnecting it! Sad when it is undoubtedly a very fine piece of equipment...

    Gary
     

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