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Paradigm Servo15

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by esta56, Jun 21, 2004.

  1. esta56

    esta56
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    Ok I have put this up in the Classified section and it is not for sale anywhere else (so hopefully I'm not breaking any rules this time)

    :rolleyes:
     
  2. Jack the lad

    Jack the lad
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    Hey up mate :)

    Sorry about that in the classifieds :blush:

    Bit anal on the mods part I thought, but hey.

    I looked into the servo a year or so ago when RS where seling them off. Couldnt find one for love nor money :)

    See you back in the classifieds :)
     
  3. esta56

    esta56
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    I see that there are now two Servo15 subs in the Classifieds totalling £1,000 (mine and one other). Now that is very rare but what a dual sub set up that would make for the price. This was what I originally wanted but just couldn't get. Don't get me wrong I am very happy with my dual PB2+ set up (which out performs the Servo15) but it was nearly double the above figure.
     
  4. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    I wouldn't pay £1000 for 2 servo 15s....in my room a single PB-2 Plus was more than the sum of dual Servos (which is what I was running before).
     
  5. esta56

    esta56
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    I disagree. I am the proud owner of two PB2+ so I have some frame of reference on this. A single Servo15 is no match for a PB2+ but two Servo15s I believe would perform, at worst, as well as a single PB2+. Two separate subs are known to assist each other's efficiency to give more than double the performance of a single sub and they allow better (complemetary) placement solutions. The Servo15 is a 15" speaker which has greater cabinet volume available to it than each 12" speaker in the PB2+ (currently have them next to each other).

    I have experimented with the two PB2+, trying just one on then both on and then back to one but with an increase in the gain to simulate the level of two. Without a doubt the two together (with gain around one third) produce massive amounts of power without the volume which is difficult to describe. Anyone who was present in PJ HiFi's demo room (Event II) will have heard the type of LFE I get now..awsome.

    After EventII I tried very hard to buy another Servo15, I tried all the Richer Sounds I could, checked Classifieds, checked eBay but to no avail. I am confident that if I could have got two then I would have a sub set at least on par with a single PB2+ but I now strongly believe that they would have been slightly superior for the non-technical reasons I've stated. I have seen comment referring to the performance advantages of having 4 subs in a surround set-up, never mind two!!

    Suffice to say that when I couldn't obtain a second Servo15, it didn't occur to me to by the PB1s or a single PB2+ but to go the whole hog and get two. I have no regrets. But when I last checked there were two Servo15s available in Classifieds which I am sure could be had for less than £1,000 (I'm certainly open to offers) and I guarantee that this would make a hell of a sub system. Hell most people haven't heard what a single Servo15 is capable of!
     
  6. esta56

    esta56
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    Snurfin, I am also very surprised that you traded two Servo15s for the PB2+ because even if you believed the SVS would be superior (which I don't) it would be marginal. If I were to upgrade from two Servo15s it would be to a set-up like mine (room allowing) or down the Ultra route.

    The problem with these type of debates is that it is all very subjective, coloured by opinion often. The true test would be to set-up the PB2+'s,the Servo15s (and any other 'combatant') in one location and let everyone compare and contrast. This would be a good feature to add to an EventIII..........I think I may suggest that in the EventII section!
     
  7. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    No offence, but you have no frame of reference of a single PB-2 Plus vs Dual Servo-15s, and I have, which is what my point was based upon - and this is also based upon a +/- 3db frequency response from 80hz down to 20hz.

    Exactly what I did as a matter of fact; I bought the PB-2 Plus, compared it to the servos in a calibrated "identical" environment, and sold the losers. Needless to say, the Servos lost.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the Servo 15 isn't a great performer, it IS, I've always been a fan of them. But when you take two of them and proclaim £1000 to be a superb second hand bargain, I have to disagree when you can import a brand new PB-2 Plus with warranty for around £960 given current exchange rates.

    Double the performance? IMHO this is a very misleading comment, and I've never EVER witnessed a second sub doubling the performance. Of course it depends on the room, but your statement is a little overblown to say the least.

    Speaking of rooms, there may be some cases where dual Servo-15s WILL outperform a single bigger sub, where for example the second sub can iron out frequency response issues....it all depends on the room itself. However, back to my original point, in my room with IDENTICAL frequency response, the single PB-2 Plus was the better performer.

    Hope I haven't caused offence:)
    cheers
    Matt
     
  8. rags

    rags
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    Dual subs dont always work - I tried two ASW750's and the resulting bass didnt equal the sum of its parts.

    I finally got to demo a Servo15 a few weeks back and personally I felt it was overated. Maybe all the hype around it was because RS were selling them for £400 new and at that price it was a bargain. I know the new prices are substantially different (although second hand prices have closed the gap) but having heard all three id much rather have an ASW750 or SVS PB2+ over a Servo15.
     
  9. esta56

    esta56
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    No offence taken.

    Smurfin, you're right I haven't heard two Servo15s in action and therefore have to bow to your comments re the results in your location.

    A great many words are spent in the subwoofer section on which sub is best for this situation, that situation etc. etc. I really think a subwoofer 'get together' would be of real interest to a lot of people (such as EventIII). One person's mindblowing experience would be another's mediocre. EventII did this with Plasmas and Scalars, amongst other items. I know a some friends and work colleagues who have spent £800 and more on surround packages that a single Servo15 would chew up and spit out the so called sub that comes with them.
     
  10. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    Agreed:) The servo-15 still knocks spots off most so-called subwoofers out there.
     
  11. Jack the lad

    Jack the lad
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    Here goes :rolleyes:

    I am trying to keep my budget down. So allowing for budget constraints and assuming its gonna be married to M&K S85's would a Servo 15 do justice in a room 23x13 ft. Or stuff it and spend ~£1000 on a SVS?

    Tin hat firmly in place :devil:

    :rotfl:
     
  12. ShinObiWAN

    ShinObiWAN
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    I have some data that generally backs up what you are saying here smurfin.

    Here's the frequency response plot for a single ruark log rhythm:

    [​IMG]

    And dual logs:

    [​IMG]

    The exact same volume level, mic position and gain setting were used for both tests. The only difference being is that one sub was turned off.

    I also agree that the Servo15 is great sub but is far from what can be got if your willing to build your own.

    I personally have built a sub featuring a 15" XXX sub and powered with 2x 1000w BK OMP amps. Pretty sure that a PB2+ can't manage +/-3dB 10hz-80hz, well this can and all for £900:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    10hz :eek: :eek:

    Jackdaws, if you are prepared to spend the money, then for your size room no doubt a PB-2 Plus will give you a stunning level of performance that - dare I say it - will leave you not needing to upgrade ever again (unless you really are that much of a bass freak:D).

    However, if you can't stretch then a single Servo-15 will still offer you stunning performance. If your budget is £500, imho you can't go wrong (though that's almost edging into the price bracket of some of the lower end SVS products, not that I can comment on them as I haven't heard anything other than the PC-Ultra and the PB-2 Plus).
     
  14. Jack the lad

    Jack the lad
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    I will need to hood wink "She that must be obeyed" I think ;)

    :D
     
  15. esta56

    esta56
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    I think we'd all agree that a Servo15 can't compete with a PB2+ but that is no surprise. Would a Ferrari 360CS outperform a BMW M3? Yes but it is more that double the price, I would guess though that most people wouldn't be disappointed with an M3. I believe a Servo15 would put a smile on your face in your room but is your budget £500 (or thereabouts) including petrol or is it £1,000? Only you know the answer.

    ;)
     
  16. Jack the lad

    Jack the lad
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    Stop it :laugh:
     
  17. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    Very true. Jack, what's your true budget? :smashin: (you know it's a grand! :D )
     
  18. Jack the lad

    Jack the lad
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    I could stretch to a grand but I'm just trying to save pennies and not compromise quality. I know cake and eat it :D
     
  19. Ian J

    Ian J
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    A couple of Servo owners have heard my 20-39 PC Plus and said that they are broadly similar in performance but bear in mind we are talking about the ultimate performance at (or close to) reference level. The lower the volume control the less any differences will be noticeable. We have had these discussions before about the relative merits of SVS, Servo 15 and Velodyne HGS subwoofers and informed opinion was that the dynamics of the room would play a greater part than the the individual characteristics of any of the three subs.
     
  20. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Wise words as ever by Ian. We are comparing apples and oranges here and making conclusions that are not relevant.

    Both these subs are premium devices, top of the pile but they are different. Both achieve high levels, at low frequency whilst keeping distortion levels down to inaudible levels. The differences are relatively minor between the subs in comparison to room acoustics and how people set these devices up. Few people seem to address this however and most just use the crude tool of equilization (guilty here :blush: ) to ‘help' the situation. The acoustic room issues will completely swamp any differences between SVS / Paradigm etc etc etc (the old argument).

    The two subs issue is different again. There are two things to consider.

    1. There is a ‘potential' increase in headroom of between 3 and 6 dB depending on where the sub is placed. This doesn't mean things are louder, that is a volume control thing, it just means each sub is run lower down it's potential capability (headroom). This generally means lower distortion (good thing). A doubling of ‘acoustic' output is a 10 dB increase. (doubling of electrical power is 3 dB).

    2. Room acoustics issues. This I mean there are advantages in balancing out the troughs and peaks in a room response which can often be 20 dB in size. This may or may not be compatible with 1. A sub may be placed on top of the existing sub to gain an additional 6dB headroom (stacked). This approach is popular with M and K. These two subs now act as ‘one bigger sub' and although there is a 6 dB gain in output, they cannot be used to balance the peaks and troughs. Another approach (that I use) is to have two subs in the room (separate) to balance the peaks and troughs. This just gives a 3 dB potential increase in max level but does allow some peaks and troughs to be balanced (or flattened out). Again 4 subs are better again (SteveEx uses four Servos for this reason). There is excellent stuff on the Harmon web site on this as well as interesting stuff on the Genelec site as well. 4 x HS6 anyone ? :devil:

    Therefore the conclusions many are drawing here are perhaps missing the bigger picture on why subs work and how dual / quad subs work. They might be relevant to a certain situation but don't explain the full potential of ‘tunes' you can play with both premium subs and multiple subs. With the smaller lesser subs (no names) stacking may be beneficial to keep distortion down, or possible with square rooms. With low distortion subs, 2 or more, balancing out troughs and peaks may have advantages. I have never seen a room where a single Servo / SVS / DD can't cope however, we use more than one for reasons other than the ability to drive a room to ear braking levels. The reality is it there may be several reason to consider when designing a sub system in a room, and not all of them are compatible. It is a compromise. It will be different for everyone, I am afraid I cannot buy into one is better than another, or 2 is better than one argument. What I can buy into is knowing the reasons behind all this stuff and picking the best for the situation you have.
     
  21. Jack the lad

    Jack the lad
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    So if Im not gonna drive the sub at reference levels (2 small kids ect.) then there wont be much of a performence difference?

    Like £600 worth of performence? :laugh:
     
  22. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I've lost track of what we are comparing but if you have a small to medium sized room and watch your films at well under reference level I think that you would be hard put to tell any difference between the cheaper or more expensive SVS subs, or indeed a Servo 15 or Velodyne HGS for that matter as they all reproduce distortion free low bass.

    The differences between each sub will become more apparent the louder it is played.
     
  23. Jack the lad

    Jack the lad
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    Ok then I will go for a Servo or maybe a SVS :rolleyes:

    :laugh:
     
  24. esta56

    esta56
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    So does that bring you back to where you were originally.....or maybe not :eek:

    Well you know where there's one available :p
     
  25. Jack the lad

    Jack the lad
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    Im not sure :laugh:
     
  26. Matt F

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    I wouldn't say there was much hype around the Servo 15 just genuine enthusiasm for a great performer at a bargain price. The original champion of it was Nic Rhodes/The Beekeeper who always backs up what he claims with his own measurements as he has both the knowledge and the equipment to do so - in fact he's probably one of the few/only forum member in a position to be able to measure subwoofer distortion. I remember him saying that just one of his Servo 15's trounces his REL Stentor!

    Bottom line is that once set up properly it produces clean, deep bass.

    I must say however that I found the Servo 15 quite tricky to set up and I certainly couldn't have done it without the X30 controller - this was all the more surprising because my previous sub (HGS15) was dead easy to set up in the same room.

    Matt.
     
  27. rags

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    Whilst I have the utmost respect for Beekeeper's (and others) opinion, it's just the way I heard it. Maybe my expectation levels were set too high given all the positive comments I had read. Maybe it wasnt set up properly. What I heard though was average at best. Its performance was not in the same league as Matt's PB2+ (all the usual caveats apply).

    Unless I hear it again and my opinion changes I definately would not pay the kind of money second hand ones are going for at the moment.
     
  28. Orbital

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    For a sub that according to some can burst into flames at a drop of a hat and burn your house down (Harold Corbett where are you now?) the Servo 15 is one hell of a stayer.

    Ever since I became member on this forum (early 2001) a discussion such as this has happened on everage evey 6 months and I'd say nearly 99% of the time the servo is in there jostling for position with the best of them. Each time a new sub is there staking it's claim to all things LFE be it SVS, B&W etc but the servo seems to be the one sub that has kept going through all the comings and goings. Not bad for a sub that people accused of being seconds or faulty units. The bottom line is the Servo is a class sub, set up correctly it takes a lot of money to beat it. It never fails to put a smile on my face and I still believe it's the best AV purchase I've made to date. Steve EX has the best idea, 4 servo 15's, it's the future :laugh:
     
  29. Ian J

    Ian J
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    For the sake of the newer members only one person made the majority of those claims but unfortunately he used a variety of different names and it was his/their Servo 15's that either caught fire or nearly did depending on which post you read.
     
  30. GaryG

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    No, a single Servo 15 will not do it justice. That is a large room by British standards, and, depending on your listening habbits, it could be a struggle for two Servo 15's.
     

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