SVS PB2-Plus: first impressions

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
After 6 weeks :)eek: :eek: ) Bax Global finally turned up today with my SVS PB2-Plus, which scared me when I saw how big the palette was (yes, you read right, palette ).

The sub itself dwarfs a single Servo-15, being much much deeper and higher, but the same in width. You've all seen the pics from the website and from other SVS threads, so you'll know roughly what it looks like; but I was struck at how solid - but industrial - it looks. I certainly wouldn't want it in my living room unless I could hide it well enough, the finish is too rough for my liking (I'm thinking of the WAF factor). But one thing is for sure...these subs are built to last. And it was a real bitch moving it into place on my own....

Anyway, out went one of the Servos and in its place went the SVS. I made sure I had a good listening session of my favourite demo discs before the SVS arrived, so everything was fresh in my mind.

For those of you who may remember some of my older threads, I suffer from a huuuge dip in frequency response between 63hz - 40hz, such that I've need to apply 8 filters including ones of up to +10db. With twin servos I'd managed to flatten the response to this:

BFD3.jpg


You can see from the pic how bad the in-room response was before the filters were applied, but it has nagged at me for a while the effect of having so many + filters in there. It may be psychological, but a part of me thinks the Servos strain occasionally.

Anyway, the first thing I was curious about was how the PB-2 reacted to the room with no filters used. Unsurprisingly the response was almost identical to the Servos...major problem with a nasty dip. So I engaged the filters again, but revisited them and reduced the two biggest ones so that the maximum amount of gain is +6. I've rechecked the frequency response and it's not quite as smooth as it was before, but still pretty close.

After doing this and before setting up the PB-2 properly I put both Servos back into place and played around with a couple of discs - yep, sounding great, no different in fact, and I didn't notice the change in frequency response.

So back to the PB-2....

After setting it up (one port blocked - with a stuffed sock as my port bungs are missing! - and tuned to 20hz) and calibrating it - I'm running -2db below the other channels (used to run the dual servos -4db), I've put some of my favourite demo sequences through the system to test its mettle.

Discs include:

Monster Inc R1 DD (opening scene, and later on in the film in the "door warehouse")

Titan AE R1 DTS (Ice Field sequence)

Jurassic Park 3 R1 dts (Plane crash, dino fight)

Matrix Reloaded R1 DD (Opening sequence, Trinity's slo-mo freefalling gunfight)

Master and Commander R2 dts (Opening battle).

First impressions?

WOW:smashin: :smashin:

Stonkingly clean, tight, low bass.

After warming up with some light stuff I played all of the scenes above @ -10db reference level. And the PB-2 laughed in the face of it all, and spat at even the most testing of sequences.

This is a monster sub, with real guts. I was worried about distortion being present (being used to Servo designs), but I needn't have worried; a single PB-2 Plus is just as clean as both of my Servos, and I'd say it even edges it in my room.

Is the PB-2 Plus better than a setup running Dual Servo-15s? Honestly, in my room there's not alot in it...but I would say that the PB-2 edges it. Most material that I've played sounds identical, but the PB-2 just has more of an "effortless" feel to it, with a punch that's a tad tighter and more controlled; it may be psychological of course (many of these things are imho, especially when you get to this level of subwoofer performance), but I've found the PB-2 has done nothing but make me grin since I first switched it on.

I'm off to play again, and tonight I'll also try some music with it (will be an interesting test), but so far it's a resounding :smashin: :smashin: :smashin:
 

Daneel

Active Member
Congrats Matt, glad you finally got your sub!

As you know from my visit, although I was impressed with your dual servo setup I prefered rags' B&W 750 due to better punch, more detail and extra tightness. As you've heard rags' setup can you comment on where the PB2+ lies between the sound of the servos and the B&W?

Obviously tuning, room and other equipment play a huge part in the difference between the subs but until we can get them all in the same room (unlikely) you are the best judge there is. :)
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
Originally posted by Daneel
As you've heard rags' setup can you comment on where the PB2+ lies between the sound of the servos and the B&W?

It's impossible to tell imho.

The rooms are as far apart as can be, in terms of size, furnishing and type of flooring, and that is the difference you heard, combined with a massive difference in the processor.

I don't believe the 750 is necessarily any more detailed than the servos; room response and the processing that's driving it are the major factors.

As I've said the PB-2 is mightily impressive, even more so than 2 servo 15s (imho, and in my room)...but that won't help you make your buying decision, because when it comes to kit of this calibre, it's the room which makes the difference. The bottom line is...they're all good.
 

TheSeer

Novice Member
Hello Smurfin,

Great to hear about your new 'toy'......

Just to pick up on the appearance thing. Do you have a significant other? If so, what has their opinion been on the domestic acceptibility of this monster? I am really tempted myself, but, to be honest, the crude appearance is slightly off-putting.

I know, its heresy but unfortunately I've moved on from the bliss of being single and not having to give a damn about the appearance of the kit I buy.......:(

Thanks
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
I don't have a significant other, which is just as well as I can't see any previous g/f of mine even allowing this beast through the front door.

If the appearance is an issue, then I'd go for the PB-2 Ultra, which is more money but you can choose the finish. Compared to the competition, even at the considerable increased cost (and the Ultra is a better performer than the PB-2 Plus:eek:) I'd still say it was good value.

Some will undoubtedly ask me how this compares to the DD-18 and the HGS-18, and the same comment that I made to Daneel applies here. But I'll have a few more thoughts on that one soon enough anyway;)
 

Ian J

Banned
If your significant other is unhappy with a big box, try her out with a large phallic SVS PC Ultra cylinder sub. It even has a built in parametric equaliser to play with.
 

Nimby

Member
Interesting point about the cylinders Ian.

My wife's initial reaction was one of distaste for the finish and horror at the sheer size of the 16-46. Though she helped me to get it up our steep stairs to the listening room.

Her reaction quickly changed when she heard it. She grinned for the first time in 35 years of my bringing hifi home! She went on grinning with each new effortless house filling bass bomb. She was impressed! Unbelievable! :D

When I set the sub between the 753 and the TV the 16-46 didn't seem quite so big. It has a 7" head over the Missions and a 6" advantage over the 29" TV. After three days I don't even notice the SVS is there unless I look at it deliberately.

As to finish: It may be a matter of taste but I like the black cloth sleeve quite a lot. It gives it a pro audio look rather than something masquerading as noisy furniture.

I did my own speaker veneering decades ago and had fancy wood finish commercial speakers over the years. I can't be bothered with all that now and just have black ash. I know they are speakers and I know what an SVS sub looks like. Why pretend they are what they are not?

I haven't had a negative word from my wife since. It does the business on Metallica & White Stripes and that, after all, is what really matters. She even liked Mike Oldfield's"Guitars" which she usually dismisses as "easy listening"! She has repeatedly said how much clearer the system sounds with the sub. I have not previously had a single positive word on hifi in 35 years! This speaks volumes about the sheer quality of the SVS bass.

She was also very impressed with the Armageddon excerpt because (importantly to her) it didn't need the volume turning up above normal just to get the right thunderous effect! :smashin:

Nimby
 

rags

Well-known Member
It would be great to do a side by side comparison of the ASW750 and the PB2 Plus as the two are approx in the same price bracket.

I have tried a few readily available subs now (both in demo rooms and in my own house) and have up till now found nothing in the same price bracket that competes with the B&W. However I havent heard the SVS and given the direct sale method I suspect that it represents better value for money and hence overall is a better performer than the B&W. All speculation though.
 

gwc

Active Member
Hi Smurfin,

This is a side issue question.

What peice of kit did you use to produce the SPL to frequency graph.

Cheers

gwc
 

rags

Well-known Member
Originally posted by Smurfin
SPL meter and the snapbug sinewaves. Details here: http://www.snapbug.ws/bfd.htm

Rags, fancy bringing your B+W over? (oh and your C2?;))

I'll gladly bring the B&W over for a direct comparison (ill be getting them both tomorrow hopefully). The C2 will be a nightmare to take out and put back in. If you want to hear them with a C2 why dont you come round to my place with the PB2 ? I realise thats easier said than done so I leave down to you.

Any other subs ?
 

Daneel

Active Member
As much as you love the C2 Matt, given that you are trying to compare the subs I don't think it's hugely important.

I'm hoping that when the B&W enters your room it loses the extra punch and detail that I heard at Rags place. That way the advantage the B&W seemed to have will be shown as being down to the room and I can happily buy the SVS! :D
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
Originally posted by Daneel
As much as you love the C2 Matt, given that you are trying to compare the subs I don't think it's hugely important.

No but any chance to listen to it in my own "familiar" environment should be jumped at;)
 

rags

Well-known Member
Originally posted by Smurfin
One day I'll bring my BFD over, I reckon you'll be shocked at the peaks you have in there:D

Matt - It will be good to find out. However if there are some I definately dont plan on flattening them :smoke: .

TBH a Rel Q400 sounded like a damp squib in the same position as did a rather gigantic Mirage that a friend bought in. The ASW675 sounded good but produced nothing like the sheer thump of the 750. Tried a Kef as well.
 

Stellavision

Well-known Member
I too will be very interested how the ASW750 compares.
It's always nice to know your recently purchased equipment isn't going to get majorly out shone by the competition!:D
 

rags

Well-known Member
Stellavision - my guess is that it will be outshone. Well it certainly should be as although the SVS is similar in price to the ASW750 on a sound for pound basis it should deliver a lot more as -

1. Direct sale so no dealer margin
2. Your effectively buying direct from the US where you tend to get more for your money (on top of that the current exchange rate is extremely favourable)
3. They (SVS) have definately not splashed out on the finish so hopefully they have put the money into what counts.

If it doesnt sound better then i'll be dissapointed. I still havent given up on the idea of an PB2 Ultra especially if my two sub trick doesnt work !

Anyway - Ill set something up with Matt and we will report back.
 

Stellavision

Well-known Member
Cheers Rags.
Realisticly I do expect the SVS to out perform the B&W.
The shear size and the double drivers just scream "I'm going to shake your house down!"
The question is in what way and by how much.
 

Mr THX

Active Member
Smurfin
Where did you get your BFD from, thinking about ordering one at the same time as my SVS and wondered where the best place is.

Ian mentions the "parametric equaliser" which is on the PC Ultra Sub, would this do the same job as the BFD :confused:
 

avanzato

Active Member
The Rane PE-17 equaliser is a bargain price from SVS, has anyone ordered one of those? It has Input and Output gain controls which makes it more flexible than the BFD but more expensive. I wish I had ordered one when I realised what they cost in the UK.
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
Originally posted by Mr THX
Smurfin
Where did you get your BFD from, thinking about ordering one at the same time as my SVS and wondered where the best place is.

Ian mentions the "parametric equaliser" which is on the PC Ultra Sub, would this do the same job as the BFD :confused:

You can buy them from most music shops, can't even remember where I bought mine from - Sound Control maybe? I know Digital Village sell them...
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
Well I've now had another day to play around with the PB-2, after trying the different tuning configurations I've opted to stick with the 20hz tuning, and one port plugged.

After alot of listening, I'm immensely impressed with this beast. After running it pretty much all day, I really went to town, and hit some of my favourite scenes again...but really kicked it.

-5db, and on went the depth charge/sliding sub/darla scenes from Finding Nemo. I was a little worried before letting rip, but the PB-2 handled it all with aplomb. The bass just has an entirely effortless quality to it; there's no strain there and (in my room) it is a CLEAR winner above the twin servo 15s. Bass is tighter and cleaner, and the whole room was shuddering under the pressure:devil:

Up to now - even with two Servo-15s - I've always aspired to owning a HGS-18. Well no more folks. I can't say how comparable they are objectively (I've heard them in totally different rooms and months apart) but honestly? - whereas I came away from hearing the HGS-18 wondering about replacing my two servo 15s, after hearing the PB-2 I will wonder no more.

The PB-2 cost me £980 to import, and looks aside this is an utter killer for the price. Top marks to the SVS boys:smashin:
 

Andywilliams

Active Member
Hi Matt
Thought youd be pleased, the pb-2 ultra must be amazing might try to tempt mrs gonzo in to letting me have one they do look good in the maple finish but it is slightly bigger than the pb+.
Cheers Gonzo.
 

TheSeer

Novice Member
Hello Smurfin,

Good to hear that this beast demolishes the soundtracks on DVD's.......

How does it fare with music soundtracks in stereo & multi-channel?

Thanks
 

ants

Standard Member
Hi Smurfin,
I according to BAX my PB2+ is arriving at LHR this morning !
How long does it take them to get it to me and will I have to arrange to someone to help them move it in the house ?

Coming from a Storm this should be fun !
Thanks
Ants
 

The latest video from AVForums

65-inch LG C1 Review coming soon to AVForums
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Latest News

Sennheiser Consumer Electronics acquired by Sonova
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Freeview Play viewers get Android TV homescreen update
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Hisense announces US TV and soundbar ranges for 2021
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
AVForums Podcast: 5th May 2021
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
AVForums Movies Podcast: 4th May 2021
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom