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Taming the 'Beast'!

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by AngelEyes, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. AngelEyes

    AngelEyes
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    My SVS PB12 Ultra arrived this afternoon and I have spent a little while playing around.

    I haven't calibrated it or anything yet, to be honest I am finding the prospect quite daunting but wil no doubt tackle it tomorrow.

    My initial reaction was that it really is a beautiful beast, in oak it just looks great. I have heard people refer to them as ugly but it really is gorgeous. I'll post some piccies another time.

    More importantly on to the sound...

    This is the bit where everyone writes their explicatives about how amazing it sounds etc. unfortunately I don't feel the same yet. I know I haven't set this up properly with an SPL meter but it just doesn't sound very clear to me. It's very boomy and seems to drown out all the detail.

    I tried listening to a load of the demo scenes suggested in the manual just to get a taster. Some sounds pretty good, better than my existing sub and certainly more effortless but I am left feeling that the really low bass is not being picked up. The 'Tuning' scene in Dark city doesn't seem to use the sub at all but the 'Icefield' scene in Titan AE sounds better than my old sub but not by much. If I turn up the gain I just get a really boomy noise that is overwhelming.

    I guess you will all suggest I calibrate it properly, and I will, I just hoped for jaw aching grins today and haven't had it yet. :thumbsdow

    In case I am doing something obviously stupid here is how it is setup atm:

    Gain is set at about 1/3 on the sub.
    Everything else is off or set to 0.

    On the receiver the Front, centre and rear crossovers are set to 90hz and the sub level is set to +3db the other channels 0db. Front speakers are set to small.
     
  2. Ian J

    Ian J
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    You really should beg, borrow or buy an SPL meter to make sure that the levels are correct as you could be wildly out. Personally I prefer a flat response and set my sub's level so that is what I get but boom is most likely caused either by having the gain too high or else it is a positional problem so try moving it away from the walls and corners as much as possible and see if that improves matters.
     
  3. kbfern

    kbfern
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    I think you are running the sub to hot,I belive that you should be running the sub at around -5/-6 db on the receiver not + anything, this is probably why its booming.I sugest cut the receiver sub output to -6db and turn the svs gain up to 12 o'clock and see if that sounds better.

    I think you risk bottoming out the sub at this level I run my receiver at -5db (denon 3802 with 20-39PC+) at first I ran it -3db and sub output at 1 o'clock and it bottomed out once so I cut the receiver sub output to -5db and sub to 10'oclock and it sounds great.
     
  4. recruit

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    Angeleyes - spend as much time possible setting up before serious listening and it will all be worth it in the end.. :)
     
  5. AngelEyes

    AngelEyes
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    Ian J

    I have an SPL and will endeavour to plot a graph tomorrow. unfortunately I am only allowed the sub in one place so lets hope it's not a positioning issue or I may have to invest in some electronic jiggery pokery.

    kbfern

    I just mirrored your settings and have a big grin on my face after a few seconds of 'that scene' on master and commander. Much better already. :D

    Recruit

    After that little tweak the difference is huge (in fact it woke the kids up :devil: ) so no doubt a bit of patience and an empty house will pay dividends.

    Thanks for the feedback guys I was starting to feel a bit down. ;)
     
  6. kbfern

    kbfern
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    Also if the ultra has a crossover switch on the back (like my 20-39 has) make sure its disabled as your amp is handling the crossover at 90hz.
     
  7. AngelEyes

    AngelEyes
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    I had this disabled already but pointing out the obvious is what I want as I am a real newbie setting up this stuff properly. :)
     
  8. kbfern

    kbfern
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    Glad to be of service and nice to know you have that big grin like the rest of us svs ites.

    I was lucky with mine,plonked it down and switched it on and WOW!!!!!!!!!.

    But I did have to do a bit of tweaking after my initial uphoria subsided (don't we all)

    I suspect when you hooked yours up you just thought "what have I done spent all this money on" but now you are getting there with something like the correct settings your decision is now making much more sense.
     
  9. kbfern

    kbfern
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    One last thing its Saturday tommorow send the missus up town with the kids and stick on Flight of the Phoenix and get the comode ready as you will need it I promise you!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  10. Gary_W

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    Edit: You've already addressed a few things I've said here since I started writing this 'war and peace'. But some of it's still valid....



    Read my thread recently regarding calibrating the PB12-Ultra. Obviously I cannot say that you have the same problem as I did, but the symptoms sound similar. Music sounded slow and boomy. Certain movie sequences parted your hair, others failed to impress. It turned out to be the room at fault, not the sub.

    The problem I had was identified using an SPL meter and the test tones from the Snapbug site. I found I had a room spike at exactly 50Hz that was huge to say the least.

    The problem is that some receiver test tones are around 50-70Hz (as are the ones on the Avia disk). If you have a spike in this region, you'll be setting the sub too low for the sub 50Hz stuff due to the spike making the test tones artificially high.

    If a lumpy room is your problem, don't despair. The PB12 has PEQ, and if you get an SPL meter you may well be able to get rid of your spike. It provides up to 12dB of cut. In my case, I needed a 22dB cut as well as adjustment elsewhere. One BFD later and the problem was cured.

    My sub is probably at about 10 o'clock now. Maybe 10.30 :) Once the room was sorted, I was then able to calibrate using the Avia dvd to get the level right. I find that, for normal evening listening, I then run at about 4 or 5dB hot. As I have a fairly flat response, this isn't a problem. If I go up to reference for the purposes of showing off, I knock the sub down a couple of dB. It sounds an absoloute treat.

    Even without the SPL meter, you could still have some fun. Burn yourself a CD of the 160Hz to 15Hz tones from Snapbug (see Nimby's SPL sticky). Play the 160Hz tone so as it's fairly loud; don't go silly on your first time through. Let the disk play. You should have 21 tones. If there are one or two in there that make all the pictures rattle on the walls far worse than the others, you can have a fair bet that you've got room gain problems at those frequencies. Heck, if it's only one then set the PEQ to that frequency and see if you can cheer it up. With my situation, everything would sound pretty even (confirmed with the SPL). At 50Hz, the doors rattled, the windows shook etc. The SPL meter got things right for me, but you didn't actually need it to very roughly know that you had a problem.

    But go buy one. You can kind of identify the problem without one, but it's kind of like looking for a needle in a haystack on a dark night with one eye closed. When you've had a few pints.

    Gary
     

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