THX 2 Ultra News. Continuation.

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Orbital, Nov 27, 2002.

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  1. Orbital

    Orbital
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    Jase has just decided to close the above thread which was a pain as I'd just spent 30 minutes writing a reply to Matt F's comments!!

    Yes and I feel the Servo 15 gets exactly the same treatment off people who have never heard it either.

    As it happens, I was recently able to compare the two side by side as my old boss got in contact with me a few weeks ago asking me if I'd like to go and see his new cinema room. Now I knew he'd got an HGS-15 because we'd discussed the merits of the sub ages ago over a few pints and then a week later he told me he'd ordered one. Between these two meetings we'd had the "The Big Event" thread here on the forum, which sounded like a great idea but died a death. This discussion had various people posting how the various subs would perform against each other in a side by side comparison. I mentioned this thread to my mate and he said "bring yours up when you come to have a look at the new room". So that's exactly what I did. Now I'm not saying it was the most scientific comparison in the world but its more than most people on this forum have had an opportunity to do. The outcome? Yes the HGS-15 was the better sub, without doubt. It was more controlled and just generally had the edge in all departments. But that's all it was "an edge" It by no means whatsoever blew the 15 out the water, it was a close run thing in every respect and that's what I meant when I said "scared it to death". These two subs are poles apart price wise and the comparison should have been a none event but it wasn't, the Servo 15 held its own extremely well indeed. Perhaps I should have said it gave the HGS-15 "a good run for its money" rather than "scare to death" it's less sensationalist and for that I apologise.

    As for your last comment:

    I find that rather insulting to be honest and is exactly why I didn't post my findings on this forum because I knew I would incur the wrath of the "my system is better than yours because it costs three times as much" brigade. In the majority of cases that rule holds true but now and again you get a product that hits way above its price range and the Servo 15 is one of them, I think that much is accepted.

    Cheers

    Dave
     
  2. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Dave

    the voice of reason and common sence at last. :)

    Someone who has actually bothered to compare the two and KNOWS the strengths and weakness of both subs. The truth is out there, if you look, sigh.;)

    A close run thing in every respect sums it up nicely.
     
  3. Matt F

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    Dave, thanks for taking the trouble to reply in length. It’s a very interesting post and a balanced one to boot. Your revised statement of “gave the HGS15 a good run for it’s money” I wouldn’t argue with for one minute – it was the “scared it to death” description that had me grappling with the keyboard. Funny how a few words can make such a difference.

    Sorry for suggesting that you hadn’t listened to both – it’s clear now that you have and came to a reasoned conclusion. I’m happy to admit that I haven’t listened to the Servo 15 but, in my defence, I haven’t slagged it off and have always maintained that it is a stonking buy at £500 – in fact some of you may remember that it was me who hassled Richer’s Nic Halliday before he came up with a further 50 units for the UK. If I hadn’t bought an HGS15 I would almost certainly had gone for a Servo 15.

    Finally, apologies for the cat quote – this certainly can’t be aimed at you – whether it can be aimed at certain others is another matter.

    Matt.
     
  4. Nic Rhodes

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    Frankly I am fed up with the 'miss information' being put around, particualrly on subs.

    As an independent, who makes NO money from all this I think I have a fairly objective view. This site is littered with praise on motional feedback subs by me, whether they are Paradigm, Velodynes or Martin Logans. I have actively championed other quality solutions as well like the DIY brigade and SVS. There are many quality solutions out there for the bass lover. If it works, and I know about it I will say something if I have something I think is worthwhile to comment on. If I don't know about it, I find out!

    What really bugs me is the comparisons. These are being written off as mine is bigger than yours. I don't think this is right / accurate, where people get stuck in, they do so because they are fed up / frustrated with the miss information that is being pushed about the quality of subs. Cheapo subs are being compared with high end performers in order to undermine / promote sales. It happens repeatedly. People are getting stuck in because of the miss information that is being promoted as fact not because mine is bigger than yours. I receive many emails on this every day re the direction this site is going wrt subs.

    Compare the subs with their peers.

    All the facts I know of just don't support these conclusions that seem to be the norm here at AVFORUMS. A check with respected international AES members, respected magazines (American of course!), bass nuts all support what many have argued here. I for one have always said there really isn't much in it between Servo15 and HGS 15 (except price), certainly nothing that bother a fussy bugger like me. I have yet to see anything to change my mind, or hear anything either and everyone knows I have tried, repeatedly.

    I think the latest Perfect Vision awards are particularly interesting:

    Best Sub: Wilson Watch Dog
    Runner up: Martin Logan Decent

    Budget Sub: Definitive Tech Supercube 1
    Runner up: : Paradigm PDR 12

    Best Speaker Package: Paradigm Ref (inc Servo15)
    Runner up: Magneplanar and dual Velodyne 800

    How does that stack up to the current wisdom on this site, it is from perhaps the most respect AV journal?

    I think we are dangerously close to loosing our way here. There is lots of quality kit here, you just need to know it's limitations and strengths and how it fits into the broader marketplace. I think we are missing this.
     
  5. uncle eric

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    Dave,
    I started the original Ultra 2 thread to state that the Velodyne HGS-15/HGS-18 (two very special subs) have both gained THX Ultra 2 certification in their original form. Whichever way one looks at it, this is a big plus for Velodynes reputation as one of the pioneers of subwoofer making. The reason for this being that this set of specs/criteria (the same for all who submit) is in fact not easy to achieve. In fact, judging by the failure of most of the current THX spec sub manufacturers, its dam difficult to do.

    Sadly, I don't know what it is about threads that I start but they seem to attract certain undesirables.
    From the subtle inuendo of people trying to undermine these achievements for commercial reasons, to unsubtle snide comments of certain "disguised" members, to the down right lunacy of others, yes that last one refers to you Mr Thornes.
     
  6. EvilMudge

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    Well, it's nice to know that someone has actually done a comparison between the two. Given the difference in specification, design philosophy and price, it's surprising that the Paradigm even runs the Velodyne half as close as it does.
    Perhaps Richer Sounds should adveritse it as 'the closest you'll get to a THX Ultra 2 subwoofer for under £500' ;)
    As an aside to that maybe Paradigm should revise it slightly to produce a proper Ultra-2 sub, and sell it for twice as much...
     
  7. uncle eric

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    Especially for the "Beekeeper" from one the the most respected organizations in the industry,

    Quote from John E Johnson of "Secrets of Hometheater"
    "As you all know, Velodyne Acoustics is world renown for their subwoofers. The HGS-18 (18" driver, 1,250 watt amplifier, servo-feedback control) is one of a handful of products by which all others are compared"

    I'm sure if "The Perfect Vision" ever tested the HGS-15/18 your list above would have contained major revision.

    By the way, your Uncle in London also happens to be a fussy bugger :devil:
     
  8. EvilMudge

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    Okay I'll try and summarise this thread so that we can either agree or disagree.

    1. THX Ultra2 spec for sub-woofers is extremely demanding.
    2. Velodyne's larger HGS models have passed this certification.
    3. SVS have no subs that pass this certification.
    4. Paradigm have no subs that pass this certification.
    5. Both the Servo-15 and the SVS units are much cheaper than the HGS's.
    6. As it stands SVS do not plan to submit any of their subs for approval.
    7. Paradigm list in their own specifications (and you can check on this if you want at their web-site) which are created using pretty much the same method as the THX approval, that the Servo-15 does not meet the Ultra2 standard.

    If anyone would be so kind as to argue these points, I would be grateful.
     
  9. Guest

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    Just out of interest, i know that Velodyne have the 1812 up their sleeves, have Paradigm got any new subs to unleash in the near future?

    Have you Servo 15 owners heard anything...?

    How old is the Servo 15 product?

    Or is it best to nose around on the Paradigm site?
    haven't looked yet..just off for my Chicken Tikka dinner:)

    Adam.
     
  10. Orbital

    Orbital
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    I must admit I don't see why they haven't done this. Not necessarily to go for THX Ultra 2 certification but at least revise the Servo 15 spec and design to bring it even closer to the HGS guy's. As far as charging twice as much for it I don't think this is how Paradigm operate truth be told. Their whole philosophy seems to be based around price/performance. This is why I have a lot of time for the company, as it’s exactly what I look for when purchasing something. It's a real shame that they don't have "proper" import/dealer network set up in this country as products like there Monitor and Reference series speakers are extremely well thought of over the pond. They are one of the few companies that make all of the components that go into there products, right down to the voice coils and even the spikes that the speakers rest on. Anechoic chambers were mentioned in the original thread and how few real ones there are in the world, Paradigm have one that's 33,000 cu ft, one of the biggest about. There's a good article on the soundstage website HERE which is a good insight into how this company works.

    Matt no worries about the cat quote. I had my sensitive head on today that's all :)

    Cheers

    Dave
     
  11. EvilMudge

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    Dave,

    You are preaching to the converted mate. I have a complete Paradigm Monitor series system, and a Servo-15 on order from RS. I also have a lot of time for Paradigm, as they make extroadinarily good products for the prices they charge.
    Likewise, producing a more powerful Class D amplifier is not an extremely difficult task, and stiffening the suspension on their 15" cone is not going to be all that difficult since the production is all in house. It will drive the cost up, and my feeling is that they'd rather sell a great sub on the cheap than upgrade it to meet a specification which many people don't seem to care about (THX) and charge a premium for it.
     
  12. Nic Rhodes

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    Eric

    Chill out and have some more Paracetamol. I am in the same boat as you, at home with the flu and a chest infection.

    It is lovely quote from Johnson, I think you have thrown it at me once today already. I do read these things you know!

    A quote from me? How about, from a previous post:

    Me knocking Velodyne, no way, I was promoting these things (here and elsewhere) before power buys and I think before you joined here. You only have to look at the support I have given you Velodyne threads to know I like the kit. You know that, hell everyone knows this who is a regular. I doubt you will find a single post where I have been anything but complimentary about Velodyne performance.

    But what is it with you Velodyne owners? The world doesn't stop at Velodyne you know. The world doesn't just revolve around Velodyne, it is not the centre of the universe, it is certainly not the only good sub manufacturer but it certainly a damn fine one.

    What people have been asking for is a balance. The want to know how Adire does, Shiva, Stryke, Tempest, SVS, Paradigm, what about the big Rels (very popular), Band W and all the others too numerous to name. They also want to do it at much more modest fee than Godzillas. What about the subs pushed by Perfect Vision, THIS is why the example was used, not to promote anything but to show a wider ‘international’ picture. Why haven’t we had any Wilson demo write ups? We certainly have members with the cash. Everyone knows you and I have haven’t listened to all the subs available. Some respected people have done more than most however but AVFORUMS doesn’t seem to want to listen to their impartial advice and great experience (these same guys are also promoting Velodyne in addition to other subs).

    It doesn't matter whether The Perfect Vision has reviewed the 18 or not, that is irrelevant. They are promoting 'other' interesting products that people read about and want to know more about. They want to know how these things perform. The brutal truth is neither Paradigm (even at UK prices) and Velodyne (with your power buy prices) can compete with the best of the named 'Premium DIY' solutions named above. For 98% of the population this is irrelevant as they don't want to / can't do the DIY route but they are still interested in the results / truth. Neither of us may like that much but it is the truth (no current DIY time ‘cos of twins but………..). SVS might bridge this gap somewhat but that is your competitor. Our 15 inch may match some, your 18 inch may better some but even your mighty Godzilla has it’s limits, if not why have they produced the mythical 1812, a sub I was referring to earlier but the ‘world’ seems obsessed that Paradigm has to produce one as well. I hope they don’t, they excel at price / performance ration, this is not there market. VALUE FOR MONEY IS. It isn’t about brand X is better than brand Y. I know Paradigm don’t claim to have the best sub in the world but the vast majority of people it more than enough. It is about knowing the strengths and weaknesses of all these products and then ‘punters’ can decide what is best for them. It is about perspective but we have Velodyne people going off at the deep end every time some thing is discussed. I feel this is really sad as I know we are in totally agreement on 99.9% of all things AV. I get loads of communications on this by ‘quiet’ frustrated non velodyne owning members, completely fed up with the forum currently.

    It really makes me wonder why we all bother. AV processors does a similar thing to people. Again the truth is many firms do great processors like Arcam and Meridian but this AVFORUM world is obsessed with Tag (and for the record both Eric and I are Tag owners). But there are other great solutions out there. I hope I have helped several people buy Arcam stuff recently, they will LOVE it. It is GREAT kit. The new Meridian 568 and digital linked DVDA is dreamy as well, lucky punters who own this kit. I still love my Tag but I know there is other great stuff out there.


    In all this some brutal truths are often forgotten. Two of your HS 15 will out perform a single HGS 18. It is no secret here, two HGS 15 are the thick end of £3900? And a single HGS 18 is only £2100? Why any surprise. Everyone knows two HGS 18 will be better again……… but it is a route few are taking in the Velodyne camp. It is quite common elsewhere and is the reason many are achieving such great results! It is the perhaps easiest way to make a super sub!


    Eric head back to the Blue bottle (and Paracetamol) and wait for the round two of orders for Velodynes, life’s to short…….

    Your Beekeeper friend in Cumbria
     
  13. Guest

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    Mr B.


    We'll all be here for a while yet!...
    I mean, there's only so much scruff you can look @ in one sitting!

    Good post.


    Adam.
     
  14. Matt F

    Matt F
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    That's what I thought - but now the whole thread's gone - what the bl**dy hell's going on? There didn't seem to be anything particularly dodgy in it did there? Anyone know anything?

    Matt.
     
  15. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Eric deleted it as he didn't wish "his thread" to carry the rather stupid comments made by one individual.

    Before anyone complains, he deleted it on my advice as it was getting "well out of order" and ended up serving no useful purpose.
     
  16. Orbital

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    Beekeeper, that was an utterly class post mate. I couldn't have worded it better myself. Posts like that are exactly the reason we all keep coming back here, because if you ignore some of the drivel that is posted by some people, underneath is top stuff by likes of you, Eric, EvilMudge, Matt etc.

    I read elsewhere on the forum that Nic Rhodes has asked for his username to be deleted is this right? If so it’s a huge knock back for this forum because that guy really does know his stuff. I had a fair few PM's with him and his reasoning and knowledge on all things audio not just LFE was so deep I couldn't see the bottom :) If he has gone then I for one will sorely miss his input.

    EvilMudge where did you get your Monitor setup from? and how do you rate it? If you have time to send me a PM I would love to hear your views on it.

    Cheers

    Dave
     
  17. uncle eric

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    Paracetamol is finally working. Wow this ones a bummer.

    Just like to add a few things.
    As you might know, I've been posting for several years firstly, over on the AVS forum and later over here. I believe I have a good honest reputation throughout the AV industry. I spend less and less time doing installations (which is my main income, sorry Kevin, that quote will be with you shortly) and more time unselfishly answering countless emails and PM's on all things AV. I answer these never ending queries honestly and as promptly as I can, even if it means that I lose sales.
    In fact, I prioritise non-sales enquirys in case folks think I'm putting their AV questions on the back burner. Hard to believe? Then you don't know me well.

    When I started my installation business, like other installers, I was stuck with little choice in the way of subwoofers for a given install. Put simply, for high end installs, I used M&K's push pull designs, for lower budget installs, REL. That was it. Period. Two things happened that made me stop using both of these products.

    Firstly, REL chose to discontinue the classic Q50 and Q100E subs which for my money were fantastic performers. What did REL replace these with? The 150/200 subs. As I wrote in my now infamous "REL Subterfuge" thread long ago. These were no more than "admiring glances" at the Sunfire True. I won't say the word copy as they were more cop out than copy. As mentioned before, in order to achieve decent lows at respectable dB's from a mini sub with a tiny driver, amongst other design considerations, hefty amplification would be needed. As the instigators of the "mini me" sub, Sunfire had a respectable go at this. However, with the use of inadequate amplification, and other design factors, REL's attempt IMO failed. At that time, apart from these two companies, we were not exactly spoilt for choice in this country regarding subwoofers.

    Having looked at Velodyne for a number of years, I realized that here was a company that seemed to know what they are doing. The Pioneers of the subwoofer industry were worth investigating.
    It transpired that Velodyne made several breakthroughs in sub technology over the years. For example, they introduced the "Servo System" in 1983. As Paradigm owners will attest to, this is arguably one of the most important break throughs in subwoofer history. With the advent of their magnificent "1812 Signiture series", they have just smashed the barriers yet again (and many wallets) with another milestone. Their "Digital Drive" system.

    In short, what I found was that for every level of sub they produced, there was and still is, little or nothing in this country that could come near the dam things.

    Forget the all powerfull HGS-18 Godzilla for a moment as the talents of this thing are obvious. Instead, take a look at the economically priced CHT-10. If you take the time to have a look and see what is freely available in this country for £320 pounds, you'll come to the conclusion that it's competition is the REL Quake (still more expensive), the MJ Pro 50 (a little better than the Quake IMO) and a few other backmarkers. In short, none of these (including the £500 REL150) come anywhere near the performance that the CHT-10 will give. Thats a fact.

    As to why Velodyne owners are so enthusiastic about their subs. Basically they believe (as do I) that they are getting great value for money and very little comes close to their chosen piece of equipment for the money. Yes, we have more choice today and yes the Paradigm is great value at the Richer sounds price but that story has been told as have the unreliability issues that go with it not to mention the nightmare that is RS.
    DIY is also nice to look at, for those with the patience to build one, some of the higher end models do indeed perform very well, as do the value for money tube loaded subs from HSU and SVS.

    The rather anoying aspect of these subwoofer threads has been that certain very relevant points that I've mentioned several times have just been glossed over by people who quite frankly live in cloud cuckoo land.

    In short, the difference between a subwoofer with an "in room" (what room?) measurement of say 14Hz would not be miles in front of something with a low of 20Hz taken in a sound absorbant chamber. In fact, in some cases, things could easily be turned on their head if measured in identical ways.

    Our own Dom H proved this recently when he measured down to 16Hz with his little 50 amp MJ acoustics sub

    Going full circle, and the reason I started this thread, was to point out that for years, countless subwoofer manufacturers have been quoting lows of 20Hz in their specs. The Velodyne HGS-15/18 are the only (unchanged) subs to achieve certification of THX's latest Ultra 2 spec. Although much of THX's spec is fairly secretive to mere mortals like us, I can tell you that Ultra 2 subwoofer specs indicate a low of 20Hz at -/+ 3 db, at 105 dB measured at 1 meter. THX distortion threshold (what is the definition of distortion? There is no industry standard as yet, but as I mentioned before, THX use the same definition for all) and their limit for this is 4%.

    The HGS-15/18 managed these outputs at under 1%. Fact!!!

    The above subs are expensive in anybodys money. We all know that. We can put together several decent but lesser subs and outgun a single HGS-18. We also know that. Talented DIY folks like Boris can put together awsome subs. This we also know.

    However, the achievements of the above now Ultra 2 subs should not be underestimated. I just wish the people who have chosen other solutions would just get on with it and stop moaning everytime a HGS-15/18 owner buys one and posts how good they are. The fact is that they are bloody good.

    I get all sorts of feedback from new owners. Ok, lets not count folks who've gone from a REL 150 to a HGS-18. Of course going from a Fiesta to a Ferrari they will praise the HGS-18 till the cows come home. I've had two Paradigm Servo 15 owners (Rob was one, in fact he owned 2 units) that went on to buy a single HGS-15 and came back with some amazing comments. 9 times out of 10, its stuff like, "the imaging has really opened up, my main speakers sound cleaner more neutral, there is no boom any more, my lower frequencies seem tighter and more controlled, there is no bass flab" etc etc etc. Now, to get these comments from people who have gone from quality units like the servo 15 and various big M&K's, is something I'm very proud of.
    I'm also proud to be associated with a company like Velodyne. I don't think their success is an accident by any means

    As Forrest Gump once said, "Thats all I have to say about that"

    Your friend down in London (who is going back to bed with some Lemsip)
     
  18. EvilMudge

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    Eric, great post as usual. It's always nice to have a dealer who stands by what they sell. Makes a change from the stock it and flog it brigade. If RS fall through I may be after a Velodyne sub of my own.

    Dave, I sweated blood and wasted a considerable amount of time extracting my Paradigm set-up from RS. Was it worth it? I'm not sure. They are very annoying in that they reveal far more about the other components in the system than a £1000 set-up should. If they were more easily available I'd recommend them to anyone with the budget for good amplification and sources.

    I think we've actually exhausted this thread as well. Roll on the next big one. :cool:
     
  19. NicolasB

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    Have you tried Ibuprofen? It's much better than paracetemol for sore throats and inflammation.

    What do you mean, "off-topic"? :D
     
  20. lmccauley

    lmccauley
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    Or paracetamol with codiene...
    and Ibuprofen...

    Just make sure you don't use more than one product containing paracetamol.

    Well, we've had the "Happy Birthday" threads; is it time to start "Get Well Soon" threads for Eric & Nic?

    Cheers,
    Liam
     
  21. Guest

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    Eric....

    Good post mate.

    It's not illegal to have a long sleep.

    Adam.
     
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