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networkn

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#267920 18-Feb-2020 09:16
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About 12 months ago, my Monitor Audio Silver Subwoofer Died. I looked at replacing it, but then Monitor Audio were able to offer to fix it pretty cost-effectively, so I decided to fix it.

 

Last night when playing a game, all of a sudden it felt like the whole house was shaking, and when I worked out what was causing it, turned out the Sub had gone crazy. I turned it down, and then off and when it came back on, it "seemed" to be normal.

 

I now feel like the Sub is probably on it's way out, as it's never done that before. I am reluctant to pay again to repair it, good money after bad as such...

 

 

 

I am trying to work out what I replace it with. It's rated as 500W RMS and is heavy but quite compact. I don't want something physically massive.

 

I estimate the speakers and sub are both around 15-17 years old and so I am wondering if :

 

1) Subwoofer technology has improved or changed in the past 15 years?

 

2) If my current Sub is 500W, should I be looking for similar size?

 

3) My lounge isn't huge, but it's reasonably big, should I consider 2 smaller as opposed to a single unit replacement?

 

4) The whole lot was bought as a set, the speakers still sound good, but do speakers deteriorate over time, and should I actually be looking to replace the whole lot? Usually, whilst you are spending more money overall, you get better value buying sets.

 

5) Is it worth saving some money by buying a floor model demo unit at an AV Store if they have one at a reasonable price?

 

 

 

 

 

Anything else I should consider ?

 

 


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ShinyChrome
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  #2422998 18-Feb-2020 09:43
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1) Yes, drivers have improved with more robust materials, but the real wins are in amplifier design, incorporating DSP etc

 

2) Yes and no, see explanation below

 

3) Really depends on the size, but I would be more inclined to get one big one, and add on later, than two small ones. Going dual is said to add about 6-9db to the overall loudness, but the real win is balancing out room modes, nulls etc.

 

4) Yes, speakers will deteriorate over time, but honestly, unless you are planning on budgeting many thousands of $$$, and your current speakers are also going bad, focus on one thing at a time vs. trying to stretch your budget with several mediocre products.

 

5) Absolutely, but good luck finding one.

 

So rated watts are only half the equation, more representative of how a sub performs is it's rated frequency response ie. 18-150Hz+/-3dB and the shape of the response curve. Amp power, box size, sealed vs ported are all design decisions that contribute to this.

 

For an HT sub, if you want a good time, you want something with deep bass extension that can take advantage of movie sound tracks going down into the 20hz range, extra points down into the teens. So most likely, a big ported box, but depends on whether you are ok with another end-table/plant stand in your living room. Sealed subs tend to be smaller, but also don't extend as low as equivalent ported size design.

 

Without knowing a budget, I would suggest taking a look at the current HT standard: SVS. The PB-1000 is a good place to start, then you move up to the recently released PB-2000 Pro, and the price sky-rockets from there. There is also the SB range (SB-1000,2000, 3000 etc) if you want to go sealed.

 

I would also suggest reading a few of the more recent threads, as there is a few tid-bits in there about their product line, as well as subs in general.

 

If you are not abject to going second hand, this SVS PB2000 is currently going for $1300, possibly lower. The only real thing I would be concerned with buying s/h is the amp, but he had it replaced recently apparently. Buyer said he would ship from CC. SVS has a 5 year warranty, which I believe is transferrable, but don't know for sure. Their customer service is pretty good though.

 

Do you have model number for your old sub? How big is your lounge? What is your budget?


networkn

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  #2423013 18-Feb-2020 10:16
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My current amp is Monitor Audio Silver RSW12

 

I have Atmos Speakers in my ceiling (5.2.2 I think) but those are the only ones certified for Atmos. Is there any benefit to considering an Atmos Sub if such a thing actually matters at all?

 

I see ported talked about a bit, I think mine is sealed.

 

Are SVS considered to pretty much be the gold standard now? The rest of my AV gear is wood, but black is pretty unintrusive so that might be ok. That PB2000 seems good value.

 

I don't really have a budget as yet, but I guess I'd like to be under 2K and the lower the better, though it's more about value, rather than cost. I don't want to save $200 and lose 25% of performance etc. I suspect, like with most things, there will be a law of diminishing returns. I am not sure where that starts to hit hard with Subwoofers?

 

Does brand matter as it relates to other components in my HT Setup? IE I have MA speakers everywhere, I assume running SVS or Elac etc, won't matter much?

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 


1101
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  #2423019 18-Feb-2020 10:26
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2) If my current Sub is 500W

 

That rating will be complete marketing BS :-)
The actual driver wouldnt be able to cope at sub freq's (xmax limit for a start)

 

 


networkn

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  #2423022 18-Feb-2020 10:28
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1101:

 

2) If my current Sub is 500W

 

That rating will be complete marketing BS :-)
The actual driver wouldnt be able to cope at sub freq's (xmax limit for a start)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be that as it may, this is the information I have.

 

 


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  #2423026 18-Feb-2020 10:40
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networkn:

 

My current amp is Monitor Audio Silver RSW12

 

I have Atmos Speakers in my ceiling (5.2.2 I think) but those are the only ones certified for Atmos. Is there any benefit to considering an Atmos Sub if such a thing actually matters at all?

 

I see ported talked about a bit, I think mine is sealed.

 

Are SVS considered to pretty much be the gold standard now? The rest of my AV gear is wood, but black is pretty unintrusive so that might be ok. That PB2000 seems good value.

 

I don't really have a budget as yet, but I guess I'd like to be under 2K and the lower the better, though it's more about value, rather than cost. I don't want to save $200 and lose 25% of performance etc. I suspect, like with most things, there will be a law of diminishing returns. I am not sure where that starts to hit hard with Subwoofers?

 

Does brand matter as it relates to other components in my HT Setup? IE I have MA speakers everywhere, I assume running SVS or Elac etc, won't matter much?

 

 

Atmos doesn't come into it, below the ideal crossover point for HT (80hz) bass is omnidirectional, therefore hard to localize in a room. Bass is everywhere, man.

 

I wouldn't say they are the gold standard, but down here in little old NZ where we don't get a whole lot of good options, they are the best at this price-point. As you move up $->$$->$$$->$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$, there are more worthy competitors, but under $2k, for HT, SVS decimates all on value for money. Funnily enough in the US, people talk about how SVS is good, but there are better options for the money (Hsu, Rythmik, PSA, Monolith). I have a black ash SVS sub, and it actually looks quite nice, compared to the black boxes of old.

 

You could look at the PB-2000 Pro (maybe pushing the budget though) as it features quite a few cool features, like pluggable ports and app-variable tuning. It also dives down to 16hz v. the older, discontinued PB-2000 at 18hz. Plus you get a brand new product with a 5 yr warranty. But it is a very recent release, so I imagine the price is the price. And I imagine most people would not notice the extra gain over the old PB-2000 for the money, but jury is still out on that, pending reviews. Its a pretty trick piece of kit.

 

Another good option is the SVS PB12-NSD (my personal choice); it's a US Black Friday special that we seem to get year round, but limited stock apparently. It's 90% of the old PB-2000 for $1299. The amp is not as flash, or as powerful as either PB-2000, but it reaches nearly as deep at the 18-150hz. Again, brand new item w/ 5 yr warranty. I fricken love mine, I wish I had budget (and WAF) to get two.

 

Brand absolutely doesn't need to match with sub, as bass has no "house sound" or "timbre matching". In fact, I feel like this is how a lot of the big players sell their crappier subs (Polk; Klipsch, although their bigger range is ok, but expensive).

 

 


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  #2423075 18-Feb-2020 11:07
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Klipsch seem to have a poor reputation for the Amps in their Subs but the K-120SW seems to review well and is < $1500

 

That PB-2000 Pro is massive, not sure if it's a bit overkill. To be honest, I don't know if I have ever changed the settings on my current Sub and so really, I just want something that is more or less set and forget, that performs well for movies, games and music (I have SACD, and Blu-Ray Concerts.

 

That Black Ash looks really nice actually.

 

I can't measure my lounge until tonight but I want to say it's about 4.5m by say 6.5 or something like that. One side opens up into another small living area.

 

 


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  #2423099 18-Feb-2020 12:13
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networkn:

 

Klipsch seem to have a poor reputation for the Amps in their Subs but the K-120SW seems to review well and is < $1500

 

That PB-2000 Pro is massive, not sure if it's a bit overkill. To be honest, I don't know if I have ever changed the settings on my current Sub and so really, I just want something that is more or less set and forget, that performs well for movies, games and music (I have SACD, and Blu-Ray Concerts.

 

That Black Ash looks really nice actually.

 

I can't measure my lounge until tonight but I want to say it's about 4.5m by say 6.5 or something like that. One side opens up into another small living area.

 

 

Are you meaning the R-120SW? If so, it would be a hard-pass for me personally, its only spec'ed down to 29hz. Fine for music, but too weak for HT. The SPL-120 is a little bit better, but I think any of the SVS PB range would beat it on value.

 

One complaint I do have about my SVS sub is that bass in music can sound a bit flat compared to my other/first sub, a 10" passive radiator Emotiva S10. I think this is just an artifact of how flat the response is, and appears to be a common complaint, but just gives you an idea of the different characteristics of different designs. The Pro IS probably overkill for your needs, but once you have heard good bass, you only want to hear more good-er bass haha. One of the cool things it can do is change the frequency response curve, through the plugging of ports/DSP, to prioritize a deeper bass extension vs. a more sealed-sub-like responses. Not a new feature, but new to this price bracket. And I haven't personally heard it yet, so no idea if it translates IRL performance.

 

I guess since we don't have a whole lot of options at this price-point, the matching size-to-room thing is a little harder to do here. If your room was like 1000 sqft, you could even get away with a smaller sub, but if you are up around 3500 sqft like mine, you just get the biggest damn honking sub you can afford. 

 

I would probably put the PB12-NSD on your short-list, at $1299 I think it is the value king in NZ. But definitely before you buy anything, see if you can find some to demo, preferably in a room size representative of your own. Especially trying sealed vs ported, since you may find that you have grown accustomed to the sealed sub sound with your MA sub.

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  #2423496 18-Feb-2020 21:11
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Re: looking at how deep a subwoofer can go.

 

Be aware that a 20Hz bass frequency needs 56.5 feet to propagate.

 

In other words, in most homes it's the people in other rooms who will get the silly deep bass, oooorrrrrr standing waves mean you may end up sitting right in the middle of a node and get virtually nothing at certain frequencies due to the bass bouncing off the walls, back to where you're sitting.

 

 

 

Re: the options you're looking at, the new 2000 pro series SVS has everything a modern user would like. The ability to put the port plugs in to change the characteristics of the sub - want a sealed sub (or close to it), put in the port plugs! Want to EQ it from your chair, use the app on your phone or tablet! I prefer the grill too...

 

 

 

The difficulty will be finding a well setup demo, what part of the country are you in?


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  #2423788 19-Feb-2020 10:11
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@dunnersfella

 

My current Sub is a Monitor Audio RSW12 not sure if you are familiar with it.

 

Feedback from someone else online suggested "The SB-2000 Pro is brand new technology and will surpass the output and extension of every sub you're considering, including your current one. It might not provide as much detail though, but since 85% of your usage is gaming/TV/movies that may not be as much of a concern". I guess from my perspective, I'd hoped I could get an upgrade that would improve on all the areas, rather than having to sacrifice detail for example.  I am not sure what details in terms of subwoofers, is or if I'd even notice it, but I like lots of detail when I listen to music on my headphones and so I am not super keen to lose it, if it's equivalent.

 

My Room is 4.9 x 4.2 but one side of it opens into another smaller open space, though I don't require sound to travel into there. I'd need to work out the measurements to know if I have 56 feet, but if that's just in a straight line then definitely not (Sorry I am not certain if that's what you mean).

 

The Pro I am looking at is sealed, so I assume it doesn't have the ability to put port plugs in? The Ported one is huge and I probably couldn't justify the space it would consume.

 

Other than the SB-2000 Pro, are there are other models I should consider if I want an across the board upgrade?

 


Thanks for your reply.


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  #2423801 19-Feb-2020 10:32
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Dunnersfella:

 

In other words, in most homes it's the people in other rooms who will get the silly deep bass, oooorrrrrr standing waves mean you may end up sitting right in the middle of a node and get virtually nothing at certain frequencies due to the bass bouncing off the walls, back to where you're sitting.

 

 

This is where doing the "sub crawl" can help to identify this, right? In lieu of more advanced methods of room correction, of course.

 

networkn:

 

The Pro I am looking at is sealed, so I assume it doesn't have the ability to put port plugs in? The Ported one is huge and I probably couldn't justify the space it would consume.

 

 

The SB-2000 is sealed, so correct, it has no ports to plug. It does still feature the same app-adjustable EQ amp as the PB, but of more limited use.


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  #2423805 19-Feb-2020 10:36
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Subcrawl? Is that like a Pubcrawl where I go from retailer to retailer testing subs?

 

 

 

I think the problem here is that I don't really know what I should be listening for? I thought about demoing a subwoofer at the stores, but the environment, the equipment they use, everything will be different, it would be nearly impossible to isolate (at least for me) what was a good subwoofer experience from a bad one as it relates to what I have at home.


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  #2423822 19-Feb-2020 10:57
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networkn:

 

Subcrawl? Is that like a Pubcrawl where I go from retailer to retailer testing subs?

 

 

 

I think the problem here is that I don't really know what I should be listening for? I thought about demoing a subwoofer at the stores, but the environment, the equipment they use, everything will be different, it would be nearly impossible to isolate (at least for me) what was a good subwoofer experience from a bad one as it relates to what I have at home.

 

 

See the Z reviews video here, I love the byline "Get on your hands and knees... for science!"

 

Bass-ically you put the sub in your primary viewing/listening position playing a constant volume low frequency sound and crawl around on the ground until you find a place where the bass sounds the strongest/loudest. That place is where you should put your sub.

 

It is tough, and as Dunnersfella said, you really want to demo a few different subs to actually figure out what you are listening for and what sort of bass you like. Your room size, shape, wall-coverings, sub-floor all change how the bass sounds in your home though, so its a rough science. A purpose built demo room is usually more representative of a home scenario than, say, the showroom floor at Harvey Normans.


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  #2424881 21-Feb-2020 10:30
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I pushed the button on the SB2000 Pro. Plugged it in last night, but I can't seem to get the tuning right. SVS Support sent me some stuff to try tonight, and hopefully, that makes a huge difference or this is going to be pretty disappointing.

 

 


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  #2425055 21-Feb-2020 14:47
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What amp are you running?

 

Are you using room correction?

 

Has it been re-run since you added the subwoofer into your system?

 

What are the settings on the SVS? Crossover / volume / phase etc?


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  #2425078 21-Feb-2020 16:01
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Hi.

 

It's an RXA-2060 Yamaha.

 

I plugged it in, turned it on, and ran the YPAO thingy. It detects the Subwoofer, I can hear the test sounds coming from the woofer when I am supposed to, and if I save that configuration, then I never hear the Sub "engage". I sat beside it for around 10 minutes testing everything bassy I had, not a peep.

 

I went in and tried to mess with the cross overs. My Floor Standers were set to Large, and instead, I changed those to Small with a cross over of 40hz I think from memory. Sub worked after that but was hardly impressive.

 

I was using phase at 90 but I don't think that's right (you might cry if i told you what cross overs and settings I was told to use by the store (200hz for the rear surrounds etc). The Sub is about 2m from the speakers. The speakers are on the front wall and the Sub is on the left hand side as I face the speakers, facing outward to the right.

 

I am not sure what you mean by room correction?

 

 


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