Sub Thoughts

Posted by: AndrewSW

Sub Thoughts - 08/13/10 10:08 AM

I'm trying to figure out what to do Sub wise in my new setup.

I am going to have a room that is 18'x25' with a 13' foot vaulted ceiling. The back of this room is not enclosed, because it goes into my dining room and kitchen.

So it's not ideal shape, but it's all I got. Right now I have a SVS PB12-ISD. I was thinking about going to a EP500, and wondering if I would notice a significant differene of this change. Also would it be a lot better to place 2 EP500 in this room. I watch a lot of movies and listen to music. 70/30 movies to music.

I don't think my wife will let me get away with EP600 or 800.

What would you all do in this space?
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Sub Thoughts - 08/13/10 10:10 AM

Are you planning on selling your PB12?
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Sub Thoughts - 08/13/10 10:25 AM

I'm using an EP350 in an area that's about half of that space. I think either 2 EP350's or 2 EP500's would be best.
Posted by: AndrewSW

Re: Sub Thoughts - 08/13/10 11:11 AM

I was thinking about selling the PB12.

I think the wife would like the maple cabinet on the EP500 vs. the Black cabinet of my current PB12.



Another question... Since the EP500 is a forward facing woofer, could I have it partially covered by a cabinet or end table?
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Sub Thoughts - 08/13/10 11:18 AM

Is the actual model ISD or NSD? Is there any difference?
Posted by: AndrewSW

Re: Sub Thoughts - 08/13/10 12:11 PM

ISD. Not for sure of the difference. I was looking at SVS website last night and it doesn't look like they offer the ISD anymore.

My ISD is a downward facing woofer.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Sub Thoughts - 08/13/10 01:33 PM

I listened to the PB12-NSD, before purchasing my PB13 Ultra and if the ISD is anywhere near the same output as the NSD I would say the EP500 is only slightly better than what you currently own, YMMV. But with the Axiom subs you get a smoother, richer, more life like sound, not the dry thud like most subs.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Sub Thoughts - 08/13/10 01:39 PM

Originally Posted By: AndrewSW
Another question... Since the EP500 is a forward facing woofer, could I have it partially covered by a cabinet or end table?


I see no reason this would be a problem, as long as there's no obstruction to the front side.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Sub Thoughts - 08/13/10 01:56 PM

keep in mind this might not be the ideal location to get the best low frequency response in that room.
Posted by: AndrewSW

Re: Sub Thoughts - 08/13/10 02:58 PM

I am limited to where I can place the sub in the space. Hopefully it will sound good where it has to go.

Anyone familiar with the PB12-ISD v. EP500? (Other than the fact that the ISD was about $400 when I bought it and the EP500 is more than 3x that amount)
Posted by: AndrewSW

Re: Sub Thoughts - 08/14/10 10:15 AM

I've read a couple more places in the forums that some people think the EP500 is only marginally better than the PB12-NSD. Anyone disagree with this?

The price tag is a pretty substantial difference, and I'm just curious what I'd be getting for the higher price of the EP50.

Thanks!
Posted by: bridgman

Re: Sub Thoughts - 08/14/10 10:33 AM

The SVS NSD subs definitely put out a lot of bass for the $$, helped by their size (they're nearly 2x the size of the Axiom subs). They don't have any of the EP500 DSP-based features though (very flat response, graceful handling of overdrive etc..), so comparing to EP350 (same cabinet & driver as EP500 AFAIK, but not DSP) probably makes more sense.

Sub reviews sometimes rate subs very differently depending on whether they are being used for music or movies (movies tend to want "lots of bass", music tends to favor "tight" bass that stops quickly). You can design a sub that gets relatively more output from the port/cabinet combo and get more bass for the $$, but if you look at the graphs showing how response trails off over time at different frequencies you see the cost -- a much slower "decay" around the port/cabinet tune frequency.

If your requirements are mostly "lots of bass" for movies then non-DSP ported subs like the NSD offer a lot of performance for the $$. Note that Axiom also updated the EP350 recently with a larger cabinet and amp, although reviews of the Axiom subs suggest that they still lean towards a more "balanced" design with a bit less port output (therefore a bit less overall low bass output) but tighter response for music and movies with dynamic bass.

Or something like that wink
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Sub Thoughts - 08/14/10 10:35 AM

It wasn't particularly recently that the EP350 cab changed... that was way back with the EP350v3! The amp did change in the last few months from a more standard sub amp to a class D one (at least, I think it's a class D; it's certainly small enough...
Posted by: bridgman

Re: Sub Thoughts - 08/14/10 12:38 PM

Interesting... didn't know about the new amp. Thanks !

I didn't think the v3 was so long ago... maybe I need to get out more wink
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Sub Thoughts - 08/14/10 02:59 PM

I've only seen the EP350 with 250(?) watt amp in some old review. I have the current model and it really puts out the bass. I have absolutely no complaints with this device and I will complain when I'm not satisfied with something.
Posted by: fredk

Re: Sub Thoughts - 08/14/10 03:22 PM

Originally Posted By: bridgman
Sub reviews sometimes rate subs very differently depending on whether they are being used for music or movies (movies tend to want "lots of bass", music tends to favor "tight" bass that stops quickly).

Not really. You want the same tight bass for movies that do for music. Sloppy bass = poorly defined boom instead of the whump/thump you should get from explosions.

Originally Posted By: bridgman
You can design a sub that gets relatively more output from the port/cabinet combo and get more bass for the $$, but if you look at the graphs showing how response trails off over time at different frequencies you see the cost -- a much slower "decay" around the port/cabinet tune frequency.

Again, I disagree. The port and cabinet of the sub act as an ampifyer to boost the bottom end of the sub, but they only amplify what the driver puts out.

What affects the 'speed" of the bass is driver design: motor strength, syspension compliance, driver linearity. If you have a ported sub that produces sloppy bass, its the driver design.

Lots of bass for movies will comes from driver displacement. You need a big driver and/or lots of driver exscursion to produce those deep pressure waved we like from action movies.

The 'hit you in the chest' bass actually comes from the upper bass and may well come partially or even mostly from your mains if you have a lower crossover.
Posted by: bridgman

Re: Sub Thoughts - 08/14/10 03:36 PM

Originally Posted By: fredk
Not really. You want the same tight bass for movies that do for music. Sloppy bass = poorly defined boom instead of the whump/thump you should get from explosions.


Yes and no. I agree completely that you want lots of bass *and* tight bass but if you are buying at a certain price point and making tradeoffs then your happiness with those tradeoffs will, in part, be a function of the content you are playing most of the time.

Originally Posted By: fredk
Again, I disagree. The port and cabinet of the sub act as an ampifyer to boost the bottom end of the sub, but they only amplify what the driver puts out.


Sure, but the degree of amplification can vary and the port output doesn't die out as quickly as the driver output.

Originally Posted By: fredk
What affects the 'speed" of the bass is driver design: motor strength, syspension compliance, driver linearity. If you have a ported sub that produces sloppy bass, its the driver design.


I'm certainly not saying the driver doesn't matter, but the cabinet & port (and the damping material, to some extent) make a significant difference as well.

Originally Posted By: fredk
Lots of bass for movies will comes from driver displacement. You need a big driver and/or lots of driver exscursion to produce those deep pressure waved we like from action movies.

The 'hit you in the chest' bass actually comes from the upper bass and may well come partially or even mostly from your mains if you have a lower crossover.


Can't disagree with any of this.
Posted by: fredk

Re: Sub Thoughts - 08/14/10 04:28 PM

I think we are pretty much on the same page. I agree with what you have posted.

I personally don't want to trade anything off as I really enjoy both music and, surprisingly, movies a lot more now that I have a good system.

Honestly, unless you are in the budget category, I don't think you need to trade anything off any more. There are a lot of very well designed drivers and subs out there. You have DIY, kit and prefab options available to you so that you can get excellent bass with no tradeoffs in the $1K to $2K range.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Sub Thoughts - 08/14/10 10:03 PM

As I have mentioned I found the biggest difference between the NSD and any of Axiom's subs is that textured sound Axiom has.

So far as output, the EP350 is slightly less than the NSD and I feel the NSD is only slightly less than the 500 and this is all only really noticeable with A/B tests I have done. They are all very good subs.

I actually prefer the sound of Axiom's subs to my PB13 but I liked the low 15hz I could get out of the PB13 for the odd movie scene.
Posted by: AndrewSW

Re: Sub Thoughts - 08/14/10 10:07 PM

Originally Posted By: fredk
you can get excellent bass with no tradeoffs in the $1K to $2K range.



I'm still not completely clear on the difference between SVS's PB12-NSD (which is below your price point as "no tradeoff subs" v. the EP500.

I'm comfortable spending the extra money for the EP500, but I just want to know what I'm getting for my extra $$.


Also, anyone running a system with an EP500 and a EP600 or 800? I read a post that some said the Ep500 was better at the upper end of bass and the 600 and 800 were better in the lower end of the bass spectrum. If this is true... would I benefit from running both?
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Sub Thoughts - 08/14/10 11:14 PM

The PB12 has a bump in the frequency response around 50 - 60hz, which I found a little annoying as it made the sub sound more like a car subwoofer. The EP500 has DSP that smoothes out the frequency response for a linear/flat playback, just nice and smooth sound reproduction through the range. The DSP also limits the output making port noise nearly nonexistant on the 500,
Posted by: fredk

Re: Sub Thoughts - 08/14/10 11:31 PM

Quote:
The PB12 has a bump in the frequency response around 50 - 60hz, which I found a little annoying as it made the sub sound more like a car subwoofer.

One of the compromise tricks uses to give a sub more slam and apparent bass because it does not have the real low stuff for movies.

Jay. Its interesting that you now prefer the EP500. I believe that extra texture you like is actually harmonic distortion. Ilka's measurements clearly showed that there is quite a bit more distortion in the EP500/600 than the PB13. It is also interesting just how subtle everyone finds the difference.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Sub Thoughts - 08/15/10 02:30 PM

I know it is harmonics that adds that texture. I have always liked Axiom's sound on their subs, even before my SVS purchase. I seem to remember Ian mentioning at one time that he designs the subs to have some harmonics, where as most of the others try to eliminate it. I liked how Ilka mentioned the harmonics then went on to say it didn't sound bad.
Posted by: MP3DFX

Re: Sub Thoughts - 08/15/10 08:36 PM

If I may add 2 cents...(for noobs like me)

When reading above, I was thinking that the harmonic distortion was a bad thing, I did some googling and found this
Quote:
One woofer backwards. This design reduces harmonic distortion. The main cause of harmonic distortion in woofers is the difference between the out-stroke and the in-stroke of the woofer. This difference is caused by magnetic anomalies around the voice coil, manufacturing errors and suspensions that are stiffer moving in than out. When you mount one woofer backwards, but wire them up so that they both move in the same direction, the sound from the two woofers reinforce each other (in phase) while the distortions cancel each other out (out of phase). Clever, but the value is less than one might think. Not only are humans insensitive to harmonic distortion in the bass region, harmonic distortion by nature is, you guessed it, harmonious. So not that unpleasant.


original link
http://www.aperionaudio.com/aperionu/how_subs_work.aspx

So I guess it's ok then.
Posted by: grunt

Re: Sub Thoughts - 08/15/10 09:36 PM

Thanks for the link. Thatís a very nice and concise explanation. All things considered I still prefer a tactile transducer for the very low bass. A subwoofer for the low bass and the mains for the mid and upper bass. Just my opinion. Though I am still considering a mid bass module for restoring the chest thumping I was use to when I sat closer to my M80s.
Posted by: AndrewSW

Re: Sub Thoughts - 08/15/10 09:39 PM

I'm curious to hear what Axiom subs sound like. Anyone in NW Arkansas that has one?


Also, would I benefit from an EP800 & an EP500 in the same room?