May 20, 2005

SV Subwoofers 16-46PC+

I just received a pair of SVS 16-46PC+ subwoofers. These two are replacing a single Velodyne SPL-1200II subwoofer. The Velodyne is going upstairs into the video game setup to be coupled with a pair of Castle Avon speakers. The two 16-46PC+ subwoofers are together in the same price range as the single Velodyne. But they perform at least an order of magnitude better.

The 16-46PC+s are extremely large. Each subwoofer is approximately 17" in diameter and 4' tall. The basic construction is a single cylinder with a down-firing 12" driver at the base, and three flared ports at the top that are tubes down the length of the cylinder. The driver is protected at the bottom by a solid base, which also serves to make sure the sound is produced correctly regardless of your floor material.

They are covered in a very nice black cloth, and the construction appears excellent. The top ports are protected by a nice metal grille that fits snug, but can be removed to plug one of the ports to tune the subwoofer at 12Hz. At the base is the SVS logo.

The back of the integrated amplifier contains all of the inputs, outputs, and dials you might want. Some nice features include full-range phase control and auto-on. There are both line-level outputs and speaker binding posts if you need them.

SVS packages their subwoofers nicely, using stiff styrofoam, and the entire unit is protected from the elements and dirt during transit by a sealed bag. The bag is reusable. You will want to save the boxes, but of course the boxes are huge. I had to rearrange some things to fit them into my closet.

I have them tuned at 12Hz, and removing the top grille is easy once you realize that is what you're supposed to do to access the ports. The port plugs fit very tightly in the ports with moderate compression, so they are doing their job right.

During calibration, I discovered just how impressive subsonics can be. I was playing 10Hz through these subwoofers, feeling it come out, and hearing the house respond. I've discovered new things in the room that will rattle, including the sliding glass door to the backyard.

I also discovered that I have been missing out on these frequencies in some of the audio CDs I have. One such CD is Bible of Dreams by Juno Reactor.

I am extremely pleased with these new subwoofers. The impulse response played back during my calibration seemed perfect. The Velodyne did not recover as quickly from this same impulse response. While playing sources with low frequenices, I am not hearing any harmonics that I don't think should be there.

On a side note, I also had a very nice experience with UPS when my packages were accidentally delivered to Ultimate Control this morning. The customer representative, delivery center, and driver were very friendly and helpful.

Posted by josuah at May 20, 2005 1:04 AM UTC+00:00

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