• Go to page :
  • 1 23
  • Text Only
Voting History
rated:
Didn't see this posted and search did not come up with this (so if it is a repost - sorry).

Excellent home theater subwoofer. SVS gets very good reviews at many sites (e.g. AVS forum, etc). Obviously you can get better subwoofers but you will usually be paying a lot more.

SVS PB12-Plus

Member Summary
Most Recent Posts
Let's put an end to this diy vs retail debate.
If you have carpentry skills,and enjoy building things, there's no questio... (more)

Next (Oct. 17, 2007 @ 8:32p) |

Some facts:

1) There is no such thing as an optimum enclosure size. Given a driver with a certain set of parameters, a v... (more)

MaxRC (Oct. 18, 2007 @ 1:08p) |

1) Drivers do work best for certain enclosures as dictated by their design. Sure you can stick an 18" driver in a 1cf ... (more)

Next (Oct. 18, 2007 @ 3:14p) |

Quick Summary is created and edited by users like you... Add FAQ's, Links and other Relevant Information by clicking the edit button in the lower right hand corner of this message.
Staff Summary
Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

Nice. Does anyone know how this compare to the Velodyne MiniVee 10"?

DragoonThug said: Nice. Does anyone know how this compare to the Velodyne MiniVee 10"?Two very different design philosophies. The Velodyne is a very compact sealed subwoofer with a lot of power. The SVS PB12-Plus is a fairly large vented subwoofer with about 1/2 as much power. If space and wife-acceptace-factor is important to you, the Velodyne is the one to get. Otherwise, the SVS will out perform the Velodyne in just about every category.

DragoonThug said: Nice. Does anyone know how this compare to the Velodyne MiniVee 10"?

it will simply crush it. they're really not in the same category and should not be compared. the minivee is for someone looked for a sub with a small footprint due to space or WAF (Wife Approval Factor). The Minivee is a sealed design and the SVS is a ported box. The SVS is pretty big itself and it has a 12" driver. If you are looking for a sub that can do it all but excel at home theater use, the svs is a no brainer. I would only choose the minivee if music was the main concern along with the conditions above. then again, the SVS SB12, about a 13" cube, is a sealed design and costs less than a Minivee 10.

My co-worker is looking for a sub for his room. I thought the Velodyne would fit nicely. I didnt notice the SB12 @ SVS. Did they recently came out with this? It even comes with a 45-day trial. I think I need to get him tell him about this...

No, I think they are probably phasing these out (though, I am not sure about that). They just came out with a new subwoofer (PB13-Ultra). Still, this subwoofer has very good reviews. Also, the PB13 is $1500. But that is about twice the price. Also, just remember shipping is $99 (and of course the return shipping). But, yes, you do get to try them out. They sell direct so no stores have them.

bilalhmd, the SB12-Plus has the 45 day risk free trial. Doesn't mention if they refund shipping both ways, however shipping on the SB12 will be less than $50.

i have one of the old pb12-plus/2 subs and it rocks! i wish i could have two of these pb12-pluses though... it woulda come out to roughly the same price... anyway, i'm pretty impressed with svs. you should give em a try! these are really big though. you can't hide em!

gazziza said: bilalhmd, the SB12-Plus has the 45 day risk free trial. Doesn't mention if they refund shipping both ways, however shipping on the SB12 will be less than $50.

The SB12-Plus's risk free trial includes a refund on shipping in both directions if returned.

BTW the PB12-Plus/2 subs in woodgrain finishes are also discounted ($300-$400 off): SVS PB12-Plus/2 Box Subs

Erik K
erik@svsound.com


The two most important parts of a nice surround system is the center channel and the subwoofer. I personally have the SVS PB12-NSD/2. I have yet to hear a better subwoofer at any store, period. Believe me I auditioned a TON.

This subwoofer is a steal at this price. I have a SVS PB10ISD (no longer made...replace by PB10NSD) and it is incredible. Take a $1000 SVS subwoofer and put it up againt another company's $1000 subwoofer and you will have experienced a quick lesson in sound quality and value. You can not get better performance (HSU is very good too though) at each of their price points. Visit the AVS forums and you will quickly see that these subs are worth every penny. At this discounted price it is a no brainer if you have the space for it (and your significant other or wife approves). For those looking for a subwoofer and thinking about pulling the trigger on this deal... you chance of disapointment is pretty much nonexistent.

I also have an SVS sub. Seems like this forum has practically turned into a "I have one, and you should get one." So count me in for another opinion just like it. I have a PB12-something, don't remember what at this time. Funny thing is I remember watching a movie thinking...wow, this has a LOT of bass. Turns out my 2-year old have cranked the volume on the sub to max. Good thing I have the output from my amp set that the volume is normally set at 1/2 on the sub anyway. I have a 17x20 family room, with 20' ceilings. This sub cranks away in the entire room.

This is a good deal. So tempting.

i have a 9000 cubic feet room... one pb12-plus/2 can't handle it. two of these pb12-pluses might. =)

nice deal!

i built my own sonotube years ago, I couldn't afford a SVS back then.

I've got an SVS 25-31 PC+ cylinder, modified for New Zealand mains. When they sent it to me, they left out the little red tag that says something like: "You MUST use the port tuners if you choose subsonic tuning". I didn't know about that and I damaged the driver through over-excursion.

When I explained the situation to SVS, they sent me a replacement 12" driver (weighs 20 lbs) by express air freight.

For free.

To NEW ZEALAND.

The only thing that is more impressive than this sub, is the SVS customer service.

By all means, get this and try it out....but be prepared to keep it.

Nice find OP! I have an entry level SVS sub and love it!

Just becareful with the SIZE. 25" X 25" X 18" is HUGE! I have the HSU STF-2, from crapusa for $200 3 or 4 years ago on FW. It's good enough for me.

321uam said: Just becareful with the SIZE. 25" X 25" X 18" is HUGE! I have the HSU STF-2, from crapusa for $200 3 or 4 years ago on FW. It's good enough for me.

Comp USA use to sell HSU??

I have the SVS PB12 Ultra/2 (before they discontinued it) and it ROCKS the house.. literally! Best sub I've ever owned. I only have a 3700 cuft room and it's not overpowering.. the gain control is only at 20%.. So if you think your room is too small, don't worry about it! Just get it! You won't regret it. The sub also doubles as an end table.

phatfreeza said: i have a 9000 cubic feet room... one pb12-plus/2 can't handle it. two of these pb12-pluses might. =)

You might be surprised. Do you already have a pb12-plus/2? When I e-mailed then a couple years ago before putting this sub in my new house with a 6800 cf room plus large openings that aren't efficient for sound reflections, they said my PB12-ISD (less powerful than the plus/2) would do about 103 spl in my room. Considering I don't think I run my music/home theater above 90db almost ever based on my db meter, that's plenty of headroom.

E-mail them a description of the room, and if possible do a drawing of it with positions of other speakers, the TV, sitting positions, and measurements. They will e-mail you back with suggestions of which products will handle the room, and where the best position(s) are.

Even with the discount I don't really think this is such a great deal.

If you're half of a handyman you could easily go the DIY route using far superior drivers and amplification which will yield outstanding performance

Eg.

Mach5Audio 18" IXL subwoofer - $235
2 sheets of 3/4 MDF - $40
lb of 1 5/8 drywall screws $6
TiteBond II glue $6
1 Behringer EP2500 (2500 watts) - $259
Paint/Covering $20
PVC tube for port $15
-----------------------------
Total: $581

And unlike the PB12 Plus this subwoofer will do 117dbs at 14hz flat. Not to mention saving $318 over the price of the PB12 Plus.

Just my 2 cents.

myn said: Even with the discount I don't really think this is such a great deal.

If you're half of a handyman you could easily go the DIY route using far superior drivers and amplification which will yield outstanding performance

Eg.

Mach5Audio 18" IXL subwoofer - $235
2 sheets of 3/4 MDF - $40
lb of 1 5/8 drywall screws $6
TiteBond II glue $6
1 Behringer EP2500 (2500 watts) - $259
Paint/Covering $20
PVC tube for port $15
-----------------------------
Total: $581

And unlike the PB12 Plus this subwoofer will do 117dbs at 14hz flat. Not to mention saving $318 over the price of the PB12 Plus.

Just my 2 cents.


Yes if you want a subwoofer that looks like crap then certainly build it yourself...

seriously these are professionally applied veneer finishes, they are incredibly hard to match unless you have done hundreds of wood projects.

myn said: Even with the discount I don't really think this is such a great deal.

If you're half of a handyman you could easily go the DIY route using far superior drivers and amplification which will yield outstanding performance

Eg.

Mach5Audio 18" IXL subwoofer - $235
2 sheets of 3/4 MDF - $40
lb of 1 5/8 drywall screws $6
TiteBond II glue $6
1 Behringer EP2500 (2500 watts) - $259
Paint/Covering $20
PVC tube for port $15
-----------------------------
Total: $581

And unlike the PB12 Plus this subwoofer will do 117dbs at 14hz flat. Not to mention saving $318 over the price of the PB12 Plus.

Just my 2 cents.


Don't forget about 4-6 bar clamps at $23 bucks a piece. Several grits of sand paper, probably 3 or 4 different ones at 5 bucks a piece. If you choose to veneer it you'll need that and some rollers too.

If you can go DIY and have it look as nice, cheaper, and perform better than by all means go ahead. I don't count time in as a cost because anyone looking to DIY gains the personal satisfaction of building it from scratch. But this is not a thread intended for someone looking into that. This is for someone who just wants to buy a sub at a great price. I buy an old home and fix it up, I could build a computer for a cheaper price than what it would cost to buy it already done. To some its not worth the trouble.

The fact remains that this a great sub at a great price compared to other premade subs that are in the same category. DIY subs don't affect it's value and probably isn't even relevant to this thread.

eugovector said: 321uam said: Just becareful with the SIZE. 25" X 25" X 18" is HUGE! I have the HSU STF-2, from crapusa for $200 3 or 4 years ago on FW. It's good enough for me.

Comp USA use to sell HSU??


Yes! The HSU STF-2 and some crappy 5.1 stuff, VT12 or something.

DIY stuff is ugly. I know. I built one. DIY finish could not compete with professional finish. BTW, 12" adire sub in a SEALED box is the most musical, very fast and accurate. The low frequency and 20 Hz stuff and wattage are just marketing gimmick. Just trust your ears. If you like it, it's all good.

gotchaforce said: myn said: Even with the discount I don't really think this is such a great deal.

If you're half of a handyman you could easily go the DIY route using far superior drivers and amplification which will yield outstanding performance

Eg.

Mach5Audio 18" IXL subwoofer - $235
2 sheets of 3/4 MDF - $40
lb of 1 5/8 drywall screws $6
TiteBond II glue $6
1 Behringer EP2500 (2500 watts) - $259
Paint/Covering $20
PVC tube for port $15
-----------------------------
Total: $581

And unlike the PB12 Plus this subwoofer will do 117dbs at 14hz flat. Not to mention saving $318 over the price of the PB12 Plus.

Just my 2 cents.


Yes if you want a subwoofer that looks like crap then certainly build it yourself...

seriously these are professionally applied veneer finishes, they are incredibly hard to match unless you have done hundreds of wood projects.




Not at all.

Take a gander over at AVSforum at the DIY subs people are producing. It really doesn't take as much effort as you think with spectacular finishes that potentally could match your existing decor spot on. Unlike the SVS.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=646455

gazziza said: myn said: Even with the discount I don't really think this is such a great deal.

If you're half of a handyman you could easily go the DIY route using far superior drivers and amplification which will yield outstanding performance

Eg.

Mach5Audio 18" IXL subwoofer - $235
2 sheets of 3/4 MDF - $40
lb of 1 5/8 drywall screws $6
TiteBond II glue $6
1 Behringer EP2500 (2500 watts) - $259
Paint/Covering $20
PVC tube for port $15
-----------------------------
Total: $581

And unlike the PB12 Plus this subwoofer will do 117dbs at 14hz flat. Not to mention saving $318 over the price of the PB12 Plus.

Just my 2 cents.


Don't forget about 4-6 bar clamps at $23 bucks a piece. Several grits of sand paper, probably 3 or 4 different ones at 5 bucks a piece. If you choose to veneer it you'll need that and some rollers too.

If you can go DIY and have it look as nice, cheaper, and perform better than by all means go ahead. I don't count time in as a cost because anyone looking to DIY gains the personal satisfaction of building it from scratch. But this is not a thread intended for someone looking into that. This is for someone who just wants to buy a sub at a great price. I buy an old home and fix it up, I could build a computer for a cheaper price than what it would cost to buy it already done. To some its not worth the trouble.

The fact remains that this a great sub at a great price compared to other premade subs that are in the same category. DIY subs don't affect it's value and probably isn't even relevant to this thread.



As you are a fatwallet member I am sure you won't be paying $23 bucks for clamps. Instead you'll do what every good fatwallet user does and finds them at $3.89 at Harbor Freight or a woping $5 even at Odd Lots.

You are right though. This thread is for average folks who just want to go out and buy an average 12" underpowered sub.

What I am describing is more suited towards users who are audiophiles wanting the best sound experience possible at a fraction of the price.

Also, for everyones reference, here is the excert from CraigSub's recent subwoofer rating system which is held as the "gospel" on AVS:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=9164136#post9164136

Note that there are quite a few subs rated higher than the SVS PB12-Plus available at substantically cheaper prices.

Elemental Designs A7-900 ($2000 shipped ID): 116 points (63-53)
SVS PB13-Ultra ($1499 ID): 109 points (57-52)
Creative Sounds Dual SDX-15 driver + Behringer EP-2500 Amp + Behringer DEQ2496 ($1630 ID): 105 points (57-48) * see below
JL Audio Fathom 113 ($3500 BM): 103 points (53-50)
Velodyne DD-18 ($5000 BM): 100 points (50-50)
Def Tech Trinity ($3000 BM): 97 points (54-43)
ACI Maestro ($2400 ID): 97 points (47-50)
JL Audio Fathom 112 ($2600 BM): 95 points (45-50)
Hsu VTF-3 HO + Turbo ($999 ID): 94 points (47-47)
Hsu VTF-3 HO w/o Turbo ($899 ID): 92 points (45-47)
Hsu VTF-3 Mark III + Turbo ($799 ID): 92 points (45-47)
Hsu VTF-3 Mark III w/o Turbo ($699 ID): 91 points (45-46)
SVS PB12-Ultra: 90 points (47-43)
Axiom EP-500 ($1230 ID/SI): 90 points (43-47)
Hsu VTF-2 Mark III + Turbo ($599 ID): 88 points (42-46)
SVS PB12-Plus/2 ($1299 ID): 87 points (47-40)
SVS PB12-NSD ($599 ID): 86 points (43-43)
Hsu VTF-2 Mark III w/o Turbo ($499 ID): 86 points (40-46)
Rocket UFW-12 ($999 ID): 85 points (provisional) (35-50)
Acculine A-sub ($289 ID/SI): 85 points (provisional, currently out of production) (40-45)
Elemental Designs A2-300 ($350 ID/SI): 83 points (44-39)
SVS PB10-NSD ($429 ID): 83 points (43-40)
Dana Audio 600 ($869 ID): 83 points (36-47)
Rocket X-Sub ($199 ID): 78 points (34-44)
BIC H-100 ($229 eBay): 78 points (40-38)
Rocket Tyke: 60 points (If you care, PM me ... )

myn said: gotchaforce said: myn said: Even with the discount I don't really think this is such a great deal.

If you're half of a handyman you could easily go the DIY route using far superior drivers and amplification which will yield outstanding performance

Eg.

Mach5Audio 18" IXL subwoofer - $235
2 sheets of 3/4 MDF - $40
lb of 1 5/8 drywall screws $6
TiteBond II glue $6
1 Behringer EP2500 (2500 watts) - $259
Paint/Covering $20
PVC tube for port $15
-----------------------------
Total: $581

And unlike the PB12 Plus this subwoofer will do 117dbs at 14hz flat. Not to mention saving $318 over the price of the PB12 Plus.

Just my 2 cents.


Yes if you want a subwoofer that looks like crap then certainly build it yourself...

seriously these are professionally applied veneer finishes, they are incredibly hard to match unless you have done hundreds of wood projects.




Not at all.

Take a gander over at AVSforum at the DIY subs people are producing. It really doesn't take as much effort as you think with spectacular finishes that potentally could match your existing decor spot on. Unlike the SVS.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=646455


Only maybe 5-10% of the subs in that thread that are boxes (sonotubes dont count because people just wrap them in carpet) are actually finished anywhere near SVS quality, which really just proves my point that unless you have a lot of experience you will have to settle with a finish that doesnt get anywhere near SVS' for this price.

myn said: Even with the discount I don't really think this is such a great deal.

If you're half of a handyman you could easily go the DIY route using far superior drivers and amplification which will yield outstanding performance

Eg.

Mach5Audio 18" IXL subwoofer - $235
2 sheets of 3/4 MDF - $40
lb of 1 5/8 drywall screws $6
TiteBond II glue $6
1 Behringer EP2500 (2500 watts) - $259
Paint/Covering $20
PVC tube for port $15
-----------------------------
Total: $581

And unlike the PB12 Plus this subwoofer will do 117dbs at 14hz flat. Not to mention saving $318 over the price of the PB12 Plus.

Just my 2 cents.


An 18" driver, without servo feedback to give it accuracy? I don't think so. Not unless you're only interested in power and don't give a damn about distortion. High-end sub manufacturers' large driver subs have servofeedback control mechanisms, because large drivers NEED the extra control to avoid distortion.

Along the same lines, the box had damn well better be designed by an acoustic engineer to damp out unwanted resonances.

That Behrigner amp is PA grade, not hi-fi grade. Again, accuracy is sacrificed in the name of power. Also, it's not going to put out 2500 watts into that driver

So, if you want something cheap and powerful, but with low-fidelity and without any warranty support, then your DIY setup is the way to go.

But, if you want a high quality sub, one that will give you solid hi-fidelity power at the low end and impeccable warranty support, then this SVS is the way to go.

myn said: Even with the discount I don't really think this is such a great deal.

If you're half of a handyman you could easily go the DIY route using far superior drivers and amplification which will yield outstanding performance

Eg.

Mach5Audio 18" IXL subwoofer - $235
2 sheets of 3/4 MDF - $40
lb of 1 5/8 drywall screws $6
TiteBond II glue $6
1 Behringer EP2500 (2500 watts) - $259
Paint/Covering $20
PVC tube for port $15
-----------------------------
Total: $581

And unlike the PB12 Plus this subwoofer will do 117dbs at 14hz flat. Not to mention saving $318 over the price of the PB12 Plus.

Just my 2 cents.


I'm with you. But you're not quoting the right compoents.
DIYcables.com has the exact woofer for $155 shipped
Bash amp is always on sale at Parts Express for ~$100 shippped.
That plus wood, veneer and you have the exact same woofer, plus a sense of accomplishment. DIY audio is an addiction once started

XYNZ said: myn said: Even with the discount I don't really think this is such a great deal.

If you're half of a handyman you could easily go the DIY route using far superior drivers and amplification which will yield outstanding performance

Eg.

Mach5Audio 18" IXL subwoofer - $235
2 sheets of 3/4 MDF - $40
lb of 1 5/8 drywall screws $6
TiteBond II glue $6
1 Behringer EP2500 (2500 watts) - $259
Paint/Covering $20
PVC tube for port $15
-----------------------------
Total: $581

And unlike the PB12 Plus this subwoofer will do 117dbs at 14hz flat. Not to mention saving $318 over the price of the PB12 Plus.

Just my 2 cents.


An 18" driver, without servo feedback to give it accuracy? I don't think so. Not unless you're only interested in power and don't give a damn about distortion. High-end sub manufacturers' large driver subs have servofeedback control mechanisms, because large drivers NEED the extra control to avoid distortion.

Along the same lines, the box had damn well better be designed by an acoustic engineer to damp out unwanted resonances.

That Behrigner amp is PA grade, not hi-fi grade. Again, accuracy is sacrificed in the name of power. Also, it's not going to put out 2500 watts into that driver

So, if you want something cheap and powerful, but with low-fidelity and without any warranty support, then your DIY setup is the way to go.

But, if you want a high quality sub, one that will give you solid hi-fidelity power at the low end and impeccable warranty support, then this SVS is the way to go.


Servo woofers are debatable in terms of their advantage. I've been in the audio field for over 20 years, and have heard all the major subs out there. Most of my friend/clients cannot tell a $5k sub from a $500 sub in a blind test. It's only when the price is mentioned that the more expensive woofer suddenly sounds better. PA grade and Hifi grade are discernible in the mid and high freq. At sub levels, the Behringer will sound better than a BASH amp. I have both. Don't dish DIY. Most 'Hifi' speaker sound no better than DIY counterparts. Mark ups on some of the Hifi speakers are at least 50% from the actual material, and labor due to middleman, and advertising. Typically, the major brands mark their price up 60-90%. DIY makes sense if you know what you're doing.

JamesInLV said: phatfreeza said: i have a 9000 cubic feet room... one pb12-plus/2 can't handle it. two of these pb12-pluses might. =)

You might be surprised. Do you already have a pb12-plus/2? When I e-mailed then a couple years ago before putting this sub in my new house with a 6800 cf room plus large openings that aren't efficient for sound reflections, they said my PB12-ISD (less powerful than the plus/2) would do about 103 spl in my room. Considering I don't think I run my music/home theater above 90db almost ever based on my db meter, that's plenty of headroom.

E-mail them a description of the room, and if possible do a drawing of it with positions of other speakers, the TV, sitting positions, and measurements. They will e-mail you back with suggestions of which products will handle the room, and where the best position(s) are.


yeah i do have a pb12-plus/2. i love it but i can only put in in one place so sub placement could be a factor as to why it doesn't sound that great. i mean it does the job, but i know in a smaller room and with better placement it'll knock my socks off hahahah

I built my own sub for about $200.

15" Quattro sub from partsexpress.com ($90)
power amp (forget which one) ) $60)
Some 3/4" MDF wood, Bondo, Duratex paint, wood screws, socket head cap screws (??$)

5.5 ft^3, 15" woofer, ported and tuned to 15Hz

completed project
http://monohydrate.googlepages.com/speakers_complete.jpg

240W PE Plate Amp is what I used.

also the Duratex paint with the textured roller will hide any imperfections. Looks awesome and professional.

I made the stand out of PVC pipe and wooden base on top/bottom. Filled the pvc with sand for stability. Project is the Dayton Home Theater Project

http://home.hawaii.rr.com/sanaka/AudioDIY/DHT/DHT.html

rcp said: I built my own sub for about $200.

15" Quattro sub from partsexpress.com ($90)
power amp (forget which one) ) $60)
Some 3/4" MDF wood, Bondo, Duratex paint, wood screws, socket head cap screws (??$)

5.5 ft^3, 15" woofer, ported and tuned to 15Hz

completed project
http://monohydrate.googlepages.com/speakers_complete.jpg


that texturing looks like crap. should of ordered some sheet veneer from Parts Express,a router with a flush cut bit, and some contact cement or spray adheasive.

I would love to try top build this myself but would never be able to get the Rosewood Veneer finish. Plus the aggrivation and time spent putting this together would be well work the few $$ extra to just have it delivered to my doorstep, complete with Warranty

Good subwoofer. Much better than spending your money at a local big box store.

I must say though I would prefer DIY as you get more bang for the buck. If you don't have the tools or time then it wouldn't be for you. I already have the table saw, router, etc. so it's not a big deal.

I am seriously torn over this. I need a sub...PLUS I already have the boss's acceptance of getting one (the PB12-Plus/2 or the single if this is too much for my room). The question is do I pay $1,200 for this sub or build it myself. I have a trouble buying speakers I have never tested before but everyone is raving about these subs. The problem with DiY is the same...I can't audition the drivers that I want to select and every driver obviously can sound totally different from another depending on enclosure. Please help! I have been lacking a dedicated sub for some long!

A little info..My current equipment consist of:
Pioneer Elite towers (4 ways with a built in 12" with a 300W bash amp) <-been using these for subs
Pioneer Elite surrounds
Pioneer Elite center (powered by a 150W bash amp)
Pioneer Elite receiver
PS3 (blue ray and music playback)
Samsung 56" 1080P DLP


Room size: 22ft X 16ft with vaulted ceilings ~20ft that opens into big kitchen/dining area
Primary use: Blue-ray, music, games on ps3

Skipping 48 Messages...
MaxRC said: Next said: Let's put an end to this diy vs retail debate.
If you have carpentry skills,and enjoy building things, there's no question diy is a better deal. You cut out the middleman and all the advertising fees. Building a subwoofer is not super easy, but is far from difficult. Most manufacturers give the optimum enclosure size, type, etc along with the driver. Subs use electronic crossovers which are on every plate amp. No magic there. The argument that retail subs sound better is absurd, as is the counter argument. They both use the same drivers, amps, etc with the exception of some proprietary servo mechanism in high end subs.
Some facts:

1) There is no such thing as an optimum enclosure size. Given a driver with a certain set of parameters, a variety of acceptable enclosure designs are available. Certain drivers are better suited to a specific enclosure type such as sealed/ported/IB, but even within the suitable enclosure type, picking the enclosure size, port, or passive radiator arrangement depends on what the designer wants in terms of the ultimate response. The "optimum enclosure" for maximum output is no longer optimum for someone willing to trade 2dB for another half octave of extension.

2) The drivers are *not* the same. You can't buy the drivers for the SVS PB13-Ultra, Velodyne DD-15, or the JL Audio Fathom. They are proprietary designed subs that do not have an identical counter part that is available to DIY people. These are not general application drivers as those available to DIY'ers; they are engineered specifically to work with the particular enclosure and amplifier that it's designer had in mind. Even when you are talking about specific branded drivers from third party suppliers like Vifa and ScanSpeak, they are subject to customization at the request of a speaker designer.

3) The amplifiers are not the same either. It's not just a simple electronic crossover. Well integrated subwoofer designs encorporate a variety of control circuitry in the amp that is matched to the driver and enclosure. These include limiters, compensation EQ (not to be confused with the user adjustable EQ), infrasonic brick wall filters, and etc. It is often this critical integration between the driver, enclosure and amplifier that produces the most dramatic improvement in performance of a subwoofer.


1) Drivers do work best for certain enclosures as dictated by their design. Sure you can stick an 18" driver in a 1cf box to get a certain type of sound, but that doesn't mean that there is not an optimal enclosure that it works best in. Do you want thump or sound quality?

2) 90% of drivers are made by the same 2-3 manufacturers. The design is nothing magical. There's only so many choices in voice coil, cone material, surround material, etc. No one's reinventing the wheels here. Sure many claim a 'custom' design, but that's a large work for very little difference. I agree....there may not be identical, but too close to call in most cases. Not talking about some weird esoteric one-off designs. But generally.

3) Room equalization? fine I'll give you that one, but generally a parametric eq that comes with most plates serve the same purpose. Subsonic/rumble filter? come one. Just about every plate amp has one. Remember...a flat response in an anechoic chamber is not the same as in your theater room.

MaxRC....this is fatwallet. People look to get the most out of their money, and diy is just a means to that end. I respect your preference, and your point is well taken...but don't discourage others who want the diy route.



Disclaimer: By providing links to other sites, FatWallet.com does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site to FatWallet.com.

Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

TRUSTe online privacy certification

While FatWallet makes every effort to post correct information, offers are subject to change without notice.
Some exclusions may apply based upon merchant policies.
© 1999-2014