SVS 25-31 PCi, HSU Research VTF-3, and Axiom Audio EP-350 Subwoofers


Brian Mitchell
This review has been moved to the link below:

You should set the subs to 85db with the Avia Disk. If you were using Video Essentials, then you would set the sub to 75db (the bass calibration tones were recorded at different levels on each disk).

Otherwise, nice review, and it's great to see a "face-off" between these subs.

How does a sub that produces distortion for movies get a +2 in the rating?

How is fake music ranked at the same level as accurately recorded music?

I guess it is one person's opinion, since the professional reviewer came with an opposite conclusion.

I have done a comparison with the HSU VTF-3 and a SVS CS+ 20-39. IMHO the SVS outclassed the VTF-3 in every catergory. The VTF-3 has to much port noise. It's a fine sub for most music, but for HT I just don't like it.

I moved my VTF-3 upstairs in to my 2 channel music setup in my living room. My CS+ sub is in my main HT room and it wont be replaced but I might be adding another soon to keep it company :)

Someone is smoking crack if they think they SVS subs have distortion for movies. The VTF-3 is the port noise king when playing DVD's. Unless of course you turn the gain down to next to nothing. It sounds like an old locomotive huffing!

Regardless of education or background, sound is subjective and an opinion is an opinion and nothing more. Anyone that knows how to properly calibrate their sound system in my opinion, holds as much weight as a "any" reviewer.

I have read many a "professional" review that I have disagreed with from music CD's to what car to buy.

"Explosion scenes and crashes will be felt as well as heard with the SVS, without a hint of distortion"

Did you guys even read the review? He says "WITHOUT A HINT OF DISTORTION"

"Fake music"?
The music may suck to you but that type of music still uses sound waves and some people like it.

I'm in AZ, and after shipping, the VTF-3 costs a few more bucks than my 20-39pc+! That's just scary!

In case my previous post was at all ambiguous, that would be a *huge* thumbs up/advantage for SVS.

From the "FWIW Dept."

Seems there is interest here for a showing of a PC-Plus?? Say a 20-39PC-Plus, as suggested above?

We hate to impose on, but maybe they'll give in to some arm twisting and let UPS show up again.

Stay tuned. The fact Brian doesn't seem to mind making waves in the otherwise staid subwoofer world of is reason enough I guess.

Ron Stimpson

You should have tested the Hsu TN-1220HO or the Tn1225HO against the SVS....After all SVS ripped off Hsu's design. I should have figured Stimpson would be littering this board with his propaganda


You don't know what the hell you are talking about. But I'm sure with your lame *ss name you weren't trying to be objective. I own a set of TN1220's and it doesn't compare to the SVS PC+ line. A friend of mine brought over his new PC+ 20-39 and he put my TN1220's to shame with it (I didn't tell him that though :) ). Now I am moving my 1220's into another room and ordering twin Ultra's as soon as I can convince my wife to let me spend the money. I want the Ultra's to one up my friend :)

The TN1220 is a fine sub but SVS "has" the better product in both quality of sound and build. You attacking SVS reminds me of how Coke and Mc Donalds
try to convince consumers their product is better than Pepsi and Burger King, because they were scared sh**less of them. Pepsi, Burger King and "SVS" have the "better" products.


Stimpy should stay out of it....publicly, anyway.

"After all SVS ripped off Hsu's design."

Really? They are actually quite different if you understand either, at all. All box subs ripped off some other box sub early on perhaps? Go ahead and take both subs apart and I think you'll find that two cylinder subs could not be more different. 95% of all vented box subs share more in common than Hsu and SVS designs.

I don't understand the "propaganda" charge at all, but something tells me we're not meant to.

Any credible tester that wants to compare a passive Hsu system like the well-regarded TN lines to a system like our CS or CS-Plus would get samples without delay. Feel free to invite Hsu, we're happy to participate with any similar great brands.

"Stimpy should stay out of it....publicly, anyway."

Thanks for the advice, but we prefer to be as honest and open as possible. Most folks seem to appreciate this, though I can understand many just are not comfortable with an OEM mixing it up with "regular folks". We ARE regular folks, who happen to make subwoofers.

We only build the subs and supply them now and again to reviewers that seem to know what they are doing. That's about the extent of it. If that's "too public" then we're desined to disappoint some.

Thanks again to Brian for taking the time on this review, and those giving us food for thought in other areas. There's always the few that feel a need to be offensive and for that we're sorry this review stimulated any such responses.



Can we say subwoofer envy?
SVS is one of the best subwoofer manufacturers out there and I would say the best for the money.
Also they have without a doubt the best customer service compared to any other company I have dealt with before, BAR NONE!
SVS keep up the great work!
Oh BTW nice review:)

SVS Owner
Up to this point the gang at SVS have been admirable in the way they have dealt with the competition...even recommending the VTF3 on a few occasions. Being objective and letting the numbers speak for themselves has been their motto. This evaluation by Brian Mitchel is purely subjective and is void of any empirical data...this is a review that belongs on the AVS Forum...not linked to the SVS Web site! I am not faulting Mr. Mitchel. He may be speaking from the heart. I believe that SVS rushed out a rather "Subjective/feel good review" to counter the latest review by Howard Ferstler. Disappointing.

SVS Owner,

The review was published, and we linked to it. It's certainly at least as well written and conducted as most we see. Howard actually wrote a review some time ago (still waiting to be published that will shock some VTF-3 owners I think) which largely supports Brian's findings. Naturally we don't quote from it yet. I think it'll appear in The Sensible Sound again. I'll check with them on Monday. It's WAY overdue. Not that we have much influence with them. If we did it would have been out BEFORE the VTF-3 review he did, published in another mag I can't recall.

HF's laudatory comments for the VTF-3 are well founded. It's a fine sub! If you want to objectively or subjectively compare one to our PCi line I think (if honestly done) you might well favor the PCi. Given the designs of the two subs I don't think it's that shocking really. In max extension mode the VTF-3 has less vent space, less enclosure space (could be wrong on that, don't have the notes here), and less amp power. Our driver is as good, and arguably better, it has a very sophisticated amp and a simple/effective vent that works very well (no variable tuning though). The VTF-3 has a bit of an edge if run in "max output" mode with both vents open, but probably loses its extension advantage to the 25-31PCi.

As well tell people, it's not rocket science (though puttting a product like this into cosumer hands affordable is hardly simple)... it's physics.

Given all the testing we do ourselves you would have to guess we know if a review is accurate based on objective performance (we have a reputation to keep ;^). Brian's findings are totally supportable by all the measurements possible with the most sophisticated gear we have. And it's not like this was a blowout. It was quite close, again as you would expect. The fact our PCi is $300 less is possibly irrelevant to some people.

Hopefully the mag HF submitted his PCi review to will get it going. The PC he used as a baseline for his reference was something like $200 more expensive, had a much less capable woofer than today (though hardly poor) and much less amp power. The PCi is a wholly different annimal and priced much lower.

PS for the time being, if someone is stuck on having a box sub vice a cylinder we STILL recommend VTF-3's frequently. It's got good components and delivered and supported by a great company. Full stop.

Very respectfully,

Ron Stimpson

Don Smith
As a SVS 20-39 PCi owner I can attest to the quality and quantity of its output. I got mine B-stock for $499 (what a great bargain!). SVS subs are a little more of a handful than typical subs in terms of placement, both for sound quality and appearances, but if you have a largish room you can't beat it. I actually have mine trimmed down about 40% because at full output it literally shakes the whole house.


This whole review seems questionable. Giving equal weight to the manual and connections knobs as to performance? Give me a break. I don't see any mention of the Hsu being used in max output mode, which would be more suitable for movies. Also, we have no idea about setup as others have mentioned. What program material was used? Where were the subwoofers placed? What crossover point was used? What mode was the VTF-3 in? and so on

Hey Crankit, nice to see you peddling your BS here again. He is the third anonymous post here. I have seen him post this regarding the VTF-3 vs. the 20-39CS+:

"They are both excellent subs.
IMO one does not out do the other."

"I honestly cant make up my mind which sub I like better. Everytime I get a new DVD or CD I play it over and over on both subs trying to convince myself one is better than the other and I just cant. For movies like LOTR, JRIII and Titan AE, I would give the edge to my SVS, but for moives like Exit wounds, Desperado, Fast n Furious & Tomb Stone, I give the edge to Hsu. Music is the same way fast beat techno or kick drum, I prefer the VTF-3, classical, jazz and country, I prefer the SVS. This is by the slimest of margins too."

Also, Crankit is using a subsonic filter/equalizer with his sub. For that price, you could easily get a new TN1220HO w/ 500 watt amp which should have noticeably more max output at 20Hz, and would have high quality HP/LP and high quality crossover.

Basically, he doesn't seem to have any integrity, and his statements are questionable at best IMHO.

As for comparing VTF-3 vs CS/PCi, take a look at these comparison reviews:

And trust me, there are others who have performed similar comparisons between the VTF-3 and PCi series and have reported similar results.

I actually know of someone who compared his VTF-3 side by side with a (25-31) PC+, and said the VTF-3 more than held it's own and was actually cleaner with less port noise. Output from both was adequate.

Funny to see Stimpson peddling his product on the public forums again. This guy has no shame. At least Hsu pays for his advertising. Let me address some of his BS comments:

[quote]In max extension mode the VTF-3 has less vent space, less enclosure space (could be wrong on that, don't have the notes here), and less amp power.[/quote]

You are comparing two ENTIRELY different designs based on specs. That doesn't work. A tiny VTF-2 with 10 inch driver and 150 watt amp had more clean output in max output mode < 10% distortion avg. 25-63Hz than a big 20-39 with 300 watt amp and 12 inch driver. You are comparing specs for two different enclosures with two different amps and two different drivers. That doesn't work, unless you are trying to promote your product through any means possible of course.

[quote]Our driver is as good, and arguably better[/quote]

More marketing BS. How can you define "better"? You couldn't be biased, no way!

[quote]it has a very sophisticated amp[/quote]

You can find BASH amps on $200 Klipsch computer speakers. But again, you couldn't be more biased.

[quote]The VTF-3 has a bit of an edge if run in "max output" mode with both vents open, but probably loses its extension advantage to the 25-31PCi.[/quote]

Have you actually measured the FR of a VTF-3 in max output mode? Until you do that, it is presumptuous to make such a comment.

As for the guy comparing 1220's to PC+, that seems like a highly dubious answer, since a single old TN1220HO w/ old 250 watt amp was actually tested by Ferstler and said to be nearly the equal of a 18 inch Velodyne.

Two TN1220HO's w/ their 500 watt amp can be had for $1500, and would probably compare more than favorably to anything that is mentioined in this thread. Also, the amp has some nice features for 2-channel integration.

Also, Hsu has already upgraded his driver and amp in the VTF-3, so it will play will less strain at extremely loud levels now. But you won't see him hyping these changes.


Your poorly informed vitriol is already legend on the INTERNET. Might you mention you don't own a subwoofer, never owned a subwoofer, and don't even know how to use a SPL meter? That is you have neither bought one, set one up, or ever had to calibrate one? That you essentially parrot the experiences of others and this is the sole basis for your entire "experience" with bass reproduction??

The idea you still presume to dispense advice about subwoofers is somewhat sad.

We're over you Bob. You have become a laughing stock on ever discussion forum you visit. I'm quite certain you have served to increase SVS sales actually, and the idea that you are even semi-effective as a Hsu spokesman (which you clearly fancy yourself as, consciously or not) is likewise pitiable.

Your continued vicarious life as a subwoofer expert simply serves to demonstrate an obsession about SVS for which there is apparently no end. Dr. Hsu, for whom we have immense respect, is probably ashamed to have you as a fan (albeit one that has never actually heard a Hsu subwoofer).

Apologies to everyone else for having to witness yet another of Bob's tirades (he has many other log on names and pseudonyms).

Ron Stimpson

Stimpson, you replied to me that fast? Unbelievable.

You seem interested in a BS character debate instead of talking about something of substance.

You really don't know what I have listened to or how i have set up, so don't use that as a cop out.

I can see from your vague response that my comments are undeniably true.

I have the Hsu TN1220 and when I brought it over to my friend's place, who has a 16-46 PC+. From our comparison, his sub got smoked. There was the horrid sounding bottoming out of his woofer. And when I disconnected his BASH amp and hooked up my Crown Macro Reference from my 2ch setup, that sub is in embarassment territory. That sub pharted, bottomed out with a sound in which other people thought the magnet got knocked loose, have its woofer jiggle like some fat guy doing the polynesian dance. My friend here wouldn't admit that his SVS has shamed him, saying those pharts, jiggles, thunks are how it should sound. That's what you get when you these guy's previous system is the Bose AccousticMass. He can't even tell that the SVS is producing a one note bass, all he wants to do is feel the bass, and any dirtbag sounding pro sub would let you do that. The TN1220 is my secondary system, after the Infinity IRS V, so I know what real bass should sound like.


Could you have your friend contact us (your address is anonymous unfortunately). If a PC-Plus sounded as you described then clearly something is seriously wrong with it. Through extensive objective testing we know it to have significantly greater undistorted bass capability than the excellent TN1220.

There isn't any magic about this. Our "Plus" woofer is much higher capacity than the standard Hsu woofer, there is much more enclosure space in the Plus, there is significantly more vent space too (and depending on the amp, potentially more power since the Plus amp is very conservatively rated at 525 watts). We know the TN1220 very well, it's an excellent sub but it isn't going to "smoke" the PC-Plus unless there is something just plain broken on the SVS (which is always possible of course, UPS can be brutal on shipping subwoofers. A damaged woofer could be at fault here).

If your post is genuine then please let him know to contact me immediately and we'll set about a replacement immediately. You can even just send me the name and we'll look it up. Despite what he said to you, that is NOT normal. Not even close to what we know should be the case.

I don't doubt for a minute with your fine gear you know what good bass sounds like, but you certainly did not hear a properly functioning PC-Plus. Thanks for any assistance in getting your friend in touch with us.


shilo maggi
Let's not feed the troll guys..

Ron, your products reputation more than preceeds it, and while I do not yet own one, I have had the chance to experience it, and will be placing my own order shortly.

Hi all, I'd like to thank Brian for allowing SVS in his subwoofer comparison and for taking the time to give his thoughts on our model.

There's some obvious untruths in this thread from *anonymous* posters hiding behind there computer terminal(is there anything more cowardly in the entire internet world?) would be cool if Brian had the time to run an ISP check...I think we might find out the *several* SVS trollers are all the same sad individual who has been banned from multiple forums for exactly this type of slanderous ranting.

I will address several of the issues introduced, the others aren't worth my time.

>>>After all SVS ripped off Hsu's design.<<<

For anyone to suggest this, they would also have to agree that ANY "box" design manufacturered in the last few decades is simply a "rip off" of the original designs done by companies like AR in the 50/60s. Since this is sheer(and obvious) folly, then it is either agreed that this statement was in error...or you have chosen the path of folly.The choice is yours(the original(anonymous)poster).

To the poster "disappointed" in this review because it is fairly brief and subjective. Well, SVS is often asked for more subjective reviews because objective data dominates the reviews on our website now. This is no accident btw. When we have such positive objective data gathered under controlled conditions from guys like John Johnson,Tom Nousaine,Howard Ferstler,Brian Weatherhead...I guess the only thing we haven't covered in depth is subjective reviews.(although the John Kotches,David Bott,Howard Ferstler and John Johnson reviews included a lot of subjective text too.) This is something we were asked for so we are now trying to deliver some reviews that lean towards the subjective side of things a bit. Although it may seem this review was *rushed*, Brian has actually been asking for a review subwoofer from SVS for quite a while now...starting about 4-6 months ago I believe.


If your post is indeed genuine, please inform SVS of your *friends* situation in more detail. Since he is obviously unhappy with the SVS, we'll refund him 110% of his purchase price and cover all associated shipping charges too. You might think with SVS have thousands of subwoofers in the field we won't be very concerned with one unhappy customer. But nothing is farther from the truth. BTW, running multiple kilowatts into a subwoofer designed with a built in 525w amp is a major *newbie* mistake...sure to cause distress(to the unit. I would be very surprised if the subwoofer wasn't damaged by this incident---all the more reason we should discuss the situation with your *friend* to insure the unit is at least still working properly.

BTW, how did you connect the Crown amp to the SVS---are you saying you bypassed the built in amp on the enclosure? If so, how...exactly?

Tom V.

OK, I'll be the sole person to reply about the Axiom. Axiom is a Canadian speaker manufacturer which sells and I would say gets most of its income from internet sales to the U.S. I'm in Canada and while I'd absolutely love to have a SVS or HSU sub someday, with the current exchange rate and shipping/duty costs, I'll have to wait. So I went to a local store and found a slightly scratched demo Axiom sub...the EP-175 (one below the 350). I got this sub for $250 Canadian (think $160 US). While this sub is no is a capable little sub for the money. The aluminum woofer seems to work well and quickly which makes it very musical. I think the amp is a little weak though and it tails off quickly below 25Hz. Based on the local dealers prices and looking at the online store pricing I think that they are overpriced for internet sale. Not everyting available directly on the net is a good deal. I'm happy but I don't think I would be if I bought my sub on the Axiom website at $500 US. But hey...if anyone out there wants to trade a $500 Axiom speaker for a $500 SVS speaker...I'm game!

As for SVS, I may not be an expert on Subs but the way these guys run their business is something you don't have to be an expert to appreciate! Based on all the messages they post, the personal emails they send, the product development, the customer support, plus the regular hassles of running a private business...I wonder how they have time to sleep/eat/breathe or go to divorce court since they sure can't be spending any time with their wives!

I also find it strange that some people out there spend so much time being critical of the SVS guys. They obviously love what they do and are very dedicated. We should all be so lucky as to work and make money at something we love and be able to share it with others. The real indication of value and quality is if people buy the it and recommend it to others. I think there's no denying SVS's success.

Michael Lutz
does anyone hear crickets? i'd hate to be a "friend" of Bassoholic; when he has the opportunity to help his "FRIEND" out he's nowhere to be found.

Hey myles, how you know the sub is no SVS? When you haven't heard SVS?

Are you basing your opinions on hype?

I say this to you and I say this again. Yes i'm guilty of that myself actually. YOu must listen to a sub just like you'd have to listen to regular sets of speakers before you buy in order to choose the one you like.

I'd say give the subs from your local dealer thorough listen. Then try SVS and/or Hsu a try because these two you gotta ship the darn things back. Subs aren't exactly light weights either.

Here are a couple of professional reviews (The Audiophile Voice, and Stereophile Guide to Home Theater) on the VTF-3:

Note the strong frequency response of the VTF-3 down to 20Hz (and below?) in max output mode, and the additional 2 or 3db's of headroom using the max output mode.

Yeah but still a bit on pricy side. I think i'll wait til they lower the price a bit. That maybe a while but I can survive on Rava heck for 399 i couldn't ask much more from a cheap sub. And, it sure as hell ain't no black water heater sitting in my living room.

I am very uncomfortable with company executives posting on public message boards as a matter of daily business. I think AVS forums really "legitimized" that practice and it is not good for anyone. SVS should have its own board on its own site for this, like Outlaw does. While Outlaw did post a few times on AVS, they usually do their communication on their own boards. This constant monitoring by SVS, av123 folks etc. is not a good thing, it is a hype machine. Again, AVS forum is the center of internet HT hype world. Beware all.

seek help fast!
Your obsession with slandering SVS is sad


Could you have your friend contact us (your address is anonymous unfortunately). If a PC-Plus sounded as you described then clearly something is seriously wrong with it.

End Quote

And I guess SVS is still waiting on a call regarding this subwoofer, correct? It seems like there was no such thing as a pharting on behalf of the SVS sub, othewise Tom and Ron would have had a chance to work though this issue with the owner of the sub.

At this point, Bob and Bassaholic are about the only two people who have written negative comments about the SVS subs. Everyone else loves these things. I wonder which other sub manufacturer Bob and Bassaholic work for? Hmmmm......

E-Coustics Members,

No, no one has contacted us. Not "Bassaholic", not a single PC-Plus customer that expressed any sort of distress from his sub, much less any one relating a comparison/review like the one described above. I guess no one here is suprised?

I think it's safe to say it's another sad example of anonomyous slander from the safety of a keyboard hooked to the internet.

As stated earlier, we can only express our sincere regrets to you all that a small, self-financed American company can arrouse such ire. You would think there is enough grief, ignorance and bravado in the world already?? It seems not.

Even more baffling, we now suspect one instance of a POSITIVE review that's equally ficticious on Home Theater Forum. Suffice it to say we'll ask the appropriate authorities to pull any such instances of this. Credibility in one's word, (whether it be positive or a critique) is vitally important to us. The poorly written negative reviews are, I think, pretty transparently bogus, as the one above is to most here.

I do take note of "Anonymous" above concerned about "daily" monitoring of forums like this one. Your point (must it be "Anonymous"??) is well taken (heck, even if it WAS from "Bob"). The truth is, we hardly have time to "monitor" sites, much less participate in as many good forums as we'd prefer. There just isn't time. Please remember that more than 98% of the replies we get regarding our participation on the web generally commends the fact we're so accessible to customers and critics alike. Frankly, it's our understanding of what folks (you included) like and don't like that makes SVS's so good. Such understanding simply wouldn't be possible without places like this.

Still, while we do appreciate that some people are not comfortable with an OEM being visible participants on the web, we'll probably not constrain ourselves to hiding behind a forum under our control. We feel most folks do actually appreciate an OEM being just an e-mail or web post away.

Call it the classic syndrom of... "you can please some of the people ALL of the time, but you can NEVER please all of the people".

Best regards to all in 2003.



Personally I think it is not only laudable but also very gratifying to find a director of any company willing to spend his very valuable time browsing a public forum.

It shows a willingness to be involved, hands on with customers concerns as well as praise. In my experience this is not the norm, indeed many customer services cannot even be bothered to respond to queries let alone complaints wether they be submitted by telephone or e-mail.

My only hope now is that SVS will somehow find a carrier willing to ship to the UK for something like a realistic price. 30% of the cost of a sub is too high, still I can dream!


Danny G
Seems to be a real dog fight whenever SVS/HSU is brought up in the same conversation on any forum.

I see another on HTF with Eddie ? doing a lone handed defense of HSU and getting pounded. Looking through many of these forums I am really troubled by the total lack of DR HSU coming into any forum or newsgroup to stick up for his HSU subwoofers.

I have no vested interest in either SVS or HSU but its like HSU have a policy not get involved at all with these quite public face offs and questions from consumers about which subwoofer to buy. Mention SVS and HSU and you get flooded with posts like they have been waiting for just one mention of the comparision. Its like an avalanche of posters come out of the woodwork. Rocket speakers are another a little like this.

With out overacting it is very obvious that several of the SVS people must consistantly monitor any mention of SVS on the biggest internet a/v hangouts. I certainly get around the net alot, and I have to admit I see Ron/Tom posts everywhere in large numbers. It must take them lots of hours to be posting in as many places as I see them posting, because I know that I spend hours just reading and finding them.

I certainly like to see pro's answering tech questions on A/V forums about gear and set-up.

But I too am very uncomfortable with company executives posting on public message boards as a pre-requisite to creating and conducting daily business. I also do not think it is very good for company executives of opposing companies to be looking for any excuse to be posting in a topic not involving any of the companies products. Its a big whine of mine to see any opposing manufacturer enter like this.

This is often done under the pretext of tech advice, but you soon notice it leads into product talk and if not it is still a chance to get the opposing company signature or web site into the discussion.

I just think it can go way too far like the HTF has gone, where its beyond a logo promotion at the top of the page. I hope company executives can see that this could backfire in the long run.

Good products are good products, so the loyalty comes el-natural not rammed down ones throat. Forums need to control posting by manufacturers in my view or else forums are going to go to the dogs.

Funny thing Danny for someone that has no vested interest in either HSU or SVS you are only pointing the finger at SVS followers and their CEO's here.

Then you go on to take a shot at HTF when in fact it is avsforum that is totally out of hand with the HSU vs SVS topics, and it is mainly because of one member there, bob23.

If David Bott would grow some balls and just ban his sorry a**, like every other forum has done multiple times, the problem would not exist.

As far as the HTF thread, Eddie is the one on the defensive/attack and anyone that reads that thread can clearly see that. Another funny thing is this thread has went untouched for nearly a month now and yet you, a person with no hidden agenda or vested interest in either company, is dredging it back up to the top of the list.

Do wonders never cease?

Danny G
Actually I definitely do not care "one little bit" about HSU or SVS because I own and use several Velodyne subwoofers which work very well for me.

So yes it holds very true that I am no HSU or SVS internet fanatic or internet detractor. I have read many reviews where they both seem to offer good value vs performance and thats my limit of interest in purchacing any of them.

Truth is I hold just as big a gripe with the av123 hyperbole management, who sell things like Rocket and Diva speakers. These whipping boys also infest forums with consistant regurgitation of their sales brochure/s.

It is very disturbing that these brand wars are allowed to be festered by vested interest people, who either are company execs , workers for the company, or retailers. Many of whom just post as anonymous to keep it the hyperbole on top of the pack. I mean boys will be boys and we all will say that we have the biggest and best by nature. But lets not let the manufactures state his obviously biased opinion in a forum every 5 minutes.

I can honestly say that I have never posted in any subwoofer threads on AVS or HTF, except for the ones that contain interesting Velodyne info. My aim is to ignore radical arguments that go no where. What is the point of feeding it into a frenzy of repeating sales guff.

In this instant of HSU vs SVS, I am more concerned with why an internet sales company who seems to pretty much rely on the internet sales (HSU) post nothing in response to direct attacks on its design, product and reviews of such product.

If I was in the market for an SVS or HSU subwoofer and read some of the many forums, I would swear that buying a HSU was like going back to a steam powered automobile when compared to an SVS. I have not heard either brand, but going on the good reputation I would say that it is just the biased owner trying to jusify his purchace or just a sales droid wanting to get paid this week.

It is also disturbing to note that when someone mentions a good HSU review it is suddenly like the reviewers opinion was brought by DR HSU. If I was him I would be red hot mad and jumping down the throat of such a poster.

But obviously HSU as a company doesnt use posting within the forum/s as a sales tool. It seems as though even if they do sponser and advertise on the forum site it appears HSU do not take this as ownership.

Unlike the avs123 Rocket stuff which I find is more than a bit fishy how the snowball of company posts infect a forum at the sheer mention of opposing brand/model.

So it beats me a little why companies like HSU not only do not post at all. They do not even give a response to often very direct attacks. The only thing I can think of is it must have no effect on its sales so they can not be bothered.

I suppose for a consumer I like that policy because it is sort of like an confident arrogence, in that they let the product do all the talking.

Then you go on to take a shot at HTF when in fact it is avsforum that is totally out of hand with the HSU vs SVS topics, and it is mainly because of one member there, bob23.[/b][/quote]

It is obvious that HTF is all about giving SVS pretty well free run of the house. I have seen the result of what happens when some other subwoofer brand besides SVS gathers momentum. The thread soon gets over-run with buy an SVS before wasting your money. This gets people upset and so the thread gets purposely locked up. That way it will go away from the gazing view of the buying public.

People like Bob23 might be a problem but I think the bigger drama is letting the forum get over ran by commercial interests. The whole thing is meant to be for fun and discussion not some ram it down your neck sales pitch in every thread. The forum managers need to stop the companies from turning the forums into a big advert.

Where the devil is my post? I certainly never brought the Jeff Kiel thread containing Eddie Leary to the top. In fact the thread was only started on the 11th Feb 03, so why the accusation? For a start I am not in the market for another subwoofer and I also do not care for either the vtf-2 or the PB1-ISD as I already have a HGS18 and a HGS15 which I find are excellent subwoofers.

AVS certainly needs to clamp down on all manufacturers staff who post way too often in mutiple threads either anonymous or under real names. After so many posts they are obviously in advertising mode and on the hunt for sales.

I think SVS should get its own forum on HTF like SMR do for Lexicon. That way as a consumer you know what you are getting when you enter the forum. It is then acceptable for the staff or fanatical owners to hyperbole the products all they want, just like Lexicon does with people like Philip Brandes.

I think the great harm is that we are getting way beyond helping customers with company execs doing a lot of posting. Instead we are into advertising which is not what a consumer should be walking into without a seat belt.

D Davidson
I think the great harm is that we are getting way beyond helping customers with company execs doing a lot of posting. Instead we are into advertising which is not what a consumer should be walking into without a seat belt.

I agree its not a good situation when you look at it as though you are getting non biased advise. It seems that the forum admin guys allow it to continue because of the advertising money these manufacturers spend.

It is all a little corrupt if you do not know who is saying what. I even notice Tom Vodhanel on uk forums so he must keep busy on that pc promoting svs.

I am like you David in that I like tech support from people like Hsu and Svs but selling and promoting should not be allowed unless its on a specific forum designed for such.


D Davidson
I am like you David in that I like tech support from people like Hsu and Svs but selling and promoting should not be allowed unless its on a specific forum designed for such.

Opps sorry that was Danny not David.

My mistake.


I think most of the subjective feedback from SVS and HSU bashers are pathetic. Not only do these companies instill a 30 day no questions asked return policy, but even further, they will still refund your money 'after the period' if the customer is still unsatisfied.

I find it great that reps/owners from SVS, HSU (yep), Ascend, AV123, etc are coming out to self market their products because......anyone.....if you don't like them, return them. So what does the consumer lose....bob, bassaholic, dingleberry (oops).... nothing; they are refunded their money and given the opportunity to audition an internet direct product and decide accordingly, but in their own homes and not some sound enhanced chambers unlike your real listening area. Sounds like a win/win - a cheaper better built no real advertising budget uninflated speaker with a full return. How could anyone be adverse to this interpretation??

Guys, get off the crack, do your math, and stop trying to make up for all the time you got beat up in high school! Maybe you really are a jerk, just keep the flaming off the boards without a lucid interpretation of the policy and mission statement of these companies.

For the record, I have only admiration for these guys. They did it the "hard" way - on their own with continuous support of their real life consumers. They didn't piggy back on the already established names, they ones bob and bassaholic buy at CC, BB, and WalMart. $50 off a sony sub at target, wow dude - those can smoke (did we say smoke already) a SVS. Maybe mom can drive you in her caravan.

Nuff with the bashing, but you guys are the sinners here, kudos to Tom, Ron, Mark, David and others for putting themselves on the chopping block out here for anyone to take a shot at. They will come back with facts, figures, graphs, and a whole slew of happy customers to support them.

BTW- Did SvS ever get a call?? Because if your friend was able to get a 110% return on his, here we go again, smoked SvS, he is either fictitous or smoking crack with you.

Keep up the good work, it grants average joes like me to get more, for less with getting real info before hand with complete support and guarantee on audio bliss. Is this an audio utopia????

Tom V.
>>>It is all a little corrupt if you do not know who is saying what. I even notice Tom Vodhanel on uk forums so he must keep busy on that pc promoting svs.>>BTW- Did SvS ever get a call?? Because if your friend was able to get a 110% return on his, here we go again, smoked SvS, he is either fictitous or smoking crack with you.<<<

Of course not. This was pure fiction, introduced only to slander SVS. Too bad we can't run a ISP trail back to some of these *unhappy SVS owners*...I think you would all be shocked to see where the trails may lead.

Tom V.

Tom V.
***It is all a little corrupt if you do not know who is saying what. I even notice Tom Vodhanel on uk forums so he must keep busy on that pc promoting svs.***

Bass reproduction is both a hobby and a passion of is HT in general. Before you begin accusing me of only being on a forum to *promote* SVS...please have the courtesy to do a little research. Why not check how many times I have introduced SVS as a topic matter to AVForums (or ANY public forum) and let everyone here know?

I can understand some folks not being 100% comfortable with a manufacturer posting on a public forum...but the feedback we get from the forum owners always indicates that for every one person not happy with it..99 think it is a good idea. In fact, almost every forum I do post at is a result of a personal invitation from the forums owners. I always attempt to base my thoughts on doucmented data and everyone knows I'm with they know there is no hidden agenda. I would be more leary of the anonymous *john doe*'s out there who always claim to be here *just to warn everyone* about something or other. You guys know me, you know I'm with SVS. You may not agree with me (and that is ok) but at least you know who you are talking too.

>>>BTW- Did SvS ever get a call?? Because if your friend was able to get a 110% return on his, here we go again, smoked SvS, he is either fictitous or smoking crack with you.<<<

Of course not. This was pure fiction, introduced only to slander SVS. Too bad we can't run a ISP trail back to some of these *unhappy SVS owners*...I think you would all be shocked to see where the trails may lead.

Tom V.


Come on guys, they are only subwoofers!

I recently purchased a Hsu (how do you pronounce that?) VTF-3 and remain satisfied despite the possibility I could have purchased the SVS model reviewed for a lower price. If I wanted to save a couple hundred bucks then the VTF-2 would have been my next purchase.

During that time, I was unfamiliar with SVS products, and purchased the HSU based on recommendations provided by my friends. I was not impressed at all by the Polk, JBL, and Velodyne models auditioned at local retailers, and desired a subwoofer offering more performance for less than $1000. I think the Hsu is very satisfying in this respect.

However, I learned something valuable from this thread, and felt that Mr Stimpsons posts were particularly informative; IMO his comparisons between the two subwoofer models seemed more authoritative and credible than what was provided by Mr Mitchell. I'm convinced that SVS makes an excellent product and I would certainly consider purchasing an SVS subwoofer should my Hsu start suddenly smoking for no apparent reason:)

LOL, I cannot believe that some men would stoop so low as to engage in a pissing contest over speakers......

You GO Goldhairgirl!!!

The bottomline....let your ears do the talking!

Both HSU and SVS are FINE companies and produce outstanding products and service.....
I don't think you could go wrong with either.
Some of these threads remind me of the "My Dad can beat up your Dad" bit little ones pull.
C'mon..lighten up!
Take care all.......

How about the ACI Force into the mix. This sub goes down to 20hz, is small & attractive and currently has free shipping. AND costs $750.

Many consider ACI to be the most musical sub anywhere near its price range.

I definitely see subwoofer fanboys appearing in forums, much alike Xbox/Gamecube/PS2 fanboys.

I'm sure all these subs are great and beat out the stuff available at Circuit City.....but to split hairs at these echelons is really a waste of time......I bet in a blind test, most of you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

Hello everyone,

I'm over the whole HSU vs. SVS debate! It's silly and also quite clear that SVSs are superior products. Any of you that beg to differ are probably the ones with HSUs frustrated that their bass isn't anymore the biggest and best on the block.

I've been reading the reviews on the SVS 20-39 and 25-31 and they both sound awesome. I started reminiscing back-in-the-das when I had would cruise with my Suburban (packed with friends) down Hollywood Blvd. and heads would be turning left and right... setting off car alarms etc. Anyways, high school days are long gone and it's time for a tight system for my new place. I'm ADDICTED to base... so the SVSs sound very tempting (I mean I haven't heard them yet but I'm talking about the reviews)! I'm a poor grad. school student so if possible, I would like to get my hands on a >refurbished< one (cause they are even cheaper)... basically at a REALLY good price... and willing to ship overseas to Europe (I moved to Germany)? Anyone know where I need to look/go online?


Anton Patel
If you want really loud bass with OK control, go with HSU, SVS or DIY. If you want a sub that is refined and is actually worth its price, I recommend the Onyx Graviton. SVS/HSU are like Fords and to build, cheap to buy, won't last very long being made from cardboard. The Onyx Graviton is like a BMW or Mercedes, high quality workmanship and very smooth performance. It is all about personal preference. Not all of us drive a mustang or camaro just because it is fast and cheap. I prefer quality over quantity...I'd rather have a more defined sound than just high dB.

"Mind is like a parachute, it only works when it is open."

On that note, add REL into your choice. It's designed by an audiophile, for an audiophile. I use a REL Strata 3 in tandem with my high-speed Sonus Faber Concertino Home speakers. The result is amazing music. The sub blends with the mains and disappears like crazy, all you hear is the stellar holographic imaging of your system, and not a disected bass, mids and highs. Instead you hear live music!

Does anyone have any more information availabe for the Onyx Graviton? Links to reviews - personal comments etc? I am impressed by the specs etc, and have noted that several of the higher end subs are either direct firing or closed box. I was leaning toward SVS but thanks to the above post there is a new competitor to consider...

I ran into this ranting doing research on subs. I've done a lot of research and have found the HSU VFT-3 to out perform any comparable sub in a HT/Audio setup. These reviews with test results can be found in various professional periodicals and on the Internet.
I agree with others who have posted in regards to the negative effects of having a manfacturer post in open forums hyping their product. It's disappointing and obviously biased.
The test done and posted in this forum is one of the worst testings I've seen.
It really seems to me that SVS is co-sponsering eCoustics website.
Honestly, look at the reviews on SVS website and decide for yourself who is reviewing the speaker and what, if any, sub(s) they are comparing them too and what they are using to test with.
Then read the articles in Sterophile and AVGuide who actually perform real tests and comparisons where the magazine has a reputation on the line to live up to.
I haven't heard any SVS sub so I can't say they are worse or better than ANY sub but I know what I've read from professional tests.
Like any speaker choice, it really comes down to what the person buying them likes to hear from a speaker/sub.
If Brian sees this, I apologize if I'm wrong about eCoustics and the forum if I'm wrong. I'm new to this forum so don't know all the people involved and who's who but as an outsider walking into the forum it seems obvious as to what's going on in here with SVS.
No, I'm not afraid to leave my real name and email address and I'm not affiliated with HSU or any other business.
John Leppert
If I'm banned from this forum for this posting, so be it.
As to the parnoid posters ... do you wanna do an 'ISP check' to see who I am too :)

wow it takes awhile to finish reading this discussion (or what so ever called)

i just bought the SVS 25-31 PCi and will be here this coming thursday. i am excited about it, hopefully the brown man take care of my SVS properly. i am 100% confident that this sub is an excellent sub.

Anonymous: now you make me think harder, i'll see how's the sub will perform in my apt. if my neighbours to complaint than i know i bought the right stuff.

Regarding OEMs posting on public forums, here's one man's opinion:


I was born with a brain. I use it to filter the data I'm presented with. But before there's anything to filter, it needs data.

I like to think I'm man enough to listen to a manufacturer (or anyone else, for that matter) and tell if I'm getting a load of manure or data that's worth considering. And if I'm not sure, well, that still factors into how much weight I give the data, too.

Why would the world necessarily be better off without OEMs in the public forums? I've GOT that situation with so many other manufacturers--my only possible info "direct" communication from them comes through high-gloss product literature or an owner's manual. Yeah, like that's an objective, non-biased, comprehensive source of data. Got a question not covered by the pamphlet? Tough. Call 1-800-FACELESS.

Frankly, I think it's fantastic that some OEMs come out of their "ivory towers" ("concrete office parks"?) and mingle with the masses. On their home turf at a company-run forum, or out "in the wild" on enthusiast forums--either way, I LIKE IT.

Thanks, Ron and Tom...and every other manufacturer who keeps the lines of communiction to their (potential) customers open!


Of course you're going to see OEM's that only sell via Internet in every possible AV forum they can find.
How else are they going to increase sales and get the word out?
I'd do the same thing if I were in their shoes.
Their salespeople often disguising themselves as just an A/V enthusiast giving their "unbiased" opionion and hyping their own product.
Hello? I'd rather see a company's exec's doing their job running their business than hanging out in forums and "mingling with the masses".
What a joke.
If you really think these guys are mingling with the masses to listen to your input and give honest feedback - you need to stop kidding yourself and join the real world.
Don't be fooled - it's all about sales.
I'm not knocking SVS subs because I think they are a good HT sub but lack in CD audio play.
It's their sales tactics they play in forums that bothers me. Of course with the Internet being their only contact with potential customers - what do you expect?

Stone Jones
This review has confused me. If the SVS is just as good as the HSU and is $300 dollars less, I want the SVS. But, doesn't this review by Brian lack lots of details? Also, how can I be sure he isn't bias to SVS? He could be on the payroll?? But, the HSU has been reviewed at "Stereophile" as the best subwoofer under $1,000 money can buy. I have to rely on their honesty due to not being able to hear a demo of either Sub. Anyone know of an HSU and SVS dealer in the central part of Kansas? My internet searches don't hit on any. Receiving Subs through the mail doesn't seem like the best way to demo an $850 dollar purchase. I'd like to believe this review is unbiased due to what would be a much appreciated savings of 300 dollars. Are there any links to Brian's background and experience I could read? I don't see any on this site.

Someone help me prove this review wrong so I can buy the HSU and get on with my life!!




The review is one person's opinion, Stereophile's review is another person's opinion. What weight you put on them is up to you, but they both listen to a lot of music and movie material.

I don't think you can go wrong with either sub--both have many fans out there. The problem a lot of people have with the SVS is not the sound, but the fact that it is a large cylinder (like 42" tall and 15" in diameter--measurements are approximate) that really stands out in most rooms. No way that sucker passes muster with my wife!

If you want the Hsu, get it! Don't worry about someone else's opinion. You have to like it, not me or anyone else. And as I said before, you can't go wrong, sound-wise with either one. They are both superb products.

I have (2)VTF-3's and they sound great! At the same time I long for the "New" SVS PB2-Plus and am disturbed by the fact that it is only $300.00 more than a VTF-3. I wonder what dual PB2-Plus's would sound like? YIKES!!!

Stone Jones

Where are you seeing a SVS PB2-Plus? I don't see anything about it on the SVS Web Site. Also since you seem familiar with both the HSU and the SVS I have a question.

How does the SVS PC+ 16-42 compare with the HSU VTF-3? It has a price tag that nearly matches the VTF-3 but appears to have a power amp that is 2x more powerful.




Sorry I didn't get back to you don't get an Email prompt from this site.
I have not heard the 16-46PC Plus. I Have had the opportunity to directly compare the 20-39 PC-Plus against my VTF-3. Frankly, I didn't think there was a huge difference between the subs. At extreme levels (louder than I would enjoy listening) the SVS offering seemed to have a slight edge in headroom. If I was forced to make a choice...the VTF-3 seemed tighter with classical music...and I prefered the SVS with HT material. That said, I listened to the James Taylor "Live At The Beacon" with the SVS hooked up and thought that nothing tracked the bass guitar better than the 20-39! So there you have it...clear as mud!

It was a late February day in 2003 when I first experienced an SV Subwoofer. Sure, I had heard other subwoofers before, most notable was a Klipsch 12" (before they started cheaping out on parts). Before I get into the technical aspects of the sub and how it sounds, a little background information is needed.

I had never heard an SVS live, but spent they money on it anyway. Foolish? Probably, but the fine folks over at the Home Theater Forum have done nothing but rave about SVS. In addition, SVS has a liberal in home trial policy; basically, if you don't like the way it sounds, send it back. I figured there was nothing to lose.

SVS, in the beginning made cylindrical subwoofers, due to the lower cost, and the generally better sound. Hey, the driver is round, why is the box square? Unfortunately, I wasn't a huge fan of the cylindrical versions for a couple reasons, most notably was the lack of a place to put it. In addition to their tall stature, they also had a 'soft' top, which means that you can't put anything on it.

In January 2003, I was looking over the SVS page when I noticed they would soon be selling a box sub. Perfect! I thought. Well, a few weeks after placing the order, the UPS man backed into my driveway to deliver a rather large and heavy box. I ripped open the box like it was Christmas morning, being careful not to damage it and hooked it up without first reading the enclosed pamphlet. I setup my receiver to support the subwoofer and popped in some music (before calibrating it). It was loud; the windows rattled, the pictures turned sideways, the dog ran away in fear (well, he would have, were he in the room).

At this point, I thought it'd be best to calibrate the sub (and the other speakers), using Avia Guide To Home Theater. Calibrating the sub was far more difficult than I expected. Getting it to be equal volume as the main speakers at reference level wasn't too bad, but listening to pink noise at 85db begins to hurt your ears after a while.

I popped in the music CDs and DVD-Audio discs again, and the subwoofer wasn't as loud and blended very nicely with the main speakers. Most of the time I can't even tell it's there, which is how it should be. The subwoofer performs as expected with music, it doesn't stand out and provides the necessary punch to keep your foot tapping.

After playing around with a few audio only discs, I figured it was time to try some movies. I looked over the list of good bass movies provided by SVS, and decided to start with a few scenes from U571. The depth charge scene nearly had be ducking for cover! Next up, the Haunting (remake), in DTS. All I can say about this one is that I can't believe none of my windows broke.

So, it sounds good, was painless to setup and was fairly expensive, what else is there? The looks, of course. The wife factor on this thing is very low, conversely, the bachelor factor is very high. The finish on the box is like nothing I have ever seen. It is sandpaper like, painted black. All this means that it is very durable, and you don't need to use a coaster to put your drink on it. It is also the ideal size to be used as an end table (or under an end table). Aside from the above, it is very non-descript, save for the small SVS logo on the front. The people at SVS indicate that a piano black finish is not available for this unit to keep costs down, and because they are more difficult to care for. While I can appreciate that, my other equipment has a piano black finish, and while it is more difficult to care for, it does have a more classy look. Maybe an option is in order for an additional cost?

An additional nice feature of this unit is the bass plate. Instead of having 4 feet contacting the floor on this downward firing sub, the 4 feet contact the bass plate, which is about 2" below the driver. This plate gives good reflective qualities for the sub, as opposed to the unknown characteristics of the floor (wood, carpet, concrete, etc). It's a novel, but very useful idea.

The cost for this workhorse was very respectable, for the quality delivered. At US $600, it is comparable to more popular 12" subwoofers, but with a much better sound quality and better build. This sub can be compared to items costs 2-3 times as much, and it is in many cases sounds better. From personal experience, it sounds much cleaner than other subs in the $500-$800 price range, that I have heard.

Man I am currently thinking of gettin 2 Hsu's or SVS but all of this is scaring me! I am in a very large room with 680 watts a side into 4 ohs Pls help?

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 333
Registered: Dec-03
How big is your room and what is the ceiling height? If you are getting self-powered subwoofers, the amount of wattage you have in your receivers or the ohms they have is inconsequential to the subwoofer performance, as the self-powered subwoofer will be driving itself.

Besides the above subwoofers, Outlaw Audio in concert with Dr. Hsu has recently released an excellent self-powered subwoofer, the LFM-1. It costs $579, but can be bought as a pair for $999. It also has a 30 day return warranty.

Bronze Member
Username: Joe_s

Post Number: 39
Registered: Dec-03
Remember, this original review was written back in 2002, the VTF series subwoofers have bigger BASH amps now, and sound better than they did then. See the review that craigsub did on the home theater spot. He tested 2 HSU VTF-3's and an SVS PB2, and both did incredibly well in his huge home theater room. Joe

Eric S
Unregistered guest
I would like to start this post by saying that I post from work, I do not have a pc at home and I do not need to be signing up for a forum at work. If anyone wants to doubt who I am I would be more than happy to provide any credentials other than my email address. My name is Eric and I had previously been in an argument with the svs guys or the svs cult as I have called them before. I had previously done a test involving a revel sub and a svs sub. I did not own the svs sub but a "friend" of mine did. This person specifically asked to not have his name put into a discussion as he had no interest in being a part of it. So of course the svs guys ripped me apart because I didn't drag him into it. Not all people are into confrontation like the svs owners are. I have heard subs that I like better than mine but that doesn't mean I don't like my sub. Would I like it if Kevin Veoks of revel called me to say why do you like this other sub better than your revel or even worse tried to discredit me on a public forum? Hell no that would be so embarrassing! What about warranty work? Do you think my friend would have any interest in calling you to have a problem with his sub fixed after you called him out on a public forum?? No way!! You svs guys and your "super customer service" have a habit of trying to call people out. I have never in my life heard of such a thing! It is a very poor business move to bring your customers into a discussion simply to try to prove a point. You seem to have a hard time dealing with the fact that you are not the king of the hill, you are not the bass authority, and to me you are nothing more than a very creative marketer. Which I will give you kudos for but I find it sad that so many people have been so mislead about subs from you guys. Your subs are a good product for the price but they are not the end all be all that you make it out to be. Like all svs threads someone had to have a witch hunt called on them and their credibility, I of course was that person. I have not made one post since that svs thread. It pissed me off that bad. When I got my b15 I put up my post saying how cool I thought it was just like any of you would have done. Yet my happiness was quickly turned to anger as every svs owner attempted to point out that I could have save x dollars and that my sub is over priced and sucks blah blah blah! I couldn't even discuss my thoughts on this sub with out getting torn apart. It was so funny that everyone was talking numbers but no one would believe the #s revel gives. How convenient for svs its #s are good but revels are bad, 126db at 30hz is not bs it is truth. In the end all I wanted to do was share my experience yet I couldn't. If you buy something high end people want to tear it down and rationalize why their cheaper sub must be better on most of these forums. I think HTF has gone to hell in regards to discussions about subs. You notice most of the high end guys don't want anything to do with htf anymore. I understand that everyone who is on this and the htf site are here because of a great passion for audio. I just wish that people wouldn't let their passions get the best of them and try to demonize anyone who doesn't agree with them. Don't take that statement as me saying I have never done this because I have, everyone here has. It is just natural to try and defend our or choices. Svs just goes to far. You svs owners that think svs is the bomb need to realize that everything, yes EVERYTHING in life is relative to your experiences and perception. If you think svs is the best it is only because you have yet to hear better. Tom I am calling you out! I would like to put my b15 up against ANY of your subs in my room and another room. Anyone that lives in Columbus would be more than welcome to come join in for the comparison. The only catch is I am not buying the sub to get this to happen. You are more than welcome to come setup the sub yourself or I would even be willing to secure it with my credit card # but I will not spend cash I all ready know the outcome, I got to see it before. The burden of proof is on you. If you are interested I have some friends at a local audio store (genesis audio in Gahanna Ohio) and I could see if we could also do a test in one of their rooms just so no one can try and blame my room for the svs loosing. Also no adding anything to the sub that isn't built in and no sub mods it must be exactly what you would send a buyer. If the svs wins I will right up a formal apology and review stating the facts of how the revel got taken down and you are more than welcome to post it anywhere and everywhere. I will be a good sport about the situation no bs review to make up for the revel loosing if it does. If the revel wins you svs guys let us have our forums back! You stop joining in on threads about subs and let people make up their own minds. You do have a place for support on your own site so don't try and play the "we need forums for support card". Anyone that is local or wants to drive to Columbus and has a sub that they want put up against the svs is more than welcome to join in. This is no bs and I am not a troll if you would like to come down and see what real bass sounds like let me know and I will contact you by phone. You are a biased person and at this point so am I, this is the only way this argument will ever be put to rest. SVS owners put up or shut up!

Tom V.
Unregistered guest
Hi Eric,

I have no idea who you are...but it sounds like you've had some disagreements with others on the internet in the past? Or me personally? I can't tell which. If you would like to offer a link to the thread you are refering too...I'd be happy to look it over and try to figure out what specifically you are so angry about. We try to find out the truth of every situation...if you want to label that "calling people out" is a free country. When you say...

"but I find it sad that so many people have been so mislead about subs from you guys"

Can you explain, and offer some specific examples of why you feel this way?

SVS products aren't the best fit for everyone or every situation...we've never said otherwise.

If you want to see the revel compared to SVS with bias controls in place...just ask revel to send their product to John Johnson, Tom Nousaine, or Howard Ferstler for a professional review/measurement. I'm sure it will do very well and I'm sure a lot of folks would love to see how well it would perform. I don't know of any objective performance data published on the revel subwoofers...they seem sort of reluctant to have them measured?

Tom V.

Tom V.
Unregistered guest
Hi Eric,

I think I found the thread you are referring too? e=30&display=&pagenumber=1

In it, you admit to jumping into the discussion with inflamatory remarks simply to bait any SVS user that might be reading along. And now you cry foul some of them responded? Seems somewhat contradictory.

Anyway, I'm sure the revel is a great subwoofer too...I look forward to the day when it is reviewed by someone who will measure its performance.

Tom V.

Unregistered guest
I'm beginning to think(but I could be wrong) that this Eric guy hasn't heard your(svs) subs and is looking for a easy way to get an audition.After all,if he is so convinced that his sub(b15) is so much better than an svs...WHY DOES HE NEED ANOTHER COMPARISON? I don't own an svs...but I will say this: Usually when a rather small group of people say that something is the "bomb diggity" it's usually the truth!! To svs: there's only one way your products are truly going to get the kudos it deserves,and thats to submit it to stereophile guide to hometheater.That mag has a lot of creditablity(yeah,I know its spelled I'm from.

Hi-Fi Nut since '57
Unregistered guest
Hey Everyone....SHUTUP...turn off the computer and go listen to the sub of your choice. The "Passion" here is over nit-picking and MESSAGE WRITING...Get real..LISTEN TO SOME MUSIC..(or some movies..they have even more petty violence than these websites for egoists). About the best comment was from the woman..she's right Ya'all boyz are havin' a pissin' contest. Anyone know what is the best sub for the Jerry Springer Show?

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 394
Registered: Dec-03
The best sub for The Jerry Springer Show would be an old German U-Boat with all torpedo doors opened and firing :-)

Unregistered guest
We all have different tastes so let's make this really simple. Go to your local retailer with a handful your favorite movies & music and the one that sounds the best to you in your pricerange is the one YOU buy. I'm willing to bet you'll be happy with it.


In case you don't know, SVS subs are only available direct from the manufacturer, and Hsu Research subs are sold direct and from a few mail order firms. I believe they both offer a 30 day try and return policy but shipping can be pretty substantial on these subs. But neither can be auditioned at a local retailer.


Unregistered guest
I would like to see the Bag End Infrasub-18 added to the review.

Bronze Member
Username: Jbliz

Post Number: 14
Registered: Mar-04
I don't know what to buy. I'm trying to decide between a the SVS 20-39PC-Plus and the HSU VTF-3 MK 2. The Hsu has now dropped to $699 with free shipping, so i'm really considering buying it.

Does anyone have frequency response graphs for these subs? I can't find this info anywhere.



Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 552
Registered: Dec-03

It seems neither company supplies any kind of graphing, nor do any of the subjective review magazines. Probably would have to wait until Sound and Vision (in the US), Stereophile, or the rarely published Audio Critic do reviews--they normally print out various speaker graphs. The other mags are almost totally subjective on everything they review. Stereophile is odd in their own sense as their graphs and measurements rarely have anything to do with their reviews. They have great expensive equipment for making measurements and then seem to totally disregard them when offering a review.

The frequency graphs to be useful would have to be plotted against distortion at various SPL's and frequencies. A number of subwoofers can easily go to 20 Hz, but with a 10% distortion at 85 db's, which would be horrible. Distortion graphs at specific db's and specific frequencies and the consistency of SPL's over the entire frequency range is most desirable.

You don't want a subwoofer that can play 90 db's at 80 Hz with <1% distortion, but then has an 8% distortion at 25 Hz at 90 db's. You also want the loudness to be consistent over the subwoofer playing range and not have too much dip.

These are both excellent subwoofers--at their price range and way above their price range.

HSU used to make the cylindrical woofers many years ago but found that many people didn't like the large visual statement. The HSU subs have a 7 year warranty on the woofer and 2 year on the electronics. SVS has 3 year warranty on everything. I would think the woofer is more likely to blow than the electronics, as I am confident the amps have fuses to prevent being overdriven. But voice coils and other woofer parts can potentially go south. But I wouldn't make a nit-picking choice on the warranties.

Personally I think the HSU is much less obtrusive and looks better--unbelievably so when you pay extra for the piano black and especially rosewood designs. Performance is probably a toss-up, although the HSU specs seem to indicate a tighter db variation--whether that is audibly beneficial or not--who knows.


Bronze Member
Username: Jbliz

Post Number: 15
Registered: Mar-04
Thanks for the input Gman. I agree with you. Subjective reviews are of little use. What sounds good to one person could sound bad to another. Subjective reviews make for fun reading, but it doesn't make me spend money.

For instance, this is what sold me on Ascend Acoustics speakers...

I've heard nothing but good things about Hsu and SVS, and I'm confident they both make great subs. Both manufacturer's say they have flat frequency responses, so why wouldn't they post the data for their potential customers.

Until then, I'm going to have a hard time deciding between the SVS 20-39PC-Plus and the HSU VTF-3 MK 2. I like the looks of both of these subs, and suprisingly enough, my girlfriend liked the looks of both. I'm sure they will both fill my room (19' X 22' with 8' ceilings) with ample bass. The Hsu is cheaper at $699 delivered vs $845 delivered for the SVS, but I don't really care about that. I want the most accurate of the two. Does anyone know which of these subs are more accurate?

Tom Vodhanel
Unregistered guest
Hi guys,

We are slowly updating our website with quasi-anechoic ( measured at 2 meters, outside) response curves for all subs in all extension settings. It will take a long time to have all the data measured and uploaded...but there are charts for the 16-46PC+, PB-2+, PB-1isd, 20-39CS+ and a couple others now I think. We are also going to post charts showing power compression soon too!

Tom V.

Bronze Member
Username: Jbliz

Post Number: 16
Registered: Mar-04

Thanks Tom.

Unregistered guest
The HSU are much more musical than the SVS. One man's opinion.

Unregistered guest
...and they don't plant users in forums.

Unregistered guest
Maybe they should so we can hear from all sides and the us choose. I for one like it.

I have also heard that SVS has people that monitor and post messages praising their subs in various forums.

Tom V.
Unregistered guest
>>>...and they don't plant users in forums.

Unregistered guest
Posted on Saturday, June 12, 2004 - 11:09 am:

Maybe they should so we can hear from all sides and the us choose. I for one like it.


Posted on Sunday, June 13, 2004 - 08:11 am:

I have also heard that SVS has people that monitor and post messages praising their subs in various forums. <<<

Hi all, I could assure you this isn't true. If anyone has ANY evidence to the contrary...please, instead of hiding behind anonymous internet names...provide it. Until then, what you have is the "world weekly news" version of reality posted in troll like fashion.

Tom V.

Everyone who dares say anything negative about SVS is a troll right Tom? Does $10,000 and a popular AV forum ring any bells for you?

Just Me
Unregistered guest
Wow, Dal1as started a war on 2 fronts with both the S & the V. Hey you two, instead of monitoring all the home theater forums why don't you build your products like other manufacturer and keep your comments to yourselves. I thought the forums were for the enthusiast to discuss products without having to be chastised by the people who make the products. Or do official forum subwoofer makers get special posting privileges?

Whenever a subwoofer post comes up you can always count on 1 of you guys posting. It is never when the post is full of irrational exuberance for your product. God forbid you tell the poster your product is not the holy grail. It is always when someone has a negative comment. You call in to question the test methods of the review the poster has used. Yet when the review has positive comments the methods are never called into question and are plastered over your web site out of context just to hype the product.

I've called into question your products performance but I must admit you 2 are great marketers. You buy banners at all the forums, have a slick web site and post like you are everyone's best friend. The trouble is your true colors come out on occasion and It is apparent you are just businessmen out to make a buck. Dr. Hsu could learn a lot from your marketing skills.

Tom V.
Unregistered guest
>>>Everyone who dares say anything negative about SVS is a troll right Tom? Does $10,000 and a popular AV forum ring any bells for you?<<<

None at all, you are either cofused, have heard lies about SVS, or are making up lies yourself. Instead of hiding behind an internet moniker...feel free to email privately if you want to know ANY information about SVS's conduct on ANY forum. We have nothing to hide. If you feel otherwise...just post the evidence. All this "I heard they..." and " does $10,000 ring any bells" is silly. It is the stuff of trolls and not worth my time...and I would hope not worth yours any further.


SVS has been INVITED to participate on every forum you see our posts the OWNERS of the forum. We get INVITED to join a new forum every week or so...but our time doesn't allow that. If you have any problems with a specific post anyone from SVS makes, contact the forum owners and complain. If you have any questions about SVS products, feel free to contact me at SVS techsupport. If all you want to do is criticize SVS...well, have at it. We can't please everyone...but when we get 999 positive responses to every troll/attack...I guess we are doing something VERY, VERY right. I'm sorry you and "anonymous" feel differently.

Tom V.

Think Harder Tom
Unregistered guest
Whenever a subwoofer post comes up you can always count on 1 of you guys posting. It is never when the post is full of irrational exuberance for your product. God forbid you tell the poster your product is not the holy grail. It is always when someone has a negative comment. You call in to question the test methods of the review the poster has used. Yet when the review has positive comments the methods are never called into question and are plastered over your web site out of context just to hype the product.

Oh you know EXACTLY what forum told you to shove it and your money.

Silver Member
Username: Kegger


Post Number: 555
Registered: Dec-03
for me this is the first instance of a manufacturer
actually stating who they are in a forum.

and i would like to see more.

many people have questions they would like to ask
from manufacturers.

that is really what should be going on in these
asking questions to the people who have built these things.
and if the awnser is so out of wack you know where
to put your allegence.

i would love to have amp/speaker/reciever companies
show their face in forums and ask all the questions
i could about a product i was interested in.

i commend manufacturers who talk to the end users
in forums.

and yes they are going to try and sell their product
that is why they made it.

you just have to sift through the crap like any
other review or oppinion.

but you might learn something about a product you
are interested in that you couldn't get any other

Tom V.
Unregistered guest
Thank you for the comments Kegger. When anyone from SVS posts on any forum we always include a tag so everyone knows who we are. We value constructive criticism too...that best insures improvement in every aspect of our company..:-)

"think harder tom"

I Guess you are "anonymous" and "just me" too?

It is kinda of hard to keep track of the mud slinging when the person hiding behind the computer monitor decides to use a different "identity" with each post? I guess that indicates the credibility level of the accusations though. Again, sorry if you have a problem with SVS...I hope you can understand that for every personal attack/lie aimed at SVS...we have 1000 other very positive comments about our company and products.

One thing we've learned...the more success we earn...the more "anonymous" internet folks hiding behind false screen names will resent us for one reason or another. There is nothing we can do about that...we'd rather spend our time better serving the other 99.9% of folks out there who appreciate the value of our products...:-)

Tom V.


Think Harder Tom
Unregistered guest
You talk a good game Tom and you certainly have your "followers" which are definitely not followers by accident as you well know. Gee it's funny you are having a hard time remembering the $10,000 that was offered to that forum. There are a few people who know about it so why not fess up before they come forward?

Tom V.
Unregistered guest
"think harder",

If you have something to say...just be a man and say it already. I have no idea what you are talking about and these grade school "oooh, I know something someone told me about someone" gossip sessions should be shameful to anyone...even you.

Did someone at SVS donate $10,000 to some political campaign that you disagree with or what? Please, just let me (and everyone) know what you are talking about already(and back it up with some EVIDENCE please---not like the other BS claims like those above).

And why are you afraid to use your real name? Everyone knows who I am. I wonder why our accusers must hide behind multiple/anonymous screen names?

Tom V.

Silver Member
Username: Kegger


Post Number: 566
Registered: Dec-03
hey tom!

just like you have said and i buy into also.

theirs no magic or anything special to building a

get a big box or cylinder,put a port in it and a
descent amp.

where the difference comes in is the drivers used.

what drivers do you guys use and do you know what
others use.

what in your oppinion are the best or needed specs
in a sub driver.

the more detailed on specs for me the better.
(xmax,power handling,voice coil diameter/impedence)
things like that.

or anything else you can think of that distinguishes
one sub from another!

thanks in advance for your response.

Think Harder Tom
Unregistered guest
If music is your priority avoid SVS. They are great for a one note blob of bass energy but are just another bang, boom BAD port design if you ever want to tell a quarter bass note from a half. 90% hype and 10% bad design. If music is a priority stick with a real company not one that two guys started in a garage. I remember the reverence Tom used to treat Dr. Hsu a true pioneer. Look at Paradigm. HSU, Aperion, Rocket, Mirage or REL and B&W. All real companies devoted to music reproduction rather than a company whose owners hobby got very much out of hand.

Tom V.
Unregistered guest
Hi Kegger,

Thank you for providing something in this thread other than the recent *anonymous* insults from "anonymous" individuals...I can only hope they don't have any ties to other sad that would be...

Anyway, getting to your questions.

>>>hey tom!
just like you have said and i buy into also.
theirs no magic or anything special to building a subwoofer. get a big box or cylinder,put a port in it and a descent amp.<<<

Well, I do agree you can get a 90% solution by stuffing a good off the shelf driver into a big enclosure and fine tuning it with various computer simulations. However, to really optimize the entire design...getting that last 10%...can take a lot of time, effort, and investment. For example, SVS has been working on a new design for almost a year now. In that time we've experimented with dozens of different amp/driver/enclosure configurations. Measuring, adjusting and remeasuring over and over and over...just to insure optimal performance. We could have used the very first driver, the very first amp, and the very first enclosure we tried a year ago...and simply said...this is just as good as anyone else is doing...let's save ourselves another year of work..:-) But we are looking to be "just as good" instead of SVS investing a few days of time and effort into the 90% solution...we spend a year(sometimes 2-3 years) getting the 100% solution..:-)

>>where the difference comes in is the drivers used.<<

That is true, drivers can account for the differences between a "good" subwoofer and a great subwoofer.

>>>what drivers do you guys use and do you know what others use.<<<

We use state of the art designs from TC Sounds ( in the Ultra and Plus models. And our CS and PCi models use drivers from Destijl Engineering located in Neveda.

>>>what in your oppinion are the best or needed specs in a sub driver.<<<

I really don't pay too much attention to "specs". I have spent the last five years...measuring the T/S "specs" on hundreds of drivers and then running those same drivers in many different enclosure designs. What I have found is "specs" only occasionally parallel how the driver actually works in a given design. So we just keep trying different ideas, and then remeasuring the subwoofer over and over and over to see what ideas really work. Seems much better than relaying on a computer simulation or a "white paper" to me..:-)

>>>the more detailed on specs for me the better. (xmax,power handling,voice coil diameter/impedence) things like that.<<<

Well, linear excursion is important. As is power handling. Vas is also important, the driver Fs, motor strength (BL/re^2 and/or Qes)...really, just about every aspect of the driver can make or break your efforts when looking for that last 10%. Insuring the longevity of the driver, being sure the driver and the amp are perfectly matched to the enclosure to optimize the performance of the subwoofer over its intended bandwidth. Power handling is important...from a thermal standpoint. The voice coil just takes electrical energy and changes it to mechanical energy. The hotter the coil gets, the less efficient it is doing that job. So it is important to insure the coil stays efficient/cool enough to do its job.

Are you planning on building a DIY subwoofer? If so, feel free to email me at with any questions.

Tom V.

Silver Member
Username: Kegger


Post Number: 576
Registered: Dec-03
thanks a lot tom very informative.

those are the types of questions you can only ask
from manufacturers.

i wish i could ask these questions to other oem's.

as you guys are the ones who should know.

really appreciate the info.

and i will take you up on that email response
from home.

talk to you later!

Bronze Member
Username: Divinesin

Post Number: 19
Registered: Apr-04
I'de like to comment on this. I just ordered a 20-39PCI for one main reason. Both Tom and Eric helped me with every question i needed and everyone in other forums helped me with others questions. They go through forums to help the people who want to know about there product, not to promote it. I do believe either Tom or Eric has pushed someone towards another Company on occasion and even suggests a cheaper product if that persons room doesnt nessesarilly need such a huge and powerfull sub. They -care- about you, within a few hours they usually awnser your e-mails with all your questions awnsered AND ask questions to you. They care about you, unlike most companies where they -hire- crappy technical assistants to give you half-arsed awnsers.

New member
Username: Bodosom

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jul-04
(Disclaimer: I'm about to audition a 25-31PCi.)

I'm amazed at the persistent vitriol in this thread. It's pretty old too (the thread and the vitriol).

I think it's perfectly acceptable for a manufacturer to post here as long as they're clearly identified. I also appreciate being informed of unethical activity and can appreciate people who might feel apprehension about something choosing to post anonymously. However it seems unlikely that SVS critics have anything to fear unless they work for the company or for someone with a vested interest in the company. That doesn't seem to be the case here.

I'm going to listen to this speaker in my home. I'd suggest anyone preparing to spend more than $250 do the same. If you can't audition in your home then the opinions you read here are better than listening to speakers in some random retail listen room.

It would be nice if freqency/spl/distortion plots were available (from all the vendors) but that's not fatal.

Take anything Ronny and Tommy say with a huge grain of salt. Their only concern is selling their subpar products. Pun intended.

Silver Member
Username: Valeem

Post Number: 123
Registered: Dec-03

I've seen the wave of enthusiasm concerning your subwoofers on a UK forum (Those guys are potty about your subs!). I have a query regarding the performance of your subs. How do your subs fair in terms of definition? By this I mean the realisation of bass notes. I once heard a REL Stentor III at an av show and it blew me away completely. I have never heard such realism and atmosphere from a subwoofer (I will have one oneday - lol!). I understand the REL is expensive but they do use a not too expensive Volt driver in the Stentor III and was wondering if you have any plans to use them in your future subs or if you have ever evaluated them as I've read many opinions that say they offer the best definition of all drivers. How do the drivers you use compare to the Volts?

New member
Username: Mitchells

Ft. Lauderdale, FL USA

Post Number: 1
Registered: Aug-04
Hope it's not a breach of etiquette to post out of the original topic, but then again both etiquette and topic seem to have been abandoned long ago.

I've never seen or heard either the Hsu or the SVS, but I've read or skimmed most of the editorial reviews. I've been curious about the SVS ever since Secrets of Home Theatre published a review years ago where the SVS clearly bested the Velodyne HGS18 in output. I have an HGS18, but I'm not inviting comparison. I've long ago given up measuring the size of my sub against others. I accept that there is far, far better. I direct the following to the SVS guys or anyone with an opinion.

I'm presently using an Audiocontrol Richter Scale so that my preamp's subwoofer output is crossed over yet again. I have several Velodyne HGSs (10 and 12s) which I can use for the higher frequency bass, up to THX's 80hz for example. But for the lower frequency bass, I've considered replacing the 18. I would like something serious for more tactile bass (and I'm not interested in a tactile transducer) which goes infrasonic. Can I mix something like an SVS B4 with servo-based subs? What would be a good crossover point? 40hz? Would an SVS play well just doing the really low stuff? Is it more efficient there?

The subs are on their own circuit. Even so, would there be a potential for damage to the SVS (and the other subs) because of so many amps drawing current through one electrical outlet (or one line conditioner)? In other words, would it be like drinking a lemon McDonald's thickshake through a straw?

Would there be an inevitable bloom from overlap at the crossover point, even with a 24 db/octave rolloff? If so, be advised that I'm trying to get a Lexicon MC12 which might be able to fix that.

Or is this just a bad idea? Better off perhaps running all the subs full range (to 80 hz) and then using EQ to tame the peaks? It just seemed intuitive that the SVS would do better at the low stuff. If running all subs full range, would the SVS be compatible with servo-based subs in that situation?

Unregistered guest
This review site is heavily sponsered by Svs. It would be very silly to cut off the hand that feeds you. For some reason on forums Svs always seem to be specifically compared to Hsu , yet in magazines such as SGHT, S&V, Home Theater etc Hsu are always up against the more mainstream Velodyne, M&K, B&W subwoofers. Hsu would seem to have more of a bias towards musical accuracy where Svs are more orientated towards HT and spl output.

HTF is also heavily sponsered by Svs and so a balanced opinion is very hard to get. The regulars cut you down quick if something else is compared to Svs. It seems the Svs management and a limited few of the more radical owners have taken the mass postings route to forums.

Pookie Bear
Unregistered guest
SVS discovered forum postings and censorship are the best way to sell their warez. For good subs look to b and m stores not a garage company or one in someone's basement. SVS are little more than shitty subwoofers and paying forums to like them.

Bronze Member
Username: Jake272727

Vernal, Ut Usa

Post Number: 24
Registered: Sep-04
what about the SVS PB2-ISD.

Unregistered guest


We have had our products reviewed by many of the MOST respected names in the industry. If anyone is interested in reality, they can check the review link on our site. John Kotches (widescreenreview, Tom Nousaine, John Johnson, Howard Ferstler,ect,ect,ect. These names have DECADES of experience with published equipment reviews in just about every magazine out there.

For the record, SVS has a 25,000+ sq-ft manufacturering facility located in NE Ohio. And we have 8 acres of land around the building that we can expand on(and probably will sooner rather than later).

Any SVS questions might be best served being directed to me at

As everyone can see, there are a few folks out there that take pride in spreading as many lies as they can about our company. Perhaps they are associated with a competitor who isn't enjoying our tremendous growth...who knows why anyone would take joy out of this type of behavior? In any case, orders are thru the roof, our professionals reviews keep getting better and better...and SVS simply doesn't have the time to worry about arguing with these anonymous parties who wish to spread falsehoods about us or our products on these types of unmoderated forums any longer. I apologize to anyone having to read thru such slander to try to find some factual info on SVS. Again---feel free to email me at the above address.

Tom V.
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