Sub on a budget - Craigslist used (Sunfire or ML Abyss) or SVS SB-1000?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by smhaden, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. smhaden

    smhaden New Member

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    Hi All,

    After dealing with some less-than-optimal low end on my current system, I'm looking to add an affordable sub (<$500). I see great things in regards to the SVS SB-1000. But there are two local options on CL that have me wondering if I couldn't get the same result at less cost.

    Wondering if anyone has experience with either the Sunfire SDS-8 or Martin Logan Abyss? I can get the Sunfire for $200 (maybe less) or the ML for $380.

    I have a Technics SL-1400/Parks Audio Budgie/Onkyo TX-8050/Monitor Audio Bronze 5s. I'm totally new to setting up a subwoofer, but the Onkyo appears to have a sub out as well as a L/R preout. I don't think either the Sunfire nor the ML have sub in, just L/R.

    The other factor is that I have to conceal the sub due to space issues. It will have to be located in a corner, behind a TV stand but with ample space around it. Both the Sunfire and ML are downfiring, which helps with this, yes? Because of the placement, do I need to avoid a front firing sub altogether?

    As you can tell, I'm a complete noob with subs (and audio in general). All I know is I love good music and good sound to go with it. Thanks for your insight!
     
  2. djnagle

    djnagle Lunatic Member

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    If the Sunfire has no problems, that would be rare. Repairs can get expensive.
     
  3. smhaden

    smhaden New Member

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    The Sunfire appears to be essentially new. Are you saying the Sunfire's have a reputation for bad quality?
     
  4. smhaden

    smhaden New Member

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    For reference, the room dimensions are 17' x 13'. A living room - carpeted, furniture, etc. And while the 2ch system also provides audio for a television, I'm looking for a sub that is suited for music as opposed to explosions and aliens.
     
  5. MannyE

    MannyE Exterminate! Subscriber

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    Then I think you want the Martin Logan. The other two are specialized for HT LFE duty.

    Also, if you can, and the decor and SWMBO allows it, get some bass traps for the corners. You will be amazed.


    http://arqen.com/bass-traps-101/placement-guide/

    A tutorial. Pretty broad but a lot of interesting information.

    Plus I've always thought that a room with proper treatments can actually look pretty good. This is a picture of a studio or edit room, but with a little imagination, you can see a residential living room area that might look pretty good when done up right.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  6. djnagle

    djnagle Lunatic Member

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    Yes, it seems to be hit and miss.
     
  7. smhaden

    smhaden New Member

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    Thanks for the heads up. At first glance, reviews appear to be positive but you don't always get the long ownership reviews on Amazon.
     
  8. smhaden

    smhaden New Member

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    Not to contradict, but the few threads I could find on the SVS were by audiophiles. That made it seem like it was more of a "musical" sub. Good to know.

    More on the ML - I see the following quote in a review:
    "Unlike many powered subwoofers, the audio signal coming out of the line-level outputs on the Abyss have the low frequencies filtered out, so in many cases you’ll be able to considerably improve the performance of your main speaker system by re-connecting your system to take advantage of this."

    What does this mean (noob)?
     
  9. MannyE

    MannyE Exterminate! Subscriber

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    That means, if I'm reading that correctly, that the way you connect that particular subwoofer is to run the speaker wires from your amp (or receiver) to the inputs on the subwoofer, it then acts like a crossover and will only send the the frequencies above a certain threshold (you will often see a knob or switch on the back plate with settings like "30, 70, 120" or similar numbers. Those numbers represent the low end frequencies that will be filtered out. This means your main speakers don't have to work as hard because they are only reproducing music above 120Hz, for example, if you chose the 120 setting.

    Oh and the back plate will have two speaker wire connections labeled something like "from amp" and "to speakers"

    Although, looking at the back of the Martin Logan Abyss it seems to have preamp inputs. Looking at this, I would probably get this one over the other two. But read the instructions.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. MannyE

    MannyE Exterminate! Subscriber

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    The Martin Logan above is one way subs are set up. The method I described is a little different, and looks more like this:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. MannyE

    MannyE Exterminate! Subscriber

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    And as far as SVS goes, take a look at the article here:

    https://www.svsound.com/blogs/newsl...woofer-ultimate-svs-dolby-atmos-system-review

    Where they themselves are called the "best Home Theater Sub of 2017"

    Not that there's anything wrong with that! AND if you happen to like hip hop, metal or pipe organ, you may indeed want to look into a super-powered home theater LFE type sub to really "feel" those bass notes..
     
  12. smhaden

    smhaden New Member

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    Thanks, MannyE. That was concise and really helpful. I also need pictures :) I have a much better understanding now, thank you.
     
  13. MannyE

    MannyE Exterminate! Subscriber

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    Everyone's a noob at one time or another! The good news is that all three are good subs. But remember that placement is key.
     
  14. onplane

    onplane What! No Wake???

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    Well, let me confuse you a little. SVS makes both ported and sealed subs. Those ported subs referenced were designed for HT applications.

    You asked about the SVS SB-1000. That is a sealed box and is designed for ... wait for it .... MUSIC! Here is an article explaining the difference:

    https://www.svsound.com/blogs/svs/75367747-sealed-vs-ported

    On the sealed vs ported, just remember all of the Velodyne top of the line units ($4,000 AND UP) are sealed units.

    Regards,
    Jerry
     
  15. MannyE

    MannyE Exterminate! Subscriber

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    That's new! Well I'm sure it's old news by now, but I haven't researched SVS since the old days on the AVS forum. Nice to see they made a "musical" sub.

    And just to make it even MORE confusing, I do have to say that the ported subs on the DefTechs really did a great job of blending with the Horneshoppe "The Horns" way back when I was using a pair of 2A3 monoblocks to power the horns. A long time ago I split the signal from the Bottlehead Foreplay and fed it simultaneously to the subs of the BP2002 towers and the monoblocks. After fiddling with the subwoofer levels a bit it was audio heaven!

    So you really never know which type of sub will make the grade. Like I said earlier, all three are good subs, but I would probably do some research on the Sunfire's alleged reliability issues first.

    What's the worst that can happen anyway? You don't like it and you sell it on?
     
  16. Donkey Karma

    Donkey Karma Super Member

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    I concur with DJ's opinions here. I own the Sunfire sub your considering. It has had problems in the past and have read where others have had issues with the amp side FWIW.

    I also do not find it the most musical of subs. Not at all. What it brings to the table for me is it's small size, output and speed. I prefer mine in HT setup and less for music. Just doesn't produce a musical tone to my ears.

    Again this is just my ears and ears are snowflakes.

    No experience with the others.
     

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