Tripped over wire, accidently pulled trigger... [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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04-27-2006, 10:45 AM
I've been shopping for a new car recently and, I suspect that like many, I tend to over-shop and certainly over-analynze things. The fact that there isn't anything wrong with my current VW also removes any sense of urgency from the proceedings. Anyway, after a couple of hours on the lot I started getting disinterested, and being in the area made my way to my local Hifi dealer.
Over the last few months I have developed a pretty good relationship with these guys. For my part, I have dutifully brought them several new converts into the realm of the AV and in return they have treated me with a great deal more deference than the"average joe" and certainly with more attention than any big box store. The assistant manager and I have regular conversations about jazz and, in fact, has been a guest at social gatherings at my home. Needless to say these are good guys and we have established a level of trust.
Right off I announced that I was done with my HT set-up and was going to concentrate on a secondary two-channel set-up. "No you're not" was the reply. Now understand that these guys have never put the hard sale on me and, point of fact, I have at times felt like Mr. Difficult with my kibbutzing(sp? I probably shouldn't bring the yiddish). So taken aback by the conviction of my new friends, I was led to another room with subwoofers and given a rather complete and dramatic audition.
So, as of yesterday I am the owner of a new Paradigm Servo 15. Having spent a couple of hours integrating this into my room last night I can truthfully say that the difference is huge. The previous sub was a KEF PSW2000 and the Paradigm eats it for lunch!!
Though this sub can presumably shake foundations( I have yet to watch a movie ) the real beauty lies in a more subtle realm. When placed properly, it remains sonically hidden--just waiting to be called on. Without getting into the technical mucketty-muck, this bad boy does just what it is supposed to with great accuracy. To give a specific example, on Diana Krall's Live in Paris dvd's second cut, All or Nothing there is a bass solo that highlights John Clayton's considerable skills. When playing on the high G and D strings the sub reacts with appropriate smoothness. When notes are played on the lower A and E strings the Paradigm mimicks the natural forced attack and pitch with aplomb. Anyone who has experience with a stand-up bass understands that this is not inaccurate but a fundamental characteristic of the instrument. Outstanding.
To sum up, while I auditioned several speakers and subs that day--the 20's and 40's weren't really my cup of tea--the Servo 15 is a great piece of equipment and a welcome addition in my home.

04-27-2006, 05:21 PM
Congrats on the purchase! The Servo 15 is a beast of a sub, and one of the better performers out there at any price point. I have not heard the v.2 version (which I presume is the version you bought), but the first version was one of the best subs I've heard and the v.2 Servo 15 takes the bass down by at least another 1/3 octave.

Compared to the KEF that you were using, the Servo 15 is a very different animal. Down-firing vs. front-firing, ported vs sealed, 8" vs 15", etc. I think a big key to the Servo 15's performance is that it uses a sealed box, along with a large driver, a very high powered amp, and a servo control. This combination gives you the tightness and quicker transients of a sealed design, while the large driver, high powered amp, and servo control make up for the inherent weaknesses with smaller sealed subs -- lower efficiency, higher frequency at which the bass dropoff occurs at the low end, and/or increased distortion at lower frequencies.

Now that you got your sub, you now might want to measure the in-room response so you can identify any room-induced problems with peaking and/or cancellations. Because the Servo 15 can easily extend below 20 Hz, the boundary effects will very likely create a room-induced peak or cancellation, unless the unit is installed in a fairly large room. If your in-room measurement identifies any large peaks, then you can try doing room corrections by equalizing the sub.

I use a 12" sealed sub, and equalizing it created a nicely linear bass response and it made a huge improvement with how acoustic bass sounded with my system. No more of these huge peaks that occur when specific notes were struck. The EQ tuning allowed me to more accurately set the levels, and better integrate the sub with my mains.

04-27-2006, 11:00 PM
Hi bobsticks,

Congrats on your unexpected arrival. Wishing you many fun and musical filled hours.
I ,too went car shopping, but unlike you I had to. I think that after 13 years it was time.

Have fun


04-28-2006, 06:21 AM
Thanks gents,
As usual sir Wooch your observations are dead on. This weekend is devoted to dragging out the SPL meter and taming this beast, although even money says there is a Behringer out there with my name on it. For the most part, my new housemate has been well-behaved but there's been a couple of instances (an Erykah Badhu cd and a Yellowjackets SACD) that have resulted in low end sonic blasts of Metamucil like efficacy. Overall, however, the last few days been a pleasure; I'm finding so much extra material on my recordings that was heretofore unintelligable that I'm enjoying revisiting my collection.
Bernd, if I keep randomly buying speakers it may be thirteen years before I ever get around to buying something new as well! That's OK, the VW is an outstanding performer and with petrol prices rumored to hit the stratosphere I might do well to postpone any changes.
Thans again, and I'll report back...

N. Abstentia
04-28-2006, 06:39 AM
Mmmm...that Servo 15 is a sweet sub. I was afraid I'd have to add another one once I got moved into my larger room, but those concerns were quickly dismissed once I got everything dialed in! She's just barely working and it's all anyone can stand :)

04-28-2006, 06:55 AM
It's not hard to argue that it's too much sub for the room. And, my experience is echoing yours in that this thing is barely breaking a sweat--anything more could, and would, be unbearable. That said, the guys gave me a pretty good deal and if my track record indicates anything I may not be in my current location too much longer anyway. Maybe a concert hall-sized room looms in future?