Sound System Suggestions from the Veterans

Harry P. Ness

Harry P. Ness

Audiophyte
Hi Audioholics!

I've been to a few small clubs recently that made me extremely addicted to the bass that you can actually "feel" in the music. I wanted to replicate that in my room so I've (mistakingly) tried all in one bluetooth systems (naim mu-so 2, Soundboks 3, B&O Beoplay A9) and was thoroughly unimpressed by the bass. My buddy asked me to give his system a try and it was powered by a SB-1000 with some JBL satellites and it was definitely in the right direction but didn't send chills down my spine. I mainly want to listen to music (EDM, R&B, Rap) and don't really have a hard budget in mind, maybe $4,000-$5,000 for everything? Although I wouldn't mind to spend a bit more if it's worth it. I'd like the sweet spot before diminishing returns but just have nothing to go off of.

So I'm looking into an SB-16 or PB-16. I'm getting mixed feelings through reviews and honestly don't know which to go with but I do think the SB-16 looks prettier? For reference, my room is around less than 3,000 cubic feet. I hate distortion with a passion and turn down volume the second I sense any. I'm also not oppose to adding a second in the future if it's necessary. Is there such a thing as overkill? If a sound system is perfect for a 5,000 cubic feet room and it was tested in a 3,000 cubic feet room would it generally sound better or just wouldn't cost as much volume to produce the same results?

I understand I might sound a bit derpy but please let me know if I need to list any more information that'll ultimately factor into my decision. Also, what kind of loudspeakers do you guys recommend to pair with an SB-16/PB-16? I was just leaning towards a pair of the SVS Ultra Bookshelf. What would be the best way to play music from my iPhone or laptop via Spotify/Tidal? Would I just need a bluetooth DAC tied to the system? I'm also open to any and every suggestion.

Located in Pasadena, CA.


Edit: Clarity
 
Last edited:
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
That chest-thumping bass you are looking for tends to be in lower mid-bass frequencies from 50 Hz to 120 Hz or so. Those large SVS subs are good but their forte tends to be in very deep bass rather than the frequency range you are interested in. Check out Hsu Research, they are in Anaheim so not far from you and make some real monsters for the dollar. Make an appointment to visit their place. Two of their 15"s will hit you hard and not eat up your entire budget. As for speakers, there are a lot of ways you can go here. If this is just for music, I would go with a couple beefy tower speakers. Check out some Paradigm Premier 800F speakers or SVS Prime Pinnacle speakers. Hsu CCB-8 and Monoprice Monolith THX-365T speakers are also great options if you don't want tower speakers.

You will want an AVR that can manage and drive the speakers and subs. I would look at what can be had from Yamaha, Denon, or Marantz. Obviously you want streaming capabilities built-in, so be sure they have blue-tooth compatibility with the devices that you own. Any modern mid level or higher AVR should be able to accommodate you.

Some other good speaker choices are JBL Studio 590s or 580s and Infinity Reference 253.
 
XEagleDriver

XEagleDriver

Senior Audioholic
. . . bass that you can actually "feel" in the music and want to replicate in my room

. . . don't really have a hard budget in mind, maybe $4,000-$5,000 for everything?
Please define "everything".
- For example: 2 bookshelf speakers, 1 or 2 subwoofers, and an amp or receiver to drive the speakers.

I'm looking into an SB-16 or PB-16.
. . . For reference, my room is around 3,000 cubic feet.
. . . Is there such a thing as overkill?
Yes on overkill, . . . but hard to do for bass / subwoofers. Have not encountered many "too much bass for my room statements" over the years
- L
Bass/sub limits are normally due to pocket book, WAF, available room real estate, or your neighbors/landlord/police.
- For the price of one SB16, I would consider dual SB3000s to provide similar impact with smoother room coverage.
- For music I prefer sealed vice ported subs. BUT I do not listen to the bass heavy genres you prefer, more of a jazz, vocals, r&b, & country playlist.

. . . If a sound system is perfect for a 5,000 cubic feet room and is used in a 3,000 cubic feet room, would it sound better or just not need as much volume to produce the same results?
For bass, the room has a large vote, so this is hard to answer. But, I tend to think lower volume with less chance of distorting.

. . . leaning towards a pair of the SVS Ultra Bookshelf.
Excellent choice at the $1k/pair price point.
- Consider Ascend Sierra 1 as a comparable alternative. (Full disclosure: I had S1s and bought upgrade kits to run Sierra 2s on my two main systems, so I favor them)

. . . best way to play music from my iPhone or laptop via Spotify/Tidal? Would I just need a bluetooth DAC tied to the system?
Buy a receiver (AVR) with BT included; DAC not needed. Not hard to find or afford such an AVR. AVR also will have room correction software like Audessey.
XEagleDriver



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