William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
Who needs an SVS killer? How bout if these companies (Polk, DefTech, The Big K, etc) actually just produce product on par with what the ID companies do.
We don’t need specialty subs from them, just, perhaps, true honest efforts at reaching a balance for the needs of their market.
A good driver or series of drivers, good Amps with quality DSP, proper cabinet and port tuning, respectable output, and perhaps a bit of extension... etc.
Considering the DIY advise I always see is to build a sub first, I have a hard time believing that this is something beyond the abilities of these companies. Rather the opposite in fact.
That said, SVS started with Subs, right? Now they do respectable speakers, have an Amp on the market, dabble in cables... but their core hasn’t suffered.

Sorry guys... just struggling to contain this so I figure I just need to let it out:
Tighten up your game, Klipsch, and put out some better product. If DT beats you (at least in the speaker game) you have only yourself to blame.

Ok. I’m done. Thanks. *blushes
Totally agree. Nobody needs an SVS killer from the “big” speaker guys, but damn... Would it be so hard to at least compete? I know subs aren’t what most of them care about, but what about their customers? Wouldn’t it be refreshing if joe blow stopped in here and said, “hey I got a Polk sw15000 to go with my new mains”, and the first response wasn’t to immediately feel bad for them? Like, hey buddy, I hate to tell you but...ummm. People don’t want to hear that poop, especially when they probably saved a long time, and spent a lot of time researching. Probably from “the best subwoofer” list. Lol
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Totally agree. Nobody needs an SVS killer from the “big” speaker guys, but damn... Would it be so hard to at least compete? I know subs aren’t what most of them care about, but what about their customers? Wouldn’t it be refreshing if joe blow stopped in here and said, “hey I got a Polk sw15000 to go with my new mains”, and the first response wasn’t to immediately feel bad for them? Like, hey buddy, I hate to tell you but...ummm. People don’t want to hear that poop, especially when they probably saved a long time, and spent a lot of time researching. Probably from “the best subwoofer” list. Lol
Paradigm put out some bangers with their Defiance X series. They don't dig as deep as SVS subs but they sure punch harder within their range.

The problem with larger companies trying to compete with companies like SVS is that few people want to buy big subs. You might think that say an SVS PB-2000 is a moderately sized sub, but most people think that thing is huge. If Klipsch or Polk put out a sub that could belt out 110 dB at 12 Hz and was the size of a minifridge, they wouldn't sell enough to make manufacturing worthwhile. SVS has probably already captured most of consumer demand willing to tolerate huge subs in exchange for deep bass, and they have also done a good job of ensuring brand loyalty their their customer service practices. If I were Klipsch, I wouldn't bother trying to bite off a piece of that marketshare. I would do exactly what they are doing; making OK subs that probably have a high markup and which actually make money for the company.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
Paradigm put out some bangers with their Defiance X series. They don't dig as deep as SVS subs but they sure punch harder within their range.

The problem with larger companies trying to compete with companies like SVS is that few people want to buy big subs. You might think that say an SVS PB-2000 is a moderately sized sub, but most people think that thing is huge. If Klipsch or Polk put out a sub that could belt out 110 dB at 12 Hz and was the size of a minifridge, they wouldn't sell enough to make manufacturing worthwhile. SVS has probably already captured most of consumer demand willing to tolerate huge subs in exchange for deep bass, and they have also done a good job of ensuring brand loyalty their their customer service practices. If I were Klipsch, I wouldn't bother trying to bite off a piece of that marketshare. I would do exactly what they are doing; making OK subs that probably have a high markup and which actually make money for the company.
Definitely agree. I’m a nuts and bolts kinda guy. I love nood speakers, and amp racks(huh sounded innocent in my head) and all that stuff. I also hat WAF, and the whole happy wife happy life crap.(don’t mistake me for a misogynist or anything dumb like that). So, I forget many other people “tolerate” speakers. Even the AV need in the house lol.
To me, paradigm is one of the few mainstream-ish companies that does build a quality subwoofer.
But take Klipsch just for example. Couldn’t they split the difference a little? “Slightly better” drivers, and “slightly” larger enclosures. I have no doubt they don’t care about that market, but for enthusiasts that do, it’s really disappointing. Not sure which is more true though. How sad it is that Klipsch guys don’t have but one decent option, or that most of them THINK they do.
I guess I just think it be nice if they would try. A little harder. I mean, I’d love to be able to recommend a nice JBL sub option, without a qualifier. Like “ decent for music”, or “if the room is small” etc. Maybe I just want people to want MOAR like me. So I don’t feel crazy... lol
 
D

Danzilla31

Audioholic Samurai
Paradigm put out some bangers with their Defiance X series. They don't dig as deep as SVS subs but they sure punch harder within their range.

The problem with larger companies trying to compete with companies like SVS is that few people want to buy big subs. You might think that say an SVS PB-2000 is a moderately sized sub, but most people think that thing is huge. If Klipsch or Polk put out a sub that could belt out 110 dB at 12 Hz and was the size of a minifridge, they wouldn't sell enough to make manufacturing worthwhile. SVS has probably already captured most of consumer demand willing to tolerate huge subs in exchange for deep bass, and they have also done a good job of ensuring brand loyalty their their customer service practices. If I were Klipsch, I wouldn't bother trying to bite off a piece of that marketshare. I would do exactly what they are doing; making OK subs that probably have a high markup and which actually make money for the company.
But you know what Shady it's not like there 15 inch subs are exactly small

And people buy those

So like Will said just a little bigger little better tuned with a more powerful amp they could be on there way

I mean when I bought the RP 8000fs I loved those speakers if they wouldve had a matching sub that was competitive on par not better then SVS offerings just for the aesthetics the matching look the cool factor Id have sprung for something like that.

I could totally see how that could work especially in brick and mortar stores where people are buying packages you could totally upsell them

Bjorn's told me there Klipsch lineup is a huge seller now put in a SVS contender not even a killer in that lineup I guarantee you they could upsell that

I think like you stated its more of why bother if we can make a good profit on selling cheaper crap

I hope this Beast comes out Id be interested just to see what they come up with
 
Gmoney

Gmoney

Audioholic General
like what’s stated before by OP, put one out that’s Decent , not one that’ll crap out just after the warranty runs out, you call in for service and get “we can’t get that amp anymore” but here’s a 50% discount. If your lucky to get anything out of their Implied warranty. Thing about cheap subs, most who use those believe all the Distortion is Normal so they crank up the volume over drive those cheap sub s. Shade J stated just make a OK Sub Class D amps are very cost efficient. I’m sure you guys know just how cheap Raw materials are to make a Sub
 
SwedishChef

SwedishChef

Audioholic Intern
So, I love that Audioholics goes for measurements. I'd like to add some exploration of that to this thread.

There are published measurements on the R-115SW (sites like camelcamelcamel say it was occasionally as low as $600, and $720 (20% off) several times per year, but usually $900). Klipsch has essentially re-released this sub as the SPL-150SW for $1,150. (If you compare the spec sheets they appear to be 100% identical in literally every reported spec and dimension.) I think it is nearly identical to its precursor, as well, but don't have the data on hand for that. The measurements are from: https://hometheaterreview.com/klipsch-r-115sw-subwoofer-reviewed/?page=2 and show:

CEA 2010 Traditional
1M 2M
63 Hz 123.3 dB 114.3 dB
50 Hz 124.7 dB 115.7 dB
40 Hz 121.4 dB 112.4 dB
31.5 Hz 118.6 dB 109.6 dB
25 Hz 113.8 dB 104.8 dB
20 Hz 108.7 dB 99.7 dB

Comparing to the brand new SVS PB-2000 Pro at $899 seems the closest initial comparison, but I don't think Audioholics has published data yet, so I'll use the PB-2000 (which was $799, not sure of the range of SVS sales, but $100 off seems to happen in this price range):

Traditional
2M
63Hz 111.5 dB
50Hz 110.5 dB
40Hz 110.1 dB
31.5Hz 109.6 dB
25Hz 107.6 dB
20Hz 103.8 dB

That's +2.8, +5.2, +2.3, 0, -2.8, -4.1 db for the Klipsch across the range. I'm not sure what to think about that. I'm tempted to call it a wash, though I'm sure some will want those extra db at the lowest end. If I understand things correctly, and I may not, subs are supposed to be able to achieve 115 db at reference level, which would mean both have potential limitations. Although I usually listen at reference -12 which would make both pretty acceptable for some people like me. The impact of the room, and having two subs would also mitigate these limitations.

Overall, they don't seem to be entirely dissimilar, though.

Size-wise:
SVS - 20.9” x 17.3” x 22” 66 pounds (7954 cubic inches)
Klipsch - 21.5" x 19.5" x 22.3" 75.4 pounds (9349 cubic inches)

So the Klipsch is slightly larger and heavier. I think it's probably a non-trivial difference, but that's just my perspective.

Overall, it seems to me that Klipsch already has a competitor to the mid-range SVs (level 2 of 5?). But this is the Reference series Klipsch and mid-range SVS - but comparable price-wise.

If Klipsch used a better, higher excursion 15" driver in that cabinet, they could surely do better, couldn't they? It seems like they'd have a variety of options for trying to make subs that went up against the significantly more expensive larger SVS subs. I'm not saying they should or will, just that it doesn't seem crazy to me that they could.

(I am lucky enough to have had Klipsch, SVS, Hsu, and other subs. I bought the Klipsch, above, on deep discount last winter, but the only SVS I have on hand now is the SB-12NSD, and that is not at all in the same class. So I can't do personal impression testing with the PB-2000 or above.)
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
So, I love that Audioholics goes for measurements. I'd like to add some exploration of that to this thread.

There are published measurements on the R-115SW (sites like camelcamelcamel say it was occasionally as low as $600, and $720 (20% off) several times per year, but usually $900). Klipsch has essentially re-released this sub as the SPL-150SW for $1,150. (If you compare the spec sheets they appear to be 100% identical in literally every reported spec and dimension.) I think it is nearly identical to its precursor, as well, but don't have the data on hand for that. The measurements are from: https://hometheaterreview.com/klipsch-r-115sw-subwoofer-reviewed/?page=2 and show:

CEA 2010 Traditional
1M 2M
63 Hz 123.3 dB 114.3 dB
50 Hz 124.7 dB 115.7 dB
40 Hz 121.4 dB 112.4 dB
31.5 Hz 118.6 dB 109.6 dB
25 Hz 113.8 dB 104.8 dB
20 Hz 108.7 dB 99.7 dB

Comparing to the brand new SVS PB-2000 Pro at $899 seems the closest initial comparison, but I don't think Audioholics has published data yet, so I'll use the PB-2000 (which was $799, not sure of the range of SVS sales, but $100 off seems to happen in this price range):

Traditional
2M
63Hz 111.5 dB
50Hz 110.5 dB
40Hz 110.1 dB
31.5Hz 109.6 dB
25Hz 107.6 dB
20Hz 103.8 dB

That's +2.8, +5.2, +2.3, 0, -2.8, -4.1 db for the Klipsch across the range. I'm not sure what to think about that. I'm tempted to call it a wash, though I'm sure some will want those extra db at the lowest end. If I understand things correctly, and I may not, subs are supposed to be able to achieve 115 db at reference level, which would mean both have potential limitations. Although I usually listen at reference -12 which would make both pretty acceptable for some people like me. The impact of the room, and having two subs would also mitigate these limitations.

Overall, they don't seem to be entirely dissimilar, though.

Size-wise:
SVS - 20.9” x 17.3” x 22” 66 pounds (7954 cubic inches)
Klipsch - 21.5" x 19.5" x 22.3" 75.4 pounds (9349 cubic inches)

So the Klipsch is slightly larger and heavier. I think it's probably a non-trivial difference, but that's just my perspective.

Overall, it seems to me that Klipsch already has a competitor to the mid-range SVs (level 2 of 5?). But this is the Reference series Klipsch and mid-range SVS - but comparable price-wise.

If Klipsch used a better, higher excursion 15" driver in that cabinet, they could surely do better, couldn't they? It seems like they'd have a variety of options for trying to make subs that went up against the significantly more expensive larger SVS subs. I'm not saying they should or will, just that it doesn't seem crazy to me that they could.

(I am lucky enough to have had Klipsch, SVS, Hsu, and other subs. I bought the Klipsch, above, on deep discount last winter, but the only SVS I have on hand now is the SB-12NSD, and that is not at all in the same class. So I can't do personal impression testing with the PB-2000 or above.)
Good post. I’ll have to circle back. But using cost as a metric, I wonder if the pb3k would be closer. The pb2k at 800 costs 300 less than the Klipsch at 1150. So potentially the pb3k at 1400 is 300
More than the Klipsch and will handily beat the pb2k.
Like I said, just a quick observation. I’ll try and look at this later, as I think it’s interesting.
Also, just a hunch, the SVS might have slightly more linearity and lower “Q” and therefore have more controlled sound.
Also, that’s just a spitball.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
But using cost as a metric, I wonder if the pb3k would be closer. The pb2k at 800 costs 300 less than the Klipsch at 1150. So potentially the pb3k at 1400 is 300
Why would you use MSRP instead of what people would actually pay.
For Klipsch no one should ever pay more than 80% of MSRP.
Currently, $862 seems to be the price for the SPL-150SW:
Certainly anyone who would pay full MSRP for the Klipsch subwoofer is not buying a competitive product, but a little research into pricing will get you the 20-25% discount all year round!
Buying one of these for $1150 would be like paying $2000 for a pair of JBL Studio590's - you can do it, but it would be a ridiculous thing to do!

Also, here is one of the last 115SW's for $700:
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
Why would you use MSRP instead of what people would actually pay.
For Klipsch no one should ever pay more than 80% of MSRP.
Currently, $862 seems to be the price for the SPL-150SW:
Certainly anyone who would pay full MSRP for the Klipsch subwoofer is not buying a competitive product, but a little research into pricing will get you the 20-25% discount all year round!
Buying one of these for $1150 would be like paying $2000 for a pair of JBL Studio590's - you can do it, but it would be a ridiculous thing to do!

Also, here is one of the last 115SW's for $700:
Well of course you shouldn’t pay full msrp. Like I said, I was intending on circling back to this. I was referring to pricing, as well as performance. I quickly replied on my way out the door. Seemed like SC was using msrp as the comparative metric. That’s where that came from. Guess I don’t think before it type sometimes!
I wouldn’t pay 862 bucks for any Klipsch sub personally,
 
SwedishChef

SwedishChef

Audioholic Intern
I paid $417.99 for each my two (including tax and shipping). Yes, they were refurbished factory seconds. But I'm cool with that, because I like a good deal. They've been in different rooms, but I'm pretty sure I like my Hsu ULS-15 MK2 set better. But the Klipsch definitely don't suck. (I own no other Klipsch - not a fanboy, pretty eclectic.)

My original intent, though, was just to highlight that Klipsch was already competing with SVS. Even if it was a Klipsch's 15" sub that measured similarly to the SVS 12" 2000 series. They do have some competing products now, even if it's Reference Klispch vs. midrange SVS.

It would surprise me if Klipsch came out with something comparable to the PB16 Ultra, let alone "killing" it. My non-audio-engineer intuition suspects that would either take a pretty costly design or an 18" driver, or both. SVS has been making great subs and improving with each product revision for many years.

I look forward to further innovation in subwoofers. I seriously considered the SVS PC series - I'd much rather have a taller sub that took up less floor space, based on my room arranging experience. Someone make me 18" vertical tubes!
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
If tasked with making sense of this, I would speculate the following:
1) With the R-110SW, R-112SW and R115SW; Klipsch entered the market with competent subs at competitive prices (given the normal 20% discount).
2) These subs never really established themselves as a competitor to mainstream ID subwoofer companies.
3) Klipsch is looking to produce an "Uber sub" to get peoples attention and establish that they can make a "take no prisoners sub". This could be a $4000 that they sell very few of. It doesn't matter, if it is capable, it will make its mark and establish Klipsch as a credible player in the sub market.

I am no Klipsch fan-boy, but nor am I opposed to the possibility that they might make a good sub after years of making substandard ones. I have not heard this sub (the R-115SW), but I have been reading Brent Butterworth's reviews long enough to recognize he is not spewing BS like so many other reviewers! If he says it is good (along with the measurements), then I trust it is good.

Or if people don't trust Brent to know subs, maybe they will trust Tom V. of PSA! This was his response to a 2015 post recommending buyers avoid Klipsch and only consider the mainstream ID manufactures (a list that included PSA):
The new klipsch 15 is actually very good. It does really well >25hz IIRC. You'll give up a little under that but it can be found for $700ish(shipped). If the budget is hardcapped at 700/1400(duals) I'm not sure if someone could do better---at least in terms of headroom >25hz.

Tom V.
Power Sound Audio
Link to the above quoted post:

In a way Klipsch deserves this because they have, indeed, been producing crappy subs for decades, but for a forum that has "Pursuing the Truth in Audio and Video" in its logo it is impressive how many naysayers believe "it can't be" without evaluating the actual product!
The same is true after James measured the new Klipsch RP series and found them to be neutral (not bright)!

@Sealman ,
15" Duals for $836?
I genuflect in your direction!
 
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