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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys,

For those who have gone down the multi sub route, have you experienced the same jump in performance going to 4 subs from 2 subs as going from 1 sub to 2 subs?

Up until now I have been bent on getting 2x SB13U, but playing around with REW room sim. I see that it might be advantageous to have 3 subs. One in each front corner and one behind the MLP.
I don't think I can stretch the budget to 3x SB13U, but 4x SB2000 costs the same (or a little less than) as 2x SB13U.

The other thing I'm curious about is if the transients are better with the SB13U vs SB2000. I would prefer clean, tight, accurate bass over lots of bass any day of the week.

TIA

Cheers,
John
 

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I don't know the answer to that. But I can say that Ed Mulled does know. And he loves these kinds of questions. If I were considering such a set up, he would be my first phone call. Great customer service.
 

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Both models have similar transient response (which we express as group delay and associated ringing in the time domain). Expect that classic tight, musical, punchy and articulate sealed sub sound.

Depending on the size of the room and how problematic the acoustics are - I might be inclined to recommend quad SB-2000 for the highest modal density (see Harman White Papers for more on multiple subs).

What are the rooms dims, is it fairly enclosed, and what is the primary source material and typical playback level?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Hi Ed,
Thanks for chiming in. I have read the Harman research papers and their findings were very interesting. Basically the study found that for the flattest bass response, get as many subs as you can into a given area.
I am curious as to where the point of diminishing returns kicks in.

Are you able to share what the main differences are between the Ultra driver vs those that are in the SB2000? (apart from 12" vs 13")
If both models have a similar transient response or group delay, then what are the advantages of the SB13U over the SB2000? In what situations would one purchase a SB13U over a SB2000?

My room is 3.5m x 4.5m x 2.4m. But I'm not sure how long we'll be in this house for as we're considering a rebuild. So ultimately, my HT room may end up much larger. :p
Generally speaking, I tend to listen to either music or movies around the 80-90 db mark.

TIA
 

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Hi Ed,
Thanks for chiming in. I have read the Harman research papers and their findings were very interesting. Basically the study found that for the flattest bass response, get as many subs as you can into a given area.
I am curious as to where the point of diminishing returns kicks in.

Are you able to share what the main differences are between the Ultra driver vs those that are in the SB2000? (apart from 12" vs 13")
If both models have a similar transient response or group delay, then what are the advantages of the SB13U over the SB2000? In what situations would one purchase a SB13U over a SB2000?

My room is 3.5m x 4.5m x 2.4m. But I'm not sure how long we'll be in this house for as we're considering a rebuild. So ultimately, my HT room may end up much larger. :p
Generally speaking, I tend to listen to either music or movies around the 80-90 db mark.

TIA
The SB13-Ultra is capable of 2X the max output of the SB-2000, and would be the best choice where a high performance single subwoofer solution is required.

The two drivers are totally different designs - the Ultra 13.5" driver is extremely robust and heavy duty - with much higher power handling and longer stroke. It weighs considerably more than the entire SB-2000. :unbelievable:

Driver and output differences notwithstanding, at your playback level (you should measure bass peaks with an SPL meter set to C/Fast and add ~3 dB for actual SPL) - the enhanced modal density and smoother FR and more locations in the room are what is most appealing to the quad sub solution. And quads are indeed the point of diminishing returns according to Harman.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hmmm..... now you've made it really difficult Ed.
I'm lusting after the SB13Us because they looks so tasty.. but 4x SB2000s will have the performance edge in my current room. hmmmm...

decisions decisions decisions..

Just thinking out loud... how does one drive 4x SB2000s effectively, since they only have RCA input/outputs vs balanced XLRs.
 

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Hmmm..... now you've made it really difficult Ed.
I'm lusting after the SB13Us because they looks so tasty.. but 4x SB2000s will have the performance edge in my current room. hmmmm...

decisions decisions decisions..

Just thinking out loud... how does one drive 4x SB2000s effectively, since they only have RCA input/outputs vs balanced XLRs.
Don't daisy-chain since the RCA out is high passed. Use an RCA splitter at each subwoofer and just connect the AVR sub-out jack to all the subs with RCA cables. The input impedance is 47 kohms - so don't worry about load on the sub-out jack.
 

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Hi Guys,

For those who have gone down the multi sub route, have you experienced the same jump in performance going to 4 subs from 2 subs as going from 1 sub to 2 subs?
My experience, going from two subs to three, a third sub adds to smoothing issues but doesn't add to the dynamics of the sound track. I went with a different manufacture's pair of subwoofers and when I was going over your question while looking for fleas, my based on expeience conclusion, go for the powerful two and make sure to have the best bass room correction software possible.

If you want more sound, go with double the output. If you want smoothing, add a third subwoofer. If you want depth of extension, you're going pay. And yes, despite what the naysayers say, depth of extension is definitely worth it. Nothing in your sound system is going beat the rumble and roll of a bass wave coursing around the room. It's an amazing, worth the price of admission, experience.

Once you have the power, then it becomes an exercise of controlling that power to compliment the acoustics of your room. If I want to smooth room issues, I'd go with an additional (third) SB2000 but if I was going for output, without question, I'd hit the hip for a pair of Ultras. If you want both (output and depth of extension) you're going have to get the power of a pair of Ultras coupled with the power of XT32 w/SubEQ HT.

It's your call.

It's your call if you're in it for output or weaker acoustically smooth sound.

The short version, there's no cheap way of getting where you "REALLY" want to go. If you want output and smooth acoustics, it's gonna cost ya and the only way one can guarantee anything, is to have two powerful subwoofers, download a freeware copy of REW and to have an AVR with XT32 w/SubEQ HT.
 

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My experience is pretty much that of Beemans. A 3rd helped smooth, (once I was done fighting with 5, 12" drivers and 3 phase controls!) For me, it didn't seem worth it, and I'm giving the 3rd sub back to my friend. (I fixed it for him). I think to play along with my little knowledge of Dr tooles work, I'd hold out for 4 for ultimate smoothing if that's the most important to you. For output, I think the ultras are better. And who knows, you may be able to get the 2 ultras to play flat, if you have room for flexible placement. I would go that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks for your input guys..
I think i will go with the Ultras, mainly due to the fear of buyers remorse if i got the sb2000s.
Who knows, I may end up with 4 Ultras... :D Though, getting any Ultras atm, might prove difficult as SVS lists them as out of stock :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Buying a pair of Ultras? When properly dialed into the acoustics in your room, just saying, you're in for a serious treat.
Thats 2 pair :p.. but unlikely...
Just ordered the 1st one. I'm going to take it slow. Buy 1, set it up, see how it goes, then add another one. Set it up, see how it goes. And so on so forth.
 

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Thats 2 pair :p.. but unlikely...
Just ordered the 1st one. I'm going to take it slow. Buy 1, set it up, see how it goes, then add another one. Set it up, see how it goes. And so on so forth.
Congratulations on your purchase. The Ultra is a killer subwoofer. For your room, in my opinion, two Ultras will light your fire.

My opinion, two subs will max out a sub's capabilities as output wise, the return on third and fourth subwoofers is diminishing. Third and forth subwoofer are more for smoothing issues than output issues. Again, my personal opinion, based on experience and a boatload of research on this matter while looking for fleas, if one wants/needs more output than two subs have to offer, they should step up two steps to subwoofers with more output. Unless moving to a five or seven thousand cu ft size room, two Ultras are more than capable of filling a <4000^3' room. My recommendation is to place one subwoofer nearfield to the (MLP) main listening position and the second subwoofer on the viewing wall. Placement dependent on REW measurements.

Two subwoofers will bring a room alive. The third subwoofer, creates it's own set of placement/phase problems. My comments are not intended to be in conflict with Ed Mullen's comments. Nor the White papers which, IIRC, tout four subs, asymmetrically placed on each of four walls.

You referenced your space as 3.5m x 4.5m x 2.4m or 37,800 liters or 1335^3' which makes it a small viewing space. Two Ultras should have the ability to crack sheetrock in a room that size. I encourage the use of an AVR that has independent subwoofer outs, as opposed to "Y'g" the same Pre-Out. I encourage the use of an AVR that is equipped with XT32 w/SubEQ HT and I encourage the use of REW to measure and aid the dialing in of the subwoofer system.

I hope the above ramblings help.
 

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I agree with the two subs is better than one approach. The first time I added a second sub to my system, it's like they both disappeared and all I got was great sound.
 

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I agree with the two-subs approach, with one caveat… without sufficient placement flexibility it may not help. I just returned my recently purchased SB-2000 pair because it sounded (and measured) better with a single sub placed in the optimum position than with the best I could get with two subs given my placement restrictions. Now, I'll be the first to admit that my second sub placement options were limited… my only point is that there are some circumstances where your money will be better spent on a nicer single sub. Out of curiosity, I ran the REW room simulator (my room is very nearly rectangular), and it was surprisingly accurate in identifying which modes/nulls would be problematic and beneficial at the MLP (or wherever I put the mic). I kept adjusting the 2nd sub position in the room sim until I found the best spot… and I placed the sub there, gave it a listen, and was thoroughly impressed. Problem is, I think I've found the spot in my room with the absolute least WAF possible… on the kitchen counter right next to the sink (at least the granite provided a stable base). Still deciding between the SB13U and the Martin Logan dynamo 1500x… like the form of the ML better, but the SB13U has always been enticing.
 

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I agree with the two-subs approach, with one caveat… without sufficient placement flexibility it may not help. I just returned my recently purchased SB-2000 pair because it sounded (and measured) better with a single sub placed in the optimum position than with the best I could get with two subs given my placement restrictions. Now, I'll be the first to admit that my second sub placement options were limited… my only point is that there are some circumstances where your money will be better spent on a nicer single sub. Out of curiosity, I ran the REW room simulator (my room is very nearly rectangular), and it was surprisingly accurate in identifying which modes/nulls would be problematic and beneficial at the MLP (or wherever I put the mic). I kept adjusting the 2nd sub position in the room sim until I found the best spot… and I placed the sub there, gave it a listen, and was thoroughly impressed. Problem is, I think I've found the spot in my room with the absolute least WAF possible… on the kitchen counter right next to the sink (at least the granite provided a stable base). Still deciding between the SB13U and the Martin Logan dynamo 1500x… like the form of the ML better, but the SB13U has always been enticing.
I really actually laughed out loud! I'm still working on this theory but it's basically how WAF and Murphy's law are directly related! In essence, the only place for your sub to be at its best, will be where your wife hates it the most! Murphy's WAF?
Anyway, did you ever stack your SBs? Considering your hurdles, and room model, I wonder if this would have done the trick.
 
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