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Hi-

I posted this at a different forum, but thought I post it here as well.
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Well, I've had my new SVS PC-U (13) for over a week and I have been comparing it to my trusty old PC-U (with TV12.2). My room is about 20x16x8 and is open via 7 ft wide opening to the rest of the 1500 sq ft basement. I've had my old PC-U (with the latest driver) for almost 2 yrs. You can check out pics (with the "old" sub) in my gallery (over at AVS), and I attached one below.

First, the physical stuff.
I did not realize the new Ultra was taller than the old Ultra. That was my bad for not reading. It is about 6" taller (eyeball estimate). The weight on the UPS box said 119 lbs. Craig, pay attention here... the ports and subsequently the port bungs are much larger on the new vs the old Ultra (the specs say 3.5" vs 3.0", but check out those bungs). As usual, the box came well-packed*. The cylinder came wrapped in heavy paper, which I would guess is there to prevent the fabric on the sub from riding up during shipping. As usual, my kids gravitated to the box and have spend hours in it. There is the added bonus of using the paper to do life-size outlines of the kids...

I have a Room EQ Wizard and an SPL meter that is also a calibrated mic. I ran some sweeps raw. Here I could see there is a lot more output in the mid-bass region on this sub. I then EQ'd the new PC-Ultra using my BFD. (My old PC-Ultra has been running flat since I've had it.) I found the new sub much easier to integrate with my mains compared to the old. No doubt, the additional output from 70-100hz contributed to this. By the way, both subs were in the 20hz tune.

Some of these notes are from my own sessions, and some are from a subwoofer A/B movie night I had a while back.

Now, onto the tests...
Musical Stuff
I put in all kinds of music ranging from Jazz to hip-hop to rock. First thoughts... Wow! This thing hits you in the chest and moves out of the way. The pulsing beat on "Double Dutch Bus" felt great. Moving on to MC 900 ft Jesus I got to experience tight, deep, electric bass lines, drums that pop, and deep electronic bass cleaner than I ever had. It sounded like the bass player had his amp right next to me. In terms of clean bass, I found more of the same with Snoop Dog's "What's my Name". The whole Dave Brubeck "Time Out" album was a great way to demonstrate the sub's agility playing bass and piano in unison and walking in the mid-bass region.

In my disbelief of the improvement, I stuck my head very close to the new sub and listened some more... it maintained its tightness...

Remember, I am comparing this to a more-than-solid sub. The difference was very noticeable, so much so my buddies started spewing out superlatives! For much of the listening sessions I pushed the volume up so any issues would be obvious. All of my friends really picked out the difference in response and tightness with no coaching. The old sub was fatter on the bottom... again, I love(d) that sub for a long time and had done extensive a/b/c with other subs before choosing it. This is definitely an upgrade of the model.

Can an explosion be musical?
Something I noticed years ago when I went from a PCi to a 20-39PC+ to my PC-U is that the rumbly HT bass became clearer. Now with the new PC-U I can hear and feel the articulation of every bump and rumble. It is a bizarre improvement... almost like you can feel the rocks Buzz Lightyear is flying over. I credit the additional overhead with allowing that experience. There is more texture and articulation. If you've ever been to an air show I liken it to the details of the roar and crackle you hear when a fighter jet is flying overhead, but at a much deeper frequency. The old sub sounds fatter in comparison... and trust me, it still sounds great.

I found more of this with the opening scene of Master and Commander. As you probably know they won an Oscar for the sound. Each canon has its own signature. They really are musical... oh, and they smack you in the head, chest and gut while daring you to stand up for more.

Flight of the Phoenix was a scary treat. This is one of my standards to show off my HT because of the intense incorporation of the sound track and the bumpy flight and subsequent crash. They pulse the bass to shake you in conjunction with the plane shaking turbulence. It is also a torture test for a sub. Because I had been exercising the sub quite a bit I felt comfortable adding 5db to my usual test volume. Boy, talk about an adrenaline rush!

Some relative measurements:
- Nemo "Darla" test is 107.7db of clean output vs 105.3 on the old PC-U. Darla has a lot of info at the max-excursion point of both of these subs, so the 2.5db is significant. I would imagine there is more room there because I can't say both sub are perfectly at the same level for that frequency.
- This one surprised me... On the Toy Story 2 intro (DTS track) I am able to turn the volume up to -30 with room (and push -27 with some strain) versus -35 on the old PC-U. On the old PC-U, -35 was the loudest I would go without worrying I was pushing it. I did not do more-granular testing, but I am thinking the net of it is 5-7db of cleaner output on that track.
-- (On my system we listen around -40 to -37 with my wife and -35 to -33 with the guys. The -33 *was* my max and only soundtracks I was familiar with. After playing around and trying to torture the sub, -33 to -30 will now be my standard level with the guys... no more worries about an errant hot-spot in the sound track! I'll turn it to 11, er, um -27 for special demo treats (hotter than 80db reference last I checked).

In summary I am extremely pleased with the increase in performance and sound quality I am getting with the new SVS PC-U over the old PC-U. The additional overhead not only allows for me to turn it up more than I had before, but it also allows for the sub to do more with the soundtrack while playing. The increased performance in the mid-bass region helps here as well, and definitely helped integrate the sub into my system.

Great job SVS!

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*I can attest there is some cushion in the packing because as I was sliding the box into my basement it slipped out of my hand, slid down several stairs on its side (amounting to about a 4 ft vertical drop), and landed with a thud with the corner digging in first... no dents on the box and nothing wrong with the sub!
 

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Tweakophyte,

Thanks for those impressions! That's the kind of impressions that makes me giddy for my PB13-U! Hopefully, just hopefully it'll ship today and I'll have it next week!!!

I cannot wait to test it out!
 

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Jon,

We're sending out notices that the last supply component needed for this week's first PB13-Ultra production run did not arrive as planned.

Subs will start flowing out now on Tuesday most probably. Still a good chance for some folks to see theirs next week (Oak and Rosenut customers first).

Sorry for that last bit of added delay, but it's a small one at least.

Ron Stimpson
SVS
 

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Thanks for the update, Ron! Things happen! I'm just hoping that I am in the first shipment of Rosenuts so I can possibly get it by the end of next week!

Either way, I just hope I don't hurt myself getting this thing situated...
 

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@tweakophyte

Great review. So much so in fact that I posted a link to this thread over on the UK's largest dedicated AV Forum, www.avforums.com, but due to some keen moderating, links to HometheaterShack (as well as other forums) are excised from the thread.

May I ask your permission to reproduce your post in there for people to read?

Cheers

Bob
 

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@ Sonnie.

Well it looks like you got your answer over at AVForums. My thread was deleted entirely! :huh:

EDIT: It's been reinstated! I presume it was pulled for further investigation!

EDIT #2 YUP, I've been allowed to reinstate the link to here. Good news!
 

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Yeah... I got a PM that my post had been deleted. I guess since they decided to allow the link that they felt a few of those posts were no longer needed. Hey... I was nice about it. :huh:
 

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Common sense prevailed!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
@tweakophyte

Great review. So much so in fact that I posted a link to this thread over on the UK's largest dedicated AV Forum, www.avforums.com, but due to some keen moderating, links to HometheaterShack (as well as other forums) are excised from the thread.

May I ask your permission to reproduce your post in there for people to read?

Cheers

Bob
Hi-

Thanks, and yes, permission granted... ;)
I read that site every so often, especially on their subwoofer tests. It looks like the thread is still open. Did they close it for a while?
 

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From time to time threads get pulled that appear to promote other sites which may be in competition with AVForums. Fortunately now it's been seen that HTS is not a competitor and the thread I posted was reinstated. As I said, common sense prevailed! But the mod was just following the rules to the letter, but in my experience and although strictly not playing by the rules, I often nudge them with an "alternative" point of view and they do take things on board.

Thanks for the OK to reproduce your post, but as that was going to be a last option in case the link to here was excised, there is now no need to do this. But thanks again.
 
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great review just one question have you listened to the PB-13 ultra, if so how does it compare to the PC- ultra
thx
 

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Discussion Starter #14
great review just one question have you listened to the PB-13 ultra, if so how does it compare to the PC- ultra
thx
Hi-

No, I have not heard the box version of either version of the Ultra.

...I had to re-read what you asked...almost didn't see the B versus the C...
:)
 
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has anyone else herd the PB-13 ultra, if so how does it compare against the PC- ultra or to other subs such as Martin logan's "descent" or REL's "Stantor.
Thank you
 
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I have the older PC Ultra and it's a beast! I think it's the best purchase I've ever made for my system. I couldn't imagine it getting much better at it's price point. I paid $800 shipped for a lightly used Ultra and I'm having a blast rediscovering my entire collectionof movies and music. Even the Playoff Games were pounding this weekend!
 

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Indeed. The PC-U (TV-12) was a fantastic performer, especially at the price point, but some odd reason, the new Ultra 13 driver is just that much more impressive. Yes, it'll cost more, but I think pretty much everyone has agreed that the difference is well worth it!
 

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Football games are a blast to watch with a good subwoofer. The networks do a great job of making it a real sound experience.
 
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