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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
SB13-Ultra

by hyghwayman





This is a review of the SB13-Ultra that I won here in the HTShack giveaway :)hail: :thankyou: :yourock:), you will not see any pretty graphs or specifications here, just my two cents, some pictures and a few​
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Let's being,


Delivery & Inspection


I have two awesome woofers now :clap: and my cat didn't detect any illegal contraband :paddle: . After finding out I had won on Friday morning, it shipped out sometime Monday and I was accepting delivery Tuesday afternoon (Thank you Sonnie, Ted Sindzinski and Dan Marks). The delivery was by a FEDx and arrived unhurt. After getting it in the front door I needed to rest so I took a couple pictures, then pushed it into the staging area in front of tv. This thing is a lot of bass weight, if your young, athletic and enjoy lifting heavy things go for it but if not recruit a friend, neighbor or family member to help with the lifting or try the push/pull method.​


Unpacking
:eek:opssign:
Out of the Box & Side by Side


:doh: I forgot to take any pics during the unboxing, sorry. SVS made it easy with instructions in print and pictures on the boxes though, so all went well. I pulled my Bic F12 out right after unboxing my new toy and slid the two together. Not much of a difference in cabinet size between the two of them but that is where any and all similarities end. I mean, look at the grain finish on SVS sub, nice and deep compared to the Bic, the woofer itself weighs more than the entire Bic.​


Set Up & Location



This is where I threw out all the stops and shoved my new toy into the very same spot my Bic had been in since joining the rest of my gear a year ago. I had planned to do the sub crawl and all but after pushing it from the front door to the staging area I knew then it wasn't going to happen that day, just wanted to get it hooked up and playing ASAP, plus it looks and fits good there. I ran the MCACC advanced software, reset the speakers to small and the crossover to 100. My living room is 15x21x8 (2520 CF) and opens to the rest of our house (see pic above ). Prime listening position is approximately 11' away from the sub.


Gear & Connections


My gear is in my sig, all connections via HDMi and I'm also hard wired (2x cat5) atm to allow streaming a/v from my PC or the internet and online gaming.​


Subjective Listening

My taste in music is all over the place from classical to rap (my son makes me:help:) and everything between.
Music has been a part of my whole life, from my early days in Southern California to my time in Virginia. I worked as a roadie in South Florida as a teenager for a band that played at HS Proms mostly. Then while living in Austin, Texas I was working for a music store moving pianos. I met Willie Nelson after moving his sisters baby grand, he even sat down and strummed along with my buddy as he was testing how badly we had knocked it out of tune with the short move from the recording studio to center stage (real cool dude).​

Music


I started off with some "Time" by Pink Floyd's from their Dark Side of the Moon album. This is a song I've heard and have been listening to for nearly 40yrs :yikes:
From Wikipedia,
Each clock at the beginning of the song was recorded separately in an antiques store. This is followed by a two-minute passage dominated by Nick Mason's drum solo, with rototoms and backgrounded by a tick-tock sound created by Roger Waters picking two muted strings on his bass.

Next up was "Burning Down the House" by Talking Heads from their Speaking in Tongues album. While not bass heavy, I love this song, even used it in one of my Halo videos.


Voodoo by Godsmack is a song I love to crank up the volume to and the SB13-Ultra delivered every note flawlessly.


Another One Bites the Dust by Queen from The Game album.
From Wikipedia,
There are no synthesisers used in the song: all effects are created with pianos, guitars, and drums, with subsequent tape playback performed in reverse at various speeds. Finally, some sound effects were run through the harmonizer for further processing. The effect of the harmonizer can be heard clearly in the "swirling" nature of the sound immediately before the first lyric.
I ended up listening to over 150 songs I have stored on my phone before I had to retire for the night and loved every minute.


Movies


The Dark Knight Rises - This is the first movie thrown at the SB13-Ultra based on recommendations from HTS members to watch the alley scene. I watched the whole movie because I had no idea where the alley scene was and I'm happy to say what a sonic treat it was. I felt and heard things that my Bic sub never could produce.


Immortals - This movie has some nice ULF and the SB13-Ultra never exhibited any signs of fatigue. I'm sad to say, I don't own this one yet but it is on my must buy list. I watched it via Netflix, streaming in HD / 5.1 DD+



Avengers - I was just going to watch the fight scene between Thor / Iron Man where Captain America tells them to knock it off and for Thor to just drop it but ended up watching the entire movie. When Thor's hammer hit the shield my whole :hsd:.


The Hobbit - It's not a movie I can watch over and over but my wife really wanted to watch it again. I fell asleep before the halfway point again for the second time so we finished it the next night. There is one scene in this movie that made me :dumbcrazy: , it's at the very end where the dragon awakes after 400yrs to a bird pecking outside. Not sure whether to call the noise the dragon makes a snort or growl but :wow:, me's liked it. I repeated that scene at least five times before my wife asked to watch the bonus material.


My

For those who've made it this far, I thank you for your time, I've been having a blast for over a week and hope it shows.
When I was listening to music I noticed the cleanest, tightest bass ever, blending in with my Pioneer speakers so well and changing the entire sound of my system it's :scared::hide:. I think I'm hearing things in the music that has been hidden to me for so long. A close friend of the family came by to pick up some 38 ammo from my wife while I was playing Pink Floyd's Time and afterwards I asked him what he thought. His comment was " It felt like I was at the concert " the smile that came across my face after hearing that is still with me today, see :bigsmile:
This is a very musical sub, nice job SVS :T

By the second day I was itching to see/hear/feel what the baby could do with ULF found in movies today. The Dark Knight Rises confirmed everything I had been reading about ULF but had been in denial with my Bic. Even with my crossover set at 100 I could never tell where the sub was located at all.


So is this sub worth :spend: $1,599.oo :dontknow: my wife and I are very thankful we don't have to answer that question. :ponder:

:yes::jiggy::yes: the SB13-Ultra is worth every penny & every bit as good as all the other reviewers say it is, so if you are in the market for a quality sub I recommend taking advantage of SVS's 45 day :drive: before you buy elsewhere.



_________________________​

If you have any questions please ask and I would love to hear your comments also. Any advice on my setup that may help me achieve better sound with the equipment I have now is certainly welcomed too. My next goal is to acquire / learn how to use a SPL meter and REW software.
 

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I love mine and can not even begin to imagine how much better it would seem if it was FREE! Enjoy it man. P.S. I'm a big Pink Floyd fan too. If you haven't already tried the SACD versions of DSOTM and WYWH its a whole new world.....truly fantastic stuff. Additionally, David Gilmour's Remember That Night - Live at The Royal Albert Hall blu-ray is outstanding.
 

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Discussion Starter #9

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Your welcome Asere...

I changed my crossover from 80 before to 100 when calibrating the new sub into my system based on what SVS's Merlin tool recommended. To set the crossover 30 to 50 Hz higher than the rated bass extension for each of my speakers.

I went my weakest speaker rated @ 80w, Pioneer offers only 80, 100, 150 global crossover points, so 100 seemed the best. The sound coming from my Pioneer speakers is so alive, pleasingly clean and more detailed now:eek:lddude:. Can't wait to hear it after EQ'ing the sub properly :ponder: :bigsmile:
 

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Your welcome Asere...

I changed my crossover from 80 before to 100 when calibrating the new sub into my system based on what SVS's Merlin tool recommended. To set the crossover 30 to 50 Hz higher than the rated bass extension for each of my speakers.

I went my weakest speaker rated @ 80w, Pioneer offers only 80, 100, 150 global crossover points, so 100 seemed the best. The sound coming from my Pioneer speakers is so alive, pleasingly clean and more detailed now:eek:lddude:. Can't wait to hear it after EQ'ing the sub properly :ponder: :bigsmile:
Yes it is amazing what a nice sub can do to the speakers. They come alive with cleaner crisp sound.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
:yeahthat:

Even voices sound better, more natural, all of these improvements in sound above the LFE crossover were not expected with an addition of a sub. Thinking it would be all in the lower bass and ULF areas and then my speakers would be the weak link in the audio chain but it's the total opposite.
 

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:yeahthat:

Even voices sound better, more natural, all of these improvements in sound above the LFE crossover were not expected with an addition of a sub. Thinking it would be all in the lower bass and ULF areas and then my speakers would be the weak link in the audio chain but it's the total opposite.
Oh yes subs greatly improve any speakers!
 

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:yeahthat:

Even voices sound better, more natural, all of these improvements in sound above the LFE crossover were not expected with an addition of a sub. .
That was the first thing I noticed when I upgraded to my xv15. Male voices especially sounded much better.

Nice review. It's always nice to see someone else combining the pioneers with a high quality sub.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Loved reading your review and well done, looks like the SVS certainly went to a good home :T
Thanks recruit..
I was told I went above and beyond what HTS ask of winners with my review :help: but I'm glad you enjoyed it.

That was the first thing I noticed when I upgraded to my xv15. Male voices especially sounded much better.

Nice review. It's always nice to see someone else combining the pioneers with a high quality sub.
Thanks Law...
I can't say enough about how it has changed my audio experience. Never understood the saying, "get the best sub you can afford" before but I do now. It made my Pioneers really come alive :bigsmile:
 
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