My review of the SVS CS Ultra

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by David Werner, Sep 2, 2001.

  1. David Werner

    David Werner Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 30, 1997
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    First off, I'd like to thank Tom & Ron at SVS for being very patient with me in purchasing from them. Their response time for questions is nothing but first rate. I'm a very particular person who frequently has buyers remorse with purchases. I am without a doubt happy to say that I have no remorse in purchasing the SVS CS U! [​IMG]
    Some background, our system consists of a Marantz AV560 Pre/Pro, Panasonic A310 DVD, Marantz MA500's for the M&K LCR 55 speakers, a MA700 for the SVS and connects from BetterCables, AudioQuest and Max Rochlin Digital Cable.
    When we purchased the M&K set up we purchased the M&K V75mkII sub. We looked at subs that cost under $400 which were mainly annoying to listen to. The M&K just clobbered the smaller subs (albeit the M&K was $650), we thought this was it and it was for our small HT room in our old house. Time moves on and we moved to a larger home with which the M&K really tried to do to much for what was asked of it (2700 cu. ft.).
    The decision to purchase the SVS was based on reviews from fellow HT'ers, Tom's advice and the little upgrade bug in me wondering what if? The sub arrived quickly and was very well packaged, the stories are true! The construction is top shelf, nothing was damaged and everything is rattle free.
    I have not yet even had a chance to do SPL calibration with this sub and this baby delivers in spades!
    I first listened to a few CD's (BB King-Blues on the Bayou, Rolling Stones-Stripped, Stevie Nicks-Trouble in Shangi-la). Amazing! The bass is clean, tight and articulate. Each bass note is its own entity, heard and felt. For CDs, I have the level set just high enough to tickle my tummy [​IMG] . The thing that impresses me is that the SVS is very listenable, it exudes lush, rich bass totally surrounding the environment. DVD movies (Matrix, Titan AE, etc.) are just incredible. No more constant blah, blah bass for us. The SVS is, well I just cannot believe it.
    This is what it is all about, hands down has to be the best value for a subwoofer. It does not matter how high the volume goes it just delivers, unbelievable. As Ron had stated to me "You will LOVE this sub, that's a promise." I'd like to thank Tom & Ron for creating this gem, I am truly impressed.
    [Edited last by David Werner on September 02, 2001 at 09:24 PM]
  2. Curtis_Edwards

    Curtis_Edwards Stunt Coordinator

    Jan 1, 2001
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    Congrats on your new sub!
  3. Elliott_P

    Elliott_P Agent

    May 8, 2001
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    You Ultra guys are making me so jealous!
  4. John_RK

    John_RK Extra

    Jul 6, 2001
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    You beat me to the punch, so I'll just chime in here. My CS_Ultra was delivered Friday (Thanks,SVS guys, for getting it to me prior to the holiday weekend). My review could essentially be boiled down to "me,too!" but I feel compelled to offer more.
    Like most people on this board, I've been reading rave reviews about SVS subs for months now, and I'm here to tell you that all the hype is more than justified! In fact, what I used to think was hype now seems more like understatement. This sub has added a dimension to my DVDs that I never knew existed. I find myself sitting with a big grin on my face while being literally shaken by waves of deep, clean bass. Toy Story 2, SPR, Titan AE, Matrix, U-571...I've played 'em all, and this beast is not even straining (in a 6,000 cu ft room). For now, I'm powering the Ultra with an Onkyo receiver at about 150 watts into 4 ohms. Hard to believe it will be even better with the Samson amp (due to arrive Tuesday)... the depth charges in U-571 rattled the windows so hard I could see the blinds move!
    If you're concerned that all this power makes the Ultra an "HT only" sub, don't be. It handles all kinds of music from Diana Krall and Holly Cole to Stevie Ray Vaughan and AC/DC. The DTS version of Steely Dan's "Gaucho" is incredible. I realize now how much my old sub colored the sound of my CDs. The SVS is noteworthy for what you hear AND for what you DON'T hear.
    Thanks, Ron and Tom. You have created a product that exceeded my very high expectations. I'm already planning my viewing agenda for tomorrow. "Das Boot" will be up first…I can't wait!
  5. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

    Jun 2, 2001
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    John, David,
    Thanks for that! The Ultra is just that. I'd guess that there isn't a sub ANYWHERE in the commercial market that can touch it's performance/cost ratio.
    Our SS sub FINALLY goes to the photographer next weekend for pics prior to pre-orders, and it will perform a bit lower than the CS-Ultra probably, and even give "the Ultra guys" something to covet... but it'll cost much more due to hardwood EVERYTHING, and a design that'll head straight to the Museum of Modern Art I think. But for pure performance and subtle levels, and levels right off the chart...there's no beating the CS-Ultra.
    Thanks for giving them a shot. Like slipping a Chevy 454 into mom's Chevelle (OK, and swapping out the tranny, tires, shocks, exhaust, power-steeting), the CS-Ultra is all "Go".
    (Phew! Now I'm having a "Ghostbuster" flashback! ;^)
  6. Tom Vodhanel

    Tom Vodhanel Cinematographer

    Sep 4, 1998
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    Thanks for taking the time to share some of your thoughts on the woofs. I think *passive*(amp not built in)subwoofers are not as widely appreciated as they should be. What you get is...a very pure source reproduction up to the linear operating limits of the subwoofer itself. You don't have to worry about how many internal crossover circuits you might not be able to bypass,you don't have to worry about excursion limiters,you don't really have to worry about anything ALTERING the input signal at all(unless you decide to add user tweakable components that allow YOU to do this as you see fit.....EQs,XOs,ect). Now, what are some of the *linear operating limits* you'll run into on any subwoofer?
    There's plenty, but 3 main ones IMO...
    1)driver excursion limits. The driver in the CS_U has over 20mm of *xmax*(linear excursion capability) each way. Which is very good at any price...and is(was)unheard of at the price points SVS hit.
    2)port flow capabilities. (obviously if the subwoofer is sealed or uses PRs...this doesn't directly apply). The CS_U has three 3" ports that are WIDELY flared both internally and externally. That's over 21 sq-in. Again, very good at any price...unheard of at our price points.
    3)enclosure strength. Wall flexing can rob a subwoofer of a surprising amount of performance capability. So you have to heavily brace a *boxy* enclosure. Weight goes up,as does cost. A cylinder has no walls to *flex* in the common interpretations of the subject...that's why so many of the *high pressure* applications use cylindrical shapes.(natural gas trucks,air compressors,ect)So all you have to worry about is the *endcaps* of the cylinder(subwoofer). No big deal right? Well, after destroying a few endcap designs when building the first test versions of the CS_U...we figured we have the best driver and the best porting available...let's just forget about cost and make sure we also have the best enclosures. So we now have custom made cylindrical enclosures with a 50% thicker wall(which we use on all enclosures btw). AND we use 1.5"(one and a half inch) thick (low void)BIRCH plywood endcaps for both ends of all of our enclosures. Let's just stay...flexing is keep to a is enclosure weight. btw---any of you DIYers want a single 4x8 sheet of this material for endcaps...figure around $200(black laminated)...yikes,

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