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PB2+ or CS-Ultra? (1 Viewer)

NateF

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 22, 2001
Messages
63
Ok, I'm going to be in the market for a high quality sub, and I'm fairly certain I want an SVS. I listen almost exclusively to HT, currently in a fairly small room (12x16) with hardwood floors, but I'm eventually going to want it to be able to fill a decent sized (16x24) room. Of course, that's further in the future and I can always buy a second.

So my question is, which sub is better? I'm sure I don't need to define better to you guys in here - flat response, clean, accurate sound, etc.

The price difference isn't enough to really matter to me, and either one will fit in my space, so I'm really just looking at quality.

I couldn't find a response graph on SVS's site, but maybe I just missed a link somewhere.

Any help would be much appreciated.

-Nate

(oh yeah, and this assumes getting the Samson amp with a single CS-Ultra)

In case it matters, I run a Denon 3801, with an assortment of low to midrange speakers (they're next on the list to upgrade, but I figure going from no sub to having a sub is more important right now).
 

Edward J M

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2002
Messages
2,031
Hi Nate:

The Ultra is tuned to 20 Hz with all ports open. The PB2+ is tuned to 25 Hz with all ports open.

If you plug a port and tune the PB2+ to 20 Hz, it might have a 2-3 dB maximum output advantage over a single Ultra at all frequencies above 21-22 Hz.

If you leave the PB2+ in the 25 Hz tune, it will have more like a 4-5 dB advantage over a single Ultra above 25 Hz.

The Ultra driver has a slightly different sound than the Plus driver. It is subtle, but the difference is there, to my ears. I compared an Ultra to a 20-39PC+, and the Ultra just seemed to perfectly nail every passage no matter how complex and difficult. The PC+ was just a frog's hair behind the Ultra in sound quality, IMO. But both are extremely good.

With the single Ultra/Samson combo, you can always add another Ultra down the road and power it with the spare amp channel.

IMHO, the PB2+ represents an unparalleled value for the performance it offers, and if it was my $$, I'd take a PB2+ over the single Ultra/Samson combo. I simply think it is a better value for most HT enthusiasts.

With that said, dual Ultra's are still the king and to some might be worth the significant cost over a PB2+.

Regards,

Ed
 

Edward J M

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2002
Messages
2,031
So dual PB2+s would out gun the dual Ultras no problem correct?
Confirm with Tom V, but I would say easily, even in the 20 Hz tune with a port plugged.

The dual Ultra's in a 16 Hz tune might still make it a close race below 20 Hz, though.

Regards,

Ed
 

Zack_R

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 4, 2002
Messages
220
So my question is, which sub is better? I'm sure I don't need to define better to you guys in here - flat response, clean, accurate sound, etc.
The Ultra should offer the best anechoic non-eq'd response down to 20 Hz. How it sounds in your room may be a different ball game all together.

I have a single Ultra in a 7,500 + cubic foot finished basement and it's more than enough power. I think either an Ultra, PC+, CS+, or PB2+ is all you'll need in your new room assuming you can get a good match between your speakers, the sub and where you sit.

I reccomend, that before buying any sub you should calibrate your system to determine the "reference" level for your room. Then play different movies at your reference level to see if you like it that loud. How loud you like movies relative to reference level will determine whether you mayh need a dual solution.

My Ultra plays flat to 20 Hz and has very useful output to about 17-18 Hz in it's stock tuning configuration. When I plug a port I get usable output down to the 14-15 Hz range. I prefer the stock tune, as the port plug lowers the response between 28 and 18 hz by about 3 - 5 dbs. An eq could fix this area but the stock tune is so good it hardly seems worth the time and effort. Aside from that afrequency range, the port plug throws an almost identical curve between 28 - 90 Hz when compared no port plug.
 

NateF

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 22, 2001
Messages
63
Thanks for the great responses, everyone.

So, I have a few questions which are probably fairly simple.

How much more am I going to hear/feel if I tune the PB2+ down to 20Hz? Are there movies that actually use bass that low? Are there movies that use bass as low as 15Hz? And if the PB2+ is better than the Ultra even when tuned at that level, why would you buy an Ultra? Or is the Ultra there for those with S.O. issues?

Thanks again,
-Nate
 

Edward J M

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2002
Messages
2,031
How much more am I going to hear/feel if I tune the PB2+ down to 20Hz? Are there movies that actually use bass that low? Are there movies that use bass as low as 15Hz? And if the PB2+ is better than the Ultra even when tuned at that level, why would you buy an Ultra? Or is the Ultra there for those with S.O. issues?
Hi Nate:

20 Hz is about 1/3 octave below 25 Hz. Yes, there are movies that extend to 20 Hz, and even 15 Hz in some sections.

A sub tuned to a legitimate 25 Hz will do justice to 98% of the DVDs out there.

The amount of time a movie plays at 15 Hz can literally be measured in seconds. If you want to be sure you are capturing ALL of the movie bass, you might want to look at a 16-46 size enclosure, tuned to 16 Hz.

For most people, the 20 Hz tune works the best, and not surprisingly the 20-39 enclosure is the most popular seller at SVS.

That is why the PB2+ has the option to tune to 20 or even 16 Hz. With that said, it is designed to fill larger rooms with loud and clean bass, and even play at Reference Level in moderate size rooms, and it will accomplish this goal best in the 25 Hz tune.

I will be tuning my PB2+ to 20 Hz, more than likely, but I will experiment with all possible tuning configurations before I settle on a final tune. I'm honestly not too worried I will be missing much of anything on the bottom end in the 20 Hz tune.

Why would someone buy an Ultra? Again, the TV-12 driver represents the ultimate in design technology that TC-Sounds/SVS currently offer in a woofer. It is considerably more expensive than the still excellent dB-12 Plus driver. This is a perfect example of the law of diminishing returns: The Plus driver offers 80-85% of the performance and sound quality of the Ultra driver, for about half the cost.

To some people, having the ultimate woofer SVS offers is worth the considerable premium. To quote Tom V, the Ultra and TV-12 driver is "worth every penny".

Regards,

Ed
 

Mitch E S

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Apr 6, 2002
Messages
87
ED,
I first had a 16-46CS+ and now have dual Ultras and I'd say that the driver in the 16-46 might even be 90-95% of the performance of the TV-12! Excellent value... of course I wasn't thinking about value when I ordered the second Ultra instead of the second 16-46CS+ :D

Mitch
 

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