Ported or Not? SVS PB16 Ultra or SB16 Ultra?

Race Bannon

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I've pretty much decided to pull the trigger on perhaps the nicest subwoofer ever, the top of the top of SVS's line. I just can't decide whether to get the larger, and ported, PB16 Ultra or the SB16 Ultra.

I have a large cavernous room (vaulted ceiling), with parquet flooring over a slab. The placement of the sub is front left corner, same wall as the screen, to the left of the left tower speaker.

The unported SB16 Ultra is smaller (good) and is probably way more than I need anyway, and less expensive. But the bigger (less attractive) ported has me wondering -- if I'm going all out, should I spare no expense?

What do you think? What are some reasons that would help a decision between the two?
 
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Mike Frezon

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Jay:

I would advise you to call SVS directly and ask them (in the absence of any responses here).

SVS has excellent customer service. And one of the things they do well is advise customers as to what best would suit their needs. I've seen reports from customers that they end up surprised that the SVS reps don't always try to sell them the biggest and most expensive because, it turns out, they really don't need it.
 

Race Bannon

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Jay:

I would advise you to call SVS directly and ask them (in the absence of any responses here).

SVS has excellent customer service. And one of the things they do well is advise customers as to what best would suit their needs. I've seen reports from customers that they end up surprised that the SVS reps don't always try to sell them the biggest and most expensive because, it turns out, they really don't need it.
That's good advice, and I will probably do that. I'm just not even sure why they make both -- ported and non-ported. It seems like if ported is better performing, they would go all-ported in their entire line. But they seem to always adhere to this "two choices" option as if there's a rational reason to prefer one over the other.
 

Mike Frezon

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I wish I knew enough to be able to explain the difference and which is better for what purpose.

But I know they'll answer all your questions...to your satisfaction. They are an awesome company with which to do business.
 

DaveF

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They make both in part to accommodate different aesthetics and wallets. The non-ported subs are smaller and less expensive.

If room and budget permit, buy the ported. Then run it 13-280 Hz +/- 3 dB (extended mode – 2 ports open).
 

Edwin-S

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I was briefly looking at buying a new sub and looked at this line. From my reading, ported subs will go lower which makes them ideal for movies. The sealed sub is good for films, but leans more toward being ideal for music because the is tighter if not quite as low.

Footprint becomes important if the room where it is going is small. The ported sub is quite a bit bigger than the sealed box.

Basically, it comes down to what you are going to use the sub for the most and whether you have room. Since I watch mostly films, I would probably go for the ported sub if I had room for it.
 

Race Bannon

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Wow. Based on the comments, I got serious about actually translating the measurements into my space -- held up the tape measure everywhere the sub would go, both sizes.

THAT PORTED ONE IS HUGE.

I have a big room, but it's going to look like a mini-fridge in there. I've decided to get the non-ported just based on size alone (it is itself much bigger than the Polk I currently have). But I just that that PB16 Ultra is ridiculously large.
 

Mike Frezon

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Congratulations on the decision...and the purchase.

Have you actually pulled the trigger yet?

I've heard tales, Jay, of some people buying a sub and having it show up at the house on a wooden pallet!! :laugh: Some of these things ARE beefy! :D
 

Robert Crawford

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Wow. Based on the comments, I got serious about actually translating the measurements into my space -- held up the tape measure everywhere the sub would go, both sizes.

THAT PORTED ONE IS HUGE.

I have a big room, but it's going to look like a mini-fridge in there. I've decided to get the non-ported just based on size alone (it is itself much bigger than the Polk I currently have). But I just that that PB16 Ultra is ridiculously large.
You can buy an undamaged PB-16 Ultra at their outlet store for the same price as the SB-16 Ultra $1999.99. That's a $500 savings from their regular pricing on PB-16 Ultra. With that said, I get your reasoning about the size thing which is why I bought a PC-13 Ultra earlier this summer.

https://www.svsound.com/collections/outlet-specials/products/pb16-ultra-black-oak-outlet
 

Race Bannon

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DaveF

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If I were to supplement my theater with external subs, I'd probably go with sealed as well due to size constraints/
 

Robert_J

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It's definitely not a Photoshop. Search Alibaba for "32 inch subwoofer" and you will find the factory that makes them. They are not cheap since no one is importing them in large numbers. Most are ending up in the car audio world in SPL vans. In fact it is easier to power them with car amps than a home amp.

The OP stated "I have a large cavernous room (vaulted ceiling)" which means it will take a large sub to fill that room with bass or he just lowers his expectations. If you are in a space constraint then DIY is sometimes an option. Yes, you can build a sub that is larger than available in a retail store or via most internet direct companies but you can also make it look like an end table or cabinet. You are happy with the bass and the wife is happy there isn't a large, black box in the room.
 

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