SVS plus vs ultra drivers

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Ryan Tsang, Feb 1, 2004.

  1. Ryan Tsang

    Ryan Tsang Second Unit

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    It's no secret that the plus series is the value leader.
    Comparing the two drivers, is the ultra basically more headroom, resistance to bottoming, impact, and max spls? Or is the bass better qualitatively as well?

    If the PB2+ can do 115db or more at 25hz as others have reported, I don't need the extra power the ultra driver may offer. I'm more interested if the bass sounds "better" at reasonable to loud volumes.
     
  2. terence

    terence Supporting Actor

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    Hi Ryan,

    I would go with the Plus. The Ultra will sound the same as Plus at moderate volumes. Only when you get into RL volumes with very demanding bass material will you really hear the difference between the two drivers. When the Plus runs out of gas the Ultra will give you that x-tra extention, 1.5dbs of bass that the Plus could not deliver. If you are not the type who really pushes the envelope with your system, I think the Plus will be more than enuff for your needs.
     
  3. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    I have heard both the Plus and the Ultra subs. While opinions vary, IMO the Ultra has its own unique sonic signature. It's subtle, but audible, even at lower volumes. Both sound excellent, and anyone could happily live with either.

    Subjectively, I would say the sonic accuracy of the TV-12 is just a hair better than the dB-12 driver in the Plus line. 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, which is no surprise considering the drivers are made by TC-Sounds - one of the industry leaders in woofer technology.

    I also found the TV-12 driver to be slightly more "authoritative" than the dB-12 at VERY high volumes. This is probably due to the larger magnet, underhung 10-layer VC, and high xMax (>26mm one way) allowing excellent thermal power handling, cone control, and excursion characteristics. The TV-12 is an effortless driver and really makes the stretch for that last dB of deep impact.

    Regards,

    Ed
     
  4. JohnnyN

    JohnnyN Stunt Coordinator

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    ed interesting observations... do you think you could have done this in a double blind test at non RL? I only ask, because I didn't know frogs had hair. [​IMG]
     
  5. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    Ryan specifically asked about the SQ, and I gave my honest opinion; they are very close but I give the Ultra the nod. We didn't do DB tests, and yes frog hair is very thin. [​IMG]

    Maybe some other Ultra owners can chime in about SQ, but clearly the PB2-Ultra represents a case of diminishing returns, as the PB2+ will get very close for about 1/2 the price.

    I continue to be a strong advocate of the Plus line; it is still the best performance value in the SVS line-up IMO, and Tee's advice to buy the Plus is spot on.

    Ed
     
  6. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Frog's hair are certainly smaller than chicken molars
     
  7. Zack_R

    Zack_R Stunt Coordinator

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    There are few people that have had the pleasure of hearing both subs. Ed and Frank are the only ones I'm aware of and both said they could tell a difference. I have the Ultra myself and think it is an excellent performer.

    If you take a look at the port plug simulation graphs on the SVS site you get an idea of what the capabilities of the Ultra are compared to the Plus subs. In a nutshell, equally calibrated, the Ultra's driver design should allow it to play flatter at all volumes compared to the 2039+. In theory this should translate in to a more accurate sound re-production. This could help account for the apparent sound difference's heard. It also should be a little cleaner at high spls.

    I chose the Ultra a year ago because of the inherent performance capabilities in the driver as well as the John Johnson review and Brian Weatherhead review. I think I would have been pleased with the Plus sub but I figured if I was going to have a big sub I might as well get the most potent and capable driver SVS was offering.

    Even though the max spl difference may be small, it can mean being able to play bass heavy movies at around 2dbs louder. I see this potential benefit often dismissed but it would be close in output to having a pair of non co-located 2039 +'s.

    As to bottoming, I don't use a subsonic filter but I respect the clip lamp on the Samson and never challenge it further when it flickers. As a result I've never bottomed it. I am also careful of the movies I play for demo purposes so as to avoid bottoming. The Ultra is not immune to bottoming. It's a ported speaker and is therefore subject to bottoming below tuning if there is high spl signal present and you are playing near reference.

    In the end it comes down to money in your pocket or in the sub. For me I chose the sub. I'm not trying to win any best bang for the buck awards for my HT. I want the best sound I can afford to put in there and so far I'm not disappointed at all with the Ultra. If I was doing it all over today, I'd have no problems picking the Ultra or it's Box variant.
     

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