SVS Ultra Duals or Single

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Doug_Z, Dec 27, 2002.

  1. Doug_Z

    Doug_Z Agent

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    After doing alot of research and listening to my friends dual CS+ subs I decided to purchase a CS Ultra sub. However, after talking to the guy at SVS who was knowlegable, friendly and a surprise,to me,not trying to push me to spend the most money I could afford,(That was a real relief after shopping at many high end stores)I decided to buy 1 Ultra with the Sampson 1000.
    I know I should wait for the sub to arrive and hear how it sounds but I'm already wondering whether I should have bought both.I'm told if I have only one Ultra I should not bridge the amp and therefore would only be using 500 of the 1000 watts? It seems like I'm wasting 500 watts. Also everyone seems to own dual SVS subs no matter what the model. what am I missing besides db level at a given Hz?
    This system is HT only. My room is 16x16 with 8'ceiling.There is an open kitchen to the left with only a 3'counter separating the 2 rooms. The kitchen is 15x15. There are also 2 open door ways leading into other rooms. The carpet is wall to wall. I listen at about 10db below reference. Are Dual Ultra's overkill? It's not to late for me to order the other enclosure. [​IMG] Thank you
     
  2. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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  3. Robb Roy

    Robb Roy Supporting Actor

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    Doug_Z,

    I find it very unlikely SVS would recommend too little bass for you in a single Ultra. If they felt you needed two, they would have recommended two. I was looking at the Ultra when they recommended a 20-39PC+, and it's been all the bass my room can handle. Like Michael said, try out the single first, and if it's not enough, order the second.

    -Robb
     
  4. Doug_Z

    Doug_Z Agent

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    The guy on the phome wasn't a tech but as I said he did seem to know his stuff. He also recommended a PC+ at first. I talked him into the Ultra. He did mention that the pc+ has a 4 position sub filter. I don't think the Ultra does. Is there a reason for that and does it make a difference.

    One last question: Does anyone know if the Ultra's have been reviewed and if so where? Thank you
     
  5. Marcelo T

    Marcelo T Stunt Coordinator

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    Look at the SVS site. They have 2 reviews of the ultra.
     
  6. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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  7. Doug_Z

    Doug_Z Agent

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    Thanks for your replies. It looks like I should have done more home work!.......Ed the movies you mentioned are on my list (expect I'm not sure what SW-PM stands for) As I said originally I listen to movies about 10 db below reference.Would you all still recommend a SVS01 filter?
    It sounds like you're saying the Ultra has no filter so it's subject to Hz below it's limits? Below 16? And that could damage the woofer.Have I read that correctly?
    Always more questions......What is the advantage of Plugging a port and selecting 16hz Vs no plug and setting the filter at 20hz. Sorry to be so dumb about this but this forum is a great place to learn.[​IMG] Doug
     
  8. Mike_P

    Mike_P Agent

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    I'm curious why you didn't buy an Ultra with a built in amp? Seems like it would have been easier.

    I have an SVS PC 20-39. My family room is about the same size as your room, and it opens in the back to the kitchen. I have the sub set up with the Avia disk, and I have it set about 2-3 dB "hot" compared to my other speakers. I have balanced the channels at 70 dB, which is about where we listen, 15 dB below "reference". I sometimes lower the sub 1 or 2 dB for music, as it gets too overpowering at times.

    I don't think you need a subsonic filter if you don't crank up the levels on the sub and/or the receiver. My favorite "test selection" is the helicopter crash in The Matrix. At my settings, the SVS SHAKES THE ROOM during that! The vibration is admittedly more intense at the front of the room, where the sub is, but it's still substantial at the seating area. When I am upstairs in the den and my wife is watching a movie in the family room directly below, the sub shakes the floor! And my wife doesn't listen to movies that loud!

    I go along with the rest and say try the Ultra you already bought first. You may find you have more bass than you know what to do with. As long as you don't have the volume up to insane levels, I don't think you will damage the sub. Of course, if you have to test the absolute limit of how loud you can make it play, bad things can happen.
     
  9. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

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    If you listen at 10 dB below reference and don't run the sub channel any hotter than proper calibration, I don't think you'll need more than a single Ultra, and I also am pretty sure you won't need to worry about the lack of a subsonic filter.

    Just get the Ultra/Samson and enjoy!!
     
  10. MarcVH

    MarcVH Second Unit

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    There is no PC-Ultra yet, so if one buys the Ultra one cannot get a built-in amp.
    People who own dual SVS subwoofers (like me [​IMG] ) tend to be more fanatical about their product, and therefore talk about it more on forums like this one. This doesn't mean most people have duals, or that they're necessary. I freely admit that a single CS+ would have been quite sufficient for my needs -- but two is still cooler.
    You may decide you want to add a second Ultra, in which case you can take advantage of the other channel amp in the Samson. Until then, the Samson can be bridged, but not into 4 ohm loads, which is what SVS drivers are. Alternately, you could add a tactile bass device like a Buttkicker. I wouldn't recommend using the Samson amp for a regular speaker.
    The "rumble filter" feature can be nice for people trying to avoid damaging their sub when driving it to near the limits, but there are certainly plenty of folks who do fine without it. If you find you're pushing the Ultra to its limits, you may want to consider adding SVS's "black box", although adding a second Ultra might be a better way to go.
     
  11. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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  12. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    Doug,
    With the amount of LFE they are pumping into dvd's nowadays and your listening level being -10, I think you might benefit from running duel? I don't know if you like to calibrate your sub 0>+1>+2 or up to +8 or so? If it is in the lower rang for movies "sub calibration" then running one Ultra will-should be fine. With the addition of a second Ultra it would afford you the headroom that some of us just can't - won't do without. Duel would enable you to have both subs just coasting - idling along. If you lean to-wards a +8 on a one sub calibration for movies then you would realize a 6db bump with running duel at a lower gain level. You probably know this Doug but I will throw it out just in case>> If you were to calibrate duel Ultra's, you would calibrate one to +2db> "if you were shooting for a +8db sub calibration" then power it off. You then would power up your second Ultra and calibrate it to the same +2db calibration as you did with your first Ultra. After calibrating both subs individually you would then power both of them up and you would notice on your meter that you are at a +8db calibration. A 6db gain over what you calibrated to. That is with both subs in the same corner of course. Your taste in sub calibration will differ. You might like a - or flat calibration instead of a + calibration-we all differ.
    My listening level preference is -15 to -25 so I like my bass on the + side. Around +2 to +8 for HT and find I really like running duel. If I were running a Ultra though, I might find that one would be plenty? In my case most likely not. "No slam to the Ultra intended". I like headroom and slam to much and am always looking for more.[​IMG] You could add a second Ultra down the road like Marc advises if you decided that you wanted to try-go duel. You very well could find yourself totally pleased with one and two might just be unjustified in your case? At a general -10 maybe not? -10 wow! That would put me under. Again LFE input on dvd's is really getting heavy. [​IMG]
     
  13. Zack_R

    Zack_R Stunt Coordinator

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    I think if you can place the Ultra in a corner and calibrate it flat you will have plenty of sound. I have one ultra and have it in a basement setting that is much larger than the room where you are placing your sub. My basement is 40 x 17 x 8 that joins another room that is 17 x 19 x 8. There is also an door opening for a 17 x 14 bedroom plus a bathroom and an opening to stairs leading up. I sit 14 feet from the sub and the left and right sidewalls are 8.5 feet away and the back wall is about 26' behind me. So I get no immediate bass reinforcement from a wall. I find one Ultra plenty for my taste.

    I have not played the exploding THX demo but I can play Toy Story 2 opening demo at reference and not cause the Samson red clip light to come on. I get no detectable driver stress either. This audio level is way to loud for me to listen to an entire movie. 10 -15 db below reference is fine for me and I don't need to run the sub hot to get outstanding bass effects. DTS is recorded approximately 4 db louder than dolby digital so for DTS movies I listen at 19 to 14 db below reference.

    I have the Sony DA4ES receiver and -22 on the dial is refenece levels according to Avia. This means I am pegging 85 db of test sound for the main speakers and about 83 db for the Ultra. I set the sub volume to -10 on a scale of -20 to +10.

    The key to achieving efficiently high level playback is getting the Ultra calibrated as flat as possible (ensuring to correct for the Radio Shack sound meter in the process). You CANNOT DO this with Avia. Avia will get you in the ball park but may leave you with some unwanted peaks and valleys. You really need test tones or pink noise test tones between 25 and 100 to ensure you are not getting speaker or room canecllations.

    Case in point. My Ultra. Calibrated with Avia only I had the sub at -6.0 and the subs polarity normal. When I played my Shetfield test tone CD I had a big dip between 63 and 100. I reveresed the subs polarity and bingo no dip. In fact I was running several dbs hot. I recalibrated the sub to -10.5 and achieved calibration. Music and Movies never sounded better and by making that polarity adjustment I bought my self 4 db or so of headroom. This happened to be a simple fix in my basement theater. I could have not been so luck and needed an eq or just have had a room that would have have been difficult to achieve a flat response.
    With sub set at the original -6db, Toy Story 2 caused the Samson clip light to turn a little dim. Now the light does not flicker and because I got rid of my 63 -100 hz dip the total bass is louder across the board. Before I new I had the dip in frequency I felt the need to run 2-3 db hot but now with it flat there I do not feel like I need that boost.

    You are getting one of the best single driver subwoofers made for for home use. I absolutely love the way my Ultra sounds. It replaced (but I still have it in use in another room) a BIC America 12' venturi subwoofer that had a terrible 10 db peak around 70 - 90 herz and it could not play loud at 30 herz nor could it touch 20 herz. For a little back ground music with a bass punch its okay but for playing these movies or music back at loud and proper levels there is no comparison. The Ultra blends so well with my very old 7 way 15" Sansui floor speakers that you'd swear the bass is coming from those speakers. Which is another reason I like the SVS design. It does not look like your other speakers and therefore it seems easier for it to blend. Since you dont see a speaker grill (if you are sitting) like other speakers, I don't seem to focus on the Ultra as producing sound even though it's producing lots of sound.
     
  14. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    Edward, really excellent posts in this thread, very clear and concise.
    I hadn't really looked at it closely, but that SVS/Marchand box looks realy cool. Very useful for a DIY-er like me who wants the gain available and the variable infrasonic filter for different Fb's/designs (the 24dB/oct. slope sure beats the typical second-order, also). I may have to grab one. [​IMG]
     

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