SVS PB13-Ultra vs. JL Audio Fathom f113 - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: Disregarding price, which subwoofer overall, in your opinion, is superior?
SVS PB13-Ultra 2 50.00%
JL Audio Fathom f113 2 50.00%
Voters: 4. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 158 Old 01-24-2009, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Disregarding price, which subwoofer overall, in your opinion, is superior?
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post #2 of 158 Old 01-24-2009, 04:53 PM
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Overall, IMO the Ultra is the better due to it's variable tuning modes. Price should also be included in the equation as the Fathom is twice as expensive. SQ is excellent with either sub, and if you prefer a sealed sub, then the Fathom would be the better choice.
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post #3 of 158 Old 01-24-2009, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quick question! Will there be any difference in performance between the PB13-Ultra and the PC13-Ultra?
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post #4 of 158 Old 01-24-2009, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kain View Post

Quick question! Will there be any difference in performance between the PB13-Ultra and the PC13-Ultra?

Beyond the obvious physical appearance (I assume you have seen the pictures of both), very little difference. Same amp, same driver, different enclosure. Of course the PB has finish options the PC does not.

Randy
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post #5 of 158 Old 01-24-2009, 05:33 PM
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I had to vote for the Ultra as I have listened to dual Ultras side-by-side with dual F113s. Very close in performance with all source material. To me, the Ultra is a better value (not the better sub), but I can't make a value judgment for you. If you want the very polished look (I don't mean shiny) of the Fathom and you want the much smaller package, and you don't mind the price, choose the F113. Otherwise, go for the Ultra. It has some nice finish options, but the Fathom is just a stellar looking sub.

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post #6 of 158 Old 01-24-2009, 05:52 PM
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I love these kind of polls as they are so informative Oh well here goes:

Although the Ultra is a nice product, the Fathom is the better built, better sounding subwoofer.

HToM

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post #7 of 158 Old 01-24-2009, 06:07 PM
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Bottom line

Disregarding size

The PB13 is better for HT as it has more output

The F113 is slightly better for music.

Both are excellent subwoofers. Go for the PB13 if $1500 is a lot to you. Go for the F113 if you really want that little bit of better music reproduction and like the small size.
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post #8 of 158 Old 01-24-2009, 08:00 PM
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Anyone here (AVS) own both?
How do they compare?

I know rydenfan owned both, maybe he can enlighten us, as to his
experiences.

Honest Graft.
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post #9 of 158 Old 01-24-2009, 08:16 PM
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Haven't heard the F113, but I have heard the F112 and Ultra.

For me, disregarding price, basing on my F112 and Ultra experience, I would definitely go with the F113.....but as the room gets bigger, the Ultra comes more into play.

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post #10 of 158 Old 01-25-2009, 01:48 PM
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I've narrowed my list to these two subs. I hope to buy one or the other this week. My concern is….I don't know squat about subs. I intend to use the sub 100% for HT and TV. I'm looking for a movie like experience. I want the sub that will push me back into the chair and startle me. I'm not looking for excessive painful noise...I want a DEEP throttled experience. I want the “feel” the helicopter passing through my living room or the explosion flowing through me as the flames pass over the camera. I know this sounds goofy but I don’t have any other way of explaining what I like.

What should I do? I have no idea what any of these metrics mean. I do know that 15 Hz is lower than 20. Can someone please shed some light on the experience with the two subs? Should I be looking at something else? I have exactly 4000 sq ft to fill. Will these two get it done? Please help… Due to aesthetics I’m only allowed to get one sub so I need to make sure I get it right.

I really DO appreciate all the feedback and help. This board is A-W-E-S-O-M-E.

Thanks in advance for ALL the help!!!!!

Big Tex
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post #11 of 158 Old 01-25-2009, 01:59 PM
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For strictly HT I think the Ultra would probably be a better choice (and a lot cheaper to boot).
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post #12 of 158 Old 01-25-2009, 02:25 PM
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LaLakers...thanks for the feedback! Is there any particular reason why the SVS would be better suited for HT? Just trying to get educated...

Great point on the price. Make no mistake...price plays a role. I love a good deal but the smaller footprint of the f113 is also great. Interestingly enough I feel the price versus size nullifies both advantages and it all comes down to what works best and sounds best.

Thanks!!!!!!
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post #13 of 158 Old 01-25-2009, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Tex View Post

... I intend to use the sub 100% for HT and TV. I'm looking for a movie like experience. I want the sub that will push me back into the chair and startle me. ... I want a DEEP throttled experience. I want the feel the helicopter passing through my living room or the explosion flowing through me as the flames pass over the camera. .... I have exactly 4000 sq ft to fill.

Big Tex, for the reasons recapped above, you'll be happiest with the PB13.


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post #14 of 158 Old 01-25-2009, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Tex View Post

LaLakers...thanks for the feedback! Is there any particular reason why the SVS would be better suited for HT? Just trying to get educated...

Great point on the price. Make no mistake...price plays a role. I love a good deal but the smaller footprint of the f113 is also great. Interestingly enough I feel the price versus size nullifies both advantages and it all comes down to what works best and sounds best.

Thanks!!!!!!

The SVS is ported, and has a much larger enclosure. Therefore it has huge output down low, something the f113 can't touch.
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post #15 of 158 Old 01-25-2009, 04:39 PM
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While I agree, for HT the PB13 has some advantages, I wouldn't go so far as saying the JL is the lesser sub. It's apples to oranges. You'd be very happy either way. You can't go wrong either way.

I don't lurk as much as I used to and I NEVER listen. Comes from being old and cynical.

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post #16 of 158 Old 01-25-2009, 04:48 PM
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I haven't heard the Fathom, but I will tell you that last night when I was watching Max Payne, I was fearing for my life during certain bass-intense scenes sitting only ten feet away from my PBUltra.
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post #17 of 158 Old 01-25-2009, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Temple View Post

While I agree, for HT the PB13 has some advantages, I wouldn't go so far as saying the JL is the lesser sub. It's apples to oranges. You'd be very happy either way. You can't go wrong either way.

I wouldn't say you can't go wrong either way.

The OP said he's using the sub 100% for movies. He's looking for "a sub that will push me back into the chair and startle me" "I want a DEEP throttled experience. I want the feel the helicopter passing through my living room or the explosion flowing through me as the flames pass over the camera"

The PB13 will suit his need much better, and it is half the price. Especially since the size of the PB13 isn't an issue to him and money is a factor. IMO it would be stupid to go with a F113.

The F113 is a fantastic sub, but for HT, the PB13 is a better sub at a much better price.
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post #18 of 158 Old 01-25-2009, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chengbin View Post

I wouldn't say you can't go wrong either way.

The OP said he's using the sub 100% for movies. He's looking for "a sub that will push me back into the chair and startle me" "I want a DEEP throttled experience. I want the “feel” the helicopter passing through my living room or the explosion flowing through me as the flames pass over the camera"

The PB13 will suit his need much better, and it is half the price. Especially since the size of the PB13 isn't an issue to him and money is a factor. IMO it would be stupid to go with a F113.

The F113 is a fantastic sub, but for HT, the PB13 is a better sub at a much better price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Tex View Post

Great point on the price. Make no mistake...price plays a role. I love a good deal but the smaller footprint of the f113 is also great. Interestingly enough I feel the price versus size nullifies both advantages and it all comes down to what works best and sounds best.

Thanks!!!!!!

Looks like size isn't prohibitive, but smaller is more desirable. Same for price. I've never heard the F113, but I have heard the Ultra-13 in a very large room (almost 10k cubic feet!) and it did a very good job, though we were probably listening at around -10dB from reference level (a single Ultra or Fathom wouldn't have a chance at reference level in a room that size). The Ultra's main advantage will be in the ~35hz-15hz range, where it should have a sizable output advantage over the F113. The Fathom will likely have slightly improved transient response and could possibly have a little bit more output above 50hz, though I'm not sure about that. Both subs are very capable, and had your preference been music I think the Fathom might be a slightly better choice. However, for HT, the PB13's low end output advantage will give it a more visceral, almost scary quality on deep movie material. Either way, you should be very happy!
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post #19 of 158 Old 01-25-2009, 05:48 PM
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Try comparing the two based on relevance to your situation.

Some facts. The SVS has more output. The SVS has less distortion at higher output levels as does all ported subs. Whether or not it's audible is the question. The SVS is cheaper. The SVS is BIGGER. The F113 has a better constructed enclosure. The F113 has a more labor intensive finish.

If sheer volume is the point of reference, then the SVS is better.
All other points between the two are subjective or based on opinion and affordability. The remaining comparatives are for you and you alone. Auditioning the two side by side probobly isn't possible so the SQ comparison isn't going to happen. I'm posting a link to the sub testing guru, Illka who tested both and posted his subjective opinions as well. The work he's done is amazing and he doesn't appear to have any bias towards the products he tests..either way but if I were going to base a decision from subjective opinion, IllKa is where i'd start. Here's the link...enjoy and good luck.

http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/subwoofer-tests/
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post #20 of 158 Old 01-25-2009, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayhem13 View Post

Try comparing the two based on relevance to your situation.

Some facts. The SVS has more output. The SVS has less distortion at higher output levels as does all ported subs. Whether or not it's audible is the question. The SVS is cheaper. The SVS is BIGGER. The F113 has a better constructed enclosure. The F113 has a more labor intensive finish.

If sheer volume is the point of reference, then the SVS is better.
All other points between the two are subjective or based on opinion and affordability. The remaining comparatives are for you and you alone. Auditioning the two side by side probobly isn't possible so the SQ comparison isn't going to happen. I'm posting a link to the sub testing guru, Illka who tested both and posted his subjective opinions as well. The work he's done is amazing and he doesn't appear to have any bias towards the products he tests..either way but if I were going to base a decision from subjective opinion, IllKa is where i'd start. Here's the link...enjoy and good luck.

http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/subwoofer-tests/

I second this recommendation. In fact I almost posted that very link earlier.
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post #21 of 158 Old 01-25-2009, 06:22 PM
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The problem is that most people on this forum do not know how to interpret the measurements Illka has taken....such the different orders of distortion, group delay, and spectral decay. They mainly look at output and overall distortion, those numbers alone don't tell the story when it comes to sound quality, especially if you do not know what kind of output you use in your room.

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post #22 of 158 Old 01-25-2009, 06:26 PM
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Wow...I come back from dinner with the family and all this awesome data awaits! I love this place.

Great feedback... Ok...while I'm not thrilled with the size of the cabinet it appears the PB-13 is the best choice. That leaves me with one last question. If the wife freaks at the size, should I consider the PC-13? I have a solid size corner in the back of the room where it (PC) would fit nicely.

My options are basically to place the PB-13 next to the left front main (B&W CDM 7NT) facing directly at the listener or to place a PC-13 in the right rear corner of the room behind the listener. The rear corner would be far less obvious; but it’s too small for the PB.

Thoughts? Is there a significant drop off between the PB and PC 13? Technically speaking where is the best place to put a sub anyway? My room dimensions are 22.5 ft (long) x 18 ft (wide) with a 10 foot ceiling.

Lastly is the PB or PC 13 overkill for 4000 square feet or is that its sweet spot? I.E. will I be running the gain at 1 or 8?

Thanks EVERYONE for all this awesome and informative data. This is great stuff. I'd really appreciate some help with these last few questions.

Big Tex

PS. Is there anyone particular I should call at SVS when ordering the sub?

PSS. I was very surprised no one mentioned any thing other than JL and SVS. Just an observation…..
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post #23 of 158 Old 01-25-2009, 06:34 PM
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The difference between the PB13 and PC13 is very small. The PB13 has 1-2dB more down low due to more internal volume.

1 PB13 is the bare MINIMUM for a room your size.
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post #24 of 158 Old 01-25-2009, 06:35 PM
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That was the originals OP's question. He was deciding between a JL and SVS...which one was superior

"We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses". - Abraham Lincoln
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post #25 of 158 Old 01-25-2009, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Tex View Post

Wow...I come back from dinner with the family and all this awesome data awaits! I love this place.

Great feedback... Ok...while I'm not thrilled with the size of the cabinet it appears the PB-13 is the best choice. That leaves me with one last question. If the wife freaks at the size, should I consider the PC-13? I have a solid size corner in the back of the room where it (PC) would fit nicely.

My options are basically to place the PB-13 next to the left front main (B&W CDM 7NT) facing directly at the listener or to place a PC-13 in the right rear corner of the room behind the listener. The rear corner would be far less obvious; but it's too small for the PB.

Thoughts? Is there a significant drop off between the PB and PC 13? Technically speaking where is the best place to put a sub anyway? My room dimensions are 22.5 ft (long) x 18 ft (wide) with a 10 foot ceiling.

Lastly is the PB or PC 13 overkill for 4000 square feet or is that its sweet spot? I.E. will I be running the gain at 1 or 8?

Thanks EVERYONE for all this awesome and informative data. This is great stuff. I'd really appreciate some help with these last few questions.

Big Tex

PS. Is there anyone particular I should call at SVS when ordering the sub?

PSS. I was very surprised no one mentioned any thing other than JL and SVS. Just an observation..


all it takes is 1 person and this thread will turn into a my woofer is louder plays lower than yours

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post #26 of 158 Old 01-25-2009, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowcarIX View Post

all it takes is 1 person and this thread will turn into a my woofer is louder plays lower than yours


That would never happen on AVS!!!

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post #27 of 158 Old 01-25-2009, 07:10 PM
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That would never happen on AVS!!!

Really? I've seen many threads where penngray keep mentioning his IB woofers have more output than Ribbit's 6 PB13 setup.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chengbin View Post

Really? I've seen many threads where penngray keep mentioning his IB woofers have more output than Ribbit's 6 PB13 setup.

uh oh...there goes a spark
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post #29 of 158 Old 01-25-2009, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

The problem is that most people on this forum do not know how to interpret the measurements Illka has taken....such the different orders of distortion, group delay, and spectral decay. They mainly look at output and overall distortion, those numbers alone don't tell the story when it comes to sound quality, especially if you do not know what kind of output you use in your room.

That's why i added this text "The remaining comparatives are for you and you alone" I referred to Ilkka's subjective comments on performance since the OP probobly won't be abole to do a live comparison.
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post #30 of 158 Old 01-25-2009, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayhem13 View Post

That's why i added this text "The remaining comparatives are for you and you alone" I referred to Ilkka's subjective comments on performance since the OP probobly won't be abole to do a live comparison.

Illka tries to stay away from subjective comments, and for the most part, leaves the data to be interpreted.

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