AVS Forum Addicted Member
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Kansas City, MO
Mentioned: 484 Post(s)
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Yes, I'd agree the HSU VTF-15H is better for music than the PB13 Ultra in my personal opinion.
I've had pairs of both in my room. The HSU VTF-15H in my room for the 2012 meet, and I owned a pair of the 750 watt bash amp based PB13 Ultras for a couple months in mid late 2011.
Despite moving the SB13 Ultras all over my room I didn't like them as much as the Yamaha CW218V nor Jamo D7 Sub pair, nor Infinity HPS-1000 sub pair I had at the same time or very close to this same time.
However, the SVS would nail it on movies and were a lot of fun - besting the others I mentioned easily on low War of the Worlds type demo material!
The idea that I didn't like SVS for music is a subjective observation, but one I've noticed themed through a lot of the events I've visited. People love the SVS subs for movies, but for music --- somehow they miss the boat a bit in some people's mind. People will talk about it in somewhat veiled secrecy it seems because it's somehow seems a bit off to say you don't love a sub for music that you absolutely adore for movies --- but that's been my experience, and others' I've talked with.
I immediately liked the JTR Captivators better than the SVS PB13 Ultras for music in every regard from the moment I first hooked them up -- I purchased the JTR Caps before I sold off the SVS PB13 Ultra, so I had some time to A/B them. Same with the other subs. The Jamo D7 Subs were fantastic for music. The Infinity HPS-1000 subs are fantastic for music. The big dual 18" pro yamaha cw218V was awesome for music. The SVS were just average for music. The SVS PB12+ also scored just average for music in our 2011 meet at my house. I'd assume it was frequency response related (the SVS are typically in possession of an extraodinarily flat FR), but that doesn't make any sense either because my JTR Caps are great for music when they have a frequency response as flat as a pancake as shown in my avatar. I really can't explain it. The SVS just seemed a bit boring/ho hum for music listening.
However!!!!, if you are a big movie buff and are primarily using for movie watching I'd take a PB13 ultra over a HSU VTF-15 any day of the week and twice on Sunday. The PB13 Ultras were a wrecking ball for movies IMO. Ultimately I sold them after so short a time (2 months) because I couldn't get thrilled about their music performance --- even though movie watching is my heavier bias. I do love some music too and I wanted a sub that was more balanced between the two strengths to my subjective ears' preference!
Lest this comment be confused I will say that if costs were equal I would pick the SVS PB13 Ultra over the VTF-15H. The SVS seemed to put out quite a bit more sound at 20hz frequencies towards the louder end of the volume dial. Unfortunately they don't cost the same --- The SVS is nearly 2x's the price. There are some clear reasons for extra cost --- The SVS has a much higher quality driver, and a higher quality, more powerful amp.
In the end the fact is the PB13 Ultra is about 2x's the price of the HSU, and for that pricepoint the HSU is the better value for sure. I love the HSU VTF-15H and you'll not find me saying anything negative about it as a $1000 solution. I think it's a great sub for the price. I think the SVS PB13 Ultra would have to slide closer to the $1500 price point to enter my recommendation.