How the SVS PB13-Ultra compares to HSU VTF-15H - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 97 Old 01-16-2011, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay so this question is for anyone that has experience in both the SVS PB13 Ultra and the HSU VTF-15H...I am trying to get an idea of how each sub would compare to one another in terms of output and SPL level. I get and understand all the specs and have read other threads on the comparison between the two but I personally like HSU better (not saying the SVS is any less) only because of My previous experience between the HSU STF2 vs the SVS PB10, I still own both but in my opinion I would have to give it up to STF2. The PB13 Ultra or the 15H will be for my finished basement HTS...My issue with this is I need a sub that will be able to deliver more output since the floors in the basement are carpeted but underneath that carpet is concrete and there lies My problem... the extra output will be able to deliver more couch shaking bass which is exactly what I need. Please give Me some sort of a way gauge the output potential of from both...I will be using these primarily for 40% movies,35% games, and 25% music....
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post #2 of 97 Old 01-16-2011, 07:59 PM
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Why did you like the STF2 over the PB10? I am looking at SVS vs HSU but at a slightly lower price point.

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Originally Posted by jshar85 View Post

Okay so this question is for anyone that has experience in both the SVS PB13 Ultra and the HSU VTF-15H...I am trying to get an idea of how each sub would compare to one another in terms of output and SPL level. I get and understand all the specs and have read other threads on the comparison between the two but I personally like HSU better (not saying the SVS is any less) only because of My previous experience between the HSU STF2 vs the SVS PB10, I still own both but in my opinion I would have to give it up to STF2. The PB13 Ultra or the 15H will be for my finished basement HTS...My issue with this is I need a sub that will be able to deliver more output since the floors in the basement are carpeted but underneath that carpet is concrete and there lies My problem... the extra output will be able to deliver more couch shaking bass which is exactly what I need. Please give Me some sort of a way gauge the output potential of from both...I will be using these primarily for 40% movies,35% games, and 25% music....

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post #3 of 97 Old 01-16-2011, 08:10 PM
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the pb13 will deliver more output...with that being said, is it worth the extra $899.00 for the increase performance?

If it was me, I would purchase 2 vtf 15's, which would come at a cost of an extra $100.00 and improve frequency response over a wider area and maybe gain a couple db's; however, Iam not sure it would still win in output.
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post #4 of 97 Old 01-16-2011, 10:26 PM
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Yeah, I would just get two VTF-15s. That would provide better coverage and better frequency response. Plus, it would reduce overall distortion per decibel by placing less stress on the drivers. If you placed them next to your front left and right mains, you could also raise the crossover over 80 hz and not have to worry about localization as much. For me, even 80 hz is too localizable, but with two subs in the left and right corners, I can the crossover at 100 hz and it sounds fine.
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post #5 of 97 Old 01-16-2011, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

Yeah, I would just get two VTF-15s. That would provide better coverage and better frequency response. Plus, it would reduce overall distortion per decibel by placing less stress on the drivers. If you placed them next to your front left and right mains, you could also raise the crossover over 80 hz and not have to worry about localization as much. For me, even 80 hz is too localizable, but with two subs in the left and right corners, I can the crossover at 100 hz and it sounds fine.

Well, non co-located will only give a +3dB headroom bump. It will smooth frequency respnse in the room however. Have there been any tests of the VTF 15 for THD and maximum output? Personally, I'd lean towards 1 better sub, and just saving for a 2nd identical one in the future...
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post #6 of 97 Old 01-16-2011, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jshar85 View Post

Okay so this question is for anyone that has experience in both the SVS PB13 Ultra and the HSU VTF-15H...I am trying to get an idea of how each sub would compare to one another in terms of output and SPL level. I get and understand all the specs and have read other threads on the comparison between the two but I personally like HSU better (not saying the SVS is any less) only because of My previous experience between the HSU STF2 vs the SVS PB10, I still own both but in my opinion I would have to give it up to STF2. The PB13 Ultra or the 15H will be for my finished basement HTS...My issue with this is I need a sub that will be able to deliver more output since the floors in the basement are carpeted but underneath that carpet is concrete and there lies My problem... the extra output will be able to deliver more couch shaking bass which is exactly what I need. Please give Me some sort of a way gauge the output potential of from both...I will be using these primarily for 40% movies,35% games, and 25% music....

If you decide you would like two i would recommend buying one first and then decide:

1. if you like the sub
2. If you really need two of these subs.

I don't think there is any discount for shipping when you buy two so why not just buy 1 at first?
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post #7 of 97 Old 01-16-2011, 11:50 PM
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Per Ed Mullen at SVS I added 9db to Ilkka's measurements to get same CEA 2010 as used by HSU. This is without adding 1.5 db added to pb-13 with the new amp being used.

hz / SVS pb-13 db / HSU VTF-15 db
20 / 117.5 / 114
25 / 121.4 / 119
31.5 / 124.8 / 122
40-80 / 123-126 / 124-125

Adding a second sub would add ~3-6 db depending on placement.

If looking to spend extra $ and get pb-13, don't forget to look at the JTR Captivator. If you check out the Cap thread you see one new owner has the pb-13 and an unpowered Cap using a lesser amp than the powered version and states that the cap has much more headroom than the pb-13.

I have a VTF-15H and love it and plan to get another. All three of these subs seem to be amazing and are my 3 favorite ported subs right now.

Also with being worried about feeling the bass on concrete, nearfield placement should be given a try. Also the use of a riser that absorbs some bass can add back that shaking floor feel lost on concrete. Of course with 2 subs you can have one nearfield for tactile feel and one corner loaded for max output.
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post #8 of 97 Old 01-17-2011, 12:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay so it looks like Ive got a lot of feedback from SVS fans... I appreciate the addvice and input but since I hav not personally heard either the 15H or the PB13 Ultra, but I also have a VTF3-MK3 and I posted on HSU forum and on there forum "How much of an upgrade is it from the VTF3-MK3 to the VTF-15H?"... And there are some people who replied back saying tht U wuld need close to three VTF3-MK3 to match the output power of the 15H....using this as a comparsion since I own a VTF3-MK3 I can gauge some wht comprehend and estimate wht the 15H is possible of doing and I used the VTF3-MK3 in My basement and it was capable of shaking My 2nd level floor of my house... I wuld b willing to spend the extra money for PB13 Ultra will deliver the extra output which will cost Me $899 more thn the VTF-15H and I know for the price of the PB13 Ultra I can get 2 15H.... I gues we can argue about this as much as We want but untill the 15H has an output reading on it We will never know the truth. And which 1 of you guys have personally heard both sub....?
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post #9 of 97 Old 01-17-2011, 05:50 AM
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I gues we can argue about this as much as We want but untill the 15H has an output reading on it We will never know the truth.

The 15H does have a posted output based on CEA2010 standards so I suspect any other measurement if following the standards should be pretty close.

Im not sure what you mean by SVS fans, the posts talking about the output difference are accurate. The PB13 is still the leader in this category, when it came out it was the first design from the comercial side that produced the output that bass freaks would enjoy.

FWIW, Im not an SVS or HSU owner. I build my own subs.

I have build enough ported subs (swapped enough drivers/amps) to know that if they are built properly they are going to sound pretty much the same in a controlled listening tests when level matched so at that point I can go back to the clean output tests to know they only real difference between two designs. Meaning I would never worry about member X or Member Y posting some subjective listening opinion about either. What change the performance more then any difference talk about here is the room and placement of either sub.

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post #10 of 97 Old 01-17-2011, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post


What change the performance more then any difference talk about here is the room and placement of either sub.


I agree 100% Penn, but I will also add - there are good, better, and best drivers in commercial subs and I'm not just talking about drivers from a single manufacturer.

IMO and experience with different products and builds I have done, this can and will make for a sizable factor in the quality of bass as well...(especially in a ported design) inexpensive subs generally as a whole employ an inexpensive driver/s which can lead to being NOT the most articulate and accurate bass reproduction. More and more companies are using higher quality drivers that have some excellent control which leads to better sounding bass... less overhang of a note - cleaner more accurate is what I have always wanted from my drivers, which usually comes at a cost from my experience...
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post #11 of 97 Old 01-17-2011, 07:07 AM
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Warp, Definitely differences. Its easy to hear that in a BIC design vs SVS or HSU.

I think my " if they are built properly " is definitely understated, I have a few assumptions involved with what defines a properly built sub.


We would have to see the T/S parameters of the SVS vs HSU to know what differences may exist. You know me, I have > 20 sitting woofers around ranging from $20 to $1K....sealed vs ported, room placement will get a bigger "Hmmm..that was different" from me. Im currently listening to my ribbon 2-ways ($800 DIY designs) with a $60 sealed sub (M&K surpluss stuff) as the bass bin....amazingly I like the bass (very tight).

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post #12 of 97 Old 01-17-2011, 08:24 AM
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Yes, easy enough to say for me I think - but sometimes it just goes unchecked for people interested in buying products these days, and not enough (fresh) people realize that there are huge differences in driver construction and implementation...

Its really not all that difficult to design and build a box, but just doing that and tossing in sub par drivers and selling to the masses is a whole new ballgame... There are reasons for the fact that SVS, which has always been known for their economical products, is increasing prices - they are and always have been a value leader - but they also have a driver that is on par with some of the best drivers available - bringing Stephen Ponte onboard was a huge and beneficial move for SVS IMO....

Nothing better then high quality -well designed and implemented drivers to make a sub worthy of being top dog...


***I own no SVS products, and am not pushing their product here, and this statement is not designed to detract from HSU's well established products, of which I don't own either... custom is all I do, but I can appreciate art when I see it...

Now this is a work of art....
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post #13 of 97 Old 01-17-2011, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

I have build enough ported subs (swapped enough drivers/amps) to know that if they are built properly they are going to sound pretty much the same in a controlled listening tests when level matched so at that point I can go back to the clean output tests to know they only real difference between two designs. Meaning I would never worry about member X or Member Y posting some subjective listening opinion about either. What change the performance more then any difference talk about here is the room and placement of either sub.

that is exactly right!...if they are leveled match, depends really on how clean they will sound.

Iam a fan of hsu, but you asked which one would have more output, the pb 13 will win out...probably even with 2 vtf 15 that are not colocated, the pb may still win. But once again, your response will be better with 2 in a larger area. If you only have one or two people sitting in the same spot, one will probably be all you need.

For me, I have a home theater that can sit up to 10 people when I pull out my extra chairs. Thats why I would personally go for 2 vtf's over the 1 pb.
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post #14 of 97 Old 01-17-2011, 01:52 PM
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I would expect dual VTF-15H's to have more output from 35hz-up than the single Ultra-13(even when not colocated)... Below that point, the Ultra and the pair should be very difficult to differentiate.(SPL wise)

Cacimar Hernandez
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post #15 of 97 Old 01-17-2011, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warpdrv View Post
Yes, easy enough to say for me I think - but sometimes it just goes unchecked for people interested in buying products these days, and not enough (fresh) people realize that there are huge differences in driver construction and implementation...

Its really not all that difficult to design and build a box, but just doing that and tossing in sub par drivers and selling to the masses is a whole new ballgame... There are reasons for the fact that SVS, which has always been known for their economical products, is increasing prices - they are and always have been a value leader - but they also have a driver that is on par with some of the best drivers available - bringing Stephen Ponte onboard was a huge and beneficial move for SVS IMO....

Nothing better then high quality -well designed and implemented drivers to make a sub worthy of being top dog...


Actually, that is not the 13Ultra. It is only the 13Plus driver. Similar, though.
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***I own no SVS products, and am not pushing their product here, and this statement is not designed to detract from HSU's well established products, of which I don't own either... custom is all I do, but I can appreciate art when I see it...

Now this is a work of art....
If we are going to display speaker porn, get a load of this 18" baby!
LL
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post #16 of 97 Old 01-17-2011, 03:22 PM
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If we are going to display speaker porn, get a load of this 18" baby!
I get more excited with dual spiders vs a single though.

 

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post #17 of 97 Old 08-18-2012, 03:54 PM
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I want one sub only for now ht 40 tv sport 60 which one would rattle my couch.
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post #18 of 97 Old 08-18-2012, 08:26 PM
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Now thats a work of art!

Moving Heaven and Earth one Sub at a Time.
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post #19 of 97 Old 08-19-2012, 12:54 PM
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I had both..sold the PB 13 and passed on the Empire... for me though it came down to music...im more of a 50/50 guy. The SVS just lacked finesse for music..read my review in the VTF-15 thread. The VTF 15's 5 mode fine tuning just sealed the deal. If you want just an HT sub the PB plays louder and will fill the room more..but one day you too may also become a 50/50 guy when you get into bluray DVD concerts. And that is where the HSU steals the PB's candy...but if you get two 15's then yea, the Hsu would be the better buy for both HT and music. The PB 13 is a beast though! I just like the best of both the music and HT world.. biggrin.gif

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post #20 of 97 Old 08-19-2012, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by matrixj3 View Post

I had both..sold the PB 13 and passed on the Empire... for me though it came down to music...im more of a 50/50 guy. The SVS just lacked finesse for music..read my review in the VTF-15 thread. The VTF 15's 5 mode fine tuning just sealed the deal. If you want just an HT sub the PB plays louder and will fill the room more..but one day you too may also become a 50/50 guy when you get into bluray DVD concerts. And that is where the HSU steals the PB's candy...but if you get two 15's then yea, the Hsu would be the better buy for both HT and music. The PB 13 is a beast though! I just like the best of both the music and HT world.. biggrin.gif

I agree the VTF15 is great for music and very tight sounding for a ported sub with a lot of punch.
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post #21 of 97 Old 08-23-2012, 01:46 PM
 
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I had both..sold the PB 13 and passed on the Empire... for me though it came down to music...im more of a 50/50 guy. The SVS just lacked finesse for music..

What kind of music do you listen to?
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post #22 of 97 Old 08-23-2012, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Auditor55 View Post

What kind of music do you listen to?

Hard rock, jazz, classical, techno,...the Hsu just does better on all...Look at Archaea's Subwoofer price point thread..he also did not like the SVS for music. If fact he is a sub guru and has heard just about every sub out there! Btw..i think the VTF-15 and Mk4 are on his list but there are no SVS subs any of the respective price point categories.

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post #23 of 97 Old 08-23-2012, 04:40 PM
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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.

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post #24 of 97 Old 08-25-2012, 10:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matrixj3 View Post

Hard rock, jazz, classical, techno,...the Hsu just does better on all...Look at Archaea's Subwoofer price point thread..he also did not like the SVS for music. If fact he is a sub guru and has heard just about every sub out there! Btw..i think the VTF-15 and Mk4 are on his list but there are no SVS subs any of the respective price point categories.

I was always sketical about a sub like that being great for music.
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post #25 of 97 Old 08-25-2012, 12:07 PM
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The PB13-U may be a "better" subwoofer in some criteria but it's way more expensive. For one PB Ultra you can nearly buy a dual HSU system. No way worth the money in my opinion.

And if someone can afford 2 Ultras, why not go for Dual Captivators? I guess one would only purchase dual PB's for the sake of their looks and SVS known reputation and not because they are outperforming Captivators.


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post #26 of 97 Old 08-25-2012, 04:13 PM
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As someone who usually prefer the Hsu subs over SVS, I just don't see how a VTF15h is going to sound better than a PB13. The measurements certainly don't support that notion, not that I would expect either to sound bad. I could see how two VTF15hs could sound better than a single PB13, but I don't believe that one-on-one a VTF15h would be preferable. The PB13 bests the VTF15h in almost every single metric, as well it should as it costs twice as much.
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post #27 of 97 Old 08-25-2012, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auditor55 View Post

I was always sketical about a sub like that being great for music.
What do you mean by "a sub like that"? What characteristics define "a sub like that"?
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post #28 of 97 Old 08-26-2012, 03:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

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.

Hey Archaea! How about coming up with a list for "best dedicated movie only subs", "best music only subs" and "best of both world subs" in the different price ranges? biggrin.gif

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post #29 of 97 Old 08-26-2012, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

As someone who usually prefer the Hsu subs over SVS, I just don't see how a VTF15h is going to sound better than a PB13. The measurements certainly don't support that notion, not that I would expect either to sound bad. I could see how two VTF15hs could sound better than a single PB13, but I don't believe that one-on-one a VTF15h would be preferable. The PB13 bests the VTF15h in almost every single metric, as well it should as it costs twice as much.


It's not the quantity it's the QUALITY of the bass...The SVS has it all over the VTF- in movies but the VTF-has it all over the SVS in music. The Hsu is no slouch when it comes to HT in my room so even though i bought my SVS 13 for just a few dollars and it blew me away for HT...I needed more articulation for music which the VTF-15 gives me. Like i said in previous posts, the SVS was outstanding for movies. All it came down to was needing to hear the individual plucked bass lines of Geddy, Chris and Les that i was used too in the Hsu MK 2.3.The Empire could also do this since it has great midbass,,,BUT there is in no way it hit as hard as AND dug as deep as the PB13 and VTF-15.

So i split the difference and went with the Hsu...digs deep "not as deep as the 13 but digs deeper than the Empire..and plays music like a sealed OR ported sub with the VTF tuning and has the better articulation in my room. For $1000 the Hsu is a great value for people wanting a 50/50 sub.

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post #30 of 97 Old 08-26-2012, 12:22 PM
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I also dont understand how a sub that has a flat response from 20Hz can be good only for movies and not for music. Are there any tests that can show that a sub can be good for movies and not good for music? I dont think so. I also dont think that just looking at the FR of PB13 if anyone could say that it is not going to be good for music.

Also, playing a movie from a Blu-ray and playing compressed music could make a big difference in the quality of bass. How good was the quality of the music that was tried on the PB13 that let to the decision that it is not good for music. Try comparing "Hotel California" on the red book CD and that on the DVD Audio? There is a word of difference in the bass. If you just tried the CD, you may easily conclude that it is due to the sub, when in fact it is due to the bad quality/resolution on the CD compared to DVD Audio?

Perhaps it is due to the higher cost of one sub that the opinion is biased. It is all subjective opinion and should be taken with a grain of salt. Unfortunately we cant audition these ID subs and returning a heavy sub is going to be a hassle. So we have to go by the opinions posted online.

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