Sound&Vision Magazine Tests the SVS PC-13 Ultra - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 10-14-2012, 12:30 AM - Thread Starter
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In the November issue of Sound&Vision Magazine, Brent Butterworth tested the PC-13 Ultra. The test is not on line yet.

He gave it a glowing review. Using CEA 2010 standards the PC-13 Ultra achieved 125.8 db in the low bass (40-63Hz), and 116.9db in the ultra-low bass (20-31.5Hz).

Brent said the PC-13 Ultra has the best, second best, or third-best performance He has yet measured from a subwoofer.

On the Plus side he mentions Effortless bass reproduction down to 19Hz; Zero distortion even at painfully loud levels; Wide range of tuning options.

On the Minus side he mentions that the PC-13 Ultra is not small and not inexpensive ($1,699).

In summary he said:

"The SVS PC-13 Ultra is one of the best subwoofers you can buy. It offers a range of sound characters to suit different tastes, enough digital features to optimize the sound for any room, and enough power for any conceivable residential application. Sure it'd be nice if were smaller or cheaper, but if it were, it couldn't do what it does."

In his tests Brent found the 16Hz tuning option to be his favorite.
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post #2 of 15 Old 10-14-2012, 08:49 AM
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Absolutely love my PC-13 Ultra. It has effortless bass and pairs well with my Pb-13 Ultra and my dual MFW-15's. when I play FOTP it feels like my floor is buckling under my feet, a truly unnerving felling.

Moving Heaven and Earth one Sub at a Time.
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post #3 of 15 Old 10-15-2012, 02:45 AM
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They do make some awesome subs! I love my PB13-U :-) best purchase I have ever made!
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post #4 of 15 Old 10-18-2012, 11:57 AM
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1Hz difference between all ports open and one port open? Anybody else find that highly suspicious?

Once again, I am sorry to take a sledgehammer to so small and fragile a nut. -- Richard Dawkins, The Greatest Show On Earth
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post #5 of 15 Old 10-18-2012, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaviorMachine View Post

1Hz difference between all ports open and one port open? Anybody else find that highly suspicious?

I posted this question on the review, "It's interesting you only were able to get the -3db point to go down by 1hz between the two vented modes. Based off of some other measurements I have seen on the box model, changing the tune is more significant than that. Did you make sure to change the filter in the menu to the 15hz mode? (Page 25 of the manual). If the HPF was still set at 20hz, I can see how changing the porting would have little effect."

Brent replied, "I always deactivate all the filters on any audio product I'm measuring, unless I'm measuring the effects of the filters. That said, no one is above making a measurement error. Unfortunately, this review was written four months ago to meet the long lead time of the print edition, and the product has long since been returned, so I have no way to check the settings."

I'm not sure if he changed the HPF (Subsonic in SVS speak) settings or not, and there is no way to verify at this point. He is a pretty knowledgeable guy, but it still seems to contradict data from other sources (such as Ricci and Illka's tests).

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post #6 of 15 Old 10-18-2012, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowmanick View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaviorMachine View Post

1Hz difference between all ports open and one port open? Anybody else find that highly suspicious?

I posted this question on the review, "It's interesting you only were able to get the -3db point to go down by 1hz between the two vented modes. Based off of some other measurements I have seen on the box model, changing the tune is more significant than that. Did you make sure to change the filter in the menu to the 15hz mode? (Page 25 of the manual). If the HPF was still set at 20hz, I can see how changing the porting would have little effect."

Brent replied, "I always deactivate all the filters on any audio product I'm measuring, unless I'm measuring the effects of the filters. That said, no one is above making a measurement error. Unfortunately, this review was written four months ago to meet the long lead time of the print edition, and the product has long since been returned, so I have no way to check the settings."

I'm not sure if he changed the HPF (Subsonic in SVS speak) settings or not, and there is no way to verify at this point. He is a pretty knowledgeable guy, but it still seems to contradict data from other sources (such as Ricci and Illka's tests).

Looks quite obvious that he was too close to the driver or not far enough to let the port and driver integrate. The recession in the responses show the measurement was most likely too close to the woofer, although they are a little lower in frequency than they should be. Disappointing when we see major publications botch measurements like this even after obviously checking with Ed Mullen.
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post #7 of 15 Old 10-18-2012, 04:07 PM
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Unfortunately Brent has a history of inconsistent objective test results. His numbers cannot be depended on.
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post #8 of 15 Old 10-19-2012, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by mojomike View Post

Unfortunately Brent has a history of inconsistent objective test results. His numbers cannot be depended on.

Agreed. I was excited to see a major publication's review of an SVS cylinder, but when I saw that it was S&V, my heart sank, and this is why.

Once again, I am sorry to take a sledgehammer to so small and fragile a nut. -- Richard Dawkins, The Greatest Show On Earth
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post #9 of 15 Old 10-19-2012, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by SaviorMachine View Post

Agreed. I was excited to see a major publication's review of an SVS cylinder, but when I saw that it was S&V, my heart sank, and this is why.
I always thought Brent was one of the good guys. if I can't trust S&V which magazine would you recommend? Thanks Bob
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post #10 of 15 Old 10-19-2012, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by bob_m10 View Post

I always thought Brent was one of the good guys. if I can't trust S&V which magazine would you recommend? Thanks Bob


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post #11 of 15 Old 10-19-2012, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by bob_m10 View Post

I always thought Brent was one of the good guys. if I can't trust S&V which magazine would you recommend? Thanks Bob

It does not make Brent a bad guy by any means, but for accuracy, I'd turn to any test by Josh Ricci including the ones he's done for Audioholics.
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post #12 of 15 Old 10-19-2012, 02:16 PM
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other than the one from s&v is there any pro reviews out there at all on the pc13-u? if not why, are the cylinder subs really not that popular or is ed and team not sending these out for review? please note i have this unit, but would love some raw accurate #'s

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post #13 of 15 Old 10-19-2012, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airgas1998 View Post

other than the one from s&v is there any pro reviews out there at all on the pc13-u? if not why, are the cylinder subs really not that popular or is ed and team not sending these out for review? please note i have this unit, but would love some raw accurate #'s

There are some out there, but most are several years old. I think the reason for this is two-fold: First, the cabinet form factor seems to be aesthetically more popular by a fairly wide margin. Second, the performance is virtually identical, with a slight edge down low going to the cabinet (per Ed Mullen). I, too, love my cylinders, and would like to read more professional reviews.

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post #14 of 15 Old 10-20-2012, 11:34 AM
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I subscribe to Sound & Vision and was really happy to see my sub in the latest issue. I enjoyed the review but then again, I don't track specifications as aggressively as some. I'm just really pleased with the performance in my theater room. One interesting thing in the review was when the reviewer was watching a TV show and heard some really low effects that would most likely go unnoticed with lesser subs. That made me think of The Vampire Diaries--I noticed this the first time I watched the show after the PC-13 was set-up--there is always a very low rumble anytime they are in Stefan and Damon's mansion. Kind of a cool effect actually--I just wonder if it was done on purpose--or how many other shows have mostly unnoticed LF effects.

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post #15 of 15 Old 10-26-2012, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by spiritfox View Post

Kind of a cool effect actually--I just wonder if it was done on purpose--or how many other shows have mostly unnoticed LF effects.

Another show that has some pretty decent bass is "Falling Skies". And then another show that usually had some awesome bass was "24". The gun fire always sounded sweet.

I love it when the sound engineers for TV shows put in that extra 'oomph' for viewers like us who have the equipment to enjoy it.

back on topic: soooooo...how bout that PC-13 Ultra eh? biggrin.gif

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