Originally Posted by mthomas47
FWIW, I think that posting about your Ultra speakers here is fine. If you are concerned about needing extra power to drive your new towers in Large mode, that sounds like a really great opportunity to use your new SB13. Passive bi-amping really would be useless, as you noted, in terms of having any additional headroom whatsoever. If I were you, I would try the towers in Large, with whatever amp you have (100 watts should be fine), and then add your sub(s) and compare the sound quality to Small with a crossover of 40, or 60, or whatever you choose.
Unless Large with no sub sounds audibly better than Small 40/60/80, I would employ the SB13 as it was designed to be used. I wouldn't bother investing in a more powerful amp to run the towers in Large mode unless I was absolutely convinced that I needed it, because I definitely preferred running them that way. SVS always recommends using a sub, although they do advertise a lower frequency response on the Ultra towers than on their other speakers.
You mentioned combining the SB13 and the SB1000. That does sound like a strange combination, but you never know what will work until you try. I would be a little concerned that if you try to push your SB13 a bit for 5.1 movies, you might leave the SB1000 behind, but like you, I wouldn't be afraid to experiment. If you could move the little guy very close to your listening position, it would help to level the playing field as far as trim level and MV are concerned.
For the short term, I will replace the bookshelves with the towers in our living room 3.1, powered by the outlaw amp, and probably will be fine. I will experiment with full and crossed over as is usually recommended with a sub. Not likely much of a benefit over the ultra bookshelf speakers crossed at 80. I will of course listen to them in this location in full range as 2.0 as well.
However the towers will be relocated fairly quickly (office, bedroom, garage, TBD
). In this location they will be strictly 2.0 and of course run in full range.
This is why I'm pondering what to power them with. One thing I could do is "steal" the outlaw from the living room, letting the Yamaha power the 3 channels. Since they are crossed at 80hz, I wonder if I'll miss much of anything.
I've been thinking about pairing the ultras with a "warm" sounding pre/amp (if you believe in such a thing - I do) to give a little different character to what I think is a rather clinical sound.
Adding the SB1000 has been interesting. Both subs are on the front wall, SB13 in the right corner, SB-1000 on the left side (no corner). From the MLP, the sound is quite a bit fuller in a good way. Certain frequencies are grossly exaggerated, which is to be expected with a non-eq'd dual sub, especially of such differing capability. This "room" is an audio nightmare and will not be changed for the better. (maybe some incidental additions, like a throw rug and curtains). In any case, it is worth getting the right equipment to make the most of this setup, I need it anyway whether I stick with both, only the SB13, or add a second SB13 later.