SVS Unleashes 16-Ultra Series Subwoofers Featuring 8" Voice Coil Drivers - Page 131 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #3901 of 3934 Old 02-27-2018, 11:18 AM
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^^^

For others who may be considering trying LFE+Main, here is something from the Guide which I think is relevant to the discussion. Obviously, this is a YMMV issue.


"I decided to add another note to this section, since I have emphasized individual preference in the title of the Guide. People who are looking for bass clarity are more likely to find it when they use some system of room EQ. Turning off room EQ will generally introduce some muddiness to the sound, as bass frequencies randomly peak and cancel. That may create the impression that there is more bass, as described in the first section, because we will typically hear some frequencies much more loudly than we will hear others.

That same thing may happen when we engage LFE+Main. It may increase the apparent quantity of the bass in exchange for some quality, in the form of bass clarity. There is nothing wrong with experimenting to determine which setting we prefer. But I believe that it may be important to understand the potential trade-offs we are making, and that it may be important to listen objectively to our overall sound quality. AVR makers added the LFE+Main feature, over the objections of the creators of Audyssey, who believed that it was contradictory to the fundamental concept of room EQ, as a means to enhance bass clarity.

One of the distinctions that I might personally make would be between the use of our full-range speakers for some types of music, and their use for other listening material. As noted earlier in this section, some people may prefer to use just their full-range speakers for music that doesn't have a lot of low-bass content. In that case, simply setting the front speakers to Large would enable the listener to enjoy properly EQed bass played entirely by his front speakers.

But, as a general rule, if we need to have our subwoofer(s) playing in order to have sufficient low-bass to begin with, I believe that we are better off bass-managing our speakers, with a crossover. Then, if we ever want even more bass, we can just boost our subwoofer volume to get it. That way, we can still benefit from having properly EQed transducers and the improved bass clarity which should result from that."
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GUIDE TO SUBWOOFER CALIBRATION AND BASS PREFERENCES

* The Guide linked above is a comprehensive guide to Audio & HT systems, including:
Speaker placements & Room treatments; HT calibration & Room EQ; Room gain; Bass
Preferences; Subwoofer Buyer's Guide: Sealed/ported; ID subs; Subwoofer placement.
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post #3902 of 3934 Old 02-27-2018, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Maddmaster View Post
All good points. However, I too have been doing this a long time. Currently I run 3 Subs and very familiar with frequency cancellation. Yes it took a lot of time to place and align each so there's no cancellations taking place.
Sure! As you get more familiar with your speakers and room, and gain enough experience to avoid the typical pitfalls, I think your combo can work, and it probably does in your case! But it should not be the "startup config".
BTW, in my living room (not the main system), and after a bit of moving things around, I can divide the mains at 80 Hz but the subs at 40Hz, just because of a peak around 60Hz from my mains... the end result is pretty good without any room correction software. Funny thing is, I can change it around so that the mains are divided at 50Hz and the sub at 80Hz, adjust phase and level slightly on the sub, and then I get a mild cancellation between the subs and mains in the overlapping region that also works (although I prefer the first setup)
Point being, don't just dial in the processor defaults and leave it there... start simple (and in my view, that means letting the sub(s) do all the heavy LF) but you have to work a bit to get *all* the potential juice out of your system and room
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post #3903 of 3934 Old 02-27-2018, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Maddmaster View Post
All good points. However, I too have been doing this a long time. Currently I run 3 Subs and very familiar with frequency cancellation. Yes it took a lot of time to place and align each so there's no cancellations taking place. Running LFE + Mains does not cause me to have a lack of headroom since I have more than enough power coming from my Pwr Amps. In a system with limited headroom I will agree with you. We all like different levels of Bass. A perfect example for me was listening to someone else's setup they felt they had nice Bass. I kept saying to myself where's the Bass? I like a deep strong Bass but not over powering the rest of the music or sound. I can sit you just about any where in my room and you cannot localize where the Bass is coming from. However, if I shut any of the Subs off you will notice a difference.
Years of experience will certainly make a difference. It sounds like you've spent quite a bit of time playing with settings and experimenting until you've learned what you like best and how to set things up to achieve them. Personally I stand in awe that you have three subs and two towers playing bass and you have no cancellations at any frequencies. Not even something like a 7 to 10 dB dip anywhere? That's pretty awesome. I would love to see a REW graph of your room response because that must have taken some serious effort to dial in (I know that sounds sarcastic but I'm being sincere). But that skill level is far from the norm around here. I tried the main plus LFE setting for a short time but found I didn't like it for reasons I stated earlier. For the average user going with the LFE setting will probably yield fewer headaches for them in the long run. One things for certain, it's cheaper to run the LFE setting then to buy enough power amps to avoid the headroom problem.
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Guide to Subwoofer Calibration and Bass Preferences

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post #3904 of 3934 Old 02-27-2018, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Hopinater View Post
Years of experience will certainly make a difference. It sounds like you've spent quite a bit of time playing with settings and experimenting until you've learned what you like best and how to set things up to achieve them. Personally I stand in awe that you have three subs and two towers playing bass and you have no cancellations at any frequencies. Not even something like a 7 to 10 dB dip anywhere? That's pretty awesome. I would love to see a REW graph of your room response because that must have taken some serious effort to dial in (I know that sounds sarcastic but I'm being sincere). But that skill level is far from the norm around here. I tried the main plus LFE setting for a short time but found I didn't like it for reasons I stated earlier. For the average user going with the LFE setting will probably yield fewer headaches for them in the long run. One things for certain, it's cheaper to run the LFE setting then to buy enough power amps to avoid the headroom problem.
I burst out laughing when I got to your last line because that is a very true statement about the headroom because it was costly. Front (Mains) have 460 wpc available; 2 Centers have the same and the 6 Surrounds have 200 wpc available. It took years to finally make it all come together. I've never put a spectrum analyzer on the system and had it graphed. However, I have had many very critical enthusiast listen to the system and no one could find any outstanding weakness. I did find that more power is not always a good thing through experimenting. I bridged 2 power amps for the front channels which was over 1000 wpc. It was loud as hell but seemed to suffer in sound stage imaging. Didn't take me long to take that configuration down.
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post #3905 of 3934 Old 03-03-2018, 06:50 AM
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Well, I've had my PB16-Ultras for something like a month now. I actually didn't know this thread existed until yesterday! I've read perhaps a dozen pages total...but even in that small sample size, I saw one of the flame wars

Gotta say, I did hear mention of possible port chuffing before I placed my order; likely from a YouTube review or something. And I'm happy to say that my pair have no hint of it.

I'm also being conservative and lazy, and have only added +6dB to Audyssey settings and I just leave it there There's plenty of gas left in the tank to turn them up more, but for longevity's sake I'll probably just leave them alone right there.

I'm quite happy with my purchase! And yes, I absolutely did consider the PB-4000 carefully as well before pulling the trigger.
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post #3906 of 3934 Old 03-03-2018, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Zuehlke View Post
Well, I've had my PB16-Ultras for something like a month now. I actually didn't know this thread existed until yesterday! I've read perhaps a dozen pages total...but even in that small sample size, I saw one of the flame wars

Gotta say, I did hear mention of possible port chuffing before I placed my order; likely from a YouTube review or something. And I'm happy to say that my pair have no hint of it.

I'm also being conservative and lazy, and have only added +6dB to Audyssey settings and I just leave it there There's plenty of gas left in the tank to turn them up more, but for longevity's sake I'll probably just leave them alone right there.

I'm quite happy with my purchase! And yes, I absolutely did consider the PB-4000 carefully as well before pulling the trigger.
Congrats on your new PB-16's! I believe I speak for the majority of owners here who are and continue to be pleased with our purchase decisions as well! Enjoy!
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post #3907 of 3934 Old 03-11-2018, 08:50 AM
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Hi everyone. I'm pretty late to the party on this thread (didn't start from the beginning but read the last 20 pages or so), but I just received my SB16 two days ago. I was previously happy with my JL Audio F113 for the last 8 years, but I noticed that it no longer powered on while my wife and I started watching Thor Ragnorak . After some quick troubleshooting to confirm that it wasn't a power cord or fuse (no external fuse) issue, I quickly reconfigured my system to run the LCR at full range to watch the movie. Before going to bed that evening though, I placed the order for an SB16, which I had been eyeing ever since it came out (the PB16 was just too big and I'm not a max SPL guy since I primarily orient my system for music).

Fast forward to two days ago, the freight company was ready to deliver on this Friday. I managed to pack up my F113 myself so it could be sent back for repair and before the SB16 arrived. I managed to wrestle the SB16 into place where I had my F113, which was between the center and right channel speakers. I had painter's tape on the floor to show the placement of my speakers and sub and I was (pleasantly) surprised that the SB16 was not that much bigger of a footprint than my F113. I had measured out the dimensions beforehand so I knew it would fit ok, but this was fortunate from a placement, cabling, and spousal acceptance perspective.

The rest of my 5.1 setup consists of Monitor Audio PL300 for fronts driven by Pass Labs X150.5, PL350 for center driven by ATI AT525NC and a McIntosh MX150 for my processor. In my rush to get things set up I botched my initial RoomPerfect calibration and the sound was boomy. It turned out that the settings for speaker sizes had been reset so I was basically running LFE + mains. After some manual adjustments to crossover points and levels I was able to get things to be listenable again, but still uneven. So the next day I read all the manuals carefully - MX150 manual recommends setting sub to 80hz and the Merlin wizard on SVS site says to set my front (and center since it's almost the same size) to 60hz (closest setting was 63hz on the MX150). I reran the recalibration again yesterday using 5 room measurements to obtain 95% room knowledge.

I sat down to listen to a mix of standard and hi-res music, music videos, and some movie clips and was very satisfied with what I heard. Bass was very well integrated with my front channels (i.e. sub didn't call attention to itself) and on the few movie clips i tried, the bass seemed to go just a bit deeper and with lower distortion than my F113 did. So, this early into ownership, I'm more than happy and satisfied. The funny (sad?) thing is that even with the repair costs for the F113 ($300 flat rate), I'll probably be able to sell it and almost pay for the SB16!
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post #3908 of 3934 Old 03-11-2018, 09:07 AM
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Hi everyone. I'm pretty late to the party on this thread (didn't start from the beginning but read the last 20 pages or so), but I just received my SB16 two days ago. I was previously happy with my JL Audio F113 for the last 8 years, but I noticed that it no longer powered on while my wife and I started watching Thor Ragnorak . After some quick troubleshooting to confirm that it wasn't a power cord or fuse (no external fuse) issue, I quickly reconfigured my system to run the LCR at full range to watch the movie. Before going to bed that evening though, I placed the order for an SB16, which I had been eyeing ever since it came out (the PB16 was just too big and I'm not a max SPL guy since I primarily orient my system for music).

Fast forward to two days ago, the freight company was ready to deliver on this Friday. I managed to pack up my F113 myself so it could be sent back for repair and before the SB16 arrived. I managed to wrestle the SB16 into place where I had my F113, which was between the center and right channel speakers. I had painter's tape on the floor to show the placement of my speakers and sub and I was (pleasantly) surprised that the SB16 was not that much bigger of a footprint than my F113. I had measured out the dimensions beforehand so I knew it would fit ok, but this was fortunate from a placement, cabling, and spousal acceptance perspective.

The rest of my 5.1 setup consists of Monitor Audio PL300 for fronts driven by Pass Labs X150.5, PL350 for center driven by ATI AT525NC and a McIntosh MX150 for my processor. In my rush to get things set up I botched my initial RoomPerfect calibration and the sound was boomy. It turned out that the settings for speaker sizes had been reset so I was basically running LFE + mains. After some manual adjustments to crossover points and levels I was able to get things to be listenable again, but still uneven. So the next day I read all the manuals carefully - MX150 manual recommends setting sub to 80hz and the Merlin wizard on SVS site says to set my front (and center since it's almost the same size) to 60hz (closest setting was 63hz on the MX150). I reran the recalibration again yesterday using 5 room measurements to obtain 95% room knowledge.

I sat down to listen to a mix of standard and hi-res music, music videos, and some movie clips and was very satisfied with what I heard. Bass was very well integrated with my front channels (i.e. sub didn't call attention to itself) and on the few movie clips i tried, the bass seemed to go just a bit deeper and with lower distortion than my F113 did. So, this early into ownership, I'm more than happy and satisfied. The funny (sad?) thing is that even with the repair costs for the F113 ($300 flat rate), I'll probably be able to sell it and almost pay for the SB16!
Hi,

That sounds like an excellent success story, and it's good to hear that you are pleased with your new SB16. You have a very nice system!

Two things struck me about your post, though, that I hope you won't mind me responding to. First, if you want to boost your subwoofer a little bit for movies, you may like the results even more. The second section of the Guide I am linking will explain why that may be desirable after performing an automated calibration.

Second, although Merlin may recommend a 60Hz crossover for your front speakers, I think that you will get even better results if you try at least an 80Hz crossover. I am including a direct link to a section on setting crossovers that I think you may find helpful. You seem like someone who doesn't mind doing some reading.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-su...erences.html#D

Regards,
Mike

GUIDE TO SUBWOOFER CALIBRATION AND BASS PREFERENCES

* The Guide linked above is a comprehensive guide to Audio & HT systems, including:
Speaker placements & Room treatments; HT calibration & Room EQ; Room gain; Bass
Preferences; Subwoofer Buyer's Guide: Sealed/ported; ID subs; Subwoofer placement.
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post #3909 of 3934 Old 03-11-2018, 01:03 PM
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Hi,

That sounds like an excellent success story, and it's good to hear that you are pleased with your new SB16. You have a very nice system!

Two things struck me about your post, though, that I hope you won't mind me responding to. First, if you want to boost your subwoofer a little bit for movies, you may like the results even more. The second section of the Guide I am linking will explain why that may be desirable after performing an automated calibration.

Second, although Merlin may recommend a 60Hz crossover for your front speakers, I think that you will get even better results if you try at least an 80Hz crossover. I am including a direct link to a section on setting crossovers that I think you may find helpful. You seem like someone who doesn't mind doing some reading.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-su...erences.html#D

Regards,
Mike
Hi Mike. Thanks for the feedback which is very welcome and why I posted. I set the sub at -10 when I calibrated so that I would have some headroom to play with (plus I can also trim from the processor) for movies in particular. I'll give that some testing out. For music, I wanted the bass to be very balanced and not overpowering, but for movies, a little extra down there is good

Thanks for the link. That looks like some good homework/reading for me and try to understand more about the crossover issue.
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post #3910 of 3934 Old 03-11-2018, 01:25 PM
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Will the F113 & SB16 not play well together?

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post #3911 of 3934 Old 03-11-2018, 05:31 PM
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My PB16-Ultra review

Several weeks ago I appeared in this forum to discuss my desire to audition a quality large sub without actually making a purchasing decision right at this time. After discussing this with a few people over PM, I decided to audition a PB16-Ultra via SVS's 45 return day policy, using a sub from the outlet store so it wouldn't be a brand new unit. It's been in the house for about 36 days and I have some opinions now.

To recap my situation...I have a "theater" in my bonus room, which has many compromises from a dedicated space. First, the space is 18'x22'x12' where the ceiling is a barn style. There is a short 4'x4' hallway to the kitchen passing a door which leads downstairs to the garage. The opposite side of that hallway is a laundry room which carves out some space of the room so it's not quite rectangular. There is also another exit (french doors) leading to our kids playroom and then the kitchen. Total cubic feet...about 4300. The room is carpeted. There is also a fireplace (not used) and two windows.

I've been making a number of equipment upgrades recently since originally buying stuff 15 years ago. The current inventory is:

Equipment:

LG 65E6P OLED TV
AV123 Rocket RS750 speakers (four) + RSC200 center channel.
Marantz 7703 pre-pro
Denon 3805*
McCormack DNA 0.5 two channel amp
Oppo 205

Room correction: Audyssey + Audyssey iPhone app. Crossover at 80 hz. Subwoofer set to +3 dbs over calibrated setting.

The Denon 3805 was the original receiver and now serves as an amp for the Marantz until I get budget for more dedicated equipment. The McCormack amp drives the front mains, the Denon, center and surrounds. I'm also using two cheap monitors pointed at the ceiling for Atmos until I get budget for real equipment (crossed over at 200 hz)

The original sub was an AV123 UFW-12 (sealed design) that was purchased over a decade ago. It's amp has failed (again) and I don't want to put more money into it. The UFW-12 when it was working never was able to pressurize the room very well for movies (it sounded fine for music). It pretty much didn't have much extension under 28 hz. I'm well aware of the current best practice of going with two subs versus one, but I was wondering whether I could convince my wife to go with two units right now versus one larger unit. And then there's the problem of where to put two subs. The room also has my office desk and computer, a treadmill and other stuff.

The other decision was whether to go with an 16" SVS unit or a 18" unit from PSA or JTR. Again, the SVS audition process made this a very easy choice which led to the order. After a snafu with the shipping company, the unit arrived and I went through the arduous task of getting it out of the box and into the theater room. My plan was to audition the sub in two different places over the month and also trying different profiles (all ports open, two ports open, or sealed). The first of the two locations was in the front between the center channel and right tower. Although the sub spent 2.5 weeks in that spot, the biggest problem with this configuration was the size of the PB16. Let's face it...this this is a complete beast. It dominated the spot and probably wouldn't pass the WAF test although my wife was trying to bite her tongue on this. The second spot was near field, just to the right of the MLP couch with the driver pointed just behind the couch (the couch is 24 inches off the rear wall). In practice, this is a MUCH better solution for aesthetics if nothing else. And while there are presentation differences, I have to say that for the main purpose, having the sub near field is preferable.

Both spots were very good in dealing with potential nulls since they are both centrally located to the room. Corner placement in my room is almost impossible due to existing furniture. But I really couldn't see any problems in any of the listening positions with my Radio Shack meter.

Once I had sub working, configured and had Audyssey balance the room, I went to the THX "Eclipse" demo since it seemed to be a quick way to just the sub would make an immediate difference. I cranked up the volume to reference level and played the demo file through the Oppo 205. This demo had also sounded nice with the RS750 speakers running at full but those speakers rolled off at about 38 hz. The PB16 Ultra promised about 13-15 hz and I'd never really had that kind of a sub in the house before. How would this perform?

HOLY. CRAP.

The Eclipse demo begins soft and then comes in light a freight train with THX's signature "deep tone" at the end. I could see the plastic packaging of the sub flapping in the breeze of the ports. Objects on my desk began to rattle. My couch began to rumble. And the room was filled with incredible, loud but awesome bass.

OK, now I get it.

So to answer my first question, could a sub of this class pressurize a room of this size by itself? Yup, I'd say so. Could it benefit from two subs? Sure. Could I ever get two of these beasts past my wife? Maybe not. (Dual placement would be a problem too).

At this point I went to my movie collection for some old favorites and new titles, some of which I'd gotten for the occasion. One of the more obvious titles was Blade Runner 2049 (4K, Atmos mix), which I saw at the local IMAX theater and knew it was going to be great subwoofer material. In a home theater setting with the proper equipment, only then did I realize that this movie is a sound engineer's subwoofer porn. Even the Warner Bros. logo is introduced at nearly 100 db. The first minute is ear assaulting bass. And the flood-fight scene at the end of the movie is just relentless as the waves keep crashing over and over again. All the while the PB-16 keeps going with nary a complaint. No bottoming, no port chuffing that I could tell (though one spot in BR2049 in the beginning is real close).

During the calibration process, I kept coming back to AVSForum to learn a bit more about proper sub calibration. During Audyssey, the PB16 in the front of the room was happy with a -25 db setting on the main panel which translates into a -5.5 db calibrated setting in Audyssey. I eventually pushed that up 3 dbs to -2.5 db in Audyssey and felt I liked this better, as many other listeners in these pages do. The difference is not during the loudest of passages...it's hard to tell the difference in most cases. But the difference is noticeable in softer places where the extra oomph is appreciate. With the sub in near field position, the sub is set for -22 dbs which gets Audyssey to nearly the same calibrated/adjusted settings. Also, I spent nearly all of the sub in the front position with open ports, only changing to 2 open ports toward the end. One thing I've noticed is that while the sub can certainly do 120+ dbs, I can't think of too many times I really need that much volume. Most movies I'm at a volume where I never exceed 115 dbs in the loudest scenes. So I decided to close one port and chase lower extension by a db or two. In near field position, the sub has always had one port closed.

Another movie that had been recommended was the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie (4K, Atmos). I had purchased it but not watched it until yesterday. My wife and I had also recently watched the Blu-ray of the 4th Pirates movie so I had that for a comparison. The soundtrack of the 4th movie is actually quite light for bass compared to the 5th movie. The 5th movie have cannon fire that shakes you and extra effects in certain places to move you. The boarding of Barbosso's ship by Capt. Salazar had lots of these extra effects punctuated by the extra deep landing of Salazar's feet on the deck. You're not getting that effect running without a sub.

There are other recent releases that had a similar effect....Batman v. Superman, Wonder Woman, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and Ghost in the Shell which all have their extra bass moments. But it's a lot more fun going back to older titles on Blu-Ray that I remember people talking about years ago and finally getting the complete experience. The Lord of the Rings "Ring Drop" moment....Darla tapping the fishtank in Finding Nemo, Masters and Commander cannon fire and the recent Star Wars movies....all made better with a proper sub.

I haven't said much about music. There is one specific focus on music I want to comment on....pipe organs. I don't have much of it in the collection but it says a lot about what a good sub can do. I gave my wife for Christmas a copy of the Magnificat BD-audio release from 2L and it's one of her favorite recordings. Even though the emphasis is on the choral singing and accompanying orchestra, the music is performed is in a cathedral with a pipe organ at the ready. And I point to track 3 as an indicator or when a good sub changes a piece of music. The listener is enchanted by the melancholy strings of the piece but a single very low organ note is played in the background. It's tough to hear and better properly felt. And playing this track with the PB16, especially near field reminds the listener of the place where the piece was recorded. Anyone who has spent anytime in a church or place with a pipe organ knows the feeling of very low notes transmitted through your backside by the vibration of the pew you're sitting in. And this is the kind of transformative effect a good sub can do for music. The tower speakers were always good at representing most music thrown at them. But every now and then you need to go deeper, and it's appreciated when that is available to the listener.

One other piece of music I had to come back to was surprisingly disappointing...the famous 1812 Overture by the Cincinnati Pops orchestra SACD. It's not like the PB16 isn't good at it...far from it. But I learned that much of the cannon fire of that recording are higher frequencies that were coming through the front mains anyway (I made sure the Marantz was doing DSD->PCM conversion for the sake of proper bass management. I was expecting more but the recording is more demanding on loudspeakers than subs.

So now I have some answers but there are still a few more questions. For example, the PB16-Ultra with 2 ports is giving me pretty good extension down to 14 hz or so before significant drop-off but I don't have a room corner to help me. Do I declare victory and just prepare to buy this sub when my budget allows in the few months or do i continue looking through the 18" crowd looking for 10-12 hz performance? Is it even really necessary? I know the answer this crowd will give....hell yes! But this is an SVS group so I'm sure the answers are going to be for sub placement rather than a different product. But one thing I'm convinced of is that the PB16-Ultra has certainly set the bar for what I want in my house. It's a solid, well made product that rattles the room (and the house) with authority. My wife is getting used to it being here (especially in the near field location). And it's going to be a sad day in a week when it goes back to SVS.
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post #3912 of 3934 Old 03-11-2018, 08:57 PM
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Will the F113 & SB16 not play well together?
Good question. I never really though about mixing and matching. Always only though of using same brand/model. Anyone else have any thoughts/experience on mixing like that?
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post #3913 of 3934 Old 03-12-2018, 05:21 AM
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Good question. I never really though about mixing and matching. Always only though of using same brand/model. Anyone else have any thoughts/experience on mixing like that?
I know there is a member here, @muscles I believe, that has two F113s and two SB16s in the same room. Unless you just want to get rid of the F113, keeping it might be worth considering.
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post #3914 of 3934 Old 03-12-2018, 03:54 PM
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My PB16-Ultra review

So now I have some answers but there are still a few more questions. For example, the PB16-Ultra with 2 ports is giving me pretty good extension down to 14 hz or so before significant drop-off but I don't have a room corner to help me. Do I declare victory and just prepare to buy this sub when my budget allows in the few months or do i continue looking through the 18" crowd looking for 10-12 hz performance? Is it even really necessary? I know the answer this crowd will give....hell yes! But this is an SVS group so I'm sure the answers are going to be for sub placement rather than a different product. But one thing I'm convinced of is that the PB16-Ultra has certainly set the bar for what I want in my house. It's a solid, well made product that rattles the room (and the house) with authority. My wife is getting used to it being here (especially in the near field location). And it's going to be a sad day in a week when it goes back to SVS.
Hi,

That was a very interesting review, and I'm glad that you had such a good experience with the sub. Before you send it back, please try one more thing. Reduce the AVR trim level to about -6, and increase the subwoofer gain by that same amount. The subwoofer should be able to play even a little more cleanly that way. And, if you want even more bass, at whatever MV level, just increase the gain on the sub. The remote makes that very easy.

Getting down into the low to mid-teens with significant SPL and good sound quality is very good performance. That's what most people shoot for, if they can afford it. Should you try to get even lower? I won't give you an answer that favors SVS, but I will tell you that subwoofers that can get lower, with equivalent SPL, are going to be even larger than the PB16. The two that I would consider, if I wanted to stay with something somewhat comparable in size and price, would be the JTR Cap 2400 ULF and the Rythmik FV25HP. Both of those subwoofers would go even lower than the PB16, and they would be able to generate a lot of SPL in the process.

The JTR Cap 1400 and the PSA V3601 would both produce a lot more mid-bass than the PB16, and the Cap 1400 would have more SPL at 12.5Hz, but I don't know that it would be enough SPL at that frequency to make a lot of difference. It might be, but the Cap 2400 would be a sure thing. (The PB16 and the Cap 1400 are neck-and-neck from about 35Hz down to 15Hz.)

The V3601 has a 19Hz port tune, so if it's very low-frequencies you are after, that wouldn't be the way to get them. On the other hand, the V3601 has even more mid-bass than the Cap 1400. A good deal more. Different designers--different design philosophies.

Of the other two candidates I mentioned, the Rythmik FV25HP would sound and feel more like a sealed sub. The tactile sensations would not be as intense as they are with the PB16, even though the SPL would be higher at low frequencies. Most people seem to describe the difference as a more enveloping feeling, and not quite as overt. The JTR subs are the kings of overt tactile sensations. That is true with the Cap 1400, which is why you 'might' notice the extra SPL at 12.5Hz. We don't really hear frequencies below about 16Hz. We feel them, and tactile sensations don't seem to require quite as much SPL as loudness perception does.

The intense tactile sensations would be even more noticeable with the Cap 2400. That subwoofer produces even stronger tactile sensations than the Cap 1400 does, and it has the SPL to go with them. Almost all of the Cap 2400's larger cabinet volume, stronger driver, and greater amplifier power is devoted to frequencies under 40Hz. It also has a lower port tune. And, at 12.5Hz, the Cap 2400 produces about 12db more output than the Cap 1400. (And, the Cap 1400 produces more than the PB16 does.)

Some people enjoy those more overt tactile sensations and some people don't. That's sort of a YMMV situation. I would place the PB16 as having distinctly more overt TR than the ported Rythmik subs, but having less than the JTR Captivators. If you ever do decide to chase the super low-frequencies, there are subs which will let you do that. Would the overall movie experience really be enhanced that much? I don't know. As a general rule, there isn't a heck of a lot of content below the mid-teens, anyway. That is one of the reasons why most subwoofer makers use port tunes in the upper to mid-teens, even with their large flagship subs.

I hope this helps!

Regards,
Mike

GUIDE TO SUBWOOFER CALIBRATION AND BASS PREFERENCES

* The Guide linked above is a comprehensive guide to Audio & HT systems, including:
Speaker placements & Room treatments; HT calibration & Room EQ; Room gain; Bass
Preferences; Subwoofer Buyer's Guide: Sealed/ported; ID subs; Subwoofer placement.

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post #3915 of 3934 Old 03-12-2018, 07:42 PM
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^^ Great little write up of the differences in the subs that are out there Mike. It's like a nice Cliffs Notes explanation of the big subs from the different ID manufacturers and what they focus on. A lot of people looking to buy a sub would benefit from reading this.

Personally I love the output that my V3601's have from 20 Hz and up while delivering a ton of bass in the mid bass range. But there are others who love the way the JTR's focus on digging deeper than most other subs. And of course Rythmik and SVS have their strengths that others love. As long as you know what you want someone makes the sub that's right for you.
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^^ Great little write up of the differences in the subs that are out there Mike. It's like a nice Cliffs Notes explanation of the big subs from the different ID manufacturers and what they focus on. A lot of people looking to buy a sub would benefit from reading this.

Personally I love the output that my V3601's have from 20 Hz and up while delivering a ton of bass in the mid bass range. But there are others who love the way the JTR's focus on digging deeper than most other subs. And of course Rythmik and SVS have their strengths that others love. As long as you know what you want someone makes the sub that's right for you.
Thank you very much, Jim! I absolutely agree that there is a subwoofer (or two or three) for every preference.

I actually included a more detailed version of that comparison in the last section of my subwoofer guide. This is a direct link to that section:

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-su...erences.html#I

Regards,
Mike
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GUIDE TO SUBWOOFER CALIBRATION AND BASS PREFERENCES

* The Guide linked above is a comprehensive guide to Audio & HT systems, including:
Speaker placements & Room treatments; HT calibration & Room EQ; Room gain; Bass
Preferences; Subwoofer Buyer's Guide: Sealed/ported; ID subs; Subwoofer placement.
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post #3917 of 3934 Old 03-12-2018, 09:32 PM
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^^ Great little write up of the differences in the subs that are out there Mike. It's like a nice Cliffs Notes explanation of the big subs from the different ID manufacturers and what they focus on. A lot of people looking to buy a sub would benefit from reading this.

Personally I love the output that my V3601's have from 20 Hz and up while delivering a ton of bass in the mid bass range. But there are others who love the way the JTR's focus on digging deeper than most other subs. And of course Rythmik and SVS have their strengths that others love. As long as you know what you want someone makes the sub that's right for you.
You've hit the nail directly on the head! This is where Mike's guide is so helpful. It provides the information to help determine "what one needs and wants." And ultimately answers all those recurring questions that are asked in these threads.
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post #3918 of 3934 Old 03-12-2018, 10:53 PM
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Hi,

That was a very interesting review, and I'm glad that you had such a good experience with the sub. Before you send it back, please try one more thing. Reduce the AVR trim level to about -6, and increase the subwoofer gain by that same amount. The subwoofer should be able to play even a little more cleanly that way. And, if you want even more bass, at whatever MV level, just increase the gain on the sub. The remote makes that very easy.
I'll try that tomorrow. I wasn't aware that there was any specific difference from whether the SPL was specified on the control panel or Audyssey.

Quote:
Getting down into the low to mid-teens with significant SPL and good sound quality is very good performance. That's what most people shoot for, if they can afford it. Should you try to get even lower? I won't give you an answer that favors SVS, but I will tell you that subwoofers that can get lower, with equivalent SPL, are going to be even larger than the PB16. The two that I would consider, if I wanted to stay with something somewhat comparable in size and price, would be the JTR Cap 2400 ULF and the Rythmik FV25HP. Both of those subwoofers would go even lower than the PB16, and they would be able to generate a lot of SPL in the process.

The JTR Cap 1400 and the PSA V3601 would both produce a lot more mid-bass than the PB16, and the Cap 1400 would have more SPL at 12.5Hz, but I don't know that it would be enough SPL at that frequency to make a lot of difference. It might be, but the Cap 2400 would be a sure thing. (The PB16 and the Cap 1400 are neck-and-neck from about 35Hz down to 15Hz.)
This makes sense from a sense of physics. An 18" cone should move more air than a 16" for the same level of excursion and I think the Cap 2400 comes in a bigger box. I think we spoke some time back about the form factors of the JTR products. The Cap 2400 in its current form has the driver at the end which means it can sit longwise on the floor which actually helps me since it could just hide behind the couch. I think the 1400 sits squatter and taller which would be obvious to the room.

And then there's the Rythmik Direct Servo line which their customers swear by. Certainly worth a look.

Quote:
The V3601 has a 19Hz port tune, so if it's very low-frequencies you are after, that wouldn't be the way to get them. On the other hand, the V3601 has even more mid-bass than the Cap 1400. A good deal more. Different designers--different design philosophies.

Of the other two candidates I mentioned, the Rythmik FV25HP would sound and feel more like a sealed sub. The tactile sensations would not be as intense as they are with the PB16, even though the SPL would be higher at low frequencies. Most people seem to describe the difference as a more enveloping feeling, and not quite as overt. The JTR subs are the kings of overt tactile sensations. That is true with the Cap 1400, which is why you 'might' notice the extra SPL at 12.5Hz. We don't really hear frequencies below about 16Hz. We feel them, and tactile sensations don't seem to require quite as much SPL as loudness perception does.

The intense tactile sensations would be even more noticeable with the Cap 2400. That subwoofer produces even stronger tactile sensations than the Cap 1400 does, and it has the SPL to go with them. Almost all of the Cap 2400's larger cabinet volume, stronger driver, and greater amplifier power is devoted to frequencies under 40Hz. It also has a lower port tune. And, at 12.5Hz, the Cap 2400 produces about 12db more output than the Cap 1400. (And, the Cap 1400 produces more than the PB16 does.)
This is one of the puzzling things for me. The Cap 2400 is roughly the same volume as the V3601 and only have one driver versus the V3601's two drivers, yet increased amplification, port tune and other modifications make it a stronger, more powerful sub?

Quote:
Some people enjoy those more overt tactile sensations and some people don't. That's sort of a YMMV situation. I would place the PB16 as having distinctly more overt TR than the ported Rythmik subs, but having less than the JTR Captivators. If you ever do decide to chase the super low-frequencies, there are subs which will let you do that. Would the overall movie experience really be enhanced that much? I don't know. As a general rule, there isn't a heck of a lot of content below the mid-teens, anyway. That is one of the reasons why most subwoofer makers use port tunes in the upper to mid-teens, even with their large flagship subs.
I have to admit that the tactile feedback is a lot of fun but it's dampened somewhat by the near field position since the driver is pointed behind the couch. I will spend a little time with the PB16 in sealed mode to see if I really miss it under direct comparison.

And I get the tuning preferences...the PB16-Ultra largely handles all the stuff I've thrown at it. There's some stuff I've played that I know is <15hz but the question is, am I really missing something at that point?

Anyway, I want to thank SVS again for the opportunity. It's a really great product and I imagine that they sell quite a lot of them. The design and flexibility of the triple-ported configuration can satisfy most buyers. And it's going to be tough not having a sub for awhile once it goes back in the box next week. I'd love to do a similar in-home comparison with the others but I think I'm on the hook for shipping back with PSA and JTR doesn't do these auditions at all in their business model. Which leads SVS to be an easy choice since it's a safe purchase for anyone.

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post #3919 of 3934 Old 03-13-2018, 06:51 AM
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This is one of the puzzling things for me. The Cap 2400 is roughly the same volume as the V3601 and only have one driver versus the V3601's two drivers, yet increased amplification, port tune and other modifications make it a stronger, more powerful sub?

I have to admit that the tactile feedback is a lot of fun but it's dampened somewhat by the near field position since the driver is pointed behind the couch. I will spend a little time with the PB16 in sealed mode to see if I really miss it under direct comparison.
Just a couple of points of clarification, so that someone reading along won't misunderstand what I was saying. First, different drivers, of the same diameter, can have very different capabilities, so when we are comparing subwoofers, we can't just compare woofer diameter. The drivers that Jeff uses in the Cap 2400 and the Cap 4000 are even more powerful than the ones used in the Cap 1400. And, that one's a beast. But, they are also more expensive to produce.

Second, a lot of times we tend to think of more powerful subwoofers solely in terms of <35Hz SPL, which is where the Cap 2400 really shines. I do that a little myself, as for my particular circumstances, it is the low-frequency SPL I am looking for. But, for some years, the "most powerful" commercial subwoofer was probably the JTR Orbit Shifter. A Cap 2400 can smoke an OS under 20Hz. Above 20Hz, however, the OS would have an advantage, and above about 50Hz, it would take several 2400's to equal a single OS. So, more powerful is an ambiguous term in that context.

A lot of what subwoofer designers are deciding is where they want to use their SPL. They can build a huge cabinet, like that of the Cap 4000, with dual powerful drivers, and a 4000 watt amplifier, and get enormous SPL everywhere, including at very low frequencies. Or, they can compromise somewhat on size and cost, and pick the frequencies where they want to put their emphasis.

The V3601 doesn't cost as much as the Cap 2400, and even though it has dual drivers, those only add 3db to what the same sub would have with one driver. Tom chooses to put his emphasis on the frequencies from about 30Hz or 35Hz and up. And, from there up to the upper limits of the subwoofer's passband, the V3601 would be "more powerful" than the Cap 2400. This is what I meant when I said: different designers; different design philosophies.

As buyers, we just need to pick our own goals and then try to align those goals with subwoofers that match our requirements. Of course, max output, at particular frequencies, is only one aspect of performance, and performance may be only one aspect of our potential goals. But it is a good starting point. Since you specifically asked about chasing <15Hz frequencies, the subs I mentioned were the ones that would enable you to do that. But, I still can't tell you whether or not it's worth it. Personally, I think that good SPL into the low-teens is plenty.

One other point I would make concerns tactile response. A nearfield arrangement can actually give you very good TR, as tactile sensations decrease with distance, just as SPL does. Having the driver and ports pointed directly at us can intensify that feeling, and a chair or sofa won't really interfere with the transmission of energy to the room, and to our bodies, at all. So, you should be getting very good tactile response with your PB16 right behind the sofa. And, that would still be true, even if the driver and ports were aligned parallel to the back of the sofa.

If you do decide to experiment with the sealed mode, be aware that it won't just be TR that you will lose. The PB16 will lose almost 14db of SPL, at 16Hz, compared to the one-port tune. There is no reason not to try the mode, just for fun. But, ported subs are enormously more powerful in the low-frequencies than comparable sealed subs, due to the action of the ports (which displace more air), combined with the tuning point.

Regards,
Mike

GUIDE TO SUBWOOFER CALIBRATION AND BASS PREFERENCES

* The Guide linked above is a comprehensive guide to Audio & HT systems, including:
Speaker placements & Room treatments; HT calibration & Room EQ; Room gain; Bass
Preferences; Subwoofer Buyer's Guide: Sealed/ported; ID subs; Subwoofer placement.

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post #3920 of 3934 Old 05-20-2018, 12:05 PM
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The amp on my PB-16 just died. SVS will make it right, but does anyone know if they have corrected the issue they had with the first batch of amps? Some owners reported multiple failures.
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post #3921 of 3934 Old 05-20-2018, 06:11 PM
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The amp on my PB-16 just died. SVS will make it right, but does anyone know if they have corrected the issue they had with the first batch of amps? Some owners reported multiple failures.
Don't know for sure, but it's been so long since it's been brought up, that I would assume so.
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post #3922 of 3934 Old 03-28-2019, 12:51 PM
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Late to the party but…

Just got my SB16’s installed yesterday. Recent eye surgery meant my little but mighty wife had to push the subs out of their boxes and slide them into position. Me being the chivalrous guy I am, I bought her some furniture sliders. As noted, SVS has put a lot of thought into their clever packaging.

Two SB Ultra’s replace a near 30-year-old single Definitive Technology Powerfield 1500. The old Def Tech still works fine and doesn’t owe me a thing.
I have a long way to go and a lot to learn regarding getting these set up for best performance. My initial placement has the subs in opposing front and rear corners. Later I will also try front only left and right corner locations.
My initial impressions are very positive. I haven’t read this whole thread but did make it through the first 85 pages or so.

I’m happy to report:
• The subs arrived in perfect condition and are flawless
• Both work as expected
• Even though I have fairly long in wall coax cable runs using “F” to “RCA” connectors, I have zero hum or ground loop noise issues. Yeah! I was a bit concerned about this as switching to balanced XLR’s is not an option.
• So far, “Auto Standby” seems to be working fine.
• I’m having no problems with the smart phone app switching from one sub to the other.
I have a Umik-1 and REW loaded on my PC but have not run any sweeps yet.
So far, I’m using the default -10 dB volume setting and have changed the phase of the rear sub to 180 degrees. (Don’t know it that is correct or not.)
I have boosted the sub level in my pre-pro to +3 dB as suggested in the SVS manual. “NOTE: If you want to run the subwoofer louder than the initial auto-set-up level, adjust the subwoofer channel level upward in the AV receiver menu” Then again, I think I remember reading boosting the sub level in the AVR could cause clipping, so I’ll be doing some more research on this topic. (I’ll study up on Mike Thomas’ Guide to Sub Calibration)

Overall the new subs sound good, but I have not done any high-volume blockbuster movie testing yet. At moderate volume, my new pair of SB16’s sound about the same as my old single Def Tech sub.
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post #3923 of 3934 Old 03-28-2019, 01:38 PM
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(I’ll study up on Mike Thomas’ Guide to Sub Calibration)
Congrats on your SB16’s! Agreed, the most most beneficial step you can take at this point is reviewing Mike’s guide followed by utilizing REW.
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post #3924 of 3934 Old 05-01-2019, 02:38 PM
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Have moved from a condo with hardwood floors to a house with carpet in the media room and working on getting the right room placement and sound that I had in the condo...

My question is around using some sort of feet to raise the sub a little off the carpet and if this would improve the sound quality?

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post #3925 of 3934 Old 05-03-2019, 10:36 AM
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Yes!!!

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post #3926 of 3934 Old 05-03-2019, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by decibels View Post
Have moved from a condo with hardwood floors to a house with carpet in the media room and working on getting the right room placement and sound that I had in the condo...

My question is around using some sort of feet to raise the sub a little off the carpet and if this would improve the sound quality?
Quote:
Originally Posted by vipervick View Post
I have to disagree. Raising the sub a couple inches won't affect SQ. The feet may reduce sympathetic vibrations on when placed on hard floors but not so much on carpet.

You should actually be able to get better sound in a carpeted room than hard floor. It's about finding the right placement and seating positions. Especially when it comes to the sub, placement rules.
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post #3927 of 3934 Old 05-04-2019, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Marc Alexander View Post
I have to disagree. Raising the sub a couple inches won't affect SQ. The feet may reduce sympathetic vibrations on when placed on hard floors but not so much on carpet.

You should actually be able to get better sound in a carpeted room than hard floor. It's about finding the right placement and seating positions. Especially when it comes to the sub, placement rules.
Thanks Marc, I called SVS (their support is so awesome) and they suggested the same that placement needs to figured out first and then you may not want to get any widgets at all! I ordered a longer XLR cable to move the sub to the back of the room this weekend and will keep moving it until I find that sweet spot!
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Preet
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post #3928 of 3934 Old 05-04-2019, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by decibels View Post
Thanks Marc, I called SVS (their support is so awesome) and they suggested the same that placement needs to figured out first and then you may not want to get any widgets at all! I ordered a longer XLR cable to move the sub to the back of the room this weekend and will keep moving it until I find that sweet spot!
Hi, you might want to consider the SVS wireless adapter which I am currently using for one of my dual SB16-Ultras. I used it for one in the back left corner which is too far to employ the use of a long cable. It works wonderfully!
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post #3929 of 3934 Old 05-04-2019, 01:22 PM
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Hi, you might want to consider the SVS wireless adapter which I am currently using for one of my dual SB16-Ultras. I used it for one in the back left corner which is too far to employ the use of a long cable. It works wonderfully!
Interesting, I have always stayed away from wireless thinking that there would be sound degradation...in my case running a cable was an easy task

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post #3930 of 3934 Old 05-04-2019, 06:33 PM
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Interesting, I have always stayed away from wireless thinking that there would be sound degradation...in my case running a cable was an easy task
The better wireless units have a good track record of quality and extension equivalent to wired. Bass signals are relatively easy to carry. The primary issue with them is interference which just depends on your home’s wireless milieu. Of course if you can wire always preferred.
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