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Decision Time: SVS Ultra vs SVS CS +

424 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Terence
It is final decision time. Other than the cost difference, what are the other differences? Bottom Line, will the Ultra be that much better? My room is a 11'w x 16'l x 7.5'h dedicated space in the basement.
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In a room of that size why don't you go with a PC+ ???? It would be more than enough for that room.
I have a dual 20-39cs+ combo and I'm very happy with them. I think that you would be hard pressed to tell a difference from the cs+ to the Ultra in that size room. Save your pennies and get the cs+. If you have extra money hanging around you can always add a second!:D
My room is 14'x19' and my dual 20-39cs+ are plenty.
Read this review a guy named Ed wrote between the two, it might help might not.

I went over a friends house in a neighboring city to check out his new HT system and help him calibrate it.

He is running a B&K AVR307 in 6.1 mode, Polk LSi series all around, and an SVS Ultra running off one channel of a Samson S1000 500W amp. Filter point at the receiver is 80 Hz. He also has the SVS01 Bass Box by Marchand in the loop which has an adjustable SS filter, variable phase, and up to 18 dB of gain on the pre-out signal.

The SVS01 Bass Box in the loop gives a VERY slight hum at rest - you must put your ear right up to the sub vents to hear it. It is certainly never audible during playback, even during quiet passages and it would never stop me from buying one considering its many benefits.

We calibrated using the AVIA disc - speakers to 85 dB and the sub to 88 dB. We used a recently calibrated and factory certified B&K Model 2205 SPL meter set to C-Weighted Slow mounted on a tripod at the listening position.

After calibration, we ran some 1/12 octave bass sweeps to check the in-room FR. With the SS filter set to 15 Hz, the FR was essentially flat from 18 Hz to 40 Hz, with a slight 3 dB rise between 40 and 50 Hz. Above that, the FR got ragged due to a standing wave null at 56 Hz. Moving the meter 2 feet to either side lessened the effect of this null considerably.

He had recently upgraded from the 20-39 PC+ (which I also own) to the Ultra in anticipation of moving to a bigger house, and he wanted my subjective and objective opinions on his system and particularly his sub.

The SVS Ultra appears identical in construction to a 20-39 CS+, except for the proprietary TC Sounds TV-12 driver. The Plus line uses the TC Sounds dB-12 driver.

Anyway, how does it sound? Well I expected to be impressed and I was. Demo material included The Haunting (dts), SWII-AOTC, and Atlantis. All source material was extremely clean with very strong impact at reference volume.

Subjectively, I would say the sonic accuracy of the TV-12 is just a hair better than the dB-12 driver in the Plus line. But they are very close in sound quality, which is no surprise considering the drivers are made by the same company. I also found the TV-12 driver to be slightly more "authoritative" than the dB-12 at VERY high volumes. This is probably due to the larger magnet and VC structure and extraordinarily high xMax (>25mm one way) allowing excellent cone control and excursion characteristics. The TV-12 is an effortless driver and really makes the stretch for that last dB of deep impact.

As expected, the TV-12 driver can play a bit louder than the dB-12 driver, and we certainly proved it. We recorded 116-117 dB peaks (on C-weighted Fast) about 12 feet from the sub during playback at reference level. This is a good 2 dB better than the dB-12 driver in the same room.

Am I ready to trade in my 20-39 PC+? In a word - no. I would say the PC+ is between 8/10 and 9/10 of an Ultra in terms of sound quality and performance. However, it is 40% less expensive than the Ultra/Samson/Marchand set-up. With that said, the Ultra clearly has a slight but definitely audible and measurable advantage over the Plus and if you've just gotta have that last tenth (or so), the Ultra certainly delivers the goods. Overall, VERY impressive.


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Thanks Terance, that was exactly what I was looking for. I think I will be saving some money and going with CS+.
No problem jatleson, I own a PC+ and by NO means dose this sub take the back seat nor is it a slouch. Be sure to feed your CS+ 500+ watts to get the the full potential out of it.
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