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SVS SB16 ULTRA


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Does anyone have experience with SVS SB16 ULTRA in a nice two channel audio system?
 

These appear to be a great price for a 16” sub.

 

Im trying to find out if I dare add two subs to my Meadowlark Nightingale speakers.  They do a great job on their own but I’m wondering what my gains vs losses might be.

 

I have never owned a pair of subs for my two channel audio system so I am cautious 

 

 

My System TWO SPEAKERS AND A CHAIR

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I own two of the SVS SB400 subs that I feel are just stunning paired with by Spatial Audio M3 TM speakers. I can only imagine what the 16's bring to the table. The app is quite powerful but I paired these with a DSpeaker unit and this took the integration right into the pocket. Adding subs are is more than just bass. Properly integrated subs have away of elevating the rest of the musical spectrum. Its hard to describe but the bottom weighted anchor they provide just give the whole presentation a realism closer to that live being there feeling for me. Its very addictive.

 

If you are considering the 4000's as an alternative to the 16's I would skip the 4000's and get the 3000's. They are the same sub from what I understand but without  LCD screen. I use the app and sometimes the remotes to control the subs from my seat. To me the LCD screens just add cost.

Intel NUC w/ Roon Core -> Ethernet switch -> Etheregen/ LPS 1.2 (B-Side) -> Optical Cable -> Optical Rendu -> Ghent JSSG360 Silver Plated Star Quad USB -> Schitt Gungnir Multibit -> Decware CSP2+ pre -> Melody 845M Monoblocks ->Spatial Audio M3Triode Master Speakers; Decware CSP2+ pre ->DSpeaker 8044S-II -> 2x SVS SB4000 Subwoofers. HDPlex 300w LPS powering Intel Nuc, OpticalRendu and DSpeaker. PSAudio P10 PowerPlant 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 11/21/2020 at 8:09 AM, HIFI said:

Does anyone have experience with SVS SB16 ULTRA in a nice two channel audio system?
 

 


@zettelsmhas a pair of these, I believe.  Not just a nice two channel system either - it’s an extraordinary system.  Best I’ve heard and the subs were perfectly integrated.  He’s encouraged me to think about adding SVS subs to my two channel system, so I think this would be a great move for you to make.

Digital:  Innuos Zenith Mk3 > Shunyata Sigma USB > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Wireworld Gold Startlight > OPTO DX > Shunyata Alpha S/PDIF > Chord Hugo TT2 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps

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On 11/21/2020 at 8:09 AM, HIFI said:

Does anyone have experience with SVS SB16 ULTRA in a nice two channel audio system?
 

These appear to be a great price for a 16” sub.

 

Im trying to find out if I dare add two subs to my Meadowlark Nightingale speakers.  They do a great job on their own but I’m wondering what my gains vs losses might be.

 

I have never owned a pair of subs for my two channel audio system so I am cautious 

 

 

 

45 minutes ago, kennyb123 said:


@zettelsmhas a pair of these, I believe.  Not just a nice two channel system either - it’s an extraordinary system.  Best I’ve heard and the subs were perfectly integrated.  He’s encouraged me to think about adding SVS subs to my two channel system, so I think this would be a great move for you to make.

 

Thanks very much @kennyb123 for the kind words. I'm now up to four SB16 Ultras, two per channel and my ultimate goal is to end up with stacks of three per side, similar to REL's Reference Line Array.

 

In my experience, the SB16 Ultra are all upside with no sonic drawbacks. I'd rank them right up there with REL's No.25, any of the JL Audio subs, and the Wilson Audio subs. The 16" driver with 8" edge-wound voice coil powered by the DSP-controlled 1500 watt RMS amplifier is very fast and articulate and blends seamlessly with full-range speakers.

 

The SVS app allows tuning the subs from the listening chair and is super-flexible. Best of all, as the OP has pointed out, they are very reasonably priced and thousands less than anything in their class. SVS make daisy-chaining multiple subs easy by providing an XLR line level out as well as RCA and XLR inputs, so in the case where I have stacks of two subs, all that's required is a 24" XLR cable to go from one sub to the other.

 

Adding a pair of subs has the benefit of not only providing a rock-solid, articulate bottom end -- they  have the uncanny ability of making the stereo stage wider, deeper and and more immersive, even with material that seemingly doesn't contain much if any bass. Rather than summing two channels of low frequency information into one and in the process destroying much of the unique out-of-phase information in one channel relative to the other, a pair of subwoofers preserve this phase information, much of which is used by the brain to subconsciously determine the size of the venue.

 

If you are patient, SVS periodically runs sales and their outlet store further marks down the price on slightly scuffed units. My second pair came from the outlet store and SVS staff were very helpful picking out two units where the dings were on the top or back, and thus hidden by the pair stacked on top. Finally, they have a help line and on-line chat to support set-up and they offer a money back trial period, so getting into a SVS sub or pair of subs is about as risk-free as it gets.

 

If I can answer any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

 

Best regards, and good luck!

 

Steve Z

VPI-HW40 Anniversary turntable, Grado Aeon cartridge, Teres turntable, VPI Fatboy gimbal, Dynavector XV1-S, Lyra Helikon mono; Taiko Audio Extreme server, dCS Vivaldi DAC, Upsampler Plus and Clock, Cybershaft OP21 Reference Clock; Playback Designs Pinot ADC; D'Agostino Momentum S250 amplifier, Momentum HD preamp, Momentum phono stage; Sonus Faber Aida speakers, SVS SB16 Ultra quad subwoofers; Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR & Typhon, Shunyata Sigma NR & Alpha NR power cords, Sigma interconnects, digital and speaker cables; Stillpoints ESS grid system rack; Stillpoints Ultras and Ultra 5s, component stands and cones under everything, ASC Tube Traps . . . and lots and lots of music.

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16 hours ago, zettelsm said:

I'm now up to four SB16 Ultras, two per channel and my ultimate goal is to end up with stacks of three per side, similar to REL's Reference Line Array.


Four, eh?  What did you hear when moving from two to four?  
 

I was unfamiliar with REL's Reference Line Array.  Bad ass looking stack for sure.  I figure by the time we’ve both received the vaccine and I can finally drop by for another listen you’ll be up to three per side.  

Digital:  Innuos Zenith Mk3 > Shunyata Sigma USB > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Wireworld Gold Startlight > OPTO DX > Shunyata Alpha S/PDIF > Chord Hugo TT2 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps

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22 minutes ago, kennyb123 said:

 


Four, eh?  What did you hear when moving from two to four?  
 

I was unfamiliar with REL's Reference Line Array.  Bad ass looking stack for sure.  I figure by the time we’ve both received the vaccine and I can finally drop by for another listen you’ll be up to three per side.  

 

Well, I'm still waiting on the next SVS sale/outlet store inventory list that features the SB16 Ultras again before I add another pair. But hopefully before too long.

 

Technically, doubling the number of drivers means a 3dB gain in acoustic power, which would otherwise have to be achieved by doubling the power output to double the cone excursion. Which isn't a problem, since these beasts are so powerful most of the time they're just loafing around.

 

Practically, added two subs translates into being able to run the four of them at a lower level individually for the same SPL output, so each individual cone excursion is less, power required from each amp is less, meaning everything is just a little bit more precise and accurate. Transients are subjectively very "fast" and articulate (not that they weren't before), and the tactile, shuddery, feel-it-subliminally-as-much-as-hear-it sensation of live bass performance is really enhanced. Doubling the cone area means more air is moved more efficiently. Think large square footage membrane moving a little all over its surface rather than a relatively smaller canoe paddle in water trying to move the same volume of fluid by moving farther each stroke (and having the water run around the edges of the paddle, thus losing efficiency).

 

It's very realistic and seductive, and when really loud bass transients come along, quite thrilling and sometimes scary. Not that that is the way I run the subs all the time -- but I do have the SVS presets labeled, "Music", "Theater" and "Insane"

 

Steve Z

VPI-HW40 Anniversary turntable, Grado Aeon cartridge, Teres turntable, VPI Fatboy gimbal, Dynavector XV1-S, Lyra Helikon mono; Taiko Audio Extreme server, dCS Vivaldi DAC, Upsampler Plus and Clock, Cybershaft OP21 Reference Clock; Playback Designs Pinot ADC; D'Agostino Momentum S250 amplifier, Momentum HD preamp, Momentum phono stage; Sonus Faber Aida speakers, SVS SB16 Ultra quad subwoofers; Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR & Typhon, Shunyata Sigma NR & Alpha NR power cords, Sigma interconnects, digital and speaker cables; Stillpoints ESS grid system rack; Stillpoints Ultras and Ultra 5s, component stands and cones under everything, ASC Tube Traps . . . and lots and lots of music.

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2 hours ago, plissken said:

 

I believe if stacking them it's 6dB

 

If you go from one driver to two, it's 3dB. If you want to double the effect again (+3dB) you have to double the number of drivers again, hence four. Stacking something with wavelengths as long as the range handled by subwoofers doesn't confer any additional cabinet or half-space gain as it might for smaller drivers handling higher frequencies as modern PA systems do with long line arrays.

 

Steve Z

VPI-HW40 Anniversary turntable, Grado Aeon cartridge, Teres turntable, VPI Fatboy gimbal, Dynavector XV1-S, Lyra Helikon mono; Taiko Audio Extreme server, dCS Vivaldi DAC, Upsampler Plus and Clock, Cybershaft OP21 Reference Clock; Playback Designs Pinot ADC; D'Agostino Momentum S250 amplifier, Momentum HD preamp, Momentum phono stage; Sonus Faber Aida speakers, SVS SB16 Ultra quad subwoofers; Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR & Typhon, Shunyata Sigma NR & Alpha NR power cords, Sigma interconnects, digital and speaker cables; Stillpoints ESS grid system rack; Stillpoints Ultras and Ultra 5s, component stands and cones under everything, ASC Tube Traps . . . and lots and lots of music.

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14 minutes ago, zettelsm said:

 

If you go from one driver to two, it's 3dB. If you want to double the effect again (+3dB) you have to double the number of drivers again, hence four. Stacking something with wavelengths as long as the range handled by subwoofers doesn't confer any additional cabinet or half-space gain as it might for smaller drivers handling higher frequencies as modern PA systems do with long line arrays.

 


Probably each pair also increases by some equivalent amount the odds Mount Rainier becomes active again. Or maybe it sets the scene for you saving the Pacific NW by forestalling an eruption simply by playing your favorite organ music.

Digital:  Innuos Zenith Mk3 > Shunyata Sigma USB > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Wireworld Gold Startlight > OPTO DX > Shunyata Alpha S/PDIF > Chord Hugo TT2 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps

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2 hours ago, zettelsm said:

 

If you go from one driver to two, it's 3dB. If you want to double the effect again (+3dB) you have to double the number of drivers again, hence four. Stacking something with wavelengths as long as the range handled by subwoofers doesn't confer any additional cabinet or half-space gain as it might for smaller drivers handling higher frequencies as modern PA systems do with long line arrays.

 

Steve Z

 

You aren't just doubling the drivers. You are doubling the amplification no?

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22 hours ago, plissken said:

 

You aren't just doubling the drivers. You are doubling the amplification no?

 

True. But that doesn't matter. If you keep the input signal the same level, when you add a second driver and amp, the voltage across the driver voice coil remains the same, the power output for that second driver and amp is the same as the first driver and amp, so net acoustic power doubles. 3dB.

 

When you add a second driver to the same amp, assuming you add that driver in parallel with the first driver, the total load resistance presented to the amplifier is 1/2 what it is with one driver. So the amp, for the same voltage output delivers twice the current (if it is capable of doing so). If we analyze the two paths current can take -- VC1 and VC2 -- the voltage across each voice coil remains the same as in the first instance, and 1/2 the total current flows through VC1 while the other half flows through VC2. So the net power consumed by each voice coil in instance 2 is the same as when we added a driver and amp. Net acoustic power doubles, just as it did in the first example.

 

Steve 

VPI-HW40 Anniversary turntable, Grado Aeon cartridge, Teres turntable, VPI Fatboy gimbal, Dynavector XV1-S, Lyra Helikon mono; Taiko Audio Extreme server, dCS Vivaldi DAC, Upsampler Plus and Clock, Cybershaft OP21 Reference Clock; Playback Designs Pinot ADC; D'Agostino Momentum S250 amplifier, Momentum HD preamp, Momentum phono stage; Sonus Faber Aida speakers, SVS SB16 Ultra quad subwoofers; Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR & Typhon, Shunyata Sigma NR & Alpha NR power cords, Sigma interconnects, digital and speaker cables; Stillpoints ESS grid system rack; Stillpoints Ultras and Ultra 5s, component stands and cones under everything, ASC Tube Traps . . . and lots and lots of music.

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