SVS SB13-Ultra Subwoofer


Setup of the SVS SB13-Ultra Subwoofer

SVS shipped me the SB13-Ultra review unit via FedEx. I was busy at the office so I went online and requested FedEx to hold the package at my local FedEx Office location. A few days later, I borrowed my wife's SUV and headed over to pick up the subwoofer. The lady who brought it out from the back room had a pensive and wry look on her face when she turned to look at me. Why? Well, it's because the box weighs over 100 pounds! I was still able to lift it into the back of the car and unload it by myself without getting hurt or dropping the sub. But I'll get some help moving the sub the next time because it is much heavier than it looks.

Assembly of the sub was a breeze. It comes with four conical feet that you screw in. You then place the sub in the proper spot, connect the signal cable(s), connect the included detachable power cord and install the heavy duty metal grille.

This amp has a full suite of line level inputs and outputs. These include both balanced and unbalanced stereo inputs and outputs. There are no speaker level inputs.

The STA-1000D Sledge amplifier is highly flexible. It is controlled through a rotary knob and a two-line backlit LCD display. There are eight available functions that allow configuration and control of the subwoofer. (I do wish that the display were on the front of the cabinet as I had to read it upside down and backwards.) The functions include:

Volume (dB)

High Pass Filter Adjustment (on/off, frequency and slope)

Low Pass Filter Adjustment (on/off, frequency and slope)

Phase (0° – 180°)

High pass delay (ms)

Room compensation (on/off, frequency and slope)

Sub mode (sealed, 16 Hz or 20 Hz)

Parametric EQ (2 filters, frequency, level and Q for each)

I put the sub in the front left corner of the room and connected a single unbalanced interconnect from the sub output of my Marantz AV7005 surround processor to the right channel input of the SB13-Ultra. After adjusting the volume and phase of the sub, I used it in this configuration for a few days until I was ready to dial in the sub's EQ.

I calibrated the sub's dual band parametric equalizer using a Radio Shack SPL Meter, a CD with one-third octave test tones, a notepad and a pen. I started by making a quick grid on the sheet that showed each tone and the published correction factor for my SPL meter.

I then ran through the tones, recorded the measured level, calculated the actual response and took a first stab at the correction I would need. Rooms tend to have both peaks and nulls and it is advisable to simply focus on attenuating any peaks you measure as nulls can be like black holes, absorbing so much energy that you will quickly overload your subwoofer trying to fill in the suckout.

So I focused on two strong peaks in the response. It took me a few iterations to get the right attenuation and Q for each peak. All told, I finished this exercise in about half an hour. I am pretty certain less experienced users will take longer at this, but it was largely a matter of simple trial and error until you get it right.

From this point on, I did not use the room correction software in my SSP. I simply used the sub's EQ, manually setting the speaker distances and levels. I set all satellites to small and toggled the high pass between 80 and 90 Hz until I ultimately decided to leave it at 80 Hz for all my subjective discussions in the next section.

One last point; the amp has room gain compensation that attenuates the deep bass in smaller rooms. I did not use this control as my room is rather large. But it is a nice touch for SVS to include this feature which helps with bass integration in rooms less than 2,400 cubic feet.