Setting up 4x SB16-Ultra subs...

Sonnie

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Got the four SVS SB16-Ultra subs in and placed two of them up front like I normally do my pairs of subs... and after removing one of the four recliners on the back row of the room, and centering those up, I placed the other two on each side of that row on the ends. I figured that would be a good starting point and my preferred location. I was going to start by measuring each sub with REW to see what they looked like individually, then do them in pairs up front, then pairs in the back, but then decided to just try them all at once and see what it looked like first. After tweaking the phase on the rear subs that are a little closer to the main listening position... this is what I got (red) and with 1 PEQ filter in the front subs, and 1 PEQ filter in the rear subs, I was able to smooth it out (green). Ready for Dirac Live.

25094





Before I show you the Dirac Live corrected response... look at what the fronts looked like vs what the rears looked like... both in pairs...

25095




Those are fairly rough looking response individually. I got seriously lucky on the placement of these with such a beautiful looking combined response. It would have taken quite a few filters to straighten out that mess. It's just not everyday you can plop down 4 subs in a room and it come out that good.

Then I decided to see how far I could push them before REW hit the red... this was with the sweep just barely hitting the red a 4.8. Flat to 15Hz at 105dB... compliments of some nice room gain.

25096




Then I ran Dirac and brushed it on up a bit...

25097




Waterfall... not bad at 95dB ... considering there isn't much to be done about that area down low.


25098
 

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That is a pretty sweet waterfall.
 

welldun

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That must sound great! Would love to see pics of the room and learn more about the complete setup. Is it safe to assume that the reason for going with 4 subs was to be able to get the bass evenly distributed across all seating positions? I'm toying with the idea of adding two more sealed subs to my room, but given the fact that 90% of the time it's just me in the room, I'm finding it hard to justify the additional expense, not to mention that it would also require that I reconfigure the room if I'm to place each sub in one of the 4 corners.
It would be great to learn more about your methodology as well. Give how well the 4 subs play, where do you set the crossover between them and the main speakers?
 
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AustinJerry

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The response curve looks pretty good, Sonnie, although I would prefer to see it with no smoothing. I also have four sealed subs and use Dirac Live. There are several steps I perform that I am not sure you did, so I share them only if you feel inclined to squeeze the last bit of performance out of your setup:

1. Check sub-to-sub time alignment for each of the four subs, individually. (Dirac cannot do this.)
2. Check polarity, especially between the front and rear sub pairs. (My sub pairs showed opposite polarity.)
3. Perform the Sub Distance Tweak after the Dirac Live calibration to ensure the smoothest splice between combined subs and mains.

Also, as far as placement, my front two subs are at the 1/4 and 3/4 points (to address second-order room mode), and the rear subs are co-located at the wall midpoint (to address the first-order room mode)

Here is my write-up on configuring four subs, which you may already be familiar with: Using MiniDSP 2x4 to Time-Align Multiple Subs on One Channel

Here are my results (un-smoothed), which look very similar to your results.

25143
 

AustinJerry

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That must sound great! Would love to see pics of the room and learn more about the complete setup. Is it safe to assume that the reason for going with 4 subs was to be able to get the bass evenly distributed across all seating positions? I'm toying with the idea of adding two more sealed subs to my room, but given the fact that 90% of the time it's just me in the room, I'm finding it hard to justify the additional expense, not to mention that it would also require that I reconfigure the room if I'm to place each sub in one of the 4 corners.
You may find this interesting: Benefits of four subs
 

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That must sound great! Would love to see pics of the room and learn more about the complete setup. Is it safe to assume that the reason for going with 4 subs was to be able to get the bass evenly distributed across all seating positions? I'm toying with the idea of adding two more sealed subs to my room, but given the fact that 90% of the time it's just me in the room, I'm finding it hard to justify the additional expense, not to mention that it would also require that I reconfigure the room if I'm to place each sub in one of the 4 corners.
It would be great to learn more about your methodology as well. Give how well the 4 subs play, where do you set the crossover between them and the main speakers?
I plan to post new pics of the room once I get a chance to do so... hopefully not too much longer.

My purpose for adding 2 more in addition to what I've had in two subs for a while is exactly what I got for the main listening position... a much smoother response without having to do too much equalization... and zero boosting. I have never tried doing anything for multiple seating positions... although it might be better. It's nearly impossible to make it sound correct across multiple locations without sacrificing the primary listening position. I optimize for my seat, because I am usually the only one in the room... about 95% or better of the time. The only other time is maybe some friends kids watching a movie and they could care less ... they love it if they were hanging from the ceiling. Otherwise... when we have all of our evaluations and do reviews... we are mainly dealing with two channel and optimize for the main seat as well.

Surprisingly... there really wasn't any methodology or much thought given to this. I just dropped the subs where I preferred them to be... and the initial response just worked out really well for me. I got lucky is what it amounts too.

They sound very good... and I'm still tweaking... mainly integration with my main speakers, as the location of those causes my mains to take a big hit on the midbass area... having them out in the room to get the best sound stage, imaging and depth acuity, which is one reason I wanted ultra clean and effortless low bass.



The response curve looks pretty good, Sonnie, although I would prefer to see it with no smoothing. I also have four sealed subs and use Dirac Live. There are several steps I perform that I am not sure you did, so I share them only if you feel inclined to squeeze the last bit of performance out of your setup:

1. Check sub-to-sub time alignment for each of the four subs, individually. (Dirac cannot do this.)
2. Check polarity, especially between the front and rear sub pairs. (My sub pairs showed opposite polarity.)
3. Perform the Sub Distance Tweak after the Dirac Live calibration to ensure the smoothest splice between combined subs and mains.

Also, as far as placement, my front two subs are at the 1/4 and 3/4 points (to address second-order room mode), and the rear subs are co-located at the wall midpoint (to address the first-order room mode)

Here is my write-up on configuring four subs, which you may already be familiar with: Using MiniDSP 2x4 to Time-Align Multiple Subs on One Channel

Here are my results (un-smoothed), which look very similar to your results.
Thanks for this info Jerry... much appreciated. I have been tweaking with the phase on the rear subs that are about 3/4 of the way from front to back. I believe that location is really what has helped with the smoother extension. Previous to this... when I've had dual subs up front and dual subs across the rear wall, I had pretty serious issues. This time I went to the trouble of removing one of the four recliners on the rear row (since they are hardly ever used anyway) for the soul purpose of being able to place the subs at about the 3/4 position from front to back... as well as about 1/4 and 3/4 from side to side. The initial response is really remarkable considering there were no dips anywhere... and only 1 PEQ filter tamed the peak at 56Hz.

I saved the .mdat file on the response... so I can post it with no smoothing.

My biggest challenge right now is getting a smoother integration from sub to mains. It's pretty good right now, but still not what I want. I am sure a lot of folks would die for it... lol... but you know us nuts that keep tweaking and tweaking for that last little bit of perfection. It's a serious addiction.

Thanks also for posting your setup... I have not seen it, but I will definitely dig into it and check it out.
 

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Here's the no smoothing response of all 4 subs with DL engaged...

25158
 

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Hey Sonnie, I loved reading about your SVS sub experiment, great to hear and read about SVS whole line of their speaker's especially the Sub's. Man Sonnie I have to say most of the members here reading this are maybe like me, maybe just some what jealous with envy that your able own "4 SVS SB16-Ultra subs", I myself say it must be "Sweet" and happy for you. But I myself only own 1 SVS PC13- Ultra for about a good year now. I went from a 20 + year old Velodyne 10" CT-100 which played good for many years and still did(sold) But the PC13-Ultra (Vertical) fit the bill for the size of my living room(15'-5" X 22'-8", 8 foot ceiling). But I have to say the wife didn't quite understand buying something like what I purchased till I pulled out an oldie album (43 years old) I knew she loved and when she heard her favorite song from Led Zeppelin PHYSICAL GRAFFITI from our original double album I purchased in 1975 and it started pumping out the BASS and started shaking the hardwood floor and had her sitting in the sweet spot in the recliner of hers I could see her jaw drop, yeah she had the look of awe on her face as the song played and I knew then she was in love and even jumped up making me dance with her, HA!. Even after 43 years the album still sounded great, guess I really did take care of HER album but it was the Bass from the SVS Sub. Enough already, But Sonnie first I had purchased the Prime center 2 weeks before all the others. That one speaker changed my mind of how great of a job SVS did with their Center I went ahead and up-graded everything and I purchased 2 Prime Tower's, along with 4 Prime Satellite speakers (Ceiling mounted) at the same time with Ed's help of what would work with my set-up here. It took about a week to run in the ceiling wiring and mount everything where I thought would work good and I have to say I think I did a fine enough job by as in when I finely was able to test it I couldn't believe how good things sound. I tweeted and tweeted the Towers and Sat's and finely got to the sub which I think you know already of the control of low end to the high end is almost endless of sitting just that one speaker can be. It took me all day and I still find myself thinking I can get it better and I have somewhat have but being this note I'm writing is becoming a novel now is really understanding better of tweeting a Vertical 47 inch tall X 16-1/2 inch diameter Sub and using the plugs to either seal it all or some. Maybe what I should have just asked since your know what your doing on sitting up and tweeting your subs is there a article written that sort of leads you in the right direction of sitting up a Vertical Sub or am I on my own. The manual is helpful but I find that there's got to be a little more to where getting it tweeted to your room size that you might need better guidance because of it being a vertical Sub. I have to say I'm impressed that your are running SVS Sub's with the experience you have with different brands that is out there to choose from can I ask what and how you made your decision to go with SVS and especially the SB16-ULTRA'S I'm wondering because it was my choice by doing lots of reading and trolling every web-site I could find even when I was looking for just a center speaker and finding SVS's web-site the different lines of speaker they developed from their top of the line Sub's to their Prime line of top rated speaker's made my choice of up-grading, well pretty easy and I think I made the right choice for my self which other's might not believe so I have to say till you hear them and of course a good AV Receiver like mine I think, a Onkyo TX-RZ920. Sonnie if this doesn't fit with your article please just delete it, won't make my upset I was wanting some of your expert advice since I see your evidently a SVS Sub fan, at least I thought you might not mind helping. Thanks' and do love what your doing. Thanks Ben
 

Sonnie

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Hi Ben... I think I have owned or at least had in my room, nearly all of the SVS subs, shy of the new 3000 series, and give or take a few others. I actually had an entire Ultra setup, Towers, Center, Surrounds ... and I believe at that time I had just sold my PB13-Ultras and purchased the PB16-Ultras. It sounded phenomenal. Of course I am one to change out my system every few years, so I go thru a lot of different equipment for the fun of it.

The main reason I chose the SB16-Ultra subs is because they are so clean and compliment my MartinLogan Classic 9's so well on music... keeping it all very very clean and accurate. I chose to go with 4 units to make sure it was effortless, had plenty of extension into the lower frequencies, and to accommodate movies that I watch on occasion.

I also have the benefit of working with SVSound for about a year, just a few years ago, so I am very familiar with their products, their design intentions... and I know their quality is superb. Their drivers are incredible... really ... watch the YouTube videos below. I am no doubt a believer in their products and believe they are among the best bang for the buck out there.


 

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Thank you Sonnie for your reply and help. Let us know how you come out with the set-up and especially what you feel is the most important thing you like. SVS is moving along with the new Pinnacle's line in the prime series speakers that has me thinking of selling mine and purchasing a set, it would be the last up-grade for years since I just can't run out and purchase new speakers every couple years and man are they coming out with so many sweet speakers that most people like me can afford. Thanks' again Ben
 

AustinJerry

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Here's the no smoothing response of all 4 subs with DL engaged...
Definitely a very nice response curve, Sonnie. Now share your Dirac Live custom target, please! Are you adding a low end boost with a house curve?
 

Sonnie

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Thanks Jerry.

No boosting really... what I do it bring my mains down about 10dB below the suggested target curve and leave the subwoofer target curve pretty close to what it recommends, which gives me about a 10dB boost in the low end. That may or may not be too much for some, but I find it to be about right for me on most music I listen to. I'll post my REW graphs later to show my resulting response.

I'm still working on various placements with my front subs. It's a process each time... measuring front subs vs rear subs to get them level matched... then checking impulse response overlays to get the timing matched... then seeing how they look combined as well as how they integrate with the mains. This last time around I ended up with a small issue at 63Hz. Not significant, and I may not even be able to notice it, but it's still there and it still bothers me. I'm gonna try another location and see if I can improve on it more. Seems like anywhere in the room I place them the response from 15- 40-45Hz looks really good, which is surprising, as it typically drops off with other subs when I pull them out from the wall. These SB16's are a different breed for sure.
 

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Thanks Jerry.

No boosting really... what I do it bring my mains down about 10dB below the suggested target curve and leave the subwoofer target curve pretty close to what it recommends, which gives me about a 10dB boost in the low end. That may or may not be too much for some, but I find it to be about right for me on most music I listen to.
Whether you lower the mains or raise the low end, the result is essentially the same—a difference of 10dB, which is a nice boost. The only real difference is that with your approach, you will need to raise the AVR master volume to compensate for lowering the mains by 10dB. This is not an issue at all, just something to remember if you notice lower output levels at familiar MV settings.
 

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I believe DL has a limit on boosting. When doing this in my truck using the miniDSP C-DSP 8x12 DL, trying to boost the sub with no adjustment to the mains does not result in the same measurement as leaving the sub as is and cutting the mains. I have not tried this in the home version of DL version 2 (still using version 1 with the C-DSP), but I figured it would be the same result. I'll check it... seems like that is what I was seeing with the corrected curve the first time I used it, then decided to try it like my truck with pretty good results.

Normally when I use to be at -10 on my processor volume, I am now at 0... and it goes up to +10. Maybe I won't hit too many buttons on the remote and disengage DL accidentally while the volume is turned up. :gulp: :
 

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Here's where I'm at right now... about to move the front subs again to see what happens at mid-point of the room.

25233
 

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After moving the front subs from next to the front speakers (outside of each front speaker) to midway down the side wall.... here is what I get now. Very slight improvement at 63Hz ... at the sacrifice of a slight bit of lower extension to 10Hz... and another small issue cropping up at 100Hz. I may experiment with activating the crossover on the front subs at 60Hz lowpass and see if that will deal with the issue at 60Hz. Maybe experiment with different crossover frequencies.

25234
 

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Hi Sonnie,

I have two PSA XV15s and was thinking to replace them with dual SB16-ultra or go DIY route and build dual Dayton UM18-22 with PE flat packs. What would you recommend since, I believe, you built two dual UM18-22? Which sounds better? Dual UM18-22 Or Dual SVS SB16 Ultra?
 

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Hi Sulay... welcome to AV NIRVANA ... glad to have you with us.

Those PSA XV15's are very nice subs... are they not doing what you need? You might consider adding a couple of those.

The Daytons were fun and sounded great, but the SB16 are no doubt a significant step up in ultra clean bass... and better extension as well. I'd say for music the SB16's are going to be preferred for me, but for movies, it is not as big of a concern... either would work fine.
 

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VSX21-THX
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
OPPO UDP-203, Panasonic UB9000
Front Speakers
SVS Ultra Towers
Center Channel Speaker
SVS Ultra Center
Surround Speakers
SVS Ultra Surround
Surround Back Speakers
SVS Ultra Bookshelf
Front Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Front, Top Mid-Front)
Rear Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Middle, Top Rear)
Subwoofers
dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
Other Speakers or Equipment
Behringer 1124p; Aura Bass Shaker Pros; SuperSub X
Video Display Device
JVC NX7
Screen
Carada Cine-White 0 gain
Other Equipment
LG Electronics 65-inch B6 OLED, Sony 65-inch X900F
Congrats on picking those puppies up, Sonnie. I have 2xSB16... they are great... have them at the 1/4 points of front wall (dual PSA XS-30 at 1/4 on the back wall).
The SB-16 are real specimens! Would love two more!!
 

Sonnie

Senior Admin
Staff member
Thread Starter
Joined
Apr 2, 2017
Messages
2,552
Location
Alabama
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
NAD M17 V2 Processor
Main Amp
Emotiva XPA-1 Gen 2 Monoblocks
Additional Amp
Emotiva XPA Seven
Other Amp
Emotiva A-150
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Panasonic UB9000 4K UHD Player
Front Speakers
MartinLogan Classic ESL 9
Center Channel Speaker
MartinLogan Focus C-18
Surround Speakers
MartinLogan ElectroMotion ESL
Surround Back Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 12
Front Height Speakers
MartinLogan EM-IC
Rear Height Speakers
MartinLogan EM-IC
Subwoofers
SVSound SB16-Ultra x 4
Video Display Device
Epson 6050
Screen
Elite Screen
Remote Control
Universal MX-890
Other Equipment
Dish Joey 4K
Yeah... loving these things... superb extension for a seal sub. Still experimenting with placement, although they are really fine where they are now.
 

Peter Loeser

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 23, 2017
Messages
228
Location
Southwest Michigan
Nice looking response curve Sonnie. I have not yet heard any of the 16 series but imagine they’re outstanding based on the 13” models I’ve heard. SVS really seem to have this whole subwoofer thing figured out.

I’m not caught up on your latest system so I’m sure I missed it somewhere... what mains are you running? Do you crossover the sub at 80Hz?

You mentioned placing one at each end of your seating row. I’ve found this to be the best sounding setup I’ve achieved with just two sealed subs. Would love to see how adding a 2nd pair up front would improve my response.
 

Todd Anderson

Editor / Senior Admin
Staff member
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
5,903
Location
Balt/Wash Metro
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Denon X8500H
Main Amp
Emotiva XPA-5
Additional Amp
Emotiva XPA Gen3 2.8 multichannel amp
Other Amp
VSX21-THX
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
OPPO UDP-203, Panasonic UB9000
Front Speakers
SVS Ultra Towers
Center Channel Speaker
SVS Ultra Center
Surround Speakers
SVS Ultra Surround
Surround Back Speakers
SVS Ultra Bookshelf
Front Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Front, Top Mid-Front)
Rear Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Middle, Top Rear)
Subwoofers
dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
Other Speakers or Equipment
Behringer 1124p; Aura Bass Shaker Pros; SuperSub X
Video Display Device
JVC NX7
Screen
Carada Cine-White 0 gain
Other Equipment
LG Electronics 65-inch B6 OLED, Sony 65-inch X900F
The more subs the better... basically having four allows for the overall response to be more even throughout the room. Of course, it also gives you insane headroom. You'll never hear your subs come close to choking!
 

SULAY PATEL

New Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
3
Location
D.C Metro Area/ N. Virginia
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Denon 4520CI
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Playstation 4
Front Speakers
Martin Logan Motion 40
Center Channel Speaker
Martin Logan Motion 30
Surround Speakers
Martin Logan Motion FX
Surround Back Speakers
Martin Logan Motion 4
Subwoofers
Dual PSA XV15
Other Speakers or Equipment
Apple TV 4k
Video Display Device
Epson 5030
Screen
Elite 120 Inch Screen
Hi Sulay... welcome to AV NIRVANA ... glad to have you with us.

Those PSA XV15's are very nice subs... are they not doing what you need? You might consider adding a couple of those.

The Daytons were fun and sounded great, but the SB16 are no doubt a significant step up in ultra clean bass... and better extension as well. I'd say for music the SB16's are going to be preferred for me, but for movies, it is not as big of a concern... either would work fine.
Thanks for your response....

I am happy with my XV15s....may be its just an upgrade "itch" :). So I was thinking about the options. I, in fact, tried one SB16 ultra in my room and It sounded great. Bass notes were clears in few demo scenes I tried in my theater. However, two XV15 wins in frequency response in the room as expected. Can't go back to one subwoofer when you have tried dual. I was considering Dayton as two SB16s are out of budget at this point considering the other upgrades I have planned for my theater. Since you had daytons and now have SB16s, I wanted to get your thoughts on it.

For now, I am going to hold on to XV15s. When time and budget permits, I will pull the trigger on dual SB16s.
 

Sonnie

Senior Admin
Staff member
Thread Starter
Joined
Apr 2, 2017
Messages
2,552
Location
Alabama
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
NAD M17 V2 Processor
Main Amp
Emotiva XPA-1 Gen 2 Monoblocks
Additional Amp
Emotiva XPA Seven
Other Amp
Emotiva A-150
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Panasonic UB9000 4K UHD Player
Front Speakers
MartinLogan Classic ESL 9
Center Channel Speaker
MartinLogan Focus C-18
Surround Speakers
MartinLogan ElectroMotion ESL
Surround Back Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 12
Front Height Speakers
MartinLogan EM-IC
Rear Height Speakers
MartinLogan EM-IC
Subwoofers
SVSound SB16-Ultra x 4
Video Display Device
Epson 6050
Screen
Elite Screen
Remote Control
Universal MX-890
Other Equipment
Dish Joey 4K
I have a couple of the Daytons here that you are more than welcome to try out if you don't live too far from me. :ponder:
 

SULAY PATEL

New Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
3
Location
D.C Metro Area/ N. Virginia
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Denon 4520CI
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Playstation 4
Front Speakers
Martin Logan Motion 40
Center Channel Speaker
Martin Logan Motion 30
Surround Speakers
Martin Logan Motion FX
Surround Back Speakers
Martin Logan Motion 4
Subwoofers
Dual PSA XV15
Other Speakers or Equipment
Apple TV 4k
Video Display Device
Epson 5030
Screen
Elite 120 Inch Screen
I have a couple of the Daytons here that you are more than welcome to try out if you don't live too far from me. :ponder:
Hahaha. I wish I was near to your place. Not only I will get to try your Dayton’s in my room but I would have an opportunity to listen to the four sb16s of yours.
 
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