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Add second sub to existing SVS PB13 Ultra


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Hi fellow enthusiasts 
 

I am looking to add a second subwoofer to my HT cinema area to really experience that extra oomph and to balance the slam factor throughout the area.

 

My HT area is about 5Mx 4M. Primary usage is gaming, 4K UHD atmos movies & TV with PJ on 150” screen.
 

Looking to add a second sub to my SVS PB13 Ultra setup. Have recently added a nib wall, ceiling panels and theatre curtains to the area which has greatly improved acoustics within the HT area.

 

If I can find one, would another PB13 Ultra be the best match for existing sub or would a SVS PB4000 or PB16 Ultra also be a good match ? 

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Integrating two subs is probably more about placement and the AVR (or whatever else) you're using to get them in phase and EQ'd, than the model of subwoofer.

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Thanks for the response.

 

AVR is Pioneer LX901 which I believe will calibrate 2 subs independently.

 

Placement will either be on the left and right mid sides (each facing in to centre of room) or front left corner and rear right corner of room (behind couch).

 

One PB13 Ultra currently works very well for me on mid side, either left or right, so I thought adding another sub of same type on opposite side to compliment it could be the way to go.

 

I also have an Elektra HD2 7 CH for driving the front stage (Harmonix & Centrix) , sides (Equinox) and surrounds (Equinox) in 7.1.4 and use the Pio LX901 to only run the 4 x atmos height speakers (Atmospherix) in roof. All speakers are Krix gear. 

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9 minutes ago, agrif78 said:

Thanks for the response.

 

AVR is Pioneer LX901 which I believe will calibrate 2 subs independently.

 

Placement will either be on the left and right mid sides (each facing in to centre of room) or front left corner and rear right corner of room (behind couch).

 

One PB13 Ultra currently works very well for me on mid side, either left or right, so I thought adding another sub of same type on opposite side to compliment it could be the way to go.

 

I also have an Elektra HD2 7 CH for driving the front stage (Harmonix & Centrix) , sides (Equinox) and surrounds (Equinox) in 7.1.4 and use the Pio LX901 to only run the 4 x atmos height speakers (Atmospherix) in roof. All speakers are Krix gear. 

The room EQ on the Pioneer is pretty basic, so you'll probably just need to try it out. If it doesn't integrate the subs well, you can always get an add-on unit to sort things out.

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11 hours ago, Quark said:

The room EQ on the Pioneer is pretty basic, so you'll probably just need to try it out. If it doesn't integrate the subs well, you can always get an add-on unit to sort things out.

I've never had a problem with room EQ on the Pioneer but then again I've never really tried anything else.

 

What sort of add-on unit could I be looking at?

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25 minutes ago, agrif78 said:

I've never had a problem with room EQ on the Pioneer but then again I've never really tried anything else.

 

What sort of add-on unit could I be looking at?

I'm using an old (discontinued) SVS EQ1 to integrate my two subs into my stereo system. The EQ1s tend to sell cheaply secondhand (they have the bass EQ functions of Audyssey XT32).

 

Current options include miniDSP 2x4 HD and DDRC 24.

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47 minutes ago, Quark said:

I'm using an old (discontinued) SVS EQ1 to integrate my two subs into my stereo system. The EQ1s tend to sell cheaply secondhand (they have the bass EQ functions of Audyssey XT32).

 

Current options include miniDSP 2x4 HD and DDRC 24.

Thanks for the information. I will investigate this option.

 

I'm also trying to assess the cost/benefit ratio of adding a second sub. I mean, my single PB13 Ultra slams hard as it is. But I guess, 2 is normally better than 1 right lol !

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1 minute ago, agrif78 said:

Thanks for the information. I will investigate this option.

 

I'm also trying to assess the cost/benefit ratio of adding a second sub. I mean, my single PB13 Ultra slams hard as it is. But I guess, 2 is normally better than 1 right lol !

Two will be better ASSUMING that you place them well ... this is the key rather than particular model of sub.

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14 minutes ago, agrif78 said:

Thanks for the information. I will investigate this option.

 

I'm also trying to assess the cost/benefit ratio of adding a second sub. I mean, my single PB13 Ultra slams hard as it is. But I guess, 2 is normally better than 1 right lol !

this is a complex thing. 1stly its not a big room 5x4 and the pB13 will i would think be MORE than sufficient in output and capability for the room. so the purpose of the sub is beyond getting more bass... a 2nd identical sub only brings 3db more in anywise.....

 

so if its to even out the bass in the room or something then more important the integration and placement in the room. also its not necessarily case an identical sub is used here. as a completely identical sub to counter your 1st sub could in theory completely neutralise it ! so no if using as a slave sub a smaller sub will do... but placement is key ! putting in the wrong place can be double trouble. in fact exacerbating what ever issue maybe with the first one. 

 

as far as integration ... what tool being used eg in your case in the avr is key... there are some good tools eg audyssey xt32 which is very capable for dual subs .... not sure on the pioneer... it might be ok for single sub...but you want to understand how good it is for dual subs.... or what's necessary to properly measure and eq using the system.

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15 hours ago, agrif78 said:

Hi fellow enthusiasts 
 

I am looking to add a second subwoofer to my HT cinema area to really experience that extra oomph and to balance the slam factor throughout the area.

 

My HT area is about 5Mx 4M. Primary usage is gaming, 4K UHD atmos movies & TV with PJ on 150” screen.
 

Looking to add a second sub to my SVS PB13 Ultra setup. Have recently added a nib wall, ceiling panels and theatre curtains to the area which has greatly improved acoustics within the HT area.

 

If I can find one, would another PB13 Ultra be the best match for existing sub or would a SVS PB4000 or PB16 Ultra also be a good match ? 

If you get a second sub and place it well in the room in relation to the current sub then it should be beneficial.

Many a good sub would be a good match and a PC13 would be an option to reduce how much floor space a second sub takes up.

https://www.elite-electronics.com.au/Home_Entertainment/Subwoofers/SVS_PC13-ULTRA_13_3600W_Ported_Cylinder_Subwoofer

 

By the way how many ports do you have open on the PB13? If you currently have all three you could reduce that to two (and change the setting on the amplifier from 20Hz to 16Hz) to get more extension and accuracy at a slight reduction of overall output.

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i will guess you have a 2.7m ceiling? so your room is just under 2000 cubic feet, the pb13 is "rated" for much larger rooms so maybe you need to put the sub where it performs better than where "it fits/looks best" ? as many seem to do with bigger subs.

 

going a pb16 as a 2nd sub? kidding surely?

 

before the virus pb13 subs went for $1500 2nd hand, deep hz audio sold then new for $2200... since then pb2000's go for close to $1200! (easily were found for $800).

 

best to buy a 2nd hand sub if you must add another, as stated only 3db more and not sure your current sub settings, are you pushing the pb13? then if it makes less difference than you thing sell it at little down side.

 

i dont have one but regret not getting local for $1500.. but my pb2000+vely are plenty in my room.

 

suggest you dont just throw dollars at something that should, by sub rep/size, work well in your room

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7 hours ago, MrC said:

Two will be better ASSUMING that you place them well ... this is the key rather than particular model of sub.

I believe I could either place them mid center on each side or front left corner and right rear corner so there’s 2 potential placement options. 

 

 

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7 hours ago, betty boop said:

this is a complex thing. 1stly its not a big room 5x4 and the pB13 will i would think be MORE than sufficient in output and capability for the room. so the purpose of the sub is beyond getting more bass... a 2nd identical sub only brings 3db more in anywise.....

I’m not having any potential issue with running a single sub. I have recently finally treated the HT area and am looking to finish off the area with any extra “trimmings” whilst I have the opportunity :) 

 

A single PB 13 Ultra already slams hard in my HT area and I think my partner would definitely suggest an extra sub is not required !!!

7 hours ago, betty boop said:

but placement is key ! putting in the wrong place can be double trouble. in fact exacerbating what ever issue maybe with the first one. 

It took my about 12 mths to find the sweet spot/S in my room for a single sub which is in the middle on the left OR right sides, half way between the front and rear speakers. 

7 hours ago, betty boop said:

not sure on the pioneer... it might be ok for single sub...but you want to understand how good it is for dual subs.... or what's necessary to properly measure and eq using the system.

Yeah , not sure how well the Pio may integrate dual subs but  I will definitely investigate this.

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7 hours ago, Satanica said:

If you get a second sub and place it well in the room in relation to the current sub then it should be beneficial.

Many a good sub would be a good match and a PC13 would be an option to reduce how much floor space a second sub takes up.

Thanks for the suggestion. That looks pretty neat.

 

7 hours ago, Satanica said:

By the way how many ports do you have open on the PB13? If you currently have all three you could reduce that to two (and change the setting on the amplifier from 20Hz to 16Hz) to get more extension and accuracy at a slight reduction of overall output.

I definitely have 1 port open and I think I’m running it at 20Hz. I will need to check the Hz setting 100% though as i experimented with a few :)

 

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12 minutes ago, agrif78 said:

I’m not having any potential issue with running a single sub. I have recently finally treated the HT area and am looking to finish off the area with any extra “trimmings” whilst I have the opportunity :) 

 

A single PB 13 Ultra already slams hard in my HT area and I think my partner would definitely suggest an extra sub is not required !!!

i dont honestly believe an absolute necessity given what you describe... especially since, while adding a 2nd sub can benefit it can also cause issues... ie not perfectly placed or adequately integrated. 

 

I have two 15" with some output and in my rather largish open plan that can close off to 5.5x6m sized room just one 15" is really quite adequate. I use my 2nd to extend my mains as full range for benefit for music . does add some benefit for ht but henstly as i said output wise its only 3db. and the single integrates well for main listening position which is all i care about.

 

12 minutes ago, agrif78 said:

It took my about 12 mths to find the sweet spot/S in my room for a single sub which is in the middle on the left OR right sides, half way between the front and rear speakers. 

yeah perfectly positioning one sub is difficult enough for most especially in homely surrounds with the challeges those places bring. let alone incorporating a 2nd. you have gone far beyond most for the one subs though. for most is position where looks the best and tackle the rest with the onboard eq and setup  ! :D 

 

12 minutes ago, agrif78 said:

Yeah , not sure how well the Pio may integrate dual subs but  I will definitely investigate this.

definitely something to check.... not all brands and their eq do this the best :) 

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6 hours ago, hopefullguy said:

I will guess you have a 2.7m ceiling?

Yeah, I think that’s correct. 

 

6 hours ago, hopefullguy said:

so your room is just under 2000 cubic feet

The HT area is part enclosed, part open so I’m not sure how that affects the potency of the subwoofer’s sonic properties. 

 

6 hours ago, hopefullguy said:

going a pb16 as a 2nd sub? kidding surely?

I meant adding as a second sub. I was not trying to infer my PB13 Ultra was in some way superior lol !

 

6 hours ago, hopefullguy said:

best to buy a 2nd hand sub if you must add another

Thanks , this is a good suggestion. Never bought HT gear second hand but I guess there’s a first time for everything !

 

6 hours ago, hopefullguy said:

not sure your current sub settings, are you pushing the pb13?

1 port blocked, 20 Hz (I think) volume: -3db AVR, set sub level to -4.5db I believe 

 

6 hours ago, hopefullguy said:

suggest you dont just throw dollars at something that should, by sub rep/size, work well in your room

You sound very sensible. I do appreciate your candour but may you and my partner never meet :) 

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no no definitely was not thinking you thought the pb13 was superior to the 16, but in your size room it just might be. haha

 

as a 2nd sub i reckon it may not work so well and thats why i think its a lot of money for little extra. notice how many come up for sale 2nd hand? i cant see them working in many Oz homes, we just dont have under ground concrete bunkers used as HT rooms like our yank cousins.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for all the opinions and input.

 

Going to run some further listening tests but .... it seems that the consensus is that a single Ultra13 is sufficient for my (partially open plan) cinema room of 5M x 4M.

 

And furthermore, if I did invest in a second sub, I am not restricted to same make & model. 
 

Love this forum, you peeps are so knowledgeable (and often sensible lol) !!!!

 

I’ve never heard 2 subs in any home cinema environment so I think much of my motivation to acquire a second sub is a product of my curiosity. Because you don’t know what you’ve never heard right !

 

Anyway, plenty of food for thought ...
 

 

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On 03/09/2020 at 12:28 PM, hopefullguy said:

not sure your current sub settings, are you pushing the pb13?

I thought I was running it at 20Hz but it’s actually 16Hz with 1 port blocked. During my previous testing (extensive) I found this setting worked best for me. But, I’ve recently made some room treatment and acoustic improvements to the cinema room area so maybe I will need to re-test the Hz settings ?

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Properly integrated, the doubling of identical powered subwoofers will add 6dB overall. So going from 1 sub to 2 adds 6dB, going from 2 to 4 subs adds another 6dB (.....and so on)

This is actually a pretty dramatic difference in the bass region, and will allow you to play louder, with much less distortion...and with a little work - obtain a smoother bass response,with better seat-to-seat consistency 

 

I'll go against the grain and say look out for another Pb13 or PC13 Ultra or grab a PB-4000 (very close to the PB13U) . Get a Umik-1, miniDSP 2x4HD and download REW and get to work

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On 13/09/2020 at 1:11 PM, jamiebosco said:

I'll go against the grain and say look out for another Pb13 or PC13 Ultra or grab a PB-4000 (very close to the PB13U) . Get a Umik-1, miniDSP 2x4HD and download REW and get to work

This is an interesting perspective ! I will definitely investigate the option of a digital audio processor as it’s not something I know much about. One of those could certainly be an option if the lx901 pioneer receiver did not properly integrate 2 subs. The pb4000 looks nice :)

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On 03/09/2020 at 7:03 PM, agrif78 said:

I’m not having any potential issue with running a single sub. I have recently finally treated the HT area and am looking to finish off the area with any extra “trimmings” whilst I have the opportunity :) 

Then a 2nd is not necessary. If money is burning a hole in your wallet, I suspect there are better ways to spend it, like going to a processor instead of the AVR. This would have a much more substantial bang for buck improvement IMHO. If you like full on meaty sound may I suggest one of the Marantz processors.

 

I had room issues which made a second sub a necessity, 1 side of the room was getting way more base than the other. @Red Spade Audio measured my room and we found the 2 best workable positions. 1 sub is front right and the other is centred at the back wall. The hidden sub is nothing special but they work well enough for my neighbours to know when I have the house to myself and up the volume. I also get rattles of pictures in other parts of the house, and my main sub is a SVS PB2000, and my room is slightly bigger than yours at 6x4m

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1 hour ago, blybo said:

If money is burning a hole in your wallet, I suspect there are better ways to spend it, like going to a processor instead of the AVR.

I hear you !! A Marantz processor is definitely on my buy list (just missed one the other day that popped up), although the Pio LX901 AVR does a suprisingly good job in combo with Elektra HD2. And I've always liked the Pioneer sound (but then again I've never heard the sound from a Marantz to compare it to lol).

 

One downside to moving to a processor, from a budget (and space in AV rack perspective lol), is that I would need a second power amp to power my 4 Atmos ceiling speakers .... as they are currently (the only speakers) powered by the Pio LX901. My seven floor speakers are powered by the Elektra via the Pio.

 

I get the feeling with this HT stuff, playing the long game is a must. Acquiring one HT part at a time leads to creation of a super HT theatre & entertainment system !

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On 03/09/2020 at 11:19 AM, betty boop said:

this is a complex thing. 1stly its not a big room 5x4 and the pB13 will i would think be MORE than sufficient in output and capability for the room. so the purpose of the sub is beyond getting more bass... a 2nd identical sub only brings 3db more in anywise.....

As Al has eluded and mentioned at other times, adding a second sub is not always the solution many expect.

 

Doubling up on identical subs adds +6 dB.

3 dB increase in sensitivity

3 dB increase due to twice the total power

 

This only applies if the second sub is very close, so that both subs act as one larger sub.

On 13/09/2020 at 1:11 PM, jamiebosco said:

Properly integrated, the doubling of identical powered subwoofers will add 6dB overall. So going from 1 sub to 2 adds 6dB, going from 2 to 4 subs adds another 6dB (.....and so on)

Beat me to it!

On 02/09/2020 at 8:00 PM, agrif78 said:

Hi fellow enthusiasts 
 

I am looking to add a second subwoofer to my HT cinema area to really experience that extra oomph and to balance the slam factor throughout the area.

 

My HT area is about 5Mx 4M. Primary usage is gaming, 4K UHD atmos movies & TV with PJ on 150” screen.
 

Looking to add a second sub to my SVS PB13 Ultra setup. Have recently added a nib wall, ceiling panels and theatre curtains to the area which has greatly improved acoustics within the HT area.

 

If I can find one, would another PB13 Ultra be the best match for existing sub or would a SVS PB4000 or PB16 Ultra also be a good match ? 

There is no easy answer to the question you are asking based on the info we have on hand. In my experience, it's very difficult to make suggestions based on this kind of description. Mainly because we don't know what the room is doing, and that makes a world of difference. One person will say what you've just said and then I will test their room. What do I find? No problem that we can fix with a second sub. It might just be that their setup hasn't been calibrated very well for their particular tastes. Their existing sub may be all that they need. But then another person might say exactly the same thing and I find a major problem that does require a second sub. So in that scenario, it requires the two subs being placed in their optimal locations and also correctly calibrated. If the placement is sub-optimal or the calibrate isn't done well then either or both can undermine the improvement and in some cases be inferior to just one sub.

 

This question comes up so often that I decided it was quicker to drop a post on the blog rather than keep saying the same things over and over again:

 

http://redspade-audio.blogspot.com/2020/05/why-you-dont-need-two-subs.html

 

There are some examples where the answer was fairly clear cut.

 

 

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On 15/09/2020 at 5:56 PM, Red Spade Audio said:

This question comes up so often that I decided it was quicker to drop a post on the blog rather than keep saying the same things over and over again:

 

http://redspade-audio.blogspot.com/2020/05/why-you-dont-need-two-subs.html

Thanks for the blog link. I thought it was a very good read ! Seems like the takeaway is to properly assess the room and carry out some room testing before plonking down the cold hard cash for a second sub. More subs does not always equal an improvement in outputs and/or room balance and can sometimes have the opposite outcome, particularly in terms of a single listening position. Plenty to think about !

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On 16/09/2020 at 7:48 PM, agrif78 said:

Thanks for the blog link. I thought it was a very good read ! Seems like the takeaway is to properly assess the room and carry out some room testing before plonking down the cold hard cash for a second sub. More subs does not always equal an improvement in outputs and/or room balance and can sometimes have the opposite outcome, particularly in terms of a single listening position. Plenty to think about !

Spot on

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