You don't hear much about SVS unless you surf online forums. SVS print ads are rarely seen and you'll never find their subs on display at your local A/V outlet. Like Dell and Outlaw Audio, SVS employs a factory-direct business model. This means there's no middle man and no bloated price markups inherent in retail sales. The downside is that you can't demo before you buy. (That's why you have DVD ETC.) On the upside, SVS offers a 45-day money back guarantee (minus shipping) on every sub they sell.
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One perk of being a reviewer is that I always have several toys on loan for evaluation which I shamelessly show off to any friend who happens by. More often than not, I have to point out the gear by saying, "This is using a great new DVD player from..." or "We're listening to this using an awesome new amp from..." However, when I set up my new PC-Ultra from SVS, reactions were immediate and unsolicited. "What the heck is "THAT?!" That, my friends, is one incredible subwoofer.
Unique Features - The PC-Ultra is the latest in a long line of unmistakable, cylindrical subwoofers from SVS. With a 16-inch diameter and towering 39 inches high, the PC-Ultra cylindrical sub makes a lot of sense, particularly in floor space efficiency. Most subs don't sound nearly this good and take up a lot more space. The cylinder is wrapped in a high-quality fabric that could easily accompany a much more expensive sub. Sitting atop the cylinder is a removable mesh grille cap covering three 3-inch high-flow ports.
Don't worry about this tower of sound tipping over. The PC-Ultra has a low center of gravity thanks to its downward-firing design. Just above the integrated base plate lies a 12-inch TV-12 "ultra" woofer, made for SVS by TC-Sounds. Crafted using a cast aluminum frame with a Kevlar and aluminum cone, the TV-12 uses a hefty 97-ounce Strontium ferrite magnet. The woofer's placement keeps it well-protected and the driver's weight creates a perfect anchor.
Equally important as the driver is what it's being driven with. Consequently, SVS has paired their TV-12 with a 525-watt BASH amplifier. This highly-efficient amp features a variable crossover (with bypass), a parametric equalizer, high and low-level inputs, a (defeatable) auto-on switch and a four-position subsonic filter for improved port tuning.
Installation/Setup/Ease of Use - The PC-Ultra comes in at a husky 68 pounds, but thankfully it's all muscle. Once I figured out how to get this beast out of the box, setup took no time at all. I must commend SVS on the care that obviously went into preparing this sub for shipment. A single sub interconnect from BetterCables.com served me well. Since I'd be using the crossover on my Atlantic
Technology P-2000, I disabled the PC-Ultra's crossover and the Auto-On feature, because I don't trust them to react quickly enough during periods of sudden bass. (Paranoia, perhaps, but at least I don't think the government is after me and I'm not worried about UFOs.)
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