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SVS SB13-Ultra

Powered subwoofer (Black Oak)

5 Reviews

Item # 946SB13BO

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SVS SB13-Ultra




Our take on the SVS SB13-Ultra

No matter what your entertainment preferences may be — from Hollywood blockbusters, to experimental jazz, to rap — the SVS SB13-Ultra will hold down the bottom end like nobody's business. This beast delivers tremendously deep, powerful bass with audiophile-pleasing accuracy and musicality. SVS loaded this heavy hitter with a high-output 13-1/2" driver and a smart 1000-watt amplifier, for effortless handling of even the most demanding bass passages in your favorite music and movies.

Sledge hammer bass for music and movie lovers

No matter what your entertainment preferences may be — from Hollywood blockbusters, to experimental jazz, to rap — the SVS SB13-Ultra will hold down the bottom end like nobody's business. This beast delivers tremendously deep, powerful bass with audiophile-pleasing accuracy and musicality. SVS loaded this heavy hitter with a high-output 13-1/2" driver and a smart 1000-watt amplifier, for effortless handling of even the most demanding bass passages in your favorite music and movies.

SVS SB13-Ultra powered subwoofer in piano gloss black

The SVS SB13-Ultra subwoofer delivers taut, powerful bass that will thrill home theater enthusiasts and music lovers alike.

A subwoofer with plenty of brawn, and brains to match

At the heart of the SB13-Ultra lies a muscular and sophisticated Class D amplifier. The amp's built-in Digital Signal Processor (DSP) dynamically controls output power to ensure you hear nothing but deep, low-distortion bass no matter how loud your music and movies get.

And its smooth, gradual response roll-off profile has been carefully designed to allow the sub to take advantage of "room gain" — the re-enforcement of sound created by a room's boundary surfaces — easily extending its in-room bass response to 15 Hz or deeper. 

The SB13-Ultra's on-board tools for fine-tuning the sound include dual digital parametric EQs with adjustable frequency, cut/boost, and Q values, plus a room gain compensation control with adjustable frequencies and slope to help tame pesky room response issues.

And of course you get fully adjustable phase compensation and digital crossover controls. To make adjustments easier, and keep track of all your settings, SVS put a bright, two-line LCD readout on the sub's back panel. And they also included stereo line-level RCA plus balanced XLR inputs and outputs for flexible connectivity with a wide range of audio gear, including high-end stereo preamps and A/V preamp/processors.

Deep, powerful, and precise bass

The SB13-Ultra employs an acoustic suspension (sealed) cabinet design with no hole or port to interact with your room, so you'll experience tight, accurate response from this sub for added depth and dimension with all of your entertainment sources. And since the driver creates some serious pressure inside the closed cabinet, SVS builds it strong and rigid to eliminate any cabinet flex and keep the bass clean.

Who is SVS?

SVS was founded in 1998 by a group of audio enthusiasts seeking to develop a better alternative to the under-performing and over-priced subwoofers popular at the time. By leveraging advanced technology, using the highest quality components, and applying rigorous engineering and design principles, the SVS team has developed a line of high-performance, high-value audio products that bring music and movies to life with stunning realism.

Product Highlights:

  • frequency response: 20-460 Hz (±3 dB)
  • built-in Class D amplifier delivers 1000 watts RMS of continuous power (3600 watts peak dynamic power)
  • front-firing 13-1/2" composite pulp/fiberglass cone with stitched surround and die-cast aluminum basket for extreme performance and reliability
  • acoustic suspension (sealed) cabinet design
  • Integrated Function Controller knob and two-line LCD screen provide all amplifier settings and adjustments
  • selectable room gain compensation control with adjustable frequency and slope to better match bass to room size
  • two digital Parametric EQ filters with adjustable frequency, cut/boost, and Q values
  • variable low-pass crossover (31, 40, 63, 80, 100, or 125 Hz settings with selectable 12dB or 24dB/octave filter and a Low Pass Disable setting)
  • variable phase control (0-180°)
  • high-pass delay control (0-10 milliseconds) for time aligning speakers and subwoofer
  • line-level/LFE RCA and balanced (XLR) inputs
  • RCA and balanced (XLR) line outputs (with selectable 31, 40, 63, 80, 100, and 125 Hz high-pass filter, 12dB or 24dB/octave slope, and high-pass filter off setting)
  • main power on/off switch plus auto standby/on mode
  • detachable power cord
  • black oak wood veneer finish
  • 17-7/16"W x 17-15/16"H x 20-7/16"D
  • weight: 92 lbs.
  • warranty: 5 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Powered subwoofer
  • Grille
  • 8' AC power cord
  • Owner's Manual

Scratch & Dent items may be missing non-essential accessories. In some cases the manufacturer's accessories have been replaced with generic equivalents.

Easy to setup. Use my system for listening to classical music. I've got really good speakers but was surprised how well this subwoofer filled in and strengthened the overall presentation. I would recommend contacting SVS directly to see which model you need and for recommendations on settings.

Eric, Santa Cruz, CA


SVS SB13-Ultra Reviews

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Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Enclosure Acoustic Suspension
Video Shielded No
Woofer Size (inches) 13 1/2
Woofer Composition Composite pulp/fiberglass
Firing Direction Front
Wireless No
Preamp-Level Inputs Yes
Speaker-Level Inputs No
Speaker-Level Outputs No
Low-Pass Crossover Freq 31,40,63,80,100,125 Hz
High-Pass Crossover Freq 31,40,63,80,100,125 Hz
Phase Switch Yes
Amplifier Output (watts) 1000
Frequency Response 20-460 Hz
Height (inches) 17-15/16
Width (inches) 17-7/16
Depth (inches) 21-9/16
Weight 92 lbs
Speaker Parts Warranty 5 Years
Speaker Labor Warranty 5 Years
Amplifier Parts Warranty 5 Years
Amplifier Labor Warranty 5 Years

Product Research


13.5" High Output Woofer: The front-firing 13.5" high output woofer of the SVS SB13-Ultra powered subwoofer pumps out deep and powerful bass with low distortion, for smooth and accurate performance on music and movies soundtracks. The woofer features an ultra-light and rigid 13.5" composite pulp/fiberglass cone for excellent transient response, dual linear-roll spiders and stitched parabolic surround for extreme excursion capability, and a bifilar wound 3" high-power aluminum voice coil for extreme power handling. The woofer's Finite Element Analysis (FEA)-optimized motor with copper shorting sleeve reduces gap induction and distortion, while its oversized pole vent allows for greater cooling.

STA-1000D Sledge Amplifier: The SB13-Ultra powered subwoofer employs a Sledge STA-1000D amplifier with efficient and cool-running Class D topology. The amplifier is conservatively rated at 1000 watts RMS and 3600 watts Peak. This amp features a highly advanced DSP & EQ processor offering unmatched control over the subwoofer at all volume levels, for distortion free bass.

Rigid Sealed Enclosure: The SVS SB13-Ultra powered subwoofer features a rigid MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) cabinet with screw-in rubber feet and a non-resonant steel mesh grille to resist unwanted distortion caused by vibration. The enclosure is an acoustic suspension (sealed) design for tight, accurate bass response. The cabinet is elegantly finished in a premium black oak wood-veneer or gloss piano-black lacquer, and fits with practically any décor.

LCD & Controller: There is a rear-panel 3-way knob and a two-line LCD that allow you to set the various functions and parameters of the SB13-Ultra powered subwoofer.

  • Volume: The Volume Control (-100 to 0dB) affects how loud the powered subwoofer plays. It should be adjusted to match the output level of your loudspeakers.
  • Low Pass Filter: The Low Pass Filter sets the frequency and slope for the low frequencies that will be played by the powered subwoofer. Frequency choices include 31, 40, 50, 63, 80, 100, and 125Hz.  Two Slope choices are available; 12 dB per octave and 24 dB per octave. You can disable the Low Pass Filter, if your AV receiver features an LFE output and built-in bass management for the subwoofer.
  • Phase Degree: The Phase Degree Function allows the adjustment of timing for the arrival of bass information from the subwoofer to the listening position. This allows for a finer degree of subwoofer integration with your main loudspeakers. The range of adjustment of this control is 0 to 10 milliseconds in 1 millisecond increments.
  • High Pass Filter: The subwoofer's output can have a High Pass Filter applied. The HPF Function controls the High Pass frequency and the associated slope of the roll off for the output connectors on the powered sub. Frequency choices include 31, 40, 50, 63, 80, 100, and 125Hz. Two Slope choices are available;12 dB per octave and 24 dB per octave. Or, you can simply disable the HPF.
  • High Pass Delay: The High Pass delay Function is a unique capability that allows the sound from the main speakers to be delayed. This feature allows users who have no means of time aligning their speakers and subwoofer through their AVR or pre/pro (common with two channel analog systems) to add a delay-inducing component to their subwoofer path such as a digital equalizer. The High Pass Delay affects the Output whether or not the High Pass Filter is enabled or disabled. The range of adjustment of this control is 0 to 10 milliseconds in 1 millisecond increments.

Room Correction: The SVS SB13-Ultra powered subwoofer provides Room Compensation and P-EQ functions that help compensate for your room characteristics and boost the level of bass performance.

  • Room Compensation: The Room Gain Compensation Function allows the subwoofer to be set to compensate for the increase in low frequency sound based upon the size of the room, if it is felt there is too much bass. Small rooms will have a greater increase in low frequency sound than larger rooms. There is no need to use this control unless it is felt there is too much low frequency energy being generated in the listening environment. This function operates by setting a corner frequency of 40Hz (small size rooms), 31Hz (medium size rooms), 25Hz (large size rooms) or Disabled (no compensation), and allows a target slope of either 6 dB per octave (first order) or 12 dB per octave (second order) roll off from the selected corner frequency.
  • P-EQ Function: The P-EQ Function allows room environments that exaggerate certain bass frequencies to be reduced to by up to 12dB. Dips in frequency response can be boosted by up to 3dB. The result of a reduction tames "boominess" and "one note bass" phenomenon that occur when a narrow range of bass frequencies are significantly louder than surrounding frequencies. Boosting a dip can bring forward frequencies that are masked by normal levels around the dip. Available center frequencies include 31, 35, 40, 46, 50, 56, 63, 70, 80, 90, 100, 112, or 125Hz. Q values include 2.0, 2.4, 2.9, 3.6, 4.8, 5.7, 7.2, 9.6, or 14.4. The Level can then be adjusted from +3 to -12 dB in 1 dB increments.

Balanced & Unbalanced Connectivity: There are two types of input & output connectors on the SB13-Ultra powered sub; Balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA. There are Left/Right input and output channels for both types of connectors.

  • Inputs: For a single mono input connection to a home theater receiver with an LFE output, use either the powered sub's left or right input. For stereo receivers without an LFE input, use both the L/R inputs. There is a switch below the input connectors labeled "Input Level". This switch can be used to select either consumer audio (Normal) or pro audio (Hi-Level) voltage levels depending on the source device.
  • Outputs: The output connectors are typically used to either daisy-chain additional subwoofers with single or dual unfiltered outputs, or as the input to a power amplifier for the Left and Right main channels after using the High Pass Filter and Delay functions with two channel analog preamps.

Placement Options: If possible, place the subwoofer near the front stage, for best blending with the front and center loudspeaker channels.

  • Corner Placement: Corner placement will accommodate most rooms and will reduce the chances for encountering a null (an acoustic cancellation in the bass response) at the listening position. If your AV receiver equalizes the subwoofer channel during auto-set-up, corner placement will often provide the best overall performance.
  • Other Placement Options: If corner placement sound excessively boomy, then try moving the subwoofer to other available locations along the front stage, listening for the best balance of output and a smooth accurate response. Always redo the auto-set-up of your AV receiver after moving the subwoofer to a different location to ensure the acoustic distance and calibration level are set correctly.
  • Dual Subs: To maximize the bass output and impact of your home theater, two SB13-Ultra(s) can be paired; one on either side of your room.

Auto/Standby & On Switch: If this switch is set to "Auto/Standby", it will automatically turn-on the powered subwoofer in the presence of an audio signal. If no signal is present for a period of several minutes, the powered subwoofer will enter "Standby" mode, where power consumption will be less than 0.5 watts. If this switch is set to "On", the amplifier will remain on continuously and will not enter "Standby" mode.

Our Product Research Team

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Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

recommended by many [ Eric  Jun 02, 2017 ]
It's the best Sub for the money!! [ J  Apr 11, 2017 ]
Capable of filling a large room while remaining compact in size. I also prefer the tighter response of a sealed box. [ John  Nov 30, 2016 ]
Great reviews. [ Michael  Sep 03, 2016 ]

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