SVS SB 13-Ultra
SVS has been around since 1998, having reportedly been founded by ‘ a group of audio enthusiasts seeking to develop an alternative to traditional audio manufacturers.’ However since 2011 it’s been headed-up by none other than Gary Yacoubian, who started out as a retailer more than 25 years ago and now, in addition to being CEO at SVS, also serves on the executive board of the Consumer Electronics Association, which is responsible for the annual audio extravaganza for traditional audio manufacturers that is held every January in Las Vegas, that is… the International CES.
SVS has an excellent website, and if you look at it closely you’ll see that in the US, where the company is based, the company sells only by mail order. So in order to instil confidence in its American customers, SVS has an im- pressively detailed ‘Bill of Rights’ charter that guarantees SVS buyers a no-obligation 45-day in-home trial, a 60-day price guarantee, a 90-day defective exchange policy, a one-year ‘No Lemon’ guarantee, a trade-up guarantee, a one-year performance guarantee, and a five-year unconditional warranty. However, all but one of these ‘Bill of Rights’ applies only to consumers domiciled in the USA who purchase direct from SVS itself. In countries where SVS is sold through the usual importer/ retailer arrangement, it is the local distributor that decides the warranty terms and conditions, and Final Link advised us that a standard Australian five-year guarantee applies to all SVS subwoofers sold in Australia.
Still on the subject of SVS’s website (which really is excellent!), I was particularly enamoured of its ‘Merlin’ subwoofer/ speaker matching program, which not only recommends the ideal SVS subwoofer to match with your front-channel speakers, but also the ideal crossover frequency and crossover slope settings to use with your SVS subwoofer. Obviously it doesn’t list all brands and models of speakers, but a great many of the most popular models from the world’s major multinational speaker manufacturers are listed.
SVS makes the rather extravagant boast that if your speakers are not listed on its Merlin program and you tell them the make and model, they will add it to their tool within 24 hours. I didn’t personally try this, but it would be easy enough for you to check whether the company can make good on that promise. The difficulty for SVS is if it doesn’t have any information about your particular make and model of loudspeaker, it cannot make an informed recommendation as to the ideal crossover frequency/slope settings that should be used.