SVS SB13-Ultra review & specs

SVS SB13-Ultra: an audiophile's dream

SVS SB13-Ultra review & specs

The SB13-Ultra is a sled amplifier. Its frequency response is rated from 20 Hz to 460 Hz plus or minus 3 dB. SVS states that normal room gain can extend the frequency down to 16 Hz. You can get the best sound with the SB13-Ultra and even more. Find details in our SVS SB13-Ultra review.

Article navigation


The Ultra is beautifully finished in its lustrous piano black, but it also comes in black oak. It is pretty large and has a good height, with the curved front metal grill, which arches out another 3 inches. The Ultra may be small dimensionally, but that doesn't make it light. It weighs approximately 92 pounds. It's a superbly engineered cabinet, solidly braced and well dampened. Just tap anywhere on the cabinet and you'll find no resonances. While the SB13-Ultra doesn't come with remote control, you will see a small, rear-panel LCD screen and a single control knob in the user interface consists of a, which SVS calls the Integrated Function Controller (IFC).


The Ultra has a small digital panel on the rear. The cabinet of the SB13-Ultra subwoofer is constructed of MDF and it contains a large window brace inside which the motor of driver fits into. For those that place it very close to the wall the panel's location may be a problem, but furniture sliders can remedy that. SB13-Ultra specs are various adjustments, that can be made through this panel via a single push and turn button, which helped cut the setup time. It has both high and low pass filters. The high pass filter limits the main speakers lower. The low pass filter is used to set the sub's highest frequency, which is better to set at 40 Hz when using it with the main stereo system. It also has two parametrical equalizer adjustment controls, phase control and a room gain compensation adjustment setting to help curb room peaks. The SB13-Ultra comes with both balanced and unbalanced (RCA) low-level inputs/outputs, but no high-level inputs/outputs (speaker wire connections).

Performance & Sound quality

The bass is tight, right on cue, it bumps when the bass is supposed to bump with perfect harmony in not only every movie but even the news is now perfect. The lower amount of distortion and decay (thanks to it being sealed) even at the lowest frequencies is a joy to listen to.

The customizability of the SB13 is an audiophile's dream. It basically has a little EQ computer built in for the people with SPL meters or more sophisticated calibration equipment. If you want to know what it means when someone says, I can feel the sound, I can feel the bass, then this is the sub you want. Pricing is always subjective to the affordability but this Sub means serious business. The bass is balanced, and does not shake the entire house which can make one uneasy in my opinion - you don't want to feel an earthquake while watching a movie or listening to music with bass effects.


For you Multi-Channel fans out there, it is actually a lot easier. Leaving the Subwoofer in Default mode, Your AVR, or Preamplifier Processor will do all the thinking for your Subwoofer, and you. Though still for SB13-Ultra setup measure your distance of the Subwoofer to you, and perform the SPL measurement as above.

For my multi-channel use, that preamp does have bass management and therefore, is connected to the LFE input, all internal setting on the subwoofer would be bypassed and the multichannel preamp would control the crossovers. This is where the problem occurred. Due to the lack of a dedicated LFE input, you need to pull the subwoofer away from the wall and change setting whenever you change from 2 channel music to 5 channel movies and vice-versa.

In the process of managing SVS SB13-Ultra settings auditioning a subwoofer for music can be problematic with full-range speakers that go deep. Why? One may not hear much of a difference unless there is music lower than the capability of your speakers to reproduce. Most people are very critical about music reproduction. In music, we look for anything that might add unwanted side effects.


SVS SB13-Ultra is an impressively compact, sealed-box subwoofer. It has Compact size with generous headroom. We are more apt to focus on what is wrong than what is improved. We listen for anything that may take away from the breadth and depth of the sound stage and crystal clarity. Yes, we need the subsonic sound to be there, otherwise, why buy a subwoofer? But we don't want it to overwhelm the speakers. The Ultra added weight and presence that seemed to bring out more texture to the music.

Common features


SVS SB13-Ultra






4.2 of 5




Amplification type


Detachable grilles


Nominal output power (RMS), W


Maximal output power (RMS), W


Audio amplifier output power, W


Audio performance

Sensitivity, dB


Impedance, Ohm


Frequency response, Hz


Crossover frequency, Hz



Driver quantity


Driver size, in


Driver placement

front panel

Port placement

has not


RCA LFE inputs

RCA stereo line level inputs (pair)


RCA outputs


XLR inputs (pair)


XLR outputs (pair)




Speaker outputs (pair)


Speaker inputs (pair)



Subwoofer phase

Low-pass filter

Main power switch


Body material


Woofer composition




Enclosure type


User manual



Dimensions (H x W x D), cm/in

29 x 28 x 32/20.4 x 17.4 x 17.9

Weight, kg/pounds