SVS PB-1000 Subwoofer

SVS PB1000 Sub

Powered subwoofers aren’t always a part of the audiophile setup.  Often times getting the .1 to blend smoothly with the “2” can be a challenge.  Home theater is no stranger to the high priest of audio’s low end, but much can be still be gained from a properly set up 2.1 system. While the subs ideal location isn’t nearly as directional as full range speakers, proper placement is still key to getting the best out of your system.  I’ll leave the education of subwoofer placement to [articles better suited for the occasion] and keep the focus on todays review subject, the SVS PB-1000 ($500).

The SVS PB-1000 features a front-firing 10-inch ported subwoofer with a class D amplifier that is rated for 300 watts RMS (720 peak).  SVS’s bread and butter is subs, so you will find a large selection to choose from in addition to the new Ultra line of [Bookshelves] and tower loudspeakers on their direct to consumer website.  SVS actually offers two subs at the $500 level, the PB-1000 and the compact SB-1000, that latter of which is more of a sealed design.  There is a lot of appeal to the $500 price range; I think it hits a nice sweet spot between affordability, performance and the screaming top end of things.  My first sub was the bargain basement Polk PSW10, although there are still a few [even cheaper bargains] that are available.

SVS PB1000 Back

So what does the SVS offer that the smaller guys don’t?  Both the PB-1000 and the PSW10 share the same size speaker and port design, however the make of the cabinets diverges.  Physically the SVS is not only larger, but also much more hearty and heftier.  I’m a fan of the “black ash” finish and rounded corner design.  The unit itself will take up a larger chunk of your living room real estate, but in the end I think the extra space is well worth the exchange.  Listening to the Raconteurs Live at Montreux Blu Ray I immediately noticed a positive impact on the sound.  The SVS offered up a noticeable tighter grip on the low end than the Polk.  Patrick Keeler’s bass drum beats had just a little more thump and throttle to them.  The PB-1000 dug deeper down into the depths of the sonic foundation and resurfaced with more force and detail.  It was able to drive lower frequencies to audible levels than the entry level Polk in every instance.  There is an old audiophile myth that if you push bass resolution to its maximum, that you will be able to tell what type of guitar the bass player is using.  I feel that too much of the critical information of the guitar is striped away in production EQ to ever make these assumptions palatable, but the SVS did leave me with the feeling that I was a step closer to that experience.  The Raconteurs “Little” Jack Lawrence’s bass lines were fully complemented by the PB-1000, and when used in tandem with the Ultra Bookshelves, delivered more body and overall articulation.  While a wider band of bass is helpful to music, the main (and most noticeable) benefit is low-end thump.  Turn it up high and you can feel it in your chest.  Movies explode, delight and frighten just a little more with a lower sub sonic signature. The SVS provided these quick bursts of “pow” with energy to spare.

SVS PB1000 with grill

Simply put, the SVS PB-1000 provides plenty of value for its cost. While nearly double the price of the Polk PSW10, it clearly does much more. The low frequency capabilities (its rated to reach 19 Hz) coupled with solid impact and control make the PB an excellent starting point for people looking to get into a good sub.  While not even the top of the heap from SVS, the PB-1000 makes budget subs look thin by comparison. SVS sells direct via their website and currently offers free shipping and a 45 day trial of the sub, not too shabby.

http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/ported-box/pb-1000

  • Jonas Carlsson

    At parts inspired by your review I ordered one of these last Friday. Been GAS-ing for an SVS for a while and was originally set on a sealed sub, but this little fellow made me reconsider. Spec’s and praise is all there, and its design of it bear some resemblence to the Boston Acoustics Horizon Series stand-mount speakers I use in my setup.

    Never owned a subwoofer – run my setup as a 6.0 – so I hope I will be in for something extraordinary. If nothing else it is likely to firm up the low end of the Bostons and extend it a bit.

    The Bostons, albeit the fronts and centre are merely 6.5″ mids/ woofers, are rated at 56Hz -3dB, and with room gain, although fluffy in the lows, seem to sound pretty large and tend to keep up with a lot of movies and music despite of their size.

    But I never expected them to handle the entire range of sounds; just didn’t know where to put my money. About a year ago I was on the fence on a demo SB12 NSD for a chunk more money.

    Maybe it could have done music well, but this seems to be more of an all-rounder – and louder. Probably not as defined (after all I consider myself a fan of sealed boxes) but for a first sub I’m sure I could have done a lot worse.

    • trog69

      Hey, where’d you go? I want to hear how that sub worked out for you! I have the Polk Audio PSW505, and it sounded great with a pair of Bose 301s. I then found an immaculate pair of KEF dual-8″ mini-towers, and now I’m itching for a better sounding sub to match the speakers’ great sound. SVS is high on my list.

      • Jonas Carlsson

        Oh, It’s worked out just fine, thank you. I have it against the back wall of my home cinema, about 2/5 in, and for a room of 18 metres square it’s a very potential beast. Not the ideal position perhaps, but I’m rather cramped for space.

        I put it through its paces with Lord of the Rings and the Starwars prequel trilogies and it does those with flying colours. At some climactic scenes I wished it had a bit more tightness and oumph. Even so e.g. the flapping of those dragons’ wings in LOTR fills the room with lows quite efficiently.

        Occasionally it tends to boom internally ever so slightly. I read about this anomaly in the review over at AVForums, so shouldn’t be any placement or room resonance thing. But this happens quite rarely and seems to be the only obvious flaw or indication of it not being part of SVS’ top line of subs.

        However the clarity North of the resonant frequency to which it’s tuned compensates for this shortcoming, I think – because of this it does rock, pop and genres that don’t require absolute speed or absolute finesse, very well I find. It does Pink Floyd – Pulse pretty decently, which is a quite demanding concert to reproduce in the lows. It just loves that Toto – Mindfields CD.

        Buyers should be aware that none of SVS’ speakers feature any hump in the mid-bass. I only say this as I’ve read a review by some nit-wit (pardon my French) who intended the PB-1000 as a mid-bass driver and not surprisingly wasn’t blown away by it. And possibly some movies, though not sonically correct, could have gained from more energy in this range to make them more excitable. But for those who appreciate a sub that’s flat and hifi-ishly correct in its response the PB1000 is hard to beat for its price.

        Some day I may be able to afford the SB13 Ultra, which may be more of an ideal subwoofer for me. But til then I’ll happily stick with this one, or maybe even buy a second one for a more even response and brute force. In any event I have the utmost confidence in SVS and their gear and honestly can’t see how any of their products could disapoint – unless of course for those who expect it to be a party woofer.

        • trog69

          Thanks so much for the review. No, I have the mid-bass already covered quite well, and that PB-1000 sounds like just the thing for me. I will say, for the $150 new that I paid for this Polk, I’m not complaining about its obvious limitations. heh

          I’m also considering a DIY Dayton unit. For a little more than the SVS model, I can get a lot of oomph for the cash. But I am lazy so….

          Thanks again.

          • Jonas Carlsson

            No problems, mate! Considered going the DIY route myself, but with no prior experience in the world of subs I figured this would be a safer option. And that it was. And now that I’m hooked on the linear response of the SVS it narrows down the choices for a possible future upgrade…
            Coming to think of it it’s quite amazing how a 10″ sub can reach 19Hz w. just a 3dB drop. And I’m sure as in your case w. 2×8″ fronts the lows would not be lacking and probably w. even better definition.
            I’d love to hear your initial thoughts on it and your verdict once it’s broken in fully. I see you’re into progressive and alternative stuff too, btw.
            Best of luck with your sub purchase!

  • Dark Knight

    Hi,

    Can you please tell me which sub is better? This one or the Bose acoustic mass from Bose cinemate 120?

    • Yuri

      This is clearly the better!