SVS SB-1000Pro 12″ Subwoofer Review: King of Subwoofer Value!

Introduction

SVS is a company for those who care about value in their subs, and in their more recent years, their speakers as well. Based in Youngstown, Ohio, SVS aims to always improve performance for the price with every product they make, and the SB-1000Pro is part of their improved entry level subwoofer (the 1000 series), a direct successor to the SB-1000 (non-pro). Despite the improvements, SVS has kept the price mostly the same (just a little raise since release due to supply chain issues), mostly keeping the original price of the SB-1000, but bringing the improvements as well as performance. The SB in the model name presumably stands for a “sealed”, “box” subwoofer, also known as the acoustic suspension design of subwoofers, those that do not have a port anywhere in the enclosure. The PB-1000Pro also in this lineup would be the ones that include the port (hence, PB instead of SB in the model name), goes deeper in the frequency response and is much bigger and starts about $100 more. The SB-1000Pro is offered starting at $599 for their Black Ash finish, but their premium glossy black or white finish will cost you $100 more at $699. The product I have on hand is their black gloss finish. So, based on the company’s philosophy, did SVS deliver in a high price to performance ratio in this product? We shall find out.

Disclaimer

Different from my usual disclaimer, this product is NOT a loan from SVS. Even so, this disclaimer is explicitly for the fact that all thoughts, evaluation processes and expressions are from me, and SVS has not seen this review prior to release. This product was purchased by me.

Specifications

  • 20-270 Hz +/- 3 dB
  • 325 watts RMS, 820+ watts peak power output Class D design
  • All-new proprietary 12-inch long-throw driver with high-precision tuned overhung motor configuration.
  • 8.33lb (3.78kg) pound Woofer with 5.73lb (2.6kg) pounds motor
  • 13.3mm Xmax, 26.9mm Xmech precision aligned excursion
  • 1.5” diameter Voice Coil with high current 6-layer high-purity copper wire windings
  • Dimensions (w/ grille): 13.5” (342mm) H X 13” (330mm) W X 14.76” (375mm) D
  • Weight (unboxed): 26lbs (11.9kg) with Grille

(Specs selected from SVS website to highlight important aspects)

Setup

For this review, there is very little that has changed to accommodate for the SVS SB-1000Pro Subwoofer. Everything used in this review is my reference, and nothing has changed with the placement of the subwoofer, the speaker selection, etc. The old Velodyne DLS-4000 that was damaged was retired and sold, so this was just slotted into place of the old Velodyne. I’ll miss you pal. You were a very good subwoofer for this room. But we’ll move on, as we always do.

Picture taken after NewClassic200 was returned, and other components received (not the most updated setup)

Do also note that in the picture, the Parasound NewClassic200 integrated amplifier and the Music Hall DAC15.2 (RIP as well), used as a preamplifier and DAC is no longer in my possession or retired, but thoughts and evaluations were done with it, and as such was mentioned in this post.

List of main related components for this review:

  • Modified CyberPowerPC desktop (source)
  • NHT C3 3-way Bookshelf Speakers
  • Parasound NewClassic 200 Integrated Amplifier (as preamplifier)
  • Topping DX3 Pro V2 DAC/Preamplifier
  • Music Hall DAC15.2 DAC
  • Emerald Physics 100.2SE Amplifier

As per usual review procedures, I allow for a grace period of a week of 4-5 hours of casual listening per day, to allow for any “burn in” with any products before evaluations and thoughts.

Build Quality and Impressions

The SVS SB-1000Pro is a very very impressive little subwoofer, and the size is also something I am very impressed by. The SB-1000Pro is a dwarf in comparison to the Velodyne. With a dimension (with grille) of 13.5″ H X 13″ W X 14.76″ D (see specs above as well for mm conversions), this is almost a cube, and looks very much like one, and has a very very small footprint in comparison to other subs I’ve had experience with. This glossy black finish is very fancy, but is a finger-print and dust magnet. It’s feel is different versus the Lacquer on the NHT C3, but still presents a classy finish. It also scratches somewhat easily, as I can see small swirls in the paint from handling between setups under certain intense lighting. Personally, I just set it up and don’t touch it much, so this is not a huge drawback. Build-wise, this subwoofer is also not too heavy, weighing in at 26lbs. With most subs I have had experience with, even if it was light enough, I would not be comfortable with carrying the sub single-handedly due to the size. With the SB-1000Pro, I am comfortable in both weight and size to do so. This is very nice for those living alone, and those with size constraints will find this very helpful as well. I’m impressed with the size and the features that they are able to pack into this thing. But despite all this, sound is also very important, so we’ll get into that in the next section.

Going back to the features however, the “Pro” in the SB-1000Pro will mean that SVS has included software that the rest of their lineup offers, which is controllable with the free app on Android or iOS. This was not offered in the predecessor, the SB-1000 (“non-pro”). This is very, very impressive, as there is little to no such extensive remote software operation feature in subwoofers in this price range, or even in much higher price ranges, except for SVS themselves. SVS could have included this feature and integration with their app for an increase in the price offering, but they didn’t (at release at least). The MSRP (at release) for the SB-1000Pro is the same as when they offered their SB-1000, starting at $499. Not to mention, how good and how well-performing this app is. One thing though, is that for every change you make on the app, saving the setting to a preset (you can change the 3 presets that are named either Music, Home Theater, or custom) is needed, or the subwoofer will not save the setting you just changed. This has affected me a few times, and not knowing this would not be a good time for anyone using the app. All this is a minor inconvenience though. On the bright side, you can save 3 presets for different occasions, and change them at the touch of a button.

The user experience is pretty good, there is a plethora of fine-tuning available, one of which is equalization for room correction. This alone might render their other products an overlap with the market SVS is aiming for (not that I know much about business and market), but impressively I don’t think this is their biggest issue from now on. I think the high expectations might be. I applaud SVS for this sincerely. No other company has pulled this off for this price for the features, the convenience and great user experience for their subwoofer control.

However, I must also explain that there is also a few physical drawbacks to that integration and the price. It’s not huge drawbacks however, and for those who might still prefer to control their subwoofer settings in the back (but, who would?) will see less fine-tuning, with only buttons and some lighting in the back. In terms of ports, there is a 3-12v AC-DC trigger for better control with other devices on turning off or on your subwoofer, but I find the auto-on feature more than adequate for my use, which is mostly music listening. SVS also offers two RCA ports in the rear for input and output with a marked input for LFE signal use-case. It helps that the output is also offered, for when the situation needs it, as well as the speaker level input for those that prefer this connection into their subwoofer. Another drawback I personally see for the SB-1000Pro vs other subwoofers I have had experience with on the market is the power connection. Interestingly, SVS opted for this laptop-like 2 pin power connection to the subwoofer, meaning you can only use the provided power cable, and for those who might want to upgrade their power cable down the line, the choices are limited to none for the SB-1000Pro.

There is an interesting observation that I’ve made with the product as well. The feet for the subwoofer is short, and is rubber, which seems to be made for hard floor. If you care more about placing these on carpet, these feet definitely won’t have enough height to clear the carpet, which will require switching out the feet. Luckily, they just twist and screw off, so if you can find some feet that are of the same screw specifications, you can fit them on to the SB-1000Pro as well. I’ve observed that a previous review subwoofer’s feet also fit on these, of which are meant to provide height to the subwoofer to bring it off the carpet. Results depend on the room and situation, but I did not find anything significantly different, and will not mention anything in the sound impressions section.

In terms of power, the SB-1000Pro has a 325W (25W more than the SB-1000 predecessor) RMS Class D amplifier, which is more than enough to allow the subwoofer to extend down to 20Hz in their specifications at ±3db. For a subwoofer at this price range, I don’t see many, if at all, subwoofers that can confidently say at ±3db, their subwoofer can achieve 20Hz. As if the software integration wasn’t enough value add for the SB-1000Pro at this point as well, SVS adds another with the capabilities of the subwoofer. Even their previous model the SB-1000 is only spec down to 24hz. More Impressive stuff to just pad their resume on the already impressive SB-1000Pro.

Sound Impressions

Features, software and everything is great and all, but without the sound the back it up, it’s not going to be a pleasant experience in what really matters. But, I’m really happy to report that the SB-1000Pro not only beats, but also excels at this price range of subwoofers I’ve experienced before. You’re going to get tight, responsive and relatively comfortable performance down the frequency range, and if tuned right, will perform like a subwoofer in a higher price bracket.

When testing the SB-1000pro, I had received it already pretty much broken in as it was used extensively before my ownership. I had reserved thoughts for a week just in case, to be consistent with my testing procedures. I had also tested the subwoofer with and without room equalization settings. There are obvious differences, and it seems like the software adjustments are working accurately and as they should. But what a night and day differences when you are able to room equalize the subwoofer! This is something I will definitely recommend to anyone that is considering SVS subwoofers or any subwoofers that have features for room equalization. The “even” bass without any bloats because of room modes (which my room does have) is simply much more pleasing experience overall, and elevates your songs. There are no unnecessary extremes, and how SVS does this all at this price point is simply a win-win for everyone.

Either way, the SVS SB-1000Pro is a tight, responsive subwoofer with very impressive impact. In comparison to the Velodyne DLS-4000 personal reference subwoofer that was retired, this is a whole package upgrade. You’re getting more bass down low, impactful sound that you can feel and great seamless integration with my NHT C3. I can also rattle my clock in my room with the full volume of this subwoofer as well. Major plus overall.

Confidence with this subwoofer also shoots up the roof with what is given to it, but it also dips a little on the sub-bass region, if the note is deep enough. In everyday listening I can barely tell, but in critical listening with songs with really deep bass, you can fell the volume dips a little at the lowest notes, but is better than a significant drop that I hear with the Velodyne, which is consistent with the specs rated at a ±6 at 25hz for the Velodyne and the 20Hz at -3db on the SVS. And you’ll see this consistently with other subs at this price range. You’re not going to get something that will goes -3db at 20hz for a subwoofer, and I’m confident this is the best you’ll get at this price for performance in the deep bass regions.

Below are some frequency response recordings I took with a calibrated microphone and the free software, Room Equalization Wizard (REW). The first is frequency response at shotgun with the subwoofer, but in the picture after, you’ll see a comparison of the subwoofer frequency response with and without PEQ, the equalizer feature that is accessible on the app to get rid of room modes or dips. You’ll notice that I have a room absorption at listening at around 35hz and 110hz that cannot be fully resolved, but it does even out the response significantly. Additionally, note that I did lower the overall volume of the subwoofer as the frequency covered by the subwoofer was significantly higher in the integration chart of the frequency response with the NHT C3 in the last chart. Impressive numbers in general overall as well.

Shotgun frequency response recording
Frequency response with and without PEQ (yellow without, green with)
Subwoofer integrated with NHT C3 Frequency Response (take note of under 100hz response) This was done before PEQ, in which the chart above shows more the differences

Even with their impressive build, software integration and features, the SB-1000Pro also impresses in performance. This subwoofer is compact, easy to tune, and just elevates musical experience for what I listen to tremendously. It is tight, it goes down the sound range pretty comfortably, which is great for something at this price.

Conclusions

The SVS SB-1000Pro is a value king all around. With nice build quality, compact footprint for a 12″ subwoofer, superb control options with the app, a pretty powerful 325W RMS amplifier, and best of all, pretty good tightness and impact that extends all the way down to 20Hz relatively confidently in any situation that you throw at it. All for a price of $699 (for this model) or $599 for the usual model. I don’t know of any other subwoofer that offers all this at that price range, and there is nothing that I know of that comes this close. This truly is a value king subwoofer, that I would highly recommend getting, if it’s not on your list already for an audition.

Summary

Good

  • Superb adjustability and control (with the app)
  • Goes down to spec and more
  • Can handle both music and home theater very well

Possible Improvements

  • Simpler (or auto) settings saving in the app
  • Standard power plug
  • Better feet

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

  • Sound Character: 4.5/5
  • Accuracy: 4.5/5
  • Blending: 5/5
  • Conveniences: 5/5
  • Value: 5/5
  • Affordability: 4/5
  • Suitability for small living space: 3/5 (because I want to turn this up often)

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