SVS PB-2000 Subwoofer Review & Measurements

You won't go wrong with this sub from SVS

SVS, a company that's been specializing in subwoofers for decades, introduced two midpriced models in 2014: the SB-2000 and the PB-2000. Both use a 500-watt RMS Class D amplifier and a super-beefed-up 12-inch driver. They're practically a case study in how a subwoofer's enclosure design can radically change its sound.

01
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SVS PB-2000: 500 Watts, 12 Inches, and a Powerful Pedigree

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SVS

The SB-2000 is a sealed-box design, while the PB-2000 is ported. The PB-2000 is also much larger, at 2.7 times the volume of the SB-2000.

As a ported design, the PB-2000 can be expected to have a deeper response with a steeper roll off at frequencies below its acoustical resonance. Ported subs tend to have a lot more bottom-end muscle than sealed subs, and they tend to have greater sensitivity and higher output. However, they sometimes don't have the punch and definition of the best sealed subwoofers.

02
of 05

SVS PB-2000: Features and Setup

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SVS

Features of the SVS PB-2000 subwoofer include:

• 12-inch woofer
• 500 watts RMS/1,100 watts dynamic peak Class D amplifier
• RCA stereo analog input and output
• 0-180 degree phase control
• 50 to 160-hertz crossover frequency knob
• 3.5 mm trigger input for auto turn-on
• Dimensions 20.5 by 17.3  by 22 inches
• Weight 65.6 lbs

The PB-2000's feature package is the same as the SB-2000's. Both give you no fancy features, but if you're connecting a subwoofer to an A/V receiver and using the receiver to do the crossover (the circuit that routes bass into the subwoofer and mids and treble into the mains speakers), you don't need a lot more than a level control.

The setup is straightforward. Position the PB-2000 in the room, connect its LFE input to your receiver's subwoofer output and adjust the channel balance. 

03
of 05

SVS PB-2000: Performance

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SVS

In a test using Holly Cole's rendition of Tom Waits' "Train Song," you could hear immediately how the PB-2000 differs from the SB-2000. On upright bassist David Piltch's first note, which can cause some subs to distort, the PB-2000 played without a trace of audible distortion and with a lot of welcome chair-shaking power. As Piltch got into the higher notes on his bass, though, the PB-2000 didn't have quite the mid- and upper-bass pitch definition and punch as the SB-2000.

Steely Dan's "Aja" yielded a similar result. The PB-2000 sounded clean and precise; it just didn't convey as much of the character of the bass guitar–the tone and the fingering subtleties. However, it sounded a lot more satisfying than the SB-2000, easily playing notes on which the smaller sealed sub struggled a bit.

On synth-pop group Olive's "Falling"—a demanding tune that the SB-2000 played surprisingly well considering its size—the PB-2000 didn't just reproduce the notes, it almost felt like the big woofers in a good club P.A. system, with effortless, raw physical power and nary a trace of distortion.

It took a truly overwhelming test track, the recording of the Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3 “Organ Symphony” from the Boston Audio Society Test CD, to find the PB-2000's limits—although even that just barely pushed the sub out of its comfort zone. The 16 Hz low notes produced a little bit of distortion but a ton of chair shake and a visceral feeling that can be exceeded by only the largest subs.

As for movie playback, the PB-2000 excelled on a spin with Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones, which begins with deep and powerful bass as a silvery space yacht flies overhead then explodes. The PB-2000 completely nailed this challenging test, shaking the chair and sounding almost like it was tearing the air apart.

The PB-2000 lacks an upper-bass punch. If you're mating your sub with some daintier speakers or using it in a small room, the SB-2000 is probably a better bet for you.

04
of 05

SVS PB-2000: Measurements

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Brent Butterworth

The measurements of the PB-2000 fare as follows:

Frequency Response
17 to 165 Hz ±3 dB

Crossover Low-Pass Rolloff
-24 dB/octave

 

Max Output          CEA-2010A           Traditional
                             (1M peak)              (2M RMS)
40-63 Hz avg       119.7 dB              110.7 dB            
63 Hz                     120.5 dB               111.5 dB
50 Hz                     119.5 dB L             110.5 dB L
40 Hz                     119.1 dB L             110.1 dB L
20-31.5 Hz avg    116.3 dB               107.3 dB
31.5 Hz                  118.6 dB L             109.6 dB L
25 Hz                     116.6 dB L             107.6 dB L
20 Hz                     112.8 dB                103.8 dB

This chart represents the measured frequency response of the PB-2000 with the crossover frequency set to maximum (green trace) and 80 Hz (purple trace). The measurements were made by close-miking the driver and port, scaling the port measurement and summing it with the port measurement using an Audiomatica Clio 10 FW audio analyzer and MIC-01 measurement microphone.

The CEA-2010A measurements used an Earthworks M30 measurement microphone, an M-Audio Mobile Pre USB interface and the freeware CEA-2010 measurement software developed by Don Keele. These measurements were taken at 2 meters peak output, then scaled up to 1-meter equivalent per CEA-2010A reporting requirements. The two sets of measurements here—CEA-2010A and traditional method—are functionally identical, but the traditional measurement employed by most audio websites and many manufacturers reports results at 2-meter RMS equivalent, which is -9 dB lower than CEA-2010A. An L next to the result indicates that the output was dictated by the subwoofer's internal circuitry and not by exceeding the CEA-2010A distortion thresholds. Averages are calculated in pascals.

These are excellent output measurements for a 12-inch subwoofer in its price range. They fall roughly -4 to -6 dB shy of the biggest and best subs, but the evenness of response and output throughout the sub's operating range is impressive, and the output is probably as much as many serious home theater enthusiasts can use. At 20 Hz, though, it had some port noise on the CEA-2010A test. 

05
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SVS PB-2000: Final Take

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SVS

The PB-2000 is an outstanding midpriced subwoofer. It approaches the performance of the best subwoofers; the only difference you'll hear is a few dB less output. You might not even miss that unless you're the type who runs the subwoofer full-tilt all the time and watches nothing but action movies.

As far as for music, the PB-2000's refined muscle in the lowest octave of bass, from 20 to 40 Hz, makes it a well-rounded choice if you've got the space for it.