SVS PC-2000 Cylindrical Subwoofer - Review

Official Images Provided by SVS

The SVS PC-2000 definitely looks different. Instead of the traditional box design, we are all used to, this sub has a distinctive cylindrical shape. Inside that cylinder is down firing the 12-inch driver, rear mounted port, and power 500-watt amplifier (check out the cutaway photo attached to this page for an inside look). To find out more about the SVS PC-2000, and if it is the right subwoofer for your home theater setup, keep on reading this review. Also, when you are done reading the review, check out my supplementary photo profile for an even closer look.

Product Overview

Here are the features and specifications for the SVS PC-2000:

1. Design: Vertical Cylinder Bass Reflex design with 12-inch down firing driver with 4-inch rear mounted port and built-in amplifier

2. Amplifier Type: Class-D (Sledge STA-500D - separate product page not available)

3. Power Output: 500 Watts RMS (1100 watts peak).

4. Frequency Response: 16-260 Hz +/- 3 dB (measured at a 2-meter distance from reflective structures).

5. Crossover: Adjustable from 50 to 160 Hz.

6. Connection Options: RCA LFE or L/R audio cable connection (both in and out).

8. Power Consumption: .5 watts standby mode, up to 300 watts in operating mode.

9. Dimensions (HxWxD): 34-inches(H) 16-inches (W) 16-inches(D) with rubber Sound Path Isolation feet.

10. Weight: 50 pounds

11. Available Finish: Black

12. Listed Price: $799

Set-up and Installation

For this review, I alternately connected the PC-2000 to both the Onkyo SR-TX705's and Harman Kardon AVR-147 subwoofer pre-out to the LFE input on the Subwoofer.

As far as physical placement goes, it all depends on whether you want to emphasize loud, accuracy, or the best combination of both.

SVS suggests a corner placement (front left or right corner) as the best option for the loudest bass, but you may not get the best accuracy (in other words it may be a little too boomy).

If this is the case, you might be able to tone down the boominess if you place PC-2000 along one of your side walls. If you opt for a side wall placement, my suggestion is to use the "crawling for bass" technique to find the best bass response. It is also important to note that you should not place the subwoofer flush to the wall - bring it out a few inches.

On the other hand, if you have two subwoofers, it might be best to place one in each front corner of your room - this may provide the best balance of both loud and accurate base.

After you have determined how much, and the quality, of the bass output, you need to match PC-2000 to the rest of your speakers so that the crossover frequency and volume level is balanced.

The quickest way to do this, and suggested by SVS, is to use your home theater receiver's onboard automatic speaker setup system (such as Audyssey, MCACC, YPAO, etc...). These setup systems provide the home theater receiver a way to set the subwoofer level and equalization in relation to your other speakers.

It is also usually possible to manually tweak the results obtained via any of the automatic speaker setup options. However, if your home theater receiver does not provide and automatic speaker setup system, or you prefer to set the crossover frequency and output level of the subwoofer manually, the PC-2000 does have its own crossover and volume controls for this task. You can do this either by ear or better yet, have a sound meter handy for more precise adjustment.

Audio Performance

The SVS PC-2000 was a very good match for the rest of the speakers used in both comparison systems.

The PC-2000 effortlessly pushed out a strong output down to below 30HZ decreasing down to its lowest audible point of about 15Hz, as observed using the audio tests provided on the Digital Video Essentials Disc. Also, going up the frequency scale, I definitely noticed that unlike many subwoofers, there was a smooth output level right up to the scale to the 240Hz top-off point with no excessive boost in the 60-to-70hz region that can cause unnatural boominess during movie and music listening.

The subwoofer did excellent with both music and movies. My standard Blu-ray and DVD test tracks, such as the first battle scene in Master and Commander and the depth charge scene U571 sounded great with no sign of fatigue or strain.

With music, the PC-2000 reproduced an effective tight textured response on my standard bass heavy CDs, such as the sliding bass riff on Heart's Magic Man (a 40-old recording that still provides one best bass test tracks), the bass tracks on Pink Floyd's SACD multi-channel mix on Dark Side of the Moon, and the heavy bass present on Sade's Soldier of Love. Also, in addition to deep, powerful bass, the PC-2000 also did well with more subtle acoustic bass tracks on the Norah Jones album, Come Away With Me.

Final Take

Overall, the PC-2000 provided a clean, deep, and forceful bass response, and the subwoofer had excellent recovery time between dynamic bass peaks.

Using the subwoofer frequency sweep test provided on the Digital Video Essentials HD Basics and THX Calibrator test discs, the output level of the PC-2000 was strong as low as 30Hz, and actually produced an audible output as far down as 15Hz! Yes, I was able to get my windows to rattle...

This subwoofer is well-suited for the home theater environment, especially for a medium or large room. However, it is physically very imposing - it stands almost 3 feet tall and weighs about 50 pounds. Also, since the subwoofer is down firing, you need to take care when you finding your optimum room placement, that you make sure there is nothing on the floor or carpet that will puncture the speaker cone (and definitely don't grab the bottom with your hands). So if you don't have space for, or the inclination to accommodate a large speaker cabinet in your setup, this subwoofer may not be the best choice for you.

On the other hand, even though the PC-2000 is physically large when you consider the amount of vertical space it takes up, in terms of actual floor space, it's 13-inch wide footprint is smaller than many box-style subwoofers with front or down firing drivers.

For my part, I really enjoyed having this subwoofer in my setup during the review period.

If you are looking for a subwoofer that is unique in design, and can really put out a lot of deep base for a reasonable price, definitely give the PC-2000 consideration. SVS lists the price of the PC-2000 at $799, and it is available direct from the SVS Online Store or via Amazon.

For a closer look at, and further explanation of, the features of the SVS PC-2000 Cylinder Subwoofer, also check out my Photo Profile.

Components Used In This Review

Blu-ray Disc Players: OPPO BDP-103 and BDP-103D.

DVD Player: OPPO DV-980H.

Loudspeaker/Subwoofer System 1 (5.1 channels): 2 Klipsch F-2's, 2 Klipsch B-3s, Klipsch C-2 Center, Klipsch Synergy Sub10.

NOTE: On both speaker systems used, both the original subwoofer and PC-2000 were used for comparison. Settings were adjusted accordingly.

Video Projector: Benq HC1200 (on review loan)

Projection Screens: SMX Cine-Weave 100² screen and Epson Accolade Duet ELPSC80 Portable Screen.

Software Used

Standard DVDs: The Cave, House of the Flying Daggers, Kill Bill - Vol 1/2, Kingdom of Heaven (Director's Cut), Lord of Rings Trilogy, Master and Commander, Outlander, U571, and V For Vendetta.

CDs: Al Stewart - A Beach Full of Shells, Beatles - LOVE, Blue Man Group - The Complex, Joshua Bell - Bernstein - West Side Story Suite, Eric Kunzel - 1812 Overture, HEART - Dreamboat Annie, Nora Jones - Come Away With Me, Sade - Soldier of Love.

DVD-Audio discs included: Queen - Night At The Opera/The Game, Eagles - Hotel California, and Medeski, Martin, and Wood - Uninvisible, Sheila Nicholls - Wake.

SACD discs used included: Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon, Steely Dan - Gaucho, The Who - Tommy.