Review: New SVS SB-1000 Pro & PB-1000 Pro Powered Subwoofers
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What did SVS just do to their two best-selling subwoofers?
There’s a very popular “new and improved” dandruff shampoo on the market right now where the only thing that’s actually “new and improved” is the bottle it comes in. And then there’s a certain car company’s “all-new” line of SUVs, where all-new starts and ends with bigger cupholders, a new trim package, and airbags that purportedly fail less often.
And then there’s SVS.
This week, SVS introduced their latest subwoofer line, the 1000 Pro Series, which consists of the SB-1000 Pro and the PB-1000 Pro. These new models replace the company’s all-time, best-selling 1000 line. And in this case, all-new really does mean all-new. SVS completely rethought, re-engineered, and reconfigured the series to include features typically seen only in their own Ultra Series subwoofers. And the kicker: SVS pulled this off without sacrificing their goal for true reference performance at industry-low price points.
SB-1000 Pro vs. PB-1000 Pro
The SB-1000 Pro and the PB-1000 Pro represent SVS’s second professional line, after the company’s 2000 Pro series. The SB-1000 Pro is a sealed cabinet subwoofer, and the PB-1000 Pro is their ported model. The ported version naturally comes in a larger cabinet but was redesigned to add a second port without adding to its predecessor’s footprint. Both models are available in black ash, however, the SB-1000 Pro is also available in a slick piano gloss black and piano gloss white.
As you would expect, the SB-1000 Pro has a slightly better transient response and, thus compared to the ported version, is arguably a little better and tighter for music… though marginally so. However, the PB-1000 Pro, by nature of being a ported cabinet, plays louder and produces deeper sound at lower frequencies – offering more oomph on the low end – making it slightly more preferable for action movies and gaming. In some respects, this is splitting hairs and a direct result of SVS’s desire to lessen the disparity between ported and sealed when it comes to musicality and SFX audio. Bottom line: both versions are pure SVS and, when prompted, will blow the doors down.
The New 1000-Pro Series Low Down
SVS’s two newest 1000 pro series subwoofers replace the company’s best-selling 1000 line.
Less a massive upgrade (more like a complete redesign), here's a shortlist of the major improvements between the generations:
- Though the PB-1000-Pro is the same size as the two outgoing models, SVS redesigned the cabinet and increased the
number of ports from one to two. The result: greater output with much lower distortion
compared to the original 1000 Series.
the 1000 Pro Series, SVS explicitly developed a totally new 12” high-excursion
driver. This directly replaces the driver in the old SB-1000 and upgrades the
PB-1000 from a 10” driver. Improvements were made to the cone, surround, voice
coil, and motor assembly. The result: a level of wake-the-neighbors output not
available in any other ported subwoofer – anywhere near this price.
- The new PB-1000-Pro offers a lower frequency output and a deeper bass extension – down to
a guttural, sternum-vibrating 17Hz, or well below what we humans can hear. (Though, you will
feel it in your chest and under your feet, so you better stow those carry-ons.) By comparison,
the SB-1000 Pro renders bass down to 20Hz, affording serious, industry-best, home theater
punch. Both numbers represent new industry benchmarks for subwoofers in this price range.
- Both models use the same amplifier technology as the SVS 16-Ultra Series, the company’s
flagship line, which costs 4 to 5 times as much. Under the hood: a 325 watt RMS, 820+ watts
peak power and Sledge STA-325D (Class D) amplifier with fully discrete MOSFET output. This
allows them to produce a significantly higher dynamic output, which comes with
multiple benefits, a la: lower distortion, cleaner output, higher current, and real-world clarity.
- Also inside: a 50 MHz Analog Devices Audio DSP with frequency response curves precisely
tuned for both the PB and SB-1000 Pros – giving both subwoofers the power to pressurize a
room with crisp, accurate, heart-pounding bass.
Bluetooth LTE technology, SVS makes managing and tuning a subwoofer easy with
their own SVS App.
You can control volume, adjust crossovers, change phase, access multiple DSP
functions, set them to custom presets (for music, movies, gaming), and more
from the comfort of your favorite seat. You can set-it-and-forget-it, or if you
like to fiddle, you can fine-tune crossover frequencies, parametric EQ levels, polarity, room gain, and more to your heart’s content in real-time. But, you don’t have to use the app for all functionalities. Both pieces come with a rear-panel SVS Intelligent Control Interface (ICI) which offers control options and connections for the subwoofer’s most critical functions.
- Connections: the new 1000 Pro Series comes with stereo RCA inputs as well as high impedance speaker level inputs for legacy support (for older or vintage amps or receivers). They also include RCA outputs to connect multiple subwoofers, and with the SVS app, you can tune and adjust them for your room. A USB port on both units provides power for the optional SoundPath Wireless Audio Adapter. When installed, this gives you the ability to find the optimal placement of your subwoofer, even if you cannot get a signal wire there; all you’ll need is power.
Size matters. Right?
Yes and no. Subwoofers are tricky that way. It’s true: a well-engineered, 10-inch sub with a 100-watt amplifier can easily outperform a poorly engineered and designed 12-inch sub with 500-watt amplifier. Takeaway: don’t get over-enamored with subwoofer specs – better to trust your own ears. Still, whether by ears or eyes, in almost every case and for almost every audio application, these two new SVS reference subwoofers are ideal. They’re smart, powerful, and well-suited for music, movies, and gaming. Add “best bang for the buck” to the equation, tack on “best for blowing the doors down,“ (maybe that one should come first), and the SB-1000 and PB-1000 Pros belong on everyone’s subwoofer shortlist. So… is there any reason to spend more, and step-up? Sometimes, yes.
If you’re trying to fill a large room with killer sound, or if your home incorporates an open floor plan, a bigger / more powerful subwoofer may be the way to go. Also, in most cases, spending more will buy you a more feature-rich subwoofer. (Or even two feature-rich subwoofers). And that’s why SVS makes an entire line of premium subwoofers – to cover all situations. Still, given the length SVS went to in this case – not so much an upgrade, more like a complete rethink – there’s no doubt the new 1000 Pro series will claim the same title long held by the old 1000 series: “all-time best sellers.”
From the beginning, the SVS pitch has been all about bringing an immersive, world-class, audio experience to the masses at an attainable price. Their thing: true, authentic, high-fidelity music and spectacular, hold-on-for-dear-life home theater doesn’t have to be an elitist-only hobby. And in a nod to both performance (bass down to an industry-best 20Hz) and price (the $500 to $600 neighborhood), a recent SVS headline put it this way: “reference subwoofer performance hits an all-time low.”
Maybe that’s one pun too many, but as far as we’re concerned, it says it all.
A case of too good to be true? Let’s find out.
At first glance, a reference-class subwoofer that performs at this level, for this price – sounds too good to be true. But like anything audio, hearing is believing, and to that end, we recommend putting SVS to the test with a little in-store, head-to-head, put-up-or-shut-up competition. (We do this all the time with speaker brands.) Just let us know when you’d like to come in, and then after getting you comfortable, we'll put the new SVS PB-1000-Pro and SB-1000 Pro against each other or similar quality subs - and even against subs that cost far more (including SVS’s own $2,500 flagship sub, the PB16-Ultra). We’ll play some of the music you like, the movies that move you - we’ll even cue up Battlefield V, Call of Duty, or whatever game lights your candle. The whole idea is about getting it right and sending you off with the perfect subwoofer for you and your home.
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