Three subwoofers of the 1000 Pro and 3000 series from subwoofer specialist SVS

Text: Dipl.-Phys. Guido Randerath

SVS has an orderly approach to the individual product lines. The reference models of the Ultra series rank at the top, followed by the regular 4000, 3000, 2000, and 1000 series, which cover the price range.

1000-Pro-Serie

Our new 1000 Pros represent the entry-level range at SVS. As usual with SVS, there is a choice of a closed model SB-1000 Pro and a bass reflex model PB-1000 Pro. The standard finish is foil ash, but the smaller closed SB-1000 Pro is also available in high-gloss lacquer for an additional Euros. It has turned out really small for a 12-inch subwoofer. The chassis takes up virtually the entire front, and the cabinet is built almost as small as possible around it so that the cube only measures about 33 centimeters side length. The PB-1000 Pro is more of a grown-up subwoofer. However, with a height of just under 47 centimeters, it’s not excessively large either. Beneath the 12 inch driver, it proudly displays two generous reflex tubes, which, for super low tuning, go under the enclosure lid with a 90° bend. The cabinets are neatly built and far better than the „entry level“ found elsewhere. We see solid MDF panels and internal bracing in the cabinets.

Whether SB or PB: Both have the driver and the electronics in common. The 12-inch woofer chassis is a sturdy model equipped with a filled plastic cone and a metal basket. Of course, you can‘t expect high-end or expensive high-tech materials for the price, but the SVS driver is not poorly made. The drive with a 1.5-inch coil and ferrite system can also be seen; with over 13 millimeters of linear travel, the woofer performs very well. The electronics are divided into signal processing and power amplification. According to the manufacturer, the latter produces 325 watts, which is in the upper range of its class, and a good 300 watts is enough to drive a lightweight 12-inch woofer. Fascinating is the signal processing, which is entirely digital. Quite outstanding: This unit is identical to the larger 2000 and 3000 subwoofers; nothing has been cut down here. The difference between the series lies primarily in the amplifier power. Accordingly, the equipment is more than respectable in this class. There are analog high-level and RCA inputs, and the outputs are also doubled. Pre-filtered LFE signals can be fed to RCA just as well as a „raw“ mono because the SVS can also adjust everything independently. This is the merit of the signal processor from Analog Devices, which naturally has an easy time processing the „only“ subwoofer signal. On the device itself, low-pass, level, and phase inversion can be controlled with a fancy LED chain and plus/minus buttons. More advanced settings can be made in the app, but more about that later.

3000 Micro

Before that, we come to our third test candidate, the 3000 Micro, which is by far the smartest and smallest of the trio. Unfortunately, it is also the most expensive, but there is a reason for that. According to its name, it is part of the 3000 series, and in terms of price, it is on par with the 2000 models. The 3000 Micro sets up its own new series because it differs entirely from the 2000 and 3000 series regarding technology and approach. While the regular SB and PB woofers embody the classic subwoofer concept, with plenty of diaphragm area thanks to 12-inch drivers and adequate volume, the 3000 Micro wants to be different. As the name suggests, it is all about the smallest possible size; the Micro wants to score with living room friendliness and design. The quality of workmanship is clearly on a very high level; the almost cubic housing is wrapped in glossy piano lacquer, and sturdy and shapely metal grilles protect the sides. And with an edge length of around 28 centimeters, the little cube is significantly smaller than the SB-1000 Pro.

But being small and pretty is not enough. All this should, of course, take place without sacrificing performance – after all, it carries the SVS badge. The performance is provided by a powerful 800-watt-power amplifier, which stems directly from the 3000 series. However, it also has to drive two woofers because the 3000 Micro does not work with a passive cone but is equipped with two powered eight-inch drivers. And they pack a punch: real heavy-duty drivers that may be small in diameter but are very generous in their equipment. Behind the grilles sit highly stable, one-piece aluminum diaphragms. Their bowl shape makes them highly torsion-resistant for an almost perfect „piston-like“ diaphragm movement. Blessed with ample drive, they also enjoy a whole 24 millimeters of voice coil overhang (and thus linear excursion). SVS has even given the 8-inchers short-circuit rings to linearize the magnetic field in the air gap. This is anything but standard, especially in the subwoofer sector, and is definitely a high-end feature. The closed construction with two driven opposing woofers has the advantage of impulse compensation. Both membranes move simultaneously and uniformly outward and inward so that the impulses exactly cancel each other out. This symmetrical mode of operation keeps the cabinet quiet because of the balanced and linear compression of the air inside the cabinet.

The challenge is to conjure home theater-suitable low bass out of only roughly 15 liters of cabinet volume (i.e., only 7.5 per driver). The aforementioned long-throw design of the drivers for sufficient displacement helps here – plus the DSP once again. The digital assistant can shape the frequency response at will to counteract the natural level drop of the small woofer at low frequencies. This requires long-throw drivers and plenty of power amplifier performance – and the Micro has both.

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The App

While the basics like level, polarity reversal, and low-pass frequency can be easily adjusted on the subwoofer, you need the app for finer details. The app is available for all standard operating systems. It is a pleasure to use it: All essential functions can be found in the user-friendly arranged main menu, and the corresponding parameters are then set in the respective submenus. Let’s start with the parametric equalizer, of which there are three. That should probably be enough for the subwoofer range. The low-pass filter’s slope can be adjusted in the app, and the phase control and polarity reversal also help perfect sound integration.

Furthermore, a three-stage subsonic filter dampens booming low frequencies. Three presets for music, movie, and custom are switchable, so you don’t have to adjust the EQ every time. A slight cosmetic for bass reflex subwoofers is a correction for when you plug reflex tubes. You don’t necessarily need that, but it can be helpful. Good to have are the setting options for display and lighting – anyone who has ever been in a cinema where the electronics provide visual distraction with dozens of LEDs will know what I mean. The configuration options for automatic switching on and off are also convenient and help save power, just like the relatively small standby consumption of the SVS subwoofers of 0.5 watts.

Lab and practice

All three SVS subwoofers measure excellently. The amplitude responses in standard settings are remarkably linear, and the frequency ranges extend to 20 Hz – even below that with the PB-100 Pro. With the PB, the DSP doesn’t need to do anything. The two closed woofers, however, do not show the natural amplitude drop below the built-in resonance. Here the DSP helps out with theoretically 6 dB per octave to produce „home cinema suitable“ flat curves up to 20 Hz. When the level is increased, it becomes apparent that the DSP can model the amplitude response and intervene dynamically, i.e., depending on the volume. The lowest frequencies below approx. The SB-100 Pro and the PB-100 Pro behave as expected: The larger reflex woofer plays louder. The 3000 Micro, on the other hand, is a great performer. It doesn’t manage the levels of the more than twice as thick colleague in the lowest bass, but it produces extremely deep and clean bass for the 15-liter volume – kudos. This continues in the listening room, where the SB-100 Pro plays very cleanly. It sounds lush and commanding – but also always to the point. This has nothing to do with the entry-level class; this is high-class deep bass for adults.

The PB-1000 Pro is perfect for low bass fanatics because the reflex woofer shoves the bottom end even harder. Explosions and low-frequency effects are fun! But the clean reproduction is also good with the PB. Again, the 3000 Micro provides the surprise. Ultra-deep and precise, it pushes the sound onto the eardrums and diaphragm: no one would expect that. Even when you want to let it rip, it keeps up amazingly, although it doesn’t achieve the thrust of the reflex woofer. Here simply still applies: In the subwoofer area, a lot helps a lot. But if you’re into quality (and a fair amount of punch), you’ll be well served by the Micro. And by the way, it also wins the score for listening to music; it plays very balanced and super clean. The SB-1000 Pro follows in second place, and the PB-1000 Pro has to admit defeat due to slightly softened impulses. That doesn’t mean that you can’t listen to music excellently with it. If you choose a suitable preset in the app, clog maybe one or two pipes, the world is very much in order – even for jazz trio in stereo if necessary.

Conclusion

The new 1000 Pro subs have become genuine hits. Except for the affordable prices, nothing reminds you of „entry-level“ subwoofers; there‘s very good quality and performance here that’s damn close to the 2000s. The 3000 Micro is a class above in terms of quality and ingredients, but on paper alone, it’s more expensive and has less oomph. However, with its compactness and finished look, it doesn’t compete with the big-and-cheap segment at all. It takes its place in home theaters where SB and PB would not be tolerated, and it spoils with the most refined sound and incredible performance. This requires more effort, which more than justifies the price.

While the 1000 pro offers a lot of subwoofer for the money, the 3000 Micro wants to be little subwoofer with maximum performance. The highest possible integration with high-class technology, really cinematic and deep bass in the smallest space – so the 300 Micro is also a bull’s eye.

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Frequency response

The SB-1000 Pro delivers a perfect frequency response. Despite having only 25 liters of internal volume, it plays down to 21 Hz, which means rich low bass for cinema. App Features: Slope lowpass, room correction (high-pass), and 3-band parametric EQ.

Dynamic Range

The level stability of the SB-100 Pro is excellent for a compact closed subwoofer. Thanks to DSP support, SVS maxes out at 102 dB in deep bass and about 108 dB in the „normal bass“ range.

SVS SB-1000 Pro

• Equipment

Versions Black ash foil, high-gloss piano white/black lacquer (+ Euro)

Dimensions (W x H x D) 330 x 342 x 352 mm

Construction principle Closed cabinet

Principle Frontfire

Weight 12 kg

Power according to manufacturer 325 W RMS

Nominal diameter 300 mm

Level control controller knob, via app

Crossover frequency 40 – 140 Hz

Phase 0 – 180°; pole reversal

Time correction –

EQ 3 presets, 3-band parametric

High level input/output • / –

Low level input/output RCA stereo, LFE, •

Automatic On/Off Sensitivity adjustable

Remote control/app – / •

Features optional wireless signal

Upper class

Germany 2/21

Price/performance: excellent

Control via app

very clean sound

variably adjustable

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Frequency response

In the default setting, the bass reflex tuning spoons extra levels around 23 Hz onto the otherwise smooth amplitude response. The lower cutoff frequency is breathtakingly low at 17 Hz. App Features: Slope lowpass, room correction (high-pass), 3-band parametric EQ, and frequency response correction for closed ports.

Dynamic Range

The PB-1000 Pro plays without noticeable compression to 108 dB. At this point, the low bass is limited below 30 Hz, but in the „normal“ bass range, it goes on so that the PB-1000 Pro proves to be an extremely levelcapable subwoofer.

SVS PB-1000 Pro

Distribution SVSound

Internet www.sv-sound.com

• Equipment

Finishes foil ash black

Dimensions (W x H x D) 380 x 467 x 509 mm

Construction principle bass reflex

Principle Frontfire

Weight 19,5 kg

Power according to manufacturer 325 W RMS

Nominal diameter 300 mm

Level control controller knob, via app

Crossover frequency 40 – 140 Hz

Phase 0 – 180°, pole reversal

Latency correction –

EQ 3 presets, 3-band parametric

High level input/output • | –

Low level input/output RCA stereo, LFE / •

Automatic on/off • / •, sensitivity adjustable

Remote control/app – / •

Special features optional wireless signal

Upper class

Germany 2/21

Price/performance: excellent

control via app

deep, powerful sound

variably adjustable

HOME CINEMA WORLD Laboratory

Frequency response

Despite the compact dimensions, the 3000 Micro plays deep into the frequency basement; 22 Hz is astonishing. Thanks to DSP support, the 3000 Micro manages to reproduce the lowest frequencies like a big one. App Features: Slope lowpass, room correction (high-pass), and 3-band parametric EQ.

Dynamic Range

The 3000 Micro delivers exceptional levels for its size. To prevent the dainty 8-inch cones from fluttering and distorting at the lowest frequencies, the electronics lock down at 93 dB. Above a still remarkable 30 Hz, the 3000 Micro plays considerable volumes.

SVS 3000 Micro

Distribution SVSound

Internet www.sv-sound.com

• Equipment

Finishes lacquer high gloss piano white / black

Dimensions (W x H x D) 297 x 278 x 271 mm

Construction principle closed cabinet

Principle Sidefire, impulse-compensated

Weight 10,5 kg

Power according to manufacturer 800 W RMS

Nominal diameter 2 x 200 mm

Level control controller knob, via app

Crossover frequency 40 – 140 Hz

phase 0 – 180°, pole reversal

Latency correction –

EQ 3 presets, 3-band parametric

High level input/output • / –

Low level input/output RCA stereo, LFE / •

Automatic on/off • / •, sensitivity adjustable

Remote control/app – / •

Special features optional wireless signal

Top class

Germany 2/21

Price/performance: excellent

control via app / variably adjustable

immaculate sound

also great for music

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