SVS PB-1000 Pro Review – Just Big Enough to be Awesome
One of the foundations in home theater is solid bass. Sadly, due to budget constraints, a quality subwoofer is often one of the last things to be added to a home theater. Folks will concentrate on getting big displays or fancy amps and speakers. But, in reality, if you want to wow someone, a solid whump that shakes the sofa is always a crowd-pleaser. Well, recently I decided I wanted to get my hands on the new SVS PB (ported box)-1000 Pro to see if it actually lives up to all the hype. Well, spoiler alert, it does. If you want to add some boom to your room, the SVS PB-1000 Pro does this in spades and costs $799. So sit back and enjoy my review of the SVS PB-1000 Pro. Let’s discuss.
The specs on the SVS PB-1000 Pro are impressive for a sub this compact. Which is to say it’s still a large black box. But it’s not so large that you will struggle to place it in your room. It maintains the same footprint as the SvS PB 1000 at 18.9” (479mm) H X 15” (380mm) W X 20” (509mm) D and weighs in at 42.5lbs. Very manageable by yourself.
The SVS PB-1000 Pro is designed for small to medium rooms, under 3000 cubic feet. My 13′ x 21′ x 8′ room is 2184 cubic feet, so it’s perfect for my space.
|SVS PB-1000 Pro Specs|
|Extension||17-260 Hz +/- 3 dB|
|Extension (Sealed)||19-260 Hz +/- 3 dB|
|Driver||12-inch long-throw driver with high-precision tuned overhung motor configuration|
|13.1mm Xmax, 26.8mm Xmech precision aligned excursion|
|1.5” diameter Voice Coil with high current 6-layer high-purity copper wire windings|
|Sledge-325D Amplifier||325 watts RMS, 820+ watts peak power output Class D design|
|50MHz Analog Devices Audio DSP, high resolution double precision 56bit filtering|
|SVS BLE control app for iOS and Android|
|Customer EQ and DSP limiter settings specifically for the 1000 Pro|
|Enclosure||18.9” (479mm) H X 15” (380mm) W X 20” (509mm) D|
|Weight (unboxed): 42.5lbs (19.3kg) with Grille|
|Dual 2.5-inch ports|
|Inputs/Controls||Unbalanced stereo input/output|
|Speaker Level Stereo Input|
|Auto/On and Trigger options through app, 3-12V AC/DC trigger|
|Level Control, Low pass filter control, Phase control|
|USB Port for SVS Soundpath Wireless|
The most notable difference between the older SVS PB-1000 and the new SVS PB-1000 Pro series is the upgraded woofer, amplifier, dual ports, and Bluetooth app. The app gives you hands-free control of your subwoofer gain, crossover, and phase, and includes DPS, 3-band parametric EQ, and presets. But don’t worry, there are controls on the back if you don’t have, or want to use, the smartphone app. If you want to run your SVS PB-1000 Pro in sealed mode, SVS includes a couple of port plugs, and there is a setting for that.
Setting Up The SVS PB-1000 Pro
This is not my first rodeo, so setting up the SVS PB-1000 Pro was pretty simple for me. Although I know the best locations for my subwoofers, I followed Rob H’s 12 Step Guide to Setting Up Dual Subwoofers, and did a subwoofer crawl. (And then I put it in the same spot as my old subwoofer.)
I did a quick level match with my SVS PB-1000, and I didn’t rerun Dirac! Put down the pitchforks – I eventually reran Dirac, but if we are being honest, there was little difference after I ran it. Setting up the sub with the SVS app was a snap. I downloaded the app, turned on the sub, and ran through the connection settings on the app. It found my sub instantly and took me to the gain setting. I had the sub up and running in minutes! It’s almost as if SVS knows what they are doing!
Testing The SVS PB-1000 Pro
So, as much fun as putting on movies and blasting this thing is, I need to be somewhat objective in my testing methodology and review of the SVS PB-1000 Pro. This means (re: my editor makes me) sweeps first, and then we can do some tests with both movies and music. And as I always state, these are subjective tests. I do not break out measuring equipment. I don’t have the expertise to interpret what I am seeing reliably. But I have been doing this long enough to trust my ears.
I did turn off my SVS PB-1000 at the rear of my room for my initial tests so I could test the PB-1000 Pro’s performance. I did eventually pair the two up.
I have long used Audiocheck.net to create test sweeps for my gear. First, I use their Ultimate Bass Test which has a voice-over that tells me which tone is playing. This gives me a scale of reference so I can tell when I start to hear or feel the subwoofer. As expected, I started to perceive bass in my room very quickly (humans can hear down to 20Hz). I also felt the vibration in my primary seat.
Additionally, because I have my room well treated, and the sub positioned optimally, there were no obvious humps or nulls in my other seats. Again, this is a testament to proper placement and setup for your subwoofers.
Most people who read AV Gadgets are probably home theater enthusiasts. We all have favorite movies that we use to show off our systems. I have several scenes that I use that will make an inferior subwoofer chuff for its mommy! I used my Xbox Series X to play a physical copy of the disc through my Onkyo TX-NR7100 and Paradigm Premier speakers.
Edge Of Tomorrow – Opening Scene
Anyone who has watched Edge of Tomorrow with a crappy sub will know how badly that opening low-frequency tone can make a subwoofer chuff and distort. Well, the SVS PB-1000 Pro took that scene like a champ without struggling and revealed a few new rattles in my room. The bass was clear, low, and made my room absolutely vibrate. The only issue that I have with the SVS PB-1000 Pro is that when paired with my second sub, I can take my systems to uncomfortable levels of bass. Wait, is that a problem or humblebrag? You decide! But all joking aside, this sub is capable of making the room vibrate by itself.
Spider-man: Into The Spiderverse
Again, we have an absolute banger (boomer?) of an opening scene. The mixers must love to throw some crazy bass into those LFE channels! There are a series of sustained low tones, punctuated by some great punchy notes that transition into a bass-heavy hip-hop track. It’s an all-out assault on your subwoofers, but the SVS PB-1000 Pro handled them with no issues.
Music is a bit of a mixed bag for subwoofers. If the mixers did their job right, the music shouldn’t need to reach down to 17Hz, more like 50Hz for a typical kick drum. But most folks aren’t going for absolute accuracy, they like to feel that kick in the chest. Don’t worry, I have some decent tracks that will let me assess the accuracy and chest-thumpin’ bass. For these tests, I am using my Apple TV 4K with lossless Apple Music and my Pro-Ject Carbon Evo turntable.
Eminem – Venom
Venom is an amazing test track. The beat has a very precise thump that hits hard and clean but is followed up by a lingering tone that makes my sofa vibrate. But you would only know this if you had a capable subwoofer. I played this test track for my son and his buddies, and they were absolutely floored by the bass extension in that song. Granted they all listen to music on Bluetooth speakers or headphones.
Dave Brubeck Quartet – Take Five
If you have read any of my reviews, you know that this is my favorite song, and I will use it as a test track. Why? Jazz is surprisingly bass-heavy with kick drums. Plus I know that my LP is not mixed hot, and to my ears, pretty accurate. And the other reason I use it? There is a persistent myth that a ported 12″ subwoofer is not suitable for music. Well, I am here to tell you that is Grade A BS! The SVS PB-1000 Pro is as accurate as any subwoofer that I have ever used or tested. And guess what, it comes with port plugs, so I can make it into a ginormous sealed subwoofer. Spoiler alert, the PB-1000 Pro has tight and detailed bass in either mode.
I don’t want to belabor the point, but this subwoofer is more than capable of accurately reproducing bass in that 30-80Hz range that we typically see kickdrums live in. You won’t see me complaining that the bass wasn’t tight, punchy, fast, or accurate. Because the SVS PB-1000 can do that perfectly.
Single Vs Dual / Mixing Subs
I know that we always suggest that home theaters be run with dual subwoofers. Dual subwoofers are about having even bass across all your seats, not having adequate bass. But maybe you can’t afford a second subwoofer right now, and you want to know if a single SVS PB-1000 Pro would work in your space. That depends!
As I said earlier, the PB-1000 Pro is designed for small to medium rooms. In my 2200 cubic foot room, I can get away with a single SVS PB-1000 Pro. I spent an entire weekend using just the SVS PB-1000 Pro and I was more than pleased with its performance. If you are worried about not having enough bass with a single SVS PB-1000 Pro, don’t. I could happily live with just that one in my space. But I won’t!
Which brings me to my next point. How does the SVS PB-1000 Pro play with its little brother? I know that most forums say that you should have two matched subs for optimal performance. But my SVS PB-1000 is not a slouch by any means. It will hit 19Hz compared to the Pro’s 17Hz, so it’s still apples to apples here. SVS is, first and foremost, a subwoofer company. They know how to build subs and they designed the Pro as the next step in the “1000” series. So if you have an SVS PB-1000 like I do, have no fear about throwing the SVS PB-1000 Pro into the mix with it.
The SVS Soundpath App
I LOVE gear that gives you hands-free options. I am a tinkerer by nature, and the ability to sit on my sofa and change settings on the fly is awesome. Do I need the app? No. I am glad the app exists? Absolutely. But what does it add? A lot.
Aside from basic control of gain, phase, and crossover (LFE and low pass filter) you gain some granular control. First, there is a 3-band parametric EQ that allows you to drop or boost the performance of your sub in specific frequencies. Do you like a 20Hz boost? You can do that? A bit boomy at 50Hz? You can drop that.
Secondly, you can play with your room gain compensation. Essentially, you can use it to tame any unruly spikes in your bass that are making the response less flat. Most folks do this by ear, but if you have a UMIK-1 (we like Cross Spectrum Labs) and REW, you can get some measurements to apply to your room gain compensator.
Lastly, you can play with your port tuning and turn your ported sub into a very large sealed sub.
So I think that you can see my review of the SVS PB-1000 Pro is positive, to say the least. There is not one flaw that I can think of that is a deal breaker. I see people complaining on forums about the price increase on the PB-1000 Pro. But what did you expect? EVERYTHING is going up. When it debuted at $600 it was a steal. And two years later at $799, it’s still a great price. You are getting a small (ish) subwoofer that packs in a 12″ driver, able to reach infrasonic territories, and has a lot of the technologies from their flagship subwoofers included.
Plus, let’s not forget to mention SVS’s amazing customer service. Their subs are covered by a five-year unconditional warranty. But more than that, I have heard about SVS helping customers who are out of their warranty periods or have somehow damaged their subwoofers. That is peace of mind!
Bottom Line – Get it!