- Manufacturer & Model
- SVS PB-2000 PRO
- $899.99 Each – Price for two - $1699.99 - Internet Direct and Select Dealers
Useable extension and output to 16Hz and below!
12” SVS Custom High Excursion Driver
550 Watts RMS (1500+ Watts Peak) DSP Controlled Class D Amplifier
Ported Cabinet with Sealed Cabinet Option
Very convenient and useful smartphone app for control and fine tuning
A deep digging and articulate subwoofer that punches far above what it’s modest price would suggest. Unassuming and relatively compact for the performance levels it delivers. The Black Ash vinyl veneer has a real-wood appearance that lends a premium look and feel to the subwoofer. Easy to install and integrate using the downloadable SVS Smartphone App. Discount pricing when buying two!
SVS has the enviable reputation in the marketplace for producing some of the highest performance and best sounding subwoofers out there. A case in point are the venerable SVS 2000 series subwoofers that have been newly reimagined, redesigned and upgraded and are now designated the 2000 PRO series. Receiving the opportunity to take a close look at the SVS PB-2000 PRO Ported 12” Subwoofer had me salivating. Receiving the even better news that I would be reviewing TWO of them together made me absolutely giddy with anticipation!
The new 2000 PRO Series is available in three different models. The SB-2000 PRO is a sealed cabinet design, the PB-2000 PRO (reviewed) is a ported cabinet design, and the uniquely shaped, cylindrical PC-2000 PRO offers similar performance with a smaller footprint and elegant design.
When put into contact with SVS they took the time to query me on my room, setup, capabilities, and preferences before offering up the dual configuration of the PB-2000’s for review. This cooperative/collaborative method was very much appreciated!
The subwoofers and a pair of the SVS Prime Pinnacle Towers (a review for another day :-) arrived via FedEx Ground and were deposited on my front porch with the new “No Contact” delivery method that COVID-19 has propagated upon us. In other words, dump it and run….
The boxes all appeared to be in decent shape other than a couple of holes in one of the tower boxes. Closer inspection seemed to indicate no deeper penetration beyond the surface so in they all came.
Shipping weight of the subs was a reasonable 77lbs each (the towers weighed in at 66lbs each) so all boxes were easily managed with a small hand cart and a little door handling help from my wife.
Together we moved them upstairs in their boxes to the listening room and I was then left solo for the unpacking duties.
Setting aside the towers temporarily I opened the subs following the directions printed on the top of the box. Those instructions told me to flip over the box and open from the bottom. Once the bottom tape was cut and the box flaps were folded back new instructions were revealed. Folding all of the cardboard flaps back revealed the bottom layer of a closed-cell foam cap and a pair of clapboard reinforcing rails.
Making sure the box flaps stayed snug to the sides I was instructed to flip the box back over. Once flipped the box was simply lifted off of the contents. Another closed cell foam insert crowned the bagged subwoofer and separate grille assembly. Lifting off the top piece I just tipped over the sub on its side and removed the bottom foam.
The sub was swaddled in a soft foam wrap on the biggest flat surfaces with a second skin consisting of a clear plastic bag covering that. Inside the wraps was one of the largest bags of desiccant I have ever seen come with a piece of gear.
The box itself was a single layer of heavy cardboard. Together with the well-designed packing materials, it made for a safe and secure shipping container.
The only other items in the box were the power cord, warranty materials and a multi-page full line brochure. A manual is available for download and can be found online.
The cabinet is well formed and relatively large for the single 12” driver at 20.9” (532mm) high X 17.3” (440mm) wide X 23.6” (600mm) deep (w/grille). While not exactly a super-heavyweight the speaker is a stout 65lbs. Internal volume is a hair less than 3.25 cubic feet.
The speaker is covered with a very attractive, Black Ash vinyl veneer that imparts a certain level of luxurious feel to what would be otherwise a simple MDF block. Edges are softly rounded giving the cabinet a more refined look. The two 3” ports are front facing and prominent with the grille removed. The grille on presents a fairly innocuous, but unified, face to the world.
Fit and finish was excellent overall. Seams were seamless and perfectly joined. The plate amp was a nice tight fit in the back of the cabinet.
The bottom of the cabinet is supplied with four small screw in Iso-elastomer feet for support. These feet are adequate in most cases but must be either unscrewed a bit or replaced to get the sub up off a carpeted floor.
Grille off the subwoofer looked like it was ready for business… Grille on and the speaker seems smaller and deceptively innocent, fading into the background visually.
The cabinet is made of MDF wrapped in a Black Ash veneer. As previously mentioned, form, fit and finish appear first-rate and the subwoofer presents very well visually.
SVS’s website emphasizes the point of the cabinet being solidly built using MDF with an extra thick front panel and robust interior bracing and damping. Indeed, a good hard rap with the knuckles produced only a solid, muted “THUNK!” with no ringing or hollowness detected.
The sub is a front-ported cabinet (two 3” ports). The ports can be sealed with foam plugs or run open for different voicing options. The SVS smartphone app, once set-up has a setting that applies DSP correction when the “Sealed” option is selected.
The 12” high-excursion woofer looks formidable and is an SVS proprietary design. The driver sports an overhung motor design, dual-layer high purity copper voice coil built around a premium grade 2” polyimide impregnated fiberglass form. Two toroidal ferrite magnets generate the magnetic force necessary to drive the speaker to high levels of excursion translating into high SPL levels. The cone is 1050 aluminum ensuring a light and very rigid, radiating surface. An Aluminum shorting sleeve reduces gap induction and distortion, enhances thermal conductivity, and improves magnetic linearity.
The plate amp supplied is the SVS SLEDGE-550D Amplifier and generates 550 watts RMS (1500+ watts peak) on-demand power to the sub. “Sledge” is SVS talk for a high current capable Class D amplifier that is monitored and controlled via onboard DSP.
Looking at the amp face you will notice a nice clean appearance with no knobs protruding. Instead, you will see two rows of “Soft Buttons” above and below a single row of eleven softly glowing blue LEDs that will ramp up or down depending on the function selected and the adjustments made. Operation of all of the basic DSP and Amplifier functions can be accessed through certain combos of buttons pushed and then reading/dialing in the results on the led strips. The manual controls echo the adjustments available using the Bluetooth connected smartphone app (free for download).
The amp is fed a signal via a right/left pair of unbalanced RCA jacks. There is another pair of RCAs to feed the signal through to another sub or device.
Turn on is auto-on or triggered via a 3.5mm 3 to 12-volt trigger input. A separate master power switch is right above the IEC style power input socket. Supplied power cable is a standard, molded 18 GA and seems appropriate for the limited frequency range Class D amplifier.
Rounding out the control suite is a USB port for use with accessories like the SVS SoundPath Wireless Audio Adapter enabling wireless subwoofer placement.
I set the PB-2000s up in my main listening room in the same positions that my reference subs occupy and tweaked the positions slightly from there as things progressed. For the initial tests and break-in, I paired them with my GoldenEar Triton One.R front channel speakers. The Tritons have built-in subs, so I ran them as “Small Speakers” instead of using the full range setting that I would normally employ and crossed over at 80Hz.
The Subs having only unbalanced RCA inputs I utilized a pair of Rolls TX-AFC1F Studio Grade Balanced to Unbalanced Transformer adapters into RCA “Y” cables feeding both the right and left inputs on each of the PB-2000 PRO’s.
I ran the Audyssey MultiEQ 32 twice, using the Audyssey MultiEQ Curve Editor app, once for a single subwoofer and then again using both subs saving both curves generated.
I took some time to test the subs in both the sealed cabinet and ported configurations. Testing revealed little difference between the cabinets either plugged or ported other than a slight loss of extreme low-end output. Listening to both revealed very little change that I could actually hear. A direct comparison during early listening tests of one particular song led me to note little or no difference in tightness or output. As a result, I left the subs ported for most of the review.
A few minutes were spent tweaking the Audyssey results using the SVS Smartphone App. Using the app, I was able to play a subwoofer test tone on (using REW) and fiddle with the phase to dial in the loudest, most solid presentation of the bass. I didn’t have to tweak too much as it seemed the Audyssey actually did a good job in this instance. The app’s three-band parametric EQ easily ironed out a small dip at around 44Hz, and on I went.
SVS’s published response curve is below. The curve is for a single sub in a “Quasi-Anechoic Chamber” environment and is shown in both ported and sealed modes.
It’s fun to note that the DSP processing and the cushion provided by sealing the cabinet allows the sealed configuration (Yellow Line) to start at a lower frequency than the ported version. At the same time, the ported configuration’s DSP controls the speaker using a sharper low pass slope limiting ultra-low frequency output to keep the system from (I’m assuming) over-excursion, self-destruction or too much bloat.
SVS sealed subwoofers, and all sealed subwoofers to some degree (and ported subs to a much lesser extent), can take advantage an effect called Room Gain. It is a very real effect that reinforces bass gain at certain frequencies, more shared by sealed subs than ported subwoofers and is explained very well here: https://www.svsound.com/blogs/subwoofer-setup-and-tuning/what-is-subwoofer-room-gain. In the case of the SVS subwoofers, these gain effects are optimized through the use of DSP tuning. The Room Gain phenomenon is very dependent on the size and shape of your room, and how well the room is sealed, so actual gains and results will vary.
In my case I judged the tighter control of the steeper roll-off and the more direct energy provided at 20Hz made the ported configuration the better choice for my room.”
As I moved on to testing, I measured the subs in both the single and dual configurations and in both ported and sealed configurations.
My own measurements at one meter, in my less than perfect room, tend to verify the SVS measurements.
Bringing both subs into play and shifting to measuring at the listening position definitely causes some positive reinforcement across the board as illustrated below. The chart below shows frequency response vs SPL with one and then both PB-2000s.
The dual configuration gave me a nice bump in the low end and low-mid bass regions, while smoothing the overall response.
I selected music and movie content for listening/testing as I usually do and then devised the following test criteria:
- How does musical content and movie content present with subwoofers ported? Repeat the same content with subwoofers sealed.
- Listen to musical content using one subwoofer and then both subwoofers
- Listen to movie content with one subwoofer and then both subwoofers
- Perform the bulk of the testing utilizing the best combination of the above.
Sealed vs. Ported
I started with a mini-assessment using “Airhead” from Thomas Dolby’s 1988 release The Alien’s Ate My Buick (CD).
I consider the bass on this track by the late, great Terry Jackson to be the litmus test for bass on speakers and subwoofers. The funky, bouncy, deep digging, solid and precise bass is something many subs just can’t reproduce in an enjoyable and convincing way.
I started in the sealed configuration. The SVS subwoofer provided a very tight and satisfying sound… solid and articulate. Pulling the port plugs I listened again expecting things to loosen up a bit. To my delight and surprise the ported configuration provided the same precise and articulate bass with even more depth and impact.
In short, the PB-2000 PRO provided a tight, fun rendition that satisfied in either configuration. But considering the ported cabinet dug deeper and provided a more visceral impact I gave the yes vote to the ported configuration.
I continued on with several other selections from Amazon Music Ultra HD and quickly discovered that using the sealed configuration did not provide any advantage over the ported configuration in my room. In fact, with most selections, the ported configuration provided more feeling, slam, and impact while retaining the same precise, solid, and articulate feel of the sealed version.
I did another quick mini-test with movie sound using the first 60 or so seconds of the Tom Cruise film Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow. As the subterranean lows jumped in and out during the newscast-like opening it quickly became evident that the ported configuration was the clear winner, providing massive LFE.
The above tests were repeated with one, then both subwoofers. In every case, the ported, dual subwoofer configuration was clearly the way to go adding impact and strength to the presentation.
All subsequent listening tests started with the single ported subwoofer configuration and then were repeated using the dual-ported subwoofers configuration.
Since PB-2000 Pros are subwoofers, I naturally went with bass-heavy material. I didn’t necessarily want to subject myself to massive, globby loads of bass, so I reached for bass material that was well defined, articulate, and musical. Bass that could excite and add to the overall sound rather than overwhelm the material. That being so, I went with some old standbys and some selections rather different than I have used in the past.
Amazon Music Ultra HD
Nine Inch Nails (various albums) –– “The Perfect Drug” – “Head Like a Hole”
In both songs the low end was brutal, driving, harsh, commanding…. Relentless! On Head Like a Hole the bass drum was huge causing a concussive effect on each impact. The Perfect Drug starts slow and then crashes in with significant, almost overwhelming, bass. The subs handled the tracks effortlessly with a tactile punch in either the single or dual configuration. The dual configuration always lent that “Extra Something” when used.
Primus – Pork Soda – “Bob”
Bass is where it’s at for any Primus/Les Claypool effort. On “Bob” the bass runs the gamut from twangy treble to low, massive and tactile. The PB-2000 PROs reproduced every note with a nice sharp crispness and well-defined attack and appropriate weight. The dual configuration, again, was a clear winner providing a more foundational thump in the low end.
The Beatles – Abbey Road
One of The Beatles’ best recordings Abbey Road continues to amaze even today. The SVS subwoofers reproduced McCartney’s bass notes with great weight and authority in a very musical and engaging way. Usually somewhat subdued in the mix I was also perceiving a bigger bass drum and a more connected sound from Ringo. The sound was engaging and the connection between subs and speaker so good I that I just sat there enjoying the entire album!
Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here – “Welcome to the Machine”
I can’t seem to do a review without coming back to this stellar 2011 5.1 surround remix of the classic Pink Floyd album Wish You Were Here. “Welcome to the Machine” offers up plenty of strong, deep bass in the music and effects. The PB-2000 PRO as a single subwoofer system reproduced it all with aplomb and good weight. Adding the second sub injected a real feeling of extra substance and effortlessness to the presentation.
Movies and Video
I chose movies and videos based on much of the same criteria as the music: The needed substantial low-end and big LFE. What I was looking for, of course, was a sound that complemented and connected the audio to what was on the screen, but never swamped or overwhelmed the on-screen visual.
I started with two music videos from multi-instrumentalist Nigel Stanford’s 2017 album Automatica. I listened to the tunes “Automatica” and “Cymatics” on Amazon Music Ultra HD, and while electronica/dance style tunes are not my normal cup of tea, they are recognizably very well done.
However, to get the true musical experience on another level, I recommend you listen to and watch the remixed videos. Watching on YouTube the remixed audio certainly gives a new impression of the real power hiding in the music. Turn it up and the music and video simply and solidly connect to deliver outstanding visuals and, at times, startling audio. The PB-2000 PROs delivered the enhanced low-end of the videos succinctly and with power. The ultra-low-end bass, bass drum, and synth clearly benefited from the dual subwoofer configuration.
Jumping back to movies I revisited the beginning of Edge of Tomorrow. Starting with one subwoofer I listened as the extreme low frequencies of the brief intro washed over me. It was good but lacking in something and sounded a bit strained at volume. After inserting the second subwoofer into the mix something magical happened. The same intro now sounded effortless and unrestrained. The room seemed to pressurize, and a literal feeling of momentary breathlessness came over me.
I continued on to some of the Mimic battle scenes, playing them at moderate, sensible, volumes, and then again at slightly more ridiculous levels. In every case, the dual subwoofer configuration contributed to a better connection to the action on the screen and added more to the weight and impact to the scene while never sounding stressed or strained.
I watched the next movie in its entirety. 2008’s Hellboy II: The Golden Army, written and directed by Guillermo del Toro and starring the real Hellboy, Ron Perlman, rocks with plenty of LFE throughout the movie and the well-staged action sequences.
Listening at moderate volumes, one PB-2000 PRO was just fine reproducing the action and LFE with authority. But because I’m me I switched to the dual subwoofer configuration ten minutes into the movie. The LFE immediately became more engaging and connected better with the film’s visuals, even at the same moderate volume.
There are a couple of scenes in Disney’s 2012 fantasy/action flick John Carter that I can watch over and over. Both the visuals and the sound just keep drawing me back. The fight in the arena with the Great White Ape is one of those scenes. Big action and a tightly connected soundtrack make it about as convincing as things can be in a fantasy film. At moderate volumes, the single subwoofer was very good at carrying the action. Adding the second sub only increased the level of excitement and engagement on every level.
Ragnarök is one of those odd Netflix series that deserves a watch. The action is slow to build, requiring patience. Even with its slow buildup and pacing, there are flashes of LFE that will jump out. The subs in either configuration complemented this series very well. As an experiment, I turned off the subs and watched. It was immediately clear they added a foundational element that was lost when they were absent regardless of the action on the screen.
It was the same with other TV and video. On - the subs added that subtle underlay and substance to even naturally bass-shy programming…. Off – something always went missing.
As for the SVS Smartphone/Tablet App, this is a marvelous and truly useful application that has fantastic utility, and it actually works! It takes full advantage of the on-board DSP capabilities of the subwoofer and makes set-up and tweaking a snap. Think of it as a “MiniDSP Lite” built into the subwoofer and available at the tip of your fingers from the listening position. I have included the basic functions in the specs section following the closing summary. The SVS website goes into much greater detail if interested.
Summary and Closing Thoughts
If you haven’t figured it out yet… I am a bass enthusiast. I don’t consider myself a true “Basshead” or “Bassaholic,” but I am a fan of copious, tight and articulate bass when it fits the material.
Music, in most cases, is a fairly easy thing for a modern subwoofer to reproduce. The real trick is to do it well!
From soft jazz and symphonic music, to over the top industrial and rock, these SVS PB-2000 PRO subwoofers reproduced the lows precisely with plenty of bottom end when called for. Both growling synth bass and delicate upright bass was reproduced with appropriate weight and definition when it was thrown at them.
A single PB-2000 PRO subwoofer configuration was perfectly satisfactory with all types of music, at all but insane volumes. However, in every case, the dual subwoofer configuration brought more to the party at any volume (including insane) by supplying another level of definition, impact, weight, and authority to the music.
Movies are a somewhat different matter from music. The range of LFE and low-frequency content today demands a, shall we say a…. ROBUST subwoofer(s).
In a space smaller than my roughly 3600 cubic foot listening room a single PB-2000 PRO should work just fine with both music and theater. Even in a room of this size at moderate volumes, one PB-2000 PRO might suffice for a reasonable person. But I am not a reasonable person and rarely listen at reasonable levels. I enjoy a very dynamic movie presentation and that means sounds both soft and LOUD! I want an effortless, full-range presentation with slam, impact, and a visceral feel. The dual configuration of SVS PB-2000 PROs was just what the doctor ordered for movie watching.
It should also be somewhat obvious that specs don’t always tell the whole story. Specs are great for giving an early indication of potential performance but not really what, especially in the case of speakers and subwoofers, the product will actually sound like.
That said, the PB-2000 PRO subwoofer is one of those rare audio animals that is what SVS, and the specs, say it is. It is a high-performance subwoofer at a modest price. It goes low, it is precise, it is capable of prodigious output, and it does even more of the same in the dual configuration.
The Sledge amplifier, coupled with the DSP control suite, supplies seemly limitless energy to the SVS 12” driver with control and finesse. That proprietary driver responds with either tightly controlled musical bass or brutal movie LFE as required without any hint of stress or strain.
SVS offers buyers their “Customer Bill of Rights” on all purchases which includes a risk-free 45 day in-home trial, guaranteed price protection, free return shipping, and an unconditional 5-year warranty.
I liked the SVS PB-2000 PRO. I liked two of them even more! It is one of those products that send reviewers scurrying for their “Audio Thesaurus”, and it is a great subwoofer at a fair price…. Hard to beat that!
Published Specifications SVS PB-2000 PRO Subwoofer:
- 16Hz to 290Hz +/-3dB (standard mode)
- 17Hz to 290Hz +/-3dB (sealed mode)
- Expect 2-3 Hz deeper extension in small to mid-size rooms.
- 2-meter ground plane away from reflective structures (quasi-anechoic).
- Roll-off slope specifically optimized to take maximum advantage of available room gain.
- Premium Black Ash finish option
- Protective non-resonant extra-thick ABS fabric mesh grille
- Front-firing 12-inch high-excursion SVS driver
- Dual 3-inch ports
- Rear-mounted amplifier with Intelligent Control Interface (ICI)
- Iso-elastomer feet
- Robust Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) cabinet construction
- Dimensions (w/ grille): 20.9” (532mm) H X 17.3” (440mm) W X 23.6” (600mm) D
- Dimensions (without grille): 20.9” (532mm) H X 17.3” (440mm) W X 22.5” (571mm) D
- Shipped Dimensions: 26.1” (662mm) H X 22.1” (562mm) W X 30” (762mm) D
- Weight (unboxed): 64.8lbs (29.4kg) with Grill
- Shipped Weight: 77.9lbs (35.3kg)
- All-new proprietary 12-inch high-excursion SVS 2000 Pro subwoofer driver with overhung motor
- Dual layer high purity copper voice coil provides maximum magnetics at extreme excursion while reducing mass and improving driver efficiency. Built around a premium grade 2” polyimide impregnated fiberglass former for maximum thermal conductivity.
- Two massive, dedicated toroidal ferrite magnets generate unparalleled levels of magnetic force to drive the highest levels of excursion, SPL, and start/go power for the deepest and most authoritative bass possible.
- New premium powder coated basket, FEA optimized for maximum rigidity, tensile strength, and energy transference.
- All new 12-inch 1050 aluminum vented cone ensures a light, ridged, and neutral radiating surface.
- Precision machined motor elements and narrow tolerance suspension parts produce unmatched linearity at full excursion for exceptionally tight and fast output, even at reference volumes.
- Extreme oversized low carbon vented 1008 steel U-yoke and top plate provide superior cooling and improved magnetics for maximum performance and efficiency.
- Aluminum shorting sleeve reduces gap induction and distortion, enhances thermal conductivity, and improve magnetic linearity.
- Dual balanced 24-strand silver plated Litz wire high temperature leads woven through the Nomex composite spider provide a pristine electrical connection from the amplifier to the voice coil.
- Nickle-plated high-tension spring terminals.
- Proprietary injection molded gasket and extreme-excursion surround maintains ideal pistonic motion for pinpoint accuracy and control.
SVS Sledge-550D Amplifier Specs:
- Massively powerful Sledge 550-watt RMS Class-D design with 1,500+ watts of Peak Power
- High efficiency cool-running Class-D switching topology with massive 25 Amp 600 Volt MOSFET’s result in lower EMI and highest efficiency while providing effortless power to produce SPLs and low frequency output with pristine clarity well beyond reference listening levels.
- High resolution 50Mhz Analog Devices Audio DSP with double precision 56bit filtering is most advanced subwoofer processor available in a home subwoofer.
- Unmatched intelligence from user adjustable low pass, phase, polarity and room gain compensation with three parametric EQs for absolute best alignment with speakers and optimized performance in any room.
- Groundbreaking SVS Bluetooth DSP control app for iOS and Android devices with three user presets allow custom tuning for every room and system.
- RCA stereo input/output with ultra-wide input voltage for consumer and professional audio applications.
- All new rear panel Intelligent Control Interface (ICI) user interface with push-button controls.
- USB output for service and powering accessories like the SVS SoundPath Wireless Audio Adapter for wireless subwoofer placement.
- Auto/On and 3-30V AC/DC trigger for Maximum Installation Convenience.
- Input impedance 16kohm (unbalanced RCA).
- Green 0.5-watt low standby power consumption.
- RoHS compliant, lead-free construction, world-wide safety certifications.
SVS App Specs:
- Bluetooth controlled subwoofer DSP smartphone app works with iOS, Android and Amazon operating systems.
- Easiest and most convenient way to adjust crossover frequencies, parametric EQ, polarity, room gain and all other bass management functions.
- Three convenient custom presets allow for perfect tuning in any room or system, from your favorite seat.
- Unique bidirectional feedback shows adjustments in real time on both app and subwoofer interface.
- Easy-to-follow tutorial provides clear guidance for all functions.