I was lucky enough to be selected to test a new SVS PB-1000 subwoofer, courtesy of SVS and Audioholics.
Official SVS page/product description - PB-1000 - SVS
- 10" driver, ported box
- 300w RMS / 720w Peak
- Freq. Response 19-270hz +/- 3db
- 18.4"h x 15"w x 17.4"d
- $499 delivered
Current subwoofer for comparison: Bic PL200 - BIC America - Top Rated Since 1973
12" driver, ported box
250w RMS / 1000w Peak
Freq. Response 22hz-200hz
17.25"h x 14.75"w x 19.5"d
Currently $329 delivered on Amazon.com, I think I paid $275 or so around a year ago.
I've had a couple of weeks to play around with the sub, and can finally share my impressions.
The sub arrived quickly from SVS, and was very well packaged. The sub has your typical black ash finish with a removeable grill, seems to be of pretty nice quality for the price point. SVS says the pb1000 weighs 46lb, BIC claims the Pl200 weighs 52lb. I haven't put them on the scale, but from moving them around the SVS sure feels heavier than the BIC(That's not a bad thing!).
I was curious about claimed performance, and looked at the frequency response graphs for the SVS(sourced from the SVS product webpage) and the closest I could find for the BIC PL200(data-bass.com). I know the results aren't 100% comparable, since they weren't done by the same people with the exact same setup, but thought it was an interesting comparison. The SVS has a lot flatter performance and better low frequency performance, while the BIC actually spikes to a higher output at frequencies above 35-40hz or so if the charts are to be believed.
For starters, I unhooked the BIC subwoofer and placed the SVS in the same location and used it for general tv watching/videogame playing for a few days as a break-in. I've heard people say subwoofer break-in is a myth, but the SVS sure seemed to sound better after a few days of use. My living room is a little large for either subwoofer, as I have an open floor plan living room/kitchen combo with an open hallway leading off of it.
Using the same receiver settings as my other subwoofer, I found that my impressions were pretty close to what I would've guessed by looking at charts online. Better low frequency performance from the SVS, but there definitely seemed to be less maximum impact at higher frequencies. Even so, it seemed to be a lot clearer and "tighter" bass, definitely less sloppy sounding than the BIC subwoofer. I ran my receivers auto setup and did some tweaking. Once I had it adjusted to my liking, I was much more satisfied with the SVS than my first impression. Higher frequency performance was close between the two once I was happy with my audio settings, but the SVS was the winner in all of the other categories. Much better low-end, and you actually hear seperate explosions rather than one big muddy roar from the BIC. If I was told I could keep either sub and had to give the other one away, I'd definitely pick the SVS as the keeper. But for this room I ideally need to move to a higher end subwoofer. While I do prefer the SVS pb-1000 over the BIC pl200, if I was spending the money to upgrade I think I'd spring for a higher end model, like the pb12-plus/pb13-ultra if we are talking about the SVS line up.
I also tested both subs in a smaller room with a secondary tv/audio setup. In the smaller room, both subs were noticeably better(funny how that works!). Here is where there was really a huge difference between to the subs. When setup in this smaller room, the SVS was hands down better than the BIC to my ears. For this room setup, It is definitely worth the price difference and a worthy upgrade.
While testing the SVS, I watched/played/listened to a variety of media I was familiar with, some of them were:
- Halo 4
- Battlefield 3
- Forza 4
- Terminator Salvation
- Battle Los Angeles
- Flight of the Phoenix
- Transformers Revenge of the Fallen
- War of the Worlds
- The Dark Knight
SVS PB-1000 - No Cover/Grill(Right) and Bic PL200(Left)
SVS PB-1000 - No Grill
SVS Angle Shot
SVS Rear(Level is set pretty high here from playing around, did my comparison with both subs levels set to 12 o'clock/half way)
Awesome review! I prefer the ones like yours which talk about real world scenarios instead of one's full of charts and graphs.
They gonna let you keep it?
F/C/L: Ascend Acoustic's 340SE SR/SL: Ascend Acoustic's 170SE Rears: Onkyo Subwoofer: HSU VTF3 MK3
Vizio M370NV LED, Onkyo HT-R680, Sony BDP-S480, Xbox 360S 250gb, Harmony One
Secondary: Denon 1909 w/ 5.1 Onkyo
You did not say what size the second room was. Would be useful to compare performance against larger room. Thanks