I was one of the lucky ones chosen to review one of the new SB-1000 subwoofers and have spent most nights listening to music, watching movies and playing some video games with the sub. Normally I listen to music about 90% of the time but for this review I definitely broke out some good blurays to test as well. My musical tastes are mostly classic rock up to some early 90's stuff along with some various instrumental stuff just to give you an idea of the type of music I normally played through the sub. I should also note that I'm far from a "bass head", I like my bass clean and articulate and I never want it to stand out over the rest of the music. My setup consists of a Denon 1513 receiver, Polk Monitor 60s up front, Polk Csi30 center, Polk atrium surrounds and the SB-1000 for these tests. I turned the crossover on the sub all the way up and used my receivers bass management to control the sub. My room is also about 15'x18'x8' which is just under 2200 cubic feet if my math is correct. For reference the sub I own is an Optimus SW-200p(Radio Shack) which is a 12" ported sub which I limit to about 1/4 volume because any more and it sounds terrible.
Upon opening the box I was pretty impressed with the packaging, it's dual boxed and very well secured with styrofoam inside the 2nd box. I'm going to be honest, the first thing I thought when seeing it was pretty small, much smaller than my ported 12 that I have now, the performance is anything but small however. I put it in a corner which is pretty much the only place I have room with my setup and turned it on. I think I was expecting some big booming subwoofer to shake the floor and rattle my walls but when I first turned it on I actually had to put my ear next to the sub to make sure it was on. Later on I realized that was a good thing and what I've been missing out of a subwoofer all these years, the way it blends in and disappears is amazing but I'll talk more about that later. I initially had the volume set to about halfway then stepped it down to about 10 0'Clock on the dial which felt right in my room.
Like I said I mostly listen to music and what I look for in a sub is basically for it to do it's job and never draw attention to itself. The immediate difference I noticed in general was that drums sound real on this sub, my old sub just sounded like bass from a speaker but this thing makes me feel like the kick drum is in the room with me. I don't listen to a lot of heavy stuff but one song that really stood out was Metallica's Battery on their S&M album, the fast double bass is accurate and punchy and just begs to be cranked, it still blended in well though, this thing is very well behaved in that regard. The other notable song to test a kick drums accuracy is the live version of Hotel California on Hell Freezes over, again it sounded real and was amazing. The other thing I noticed was that certain songs that have a lot of bass in them that bugged me about my ported sub sounded fine on this one which I attribute to the SB-1000 not being boomy and notes not dragging on. I've listened to many hours of music through this sub and once I dialed in the volume I haven't touched it which is odd because my sub I'm constantly messing with the gain levels because it doesn't blend well but the SB-1000 sounds good with everything I listen to.
Most people prefer ported subs for movies and honestly I haven't had a good ported sub so it's hard to say if I'm missing anything with this sub but what I did hear was plenty of low, tight bass that doesn't drag on and again doesn't draw attention to the sub which is a good thing. My go to Blurays are all the Transformers, LOTR, Star Wars and Saving Private Ryan which obviously have plenty of action scenes to test the sub. A sealed sub is definitely different with movies and maybe some people wouldn't like it but I personally like how it isn't pounding my walls and drawing attention, it definitely pumps out the bass but the bass doesn't linger and it sounds very clean. A lot of scenes that I used to remember rumbling like the last battle of Saving Private Ryan when the tanks are rolling up is just nice deep clean bass through this sub, it still gives you that feeling of being there without the boominess or uncontrolled rumbling. The other scene I love with this sub is in the 1st Lord of the Rings when they're about the fight the Cave troll and orcs in Moria and you hear the deep drums down the well, it sounds deep, real and it's quick bass and then it's gone, never any overhang.
Since this sub blends so well with my mains I wanted to experiment with different crossover points just to see how high I could go for people with smaller speakers. I normally ran with an 80hz crossover but I tested 100hz, 120hz, 150hz and even 200hz. My sub is up front so that surely helps with localization issues but I was kind of surprised that even at a 200hz crossover the sub still blended well with the mains and I couldn't tell a difference in where the bass was coming from when I moved up to a higher crossover. So for you satellite speaker owners this is a great sub if you need a higher crossover than the normally recommended 80hz.
I've listened to the SB-1000 extensively over the last few weeks and in a few words it's powerful, tight, and punchy but never draws attention to itself or makes any noises a sub shouldn't make. For people with space concerns it's got a very small footprint and can easily be tucked away. I think it's strong suit is music if you like tight accurate bass but for me it did fine in movies as well, but like I said earlier I'm not a bass head so your mileage may vary. For people who require a higher crossover of 120-200hz it does exceedingly well blending at that range as well but I would definitely keep the sub up front in those cases. All in all I think this is a pretty amazing sub especially for the size, I've had my eye on it for awhile and was very pleased with it's performance and it's manners. I realize I didn't say anything negative about the sub so I will say 1 thing I personally don't like is the small size, I personally don't have space constraints for a sub and I kind of like a bigger, imposing sub but after hearing this one I don't think I'm missing anything with a smaller box, it's really just a cosmetic thing. I think this sub will satisfy music lovers and most movie lovers except for the extreme bass heads out there, I also think it's a great sub to run 2 of since they're so small. I didn't include specs or graphs because it's all on SVS' website but for more info check out SB-1000 - SVS
Hope you enjoyed, thanks for reading.
1 Post. Good to see these are going to such deserving members.
Sin with a Grin.
Easy big fella.
The contest was hosted primarily by SVS, with the stipulation that the winners post their reviews here.
Panasonic TC-P54G25, Dish Hopper, Emotiva UMC-200
Emotiva LPA-1, Oppo BDP-103 Energy RC-70 fronts,
Energy RC LCR center Yamaha NS-333 surrounds
SVS SB12-Plus Sub