Reviewing SVS’ new SB-1000: The compact sub that does what it is designed to do.

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by charlesm, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. charlesm Audiophyte

    charlesm
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    Before reading my review you need to know I am not an audiophile or a lab guy writing about results from testing equipment or starting a technical debate. My approach was to review the SB-1000 as it performed in an average home when used for a TV home theater, blu-rays, CD’s, old vinyl records, internet radio and anything else that a family ranging from age 4 to 70 wishes to enjoy.

    The two questions I wanted to answer were:
    1. How did I and the other listeners enjoy the sub and did we have an “I would like to have one of those” feeling or not?
    2. As the introductory compact unit for SVS did I feel the SB-1000 is a good choice for someone wanting a quality subwoofer for an average to small room like a bedroom, dorm room or similar size space?

    The SB-1000 arrived quickly, was double boxed and well packed. I knew from the technical specs it would be a 13 inch cube and weigh 27 pounds but when it arrive it was surprisingly easy to move and place in a wide verity of places. As long as you can run power and speaker cable to the rear you can place it in or on almost anything. Having put four children through college and now having three small grandchildren I know size and weight can be a real problem in crowded rooms with limited “sweet spots” for the best sound. If you need flexibility in location, the SB-1000 gives flexibility. As for the visual appearance, the rounded edges keep it from looking too boxy, the black ash finish is plain but blends into the background nicely, the small red power light is unobtrusive behind the black cloth grille and the blue activated light is not too bright. The total package makes for a clean looking and functional unit.

    For testing I connected the SB-1000 to a Pioneer SC-1222 AV receiver and used a mixture of speakers on different days: Definitive Technology Mythos Eight’s, Mirage OS3-FS’s, Klipsch WS-24’s for surrounds and rear. The room is 16 ft by 25 ft, carpet floor. Using Pioneer’s MCAAC calibration system to automatically set the speakers the first attempt failed and I had to make adjustments. On the second attempt everything completed with the crossover at 100.

    Once the MCAAC connected and made adjustments I found two problems: The auto on/standby position seemed to be slow to react and occasionally failed to activate in short scenes with borderline levels of low frequency passages. Even more noticeable, I had difficulty getting the gain as high as I would like.

    I called SVS for suggestions and spoke to Ed Mullens, Director of Technology and Customer Relations who was very helpful giving explanations and suggestions for what to check and what to try. After following his suggestions the sound improved significantly. From then on it has been a pleasure having the SB-1000 and it continues to improve with each days use.

    My conclusions:

    Speaking as one looking for a sub with quality materials, well defined notes and not just muddy loud thumping I found the SB-1000, once properly adjusted, to be very good and everyone who listened said they would love to have one. However, the unit has limitations. The 16x25 room was the upper limit for this subwoofer. To make the original setup with MCAAC calibration I needed to use both sub outlets on the receiver and connect both LFE cables to the SB-1000 using a Y connector. By doing that and manually raising the dB setting in the receiver the sub corrected the lagging auto-on feature and produced the needed volume--but it still has to be set to a minimum of 75%+ on the subs gain knob for this size room.
    Those adjustments had it working and everything is good now but I would like to see improvement in the auto on/standby function so I would not have needed the Y connector or require the use of the trigger connection.

    If you need a subwoofer for an average bedroom, a dorm or anyone having a small “man cave” this could be the sub for you. If you are looking for a second sub to add to your system this could be the right one, if you want to shatter glass, wake up neighbors or you have a large family room that is open and you will only use one sub this probably will not be the answer. Once all the adjustments were made it provided all the thump, thump I needed in the 16x25 room but I am not into constant rumbling and thumping. There wasn’t much more available for anyone who likes to rattle the walls.

    As my title says, this sub does a great job doing what it was designed to do. Know your needs and if those needs involve an average size room or smaller this could be a good choice.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
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  2. shadyJ Audioholic Ninja

    shadyJ
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    Have you tried turning the sub's gain down and the receiver's sub-out volume up? That ought to make it wake up much more easily. Typically you would want to adjust volume on the receiver, not the sub, and the sub shouldn't normally be set 75% up on the gain.
  3. charlesm Audiophyte

    charlesm
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    I did turn down the subs gain and increase the receiver's sub-out volume which helped solve the wake up issue so I no longer need to use the two sub out LFE cables or the Y connector to the sub; however, using only one LFE cable I continue to need a 75% setting of the sub's gain in the 16x25 foot room. Thanks for the suggestion.
  4. agarwalro Audioholic Ninja

    agarwalro
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    Thanks for the write up :).

    12" sub in a 1 cu ft. box in an 16x25' room: Picture a small SUV trying to tow a large camper trailer.

    That you are even remotely pleased with the sub speaks volumes for how capable this little sucker is. :D.
  5. charlesm Audiophyte

    charlesm
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    That's a good analogy agarwalro and to use your example---it is like a very good small SUV that gives you the performance promised. Put it in your average to smaller room and enjoy.
  6. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

    gene
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    How about throwing up some images?
    gene,
  7. charlesm Audiophyte

    charlesm
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    After having the SB-1000 for a full two weeks the unit is getting better and better. I re-calibrated several more times, changed speaker location several times and can clearly notice a performance improvement from the first few days. I am using the same MCAAC calibration system with all speakers set to the same settings but the SB-1000 has now “loosened” up and providing plenty of volume with the gain at 50% rather than having to be 75-85%. It can now shake the floor without difficulty while maintaining the sharp, clear and precise deep notes.
    Not being the professional reviewer I can’t write with all the jargon but I can say it is doing one heck of a job.

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