Anthony's SVS SB-1000 REVIEW with bonus feature

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by anthonywoy, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. anthonywoy Enthusiast

    Feb 1, 2012
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    SB-1000 Review
    (with bonus subwoofer showdown!)
    I was one of 10 people chosen to review a sub as part of the SVS Subwoofer Review Challenge. The sub I am reviewing today is the SB-1000. This is part of the new series from SVS, pricing at $499, which is the entry level subwoofers for the company. Prior to the release of these products, the cheapest sub they offered was $649. About a year ago I was checking out their website, and I thought they should release a more affordable line, and I am probably not the only one to have this opinion. We have 2 items in this line-up:
    PB-1000: a $499 ported sub
    SB-1000: a $499 sealed sub.
    The SB-1000 is what is will be reviewing
    Upon receiving the SB-1000, the great thing that stood out is that it is light! Very easy to carry around and move. It was shipped in an attractive sturdy box, with a second box inside (better than a competitor, in a much cheaper single box which I will get into later).

    Sturdy and thick foam was in each corner. In terms of looks, it comes in any color you want, as long as it is black. The finish is black ash. I consider it attractive, but not fancy. The rounded corners add the of the looks of the sub. The fit and finish of the product is great, nothing out of place or done poorly.
    The basis specs are a 13 X 13 X 13 box with a 12 inch front firing driver. 300 watt RMS, 720 watt peak, and the weight is 27lbs.
    How low does it go? Specs say 24-260 at + or – 3db
    Using some test tones, I tested out how well it would do at the deeper bass.
    40 Hz was strong, along with 31.5 Hz. One I hit 25 Hz, the drop was noticeable, and at 20 Hz, it was barely audible. Some extension into the mid twenties sounds right, as they have tested.

    Music and Movies

    My own set up:
    Emotiva ERT 8.3 main, XRC center channel, Jamo surrounds. Yamaha RX-A800 receiver, with Emotiva XPA-5 amp. Everything is setup with YPAO.
    After about 40 hours of break in, I did a lot of critical testing with music and movies.
    With music, I wanted to give it a wide range of different types to see how it would perform.

    Bass I love you (Bassotronics)
    Lots of deep bass! Subterranean bass. A clear and definite "thud" on the bass line. Tight sounding and not boomy. Goes down below 8 Hz, which very few subs can hit, but I liked the sound, did not feel I was missing the lower notes. I can feel the deep bass resonate throughout the room.
    Toccata and Fugue (Bach)

    The granddaddy of organ music, one of the most popular pieces of every written for it. Not for the weak of heart, this song will give your sub a great workout.
    Thunderous is the best way to describe it. The SB1000 covers the softer parts of the song well, the lower, loud sections with authority.

    Miles Davis (Kind of Blue)
    This is one of the most well known jazz albums. The first song "So What" is a great song for testing bass. The SB 1000 is very articulate, giving a full sound. I would describe the bass as having lots of detail to it, you can imagine being in the room where it is being played.

    Starships (Pentatonix)
    Not the Niki version, but the a cappella version from Pentatonix, winners of the TV show the “Sing Off”. Great detail with the baseline, you can hear if you listen close that it is done by human voice, and not with an instrument. You can hear the fast transitions in the bass line. The beat boxing in the song is amazing as well. If you want to hear some amazing a cappella music, give this song a listen.

    With movies, I tried to find some of the most punishing bass scenes out there to see how it would handle it.

    War of the Worlds emerging scene
    This scene is known for its punishing bass. Material getting down to 16 Hz.
    Lots of energy in the room, no signs of bottoming out at its limits or distortion.
    Crunch and rumbling of the road and building sounds great. Sound is detailed, explosions are crisp, bass fills and pressurizes the room.
    This sub does not bottom out! Sounds great, even when it is not hitting ultra low bass levels. The SB-1000 is surprising great for home theater, except for those who demand and the lowest most punishing bass.
    Super 8 train scene
    Crashes energize the room. It has lots of authority with the explosions, no sign of distortion.
    When the train passes by the kids, it feels almost real, the room is shaking and thundering as it passes by. Crashes hit hard, explosions fill the room. Very crunchy and detailed.
    Love the detail of this sub from home theater.
    Good peak power when train enters the scene, hits loud.
    Lots of excursion on the sub, cone is fast moving.

    Inception train scene
    Can really feel when the train crashes through the cars
    Bullets have a definite sound to them.
    Can feel the "thud" of the cars crashing

    I find the SB-1000 to be a powerful and tight, and articulate sounding subwoofer. Who is this sub for? $499 would be the start of getting into a great sounding sub, and for those who value the quality of their bass, this is the sub for you. Many live in apartments, condo’s, townhouses, basement suites, where a big sub is not an option, or spouse will not allow are large one. This is the sub for you.

    Weakness? - I have seen better finished subs at the same price range.
    -does not hit very deep bass, so those who want to hit below 20 Hz will
    need to find a larger, more expensive sub.
    Strengths -very detailed and articulate bass.
    -great for music lovers, as hits as low as you need
    -still a strong option for home theater in a smaller space.

    Bonus feature!


    I put the SB-1000 up against 2 similar subs to compare against the competition. Here they are!
    First is the Martin Logan Dynamo 500. This is a 10 inch sub with a 120 watt RMS, 360 peak amp.
    My question is “what do I get in retail for $500?” I spent some time trying to find a similar sized and priced sub, and this is what I found. I wanted to compare with street price, not MSRP to make this more fair.
    How does it compare to the SB-1000? Not really in the same league. In music, it does not have so same punch, and the sound is not as detailed. Same with movies, the SB-1000 hits lower and shakes the room a lots more. Using test tones, the Dynamo is only good to about 31.5 Hz, very faint at 25 Hz.

    Second is the Emotiva X-Ref 10. 10 inch sub as well, 300 watt RMS, 500 watt peak. This fight is much closer. In music and movies, and quality of the bass and articulation sound very similar to me. I would give the SB-1000 an edge with a bit lower extension, so it is a bit better for movies, but in music it would be a draw. I think the X-Ref 10 has a better finish, and it has a LCD screen with DSP controls that the SB-1000 does not have.
    So overall, how does it compare to the competition? With the retail sub, it is no contest. You are definitely getting a far superior product with the SVS sub. More power, detail, shaking your room bass. When I bring in the X-Ref 10, it is a far more closer fight. With a bigger 12 inches driver, and more powerful amp, and I would give it a slight edge, but only slight.
    The SB-1000 compares favorably with the competition, and would be a sub that I would put on your short list if you are looking for a $500, smaller sealed sub.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
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