Thursday, March 16, 2017

SVS PC-2000 Home Theater Subwoofer Review

With all of our hectic daily lives, movies are a way we can get away for a short time and have some quality entertainment. It’s easy to think about the importance of a high quality video image. But just as important is the audio. After all, how much do you miss if you watch a movie with the sound muted? And now looking at just the audio, a subwoofer is extremely important. Try watching an action movie without a subwoofer, and then with a subwoofer. Having that depth of sound for explosions, for example, gives so much more excitement. Enter SVS Sound with their PC-2000 subwoofer.

SVS Sound is an excellent one stop shop for all your speaker needs for your home audio system. But their specialty is with subwoofers.  For many years, all they did was subwoofers. And those subs were awesome! After all, their old school 16-46 PC Plus is still the subwoofer that is called up in our reference home theater system. And it performs amazingly! So when given the opportunity to review their PC-2000, we naturally jumped on it!

Features and Specs:

Subwoofer Specs

·         Elegant interchangeable top cap

·         Down-firing 12" 2000-series driver

·         Rear Firing 4" high-flow port with custom-tooled outer port flare

·         Premium black-knit speaker grille cloth cylinder covering

·         Rear-mounted Sledge 500W amplifier SVS-exclusive flush mounting

·         SoundPath Subwoofer Isolation System feet included as standard equipment

·         Extremely rigid and strong cylinder enclosure

·         Overall Dimensions:  16.6" (OD) x34" (H) (includes SoundPath Isolation Feet)

·         Weight (unboxed): 50 pounds

·         Shipped dimensions: 38.2" (H) x 19.0" (W) x 20.0" (D)

·         Shipped Weight: 57.5 pounds

Driver Specs:

·         New SVS 12" 2000-series driver

·         Powder-coated cast aluminum baasket

·         Dual high-grade ferrite magnets

·         Finite Element Analysis (FEA)-optimized motor structure

·         Dual shorting rings reduce gap induction an lower distortion

·         Extended pole piece improves heat sink and thermal management properties

·         2" diameter, high-power voice coil

·         Upgraded Nomex spider for improved linearity and driver control at extreme drive levels

·         high-quality insulated tinsel leads with 3-point contact precision alignment

·         Lightweight aluminum cone with polypropylene dust cap provides excellent rigidity and pistonic behavior

·         Low-creep rubber long-throw surround for excellent durability and longevity

Amp Specs:

·         New Sledge STA-500D DSP amplifier

·         500 watts RMS continuous (1100 watts peak dynamic)

·         Efficient and cool-running Class D topology

·         DSP control for accurate response and refined behavior under all operating conditions

·         Main power rocker switch

·         Auto-On / On toggle switch

·         3-12V trigger with 1/8" (3.5mm) TRS mini-jack input

·         Green standby mode with > 0.5 watts consumption

·         Stereo lin-level RCA Input & Output connections

·         Input impedance - 47 k ohm (unbalanced line-level RCA)

·         Continuously variable volume/gain control

·         Continuously variable (0-180 degrees) phase control

·         Continuously variable (50-160Hz) 12 dB/octave low pass filter frequency with disable/LFE setting

·         Fixed 80Hz 12dB/octave high pass filter on line level outputs

·         RoHS compliant, lead-free construction and world-wide safety certifications

·         Detachable power cord.

The SVS PC-2000 came shipped in a nice looking box with photos of the subwoofer and it’s specs. Opening the box revealed a well protected subwoofer, with foam wedges on all four corners to hold the round tube in place securely in the box. After taking off the plastic revealed an extremely well made subwoofer. After all, they are made in the USA. Materials used in the construction of the enclosure was a solid cardboard tube, with a nice black cloth covering, with wood caps on both ends. The top cap is black and shows the wood grain. The bottom cap is what holds the subwoofer in place. On one of the sides is the built-in amplifiers and port, I also really like the soft rubber feet at the bottom. The box also included the power cord and manual.

When it comes to the components that make up the SVS PC-2000, the key components would be the enclosure, amplifiers and driver. I love the tube design. It allows for a very small footprint.  The SVS PC-2000 has a set tuning from the tube. And don’t let the cardboard fool you. It actually is very strong, as proved by our 16-46 PC Plus still being used after around 10 years. The tube is an industrial grade thick and hard cardboard, and it makes for a stiff tube. The wood end caps and the amplifier are able to easily be mounted.

The amplifier is a very high quality Digital Class D amplifier. It’s rated at 500 watts RMS. Build quality is excellent. The only difference in amplifiers between that amp, and the ones found on the higher models is higher output and extra features. The built quality is still the same.

The heart of the SVS PC-2000 is the driver, and the driver in the PC-2000 is an excellent one. The driver in the PC-2000 is their entry level 12" driver. But after many years of improving and raising the bar, it is an excellent performing driver that in most other manufacturer’s subwoofers would not be anywhere near entry level! The driver features an aluminum cone with high quality rubber surround. It’s an efficient driver that makes the most out of the power it is fed. It’s not really high power handling, but it puts out a lot with that power!

Having the 16-46 PC Plus, we are familiar with the SVS quality. We also previously reviewed their top of the line PC Ultra. So when unpacking the PC-2000, I was very pleasantly unsurprised. Whether it is the top of the line or entry level model, you can count on a very high quality product! Materials used in the construction was very good. The build quality was equally just as good. As you move up the line, you get more features and better performance.  Now lets see how this PC-2000 performs!

In listening to the SVS PC-2000, I started with movies first, and then turned to music. With it primarily being a home theater subwoofer, that made sense. I went through my movies to look for good action movies that had a lot of explosions and action.  I started with GI Joe: Rise of Cobra, with the scene where Cobra initially went after the warheads. The PC-2000 played deep with good impact, dynamics, and authority. The sustained rumble was quite smooth and very well controlled. Next I turned to the new Star Wars Episode VII. The scene where Kylo Ren tries to use the Force to read Ray’s mind has some serious bass! It takes a real Juggernaut of a subwoofer to be able to play under 20 cycles. That depth is taxing on all components of a subwoofer. And if this scene wasn’t difficult enough, I cranked it! The bass in this scene was incredibly deep and sustained! And the SVS PC-2000 kept up with it very well. It was mayhem in our demo room, with shutters , doors, and walls vibrating like crazy. It shook the whole house! On few occasions the SVS PC-2000 could be heard bottoming out, and this scene was one of them. Next came the new Dr. Strange movie. There were good bass test scenes throughout! When the battles went on, and buildings manipulated, the mayhem continued with a low rumble that was so deep you could feel it. It played with very good authority that was very well controlled and sustained, with the occasional bottoming out.

Next up was music, and here the SVS PC-2000 performed just as well. I went through multiple different genre with pop, disco, new age and even my bass discs. Quick beats had really good punch and impact. Longer bass tones had a lot of authority and were well controlled. Everything I played sounded just as it was intended. My favorites were probably the Fresh Aire 7, the Chakras of the Body - Chakra 1. Also Sprach Zarathustra and my bass disc, Bass Mekanic: Sonic Overload, were favorites. The Chakra 1 track really showed the resolution and pitch definition that the SVS PC-2000 was able to provide. Also Sprach Zarathustra proved just how deep the sub could go and be sustained doing so. It wasn’t loud, but it felt like an earthquake! And then the Bass Mekanic:  Sonic Overload, was loud, clean, and dynamic, hitting hard! The whole house shook, and my daughter ran in telling me to turn it down cuz loose change that was on a high shelf was vibrating off and falling on the ground!!  I was also pleased to see that with the high output the SVS PC-2000 was able to put out, it still ended up being very musical as well!

I was very pleased with the performance of the SVS PC-2000 subwoofer. Being a bit of a bass head, I like a lot of bass. Yet I don’t listen to our reference sub the SVS 16-46 PC+ as loud as I had the PC-2000. I wanted to really torture it and see what it can and can’t handle. I was very impressed with what it could handle, especially given it’s spot in the SVS line-up, as one up from the entry level.

I think the best way to explain it is to use an analogy, comparing it to an engine redline. Typically the higher performance the engine, the higher the redline, or the personal breaking point. The redline for the SVS PC-2000 is not as high as the redline of their PC Plus line, or their Ultra line. Those lines have more output from the amps, and drivers are overbuilt to handle more. So when I was able to get the SVS PC-2000 to bottom out on occasion, that was just because I was really pushing the sub to play very loud and very deep. And at levels I typically wouldn’t listen to. So while it’s redline is not as high as the PC Plus or Ultra line, it’s still higher than most other subs on the market.

SVS did extremely well with the SVS PC-2000! So well that I would say the PC-2000 has set the benchmark in standards that a true home theater subwoofer should meet. There are a lot of home theater subwoofers out there.  Most will go down to 30Hz, and many will go down to 25Hz.  But not many will go down to UNDER 20Hz, and do so with authority.  SVS is one of the rare big dogs.  After all, when T-Rex comes, you want to be able to FEEL him come! And the SVS PC-2000 can do just that. Given it’s $800 price point, it is worth every penny, and gives a huge bang for your buck! Add to the fact that they have a 5 year warranty and a 45 day audition period, you really can't go wrong! Based on it’s design, features, quality and performance, the SVS PC-2000 has earned our Highly Recommended Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at  Reference gear used:  Onkyo TX-NR1007 Home Theater Receiver, Oppo Digital BDP-103D Universal Blu-ray Player, Sony VPL-HW15 Bravia SXRD 1080P Front Projector, NHT Classic Three front, center, and rear speakers.