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SVS PB12-NSD Subwoofer Introduction

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Today wePB12-NSD.JPG will look at the smallest most cost effective vented offering in SVS’s lineup the PB12-NSD which contains a single 12” driver in a vented enclosure with a 400 watt rated amplifier, all for the low price of $769 shipped to your door. These same basic ingredients are also available in a cylinder style enclosure as the PC12-NSD which also happens to be $20 less expensive. SVS has a reputation for building high performance vented subwoofer systems like the recently reviewed PB13-Ultra, which is a very impressive subwoofer, so I was eager to see how their entry level model would perform.

Unpacking and Initial Thoughts

The PB12-NSD arrived via FedEx in an impressively large box. Thankfully the PB12-NSD is only a fraction of the larger PB13-Ultra’s mass. SVS lists the PB12-NSD’s weight as 66lbs dry, so all packed up it is probably right near 80lbs. It’s a large and bulky box but not bad for an average man to handle. Opening the box and removing the PB12-NSD was quick and straightforward involving the usual opening of the top, removal of some of the smaller items on top and then flipping the sub over and lifting the box up and off. Contained within the box are the usual items: the PB12-NSD in its protective bag, the grill also in its own protective bag, the power cord, quick start guide, etc. SVS has opted to offer the owners manuals online for download.

The curved steel grills that SVS supplies are very heavy and attach securely into place. I’ve never seen any others like it and while they are heavy duty they also must cost quite a bit to manufacture. The size of the PB12-NSD once unpacked is on the large side as compared to most powered subwoofers in it’s price bracket, but not excessively so in my opinion. The black finish had a utilitarian, unobtrusive look to it, which I didn’t mind. It was finished well and the rounded corners looked nice but it did have a crease on the bottom where the wrap meets, not that many will be viewing the bottom of your 70lb subwoofer. It won’t win any looks or style contests but it should blend in well in a dark room which is important as you want to focus on the sound and not the equipment producing it. This is the only finish that SVS offers for the PB12-NSD likely because other higher end ones would raise the cost.

Design Overview

The PB12-NSD utilizes a single 12” nominal driver forward firing on the front panel which is vented in the upper right corner via a large 4” diameter port with generous flares on both the inlet and outlet. The enclosure volume and length of port used result in a system tuning of roughly 20Hz. Power and control for the system comes from an SVS proprietary Sledge plate amplifier rated at 400 watts continuous into a nominally 4ohm load.

Removing the SVS PB12-NSD driver from the enclosure revealed it to be a high quality unit especially for this price bracket. It is built upon an open cast aluminum frame to which is attached a moderate sized rubber half roll surround and single Nomex linear spider of what appeared to be roughly 6” diameter with sewn in leads. These items center and control an aluminum cone with a composite dust cap embossed with the SVS logo, connected to a 2” diameter voice coil and former. This moving assembly is controlled by double stacked ferrite slugs of about 5.5” in diameter and probably ¾” thickness each. The pole piece is vented and the back plate is heavily bumped to prevent mechanical bottoming of the former. Additionally SVS’s literature mentions that there is not a single but a pair of aluminum shorting rings in the motor to control inductance and non-linearity. The unit is also listed as being developed with the use of finite element analysis.

PB12-NSDwoofer.JPG       PB12-NSDwoofer2.JPG

SVS PB12-NSD Driver

The Sledge amplifier itself is listed as providing 400 watts continuous into a 4ohm load and as being a class D switch mode type having very high efficiency. This amplifier is a much more stripped down version having the basic gain, phase, auto/on switch and RCA style input and daisy chain connections without all of the extra bells and whistles, like balanced XLR inputs and parametric EQ ability, that were on display with the more powerful unit used in the PB13-Ultra. Otherwise the construction quality seemed to be similar. A couple of small aluminum heat sinks are in evidence but in testing and use the amplifier never got any more than warm to the touch.

PB12-NSDback.JPG       PB12-NSDinside2.JPG

Backpanel View of SVS PB-12NSD Sledge Plate Amplifier

The enclosure of the PB12-NSD is constructed of 1” MDF and is covered in a black textured vinyl wrap. The amplifier, port and driver cut-outs are recessed which is always nice. The driver also mounts with threaded screws and inserts. Internally all of the enclosure walls are lined with about 2” of damping material except for the baffle where the port and driver mount and the back panel where the amplifier is. There is a large window brace which also supports the port in the center of the enclosure that reinforces and connects the center of the top, bottom and 2 side panels. Overall the build quality is very good. The materials are high quality, rugged and there is sufficient bracing and damping involved to ensure that the enclosure won’t degrade the sonic signature of the system.

PB12-NSDinside.JPG

SVS PB12-NSD Inside View

 

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Recent Forum Posts:

Mr._Clark posts on October 03, 2020 10:40
shadyJ, post: 1422122, member: 20472
Sound like the woofer has been knocked out of alignment. SVS should be able to take care of you there. The platform they use for that sub is the Peerless XXLS 12". If for some reason they don't carry that driver in stock, you can always buy one elsewhere. Here is the 4-ohm version and here is the 8-ohm version. My guess is that SVS uses a 4-ohm driver, but sometimes it says on the driver itself, so you can just remove it and look for yourself.
Thanks, I'll take a look at it.
afterlife2 posts on September 30, 2020 15:20
mbruno1089, post: 1422070, member: 92966
I have the opportunity to buy a used PB12-nsd for $499. It was purchased in 2013 and is “lightly used”
trying to stay around $500, would it be best to buy this sub or a new sub for a similar price, possibly the pb1000?
I bet he’d take 400. Give it a try or get the pb2000 as stated by Willy.
mazersteven posts on September 30, 2020 14:54
William Lemmerhirt, post: 1422271, member: 81215
As for a 500 dollar budget, I would find another 200 bucks and buy a pc/pb2000 from the outlet.

Absolutely!!!
William Lemmerhirt posts on September 30, 2020 14:40
mbruno1089, post: 1422070, member: 92966
I have the opportunity to buy a used PB12-nsd for $499. It was purchased in 2013 and is “lightly used”
trying to stay around $500, would it be best to buy this sub or a new sub for a similar price, possibly the pb1000?

The NSD while older is still a better sub than the pb1000. I would say 399 is more appt for pricing, simply due to age, lightly used or not, and I would definitely choose it over the 1000.
As for a 500 dollar budget, I would find another 200 bucks and buy a pc/pb2000 from the outlet.
kini posts on September 30, 2020 12:57
mbruno1089, post: 1422070, member: 92966
I have the opportunity to buy a used PB12-nsd for $499. It was purchased in 2013 and is “lightly used”
trying to stay around $500, would it be best to buy this sub or a new sub for a similar price, possibly the pb1000?
SVS sells them new at that price around the holidays. Or at least they did the last several years. $250 would be a decent deal if the sub is excellent condition.
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