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SVS PB-1000 Pro and SB-1000 Pro Subwoofers Conclusion


 pb1000 pro outdoor testing2

The SVS PB-1000 Pro and SB-1000 Pro were tested using ground plane measurements with the microphone at a 2-meter distance in an open setting with well over 100 feet from the nearest large structure. The subs were tested with woofer facing the microphone. The temperature was recorded at 65F degrees with 39% humidity. The subwoofers’ gain was set to maximum, phase was set to 0, and the low pass filters were left off.

1000 pro frequency responses 

The above graphs show the measured frequency responses for the PB-1000 Pro and SB-1000 Pro subwoofers. Both subs have a fairly flat response, but we do see a slight rise above 50Hz that affects the SB-1000 Pro in particular. The PB-1000 Pro is pretty much flat down to 20Hz and the SB-1000 Pro extends flat down to 25Hz. The SB-1000 Pro has a response shaped by DSP EQing since sealed subwoofers normally roll-off at a higher frequency and a more gradual slope. Both subs exhibit a strong response out to 200Hz which is something I always like to see. That means these subs can be crossed over to smaller speakers with no gap in the response, and higher crossover frequencies can also be advantageous in multi-subwoofer systems for a smoother response and more bass headroom where localization is less of a concern.

1000 Pro CEA-2010 Table 

The above CEA-2010 measurements are short-term bursts that show the subwoofer’s clean peak SPL before heavy distortion sets in. Our measurements have been referenced to 2-meter RMS, which is 9 dB down from the standard requirement for the measurements to be shown at 1-meter peak. However most publicly available CEA-2010 measurements are shown at 2-meter RMS, so we followed that convention. The measured performance from both the SB-1000 Pro and PB-1000 Pro are superb for their price. In fact, the PB-1000 Pro matches the PB-2000 Pro for mid-bass output at 50Hz and above. It looks to be a big jump in performance over both the original 1000 series as well as the original 2000 series for that matter (except at 25Hz and below). The SB-1000 Pro’s performance is very good considering its size; 101dB at 31Hz is nothing to sneeze at, especially for such a tiny sub. However, the enclosure size and ports of its larger sibling put it at a very serious disadvantage for deep bass headroom. At 20 to 25Hz, the PB-1000 Pro has about a 12dB advantage over the SB-1000 Pro, which is about four times the headroom. On this point, it should be mentioned here that SVS reports that these measurements correlate very closely with their own, except for the SB-1000 Pro specifically at 20Hz and 25Hz where they measure almost 2dB more than what I was able to capture. Either way, the SB-1000 Pro is not a sub I would get for big output down in that range. It runs out of steam fairly quickly in deep bass, but that would be expected from a small sealed sub. Its mid-bass headroom is very good though, and it has plenty of headroom for almost any bass in the range of acoustic music recordings.

Pb1000 Pro Long term compression sweeps

sb1000 Pro Long term compression sweeps2

Testing for long-term output compression was done by first conducting a 20-second sweep tone where 50 Hz hit 90 dB with the subwoofer 2 meters from the microphone. We then conduct further 20-second sweeps by raising the gain by 5 dB until no more output could be wrung out of the subwoofer. These tests show us the long-term continuous headroom that the subwoofer is capable of. Again we see very good mid-bass headroom from both the SB-1000 Pro and PB-1000 Pro, with the PB-1000 Pro nearly touching 110dB at 80Hz and the SB-1000 Pro surpassing 105dB from 50Hz to 90Hz. This is the range for a lot of bass drum percussion so these subs should have a nice punch for that instrument. One thing that is interesting to note is that the PB-1000 Pro seems to have a considerable advantage in upper bass as well as deep bass versus the SB-1000 Pro. I would have expected a deep bass advantage, but the PB-1000 Pro has a very significant headroom gain above 100Hz over its sealed sibling. At the highest sweep of the PB-1000 Pro, we do see some hiccups in the response, and that would be the attack and release of the limiter kicking in to restrain the subwoofer from beating itself to death. Aside from the extra headroom of the PB-1000 Pro in upper bass, these measurements are about what would be expected and are a very good showing from SVS, especially in this price class.

 PB 1000 pro THD  SB 1000 pro THD b

The above graphs show the corresponding total harmonic distortion to the long-term output graphs. Essentially, they depict how linear the subwoofer remains for the corresponding drive level seen in the long-term sweeps. The quantity being measured is how much of the subwoofer’s output is distortion and is shown here as a percentage. The measured performance here is fine, although SVS subs that I have tested in the past tended to have less distortion than what either of these subs could be pushed to. At nominal drive levels, distortion is very good and stays well below 5% above 20Hz on the PB-1000 Pro and 40Hz on the SB-1000 Pro. However, both subs can be pushed into pretty significant quantities of distortion at high drive levels. One interesting feature is that while the PB-1000 Pro has quite a bit more headroom than the SB-1000 Pro, it pays for that headroom with higher distortion levels. This leads me to guess that perhaps the upper bass headroom on the SB-1000 Pro may have been deliberately reduced to give it a cleaner sound for music, whereas the PB-1000 Pro was allowed as much output as could be had since it was more likely to used for film content where harmonic distortion isn’t as likely to be noticed in effects scenes such as explosions and earthquakes. The SB-1000 Pro can be pushed into a hefty level of distortion at lower frequencies, and that is expected since the entire onus of air displacement rests on a 12” driver with 13mm of Xmax, and that will reach its limits relatively early in deep bass below 30Hz.

These graphs neatly illustrate the difference - and advantage- of the heavier-duty driver in the PB-2000 Pro. For those who were thinking, “why get a 2000 Pro for mid-bass content when the 1000 Pros can get just as loud?” Well, here is your answer. The PB-2000 Pro can’t be pushed that far past 5% THD above 20Hz even at the absolute maximum drive level. The PB-1000 Pro, on the other hand, can be pushed past 20% THD in midbass frequencies. The PB-1000 Pro can get as loud as the PB-2000 Pro in mid-bass frequencies, but it isn’t as well behaved for the same loudness levels.

1000 pro group delay measurements 

Group delay is the measurement of how much time it takes for individual frequency bands of an input signal to be produced by the speaker. It can indicate that some frequency components are developing slower than others or are taking longer to decay. It is generally thought that 1.5 sound cycles are needed for group delay to be audible at bass frequencies, although there is an argument that group delay should remain under 20 ms to be completely unnoticeable, but that is likely meant for mid and upper bass frequencies. Both the SB-1000 Pro and PB-1000 Pro keep very low group delay where it matters, in the mid-bass frequencies. The protective filters, as well as the PB-1000 Pro’s port, do hike group delay up by quite a bit below 40Hz, but those are such deep frequencies that the audible consequences are negligible. Human hearing is just not very sensitive at deep bass, but it is very sensitive to upper bass, and there are no serious time-domain problems where it could be of consequence. One interesting aspect seen here is the remarkable similarity between the measurements up to just above 20 Hz, even with the many differences between these subs. This is overall a good showing, and anyone concerned about the “quickness” of these subs really doesn’t need to be.

pb 1000 pro sealed vs ported 

For those who are curious, here is the response difference that occurs when you seal the ports of the PB-1000 Pro and set it to the ‘Sealed’ operating mode in the SVS app. With the inclusion of the ‘Room Gain Compensation’ EQ settings in the app, there isn’t really a good reason to use this sub in a sealed operating mode, ever. If you are getting too much room gain that is blowing up the low-end of the response, use the Room Gain Compensation settings to change the low end. Sealing the ports does taper off the low-end a bit but robs the user of headroom in doing so; the Room Gain Compensation settings temper the low end without the headroom penalty.

 pb 1000 pro room gain compensation effects sb 1000 pro room gain compensation effects

The above graphs depict the changes on the response that can be made by the Room Gain Compensation settings. Smaller rooms can boost deep bass substantially thereby making it sound ‘tubby.’ If you don’t like the low-end boost that can be caused by room gain, SVS has provided these simple settings that should do the trick in taking down deep bass without having to tinker around in the PEQ to get the same result.


1000 pro stackI didn’t have an opportunity to review the original 1000 series, but I have to think that the 1000 Pros are a major improvement. The entire restructuring of the subwoofers that SVS started with the 16-Ultra series and took another turn in the 3000 series has been moving the overall performance up compared to preceding subs, and the ground-up redesign of the PB-1000 to become the PB-1000 Pro brings an enormous performance increase. SVS tells me that mid-bass sees more than 3dB headroom gain versus the original PB-1000, as well as gains in extension and output in lower frequencies as well. SVS has kicked its entry-level subs up by more than just one notch.

Before bringing this review to a close, let’s briefly go over the strengths and weaknesses of the products under review, and, as always, let’s start with the weaknesses. It’s hard to come up with a list of weaknesses of these subs because there aren’t many, and what few that they have are hairsplitting when the price is considered. The only gripe I can think of is that the distortion levels for both subs just aren’t as good as what I am accustomed to from SVS subs, but this comes more from SVS having spoiled me in the past than a reasonable critique of a $600 sub. The fact is that their distortion profile is in line with many other subwoofers of their price range, so it is not like it’s below average and is therefore not really a fair criticism. Another criticism that might be leveled is that the SB-1000 Pro doesn’t really deliver powerful deep bass, but it would be absurd to expect massive deep bass from a 13” cube, and a $500 ( delivered to your door) one at that. In fact, given the size and cost, it is a surprisingly capable subwoofer, and that brings us to the strengths of the 1000 Pro series subwoofers.

Bassaholic LargeThe chief strength of the 1000 Pro series is their performance for the price. For six-hundred smackers, you can get very punchy mid-bass, flat frequency response, as well as an honest-to-goodness extension down to 20Hz. The SB-1000 Pro sacrifices quite a bit of that deep bass output, but still leaves some on the table plus an abundance of mid-bass, and all in a very nice-looking 13” cube, again, for five to six hundred dollars. For output per cubic inch per dollar, I don’t know that anyone is challenging the SB-1000 Pro, except perhaps SVS’s own recently launched 3000 Micro. Both the PB-1000 Pro and SB-1000 Pro provide an astonishing amount of performance for their size. The PB-1000 Pro earns a 'Large Room' Bassaholic rating which indicates that it should be adequate for a room of 3,000 cubic feet to 5,000 cubic feet, and the SB-1000 Pro earns a 'Medium Room' rating, indicating it should be adequate for a room of 1,500 cubic feet to 3,000 cubic feet (read this article to find out more about our Bassaholic Subwoofer Room Size Rating). The smaller sizes of these subs will make them palatable for other household members who might object to larger units. The gloss finishes of the SB-1000 Pro make it all the easier of a pill to swallow for fitting in with nice room decor.

sb1000 pro hero  pb1000 pro3

SVS SB-1000 Pro (left pic) ; PB-1000 Pro (right pic)

It’s also worth mentioning that they don’t weigh a lot either, and both are very easy subwoofers to pick up and move around. I think lightweight in a subwoofer is often a greater advantage than many people give it credit for. When you are less discouraged from moving the sub around, you will be more likely to explore in-room placements that can yield a better acoustic result.

SVS offers all of this performance along with their innovative amp interface and app control. Here are some five to six hundred dollars subs with extensive fine-tuning abilities that can be done from your sofa. As was mentioned before, a three-band PEQ alleviates the need to buy an external equalizer to combat room modes; all you need to do is measure the sub in-room to see what frequencies need to be cut.

svs dustcap logoThe price increase of SVS’s entry-level ported sub is greatly exceeded by the performance increases as well as feature additions. Their entry-level sealed sub gets performance gains as well as feature additions with no cost increases. Subwoofer shoppers win in both cases. It is nice to see this behavior from SVS, a business that was already thriving: instead of just coasting on their brand recognition, they decided to invest resources and significantlly improve their products. When you throw in SVS’s 5-year warranty and superlative customer support, they make a very compelling case for subwoofer shoppers in this price range. The PB-1000 Pro and SB-1000 Pro are terrific subs in this price class. Anyone can see for themselves at no risk since, SVS offers a 45-day return window for a full refund including paid return shipping. I doubt that the return window will be used by many shoppers when they experience these subs for themselves.


The Score Card

The scoring below is based on each piece of equipment doing the duty it is designed for. The numbers are weighed heavily with respect to the individual cost of each unit, thus giving a rating roughly equal to:

Performance × Price Factor/Value = Rating

Audioholics.com note: The ratings indicated below are based on subjective listening and objective testing of the product in question. The rating scale is based on performance/value ratio. If you notice better performing products in future reviews that have lower numbers in certain areas, be aware that the value factor is most likely the culprit. Other Audioholics reviewers may rate products solely based on performance, and each reviewer has his/her own system for ratings.

Audioholics Rating Scale

  • StarStarStarStarStar — Excellent
  • StarStarStarStar — Very Good
  • StarStarStar — Good
  • StarStar — Fair
  • Star — Poor
Bass ExtensionStarStarStarStar
Bass AccuracyStarStarStarStar
Build QualityStarStarStarStar
Fit and FinishStarStarStarStar
Ergonomics & UsabilityStarStarStarStarStar
Dynamic RangeStarStarStarStarStar
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About the author:

James Larson is Audioholics' primary loudspeaker and subwoofer reviewer on account of his deep knowledge of loudspeaker functioning and performance and also his overall enthusiasm toward moving the state of audio science forward.

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Recent Forum Posts:

TomS posts on May 05, 2021 19:35
shadyJ, post: 1481439, member: 20472
I wouldn't guess that the F12 subs are quite on the same level as the SB-3000s. My guess is that they are more like the SB-2000s maybe. Another sealed 12" that does come in white is the Starke Sound SW12. I think this sub is potentially very good, and I plan on getting my hands on one over the summer.
thx-the Starke SW12 looks very nice and is reasonably priced as well, I look forward to your review!
shadyJ posts on May 05, 2021 19:29
TomS, post: 1481434, member: 92286
Thanks Shady, great info as usual - The SB3000 is just about the same size and price as the Rythmik F12, but the F12 comes in white which my wife would prefer. Would 2 F12’s be equivalent to 2 SB3000’s? Or is there anything else in white that would work?
Thx again!
I wouldn't guess that the F12 subs are quite on the same level as the SB-3000s. My guess is that they are more like the SB-2000s maybe. Another sealed 12" that does come in white is the Starke Sound SW12. I think this sub is potentially very good, and I plan on getting my hands on one over the summer.
TomS posts on May 05, 2021 19:13
shadyJ, post: 1481388, member: 20472
Two SB-1000 Pros will have a lot more mid-bas output, but even two won't quite match the deep bass output of the PB12-NSD. Overall it would probably be an upgrade. If you can make the stretch, look at getting two SB-3000s which are a big upgrade over the SB-1000 Pros and a very serous upgrade over the PB12-NSD.

Thanks Shady, great info as usual - The SB3000 is just about the same size and price as the Rythmik F12, but the F12 comes in white which my wife would prefer. Would 2 F12’s be equivalent to 2 SB3000’s? Or is there anything else in white that would work?
Thx again!
shadyJ posts on May 05, 2021 19:13
Movie2099, post: 1481429, member: 90678
maybe I could look at doing 2-PB2000 pros?
That might work, but again, it isn't a shortcut for measuring your system. Definitely do not trust Audyssey or whatever room correction you might be using. You need to see for yourself what the problems are. Luckily there are a lot of great resources about which can help you do just that.
Movie2099 posts on May 05, 2021 19:06
shadyJ, post: 1481393, member: 20472
You are in for a huge loss in deep bass output going from the PB16-Ultra to a E22. I would say that muddiness from the PB16 is much more likely a matter of room acoustics than the sub itself. The E22 might sound a bit more articulate simply for lacking deep bass output. The greater ratio of mid-bass to deep bass that you get, the more “detailed” the sound may appear to be, but it is artificial detail, i.e., not truly a matter of the recording.

If I were you, I would get a measurement mic and install REW to see what is going on. The problem is very likely a matter of room acoustics. You may be in need of a multi-sub system to fully solve the problem, but you need to see what the problem is to start with.

maybe I could look at doing 2-PB2000 pros?
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