“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

SVS PC-2000 Cylinder Subwoofer Review

by August 08, 2016
SVS PC2000

SVS PC2000

  • Product Name: PC-2000
  • Manufacturer: SVS
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStarStar
  • Review Date: August 08, 2016 00:00
  • MSRP: $ 799 (free shipping)
  • Buy Now

PC-2000 Subwoofer:

  • Elegant interchangeable top cap with choice of piano gloss or black ash finish.
  • 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 system.
  • SoundPath Subwoofer Isolation System feet included as standard equipment.
  • Extremely rigid and strong cylinder enclosure
  • Overall Dimensions: 16.6” (OD) x 34” (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:

  • New SVS 12” 2000-series driver. 
  • Powder-coated cast aluminum basket.
  • Dual high-grade ferrite magnets. 
  • Finite Element Analysis (FEA)-optimized motor structure.
  • Dual shorting rings reduce gap induction and 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.

Amplifier:

  • 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.
  • Normal and Hi input voltage switch
  • 3-12V trigger with 1/8” (3.5 mm) TRS mini-jack input.
  • Green standby mode with > 0.5 watts consumption.
  • Stereo line-level RCA Input & Output connections.
  • Input impedance – 47 kΩ (unbalanced line-level RCA).
  • Continuously variable volume/gain control.
  • Continuously variable (0-180 degrees) phase control.
  • Continuously variable (50-160 Hz) 12 dB/octave low pass filter frequency with disable/LFE setting.
  • Fixed 80 Hz 12 dB/octave high pass filter on line level outputs.
  • RoHS compliant, lead-free construction and world-wide safety certifications.
  • Detachable power cord.

Pros

  • Very accurate bass reproduction
  • Extraordinarily low weight versus cost and performance
  • Small footprint
  • Very good low-frequency extension
  • Well protected against heavy use

Cons

  • Cylinder shape will not suit everyone’s taste
  • Amplifier status LED is very bright

 

SVS PC-2000 Introduction

The most well-known manufacturer-diPC2000 SVS pic.jpgrect subwoofer company is undoubtedly SVS. While they have grown into a multi-million dollar company doing business across the world, SVS’s origins were humble enough, as a small crew who hand-assembled subwoofers in Ohio. Their first subwoofers were passive cylinder units released in 1998 and which were later followed by active cylinder models. While SVS has expanded their lines out greatly from those first cylinder models, they have always had cylinder subwoofers available, and their latest subwoofer is an example of this type. The PC-2000 follows 17 years of its design type from SVS, which is quite a legacy to carry considering cylinder designs were how SVS made their mark in the audio business. So, with all that extensive design experience packed into the PC-2000, how well does it carry the torch for its SVS heritage?

Unpackaging and Setup Guide

PC2000box2.jpg

SVS PC2000 Exterior Packaging

The PC-2000 is shipped in a descriptive box that leaves no mystery as to its contents. It is shipped in a very sturdy cardboard, and, while not exactly double boxed, it might qualify as 1.5 times boxed thanks to two rugged internal cardboard sleeves which hold the shaped foam inserts. The sub is further wrapped in plastic to protect it from moisture, and a heavy-duty paper encircles the sides of the sub to protect the sub’s fabric exterior from nicks and runs during unpacking. This sub is very well protected from harm during shipping, and the packaging is well designed.

PC2000unpackingF.jpg 

SVS PC2000 Interior Packaging 

Upon opening the exterior box, one is greeted with an illustrated unpackaging flyer that explains how to unpack the PC-2000 in the intended manner. The owner’s manual, which is also available on the product page website as a PDF, concisely explains connectivity and setup with diagrams, and also lists the many features of the PC-2000. For those who are new to the world of subwoofers, the PC-2000 owner’s manual looks to be clear enough to get you going without much confusion.  

Appearance

The atypical shape of cylinder subs is not one which everyone will find to their liking. However, SVS has tried to make it as palatable as possible by covering the sub with an attractive black fabric and giving it a black oak veneered top. The top is also available in a black gloss finish for an extra $50. The aesthetic strategy seems to be to make the PC-2000 as innocuous as possible, since that black fabric is like a light silk. In fact, it was difficult to get a picture of the PC-2000 that gave it more detail than just a black shape. Personally, I was not bothered by the appearance of the PC-2000, but in a brightly-lit room with a more traditional décor, I could see how it could clash. On the other hand, it might fit nicely in a more modern interior. In a dimly-lit corner, the PC-2000 should disappear rather well, and its light-absorbent covering would make it a great choice for rooms with projection screens, where light-reflective objects can reduce contrast in the picture. Its small footprint makes it easy to tuck away in a corner, and, if one needed to increase its spousal-approval-factor, maybe a plant could be set on top of the sub (so long as it is only the plant that gets watered and not the subwoofer).

PC2000directS.jpg     PC2000darkComp.jpg

One minor note is the power status light on the PC-2000 is quite bright, so while the subwoofer generally tries to be inconspicuous, that light, especially if facing the listener, is difficult to ignore (although it is not intended to face the listener). There is certainly no question whether the sub is standby mode or not. In a dedicated home theater room with a projector-lit screen, the status light could definitely interfere with the picture if facing the screen. The light can be easily blocked by construction paper or electrical tape, so it is not a big deal. As long as the user is willing to do something like that, the PC-2000 is still an ideal choice for rooms where light-control is a concern.

 PC2000close.jpg

Close up of PC2000 for view of fabric texture detail

Design Overview

A good place to begin to explain the design of the PC2000 is with its most unique feature: the enclosure. Its cylindrical form may be a turnoff to some, but it will be a draw to others thanks to its light weight and relatively small footprint. The cylindrical part of the enclosure is made from a very sturdy cardboard, similar to if not the same as the sonotube type; this is a very tough cardboard and is not easily punctured or damaged. One of the theoretical structural advantages of the cylinder form is the rigidity of its sidewalls versus the rectangular walls of typical subwoofer However, I did not break out an accelerometer to test for surface vibrations. That said, I did not hear anything I thought to be a cabinet resonance during my time with the PC-2000.

PC2000BottomC.jpg  PC2000internalC.jpg

PC-2000 Bottom View (left pic); Internal View (right pic)

The feet of the PC-2000 are something SVS has termed the ‘SoundPath Subwoofer Isolation System’. They are made from a rubber that has been fine-tuned to a specific hardness. The idea is to isolate vibration of the subwoofer enclosure from the floor, so the sub only vibrates the air and not the floor and thus things resting on the floor. I have always been skeptical of the effectiveness of isolating direct mechanical vibrations of a speaker enclosure in reducing the shaking of objects around a room, although I think it may have some merit on thin flooring. The SoundPath feet can be purchased separately for non-SVS subs and look to be a more sensible solution than large foam isolation pads for those who want to try isolating the mechanical vibration of their sub from the floor.

Removing the driver and peering into the PC-2000, we see a good amount of stuffing lining the sidewalls. The 4” diameter port stretches down deep into the cabinet and is flared on both ends for reduced chuffing. A circular ¾” window brace in the middle of the tube helps to reinforce the sidewalls and also holds the port in place. A rubber pad sandwiched between the driver and port’s bend shows that the port is partially supported by the driver, and the rubber likely damps any vibration from the driver to perhaps eliminate knocking noises between them when the subwoofer is driven hard. The bottom baffle in which the driver is mounted is a 1” thick ring of MDF, and the sidewalls of the tube look to be maybe ½” to ⅜” thick of the very sturdy sonotube-type cardboard. Altogether, there is certainly more attention to cabinetry here than simply placing a driver in a sonotube. The placement decisions of driver, bracing, amp, and port show some careful thought went into this design.

PC2000driverSideC.jpg

SVS PC-2000 12" Subwoofer Driver

The SVS PC-2000 driver is based on the Tymphany PeerlesPC2000driverAngleC.jpgs XXLS platform, which has long been renowned for its very low inductance and high linearity. The XXLS (which stands for Xpanded Xtra Long Stroke) is a pricey driver to buy on its own, and the one used in the PC-2000 is customized for SVS’ application. Ed Mullen, SVS’s Director of Technology, said that they went through 17 iterations of the driver for reasons of performance, durability, and reliability before all criteria and design goals were met. Let’s go over a few of the driver’s features: a sturdy cast aluminum basket holds the cone and motor sections together. Two ¾” stacked magnets provide the voice coil a powerful magnetic field. Venting is done through the voice coil former just under the cone through a series of holes. An aluminum cone provides a stiff but light exterior and likely greater durability than conventional paper cones. Dual shorting rings are used to short out induced current created by the motion of the charged voice coil within the motor. A Nomex spider provides stiffness against horizontal motion while allowing smooth vertical motion and should be able to retain its shape even after a long time and heavy use. Everything taken together, the PC2000 driver looks to be a finely-engineered work with an emphasis on linearity and durability.

The PC-2000 uses a 500-watt, class D, DSP amplifier that they call the Sledge STA-500D Amplifier. The digital signal processing allows SVS to precisely shape the frequency response of the subwoofer, and implement more controlled limiting than could be achieved with traditional analog amplifiers. Among the features of this amp is the very low standby power consumption of less than 0.5 watts, continuously variable phase control, and a continuously variable 12dB/octave low pass filter running from 50 Hz to 160 Hz with an LFE disable setting. One of my favorite features is the high-passed line-level outputs. This makes the PC-2000 a great candidate for two-channel computer systems, which rarely have any bass management. With the prevalence of bedroom recording studios, I believe that there are more of these systems than is commonly thought, and the addition of this simple onboard bass management by SVS makes the smooth integration of a subwoofer into such a system a far easier task than it otherwise would be. 

Confused about what AV Gear to buy or how to set it up? Join our Exclusive Audioholics E-Book Membership Program!

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.

View full profile

Recent Forum Posts:

cardsdoc posts on March 21, 2018 12:11
shadyJ, post: 1238960, member: 20472
I would take two PC-2000s over a single PC12-Plus in a heartbeat. The Plus series of subs are getting pretty long in the tooth, they are SVS's oldest sub at the moment. My guess is they probably don't have a huge advantage over the PC-2000s, maybe mostly only at frequencies below 25 Hz. Above that, I would guess maybe only a 2 dB or so advantage, if that. Keep in mind this is all speculation. For sure knowledge, ask SVS.

I am also guessing that SVS will revamp the Plus platform within the next year to bring their new amplifier technology from the 16-Ultras and 4000s to the Plus series. They will probably rename the Plus series the ‘3000’ series, since that fills the gap between the 2000s and 4000s. SVS may take that opportunity to enhance the driver and get more performance out of it.

When I was considering moving from PC-2000 to PC12+ this is what SVS told me:

“In the 20 Hz mode, a pair of PB12-Plus will provide about 60-70% higher dynamic output than a pair of PB-2000s, along with comparable deep extension. In the 16 Hz mode, a pair of PB12-Plus will provide about 40-50% higher dynamic output than a pair of PB-2000s, along with considerably better deep extension and higher clean output in the 13-18 Hz band.”

In my experience the biggest difference was cleaner bass and more output under 20hz in extended mode which I enjoyed. It does have mildly more overall output but I was never listening at high levels so didn't really take advantage of it. Having a digital amp control on the PC12+ I thought was very valuable especially when experimenting a lot with duals and placement. Agree dual PC-2000 over single PC12+. NO question there. I actually just traded up my PC12+s to PC-4000s. My 1 year trade up window was about to end and couldn't resist even though it is probably overkill for me.
shadyJ posts on March 20, 2018 21:36
I would take two PC-2000s over a single PC12-Plus in a heartbeat. The Plus series of subs are getting pretty long in the tooth, they are SVS's oldest sub at the moment. My guess is they probably don't have a huge advantage over the PC-2000s, maybe mostly only at frequencies below 25 Hz. Above that, I would guess maybe only a 2 dB or so advantage, if that. Keep in mind this is all speculation. For sure knowledge, ask SVS.

I am also guessing that SVS will revamp the Plus platform within the next year to bring their new amplifier technology from the 16-Ultras and 4000s to the Plus series. They will probably rename the Plus series the ‘3000’ series, since that fills the gap between the 2000s and 4000s. SVS may take that opportunity to enhance the driver and get more performance out of it.
nibhaz posts on March 20, 2018 21:05
shadyJ, post: 1238940, member: 20472
That depends entirely on how much SPL you are after. For my own tastes, I would want at least two PC-12 Pluses even in a small room. For some people, a single PC-12 NSD would be more than enough even in a large room.
shadyJ since the price difference between a pair of PC 2000s and a single PC-12 + are only a few hundred quid what is your opinion assuming that the goal is a balance between spl and frequency response across multiple seating positions?

I am in compete agreement that a pair of PC-12 Plus would be preferred but for those on a budget the pair of PC-2000s vs a single PC-12 Plus is a interesting thought exercise considering the minimal price delta between the two options.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
shadyJ posts on March 20, 2018 20:16
Stealth3si, post: 1238945, member: 77055
How many cu ft is a small room to you?
maybe less than 2000.
Stealth3si posts on March 20, 2018 19:35
shadyJ, post: 1238940, member: 20472
That depends entirely on how much SPL you are after. For my own tastes, I would want at least two PC-12 Pluses even in a small room. For some people, a single PC-12 NSD would be more than enough even in a large room.
How many cu ft is a small room to you?
Post Reply