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SVS PC-2000 Cylinder Subwoofer Review Measurements and Analysis

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PC2000TestC.jpg 

Outdoor ground plane testing of the SVS PC-2000

The PC-2000 was tested using ground plane measurements with microphone at a 2 meter distance in an open setting with well over 100 feet from the nearest large structure. The sub was tested on its side with woofer facing the mic; keep in mind that the orientation of the sub with respect to the microphone will always affect measurement results. The subwoofer’s volume knob was set to maximum, and its low-pass filter was switched off.


SVS PC2000 Frequency Response 

SVS PC-2000 Frequency Response 

The frequency response is impressively flat, as usually is the case on SVS subwoofers. The PC2000 could easily be used in a system with a crossover as high as 200 Hz, if need be. The tuning point looks to be around 17 Hz. Our frequency response measurement is very close to SVS’s claim of +/- 3dB from 16 Hz to 260 Hz. Were the sub measured in an orientation with port and woofer equidistant from microphone or port facing microphone, the measurement would likely have fallen well within SVS’s claimed window of response. But near-ruler flat from 20 Hz to 170 Hz is nothing to sneeze at. This is a very linear subwoofer.

SVS PC-2000 CEA2010 Maximum Clean Output Measurements (referenced to 2 meters ground plane RMS)
Test Frequency (Hz) Max Passing Measurement (dB) Total Harmonic Distortion (%) Harmonic Threshold Limiting
10 No Passing Result

12.5 No Passing Result

16 95.6 26.2 3rd Harmonic
20 104.3 10.0
25 108.7 12.7
31.5 109.9 13.8
40 111.5 12.1
50 111.2 15.0
63 110.9 14.7
80 109.9 11.2 9th Harmonic
100 109.6 12.0 9th Harmonic
125 109.5 17.0 3rd Harmonic

The CEA-2010 measurements show the subwoofer’s clean peak SPL before heavy distortion sets in. Our measurements have been referenced to 2 meters RMS, which is 9 dB down from the standard, which requires them to be shown at 1 meter peak. However most publicly available CEA-2010 measurements are shown at 2 meters RMS, so we followed that convention. The PC2000 posts some very strong measurements, the highlight being the 20 Hz and 25 Hz measurements, not just because of the high output, but because of the low distortion at such high playback levels at the  such deep frequencies. The PC2000 was not able to be pushed past the CEA-2010 distortion thresholds from 20 to 63 Hz, which means that we pushed the subwoofer as hard as we could, and, in that frequency band, the PC2000 remained relatively clean, even at the very edge of its performance.

It should be noted that CEA-2010 measurements are not absolute measurements of a subwoofer’s output. Many factors can affect these tests, such as the positional orientation of the subwoofer. The measurements we choose were with the sub on its side with woofer facing the microphone, because we feel this would be most representative of the sub’s performance, without placing the port further from the microphone. Remember, the port produces most of the deep bass. When we tested the PC-2000 standing upright with port facing the microphone, the CEA-2010 measurements for most test frequencies did see a small drop from 40 Hz and up, but we gained measured output below that, with a recorded 99.4 dB measurement at 16 Hz and a 106.8 dB measurement at 20 Hz. Keep in mind that the changes in measured output from testing in different orientations does not mean one measurement is right and the other is wrong. There is no easy way to evenly record all of the acoustic energy coming out of a sub when that sub has multiple points of acoustic output.  

PC2000CEA10 to 20C.jpg       PC2000cea25 to 50C.jpg

125C.jpg

Frequency Breakdown of CEA-2010 Burst Measurements for the PC-2000

The above graphs show the frequency spectrum of the increasing CEA-2010 bursts as reproduced by the PC-2000. Essentially, it depicts the behavior of the subwoofer reproducing short burst tones at successively louder levels, with each test tone raised by boosting the input gain by 1 dB until either no more output was to be had from the subwoofer or the subwoofer started making too much mechanical stress noises for the tests to be safely continued. The frequency marked above the graphs note the fundamental tone being tested, and this can also usually (but not always) be discerned in the graphs by the horizontal axis frequency point of the “main ridge,” the highest levels on the vertical axis. The noise below the fundamental (that random spikiness to the left of the main ridge) should be ignored. It is difficult to tell what that is, but it seems to be generated by the subwoofer itself, and all of the subs tested so far seem to be having this effect, so this effect is not specific to the PC-2000. What should be looked at are the smaller ridges to the right of the fundamental. These are the distortion products of the fundamental, and it is here where we see how cleanly the subwoofer handles a given output level. These are mostly harmonics, which are whole number multiples of the fundamental.

A few interesting characteristics of the PC2000 emerge in these graphs. First, we see that the 10 Hz and 12.5 Hz burst testing produces mostly garbled noise, and this is to be expected since those frequencies are well beneath the tuning point of the subwoofer. We see that in the deep frequencies, from 16 Hz to 25 Hz, even-order harmonics dominate the distortion products, but above that, and especially in the mid bass realm, odd-order products become the chief offender. It should be noted that odd-order harmonics are more easily heard and are considered more offensive than even-order harmonics, but do not let this cause you any concern about the performance of the PC-2000; note the odd-order distortion products do not emerge until the subwoofer is driven to its loudest levels. These graphs show that the PC-2000 is very well-behaved until pushed to the bleeding edge, at which point distortion does arise, but that would happen to any sub when driven to maximum output levels. It is far more important to see what goes on at drive levels below that point, and here we see remarkably clean output from the PC-2000. For the vast majority of the dynamic range of the PC-2000, distortion is inaudible. One thing to keep in mind that just because distortion products can be seen in these graphs does not mean it can be heard. Most of this distortion will be totally masked by the fundamental; for those readers who want to know more about the audibility of distortion at bass frequencies, we point you to our article on The Audibility of Distortion

pc2000longtF.jpg 

SVS PC2000 Long-Term Output Compression

Testing for long-term output compression was done by first conducting a sweep tone where 50 Hz hit 90 dB, and then we conduct further sweeps by raising the gain by 5 dB until no more output could be squeezed out of the subwoofer. We then went back and measured a sweep with the 90 dB at 50 Hz gain level again to see how the recent strain of such a rigorous exercise affected the frequency response. We can see the PC2000 keeps its base frequency response intact at all but the highest sweep. While a slight bump emerges at 35 Hz at the highest output level—the absolute most output the PC-2000 can give—it still retains a fairly flat response. This is very good compression behavior, and a tribute to the digital limiting of the Sledge amplifier. We see a slight drop in the final post-stress 50 Hz/ 90 dB sweep compared to the first 50 Hz/ 90 dB sweep, and this is due to the lower resistance in the driver’s voice coil as a result of the lingering heat from the maximum output sweeps, but such a small difference would scarcely be audible. Some chuffing was present in the very deep frequencies in the highest output sweeps, but the PC-2000’s port kept turbulence in check for the most part. The frequencies where the chuffing occurred were mostly below the tuning point, where it is not a good idea to throttle any ported sub. The advantage of having chuffing kept in check until nearing the sub’s performance limits is it lets you know when more sub is needed without damaging the sub itself. Chuffing itself does not damage the subwoofer, but running the sub at its limits for long durations can.

PC2000THDc.jpg 

SVS PC-2000 Total Harmonic Distortion levels for output levels as percentages

The total harmonic distortion measurements in the above graphs correspond to the long-term compression sweeps; they are the harmonic distortion measured during those sweeps. The distortion is presented here as a percentage of the fundamental, or how much of the sound produced by the subwoofer was distortion versus intended test tone reproduction. The most obvious feature of the graph is the skyrocketing distortion below port tuning, especially at high drive levels. This is characteristic of any ported subwoofer and should not be held against the PC-2000. If you want distortion-free infrasonic frequency playback, you will want sealed subwoofers- and a lot of them! Something else to note is the bulge of distortion reaching 20% THD centered around 30 Hz in the 115 dB sweep level. 20% may seem like a lot, but that is at the subwoofer’s maximum drive level, and it very likely would not be audible during program material. However, while it isn’t likely to intrude on your enjoyment of whatever content is being played back, if you are pushing the sub that hard, it is time to get a more powerful sub or more subs. Regularly throttling the subwoofer to it limits certainly constitutes abuse, and the sub will not last under those conditions.

The real star of these distortion measurements is the very low distortion at nominal to high drive levels. At the 111 dB sweep, the PC-2000 basically stays below 10% THD to well under 20 Hz. At nominal levels for the 106 dB sweep and under, the PC-2000 is, for practical purposes, distortion-free. This is consistent with what is seen in the burst tests; the PC-2000 remains very clean, and only runs into any significant distortion at the very edge of its performance envelope.

PC20002nd 3rdc.jpg       PC20004rth 5thc.jpg

PC20006th 7thc.jpg     PC20008th 9thc.jpg

SVS PC-2000 Component Harmonic Distortions as percentages

The above graphs break down the composition of the harmonic distortion into individual harmonics. One interesting feature is, much like the burst tests showed, that the odd-order harmonics seem to outweigh the even-order harmonics, but they are mostly only kicking in at the maximum output level, and they are respectively more prevalent than even-order products in upper bass frequencies. We can also see that the distortion below the subwoofer’s tuning frequency is comprised of all measurable harmonics. Higher-order harmonics arise as the PC-2000 attempts to reproduce deeper frequencies.

 pc2000 gd.jpg

SVS PC-2000 measured group delay

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. Group delay measurements of the PC-2000 show nothing to be concerned about. As with most other ported subs, we see some stored energy around port tuning, but it doesn’t even come close to anything audible. Generally speaking, we want group delay to be below 1.5 cycles for mid-bass frequencies, although deep bass frequencies can tolerate greater amounts of group delay before becoming audible. As with many other metrics, the PC-2000 demonstrates very good control over group delay. In conditions where overhang is heard with the PC-2000, it’s likely due to room acoustics, not to any kind of sluggishness of the subwoofer itself.

 

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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?
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