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SVS 3000 Series Subwoofers Offer Flagship Features Starting at $1k

SVS 3000 Series Subwoofers

SVS 3000 Series Subwoofers


  • Product Name: PB-3000, SB-3000
  • Manufacturer: SVS
  • Review Date: November 19, 2018 01:00
  • MSRP: $1,000 - SB-3000 Premium Black Ash, $1,100 - SB-3000 Piano Gloss Black; $1,400 - PB-3000 Premium Black Ash
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!

  • 800 watt RMS amplifier (4,000+ watt peak)
  • Front-firing 13” aluminum cone
  • 50Mhz Analog Devices Audio DSP with double precision 56bit filtering
  • Subwoofer Control and Bass Management Smartphone App for Apple and Android Devices
  • Black Ash finish, with optional Piano Gloss Black for SB-3000
  • PB-3000 Dimensions: (w/ grille): 21.9” H X 18.3” W X 26” D,  (without grille): 21.9” H X 18.3” W X 23.5” D
  • SB-3000 Dimensions: (w/ grille): 15.6” H X 15.2” W X 17.8” D, (without grille): 15.6” H X 15.2” W X 15.7” D
  • PB-3000 Weight (unboxed): 82.2 lbs. (37.3 kg), Shipped Weight: 97 lbs. (44 kg)
  • SB-3000 Weight (unboxed): 54.5 lbs. (24.7 kg), Shipped Weight: 63.6lbs (28.9kg)
  • Dual 3.5-inch ports (PB-3000)
  • Protective non-resonant steel mesh grille
  • RCA stereo input/output with ultra-wide input voltage for consumer and professional audio applications
  • Auto/On and 3-30V AC/DC trigger
  • Input impedance 16kohm (unbalanced RCA)

> Check out our formal reviews of the SB-3000 and PB-3000 Subwoofers here <

Ever since SVS discosb-3000_pg_hero_w_re.jpgntinued their ‘12-Plus’ series of subwoofers, there has existed a fairly wide price gap between their ‘2000’ series subs which ranged from $700 to $800 and their ‘4000’ series subs which ranged from $1500 to $2000. SVS is now filling that gap with the unsurprisingly named ‘3000’ series which, of course, specs between the 2000 series subs and 4000 series subs. The 3000 series prices range from $1000 to $1400 which completes SVS’s spread of options for sub shoppers from $500 to $2500. The 3000 series subs are composed of a sealed model, the SB-3000, and a ported model, the PB-3000; both use a 13” driver and an 800-watt RMS amplifier (sadly, SVS seems to have skipped doing a cylinder version of the 3000 series subwoofers). Naturally, the 3000s are quite a bit heftier and bulkier than the 2000s without being as massive as the 4000s. Also filling in the continuum from the 2000s to the 4000s is the 3000’s feature set, which is fuller than the 2000s but now quite as rich as the 4000s.


The 3000 series subs may take over the price point of the 12-Plus subs, but don't think they are just the 12-Plus series with a few new technologies added. The 3000s are an entirely new design that has little in common with the 12-Plus series. For example, the driver is a new design built from the ground up for the new enclosures and amplifier technologies in the 3000s. The driver uses a 25 lbs., dual magnet ferrite motor and a very robust-looking cast aluminum basket with a 13” aluminum cone. Aluminum cones are not only good because they are stiff and light but also serve as a heatsink for cooling when the voice coil gets hot, and that can improve thermal compression behavior. This is helped by a thermally conductive polyimide impregnated fiberglass former so that heat is quickly leached off of the voice coil. SVS has developed a new voice coil design for the 3000 series that creates a gap within the coil for a longer linear throw. That should work to give the 3000’s better low-frequency performance, although it would come at the cost of some sensitivity at rest position. SVS’s trade here seems to be lower distortion deep bass for some mid-bass headroom. There is always going to be a trade-off in this aspect of design, and SVS seems to have gone with the design that more aligns with their historical performance target of very powerful and low-distortion deep bass. Aiding in this effort is the inclusion of an aluminum shorting ring which will help to lower distortion.

Smart Features? Yea They've Got That!

The amplifier uses the same plat3000_series_amp_detail_re.jpgform as was used in the 4000 and 16-Ultra series but scaled down a bit in power and features. It is the same class-D design with discrete MOSFETs and DSP engine running on a 50 MHz Analog Devices Audio DSP chip with 56bit filtering. As with the 4000s and 16-Ultras, the 3000s can be operated by a smartphone app that can control a wide range of functions to an extremely fine degree of adjustability. With SVS’s Subwoofer Control App, the user can control the volume down to a single dB of precision, low-pass filter behavior from 30 Hz to 200 Hz down to individual hertz frequency precision and also with a choice of slopes of 6, 12, 18, and 24 dB/ octave, phase control from 0° to 180° selectable down to individual degrees (or you can just flip the polarity from positive to negative), room compensation response curve selectable from 25 Hz, 31 Hz, or 40 Hz with a choice of a 12 or 6 dB/ octave slope (this is very handy for taming low-end boominess for those who get a lot of room gain), and port tuning configurations. One neat thing that is especially easy to use with the SVS app is a 3-band parametric equalizer with which the user can adjust the bass response to their taste. It can also help tame peaks in the response that are produced by room acoustics.

The 3000 subs do not have the front-panel display of the 4000s or 16-Ultras, but they do have a very clean and economic control layout on the amp plate that SVS calls the ‘Intelligent Control Interface’ (ICI). There is a meter that can be switched to indicate volume, phase, and low-pass filter settings, although that seems to be the extent of the onboard controls. For deeper control of settings, users will need the smartphone app.

To PB or SB? That is the Question

Naturally, the portedpb-3000_ba_hero_grille_w_re_c.jpg PB-3000 will have much stronger deep bass than the sealed SB-3000, but, of course, the cabinet is necessarily much larger, so the unit costs a bit more. The PB-3000 supports two different tuning modes: ‘Sealed’ (where the ports are sealed) and ‘Standard’ (ports are left open). Using the sub in ‘Sealed’ mode will grant the user a more gradual low-end rolloff and a bit more infrasonic output but at the expense of overall deep bass headroom. The sealed operating mode nullifies port output completely, and that can come in handy in certain circumstances. SVS does not seem to have included support for an ‘extended’ mode on the PB-3000 like they have on their 4000 and 16-Ultra subwoofers where one port is plugged for deeper extension in a alternate ported operating mode. I would guess the reason for that is that the driver is capable of so much displacement that a single port would get quickly overwhelmed, so SVS decided that a mode with that kind of compromise is better left unused on the PB-3000.

The PB-3000 is only available in a black assb3000 schematic.jpgh finish, but the SB-3000 can be had in both black ash and also a more luxurious gloss black for a $100 surcharge. Assuming that their performance lay between the 2000s and 4000s, that would be a very high threshold of performance for the money indeed, as we have seen from our reviews of the SVS PC-2000 and SVS PB-4000. We are guessing that their Bassaholic room rating puts them at a ‘Large’ for the SB-3000 and an ‘Extreme’ for the PB-3000, meaning that they should be able to handle a 3,000+ cubic foot room and a 5,000+ cubic foot room respectively. To learn more about the Bassaholic Room Rating, you can read our Audioholic’s Bassaholic Room Rating Protocol. We predict that this series of subwoofers will hit a sweet spot of performance, price, and features that will make them a big hit for SVS. Those who are interested can give the 3000 series subwoofer a try with little to lose since SVS offers a 45-day risk-free trial with free return shipping for those who decide not to keep the sub. We are hoping to get these subs in for a full review, so stay tuned to Audioholics to see if they can meet our high expectations that SVS has set from all of our prior experience.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

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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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