- Written by Chris Eberle
- Published on 27 February 2009
Design and Build Quality
My review unit arrived via freight strapped to a pallet. This is one big sub and heavy too. The ship weight was over 150 pounds! The packing quality was exemplary. The carton had nary a scratch on it. Unpacking revealed dense, flexible foam and a cloth bag to protect the sub's high-quality finish. One word of warning; this sucker is slippery! I strongly suggest moving the sub on the included pallet. I could not get a good grip otherwise. The side panels are very smooth and the cloth bag is no help. After a strong friend helped me up two flights of stairs to my theater, I was ready to dive in.
Did I mention this sub was big? After placing it in my usual position between the left main and center channel speakers I stepped back. This thing really dominates the room! Granted, my room is small but the front of the cabinet extended out further than the front of my left tower speaker. The sides are finished in a wood veneer that SVS calls Rosenut, a medium red color. They also offer a lighter Oak color and Piano Gloss Black. No matter what the finish, the front and top of the cabinet are a textured black. It's a high-quality finish that does not pick up reflections in a darkened theater room. The wood sides transition to the textured black with a gentle curve and a perfect seam. This is one fine cabinet that puts many more-expensive subs to shame. It's also one of the most solid subs I've encountered. Rapping on the sides or top you can barely tell the box is hollow! Construction is 1-inch MDF all around with 1½-inch for the front baffle. The feet consist of six removable rubber cones. They work equally well on carpet or hard floors. They can also be swapped out for alternative feet or spikes without creating any air leaks in the cabinet.
The 12-inch driver is designed and made by SVS. The cone is a fiberglass composite which is sewn and glued to a large rubber surround. The SVS logo is silk-screened in the center. The sub looks good with the grill off but I put it on for all my tests. The curved and perforated grill is quite substantial. It's all metal with and attaches with strong magnets. There was absolutely no rattling at any time. This is the best magnetic grill I have yet seen. Below the driver are three flared ports. By default, they are open but three foam port plugs are included to block one or all of them for different tunings; more on this later.
At the rear is a 525-watt BASH amplifier. This is a high-quality amp and was designed exclusively for SVS. Inputs and outputs include left and right RCA and speaker-level binding posts. There are no XLR jacks. As I said earlier, the controls are extensive. In addition to Gain, there are infinitely variable Crossover and Phase dials. The crossover can be disabled with a switch. There is also an Auto/On switch. Set to Auto, the sub turns on whenever a signal is detected. It will stay on for several minutes if the signal stops. I used the Auto mode and the sub never shut down during any of my listening. If you want to leave the sub on 24/7, you can use the On mode. The other controls are for the Subsonic Filter and Parametric EQ features. I'll discuss them in the next section.