SVS pin logo
Recently, SVS announced the release of its new 1000 Pro series subwoofers, which include the SB-1000 Pro (sealed cabinet) and PB-1000 Pro (ported cabinet) models. These subwoofers are the upgraded versions of the previous 1000 series models, which include improvements to the driver, amplifier, cabinet, and digital signal processing (DSP) module. The 1000 Pro series also improves the user experience through the inclusion of the subwoofer control/DSP smartphone app. The good news here is that SVS is still able to maintain the affordability of the subwoofers even with all these upgrades. Compared to the previous 1000 series, the black-ash finish SB-1000 Pro is offered at the same price ($499) while the PB-1000 Pro has an increase in price by $100 ($599). The subject of the review here is the SB-1000 Pro subwoofer, which is the smaller of the two models size-wise. The SB-1000 Pro may be small in size, but its specifications can rival many of the bigger subwoofers out there. The review will look into the details of the features and the real-world performance of this subwoofer.
SVS-SB-1000 Pro subwoofer
- Very compact cabinet size for a 12-inch subwoofer.
- The round edges and glossy finish are easy on the eye.
- Bass extension down to 20 Hz.
- Prodigious bass output belying its size.
Well-known for its subwoofers, SVS, which was founded in 1998, is an audio company headquartered in Youngstown, Ohio. Although SVS now offers various audio products (mostly speaker-related), subwoofers are still its main focus and the company’s solid reputation in the world of subwoofers is undeniable. Building such a repertoire is not easy in this niché audio business, but the fact that SVS is able to build such a solid reputation in the industry shows that it offers quality products that meet the demands of the audio community.
The SVS subwoofer reviewed here is the SB-1000 Pro, which is one of the models from its revamped 1000 series subwoofers. From browsing the SVS website, the 1000 series (now called the 1000 Pro series) is the company’s entry-level subwoofer series and as such carries the lowest price tags among the other SVS subwoofers. However, entry-level subwoofers in the SVS categorization do not correspond to entry-level performance or features in the overall subwoofer market. In fact, as you read this review further, you will find that nothing is entry-level at all about the features and the performance that the SB-1000 Pro offers.
12″ high excursion with dual ferrite magnet motor assembly
Fiber composite cone with proprietary injection-molded extreme-excursion NBR rubber surround
Powder-coated FEA optimized driver basket
325 watts RMS class D design with 820+ watts peak output
20 – 270 Hz +/- 3 dB
50 MHz Analog Devices DSP with 56-bit filtering
Low Pass filter slope:
Selectable 6, 12, 18 or 24 dB / octave
Low Pass filter range:
Adjustable 30 – 200 Hz (in 1 Hz step)
Adjustable 0o – 180o (in 1o step)
Frequency: 20 – 200 Hz (3-band, in 1 Hz step)
Boost: -12.0 – 6.0 dB (in 0.1 dB step)
Q factor: 0.2 – 10.0 (in 0.1 step)
Room Gain Compensation:
Selectable frequency: 25, 31, or 40 Hz
Selectable slope: 6 or 12 dB / octave
13″ (W) x 13.5″ (H) x 13.9″ w/out grille or 14.76″ with grille (D)
Premium black ash, piano gloss black, or piano gloss white
$499 (for premium black ash finish)
$599 (for piano gloss black or white finish)
SVS, SB-1000 Pro, SB-1000, Subwoofer, Subwoofer review, review 2021
The SB-1000 Pro review sample has the glossy piano black finish, which costs $100 more ($599) than the standard premium black ash finish. To my eyes, the glossy black finish does elevate the overall look of the subwoofer and it would be my choice of finish. If the black finish does not fit your decor, SVS also offers a gloss piano white finish option.
For a subwoofer with a 12-inch driver, the SB-1000 Pro looks diminutive, with its cabinet in the form factor of almost a cube measuring 13″ (W) x 13.5″ (H) x 13.9″ (D) without the grille. I thought my Velodyne DD12, which also has a 12-inch driver, is small, but the SB-1000 Pro proves to be smaller. It is relatively light as well compared to other 12-inchers, weighing only 26 lbs. The cabinet of the SB-1000 Pro has curvy side edges, which accentuate its appearance and make it less boring than just a square box. The build quality of the subwoofer feels solid and tight.
The SB-1000 Pro is equipped with the SVS’ Sledge STA-325D class D amplifier that is capable of producing 325 W RMS (820+ W peak) power. It can accept both line-level (including LFE) and speaker-level input signals. Integrated with the amplifier module is a 50 MHz Analog Devices Audio DSP, which provides signal control and equalization to tailor the subwoofer’s response to achieve the best results for a particular application or taste. The adjustment resolution as a result of the DSP implementation is tremendous, allowing precise low-pass filter control (in 1 Hz steps), phase setting (from 0o to 180o in 1o steps), and gain control (in 1 dB steps).
On top of that, the subwoofer also offers an adjustable three-band parametric equalizer and room gain compensation. These features are not something to brush over given that they are not commonly found in a subwoofer at this price point in the current market.
SVS SB-1000 Pro rear input/control panel
Compared to the previous SB-1000, the SB-1000 Pro offers a much-improved user experience by the addition of the wireless control feature via Bluetooth connection using the SVS smartphone app, which can be downloaded for free and works with iOS, Android, or Amazon operating systems. This app is a must-have, not only for convenience but also to make use of the full DSP functions. Some of the DSP adjustments, such as crossover slopes, parametric equalization, room gain compensation, and preset settings, can only be accessed through it. The app worked smoothly on the two devices that I tried during the review: a Samsung Galaxy Note20 phone and an Apple iPad tablet. I found its user interface to be clear, logical, and easy to understand.
SVS Subwoofer app screenshots
The user’s manual that comes with the subwoofer is concise and well-written. It provides useful guidance on setting up and configuring the subwoofer for the best results. For this review, I placed the SB-1000 Pro near one of the front corners of the listening room, the location that I have identified to give good bass response at my listening position. I connected the SB-1000 Pro using the RCA line-level connection in both stereo and home-theater applications. After a sufficient break-in period, I measured and calibrated the subwoofer responses using REW (Room EQ Wizard) software and a calibration microphone. These measurements were done in my listening room, which is relatively large (16 ft wide with a ceiling height of 9 ft and open to the other areas in the house), and thus it should be noted that room interaction will be there even in the close-miking nearfield situation.
Close-miked (2 ft) frequency response of the SB-1000 Pro, LFE mode
The nearfield measurement result (about 2 ft from the subwoofer) with the low-pass filter and all other equalizations turned off suggests that the published frequency response of the SB-1000 Pro was accurate with a relatively flat response in the 20 to 270 Hz range. Although I do not usually care too much about the high-frequency reach of a subwoofer in my typical applications, it is good to know that the SB-1000 Pro is comfortable to go above 250 Hz, which means that it should be suitable for complementing small satellite speakers with very limited low-frequency extension. I usually pay attention more to the low-end extension of the subwoofer, and considering its relatively small enclosure, the SB-1000 Pro is very impressive in this regard, producing significant output at the lowest limit of the audible frequency spectrum of 20 Hz. Measured at the listening position (10 ft away from the subwoofer), obviously, the response was less flat due to more pronounced room effects, but nevertheless, the subwoofer still puts out useful response extension down to 20 Hz.
Comparison of frequency responses with crossover @ 80 Hz at the listening position (10 ft away): without PEQ (blue) vs with PEQ @ 60 Hz, 6 dB boost, Q = 2.0 (purple)
With the low-pass frequency cut-off set at 80 Hz, the measured response at the listening position showed a significant dip at around the 60 Hz range. The 3-band parametric equalization feature of the SB-1000 Pro came in handy for precisely this situation. I used only one band in this example and adjusted it to center at 60 Hz with a medium width (Q factor = 2) and 6 dB gain boost. As can be seen from the figure above, this equalization eliminated the lack-of-bass impression in the 55-65 Hz range and resulted in an overall smoother bass response.
Frequency responses of the SB-1000 Pro at the listening position (10 ft away), crossover @ 80 Hz: no RGC (red), RGC with roll-off @ 25 Hz (orange), @ 31 Hz (green), and @ 40 Hz (purple)
I also tried the room gain compensation feature, which can be handy to tame significant bass-response humps due to the room standing-wave resonances. The figure above showed the effects of engaging this feature at the available frequency roll-off points of 25, 31, and 40 Hz. Since I did not have a significant bass resonance in my room, the use of this feature actually hindered the deep-bass response extension. Hence, this feature should be used cautiously in situations where the room causes significant low-frequency bass boost.
I started my critical evaluation of the SB-1000 Pro performance once it had been properly set up and calibrated. In stereo music applications, I tested the SB-1000 Pro in its ability to complement my Revel Ultima Studio tower speakers. In this case, the task of the SB-1000 Pro was to fill in the bass response below the 40 Hz range, where the Ultima Studio’s response starts to roll off in my room. This was not an easy task, but the SB-1000 Pro, with its useful bass extension down to 20 Hz, fulfilled it convincingly. Setting the low-pass crossover at 45 Hz with 90o phase and 24 dB/octave slope, the subwoofer response blended well with that of the Ultima Studio, adding the necessary deep-bass extension to create a truly full-range musical presentation.
Even in my relatively large room, the capability of the SB-1000 Pro to add presence in the deep-bass frequency range was impressive, belying its size. With the addition of the SB-1000 Pro, the underlying deep bass throughout the track “Thanks to You” by Boz Scaggs from his album Dig (2001) became more pronounced. In a way, the subwoofer fleshed out more of the bass texture in the music, expressing the bass foundation of the track in better definition.
Boz Scaggs’ Dig (2001) album cover
Boz Scaggs, Dig (2001)
Impressed by what the SB-1000 Pro subwoofer could do, I lined up tracks with significant bass content of various flavors. Throughout all these musical auditions, the SB-1000 Pro did not disappoint, producing articulative bass with sufficient quantity and impact. Some of these tracks and their bass flavors are mentioned below:
- “Forgiveness” by Mandy Moore from Silver Landings (2020) album. This track contains a layered bass beat with significant kicks throughout. The bass volume and textures were conveyed well by the SB-1000 Pro.
- “Jerome” by Lizzo from Cuz I Love You (2019) album. The combination of hanging and fast-transient low bass notes in the track were presented with good authority by the SB-1000 Pro.
- “Don’t Need the Real Thing” by Kandace Springs from Indigo (2018) album. The SB-1000 Pro reproduced the underlying thumping-bass beats of this track with good impact and definition.
Overall, the SB-1000 Pro subwoofer was more than capable of producing quality bass for music applications. It might not produce bass transients as quick or tight as my current favorite musical subwoofer, the Rythmik F12SE, but the SB-1000 Pro was clearly no slouch in those aspects and costs only about half as much.
In a home-theater application, the SB-1000 Pro was set up to handle the LFE channel of a 7.1 surround configuration, connected to one of the subwoofer outputs of the Marantz AV8802 surround processor. In this setup, the low-pass filter of the SB-1000 Pro was defeated, and the surround processor took over the bass management of the surround-speaker setup. I believe bass volume (SPL) and impact are more important than accuracy for home theater. However, bass definition and speed are still crucial to appropriately convey the mood or emotion carried by the pace and rhythm of the accompanying background music. I am glad to report that the SB-1000 Pro managed all these aspects convincingly.
Hinterland (2013-2016) series cover art
Wales’ detective series Hinterland (2013-2016), which I watched from Netflix, relies on the heavy bass-content background music to enhance the mood surrounding the storylines as well as to pace the on-screen action. The SB-1000 Pro subwoofer had no problem in navigating the various texture of dynamic bass in the soundtrack, creating the necessary atmosphere to engage me with the action. Never did I feel that the subwoofer produced uncalled-for, bloated, or boomy bass that could detract from the enjoyment of the movie. In that sense, watching this series with the accompaniment of the SB-1000 Pro proved to be a very rewarding experience.
Logan (2017) cover art
The movie Logan (2017) contains action sequences with massive bass content in its soundtrack, which could definitely give any subwoofer a workout. Impressively, the SB-1000 Pro handled this massive bass content head-on, without flinching. When it was called for, it produced uncompressed prodigious bass without any signs of losing control or bottoming out, even when played at relatively loud levels. Considering its size, the ability of the SB-1000 Pro in producing the demanding bass impact content in the movie was quite remarkable. In this particular aspect, I did not feel that it exhibited any less performance than the other bigger and more expensive 12-inch subwoofers in my possession that I compared it to, the Velodyne DD-12 and the Paradigm Defiance X12. This is a testament to how capable this little SB-1000 Pro subwoofer is.
SVS really raises the bar on what a subwoofer in this price range ($500-600) can offer with the SB-1000 Pro. It is a brilliantly designed little subwoofer with features and performance belying its budget price.
- Very compact size, good-looking, and well-built subwoofer
- Wide-range, high-resolution, and precise DSP bass-response adjustments
- Sufficiently powerful onboard amplifier
- Bluetooth wireless control using a smart-device app
- Abundant quantity of quality bass
The SVS SB-1000 Pro is truly a little subwoofer that could. Any way you look at it, there is no denying that this is a great-value subwoofer offering features and performance that can compete well with other subwoofers in higher price brackets. It is quite competent for music applications and really shines in home-theater applications. The combination of high-performance and advanced wireless operational features that the SVS includes in the SB-1000 Pro is hard to come by at this price point. No doubt that the SB-1000 Pro will be a good addition to your music and home theater system.