Secrets Product Review

SVS SB12-Plus Subwoofer

Part I

November, 2006

John E. Johnson, Jr.




● Sealed Enclosure

● Driver: 12" Front-Firing

● MFR: 22 Hz - 150 Hz 3 dB

● Amplifier: 425 Watt BASH

● Builti-in Parametric EQ (PEQ) and Room
    Compensation Controls

● Dimensions: 14" H x 14" W x 15" D

● Weight: 40 Pounds

● MSRP: $749 USA in Oak, Maple, or Rosenut; $699 for Black Vinyl; $799 for Black Piano Gloss




I remember only just a few years ago when SVS was getting started, and not many people knew who they were.

They sold subwoofers only on the Internet.

Right from the start, their products were top of the line in build and performance, and they were built in the USA.

Prices? Low, low, and low. One of the biggest bangs for the buck in home theater and hi-fi, anywhere in the world.

So, in 2006 and heading into 2007, what has changed?

Their products are still terrific, still built in the USA for the most part (like many companies, they have some of their enclosures built overseas), still sold mostly on the Internet (they have some dealers in Europe). They also now offer speakers as well as subs.

Prices? Still low, still low, and still low, in spite of maintaining a USA factory.

That to me is the most amazing part. When so many companies have to build a lot of their products overseas to remain competitive, these guys do it while maintaining USA construction.

I don't know how they accomplish such a feat.

But, that is irrelevant.

What counts is the quality and value that are delivered to the user, and SVS does it as good as anyone on earth.

The SB12-Plus

SVS has just released this new subwoofer, which is a 12" sealed enclosure design.

The driver is front-firing, with a long throw design that has, like most big power subs these days, a huge rubber surround. SVS builds the driver in their own factory rather than it being an off-the-shelf unit.

The rear panel is loaded, and I mean loaded with features.

There are so many features, I had search around for a few seconds to find the on-off toggle, tucked down in the left corner. The AC power cord is non-grounded, and detachable.

Anyway, the features:

It has balanced XLR as well as standard single-ended RCA inputs and outputs, and speaker-level inputs and outputs. XLR inputs are very important if you run your input cable from across the room like I do.

At the top left you can see a single band PEQ (Parametric EQ) control. PEQs have three parameters. One is the frequency where you want the EQ to act, such as 35 Hz. Secondly, you have Level, which is the amount of EQ you want to put in the circuit. In the case of the SB12-Plus, it is only a decrease, in other words, used to reduce a peak rather than raise a valley. Last, is the Q or width of the EQ peak. Say you want to decrease a bump in your room response at 35 Hz. That bump might go from 30 Hz to 40 Hz. So, you set the frequency at 35 Hz, and turn the level control up to reduce the peak accordingly, and set the Q wide enough to cover the range from 30 Hz to 40 Hz.

More on this in the On the Bench section.

Next, on the right, are the Gain (Volume) and Phase controls, followed by the Crossover (40 Hz to 120 Hz), and a toggle to disable the crossover if you need to (such as with an SSP or receiver that has its own subwoofer crossover).

Underneath these controls is the Room Compensation circuit. This is used to compensate for the effects of the room on the response. It has settings for the size of your room. You just dial it in, or turn it off altogether.

See what I mean about features? All of this for $749 ($699 if you are happy with black vinyl), right down to the solid brass speaker binding posts.

Click Here to Go to Part II.

Copyright 2006 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity

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