Secrets Product Review

SVS SB12-Plus Subwoofer

Part II

November, 2006

John E. Johnson, Jr.


In Use

I tested the SB12-Plus with a McIntosh MCD201 SACD player, Mark Levinson No 326S preamplifier, Lamm M2.2 power amplifiers, and Carver Amazing Platinum ribbon speakers. For the movies, I used the SB12-Plus with a Theta Casablanca III, Classé CA-5200 power amplifier, and Final ESL speakers (I cross all of the home theater speakers over to the subwoofer at 50 Hz). Cables were Nordost.


This new SACD from Telarc (SACD-60664) is a must-have for film music fans (it has a CD layer too).

Tracks from Star Wars, Harry Potter, and The Lord of the Rings will give your system a run for its money.

Don't forget that music needs good bass just as much as movie special effects, and this is great music.

There is plenty of sound down there at < 50 Hz, which my main speakers, being bipolar in design, don't project all that well, and the SB12-Plus sang along with the sound tracks nicely, thank you.


This recording of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture is becoming a standard tool for my subwoofer listening tests.

Yes, it has fabulous cannons at the climax, but it is a thunderous musical piece just about all the way through.

The SB12-Plus never flinched anywhere in the music, nor did it have a problem with the cannons. It also had plenty of power for my 18' x 20' room, which has significant room treatments on the walls and ceiling, plus wall-to-wall carpeting.

And, the bass was clean. No audible distortion. That is absolutely critical with music.


Prokofiev knew how to write passionate music, such as on this EMI Classics CD (7-24358-66422-5).

Again, it is so important when listening to music to have a subwoofer that does not produce audible harmonics, and the SB12-Plus is just such a sub.

All I heard was great classical orchestra. The bass blended with the other speakers perfectly, especially after I used the PEQ to adjust the room response (see On the Bench).


Pearl Harbor is one of my favorite films to use with subwoofers, and especially now that it is starting to show up on satellite in high definition.

The attack scene is the best ever filmed (maybe the only part of the movie that is really entertaining), and the SB12-Plus did its thing with no complaining.

I thought that, perhaps, it might meet its limits when the first torpedo strikes one of the American ships, but no. Depth to spare.

Click Here to Go to Part III.

© Copyright 2006 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity

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