SVS SB-2000 review

Priced at £650, the SB-2000 is targeted at those eager to sample the delights of serious subwoofer technology without breaking the bank, or rearranging their furniture. A sealed design (SVS has a new ported woofer, too, the PB-2000), the American manufacturer claims it's 'compact'. I'd take that with a pinch of salt – it's not massive, but it's hardly dinky.

The SB-2000 uses both a new driver and a new power plant. The former is a front-firing 12in unit that, says the brand, benefits from some extensive R&D – more than 20 prototypes were apparently tested before the woofer design (incorporating the magnet, motor and spider assembly) was finalised. All this was done, I'm told, to find an equal partner to the freshly-conceived Sledge DSP amplifier, which is rated at 500W RMS (1,100W peak) – a 200W increase on the previous model used in the SB-1000.

Style-wise, the SB-2000 suffers somewhat from black box-itis, although I like the black ash finish of our review sample (it's also available in gloss black). A curved grille is supplied.

Installation is simple. There's no room EQ offered here, just phase, volume and crossover dials, plus in/outputs and an Auto Standby mode. The latter enables you to save on energy bills, but I found it a bit ponderous to wake up, so deactivated it.

Barnstormer

For the asking price, SVS's SB-2000 is a barnstormer. It provides hair-raising levels of low-frequency fun – dropping deep while exhibiting fast feet – without any sign of cabinet stress. While some subs can draw attention to themselves for all the wrong reasons, the SB-2000 just sits there, doing its thing, and letting you enjoy its performance.

With Homefront it adds tight, authentic weight and punch to the pounding fists as Jason Statham's hero takes a beating in a boathouse, and revels in the elongated, shifting bass note that corresponds to him being submerged in water. Its output is rich and inviting. With Pacific Rim, meanwhile, the footsteps of rampaging Kaiju and Jaegers become immensely scary occurrences, imbibed with an omnipotent low-end thud – when Gipsy Danger takes a swing at its otherworld foe in downtown Hong Kong City, the impact is seriously impressive, delivering the cinematic scale and presence that the filmmaker intended.

Switching over to music, the SVS proves equally adept at handling basslines, with its agility paying dividends. Again, its measured tonality comes to the fore here, and you can use the crossover control to optimise its interaction with your stereo speakers.

Essentially, there's nothing not to like about the SB-2000's performance. Of course, you can get bigger, deeper-sounding subs, but they will cost you more. For a small/medium-sized room, this is ideal.

Verdict

SVS SB-2000
Price:
£650 Approx
www.karma-av.co.uk

Highs: Excellent value for money; quick, agile performer; impressive low-end extension; easy to setup
Lows: Auto Standby mode best left off; not as compact as you might wish

Performance: 5/5
Design: 4/5
Features: 4/5
Overall: 5/5

Specification

Drive Units: 1 x 12in 'high-output' bass driver
Enclosure: Sealed, front-firing
Frequency Response: 19Hz (-3dB)
On-Board Power: 500W Sledge DSP amp
Remote Control: No
Dimensions: 360(w) x 360(h) x 430(d)mm
Weight: 15.8kg
Connections: LFE input; stereo line-level input; stereo line-level output

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