Love thy neighbour...

It’s not a tiger's scratching post – it's a sub. Adam Rayner gets tubular

Coming up with a natty little subwoofer that can look like a radiator just isn’t SVS’ style. Neither is designing a tiny box with a bonkers amplifier to make it all but explode with power.

No, SVS has got attitude. It sticks it to the boutique brands, giving you a madness-inducing slice of performance and grunt for a price far less than that offered by the big shiny boys. The SVS PC-12 Plus DSP is unbelievably unsubtle. It’s a sodding great carpeted bass tube, like the bastard offspring of a home cinema system and a 1980s boom car.

Control freak

This offering is a fifth-generation mutation and is actually less massive than the PC-13 Ultra that blew me away once before. It now arrives with a knob-and-screen adjustment system on the back. Controls include gain, low pass filter (slope and frequency in seven steps from 125Hz to 31Hz), phase by 15˚ steps, ‘room gain comp’ (on/off), a feature called Subwoofer Tune and a single band parametric equaliser. This amounts to a couple of curves you can add on and a room cut if you need it.

I turned the subwoofer down to deepest bass at 16Hz. I tuned it by ear, knowing that my room has a 70Hz peak and the bass was vast. Tight, sexy, rich and unflappable on music, it tracked with melodious intent and was effortless in headroom.

With Paul on Blu-Ray, the UFO crash had huge, absurd monster deflection and the sheer amount of air moved is way beyond impressive. That moving, ported air has a ‘stretchiness’, so it wasn’t completely tight, but you can seal those ports one by one for fine-tuning. Yes, some people will think this subwoofer is far too ugly, but users can always lie it on its side and hide it behind the sofa.

Your neighbours will know you have it, though. Even if you live in a detached house.

HCC VERDICT

Highs: Stonking, weighty bass; easy control via a cool DSP
Lows: Function has bred form – you may want to hide it behind the sofa
Performance: 5/5
Design: 3/5
Features: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

Specifications

SV Sound PC-12 Plus DSP
Drive Unit: 1 x 12.5in downward-firing pulp and fibreglass cone
Enclosure: Vertical cylinder, plinth-loaded and ported via three 3in flared ports (foam bungs supplied, to offer four tunings) Frequency Response: 10Hz-150Hz
On-Board Power: 800W RMS from Sledge™ amplifier
Dimensions: 1,022(h) x 407(diameter)mm
Weight: 38.5Kg
Connections: Stereo LFE line in and line out on paired phono sockets, plus balanced XLR inputs and outputs on paired connections