Pitfalls of buying SVS?


Established Member
Dec 23, 2001
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I'm looking to add a sub-woofer to my stereo system (it will also serve a secondary role in the soon-to-be implemented cinema system). I was initially going to go down the REL or KEF or BW route, but having browsed these forums, it seems SVS are held in very high esteem and also seem to offer amazing value-for-money (especially now that the £/$ ex rate is so good....).

However, it seems to me that a purchase of an SVS is open to some pitfalls. Would I be right in thinking that it is impossible to audition an SVS prior to purchase and therefore it really is a case of buying on blind faith? Of course, if you don't like it then returning it is going to incur some pretty hefty shipping charges. And whats the situation wrt to repairs etc?

Any advice is greatly appreciated especially from people who have purchased SVS. How did you go about ascertaining that an SVS was right for you and that it was the sound you were looking for.

If I decide to go ahead, I would probably be interested in something like the PB1 or PB2 Plus. What is the equivalent REL or BW model.

Thanks in advance.
The reason why SVS are such good value is not only because we are buying directly from the manufacturer thus cutting out the importer and retailer's large share of the end price but that manufacturer is in USA and not ripoff Britain.

The dollar has dropped like a stone recently which makes direct purchase a real bargain at the moment but you will no doubt have noticed that other American Sub manufacturers that are selling via traditional agents have been noticeably backward in coming forward and reducing their prices in recognition of the exchange rate movements.

I have always said that subwoofers like my SVS 20-39 PC Plus which is now available from £650 (dependant on airport) would cost from £1,500 to £2,000 plus if bought via traditional channels but there is a downside.

There is no UK retail outlets to have a demo in although with a bit of luck you may find an SVS owner near you who would let you listen to his. They do arrive after having been well tested and securely packed but we have still had a couple that have been DOA. They aren't hitech subs and consist mainly of a driver and an amp both of which are fairly quick and simple to replace.

SVS are probably the most customer focussed AV company out there and in the two instances of problems they have just airfreighted another amp out to the customer as a replacement.

My 20-39 PC plus is a clean and powerful sub but the PB2 Plus is even more powerful. The Beekeeper has a £2,500 REL Stentor and says that SVS provide a much better sub.
The shipping costs seem to be either $100 or $225 and it seems to depend on which airport it arrives at as I suppose each have different handling charges.

Luckily Birmingham is a $100 airport
Hi Theseer
Take the risk and buy svs you will not be dissapointed for the money they cost they are one of the best subs out there,ive owned rel and b&w which dont hold a candle to the svs.
Cheers Gonzo.

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