SVS PB-4000 Subwoofer Review & Comments

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by Phil Hinton, May 4, 2018.


    1. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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    2. SonOfSJ

      SonOfSJ
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      Greetings, Mr Withers! As you know, I've been waiting very patiently for over a fortnight for this review to appear! I have a pedantic observation, a factual query and a value-for-money query.

      The pedantic observation is that you refer in the review to Blade Runner 2046, I do believe that it's Blade Runner 2049.

      The factual query is the room equalisation, since SVS subwoofers do not have an automatic feature. You mention that one can make adjustments manually with a calibrated microphone and audio spectrum analyser software. Could you please suggest suitable examples of a calibrated microphone and spectrum analyser software, because otherwise I'm at the mercy of too much choice on eBay or Amazon. How much do these items cost?

      The valuer-for-money query is in two parts. First, this PB-4000 replaces the long-running (over a decade) PB13-Ultra subwoofer. For those who already have a PB13-Ultra, is this new machine sufficiently better than its predecessor to justify selling the PB13-Ultra and buying the PB-4000? (And I would have a similar question about the new cylinder PC-4000 replacing my older PC13-Ultra.) Second. the PB-4000 is now second in the SVS hierarchy to the even bigger PB16-Ultra subwoofer. The PB-4000 costs £2249, but the PB16-Ultra costs £2999, which is quite a lot more. With the PB-4000 being so good and already so physically big, is it worth getting the PB16-Ultra which is £750 more and 9 kg heavier (assuming that one has the space for it)?
       
    3. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      I hope the review was worth the wait.

      Why do I keep calling it Blade Runner 2046? That's the second time I've done that. I think I'm confusing it with 2046 by Wong Kar-Wai.

      As far as a calibrated mic is concerned you could check out the Acoustic Measurement Tools : UMIK-1 and for software check out Room EQ Wizard.

      If you've already got a PB-13 Ultra, then I'd be inclined to stick with it. The PB-4000 might have replaced it but it's not as though the PB-13 Ultra is suddenly a bad subwoofer. It's still excellent and the same goes for the PC13-Ultra. I guess if you want the ultimate bass performance you could justify getting the PB-16 Ultra over the PB-4000 but in reality I think the majority of people are going to perfectly happy with the PB-4000.
       
    4. kahlua

      kahlua
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      monster sub,could never fit it in but can always dream.:love:
       
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    5. Kev Greenhalgh

      Kev Greenhalgh
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      Pink Floyd reference FTW. :cool:
       
    6. SonOfSJ

      SonOfSJ
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      @Kev Greenhalgh I also got the Pink Floyd reference!

      @kahlua If the PB-4000 is too big, then do consider either the outgoing PC13-Ultra or the new PC-4000. Although taller than the PB-4000, they occupy only half of the floor space and are a lot lighter, 40kg compared with 69kg for the PB-4000. And they can be moved more easily if you tilt them and roll them on the circular base. I've got two PC13 Ultras!
       
    7. SonOfSJ

      SonOfSJ
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      It sure was! :)
       
    8. mb3195

      mb3195
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      Would love to hear a comparison against the arendal sub 3. I reckon the arendal would have it beat hands down.
       
    9. SonOfSJ

      SonOfSJ
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      @mb3195 I don't know tha Arendal sub 3 at all, but I'd love to know why you assert that?
       
    10. Saul Goodman

      Saul Goodman
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      Mr Withers has reviewed a couple of Arendal subwoofers, so he may be able to comment.
       
    11. DodgeTheViper

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      But not the Subwoofer 3 as far as I know.
       
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    12. EddK

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      I have wanted an SVS sub for ages. This looks like an absolute beast.

      Maybe next year!
       
    13. Jase

      Jase
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      Would be nice if AVF could organise a subwoofer shootout of some sort. I'd like to think it would be rather popular. :smashin:
       
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    14. ivagiglie

      ivagiglie
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      An SVS sub has been in my home theater setup for almost 10 years now, very happy about it.

      Said that I needed to check the app permissions on Android Play on the companion app, I'm quite picky about permissions and there's a common tendency for apps to request more than actually needed...

      So SVS, NO!
      You don't need to directly call phones, know who I am and have full network access so that I can eq properly the sub I paid so much money (in case for whatever reason I don't want to use the AVR).
      All you need to do is to pair to the sub via bluetooth and being able to store/retrieve my settings.

      I'll happily stick to my old sub that doesn't need a companion app to set the low pass filter and gain, leaving the equalization to the AVR.
      Hope low pass/gain can be adjusted on the sub directly without the need of that app.

      Sorry for the rant all and have a great weekend!


      This app has access to:
      [​IMG]Phone
      • directly call phone numbers
      • read phone status and identity
      [​IMG]Photos/Media/Files
      • read the contents of your USB storage
      • modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
      [​IMG]Storage
      • read the contents of your USB storage
      • modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
      [​IMG]Device ID & call information
      • read phone status and identity

      Other
      • allow Bluetooth pairing by Application
      • view network connections
      • pair with Bluetooth devices
      • access Bluetooth settings
      • full network access
      • prevent device from sleeping
       
    15. SonOfSJ

      SonOfSJ
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      I'm very curious about which particular 10-year-old SVS subwoofer could use an app, since I thought apps were much more modern devices??
       
    16. ivagiglie

      ivagiglie
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      Ah, that's not what I meant, sorry.
      The intro was to say that I'm a happy SVS user and not biased in a negative way towards them!

      I checked the permission of the App for the sub in review as I'm interested in software in general, I didn't mean I could use it on my sub (which is a PB12, for the record).
       
    17. meagabyte

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      As the pc4000 is lighter, cheaper and fires down instead of towards you, I’m guessing the PB would out perform it?
       
    18. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      I suspect that would be the case but the PC-4000 would be a lot more practical.
       
    19. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      I think there may be a few logistical issues with a subwoofer shootout but we're planning to review a few more, so we should be able to put together a round-up.
       
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    20. lgans316

      lgans316
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      On paper, the PCs should sound identical or probably dig a little bit deeper than the PBs.

      I have a PC-2000 btw bought when 1 GBP = 1.40 EUR !
       
    21. SonOfSJ

      SonOfSJ
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      From memory, various reviews of the previous 13-Ultra series, comparing the PB13 with the PC13 showed mixed results - some reviewers and paid customers preferred the box, others preferred the cylinder. In my case I simply couldn't accommodate the ported box versions, of either the old 13 Ultra or the new 4000 models, so it has to be the cylinder versions for me.

      Slightly tangentially, if you read the user review by Philip S dated 11th February 2018, here PC-4000 and scroll down a bit and click on the "Read more" link, he says that the new cylinder PC-4000 is definitely better than the old cylinder PC13-Ultra. But to the best of my knowledge, alone of the three siblings, there hasn't yet been a formal review of the PC-4000.
       
    22. Gasp3621

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      They are tuned / designed differently. PB4000 will be very strong around 16-20hz with the extended mode eeking out +106db @ 16hz from 2m (in-room more). Something which Sub3 won´t do, but it "shines" on higher where the most impact of movies are. From memory, Arendal uses thinner driver material etc. and they aren`t after the crazy SPL at ULF (reply from them). The trend with SVS has clearly been the opposite giving lot of usable deep bass output, plus same as with Arendal very low distortion numbers.

      Usually some comparisons with subwoofer performance are made with CEA-2010 measurements (2m RMS) which would show output and distortion at 12,5hz - 125hz, but sadly Arendal doesn`t reveal the information for public which is little odd as other brands will do this. But they have said straight they can`t compete with X brand models in some areas.. Which one is better, it comes down to what person is after in the end. There is enough evidence already that both sounds amazing be it movie or music, just knowing that one shines tad higher and one lower might help making the choice. Personally i would want to hear both if making the choice (numbers will tell something, but not the whole truth). Build quality, visual looks, customer service and warranty is quite on par with both.

      One often forgot competitor would be PSA VXX01 models which won`t look as sexy, but the performance, build quality, warranty is up there with SVS & Arendal!
       
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    23. mainaman

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      This is real bass and if well set up,it wipes the floor with most cinema setups,incl. the Cineworld Superscreen i have been frequenting the last several years.

      I had the PB-12 Ultra/2,which was frightening and much better than the BK Monolith DF.Sub 20 hz is where the serious subs stand out.

      Looking at the output charts,the PB16,PB4000 and PB13 are within couple of db between 20 and 80 hz.The gulf between them sealed and the SB versions is also very small.

      I wouldnt mind the size and the heft,but the hefty price thanks to the crappy exhange rate and the reality that the old UK houses most of us live in are quite prone to rattles when faced with a subterranean bass means i am out...for now.

      If somebody is on the fence and havent experienced true bass yet,go for it!
       
    24. badman

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      I’m intrigued by this unit.

      I listen to a lot of music as well.

      Is the quality as good for music or is it just a brute
       
      Last edited: May 6, 2018
    25. SonOfSJ

      SonOfSJ
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      I'm not clear why you are intrigued by the subwoofer.
      How carefully did you read the review? The Pink Floyd reference is the title "The Delicate Sound of Thunder" alone should have answered your question. To pick just one sentence from many similar ones, the conclusion section says "This huge ported subwoofer can produce subterranean levels of bass but does so with a surprising level of subtlety and grace."
       
    26. boabis

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      Love a ridiculously over-specced sub, glad they are still being made. I remember reading a review of the REL Stentor, which said that basically if you had neighbours even remotely near your house (let alone joined on), you simply could not use it.

      While I don’t doubt the prowess of the SVS, is anyone else getting a late 90s component system vibe from the design?
      F91DD5F8-09B5-455E-977B-D544458A8B2B.jpeg
       
    27. Saul Goodman

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      I'd love to hear this beast, I'm sure it's awesome. I have a dedicated room with a dual 18" sub, imo you can't beat a monster sub if you can accommodate!
       
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    28. The Dreamer

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      Yep, ‘there’s no replacement for displacement’:D - which either means an 18”er, or something like this with lots of excursion. Either way, a motor powerful enough to drive (control) it is needed - which is probably why the drivers in these are only a few Kgs lighter than in my 18s.

      A massive motor, lots of excursion, and a decent design - these could probably keep up with one of my self-built 18s. Though one would need two of them to keep up with the pair - which at 4.5 grand, would eat up a large portion of any HT budget.

      They are beautiful looking subs (if a sub can ever be called beautiful), so would be wasted on me, as everything is getting hidden out of sight. If I were inclined to have all my stuff on display, these would have to be on my shortlist, from aesthetics alone. Either that, or learn some proper woodworking skills to make mine look half decent....:blush:

      Anyone that has seen my subs on my build thread would never call them ‘things of beauty’! Whereas these look gorgeous, and it’s great that they perform so well, it’s not just ‘fur coat and no knickers’!:D
       
    29. CaPo

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      Im sure it's a fantastic sub, like all svs seem to be, but there prices seem to have gone crazy nowadays. A few years back the sb13u was £1200. Don't blame the exchange rate either, check out the price of an equivalent PSA.
       
    30. meagabyte

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      Prices really have jumped. Got my Pc-2000 for about 5/600 new less than a year ago (okay maybe just over a year) and the same speaker now is over 800 pounds!
       

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