What's the deal with the SVS PB-1?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by MattCPT, Jun 14, 2003.

  1. MattCPT

    MattCPT Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2002
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've been deciding on a subwoofer for some time now. I have narrowed my selection down to the SVS PB-1 or possibly the new Outlaw LFM .1 (I'm skeptical about this one, but haven't ruled it out). I'm close to pulling the trigger on the PB-1 but I don't feel that confident. There has been VERY few posts from people that own one, and the posts that do exist often give very little information. I can find countless reviews about their cylinder subs but almost none on the PB-1. I feel confident that SVS makes a good sub, and I know that I could always return it (shipping is far from cheap), but their could be a difference in the satisfaction of the sound, size, look (in person) of the PB-1 vs. the cylinder subs.

    I have seen 2 B-stock PB-1's on the SVS website in the last 3 weeks and as much as I was tempted to buy one I wondered why the original owner returned theirs. Of course 2 returns in 3 weeks isn't a big deal, but the only comment I noticed in the last month about the PB-1 was from someone that sending their's back.

    If anyone has experience with this sub I would like to hear your opinions. Does it sound as "tight" and musical as you would like (I don't doubt that it plays loud and low)?
    Do you feel that it looks better/worse in person than the website?

    Thanks,
    Matt
     
  2. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2001
    Messages:
    3,126
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Enclosure shape has nothing to do with how a sub will sound. As long as the enclosure has the right net internal volume and is rigid enough that is. Which is why the PB1 is more expensive than the cylinders. More work and more material needed to make a rigid box than a rigid cylinder.

    The PB1 is essentially identical to a 25-31PCi retuned to 22hz.
     
  3. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    1,412
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  4. MattCPT

    MattCPT Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2002
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Dustin,
    Thanks for your reply. I honestly didn't think that you could switch between cylinder and box design without changes in the performance. I have gotten the impression that every little change in size, shape, amplification, materials used and even location (not to mention many more factors) could change the performance/sound of a subwoofer or any other speaker. I could easily be wrong but that is just my impression. I'm sure that SVS does everything they can to tune and match all their designs to sound "neutral" therefore keeping a fairly consistent sound, but until someone that has compared both gives us their insights I will still have some doubt of the performance.


    Curtis,
    I certainly considered the HSUs. I wouldn't get the VTF-3 because I feel that the PB-1 is comparable and less money. My wife decided against the VTF-2 because she said that she couldn't live with a box that had 2 holes in the sides(too ugly). To be honest with you I wasn't very impressed with the look of the VTF-2 either. I prefer the size of the VTF-2 but my wife and I agreed that the look of the SVS is worth the trade-off. I do however wish that the SVS had a better finish, and that is one of the reasons I haven't rushed out to buy one. I have seen a post from either Ron or Tom that said they're working on giving more options when it comes to the finish, and I get the feeling that a better looking PB-1 would be available shortly after I order.
     
  5. TommyL

    TommyL Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 27, 2002
    Messages:
    590
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    not without a price...ask them..maybe they can make ya a custom pb1...never know[​IMG]
     
  6. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2001
    Messages:
    1,074
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Matt,

    The PB1 variations are coming, soon. There will be 4 textured colors, in addition to black of course.

    In the next week or so we'll be showing the selections on the SVS News page.

    Though these custom colors will be done in low quantity so will cost a bit more, probably $50.

    More high-end finished subs will be coming out of our Ohio wood-shop too, but that's a bit further off, figure late summer. Can't reveal what sort of woofer/amp combo's however. SVS's R/D shop still has work to do ;^)

    Ron
     
  7. TommyL

    TommyL Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 27, 2002
    Messages:
    590
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    There you have it...right from the owner...sweet! OK Ron...tell me the B4+ isn't going to be a 2nd place sub now[​IMG]
     
  8. Daniel Mai

    Daniel Mai Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2001
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Alrighty! I'm extremely happy with my current 20-39PC, but my wife wants a nice natural wood looking box for awhile now. I guess it's time.

    How is the PB-1 performance vs the 20-39PC?

    How about placement of PB-1? Corner?
     
  9. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2001
    Messages:
    1,074
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Dan,

    The improved ISD woofer, and the much more potent amp in the PB1 means the latter would probably have an edge in performance right down to 20Hz (at which point the older deeper tuned PC might pull ahead some).

    All things considered they'd be very close. Any sub (nearly always) will gain deeper extension, cleaner SPLs, and flatter response when placed in a corner), so if your PC works well there now, a PB1-ISD would work just as well in the same location.

    We might have some announcements regarding what's coming up from us after our July board meeting. With any luck we'll have some pics and details on how things will flesh out our box sub line up (our CNC cabinet/wood shop is working overtime on some samples).

    PS Tommy. The B4-Plus is going to be top dog at SVS for some time I think. We're looking to add variety in finish options and performance in between the PB1-ISD and B4-Plus (which leaves a wide variety of possibilities to say the least). Look for an update late on the weekend of 4 July. Till then, the priority is to get as many PB2-Plus subs off the line as possible for those still waiting for pre-orders.

    Ron
     
  10. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2002
    Messages:
    441
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Matt,

    check out They make very nice subs that sound and look great. They beat out the HSUs in my own tests and some professional reviews.
     
  11. Daniel Mai

    Daniel Mai Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2001
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks, Ron. My PC was an interim unit from you guys, it's a year and 4 months old. It has the improved driver, but the old amp. Still the perfomance is unbeleivable. I went from a Denon receiver to Rotel pre/pro to Halo C2 pre/pro and everytime the sound improved with the upgrade. The C2 is doing the crossover now and the 20-39 seems to disappearred(my wife disagrees here), it's not localized, and it sounds absolutely incredible. I'm actually more impressed with it now than when I first got it.

    My wife, however, wanted a smaller cube that we can hide. My local dealer loaned me a small James Loudspeakers sub box, that retails for around 2K, and it struggled big time to keep up. Also, since I was close Hsu, I went to audition VTF-2&3, but it fell a bit short. Very nice gentleman though.

    I guess if the PB-1(tuned to 22hz) is close to my 20-39PC, then I'm sold. I'm sure I'll benefit from its 320W amp also. Now, about waiting 'til July(?) for more finish options, hhmmm....
     
  12. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2001
    Messages:
    1,074
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Dan,

    OK, with the ISD upgrade on your PC, then we're talking virutally identical performance. The PC will probably dip a bit lower, but the PB1-ISD will have a tick more headroom (this is the much improved amp talking here) for most movie bass. The slightly higher tuning helps there too (remember the vast majority of all movie bass is above 20Hz).

    That's a long way of saying that you would be very hard pressed to tell a PB1-ISD from your beloved 20-39PC without A/B comparisons.

    I'd be hard pressed myself to call the PB1-ISD a "small cube" but there is no question it has a much more compact visual signature in the corner of a room. I just put a PB1-ISD in a HT that had a 20-39 previously, and with a magazine sitting on the PB1 it's easy to miss there is a sub there at all by comparison. I think folks like you will like the colors we picked to supplement basic black. They'll certainly be attractive and a change of pace from black that the industry (SVS too) offers as a default.

    Since one person already asked via e-mail, some more background: For the PB1 product line (in ISD iteration anyway) textured (cured sprayed) colors are the most economical and environmentally sensitive way to get viable alternatives to black without having to go the the far east, or wherever, for it. That and keeping the same "$600ish" price point.

    Our US wood shop is without peer in workmanship but naturally it's more costly when you have to pay an American a living wage to assemble cabinets out of domestically procured materials -- the advantage being we can practically walk across the street and speak with them face to face about design or quality issues; so higher manufacturing costs from local small businesses come with some key benefits too. (Plus they've been known to bring food to our company BBQs, so we think we'll keep them as a supplier. The fact they are always complaining we keep "the screws to them" on costs means I'm doing my job as a vendor relations manager. ;^)

    As I indicated, we'll have more wood finishes coming on higher performance subs further up our model range due to the aforementioned higher costs. While the results might be larger than you prefer, I'm certain the emerging products will be competitive with anything out there, regardless of their origins.

    Ron
     
  13. EricN

    EricN Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2000
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    10
    MattCPT,

    I bought the B-Stock PB-1 and sent Tom V an e-mail about why it was a B-Stock.... Here is the reply:
    --------------------------------------------------
    >>Hi Eric,

    That unit had a toggle switch broken in shipping (the 0/180 phase switch on the amp). So we put a brand new amp in, tested it out to make sure it worked perfectly and B stocked it. It really is new for all intents, never been used by anyone except the shop in our final QC checks..[​IMG]

    Thank you very much for the order too Eric!

    Tom V.
    SVS

    ---------------------------------------------------

    So, a B-stock does not necessarily mean a return. Plus I saved $50! [​IMG]
     
  14. Daniel Mai

    Daniel Mai Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2001
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ron,

    No doubt that your added cost of $50 for additional or optional finish is more than reasonable. Let me ask you a few more questions, if you don't mind:

    1. When will you have the options available for viewing and when will have a newly finished PB1 ready to ship?

    2. My room is small (12.5'x12.5') and it's being changed from current setup. Mentally, I would like to have sound coming from the front even though I know sub output is non-directional. I'm sitting against the back wall, how will the sub perform being next to the sofa(as an end table)? Will I have any problem with phasing?

    I'm trying to hide this "small(21" high) cube" installed in the cabinet up front, but would rather free that space up for something else, if placement of sub next to sofa is feasable. Maybe I need a bigger(PB2) end table[​IMG] .
     
  15. SVS-Ron

    SVS-Ron Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2001
    Messages:
    1,074
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Dan,

    This is one of those cases (they are frequent with us) where really we're just going to pass on the cost of a more expensive finish process. In other words were not making a dime over our normal profit margin (well, maybe a dime but not a penny more! ;^)

    My own current HT is about the same size, 11x13. A PB1-ISD is in the rear left corner (about 3 feet from me) and I've found it is practically transparent and un-noticeable. Really a "near/rear" placement will work fine for you I think, we call this "nearfield" placement. I doubt you will ever know it's there (perhaps on very high SPL runs but even then it'll be difficult to place). Use a SPL meter for setup and you're golden.

    PS, much as I'd like to add another PB2-Plus to the PB2-Plus preorder list (now being whittled down but new orders are coming in at the same time), I really think a PB1-ISD more than enough sub for you. Mine's barely breaking a sweat so far.

    Ron
     
  16. Daniel Mai

    Daniel Mai Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2001
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for your honestly. I'm not a basshead either, I think the PB1 is very adequate for my needs. I was just kidding about the PB2:b, but I could use a bigger end table though.
     
  17. TommyL

    TommyL Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 27, 2002
    Messages:
    590
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks Ron...good to know the B4+ isn't gonna be one-upped...yet[​IMG]...If ya need more, kiss your hearing..and possibly vision...goodbye[​IMG] tom
     

Share This Page