November 25, 2012

SVS Powered Subwoofer PB12-NSD

"Fuyoh!" was the first word that flashed through my mind when the SVS PB12-NSD subwoofer was being unpacked in my listening room. I was amazed by its size. For a price of RM3,499 list, you do get a lot of subwoofer. The PB12-NSD measures 20.9" x 17.3" x 22" (hwd) and weighs 66lbs. These numbers might not convey a real sense of bulk, but seeing it in person will leave one in no doubt that this is no compact subwoofer but a giant among small box subs so popular nowadays. This is a true blue big box subwoofer that is solidly built and means business. It comes with a 12" driver and 400 watts RMS (800 watts peak) built-in amplifier, with frequency response of 18Hz-150Hz. Unpacking and installing this sub is a 2-person job. Its bulk will dominate a small to mid size home theatre room. In my 15'x22'x10' room, the SVS definitely made it presence felt. Did I mention that you do get a lot of subwoofer for the price?!

"Fuyoh!" was again the word that flashed through my mind when the PB12-NSD started playing. This bad boy churned out room shaking bass when called for by those Hollywood blockbusters. In many instances, the rumbles shook the couch and strong bass notes thumped my chest. The scale of the sound track expanded in all dimensions and became more enveloping. Watching movie with the SVS in place became a much more immersive experience. The SVS PBV12-NSD could really do the crash-bam-boom stuff.

However, it is actually more than just that. One quality of the PB12-NSD that I appreciate was that it was not about sounding loud, big and powerful. The PB12-NSD definitely had no problem achieving all that of course, but it also did not forget about the quality part. The PB12-NSD's bass reproduction was clean and agile, easily keeping pace with the other loudspeakers in my 7.1 setup. Nuances in the nether region was also faithfully conveyed, many times my attention was attracted towards listening to the details in the sound track rather than paying attention to what was happening on the screen. The PB12-NSD conveyed subtleties excellently. In the first jungle scene in the movie Avatar, the subtle bass augmentation from the PB12-NSD created an enveloping atmosphere, together with the sound effects of the creatures in the surroundings, the illusion of being there became much more real.  In the 'Catch an Ikran' scene, the Ikran's flapping of its wings, again with the PB12-NSD augmenting the sound effect, was a visceral experience, I did not just hear the sound but could almost physically sense the air turbulence those powerful flaps created, the illusion was that strong.

I believe at its asking price, the SVS PB12-NSD is a no-brainer for a HT subwoofer. I am glad to have experienced it in my HT system. I have not tested any new home theatre equipment since my system was set up 2 years ago, I am glad that I could piggyback on Big E's search for a new sub and experienced the SVS myself too.

Many thanks also to Max Loh of Maxx Audio who expertly set up the subwoofer in my room. The process took not more than 30 minutes, he first ran the MCACC auto calibration function in my Pioneer AVR, then manually made minor adjustments with a SPL meter to balance the sound levels of all channels. The end result was an enveloping and well defined surround sound field giving an excellent movie watching experience.

I highly recommend the SVS PB12-NSD subwoofer.

SVS Sound is sold by Maxx Audio, contact Max Loh at 017-6778820.


Wang said...

That's one big mother......

But then again, there's no equal to box size and displacement in subwoofer.

Good stuff AS!

OdioSleuth said...


I agree. In the subwoofer world size does matter!