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By Scott Michale Bosco

Having read and seen so much about this sub I was extremely curious about its performance.   Please understand this is a “hands on” review, not a bench test.

The unit was delivered by freight and two men.  Thankfully, they agreed to bring it in the house, leaving it inside near the door. (There were steps outside that would have made it much more than a challenge for me alone.)

Once inside I didn't find it too difficult to maneuver.  Yes the box weighed 207.3lbs, but shimmy it across my hardwood floors wasn’t that bad.  Getting it out of the box was fun, needing to get down on the floor and push the item out the opposite end.  Getting it into the given saved area wasn’t that bad.  Now I’m only 5’4” so I was surprised when seeing much larger men on Youtube struggling.

Connecting it to my receiver/amp was done via an RCA subwoofer cable – simple.

First I have to say the construction of the sub is excellent.  My most complementary feature is the grill that covers the 15’ driver.  Instead of a framed cloth cover a metal one is provided.  It's sturdy, strong and can’t tear or have threads hang.  While testing the unit the cover was silent and never vibrated. 

On the front top of the unit is a read-out and buttons to control the unit.  The read-out lights up blue and can be shut off if you choose.

Perhaps best of all is an app the company provides that can be downloaded onto your phone – I used the Android app.  Through this app everything on the subwoofer can be set and tuned.  This is a wonderful feature basically allowing remote access.

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Upon turning on the unit there was no “hum” or distortion.  An on/off switch is on the back of the unit as well as the option of allowing the sub to turn via input signal.

Foam inserts are given (3) they can be placed in the front port holes if desired.  I placed two in.

My first test was playing movies in various sound configurations.  I understand results will vary depending not only on the film, and how it was mixed, but with mixing formats.  I tested various films from multiple decades.  My first results were slightly less than expected.  Not terrible, but just less.  I played with not only volume level but with other settings on the unit, and within the receiver/amp.

Understand at first I didn’t calibrate the sub with the amp.  So next I hooked up the amp’s mic and ran the calibration.  I use an Emotiva, BasX MR1 which uses EMO-Q Automatic Room Correction.   Suddenly the subwoofer came to life.  The difference was night and day.  Unlike the Audyssey room correction which takes away bass presence Emotiva’s not only corrects the sonics the 5 or more speakers in your 5.1 set-up it enhances the bass (LFE) channel to prime levels.

Suddenly the LFE was supercharged and the output was amazing.  The levels of depth presented by certain films was felt rather than heard.

The response was another layer of the sound matrix.  It was effortlessly conveyed through its various levels – clean, undistorted and never bottoming out.  The solid cabinet held the power output without a shudder or rattle. 

Newer films of course will deliver more of a punch.  But I was pleased how older mixes were presented.  Even in Dolby Surround mixes (4.0) there was life which brought back the theater presences.

The first titles that came to mind for bass, and being older were EARTHQUAKE, MIDWAY, and ROLLERCOASTER.  For those younger reading this those three films were theatrically released in SENSURROUND. The Blu-rays have a special “Sensurround” mix which has extended bass.

Each delivered, with MIDWAY coming in first, EARTHQUAKE, then ROLLERCOASTER.  In the theater MIDWAY’s presentation held waves of bass so strong the material of your pants were flapping as from wind.  The PB 16ULTRA pushed out gusts of air in the bombardments of WWII feature.

The sheer power of the bass produced isn’t just for dynamic explosions but adds power in music in films as well.  In THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA the film becomes a live performance with orchestral bravado.   In the beginning of the film when the chandelier is turned on is startling.  The end of “All I Ask of You” with the phantom sitting on the roof statue climaxes with an explosive musical cue.  

In the 1984 version of METROPOLIS, re-edited edition of the 1927 film modern music has been used with the likes of Queen, Pat Benatar, and Giorgio Moroder, to name a few.  The pop tunes, and lively score by Moroder.  The bass response is staggering at times.

My taste in music leans mostly towards orchestral and pop.  But some more heavier moments can and do come from film soundtracks.  The director Dario Argento uses the rock group GOBLIN and delivered some head banging moments as with PHENOMENA – to which I not only tested the music in the film, but on CD as well.  In the end, the neighbors weren’t happy.

Once the sub was calibrated into the system it delivered beyond my expectations.  The beast within roared, the behemoth bellowed.  Spending you money on this is a worthy decision.  As long as you have the room for this leviathan go for it. 

When comparing it to the AXIOM sub – which is reviewed on the site – I have to say the Axiom delivers a bit more in terms of very low bass.  But that doesn’t mean the SVS isn’t good.

When spending this much money on anything one has to consider the company and how, should you need, to be protected.  For that I can’t say much.  I haven’t had to contact SVS for help in any way.  (For more info on my dealings with the company read side bar below.)

In all my dealings and using the product I can’t complain. The product’s engineering is top notch.  I can’t think anyone would complain or have problems.  Again, I can’t stress enough on the calibration method used to get the most from the sub.

Now I only had one sub to run – much is said that two can, and even should, be used.  One supplied enough bass within my 15x20 room.  Two…. Wow.

Side Bar

I didn’t want the following to be a part of the review this is a separate issue.

Initially being with the press I was on the list with SVS to receive review product.  As time ran on the COVID era began.  Naturally SVS, as with many companies refrained from a full amount of in house workers, keeping only a skeleton crew active to keep the company alive.  During this time review products were basically at a standstill.  I would see posts on Instagram with reviewers stating they were counting the days to when product would be made available.  Eventually I saw a post stating a reviewer had received product, and that the gates were open once again.  I posted stating it was great and that I couldn’t wait until one of my requests were fulfilled.

Waiting a few weeks my concern grew not hearing from SVS in my request so I called my contact, a very nice man, asking about my request.  I was told that my comment posted upset the owner of the company and that no future requests were to be acknowledged.  I stated that I had only posted my pleasure to find products were being sent out again and was again told the owner did not like my post. 

This upset me to being treated this way since I was a professional writer/reviewer for over 30 years in print and the net.  Unlike the fan boys, and kids getting product with no professional background seen on Instagram and Youtube.

Bottom line - it seems the owner had decided purposely to make his decision to send product to people of color.  He had also made a post in the support of BLM.  Of course that is his choice.  As time passed BLM would be exposed in cheating the people it was stating to represent.  It’s originators as frauds who bought million dollar houses.  … and the violence they caused simply savage attacks on society.

I understand people in pain from mistreatment, and prejudice.  Perhaps even more than those connecting themselves with BLM.  I’m Jew.  6 million of my people were killed.  My family lost members.  Yet, never, not even once have the Jews, throughout history, anywhere, run amuck, rioted, burn down towns or had violent demonstrations. 

My point is, products made by a company are product designed, and produced by engineers.   Not company heads.  As in this case the company head proved he is poor in assessing situations, especially people.  The credit to the products coming from SVS is completely to the designers, engineers and production crew.  To them kudos!

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