There is still a continuum between ‘bass reinforcement’ subwoofers and ‘improved midband’ designs (at least, there is at the SB-2000 Pro’s level; those subs that are the size, weight, and price of a reasonably powerful car engine can effectively meet both demands). The SB-2000 Pro tends more toward the former; adding depth, weight and authority to the bass. And, like the provision of the app, this bass depth shows just how good a modern subwoofer can be, even in the context of audio nerdism. For while ‘depth, weight and authority’ used to be audiophile code for ‘boomy, flabby and overpowering’ on the SB-2000 Pro it holds no double meanings; it does add depth, weight and authority to the sound, especially the sound of most stand-mounts and many smaller floorstanders.
I’m trying to resist mentioning the bass-hound tracks first because while bringing more bass to the party is very much one of the main reasons for the SB-2000 Pro existence, it’s the way it adds a rooted sense of solidity to sound without being overblown or making its presence felt that’s a key function of the SB-2000 Pro. And that means playing ‘William, It Was Really Nothing’ by The Smiths [Hatful of Hollow, Rough Trade], which is usually a thin, jangly sound becomes a thin, jangly sound supported by an excellent – if poorly recompensed – bassline and drumbeat. This doesn’t transform the sound of that early Smiths recording, but it does make it seem more rooted in space.
The ability for the SB-2000 Pro to fill out a bass line is good, but there’s no point if it can’t rattle fillings when called for. And Trentemøller’s ‘Chameleon’ [The Last Resort, Poker Flat] did just that. Hooked up and matched into to the Audiovector R1 Arreté’s sound, this had the potential for true brain-mashing force. Set subtly for audiophile pretensions, the SB-2000 Pro was adding about half an octave of clean, controlled bass notes, making an already menacing track take on threatening properties. Wicked up to ‘evil’, it was weaponised music. There’s always control, but the power and force of those bass notes from this electronica track was moving a lot of air around the room. If it wasn’t quite ‘nosebleeds and lobotomies’ level bass, it got way beyond ‘discomforting’. Best of all, by not simply swamping the room with ill-controlled bass, the strange midrange and high-frequency sounds on this track combined with the bass to create something genuinely atavistic… there’s something big and angry living in the bass notes of ‘Chameleon’ and when a system can resolve ‘deep’ well, that ‘fight or flight’ part of your brain starts getting very twitchy. Which, for a small sub in a small room, is excellent.
The SVS SB-2000 Pro sub surprised me… in a good way. It would be all too easy to dismiss all subs as ‘home cinema stuff’ but this is more about audiophile prejudice than any sonic considerations. The flexibility of this subwoofer makes it a great addition to any system regardless of whether you are into John Coltrane or John Wick.
Active subwoofer with app control
Drive Unit: 12” long-throw unit with vented aluminium cone
Amplifier: 550W Class D
Inputs: 2× LFE (RCA) inputs,
2x RCA outputs (for daisy chaining subwoofers), USB (for firmware upgrades and optional wireless input)
Frequency Response: 19–240Hz ±3dB (expect 2–3Hz extension in small to medium rooms)
Finish: Black Ash, Piano Gloss Black
Dimensions (w/ grille, HxWxD):
37.2 x 360 x 39.5cm
Weight: 17.5kg with grill
Price: £899 (gloss £999)
UK Distributor: Karma AV
Tel: +44(0)1423 358846