The SVS PC-4000 cylindrical subwoofer might save on space but does it spare the bass? Steve Withers finds out…
AS MORE FILMS rely on bass for dramatic impact, so the demand for subwoofers has increased accordingly. This is great news for subsonic experts like SVS, and it has recently replaced its impressive 13 Series with the updated 4000 Series, comprised of sealed, ported and tower versions.
The SC-4000 is the latter, a cylindrical model that, while it might look like a giant pedal bin, has a 16in footprint that won’t take up much space. Although it weighs a hefty 41.9kg, once it’s positioned in the corner of your room it’s surprisingly unobtrusive.
The build quality is excellent, with a solid MDF construction, a protective non-resonant steel mesh grille around the circumference, and a lovely piano gloss black finish. It sits on four large rubber feet that provide both isolation and support; after all, you wouldn’t want this beast toppling over.
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There’s a 13.5in downward-firing driver at the bottom which weighs nearly 20kg on its own. It uses an edge-wound voice coil to better apply power to the composite cone, with grunt coming from a 1,200W Sledge amplifier.
This uses Class D amplification with a discrete output stage that is reminiscent of a traditional Class A/B design.
At the top is a removable section that reveals the three upward-facing ports, along with foam bungs for a spot of room-tuning if necessary. At the bottom there’s a display that provides feedback information, but it only lights up when receiving a command from the remote or app.
The remote is handy, because rather than going over to the front panel or worse, trying to reach around to the back, you can make any changes from the comfort of your own seat. However, it’s the kind of credit card-sized controller that frequently disappears down the back of the sofa.
Luckily there’s also an excellent remote app, which allows you to set up and control the PC-4000 using a menu-based system. This is available for iOS and Android, and connects to the sub using an instantaneous and very stable Bluetooth connection.
Along with all the usual controls like crossover frequency, polarity, phase and room gain, there’s also a parametric EQ and three different presets. There’s plenty of flexibility in setup, and a granular level of control, which is sure to please LFE freaks.
The menu-based control system means there are no knobs at the back, just the stereo
The PC-4000 stands over a metre high
LFE phono and balanced XLR inputs.
I connected the PC-4000 to my reference Arcam AVR850, and tweaked the sub’s setup in conjunction with Dirac Live room EQ.
Deep and controlled
The PC-4000 quickly reveals itself to be a superb performer, delivering deep and controlled bass. It might have a small footprint, but the sheer size of this sub means it can rattle your house with room-filling low-frequency energy, delivering bass notes that you feel in your stomach.
There’s plenty of low-end extension here, but a surprising degree of subtlety. As a result I found it to be extremely nimble, dancing around the song-driven score of Baby Driver (UHD Blu-ray), but still able to land the gunshots and explosions. The sub can harness its considerable power, and release it with speed and precision.
Its output is taut, and it hits hard but doesn’t linger, which makes it great for kinetic film soundtracks. The Omaha Beach landing from Saving Private Ryan (UHD Blu-ray) lets the PC-4000 strut its stuff, underscoring the explosions with perfectly timed impact but picking up smaller details like machine-gunfire and adding a visceral low-end presence.
I have auditioned SVS’s PB-4000 ported sub and for me, the cylindrical version delivers an almost identical experience but has the benefit of not being the size of a fridge-freezer. In fact, if space is an issue then the PC-4000 might be the ideal solution. And considering the state-of- the-art subwoofery inside, it isn’t that expensive either.
Cylindrical subwoofer with 13.5in driver
Member of the 4000 Series range
SVS PC-12 Plus; SVS PC-2000
We say: It looks like Darth Vader's dustbin, but this cylindrical subwoofer delivers big and surprisingly subtle bass from a limited footprint.
DRIVERS: 1 x 13.5in, downward-firing composite cone woofer ENCLOSURE: Ported, vertical cylinder FREQUENCY RESPONSE (CLAIMED): 17Hz-200Hz ONBOARD POWER (CLAIMED): 1,200W via Class D Sledge amplifier REMOTE CONTROL: Yes DIMENSIONS: 419(w) x 1,190(h) x 419(d)mm WEIGHT: 41.9kg
FEATURES: Stereo/LFE phono inputs; stereo XLR inputs; SVS remote app (connects via Bluetooth); custom presets; crossover control; parametric EQ; polarity; room gain, bass management; port bungs