Shootout: Five Mid-Price Subwoofers Page 8


SVS SB12-Plus ($699 to $799, depending on finish)

What's in the Box? • Driver: 12 inches • Rated amplifier power: 425 watts continuous • Cabinet design: front-firing, sealed • Finish: charcoal black ($699), golden oak ($749), rosenut ($749), natural maple ($749), piano gloss ($799) • Controls: level, continuously variable low-pass crossover (12 dB/octave, 40 to 120 Hz), crossover bypass, continuously variable phase, parametric EQ with level, Q, frequency (20 to 80 Hz) settings, room-size compensation (small, medium, large), power, auto-on/on • Ins & outs: dual line-level inputs and outputs, dual speaker-level inputs and outputs, dual balanced inputs and outputs • Warranty: 3 years

How Big Is It? • Dimensions (WxHxD): 13.5 x 13.5 x 13.5 inches (without grille) • Cabinet volume: 1.4 cubic feet • Footprint: 1.3 square feet • Weight: 40 pounds

Setup This sub is easily the smallest of the group, but at 40 pounds, it packs a lot of audio into a compact cabinet. Its control set is excellent, providing all the usual stuff plus two important extras. A room-size compensation switch, in conjunction with a little math, let me dial in a little more low-bass extension. And there's a full, built-in parametric equalizer -- a superb tweaking tool that's useful in any room and crucial in a "problem" room. With just a little knob jockeying (careful, because there's considerable interaction between controls), I was able to flatten a troublesome 60-Hz peak in my listening room. Using these controls, I was able to really optimize this sub for my particular room. I also appreciated the full I/O set, including dual balanced inputs and outputs -- how often do you see those? I was impressed by the build quality of the driver, with its anodized aluminum cone and cast basket, and the supremely solid grille. The SB12-Plus is a small but very well engineered subwoofer. Its low-pass crossover extends up to about 110 Hz, so it's easy to blend this sub with satellites.

How Low Does It Go? • Bass limit: 32 Hz at 102 dB SPL (maximum 10% distortion)

How Big the Bang? • Average maximum output, 25 to 62 Hz: 104 dB SPL • Maximum output: 110 dB SPL at 62 Hz • Dollars per dB: $6.72