PB-1000 VS PB-2000

First and foremost, in deciding between these 2 subwoofers, you need to be asking yourself whether you are going to get 2 PB-1000’s or 2 PB-2000’s.

Getting a single sub, no matter how good it is, will leave gaping holes in your bass performance. No bueno. This is true of any subwoofer, not just SVS subs. Splitting your bass budget to get 2, so long as they are still quality subs, is almost always better than a single awesome sub at the same price.   

This isn’t some audiophile thing, the way some might insist on $2,500 speaker wire (or a certain brand of cracker that MUST go with your caviar) otherwise life just isn’t worth living. This is real, and it makes a noticeable difference, even if the results aren’t always measurable.

2 subwoofers break down the standing wave effect, reducing peaks and dead spots, allowing you to hear bass that you would not otherwise be able to fully hear. It’s important, especially if you are going to go so far as to get good subs. 

With that out of the way, people ask whether it is worth the extra money to go from PB-1000’s to the PB-2000’s. Being world’s first SVS affiliate, and having heard both in my room for some time, my knee jerk reaction is absolutely, but I need to go into some reasons why. Budget, of course, is a big issue, and space is the other.

In considering your budget, only you can decide that issue. Is it worth being late on your electric bill? I can’t answer that for you, some people might say yes, but I probably wouldn’t do that myself. For sure, the PB-1000’s are excellent subs, and will get down to 21 hertz before starting to taper off, which is a drastic departure from most “common” ported subwoofers.

A lot of subs, even expensive ones, start “calling it a day” and tapering off around 30-40 hertz, and some even sooner than that. The PB-1000’s are just getting started in that range. They will put a big grin on your face if you’ve never heard a quality sub. Even if you’ve heard quality subs, they are impressive and earn respect.

They are also the smallest ported subwoofer I can confidently recommend at this point. They are still larger than many ported 10” subs out there, but still “small” in the realm of proper ported bass.    

Are they enough?

I’ve stated before and I’ll say it again: If the PB-1000’s were the last subs I could ever have, I would not be upset in the slightest.

I still believe they are the smartest buy in bass. I learned how to measure subwoofers with these, and through my own mistake, I damaged my ears, reaching well over 120 decibels in my room. It took 2-3 weeks to feel “right” again. They never made a bad sound during that brutal onslaught.

Output wise, yes, they are enough for me, and I would have to assume they are enough for most sane people.

Honestly though, who get’s into this to have “enough”, right? I would have 2 PB-16 Ultra’s if I could, it has nothing to do with “need”.

So what do you get when going from the PB-1000 to the PB-2000? Power is increased from 300 watts RMS to 500 watts RMS, and 700 watts peak to 1100 watts peak. More power is almost always a good thing. 

PB-1000 vs PB-2000 vs Typical $500 Subwoofer

You also get deeper response. Where the PB-1000’s are respectably flat to 21 hertz, the PB-2000’s are flat to 14 hertz. For perspective, I can’t hear below 17 hertz, so the PB-2000’s cover every bit of audible bass for me. I love that in a subwoofer, and for a ported subwoofer, it’s not common at all. Gold star!

On the PB-2000 you get the rounded metal grille, where the PB-1000 has a more traditional cloth over wood grille. Some people have issues with the metal grill. For some it’s an aesthetic thing, while others have found that the grill will fall off if not pushed in all the way, which could take you by surprise. It’s fairly heavy and could come down with a crash.

I never had an issue with the metal grille at all, and I like how it cleans easily, where cloth grills can attract and hold dust. I have dogs that bring in dust, so I notice this kind of thing. I prefer the metal grille myself.   

Then there is this thing called headroom. The PB-1000’s have plenty of output in a dual configuration, so why would I want more power? Well, when you have more than you need, the results are often better, like horsepower or towing capacity.

Try hauling a heavy trailer up a grade with a truck loaded to it’s maximum GCVWR (gross combined vehicle weight rating), and you are really going to feel it. Now haul that same trailer with a more capable truck that has an extra 5,000 pounds worth of capacity, and that same grade will feel like nothing. It’s a little like that, you never feel like you’re pushing anything too hard, and it does what you want with ease.

The PB-2000’s are barely working at levels that would have the PB-1000’s really moving, so there’s a lot left over. I’ve not pushed the PB-2000’s to their limits. I don’t see any need to; they do so well when I play them as loud as I can tolerate already.

I’ve even cranked up the subwoofer output at the AVR and really rocked them, but I gave up before they did. I pushed the PB-1000’s to their limits, and while it was uncomfortable, I still managed to do it. My house is older, so I chickened out on the PB-2000’s. Another gold star.  

So for those agonizing, I can say that both are absolutely impressive, and if you’re coming from disappointing bass (like most are), it will sound incredible by comparison. The difference compared to most subs is undeniable unless you legitimately have hearing problems.

At this point, it’s like deciding whether to get a 3D TV or not. It’s really nice to have 3D, but it’s not going to ruin your home theater experience if you stay 2D. As long as you are at least 4K, you’re in pretty good shape. Dual PB-1000’s should absolutely satisfy your needs without any real remorse of what could have been.  

That said, it’s good to keep in mind that SVS has a phenomenal consumer protection package called the Bill of Rights, and one of the benefits is the ability to upgrade within a year at full price. I’ve had a lot of people tell me there is no way they could justify anything more than the PB-1000’s, and I do see their point.

Conclusion:

For me, the only thing that would hold me back from getting the PB-2000’s over the PB-1000’s is whether I have the cash or not. In the grand scheme of things they aren’t really much bigger, so size is not that big of a deal to me. The PB-2000’s fit nicely on either side of my entertainment center, and looking at the specs of other subs, they will likely be the best fitting subwoofers on “The List” in my situation.

The PB-2000’s represent everything I discuss on this site and this channel: True, authoritative, full range bass performance at a reasonable price. The PB-1000’s are almost as good, only losing a small amount of bottom end and headroom in comparison.

In my opinion, the PB-1000’s are better in a dual configuration than a “single” PB-2000.

Make duals a priority, and you should be in good shape.

Hope this helps!
Ryan B.

20 thoughts on “PB-1000 VS PB-2000”

  1. Great article. I enjoy reading these.

    I was curious how you thought the PB-2000 compares to Hsu VTF-3 MK5 or VTF15H in sound quality? Yeah, I get physics and output and all that. I understand that bigger box and driver usually equals better output, so I have no question that the Hsu will be more powerful with the 15″ driver as opposed to the 12″ driver.

    But a question on the internet that regularity comes up is which to buy, Hsu or SVS, and often people will offer the Hsu on what seems to me to be purely off of the specs. So that’s not what I’m asking here.

    My question is, which one sounds better in quality? Which one offers tighter, cleaner, more transparent bass? Thanks.

  2. Hi Mike,

    Sorry for the delay, but it’s a tough question for sure. I can’t answer that question with absolute authority, I have a single VTF-15h (MK1, not the new version) and it’s a great sub, make no mistake. I can’t really judge a subwoofer unless I have 2, it’s too hard to really get a full impression without duals. The VTF-15 is the only sub I’ve heard from HSU, but it is definitely a good sub. When it comes to the subs on The List, there shouldn’t be massive differences within the same price range. Proper bass “should” be proper bass.

    SVS let it slip that they use smaller drivers in their subs to limit cone distortion. Up until very recently, their largest driver was 13 inches. With the introduction of the 16 Ultra series, they came out with a massive 8 inch voice coil to limit cone distortion on the 16 inch driver. I don’t know if that helps you or not, but it gives some insight into SVS’s view on the matter. For sure, both companies are excellent subwoofer makers, with slightly different approaches. I know there will be differences in sound, but I couldn’t articulate them until I hear the HSU line in duals.

  3. I have watched your videos and I see that you have the HSU flagship sub. I am looking at buying either the pb 1000 or 2000 SVS. But before I do I am wondering if you have any knowledge of the vtf-2 mk5 HSU. If so where do you think it fits in with the 2 SVS models. I am looking to get the most hard hitting bass for home theater applications. I have a dedicated room for my theater. it is 11 ft by 13 ft with 8ft ceiling. It is a spare bedroom in the house and completely sealed off other than the entrance door and one window. If you could help me with this I would appreciate your intake on things.
    Thanks,
    John

  4. Hi John,

    The VTF-2 MK5 looks like a very good sub, and I like that they made it a front firing design. Both companies make good subs, no doubt. They just have slightly different approaches, but share a common goal of proper, deep bass. I haven’t heard the VTF-2 yet, so I can’t comment on the differences, other than what you could find yourself. For example, HSU has a longer driver warranty, but a shorter amp warranty (you can pay for an extended) and you pay shipping to get it, as well as shipping back if you don’t like it. In contrast, SVS does not charge for shipping, even if you send it back, and they have a 5 year bumper to bumper warranty, even on their outlet items. SVS also has a 1 year trade up policy, which is the only time they ask you to pay for shipping, and that includes outlet items. Any of the 3 subs would have no problem filling your room with plenty left over.

    To be clear, SVS has been very supportive of this site and I am their first affiliate, so take that into consideration along with my opinion. I’d like to hear the HSU line as well to be able to offer my opinions on the differences in sound, but they have to be in dual configuration. What I know is that you lose some bass to the standing wave effect when you only have a single sub, and I couldn’t give what I would consider a reliable opinion with only a single. For sure, I like my VTF-15, or I would have taken it off of the list, but once I went duals, I realized that I haven’t really heard all of what it’s producing. That says nothing bad about the sub itself, and everything about the standing wave problem.

    One thing I would suggest is to get 2 subs to knock down the standing wave effect in your room. For example, it would be better to get 2 PB-1000’s over a single PB-2000. In that small of a room, you probably won’t need more than that. 2 PB-1000’s never ran out of breath for me in my 24×24 room, and the goal isn’t more output (which you will gain more headroom), but more even and balanced output. No matter which brand you go with, matched duals are the way to go in my opinion.

    Hope that helps!

    Ryan B.

  5. Thanks Ryan for your feedback on the HSU and SVS questions I had. I would also like to ask you if any of the SVS sealed box models can produce the low hard hitting effects that the PB 1000 and 2000 can offer. Budget is not a issue to me. So therefore, would the upper models like the SB 13 and 16 Ultra models be able to get it done. I like the remote control ability of the Ultra 16. That is nice.
    Also, would like to ask you if I was to use say 3 or 4 of the SB12-NSD sealed box models. Would that work? SVS has the SB12-NSD’s at a few of their online dealers for sale at $400 each. I am just trying to get that Imax feeling in the room and be able to get it in the smallest box possible if I can.

  6. John,

    Interesting and fun options, and tough to say absolutely which route you should take, I need a little more info. I’ll say that the PB-2000 is only a little bit taller and deeper by a few inches than the SB-16 Ultra, and the PB-2000 is actually narrower. They are really a nice size for a larger ported sub of such performance levels. 4 of those at $3,000 would easily put you in Imax territory. Quite frankly, so would 2, 4 would just be fuller and even more convincing.

    I have not heard the SB-16 Ultra or the PB-16 Ultra yet, and I’m really looking forward to it. They are truly impressive in so many respects. The 16 Ultra series has a lot of adjust-ability, so getting an SB-16 to produce “pronounced depth” like a ported model should be doable, I just can’t say from experience yet. The same should be true for the SB-13 Ultra, but again I haven’t tinkered with them yet. If you haven’t read it yet, my Sealed vs Ported might give you a better idea of whether you want ported or sealed. I find ported subs to be more comfortable on my ears, but that’s an issue that not everyone has. It’s a consideration for pets, wives that easily get headaches, etc…

    There are differences, and to get movie theater punch at depth out of the SB-12 NSD or SB-2000, you’d probably want to get something like a Mini DSP 2×4 and a Umik-1 measurement microphone to use along with Room EQ Wizard (free) to shape the curve more like a ported sub. This will come with a learning curve, and it will be quite a journey to embark on. For home theater punch, ported subs are already there.

    With a forgiving budget, I’d probably get 2 PB-16 Ultras, or 4 PB-12 Plus, which is the entry into SVS’s nicer subs and overbuilt features. Whether to get 2 vs 4 would depend on room size and where the subs could be placed. In my room, 2 is easier, but if your room accommodates it, there are certainly benefits. Of course I realize that goes the opposite direction of trying to keep the subs smaller, but when shooting for Imax sound, let’s just say that your bass dynamics would no longer be an issue in that pursuit. I know the distortion numbers on the 16 ultra series are just ridiculously good, in part because of the 8 inch voice coil.

    After reading the Sealed vs Ported, let me know which direction sounds best to you, and what your room size and layout is. Would you be able to place 1 sub on the center of each wall? Or 2 on 1/4 wall front and back? If your room isn’t massive, and the sealed sounds like the direction you want to go in, dual SB-13’s should be able to get you done using the on-board DSP options rather than the mic/mini DSP/room eq wizard route. But at that point, why not go SB-16 Ultra? Both sealed Ultras would have the output for theater level listening for most sane people with duals, assuming a reasonable sized room.

    Again, you have some really fun options. Often, I’m trying to explain the virtues of going with a $1,000 budget vs a $400 budget, so it’s a nice change of pace.

  7. That’s a wonderful article. Great job.

    Do you have any input on how much tighter the bass is going from the PB-1000 to the PB-2000? Is the PB-2000 really that much more articulate?

  8. I had about 5-6 weeks between the PB-1000’s and the PB-2000’s, so I wasn’t able to do a clear A/B comparison, but the PB-2000’s are going to be more composed at higher levels and deeper passages. If this channel were to shut down tomorrow, and I only had the option of a single PB-2000 or dual PB-1000’s, I’d take the dual PB-1000’s all day long. Of course I would prefer dual PB-2000’s for that extra bit of realism, depth, and headroom, but the PB-1000’s aren’t a consolation prize. They are very nice subs. The PB-2000’s are just a nice step up, and deliver the full audible experience. The PB-1000’s deliver almost as much, with a loss of 2-5 hertz in depth, depending on how you look at it. Compare that to some 12-15 inch subs that run out of breath at 30-40 hertz, and 2-5 hertz is nothing by comparison.

  9. After reviewing your videos and other reviews. I first ordered one then a second Sb13 ultra and didn’t get the chest thump I expected to get from such powerful 2000 watts of power. I did notice that two were definitely better then one and can confirm the standing wave effect. You don’t know what you’re missing until you have two subs. Then I ordered one pb-2000 to see if a ported box kicks harder in the 20 hz range and it does. I didn’t want to go with a bigger box for room sake. I finally can certainly say that one PB-2000 has more felt low end punch than two SB-13 Ultra. I returned both sealed units and will be getting another PB-2000. My living room dimensions are 13x24x9. One PB-2000 can easily pressurize my room and give me the felt chest thump I was missing with both sb-13 ultras. But as I watch movie effect I can now see the standing wave effect at certain frequencies where I should feel a thud based on what I see on the screen but don’t feel. Dual subwoofers are a must. If I was on a budget I’d go with one pb-2000 and add a second one a year later though.

  10. Great feedback! One thing I found was that with sealed subs you need to run the gain a little hotter. I haven’t heard the Ultra sealed subs yet, but as I understand it, they have some different filters to accentuate the bass in the lower frequencies, but I have not played with it myself. The PB-2000’s are awesome subs though, aren’t they! And yes, once you go dual, you rarely go back. If you do, like you have and I have, it just seems off and lopsided. I even feel an odd pressure difference between ears. Duals are just “correct”.

  11. My PB-1000 finally arrived a few days ago, and I have to say I’m impressed, My Tannoy TS2.12 certainly wasn’t able to produce the 20hz just as I thought.

    I’m hearing deeper bass in nearly every song I’ve tried so far, and in movies I can hear the difference between the two subs even more.

    The only downside is power output, I have the PB-1000 set to 12 o’clock for about the same output as the Tannoy which was set to about 10’oclock, however the SVS doesn’t disappoint at all.

    Its got me thinking, should I audition/purchase a PB-2000 for an extra £270, (prices have risen substantially on new stock here in the UK, I can still get it for £270 more, otherwise it’ll be £370 if I buy later)

    Is the PB02000 a lot louder in the 20hz range compared to the 1000 ? is it a substantial difference?

    Thanks

  12. Your experience with music mimics mine. More depth and presence, but not in a distracting way. Some people try to knock it, but it’s just more complete.

    Consider whether you’ll be getting 2 PB-2000’s. If that’s the case, and it won’t mean getting your power shut off or not eating, then yes I think they are a great choice. The PB-2000’s are my favorite subs so far. They are louder at 20 hertz, strong down to 14 hertz in my room, 3 hertz lower than I can hear. Depending on your hearing, you’re audibly “missing out” on about 2-4 hertz or so with the PB-1000’s. Compared to most subs, you aren’t missing much. The PB-1000 is an impressive sub for it’s driver size.

    If 2 PB-2000’s aren’t too much trouble, that’s the direction I would go. If not, another PB-1000 would be a better choice than a single PB-2000. And it’s always best to keep duals matched. You’ll also gain about 6 db +/- with duals, so any concerns about power should clear right up. So long as the sub isn’t complaining, you should be good.

    If the sub trim on your AVR is between -5.0 and 0.0, you can dial up the gain on the sub a little more (try 55-60%), so long as your AVR sub trim does not bottom out when you balance it out. On mine, bottoming out would be -12.0 and I’m running at about -9.0 right now with dual PB-2000’s a little over 50% gain. The higher the gain, I find that the dynamics are better, just back off the AVR sub trim appropriately until it sounds right again. Of course, if it’s too dynamic or it starts to complain, back the gain down again. Just something to play with. I like to see my AVR subwoofer trim between -5.0 and -10.0 after I’m done balancing the sound by ear.

    Glad to hear the PB-1000 made good on it’s claims! Let me know how things work out.

  13. Great site and videos. Thanks for the info. You helped me decide on duals. I was close to going with an Ultra 13, but decided on dual PB 2000’s based on what I found on your site. I almost went dual PC’s, but decided for the traditional look – the PB’s are easier to hide around furniture too.

  14. That’s great! Had you gone with the PB-13 Ultra, you’d have needed another $2000 to go dual. Enjoy, the PB-2000’s are awesome!

  15. will Dual PB-1000 19hz Dig deeper or close to a single PB-2000’s 17hz

    it’s interested that in a Dual configuration the PB-2000’s will dig deeper (14hz) than it’s rated 17hz, but the Dual PB-1000’s (rated 19hz) doesn’t benefit from deeper extension

  16. Thanks for the reply , yeah unfortunately that deal is a no go in Canada , but I’m gonna save up for I think dual rythmik lv12r’s, maybe dual pb1000’s

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