The SVS PC-4000 Subwoofer When there's no space and you need bass

By Jeff Dorgay

Sometimes, the toughest part of adding a subwoofer to your stereo or theater system can be where to put it.

The SVS PC-4000 makes this easy; its 16-inch in diameter cylinder shape fittsin a corner perfectly. The PC-4000 is only available in black, and that’s my only complaint – white would disappear in the room better, and in the context of my 2.1 system with the powered Totem Kin Play speakers, you’d barely even know it was there. But that didn’t stop me from buying the review sample. We usually watch movies in the dark anyway so who cares?

Moving the PC-4000 out to our living room as the heart of a 5.1 system, featuring SVS Prime Elevation speakers, it works equally well, though in a quest for even more slam, I could fit two in this room. Because hey, you can’t get enough punch when watching action movies or playing games, can you? It has certainly made following this years’ Formula 1 season exciting. Watching the pack roar into turn one is way more engaging with all that low frequency energy. As is everything else.

SVS has built a tremendous reputation on high performance for the dollar and over the top customer service. The PC-4000 will no doubt, strengthen this reputation even further. While the shipping container looks rather imposing, once unboxed, the PC-4000 only weighs 93 pounds, so it should be easy to unpack and place with the help of a friend. Our more buff readers will be able to handle it solo, and our most buff readers will be able to play catch with it. Ha!

The proof is in the listening

The PC-4000 is easy to integrate into your system, once plugged in, download their app and adjust the necessary parameters. You can use the standard presets, or tweak to your heart’s content. The option of using the PC-4000 ported or plugging the three top firing ports makes fine tuning the sound to your room and system a snap. Deep in the corner of the bedroom system, plugging all three ports helped level out the corner gain in the room, and tweaking the EQ with the app takes things to perfection, not to mention perfect integration with my two main speakers. Once set up all the way, it was impossible to hear the subwoofer standing out.

Viewing the Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, with the PC-4000 turned off makes it so much more dramatic when the sub is engaged, showing off the full force of this legendary band in action. Awesome! For many, a pair of powered speakers utilizing the sub’s LFT channel might be all you need in a small room. In our 12 x 14 viewing room, we don’t even need to pop the popcorn, just putting the Orville Redenbacher bag on top of the PC-4000 and cranking it up makes the kernels spontaneously pop!

But seriously, having the level of bass extension and slam that the PC-4000 adds, makes you wonder how you ever did without it! Movies and music come alive and this sub is not a one note wonder. At the sound pressure levels that my small room accommodates, clipping or compression wasn’t ever part of the agenda. The level of detail and resolution it offers is tip top.
Moving the PC-4000 back to the living room, and taking advantage of the EQ presets earlier, it’s easier to achieve a bigger sonic picture. While we started our living room test with an Anthem MRX multichannel receiver and a set of SVS Prime Elevation speakers, this time around we made the PC-4000 part of a larger, more audiophile oriented 2.1 audio system with the PrimaLuna EVO400 preamplifier and EVO400 power amplifier with the SVS Prime Pinnacle floorstanding speakers. High res audio files were streamed with Qobuz and ROON via the dCS Bartok.

Thanks to the pluggable ports and the wide range of settings that the SVS app provides, you can easily optimize (and store) the PC-4000 to work with the LF requirements of a theater environment or a strictly music environment. Whether rocking out to AC/DC or listening to Stanley Clark playing acoustic bass, the PC-4000 digs down deep. In a larger room, it was easy to achieve near concert hall levels, and we could not drive the PC-4000 to clipping or exceed the woofers excursion levels. The heartbeat at the beginning of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, and Aphex Twin’s SYRO had the windows and the cabinets rattling!

Of course, the deeper your main speakers can go, the easier it will be to achieve perfect integration between sub and mains, yet trying the PC-4000 with a wide range of speakers large and small confirms this subwoofer has excellent upper bass response, with low coloration, making it easy to mate with a wide range of main speakers.

Easy to set up, easy to acquire

One of the smartest things they’ve done at SVS is to make it easy to finance their products. A set of speakers and a sub at $3,000 might not fit in your budget right now, but $125 a month is a lot easier to swallow for great music, gaming and movie sound. Putting it in perspective, that’s less than a foo foo coffee a day. I’d give that up in a heartbeat for rocking sound, how about you?

Those hungry for the full specification sheet, please click here, but SVS claims solid output down to about 16hz. Essentially the equivalent of their big, more traditionally shaped subs, with 1300 watts rms power on tap (close to 4000 watts peak) but in an easier to integrate form factor.

The SVS PC-4000 has no downside. It’s all good. And at $1,799, it fills a niche that no other subwoofer covers. Should you want/need a pair, the price drops to $1,600 for the second one – a nice touch.

If you need bass, and floor space is at a premium, the SVS PC-4000 is the way to go.

The SVS PC-4000 Subwoofer