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SVS PB-3000

The SVS PB-3000 is a ported subwoofer with a 13in driver, and sits towards the middle of the brand’s extensive range of bass-makers. The 3000 Series is composed of a trio of models: the ported PB-3000 reviewed here; the sealed SB-3000; and the smaller 3000 Micro which uses a pair opposing 8in drivers to deliver a low-frequency presence comparable to its larger siblings.

The PB-3000 is the big-daddy of the range, with its 13in driver installed in a massive ported enclosure and combined with a Sledge Class D amplifier capable of 800W RMS (and peaks over 2,500W). It’s designed to deliver crushing bass without sacrificing accuracy and control, and is primarily aimed at dedicated home cinemas where the emphasis is on serious low-end delivery.

Sound quality

There’s a popular saying among subwoofer manufacturers – there’s no replacement for displacement – and the SVS PB-3000 is the perfect example of this philosophy. Its large and ported enclosure, combined with a 13in driver, ensures it can move significant amounts of air which results in considerable grunt to your ears.

The driver itself uses an aluminium vented cone that creates a light, rigid, and neutral radiating surface. It’s also capable of precise high excursion, which means it can move further forwards and backwards, thus shifting even more air, and generating deeper bass with greater control.

The cabinet is acoustically inert and rigidly braced, with dual 3.5in ports beneath the driver that maximise airflow, driver motion and amplifier power, while eliminating possible port turbulence. The non-resonant steel mesh grille and custom feet also reduce noise artefacts within a room.

Finally, the powerhouse at the heart of the PB-3000 is a Sledge STA-800D2 Class D amplifier capable of a claimed 800W of continuous power, with brief peaks up to over 2,500W. This maximises the full potential of the 13in driver with efficiency and plenty of raw energy.

The result of all this cutting-edge subwoofery is breathtaking output and extreme low frequency extension with pinpoint accuracy and control. The ultra-deep bass notes at the start of Edge of Tomorrow (Blu-ray) are well know for sorting the wheat from the chaff, and the PB-3000 handles them with consummate skill and a level of poise that’s genuinely impressive.

It’s less blunt-force trauma and more a targeted whack from a sledgehammer, which seems appropriate given the name of the built-in amp. The huge ported enclosure plays its part in digging down to subterranean deeps of bass, but the 13in driver also reveals some surprisingly deft footwork, able to stop and start on a dime, which ensures low-frequency effects (LFE) are hit with precise timing.

While the PB-3000 is pleasingly responsive, and at the expense of a little low-end extension you can even tighten things up further by blocking the ports with foam plugs, a degree of expectation management is required. This behemoth will never be as nimble as its sealed stablemate, so if you listen to a lot of music you might want to consider the sealed SB-3000 as an alternative.

The PB-3000’s infrasonic depth extends below the threshold of human hearing, generating bass you can feel in your chest. This kind of performance will undoubtedly put a smile on the face of any self-respecting bass-maniac, but is liable to result in a restraining order from your neighbours – especially if you live in an apartment.

This is a subwoofer that’s capable of prodigious amounts of output, and is thus intended for larger rooms and dedicated home cinemas. If you’re planning on using a sub in a normal living room, the much smaller 3000 Micro may be more suitable. This sub’s use of opposing 8in drivers allows it to mine the bass depths without dominating the room or annoying the neighbours.

However, if you’re looking for uncompromising performance combined with state-of-the-art features, the PB-3000 is the ideal subwoofer. It packs a serious punch, filling the room with thunderous bass that gives movie soundtracks a visceral quality you can literally feel. This is the kind of sub film fans dream of, and once you’ve experienced it there’s no going back.

Living with the PB-3000

The first and most obvious point to make is that the SVS PB-3000 is no shrinking wallflower; at 465mm wide, 557mm high, and 596mm deep, and weighing in at nearly 40kg, this isn’t the kind of subwoofer you discreetly slip into the corner of the room in the hope no-one will notice it.

Once you add the steel mesh grille, which is something of an acquired taste, the SVS is even larger, but at least the premium black ash finish doesn’t draw attention to itself. Unsurprisingly, the level of build quality is impressive, with the ‘tap test’ revealing a fantastically inert cabinet.

You’ll definitely need help installing the hernia-inducing PB-3000, but once positioned the rest of the setup is a breeze. The minimal connections include stereo phono inputs, one of which doubles as an LFE input and is probably the method you’ll use to connect to your AV receiver.

There’s also a stereo phono output, a 12V trigger and a USB port. The latter allows for firmware updates or powering the SVS SoundPath wireless adapter, which enables you to reduce clutter and aid installation by connecting the PB-3000 wirelessly using a low-latency, full-range signal.

There’s a choice of on or auto power settings, with the latter automatically turning the PB-3000 on when a signal is received, and then turning it off again when there’s no signal for a certain period of time. It’s a convenient feature, and personally I’d just leave it set to auto.

The rear panel boasts what SVS euphemistically refers to as the Intelligent Control Interface (ICI) which in reality is a bunch of touch buttons and a colourful row of LED lights. It allows you to adjust the volume, crossover and phase, but it’s unlikely you’ll need to actually use it.

The reason for this is because the PB-3000 supports SVS’s excellent Bluetooth app for iOS and Android. For anyone who’s ever peered down the back of a sub trying to make adjustments this is a delight, and once the sub is installed you can do everything else while sat at the sweet spot.

You can adjust all the usual controls like volume, crossover, and phase, but thanks to clever bi-directional feedback the app also allows you to change the sub’s polarity if necessary, compensate for any room gain, and choose between presets optimised for movies or music.

The more confident among you can also use the three-band parametric EQ to calibrate the in-room performance of the PB-3000. It’s a tweaker’s dream, although I’d recommend a basic setup, and leave your AV receiver to handle any equalisation. Still, it’s great to have options.

One final setup choice relates to the two ports beneath driver, which can be tuned to optimise the PB-3000’s performance within your room. SVS includes a pair of foam plugs, which allow you to either run the sub open, with deeper bass extension, or sealed for increased responsiveness.


The SVS PB-3000 delivers on its promise of generating prodigious amounts of infrasonics without compromising in terms of accuracy and control. If you enjoy deep bass and love watching movies where the low frequencies hit like a sledgehammer, then this is the sub for you. Its ability to reach as low as 16Hz means you can enjoy punishing but precise levels of low-end extension.

The PB-3000 manages to deliver crisp speed and attacking transients, although it isn’t as responsive as the sealed SB-3000, so if you listen to a lot of music you might prefer the latter. It’s also better suited to larger rooms, but if space is an issue you could consider the 3000 Micro. This sub’s ability to generate deep bass from its diminutive cabinet borders on sorcery.

While this subwoofer might not be the easiest to physically install due to its sheer size and weight, once in place the rest of the setup is a piece of cake. This is primarily thanks to SVS’s clever app that allows for extensive tweaking, all from the comfort of the main listening position. Ultimately, the PB-3000 sits on the cutting-edge of sub technology, and comes highly recommended

Listening notes

Pacific Rim (4K Blu-ray)

This film about massive robots battling equally gigantic monsters has ‘bass demo’ written all over it, and doesn’t disappoint. The battle in Hong Kong will bring your rafters down with its infrasonic effects, and the film has so much low-end presence that it will test the capabilities of any sub.

Interstellar (4K Blu-ray)

This mind-bending intergalactic adventure might only have a 5.1 mix, but Christopher Nolan clearly loves his bass and makes full use of the LFE channel. The scene where our heroes slingshot around a black hole has so much low-end it’s liable to threaten your home’s structural integrity.

Bumblebee (4K Blu-ray)

A Transformers movie is always a great bass-tester, and this entry has the added benefit of being a decent film. The opening battle on Cybertron will certainly loosen your fillings with seismic explosions, while the very deep LFE gives the robots added size and weight as they move around.


SVS likens the PB-3000’s 13in driver to an ‘iron fist inside a velvet glove’, and that’s a pretty good description of its overall performance. If you’re looking for seriously deep bass that’s accurate and precisely controlled, this is the subwoofer for you. Just don’t hurt your back trying to install it!

What the press say

Why you should buy it

SVS likens the PB-3000’s 13in driver to an ‘iron fist inside a velvet glove’, and that’s a pretty good description of its overall performance. If you’re looking for seriously deep bass that’s accurate and precisely controlled, this is the subwoofer for you. Just don’t hurt your back trying to install it!

Video review

Pair it with

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