What is the forums opinion of SVS subs?

What is the forums opinion of SVS?

I have been thinking about adding a sub and started studying Rel. Then I saw an add for SVS and l gave them a look.

I have seen time and again this forums praise of Rel. So then when I was looking at Rel's specs compared to SVS, It APPEARS at on paper that SVS digs deeper at -3 db than Rel at -6 db, at a lower cost. But how do the two compare in their sound?




I do not have either, but both seem to be well respected.

One may also want to consider if integrating them into a system is easy or not.

They’re largely different designs. Yes, on paper SVS will deliver more deep bass per $ and sound quite good doing it properly set up, which is now much easier with their Pro series that includes integration software. Rel prefers to run off the speaker-level output and doesn’t offer integration software but by nature is easier to integrate without it. Bottom line, I’d take two sealed SVS SB1000 Pro subs at $1150 over one Rel sub because there’s a significant benefit to having two subs versus one if it comes to that. Past $1150, well, it’s all about budget. Don’t think you can go wrong with Rel, but then you start getting into Rhythmic, JL Labs, etc. territory that muddies the waters. Then it becomes a decision if using a speaker-level input or line-level input with integration shortware is preferable. Me? I’d read reviews of the various options and go with the one that offers the most of what you’re looking for. I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the above brands, but I will reiterate though that using at least two good subs is much better than using on great one. FWIW.

I have a micro 3000 and a PB2000, I enjoy them both. I have heard the REL is more musical, and I can’t confirm or deny that. But for me the SVS subs are just right for my needs. The adjustability via the app is awesome. Very versatile and lets one really dial things in. Also a plus, the SVS are priced right for me. You get a lot for your dough.

I never owned REL. I have one SVS  purchased to add to the existing two HSUs already in the system. If the HSUs ever fail I would definitely go for SVS as replacements.I love that app.Adjusting all of the settings from my listening chair is great.

YouTuber Nemo Propaganda does a good job of doing explaining the differences between the two brands. Might want to check him out. I too had a hard time with REL’s specs as on paper they don’t seem impressive. It’s hard to explain, you kind of have to hear one. They produce bass and have extension but it’s like there is no sub in the room. Just more low end articulation that seems part of the mains. The two brands are just different philosophies. No right or wrong, it comes down to one’s preference.

I own one of each, a REL S2 and SVS SB1000 Pro, and I prefer the SVS. They augment a pair of OB speakers in a 16' x 21' room to great effect where you feel immersed in the sound.

As @soix mentioned, 2 subs better than 1.  Easier to get good sound.  3 subs even better!  Multi-subs are able to smooth the lumpy bass found in all rooms.

A while back I managed to borrow 2 ported subs to play with and found them a little difficult to place and that is why I chose the SVS sealed unit. I placed the SVS in the rear right corner and the REL about middle of left wall. Omnimic confirmed a better room response than the 2 ported designs and that was before any fussing over their positions.

The SVS has continuously variable phase adjustment and with the ability to change settings from the listening seat is a great help. In addition to phase there is also low pass, parametric EQ, room gain compensation and presets.

The REL ( it's the S2 I think) which I found used at a bargain price was placed along the side wall so I would have the option of moving it about for best integration because the phase is only switchable from 0 to 180 degrees.

Setting up these 2 was a breeze. With Omnimic guiding me I moved the REL backwards and forwards, each time readjusting the SVS then move REL again and further tweak the SVS and so on. Will now build myself a servo-sub to add to the fun.

YouTuber Nemo Propaganda does a good job of doing explaining the differences between the two brands. Might want to check him out. I too had a hard time with REL’s specs as on paper they don’t seem impressive. It’s hard to explain, you kind of have to hear one. They produce bass and have extension but it’s like there is no sub in the room. Just more low end articulation that seems part of the mains. The two brands are just different philosophies. No right or wrong, it comes down to one’s preference.


Rel prefers to run off the speaker-level output and doesn’t offer integration software but by nature is easier to integrate without it.

To me ^these statements^ translates to use a REL or two in a 2 channel system, and either add a n SVS or use a couple of them for HT.

it is hard to beat speaker level inputs and Analogue SIgnal Processing (ASP) for the two channel.
If one has a DSP then that means that they know what to do, but it is more work for the rest of us to overcome… (IMO).

Without disclosing specific models Nemo uses a questionable analogy of the personalities of two different women and another using two different German automobiles to describe basic differences with four subwoofers, REL, Rythmik and SVS and JL Audio. He also places something on appearances.

Three of these subwoofers is equipped with differing methods of equalization, two add room optimization all are vital in producing variable presentations. With the exception of REL they all meet or exceed their claimed low frequency response.

Better to give Nemo his twenty thousand leagues under whatever and begin with mrteeves’ philosophical differences.

All REL’s are sub bass speakers. Rythmik has optional frequency cut and boost and JL Audio F series has an internal frequency generator and a calibrated microphone to automatically (only) adjust the frequency response. All are set-it and forget-it subs.

The SVS uses a smartphone (remote control) based application that allows you to see what your hearing while making crossover, phase, frequency, Q and volume adjustments to your liking. And the ability add those settings and two others to memory presets. If you want the SVS to sound like a REL it’s up to you.

Best of all you can change the volume by remote control as well as the presets all from the listening position. Velodyne offered far more detail version of this almost two decades ago in their DD and DD Plus lines.

mrteeves, "No right or wrong, it comes down to one preference." All the best with your search.

In my personal experience, if spending less than $3-4K per sub, SVS takes the cake. I have two SVS SB-4000 in my room, which is 18x23 with sloped ceiling up to 18’, and the room is open to another room towards one back side. It’s a lot of space and these guys are fast and deep. I tried two SB-3000s and they were slower and not enough for the room, but still great considering their price against a pair of Rel T9i I demoed a week prior. The SB-3000 blow those away. 

I did also try a REL 212 SE and it is faster than the SB-4000s, but I couldn’t live without the smartphone integration capabilities of the SVS. Phasing is especially important to me, and REL doesn’t offer that until you get up to their reference series which run $4K+. At some point I will likely upgrade to something in that line. 

I own the SVS SB2000 Pro. It sits upon my homemade bungee trapeze which isolates the sub from floor. While waiting for delivery,  I didn't have much hope, To my surprise, the blending with my Klipsch Lasalas is wonderful. I had all but given up on ever getting a sub to play nice with the big floor standers. Previous subs include Velodyne, Polk, Sunfire and other brands. See? I really tried. Honestly I purchased it expecting to return it as a failed attempt or try again by getting up SVS's product line to a bigger better unit. (Crutchfield returns policy is easy)  Once set up, the sub did what every sub should- It simply disappeared and allowed the music to become the focus! Five Stars

I use a SVS PB2000 pro sub with my JBLL100 Classic speakers and the single sub really made my system go from pretty good to incredible.  Like others have said, their software to integrate the sub is excellent and easy to use.  You can make adjustments on the fly too. I was going to add another of the same sub but the system sounds so good with one, that I don’t want to spoil the magic. 

Compare the warranties before you decide.  BTW, I've owned 2 SVS subs and both were problem-free.

the REL is probably the most musical sub on the market, integrates extremely well with your speakers.

I have the svs sb16 ultra it took a little more work to tune them with my tekton's than my klipsch but once I got it there you can' tell where the sub ends and the mains begin. I also got the svs isolation feet that work really well I have also put them on my tekton's. The 1 sub gives me more than enough bass.

I haven’t listened to any REL subs. A few months ago,I was looking to upgrade my aging HSU subs. I had my initial search down to Rythmik, REL, and SVS.  A deal for two SVS SB2000 pro’s popped up that I simply could not walk away from.  My take is these were a bigger upgrade than I had expected. They were very easy to set up, and definitely do everything I need them to do.  Unfortunately,I can’t comment on the others,but they do get rave reviews just about everywhere. 

I had one SVS SB-12NSD and was very happy with it. But I kept reading here about people using subwoofer swarms (4 subs) and raving about it. I stumbled across a guy selling two of that same model for $400 for the pair and jumped on it to see what all the fuss was about. While that doesn't give me a full swarm the difference in bass quality is remarkable, truly fantastic. In fact is has improved the entire sonic presentation. So the hunt is definitely on for a 4th.

A bit off topic, but I’ll add my vote for SVS’s isolation feet. I use them for my subs and they are exceptional at isolating the sub cabinets from my first floor listening room.  Very much worth the $50 for a set of 4 feet.

+1 for sure on the isolation feet and plus however many on the SVS. I use SVS SB4000,SB3000 and PC2000 ULTRA with fantastic results. After 40 years of trying this combo is unmatchable in my room.

I have an SVS and a B&W. Love the SVS much cleaner than the B&W, deeper bass and great value for the money. Overall great sub! Good luck with your pick.

@ratboysr, I may be wrong but I get the impression you think it necessary to have all subs in a multi-sub set up exactly same model. You are free to use a different type and in fact may prove beneficial. For example when helping a friend with 3 subs, 2 of them 10" and 3rd 12" my measurement showed a stubborn partial null at about 70Hz. Floor space was a bit lacking so I brought over a 6.5" little sub in a 9" sealed cube. After some experimentation found it worked wonders placed about 4ft off the floor on a large bookshelf.  Measurement confirmed the the null had improved from -10dB to -4db.  The small sub was about 5ft away at almost ear height so would not need much power but received enough to further smooth out the room response. In fact when turning up the volume on this sub I could fill in that 70Hz completely but raised a nearby peak a couple of dB. I erred on the side of caution to protect the 6.5' driver.

Generally it is best, for easier integration, to stay with sealed boxes. Multi - subs are transformative and I am constantly surprised by the reluctance to accept/ embrace the concept.


If you are considering the SVS line another brand that gets little attention but are as good or better than SVS is Arendal Sound for the same money. The 1723 series subs are very good. 

My experience is with a Plus and an Ultra, both 8-10 years old:

The main issue was the volume control, which blasted when barely cracked. I trained many different methods to employ them, to no avail. I had them with 3 different speakers. It took years of advertising them FS until someone bought them for his Video system, which is what the company originally was based on. So, if you're looking to use them in a  channel system ask before you buy


SVS makes really good subs and they have great customer service and they are reliable.  I have 3 of them, one SB-12 NSD in a bedroom system and two SB-13 Ultras in my main system, combined with two Rythmik F25 subs. 

I have heard Rel subs and think they are great, but I have a hard time justifying the price difference between Rel and many other brands.  There isn't enough sound "difference" IMHO to pay twice as much or more for the same level of output/performance.  

I'm scratching my head a bit about the comment about them being too loud.  The two in my main system have the volume set at something like -14 and -15.  When I bought my Rythmik subs, I bought them pre-owned.  The owner said something like "I have them set neutral" which in his mind meant that he had his AVR set at 0, but I don't think they were in any way calibrated or "neutral".  They were overwhelming.  You probably could have heard them half a block away the way he had them set up.  In my setup, the volume is at about 9 o'clock. 

Having them set up so that the volume control can be set low is a good thing.  That means that when called on, they will respond with ease and have lots of overhead and when they are not a prominent part of the musical content you may not even realize they are there, when properly integrated.

Having lots of overhead is generally not considered a bad thing when discussing subwoofers.  Some subs can be too big for the space, which is why there are multiple models in every sub manufacturer's lineup.  

If a sub isn't good for music, it's not going to be good for home theater either and vice versa.  I do however prefer to stick to sealed models for music.

Before you purchase either a Rel or SVS, I would suggest looking at Rythmik.  I like their servo technology and would recommend them over SVS and you'll get more value for your dollar than you will with Rel.


I have one SVS 2000Pro in my system and it does everything I want. I have it in the back of my room, because I didn’t have a good place to put it in the front. I’m also using their Soundpath wireless setup, so no long RCA and it works very good as well. But I have to tell you, the app is where it’s at! From my listening position I was able to dial the 2000 Pro in, easy Peasy!

All the best.

@lemonhaze I have limited space and that model is pretty compact so when two were available for $400 total I couldn't pass it up. I was under the impression matching subs was preferred so good to know that's not always the case as good deals on that model are hard to find.

Have two separate systems. Rock and Roll only. Smaller system, SVS SB 3000, and larger system SB 4000. Great price, warranty, and SOUND!  Blue tooth for dialing in,  GREAT!!!!

I think REL's high level connection technology is just incredible.  This allows them to play more like woofers and they seamlessly extend the bass if set up properly.  I added two REL SHO's to my system and it was a game changer.  I would recommend two large REL's to create a great sound stage.

My friend had an SVS subwoofer and it sounded very boomy.  Great for a teenager who loves to hear a pounding bass sound.  REL's play different styles of music incredibly well.  


Compared with my old AR SW30, the bass notes from SVS SB1000 are more well-defined, faster and smooth.  A good value proposition at the discounted price.  It has a built-in HPF fixed at 80hz, allowing one to better integrate itself into the bookshelf system I had.

Using dual svs pb1000 for 5.2 and love them, had an sb1000 for 2 channel music...sold it....


Quick and dirty response.

Big room and big bass fan... SVS = great sub's, especially for the money.

Like bass articulation and control, have smaller room and desire more seemless bass integration and detail... SVS = look elsewhere REL JL

I own JL, KEF and SVS sub's and I love them all.


Hi all, just a thought for potential buyers. The SVS website has an outlet page where they have blemished units at a bit of a deal. I bought my micro 3000 with a blemish and I’m hard pressed to find the imperfection.. The cosmetic blemish doesn’t affect the sound it seems… I learn something new every day 😁

Soix is 100 percent correct.  I own two of the SVS subs he speaks of.  I've had them over a year now.  I am happy with them and do not regret the purchase!  Good luck on your decision!

I sure like my pair of 3000Micros! They do exactly what I'm asking of them and at a great price point. 

I have SVS micro 3000 and a friend of mine has a pair of Rel. They both sound good to me but I prefer being able to make adjustments from the app in my listening position. My buddy has to keep getting up to make adjustments. In this day with all the technology we has getting up just seems so archaic.

Before you purchase either a Rel or SVS, I would suggest looking at Rythmik. 


I have owned at least 5 SVS subs, luckily they have an excellent customer service department for the warranty as every sub I got from them (two via one of their dealers stores) failed.   I took two of them apart to view the guts and I was not happy with the build quality from what I saw.

Another item, I could not get them to sound right in my large room when they were operational; the sound to me was very muddy and not musical at all; very boomy sounding.  

I ended up getting in a very nice sub from Axiom Audio (who owns Bryston by the way) and all I can say is what a nice improvement that was.  The amps are rated far lower in power than SVS, but trust me, they have a lot more power as they use linear power supplies with much more reserve.   You should see the capacitors and massive toroid transformer; it must weigh 30 pounds.   Plus they are super musical with a great amount of adjustment available on the variable phase controls and cross over points.   I ended up with 4 subs from them and the sound is just outstanding.    I'd suggest a look at what they offer on their webpage before getting anything from any other company; plus they have outstanding customer service and warranty support.   That's my input on this subject.

It was an R.E.L sub that first truly showed me 'hall effect' on Eva Cassidy's "Fields of Gold" (with no discernible bass on the track).  I used (and still have) an  R.E.L. Britannica B1 sub for my main audio for years. (Also own an R.E.L. Storm III).

Now I use two SVS SB-2000 subs and one SB-3000 (all sealed) for three as a D.B.A. in my audio-only room. I won't go back to the REL though it was great. I would strongly recommend going the distributed bass array route if possible (not always I know).    R.E.L. is great. SVS is great too, but a better monetary value.


I own a REL , its older but still a good sub so I'm not in the market right now.... I auditioned my speakers with a SVS sub and it was really good.  Better than I ever expected.   I would definitely put them on my short list when mine dies 

I own a pair of REL Carbon Special and they are integrated very well with my speakers. I haven't tried SVS yet.

There will be a bunch of you that don’t want to hear this but I had a set of subs made by Tekton call the 410. It’s for 10 inch woofers and a 300 white played amplifier. It beat the daylights out of the big SVS subs. Believe it or not, it’s absolutely true.

I never tried REL but an SVS micro and it was a mess in my system. Maybe more expensive models work great. 

I believe that if anyone were physically open up a SVS sub to inspect the internals; you’d perhaps have a different opinion on buying them.

The electronics were a huge disappointment to me as was the construction in my opinion. They do a very good job with outside finish, which of course is what sells.


Some 10 years ago I bought 2 of their tall round subs for my 2 channel system. I had them for some 8years and tried them with a variety of speakers but found them lacking, the MAJOR problem being the volume control which was very loud when barely cracked. I could not find a workaround and SVS was of no help. I eventually sold them at a huge loss to a guy who wanted them for his video system. Hopefully they are better now

I have had one SVS subwoofer long ago and didn’t have a good experience with the company. The unit needed service and they really didn’t want to do it. They wanted me to buy another subwoofer from them. Years later a local store in Ohio was selling SVS and stopped carrying the brand because SVS was selling direct, which meant the company could not make money??? I have Rythmik now and if I were to buy another subwoofer it would be Rythmik or Rel.

I had a total of around a half dozen SVS subs in succession with each one failing and being replaced under warrantee. One actually caught on fire internally and filled my room with acrid smoke which was choking. With each new sub, I tried a different offering paying the difference if needed so that I could see if there were better options to rounding out a muddy sound I kept hearing. Nothing I tried was satisfactory to me. I then brought home a monster Paradyme 15 inch power house sub which cost a small fortune and was lent to evaluate by a HiFi store. It was even worse! It was like SVS muddy sound on steroids and the dishes would fall out of the shelves in the kitchen due to excessive power.

I got my money back on the SVS subs, sent the Paradyme packing homebound and bought a couple of subs from Axiom who makes the Bryston speakers which I love. Voila! Perfectly balanced bass, musical, no nodes as they can easily be phased with the controls and best of all, no distortion at all with their DSP protection! I now have a total of 4 of their subs in my large room and the music is second to none. Keep in mind that I am all about music, not HT stuff; but if I do play a film, they are still fabulous. I actually opened up the subs to view the internals and they sport Bryston power amps inside :) massive linear power supplies with a huge toroid transformer. And very robust drivers all made in Canada.

I suppose this is all consistent as Axiom owns Bryston. The secret to great musical subs I found is to set the crossover frequency up high. I use the 150hz. setting and I cut off the lows at my main speakers (Bryston Model T Signature series) at around 80 hertz. I let the subs do the heavy lifting yet migrate up into upper bass/lower mids and have the big main speakers roll off below 80. It works very well. I find the most pleasing bass is in the upper ranges and this way the subs support it and the mains contribute.

I went to a commercial audio seminar in the mid 70's where Altec was demonstrating their new line array (stacked subs) for commercial installations.
To this day I get goose bumps when I think of the sound I heard during the several days of that meeting. It was set up in a ballroom of the hotel and I swear it rocked the entire building. It was a four channel system with 33,000 watts of power into very efficient Altec drivers. They were using a four channel mix down from the original tracks for Neil Diamond's "Love At The Greek" live concert album.

Unfortunately, I was never able to incorporate what I learned there in any of the commercial systems that I built, but the concept has stayed with me all of these years.

Being retired, I now have a house with a good sized room for listening to music (15'x46'x8').  I wanted to try the concept of the stacked subs that I heard so many years ago, but I had to stick to a budget. I started with two of the SVS SB1000-Pro subs in order to check them out. I was happy with the basic construction, the sound, and the easy set-up via the SVS app, (and the cost). So I added a second pair and started my stack of subs. After a few months I added the third pair to the stack.
Each pair I added gave my system an expanded sound stage, better imaging and a a more rich, fuller and detailed sound. I've been listening to this set-up for the last couple of years with no issues with the subs.

While the SB1000-Pro subs from SVS have both high level (speaker level inputs) and single ended low level inputs, I decided to use the SE inputs to feed them.

I feed the mains through the balanced output of my DAC. From the single ended output of the DAC I feed a separate pre-amp which in turn feeds the subs.

I'm sure the sound of the music I'm listening to wouldn't satisfy the most discriminating audiophile out there. But WOW, it has certainly has increased my listening enjoyment way beyond my expectations. (All for less than the price of one of the top rated subs.)

I have been using a 1/3rd octave RTA left over from my commercial audio days to set levels and to check overall FR of the system as I have it set-up and am pretty happy with the response at the LP in my room. I had a peak at about 100hz but have been able to even that out using the PEQ built in to the DAC.
I'm currently learning REW so that I can see the response more accurately.
The experimentation has been fun, and the learning continues...
But there is always the question... what would a fourth pair on the stack do???


I’ve had a used SB2000 in my home theater for 7 years or so and have never had a hiccup or problem. This is the first I’ve heard of SVS products having problems or any criticism of their customer service. You could also look at the Rhytmic F12 that’s just a little more expensive than the SB3000 but is by all accounts excellent and probably even a bit better than the SB3000 overall — they’re about the same size but the F12 goes down to 14Hz (-3dB) and weighs about 10 lbs. more FWIW. The downside is that they don’t offer convenient integration software like SVS so it’d take more work on your part to optimize them for your system, room, and tastes. Always trade offs.

@jac616 Interesting setup.  Have you tried just using four subs in the four corners of the room as like in a swarm array?  Would be interesting to hear if there are any any improvements (or not) through any added room node cancellation, evenness, etc.

They are fine.   Key with subs is know what you need and get the right one.