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SVS 20-39PC-Plus Cylinder Subwoofer Review

Do you love bass? Do you like to feel the bass? Do you like loud bass? Do you like really low bass? Do you like tight bass? Do you like accurate bass? If you answered, “yes” to any or all of these questions then you should seriously check out the SVS 20-39PC-Plus Subwoofer, priced at $825.

More than a big brother
The SVS 20-39PC-Plus looks like the 25-31PCi, but its cylindrical shape stands 8-inches taller. However, they both have the same 16″ diameter. But inside the 20-39PC-Plus reveals a new proprietary 12″ subwoofer driver, and a whopping 525-watt amplifier!

Many subs in one
The SVS 20-39PC-Plus is the Swiss Army Knife of subwoofers. Flip a switch and pop the top and you can turn your PC-Plus into a low bass producing beast. The grill atop the sub can be removed by prying it off with a flat-head screwdriver. This reveals 3 round ports (holes). The ports can be plugged with foam (included) to adjust the tuning characteristics of the subwoofer. By plugging one or more of the ports, you can allow the sub to play as low as 12Hz. There is also a knob on the back of the subwoofer that adjusts the tuning point to 25Hz, 20Hz, 16Hz, or 12Hz. With so many settings and configuration options, I could truly review the sub against itself over and over. I found the out-of-the-box setting at 20Hz with no ports plugged was optimal for me. Therefore, the review is based on that setting.

Set to your taste
The back panel of the sub has all of the inputs/outputs you need for proper setup, including a variable phase knob (0-180), a variable crossover knob (40-120Hz) and an external crossover enable/disable switch. I chose the easiest hookup, which is to run a single RCA cable from the receiver’s subwoofer ouput to the 20-39PC-Plus input. This allows your receiver/preamp to control the LFE crossover setting, so you can disable the switch on the PC-Plus. Now, only adjustment of the volume and/or phase control is needed. I used the AVIA Guide to Home Theater setup DVD and a Radio Shack SPL meter to calibrate the sub and my speakers to 85db using the speaker test tones. The setup took about 5 minutes, and really takes the guesswork out of setting the volume. The proper volume should seamlessly combine the low bass of the sub with the mids and highs of your main speakers at all listening levels. It is very easy to set this sub too loud, because it can play at thunderous levels. If you really love deep loud bass, crank up the volume and set it to your taste. I have no doubt you will be extremely impressed.

Movies on DVD shine
I watched The Matrix on DVD, and this subwoofer puts you in the middle of the action. You will literally feel bullets whizzing by you, and the explosion scenes will make you feel like you need to take cover. This sub adds an incredible amount of realism and fun to the movie watching experience. Even on less bass-heavy scenes the sub captures sounds and music with extreme clarity.

Musical scores
For music, I tortured the sub with the tribal rhythms of the Blue Man Group (DVD-Audio). Once again the subwoofer had no problem stepping up to the plate. It effortlessly reproduced sounds from the most unconventional instruments. Even on the most strenuous bass notes and sequences, I never noticed a hint of strain. Traditional music such as jazz and classical was just as exhilarating.

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SVS wins again
If you recall my previous subwoofer face-off review, the SVS 25-31PCi is a steal at $549. The 20-39PC-Plus is a mere $276 more, and well worth the investment. Although the 25-31PCi is a great subwoofer, the 20-39PC-Plus is noticeably better. I have come to conclude the only thing better than a SVS sub, is another SVS sub.

What is their trick?
You might be wondering how SVS can produce an audiophile grade sub at such a low price. For starters, they only sell over the internet, so they cut out the middleman and additional mark-ups. They also don’t have high marketing expenses. Don’t think they are using cheap parts either. SVS incorporates some of the finest components, not to mention each sub is built in the USA. The bottom line is you save money! Yes, you can definitely spend more on a subwoofer, but you will be hard pressed to find a better sounding subwoofer at even double or triple the price. The SVS 20-39PC-Plus is truly in a class of its own.

Very Highly Recommended
With so many good things to say about the SVS 20-39PC-Plus Subwoofer, I had trouble trying to find any faults. At its price point, I don’t know of any sub that can compete against it. All contenders are welcome. The other subwoofer companies better watch out, SVS is coming!

Remember I am just one man with one opinion. If you own this product, or have a comment or question feel free to add your thoughts below.

Brian Mitchell
Founder & CEO
eCoustics.com

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