I first got this unit five years ago as a Christmas gift, along with a pair of small bookshelf speakers. For a starter subwoofer, you really can't go wrong with the PB10. As others have said, the unit is a little over-sensitive to placement. But once you've found a great spot, the bass tightens up very nicely. Though the specs say the unit goes down to 27hz, it doesn't sound like it. When used in a home theater, it tends to get a little muddled with big explosions and such. As a music sub, though, it's a very good subwoofer indeed.
Within the last five years, I upgraded my main system with a pair of JBL E-60's, and I found myself not needing the PB-10 at all. It's not that the sub is weak, it's just that the E-60's deliver enough low-end performance that a subwoofer would throw the sound balance off. I'd say that within the past three years, my PB-10 has been shifted around the house in various systems with various uses. As a videogame subwoofer, it's very good. The PB-10 delivers the low-end punch that most games take advantage of. And as a computer subwoofer (I had customized a 5.1 system for my gaming computer), it's also really nice - and it will blow most of the "THX Certified" systems out of the water.
So if you stick with only music, and use the subwoofer as a complementary unit to a nice pair of bookshelf speakers, then I'd say that the PB-10 is an excellent choice. Also, my PB-10 doesn't exhibit any hums that other users are reporting. Maybe it's the fact that I got mine when they first came out - I don't know - but I've never had my subwoofer hum on me.
Oh and as far as quality goes, the sub has survived two moves across the United States, and has had no problems. It even sat in a hot warehouse for two weeks! When I hooked it right up, it fired up with no problems, so the build quality is excellent.
Overall I must say I was happy with this product until recently (I'll get to that). I must have the newer version, because it has an on/off switch.
The bass quality is great, though I can see why some reveiwers say it is a bit too thunderous on the low end at times. I also agree there is a noticeable hum, but only when I have my receiver and subwoofer on at the same time with no incoming signal playing over it (and how often does anyone do that?). One of the reviews I read on this forum claimed that using a Y-connector on both the L and R RCA connections reduces the hum (even though for LFE use you're only supossed to use one or the other), but I found that it actually made the hum louder so I went back to only connecting one.
Despite these minor quibbles, I was happy with it until a week ago. I was watching STAR WARDS on DVD in DD 5.1, and I noticed that the lights were still red, indicating no LFE signal was being recognized by the PB10. I checked my receiver, and the LFE icon was lit, but nothing was being produced through the subwoofer. I checked my connections (I'm using a $70 Monster cable) okay. Then I turned the PB10 off then back on, and it came on with green lights and suddenly recognized the signal and sounded fine. I took it to a friend's house to try it out to make sure it wasn't my receiver or cable, and I had the same problem at his house. Whatever circuitry in the speaker that is supposed to automatically detected the incoming LFE isn't working. Since I've owned the PB10 I've always left it on, and it would go into the standby "red" mode when there was no signal, and automatically power up when I would pop in, say, "Lord of the Rings." I have a 4-year service plan through Best Buy, so I took it in. They sent it to JBL, who sent it back to Best Buy stating no problem was found. I took it home and tried again, and I'm having the same problem. I'll be taking it back to Best Buy and providing a detailed explanation of what's wrong. Maybe the second time will be a charm.....
I recently made a great buy on this subwoofer, getting it (used, but in mint condition) for only $60 on a eBay auction.
The main two complaints from previous reviewers were regarding boominess, muddiness, and a persistent hum. My experimentation with the PB10 gave me the solutions to these problems, and they should help other owners, too.
First of all, the hum was indeed so distracting and annoying that I was about to sell the unit the week I bought it. My receiver has a single subwoofer (RCA) output, and the directions from JBL say that it doesn't matter which (left or right) subwoofer input you use. What they DID'NT say is that when the subwoofer tries to amplify the non-existent signal from the empty input, it creates the hum. When I split the signal from the receiver to BOTH subwoofer RCA inputs (using a Y-cord), the hum stopped instantly!
Finally, this is the most placement-dependent subwoofer I have ever used! I thought the boominess and muddiness were just the characteristics of this "less than audiophile-class" subwoofer, and I had decided to start "saving my pennies" for at least a Velodyne. As a last resort, I began to experiment with the placement and when I found the "sweet spot" in my room, the muddiness and boominess disapperared IMMEDIATELY, replaced by strong, solid, crisp bass tones!
I encourage you to take the time and find the best location in the room for your subwoofer. In the case of the JBL PB10, it is well worth the effort, and will bring out the absolute best in this value-packed, moderately priced subwoofer!
I bought this before my main speakers, when i worked at Best Buy back in 2000. This May be a follow up review, I don't know if i wrote one....
The discount was good, but compared to the yamaha and sony subs, this shouldn't have been in a mass market store. If you're using the Low level input, a good cable helps alot, and a High level input needs a decent amp for a good signal. Plays all music good, and shines on movies. Good for doing it all, and not really bad at anything.
I do get a slight hum when it's in power mode, but it's only noticable if you're next do it, and are looking for it.
My Advice to anyone who has this sub on carpet, is to get a 16x16" paver and use it underneath. I found a nicely finished one for $3 at the local hardware store. It tightened up the sound a lot, and the response is much flatter.
No switch on mine, but I wouldn't use it if it had one.
I purchased this sub for $169 Canadian. The regular price was more like $399 Canadian so for that price I decided to pick it up. This is a 10" ported bottom firing sub with 150W. The box is solid and the bass is good. I do not like the standby power mode. It seems to take a while to shut down.
The sound on this sub is smooth and good. The sub has ample power and can easily fill up a moderate sized room. There is an adjustable crossover.
This sub have good smooth bass and at the purchase pricem, this was an excellent purchase. Ideal for moderate sized room.
Overall rating - 4
- the sub has good smooth bass
Value rating - 5
- for $169 Canadian this was a very good buy.
In a thread I started earlier, someone recommended SVS. I had never heard of them (or heard them) but their web site is very convincing. I hate put lay down $450 w/o hearing something first, so I am trying to do as much research as possible. Any ideas? Looking to spend $400-$500 on a sub for about a ... Read More »
Hello everybody. As I have no subwoofer, I am planning on purchasing one soon. In fact, I'm pretty much good to go as soon as I can shake the dreaded buyer's nervousness. For reasons impertinent to this particular discussion, I have chosen to purchase from SVS, although many fine alternatives are ... Read More »
I've been off this board for about 3 years. It sure looks different. Anyway:
I was pretty much set on getting the VTF-2. But I recently saw a glowing review of the SVS PB10-ISB, a sub I had not heard of before.
At this point, it looks like the PB10 is a better speaker in that it g ... Read More »
Has anyone had a chance to hear this SVS sub. I would like to upgrade but have a smallish [11x20] room and a limited budget. If it performs near the level of their other subs it seems like a pretty good deal for under $500. Thanks.
cubdogRead More »
A link to the review is provided:
A product review of the new [URL=http://www.svsubwoofers.com/subs_pb10_isd.htm]SVS PB10-ISD subwoofer[/URL] has been [URL=http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_11_4/svs-pb10-subwoofer-10-2004.html]published by Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity[/URL]. Bas ... Read More »