The typical viewer/reader of audioreview.com either has already done his/her homework, and wants to see what this site's reviews have said. Or they (you) use this site as a starting place to see whats really hot right now in the A/V world these days. Well... If your going to purchase an SVS Subwoofer, your almost forced to make a stop at AR.com since they are an internet based company only. Well, like many of you, I myself stumbled on SVS Subs just by using a yahoo or google search and inputting Home Theatre Subwoofers in the search box. It's almost impossible not to see SVS at some point on both Google and Yahoo. Once you've made your visit to svsubwoofers.com, and read through how they decsribe true Bass, and how it works, your hooked! Don't worry, I'll get to the 25/31Pci in just a minute. As I continued to explore their site, it became more obvious that these guys know their bass, and know it better than most! What I was trying to do was replace my Klipsch Reference Series RSW-12 that I just bought with the rest of my Klipsch Reference Series mentioned under "Similar Products Used" below. After an exhausting effort to find the best sub I could find, and believe me, I really did my homework this time, listening to countless hours of Mass Market mid-Hi-End Subs, you know, the typical list that most give such as Klipsch (RSW-15), Infinity's SW-12 (which I've owned before), Velodyne,Revel B-12,Paradigm,Def Tech (Super Cube series),Dynaudio,B&W and the list goes on and on. One thing I've learned no matter what brand Sub you buy, Price does not reflect performance (in some cases by a long shot!), and tis is exactly why I mentioned some mid priced subs to some very pricey Sub Brands above. My favorite way (and most effective in my opinion), is where ever you go to test a number of Subs, tell the sales rep that as he switches subs not to tell you witch sub he's demonstrating for you. Make sure to bring something you can take notes with, and document how each sub performed using the same source of audio for each sub. For example, if your a big movie watcher, and like really bass heavy movies, I would suggest for one, the opening scene from Star Wars latest ROTS episode 3. The opening scence easily reaches down the the 18-20Hz range, and this scene at near reference levels will reveal most Subwoofers strengths right away! Infact, in most cases a single subwoofer with a 12" driver will struggle trying to produce these low frequencies at 106 dbls and up. Most companies will show that their factory specs will say 22-25Hz as their lowest frequency before hitting its excursion limits (bottoming out). What they don't tell you, and if they do they seem to stretch the truth a bit, is how loud it plays provided it can actually reach XHz or whatever they claim it will play down to. From tons of research, I have found that even the more pricey Subs in the $1800-$3000 range can produce 30Hz and above quite efficiently at 106 - 116 dbls! This is the bass you feel (and hear) in your chest. But, once it hits 30Hz and the track your playing produces deeper frequencies than this, most subs will roll off quite fast dropping down to 60-70 dbls if it doesn't hit its true excursion limits first! So now on to the SVS! Without having the opportunity to demo one, I knew I was taking a chance buying one blind (so to speak) based on the impressive reviews I read on countless forums and SVSubwoofers.com . I must say, their website really conveys their knowledge on Subwoofers and how LFE works. It really is rocket science, but they have a way of explaining it to you so you can understand kind of what your getting before you make your choice. Seeing that the 25/31PCI was their entry level powered sub, and the quality components they use, most Mass Market Subs aren't this good! I had my 25/31PCI tuned to 22Hz (free of charge) since I mostly watch movies. Now remember, were comparing my previous Klipsch Reference Top of the Line, to SVS's entry level. The 22/31PCI is about one third of the RSW-12's retail price. Well after hooking this sub up, I first thought to myself, WOW, I've never heard bass like this before. You see, with most subs out there, and what your probably used to hearing and aweing over is that boom that pounds you in the chest. But with SVS, you will soon understand you probably haven't really heard true clear and super deep bass the way it was intended to sound. With most Subs, you can tell how much bass your main speakers are putting out, and then where your Sub takes over from there. With the SVS it's a clean sweep from 20Hz to 20Khz (with my main speakers). No gap at all! This sub is also very musical, and you will notice that male voices coming from your center channel will sound more bassy as they where intended to sound. You won't believe the quality of bass this little guy (on SVS standards) will produce. Little guy according to SVS is 31" tall & 16" in diameter. Trust me! After experiencing an SVS, decision made!
I bought this sub about a month and a half ago and, like everybody else, i didn't listen to the sub before ordering it. this is the first sub i have ever owned and it has simply blown me (and my house mates) away.
when i first recieved the sub, unpacked it and plugged it in, i hit in the saving private ryan beach scene - the thub of the machine gun was spectacular. then i decided to see how it performed with music, so i pulled out the greatest bass track in my collection - right on (Split loop remix) by the freestylers. i was dissapointed. the bass was lumbering and there was noticable port chuffing. playing other tracks in my collection (feel good inc, freak on a leash, king of beats) the bass was big and deep but lumbering, and slow to react.
after just under a month, i realised when playing "out of my way" by seether, the bass was faster, and had none of the port chuffing. grabbing right on, i lauched into another bass demo and, the bass had become tighter and more acurate.
i am a bit of a bass nut and this sub is great for me at the moment. the bass is musical and has tremendous power, and is impressive to look at. not beautiful, but spectacular in a "what the hell is that?" sort of way. the cloth finnish is not the best, but hey - it's the sound that counts.
The thing I like the most about this sub and the svs company is they put their money into the driver and amp. No fancy cabinet or advertising. This sub comares to subs I have heard costing over three times as much. It is very musical but can deliver the goods on movie soundtracks as well.If you are in the market for a sub do what you must to hear one of theese before you buy anything else....
The first subwoofer I owned was the M&K MX 90, Which is basically the M&K MX 125 - which has a slightly smaller amp, but the enclosure size and drivers are exactly the same. Odd huh?
Anyways, I really liked this subwoofer, but there was always that need to upgrade. So, when I started visiting forums - there was alot of talk about SVS. So I reckon I needed to check these guys out. Of course it wasn't long till I picked up my SVS and sold my M&K to a friend locally.
Now the M&K cost twice the price of the SVS, and by listening to them you would have never known it. The M&K used $83.00 drivers - and definetely didn't have the extention or output the SVS had. It definetely wasn't as accurate either. The SVS has continued to provide me with an amazing price/performance value, even against much more worthy subwoofers.
I have listened to this subwoofer for countless hours over the past year. I have never heard it bottom once, even in the most demanding passages and I listen incredibly loud. This subwoofer can take constant loads for extended periods and keep its composure.
Its movie performance is outstanding, everyone that has been introduced to the beaut has something to say about the floor flexing and their chest pounding.
The same goes for music, it provides extremely clean, chest pounding bass. Exactly how it should be. It never misses a beat - something VERY hard to find for $600.00 these days in subwoofers.
SVS subwoofers also look very good, no one has commented that it looked bad, the size isnt that bad, and the carpet sock is very elegant looking. The cap on top is nicely constructed and discrete. Definetely is eye pleasing and discrete if properly hidden.
In other words, SVS has the value, and they are definetely worth the money they ask. You won't find better performance for the price.
I purchased this to first replace my PSB Subsonic 5 and then my SVS PB10-ISD sub. Both subs have 10" woofers. I got rid of the PSB because it had no authority. I got rid of the PB10 because it had no crossover which in the end didn't give me the bottom end I wanted. I forgot to add that these subs were coupled with my center channel. Having the 25-31 PCi 12" sub on the center vs. the 10" subs has made a gigantic difference. Before there was some bottom end on voices. Some music stuff was ok. There was port huffing whenever I cranked up The Eagles' When Hell Freezes Over DVD. The bass and the drummer's kick drum both come from the center channel and there was always port noise and strain. Now with the 25-31, things sound more natural and right. My center speaker itself now sounds more clear and open than it ever has before. I popped in the "They Both Reached For The Gun" scene from Chicago and I was floored. I never knew that there was this killer orcherstal bass drum that was going on in the center with the dialogue. Impressive! My front end now sounds tight and has weight. I also have SVS's 20-39PCi's and they are killer as well. If you've ever thought about purchasing SVS Subs, do yourself a favor and just do it. I did. I now own four of them. 1 25-21 PCi and 3 20-39 PCi's. I do not work for them. I bought them without hearing them and am very happy with my purchases.