SVS 20-39PC-Plus Subwoofers

20-39PC-Plus

525 watt RMS BASH amplifier 20 Hz tuning point (variable to 16 or 12Hz) +/- 3 dB 20 Hz-100 Hz 39" tall, 16" in diameter

User Reviews (30)

Showing 1-10 of 30  
Canonshooter   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 27, 2007]
Strength:

Deep, powerful and articulate bass with (according to my test-tone CD and db meter) a nice flat output curve; plenty of control/adjustment capability; solid construction; strong cylindrical construction that greatly reduces enclosure resonance; looks just fine parked next to my big, black Mitsubishi projection TV.

Weakness:

Strictly aesthetic - large size; not as attractive as many wood-finished box subs - but most people don't buy high performance subwoofers to double as fine furniture

I have been a home audio enthusiast for over 30 years. My first “good” system (a very long time ago) was made up of a modified Marantz 240 power amp, a Marantz 7C tube pre-amp, a set of AR-11 speakers and an AR turntable with moving coil cartridge. Over the years I have gone through some different gear and currently use a set of Magnepan MMG planar speakers powered by a Denon 2000IVR integrated amp. Having come from a set of larger Magnepan MG-1.4 speakers (powered by NAD components), I realized that the smaller MMGs were going to require some help in the low frequencies. After much research and consideration, I ordered a 20-39PC-Plus direct from SVS. This is the first time I have used a subwoofer in all of my years of enjoying home audio. Please note that I am strictly a “2-channel” audiophile and am not (at least yet) into HT, so the following is from a strictly “music perspective.”

Along with the new set of MMG speakers and Denon amp, I was also moving the system into a new and larger room in our home. A wall between a former dining room and living room was removed, creating a single larger room that measures 14 feet in width and 27 feet in length with wall-to-wall carpeting. The Magnepans are positioned on one of the 14 foot walls, placed 6 feet out into the room. The listening position is approximately 12 feet in front of the speakers. The SVS sub is placed to the left and slightly behind the listening position (strictly to accommodate the WAF) along one of the 27 foot walls, next to a projection TV and equipment cabinet.

Using a CD with pink noise tones at various frequencies and a radio Shack db meter, I set the gain and crossover controls on the SVS sub to extend bass response below the 60 Hz roll-off point of the Magnepans at a flat level down to under 20 Hz. I was impressed with how flat the SVS response curve is, and how clean and effortless the bass sounds. I am feeding the Magnepans full signal direct from the amp, and simply adjusted the SVS crossover at about 55 Hz to blend with their natural roll-off point. I succeeded in creating a pretty flat response curve with only a slight bump in output between 60 and 70 Hz where the SVS sub overlaps with the Magnepan MMGs.

I will admit that I have never owned or home-auditioned another subwoofer, so I have nothing to compare the SVS 20-39PC-Plus directly to. The only comparisons I can make are to the other speaker systems I have owned in the past. In this regard, the $550 Magnepan MMG speakers in combination with the $825 SVS sub – for a total of $1375 – absolutely blows away anything I have ever owned, or anything I have heard first-hand elsewhere. Favorable room dimensions and acoustics, time spend setting up/integrating the sub with the mains, and time spent optimizing speaker placement has resulted in sound that simply brings tears of joy to my eyes every time I listen.

The previous reviewer mentioned the SVS sub overwhelming his mains at times. I too have noticed this, but only with certain CDs, or certain tracks. The addition of the SVS sub has made me realize how much I have been missing, and how differently CDs are mixed. For example, on the Bruce Hornsby “scenes from the southside” CD, the SVS sub provides bass that is tight, articulate and seamlessly blends with the MMGs. On the Larry Carlton “on solid ground” CD, the bass is noticeably stronger, but still tight and well defined. However on certain other CDs, where less attention was paid to bass response at the time of production, bass can become somewhat overbearing and lack definition. I have come to the conclusion that this has nothing to do with the subwoofer, rather how much variation there can be in the level and quality of bass recorded on CDs. I believe many CDs are mixed “bass heavy” to offset the typical home speaker’s lack of deep bass response. With a 20-39PC-Plus in a system, no such deep-bass deficiency exists.

The addition of this quality subwoofer to my system has greatly enhanced my enjoyment of it and offers plenty incentive to break out all of those CDs I have not listened to in a long time. I have found this to be a real eye-opening experience, and has certainly increased my appreciation of well-mastered CDs. As with any system, time spent integrating and fine-tuning can make a huge difference. Due to the output and tonal reproduction capabilities of this subwoofer, it’s not really “plug and play” if you are looking for optimal musical reproduction. But SVS provides plenty of adjustment capability and control, and with a db meter and a system integration CD, the time and effort taken to properly set it up will pay off big time for discriminating music listeners.

All things considered, I consider the SVS 20-39PC-Plus subwoofer one of the best home audio system investments I have ever made. I gave it a rating of 5 in value, and 4 overall because its WAF (wife acceptance factor) is not as good as a smaller box sub with a beautiful cherry wood finish. If WAF is not a concern, then overall it's a 5.

Customer Service

No complaints whatsoever. IMO, product performs exactly as advertised and has met the expectations I formed from visiting the SVS website and reading user reviews in various web forums. Since I don't play music at deafening levels, I suspect SVS will not be hearing from me again until I'm ready to buy something else from them (which at this point I would do without hesitation).

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
TV123   Audio Enthusiast [May 17, 2007]
Strength:

Clean and lots of output
Cylinder is a great design (thanks DIY community)

Weakness:

This sub is geared towards the bottom end and car audio junkies.
W/o EQ this sub is all bottom octaves

SVS has a marketing campaign online that borders on total dishonesty.
This is sad, b/c their product can stand on it's own 2 feet, but it must be helping their small company grow faster.

This sub has more clean output than even the Velodynes which were the best subs at Circuit City. It blew away my roommate's 15" Def Tech sub.

It was great, but in my room it measured way too much in the bottom end.

I actually ended up w/ a HSU vtf3 mkII and am now looking at the JL F113.
A friend of mine might get me a dd18 at 65% off, so that is in the lead right now.

I gave it a one star, b/c dishonesty of the kind SVS has been suspect for is usually signs of much more.

Customer Service

Outstanding on phone.
"Random" forum members helping out is suspect.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
4
Jon Leins   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 29, 2005]
Strength:

Sounds great Extremely accurate, even at low frequencies Best sub under $1000 Have line and speaker level inputs, and a sub input. Also has a crossover built in. 525 Watts!!!

Weakness:

None

After reading some reviews on here and AVS forums I decided to give this sub a try. This thing is INSANE. I turned up the volume about 1/2 way and played some 15-80 Hz test tracks. Needless to say, I have never heard anything like it in my life. This sub preforms both musically and for movies. I really don't think it can be beat for the price. Also, I talked to Ron from SVS about integrating it into my stereo system, and he was extremely helpful. Unless you are trying to power a full movie theater, this sub is more than enough.

Similar Products Used: HSU STF-1 Sony 8" sub from a HTIB
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
VALGOLFS   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 16, 2005]
Strength:

I think it blends in with the room. Easy to move. Price, sound and best of all service. Just last month I played it too loud and blew the voice coil. I contacted SVS service via email and within hours I had 2 people respond to my needs. Within days I had a new upgraded version woofer to install FREE! I was prepared to fork over couple hundred but they said I was under warranty. Replacing the old woofer was easy and did it sound better. OH MY. You've seen people write it before, SVS service could not be any better.

Weakness:

NONE

I am so pleased with this product I had to write a review. I built what I thought was an OK sub using NHT 12" and a 200 watt amp from a mailorder catalog and some MDF. Was I wrong! I built a midbass boombox at best. I read all the reviews here and bought a 20-39 PC+. OH MY!!! The bass from this thing is really something. I did a demo for a friend of mine who works for the "horn tweeter people" He is a sales rep and his jaw droppped open. He thought I installed those transducers under my sofa, no joke. Even with a tremendous discount, his 15" could not beat mine. I have become a bass freak. I have been into hi-end audio for many years, even worked partime for a speaker company and have never felt bass like this. My room is about 400 sq ft and this thing fills it no problem. For me there is only one choice in subwoofers, SVS!

Similar Products Used: NHT, Klipsch
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
woodburyb   Audio Enthusiast [May 24, 2005]
Strength:

Quality, controls, sound, presence and impact on a stereo or HT system.

Weakness:

It's big (and my wife thinks--ugly).

I had used a NHT 8" subwoofer for nearly ten years, during that time it blended nicely with my mains (Polks at first and then a set of wonderful Duntech's), it sounded very clean, tight and musical, I liked it. As I began using it in HT, it was okay, but easily overdriven and thus boomy. I wasn't to concerned, it seemed sufficient, I listened to music mostly, HT wasn't a big factor. My oldest son moved home for several months beginning last year, he purchased an Aperion 10" subwoofer. I was astonished at the depth of bass it provided with music and was knocked out by the first movie I heard with it. Upon investigation I discovered my old NHT only went down to 35Hz, my mains went down just below 40Hz. To my wife's chagrin, I had to have a new subwoofer myself! I began to research subs on the net and kept coming across SVS and Hsu over and over. After much deliberation I settled on the 20-39 PC+. As nice a sub as the Aperion is the PC+ blows it out of the water. It is clean and tight with music and blends perfectly with my Duntech mains, though I worried about its affect on music, I couldn't be happier with it's musical performance. Superb, really. And movies are a wholy different matter, there is no boom or rumble (unless that's what's recorded), it is clean and powerful with an unbelievable presence. I finally understand what others mean when they say a subwoofer pressurizes a room. I had no idea the power and excitement a great subwoofer adds to the HT experience. In the past year I have upgraded my system with a new Yamaha 2500 receiver, a Denon 2910 player, an Aperion center channel speaker and a Mitsubishi 52" DLP television. Without question the SVS has easily had the biggest impact on my listening and viewing enjoyment (okay, strictly speaking, the TV for viewing, I mean really...HDTV--Wow! But a great sub like the PC+ plus adds a visceral excitement to viewing a movie that nothing else offers). If you're considering a subwoofer, have no concerns about ordering an SVS, you will be thrilled! BW

Similar Products Used: NHT, Aperion--listened to Klipsch, Polk and a few others at stereo shops in my area.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
macreel   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 05, 2005]
Strength:

Good clean, fast, body shakeing BASS!!!

Weakness:

Hope it is not hurting the stucture of my house. Hehehe

First things first,this sub is very inpressive! I have been looking and listening to alot of subs in the past few months and in my price range they all sounded good and would have done the job for the most part. But I kept going back and reading what the people said about the SVS 20-39PC-Plus, and how they were compareing it to some of the same subs I was checking out. After thinking really hard about getting a sub that I have never heard, I decided to try it out. Placed my order on Monday and recieved it that same week on Thursday. Did not calibrate at first,just wanted to hook it up and here this HUGE,and I mean BIG sub. By far the best sub that I have heard in my price range and up in the 2000 dollar range. I went ahead and calibrated this creature and just about the same time my wife came home. The first words out of here mouth were "Is it Big enough?".After playing a few ref demos ,one of them being Darla knocking on fish tank, my wife came out and asked me if it was hurting the structure of the house? The SVS 20-39PC-Plus fills my room, which is 20 x 23 with the cieling at about 10 feet with three major openings. This sub simply put is everything that i will ever need. Great for movies or music. I think though I would have been equally satified with the 25-31PC-Plus, but I am very ,very happy with the 20-39PC-Plus. Just get it, you will love it!!! Can't really say the wife will (just jokeing, my wife and Family are all enjoying it).

Similar Products Used: Mirage OMNI S12, Klipsch RW-12, Definitive SuperCube I, Velodyne DPS-12, and others in this price range.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
rd51   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 09, 2005]
Strength:

Quality components, lots of power, capable of energizing a large room. AWESOME CUSTOMER SERVICE AND FOLLOW UP!

Weakness:

May not be perfect for music but that still remains to be seen for me as I need a preamp upgrade. Metal top grill resonates at specific frequencies.

Overall I am satisfied with my purchase. It is a very capable subwoofer and can put some bass'd out cars to shame. My hat goes off to the crew at SVS for thier excellent service. After a couple weeks I decided to demo star wars Ep II with the volume set at -5db and the gain at about 1:00 o clock and CRACK! I found the limit. SVS wasted no time in sending me a replacement driver at no charge..WOW! I find the sub built very well and meets all the claims I have heard posted here. Dont hesitate to try one of these out. After owning this for several months I wonder if a different model may have suited me better. first I notice there is a little less sound pressure for its output compared to other subs I have used that are ported on the side and pointed 4 inches from a wall. However the bass is much cleaner with the SVS ported upwards. Dont mis judge what I just said, it can fill the room with eyeball rattling energy. just maybe a boxed version would have put out a little better pointing in a corner. Speaking of corners I placed it on left side of my entertainment center where it was basically open to my foyer and freaked out on how quiet it was. I moved it to the other side in the CORNER and output was doubled. Make sure you have a corner reserved for it if you buy one. calibrating has been somewhat easy though I am unable to get it perfect. I am using a marantz sr-6200 with Ascend cmt-340's and I blame my problems on the reciever. It has a crossover setting at 100hz and is not adjustable. I feel if I could adjust that down to 80 or 60hz I would get back the richness from the midbass that I cannot get with the low level input. I tried it running the high level inputs and it sounded much better in the mids for music. Movies sound better with the low level input. For many people this sub is alot more than they need. When you get a really good demo going its impressive to say the least but it is hard to get right with music. The 20hz tuning point is too low for music and SVS told me this. (i was warned) I was afraid of sacrificing the movie action but now I know that would not be the case. A 25-31 would have suited me better but I cannot say how much. What I can say is if your a bass freak try an SVS. I certainly feel I got my monies worth.

Similar Products Used: Earthquake mk4 12, Infinity 10", polk psw350 subs.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
S Wallenberg   AudioPhile [Jul 27, 2004]
Strength:

Well it handles movies okay and plays loud.

Weakness:

Slow, boomy and ill defined.

Not as good as I had been led to believe by the reviews here. Found it alright for hiome theater where accuracy isn't as important as bangs and explosions but was far too boomy for music of any kind other than rap. If you listen to pop, jazz or classical you'll probably be as disheartened as I was. Would not recommend for a mainly music system with high resolving and quick speakers as the SVS plods and cannot keep up. Tried innumerable setup placements and all speakers were calibrated properly. Replaced this with a Vandersteen and the difference was remarkable.

Similar Products Used: Vandersteen HSU B&W
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
andrkemp   AudioPhile [Jul 22, 2004]
Strength:

Dynamics, SPL, kicks you right in the chest... Good looks and great value.

Weakness:

Nothing what so ever!!!

Received my SVS 20-39PCPlus today. I have heard alot of subs during the last ten years, but nothing like this. Great service from the SVS guys (thank you!). I can go on and on about how great this thing is - you have to hear it. Or even better: FEEL IT!!! Never have my HT been more physical. Finally a subwoofer that can keep up with the dynamics and speed of the Klipsch Reference series...

Similar Products Used: Klipsch Reference Series, Yamaha RX-V2400, MIT/ Supra Cables.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
tlbub1   Audio Enthusiast [May 16, 2004]
Strength:

Looks, Sound, Customer Service and Price

Weakness:

None

SVS 20-39 plus. After upgrading my entire system 4 months ago, I was set to replace my last piece of gear. I had just sold my entire system and need a mighty sub to fill out the bottom. I’ve been saving for months, while using my temp sub, a mid-line JBL and had my sights set on, either a Velodyne, HSU, or an Earthquake. My budget was under around one thousand $. I’ve been watching the trades and the net, and one name kept coming up: SVS. Since I had never heard of them, I did major research while testing other subs. The Velo’s and the Earthquake sound great on music, but I wanted something state of the art, looks-wise and sound-wise for music and movies. I decided to take the plunge and a chance on the SVS. I decided on the cylinders for space reasons, and also because I ship a lot of stuff for work and ebay, I couldn’t bare to look at another “box” in my house. SVS customer service is amazing and they answered all my questions and gave advice based on my system and room dimensions. Also they gave personal recommendations and opinions. I bugged them for three months. (LOL) Ive had the PC Plus for one week and here are my results. On DVD music: unbelievable! It’s very musical, and not boomy at all. “Sade Live” the kick drum and bass player might as well be in the living room. Audio Slave is pounding and crisp. CD’s have more depth as well. Sarah Mclaughlin, and Goo Goo Dolls have more punch and dynamics. Movies are another level. I tossed in the first battle seen of Gladiator and almost had to have my smile surgically removed. The horses are awesome, and the fight scene with fireballs sent two large candleholders sliding across a glass partition and both pictures behind my couch went sideways. Forget ‘buttkickers’, this thing vibrates the whole floor and couch with windows needing to be damped with gel stickies, drummers use for studio recording. Putting in Lord of the Rings Two Towers with the ringwraiths is stunning. You feel the wind of their wings deep in your chest! One of the most important criteria for me was no boominess. Most subs have their design eq’d so that certain sounds are disproportionate to the soundtrack. As in, a car door slamming, or a door closing. They just boom loudly with no definition. With the SVS, everything sounds, as it should be with no artificial enhancement. But when there is supposed to be something big, this sub hits like nothing else! Explosions are deafening, that low subsonic growl like in Traffic, or Unbreakable is insane! I have a few hookups in the audio world and could have bought any one of the competition subs @ dealer cost. I went for SVS and haven’t looked back. Luckily I live near an airport so the neighbors think that “noise and rumble” is just the red-eye! TL

Similar Products Used: Velodyne, Atlantic Technology, JBL, Earthquake
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 30  

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