Thursday, 1 May 2014

Towering Inferno: SVS PC12-NSD Cylinder Subwoofer

So, I said to myself.... 2014 would be a home theatre year rather than the 2 channel focus. I am very much satisfied with my 2 channel, hence  its time to steer the focus towards my home theatre set up. The component that I feel is a little bit 'off' in my set up currently is the Wharfedale  SW150 subwoofer. So, that is the first item that I wanted to improve in.

My issue with the 10" Wharfedale  is that its a very isolated low end action. Each time the sub kicks in, it will a give a loud thud sound and with your eyes closed, you can easily pin point where the sub is located. Very localised effect.

When Max of MaxxAudio commented on my FB that there is an SVS tower sub that he can loan me to try out, I didn't hesitate to accept the offer. I have experienced a full SVS set up during last year's KLIAV but will it match my current Mission M34i front speakers.

Max was very accommodating towards my busy schedule. Finally, one fine Saturday, he came over with a unit. But not before we have a quick lunch, courtesy Chicken Rice Shop take away :). After a bit of bantering about Merc vs BMW, he started to set up the sub. I was a bit surprised with the shear size of this unit..... and this is the smallest unit in this series !!! The pictures I saw before did not justify the actual size of this beast.

Specifications and Built

The cylinder tower stands at 35.75" in height and will take up a floor space of 16.63" by width and depth. Refer to the picture below besides my Mission 34i front speakers.

Its a relatively a moderately weighted unit at 60 lbs. Max being the strong guy actually set it all by himself. Being an active SW, it has a built in Sledge STA-400D (Class D) 400 watter amplifier with DSP to slam a punch into its 12" woofer.

Th design also incorporates a single 4" port and can handle a frequency response of 18-130 Hz +- 3dB.

The built quality is very sturdy and reflects the price tag. No worries of small kids pushing this unit over. It is wrapped with a velvety material which makes it looks retro.


Once it was all hooked up to my Yamaha RXV2067 AV amp, Max started to to do the calibration using the YPAO mic and a SPL meter. It was all done within 15 mins or so. We tested first with Star Wars Episode 1.. the pod racing scene my my.... the immediate effect is very evident. 

First of all, there was no 'thud' sound when the LFE kicks into this unit. But the effect is more like an extended and prolong effect rather than a single strong punch. As the pods were passing the grid line, the loud roar and rumbling of the engine reminds me of my first experience at the Sepang F1 race in 2004. 

We then tested an HFPA disc for music, namely Getz and Gilberto Girl from Ipanema. Played it on DTS MA and put the system on a 2.1 channel. The effect on this was very subtle. Not sure whether the HFPA is actually feeding any signal to the sub as the source is 2.0 channel. 

The following week was a daily late night movie session after work hours. With dialogue heavy movies such as The Last Holiday, the sub still provided a huge LFE effect when music kicks in and during scenes such as the helicopter ride to the Grandhotel Pupp resort. even the dialogue sounded richer and more toned, which you would expect from the voices of Queen Latifah and LL Cool J. 

I also put on Andrea Bocelli Live in Tuscany. That was a very musical session. The sub helped to present Andrea's deep voice in a richer and more emotional tone. At times, the heavy bass lines from the double bass can be easily heard with such strong low end effect. I like it. 

Overall, the sub was giving a whole room effect rather than a localised low end experience. And my movie venue is not an easy room to work with. Regardless of what we throw at it... music, action movie, dialogue will give a very exciting-across-the-room rumbling clean bass effect. Fun for the whole family :)


It must be one of most exhilarating review that I have done so far. The impact of having a good sub that can sync properly with your HT set up has always been overlooked ( and I guess I was one of them too). I do believe to get a true home cinematic experience, a proper sub must be an integral part of the equation. This unit have shown a different level of bass requirement for my movie sessions. At RM3,499, if you are looking for a space saving solution sub, do audition it. 

So, did I purchase it? Actually no. Why didn't I take the plunge since it blended well into my set up? It was mainly because the size was still a bit too big (and tall) for my movie area. But Maxx have suggested an alternative model which could give a similar effect as this PC12-NSD unit. But, that is for another day. I already have the alternative unit in my house and loving it too.

SVS products can be purchased from Maxx Audio. Details below:

66G, Jalan Toman 4, Kemayan Square, 70200 Seremban, N.S.D.K. Tel: 017-6778820, 016-3229428, 06-7620811 Email:,

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