Subwoofer DSP: The Brains Behind the Brawn

Subwoofer Digital Signal Processors

The digital signal processor (DSP) in SVS subwoofers is the unsung hero that plays a critical part in overall performance. A powered subwoofer is an ecosystem of several components, including the driver, amplifier, cabinet and (if equipped) the porting. A DSP is are responsible for unleashing a subwoofer’s full potential in terms of massive, room-energizing power, but also making each individual component work together in perfect harmony. The result is deep and thunderous low frequency output that’s pinpoint accurate, blends perfectly with loudspeaker and maintains refinement even at reference playback levels over sustained periods of time.

Uncompromising High-Fidelity Sound

All SVS subwoofers feature advanced digital signal processors and the 4000 Series and 16-Ultra Series subwoofers include a 50 MHz Analog Devices Audio DSP, with a sample rate of 50 million cycles per second, along with a massive amount of operating memory. The processing power of SVS subwoofers is a major factor in separating them from competitive models because it enables SVS subwoofers to react more quickly to the input signal and have better control over the complex subwoofer operating conditions. This means you hear every low frequency detail with pristine clarity and enjoy fidelity that is completely faithful to what the artist or director intended, with pinpoint precision and absolute transparency. No overhang during transients, no tonal inaccuracies, and no bloated one-note bass you get from lesser subwoofer. Just the exact amount of pitch perfect low frequency output at the exact right moment.

Accurate Frequency Response

DSP is an essential tool used during the SVS design and engineering process to shape and tailor the frequency response of the subwoofer. The exact formula for shaping the frequency response of SVS subwoofers is proprietary and painstakingly complex, reflecting decades of design experience. It’s as much an art as a science and often requires more development time than any other subwoofer design process. The end result is pinpoint accurate and amazingly detailed sound right out of the box, a major differentiator for SVS subwoofers.

Advanced Amplifier Limiting

SVS subwoofers feature a sophisticated limiter design in the DSP to keep the subwoofers under control with refined sound quality under all operating conditions, including extreme playback levels. The limiter includes advanced features such as hard/soft clipping settings, variable attack/compression ratios and even use multi-band tuning to optimize subwoofer output in both the mass-loaded and mechanically limited bandwidths.

This allows a powered subwoofer to extract every millimeter of available woofer stroke and every dB of dynamic output with no risk to the subwoofer system, while still delivering a refined and composed presentation with all the sonic impact the director and mixing engineers intended. Lesser subwoofers will clip or bottom out at the very moment the source content gets most intense, which leads to a deflating experience. SVS subwoofers always match the levels of your speakers and effortlessly play as loud as you want.

Maximizing Room Gain

Room gain is a naturally occurring increase in deep bass energy created by the acoustics of small and medium size listening spaces. This phenomenon allows a subwoofer to play lower and louder relative to the rated output by taking control of a room. A sealed home subwoofer naturally has a shallower roll-off slope than a ported subwoofer so SVS leverages this by employing sophisticated DSP equalization to tailor the overall shape of the frequency response and roll-off slope of the sealed subwoofer to take maximum advantage of available ‘room gain’.

Properly harnessed and controlled, room gain can greatly enhance the deep bass extension of a sealed subwoofer. Using decades of subwoofer design expertise, sophisticated software and powerful DSP hardware, SVS tailors the roll-off slope of its sealed subwoofers to perfectly complement available room gain, something other manufacturers simply ignore. The stunning result is fathomless and completely natural-sounding bass with in-room extension to 10 Hz or even deeper!

Precise Variable Port Tuning

SVS ported subwoofer models, including the PB16-Ultra, PB-4000 and PC-4000 subwoofers each provide three variable port tuning modes: Standard, Extended and Sealed. Owning an SVS subwoofer with variable port tuning is like owning three different and unique home theater subwoofers!

SVS design engineers use DSP to fully optimize the frequency response, limiter settings and overall performance and sound quality for each operating mode, resulting in perfectly balanced and accurate sound with all user tuning preferences. This means you can enhance the lightning-quick speed and transients and amazing refinement by plugging the ports and running in sealed mode for music or unleash the breathtaking SPLs and fathomless deep bass extension by running in standard or extended mode for home theater, all from a single subwoofer.

Convenient User Control Options

In addition to offering SVS engineers unparalleled control and refinement of subwoofer systems, the Analog Devices DSP in the 16-Ultra and 4000 Series also delivers huge benefits to the end user and something no other subwoofer manufacturer currently offers. SVS customers can control the subwoofer via the front panel display, credit card remote or the groundbreaking Bluetooth smartphone Subwoofer Control app.

Comprehensive end-user DSP control functions includes polarity, phase, low pass filter (including 4 slope options), three parametric equalizers (PEQ), room gain compensation, and volume. Each PEQ filter has an adjustable frequency, cut/boost level and Q factor which allows advanced users to “tweak to perfection” by eliminating standing wave peaks other room acoustic issues and achieve a seamless blend with the system loudspeakers. Moreover, the processing speed and massive operating memory of the Analog Devices DSP allows all of the above adjustments to be made in real time - there is no need to select a change and wait for it to load.

As a final touch, the DSP allows for three custom presets, so you can have unique and optimized menu profiles for music, movies, gaming, or any other situation (like late-night listening) – all instantly available at the touch of a finger from the comfort of your favorite listening chair.

Perfect Mix of Sonic Muscle and Pinpoint Control

Subwoofers are easy to think of as brute force machines solely designed to deliver massive acoustic impact and subterranean low frequency extension for music and movies. With SVS subwoofers, there is an enormous amount of design, engineering and DSP control that goes into harnessing all that power. SVS subwoofers deliver all the room-shaking output and low frequency extension you can handle along with refinement, nuance, accuracy and finesse – and it’s all made possible by the sophisticated audio DSP - unsung heroes of the world’s best subwoofers.

To make choosing a home subwoofer as easy as possible, SVS offers a risk-free 45-day in-home trial with fast and free shipping and returns, so you can judge for yourself, in your own home, how a world-class subwoofer can impact your home audio experience. If you’re ready to unleash world-class bass in your home theater or music system, start browsing all SVS subwoofers now.

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