Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

To Diego Estan,

I read your article on ported vs. sealed subwoofers and was wondering if you think you could tell the difference if the crossover frequency was lower. You used a pretty high crossover frequency for the test, and it’s actually pretty impressive both subwoofers sounded so good with such a high crossover.

If the crossover was more like 80Hz, do you think you could tell the difference? I’m guessing for movies, the SVS PB-3000 would be louder [than the SVS SB-3000], but for music they might be more similar.

United States

That’s an interesting question. The honest answer is I don’t know, because I didn’t try due to the way my system is set up.

My intuition is that I could still tell a difference with an 80Hz crossover (that’s right in the middle of the kick drum fundamental frequency), but with 60Hz or lower, perhaps not. The lower the crossover point, the more difficult I think it would be to tell the difference between the two, as the sub is reproducing less of the musical spectrum. The next time I get a ported sub in for review, I will change some things in my system and test this.

You mentioned that for movies the PB-3000 would be louder. Yes, the main advantage of the ported design is the added output before reaching compression. But for fair comparisons to determine whether there is a difference between ported and sealed, it’s important to level-match volumes, match target curves with EQ, and listen to both subs at levels below compression for both, which is what I did. Otherwise, you’re going to hear all kinds of differences simply because the outputs of the subwoofers are not matched well. Thanks for reading my article. . . . Diego Estan