Subwoofer choice

Luxman Amplifiers India

thevortex

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Hello friends,

I would like to add a subwoofer to my Marantz SR4001/PSB Alpha B1 combination. The subwoofer needs to add weight and authority to movies without detracting from the music. While my preferences are heavily weighted towards music, this should not detract from the movie experience. The room is 12X14 in size.

I have set an upper limit for the budget as 20K.

The options that I seem to have in front of me are (in no particular order):

Mission M3aS
Polk DSW Pro 400/500
Polk PSW 125
Wharfedale SW150
Wharfedale SW250? (Does this fit within the price?)
MS 309i.
PSB Subseries 1
Canton (not sure which model)

What are your thoughts and recommendations? While I would love to go with the PSB to ensure conformity, it is presently not possible to get a demo of the product right now. I would very much like to hear the subwoofer before buying it.
 

unleash_me

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a) SW150 would be my pick from the list and its well with in your budget.

b) SW250 is priced way too high for what its worth.
 
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venkatcr

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Though the Wharfedale subs are very good (and I respect what Unleash_Me says), since you have Alphas from PSB, I would, in my opinion, make a last ditch attempt for the PSB SubSeries 1.

Paul Barton is one of those Canadian manufacturers who spends a lot of time testing in some of those superb anechoic chambers that are available in Canada. I am sure he would have tuned the Sub Series 1 to go well with the Alpha and other PSB speakers in that price bracket.

For some time, I had a mixed set of speakers from Wharfedale and Aperion Audio. I was using Wharfedales 9.5s for front R&L, and the Aperions for center, and surround tasks. Though individually they are excellent units, I always felt there was something missing. I moved the Aperions to another room for audio tasks, and brought in a full Diamond set. The sound is much better now in both places.

Can't Lakozy give you a demo, though he is in Mumbai? In Chennai, Prakash of Decibels may be able to help you.

The Aplha is a rare breed, and I think a little more effort and patience is worth it.

Cheers
 

thevortex

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Thanks for the thoughts, Unleashme and Venkat.

Raghu of Decibels has been a great help and he is the person I bought the PSB Alphas from. Its been wonderful dealing with him. But the problem is that he wont be having a demo piece of the PSB Subseries 1 anytime recently. And I do wish to hear the subwoofer before making a decision on it.

That is the only reason why I am willing to consider options from Polk, Wharfedale etc.

Any reasons why the Polk DSW Pro series does not seem to be very popular here despite the impressive statistics and features? Not to mention the affordable cost.
 

venkatcr

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Any reasons why the Polk DSW Pro series does not seem to be very popular here despite the impressive statistics and features? Not to mention the affordable cost.

We are Indians !!! We may tolerate the British, maybe even some French designs, but look at equipment from Yankee land??? That is a strict no no! :D

I think it depends a lot upon how distributors and dealers push some of the equipment. Polk was being sold by ProFx exclusively for some time, but now they have KEF and Focal. This may have dissipated their interests in the Polks. I have also seen that most dealers shy away from inexpensive equipment. Their logic is - whether I sell a 10K product or a 100K product, the effort is the same. So why bother with a 10K product?

Cheers
 

unleash_me

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Any reasons why the Polk DSW Pro series does not seem to be very popular here despite the impressive statistics and features? Not to mention the affordable cost.

IME I found the Polk sub-woofers very noisy. The timings never impressed me either, and not to mention the extremely irritating port noise. Again, different strokes for different folks!
 

thevortex

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Well, that is some insight, Venkat. But still, our people are never the ones to shy away from a good deal. And if backed up by good numbers, that makes for a heady combination that people would line up for. Maybe the only thing missing is snob value - of which Bose has the most quantity:)

Unleash_me - did you listen to the DSW Pro models? I was reading a whitepaper on the technology used and it was interesting. I dont see any other subwoofer brand giving you a 200W Class D amp with phase, volume adjustment along with a remote control for 20,000. And if you add to this the fact that the sub can be used as a downfiring one or as a frontfiring one, well, you get the picture. On paper, a lot appears possible with the DSW Pro series from Polk.

But the difficult thing to assess is the performance. Or at least how we perceive the performance with respect to competitors.
 

Sumit

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Hi Vortex!!
I would vote for the PSB sub amongst the ones mentioned. I have had demo of the same while I was buying my PSB T55's from Lakozy. Although, I didn't buy the same but they are certainly amongst the good ones mentioned by you.

Or you can go for a crystal audio THX select sub with 12" driver. It will cost you less than 20K. It has a fixed crossover as it is a THX selct sub. The crossover is set at 80hz. Normally, this is set at 80hz but depends a lot on your fronts..as in how much they can handle.

Hope this helps.
 

thevortex

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Thanks Sumit! This is about the first personal reference to the PSB Subseries 5i that I have heard from anybody. So, thats doubly nice.

May I trouble you some more to ask what kind of a difference you noticed between the PSB Subseries 1 and the 5i? And was the difference substantial?
 

unleash_me

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Unleash_me - did you listen to the DSW Pro models?

Vortex, the range speakers from Polk that ever impressed me are the LSi series. Regarding their Subs, my impressions were based on my experience with the PSW series, especially the 404 and 505 models. I??m not familiar with the DSW series.

My apologies for that rather sweeping generalization in the earlier post.
 

thevortex

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Vortex, the range speakers from Polk that ever impressed me are the LSi series. Regarding their Subs, my impressions were based on my experience with the PSW series, especially the 404 and 505 models. I??m not familiar with the DSW series.

My apologies for that rather sweeping generalization in the earlier post.

Actually the RTi A4s are not bad speakers. I have listened to them and they do a pretty good job.

I am yet to listen to their DSW Pro subs but based on what I have been able to read up on them, I have big expectations.
 

venkatcr

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Hi Vortex!!
I would vote for the PSB sub amongst the ones mentioned. I have had demo of the same while I was buying my PSB T55's from Lakozy. Although, I didn't buy the same but they are certainly amongst the good ones mentioned by you.

Hey Vortex, there is your window of opportunity for a last ditch effort I was speaking about. Take a train trip at least to Mumbai, and audition the PSBs.

Cheers
 

hifi

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I am yet to listen to their DSW Pro subs but based on what I have been able to read up on them, I have big expectations.

I own a DSW PRO 500, IMO it is good VFM as you get all the features that are available only on high end models from other manufacturers.

Regards

Pradeep
 

Sumit

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Hi!!
Unfortunately I only heard the Series 1 and not the 5i. Hence, I am unable to give you a comparison.
 

thevortex

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Thank you hifi and Sumit.

Venkat - the trip to Mumbai is a bit difficult to contemplate:) At least not right now.

We will see how it goes. I am thinking about the Canton option as well as the PSB Sub series 5i here. I hope to narrow things down within the next couple of weeks.
 

venkatcr

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Venkat - the trip to Mumbai is a bit difficult to contemplate:) At least not right now.

If you agree to pay for the courier charges up and down, maybe Raghu will agree to the get the sub for a few days for you to audition.

Cheers
 

thevortex

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If you agree to pay for the courier charges up and down, maybe Raghu will agree to the get the sub for a few days for you to audition.

Cheers

We have spoken about it. But the thing is I cannot guarantee the purchase of the sub until I have listened to it. And I understand that there is a bit inflexibility with the La Kozy guys in so far as demo equipment is concerned.

So, Raghu is working something out for me and I am eagerly waiting for that. :)
 

thevortex

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OK, I had a demo of the Polk DSW Pro 500 subwoofer. It was a very good movie subwoofer. However, I did not see it as being very musical. And while it does have a remote, it is pretty inflexible.

There are basically 4 levels at which volume can be set and you have to choose any one of these. While for normal usage this is fine, I dont know if that kind of inflexibility is the way to go. Oh and there are no knobs on the unit itself. So, this is what you have. The same applies for phase - there are about two settings on the remote itself and then you are done. Although they do offer a few cues such as 'Mid room', 'Midwall' etc. which would automatically set the phase and the volume of the unit.

It is not what you would call earthshaking in terms of bass. I was actually surprised, I must say. Because this sub has a lot of members singing a lot of praise. I wish I could have seen the Lord of the Rings scene there. And none of the dealers in Chennai seem to have that U-571 depth charge scene. I must remember to pick that DVD up next time I visit a DVD store. But going by the Ratatouille scenes that I saw and a few others, it was quite decent. But nothing earthshakingly impressive.

In fact the bass performance - albeit at higher volume levels - of the Wharfedale Diamond 9.5 was pretty close to the DSW Pro 500. Now, that has to be amazing!
 

thevortex

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Just to update this thread with my final purchase - I got an EPOS ELS Subwoofer.

Simply put it is head and shoulders above any of the subs discussed and any other sub that I had auditioned including a Monitor Audio Gold series sub. It has only been a few days but I am thoroughly impressed by the musicality of the sub.

The best part is that when the sub contributes it does not stick out like a sore thumb and a lot of the contribution is felt rather than heard. It is exactly what I wanted in terms of adding weight to the lower end of my Alphas while not adding any noise.

For music I have not heard a better subwoofer. However for sheer home theatre purposes, I believe I have heard better. The EPOS is good but not earth shaking. Nor will it move your furniture around for you.

Again all my impressions are without overdriving the sub and at very medium volumes. Right now the sub is breaking in and I should have a better report in say a month or so. Thank you for everybody's suggestions.
 
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