Paradigm Defiance X15 Subwoofer Review

March 18, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“media room, not for increased output, but rather to fill in some unavoidable dips at around 45Hz (with a sub on one side of my system) and 80Hz (with a sub on the other) caused by the geometry of my listening space. Given that I knew I would only be receiving one Defiance X15 for review, I disabled one of my reference subs beforehand and spent some time listening with only one sub, so as not to create an unfair comparison. In the end, I positioned the X15 on the left side of my system, if only due to the fact that it’s too wide to fit in the subwoofer spot on the right side. It is, after all, nearly three inches wider than my reference SVS PB-4000, which is itself snug as a bug on that side of the room.

Despite the wealth of connectivity, the tried-and-true unbalanced LFE input worked for my purposes. I ran one of the subwoofer outs from the Marantz AV8805 to it, and ran ARC via the app. Other speakers in the system consisted of a pair of GoldenEar Triton One.R towers, a GoldenEar Reference center, and a pair of Triton Sevens as surrounds. Crossovers were set at 80Hz, except the Reference Center, for which the crossover point was set at 100Hz.”


SVS SB-2000 Subwoofer Review

February 9, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“So, why does SVS make both sealed and ported versions and which should you choose? I’m sure I will get lots of comments on this, but in my opinion if you are creating a surround sound system predominantly for gaming, movies, and TV watching, you might prefer the punchier punch and thumpier thump of a ported enclosure, but if you prioritize music over explosions and bullets and such, one might prefer the slightly “tighter” sounding sealed version. This is not to say a ported enclosure can’t faithfully reproduce music and a sealed box can’t provide an impactful surround sound theater experience–just that these are the main sonic differences between the two and in the specific case of the PB-2000 and SB-2000, there is the size and weight difference noted above as well. For the two room sizes I auditioned these in, I slightly preferred the SB-2000, and while I didn’t have two of them to try, I have every reason to believe spreading out the coverage with two SB-2000 would be absolutely amazing. In case you were wondering, my main home theater is 30 feet by 26 feet with 14-foot ceilings, and my secondary room is 14 feet by 12 feet, with 12-foot ceilings.”

MartinLogan Dynamo 800X powered subwoofer $799 Review

January 31, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“MartinLogan’s Dynamo 800X is the first subwoofer I’ve reviewed that combines digital control, signal connection, and room correction—all three wirelessly—in a small, powerful package. I heard no difference between the wireless and wired connections, and once I’d found good positions for the Dynamos, set their output level correctly, and identified their optimal crossover frequencies, their sound seamlessly blended with that of my Quad electrostatics, deepening the ESL-989s’ soundstages and deep-bass extension and expanding their dynamic range, and enhancing their three-dimensionality, all at a price far below that of larger subwoofers I’ve reviewed.”

Martinlogan Dynamo 1100X Subwoofer $1,099 Review

December 29, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“One of my favorite music tracks for testing subs is “Flight of the Cosmic Hippo” by Béla Fleck and The Flecktones. Bassist Victor Wooten’s solo, played on a five-string fretless Fodera bass, has him moving up and down the scale and reaching incredibly deep notes. Any discontinuity between your main speakers and the subwoofer is instantly heard, and only a tight, fast sub can sound tuneful as Wooten plumbs the bottom end of his instrument. Streaming the track on Qobuz, the 1100X had plenty of power to shake the floor, yet there was no hint of a one-note quality or overhang. Even though I was using the Subwoofer Control app’s supposedly lower-impact but more tuneful Music setting, the 1100X was able to move plenty of air and cause my listening chair to thrum and vibrate along with the bass. There is one additional Subwoofer Control app adjustment I didn’t mention—a Deep Bass level setting that allows you to boost or cut the very bottom half-octave from 20Hz to 30Hz by up to 10 decibels. I found that by carefully tweaking this setting I was able to dial in a perfect amount of heft to the sound without introducing boominess or bloat.”

SVS PC-4000 subwoofer review

December 26, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“Its output is taut, and it hits hard but doesn’t linger, which makes it great for 
kinetic film soundtracks. The Omaha Beach landing from Saving Private Ryan (UHD Blu-ray) lets the PC-4000 strut its stuff, underscoring the explosions with perfectly timed impact but picking up smaller details like machine-gunfire and adding a visceral low-end presence.

I have auditioned SVS’s PB-4000 
ported sub and for me, the cylindrical 
version delivers an almost identical experience but has the benefit of not being the size of a fridge-freezer. In fact, if space is an issue then the PC-4000 might be the ideal solution. And considering the state-of-the-art subwoofery inside, it isn’t that expensive either.”

MartinLogan Dynamo 600X Subwoofer Review

December 9, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“If your room is larger than 225 square feet, the MartinLogan Dynamo 600X may not be the best pick for you in the Dynamo lineup. But for smaller rooms and especially if you listen to music more often than movies, or even if explosions and crashes aren’t what you are looking for, the MartinLogan 600X finds a very sweet spot at the intersection of price and performance.

With Anthem Room Correction, a nice remote app, and other smart connectivity features, the 600X sets itself apart from the budget subwoofer pack, not necessarily with sheer output or extension, but certainly with style. It offers great musicality and blends beautifully with MartinLogan’s Motion speakers, so depending on your room size and sonic preferences, the 600X might be the right choice for your system.”

SVS PC-4000 Subwoofer Review

December 6, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“I should start this review by saying that if I was thinking of buying an SVS 4000 Series subwoofer, then this cylindrical version would probably be my choice. It doesn’t have quite the titanic sub-sonic range of the huge ported model, which can get down to a staggering 13Hz, but it’s a damn sight less intrusive. It also isn’t as small or nimble as the sealed unit, but it can deliver deeper bass, going down to 15Hz compared to the sealed unit’s 19Hz. While I appreciate we’re at the limit of what the human ear can even register, there’s a lot to be said for bass you can feel.

SVS has the cylindrical subwoofer market to itself, which is surprising because I think it’s a great idea. The concept allows for a relatively small footprint and greater freedom in terms of positioning, especially in the corners of rooms. However the vertical size of this sub also allows for some serious low frequency action. In testing, the PC-4000 proved to be an impressive performer, delivering deep and controlled bass that you can genuinely feel. Much like the PB-4000 that I reviewed earlier in the year, this cylindrical version also revealed a surprisingly nuanced performance.”

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