Paradigm 12" Powered Subwoofer PW-2200

Paradigm 12" Powered Subwoofer PW-2200

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Paradigm Builds Another Fine Sub

May 10, 2002
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:
  • Flatness:
  • Imaging:
  • Overall Sound:

Pros:Rich, powerful bass. Very nice build and finish. Good for HT and music.

Cons:Slight hissing sound from the amp. Big and heavy.

The Bottom Line: Can't go wrong with this one. Especially if you can get it in Canada. Sounds great for both music and movies.


Great Build and Finish
I had the PW-2200 in my home for almost a year and it had been a very enjoyable experience. The sub is heavy, about 65 lbs. and its construction is very solid. The wood grain finish is very nice and it sits along the sidewall of my family room it looks almost like a table. Of course nothing is placed on top of it because if you did, and when the bass is kicking, it would probably rattle everything right off!

Home Theater Use
Subwoofer is what makes home theater great! Sure, feeling the bullets or cars zooming by your ear is cool but you haven't gotten the whole movie experience if the subwoofer doesn't shake the room. And PW-2200 has more then enough juice to rock the house. According to Paradigm's specs, the PW-2200 reaches down to about 18 Hz. You're not going to hear that but you sure will feel it. And the bass is both natural and smooth. You just feel it when it reaches low and no distortions to go with it. For the time I lived with the 2200, it never bottomed out but did I keep it at a modest level.

Music
For those of us that can't afford two separate systems for music and movies, the PW-2200 is also very good for listening to music. It complemented my Studio 40's nicely and should work well with any bookshelf or satellite setups. Setting the 40's as 'small' and crossover at 80 Hz, the bass coming from the 2200 is both tighter and more abundant.

Placement
As with all subwoofers, placement in the room is very important if you want the bass to be flat across the sound spectrum. However, as most people are, I do not have a dedicated home theater room and so the sub had to fit into my living environment. My preferred location for the sub would’ve been the front corner because that would get the sub out of the way but that made the sound very boomy. PW-2200 has a port in the back and this thing pushes a lot of air when it is kicking and it was just way to powerful and the sound just didn’t blend in being in the corner. And I have a pretty large room with vaulted ceiling. So keep this in mind.

Complaints
There is very little to complaint about this sub except the slight humming noise it makes. It's not too loud where it would disturb the enjoyment of watching movies or listening to music but when everything is quiet, I can hear it in my listening position and it annoys me. For the time I had it in my house I tried numerous methods trying to get rid of it but ultimately failed. This is not part of the cable ground loop feedback and plugging the sub into my Panamax 1000+ power conditioner also didn't help. But most of the time you're not going to notice it and I haven't heard of other owners complaining about it so it might not affect you.

Comparisons
I base my evaluation on my experience with the following subs:

Sony SA-WM40: No comparison. At $150, the Sony is a good performer but the PW-2200 is just out of Sony’s league.
Paradigm PD-10: Paradigm PD-10 as I’ve previously reviewed is good for movies but not so great for music. But at a lower price point, if all you want is deep bass for movies, PD-10 is a good choice.
SVS 20-39PCi: This is my newest sub and unfortunately Epinion does not have these for us to evaluate. SVS is an Internet based company and it makes these large, cylinder shaped subwoofers that are outstanding for movies and respectable for music. The SVS has cleaner sounding bass and easier to place. Without getting into a full review, I would consider the SVS to be just a tad better then the PW-2200.

Conclusion
At retail price of just over $600, this is a good price for a mi-fi sub woofer that's well suited for both music and home theater. As people who are familiar with Paradigm product know, if you can get them across the boarder in Canada, with the favorable exchange rate and lower price, the PW-2200 can easily be had for less then $500. At $500, there are very few sub that could reach lower and sound tighter then this beast.


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 600


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