So I finally found some speakers that fit the room I plan on setting this whole system in. Great. However, it still needs some oopmh in a form of a sub woofer. Behold, the Sony SAW2500. It is a $100 sub woofer that cost 4x less than the Klipsch Sub-10 I eventually decided to get. So what in the world made me decide to pay so much more for the low-frequency love?
Recommend this product?
The Sony SAW2500 sub woofer has a 10" driver, much like the Klipsch Sub-10. It is also smaller in dimension, and much lighter in weight. It allows for line and speaker level inputs, which makes it pretty versatile. The grill doesn't look to be removable (I tried), but you can see right through the cloth cover.
The sub woofer doesn't look very frightening like the Sub-10 since the Sony enclosure is much smaller. The large driver is also front-facing, giving it a friendly look while the Klipsch hides the driver by pointing it downwards - giving it a mysterious monolithic style - much scarier. Sony claims 100W, so we'll see.
There is a gain knob as well as a crossover knob in the rear. The SAW2500 is self-powered by a single AC outlet, and does automatically turn off after a few minutes of silence. However, there is a hard switch in the rear that allows you to force it to turn off. It's hard to reach for any real use, though. My friend, who decided to purchase one, plugged it in a power strip that is easier to access, and flip the switch on that instead (which also completely powers off his receiver and DVD player).
I hate to say this (since my friend eventually bought one), but the one word I'd use to describe the SAW2500 is "uninspiring". Even in a medium-sized room, the Sony failed to impress. It just wasn't powerful enough to feel the bass. You can barely detect it when sit 12 feet away.
When cracked up all the way, bass is too flabby and inaccurate. Raising the crossover frequency makes it even more flabby and inaccurate, but does allow you to feel the bass more. However, the reason why is because the driver is just flopping all over the place, trying to reproduce all those frequencies. It gets thrashed violent enough that you may feel... something. Of course, this is a bad compromise.
We moved the sub in a smaller room (his bedroom) and fed it a signal from his desktop speakers instead. It seem to do much better in this setting. Using much less energy to fill the small room, the bass can now be felt (since you're sitting much closer), and bass sound much more convincing with the crossover set at around 70 Hz. Due to the fact that the satellite speakers sit much closer to the listener, the bass seem to match better and sound a bit more natural than trying to fill a larger room with slightly larger speakers (living room speakers were Pioneers 2-way speakers with a 6" mid-range drivers).
Even so, the bass doesn't sound as tight as it should, giving a flabbier sound which I guess I can best describe as "raspberry". Adjusting the gain higher makes it worse.
Maybe I'm just too picky - after all, the Sony SAW2500 is only $100. For the price, many would forgive it even as a budget sound system set up. However, I'd have to live with it through countless action movies, so I'd cringe with every explosion. This is why I had an fought nail and tooth internally to justify dropping $400 on just the sub woofer in my $1000 surround sound set up (which is about half the price of the whole she-bang!).
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