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Your Own Personal Earthquake In A Box
Sep 12, 2008 (Updated Sep 12, 2008)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
As I have surround sound systems in several rooms of my home, I own quite a few subwoofers. Although I have purchased subs from different manufacturers in the past, I have found that Yamaha subs give the biggest bang (or thump) for the buck. The YST-SW315 is a perfect example of Yamaha's ability to deliver serious bass frequencies from a rather simple, low cost device.
Recommend this product?
I purchased the YST-SW315 for my home office, to provide extra depth for the surround system that I have connected to my computer and other A/V equipment. The SW315 subwoofer sits on the floor, hidden below a corner desk unit. This sub enclosure measures 13-3/4" (W) x 16-15/16" (H) x 15-1/16" (D), and weighs roughly 42 lbs. Although it's not extremely small, this sub really doesn't take up that much room. It is a fairly square shaped box with a flat surface, so you can always sit something on top of it if you desire. I have the sub hooked to my surround receiver via the line level inputs. However, there are also speaker level inputs and outputs, for those that wish to connect the subwoofer inline, between their stereo amplifier and stereo speakers. It is magnetically shielded, so this subwoofer can be placed next to anything without worry of magnetic interference from the speaker itself.
The YST-SW315 subwoofer utilizes two technologies that are unique to Yamaha.
* Advanced YST - Advanced Yamaha Active Servo Technology is a unique system in which the speaker and amplifier work together to cancel out impedance so the speaker unit has a perfectly linear motion. Advanced YST helps to ensure the highest levels of sound pressure and overall performance.
* QD-Bass Technology - Quatre Dispersion Bass technology uses down-firing drivers with square, pyramid-shaped reflective plates to radiate the sound efficiently in four horizontal directions. The reflective plates negate any effects caused by the floor surface and reduce resonance between sound waves reflected from the floor and the unit.
I don't know much about Advanced YST and QD-Bass Technology, but I do know this subwoofer sounds great. Although relatively small, this little speaker box packs quite a punch, and fills the room with deep sound that you can feel as well as hear. I use this subwoofer for a combination of listening to music, for computer game play and for watching movies. There is a button, on the subwoofer control panel, that lets you select "Movie" or "Music" mode. There is a noticeable sound difference between the two modes, so a user would definitely want to utilize this button when switching between watching movies and listening to music. The control panel, which is located on the front side of the subwoofer cube, also contains a volume knob, an auto standby (on/off) switch, a high cut filter (on/off) switch, and a high cut filter adjustment knob. The auto standby feature is very handy, as it allows the subwoofer to power itself up when it receives sound and goes into standby (sleep) mode when no sound is present after about 5 minutes. Power consumption, while in standby mode, is only 0.5 watts, so I personally love the convenience and energy efficiency of the auto standby feature. If you prefer to power the subwoofer on and off manually, the main power switch is located on the back of the unit, rather than on the control panel itself. Next to the on/off power switch is also a Phase Control switch, so you can select whether you want the sub to work in normal or reverse phase. I will not go into what phase changing does to the sound, but audiophiles will understand that reversing the phase would be the same as reversing the positive and negative wire connections on the back of a loudspeaker. It simply changes whether the speaker cone moves inward or outward to produce sound waves.
The high cut filter adjustment control works very well, allowing you to determine the high-end frequency cutoff of the speaker. Obviously a subwoofer is meant to produce very low frequency sounds, so being able to cut out somewhat higher frequencies can produce much cleaner, punchier bass sound. This control allows you to customize the bass sound, to best match the speakers that you have producing the higher frequencies. When set correctly you should experience a full bodied sound, without any dropouts in the frequency range between the main speakers and the subwoofer.
Here are some technical specs of the YST-SW315:
* Advanced YST Technology
* QD Bass Technology
* High Efficiency Power Amplifier: 250-watts nominal / 270-watts dynamic power
* Multi-Range Driver: 10" Cone
* Magnetic Shielding
* Phase Control Switch: Normal or Reverse
* High Cut Filter: 40 - 140 Hz
* Auto Standby
* Bass Action Selector System: Movie Mode or Music Mode
* Inputs: Line-level in (RCA phono x 2), Speaker-level in (heavy-duty post x 2)
* Outputs: Speaker-level pass-through (heavy-duty post x 2)
* Frequency Response: 20 - 160 Hz (-10 dB)
* Power Consumption: 80-Watts (operation) / 0.5-Watts (stand-by)
* Warranty: 2 years (parts & labor)
Overall I have been extremely pleased with the Yamaha YST-SW315 subwoofer. The flat-black cabinet fits in well with most of today's stereo equipment, and this model is also available in silver and glossy piano-black finishes as well. It is small enough to hide behind a piece of furniture but looks good enough to leave out in plain view. There is an air outlet port on one side, so you will want to make sure to place the cabinet in an area where the air can escape without restriction, otherwise the sound will be affected in a negative way. A few inches of clearance should prove adequate for the air to move freely. The speaker cone itself is located on the bottom of the cabinet, which fires down toward the floor and therefore doesn't require any special clearance. The bass produced by the YST-SW315 subwoofer is very solid and punchy, and gives very little audible distortion at even high volume levels. I feel that this subwoofer is excellent for a mid-sized family room or living room, but may not be well suited for an extremely large room, unless you added a second subwoofer (one for each channel - left & right). My home office measures roughly 16' x 18', and this subwoofer is able to fill that room with gut-rumbling bass very well. I leave the SW315 in auto standby mode at all times, as I find this feature to work very well. It should be noted, however, that there is about a 6-second delay before the subwoofer begins working, after it receives a signal from your audio source. This may prove annoying for those that use the subwoofer for music. But for movie watching it really isn't an issue since the sub only misses the first few seconds of the opening music score (usually a movie preview that comes on before the actual movie begins).
Although I cannot guarantee that this subwoofer will prove to be perfection for every consumer, I honestly cannot find one fault in this device. I have pushed this speaker pretty hard in the past, and I have yet to notice any serious distortion or the typical overpowering boomy sound that many subs produce. The YST-SW315 produces clean, punchy bass at just about any volume level, and when adjusted correctly will not overpower the rest of your audio. It has a powerful built-in amplifier and looks, feels, and sounds very well made. Since this subwoofer has exceeded my expectations, and is an incredible value for the price, I am giving the Yamaha YST-SW315 10-inch Digital Pro Series Subwoofer 5-stars. I highly recommend it for anyone that is looking to add solid low-end frequencies to their stereo or home theater audio system.
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Amount Paid (US$): 299.00
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