Street price of around $650 gives u a great sub for the money. The sub is a bit slow so unless your normal pair of speakers is lacking some real bass, I prefer this monster to be off if I'm listening to music. For home theater its, another story. Sub goes really low and loud and can really shake the house.
My ear is not astute enough to judge audible differences in subwoofer quality. All I know is what I feel, and the PW2500 makes me rumble. The windows vibrate, the cushioned sofa vibrates, the wall hangings downstairs vibrate. I have my subwoofer positioned behind a door, and when the door is open and the bass starts humping, it will close the door! This said, I notice that it is a little slow on home theater. This may be due more to my equipment (Denon 3600) and hookup rather than the PW-2500, but until I know for sure, I can't give five stars.
Excellent deep tight lows. Keeps up with all music. DD/DTS movies will shake the walls. This sub goes LOW and sounds very good. Best sub under $1000 I have heard (and I heard a lot of them). Price vs performance give it a 5 Star!!!
I had been looking for a subwoofer to go with my Quads for some time. The Quads have pretty good bass, despite what some say. They are flat down to 40 Hz and have useful bass response down to about 30 Hz at reasonable listening levels. They will handle a full orchestra quite nicely, and will do a 16 foot organ pedal or a big bass drum pretty well. Adding a subwoofer to a system should improve the performance of the main speakers, since they will not have to handle the deep bass. However, this is not always a given as excellent electronics are needed. It is nice to have deep bass, but it is the midrange that is the most critical for sound quality. As well, the subwoofer must be able to integrate smoothly with the main speakers, so as to achieve a flat response. A basic requirement for MY subwoofer requirement was that it be able to reproduce a 32 foot organ pipe (fundamental at 16 hz). The opening passage of Michael Murray's Telarc recording Bach's Passacaglia in C, using the organ in the Great Methuen Hall is a good test piece.
Most reasonably priced subwoofers will NOT reproduce a 32 foot organ pipe adequately. This is fine if that is not a requirement. I had auditioned a few subwoofers which would do the job, but the government froze my salary for 7 years, so I did not want to pay too much for them. The big Velodyne F-1500 would certainly do it very impressively, and it is capable of huge amounts of output. It is also fairly expensive.
Now, the Paradigm PW-2500 is not in that league, but it should be able to produce close to 110 db with room reinforcement for the rabid Home Theater types. While this is not as loud the biggest Paradigm, the big Velodynes and Mirages, etc., it is considerably louder than most subwoofers can play. It is also about as loud or louder than most people's systems can play. This is more than adequate for my purposes.
In my house, the PW-2500 will reproduce the 32 foot organ pipes very nicely. In the Magic Forest Music Store here, the rooms are quite large, but even there the PW-2500 could easily reproduce the fundamental tone, though down in level. With room reinforcement in my house, the fundamental is big and "feely" all around. One recording I discovered I had not really heard before is "Deep Voices," whale recordings on a Columbia LP, especially the Blue Whales.
As I do not feel I want to run long line level cables from the Quad 44 preamplifer to the subwoofer and back to the Quad 606 amplifier, I needed an electronic crossover. After some experimentation,I followed audio writer Tomn Nousaine's advice, and put the subwoofer in a corner. As the PW-2500 is a large object, I did not want it behind the Quads, would affect the sound of one channel or another. As I did not want to have to step over the cables, I had to run it behind the Quads, then along the outside wall of the living room to the back corner. This requires about 50 feet of cable.
Tom Nousaine has pretty well proved that in most rooms, the best location for a subwoofer is in a corner of the room. This position usually excites all of the room's main resonances at once, according to Mr. Nousaine, should give the flattest reponse. For those who think this will be boomy, the solution is quite simple: turn the level down on the subwoofer. What is complicated about that I don't know, but some people have trouble grasping the concept!
One should not be able to hear where the subwoofer is when playing music. With proper placement, if you hear the subwoofer, it is probably because you have the crossover is set to a frequency that is too high, or the subwoofer level is set too high.
I bought the Mirage LFX-1 active crossover. I have the low pass filter (24 db per octave rolloff) turned down to 50 Hz, and the high pass filter (12 db per octave rolloff) turned to somewhere around 65 or 70 Hz. This was the most difficult part of the set up for me. There seems to be a room resonance for the main speakers around there, so this probably helped notch it out. I found that even this low crossover po9int affected the male vocals, probably because the high pass filter at 12 db per octave does not have a sharp enough "knee" to avoid some small reduction in the male vocal region. I was able to fix this by making some small adustments to the position of the Quads. Bedause of room resonances, I find that male voices are a critical area with the Quads, so they require careful placement. Other than that, I find the Mirage LFX-1 to be utterly neutral.
I tried the Paradigm X-30 electronic crossover, but did not like it as well. It was certainly was very easy to integrate with the main speakers. This is probably because the high and low pass filter slopes are both 18 db per octave. However, I notices some coloration on male vocals and massed strings. I do not know why the reviewers have not found this, but I did. On the other hand, some friends of mine use the X-30 with the Quads and the bigger, more powerful Paradigm subwoofer, and they are quite happy with it.
On an absolute scale, the PW-2500 is not in the top rank. It is not capable of the extremely high levels with low distortion that some (by no means all) of the more expensive subwoofers can achieve. However, it is capable of very deep response and its output is more than adequate for most purposes. It is far better than anything else I have heard anywhere near its price category (about $1100 Canadian list price)-I admit I have never heard the Hsu-and goes deeper than some more expensive ones. Indeed, if the response went deeper, the chief thing that would be reproduced might be record warps.
I am in somewhat of a quandary as to a rating. It's price vs. performance rating is a 5 star product. I have often wondered why subwoofers with 16 Hz response had to cost so much On a more absolute scale it is a 4 star. But does one need a more capable subwoofer? In any case, it does pretty well what I want it to do. I think most people evaluate the products with price in mind, so for the "official" rating, I will go with the price vs. performance one.
I can't believe the lack of attention this sub gets. I don't think anyone even knows it exists. Everyone is so concerned about space, but this cabinet isn't all that much bigger than its little brother, who seems to be stealing all the attention away, the PW-2200. I have had them both in my house and the PW-2500 is everything the 2200 but better. This is by far the best sub for under 1,000. It retails for $949, but don't settle for that! If your local dealers don't stock it, demand that they do!