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Paradigm Reference PS-1200
52 Reviews
rating  4.56 of 5
MSRP  599.00
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Reviews 1 - 5 (52 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by C a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: July 21, 2012

Bottom Line:   
Still going, sound is clean, box has layers of touch up paint.

I have been abusing this sub for 15yrs now. It has seen action at some small venue DJ jobs I've done, and been used to add depth to my high end PA speakers, it has been blasted all night long at adolescent house parties. It has moved with me through 3 major life phases to 8 different houses, all told over 9000km, by mail, u-haul, back of the car. It once was dropped down a flight of stairs. It now pins the fencing to my daughters play area to the end of our sectional.

It is not a reference sub, and like all HT gear it is mass manufactured so it is not perfect.

Like all subs, it is boomy if it you don't know what you are doing.

When I bought it I listened to almost 20 subs in the range of $400-800(cdn) at 6 different shops. In every case, I had to place the sub in the room for the salesman. I went back to some places 5-6 times to listen to the same subs, each time fewer subs, but longer for each. This one kept drawing me back.

The major difference I hear from the rest of the class is the clarity of the depth, and its ability to punch a bass beat (kick drum, or synth) through other layers of deep bass material without the beat being as one note as you would expect.

I cross it over at the lowest it will go, as my receiver has no trouble getting my fronts to play down to 80. Above 100, it is muddy (probably too far from the tuning frequency), if you intend to use this with true satellite type fronts, you might end up with a gap between where this sounds good, and where your clock radio speakers can extend to.

Systems used in:
Gen 1: Sony ES Reciever, Bose 301 fronts, then 301 rear, Bose CC100 center, and PSB 600's at front

Gen 2: Yamaha Reciever, Paradigm Mini Monitors front and back, Paradigm CC (matches Monitor 5) (Note that this sub sold me on Paradigm

DJ System: 4 x QSC RMX2400, 4xJBL MRX525 (normally subs would be 4xJBL MRX815, but on the occasions where I used the PS1200, I needed range; so 110 db of great was better than 130db of good)

Gen 3 (current): Marantz Pre-amp, 4 x Crown XLS602 (XLR wires pass through into utility room, 10ga speaker wire is in walls, amps tap into 220 circuit for the dryer, Paradigm Monitor 5 at front, Paradigm CC, Mini Monitors at sides and back.

For the current iteration, obviously the speakers and the sub need to be upgraded to match the electronics.

This is the first time I've felt the sense that by getting rid of a thing, that I'll kind of miss it. So much so that the reason I found this forum is that I'm searching for drivers with similar TS specs, so I can buy another and build a pair of subs for my step-sons PA/DJ rig.

I can still remember how nervous I was at spending that kind of money back then, how hard it was to get it into my 1989 Hyundai, and how much fun it was to watch the glass in the basement windows bow with the waves of sound.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1997



Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Mike a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: May 17, 2012

Bottom Line:   
I purchased this unit at The Speaker Shop, Williamsville NY, (HiFi Equip.) in 1998 after looking and pricing other subs such as Polk, Klipish, etc., and initially felt it sounded pretty decent for a Band-pass style and $525.00 + tax in comparison to the much more expensive aforementioned brands. The sales rep assured me I would not be disappointed once I got it home and hooked-up with my Bose 901's driven by a Carver mt1.5 and NEC DSP pre-amp. However, after moving it around the room several times in attempts to obtain nice tight bass, I would find that first it was a bit 'Boomy' noticeable even with the Bose 901's shut off. Further, I had run up against phasing issues which would not clear up with the 180 degree phase potentiometer; and oddly enough the best setting on the sub was at 90 degrees of phasing (center-line).
Now I used this sub for about one month before getting locked up in prison for some 10+ years (motor vehicle accident), and subsequently it remained within a climate controlled spare bedroom packaged-up until just last month (April 2012), so its seen very little use and remains virtually new and absent any damage to the foam 12" speaker surround!!! However, being the electrical technician and Amateur Radio Operator I am, I had to open the unit up for a thorough inspection of faulty components (such as dried-out filter caps, etc.), and to my complete discuss and total dismay I found many electrical issues which could have only been issues right from the factory, among totally deplorable engineering aspects used upon the single printed circuit board [PCB]. For starters, I found a cold solder joint on the legs of the positive speaker (crap) Blade Connector. In fact it was so loose of a solder joint I'm utterly surprised it was not arcing; thats in addition to the other fact that all wire connections to the PCB are Blade Connectors and all but one were very loose or poor connections!!!. And with further regard to these cheapest of the cheap connectors, when I tried to give a little crimp to the facets of the female connectors to tighten them up a bit they just snapped apart --- pathetic!!! Thus I decided to solder them to the male connectors of the PCB; but before doing that I had to go over (redo) the soldering of the male legs to the PCB, because they too were all poor in the sense that the amount of trace material cleared for solder connections was miniscule if not infinitesimal. Wherein order to apply heat to solder the connectors together I had to have a decent solid connection on the PCB.
All this lead to another discovery: wherein the PCB traces within the power supply section of the circuitry that connect through to the traces on the other side of the PCB were only connected via a through-hole with which solder made the connection --- and again, only a miniscule amount of soldered connection was made leaving measurable amounts of resistive conductivity. Some would say this is of little importance, but to the contrary I argue especially when current demands are high and these being so close to the two 5600uF filtering capacitors, that with heat an image of capacitor reactance change could appear and have variable consequences. Therefore I scrapped away some of the coating on the traces and soldered them to the through-hole with 7% Silver Solder
Additional engineering faults I found, IMO, include the absence of heat sink compound between the power transistor and the two final output transistors despite having a silicon transfer sheet between the heat sink and transistors. I feel its still necessary and especially, as in my case, when you find that the back side of a transistor is not smooth but rather having a finish more textured-like which seriously inhibits heat transfer. Thus this too I had to correct and used a high quality Silver Content Heat Sink Compound.
Lastly, I noticed that the circuitry in the unit I have seems to be totally without any protection circuitry such as thermal, soft-clipping, or even fusing, circuit-breaker or crowbar protection. The only thing I seen to protect some of the circuitry (and certainly not explicitly the woofer) is a slow-blow fuse located off of the "Hot" 120VAC input to the sub.
It Totality there are certainly better sounding and much higher quality electrical, and perhaps mechanically, engineered subwoofers out there within the price range of the PS-1200. In fact I plan on selling my in the near future as pretty much a NIB unit and try to recoup close to what I paid for the unit using as a poster-ad this blog page which, IMO, overly rates and even wrongfully boasts about this, at best, modest sub. This way I can purchase something I know is manufactured better with better quality control standards and what should be the basic standard of manufacturing that excludes the errors I found!!! Otherwise, perhaps I'll build my own.
CONCLUSION: STAY AWAY FROM THIS SUB AND THIS MODEL LINE OF
PARADIGM!!!

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1997



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by roland a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 27, 2012

Bottom Line:   
Paradigm PS 1200 V.4

Purchased this fantastic used canadian made Paradigm sub 1 yr ago.
This 4th generation of the bandpass design really makes the previous 3 versions
completely obselete..they were great for HT but that was it.
V.4 has a pair of 5 inch diameter ports versus three 3 1/2 inch ports on the older models.
the rms wattage has also been increased throughout the generations with v.4 topping out at 250 Rms and has lots of headroom with 750 peak watts.

lots of users give poor reviews because they say this design is boomy.. well if you corner load these subs they
will be really boomy but the trick is to locate them around 4 feet away from the corner next to either left or right main tower or bookshelf speaker. the design naturally gives 6 to 10 db over any ported similar sized sub so you dont need to put in the corner as you would with subs that have less output.

turn it up and enjoy..ask any paradigm rep and they will tell you that to get this kind of in room SPL you would have to purchase their sub 25 reference model.. now dont get me wrong, the ps1200 will not play as deep or refined as the $4000 paradigm sub 25, but for less then a quarter of the price you can have 90% of the performance of the sub 25..

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Synthspike a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: January 12, 2008

Bottom Line:   
I love Paradigm PS-1200.

I had a PS-1200 version 2 for a couple of years, on loan from a friend while he was living in a smaller home with no space for it. It was in a stereo only system - no surround - music was the main application. Also on loan were Dunlavy SCIII main speakers ($5000!) powered by Conrad Johnson. It was a great system. I'm a musician, audio engineer, and music enthusiast and I loved hearing music so clearly.

I returned the system to my buddy a year ago when he moved into a larger house. I decided to finally go with surround. I went out and bought a used Paradigm system with Monitor 7 front end (older version), CC70 center, PDR-10 sub, and crappy no-name surrounds. I recently replaced the surrounds with Jamo E600.

The PDR-10 sounded nice, but seemed outclassed by the rest of my system. It was good for HT and video games, but high volume listening for music, it seemed to be limited, I sounded strained. I decided I needed something bigger so I bought a Klipsch 12' downfiring sub (model # forgotten but not high end). It was nice, but not much better than the Paradigm PDR-10 so it went back to the store. I decided to go with what I knew: that PS-1200 I has used previously was my target.

I found a used PS-1200 Version 3 on Craigslist. I plugged it in tonight and it is exactly what I need. It feels right and sounds good at all listening levels from quiet to blazingly loud.

I think the closed box design keeps it sounding pretty tight and punchy while the 12 inch size gives beefy bottom. The Klipsch I had seemed to ring a bit, it seemed less controlled, less musical.The heavy weight of teh PS-1200 probably helps keep it tight.

I see many reviewers say PS-1200 sounds good for HT but not music. I love mine for music. I wonder if people's experience depends on their room, placement, crossover, front end, etc. HT is less important to me. Now my Monitor 7's are outclassed by my sub. I would recommend this sub to anyone, as long as their main speakers were reasonably up to the task.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   used



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jimmy a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 2, 2006

Bottom Line:   
I have always wanted a sub because of the music i listen to.I have an uncle who has had a ps-1000 for a few years now and i always liked the bass it delivered.
i looked at a few subs but found this one to my best likeing plus paradigm is a reputable company and its canadain. also there warranty is very good.

and in this price range it couldn't be beat.
i only use this sub for music no HT and would recommend it.

makes my living space feel like the club.
i got the sub going with a pair of old philips deforest speakers and they compliment each other well.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $632.00

Purchased At:   1300 Portage




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