Cerwin Vega LW-15 Subwoofers

LW-15

Powered Subwoofer - 15" Driver - 200 Watt Amplifier

User Reviews (33)

Showing 1-10 of 33  
fitzeke   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 09, 2004]
Strength:

Good Low Extension Balanced Response Very Powerful Perfectly suited for Home Theater

Weakness:

Slightly Boomy for pure music listening

The Cerwin Vega LW15 is a great subwoofer for home theater. If you are familiar with CV, then you already know that bass is something that they're known for. This subwoofer carries on that trait in dramatic fashion. For a subwoofer in the less than $500 price range, it is in the top of its peer group. It has great low extension that never sounds like its bottoming out or overdriven. In fact, you will not even need to turn this sub past 50% in most rooms. Throughout the frequency response, the bass is even with no noticible spikes or dead spots. Overall, the LW15 is a great value

Similar Products Used: Infinity Alpha 1200, JBL-E250, Velodyne CHT15
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Stiggyrawl   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 02, 2004]
Strength:

Hard, Low Punch Plenty of headroom Great Extention down low For this price, it blows all the other subs away, best in its class by far

Weakness:

NONE

Classic Cerwin Vega

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
MrPorterhouse   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 26, 2003]
Strength:

Everything a subwoffer is supposed to do.

Weakness:

None here.

Amazingly hard-hitting, seriously low subwoofer. I've got two of these in my system(one for LFE and one for fronts). I have Cerwin Vega LS12 front speakers, LS-6C Center channel, Cerwin Vega E-76C Rear-center Channel, Bose 201 Series IV surrounds, and a Pioneer Elite VSX-43TX Receiver. These subs mate perfectly with this setup. They can handle every type of audio source I throw at them. "The Haunting" is a movie that showcases very low and extremely intense LFE's and the Cerwin Vega LW15 shines. This sub is incredible! I vibrated the coffee cups in the kitchen cabinets with these. Wow! I recommend this subwoofer for anyone who wants intense bass at any volume level. You won't regret this purchase. I am a total bass freak and my freak is "on" with these. Another favorite scene is when Darla is tapping on the fish tank in "Finding Nemo". Oh my GOD!. The only time I got these to distort was during a Low Frequecy Sine Wave test, and it took an intense peak at below 21Hz to get 'em to start to distort. THe Frequency Response Spec for these is listed as 27-150Hz, but I find they handle down to 22Hz with ease. Now, stop reading this review and go get this sub.

Similar Products Used: Polk PSW650, Infinity IL120, Cerwin Vega HT515
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Robert   AudioPhile [Nov 30, 2002]
Strength:

Old woofer: good quality, lower value rating because it should have lasted longer New woofer: better quality, much tighter and louder

Weakness:

Old woofer: Surprisingly slow. New woofer: Over powering, way more port noise.

Sad to say. My poor woofer that lastest for more than 2 years now is flabby as a grandma's arm in the wind. It no longer had the great power it when I first got it. When I would play it loud, it would sound like a loose tire wobbling. Some of my rap has bass in the 20's(Dj Screw). As a result I went to the local flea market and looked at the car woofers they had. There was a lot of them but known of them at 8 ohms. After a long search I finally find one that is... An 800 Watt Q-Power subwoofer. Yet it wasn't A highend sub, but the specs and the price matched perfectly. As an electrician would know, Maximum power transfer is met when the impedence of the drivers is the same as the Amp. No matter if the impedence of the driver is less or greater than the amp. cost $100 It was easy to install the new driver into the box. But you do need a standard hex wrench to get the old cerwin vega woofer out. Then I had to clip the ends of the wires so it would fit in the new woofers connectors. When I was done, fired it up. Big disapointment. It was very slow and boomy. But then I remember reading about car subs, you have to burn them in. So I got my old bass test mp3's and fired away. 2 hours later, i couldn't be in happier. If you read my past 2 reviews I complained about the lack of punch with the sub, now I cannot complain. My friend I had in the room complained that the sub hurt their chest too much. All that comes at a cost, sorta. Now my sub completly dominates my entire system. I now have 2 12's as mains and I had to turn the from large speakers to small because the sub handled the bass better. RIP old cerwin vega woofer.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
Brandon   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 08, 2002]
Strength:

Everything(loud, good sound, good quality, and the look of it"I keep my front panel off because I like the look of the sub with its red outline"

Weakness:

None at all(for all of those who said the ports made a sound, mine did that too for the first week I had it, after I moved my system around it worked perfectly and still is"

I bought this wonderful sub at best buy. Before i was going to get this I was going to get a 12 inch JVC sub. When I listened to the JVC it sounded like crap and distorted quickly. Then I came apon Cerwin Vega. It was wonderful!!!! I use a 500 watt or 100w times 5 Technics reciever. My front speakers are Bose 501''s and my back are Bose 201''s. All this stuff hooked up it can get incredibly loud and still sounds perfect. Ive had my reciever all the way up. No distortion in sub or speakers. Then the overheating message came on my reciever. Love it a lot!!!!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Alex   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 21, 2002]
Strength:

sound.build quality

Weakness:

sub sonic filter

sounds good with movies but takes time for proper placement to fill the hole room bass not just some areas of the room.with the rith x-over point and volume this will blend in very smooth with the other speakers giving you the true low end sound it was intended for.For music such as rap wich is probally the best music for a sub like this one pretty much the same as with movies but alittle sluggisg to fix that you will need to adjust the x-over.all in all a well sounding sub for small to medium sized rooms. recommended over other subs in this price range.

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
orlando torres   Audiophile [Aug 26, 2000]
Strength:

Loud Bass, Features

Weakness:

Weak definition on bass notes. Boomy sound.

Tried it for about two weeks and took it back. Plays loud but has too much coloration on bass notes. Weak definition on music and movies. Can fill a large room with deep bass but is disorganized. Finally settled on the Velodyne CT 150 which I think is a much better value although its a bit more expensive.

Similar Products Used: Velodyne CT150, M&K 1250
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Jerry   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 13, 2000]
Strength:

Ground Shaking Bass making it a excellent addition to a mid to large room Home Theatre.

Weakness:

The manual was ovbviously an after thought. It lacks basic vital setup information that should have been mentioned. With music,it tends to accentuate some base notes more heavily than others. Faulty Auto On/Off doesn't work on all set ups (but there is a work around - read on...)

When I got this sub home I unpacked it and hooked it up to my receiver with great anticipation. I had experienced literally gut shaking deep bass in the demonstration show room and was eager to see how it would perform connected to my system.

First things first – setup – if you get this wrong it will so badly affect the sound that you’ll want to take it back right away, so read on and discover…

Don’t even consider using this sub without a Y connector feed to the line in jacks on the sub. As soon as you add the Y connector two problems are solved. One is a huge increase in the overall volume the sub produces. Secondly it fixes an annoying problem in this sub where the Auto Power On will cut out every 9 minutes if you try and connect any other way (although I didn’t test this using the speaker in option). Certainly though the problem was there when I connected to the Sub In.

The other thing I would recommend, and this will depend on your main front speaker setup, is to set the front speakers to ‘small’ in your receiver’s speaker setup if you have the option to. This is because if you have the fronts set to ‘large’ the receiver will divert a certain amount of low-end bass to the front main speakers instead of the sub. The result is a ‘hole’ in the bass range sound and because sound from the LM15 is so big, the hole is really noticeable. So you need to divert as much of the bass frequency to the sub by setting your main speakers to 'small' in order to even out the bass response across the whole system. Then use the crossover to blend it with your front main speakers. To give you an idea, my front mains have twin driving 8 inch speakers & I still couldn’t get an even sound without diverting the full bass frequency to the sub. If you have really large efficient front mains that deliver really low frequency sound on their own, you may be ok on this option though. Experiment.

MOVIES: In terms of performance, this sub is outstanding when listening to DVD movies. Large explosions are likely to send the neighbors over in a flying temper, so make sure your setup is ok on this front! This sub is a ground shaker. Which brings me to the next issue. I found this sub to always work best when you pour in a bit of volume. If you’re planning plenty of quiet nights in, then go to a smaller more efficient sub because this one isn’t that efficient at low volume. It wants to be cranked!

MUSIC: Now here’s where I ran into a few interesting issues. I found that the LW15 has a tendency to accentuate the bass guitar quite heavily at times – even over the top of the bass drum on some of the music I listened to. The odd time it seemed to actually cancel out some of the bass drum effect as a result. It may have been the way I had it set up that caused this problem, but certainly the bass guitar is quite heavily accentuated on this sub when listening to music. Not necessarily a bad thing, it just depends on your taste. It will also depend on what type of music you listen to, so you need to actually try it with your setup to find out if you’re OK with it or not. This accentuation doesn’t seem to show up in movies though, mainly because the sound is generally chopping and changing in every direction so it doesn’t get to show itself – except if you’re listening to music that is.

I ended up swapping this for a Polk PSW450 because of the issues I knew I would have with my neighbors if I kept the LW15 and because I wanted a sub that handled music a little more consistently. But overall for the Home Theater enthusiast, this sub offers great value for money

Similar Products Used: Polk PSW 450, Energy e:XL-S10
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Michael D   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 16, 2000]
Strength:

Great bang for the buck - Cerwin Vega knows bass! 18db/octave variable crossover helps greatly matching the sub to the main speakers. Flexible hookup options. Surprisingly solid feel for a pressboard enclosure.

Weakness:

Instruction manual not detailed enough, basically, it's two pages long - way too short!. Should give more info on hookup as well as placement option info (i.e. being that the ports face the back, don't put it right up against the wall. A neophyte wouldn't know this.) Should come with a Y-connector, because most folks are going to need it. No easily accessbile fuse for the amp, in case it blows. For a 15" sub, they should've used 3/4 MDF to build it, even if it added a few bucks to the price. The 200w amp sounds fairly powerful, but a 15" sub should have closer to 300w powering it. The fact that the box is properly matched to the sub wrings the most out of the 200 watts though.

This is a long review, so settle in!

The Cerwin Vega LW-15 is my first store-bought sub. So far, I'm impressed. The sub needs tweaking to get it to blend in w/the rest of your system and room acoustics, but that is normal.

I have an extensive car audio background, so when I got into home theater about four years ago and needed a subwoofer, I didn't buy one, because I felt I could do better than what was out there in the under-$500 range. I built one from what equipment I had lying around. I had a 12" JBL dual voice coil sub and a Kenwood 4-channel amp that delivers 110watts x 2 in two-channel bridged mode. Based on recommendations from JBL, I built a 3 cubic foot (net) box with a 4 inch port, out of 3/4 MDF (medium density fiberboard, much denser than pressboard) The box was tuned to approximately 33HZ, which is pretty low and was exactly what I wanted. I powered it w/the Kenwood amp. This box rocked! After beating the crud out of that poor sub for three years, it started to show it's age. It wasn't fast or tight anymore. About two months ago, I finally bought a DVD player, and the digital audio really taxed the sub. It wasn't thrilling anymore, like it was w/VHS movies. It was loud, but didn't have that "punch in the chest" feel anymore. It was time for a new sub.

After reading a lot of online reviews, especially the ones on this site, I went and checked out the LW-15. Of course, the 16-year old saleskid at the store had the crossover set at 120HZ, the phase set at 180 and insisted on blasting me out of the aisle right off the bat. I sent him away and played with the controls for a while. The crossover is pretty good for this pricepoint. A lot of subs use a 12db/oct crossover, which results in a muddy sound. I knew this sub had an 18db/oct crossover though and was impressed with the sound.

At the store, they had the main speakers hooked up thru the subs high-level ins and outs, which of course, resulted in a crappy mains sound, which I really wasn't listening to anyway. Those in the know realize that you hook up the sub to the reciever and the main speakers to the receiver and that's it! Purity of sound is very important to me. It's nice that they include high-level ins and outs for those less well-informed, or the user whose receiver doesn't have a sub out. Do they still make those anyway? LOL!

I purchased the Monster Cable Sub hookup cable, which improved the quality of the sound even with the old sub. I have quality interconnects for all the other equipment, but I didn't think it mattered with the sub. A big difference though. Conveniently, this cable comes w/a Y-connector. How prophetic! Read on, please. The sub comes in a very sturdy box, with lots of big metal staples holding it together. Good styrofoam packing as well. This is good attention to detail. This sub is fairly heavy and well built. I was surprised by it's heft, as it is made out of pressboard as opposed to MDF. I was a bit worried that a 15" sub would blow the box to sawdust, but it's a solid box.
The sub comes with little rubber feet to mount on the bottom of the sub in case you have a bare floor. I know what the little feet are for, but the instruction manual doesnt' even mention them. Why not? The neophyte listener wouldn't know what they are for, and throw them away.

Hooking up the LW-15 was easy and I originally had the input going to the "subwoofer input", not the "pre ins". With the crossover at 80hz and the level set at 50% and my sub out level on the receiver set at 0db (no cut or boost) the sub had very little output, even at high volume levels. Hmm...somethings wrong. Tried using a single pre in input and the sound was worse. Then, I used the Y-adapter that came with the Monster Cable sub cable. Wow! What a difference! Double the volume...easily. The instruction manual has a tiny little box mentioning "you may need to use a Y-cable". This is a major flaw. The sub is very good, but needs to have both channels of the input driven to get a decent volume level. The sub should come with a Y-connector, even a cheapie. Most folks will need it, as the subs' pre ins' aren't very sensitive at all. It should be noted that this sub is ported and the ports face the rear of the enclosure. In order for the sub to perform at it's best, these ports need to be kept clear. I minimum of 4 inches from the wall is necessary, or else you will "load up" the box. The sound waves won't be able to properly leave the box, and the box will start to behave like a sealed box. You could blow the woofer at worst and at best it'll sound like crud. Again the instruction manual makes no mention of this at all. Cerwin Vega knows bass, yet they limit the potential performance of this great product thru a poor instruction manual.

Started my listening tests with some hard rock CDs. Moved to some jazz and then techno bass-heavy music. This is a very musical sub! My old sub was bottom-firing (towards the floor) this one is front-firing, and it does make a difference. Different program material has different bass levels, and if you're a tweak, like me, you will need to adjust the sub-out level of your receiver for each source. This is fine by me, as I like as perfect a sound (to my ears) as possible. Yeah, yeah, but HOW DOES IT SOUND? Bottom line: you will be impressed.

MUSIC: Dance music thumps but good. Bass guitar sounds like a bass guitar, not one droning note. The sub has decent definition for a 15". A lot clearer than the JBL 12 I was using. I don't own a sound meter, but I'd say I was playing demanding program material at about 75% of the subs capability (BTW, that means LOUD!) for a good 20 minutes. The subs amp didn't get hot. It got a little warm. This is a very good thing. I'm not a big fan of built-in amps, and was worried about build quality. Again, so far so good.

MOVIES: I'm still evaluating the sub on this. I think it sounds very good so far. If you've never heard a movie like Jurassic Park or Godzilla played thru a 15" sub, you've been missing a lot of very low frequency material. Stuff you can't really hear, you definitely will feel! The sub vibrated an empty can off my coffee table. Cool!

Some last notes. I would've liked to see a better quality grill. A little sturdier. I'm worried that over time, the plastic press-fit fasteners that hold the grill on will work loose. But time will tell on that. I'm very impressed so far, and expect that with a little more tweaking, I'll be in sub-heaven. I've had no problems with the auto-on, auto-off feature, even though some others have. That circuit is activated by the voltage put out by your receivers' output. I have no probs. Also, make sure your main speakers have at least 8-inch woofers (these are really mid-bass drivers) so you can more easily integrate your mains with the sub.

The only reason I gave this sub an overall "4 stars" instead of 5 is because of the lousy instruction manual and lack of a Y-connector. If there was a 4.5 stars, I would've given it that. For the money, you can't go wrong. Is there an award for the most prolific review? Cheers.

Similar Products Used: Custom built sub enclosure w/220 watt amp.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Brad Impriano   Audio Enthusiast [May 02, 2000]
Strength:

Awesome sound; Very easy installation

Weakness:

Very large and bulky. If you live in a appartment plan to spend a lot of money on noise violation fines.

I purchased a JBL DPS 12 from Best Buy over a year ago. I did not abuse it at all and one day the amp blew. I took it back to best buy to repair it(I have the service plan- highly recomend it.) I was promised it would be fixed in four weeks. The four weeks turned into 3 months. Apparently they JBL was very slow to deliver the part needed to fix the problem. I got it back and fired it up and the amp blew again 30 seconds later! I was very disapointed in JBL, I always thought they had a good reputation. This is not the case. Since I was fortunate enough to have the service plan, Best Buy gave me a credit and I put it towards the Cerwin-Vega. I originally bought the JBL because it cost about $ 130.00 less than the Cerwin-Vega. I guess you get what you pay for. I am not here to bash JBL, but rather to tell you how geat of a product this is. Personally I think that my new sub sounds better than my last purchase. I use my system for both music and HT. Movie sound tracks sound incredible (especially the Matrix, Saving private ryan and Jumanji.) Every time I watch a movie I have to move my breakable values of the shelves as they will vibrate off. I like to listen to anything from metal to classical and this sub enhances the music to a frightening level. I highly recomend this product to anyone looking for clear,tight, deep bass that will knock your socks off. There was only one problem. One of the ports fell out when I opend the box- had to glue it back. Oh-well at least I know the amp won't blow.

Similar Products Used: JBL DPS 12
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 33  

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