Jensen MS500 Sub Subwoofers

MS500 Sub

15 in. 500watt rms Sunfire/subwoofer

User Reviews (14)

Showing 1-10 of 14  
crowtree99   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 06, 2012]

Just wanted to add my thoughts on this huge by large fugly box!
OMG!
Well it is in that rating now!
Bought this diamond on our local craigslist for $50 in perfect working order and used it as such for a short while but always found it to be too hollow and booming.
Then I read somewhere about raising subs off the floor on spikes as per floorstanders. Well I have plenty of spikes so selected the largest set I had, drilled and threaded them into the base and holy cow Batman!
I simply could not believe the difference! All traces of boominess had vanished now replaced by hard solid thick bass! A bit of fine tuning with the gain and crossover soon had it sounding like a $500 sub!
Next changes were to replace the original Jensen paper driver with an Adire Tempest 4 ohm driver I again found cheap and at the same time remove the original 6" long port tubes and replace them with 12" long pvc tubes.
This is where the OMG! rating comes in. Even the wife who thinks the sub is pug ugly can admire the bass it deals out especially on high octane action movies.
I truly do not think I could achieve the level of bass quality and total volume available for anything under $1000 now.
Total cost so far, $50 purchase and $90 for the Adire driver, pvc pipe and spikes I already had. So a grand total of $140 and about 2 hours work and I have a sub that will blow the windows out literally if I wanted to, still only need approx 25% gain on the Carver amp.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Brian   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 07, 2000]
Strength:

Very Solid, High output bass below 30Hz

Weakness:

Big,Ugly, the wife's gonna kill you presence
No soft-start circuit

My friends consider me somewhat of a HiFi fanatic. For that
reason I am usually somewhat embarrased to tell them my subwoofer is made by Jensen. Not exactly a name associated with hi-end audio. Most of my equipment is respectable. I own a pair of dual 10" Audio Concept tower speakers, and seperates by NAD. After auditioning many subwoofers with my trusty test CD. The Jensen stood out amongst the crowd in the sub $500 category. It went much lower and at greater levels. Many "cute" little subs rolled off around 50Hz, which I would hardly consider a subwoofer. I remember the infinity subs to be particularly BAD! The Jensen is a big, ported box with a tiawaneese 15" CAST FRAME woofer. I would estimate the magnet weight at about 100oz. My Jensen had a problem after about a month. The voice coil had a buzz and emitted a tell-tail electrical smell. I sent the woofer in for replacement. I chalk the failure up to an absence of a soft turn-on circuit. When first plugging in the sub, inrush current violently bottoms out the cone. I am fairly sure that is what damaged my first woofer. Since then I added a double-pole, double throw switch that is connected to a large 8 ohm power resistor. This resistor absorbs the inrush current. After plugging in the sub, I then throw the switch to "play mode".

My home theater room is somewhat large about 15'X 35'.
For that reason, and the simple fact I like it LOUD, I needed a high output sub. The MS-500 has been doing a great job providing the bass I need. With the help of it's built in 30hz bass boost, the sub plays quite low. Overall, I am
very happy with it. I would recommend it to anyone who can tolerate a big box and has decent size main speakers to blend with. Small bookshelf speakers would not be a good match, you would notice a "hole" in the sound. I would recommend an 8" two-way satellite minimum. It would be hard to beat for the price. If anyone of my friends knock it without hearing it, I say: "bring your sub on and lets get ready to rumble" Then tell me Jensen sucks.

Similar Products Used: Demoed Klipsch,Infinity,Carver, friend has HSU.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Mike the Snake   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 15, 1999]
Strength:

Bob Carver amp rated at 500 watts RMS @ 4 ohms
Large box
Cheap price
3 input methods

Weakness:

Terrible tech support
Not very well-sealed box
Not enough insulation in box
Cheap woofer
Woofer is 6 ohm so amp isn't pushing 500 watts
Power cord barely stays connected to sub

The dome in the middle wasn't glued on all the way and made a terrible noise - unbearable. After gluing dome back on, bad noise was gone, but it still makes a buzzing noise. The woofer obviously is screwed. I called Jensen (or their affiliation) about 10 times. I never got an operator, just left messages on their machine. They never returned any of my calls. I'm buying a Cerwin Vega 154 which is a REAL woofer that handles 500 RMS watts @ 4 ohms. It'll run me $154 (same as model number, hmmm) from Digital Wavez. Jensen is a stupid company, no matter what these guys say. The amp is the only good part about it, and that was designed by the genius Bob Carver and just lisensed by Jensen. Some people probably think it's such a good sub because it weighs 70 lbs. Well, it is a large wooden box, what do you expect? The speaker itself weighs about 14 lbs and is worth about 14 dollars. Made in Taiwan, that peice of shit. I must say I'm disappointed with Jensen. I figured they'd be like Packard Bell - crappy products, good tech support. I was wrong. I think I'll throw the Jensen speaker in my Jeep, since in a vehicle there's so much other noise, I might not be able to hear the buzzing. I'll review again when I get a real speaker in there.

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
4
Mike the Snake   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 24, 2000]
Strength:

Sunfire AMP

Weakness:

Jensen's non-existant tech support
Jensen's so-so 15" woofer
Jensen's engineering of the ports
Hard to reach controls
Box design

Hi, me again. I put the Cerwin-Vega in there after fixing up the box and whatnot. The front baffle wasn't very securely attached to the rest of the unit, so I screwed in on and glued it. The wire coming off the amp is tiny so I replaced the wire with thick insulated wire. The new Cerwin-Vega beats the piss out of the Jensen. The CV is 4 ohm so the amp is running at 500 watts RMS. After fiddling with it so much, there's just one main problem now, the freakin' ports. Those jackoffs at Jensen made the port tubes too short. When the lower frequencies are pumping out, the ports make something of a whistling noise. It also makes this noise on mid-bass, but not as badly. I've yet to fix it, but i temporarily tested it with 3" plumbing pipe extending further than the current ports and it worked great. It didn't make that annoying air-escaping-whistling noise. I'll fix it for good when I have the time. Anyway, all in all this sub is simply OK. Jensen is still a terrible brand. But that Sunfire amp in there kicks butt. Although when it turns on when it senses an incoming signal it sorta pops and the speaker pushes out real far then slowly returns to it's normal position. I guess it doesn't hurt anything. I've yet to bottom out this speaker. The amp is plenty powerful for probably any 15" woofer you stick in there. I've spent close to $500 now on this thing ($100 in shipping charges), but it stills kicks butt (Thanks to the Cerwin-Vega 1000 watt max woofer).

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Huey Nguyen   Casual Listener [Feb 23, 2001]
Strength:

See review below.

Weakness:

See review below.

This is an update to my MS500 experience. I took the plunge and ordered a car sub from 1cache.com. I researched the specs and went with the Pioneer TS-W384C due to its price ($75), low Qtc, low frequency response, 4 ohm rating, 350/700 watts, poly-injected cone, single-voice coil, 14" mounting hole (same as the Jensen's paper driver), 8 screw holes (3 of the holes matched perfectly, 5 had to be drilled new which is OK since the sub edge covered the other holes completely especially with weather-stripping that came with the Pioneer sub. Let me tell you, those of you who's using the 6-ohm Jensen paper driver are not maximizing the power of the Sunfire amp or the MS500. This new driver is tighter, more powerful, louder, looks cooler (silver compared to black). I'm very happy with this alteration. Installation is as easy as removing turning off the power, removing 8 screws, pull out the quick-connect wire clips, swaping the drivers, push on the wire clips (+ to red, - to black), and re-screwing. I can maximize the volume on the sub-amp without any distortion now. This is great at low volume if you want the thumps. At high volume, I turn it down to 1/2 volume on the sub-amp as it's too loud (not distorted mind you, just too damn loud--can't hear other sounds of the movie. I also found that if you stuff one of the port (not both since the SPL seems less loud) with rolled up fiberglass insulation, bass is even tighter. If you sit near the sub it feels like someone is kicking your chest. I highly recommend the MS500 and adding this or equivalent 4 ohm driver (to maximize the 500 watts output). I had no whistling problem with the port(s) probably because the Cerwin-Vega Vega 154 moves more air and causes more whistling. It may be a better driver at twice the price ($150 minimum). I place the Jensen paper driver in a home-made box and used it upstairs in my bedroom (passive with Radioshack crossover setup).

Similar Products Used: See review below
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
SuperSnake   an Audio Enthusiast [Sep 18, 1999]

This is my re-review:
I learned the amp is a very good one. It could use any ohm speaker that I put in it and automatically adjust and still not create any heat. The company that I got it from thought it was new, too, but now they know it wasn't and they offered me a refund. Nice people, but that would mean I'd lose $150 in shipping charges! Plus, it's a great sub for under $250....heck, for under $1000. And who said all Jensen products suck?

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Jerry Poiry   an Audio Enthusiast [Jan 18, 1999]

The MS500 sub contains a 15 in. high excertion driver mounted in a HUGE enclosure, with the ugliest speaker grilles known to man. The amplifier section is the kicker- A Carver/Sunfire amp (courtesy of recoton) rated at a moderate 500 watts rms. Gold plated 5 way binding posts, 0 to 180 degree completely variable phase control, variable crossover from 40Hz to 180Hz, high and low level stereo inputs, one LFE input, One LFE output and standby sensing circuit. Now I have never been one to say "man have you ever heard of Jensen"-for fear of being laughed at but i will be damned if this sub isn't the most heart stoping thing I have EVER heard!!! Despite It's ugly packaging is THE best big, ugly bass box under $1000. If you haven't heard one, I would suggest you make it a point to find one tomorrow. Kudos Jensen! You have changed my very low opinion to extreme respect!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
freddieb   an Audio Enthusiast [Sep 02, 1999]

Two months ago, I upgraded my home theater with Infinity Overture 3's, so I moved my JBL sub into the music room to reenforce the bass of my JBL 100's. While the O 3's sound great, it didn't take me long to miss the oomph of a separate subwoofer during home theater viewing. I found the MS500 on Ubid.com for $285 and bought it without auditioning, since there are no dealers nearby. Boy am I lucky! The MS500 will have you checking the foundation for cracks! I can't detect any distortion at listening levels that avoid permanent hearing loss. I'd give the product a 5 stars, but I've only had it a couple of weeks and haven't fully tested a wide-range of material.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Jeff   an Audio Enthusiast [Sep 12, 1999]

I was wanting a new sub becuase my old 75 watt dual advent 8 in. was sounding all distorted on my awesome 5x100 Pioneer reciever so i decided to give my brother with a smaller system my cheap subs ( i got the 2 85 watt 8 in. Advent subs and 2 110 watt Advent highs for $50). I was looking in my local stereo store ads and was suprised to find and ad for the Jensen MS500, a 15 in. sub with a built in 500 watt amp for $200!!. I went to the store and saw it's huge box and i had to tie it in the trunk of my car because it was so big. My reciever already has a special sub output that has it already crossed lower and instead of 100 watts it is 125 and this new sub had a LSE or specialy designed subwoofer input. I had some problems with it blinking out on me and just doing a single steady tone if you turned the gain up too loud so i plugged a phono intothe the LSE output and the sub it's self was just running off the power from the receiver and not using the amp power because i had something in the LSE output. It was horrible and didn't hit hard at all and i thought i had been scammed and found the sub fairly useless for a little bit. Then i tryed some new things and instead of plugging a second phono into the LSE output to balance the electron distortion which was messing up the sound i plugged a second phono into the left input. The sub whas 3 methods of input-1: 4 pairs of red & silver wire; 2: 2 left and right phono's; 3: the LSE or specialy designed subwoofer input, it also had a LSE output for daisy chaining many subs together. And it balanced it all out and the Jensen subs hits hard and it can shake the floor boards 2 levels beneath me, it really makes you able to "Feel The Music" which is the slogan of the Jensen MS-series.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
doltman   an Audio Enthusiast [Sep 12, 1999]

Great sub! Broke Two of my neighbors pictures- I hate my neighbor. $299 + tax= killer sub.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 14  

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