PSB Speakers Alpha SubZero Subwoofers

Alpha SubZero

The Alpha SubZero, with its 8" (203mm) Poly-coated Fiber Cone Woofer and Foam Surround and 50-watt amplifier, is for those who would like extra low-frequency punch for a minimum investment of both money and living space.

User Reviews (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7  
dollydoo   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 11, 2009]

Fantastic allround SubWoofer! Strong bass for such a small sub AAA+++

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Les Mann   Audiophile [May 02, 2000]
Strength:

Wow !

Great depth for small sub, tight and happy with most audio from Crowded House to Smashing Pumpkins. AV more than satisfactory with a variety of film types.

Weakness:

Spike kit would have been nice, plastic feet rather cheap and nasty - and you have to drill the holes yourself.

Good full sound for the smaller room, seems more comfortable on a wall than in a corner where it became a little boomy. Handles a variety of music capably and AV presentation is fine. Easily balanced (with B&W 602's) and controls enable a smooth and tight sound with plenty of bottom end when needed.

Significantly better than the Yamaha which I rate as an excellent entry level sub and as I paid £180 (plus free cables) an excellent and cost effective upgrade.

Similar Products Used: Yamaha SX45
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Damian   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 23, 2001]
Strength:

Tight, controlled bass with no shuffle. Decent volume. Quality connections and cabinet.

Weakness:

scotch tape feet? low frequency dropoff not all that low

I needed a little sub for a medium sized living room. About 14 by 14 foot square. Being I live in one wing of a larger home, I didn't tempt myself with any larger beasts, so as not to get evicted. I demoed this in the store only briefly, as the gentleman I talk to knows my tastes and recommended it. I was very surprised with this little guy. I was a bit wary at first, because as a rule, I never buy a speaker when I can't see the driver. Obvious exception being a bandpass, but in this case, it is behind a non-removeable grille. Once I got it out of the box, and taped on the feet (the only bad part, but it comes with some CRAZY tape/glue stuff that holds well), I installed it with a high-quality sub RCA and Y adapter. I am running with a Marantz SR-7000 receiver, and I took a couple hours to play with location to get it right. It's very sensitive. Or it could be the square room, which doesn't help. I listened to various rock and alternative tracks, tuning the crossover, and volume until it sounded good at normal listening levels. Let me tell you... this sub adds some serious punch! Very tight response for a ported box. The bass drum definitely thuds, and it hits enough for you to feel it. One thing I think plagues the little value class subs is shuffle, but the Alpha didn't exhibit any. The real test came watching some DTS titles, particularly Saving Private Ryan, which has some REAL tough passages. I waited for the neighbor to leave for this one. The alpha did well. I could actually hear glasses rattling in the kitchen. Nice and clean, no clipping, quite loud. And it blended with my mains very nicely. You can feel the bass well, but it the adrenalin doesn't flow like with some of the bigger subs, which is expected. Using a woofer excursion test CD, it hits hard until about 30-35 Hz before it falls off. Not bad for an 8 inch. Overall, I highly recommend this for small to medium sized rooms, or for someone on a budget. Later, you can add a second one since its so small, and double your pleasure.

Similar Products Used: various. Velodyne, Sunfire Jr., home built.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Todd   Casual Listener [Oct 02, 2001]
Strength:

Strong bass for such a small sub

Weakness:

Drill your own feet or tape them on? Unheard of...

Good sound for the price. I actually bought them off an individual whom won them; paid US$195 for PSB Subzero, two Alpha Minis and the stands. A real steal to complete my 5.1 system.

I'd love to experiment more with this sub but I'm living in an apartment and am already conscious about the vibration when the volume is turned to 3. I wonder though...

When I buy a house, I think that I'd like to team this guy up with one of it's bigger brothers. Maybe a Subsonic 5 or 7...

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Neil   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 12, 2001]
Weakness:

Those drill-it-yourself feet. Who thought that one up? You probably don't need them, though.

My SubZero is being used as part of a home cinema set-up in a very small (7 foot square - I can touch all 4 walls simultaneously) room, along with Tannoy M2.5s, M1s, and an MC.

Take the time to work out where to place this, like any sub. A nice tip I heard was to put the sub in your listening position - like on your sofa - turn it on with some decent tunes playing, and crawl around until you find a place where the sound is tight and clear. Then whack your sub where you stopped crawling. I didn't bother with this, but within 15 minutes and a few tracks and clips from my favourite stuff I was confident I'd found a good place for it. It was - horror of horrors - in an alcove, which, against all conventional wisdom, it would seem, works a treat.

Then - and this is most important - take the time to tweak those volume and crossover knobs to you heart's content. I now have mine set up just the way I want it. I hardly know it's there until I change the settings on my amp (Yamaha DSP-A595a) and realise just how much it was adding to my listening experience.

The weight and depth this sub adds to my music and movies is tremendous. Nobody else in the house is a big fan, cos it does tend to let them know when it is on, and that is at a pretty low volume. I am confident that in all but the biggest rooms with all but the most accommodating neighbours you will not need much more than this. That said, the UK idea of 'home cinema' does seem a little more restrained than the US 'home theater' concept, so maybe I'm just too easy to please.

For value, this has to score top marks, and for performance likewise. They aren't easy to find in the UK, but if you have a limited budget, have a look and have a demo - my dealer put on MJ's 'Jam' from 'Dangerous' and the first ten seconds convinced me. I now love my little PSB, and if I ever need an upgrade - when I win the lottery and get a MUCH bigger place - I will certainly have a good look at their range.

Similar Products Used: Old Yamaha computer sub
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Graham Eagle   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 23, 2001]
Strength:

Good bass reproduction, decent looks, (relatively) inexpensive,

Weakness:

The self sticking feet are, um, well, um well they suck!
Although it does give you the option of horizontal or vertical orientation. I also fear some visiting kid will pop a handful of lego or something in the mighty tempting opening in the front.

Excellent bass for a small unit. I wanted something to fill in the bass I was missing. My Celestion 5 speakers are mounted up near the ceiling (I have a lot of "stuff" in my house. Although the Celestions have a pretty good bass sound, having them up high seems to decrease the bassosity. I have to small speakers (too embarassed to mention their name) in my dining room adjacent to the dining room. The bass that the Subzero provides fills both rooms nicely.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Dan S   Audio Enthusiast [May 27, 2000]
Strength:

good performace, can go loud without strain, small and convenient

Weakness:

difficult to match correctly for both high volume to low volume listening, not large enough for a HT

I'm using this 8" sub in a computer/office mini-system along with the Paradigm Image 1B monitor speakers. This duo is an extremely attractive and excellent performing stereo system that in it's own ways can be just as enjoyable as a much larger stereo system (I know, I have a full blown HT to compare with).

This sub is a pleasurable compliment to a small set of speakers who's bottom end is around 50Hz. The SubZero has a range from around 30-150HZ and I find with a variable cutoff around 70-80 they match very smoothly with the Image 1B speakers.

My room is about 15x20' and it can go loud enough without strain to fill the room with enough bass that it can be felt. However, it's a small sub with only an 8" driver. For a fun test I tried using the SubZero alongside my HT with Paradigm 100's and truthfully the sub did not add anything that the 100's didn't already have - not surprizing at the least. The SubZero does not have that deep extension that is necessary for those big bangs on DD/DTS tracks. Thus for a Home Theatre I would definately rule out this subwoofer.

However it is a great option for a small mini-system that I'm using it for. It's very small and compact, smaller than most subs with 8" drivers. It's front ported and front firing, so specific placement is not a problem - I have it backed right up into the corner underneath my desk and it sounds great and makes for a nice foot rest :)

The only real annoyance is that the sub seems to get confused on when it is supposed to be loud and when not to. If I adjust the sub's volume correctly for an average listening level, and then turn the volume up louder on my stereo for a while, and then turn the volume back down the sub seems to be a bit too loud. I'm unsure if this may just be a mental thing, it might just be me that's noticing more bass. Or perhaps it's because I'm using the high level inputs rather than a sub/lfe reciever output. Most likely is that the Image 1B speakers are more sensitive than this sub is.

All in all, I'm very happy with the SubZero which I bought for $399Cdn. It's a little more expensive than some models but I believe it performs adequately to justify the cost.

Similar Products Used: Mission 8" sub, Paradigm SB8 & PS1000
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-7 of 7  

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.

audioreview.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

Other Web Sites in the ConsumerReview Network:

mtbr.com | roadbikereview.com | carreview.com | photographyreview.com | audioreview.com