Yamaha YST-SW315 Subwoofers

Yamaha YST-SW315 Subwoofers 

DESCRIPTION

  • 10" cone driver
  • 250W Amplifier
  • 20 to 160 Hz frequency range
  • Advanced Active Servo Technology --is an amplifier/speaker system utilizing negative impedance feedback in the amp and a Helmholtz resonator in the speaker to provide strong and accurate bass.
  • BASS Selector
  • Yamaha's QD-Bass Technology
  • Magnetic Shielding

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 17  
[Nov 10, 2020]
stevens


Strength:

solid bass & construction, deep lows with no muddy sound, servo does a great job.

Purchased:
Used  
OVERALL
RATING
4
[Jan 04, 2007]
Sum1OrOtha
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

- Solid bass at above average levels
- Shines with the right settings and placement
- Cabinet is small and decently built
- 10" sub really gives a tight sound
- Great for a small/mid sized living room or home theater

Weakness:

- Cabinet flaws show during higher volumes and peaks
- Claim of 20hz is exaggerated
- Never turn to 100% volume

I made the mistake of buying a home audio subwoofer at a website geared for computer enthusiasts. Don't ask why, I don't know either, and that's why I paid for it (literally) with the full retail price. I'm stupid.

I purchased this subwoofer back around September of 2005 as a replacement to a 1994 Sony 6.5" 80 watt POS. I was in college at the time when I purchased this Yamaha and $300 for a subwoofer that got decent reviews seemed good. Although I originally wanted a 12" cone in this price range, I settled for this based on the specs. 250 watts with the "ability" to hit 20hz sounded really good on paper. Also, Yamaha was the brand of my AV receiver and since the receiver has treated me quite well, I figured Yamaha subwoofers would be of the same quality.

My initial response to this subwoofer was very pleased. It could definitely get down to the low frequencies, although like others, I believe Yamaha might have exaggerated the numbers a bit. Running a frequency sweep, it can definitely hit around 26hz - 28hz, but anything lower might be a bit of a stretch. Otherwise the specs on this Yamaha shine through with the variety of uses that I put my audio setup through.

------------------- MOVIES ------------------

While watching movies this subwoofer more than suffices as long as you keep the volume to a semi-reasonable level. I'm a bit of a bass junkie, where as I not only like to hear my explosions, gunfire, and other things, but I really want to feel them. For movies, with my Yamaha RX-V530 set to -10db for the subwoofer, and the SW315 at around 65% with the cutoff around 80hz, the movies sound great, at volume -35db or lower. However, once you start really cranking the sound, the subwoofer tries valiantly to keep up with my mains, but fails miserably. When explosions and gunfire are in play, the distortion really comes out, although I feel as though it may be more of a cabinet problem rather than the cone not being able to reproduce it. Either way, for most people, during movies this subwoofer sounds excellent; just keep the sound at above average, and not explosive.

----------------- MUSIC -----------------

When listening to music, the sub more than achieves. With a direct feed of music (I.E. CD via optical line into receiver), the range seems to be a bit higher than with movies, but generally around the same ballpark. The bass seems to have a more dynamic range with playing music, although that could be attributed to my dynamic tastes. I listen to everything from rock to techno, bass heavy trance to hard hitting rap, high pitched pop to easy listening jazz, and for good measure some Latin flamenco guitar and collegiate a capella. With this wide range of music, I can comment on almost any style and this subwoofer performs wonderfully, but not perfectly. Granted the same precautions must be taken when listening to music as with movies. This subwoofer will perform great when kept under a certain limit. With music, I'll crank the bass a bit more, since music tends to curve more towards the mids and highs. RX-V530 set at -8db and volume no higher than -40db, with the sub set at no higher than 75%, and cutoff around half way, about 70hz or so. With these settings, the music is dynamic, transitioning from my mains to my sub with ease, and performance is great, with the LFE really coming into play when I can't even tell which speaker is hitting the bass.

However, the sub will show its weaknesses with bass heavy music, such as trance, techno, and rap, or the volume on the receiver at closer to -35db and higher. It struggles when pushing out the low ends of rap, and distortion can be heard when keeping low notes for a while during trance and techno. Even some songs, the cabinet begins to rattle, and the sound can become extremely unpleasant. Although this happens to me more often, with my need for bass and volume, others barely comment with anything more than a "wow" when I play music at above average levels (almost to that threshold where you'd have to transition from a loud talk to a soft yell, but just almost).

------------------- DJ -----------------

Here is where I really put my system through its paces, sometimes maxing out every component in my audio system. I don't DJ for a living, and if anything it's more of a hobby rather than a skill. I started back during my senior year in college (when I purchased the SW315) at parties when I wanted something more than the 5 watt 2" JBL Ipod speakers maxed out and barely audible when more than 5 people were in the room. I had been using this set-up for mostly movies and music, and decided to give it a go at a large (60+ people) party that I was hosting. I'm a bit of an over-achiever and decided that I didn't want to just have a play list run off of my computer, but wanted to really control the music. I downloaded a DJ program from the web, and it's been history ever since. Its grown into sort of a characteristic of mine where whenever my friends have these “get togethers” (aka booze fest parties) they ask for me to bring my "DJ booth." Anyways, I digress.

When you think of DJ-ing, think of the bars/clubs where you actually have to yell into another person’s ear to talk and have a conversation. That's about where I keep my system for long lengths of time, anywhere from 2-4 hours. I regularly have to keep a 12" fan blowing directly at the receiver so that it doesn't overheat and completely die (which has happened more than you can count on one hand) and have to play with the settings on the receiver constantly. For some reason, when it comes to parties where a lot of alcohol is on hand, the music just keeps getting louder and louder as the night goes on.

Anyways, because of this phenomenon, the system is set at a much different setting than otherwise. Receiver settings are as follows: -25db volume (sometimes higher), subwoofer at -15db, and contrary to when I watch movies or listen to music, I have the bass coming out of both my mains and my subwoofer (you'll see why). Settings on subwoofer: No higher than 50% volume and cutoff at around 60hz. During DJ parties, I basically keep to the popular music, mostly rap, some techno, and some oldies (journey, ac/dc, and other 80's-90’s classics). And with the volume settings at such incredible levels the weaknesses of each component really show. My mains can’t hit the bass the way the sub can, but the sub can barely handle anything when I have the volume up. It’s really a trade off. I know when it comes to home-theater equipment that it’s not meant to be maxed out for long periods of time, rather it’s meant to hit those peaks occasionally, but when maxed, you really get a feel for where the limit is with your entire system.

When playing rap, the bass just can’t be re-produced at the volume level that I want with this sub. Even if it does have more to do with the cabinet materials and quality (which I think is 75% of the cause) the bass just can’t hack it. My main speakers (which were high-end $300/piece back in the 70’s, purchased by my dad) have no problems with the bass, but with their 8” built in passive woofers, the low-end just doesn’t exist if I relied solely on them.

Simultaneously to having this subwoofer, I also had the pleasure of owning a JBL 12” sub, the one prior to the current P12SW, with almost the same specs and different model number. That thing would literally SHAKE my entire apartment when I had it cranked for DJ parties, and had no problem with the level of bass that I was pumping through it. Unfortunately, during a particularly crazy party, where the volume on receiver was set to –15db, the poor thing couldn’t handle the bass from a rap song, and just all together stopped sounding. A little bit of me died that day, but I realized the error of my ways when using my system during DJ parties.

Couple my desire to here bass, with the spoiledness of having a 12” that could hit it hard at high volumes, when I had to make the switch from the JBL to this Yamaha for DJing, the bass volumes just weren’t there.

In short, don’t blow a better sub when DJing.

---------------- FINAL THOUGHTS --------------

I do enjoy owning this subwoofer, despite the particular annoyances of keeping the volume at a semi-reasonable level. My experience during movies and music is absolutely more than acceptable, and to anyone that enjoys quality of sound, over quantity (volume), this subwoofer will fit quite nicely in your mid sized home theater. Although its cabinet could have been made from better materials (and a slightly larger cabinet would make the claim of 20hz more acceptable and feasible) the subwoofer is a great performer at this price range, especially now since you can find an online deal for well under $200.

Similar Products Used:

- JBL 12" E250P

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
[Apr 17, 2006]
kes4927
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Goes really low, but I don't think 20 hz is realistic. Works great for music if you set it at the right levels. If you want to blow up the house during the Matrix it can do that too.

Weakness:

A REL Strata would be much better, but for the money you can't go wrong with this sub.

I had a gift card at Best Buy and I needed a sub so this was the natural choice; better than everything else they had there except for maybe the 12" Klipsch sub which was much more expensive. I have used it for home theater and have been very pleased, it can rock the house during movies when it needs to.

Recently I have been using it to supplement a two channel system with Magnepan MG12 speakers and it hangs in there pretty good. Not as fast as the Maggies but I don't think it's a liability and it fills in the bottom end. Just set the variable crossover frequency to 40 hz and turn it up to about 3 and it takes care of the bottom octave without drawing attention to itself.

Great value for the money, I think.

Customer Service

N/A

Similar Products Used:

None

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 17, 2006]
HTholic
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

solid bass, servo does it's job, no muddy sound or distorted below 40hz

Weakness:

none unless you want this sub to sound like a 12" from definitive or B&W

solid performer, no complains. I have a yamaha receiver and had a tough time finding a good sub that can handle the LFE I wanted.The sound is simetrical and can be distinguished not muddy or felling apart like.No distortion below 40hz, The bass blends with any kind of speaker and perfroms very good with music too. This is the best sub in the $300 price range. If you want a better sub go ahed and sped $700+ on a high end sub. But if you want a sub well constructed that sounds really good in the $300 give this one a shot.

Similar Products Used:

Polk,JBL,AR,Yamaha,Velodyne

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 17, 2006]
A/Vholic
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

solid bass & construction, deep lows with no muddy sound, servo does a great job.

Weakness:

none unless you want this sub to sound like a 12" $1000 Definive tech or B&W

This one is a solid performer. I own a yamaha receiver and had a tough time finding a good sub that can handle the LFE output i wanted. This one gives solid bass with no distortion, low frequency lows are well felt. I've tryed other subs finding that the only the hig end $700 + subs gave the LFE I wanted until i find this one. I tested on HT set up and craked on the volume with only deep bass that was felt all over the house. it will blend with any speaker type or size.Overall this one is the best in the $300 price range.

Similar Products Used:

Polk,AR,other yamaha's,JBL,velodyne

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 15, 2005]
Owl256
Casual Listener

Strength:

Accurate and musical sound reproduction, plenty of power, goes low, a very good value.

Weakness:

Sub's performance becomes boomy during high volume

This sub was bought as a replacement to a cheap 6.5 inch sony sub (which happened to be remarkebly good). What attracted me to this LFE was the price point at under $200, the power of the amp and the fact that Yamaha said it could go down to 20hz. I have mixed feelings about this sub. For the msot part this sub performs well in all situations during music and movies. I sometimes feel like the bass sounds a little fake while listening to movies and is just a moaning roar with little definition which could just be the movie soundtrack. For music, which is what I mostly use it for, the performance is very good. The bass that it produces is musical and is not just one noted like some cheap subs. It also has adequit amounts of power and head room for what I use it for. It can competentanly reproduce very low frequencies although I think that Yamaha exagerated the responce numbers. For the most part the bass seems controlled and apropriate. At high volumes the sound becomes quite boomy and the woofer seems to overpower the small cabinet. It also does not shake the room to the extent of other subs I have heard. The looks of this sub are very ordanary resembling a black cube. In all this is a good sub for most music and movies, but does not work as well during high volumes.

Similar Products Used:

Toshiba DVD Yamaha Receiver Sony Speakers

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Aug 03, 2005]
nwmsgolf05
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Excellent value, superb sounds, lots of bass, features far above its price, very Versitul wiring options so it can be used in almost every aplacation

Weakness:

none

This subwoofer is amazing!!! For under $220 you can have a subwoofer that compares to products two and three times its price shipped to you. I recomend this product to anyone who is looking for a subwoofer whether it is for stereo or surround sound aplacations. I was amazed by how low the sub could go for only a 10" woofer. You will be blown away by crystal clear, super low bass.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 04, 2005]
Gaius Caligula
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Excellent value, superb sounds, pleasing bass, features far above its price point

Weakness:

None

Either online or via good bargain-hunting in a retail store, you can bring home a 250w, well-built, superb-sounding, 10" Yamaha YST-SW315, downfiring subwoofer for around $200! And I assure you that this sub will stand up to, and even knock down, many, many other subwoofers in the $500-750 range. This puppy is an incredible bargain! I've compared it to subs from Klipsch, Tannoy, JBL, and Sony... nothing in this price range, if anything is even available in this price range by said manufactuers, even comes close. Yamaha has truly hit a home run with this work of art. It will fill your listening environment with sounds, bass, and LFE equivalent to subs in price brackets far above the unbelievable $200 you'll spend on this wonderful toy. Run, don't walk, to sample and purchase this sub, before Yamaha discontinues it because they priced it too low and people are afraid to buy something this inexpensive, even though the quality and the performance are CERTAINLY there!

Similar Products Used:

Klipsch, JBL, Tannoy, Sony, and other Yamaha subwoofers

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jan 23, 2005]
John Henry Dodson
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Nice finish, trouble-free operation, decent, not lumpy one-note bass.

Weakness:

May not go too low to 20hz, but that's fine with me since I mostly enjoy music -- and by music I do not mean ear-drum piercing levels.

This sub is all about finesse. If you want a sub that really shakes the foundation of your house or prompts your neighbor to call the police, look elsewhere. This Yamaha blends well with my Mordaunt Short 501s (front) and MS center speaker and floorstanding Kenwood used as surround speakers. Grunts sometimes when gain level is set too high, but what subwoofer does not when abused?

Similar Products Used:

that crappy aiwa subwoofer

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
[Jan 06, 2005]
dmore
AudioPhile

Strength:

tight bass at lower to moderate listening levels.

Weakness:

This sub fell apart on itself on dynamic peaks and when the volume got cranking which tells me that the amp has a lack of dynamic capability and the woofer has a lack of air moving ability which does not work well with a servo system(makes the system stop its output before it should). a really bad example of a servo controled sub(probably not the servo system, more likely what I mentioned above).

First off I will say that Yamaha equipment is my first choice for electronics for the price due to the fact that they give you better features and sonics for the money than anything else going right know(I have their receiver and center channel and love both of them). So when it came time to look for subs Yamaha and Paradigm came to mind. First i went to hear the Paradigm sub and was very impressed with the sound of the ps series but it did not seem to go as low as you would think for the size of the thing and I have never been very satisfied with band pass enclosures which the Paradigm uses. So I decided to find something similar but possibly with a little smaller enclosure and at about the same price. I went to my local Best Buy to see what they had and they had three subs that interested me. The JBL E250P, The Klipsh(do not remeber the model but 12" floor firing), and the Yamaha 315. The only reason the 315 was a thought is because Yamaha does not make a 12" model so I decided to see what their 10" servo unit would do. Before hearing them I was drawn to the Yamaha for the smaller size, the servo control, and the fact that I have had Yamaha equipment in the past with no problems what so ever. the salesman could tell that i was interested in the Yamaha so he let me hear it first. I allways test speakers and subs with music first because if they can not reproduce music well then they will not be a part of my system seeing that most of my time with my system is spent listening to music not theater. When the saleman put the music on the Yamaha it was at a casual listening level and I did notice that the sub was adding to the music I was listening to(A lite jazz music that the salesman had there). The bass was tight and had a good weight to it with out sounding overly done. I will say again that I was really impressed by the use of servo drive in such an inexpensive sub, This technology is ussually left more the more expensive Velodynes and after studying what the servo system can do for a sub the fact that this sub had it impressed me. The other two subs that the salesman took me to were the Klipsch and the JBL, both were 250 12" models that were a tad bigger than the Yamaha in size and after hearing both of them it was determined that they were bigger for a reason. They both had even more output than the Yamaha. But I still had not made up my mind yet because I had not heard any of these subs at higher volume levels which are a must for good home theater impact. I do not want to start watching a movie and have to keep my finger on the volume on my remote to make sure to turn things down to keep my sub from distorting. I want a sub that can hold up to what ever I throw at it and stand there like a soldier fresh to the war. All three of these subs had a good level of output at moderate levels but when the salesman gave the gas to the reciever I noticed that the Klipsch held up for awhile but started to sound loose and uncontroled at higher levels(probably due to the fact that the onboard amp did not have the reserve power or dynamic headroom as audiophiles call it to put out enough more power to drive the woofer at these levels and also the driver itself could not have been built well enough to handle these dynamics). next I heard the Yamaha and imediately noticed that when the salesman turned things up this little sub got to a certain point of output and just simply quit putting out any more. basically the sub staid at the same volume and let the mains,center,and rears get louder which turned the system into a very thin sounding theater. It really surprised me that a sub with a 250 watt amp with active servo drive pushing a 10" woofer in a pretty well built enclosure wound not put out any more than this sub could. It makes me wonder if the fact that the built in amp might not have the dynamics to drive this 10" woofer to these levels and the servo drive comes in and stops the volume output before the amp clips or the woofer might not have the ability and the servo stops it from overdriving, either way the sub did not inpress me at all at its output capability. The only thing about the Yamaha I did like besides its small footprint is its lower volume tightness. Now when the salesman showed me the JBL E250P he told me that this sub was the best sub in the store according to the salesman that worked there and that it was the only one that they would not be afraid to through anyhting at because it could take it. When I heard this sub it became real clear which sub had a better amp(the JBL) for the fact that the built in class d amp has a dynamic headroom of about 3 db(mean it can double its output power on dynamics) at 500 watts coming from a 250rms amp will make a difference in output and tightness. When the salesman cranked it up it could take it then some. I took home the E250P and have been very happy with my purchase. As for the Yamaha, Love Yamaha equipment but they could have done better with this one!!

Similar Products Used:

Pradigm(liked the sound but too big and do not like bandpass enclosure idiosecrecies, Klipsch(sounded fine but dynamics did not match the better subs). have heard Velodyne higher end subs and several other high end subs like the Sunfire true and the higher end B&W subs but I did not want to mortgage a sub for my system. I am more into the affordable high end equipment. The JBL E250P have a very good mix of theater output, musical capability, and enough dynamic output to keep up with much higher priced subs. Love the Aquaplas cone as well(very well built)

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
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