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Mirage BPS-400 vs. others


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18 replies to this topic

#1 of 19 Sebastien David

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Posted July 23 2002 - 06:57 AM

Hi,

I searched through all the bulletin boards I knew of, and found what I can only describe as VERY positive feedback for that sub.

I was very surprised to see it compared to Paradigm's Servo 15. From what I've read, however, there doesn't seem to be any definitive winner.

What I am interested in is the comparison between this sub and the Paradigm PW-2200. Would the Mirage be a clear winner here? Its specs look impressive, and people seem satisfied with it, but I'm wondering if it offers the same bang-for-the-buck ratio, especially up here in Canada.

Thanks for helping me out!

-Seb

#2 of 19 Chris PC

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Posted July 23 2002 - 02:41 PM

Well, my post about my subwoofer and room size won't help you much, but based on subwoofer performance, I believe the Mirage plays deeper and louder than the PW-2200 and cleaner too. I heard the PW-2200 and was not impressed. I'd rather have a Paradigm Servo 15, PSB Stratus Sub 7 or what I ended up with, the Mirage BPS-400. My room is small, weird and crappy though, so I'm having trouble taming the powerful beast for a dialed in sound with music. Movies work great though. The Mirage BPS-400 is awesome for music as the sound is generally tight, clean and not boomy, but for me, I find the dimensions of my room are poor and the walls are weird.
Going from projector to flatscreen for a while.... :P

#3 of 19 Sebastien David

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Posted July 25 2002 - 04:11 PM

I dug up my old Widescreen Review Subwoofer Issue, and apparently the PW-2200 has more output, both at 25 and 35Hz. These aren't Nousaine reviews, however, so I don't know how valid these numbers are...

#4 of 19 Chris PC

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Posted July 26 2002 - 03:44 AM

The Mirage is flatter and I am quite sure it goes lower with higher SPL. For instance, I bet the BPS-400 has higher SPL at 18-22 hz than the PW-2200. I believe the specs for the Mirage are kinda loony. 125 dB at 18 hz. It feels mondo powerful in my room. Its also a matter of bass taste. I am not too fond of ported subwoofers, especially those with non-flared ports. I have heard a pair of SVS subwoofers in action, and I liked those, but the PSB and Paradigm ported subwoofers I listened to sounded flubby and muddled. Once the Mirage BPS-400 is placed properly in your room, the sound is very very smooth, tight, with deep low bass extention and loud without being boomy. I had problems with blending my Mirage subwoofer until I found the right placement. In MY room, it is best along the center of the walls, and away from corners, as my room is very small. I had complained about the sound and I am still tweaking it, but right now it sounds excellent even though I'm not totally done measuring and tweaking Posted Image

Go listen to one if you can Posted Image There should be a Mirage dealer in Montreal surely, isn't there?
Going from projector to flatscreen for a while.... :P

#5 of 19 Dustin B

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Posted July 26 2002 - 03:59 AM

It's not the lack of flares you are disliking Chris. Flares only reduce port noise and compression (won't occur until higher output levels compared to a straight port) if present. It's the higher tuning you are disliking. The PDR series are tuned in the mid 30hz, the PW2200 is tuned to just under 30hz. The SVS are 25, 20 and 16 depending on the model you choose.

If you heard a Tempest with a 6" straight port tuned to 18hz or lower I think you'd be surprised at how good a ported sub can sound.
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#6 of 19 Chris PC

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Posted July 26 2002 - 04:14 AM

I'm sure ported subs sound good too. I liked the SVS 20-39's I heard. I like the bass from my ported front speakers, although its nowhere near the match of my subwoofer. But with the PW-2200 I could have sworn I heard chuffing or some kind of weird distortion from the subwoofer. Actually, it was placed less than ideally, I thought, so I had to play with the phase control but I couldn't get it to sound as good as my old 8 inch woofered two-way Boston Acoustics speakers. When I heard the Mirage BPS400, even at low volume in a store, it was clean and tight, no distortion. For the money, the BPS400 was the one for me. I'd still like to hear the Servo 15, and PSB Sub 7. I'd also like to hear the SVS 16 too Posted Image I'd like to hear them all Posted Image
Going from projector to flatscreen for a while.... :P

#7 of 19 Sebastien David

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Posted July 26 2002 - 03:41 PM

well, I already have a PW-2200, and I play it hard and loud, and I NEVER had any problem with port noise from that big port. And I know what port noise is, I get it all the time from my Promedia subwoofer and several models we sell at work experience it. your unit may have had a problem.

I wouldn't be surprised, from your comments, if the BPS-400 was tuned fairly low, hence the better performance down low you seem to be describing. However, considering the price difference, the mere fact that it's a difficult choice due to the PW-2200's higher output from 25Hz on makes me want to say that at several hundreds lower, I think it's still the undisputed champion for bass value up here in Canada!

Now, however, I need to decide whether I want to get another Paradigm and get the same sonic signature, or maybe try my luck with the Mirage to up the ante down low... If only that sub was on Nousaine's famous list...

#8 of 19 Dustin B

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Posted July 26 2002 - 04:26 PM

I think the Mirage is sealed is it not (so there is no tuning point)?

Sébastien, any chance you have some basic wood working tools and skills? If you do, you can easily best both by a large margin for less money. Just takes some time and effort to build the enclosure.
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#9 of 19 Chris PC

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Posted July 27 2002 - 09:07 AM

Yep, the Mirage is a sealed design, so I guess there is no tuning point for the "port" because there isn't a port. I believe sealed systems are still "tuned" in that their enclosure size is choosen based on certain tuning factors. With TWO 12" woofers mounted bipolar in the enclosure, the sealed system is quite impressive. Kinda like a boxer engine in that any vibration back and forth is canceled out because of the equal and opposite motion. Whatever it is, it sounds good. Plus the amp is a digital amp made in Canada. Works good, I just need to tweak placement in my crappy small room for now. I guess the PW-2200 is less expensive, but when I was able to get a subwoofer at $950.00 when its just plain not normally available at that price, or so I thought, I jumped on it. I imagine they must sell about 50% of them at $950.00 during their "summer sale". Other sealed subs are the Servo 15 and the PSB Stratus Sub 7.
Going from projector to flatscreen for a while.... :P

#10 of 19 Sebastien David

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Posted July 27 2002 - 01:31 PM

no luck on the tools or skills for woodworking...
I would have tried that a long time ago, had I had the opportunity, but I'm all thumbs!

you know, if I can find a store that carries the Mirage, I'll go and audition it quickly. this sub is intriguing...

-Seb

#11 of 19 JohnKE

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Posted July 27 2002 - 02:43 PM

Sebastian (and Chris)

I'm repeating myself here, but audition a B&W ASW subwoofer. They offer good bass, good quality and reasonable prices. The ASW 650 has a single 12" driver, but it pounds pretty well for $799.00

Regards,

John

#12 of 19 Chris PC

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Posted July 27 2002 - 03:27 PM

Where is that subwoofer found? ChrisAG has B & W speakers if I recall, but he bought an Adire subwoofer.

I actually am intrigued by any subwoofer for $799.00. Plus, my subwoofer is a little bit on the large size, so getting a second BPS-400 might not make sense for a second music system. Do you have this subwoofer John?
Going from projector to flatscreen for a while.... :P

#13 of 19 Elliot_W

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Posted April 04 2003 - 03:55 PM

JohnKE....I am planning on going to Audio-one tomorrow to audition the ASW650....$800 seems like a great price. Can you inform where you got in TO? I'd consider getting it over the Adire Rava (although it is $150 more expensive) given it can do -6dB @ 20Hz.

#14 of 19 Tom Vodhanel

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Posted April 05 2003 - 05:09 AM

The PW2200 actually has a little flaring on each end of it's 5" port. The sheer port size, coupled with the higher tuning would minimize any chance of port noise. Remember, the higher the tuning point, the less air needs to push back and forth in the port. In other words, a 3" port might be fine tuned at 30hz to maintain 100dBs in a given room environment(at 30hz). But you might need 2-3 of those 3" ports to do the same an octave lower.

The higher tuning will lead to some GD issues, but it would be debateable if that would be audible in most conditions. The *boomy* descriptions of the PW2200 might have more to do with it's placement in the room and the overall FR( freq response) of the bass atthe key seating than the subwoofer itself.

TV

#15 of 19 Elliot_W

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Posted April 05 2003 - 07:36 PM

Well....now I am very confused. I did some A/B switching today of the B&W ASW650/600, Paradigm PS-1000 and the Paradigm PW-2200. We (the dlr at audio-one and I) isolated the subs from the mains and used low-freq. testing 'music'.

Obviously, the bandpass PS-1000 had the longest roll-off.
But what really surprised me was that the hugely ported PW-2200 seemed to be more accurate than the sealed B&W ASW 600 and 650!

Other than the difference in size (and therefore placement issues), the cheaper PW2200 seems the obvious winner. It is around the same $$$ as the B&W 650 in Canada. Is it that good a sub? Or does the sealed B&Ws underachieve?

After hearing the PW2200, I am second guessing if even a Rava would be that much more accurate!

In Canada, Paradigm makes it hard to consider other brands given their value.

#16 of 19 Tony Genovese

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Posted April 06 2003 - 01:56 AM

There should be nothing inherently more "accurate" about a well designed sealed vs ported sub. It is easier to design a sealed sub (no port length, diameter, Thiele/Small parameters to worry about) but limitations in both output and bandwidth creep in much more quickly than with a ported sub. That's why most subs today are vented: greater output and lower response for a given box size.

#17 of 19 John Dunlap

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Posted April 06 2003 - 03:30 AM

Elliott,


The PW-2200 is an awesome, awesome sub. I don't know of any sub (except for direct marketers like SVS I suppose) under $1,000 that can beat it. Only minor issue I have with it is that there's a pretty steep rolloff at <25-30 hz or so.

#18 of 19 Elliot_W

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Posted April 06 2003 - 05:13 AM

Thanks for the feedback/confirmation Tony and John:

Letting ones ears decide is best, but having some theoretical back-up form those in the know 'seals' the deal...err, I should say 'vents' the deal - wow, I am officially a geek after than pun.

BTW John: I live in a condo, so a steep roll off does not bother me that match (can't really use those low, low Hz to full effect w/out arising neighbors' ire). Wow - I just convinced myself it is the PW2200 (did ya hear the drum-roll?)

Question (maybe subject matter for a new thread)....How vitally important is sub placement (for the PW2200)? It must be near (6")a corner that is next to the listening position, or 6" from a wall (which would be in same plane as the mains).

Sure, I know...depends on room characteristics, size, softness, etc. But really, with phase controls, how sensitive can positioning really be??? My listening room is 20 ft x 13 ft, with 12 ft ceilings - very open concept (kitchen, hallway adjacent).

My mains are paradigm studio 20s and a NAD T761 A/V receiver.

#19 of 19 John Dunlap

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Posted April 06 2003 - 11:10 AM

Elliott,

Can't say that I've done a ton of experimentationwith placement. I have had this sub set up in 2 different rooms and it has sounded great. I had the sub placed about 6-8" from the wall and a foot or 2 from the nearest corner.

I must say that's a LOT of subwoofer for a condo/apartment! I hope your neighbors are HT enthusiasts!! Posted Image Maybe they'll go easy on you if you invite 'em over to watch the show!!