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SW Faceoff: Sony WM-40 vs. Audiosource SW-15


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#1 of 26 OFFLINE   Mark.Louis

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Posted November 13 2002 - 05:57 AM

Greetings to all!

I am looking to purchase my first powered subwoofer to complete a first home theater system. Am not looking to spend much money as this is a first dabble into the HT area. Am using a bastard 6.0 set-up with speakers that either came with the home (installed in wall) or we already have, including a mix of HTD (surrounds), Mission (mains), and Audiosource (front & rear center) hooked up to either a Yamaha HTR-5560 or Kenwood VR-6070 (haven't decided yet).

I have seen good ratings and comments on the Sony WM-40 (12 inch )and the Audiosource SW-15 (15 inch, 200 watts). The Sony can be had for $125 with no shipping or handling costs, and ubid often carries the Audiosource for $143 plus 1center shipping. I know both will likely require some polyfill to get rid of boominess, and I am handy enough to handle this.

Any opinions as to which of the two are the better sub, and reasons why? I am not looking for a perfect match with my current speaker set-up, as this will change in 6-9 months.

Thanks, Mark
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#2 of 26 OFFLINE   Joe Szott

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Posted November 13 2002 - 06:22 AM

Where are you getting that SW-40 for $125 with no shipping costs? The mysony website?

#3 of 26 OFFLINE   Mark.Louis

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Posted November 13 2002 - 06:34 AM

Yes...is there something I should be concerned about? I'm not all that savvy and probably could be fooled as I don't buy on-line that much...anyone got a bridge for sale? Posted Image
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#4 of 26 OFFLINE   Joe Szott

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Posted November 13 2002 - 07:32 AM

No, I was going to pick up a *second* SW-40 from there but didn't realize the shipping was free!

I can't talk about the WS-15 from Audiosource, but for $125 the SW-40 is a total steal. I put some poly-fill (from Walmart $1.99) in there to help deaden the boominess and you would think this is a $350 subwoofer. It wasn't incredibly boomy before, but for $1.99 the improvement is cheap and easy enough to just do it (and it did improve the sound.)

PS - One SW-40 provides plenty of bass for us, but we have ours loaded into the bottom of a stereo rack tower. Since we have two towers (L/R) and only one sub, my wife thinks it looks unbalanced on one side. That's right, my wife requested I buy a second sub! I never even dreamed of such a thing, I almost made her put it in writing...

For $125, it's a darn fine sub...

#5 of 26 OFFLINE   Todd Beachler

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Posted November 13 2002 - 08:32 AM

Joe, where did you place the polyfill in your sub? I ordered the Sony from the my.sony.com site last thursday evening and am still waiting on it.

#6 of 26 OFFLINE   rodney wiley

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Posted November 14 2002 - 01:33 AM

I have never heard the Sony, but I own two Audiosource-sw15's Yes they are very boomy but with 5 bucks worth of Polly fill the become very nice. I would highly recommend the sw15 for anyone that is on a budget but still wants great performance. Also Amazon has them for 199.00 delivered and they are a little more dependable than ubid.

#7 of 26 OFFLINE   Joe Szott

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Posted November 14 2002 - 03:59 AM

Sounds like they are fairly equivalent subs Mark, both need a touch of polyfill to elimate the boom (it isn't so bad to begin with anyway.) I say find the best price and be happy Posted Image

Todd - It's pretty easy. Unplug the amp and turn it speaker side up. Unscrew the speaker (about 8 phillips head screws) and place it gently next to the sub casing. There are wires attached to speaker, so obviously you don't want to strain or break those. You'll notice there is an amp opposite the speaker inside the case and some wires and stuff on the bottom. Basically I stuffed polyfill on the other 3 bare sides of the sub, being careful not to cover/touch the amp or stuff on the bottom. I also sprayed the walls with a little spray adhesive my wife had lying around to help the poly stick, probably wasn't nesseccary. Then replace the speaker, screw it in, let it sit a few minutes (if you used spray adhesive), and plug it back in. You're ready to go.

Obviously, doing this kind of thing will void any warranties, so best to try the amp out before you mod it Posted Image

#8 of 26 OFFLINE   Fernand

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Posted November 14 2002 - 06:29 AM

Hi There Mark!

I got my SW-40 in Sams at $130. I sticked polyfill to its walls and believe me when JOE and I tell you it sounds like a much more expensive subwoofer. I'm VERY satisfied with my purchase.

It performs VERY WELL with the poly mod!! But that's IMHO!
Blink, Blink!! Posted Image
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#9 of 26 OFFLINE   DanielN

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Posted November 14 2002 - 08:44 AM

I just got my Audiosource SW Fifteen here at work. All I can say is JESUS thats a big f-in sub! My wife is gonna kill me when she sees this. She was all happy when I first showed her the small Axiom speakers and surrounds. Now im in trouble Posted Image

#10 of 26 OFFLINE   Geoff L

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Posted November 14 2002 - 05:26 PM

I love it, I tell people all the time that the AS-SW15 is much bigger than it appears in web site pic's...

As Daninel stated so very nicely ~{THATS A BIG F***INK SUB}~!!!

Some sites have the measurments incorrect also. You who are looking at this big box might want to measure this out in your home, because it is a big MO FO Sub.

Enjoy your new toy if you live to listen to it Daniel....Posted Image

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#11 of 26 OFFLINE   rodney wiley

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Posted November 15 2002 - 12:43 AM

I have two sw-15's and one is actually taller than the other by about 3 inches but both are HUGE! But it is a 15!Posted Image

#12 of 26 OFFLINE   Geoff L

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Posted November 15 2002 - 12:54 AM

Rodney

Man thats gota suck! I would want them to be the same size!

Did you buy the a year or so appart or at the same time....???

Strange..
Geoff
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#13 of 26 OFFLINE   rodney wiley

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Posted November 15 2002 - 02:26 AM

I bought one from ebay and another from amazon. the newest one from amazon is the smaller. I have heard people complain that it takes a pretty good signal to kick on the amp and on the older one it does. The Newest kicks on first even though the signal goes to the larger older one first. I have the in opposite corners so the difference isn't too noticeable unless you just just stare at both for a while. of course the larger one sounds better Posted Image

#14 of 26 OFFLINE   Geoff L

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Posted November 15 2002 - 03:02 AM

Did you mod one or both of your subs?

Lining the walls with some type of sound deadener. Rubberized undercoating, roofing felt, damping sheets like self stick you cut to size from PE, or somethig similar. Also the 1.5 to 4lbs Poly fill.

These are said (by others) to make a very noticable differance in tighting up the sub. Loosing some of the boomy, one note bloated bass that many speak of, and droping the tuning a couple of hertz I'd imagen...

Movies may not be so noticeable, but in music I'm sure this would be a night and day differance on bass riffs, etc. Places where the bass notes should be clear and defined, not lumped into a more one note type sound.

I don't own a Audio Source SW-15 and never have listened to either, a stock or modded one...
I DIY my subs, just curious as others that are looking at this sub for purchase...

Regards
Geoff
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#15 of 26 OFFLINE   DanielN

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Posted November 15 2002 - 05:26 AM

Geoff I played AOTC last night. I turned up the volume on the seismic charge scene (Obiwan and Jango Fett) and my wife came running out thought something crashed into the house haha!

#16 of 26 OFFLINE   Aaron Chiandet

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Posted April 29 2003 - 12:33 PM

Im not seeing this WM40 at my sony. All its showing is the SA-WM500 for 170.00$

and the SA-WM20 for 75$

#17 of 26 OFFLINE   Todd Beachler

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Posted April 29 2003 - 08:27 PM

Ouch! Here are the specs for the SA-WM500:

Built-in amplifier with 150 watts into 8 ohms from 20 Hz - 200 Hz at 0.7% THD
Bass Reflex Design
12-inch Driver
Frequency Response 24 - 170 Hz
Line output for additional subwoofer

#18 of 26 OFFLINE   Aaron Chiandet

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Posted April 29 2003 - 08:42 PM

Im new to all this, are you saying the 500 sounds like an awesome deal for 170$?

#19 of 26 OFFLINE   Todd Beachler

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Posted April 29 2003 - 11:11 PM

Aaron,

Sony used to sell a sub (the SAWM40) for $125 shipped from the my.sony.com website. You had to sign up and get some 'Sony Points', but it was a good sub for a super price. Quite a few of us bought one (or two!) and have been happy with them.

The specs appear to be the same, but I don't have my SAWM40 manual in front of me right now. The 500 is just an updated version of the 40 with a higher pricetag.

#20 of 26 OFFLINE   Robert_Gaither

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Posted April 30 2003 - 03:25 AM

I'd say save your money a little longer and look for a used SVS CS25-31, HSU VTF2, or Adire Rava or go to parts express put together a kit sub. I've heard both (a friend of mine just sold the SW-15 and a different returned the Sony to Best Buy about a year ago) and though they are much better than most of the competition in their price range, they were easily outdone by just one of my Shivaes with an audiosource 70w mono amp (not including labor to put together the sub, I bought the used Shiva driver and amp for a little less than $200 shipped two years ago as separate purchases).

I'd advise check either the Diy section on this site (there was a thread that had a pretty good combo of a JBL car driver, cabinet, and amp for about a few bucks more than the above subs) as it seems you'll be modifying whatever you'll get at this price range anyway.