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Aerial Acoustics Model SW12 (1 Viewer)


Supporting Actor
Nov 8, 2002
I have heard of this sub and just for forum discussion purposes has anyome heard it and what are your thoughts?

The Aerial Model SW12 is a very powerful yet relatively compact and musical subwoofer for use in the best music and home theater systems. It provides solid, quick, accurate bass flat to below 20 Hz. The woofer is a new 12.5" unit weighing 30 lbs. A huge magnet, 3" coil, and dual suspension move its strong aluminum cone linearly almost 2". Bass damping is electrically adjustable. A high quality, high-current 400 watt amplifier and a full-featured 2-channel crossover are provided. To reduce standing wave problems and provide custom response tailoring, a parametric equalizer is included. The heavy cabinet is extensively braced and has a 2" thick front. The IR remote control is machined from solid aluminum.

The SW12 system is extremely flexible. One SW12 provides satisfying high quality mono bass. Two SW12's produce more realistic stereo bass, higher levels, and better smoothness. Three SW12's add front / rear information and truly envelope the listener in bass. Large 4 or 5 channel systems are even more realistic and impressive. Unified hook-up and remote control are provided. An optional display / IR sensor is available for built-in systems.


Frequency Response: Flat to below 20Hz

Woofer: 12.5" (318 mm) diameter cast frame. Aluminum cone. Very large magnet. Dual suspension. 3" diameter 4-layer coil. Almost 2" of linear excursion

Power Amplifier: 400 Watt, high current, fully symetrical, all discrete design. Less than 0.05% THD. Large toroid and power supply. Large heat sink.

Low Pass: 30 Hz to 120 Hz continuously variable. 24 dB. 30 Hz is for Models 10T and Model 8

High Pass: 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, and 100 Hz stepped. 6 or 12 dB selectable slopes

Remote Functions: Power, volume, mute, reference setting, damping, EQ Filters Out, Display Off
Power Turn-On Modes Music-on/delayed-off. 12 VDC immediate on/off. IR Remote on/off

Connections: 6 balanced & 6 RCA L/R inputs, outputs, and high pass outputs. Speaker level inputs via DIN jack and cable. 12 volt DC turn-on jack. DB-25 socket for automation or optional external display / IR sensor. 2 control signal relay jacks for multi-sub systems. Line cord socket

Sensitivity: 100 mv balanced or single-ended for 400 W. 1 volt speaker-level input

Impedance: 45k Ohms balanced. 10 kOhms single-ended. 1 kOhm speaker-level input

Cabinet: MDF with 2" front. Extensive internal bracing. Front vent and display

Dimensions: (hwd) 25.0" x 14.0" x 23.0" / 635mm x 356mm x 584mm. Rear heatsink adds 1.5" / 38mm depth
Weights 130 lbs / 59 kg. 170 lbs / 77 kg packed. Stands add 27lbs / 12kg

Finishes: Smooth black, Rose Walnut, Natural Cherry, Maple, Santos Rosewood

Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price: $4,500.00

Dustin B

Senior HTF Member
Mar 10, 2001
Extremely well built and finished but under ported and over priced. Sound quality has been praised in every review I've read, but a consistent complaint is the port noise that can occur when the sub is pushed.

Keep in mind this is a driver capable of a little more displacement than an SVS DB12 driver with the same porting you'll find in a SVS PB1. For $4500 very poor design decision.

For $4500 Acoustic Visions or Link Removed could build you what the SW12 should have been, using a Styke AV15, HE15 or Adire Tumult. It would end up looking something like this but with finish that would match or beat that of the SW12:



Stunt Coordinator
May 13, 2001
I have to disagree with Dustin. I have a pair of the SW12’s in my H/T and I think it is one of the best subs available. I agree it is expensive but I don’t think it’s overpriced. I haven’t had any problem with port noise in my system but any ported design will exhibit port noise if it is overdriven.


Brian Bunge

Senior HTF Member
Sep 11, 2000

Here's what one of my customers said about the dual Tumults I built for him. Oh, and he's using Aerial speakers all the way around...except for the subs! :)

"While it is impossible to do an A/B, the tumults easily sound as good as the dual Aerial SW12 and Revel B15 that I have listened to-quite possibly better. I have never heard a dual HGS-18 system, but this is clearly better than any single HGS 18 system that I have listened to."

BTW, I got your PM. I'll respond back later today.

Dustin B

Senior HTF Member
Mar 10, 2001
but any ported design will exhibit port noise if it is overdriven.
Not true. If the driver/amp can't move enough air to cause the air speed in the porting present to reach a high enough speed to cause port noise, you won't get any.

This is why I use a 6" port in the Tempest sub I built. In my enclosure with the power I have available I can come very close to the limits of the Tempest. But with that 6" port the port air speed won't go over 20m/s and it will need to be higher than that to cause port noise.


Senior HTF Member
Nov 6, 1999
Over priced? Well let's see...

At retail pricing a DIY clone of the SW-12 would cost,

High excursion 12" driver ~$200
400watt amp ~$500
Parametric EQ $135
Couple sheets of MDF $35
Veneer ~$150

Given the standard high-end retail markup from mfgr's cost, the sub costs Aerial roughly $500-$650 to build.

PS: been there done that = owned a high-end audio gallery for quite a while, so I know the mark up multiplier is accurate. ;)

Dustin B

Senior HTF Member
Mar 10, 2001
And don't forget that other beauty of DIY. No marketing department telling you to keep the size under this set constriant forcing you to underport the sub inorder to tune low enough to make it sound decent.

Roger Dressler

Stunt Coordinator
Jan 15, 1999
In my case, I needed to fit the sub into an existing location with height, width, and depth restrictions, and my previous M&K 350 didn't really like being placed on its side due to the bottom firing sub. The Aerial only has a front port, so that was not a problem. It also allows the power amp module, which is square, to be rotated 90-deg and remounted so the fins still run vertically for best cooling efficiency. When I discussed this with Michael Kelly, he said it was actually designed for this, yet neither the website nor the owner's manual mentioned it. And the separate base does not have to be mounted either, so the sub sits flat on the floor. The improvement in bass in my system was dramatic, with substantially greater peak output than before chief among the benefits. I also found the hi-Q tunable notch filter ideal for taming my room's resonance near 60 Hz.


Apr 9, 2000
Portland, OR
Real Name
SW12, a.k.a. the leaf blower.

I have a few issues:

1) The design is underported. During any significant low bass material (i.e.

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