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Owners of Polk DSW Pro Subwoofers, especially the DSW Pro 660wi (1 Viewer)

Mike Up

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I had an issue with sensitivity being very low while using the Right input labeled LFE. I found that if I put LFE to NO and used both Left and Right, I gained 6db in output. I then found that the Left input was enabled with LFE setting to YES. I checked with a subwoofer noise output and LFE = YES, the crossover knob had no effect. Changing to LFE = No, the crossover knob did have effect, filtering all higher bass out when set at it's lowest value.

So then I found that if LFE = YES, and using both Left and Right input, I gained 6db and had the sensitivity of other subwoofers. Both Left and Right line level inputs were not filtered with LFE = Yes and both Right and Left line level inputs were filtered with LFE = NO.

So I'm finding that the instructions are wrong and you should use both left and right inputs with an LFE subwoofer output, split with a Y cable and 'not' use only a single connection to the Right/LFE input for "BEST" results of less noise induced into the open input and higher sensitivity. Manual says to only use a single subwoofer output to the Right/LFE line level input which creates less sensitivity and the potential for more noise.

What have you other Polk DSW Pro subwoofer owners found, especially the Pro 660wi owners.

Thanks!!
 
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JohnRice

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I get the feeling something is wrong with one of the sub's inputs. Did you ever try connecting only to the left input with LFE on to see if you got higher output?
 

Mike Up

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I get the feeling something is wrong with one of the sub's inputs. Did you ever try connecting only to the left input with LFE on to see if you got higher output?
Yes, it was still the 6db lower in output in LFE mode and not in LFE mode, that equalled the right side in LFE mode (LFE = ON).

Maybe it is bad, as that is what I was thinking too, but didn't want to jump the gun.
 

JohnRice

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Yes, it was still the 6db lower in output in LFE mode and not in LFE mode, that equalled the right side in LFE mode (LFE = ON).

Maybe it is bad, as that is what I was thinking too, but didn't want to jump the gun.
Well, if it works, then it's probably fine. It just doesn't make sense. Plus, I'm not sure there can be an actual benefit, though I realize the perceived benefit of turning down the volume knob. The one thing I'd say is, only do this using a single sub output with a "Y" connector to split it. Don't use both of the receiver's sub outputs, since that has the potential of introducing phase problems if the two outputs aren't configured exactly the same.
 

Mike Up

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Yeh, definitely with just a y splitter. I'm waiting to hear back from Polk and see what they say.

Thanks
 

Mike Up

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Well it's being returned. Seller lied to me and stated they were an authorized Polk retailer. When I talked to polk today about the issue, they stated he wasn't an authorized retailer which means no warranty. So it's going back. Now I know why it was half the price what others were selling it when it was in stock and why he has stock of a discontinued sub when no one else does. I'm betting it was refurbished and not new, and never correctly repaired and why it has this sensitivity issue.

Looks like for my space, HTS 10 or a Klipsch 10" or some 12" subwoofers will fit. SVS ported subs are to big as well as many. RLS Speedwoofer is sold out and I don't want to play the waiting game. So I'm looking at the R-12SWi from Costco. They have it cheaper, it's easy to return if I don't like it, and they're local so no shipping.

While I'm hesitant to buy a Klipsch sub, hopefully in the last 10 years they found a way to fix their plate ampflifer problems and hopefully it's as musical as the DSW Pro 660wi.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Why not just get a sealed SVS sub instead if their ported models are too big?

Too bad you missed their recent holiday sale (for a SB-2000 Pro or maybe SB-3000) though...

_Man_
 

JohnRice

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I agree. Don't overlook the sealed SVS models. It's quite unfortunate that this "Sealed subs aren't good for movies" myth is so deeply rooted.

What's your price range?
 

Mike Up

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Well I sucked it up, I bought the R-12SWi and can say it much more powerful than the Polk DSW Pro 660wi. I have the subwoofer matched to the speakers at the same spot with a 'single' LFE cable and the subwoofer master volume is 3/10 with the Denon AVR-2312ci receiver output at -9db.

That Polk subwoofer definitely had a problem. While at 74 - 75 db output, it had flat bass at my listening spot, I could never get the low frequency rumble at high volume levels like the Velodyne. In fact there wasn't much air coming out of the POlk slot vent. With the Velodyne, it felt like a fan. With this Klipsch R-12SWi, the port feels like a fan just like the Velodyne. I also has strong low frequency at high outputs like the Velodyne.

I knew something didn't sound right at louder volumes with the Polk but it sounded good at lower volumes and tested flat. I'm thinking something was screwed up in the vent as I found it on my door like it was through a war. Box was beat up and Styrofoam was all busted up in the box but subwoofer was fine without a scratch.

The Klipsch has the same tighter bass that the Polk did, sounding better than the Velodyne also. Maybe the electronics that caused the loud hum in the Velodyne, caused the performance to slide over the years. Even so, it still sounded better than many subs and equalled others in being musical. Just the Polk and Klipsch subs sound better with more dynamics and punch.

So far the Klipsch sounds better than the Polk in every way as well as the Velodyne. Surprising that the Polk had so called 400 watts rms/800 watts peak when it couldn't equal the output of either the 100w/250w Velodyne or the 200w/400w Klipsch.

The bad with the Klipsch is it's just to deep for my spot but I compromised because I wanted it's lower frequency over the R-10SW, I wanted the more amp power, and the built in wireless capability for only $80 more. Costco has this sub for $279. Amazon had the R-10SW (not wireless) for $200.

Only thing I have to do is buy 90 degree connectors because this sub is so close to the wall. I thought it would sound boomy being so close but it doesn't.
 

Mike Up

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Why not just get a sealed SVS sub instead if their ported models are too big?

Too bad you missed their recent holiday sale (for a SB-2000 Pro or maybe SB-3000) though...

_Man_

I agree. Don't overlook the sealed SVS models. It's quite unfortunate that this "Sealed subs aren't good for movies" myth is so deeply rooted.

What's your price range?
SVS subs are way over my budget. I've read professional reviews that said they aren't that great for Home Theater due to their sealed design compared to the competition. The Pro model of the SB-1000 I was looking at, had DSPs but reviews said for loud Home Theater, it still couldn't fix the lack of low bass output.

The lowest I found the standard SB-1000 was $500 and that was over my budget. The same $500 for the PB-1000, neither of them the PRO models. I read in the same article that the standard PB-1000 was bad for music being unclear. So neither sealed or ported was good for both Movies and Music.

So far I'm happy with the Klipsch R-12SWi. Reminds me a lot of the Velodyne CT-100 sound but more tighter and more punch with higher output. I'll see if this Plate Amplifier dies like I've read. Hopefully not but I can't spend an arm and a leg on an expensive sub with my current situations. I've built the best bang for the buck speaker system and am quite proud of that. When I had more disposable income, I paid quite a bit more for speakers decades ago and came out with a lot less performance.
 
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JohnRice

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I'm just glad you got rid of the suspect Polk model. What was going on with it simply didn't seem right. Something had to be messed up.
 

Mike Up

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I'm just glad you got rid of the suspect Polk model. What was going on with it simply didn't seem right. Something had to be messed up.
Yeh, I just wasnt comfortable with it. Hopefully im done now in my sub search.
 

Mike Up

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Something good I found with these 12" subwoofers is while they may not go lower in frequency extension than the Velodyne, they both seem to have stronger punch from the woofers like on movie explosions and music kick drums. Pretty significant. I guess all being equal with a 10" or 12", that's the benefit of the 12". I'm glad I went up to the 12" subs this time as I was previously pretty dead set on staying with a 10" sub.

Funny thing while the Velodyne having much better bass extension than my Polk TL1600 8" subwoofer, the punch from the Velodynes 10" woofer wasn't much better, even 1-1/2 years ago before the Velodyne got bad hum. I actually compared them directly. Other than frequency extension they sounded a lot a like with the Velodyne being a bit more articulate in the bass, and lower in the bass. The Klipsch R-12SWi is just better everywhere. More articulate than both the Polk and the Velodynes, Punches/hits much harder than either, shakes the couch on the opposite side of the room more than the Velodyne ever did, and bass extension seems the same if not a bit better.

The Klipsch's biggest negative is it's cheaper and fragile vinyl wrap. Seems their top end SPL-120 subwoofer has the same stuff as well! I put scratches in it already with just my finger nails carrying it. My cat put a scratch on it already too within the first day. Already fixed the scratches though. Velodyne and Polk vinyl wraps are pretty much scratch proof, very thick and hardy vinyl wrap. I had to buy a clear pvc top cover for it to keep the cats from scratching it again. BTW, black shoe polish fixes scratches on black vinyl wrap pretty well!

I honestly was thinking about buying the Klipsch SPL-120 with wireless adapter ($550) over the R-12SWi w/wireless as well ($279) but the R-12SWi sounds so good, can't imagine I'd be gaining a whole except a few more Hertz and extra power (which I don't really need) for an additional $270.
 

Mike Up

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I agree. Don't overlook the sealed SVS models. It's quite unfortunate that this "Sealed subs aren't good for movies" myth is so deeply rooted.

What's your price range?
Well almost a year later, my life has changed for the better and I have a bit more to spend. I really like the Klipsch R-120sw for $300, not sure it's really worth more. It will be doing media room duty now. I've been recently looking at subwoofers again for more deep bass and less upper bass. I am still space limited in my living room so the subwoofer had to be close to the wall and had a 3" space from port to the wall. Now that I know, I should not have gone with a rear ported sub. I found with the Klipsch R-120sw in my media room, which has more room for it surprisingly, that pulling the sub out from wall just 5" made it sound better. I couldn't do that in the living room as I have the front right speaker in front of it.

Anyhow, trying to find a sub to fit my space again was a chore. For the money and space limitations 19" tall, 15" wide, and 21" deep with all cords and knobs accounted for with a budget of $500 - $600. The main subs I wanted were out. That being the SVS PB-2000 for size and maybe price. The other was the SVS PB-1000 Pro but it lacked a lot compared to the 2000 series. Well I was able to get a SVS SB-2000 for $500 but was unsure as others said it would be a lateral move.

The SB-2000 was better in every way, substantially. The deep bass is phenomenal! Previously I could feel bass in the sofa with lower levels of ultra low bass rumble and midbass vibration. Now the entire couch just shakes from much higher levels of ultra low bass. The ultra low bass output is actually shocking. While some said ultra low bass may not be that great, I think room gain in my midsize living really elevated the ultra low bass output.

The best part which made the sub worth it over the Klipsch even it had the same ultra low bass, was the accuracy and the quality. SVS told me this is because it's a sealed sub but heavy metal rock really shows it's quality on bass drum rolls. It sounds so much more realistic than the Klipsch. Also I don't have that high midbass output on movies that sometimes sounded off. Now the movie bass is lower frequency with more rumble instead of the midbass vibration. It just sounds so good. The accuracy of the sub actually sounds better with the movies over music as I thought would be the opposite. Movies used to have a very high output of midbass vibration with lower levels of low bass rumble. Now the movie bass just seems more smooth.

The bass tracks of music is worth it alone as music just sound cleaner and more articulate. The bass punch is about equal but it's snaps more with a lower bass output that you feel in your chest.

Now I don't know if I'd like a ported SVS sub as much as I'm highly impressed with the articulation and accuracy in the bass with music. I've only had ported subs including my old late 90s Velodyne CT-100 10" sub and none ever sounded this good in articulation and smoothness alone!

So I think I finally found a keeper that excels in everything. BTW, it has plenty of outputs for my 1920 cubic ft room. I drove it very loud and it never sounded compressed, thinner or bloated. Very impressed.

The only negative, as with my other 8" subwoofers, is it's lower sensitivity. My Velodyne's volume was 3/10 with Denon LFE out set at -3db to match my speakers. The Klipsch's volume was 3/10 with Denon LFE out set at -7db. To match a -3db LFE output of my denon, I had to turn it up to 6/9. Now putting the volume at half way/12 o'clock, needed Denon LFE output at +6db. I did call SVS to see if this lower sensitivity was normal and they did say it was.

So I'm very very happy with my new SVS SB-2000!
 

JohnRice

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I have an SB-2000 in my living room, which is about 16x20’ with a vaulted ceiling. For the hard core spec obsessed, that’s unacceptable, but it really does perform wonderfully. Would dual SB-4000s be better? Of course. That doesn’t change the fact it is excellent for a living space system. And I will probably never own a ported sub ever again. Sealed subs will roll off if over driven, but they never get sloppy or make any port noise. I’ll take that option every time. Still, I’m constantly fighting an uphill battle trying to convince people to try sealed subs for movies. Most simply refuse to entertain the idea.
 

Mike Up

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I have an SB-2000 in my living room, which is about 16x20’ with a vaulted ceiling. For the hard core spec obsessed, that’s unacceptable, but it really does perform wonderfully. Would dual SB-4000s be better? Of course. That doesn’t change the fact it is excellent for a living space system. And I will probably never own a ported sub ever again. Sealed subs will roll off if over driven, but they never get sloppy or make any port noise. I’ll take that option every time. Still, I’m constantly fighting an uphill battle trying to convince people to try sealed subs for movies. Most simply refuse to entertain the idea.
While these CEA-2010 tests and Audioholics sub tests are great, none do actual in room tests which matter the most.

Reading SVS info and other info, a sealed sub has room gain that can make it flat down to 10Hz and I've seen many who have done their own measurements and were getting that. Plus you can gain 9 db output in room opposed to the output, tested outside.

I was led to believe this would be ultra low bass shy when it's stronger in the ultra low bass than any sub I've heard or had.

Just out of curiosity, does your sub have similar sensitivity that I talked about?
 

JohnRice

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Just out of curiosity, does your sub have similar sensitivity that I talked about?
You can't really think of it as sensitivity, since it's a powered system. Ideally, a subwoofer should be usable in most systems with the volume at around 12 o'clock (as in, half way up) in order to facilitate the greatest number of speakers. Where that actually ends up and what the trim level is in the processor has more to do with the other speakers in the system. If they are highly efficient, you'll need to dial up the sub. If they are power hungry, you will have to dial the sub down. If a sub only needs to have the volume barely turned up, that means it is more likely to not be able to properly integrate into the rest of the system.

To be honest, the Klipsch are designed to barely turn up the volume because that makes people think they're "really powerful". The SVS aren't designed that way because they are interested in making excellent subs that integrate properly. Everything about Klipsch is geared toward marketing.
 

JohnRice

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BTW, I have dual SB-16 Ultras in my HT. They're awesome!
 

Mike Up

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I did learn something that I didn't realize. That is the need to be 2X the port diameter (port ID is 3"), for the distance from the rear wall. I only had 3" with the Klipsch R-120sw as that was all I could do with the speaker in front.

In my media room where the subwoofer is only width limited to 15", I was able to pull it out 7" from the wall and it made a big difference. The odd upper bass peaks in movies is now gone. Much better but still doesn't hold a candle to the SVS SB-2000. With music it isn't so much the bass extension output as it is the quality of bass and accuracy. With movies it's the quality and bass extension.

I may had been better off with a Klipsch SPL-100/SPL-120 that had a front slot instead of the rear port for my space. It worked out though now, as SVS re-introduced the SB-2000 and it sounds great! The Klipsch R-120sw does sound noticeably better in the media room over the R-100sw as well.
 

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