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Sony SA-WM40 good for HT without mods?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bart_R, Nov 25, 2002.

  1. Bart_R

    Bart_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Everybody,

    Here's a message from a freshman, so to speak. I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to audiostuff, and I'm thinking about getting an active subwoofer for my hometheatre setup.

    Cos even though I'm pretty satisfied with the (old) speakers I have now (Jamo passive sub-system (sub with 2 speakers connected to it) functioning as front speakers, 2 comparable jamo speakers (withouth a sub) as surrounds, and an old panasonic stereo speaker for my center speaker. Btw, I have a vsx-d510 pioneer receiver), but I could def. use some extra punch. (cos now I have basically a 5.0 setup).

    Since I'm on a tight budget, I was thinking about the Sony SA-WM40. I'm hearing (reading) good things about it, but nearly everyone also mentions the boominess, mostly with music.
    However, my main concern here is HT. Is it good for that purpose? Or does it still need mods, like polyfilling (with the hazard of losing my warranty)?

    And, what I was also wondering, what about the soundtrack/score of a movie? I mean, if there's music in the movie, with a fair amount of bass/agressiveness (I'm thinking of the orthanc- or moria [khazad-dum]-music in lotr), will the sub reproduce that ok, or also boomy (like regular audio cd's)? Cos that would still be crappy then... (Cos I would like my sfx to be fairly defined [kicking in when it has to, and not merely amounting to an incoherent rumble] as well as a not too artificial sounding score)

    So basically what I'm asking is: Is the SA-WM40 a good deal for HT out of the box (including music score of movies as well as sfx etc.)? (or do I need to do mods no matter what)

    Uh yeah, kind of a long story, but I hope it's clear.

    Would be great if anyone could help me out, cos 'I'm in the dark here...' (Al Pacino in 'Scent of a Woman')

    Later,

    Bart.
     
  2. Alfonso

    Alfonso Agent

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    I just ordered a Sony SA-WM40 and it will probably get here next wednesday. I intend to test it with Star Wars - Episode II, Tomb Raider, Monster's Inc and Saving Private Ryan, as well has several music CD's as soon as I get it out of the box, with no mods. I'll let you know how it performed.
     
  3. Jeff-Watson

    Jeff-Watson Stunt Coordinator

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    I used my Sony sa-wm40 for a few months with no mods and loved it. Recently I filled it with about 1/2 pound of polyfill and boy what a difference. It is a great mix for music and movies and has made the sub much easier to listen too. Don't get me wrong it hasn't lsot its kick but the bass is tighter and more defined now. LOTR has never sounded better. I tested out the Eagles DVD and the polyfill has really made a difference musically with the bass. I wish I would have done the mod sooner but never the less I definitely recommend the polyfill mod.
     
  4. Bob_Hammond

    Bob_Hammond Agent

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    I had one and really liked it. Eventually I sold it and bought an SVS which I really really love. The Sony will be a big improvement over not having one even without the mods. I'd say go ahead and get it, and try it. Later if you feel that you need to, go ahead and try the mods. I never did though.

    Bob
     
  5. Bart_R

    Bart_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Cool, thanx for the comments!

    So it's pretty decent, even without mods. Good to hear. I'm leaning ever more towards buying it.

    The problem is that they don't have it in stock in stores here (Holland), so they have to order it from the Sony catalogue and I can't return it if it turns out to be crappy (too boomy or overly present). So that's why I wanna know as much as possible about this sub first.

    I'm still wondering, can anybody tell me if there's a difference between the music reproduction from music cd's and the music that comes from video(dvd's)?
    Is the boominess the same? Or does the boominess-problem only refer to music cd's. Cos I don't want cool music parts in movies to be distracting because of boominess or incoherent/overly prominent bass etc.

    (Basically, I want it to kick in and impress the hell out of me when neccesary, but not to distract from the viewing experience or attracting too much attention to itself [when not necessary])

    That's all 4 now. Thanx so far...

    Bart.



    p.s. a movie which has cool sound (and is cool, overall), but is not very well known is 'Dark City'. A cool, stylish sf-flick which seems to owe a good deal to german expressionist movies, as well as movies which question reality, like the Matrix. And it has a nice stylish looking city, which brings to mind the likes of Bladerunner or Metropolis. Check it out...
     
  6. Lorenzo K

    Lorenzo K Agent

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    The sony sub is pretty good. I did not modify mine for the same reason - warranty. For HT its a best buy. You should be satisfied with it.
    For music, I found out that it helps to give it room to breath. The port is at the back and by keeping it about a foot from the wall will improve its performance.
     
  7. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    "(Basically, I want it to kick in and impress the hell out of me when neccesary, but not to distract from the viewing experience or attracting too much attention to itself [when not necessary])"

    A friend of mine had this sub for a few years and I've heard it on a number of occasions. It's a good buy for $125-$140 (seems like the going rate). Just keep in mind you will get what you pay for and if you keep your expectations moderate, I think you'll be able to live with it.

    It never "impressed the hell out of me", but it got the job done. It has decent SPL in a small room, but it's boomy, it lacks definition, and has no real output below 35 Hz. It will ignore most of the ultra deep bass present in several of the DVDs mentioned above, but it does justice to the 40 Hz and above stuff.

    I definitely recommend the polyfill mod - I can't see how adding a 1/2 pound of polyfill will ever be a problem with warranty work - just take it back out again before you bring it in for service. I doubt they could tell (or will really even care) that you removed the woofer and added some stuffing.

    Good luck!

    Regards,

    Ed
     
  8. Manuel Delaflor

    Manuel Delaflor Supporting Actor

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  9. Bart_R

    Bart_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Moderate expectations.

    Yeah, I know I should have those, since I don't have much money to spend. So, okay, it's boomy and lacks definition, but location can be part of the problem, and the polyfill is def. recommended. Alright. Got it.

    Of course I would like the best sounding sub out there, but yeah, I realise that's not possible for me, so I'll settle for the best deal I can get within this price range.

    So, when it comes to price, is this sub pretty much the best deal (compared to other subs in the same price range)?

    What it ultimately comes down to I guess, is that I def. want some more punch/bass than I have now (and currently I have no active sub, so that should be easy), but that it shouldn't be distracting from the viewing experience. I mean if it spoils the whole movie and directs your attention only to the aggressive nature and the location of the sub, it's not worth the money no matter how cheap, right?

    So, bottom line: Does it distract a lot/spoil the viewing experience?


    Thanx 4 ur comments. Really appreciating it...


    Later,
    Bart.
     
  10. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    I just tried to order the DLS 10" sub from parts Express but they are out at this time. I just would like to get it and see how it does. I once had the WM-40 but sold it to a friend. I wish I still had it now so I could run it against the DLS. I do remember quit well how it did though. The 40 is a little touchy and boomy. Allot of BANG for the money though. If you calibrate and load it correctly it will do quit well for the money. From what you state Bart-- I would say that is just what you would do--Calibrate correctly. I still would like to know how the DLS stacks up against the Sony. I might just pick up the Sony to if I can get it for $135 here where I live. That is what I originally paid for it. Then I could put the meter and ear to both of them and see just what is the better sub?
     
  11. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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  12. Jason Co

    Jason Co Second Unit

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    Here is a good review of the sony sub. I had one before I went with a svs and it was great.
    Jason
     
  13. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    what does adding the polyfill do to the sub?
     
  14. Bart_R

    Bart_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I must say, after reading everybody's suggestions and opinions, I think I've figured it out. If I don't hear something really negative about it between now and say, 1 p.m. tomorrow (it's about 2 a.m. now here in Holland), I'll go ahead and buy the damn thing!

    I'll just go ahead and calibrate, fine-tune, reposition, and probably put polyfill in it eventually, untill I get the most out of it (or rather: the best).

    I just want it to be a clear improvement over not having an active sub, but at the same time to not spoil the movie 'experience'. Then I'm a happy guy...

    In any case, I wanna thank you 4 all your comments. It's been really helpful.

    Later everyone,
    Bart.




    p.s. too bad that they have to order it at the store. Gonna have to wait for at least one more week, I reckon. Can't wait to play some of the cool sounding dvd's I have (e.g. Lotr, T2, Matrix, Fast and the Furious...)
     
  15. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Steve,

    I've heard the DLS 10" and I prefer it to the Sony. I'd take it over anything I've seen/heard under $300. I'll probably order a couple of the DLS 10's to use in our shop. If nothing else I want to measure the internal dimensions and figure out exactly what the tuning point of the sub is. It's got to be tuned lower than the Sony.
     
  16. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    Crap! I read your post Brian and I thought you were saying you liked the Sony better and that did not jive with what you posted earlier. Mis-under standing on my part. My blood pressure went up a notch or two there for a bit until I re-read, for I just ordered the DLS to play with and compare it to the 40. All is well.[​IMG]
     

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