Sony SA-WM40 subwoofer vs. Energy e:XL-S8 or e:XL-S10?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by KeithH, Dec 2, 2001.

  1. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    I am currently using an Energy e:XL-S10 10" subwoofer in my home-theater and main stereo systems (same room) that I am very happy with. Now I am considering the addition of a subwoofer to my second stereo system, where I have Energy e:XL 25 floorstanders. I could go with another e:XL-S10, but at the typical dealer price of $450, it's a little more than I would like to spend for my second system. At $450, it would be more expensive than the NAD C 350 integrated amp I am using in this system. Another alternative is the Energy e:XL-S8 8" subwoofer for around $300, which I have used and have been impressed with. The e:XL-S8 would probably be more appropriate for the second system than the e:XL-S10 not only from the standpoint of cost, but because my living room where the second system is located is not a very large room in comparison to the home-theater room. I'd probably be happy with the e:XL-S8.

    Yet another alternative is the Sony SA-WM40 subwoofer, which is only $200 at Best Buy. Many people here seem to rave about its performance. Has anyone compared it to the Energy e:XL-S8 or e:XL-S10? The price of the 'WM40 is just right for the second system, but the fact that it has a 12" woofer concerns me given the size of my living room. Would I be wasting my time with the Sony SA-WM20 8" subwoofer? It's only $100 at Best Buy. Does the 'WM20 provide similar bang-for-the-buck performance as the 'WM40? At such a low price point, I wonder if I'd be giving up too much in going with the 'WM20.

    If I do get a subwoofer for the second stereo system, I will need a crossover box to allow connection to the NAD C 350 integrated amp. The C 350 has no direct subwoofer input. I use a crossover box by Energy in my main stereo system to connect the e:XL-S10 subwoofer to an NAD C 370 integrated amp. With the e:XL-S10, I can bypass the internal crossover and dial it in via the external box. In looking at pictures of the Sony 'WM40 on Crutchfield's web site, I don't see how this can be done. Is it possible to bypass the crossover on the 'WM40?

    If I were to get the 'WM40 and find it to be a really good subwoofer, but too big for the living room, I could always move it to the home-theater room and bring the e:XL-S10 to the living room. However, if I cannot bypass the internal crossover of the 'WM40, the point is moot. Also, I guess I am biased, but I would have a hard time accepting that the $200 Sony 'WM40 bested my $450 Energy e:XL-S10, even though the former has a larger woofer.
     
  2. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Hi. I own this subwoofer, and find it quite adequate for my needs, at least so far [​IMG] It will get upgraded eventually, of course. I tried some of the tweaks people here have mentioned, including putting heavy solid materials under and over the cabinet and stuffing it with polyfill, and that made a significant improvement. I'm thinking of adding more polyfill, because some of the members here used much more than I did.
     
  3. Kevin T

    Kevin T Screenwriter

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    keith:

    i'm using a mirage frx-s8 subwoofer which is basically the same sub as the energy 8"-er. of course, i'm planning to one day upgrade to an svs but for right now, i'm happy with the little guy. you might wanna check with jason over on the group buys page. he's doing a group buy on the sound dynamics 8" sub. mirage, energy, and sound dynamics are all owned by api so i'm pretty sure all their 8" subs are about the same.

    kevin t
     
  4. Jantzen

    Jantzen Stunt Coordinator

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    Keith,

    I checked out your web page an noticed all the great equipment that you have and how important audio seems to be to you...

    With that I'm surprised that you are sticking to the e:Xl-10 sub or even trying the Sony...

    I would say get a 25-31CS SVS for $369 and put that in your main system and move the e:XL-10 sub to your second system...

    I have a similar HT setup- e:XL-c and e:XL-16's front and back. I originally had the e:XL-10 sub too. I upgraded to the 20-39PC and haven't been happier.

    The e:XL-10 is an OK sub but the SVS is in a whole new league.

    If you have a spare amp laying around I'd highly recommend the SVS route - and moving the e:XL-10 to the second system.

    I would think that you would be more than happy with the results. I know it's more than you are looking to spend but it would be worth the wait to save up IMHO.

    Hey, maybe you'll win the SVS that is being given away!
     
  5. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    Keith,

    I have a sub for sale if you interested.

    It's a DCM KX SUB-2.

    It has 2-12" drivers both active,they loaded like the M&K's but it's a ported box,roughly a 19" cube.

    The amp is made by B&K.[150w].

    Check out it's picture ,by slicking the little house icon by my name.It's within your price range.

    Let me know if you interested,by posting here or via private masseges.
     
  6. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I agree if you can I'd move the 10" to the other room and look at an SVS or one of the custom made DIY subs that people were talking about in the other thread. I've heard the 10" and 12" Energy subs and have directly compared a pair of 12"s to a simple shiva based sonosub I built and there was no comparison. For that reason I'd get Acoustic-Visons to build you a sub or buy an SVS
    http://acoustic-visions.com/products.htm
    Thread on A-V subs
     
  7. Jim_F

    Jim_F Screenwriter

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    I just sold a SA-WM20. It was quite a decent little sub for the price ($100) but not really enough kick for decent (clean) HT effects. I used it at very low volume for music (it was a little dull, but not too bad)

    The WM40 might do the trick for you.

    I'm in agreement with the other guys, though. Demote the incumbent and move in some serious, musical woofage, such as a SVS or even a Hsu VTF-2.
     
  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Thanks all. I am well aware of the reputation of SVS subwoofers and the others mentioned here. It would be nice to keep costs down given that I am happy with the e:XL-S10 in the main system and am looking for a subwoofer for the second system. If I were to buy the cheapest SVS subwoofer for $369, I would still need to buy a decent amp to power it (don't know what would be appropriate). Then I need to figure out how to integrate the SVS with my main system stereo system (the Energy crossover box I am using now?). In the end, I would end up spending much more money than desired when the goal is simply a decent subwoofer for my second stereo system. I'll think it over. At this point, I am just getting ideas. Thanks again.
     
  9. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    Keith,
    I certainly don't want to hammer ya about spending the extra cash on an SVS but, i have to tell you... out of all the money i've spent in the last three years on audio & video, i got the most out of my money going with an SV subwoofer.. they really are that good and worth it. I used to have a $300.00 JBL 10" woofer. It was great for movies but complete MUD for music. The way you love your music i'd hate too see you buy that Sony sub. I'm just thinking out loud pal, thats all. [​IMG]
    - Chip
     
  10. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Chip, thanks for trying to steer me straight. An SVS subwoofer is something I will have to think about, but it probably won't happen for awhile. I've bought enough big-ticket gear lately, and spent a fair amount on cables, so it's time to lay low for now. The crazy thing is that, if you can believe it, hi-fi is not the only thing I can spend money on. I know that's wrong, but that's the way it is. There's the mortgage, car, my girlfriend (will become my fiancee one day), and I have to eat, at least once in awhile. I know. I should just get my priorities straight and buy the SVS subwoofer. [​IMG]
     
  11. Jantzen

    Jantzen Stunt Coordinator

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    Keith,

    Glad that you took all the "get an SVS" posts the right way...

    I know that it gets said here alot - but since I made the jump from the e:XL-S10 I'd thought I'd chime in.

    With all your equipment I was hoping that you'd have a spare amp around to power a passive SVS - since these are a little closer to your price range. The powered ones are quite a bit more but still a bargain in the subwoofer world.

    I know the itch to upgrade is there but if you can hold out and save for a better class of sub I highly recommend it.

    I had to wait 3 months once I ordered my SVS - and it was well worth the wait. Believe me, I am all for instant gratification - but I am so glad I saved and waited for the SVS...

    Good luck in your search for a new sub.
     
  12. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Jantzen, thanks for the input (both times). An SVS subwoofer would be nice. A question I have is if I were to buy the $369 passive model, what would be considered an appropriate amp, meaning a manufacturer and model? How much should I have to spend for the amp and would I integrate it with my A/V receiver via the receiver's pre-outs?
     
  13. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

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    Keith,

    I believe there are a few people here on the forum that have powered there SVS with the KLH stereo receiver that sells for $99 at Best Buy(goes on sale alot for $79). Good results have been reported using that inexpensive stereo receiver. I believe Tom V. at SVS has even tested the KLH with an SVS and reported it to be a viable option to power an SVS cs model. Just something to think about. Good luck whichever way you go.
     
  14. Jantzen

    Jantzen Stunt Coordinator

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    As noted - SVS has actually tested their subs with $79 KLH receivers from Best Buy... An old pro-logic receiver should work out for you if you have one around.

    As for the hookup - I currently use my receiver to set the sub x-over and bypass the crossover in the sub. I have the powered model, but I assume that you can do the same with the passive... Just send the sub pre-out to the external amp that you use for the sub...

    Anyway - that's the other great thing about SVS - just pop a question to them here on the forum or via e-mail and they will answer everything you throw at them.
     
  15. Marvin

    Marvin Screenwriter

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    Jantzen,

    Which SVS model did you get? I also have the same Energy sub (EXLS10) and I like it, probably because it's the only one I ever owned. Was the SVS a lot better for both music and HT, or just HT? How much better?
     
  16. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Dalton and Jantzen, thanks for the input. It's nice to know that a $99 amp is sufficient to drive a passive SVS subwoofer. I am not concerned with hooking up the SVS to my Sony STR-V444ES receiver (which allows me to dial in the crossover frequencies). However, hooking it up to my stereo system could be more involved. My NAD C 370 integrated amp has no subwoofer input. To connect my Energy e:XL-S10 subwoofer, I have an Energy External Active Crossover (EAC) box that allows me dial in the crossover. Thus, I run a subwoofer cable from the output on the EAC to the "XOVER INPUT" on the e:XL-S10. Then, I run RCA cables from the pre-outs on the C 370 to the inputs on the EAC and RCA cables from the outputs on the EAC to the main ins on the C 370. I'm just not sure if I could make this work given that I would need another amp to power the passive SVS subwoofer.
     
  17. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Keith a couple of options are available to you. First you could buy one of the plate amps from Parts Express that are currently on sale. These range from $70 - $125 give or take a bit and most have built in crossovers. If you went with one of these you could sell your Energy modual which would likely cover the cost of the plate amp. If you went with a used receiver or the KLH unit you'd keep things pretty much as they are now only you'd plug the RCA from the EAC's sub out into any source input on the receiver (other then Phono) and connect a speaker wire from the receiver to the sub. You can then adjust the volume of the sub with the KLH receiver.

    Another option is to look at the Adrie Rava or Dharma subs...

    Or get one built from Acoustic Visons
     
  18. Jantzen

    Jantzen Stunt Coordinator

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    Keith:

    I'm not exactly sure how a reciever as a sub amp would fit into your stereo setup... as suggested - would a plate amp make a difference since this is like what is in your current sub? Like I said shoot Ron/Tom an email and they'll try and answer all of your questions...

    Not that you asked but, my original comments were sparked by the the fact that you have quite an equipment list - and the sub choices you were considering took me by surprise. I just think that you'd benefit greatly from a better sub than what you have. Be it a SVS, HSU, etc. All I was saying is that for a little more than a price of a new e:XL-S10 you can take your system up a notch. I just mention SVS because that's the route I took and hey, it's easy to spend other people's money!

    Marvin:

    I have a 20-39PC and I was fully expecting a great HT experience (which I got) but I was most surprised at how this sub is musically - it provides clean, natural bass - not boomy bass like I was used to. Let's just say I re-visited my CD collection after the SVS arrived.

    There were 2 things I wanted when I stepped up from the E:XL-S10. One was boominess - the Energy seemed to be too boomy. Due to this I could really point out the sub in my setup. Second was extension as the Energy seemed to die around 30Hz.

    Well, I got both and then some - my bass is now seemless in my setup - I have the SVS in the same location as the Energy and I can rarely, if ever, pin-point it - it blends in so much better. The extension is obvious - if you get an SVS pop in Toy Story 2 and watch the intro and first scene - you will see what you were missing.

    The biggest thing was getting used to the clean bass of the SVS compared to the Energy - it took a month or so but know I can't have it any other way. It was like when I first calibrated my TV with Video Essentials - at first it was weird because I wasn't used to it but now I can't stand to watch TV's with sharpness and contrast cranked up!
     
  19. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    All, thanks again for your input. What I will probably end up doing is waiting to get an SVS 25-31PC subwoofer, which is the powered version, for $669. I think it will be easier to deal with the powered version than buying a separate amp. For my home-theater room, I think the 25-31PC will be sufficient. The other models will be too large. So, eventually, I will get the 25-31PC for my home-theater and main stereo systems and move the Energy e:XL-S10 to my second stereo system. This won't happen for awhile, however. Thanks again.
     
  20. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Keith,

    I think going the DIY route or having one custom built by Acoustic Visions is definitely the low cost/high performance way to go! Once you go DIY you'll never go back!

    Brian
     

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