Customer Review

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poorly Designed Tank of a Subwoofer, March 11, 2011
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I was looking for a nice subwoofer to replace the one I was using. The Wharfedale SW250 was not it. I wasted $160 dollars in shipping charges on this unit. Live and learn, I guess. What's wrong with it?

It's very heavy, about 65 lbs. This in itself, wasn't a concern for me, but I hadn't planned on having to send it back. The sub appears well-constructed, but that isn't enough. The SW250 doesn't really sound all that impressive. For a 10" driver backed by a 250-watt RMS amplifier, it didn't really have that good a sound. I'm not a person who listens to that overly bass-heavy hip hop stuff, but mostly classic rock or jazzy music like Norah Jones or Donald Fagen. For a sealed enclosure, it really didn't exhibit the tightness I expected. I don't care much for ported enclosures when it comes to music. Most professionals realize ported enclosures don't typically produce realistic bass. There is always a sharp peak in the response curve of such designs.

Another issue was that the sub had a loud hum noise when turned up enough to put out any amount of bass. You could feel the cone vibrating even without the input cables connected. A speaker should make no sound without input.

The remote control is nice for changing gain, crossover frequencies, etc. and it has 4 presets. The problem is, there are no controls on the sub itself, save for a power switch. You can't operate this sub without a remote, which makes me wonder about months or years down the road when it's lost or breaks. The sub would then become rather useless.

Last and certainly not least, the sub doesn't even have an auto-on feature. All it has is "Standby" via the remote and it stays warm all the time, indicating a pretty high idling current. When I called the dealer about it, they told me there was an auto selection on the sub, but there isn't. That feature is only on Wharfedale's smaller 8" model.

So I returned this sub and spent more and I'm impressed with the one I got: Newton Series P300HD Powered Subwoofer http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00345HIHQ

It is simply amazing and utilizes 12 drivers! Yes, six 5-1/4" active drivers and six 6-1/2" passive radiators. It sounds better than the Wharfedale and the fact there is absolutely zero vibration in the cabinet is engineering genius.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 30, 2011 6:02:12 AM PDT
Dr. Jekyll says:
I do agree that this subwoofer only being controlled by remote is a negative point , I would rather forgo the pre-sets and remote for good old reliable manual controls over the remote-only processor control but if this speaker has an audible hum with no cables hooked up creating an unseen grounding problem than this subwoofer is simply defective and you should have had them replace it for you. I like sealed enclosures to because they have a better chance of having tighter cleaner bass but going out and purchasing a sub with passive radiators is not much different that the port in terms of slowing down the active driver and creating overhang like that which is possible with a port. A sealed enclosure sounds potentially tighter because there is no air leeks or movement inside the cabinet from say, a passive radiator or port. I have this subwoofer and this review will prompt me to write my own once I am convinced it's properly broken in.

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2011 10:11:40 AM PDT
TE5LA says:
I build speaker enclosures as part of my profession and I'm aware of the sealed versus ported issue. That is why, as I said, I looked for a sealed system. But having to return one such heavy sub was bad enough, then the lack of controls or the system not sleeping was too much. It is also very possible for a ported enclosure to sound better than a sealed one. Not all sealed enclosures sound better than all ported ones, and this is the case here. The Cambridge SoundWorks sounds far better than the Wharfedale. Whatever they did, they did it right. There is no boomy sound and I don't need to adjust the sub all the time because it sounds good on everything. I still can't get over how this thing has zero cabinet vibration. I appreciate your comments.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2011 9:24:42 AM PDT
Dr. Jekyll says:
I used the words potentially tighter when describing the sound of a sealed enclosure because I know they don't all sound better than ported. We used to build enclosures and are own winding of induction coils designing crossovers starting in the early eighties as a hobby. I have not had the opportunity to hear the Newton Series P300HD yet so I'm still giving this one to Major Geek although I do see you're going to pay quite a bit more the Cambridge subwoofer , more than double, not really in the same price range. I still feel I'm in a break in period with the Wharfedale so a Dr Jekyll review is still coming up.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2011 5:07:07 PM PDT
TE5LA says:
Not really double in my case. The Wharfedale was $375 and the Cambridge about $500. Sending back the Wharfedale cost me another $60, so it was like $435 to me.
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