Unit was shipped to my home within 4 days. There was not tailgate service so I had to carry this monstrosity on my shoulders from the truck up to apartment. It's a good thing I have a first floor unit and it's a DAMN good thing I am an audio enthusiast who lifts heavy ass weights from time to time.
I must say the packaging job for this subwoofer was top notch. It was double boxed along with cushion panels protecting the top and bottom of the sub and restraining it from sliding around during shipping.
This unit though heavy is fairly easily to move around. I placed mine in the front, left corner of my living room with one woofer facing the rear wall and one woofer facing the living room itself.
When I first fired up my sub I was pleased at the amount of output from such a low gain setting. I had the gain set at 3 and the sub could easily fill up my room at low volume settings. I have my volume setting on my Onkyo TX-NR 1007 set to absolute so the sub began taking control of my room at 15.
And that's out of the overall volume setting scale which is from 1 to 88. I have the signal strength on a full 12 of 12. I also have the sensitivity set to it's highest setting which is +10db. I played with the gain dial up to 7 and witnessed no clipping however I am not playing this sub at uber high levels due to my current living situation. I would also like to state this sub sounded superb right out of the box with no eq.
Very articulate, tight, and controlled bass immediately upon startup. After a few hours of tinkering I settled with the gain on level 4 to best match my speakers along eq changes which consisted with the frequency set down to 18, level dial set to +6 and and bandwith set to 1. Phase set to 90 degrees.
I ran this sub through a gauntlet of music from 9 p.m last night to 7 a.m. this morning consisting of R & B, jazz, dance, blues, rap, orchestra, classical, new age, alternative, lounge singing, and country. Though my emphasis is always strongly on R & B music. This sub handled all genres of music with the greatest of ease.
It handled the deep basslines of my favorite R and B songs easily. It breezed through the deepest bass notes on my rap songs and pipe organ heavy orchestra music. It also was very articulate and light on it's feet with all fast paced dance songs I downloaded.
Here is a sample of some of the songs this sub EXCELLED with last night.
Dianna Ross-Missing You
Lisa Stansfield-All Woman
Bobby Caldwell-My Flame
The Human League-Human
Anita Baker-Body and Soul
Mariah Carey-My All
George Michael-Careless Whisper, Father Figure
Kem-Why would you stay
Bee Gees Too Much Heaven
I must admit this sub was BRILLIANT on Mariah Carey's "My All". It was very subtle and articulate during quieter sequences of this song. Only proving a deep, bassline to the entire track. However when called upon it could dig deep on a moments notice when the track opens up to a lower melody during the first verse of the song when Mariah looks from her boat to the light tower. It was amazing how easily this sub transfers from a light touch to a deep thunderous note quickly with no overhang.
I did a quick demo of Saving Private Ryan this morning. The sub handles the gunshots with great articulation. Quick and violent. It was also the same with explosions which sent quick, violent soundwaves throughout my living room then were instantly silenced with no overhang. This sub is not boomy at all during HT. Action sequences are very controlled and precise.
I am used to using large, ported subs which are very boomy and have the richochet effect from large explosions so my ears are still getting used to the more precise sound of a large, sealed sub during HT. However this sub is monster which I dared not go over level 22 on my volume knob since it was already shaking the walls and windows in my living room.
Final thoughts of my first impression for the CS 18.2:
All in all, I'd say this is one of the best buys of my short audio career. My best being my speakers. This sub blends perfectly with my mains and surrounds which is not easy to do since my speakers have overpowered all of the lower cost, less powerful subs I've tried to pair them with. I run all of my speakers on full range and this sub on double bass mode.
The overall effect is clear highs, a very powerful and detailed midrange which creates a lush soundstage in my room, along with my speaker's twelve 15's and the CS sub's dual 18's emitting very powerful, controlled, and precise low end.
I also did A/B comparisons between my trusty Bagend Infrasub-18 and the CS 18.2 and I have to say the CS 18.2 matches the Bagend perfectly with articulation with music however it does not seem to be going as deep on some notes as my Bagend sub. I know this sub has to have more time to break in so I am sure this is going to change withing a few weeks time. With home theater there is no comparison the Chase sub crushes the Bagend's meager output and steep rollof during HT easily.
So my buyer for my Bagend sub called this afternoon to setup a pickup time. Before I called him back I thought to myself "why not hear how both subs sound together for the heck of it", so I plugged both of them up an hour ago and put on Tearri Marie's "Hunt For You" and all I can say is HOLY *****! They blended together PERFECTLY! The CS sub's deep, articulate, and high output blends seamlessly into the Bagend's UBER low, articulate, and subtle output for a truly deep and clear sound. Also all of my speakers are rated down to 24hz which further complements these two subs. My system now sound's like Barry White on Steroids.
I cancelled the sale so my pocketbook is now going to take a hit because I was going to use the funds from the Bagend to pay for half of the cost of this sub. But hearing these two together has made feel something deep and passionate. I've never heard this type of room shaking yet delicate and articulate bass from a budget setup such as mine.
I went back and played some of the aformentioned songs with both subs turned off and I must say that the overall sound is not too far off from what I'm hearing with both subs on. And that is not a knock against my subs because both are high quality subs. But that is giving props to CV for making speakers that can keep up with such large subs so easily in the lowend dept. My speakers will shake my walls at volume setting 10 out of 88. Thanks to this efficiency I have been sitting here listening to these subs and my speakers at .5(one click) out of 88 and the bass is pronounced and clear at this setting from all of my components.
I must say the CS 18.2 is a fitting endpiece to my Legion of Boom. My speakers have finally found their match for a price I could afford. I wager the CS 18.2 is the best bang for buck sub released in 2010. It really is that special.
If you are on the fence about this sub I would definitely take the plunge and purchase it. It is a master in both the worlds of music and HT. You will not need to buy a separate "mid bass" sub to pair with this unit. It handles both mid and deep bass flawlessly. Craigsub has indeed created something special with this unit. And I would expect no less from someone who has heard and tested hundreds of subs. His knowledge from his past experiences with so many subs has definitely come to fruition with the CS 18.2's well rounded performance at such an affordable price point.