Please note: I have no test equipment other than my 5 senses. This review is purely opinion. Enjoy!
I finally had some time to play with the sub and its settings. I have it dialed in pretty good so far but I may try to tweak it a little to see if there is a more favorable setup possible. The only changes I made to the Auddyssey settings was that I turned the gain up to -3. I would definitely classify the SW-115 as a big subwoofer, but after looking at it for a few days, it doesn't seem to be as big as I initially thought. As of right now I am having the same issue as another person with on-axis response being a bit low. I sit about 15 degrees off-axis and the sub sounds great. Where my wife sits, directly in front of the sub, there is a considerable drop in decibels. While this may be a problem for some, it is great for me because I don't have to hear "Can you turn it down a little? It's too loud." This could be a problem with the room itself but I never noticed with the previous sub. I never critically listened to the old sub, though.
The first few video clips I tested are clips I have heard on many peoples' systems. They were all in the Dolby TrueHD format. The first clip was The Art of Flight, a video funded by Red Bull about extreme snowboarders. The scene labeled "Alaska" shows people heli-boarding fresh snow with a techno/dubstep sound track playing in the background. With the RF-82 II and RC-62II front sound stage the sub blended really well. There is no deep bass here so it gave me a chance to listen for 30-50 Hz response. In the past I felt 15" subs could not sound as "fast" as a smaller woofer. However, the SW-115 had no issues here.
The next clip was the Dolby Labs' Dolby Spheres Trailer. It is a computer generated clip to show off the discrete channels of a 7.1 system. The surround effects are pretty good as all the multicolored spheres bounce onto the screen from behind the viewer. The LFE track plays rather low. The SW-115 played the clip with authority. The bass was fast and as tight as the Klipsch SW-110 and other smaller subs I have heard from Velodyne, Paradigm, and PSB.
Affter hearing those two scenes, it made me dive into my DVD collection to re-watch a few of the movies I have seen many times. The next two movies were standard DVDs and their accompanying Dolby soundtracks. First was the scene in Transformers where the chopper labelled 4500X makes its way to the USAF base. I turned the system up a bit for this scene to hear what the sub could do. (I am sure it was well below a reference level.) The SW-115 created enough pressure in the room that it caused the door to the laundry room to pulsate. Not rattle from the bass. But actually open and close with the change in air pressure! The old Velodyne DEQ-12R could never do that!
The next movie was Tom Cruise's War of The Worlds. I picked the scene just after the lightning storm when the machines wake up for the first time. Again I was impressed. Not only does the SW-115 have more presence in the room due to its ability to play lower than I was used to, but its ability to do it rather effortlessly is impressive. The sub never felt stressed or its dynamics compressed.
I switched back to Bluray to watch the remastered scene from Jurassic Park where the T-Rex escapes its pen for the first time. If my parents would have had the same home theater system I have now, I would have crapped my pants as a kid. The level of dynamics the LFE track has in this scene is impressive. The breathing and growling if the T-Rex shakes the whole room. When I watched the movie as a child it was all about what your eyes saw on our 25" TV screen. Now it is about the emotional connection you make with the characters as the stomping of the dinosaur shakes you in your seat!
The last scene I watched a few times was DTS's DTS Paint Symphony. The bass in this track can make a less powerful sub distort. When the director turns on the "Master Audio" switch and the bass kicks in, it isn't a particularly pleasing bass note. I have heard the Klipsch SW-110 and SW-112 distort here. The SW-115 did not. In defense of the smaller subs that can't play this track with authority, they were probably too small and underpowered for the rooms they were in.
My older DEQ-12R subwoofer is a great sub. A sub I really like. I am glad I still have it in my upstairs living room system. However, the SW-115 is a good addition for my basement system. It can do everything the smaller 12" subwoofer can do. But it can play lower and louder with no signs of distortion or compression. The sub blends very well into my system but can really pound out the bass notes when it needs to. I am sure I could over drive the SW-115 but my ears, wife, and house's foundation would not appreciate it. I give the SW-115 two enthusiastic thumbs up! I was willing to sell it if I didn't like I didn't like it. That won't happen any time soon.