Well I received my PL-200 today, order it last week and I'm in Canada so that is pretty good. UPS delivered it while I was home on lunch, I was a little worried/disappointed when I first saw the box because it was a normal retail style box and it wasn't wrapped in anything or in an additional box. It was raining all day today so the box was a little wet and soggy in the corners. There was no damage to the box so I figured it would be ok.
This sub is replacing a Cerwin Vega HT-S10A I opened the box and found the inside of the box wasn't wet the water was really only surface wetness so that was great. There were four pretty thick foam corners to protect the subwoofer and it was wrapped in the foamy paper stuff so it was all good. I was lighter than I imagined it would be, the site says 52lbs but my existing Cerwin Vega 10" is suppose to be 55lbs and it is way more than 3lbs heavier. The shipping weight was 41lbs and I suspect that is closer to the actual weight as my old sub feels around 10lbs heavier at least.
It looks great, as nice as most basic big box store brands and the glossy top is a nice touch but does have some swirling effect on it. Common with cheaper piano finish glossing in my experience. It isn't bad but don't expect it to be perfect, the gloss on my Samsung TV's is virtually perfect and so is my Energy Speakers. I'd say if 10/10 was a perfect finish the top of the PL-200 is a 7/10. I'd give my energy speakers a 9/10 and my Samsung LCD a 9/10 too, my Samsung Plasma would be a 10/10 for finish.
The wood quality seems good and so does the speaker. The controls are well labeled and move well, so far no problems with the controls. I connected it when I got home from work this evening and tested it with some of my favorite music (Metallica, Fear Factory, Radiohead, Linkin Park, etc) and some of my not so favorite (an assortment of dance and country music I have for no other reason). I tested with my Nine Inch Nails HD-DVD as it used Dolby TrueHD, and tried out Toy Story and Independence Day scenes on Blu-Ray, as well as some MW2, Forza 3 and Halo 3 on Xbox 360. Everything sounds good or great. I'm currently running the volume at 12 o'clock and LFE is at 0 on my Yamaha RV-V3900.
Music was good, it was similar to what my Cerwin Vega sounded like, but I slightly prefer the Cerwin Vega overall. It sounded a little tighter and was giving me the clean bass I've been use to for years. I'm not saying the PL-200 was bad for music is just wasn't as good as I'm use too, but only slightly worse and it doesn't matter so much since I don't use it for music much anyway.
NIN in TrueHD sounded excellent, again the bass wasn't as tight but it sounded a lot better than my iPod or CD's did. I noticed some slight vibrations but nothing to much to complain about, overall it did a good job. During the Sound Test included on the disc I noticed sounds in the Dolby logo I didn't hear on my old Cerwin Vega, I suspect these are below 32Hz which was the frequency my Cerwin Vega when down too. Considering the PL-200 goes down to 22Hz I'd say noticing new sounds right away is a good thing.
Next I tested a few games out for 10-15 mins each. Explosions and gun fire sounded awesome in MW2 and the engine effects in Forza sounded better than ever. Halo 3 sounded great, it sounded like Halo but the rumble and gun fire was well represented. Also the Halo 3 bonus disc has a nice little surround test too and it made some of the brutes movements more noticeable in sound. again I heard stuff I didn't hear before.
Toy Story and Independence Day impressed me, both added new sounds. Especially noticeable in Toy Story which I only watched recently, it has been a while since I watched Independence Day so I may have imagined hearing new sounds. I tested Independence day because it has some of the more active LFE scenes of any movie I can think of. In fact it is one of those rare movies where I feel like turning the bass down. From the few scenes I watched I was impressed and I'd consider this PL-200 a upgraded.
From my experience so far I'm happy for the price, if this was a $800 sub I'd be disappointed but it isn't. I think if you watch a lot of movies and play a lot of games this sub offers a lot. If you primarily listen to music then you might want to look elsewhere, it does a good job but not as good as some of the other subs I've used. Unless you expect the tightest cleanest bass from you're music you'll be okay. If you just want loud and have a smaller room and are on a tighter budget this sub should be okay.
I'll add more impressions in a month or so, obviously I've been using my Cerwin Vega for 10 years and it is well broken in and I'm use to the sound. The PL-200 is brand new and I expect it will only get better, every speaker needs a break in period and I expect it'll sound better after a few hundred hours of use.
I look a few pictures, they are a little blurry but I'll post them anyway. I'm also using a GRAMMA that I bought last week so I'll post a shot of that too.