Today was an exciting day, I got the dual S3601s hooked up in my room, did some testing and comparison against the Paradigm Sub 2.
Experience in my room: Before I began testing, I level matched all three subs to 75db at my primary listening seat. I collaborated the Anti-mode and left the Subsonic-Filter on. I used the preexisting ARC equip activated that was taken with the sub 2 as the active sub.
All butt-kickers were off. The controls on the s3601 were as follows; Gain - Midpoint; Delay – 0, Crossover – bypass/150Hz, Room Size – Midpoint. Other equipment in the tests; Anthem AVM60 with sub level set to +4, Paradigm Persona fronts, crossed over at 80Hz.
I used Tidal HD streaming service for tested music tracts, and I used a few test scenes from the Ultimate Bass Demo Disc Volume 5 for movies. Tests I ran involved listening to the sub 2, listening to a single S3601, listening to dual S3601s. Listening distance was about 14 feet away at a volume of -15 on the processor
And Holy Shyyt! I do not even know how to properly put what was experienced into words, I'm still trying to wrap my head around wtf just happened. The sound coming out of the S3601 was so rich and enveloping. It is like having a nice glass of full-bodied wine. I felt a thump in my chest as if I was sat two inches away from the sub
All bass notes on the music tracts were beautifully reproduced with clarity, with an enveloping grunt all at the same time, the sound waves hitting me made all the hairs on my arms and head tingle as it slapped me in the face and chest.
That notion, that big drivers are slouches, is totally bogus in this case. Wow! There were no lingering, laziness, or standing waves all about the place. When a bass drum note was played, it was BAM, straight to the point, then it was gone, very responsive sub
On movies, OMG, I'm still hearing the bullets in my head from the “13 Hours The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi - Take out that Tactical!” scene on the demo disk. Notes were so precise and clean. And the earthquake like feeling when the bass got down low, it was as if my butt-kickers were on. It was unbelievable! The “The Martian – Deceleration” scene, when the door blew and the air was rushing out, it's as if I was there, in that ship, getting the air sucked out my lungs. Absolutely absurd performance!
One S3601 vs One Sub 2, this I must say was very surprising to me. Whiles I would give the sub 2 a slight edge on sharpness/tightness on reproducing some mid base notes, that single S3601 out performed it regardless. The quality of the sound was better overall. As far as the grunt goes, the sub 2 sounded hollow in comparison.
Two S3601 vs One Sub 2, well, this was more of a slaughter than a comparison, the sub 2 was simply and thoroughly demolished. It simply had no comparison to make at this point, apart from the sub 2 looks shiny.
Do not get me wrong, prior to PSA showing up at my house, in my mind, the sub 2 was the best thing next to slice bread, It’s a fantastic sub; however, as hard as it is to believe, after listening to the sub 2 for over 4 years, I must admit it was simply outclassed and outgunned by the S3601s. And to add insult to injury, the s3601s is less than half the price of a Sub 2.
I do not know why/how these PSA S3601s sound as good as they do, and has that unbelievable performance and headroom for the price this gear is going for, it’s sort of mind boggling, I was always one to consider inexpensive equipment as crap, but boy was I wrong. These S3601s are first class Hi-Fi. I had two other listeners come over to do some listening tests, just to make sure my mind was not playing tricks on me, they both arrived at the same conclusions as me.
Tom and Jim, a big thank you for making such an awesome product! I still don’t know wtf just happened, but all I know is I love it, I’m going to sell that sub 2 and contemplate getting another s3601, but I think that is just going to be way past absurd!