Paradigm Defiance X15 Subwoofer Hands-On - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 31 Old 12-21-2018, 05:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Paradigm Defiance X15 Subwoofer Hands-On

Update: Read the review of the Paradigm Defiance X15 by clicking here.

OK... this sub is actually part of a 7.1 Paradigm Premiere system I'm tasked with reviewing. But... on it's own, this thing is huge! Just unwrapped it and it's physically larger than the Rythmik G25HP dual 15" (that's right next to it, BTW).

The built-in ARC room correction/EQ is something I'm really looking forward to checking out since that opens up the potential to use this sub in minimalist 2.1 systems and not just home theater. But also... give a powerful driver a nice big box and a bunch of power and you'll dig deep. We all know this to be true.

I have not run room correction yet, that comes tomorrow. I unpacked it today...




And have it running with a quick Audyssey tune on a system that includes a Denon AVR-X8500H, Hegel amplification and KLH Kendall tower speakers. A "weekend system" where I can just mix wherever brands and not worry about reviews, just have fun. I'll swap 'em for the Premiere shortly, the KLH have to go upstairs into a 7.2.4 system while the all-Paradigm 7.1 will go in this room with the X15, the disco ball and a 85" Sony 85X900F.


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post #2 of 31 Old 12-21-2018, 05:59 PM
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LOL

I haven't seen a Disco ball, in years
Wishing you all the best with this new sub, for this party room application.


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post #3 of 31 Old 12-21-2018, 07:34 PM
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The PBK/ARC correction system works very well for Paradigm subs.
Especially nice is the 'quick measure' feature which allows you to
'Fine tune' the placement to achieve optimal results PRIOR to running
The actual Correction program. Also nice to be able to choose the crossover
Slope. (1st order, 2nd order, etc)

You should also run PBK prior to running your final Audyssey.

Looking forward to your review of this Paradigm system.

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post #4 of 31 Old 12-22-2018, 01:37 AM
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Does PBK/ARC correction system add delays? The MiniDSP 2x4 HD adds someting like 8ms, wondering if enabling PBK/ARC does it as well.
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post #5 of 31 Old 12-22-2018, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
OK... this sub is actually part of a 7.1 Paradigm Premiere system I'm tasked with reviewing. But... on it's own, this thing is just a monster for a sealed sub. Just unwrapped it and it's physically larger than the Rythmik G25HP dual 15" (that's right next to it, BTW).

The built-in ARC room correction/EQ is something I'm really looking forward to checking out since that opens up the potential to use this sub in minimalist 2.1 systems and not just home theater. But also... give a powerful driver a nice big sealed box and a bunch of power and you'll dig deep. We all know this to be true.

I have not run room correction yet, that comes tomorrow. I unpacked it today...




And have it running with a quick Audyssey tune on a system that includes a Denon AVR-X8500H, Hegel amplification and KLH Kendall tower speakers. A "weekend system" where I can just mix wherever brands and not worry about reviews, just have fun. I'll swap 'em for the Premiere shortly, the KLH have to go upstairs into a 7.2.4 system while the all-Paradigm 7.1 will go in this room with the X15, the disco ball and a 85" Sony 85X900F.


Looks impressive. Have any impressions on the KLH towers? I was looking at those as they're on sale right now.

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post #6 of 31 Old 12-22-2018, 12:42 PM
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Using that disco ball for diffusion?


It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.
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post #7 of 31 Old 12-22-2018, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Looks impressive. Have any impressions on the KLH towers? I was looking at those as they're on sale right now.
Yes first impressions of the KLH is you are getting a proper 3-way that's very tight and energetic sounding.

Rough measurements (i.e. room correction) confirm the (surprising) 25 Hz bass spec, much to my surprise.

Also, they look good.

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post #8 of 31 Old 12-25-2018, 12:20 AM
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imagic, that X15 has a port on the bottom. I will be awaiting your impression though. It would be nice if you could compare and contrast your memory of this X15 versus some of the big SVS units. I am still running a Paradigm servo 15a (almost 20 years old and had to be repaired........the guts of the original amp unit from their research lab is now inside my sub!!), but it is working great, combined with a Velodyne DSL 5000. My Marantz SR7013 is only running my ceiling speakers and the back rears in a 7.2.4 system....with an NAD 5 channel powering the rest.


I think Paradigm recommends running ARC first, then the receiver or processor (XT32 for your Denon 8500?) correction system. I wonder how this will work, because I am considering getting two X15's for the system mentioned (Studio 100's, CC690 etc).
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post #9 of 31 Old 12-25-2018, 05:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JKR1963 View Post
imagic, that X15 has a port on the bottom. I will be awaiting your impression though. It would be nice if you could compare and contrast your memory of this X15 versus some of the big SVS units. I am still running a Paradigm servo 15a (almost 20 years old and had to be repaired........the guts of the original amp unit from their research lab is now inside my sub!!), but it is working great, combined with a Velodyne DSL 5000. My Marantz SR7013 is only running my ceiling speakers and the back rears in a 7.2.4 system....with an NAD 5 channel powering the rest.


I think Paradigm recommends running ARC first, then the receiver or processor (XT32 for your Denon 8500?) correction system. I wonder how this will work, because I am considering getting two X15's for the system mentioned (Studio 100's, CC690 etc).
Duh, my bad. You know, that's the first time that's happened to me, lol.

Thanks, edits made.

I can feel the port by reaching underneath, funny that since Paradigm does not mention it in the literature, and I did not see it, I made an erroneous assumption!

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post #10 of 31 Old 01-01-2019, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Duh, my bad. You know, that's the first time that's happened to me, lol.

Thanks, edits made.

I can feel the port by reaching underneath, funny that since Paradigm does not mention it in the literature, and I did not see it, I made an erroneous assumption!
Any idea when U will complete your review on this system???

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post #11 of 31 Old 01-01-2019, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Any idea when U will complete your review on this system???
It's gonna be after CES 2019, but not long after. I'm already caught in the gravitational pull of the show, I fly out to Vegas on Sunday. Right now I'm only willing to commit to wrapping it up this month. I'll post more notes here before I go including an update later today.

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post #12 of 31 Old 01-01-2019, 07:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Notes

-----

I've got a pair of Premiere 800F towers and the Defiance X15 together now, in a 2.1 system. I hauled the KLH upstairs where they are going to be in a 7.2.4 system run by the Denon.

Down here, in my living room, I'm now swapping out the Denon for an NAD T777 V3; that's today. The next step is to run A.R.C., followed by a full round of Dirac Live... see you shortly.

-----

OK, actually I decided to skip the A.R.C. run for the first round of Dirac (version 2.0) and guess what? The defiance measured quite well "untouched" so I just let Dirac do its thing. So simple.

Looks like this sub makes it's low frequency extension specs (+/-3 dB at 18 Hz) with ease and delivers legit response below that too. Dirac did not have to work hard to fully fix this response for my room.

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post #13 of 31 Old 01-01-2019, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Considering this to open the review:

"With Paradigm's Defiance X15, the days when you could definitely say that ID companies "own" the subwoofer market are over. This $1500 sub is unapologetically huge, powerful and capable. And crucially, it offers sophisticated room correction built-in, so it's ready to rumble even in minimalist 2.1-channel setups. Let's take a closer look at this impressive Canadian bass machine..."

The reality is this is a legit answer to the ID sub makers. Paradigm has never shied away from embracing subwoofers. It may be ported, but the tune is low and the output is clean plus intense. Getting ready to put it through its paces now that it's set up. The 2.1 rig plays really loud and clean.

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post #14 of 31 Old 01-02-2019, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Considering this to open the review:

"With Paradigm's Defiance X15, the days when you could definitely say that ID companies "own" the subwoofer market are over. This $1500 sub is unapologetically huge, powerful and capable. And crucially, it offers sophisticated room correction built-in, so it's ready to rumble even in minimalist 2.1-channel setups. Let's take a closer look at this impressive Canadian bass machine..."

The reality is this is a legit answer to the ID sub makers. Paradigm has never shied away from embracing subwoofers. It may be ported, but the tune is low and the output is clean plus intense. Getting ready to put it through its paces now that it's set up. The 2.1 rig plays really loud and clean.
IMO, Paradigm has always been doing great in the Sub division since the Servo 15 years. That subs was killing it and was a cheaper Revel B15. I was going to comment that they are now only doing sealed subs but I now see that these models are ported which would explain the huge size over there other sealed 15" subs. Prices are still high but that is how it is done as Paradigm is not shy about doing discounts. I do wish they had a "real" price so we can compare to ID Subs. Options are more limited in Canada but Paradigm will always and should be on the short list if you need something local.

My only wish is that Paradigm move back to or offer a Servo model again.
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post #15 of 31 Old 02-05-2019, 12:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Considering this to open the review:

"With Paradigm's Defiance X15, the days when you could definitely say that ID companies "own" the subwoofer market are over. This $1500 sub is unapologetically huge, powerful and capable. And crucially, it offers sophisticated room correction built-in, so it's ready to rumble even in minimalist 2.1-channel setups. Let's take a closer look at this impressive Canadian bass machine..."

The reality is this is a legit answer to the ID sub makers. Paradigm has never shied away from embracing subwoofers. It may be ported, but the tune is low and the output is clean plus intense. Getting ready to put it through its paces now that it's set up. The 2.1 rig plays really loud and clean.
Well that sounds promising. Will the full review be out soon? I’m considering the X15, and there doesn’t seem to be much feedback out on it yet. Im also strongly considering the Rythmik subs around the same ~$1.5k pricepoint. The built in ARC on the Paradigm sub sounds very interesting though.
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post #16 of 31 Old 02-05-2019, 12:44 PM
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Well that sounds promising. Will the full review be out soon? I’m considering the X15, and there doesn’t seem to be much feedback out on it yet. Im also strongly considering the Rythmik subs around the same ~$1.5k pricepoint. The built in ARC on the Paradigm sub sounds very interesting though.
https://www.audioholics.com/subwoofe...fiance-x12-v12

Should get you an idea of the potential of the X15.

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post #17 of 31 Old 02-05-2019, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael1316 View Post
Well that sounds promising. Will the full review be out soon? I’m considering the X15, and there doesn’t seem to be much feedback out on it yet. Im also strongly considering the Rythmik subs around the same ~$1.5k pricepoint. The built in ARC on the Paradigm sub sounds very interesting though.
https://www.audioholics.com/subwoofe...fiance-x12-v12

Should get you an idea of the potential of the X15.
Thanks, I’ll take a look at that review
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post #18 of 31 Old 02-06-2019, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Well that sounds promising. Will the full review be out soon? I’m considering the X15, and there doesn’t seem to be much feedback out on it yet. Im also strongly considering the Rythmik subs around the same ~$1.5k pricepoint. The built in ARC on the Paradigm sub sounds very interesting though.
Quote:
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https://www.audioholics.com/subwoofe...fiance-x12-v12

Should get you an idea of the potential of the X15.
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Originally Posted by Michael1316 View Post
Thanks, I’ll take a look at that review
I'm a bit jammed up with projects, so while writing up the review is in my queue I can't say exactly when I'll post, it's mostly written.

Look, here's the scoop. It's a frikkin' huge sub and also Paradigm knows what it's doing. The bass is "dry" in character, if that makes sense. Some subs have a more "wet" or liquid sound. Lots of texture. I really like having ARC on board and also the inclusion of a quality mic you can use with your phone. Very easy.

By the looks of it, if your do not need the DSP there are other options that cost less. It's still gonna be one of the most badass 15" subs out there, by any measure. If you use the ARC functionality (like, if you have a 2-channel system) then you'll get the most out of it. A viable alternative to the top ID brands, really depends on your needs and if you have the room.

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post #19 of 31 Old 02-09-2019, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael1316 View Post
Well that sounds promising. Will the full review be out soon? I’m considering the X15, and there doesn’t seem to be much feedback out on it yet. Im also strongly considering the Rythmik subs around the same ~$1.5k pricepoint. The built in ARC on the Paradigm sub sounds very interesting though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
https://www.audioholics.com/subwoofe...fiance-x12-v12

Should get you an idea of the potential of the X15.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael1316 View Post
Thanks, I’ll take a look at that review
I'm a bit jammed up with projects, so while writing up the review is in my queue I can't say exactly when I'll post, it's mostly written.

Look, here's the scoop. It's a frikkin' huge sub and also Paradigm knows what it's doing. The bass is "dry" in character, if that makes sense. Some subs have a more "wet" or liquid sound. Lots of texture. I really like having ARC on board and also the inclusion of a quality mic you can use with your phone. Very easy.

By the looks of it, if your do not need the DSP there are other options that cost less. It's still gonna be one of the most badass 15" subs out there, by any measure. If you use the ARC functionality (like, if you have a 2-channel system) then you'll get the most out of it. A viable alternative to the top ID brands, really depends on your needs and if you have the room.
Thanks for sharing your opinion on it before the full review. It’s actually bigger than I first thought, the pictures make it look smaller than it is (to me at least).

My receiver will have Audessey, but it seems most people think ARC is better, and that room correction is the most important for low frequencies so having ARC handle the subs sounded appealing.
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post #20 of 31 Old 02-26-2019, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
https://www.audioholics.com/subwoofe...fiance-x12-v12

Should get you an idea of the potential of the X15.
FEI

https://hometheaterreview.com/paradi...viewed/?page=2

Maximum Output
1M peak 2M RMS
20 Hz: 111.4 dB 102.4 dB (third harmonic)
25 Hz: 118.6 dB 109.6 dB (second harmonic)
31.5 Hz: 124.3 dB 115.3 dB (eighth harmonic)
(20-31.5 Hz avg 119.6 dB 110.6 dB)
40 Hz: 128.8 dB L 119.8 dB L
50 Hz: 130.0 dB L 121.0 dB L
63 Hz: 130.2 dB L 121.2 dB L
(40-63 Hz avg 129.7 dB 120.7 dB)
80 Hz: 129.5 dB L 120.5 dB L

It's interesting, at least to me, how engineering priorities change with the big name brands. Paradigm went from BIG ported subs tuned high (27-29hz iirc) like the PW2200 and the unicorn PW2500 in circa 2000(?). THen a few years later small cubes were all the rage from everyone---certainly influenced by Carver losing his lawsuit. Now it's back to HUGE ported subs tuned somewhat higher than expected.

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post #21 of 31 Old 02-26-2019, 12:28 PM
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FEI

https://hometheaterreview.com/paradi...viewed/?page=2

Maximum Output
1M peak 2M RMS
20 Hz: 111.4 dB 102.4 dB (third harmonic)
25 Hz: 118.6 dB 109.6 dB (second harmonic)
31.5 Hz: 124.3 dB 115.3 dB (eighth harmonic)
(20-31.5 Hz avg 119.6 dB 110.6 dB)
40 Hz: 128.8 dB L 119.8 dB L
50 Hz: 130.0 dB L 121.0 dB L
63 Hz: 130.2 dB L 121.2 dB L
(40-63 Hz avg 129.7 dB 120.7 dB)
80 Hz: 129.5 dB L 120.5 dB L

It's interesting, at least to me, how engineering priorities change with the big name brands. Paradigm went from BIG ported subs tuned high (27-29hz iirc) like the PW2200 and the unicorn PW2500 in circa 2000(?). THen a few years later small cubes were all the rage from everyone---certainly influenced by Carver losing his lawsuit. Now it's back to HUGE ported subs tuned somewhat higher than expected.

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Thanks. The 30hz and up bass is the most of any 15" sub listed on Data-bass. Quite impressive from a B&M manufacturer and not at some ridiculous price either.

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post #22 of 31 Old 03-05-2019, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
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post #23 of 31 Old 03-05-2019, 03:54 PM
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Thanks for the great review-an impressive product.

Looking forward to your review of the full Paradigm speaker system

Edit--Mark is correct, the X15 is only available thru dealers. (4 hour drive for me)
The smaller siblings (X12 and X10) are available thru Paradigm.com.

I also saw there is a "V" series available in 12/10/8 inch versions that
You can buy direct. The "V" series are also very reasonably price.
--I wonder how they perform??---

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post #24 of 31 Old 03-05-2019, 04:31 PM
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this subwoofer is a champion even at 20 Hz, and literally top of the heap amongst commercial subwoofers (In that list) in the 25 to 50 Hz range.


You may need to re-check the x15 cea-2010 comparison to data-base stuff? be sure to subtract 9dB going from 1m/peak to 2m/rms(data base) for example.

Because the x15 is impressive >30hz but not anything remotely close to champion status at 20hz even if you meant to imply against competition limited to a single 15 inch woofer?

One of the better ID values is the ($890)Hsu vtf-3. Hsu wins at 20hz, about even from 25-50hz, 63-80hz the paradigm wins.

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post #25 of 31 Old 03-05-2019, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Vodhanel View Post
this subwoofer is a champion even at 20 Hz, and literally top of the heap amongst commercial subwoofers (In that list) in the 25 to 50 Hz range.


You may need to re-check the x15 cea-2010 comparison to data-base stuff? be sure to subtract 9dB going from 1m/peak to 2m/rms(data base) for example.

Because the x15 is impressive >30hz but not anything remotely close to champion status at 20hz even if you meant to imply against competition limited to a single 15 inch woofer?

One of the better ID values is the ($890)Hsu vtf-3. Hsu wins at 20hz, about even from 25-50hz, 63-80hz the paradigm wins.

Tom V.
Power Sound Audio
Yes, I was talking 15-inchers (implicitly) and I further tried to narrow it to "commercial" subwoofers. But, I realize that's the wrong word! I should have said consumer/retail subwoofers.By which I meant to say big-name manufacturers like Polk, Klipsch, Sony—not the subwoofer specialists that crowd the top of the data-bass list including Power Sound Audio plus Seaton and JTR and SVS Rythmik and Hsu.

And, I hear ya about correlating the numbers. Mild edits performed.

Mark Henninger
Editor, AVS Forum

Last edited by imagic; 03-07-2019 at 12:52 AM.
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post #26 of 31 Old 03-12-2019, 03:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Update: Read the review of the Paradigm Defiance X15 by clicking here.

OK... this sub is actually part of a 7.1 Paradigm Premiere system I'm tasked with reviewing. But... on it's own, this thing is huge! Just unwrapped it and it's physically larger than the Rythmik G25HP dual 15" (that's right next to it, BTW).

The built-in ARC room correction/EQ is something I'm really looking forward to checking out since that opens up the potential to use this sub in minimalist 2.1 systems and not just home theater. But also... give a powerful driver a nice big box and a bunch of power and you'll dig deep. We all know this to be true.

I have not run room correction yet, that comes tomorrow. I unpacked it today...




And have it running with a quick Audyssey tune on a system that includes a Denon AVR-X8500H, Hegel amplification and KLH Kendall tower speakers. A "weekend system" where I can just mix wherever brands and not worry about reviews, just have fun. I'll swap 'em for the Premiere shortly, the KLH have to go upstairs into a 7.2.4 system while the all-Paradigm 7.1 will go in this room with the X15, the disco ball and a 85" Sony 85X900F.

I had the 10 or 12 from years back..cant remember, all i can remember is that it put every sub i had ever had or repaired to shame.
law enforcement were here to many times.
It was tight and accurate, kicked ass!
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post #27 of 31 Old 04-24-2019, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Vodhanel View Post
this subwoofer is a champion even at 20 Hz, and literally top of the heap amongst commercial subwoofers (In that list) in the 25 to 50 Hz range.


You may need to re-check the x15 cea-2010 comparison to data-base stuff? be sure to subtract 9dB going from 1m/peak to 2m/rms(data base) for example.

Because the x15 is impressive >30hz but not anything remotely close to champion status at 20hz even if you meant to imply against competition limited to a single 15 inch woofer?

One of the better ID values is the ($890)Hsu vtf-3. Hsu wins at 20hz, about even from 25-50hz, 63-80hz the paradigm wins.

Tom V.
Power Sound Audio
I was thinking the same thing. The X15's measurements weren't all that impressive IMO. It's definitely behind HSU, PSA, and SVS in its price range down low.
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post #28 of 31 Old 05-30-2019, 05:33 AM
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I don't know, I kind of disagree with the collective sentiment here.. This is not a good competition to ID offerings. Is this a better deal, or even a better performer than the SUH ULS-15, for example? Or some of the similarly priced SVS ones? I don't think so.
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post #29 of 31 Old 06-17-2019, 10:55 AM
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I'd be very interested in a listening comparison between this and the SVS and other subs in the same size/price level. That's where it really counts...specs can be deceiving.

Steve Douglas, McIntosh 8207 amp, Anthem AVM-60, Anthem MCA 50 amp, Aerial Acoustics 10T, CC3 center, AA5 and SR3 dipole/bipole, 18"Velodyne Sub
Sony 85" 950G, 4 Paradigm Cinema 100 2.0 System and OPPO 203 Blu-ray deck
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post #30 of 31 Old 06-18-2019, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
The bass is "dry" in character, if that makes sense. Some subs have a more "wet" or liquid sound. Lots of texture.

Hi,


Great review. I have a few questions:


1) When you mention lots of texture, are you referring to the subs with "wet" or "dry" character?


2) Can you list some subs that have the "wet" character, in your opinion?


3) Do you like "wet" or "dry" better? Or is each one better for different things?


4) You had the Rythmik next to it, how did it compare to the G25?




Thanks,
Dave
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