Power Sound Audio XV-15 Subwoofer Review

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by admin, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. admin Audioholics Robot Staff Member

    admin
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    Upstart home audio company Power Sound Audio's entry into the internet direct subwoofer arena a few months ago with the PowerX line of subwoofers has been accompanied by lots of speculation and excitement. Their middle model in the PowerX line, the XV-15 subwoofer, is a large 15" down firing vented unit weighing in at a substantial 92lbs, with a 500 watt class D BASH amplifier, heavily flared Aero-port, black sand textured finish, heavy duty U.S. made driver and a 5 year comprehensive warranty. Additionally the PowerX line is assembled in the U.S. from U.S. made components with the exception of the amplifier. Somehow the price for the XV-15 is held to just $799 and that includes shipping. We found that the XV-15 sounded clean, composed and dynamic with music, while possessing extension well below 20Hz in room with plenty of headroom to make its presence felt in a large space on movie night. Even more important than the impressive parts list of the XV-15 is the manner in which those parts are tuned to work together in a well rounded finished system. Highly recommended.
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    Discuss " Power Sound Audio XV-15 Subwoofer Review" here. Read the article.
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  2. Steve81 Audioholics 5-O

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    Pretty impressive what you can get for $800. I really like the 5 year warranty and USA made parts & assembly. Ohh yeah, the performance isn't too shabby either :D
  3. raynist Junior Audioholic

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    Nice review!

    Just curious, I noticed in your outlaw LFE-1 ex review, which is also a down firing sub, you tested it on its side with the speaker facing the mic but on this sub you did not.

    Do you thinknitnwould make a difference?
  4. SnowmaNick Junior Audioholic

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    A complicating factor is that the ports on the Outlaw are on the same surface as the driver. On the PSA, the driver is downfiring and the port is on the back, so Ricci would have to choose one or the other.

    In the end, it probably doesn't make too much of a difference though.
  5. Tom V. Audioholic

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    That's true...a very minor limitation of the CEA method. A subwoofer designed with everything(ports, PR, active driver) all being on the same baffle will have a slight advantage(during the output testing) versus a subwoofer that does not. This specific measurement advantage will not translate into real world performance. Josh has already addressed one example of this in his compensation article on data-bass.

    When we measured our Power-X line we took 6 measurements. 3 of them were done with the subs in their normal (down firing) orientation. 3 of them were done with the bases removed and the subs firing at the mic. We then averaged all 6 to come up with the ratings we put on the website. IIRC the "side firing" measurements were about 1dB higher <35hz and around 1.5dB higher >35hz. Once this is factored into the data I believe we are within half dB(0.5) of Josh's data. So we're good with that..:)

    Tom V.
    Power Sound Audio
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  6. Steve81 Audioholics 5-O

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    Hi Tom,

    Don't know if you have any comment or not, but I find the performance of the XV-15 very interesting in the below tuning/infrasonic region. Obviously below tuning, a vented sub is fighting a losing battle with physics; most manufacturers tend to just filter out content below tuning as a result.

    However, the XV-15 seems to do better than average in this regard to my eyes. Now obviously it didn't pass the 10Hz CEA 2010 output test (nor is it reasonable to expect such a thing). On the other hand, the XV-15 still is pushing hard into 10Hz in the power compression sweep with maximum output of 82.3dB. Compare that with the sealed Epik Empire sporting dual 15" drivers which puts out 80dB in the same test, and I have to admit to being impressed, regardless of the distortion produced; it must be a heck of a driver to tolerate that sort of load and still walk away. I'd also expect the more gradual roll off is what pays dividends in regards to group delay and as a result, the waterfall.
  7. -TWISM- Audiophyte

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    Excellent review, that sub is a solid performer.
  8. Reefdvr27 Audiophyte

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    Congrats to Tom and Jim!
  9. Ricci Bassaholic

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    Tom already replied with much of the information including difficulties with orientation and measuring in an outdoor environment. In room the close acoustic proximity of the boundaries equalizes this. Let me just add that I thought about firing the woofer at the mic which would have required removing the base plate but in the end I decided not to fool with it. It may have resulted in a slight amount of extra output maybe 1 or 1.5dB or so if I had done so which Tom has indicated is about right.



    Steve81,

    The XV-15 appears to be tuned around 18Hz from what I can tell which means strong 15-16Hz output is possible. Tom thinks it is a little higher near 20-21Hz or so but I think he has been sniffing too much CA glue and they dropped it a little lower at some point. :D Anyway the high pass filter for protection of the XV-15 is not nearly as aggressive as that used on most other vented subs which end up with a brick wall filter. This allows the XV-15 to have some remaining output below tuning even if it does have dramatically increased distortion.
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  10. Tom V. Audioholic

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    Hi Steve,

    Quite the *eye*...most probably would not have commented on that.

    I admit there are some particulars regarding the performance(measured or otherwise) of the XV15 that are not exactly when everyone would expect from a ported subwoofer. I know the universal mantra regarding ported subwoofers is to plop a steep highpass at/near the tuning point and call it a day in the engineering department. Of course with that also comes a bigger phase shift, more ringing/decay/group delay,much less real world extension/usable output, and consequently a subwoofer that may end up subjectively sounding "slow" or "boomy"---particularly with music.

    The whole concept(from the first ..."what if" exchange between Jim and myself to finally figuring out the best way to implement it in a production unit) took quite a bit of time to be sure. I do think the effort was worthwhile though.

    Tom V.
    Power Sound Audio
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  11. Steve81 Audioholics 5-O

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  12. GranteedEV Audioholic Ninja

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    It seems to me that a lower q driver was used. When tuning it low that means its resonance isn't adding too much extra efficiency and you can get away without a steep filter and instead let the limitations of the amp limit output.

    Either way, this sub looks pretty awesome. Four of these and i'd be pretty damn happy :)
  13. KEW Audioholic Ninja

    KEW
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    On their website under "Amplifier Specifications" it says:
    Is this a typo or am I missing something?
    KEW,
  14. haraldo Audioholic Spartan

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  15. psbfan9 Audioholic Samurai

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    Does anyone know if Power Sounds customer service is good? Their site says they also make speakers, but I can't find any info on the speakers.
  16. Lylelljr Audiophyte

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    Email them your questions and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with the response. I found their service before and after my purchase to be excellent.
  17. theJman Audioholic Chief

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    Nope, no speakers. Yet... ;)
  18. raynist Junior Audioholic

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    The best Customer Service I have ever experienced. I had many email conversations with Tom V at PowerSound late at night months before the product was released.
  19. haraldo Audioholic Spartan

    haraldo
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    Customer service is what you experience after-sales, not pre-sales and when something goes wrong!!!!
    TOO EARLY to say anything about service until you actually bought something and something needs to be fixed

    Seems like these guys are quite busy now, today it's a few more products on the website, compared to yesterday ;)
  20. theJman Audioholic Chief

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    Not too early for me then. I found the customer service is just as good after the fact as it was before it.
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