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Not again? ASW675 v MJA Ref1?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Nimby, Feb 13, 2004.

  1. Nimby

    Nimby
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    Hi,

    Managed a demo of the B&W ASW675 sub today. The only active sub I've found at any dealers around here at about the same price/quality level as the MJA Ref1. (which I can't demo)

    Tried film and music. Got the chap to turn the main speakers off so I could judge the output of the sub compared with my present DIY passives.

    This was in a large dealer showroom. My helpful demo chap managed to get just about everything shaking including the big showroom windows!

    The bass on a Mark Knopfler CD was loud & plummy but not plumby.

    The film battle scene sounded more like added drums than impacts. There was an actual tone rather than the expected dead thud.

    The B&W 675 went rather loud but I wasn't sure about any real depth compared with my boxes at home. Though it is incredibly difficult to judge when everything for yards around is adding its own vibration as harmonics on top. I was sitting only a few feet away the sub which was close to the side wall.

    So how does a B&W ASW675 compare with an MJA Ref1? The B&W is rated as 500W! The Ref1 at <only>120W?

    Chalk and cheese? Close? Ball park? Not in the same league?

    I've done an archive search and read the great thread on SVS from August where the 675 was mentioned a few times. But not found any useful comparisons between these two subs yet.

    NIMBY :)
     
  2. russraff

    russraff
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    I have had both these subs on loan. Arguably not long enough for a complete setup, but perhaps good enough for a "thumbnail impression".
    Firstly, don't get hung up on amp power. Some subs, like the Paradigm PS2200, have comparatively weak amps have lots of welly.
    The REF 1 does go plenty loud enough but ultimately the REF 1 lacks the impact of ASW675. REF 1's character is a lot like a REL Storm III's; more hifi than AV and with a less in yer face bass response suitable for music. To me, the REF 1 was slightly rougher than a Storm III, though the bass response seemed deeper.
    B&W 675 is an enormously powerful sub, much more so than the size would suggest. It is built for impact and movies, not music. Or at least the 675 is more inclined to Prodigy than Divine Comedy. The 675 is well made, and does go very deep, deeper than the REF1 (ignore any nonsense about 10Hz on MJ Acoustics website) to my ears at least.

    I would go for the 675, but only as I don't listen to music too much.

    Russell
     
  3. Nimby

    Nimby
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    Hi Russell,

    Great response. :)

    Couldn't ask for better feedback. Just what I needed to know.

    Thanks very much indeed. :smashin:

    NIMBY
     
  4. pwiles1968

    pwiles1968
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    I think the 675 has an A/B setting one for Movies and One for Music apparently they are Very musical Subs so Russaf may have had it in the Movie setting (sorry if I am incorrect mate), I have been considering one of these because whatever I get must be musical.
     
  5. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I'm not sure about the Ref 1 as MJA have such confusing model names but Gonzo and rags both know about the B&W ASW675 and have commented on it's performance on several occasions
     
  6. russraff

    russraff
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    Yeah, I tried both. B setting was a bit naff, but A setting was really very good. I didn't have the instruction manual handy, so I don't know the difference, but at least the choice is there.

    Russell
     
  7. Nimby

    Nimby
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    Thanks for all the feedback chaps.

    Best regards

    NIMBY :)
     
  8. Dean

    Dean
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    Also interested in the B&W. Anyone know how low exactly the B&W675 goes (Hz)?
     
  9. Nimby

    Nimby
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  10. dunkyboy

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    You can't really compare the 500W of the B&W to the 120W of the Ref. 1, at least not directly. The B&W is a 10" driver in a very small sealed box, so it needs a lot of power just to get the driver going. The Ref. 1 uses a slightly larger 10.5" driver in a large ported box, which means much less amplifier power is needed for the same output and extension.

    So 120W in the Ref. 1 may indeed provide the same, or even greater SPL than the 500W in the B&W, though it's hard to know without testing. (Then of course, there's the usual issue of how the amps' power outputs were measured....)

    As to their quality... I've heard the Ref. 1 in a big room and it could put out some serious SPL, though it sounded to my ears rather distorted - as you say, I could "hear" the booming when it should really have been a clean rumble or a dead thud (as you put it, rather eloquently ;) ). It may just have been pushed too hard in that large demo room, so perhaps if it's run at more realistic levels it would be cleaner, but I don't know. It also may not have been set up ideally - it looked to me like it had just been plonked down in a handy spot rather than carefully positioned for best performance.

    Based on that dem I would say it would be fine if you haven't heard proper, clean, low-distortion bass, but if you had... You would be disappointed.

    But don't let that stop you getting a demo! As I said, my impression was just that - hardly a definitive analysis.

    As for the B&W, I haven't heard it, but I've heard mostly positive things, and I have heard it to be a very musical sub when properly set up. One dealer I know doesn't rate it nearly as high as the MJs for music, but who knows.

    It's a pity you can't get a dem of the MJ... I would say get the B&W on home loan, do your best to set it up properly, and try it out in your own system, in your own room for a few days and see if you like what you hear. If not, go for the MJ and hope for the best. :)

    Dunc

    P.S. - Just to add that if you don't like the B&W, and you're going to buy blind anyway........ (can you guess where this is heading? ;) ) .... why not go for an SVS, or perhaps a Velodyne CHT-15? These are serious subs. SVS are particularly fine bargains at the moment, what with the dollar in freefall. :devil:
     
  11. Nimby

    Nimby
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    Thanks Dunc

    I agree entirely on the power issue. The B&W is obviously compensating at low frequncies with lots of boost. Power hungry way of doing things.

    An SVS is tempting but difficult to house in my large attic listening room. Ceiling height where I'd like to sit the sub would be too limited.

    I suppose it wouldn't be impossible to lay it on its side but then there is no floor resistance/enclosure mass to resist violent cone movements. I suppose it could be held down with some sort of clamping bands onto cradles. But it seems a bit silly to buy such a tall design and then lay it down. Though it might work to my advantage if the best sub position had a low ceiling height.

    I may yet go the DIY route. There is a round, squat, DIY sub project on the Adire site that rather appeals. I could use heavy PVC pipe instead of Sonotube. Or roll layers of thin plywood into a tube and glue.

    I know what undistorted deep bass sounds like from my big passives. Unfortunately they are a complete mismatch for my floorstanders as the subs were designed for small satellites.

    I'd also rather have an active sub for its flexibility of control when used with different kinds of music & film.

    Thanks again

    NIMBY :)
     
  12. dennis

    dennis
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    ive had my asw675 for some time now but im not happy that i have it set up right with my ax10 amp,most posts about it are too tecnical for me!,can one of you kind chaps give me some advice in simple idiot proof language,ta.:rolleyes:
     
  13. SimonO

    SimonO
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    I love the ASW675... It sounds great, looks great and it's tiny...
     
  14. rags

    rags
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    As Ian mentions above I owned an ASW675 for about 6 months and used it extensively during that time. It is a superb performer -producing powerful tight bass with a significant amount of impact. In a 19 x 15 ft room I never ever felt that it lacked SPL. Placement is quite important given it's sealed box design.

    A good sub for both movies and music - I personally feel that it's probably one of the best locally retailed subs around the £650 and below mark.
     
  15. Nimby

    Nimby
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    But now you've got a 750! Nice? :D

    Couldn't get a demo of that one though.

    Probably just as well.

    NIMBY :)
     
  16. rags

    rags
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    Yup - the 750 is a significant step up in both performance and price. If you are willing to spend £1200 I would definately recommend it (Cyrusthevirus who came round to my place thought it had the beating of his Servo15 and Smurfin was also quite impressed - and he has been running two Servo's so is used to some serious bass). However £1200 is a lot of dosh and TBH I have not heard some of the competition. Slightly less money buys you an SVS PB+ and thats supposed to be a very good sub also.
     
  17. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    As good as the 750 is, I wouldn't describe it as good value for money at that price. You can get 2 second hand servo-15s for that, or a 2nd hand HGS-15 (almost a HGS-18), or a brand new SVS PB2+ with change.
     
  18. rags

    rags
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    Matt - your right it's a lot of money. However if you compare like with like ie new what else is there for £1200 that sounds significantly better (apart from maybe SVS) ?
     

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