I traded in my xs30se about a month ago for an s3000i model. Let me start by saying there was absolutely nothing wrong with the xs30se, that thing was phenomenal. I only traded it in because I'm kind of a power hungry guy. Yep, I can admit that. Even at that, I was kind of hesitant to trade it in cause I wasn't sure that there would be any discernible sound improvement, as the xs30se was no slouch. But to be able to pretty much double the power for only a couple hundred bucks more kind of struck me as a no brainer.
Anyway, I wanted to wait until I've had ample time to break in the s3000i for a honest review. When it arrived I unboxed it, checked it over, and proceeded to hook it up. It is built like a brick sh*t house. The only wrinkle I had was that the auto on feature wouldn't work. The sub worked great, sounded great, just the auto on wasn't functioning. I tried everything imaginable, to no avail. So I messaged Tom, and we eventually came to the conclusion that it needed new amps. Next day comes and I get a message from Tom saying the new amps were overnighted and should be showing up that day. No sooner than I read the message here are the new amps being delivered. To say I was impressed with the lengths PSA went to to ensure customer satisfaction is an understatement! That couldn't have been cheap for them. Very classy, indeed. Installation was very straight forward. Out with the old, in with the new. Now it was the moment of truth, time to power up the beast. I left the controls exactly where I had them with my old xs30se, so I turned on my Yamaha receiver. My eyes were fixated on that little red light, hoping it's turn green. All of a sudden, GREEN!!! Very glad to see that the extra steps Tom and Jim took weren't for nothing. It's been about a month now, and absolutely no issues with the auto on.
As for the sound of the s3000i. Let me just say that I was originally going to plan on having two of them in my 21' X 12' living room. There is no need. This thing has such an enormous amount of power, and it does it's business with such ease. The xs30se was very stellar, but the s3000i kicks it up a couple notches. Material I was very familiar with came through with more depth and clarity than the xs30se. The "sound" was very similar between the two subs, but when you really want to push the envelope, that's when the differences between the two become obvious. One of my favorite scenes to test a sub with is when they are drilling through the floor in the prison breakout of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol on Blu Ray. The s3000i sent waves of energy through my body in a way that the xs30se couldn't match. It came through very defined, so realistic, with absolutely no "mud" to the sound. Another great scene to test is when the Kremlin explodes later in the same mentioned movie. When that part came I made sure to crank it up a little more to really see if the s3000i could handle it. Needless to say it did, so easily that it was almost like it was laughing at me for trying to make it break a sweat. In fact, I'm pretty sure the neighbors about 3 houses down the block were wondering if we were having an earthquake here in Wisconsin!! Lol
So it sounds great on movies, but will it kick some booty on music? Of course it does! One of my all time favorites to test both subs and speakers alike, is a song called "casino" from the band Acoustic Alchemy. The bass line and kick drum in that song is perfect for seeing if the s3000i can handle music as well as it did movies. When I cranked up the Yamaha to a level slightly higher.......ok, LOTS higher than what I would normally listen to, I wondered how it would sound. Immediately when the bass line comes in I had to grab a couple of pictures from the wall that were ready to fall. The look I got from my wife was priceless!! But that sound is like perfection. No muddiness, no boom, just loads and loads of clean tight bass. Makes my friends' M&K sub sound like a "home theater in a box" sub, at about half the price of what he paid!!!
All I can say is that between the sound and the service I received from Tom and Jim, I wouldn't hesitate for one second to recommend PSA to anyone that gets into high end sound for movies and music. Very satisfied and impressed every time I listen to it.
Power Sound Audio Newsletter
Enter your email address to receive new product announcements, tips & tricks to optimize your system, and all other Power Sound Audio related news.