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 over-nighted 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 :)Telly (S3000i) March 25, 2016
My S3000i arrived last night, replacing an 10 year old, 12" 400watt Velodyne CHT-12 that was $500 in about 2005.
Initial impressions are...ouch, my back. Not really, but seriously, this thing is heavy. Be very careful. I was able to move it around myself, but I'm also a very strong guy. Get someone to help you. I also underestimated the sheer size of it. It makes my Velodyne look like a toy. Feel too. The finish is absolutely stellar, thick, and is indicative of someone investing into the integrity of the product from the ground up.
I put it exactly where my old Velo was, just to start. I don't yet have EQ and only had about an hour or so last night to play. It was either corner or between the left main and the TV, for now. I opted for the latter, since the corner seems to be giving me some ringing on the Velo and I'm not particularly worried about hitting decent SPL with this monster. I pointed one driver at the listening position and one approx 4" from the wall. A little speaker adjustment so the sub didn't block them and I was in business. I ran my test tones out of my receiver (Pioneer SC-25) and leveled everything to 80dB and made the sub 9dB hot. EZPZ. But, how'd it sound and feel?
I loaded up some music to begin with and was just amazed at how much I'd been missing. I love "heavy" pop music. Rap, metal, aggressive stuff. You name it. Of course, that sounded much deeper and more rich. Of course. But I was amazed at even more "relaxed" music. I was more IN the room when listening to jazz. My room became the music studio or the concert venue. I was really missing parts of my music.
I threw on some test tones just for some laughs. I found a 10-200hz sweep. Hilarious. I took the grill off and watched the sub throw air at me effortlessly. The house shook and I grinned ear to ear. I found some test tones at 20hz and going up in 10hz increments up to 120hz. Leveled at 90dB for 20hz, I had a much flatter initial response than expected. 30hz had a 6dB bump and a bit of a null around 90hz (crossover set, in receiver, to 80hz for now). Other than that, just about perfect. Who knows what's between those, but I'll need true EQ and a stronger test matrix before I proceed with fixing those anyway. My room treatments are 5 Acoustimac panels on the walls (soon to be upped to maybe 8-10?) and 2 bass traps in just one corner (hopefully upping to all corners and some on the ceiling joints).
What about movies? I was impressed with my music, but I wasn't absolutely blown away. Most music won't have that ultra low bass, and nor should it. This investment for me was probably 70% for movies. So, I played through a few test scenes before bed. My first was Jurassic Park, when the Brachiosaurus is first revealed and does her majestic lean back for the leaf and land. I was ROCKED into my seat. The whole house shook with authority, the room was full, and it was like seeing the movie again like when I was a kid. Just amazing. I had the same experience with Thor: The Dark World, then I had to crash for the night.
I can't wait to throw on Lord of the Rings. I think that's the task for this weekend. I'm so excited. Thanks, Tom, for all the guidance! Super happy with my choice.KYPEN (S3000i) December 16, 2015
Well its been almost a week with the S3000i and I have to say it's pretty amazing. I have NO IDEA how one thing could do so many things perfect. The only thing it doesn't do is hide or blend into a room.
The second you open the box you know you have something special. It's nothing in particular about the way it's packaged but just the sense of it, the vibe it puts off without even being out of the plastic. It screams "You don't know what kind of trouble you're in for!" Like the smile you get from a girl with a boyfriend as an athlete when you walk into a new bar. Is it going to be trouble? Yes. Do you care? **** no!
The sheer weight of it tells you its solid. The build quality is outstanding. Everything is where it should be without a scratch or fray to be seen. The grills are solid as well. Fabric covered wood, which I've never seen before. It's got its own heft but not in a bad way.
The back panel is unassuming. Some knobs here and there, but the right ones. No gimmicks. No little LED screens. There's no ploys here. It's got everything it needs and nothing it doesnt. It's a machine and it's here to do its job.
I moved it into my normal sub spot. No problem for me. I'm all muscle and quite used to acts of heroism. Could have done it one handed but there was no one to notice my amazing feats so I just wobbled it over. One sub faces the wall, the other out toward the room like the old sub did. It's big but the ol'gal knew she was home. Safe under my wing and willing to do whatever I asked.
The Edge of Tomorrow was the first thing I watched. The opening scene would have made a lesser man **** his pants. I could feel it in my chest and my ears popped like I was going up hill. It's amazing how a sub this big can dissappear in the background then snap to life only when needed. I have got to say I'm liking the sealed sound. The control it has is breath taking. Not joking. If you stand between it and the front wall during heavy bass it will steal your breath like a monkey taking your lunch. Yonk!
Next up was Pacific Rim. Horrible movie but a bass blaster none the less. A non stop kick in the pants. Everything in my living room moves. I'm going to have to get a glue gun and hope the wife doesn't notice everything is glued down. Only way to protect myself is to earthquake proof it. Although dying in a sonic and cinematic heaven..... worse ways to go. I tried a few other movies and each time was like the first time.
Then on to music. OMG they should have just called it the LSIM-15S. It's like a match made by God himself. They compliment eachother so well! The kick drums? Holy **** the kick drums! It's more articulate than a Japanese PHD linguistics professor that moon lights as an auctioneer for one word items and tighter then a a cold cheerleaders ass on a downhill roller-coaster.
I never placed my speakers with much care, just were they happen to fit and I seem to have accidentally put them in the perfect spot because the imaging is amazing. I always thought imaging was a made up sales pitch word. Boy was I wrong. With a big boy set up it makes a huge difference. I can tell where everyone and everything is and in stereo (my preferred music mode) it's like I have a ghost center channel. It's like there an imaginary wire between the two towers and everything floats across that wire just where they are supposed too and then suddenly from nowhere bass flutters up to your body and coddles you in a warm sonic love blanket.
I'm so happy and in bass heaven
I also need to mention how much Tom lives up to his reputation. When he sent me the veneer samples I asked for (free of charge, he even paid shipping) he sent a PSA coffee mug. I didn't ask for it he just sent it in the box for free which my wife and I both thought was really cool.
When I ordered my sub my wife asked me to get another mug so we can match. I didn't see it on the Website so I asked how to buy one in the comments section when I bought the S3000i. He didn't reply and I didn't think about it.
When he sent me the tracking number and it showed the package size I know it was just the sub because they are custom box's specific to the size of each sub he sends (for a reason) .
Well that sneaky beautiful bastard sent a second small box that he didn't tell me about with another mug in it. Again for free! Now I realize these mugs really only cost him $5-$7 dollars a pop and I would have happily paid the $15 or so dollar's he's likely to charge but it's the gesture that really stands out. He just goes over and above. He could have written me back and givin me a price, or charged me and told me about it or said "no problem I'll ship you one for free" but he chose to sneak it because he knew what it would mean. Really amazing when you consider shipping is already built into the price
He doesn't have to be that great at customer service. He's products are awesome and would likely sell themselves at the same rate regardless. He just does it because that's who he is and it's really cool so I thought I should take a minute to post a thanks of a dude who cares just for the sake of caring. Thanks Tom!?Z28k (S3000i) December 16, 2015
S3000i - Five weeks in...
Bottom line, I really like it ! My main "concern" was, how would it do for music ? After five weeks and hours of twitching, tweaking, adjusting, mulling, fretting (don't BS yourself, you know what I'm talking about) and profound analytical processing, it does music just fine. The 3000 can be as fast and nimble as the recording it's rendering requires, it can also be a heavy & thundering beast . ( think John Paul Jones and J Bonham in Led Zepp's Celebration Day). In movie mode, the 3000 is just plain fun. It makes my suspended floor feel like a rolling ocean, gun shots are startling and on some explosions it has made me laugh out loud, which is priceless. Money well spent and highly recommended.
As a sad footnote, I believe my Servo 15 has been mortally wounded in the line of duty. It couldn't keep upPias (S3000i) December 16, 2015
After getting a single S3000i set up pretty well in the same location as my XS30 (non SE), I completely agree with you!! Music is clean, tight, plenty of impact. After watching only one movie so far all I can say is Holy Crap!!
The S3000i outperforms my old XS30 like it was a single 12". We watched Interstellar at -12 MV and the sub running 2 hot-The XS30 would shake the coffee table and floor a bit, but with the S3000i it felt like I had butt kickers in the sofa, at times feeling pressure in my ears and on the next morning I was checking the outside siding to see if anything fell of the house!! Oh and I now have some rattling to take care of that was never there before. This is all with one and not even trying the second yet. PSA has the real deal for sure with this unit ! Gene B. (S3000i) December 16, 2015
So I took delivery of a single S3000i yesterday! It was painful to have to go to work after receiving it, but the wait was surely worth it.
We actually tested it at my neighbor's house next door while he awaits the delivery of his V3600i. His house is identical to mine, but reversed floor plan, but should have identical or nearly identical room response. The testing area is the basement living room, which is about 3,000 cubic feet, concrete flooring with carpet, with a large hallway that leads to the upstairs area, so it's difficult to get serious compression since there are no doors to seal the listening space.
Unhooking and moving the 'old' DIY Dayton 12" Ultimax/SPA1000 amp took no effort at all. Actually, moving the S3000i by yourself is not terribly difficult. As large as it is, I had no problems lifting it off the truck for my ~70 year old FedEx delivery guy! He was very, very happy that I helped him move it that day.
For reference, I run a pair of SVS SB13-Ultras at my house for the last 1.5 years or so. I have been very pleased with them, but I have always wanted something beefier to help with the low end of things. I am a music fanatic, to say the least, so music reproduction is always #1 in my book. I have been a fan of the "JL sound" ever since my car audio days, but could not live with myself spending what they are asking for their home subwoofers! The demos I have heard are very good, but the price tags are just appalling to me and not worth it.
My friend is a big ULF fan and I consider him a first-degree bass-head! If it's not shaking the hairs on your head, then it's not big enough or loud enough. The first movie we played was Tron: Legacy. I must say, the aperture scene floored him as he has been struggling to control the LFE for a very long time and has dealt with the drivers bottoming out on big scenes at loud volumes. When the ships fly overhead in that movie, it just rumbles your entire chest - the room becomes alive! It's such a crazy and intense feeling to describe. We played several other ULF heavyweight titles including War of the Worlds, World War Z, Edge of Tomorrow, and Transformers. The bass was simply over-the-top insanity! The response was very 'tactile' and punchy - yet, subsonic frequencies shook the house and tested the durability of the foundation. I literally have no idea how you guys have standing walls after punishing your homes with multiple T-18, V3600i, or even the S3000i!!! The glasses in the cupboards upstairs were zinging to the bass notes from a few of my favorite songs - his wife is worried for their China collection. Little does she know that the next sub to enter the basement ships via TRUCK FREIGHT on a pallet and is nearly double the weight! At least he has a comfy couch to sleep on if things go sour for a few days... Once he gets his V3600i, we are going to team them up (I know, not ideal to do ported and sealed) to have some SPL fun!
I won't be doing any direct music comparisons just yet against my SVS, but our first impressions left our jaws on the floor. In, absolutely, no way have my pair of SB13-Ultras ever even come close to the sheer output of the single S3000i. Simply put, it is just in another league. I find the PSA comparison chart laughable, saying the S3000i is about 2.6x the output of a single SB13U. I haven't hook up my UMIK yet, but it has to be far more than that. Playing a 5Hz tone from REW on the S3000i sounds like what I imagine taking a jackhammer to your house would be like. 5Hz on the 2xSB13U does nothing really audible or make my house squeal at all. 10, 15, and 20Hz are all the same way - overwhelming and leaves you in a state of awe. The opening scene of EoT cannot compare - I thought my SVS sounded great, but again, the S3000i is just in another league and is extremely different.
That said, I'm not hating on my SVS at all. I have really enjoyed them and am not sure if I'll even sell them. If I do, it'll likely just be 1 and I'll move it up to another part of the house with my Paradigm speakers and get a second S3000i for my music/theater area.
Does anyone know if the V3600i and T-18 ship with seatbelts? If not, they should, because even this lone S3000i is one hell of a ride!K1n3k1k (S3000i) December 17, 2015