Seaton Sound MFW-15 Turbo SS Review - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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Seaton Sound MFW-15 Turbo SS Review


Picture courtesy of Seaton Sound forum member obdav



Seaton Sound MFW-15 Turbo SS

By Jim Wilson (theJman)




Introduction
The subject of this review is the Seaton Sound MFW-15 Turbo SS, a 15" bass reflex subwoofer with a large slot port running across the bottom of the front panel. It measures 24"x18"x23" (HWD) and weighs right around 100 pounds. The MFW-15 Turbo SS is powered by a 700 watt ICEamp and boasts a frequency response of 16-200Hz (+/-3dB).


Ordering
Frequently I open this section of a review by saying something along the lines of "the XYZ company is a typical ID (Internet Direct) manufacturer", but I can only use half that sentence this time. Seaton Sound is an ID company alright, and as such sell their products direct, but they are anything but typical.

Mark Seaton - owner, proprietor, designer, engineer and driving force behind his namesake corporation - approaches the business side of things a bit differently than most people do. Companies today rely heavily on their website for business; could be a small portion, could be every bit of it, but no matter what you almost certainly must have a web presence. Or so it would seem anyway. Seaton Sound has a forum, but that's pretty much it. They do have a registered URL, seaton-sound.com, yet all the page says is "Content goes here". For most organization that would be a critical omission, yet it doesn't appear to impact these folks one bit. The company generates virtually all of their sales by word of mouth and their stellar reputation, something almost completely unheard of. It's an unusual business model, but one that seems to work rather well for them - all indications suggest they sell product as fast as it can be made, in spite of the unorthodox approach. Go figure.

The MFW-15 Turbo SS is priced at $895 + shipping, which is $75-$100 within the Continental US. Buy a pair of them and the deal gets even better; then it's $1695 + shipping, so a savings of $200 over the individual price. Still too much? Forgo the magnetically attached grill and you can subtract an additional $50 per unit. Wanna save even more? Seaton Sound offers an extra discount for 'b' stock (blemished) units. Here is what they told me about those...

Some of the cabinets we saved from the AV123 liquidation had dings or dents and those cabinets are discounted as follows:
  • $50 for minor blemishes, hard to see viewed at 6' distance
  • $100 for more significant blemishes, visible at 10' distance (best suited for out of the way or hidden locations)
{brief info about who AV123 is and how they factor into this story appears later in the review}

Warranty for both the amp and driver is a full 3 years, so no matter what the cabinet looks like the important stuff is covered.


Unboxing
For those who are owners of a Mark Seaton product, you already know this man believes in proper shipping protection. The MFW-15 Turbo SS is no different, arriving in a double-walled cardboard box. The subwoofer itself was inside a thick plastic bag and suspended by 2" medium density foam inserts on the top and bottom, both of which were custom fit to ensure nothing moved around during shipping. The cabinet finish was further protected by a foam sheet between it and the plastic bag.

A power cord is the only included item (the review unit did come with a 12v trigger cable, but that's not part of the standard package). There was no owners manual, quickstart guide or other type of documentation.


Impressions
Would 'impervious to a bad mood' be considered an impression? For this review it turned out to be. I imagine that doesn't make a whole lot of sense, so perhaps I should explain myself.

The day the MFW-15 Turbo SS arrived was not significantly different than most others; I went to work, did my job and then headed home. When I got here there was a large box under my carport, something not the least bit uncommon for me. I dragged it inside and unpacked the thing in the exact same manner as I had done with the 50 or so previous shipments I've received over the past few years. I connected everything, ran Audyseey, adjusted to taste, but then inexplicably veered way off course with how I conducted break-in (which generally consists of heavy metal music played in the background for at least 10 hours). Something different happened this time, a sort of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde transformation, and I'm still at a loss as to why.

For no apparent reason I found myself rather ticked off, but at what I have no idea. It's not like my day was particularly bad, but my mood certainly was. I honestly can't explain what happened that day, but the end result was I beat on the MFW-15 Turbo SS from the word go. Restraint while the subwoofer was still fresh and new? Perish the thought; it was loud from the onset, full throttle all the way. I have never done anything like that before. Even as I type this I'm still not sure what came over me, but I should probably apologize to Mark Seaton. "Sorry for what I put your subwoofer through, but gentle I wasn't. If it's of any consolation the thing didn't seem the least bit upset. Quite the contrary actually, as it never missed a beat. In spite of the abuse your MFW-15 Turbo SS was not fazed by my aggressive use of the volume control." I didn't allow it a moments peace, never let it get acclimated, yet despite the (unintentional) mistreatment the thing was a trooper. It turned out to be the perfect companion for a person of foul temperament, and as odd as that may sound it's actually a compliment. If the MFW Turbo SS can withstand someone who is deliberately trying to pound the thing into the ground, how do you imagine it will perform during normal day-to-day operations? As it turns out that's a rhetorical question, but perhaps I should get back on track...

When is a newly released subwoofer not technically new? When is an older design not truly old? What do you call something based on new parts fitted into an established chassis? In the car world it would be a resto-mod, but is there something equivalent in the subwoofer world? Up until recently there wasn't, but Seaton Sound has changed all that. The MFW-15 Turbo SS subwoofer is an older design, yet with new and fully modernized components inside. The original incarnation of the MFW came from AV123 - who reeked of scandal and eventually imploded - while this updated version is from one of the most widely respected ID companies in existence (for the record... Mark Seaton designed the MFW for AV123, but he had absolutely nothing to do with the sleazy dealings of that companies founder). The MFW-15 Turbo SS is old school and new wave at the same time. If you look up the word "dichotomy" in the dictionary you may very well find a picture of this subwoofer. But forget about the past, this version is all about the future.

The amp Seaton Sound uses is sourced from the same manufacturer they always choose; SpeakerPower. There's really nothing you can say about SpeakerPower other than "excellent", so we'll skip right to the other stuff. There are all kinds of things to tweak and adjust here, which makes me a happy man right off the bat. A few of the knobs could benefit from a bit more detail when it comes to their markings, but that's probably nitpicking really. There is consistency in the fact most of the adjustments have three distinct positions clearly marked; the lowest, the middle and the highest setting. Wording is relative to the dials function, and for the most part they are self-explanatory. Let's take a look at each of them in greater detail.

We'll start off with the Level control - often referred to as gain or volume - which says Min, Mid and Max. Perfectly logical, as is the Crossover control marked with 30Hz, 80Hz and Out (which essentially means disabled). The Delay setting shows 0ms, 10ms and 20ms. For some this adjustment might be confusing, but in reality it's nothing more then the familiar phase control. Most people already know what that is, so there's probably not a huge learning curve associated to the different terminology; instead of labeling that shows the adjustment in degrees, this amp uses delay in milliseconds. In this case 0ms equals 0 degrees, 10ms 90 degrees and 20ms 180 degrees.

The LF EQ adjustment could be somewhat perplexing though, and it's this type of thing that makes me wish Seaton Sound included documentation. I know what it is and how it functions but others might not, and that's unfortunately because it has a tremendous impact on what you hear and feel - turn this dial just slightly and things can change in a hurry. Basically what it does is adjust the amount of boost the amp applies beginning in the 40Hz range, with the really significant gains kicking in as the output dips below 30Hz. The concept is you dial it down for smaller rooms - which frequently enhance deep bass - and turn it up for larger areas, which tend to do the opposite. It can also be used to adjust performance to your personal taste, so if you like to run a subwoofer 'hot' this feature will definitely appeal to you. The markings indicate Min, 0dB and Max.

In between the lowest and highest settings on all the dials are small dots. Further delineating the various positions are detentes, so as you make adjustments the dial will stop at each individual setting. I really like that feature on an amplifier because it's quite easy to make precise adjustments; 2 clicks past center, 4 clicks before the max, that type of thing.

In addition to the dials there are a few toggle switches. One of them allows you to choose the input, either XLR or RCA. Another selects power mode, which is On, Off or Auto. Auto tended to go to sleep quicker then I would have preferred, and it required a bit of a nudge to wake up as well. As mentioned previously, Seaton Sound did include a cable for the 12v trigger. I wasn't able to use that unfortunately; my normal AVR smoked its power supply less than 2 weeks into this review, so I had to enlist an older Marantz packed away in my basement. That has neither a 12v port nor XLR, so I was forced to use the unbalanced (RCA) input for the duration. YMMV using XLR, but for sure the 12v trigger would have changed the behavior I experienced.

The driver is an absolute beast, but seeing as how it was designed by Mark Seaton I suspect there aren't too many people who would consider that a revelation. Based on a 12 spoke cast basket - in what appears to be a powder coated finish no less - it features a low inductance motor. There is a huge single slug magnet providing motivation. Cooling consists of three 1" circular vents on the back side, along with multiple vents underneath the spider. A substantial foam rubber half roll surround securely anchors the rigid paper cone. For those who subscribe to the notion a drivers appearance is a harbinger of performance, this one may very well be your poster child. Weighing in at 42 pounds it not only looks the part, it acts the part.

The cabinet of the review unit had what Seaton Sound calls a 'moho' finish. I'm not certain what a 'moho' is but the appearance reminded me of light oak. Having seen an untold number of black subwoofers in my life means getting something different is a nice change. Add in the fact that I personally like wood tones and the look of the MFW-15 Turbo SS was rather pleasing to my eye. The black grill and front panel presented a striking contrast, further upping its uniqueness and WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor). Enhancing the visual appeal even more so was a slight round-over on all the corners, softening the overall look and completing the package rather nicely.

In person the enclosure doesn't look overly wide or tall - given its driver size and alignment - but it does have some depth to it. This particular one was a 'b' stock unit, so there were some cosmetic imperfections. Most notable were a pair of thin cracks that spanned the top panel from left to right. I also found a few minor dents in the finish, but frankly nothing was all that obvious unless you were purposely looking for flaws. Mark Seaton warned me going in that this was one of the rougher units he had, so it stands to reason the rest will be in even better shape.

The grill is constructed from .5" MDF that was sanded smooth and painted black. The fabric material is thin and virtually transparent, but it didn't seem the least bit cheap or flimsy. It was both stapled and glued in place. For most companies that would be considered overkill, but it's just SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for Seaton Sound. It's attached to the cabinet using hidden magnets embedded in the front panel. The corresponding ones on the frame itself were covered by small rubber isolator pads to prevent it from rattling during times of high output. That made it both tidy and very functional at the same time. Without proper aim it could be attached slightly askew though, but now I'm just being fussy (hey, I have to find something to complain about).


Listening
My living room is 13x17x8 (1768 ft^3), so it's not terribly large. The main seating position is approximately 11 feet from the subwoofer. All testing was done after the unit had been broken in for at least 15 hours. OK, perhaps "broken in" is a bit of a misnomer this time. Maybe "beaten in" would be more appropriate?

If you haven't already figured it out from my past reviews, I strongly favor attributes such as precision and fidelity from my subwoofers. Accuracy and dynamics mean everything to me. Being pretentious or in-your-face is not OK, nor is bloated mid-bass. A subwoofer shouldn't embellish or aggrandize anything it does. That, in a nutshell, describes the MFW-15 Turbo SS. It happily sits there doing nothing when it isn't supposed to be part of the action. However, when the situation warrants it comes to life and has no problem making its presence known. Unassuming when not called upon, snarling and forceful when the source material is demanding. Yea, give me more of that.


Movies
Seaton Sound has a (well deserved) reputation to uphold, one of quality and quantity, so anything from this company had better perform in both areas. With that thought in mind I set about choosing difficult material, soundtracks that showed no quarter. They had to be taxing of course, with a lot of deep bass, but I wanted subtilties as well. From the sublime to the ridiculous, if you will. Depth, quality and output is tough to achieve simultaneously though, but let's put the MFW-15 Turbo SS to the test and see what it can do.

I literally have dozens of movies I can choose from to test a subwoofer, a few of which came immediately to mind as I started thumbing through my collection, so I went with those. It happens that way sometimes; for no obvious reason the movies or songs I use in one of my reviews just pop into my head, before I even write a single word. Surprisingly, at least to me anyway, was the fact 2 of the 3 were animated flicks. Maybe it shouldn't really have been a surprise after all, because that type of movie has become renowned for having a potent soundtrack.

How To Train Your Dragon (blu-ray)
I'm going to take a somewhat different route this time, I'm going to start at the end (even though it's the first movie in the review). After watching this blu-ray what would I say about the MFW-15 Turbo SS? Simply put, this is the kind of bass I like. Wait, check that - it's the kind of bass I love. There's no hyperbole, nothing excessive, nothing exaggerated. It's only what is supposed to be there, at the level it's supposed to be at. Sounds pretty straightforward from a theoretical standpoint, but not so easy to create in the real world.

Scene 15 is where I began watching, because in this movie that's when things quickly get out of hand. Red Death, the dragon who is terrorizing the sleepy hamlet of Berk, has become such a problem the Viking people decide it's time to dispatch the enemy. They position themselves outside its mountain lair and begin their assault using catapults. As the boulders hit the mountainside it begins to crumble, and here is where the MFW-15 Turbo SS began to show its mettle. Each element - be it the catapult mechanism, the boulder strike or the crumbling of the mountain - had a unique sound signature and weight, making it such that it was easy to get lost in the experience. And yet we've only just begun.

The onslaught from the Vikings opens a gapping hole in the side of the mountain, and once that happens Red Death decides to confront the intruders head on. He comes leaping out of his den and heads straight for the men which, when combined with all the other chaos, made for quite a subwoofer workout. But wait, there's more! (and no, unlike an infomercial you're not getting a second one for just the price of shipping and handling). At this point a battle royal wages between man and beast, which is probably no surprise in the context of the story line. What was a little surprising is that I noticed something I don't recall ever hearing before.

As Red Death battles Hiccup, who just so happens to be the village leaders son (don't ask me where this kids name comes from), it takes flight with a resounding 'whoosh' from its massive wings. It was at this point my evaluation notes have an entry that says "did the bass just get louder?". Although the subwoofer output was already prodigious, there seemed to be an increase that I wasn't able to quantify. All of the sudden, the soundtrack had even more intensity. I've used this movie in at least half a dozen reviews before this one, and yet none of my previous notes mention that phenomenon.

Avatar (blu-ray)
At one point in time you would have been able to classify Avatar and How To Train Your Dragon as mere cartoons, but in this day and age they are 'animated movies' instead. The distinction might appear to be subtle, but in reality it is anything but. The graphics and soundtracks from the past decade or so are nothing short of astonishing, making it such that your home theater system had better be up to the challenge. Avatar is more a feast for the eyes than the ears, but that doesn't mean your subwoofer is completely off the hook.

At the beginning of the movie dialog is king, but as things progress the soundtrack starts to get more onerous. I usually start with scene 22, Assault on Home Tree, and this time was no different. It's one of the better opportunities to gauge not only deep bass, but subtilties caused by a multitude of disparate elements. Everybody likes big explosions and thunderous bass - and those certainly make for good subwoofer test material - but I find nuances to be equally telling. A blurred or smeared sound ruins it for me. If I can't clearly discern every facet of the underlying soundtrack then the experience is greatly diminished. Scene 22 affords the opportunity to test almost every one of those facets.

As the gunships approach Home Tree the MFW-15 Turbo SS sprang to life, making its presence known by sending ripples of bass directly at me. When the enemy aircraft take up position, hovering and ready to unleash their assault, I sensed no drop off in performance. When they open fire it's with gas rounds first, each of which hit the ground and exploded with a crisp 'pop'. When that doesn't scare off the Na'vi they launch incendiaries. Their reports upped the ante and resulted in a solid 'thud' upon detonation, ultimately leading to the Na'vi tribe fleeing the scene. Before they had time to completely evacuate the area the insurgents - that would be the humans in this case - decide to topple Home Tree.

Using missiles aimed at its massive above-ground root system, they bombard the base of the tree with an unrelenting assault. The different warships have proportionally sized missiles, creating a cacophony of explosions with varying intensities. It was this crescendo I probably enjoyed the most. As the size and intensity of the munitions increased, so did the output from the MFW-15 Turbo SS. The ability to differentiate various components and provide each their own unique signature creates a very credible experience for the listener. In that regard, this subwoofer performed brilliantly.

Battle: Los Angeles (blu-ray)
Alright, enough messing around. While the previous two movies have really demanding parts, how about we switch to something that doubles their combined level of difficultly? Yup, time for some Battle: Los Angeles.

This movie is one of my staples, and for good reason; there are sections where it's almost non-stop mayhem. For a subwoofer such intensity presents quite a challenge, and given how well the MFW-15 Turbo SS had conducted itself thus far I decided to reward it by being even more unforgiving. And how did I accomplish that? By cranking up the volume of course. What's that saying, "no good dead goes unpunished"? Sorry (again) Mark.

Battle: Los Angeles contains but 16 scenes, in spite of its 2 hour run time. Fully 2/3rd's of those scenes could be used to test the fortitude of a subwoofer, but I frequently choose the combination of 9 and 10. Scene 9 is more a lead-in for the real action though, which occurs in scene 10, but it has a few tricky spots too.

While trying to flee LA - which is under attack from an alien force - Sargent Nantz and his Marine unit run headlong into the enemy. As the assailants warbirds close in on them Nantz strikes out on his own to try and draw their attention away from the civilians the Marines are protecting. As the aircraft draws near the pulsing from its engines sent waves of bass into my room, making it seem as though the thing was really positioned overhead. Those throbbing sounds come about in rapid succession so you better hope your subwoofer isn't slow to respond or recover, otherwise it will come across as nothing more than one continuous droning sound. That wasn't a problem here.

Scene 10 is essentially bedlam from start to finish. Trapped on a bridge by a phalanx of enemy soldiers, the Marines dig in and make a stand. Artillery and munitions from both sides punctuate this fierce battle, all of which the MFW-15 Turbo SS handled with aplomb. In spite of the incredible amount of ordnance unleashed from both sides, everything was precise and clearly articulated. Sounds were distinct and layered, regardless of the number of elements in play. Be it the rapid fire of an M16 or the gut punch from one of the aliens weapons, each maintained the correct level of intensity and contributed to a sense of realism. For this scene my notes have an entry where I observed the driver undulating wildly, yet what I heard didn't seem the least bit strained. The MFW-15 Turbo SS surely looked like it was working up a sweat, but the quality of sound suggested it wasn't really struggling at all.


After all the testing had concluded I checked the amp to see how it fared, and what I found was some warmth. When you go by the moniker "ICEamp" one might reasonably assume it would run cool to the touch, but that may not always be the case. I never had a problem with it though, no matter how much I pushed the thing, so perhaps the heat is to be expected.


Music
How is this for an odd musical lineup to use when testing a subwoofer... two legendary guitar masters followed in quick succession by some electronic music. There's a live song, a tune recorded after the person had died and another that's totally synthesized. Talk about throwing the MFW-15 Turbo SS a curve ball (as it turns out, a baseball analogy factors in to more than one part this review). My intent was to use material which would test not only precision, but also composure under fire. The first two songs embody my type of music - representing the heart and soul of what I listened to the most - while the last one should be considered the 'closer'. Plain and simple, it's there to pound on this subwoofer, just like retired Yankee's pitcher Mariano Rivera in his heyday. That mans only job was to beat the opposition into submission, and the Dubking's songs are the subwoofer equivalent. Batter up!

Joe Satriani, Live In San Francisco - House Full of Bullets (DVD)
If memory serves, this was the first DVD I bought when I got a player about 15 years ago. Most people would have probably chosen a movie, but not me - it simply had to be music. In the ensuing years I've never felt the urge to upgrade this one to a blu-ray due to the simple fact it's recorded like a live show sounds, and for me that's an addiction I'll never shake. That characteristic also comes in quite handy when testing a subwoofer.

House Full of Bullets is from 1998's Crystal Planet, and like most Joe Satriani tunes it's an instrumental with a title that makes little sense (Trundrumbalind, Raspberry Jam Delta-V and A Piece of Liquid are three other examples from this same CD). Another fundamental Satriani trait is the song is very good.

There's a bluesy feel about this one, with a cadence that almost dares you not to bob your head back and forth. It also lends itself brilliantly to a live show, and with its lazy rhythm coupled to a bottom-heavy sound the MFW-15 Turbo SS ate it up. Jeff Campitelli's kick drum had a nice snap to it, even when overlayed on top of the heavily fuzzed bass guitar from Stu Hamm. My chair was rumbling with the power from this duo. Even in the last few seconds, as the song comes to a close and the tempo picks up markedly, the MFW-15 Turbo SS easily kept pace and made sure everything in the rhythm section sounded correct and had its own space.

Trashman - Jimi Hendrix (CD)
Arguable the most influential guitarist of all time, Jimi Hendrix is a person that needs no introduction. One of the rare individuals who is so renown you don't even need to say his full name and people know exactly who you're talking about. Somehow this man put out about 10x more music posthumously than he did while alive, making him perhaps the most prolific musician of all time in that regard. Trashman is a song from one of those albums - Midnight Lightning - a disc almost no one has ever heard of. It's not unknown to yours truly though; of all the post-Experience music put out in Jimi's name, Midnight Lightning is my pick for the best. I have been listening to this album (well, OK, it's a CD now) for about four decades, and of its 8 songs Trashman is by far my favorite.

Rumor has it Midnight Lightning contains a pared down version of Trashman, about half the length of the original, but I can't say for certain if that's the case. There's also some debate about who was backing Jimi in the studio when this track was recorded. The most likely duo are the second version of the Experience, which means Billy Cox on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums. I don't know - and frankly at this point in time I don't really care - because all I want to do is hear the song, so I dropped the CD into the tray of my OPPO and pressed play.

I can't listen to this song at a polite volume level unfortunately, so I was rather pleased to find out the MFW-15 Turbo SS was happy to indulge my lack of restraint. I also seem unable to listen to it just once, and here again the MFW-15 Turbo SS willingly complied. My first pass was at a volume most would consider inappropriate, but probably wouldn't be deemed overpowering. The second time around things started to get out of hand, and by the third they were downright punishing. In spite of me inching ever closer to what I was able to handle, this subwoofer seemed unperturbed. The kick drum - which is recorded with some definite weight, relative to the bass guitar - just pounded away at me with a decisive thud. My speakers started to get a little shrill as the volume rose, but the MFW-15 Turbo SS never even batted an eye. I wondered if I could push the volume even further, but I quickly scraped that idea; I probably wouldn't have been able to tolerate it much louder. Check please.

Funkenspelunkin - DubKing (WAV)
Funkenspelunkin? DubKing? Who is this Dub King, and what on earth is Funkenspelunkin? I can't answer all those questions, but I can answer one of them.

The DubKing (aka imagic) is actually Mark Henninger, an editor at one of HTS's sister websites. I met Mark about 5 years ago at a GTG (Get ToGether), and back then he was tying to break into the HT arena as a photographer. While chatting with him that evening he mentioned having created some electronic music. I downloaded a couple of his tracks and found they had pretty brutal bass lines, so I've incorporated a few in past reviews. Now seemed like an opportune moment to use one of them again, just to see if I could trip up the MFW-15 Turbo SS. Try as I might, I wasn't really successful in my attempt.

This isn't really my kind of music - so it's difficult for me to provide detailed specifics - but what's evident about this material is the fact Mr. Henninger really wants to destroy your subwoofer. It becomes obvious very early on that the low-level content in this soundtrack is significant, to the point where the steak knives in the butcher block in my kitchen were set to vibrating during certain passages. I know the MFW-15 Turbo SS was working its tail off here, yet at no point did it ever fall behind. It did spit out 2 thumb-sized pieces of damping material from the front port during a spirited (read: elevated volume) listening session, but it never lost composure or made me feel as though it was about to stumble. Given the outlandish nature of this song that's a pretty impressive accomplishment.


Conclusion
The Phoenix rises. From the ashes of the notorious Internet Direct company AV123, the MFW-15 subwoofer has been reborn as the Turbo SS. Brought back to life by Mark Seaton, the original designer, it's a thoroughly upgraded variant that is light years ahead of the original. This version is not about living in the past though, it's about pushing into the future. Despite AV123's ignominious collapse the original MFW subwoofer still has a loyal fan base, and for good reason; beautiful cabinets and high dollar value were hallmarks, a hard combination to beat. Now add to that greatly improved sound quality and output and what you end up with is a sensational package. This subwoofer offers a lot, and it does so for a reasonable price. They may only exist for a limited time though, so if you want one it would be best to act fast. Five years down the road it's hard to imagine anyone saying they regret buying one (or more) of these subwoofers.


Please use the Seaton Sound MFW-15 Turbo SS Discussion Thread for questions and comments



All the pictures that appear to have been taken by a professional can be attributed to the Seaton Sound forum member "obdav". The rest of them are mine.




These measurements were taken using an Omnimic. The MFW-15 Turbo SS was positioned in the center of my listening room with the microphone 1 foot from the front panel positioned equidistant from the driver and port in order to sum their output. Gain and crossover were at the maximum setting. The LF EQ adjustment varied between 0% (Min), 50% and 100% (Max). Each graph reflects that and is noted accordingly.

Frequency response and Spectrograph when LF EQ set for Min





Frequency response and Spectrograph when LF EQ set for 0dB





Frequency response and Spectrograph when LF EQ set for Max





The following is a post-review epilogue, something I have never felt necessary to include before...

At the beginning of this evaluation I apologized to Seaton Sound for beating the daylights out of their subwoofer when I first got it, but that was partially tongue-in-cheek. This time I'm serious however; I feel obligated to do so in earnest for how long I had the MFW-15. Something happened in my life when I was about halfway through this review that necessitated I step away from writing for a while. When the dust finally settled I ended up having the MFW-15 Turbo SS in my HT system far longer than any subwoofer I've evaluated before. In real terms what that means is everything you read above was derived from several months of daily use, when historically my assessments are based upon weeks instead. That gave me a perspective quite a bit different this time around, and the funny thing is I never once lamented it. While I truly enjoy the different products companies send me, there is a certain level of familiarity and comfort to having your own gear hooked up. Even with that, I never felt a compelling desire to switch back to my own subwoofer (which I still love by the way). As I came to find the MFW-15 Turbo SS works so well that it simply became a part of my normal life, even during a time when my life was anything but normal. I don't wish to belabor the point, so I'll stop here, but realistically speaking how much more of a compliment is there than that?

-Jim

If you take yourself too seriously, expect me to do the exact opposite
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