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Picture courtesy of Seaton Sound forum member obdav


Seaton Sound MFW-15 Turbo SS

By Jim Wilson (theJman)​


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. 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.


For the full review Click Here
 

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Another great review!! Thanks for taking the time to do these.

You mentioned... "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."

Any guess as to why this occurred? Perhaps the LF boost from the amp?

(The basket looks very much like the Dayton Ultimax)
 

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You mentioned... "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."

Any guess as to why this occurred? Perhaps the LF boost from the amp?
My guess would be it had enough left in the tank (headroom) to allow for a little extra burst when called upon. Other subs might have done the same thing in the past, but I couldn't find it mentioned in any of my previous review notes. Something similar happened during War Of The Worlds while testing the Kreisel subs, only in that case it was a bit of extra definition during one specific part of the soundtrack. I found myself saying something along the lines of "wait, what was that?". My notes for the MFW had a similar entry.
 

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Wow, Jim... what a great review. Awesome stuff.

I think this quote pretty much says it all:

"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)."

That one sentence speaks volumes in so many ways... probably one of the best single sentences I've read in a review in a long, long, time.
 

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Thanks Todd. It was rather telling that the MFW fit so well and simply became a part of my daily life. In my opinion, that's the holy grail.
 

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Thanks Todd. It was rather telling that the MFW fit so well and simply became a part of my daily life. In my opinion, that's the holy grail.
Many thanks Jim for making the time to get the review written up with so much detail and communicating your experience with it. The unflinching nature of the MFW-15 Turbo-SS design came about not only to make for a durable and impressive product, but also to wash away the sour taste many felt from the many original MFW-15 subwoofers which were left dormant after amplifier failures due to cheap parts in the power supply. Along with the Turbo version reviewed, we will continue to stock amplifiers which can bring old MFW-15s back to life, and those are the same amplifiers in Turbo-SS subwoofer.

I'm happy to hear the 'Turbo rolled with the punches thrown its way, and kept on giving until it was all fun again. :T
 
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Knowing that you have created a modular upgrade path for those who own the original MFW's I'm sure will please a lot of people. If the opportunity presents itself, perhaps you can post some information about the options available and their respective prices. I'm sure current owners would find that very helpful when upgrade-itis inevitably hits, or in the event the original amp does suffer a problem.
 

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Many thanks Jim for making the time to get the review written up with so much detail and communicating your experience with it. The unflinching nature of the MFW-15 Turbo-SS design came about not only to make for a durable and impressive product, but also to wash away the sour taste many felt from the many original MFW-15 subwoofers which were left dormant after amplifier failures due to cheap parts in the power supply. Along with the Turbo version reviewed, we will continue to stock amplifiers which can bring old MFW-15s back to life, and those are the same amplifiers in Turbo-SS subwoofer.

I'm happy to hear the 'Turbo rolled with the punches thrown its way, and kept on giving until it was all fun again. :T
Great to have Mark chime in here! ;-)

This sub (along with its price point) sounds like quite a good deal! I agree with Jim... awesome to have an upgrade path!
 

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Knowing that you have created a modular upgrade path for those who own the original MFW's I'm sure will please a lot of people. If the opportunity presents itself, perhaps you can post some information about the options available and their respective prices. I'm sure current owners would find that very helpful when upgrade-itis inevitably hits, or in the event the original amp does suffer a problem.
Great to have Mark chime in here! ;-)

This sub (along with its price point) sounds like quite a good deal! I agree with Jim... awesome to have an upgrade path!
The past the first batch of 200-300 MFW-15s sold back in 2007?, most amplifiers eventually died due to a few possible failures, mostly related to a switch in production to cheaper parts not suitably rated for the task in the power supply. Most of the woofers still work just fine. In general, if the woofer moves freely when pushing on it, you should be fine to simply upgrade the amplifier. We offer the same amplifier from the Turbo-SS version Jim reviewed, but programmed to optimize the original woofer. This offers improved sound quality, increased playback level with the similar protections we used to make the Turbo-SS so bulletproof, and even a 3 year warranty. We also include a blank aluminum panel to replace the original control panel at the top, rear of the enclosure as the amps now have more controls and a working, low power standby on the amplifier panel. The connections plug right into all units except a few of the China built cabinets in the piano black and rosewood finishes. For these we include the crimp on connectors needed. We offer this amplifier for $430 + $20 shipping in the lower 48 states.

We are holding off on the driver upgrades for original units as the driver's surround is a little large for the original cover panel. We are close to having an upgrade woofer which will drop in original cabinets and offer the performance Jim experienced with the complete Turbo-SS subwoofer we are selling. I am expecting the upgrade driver to be around $395 delivered within the lower 48 states and available early next year. For those who purchase the MFW-15 Mk2 amplifier, they can simply ship the 4 lb amplifier back to us to be re-programmed for the Turbo woofer for only the cost of shipping.
 

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Hey Jim - great review! Believe it or not, it was after your review that I decided to pull the trigger and get Mark to ship one up to Canada for me!

My setup is nearly identical to yours with the seating position at 11' in a sealedroom that's 12'x16'x8'. I've had some problems with Audyssey where it had problems detecting the sub. I needed to turn the gain up quite a bit and set LF EQ to min for Audyssey to run. In the end I had to go in and change settings manually as it set the crossover my Chane A5's towers at 250Hz (go figure).

Do you remember what your LF EQ setting were? I've been fiddling with it but wanted to check in with someone who's played around with it for months per your review! :wink2:

Thanks!
 

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Hey Jim - great review! Believe it or not, it was after your review that I decided to pull the trigger and get Mark to ship one up to Canada for me!
Actually, I do believe it; I've gotten many statements such as yours from PM's, emails and forum posts. It's always gratify though to hear my evaluation has helped someone with their decision. I've been fortunate enough to have settled on a writing style many can relate to, and considering I'm not a professional writer it's even more fortuitous for that to have happened. I hope you enjoy the MFW as much as I did, but I'm pretty sure you will. ;)


My setup is nearly identical to yours with the seating position at 11' in a sealedroom that's 12'x16'x8'. I've had some problems with Audyssey where it had problems detecting the sub. I needed to turn the gain up quite a bit and set LF EQ to min for Audyssey to run. In the end I had to go in and change settings manually as it set the crossover my Chane A5's towers at 250Hz (go figure).

Do you remember what your LF EQ setting were? I've been fiddling with it but wanted to check in with someone who's played around with it for months per your review! :wink2:
I've had the same 250Hz anomaly from Audyseey myself. I'm currently evaluating an SVS SB16-Ultra with speakers that are solid to around 60Hz, yet the sub was set for 250Hz nonetheless. Perhaps Mark knows the answer to that one; the man is a walking encyclopedia of audio, so if anyone knows it's most likely him.

I ultimately settled on running Audyseey with the LF EQ at the mid point, but then afterwards bumped it up to around 2pm because I wanted a bit more presence. I also tried Min and Max while running Audyseey, but my preference in the end was midway and then a slight adjustment.
 

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This sub sounds like it must be an absolute beast, what subs would you compare it to? Would you say it outperforms the SVS PB13 Ultra? Any comparisons you can make to the HSU VTF-15H MK2? I am in the market for a sub and do not want to let this one pass me by if it really is that good. Thanks.
 

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This sub sounds like it must be an absolute beast, what subs would you compare it to? Would you say it outperforms the SVS PB13 Ultra? Any comparisons you can make to the HSU VTF-15H MK2? I am in the market for a sub and do not want to let this one pass me by if it really is that good. Thanks.


I can't speak for the SVS PB-13 Ultra, however I've heard both the PSA V1500 and HSU VTF-15H MK2 and can say that it can go head to head with both. @theJman has heard many a sub in his lifetime, maybe he has a better idea as to what would be the best comparison.


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I haven't heard the PB13 Ultra I'm afraid - although I did own an SB13 Ultra personally, and I happen to be listening to an SB16 Ultra at this very moment (my next review) - but neither of those are ported, so I can't really make a direct comparison. The HSU VTF-3 MK5 HP I reviewed in 2015 was very solid, but the MFW would be my pick between the two. The Rythmik FV15HP is another one in the conversation, and having heard that one I'd probably give the nod to the Rythmik. In the end though I think the MFW offers more for the money than people may realize.
 
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Sounds good. What is it about the Rythmik FV15HP that would put it above the MFW? Looking to make the best decision possible and this is all great input. I also don't mind comparisons between the sealed and ported designs, if you think the SB13 or SB16 are better than the MFW then by all means I would love to know that so I can consider them.
 

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Sounds good. What is it about the Rythmik FV15HP that would put it above the MFW? Looking to make the best decision possible and this is all great input. I also don't mind comparisons between the sealed and ported designs, if you think the SB13 or SB16 are better than the MFW then by all means I would love to know that so I can consider them.


Very different price categories. I'm not sure it would be fair to compare he PB16-Ultra to the MFW. I think the Seaton Submersive series would be a better comparison and Funk Audio subs (thinking price, amp and driver size wise are quite a direct comparison to the 16 Ultra series).


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Very different price categories. I'm not sure it would be fair to compare he PB16-Ultra to the MFW. I think the Seaton Submersive series would be a better comparison and Funk Audio subs (thinking price, amp and driver size wise are quite a direct comparison to the 16 Ultra series).


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JTR Captivator S1 and 1400 would be good comparisons too, but trying to keep size down some, although the Captivator S1 is smaller than the VTF-15H MK2.
 

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JTR Captivator S1 and 1400 would be good comparisons too, but trying to keep size down some, although the Captivator S1 is smaller than the VTF-15H MK2.


From what I heard, the JTR is a very good sub and is usually compared to the ones above. Frankly, within a similar price range I think you'll get plenty bang for the buck from all the brands mentioned in this thread (except the 16 Ultras given that they're in a very different category) as long as you compare sealed to sealed and ported to ported. Having heard the PSA and HSU, the landed price difference for me wasn't worth the difference in performance. I just happened to like the sound signature of the MFW and in the end that's what matters in the end. I'd recommend that you try to listen to them in your space.


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JTR Captivator S1 and 1400 would be good comparisons too, but trying to keep size down some, although the Captivator S1 is smaller than the VTF-15H MK2.
The 1400 is a different class of product - and with a price difference to match - so it's not really a direct comparison to the MFW. The HSU VTF-15H or VTF-3 MK5, the Rythmik FVX15 (not the FV15HP), the PSA V1500, those are comparable. I own an S1 as my own personal subwoofer, and while the MFW probably has more mid-bass the S1 can play lower.
 

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The 1400 is a different class of product - and with a price difference to match - so it's not really a direct comparison to the MFW. The HSU VTF-15H or VTF-3 MK5, the Rythmik FVX15 (not the FV15HP), the PSA V1500, those are comparable. I own an S1 as my own personal subwoofer, and while the MFW probably has more mid-bass the S1 can play lower.
So really it sounds like the S1 is your recommendation, lol. I will say from looking at them the drivers for the MFW and S1 look to both be manufactured by the same company, that being Fi out of Las Vegas.
 
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