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Last week we previewed Yamaha’s new high-end flagship speakers: the NS-F901’s. Priced at $5000 per pair, they represent a huge leap in cost over other current Yamaha speaker offerings (Yamaha’s $1200/pair NS-BP400PN bookshelf speakers are next in line). Today we are going to take a look at two new subwoofer offerings from Yamaha that appear to be better suited for medium to small room applications. Much like the NS-F901’s, these subs are priced at the top of Yamaha’s current model lineup, however their cost isn’t significantly higher than other Yamaha subs, keeping them in reach of prospective buyers with stricter budgets.

The NS-SW300 is Yamaha’s flagship subwoofer, priced at $550 MSRP. It features a 10-inch front firing woofer and a twisted side mounted flare port (more on that later). Yamaha says this 250 Watt sub is capable of playing down to 20Hz (but a lack of in-room and ground plane data make it impossible to know real world roll off and in-room frequency responses). Yamaha boasts that the SW300’s PWM Digital Drive High Efficiency Amplifier minimizes power consumption and heat production while eliminating the need for an output filter coil thus reducing noise and distortion. The sub also employs Yamaha’s Advanced YST II technology, which essentially drives the woofer cone in a more linear motion resulting in tighter control.


The exterior of the sub features a flashy piano black surface and a rounded front speaker grill. Power and gain controls are mounted on the front of the unit (anyone that has fumbled with rear mounted controls in a darkened room will appreciate this). The backside features an LFE input, left and right Mono inputs, and input and output binding posts for speaker wire (making it possible to wire the sub speaker-level). The rear also features a manual crossover knob (marked in 10Hz increments), a standby power switch, a two-way selectable phase control switch, and a “B.A.S.S.” selector switch that allows users to select the sub for movie or music use (this feature is poorly documented in the sub’s manual, simply indicating that this switch optimizes bass for either selected source).

The NS-SW200 costs $100 dollars less the SW300, resulting in an affordable $450. It shares quite a few characteristics with the SW300, but is a smaller, less powerful, speaker. Its front mounted 8-inch woofer is driven by a 130 PWM Amplifier and features Yamaha’s proprietary twisted flare port. Yamaha says this sub digs down to 28Hz, but (much like the SW300) real world data isn’t available to illustrate this claim. The front of the SW200 has power and gain controls, while the rear features speaker clips for speaker level integration along with L/R Mono inputs, an LFE input, and phase and auto standby switches. The B.A.S.S. movie/music selection switch has been removed on this model.


Yamaha focuses quite a bit of attention on the SW300 and SW200’s “Twisted Flare Ports.” It’s a featured proprietary technology on their website. As you can see in the illustration, they claim that the port’s twisted surface design results in an even diffusion of air through the port. Theoretically, this results in a less turbulent diffusion minimizing chuffing and extraneous noises that smooth ports create. Hopefully this technology has real-world merit and will help these subs deliver clean tight bass under more demanding situations.

The NS-SW300 and NS-SW200 subwoofers are available now.

Image credit: Yamaha
 

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Not sure if Home Theater Shack will get one for review...it would definitely be interesting to get a firsthand account of the flare port.

Perhaps Jim or Sonnie will chime in
 

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May I insert a 'pet peeve'? When did we start calling speakers which only go down to 20 Hz a 'Sub' woofer? Back in the day, these were called 'woofers'. Plenty of slightly high end 2.0 systems did a fair job down here.

A little closer to 'on topic', I have a little Klipsch 'sub' woofer around here somewhere, and it's psycho-acoustic contribution is completely necessary, though one might be disappointed in a SPL plot over freq. Regarding the Yamaha NS-SW300, and other 'sub' woofers.......I think we'd do well (as the subwoofer consuming public) to comparison shop with those frequency response plots out in front of the process. Anyone have a link to them?
 

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Haha! Pet peeve indeed! If these products were nothing but forum fodder, fine. But when big OEMs release this stuff, and insult those who know better, and take advantage of those who don't it's frustrating. Why would anyone spend money on a "sub" (cough) that "digs down to 28hz"? Because they don't know any better (general public). (Ironically I have a Yamaha htib with a pioneer rcvr in my bedroom lol) This might be going sideways, but it makes me think of bose, and the research through better advertising campaign. ...what exactly DOES Forbes FYI know about our favorite industry? How to spend boses money, that's what! Yeah, I've read it before, there's must be a market...blah blah blah. It just doesn't seem fair, and I think ALL these guys have a duty to present in a way that is honest. Fwiw, (maybe nothing), but speaking of the chart mentioned at the end of the post I hijacked (sorry). I have a set of older Fisher spkrs in my garage that have a freq curve on the baffle(not attractive) but it was somethin! Of course many wouldn't know how to read it, but I think it speaks the idea that they cared about certain things.
Sorry for the rant guys! I better quit before I really get wound up.
 

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Haha! Pet peeve indeed! If these products were nothing but forum fodder, fine. But when big OEMs release this stuff, and insult those who know better, and take advantage of those who don't it's frustrating. Why would anyone spend money on a "sub" (cough) that "digs down to 28hz"? Because they don't know any better (general public). (Ironically I have a Yamaha htib with a pioneer rcvr in my bedroom lol) This might be going sideways, but it makes me think of bose, and the research through better advertising campaign. ...what exactly DOES Forbes FYI know about our favorite industry? How to spend boses money, that's what! Yeah, I've read it before, there's must be a market...blah blah blah. It just doesn't seem fair, and I think ALL these guys have a duty to present in a way that is honest. Fwiw, (maybe nothing), but speaking of the chart mentioned at the end of the post I hijacked (sorry). I have a set of older Fisher spkrs in my garage that have a freq curve on the baffle(not attractive) but it was somethin! Of course many wouldn't know how to read it, but I think it speaks the idea that they cared about certain things.
Sorry for the rant guys! I better quit before I really get wound up.
Plenty of people would be perfectly happy with a sub that goes to 28Hz. This kind of condescension and sarcasm has no place at Home Theater Shack. Lots of consumers do not know how to shop for speakers, and we should be happy to help them learn, not scare them away from the forum with this kind of post. You said with irony that you own a Yamaha sub. My guess is that it does not go deeper than these. Certainly there are better values on the market, but there are also reasons that consumers might reasonably buy these. Yamaha subs have been extremely reliable, are sold by B&M dealers where people can hear before they buy, and the company is well known and stable and people feel confident dealing with them. Not every product can be the best value, nor is targetted to the same market. Whether it is Yamaha, Bose, or any other, let's leave the sarcasm to other forums and educate people with facts and respectful opinions and experience.
 

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Icaillo,
Fist off let apologize for the tone of my rant yesterday. I personally have always liked the gentle nature of HTS in general. I've found much useful information here, and hope to continue.
Your suspicions were correct, in that my yammy sub will not do 28 hz. I, like you, appreciate yamahas contributions to our hobby, and the fact that you can walk into a store and listen to the product is invaluable. And even though I targeted them in my misguided rant, as I write this I find myself asking why, with their comparatively endless budgets, this is what they offer when companies like HSU can offer much more performance for the dollar. Maybe that's my own ignorance?
What I did NOT mention however, was that either of these subs would be a nice upgrade to my second (bedroom) system, and would be desirable in many applications. And they are attractive, in a subwoofery kind of way! I also like that they have actually done some R/D on these, and trying some new techniques, and aren't just shipping reskinned last years models.
Again, I DO apologize. It needs to stay positive here, and I will behave in the future! Fwiw, I had a conversation earlier yesterday (not my wife) which started out something like...why would you spend ALL this money on this stuff? Haven't you seen those soundbar things? Lol I'm sure many of you have had that talk!
Will
 

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What old 2.0 system can legitimately play 20hz?
The old speakers had large woofers and claimed low 20's performance but that was before the days of $30 SPL meters and readily available test tones.
 

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What old 2.0 system can legitimately play 20hz? The old speakers had large woofers and claimed low 20's performance but that was before the days of $30 SPL meters and readily available test tones.
I'm not sure these would qualify, but when I was in my teens I went shopping for a new system. The salesman showed some new(cool in my younger years) Bose stuff, but I was NOT leaving without the cerwin vega d-9s. They had orange surrounded 15s, external controls for mid and treble boost, two 3" mids, and a horn tweeter. What could be cooler to a teenager? Any, I wish the surrounds wouldn't have rotted. I still have them, and would love to see what they would do with some new measurement tech. I might be disappointed, but we ran some "bass" CDs through them an man did they shake everything! Even stuff outside! ... Ah,the good ol days!
 
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