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Build Quality - SW-110 Subwoofer, C-20 Center, and S-20 Surrounds


SW-110 driver measure

We next dove into the SW-110 subwoofer. The driver on this sub measured a bit strangely. By our reckoning, their 10" woofer really only measured 8" in diameter for the single woven fiberglass driver (which is a unique design, being only slightly concave - nearly flat). The opening in the baffle is 10-inches, but the driver area is what produces sound, and thus is the correct way to measure a driver (typically from the center of the surround to the opposite side is how we like to do it). If this is a new trend in measuring loudspeaker drivers, we're not happy about it and will work to clear up this via recommendations and standards... and if that fails, then extreme humiliation of the offending companies!

SW-110 amp

SW-110 internalsThe SW-110 had plenty of internal bracing, however there was no insulation within, save for some around the wiring to keep it from rattling under the high internal pressure. With this type of design and box size that's not such a big deal. On the rear were connections for stereo RCA line level inputs (you can use the left input for a single LFE feed), as well as high level (speaker) inputs so you can use this sub with a legacy integrated amp or a stereo receiver that may not have a dedicated subwoofer output. Controls included a lowpass filter that goes from 50Hz to 150Hz and a gain control that "goes to 11" (somebody tell Klipsch that joke left the station years ago). There is a phase switch for 0 or 180 and the power control has both an 'On' and 'Auto' mode. We found the Auto mode to work well, even at low volume levels. The presence of a WA Port also means you can use Klipsch's $130 WA-2 Wireless Subwoofer Kit.

SW-110 rear

The C-20 center channel matches the system well, but it opts for a more streamlined, rounded look, being made of the same plastic as the accent pieces on the F-30s and without a wood-grain appearance. The finish matches, nearly exactly, that of the SW-110 subwoofer. It's a nice look, though we wondered why Klipsch didn't take the motif all the way and round out the 90 degree angles of the F-30 towers as well. The C-20 center channel has two 5.25-inch woofers, and a horn-loaded tweeter sits between the two for an MTM design. You can bi-wire the center and a rear adjustable foot allows you to pitch the speaker forward if it should need to be mounted above your display on a shelf.

C-20 rear

The S-20 surrounds are very similar to the center channel in composition, but the arrangement is such that the front is a nice arc, made from the non-removable (as far as we could tell) grilles that covered the twin 5.25" drivers and tweeter. There is a single keyhole mount on the back of the speaker which, while sufficient to hold the weight of the speaker, won't do you any favors for keeping the surround from tilting left and right on the wall.

S-20 front grills S-20 rear


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Recent Forum Posts:

solarux posts on November 21, 2012 13:24
… much better now

Hey all, thanks for the tips here.
I finally exchanged my (Klipsch) KW-100 with an SW-112 subwoofer to better match my pair of Klipsch Synergy F-30's,
…and the difference is audibly noticeable. <- jaw-dropping !
I also heard an SW-110, and I'm confident it too could have easily done the job, but since I'm just running a “2.1” setup right now, the SW-112 and the Marantz CD6004 was the affordable limit, it all fit the bill nicely, for now.

The previous “KW-100” paired with the “F-30's” was just a bad package deal from BB (BestBuy), but that was my fault, haha, but thats ok, I'm learning quick about sub's.

I also tried setting my Yammy RX-V661 manually to:
Front -> “Small”
(sub)Bass Out -> “Subwoofer only”.
…but that only seemed to hold back the F-30's a bit, for some reason ?

Instead, Front -> “Large”, and (sub)Bass Out -> “Both” on the Yammy, provided the best sound for us.
- definitely gonna try and get a “YPAO” mic to help balance our rooms though.

No doubt, there is even bigger and better out there, but right now, for wifey's Opera, and our Jazz, and Blues, we have NEVER had it so good, sound-wise.
solarux posts on November 20, 2012 13:27
markw, post: 924973
For what it's worth, we have a “rickster71” posting here for several years now and your moniker could easily be confused with his. Since you're new and have only a handful (literally) of posts, i thought you might want to know that.

just sayin'

nope, I'm just another new kid on the block, forum-wise, here that is.
solarux posts on November 20, 2012 13:24
shadyJ, post: 924967
Hey Rickster, if you can swing up to the Klipsch Sw-115, that would be a far more formidable subwoofer. Its something to look into, anyway.

I hear you bud, and I'd luv to, but “could” is the word money-wise at this point, unfortunately, but we'll see,
EDIT: geeezus, they're well over a $1000.00 here (in Canada) ?! - ouch.
markw posts on November 20, 2012 13:15
For what it's worth, we have a “rickster71” posting here for several years now and your moniker could easily be confused with his. Since you're new and have only a handful (literally) of posts, i thought you might want to know that.

just sayin'
solarux posts on November 20, 2012 13:08
agarwalro, post: 924678
Maybe the recording does not have the kind of bass you are expecting. Do you get the desired slam when playing techno or movies known to have good LFE use?

and sorry to keep you guys off-topic here, but ya, I was trying a few different bass-filled CD's as well as downloading/burning some extremely heavy bass mixes, and it felt/heard like the KW-100 couldn't quite keep up with the F-30's, they felt like they were clipping/flapping ? -sry for the poor adverbs here.

Then again, I just feel (and recently learned) that the Sub-woof should just do its job (for the below (~80 <- 100 Hz), only when it's needed, and not sound like it's “clipping” just to keep up with my (Klipsch) F-30's ?
Now, could it be the way my Yamaha RX-V661 Sub-woof out feeds the LFE/in on the KW-100 sub-woof ?, - is it bad?, I dunno?.

So, I'm doing what I think is best at this point, (since I don't have a “YPAO” for AUTO sound alignment), by throwing a hopefully “better” sub at it, (Klipsch SW-112), and hear it all again, and again, and again, …
Gawd, I guess I'm just throwing money at it, which I agree, is a bad way to “…process of elimination…”
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