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Polk Audio CSW100/SWA500 Built-in Subwoofer System

by January 09, 2006
Filed under: Loudspeakers

Polk Audio's CSW100 is an in-ceiling/in-floor design that can also be placed in entertainment cabinets and other furniture. The CSW100 uses a single 10-inch woofer in a bandpass style enclosure fabricated entirely of low-resonance MDF. Patented High Velocity Compression Drive bandpass alignment and a Laminar Flow slot port, combine to produce exceptional bass output unmatched by similarly sized built-in models. Measuring 26.2" L x 13" W and 9" D, the CSW100 comfortably fits in standard joist spacing and even in smaller Quiet Floor joist spacing. Bass frequencies exit the enclosure via an incredibly small 2" x 12" vent, making the CSW100 the least visually intrusive subwoofer on the market today. The CSW100 started shipping to custom installation specialist retailers in December 2005 at a MSRP of $525.

The CSW100 and other Polk built-in subwoofer models are powered by an external Class D amplifier, the SWA500. Producing 500 Watts Continuous into 4 Ohms, the SWA500 easily powers up to two woofers to rafter shaking levels. Two plug-in SPEX data cards, one for each model of subwoofer, are shipped with the amplifier. Each [polkcsw200floor1] SPEX card is pre-programmed to the equalization, infrasonic filter characteristics and power output that best match the woofer being used. SPEX stands for Secure Power & Equalization with an "X" tacked on to make the name sound cool. A full array of features include: front panel Level and Variable Low-Pass Filter controls, Overload Protection circuitry, low-level and high-level Inputs, 2 sets of outputs (for daisy-chain connection to additional amplifiers), Phase Switch and Auto On/Off. The SWA500 started shipping to custom installation specialist retailers in December 2005 at a MSRP of $700.

Observing the sub in action was very interesting. While the floor didn't flex, it certainly sounded like it wanted too. The ported sub had a heater vent type grill that I had to hold my hand above to make sure it was the one being played. The non-ported design was not available to demo.

For more information, visit www.polkaudio.com .

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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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