Adam Rayner tickles a (sub)woofer that bites hard
Although I’m not as familiar with Paradigm as with some brands, I’ve now heard a bunch of its loudspeakers and have learned one essential thing. It uses lots of cone area in its kit, albeit by slapping lots of midrangers into the towers, or by cramming a 10in woofer into the sort of box most normal people would only use for an 8in.
And the Seismic 110 is no exception. It’s also known as The Bulldog – after its stubby-footed stance and pugnacious proportions. It’s been developed with a nice fat 850W class D amplifier and a speaker driver of bonkers technology.
The back of this woofer driver is bizarrely long. Paradigm calls it ‘split coil’, meaning that one voice coil wire is right behind the cone, but that the magnet – all 4.5kg of it – has another, in the guts of what is a long and powerful motor structure. It allows two inches of excursion on the piston and, as it’s in a sealed enclosure, can drop down to the suspension’s limit.
I played with the sweepable and audible phase, and adjusted crossover and level before playing some 5.1ch DTS music material, before letting Avatar’s throbbing start sequence wash over me.
The Seismic 110 was musical and grippy, fast with no appreciable overhang. Yet equally it enjoys reaching right down into the fear zone, even in the midst of other bass, and has effortless depth.
A good subwoofer demo occurs later in the film. After being awestruck by the outer-space intro, director James Cameron takes you through space to the planet Pandora in short-winged craft, injecting a massive, hard-edged bass hit as you move from space into the Pandoran atmosphere. Again, the Paradigm handled all of this with effortless power, skilled articulation and rich profundity.
So, this is a demon amongst compact subs, which I regard as just as amazing in output for size as Bowers & Wilkins’ legendary PV1. This Bulldog’s got bite!
Highs: Looks; performance and quality; upgradeability
Lows: Like a small but fast sports car – it’s not a budget option
Paradigm Seismic 110 subwoofer
Drive Unit: 1 x 10in mineral-filled polypropylene cone supporting flat diaphragm; suspension with inverted corrugated Santoprene surround
Enclosure: Sealed, cylindrical die-cast monocoque
Frequency Response: 18-150Hz
On board power: 850W
Dimensions: 298(w) x 343(h) x 320(d)mm
Connections: Phono stereo line in and single balanced 3-pin XLR input, plus USB for connection of Paradigm’s Perfect Bass Kit, a microphone-based auto-EQ algorithm system
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