Kinergetics SW200 rip-off ??

I recently bought a Kinergetics SW200 system through AudiogoN and after resolving the issue of grossly inaccurate description of the system's cosmetic condition (a seperate thread )I have gotten to the business of adding the subs to my system. I need help from you AudiogoNers in determining wether the system is actually working properly. My goal in purchasing the subs was to experiment with subs for the first time without spending much money. Now, I understand the issues of difficulty in blending with main speakers particularly when we're talking about speakers like the Stax F81 (electrostats). However the severerity of the broblems has surprised me, to the extent that I wonder if there isn't something wrong besides cosmetic problems. I chose the Kinergetics because it had gotten a fair amount of favorable attention a few years back, particularly in TAS; and I believe bass should be done in stereo. The following are some observations based on listening and the use of the Stereophile test CD: Speed is not as much of a problem as I had expected, it keeps up with the Stax fairly well. The quality of the bass is a problem: wooly, a little boomy, mediocre pitch definition. Extention is mediocre as well. Used with EAD7000DAC and Melos222C pre and volume pots on SW200 set at -18, output seems reasonable to 50hz. At 40hz there is a definite reduction in volume and some rattling begins. At 31.5hz previous output returns but rattling is now very dramatic. At 25hz output is greatly reduced is practically all rattle. At 20hz fuggetaboutit. In spite of all this I do mostly enjoy the new found bottom (the Stax give nothing to speak of below about 60hz in my room ), although not enough to want to deal with the other problems. The rattle is mostly not audible during music playback.I have been able to improve matters with different woofer cables, isolation etc. but the quality of the bass is just not rearly musical enough. I can't believe that they were as highly touted for use with Spicas and others as they were. The crossover, in spite of some reduction in soundstage volume, sounds reasonably transparent, a bit more electronic sound but again, not as bad as I expected. Comments and/or suggestions would be most appreciated. To the person who sold these: Your comments are welcomed as well.
Frogman- Regrettably, it is very difficult to be happy with inexpensive subwoofer systems. The SW200 that I owned sounded very similar to your description minus the rattle. Though it certainly helped with the Acoustats that I had at the time, the subs were more of woofers than subwoofers. They also had limited sound pressure levels at lower frequencies to avoid audible problems. Goodluck with your efforts with subs. It will likely be both enjoyable and frustrating. Goodluck.
frogman, when I was using f81's I ran into the same problems you are experiencing when using Janis w1. Remembering your past post, I stand by my response at the time that the f81's are best enjoyed as they are and adding a sub does this great speaker injustice and is the root of many headaches.
I have used the Kinergetics SW200 system for almost 10 years and have found it very good based of BOOM for Buck. I used them with Acoustat Spectra 33’s for 8 years. Your problems sounds very similar to mine. I used the same Stereoplile disc and they would riddle. At the time I bought them I lived near the Kinergetic factory and the designer Tony DeCinero. He and my salesman gave me adjustment and placement instructions. They instructed me to leave the volume adjusted at not more than 1/3 when using my Acoustats and keep the sub speakers 5’ from any wall. It worked, well kinda. Sometimes they would riddle but only on a few disc. Given their adjustment, placement and price, they worked well at providing that missing low bass but integration was problem. I learned to live with them and over time ignore the minor riddle on a “VERY” few discs. I now have a more convential speakers in my main system which do not really need sub’s but every now and then, I’ll hook them up and pound the walls. After all these years it’s kinda nice to know it was not me.. I recently picked up a pair Spica TC 50, I too remember the great reviews. Yes, they work outstanding when coupled together, again, given the total price of speakers and sub system.
from what i've read, it was the sw2000 that was supposed to be decent, but these were *not* budget. i like my pair of vmps larger subs, that are actually true subs, at a reasonable price. try response down to 17hz, 95db w/0.5%thd; 120db w/5.0%thd. check out the vmps www. get an active outboard x-over, like one from marchand - 24 or 48 db/octave x-over slope, & wery flexible. i'd be wery surprised if you couldn't successfully blend vmps subs w/e-stats w/these x-overs.
Thanks so far everyone.
Justlisten, good to hear from you again. I appreciated your comments the first time, but eventhough I strongly suspected that my attempts would lead to frustration, I decided to give the subwoofer thing a try. You obviously appreciate the great thing that the Stax's do; what a great speaker. But what a frustrating speaker it can be. Eventhough I could live with it's tonal balance, I'm bothered by it's leanness in the upper bass. Funny because I actually get better extention than I expected based on reviews. It's unfortunate because I have never before heard a midrange so rich and complete. Imaging is sensational in my room if with images perhaps a tiny bit reduced in size. If I could fill in the upper bass and the very lowest lower midrange, I could be extremely happy with this speaker. Have you had any experience with OTL's, I am currently using a pair of Manley Reference monos. My question now is: how much better than the Kinergetics subs are those by Rel or Hsu etc. at blending in with this very tonally accurate speaker. As I said before, speed is not really the problem. Rather it is the quality of the bass that bothers me. Not resolved enough. Too smeared and lacking inner detail. Is this perhaps something that all dynamic subs will be guilty of to varying degrees? Would appreciate any further comments.
frogman, again i suggest checking out vmps subs. give brian cheney, the owner/designer of vmps a call, after checking out his www. i also suggest checking out the reviews of the newform research r645 on audioreview, if ya like those e'stats so much, but mis the bass response.
frogman I used the f81's with Countepoint sa4 OTL's and got the itch for some upper bass. A friend would come into my listening room and mimic a musician giving the thumbs up to a the soundboard guy to turn up the bass. I tried going solid state with balls (DNA 1, Classe, etc) which only served to lose some of that mid magic. I then went the sub route and tried Muse18, and some lesser knowns which muddied up the mids and uppermids and also experinced what you did with the Kinergetics. In my opinion, the Stax is such a delicate sounding speaker using it with a sub just wont do it. I think if you tried an OTL, you'd fall deeper in love with this speaker, but still be looking for that elusive uppermid warmth and bass....good luck
Juslisten, I believe you're right. I have in fact been looking for a pair of SA4OTL's. Thanks for your comments.
with a pair of hi-quality subs, a hi-quality active x-over set at a low-enuff frequency & a steep enuff slope - 24db/octave minimum - 48db/octave may be even better for e-stats - you should be able to integrate subs w/yust about any speakers out there. for the most troubling speakers, just run the x-over on the subs, & run the monitors full-range. marchand makes 48db/octave x-overs, recommended for e-stats, as well as 24db/octave x-overs. their having a volume pot *at* the x-over frequency, as well as at the lo & hi-pass, is also especially useful...
Thanks Sedond, I'm intrigued.
frogman, as stated earlier, i'm partial to vmps - while others out there may be as good, yure gonna have to pay *at least* double the price for the same quality/quantity bass response - *if* ya buy used - otherwise, it will cost *more*.

of course, the above is *my* opinion. even if ya choose other subs, you owe it to yourself to check out marchand's www - very nice x-overs - again, my opinion.

regards, doug

frogman, you probably know this but in case you dont, the sa4 uses 6lf6 tubes which are extremley hard to find at any price. If they were available, id still own the SA4's and the f81's for that matter, one of the best setups ive owned. Good luck in your pursuits.
I believe the SW 200 was a 10 inch downward firing sub -- pretty conventional design. THE Kinergetics sub was the SW800, twin towers with five 10 inch forward firing drivers in each enclosure. I don't recall any raves for any of their other subs. Not saying they are bad, but I just don't recall them getting a lot of attention. I'm in the process of buying SW800's right now. I ,too, was trying to add subs at a lower price point but found subs that integrate well generally are not inexpensive. REL's and Vandersteens were the best that I auditioned in my system, but still didn't work all that well in my system. Not enough to buy them, anyway. (I qualify this by saying that I used a single sub only -- two might work better but cost and placement didn't make me happy.) I'm going with the SW800's since they, and the crossover software, were originally designed for and integrate well with my speakers. But, generally, it's tough to do subs right on the cheap -- even more so with esl's. As others here have stated, adding bass while not losing the very qualities that makes esl's so special is not an easy thing to do under any circumstances.
jim, thanks for clarifying for me the different sub models that kinergetics had. i anxiously await a report from you how the sw800's work w/your cls'; i'm also interested in any x-over info about it, that ya mite have.

regards, doug

Will do, Doug. I'm not sure how accurate my recollection of the SW200 is, though. Too many thoughts about too many things running through my head these days. I've decided to take a few months off and have really been running amok with all the things that interest me. I'm bogged down on my 3 litre project for now, since the audio jones is draining my funds pretty well these days. And the wife is giving me the stink eye when I mention that I might as well go for gear lightening when taking care of that second gear synchro. She really freaks when I wonder aloud about how I can get my audio gear to those $7 a night beach bungalow's in a remote area of southern Thailand that I spotted in the NY Times travel section. As I calculate food and lodging, I can really go on hiatus there...
I know this is an old thread... but in case anyone stumbles across it.

I have a Spica / Kinergetic SW200 combo. The SW200 are 2 pairs (4 total) of 10" forward firing subs.

I'm currently disappointed with their bass production for home theater and looking into alternatives. I'm not really an audiophile, though. Just looking for a "movie experience." The kinergetics does blend well with my Spicas.
I have looked for true bass for about thirty years and never found it in manufacured subs.Either they were too much or too cheap and in the middle were the used and abused.I began building subs about fifteen years ago as a hobby.As of now I am in the middle of project ten and did I hit the mother load.
First off I finally began to understand room modes.Second I began to understand the equipment that corrects them (almost,nothing is perfect ).Then I was able to search out the almost perfect sub driver.Then there was the amp to drive it.
So in a nut shell here is what did it...... the equalized (parametric) is the behringer 1124p ($110).Amps, two Adcom GFA 555mkII's ($400.00 each used)(bridged mono).Two Adire Tumults 15" sub drivers (500.00 each). Now the cabinets are two inch thick MDF and are about 3.0 cu. ft. each (seperate cabinets).I know that you have purchased the K's and you are not happy but if it makes you feel any better I spent $1910.00 and finally got the results.In the last fifteen years I probably spent 5000.00 learning what I wanted.This hobby takes time and money and lots of reading and talking but,we all payed our dues and made it through.I hope all works out for you and don't give up cause it's out there.You have to find it.Good luck.