|Paradigm Reference Seismic 12 Subwoofer|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Subwoofers|
|Written by Christopher Zell, Ph.D.|
|Thursday, 01 July 2004|
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Although the Paradigm Reference Seismic 12 is a success overall, there are a few points to bear in mind when considering the purchase of this subwoofer. First, there is no way to fully bypass the Seismic 12’s low-pass filter, which means there will be some interaction with your processor’s bass management system. This is a recurring problem with most subwoofers on the market, a situation that I wish more manufacturers would consider. Also, the user should determine if the small size and resulting flexibility and cosmetic advantages are necessary. Although the Paradigm Seismic 12 is very competitively priced when compared to other smaller-sized subwoofers, you still pay a bit of a premium when compared to many larger, equal or more potent subwoofers, a case in point being Paradigm’s own excellent Reference Servo-15. Lastly, some competitive products have the ability to assist in electrically optimizing a subwoofer into the listening environment, such as measurement capabilities and parametric equalization. This is however normally reflected in a larger price tag than the Seismic 12’s $1,699.
The small-profile subwoofer market is becoming a bit more crowded as time passes, but the Paradigm Seismic 12 is a worthy contender in this arena, occupying a valid position in performance and price. I was very impressed at its performance with movies, and also the more difficult task of music reproduction, even when paired with high-end dynamic main loudspeakers. Due to its compact size, one of the most appealing attributes of the Seismic 12 is its ability to be placed in inconspicuous places when the need or desire arises. For those who covet or require the advantages of a small-profile, proficient and potent subwoofer without a heavy cost premium, I highly recommend the Paradigm Reference Seismic 12.