After several weeks of reviewing specs and opinions, I found my sub. The Definitive Tech Sub 1000 seemed just right for my budget, my needs and it had a 300 watt RMS amplifier. So I brought my Polk SW 202 sub to Magnolia and wired it into their system so i could compare it to my new sub before buying.
On my short list was the Def Tech Sub1000 (already decided winner, but wanted to do a healthy comparison), klipsch sw450 and Mirage Omni 8". I never even considered the MartinLogan Dynamo 500. That is until i accidentally flipped it on at the magnolia show room, trying to find what input I had wired my sub into into. WOW!! is all I can say. What sub is that, and how much does it cost. So i went around the room feeling the cabinets to find the monster. As i am walking around I am just blown away at the sound, fearing when I did find it, it would be $800+. But I had to find it. Once I found the Dynamo 500 and saw the price and the power rating i was blown away. How is it possible? 120 watts compared to the sub 1000's 300 watts??? How could this little monster be so much lower and fuller sounding than the Def tech. Amazing. Being a skeptic and not to be fooled easily i matched all 3 subs, My polk, the sub 1000 and the dynamo to the same levels as far as I could tell and played back the same sequence of video at least 12 times in the magnolia theater room. Switching back and forth between these three and every time, in every seen the Martin Logan matched and often exceeded the sub 1000 to my ears. I could feel the ML 500 in my chest and clothing during the torpedo seen in U-571, and bus crashing into the airplane in Speed. I could hear the bass just fine on the sub 1000, and don't get me wrong it is a fine sub...definately better than my polk. But it just did not go down to the level of the ML 500, evidenced to me by the "feel" of the bass that was lacking in the sub 1000. And that is what I was after, not just the boom but the heavy rumble of a top quality subwoofer.
After getting it home and dialed in with the help of my Pioneer VSX-03TXH I could not be happier. The bass is loud and strong when you have the volume up high, but still audible and surprisingly deep at the the lower volumes too. Excellent for movies, games and music too. Our Family room is very large, about 18x20 with 19 ft ceilings and this sub fills it. Of course you can always have more, but again for the price I could not ask for more. Very impressed and glad I happened upon this wonderful subwoofer.
In the sub $500 area, this one is hard to beat. Don't be fooled by the numbers. Let your ears do the talking, that is after all what buying speakers is all about, not how many watts the box says. Unless you are going to frame the box and put it on display, who cares. When your guests admire the sound of your home theater...they wont care how many watts were on the box, and neither will you. Buy it now so you can enjoy your movies the way they were meant to be.