Yamaha YST-FSW100 subwoofer review:

Yamaha YST-FSW100 subwoofer

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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Slim-line subwoofer; 6.5-inch woofer; 75-watt power amplifier; volume control mounted on top for easy access.

The Bad The baby boomer lacks the muscle of full-size subs.

The Bottom Line Yamaha's pint-size YST-FSW100 subwoofer is the ideal partner for its Digital Sound Projector virtual surround speakers.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

7.1 Overall

Yamaha's new YST-FSW100 mini subwoofer has a big mission: provide a soul-satisfying bass foundation for its Digital Sound Projector series of speakers, the YSP-800, the YSP-1000, and the older YSP-1. Those single-speaker surround systems use an advanced series of microdrivers and reflective technology to handle the 5 part of 5.1, and the Yamaha YST-FSW100 supplies the .1 subwoofer/bass portion. The match is so seamless that we wouldn't even consider using another brand's sub, and the FSW100's price is right: just $180.

The Digital Sound Projector speakers were designed to look snazzy hung on a wall under a flat-screen TV, so the Yamaha YST-FSW100 picks up on the speaker's styling cues and uses a trim, 6.25-inch-deep cabinet, designed to lay flat against the wall. The curved front grille adds a bit of style to the design, and the YST-FSW100 is available in silver or black finishes. It's 15.75 inches wide and 14.5 high, and it weighs a solid 19.8 pounds.

The sub sports a 6.5-inch woofer, a 75-watt amplifier, and a half-pipe port that extends deep bass response while minimizing extraneous noise. The volume control is conveniently located on the sub's top panel. Connectivity is limited to a line-level RCA input.

The Thin Red Line DVD demonstrated the Yamaha YST-FSW100's home-theater prowess. There's a scene early in the film where Sean Penn is giving advice to a young soldier in the belly of a transport ship. Most pint-size subs render the low rumbling mechanical sound of the ship's engine as undifferentiated boom, but the Yamaha transmitted each shudder of the mighty power plant. The jungle battle sequences later in the film had plenty of visceral impact. Turning to music, we popped in one of Shaggy's rap-reggae CDs, which are loaded with bombastic bass rhythms. This little sub pumped out the deep beats like a champ, as long as we didn't push the volume too hard.

At the end of the day, the Yamaha YST-FSW100 was designed for one thing--to complement the Yamaha Digital Sound Projector--and it performs that function admirably. In terms of design and performance, the YST-FSW100 is the ideal partner for Yamaha's YSP-1, YSP-800, or YSP-1000.

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