Paradigm DSP-3400 14-inch Powered Subwoofer - Short Review

Paradigm DSP-3400 Powered Subwoofer
Paradigm DSP-3400 Powered Subwoofer. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

The Paradigm DSP-3400 is a large, heavy, powered subwoofer with a large 14-inch driver, complemented by a dual front facing ports, and powerful built-in low-frequency amplifier. The connections and controls are on the rear panel.

The DSP-3400 has several adjustments, including Phase (which matches the in/out subwoofer driver motion to the satellite speakers), Level (volume/gain), and Cut-off (sets the crossover pint at which the subwoofer produces low-frequency sounds, against the ability of the satellite speakers to reproduce low-frequency sounds).

The controls allow matching to a variety of satellite speaker types. Downsides: The controls are on the back of the subwoofer panel, and there is no remote control that allows adjustments to be made from your listening position.

Paradigm DSP-3400 Specifications

  • Design: bass-reflex, built-in amplifier, dual high-velocity low-turbulence resistive ports, single driver.
  • Amplifier High Current Discrete Output: 300 watts RMS Sustained/900 watts Dynamic Peak.
  • Amplifier Design Features Automatic On/Off function - when you turn rest of system on, the subwoofer is active.
  • Bass Driver (14 inches) CAP™ Carbon/Aramid-Fiber Polypropylene Cone, ceramic/ferrite magnet, 4-layer voice-coil.
  • Low-Frequency Extension down to 19 Hz. Subwoofer Cutoff Frequency Variable 35 Hz - 150 Hz; Bypass option.
  • Controls: Subwoofer Level, Cut-off Frequency (Crossover Control), Sub-Sat Phase (Continuously Variable 0-180 degrees).
  • Line Level RCA Inputs (L/R-Mono) for L/R line out or Sub-Out LFE-Out of receiver processor or another line-level source.
  • Standard Speaker connection option.
  • Dimensions: Height 22-1/4 in (56.5 cm), Width 15-3/4 in (40 cm), Depth 20-15/16 in (53.2 cm), Weight: 64.8lb (29.40kg).
  • Finishes Available: Cherry, Rosenut, Black Ash, MSRP - $899

Performance

The DSP-3400 delivered powerful, deep, tight bass. Although it is very large, it produced excellent bass even at low volume levels.

The DSP-3400 subwoofer proved to be a very good sonic match for the rest of the speakers. Blu-ray soundtracks with LFE effects, such as Master and Commander, Alien vs Predator: Requiem, The Golden Compass, and Cloverfield, the DSP-3400 showed no strain, fatigue, or drop-off at the lowest frequencies, producing LFE effects at full impact.

As a music subwoofer, the DSP-3400 reproduced clean bass on several notable bass-notable cuts, such as the famous sliding bass riff on Heart's Magic Man, the Eric Kunzel/Telarc recording of the 1812 Overture, and Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.

Pros

  • Excellent deep bass response - tight and clear.
  • Large Power Output - can handle the most dynamic low-frequency sound passages.
  • Excellent low-frequency response at any volume level.
  • Front Firing Driver Design, Dual Front ports provided for bass extension.
  • Good Price Point.

Cons

  • No on-board provisions for connecting a second subwoofer.
  • No wireless remote control capability - this would make adjustment easier from listening position.
  • You need two people to make the best adjustments - one at the sub and one at the listening position.
  • No way to save separate settings for Music and Movie use.
  • Very large and very heavy. Do not lift - use a hand truck or dolly.

    The Bottom Line

    The Paradigm DSP-3400 Powered Subwoofer delivers power, clear, tight, and undistorted deep bass response from the combination of its large front facing 14-inch driver, dual front ports, and 300 watts of continuous power from its built-in amplifier.

    I was impressed with the DSP-3400. Its bass response is excellent at both loud and soft volume levels and is priced right. However, although this subwoofer sounds great in small, medium, and large sized rooms, it is physically very large, which will definitely dominate a small room environment. Also, if you need to move it around, use a hand truck or a dolly.

    To dig a little deeper into the Paradigm DSP-3400's features and performance read my Full Review and view my Photo Gallery

    NOTE: Paradigm has discontinued production of the DSP-3400 14-inch powered subwoofer, but it may still be available used via third parties. For a look at their current subwoofer line, check out the Official Paradigm Subwoofer Page.

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