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Niles SWA-500M

Mono amplifier for Niles GSS10 in-ground subwoofer

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  • Niles SWA-500M

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Item #: 190SWA500M
 
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Expected: 8/5/2014
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Our take on the Niles SWA-500M

by Marshall Chase
Niles

When your outdoor music needs more oomph

Listening to your favorite tunes on your outdoor system is great fun. Missing the bass from those tunes? Not so much. The Niles SWA-500M amplifier pumps out 250 watts of solid power to drive your Niles GSS10 in-ground garden subwoofer. Together, they deliver a one-two punch that brings satisfying bass to your outdoor space.

Flexible features

The SWA-500M provides precise control of  the bass. Variable high and low-pass filters let custom dial your music.  You can use either a 12-volt trigger or an auto-mode to control the amp to go on and off with either amp- or receiver-fed music. And 4-ohm stability lets you power up to two GSS10 subs for 500 continuous watts of bass delight.

This powerful amp will also do a superb job driving one or two indoor passive subwoofers, like many in-wall or in-floor subs, for example.

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Highlights:

  • mono amplifier for use with Niles GSS10 in-ground garden subwoofers
  • amplifier must be installed indoors
  • 250 watts (mono) into 8 ohms, or 500 watts into 4 ohms
  • Class D amplifier design
  • front mounted level, phase and crossover controls
  • separate Music and Movie level settings
  • continuously variable 40-120 Hz low-pass crossover
  • adjustable rear-panel bass boost
  • continuously variable 60-160 Hz high-pass filter
  • stereo and LFE RCA line-level inputs and outputs
  • LFE (Low Frequency Effects) input is unfiltered for connection to a home theater receiver's subwoofer output
  • gold-plated 5-way speaker binding posts (stereo input and output, and subwoofer output)
  • unfiltered LFE (Low Frequency Effects) input for connection to a home theater receiver's subwoofer output
  • 12V trigger or music sense automatic turn-on/off
  • includes rack mount kit and hardware
  • detachable AC power cord
  • 4"H X 17"W X 15-3/4"D
  • weight: 28.7 lbs.
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
General
Number of Channels
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1
Power Output per Channel (8 ohms)
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---
Power Output per Channel (6 ohms)
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---
Power Output per Channel (4 ohms)
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500
Frequency Response
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Not given
THD
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1%
Bridged Power per Channel
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N/A
Speaker Outputs
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2
THX Certification
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No
Width (inches)
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17
Height (inches)
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4-1/8
Depth (inches)
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15-3/4
Weight
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28.7 pounds
Parts Warranty
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2 Years
Labor Warranty
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2 Years
Inputs & Outputs
Number of Inputs
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1
Level Controls
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Yes
Speaker Connectors
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Binding posts
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Mono subwoofer amplifier
  • 6' AC power cord (2-pronged polarized plug on one end and IEC 2 pronged plug on the other end)
  • 2 Rack ears
  • 4 Rack screws
  • Installation Guide
  • Attention sheet

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features

Overview: The Niles Audio SWA-500M is a Class D mono subwoofer amplifier that is designed to drive Niles Passive Subwoofers, such as the SW10WM, SW10JM, and GSS10. The amp's high-current design can handle even the most demanding situations, and will work well for both indoor and outdoor speaker systems (indoor installation is required). It has RCA and binding post inputs and outputs, and front-mounted controls.

Power Output: The SWA-500M produces 500 watts RMS into 4 ohms with <1% THD. It has two speaker outputs, allowing you to connect one 4 ohm or two 8 ohm subwoofers.

Inputs: The amp offers multiple ways of inputting a signal. You can hook up the amp via a line-level connection. Three gold-plated RCA jacks are provided: left and right RCAs if you're using a stereo input, and an LFE input if your receiver has an LFE output. You can also input a speaker-level signal by connecting a stereo output from a receiver to the SWA-500M's gold-plated binding post inputs.

Note: The binding posts will accept bare wire, pin connectors, single- and double-banana connectors. A collar around the binding post prohibits use of spade lugs.

Speaker Outputs: The amplifier has binding posts for two subwoofer outputs labeled A and B. If you are connecting only one subwoofer, you should use the A outputs. If you are adding a second subwoofer, it should be connected to the B outputs. The two-way toggle switch on the rear panel must be set to the correct position to reflect the number of subwoofers connected (one or two).

Pass Throughs: The SWA-500M has gold-plated RCA output jacks which can pass through the line-level signal to another amplifier. The left and right audio outputs are affected by the unit's high-pass filter settings. The LFE output signal is not filtered. If you connected the amp via speaker-level input, you can pass through that amplified signal to a pair of satellite speakers via the left and right speaker outputs (binding posts), in addition to the subwoofer outputs. The stereo speaker outputs are not affected by the unit's high-pass filter, however the subwoofer output is affected by the low-pass filter setting.

Front Controls: The SWA-500M has several rotary controls on the front panel for setting up the subwoofer's sound. The low-profile rotary controls can be adjusted by hand or with a large flat-blade screwdriver. The front panel controls include:

  • Low-Pass: This rotary low-pass control dial sets the subwoofer's crossover frequency between 40 and 120 Hz. Audio signals below the set frequency are passed through to the subwoofer speaker. The low-pass filter has a slope of 12dB per octave. Note: The amplifier has a fixed low-pass filter at 125 Hz with a 6dB per octave slope.
  • Phase: The phase control helps integrate the subwoofer sound into the entire sound system. You can set the control between 0° and 180°. The subwoofer's physical placement can affect the output relative to the rest of the system. Adjusting the phase control can optimize the bass sound.
  • High-Pass: The high-pass control consists of a two-position switch, turning the filter on and off, and a rotary control to set the frequency cutoff. The control is adjustable between 60 and 160 Hz, and should be set to the frequency recommended by the satellite speaker manufacturer. Audio signals above the cutoff frequency are passed through to the satellite speaker outputs. The high-pass filter has a slope of 12dB per octave for both the speaker outputs and the stereo line-level outputs.
  • Music/Movie Levels: Because bass levels will differ depending on whether you are watching a movie or listening to music, the amplifier includes separate level controls. The two-position Setup switch lets you choose which level control is active during the initial setup (an LED will indicate the currently selected mode). After setup, you can manually select the Music or Movie mode, or automatically via an external trigger.

Bass Boost: The SWA-500M has a Bass Boost control on the rear panel that adds a measure of bass reinforcement at a selectable frequency. You can set the bass boost frequency at 50Hz, 40Hz, 35Hz, 25Hz, or No Boost. The level of bass boost is not provided.

Audio Sensing Trigger: The SWA-500M can be set to turn on automatically when an audio signal is detected on either the line-level or speaker-level inputs. The rear-mounted (Auto) Power Switch must be set to the Music/Voltage Sensing position in order to engage the Auto Turn-on Feature. The unit will automatically enter standby mode 15-20 minutes after losing the audio signal.

12-volt Triggers: The amplifier features two triggers that allow you to control the power and mode settings remotely. The trigger inputs and outputs take a 3.5mm mini-plug. The triggers include:

  • System Trigger: The System On/Off Trigger lets you turn the amplifier on or off automatically. When the amp receives a control signal from a home theater sound processor or receiver, the amplifier turns on automatically. The input accepts AC or DC controls signals ranging from 3 to 30 volts. When the signal is no longer detected, the amplifier will automatically turn itself off after a delay of 15-20 minutes. The "Out" jack will pass the power trigger signal to another amplifier or other trigger-activated device.
  • Movie Mode Trigger: The Movie Mode Trigger can automatically switch the amplifier mode from Music to Movie when the input receives voltage (3-30 volts AC or DC). When no signal is detected, the amplifier remains in the Music mode. The "Out" jack will pass the movie trigger signal to another SWA-500M amplifier.

Switchable Input Power: The SWA-500M amplifier is compatible with 115 Volts or 230 Volts AC power systems. A switch on the rear panel next to the main power switch lets you choose the voltage required.

Rack Mountable: The SWA-500M amplifier comes with a pair of rack mounting ears that can be attached to the sides of the unit. With the rack ears in place, the amp can be mounted into a standard 19" rack. The amplifier is 2 rack units (2U) in height (3.5") with the feet removed. You must allow adequate free air space above and behind the unit for proper ventilation.

 
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