How so? I'd recently perfected my upstairs install of Zu's big Submission subwoofer with compact monitors. That was compliments of Pál Nagy's active 4th-order/40Hz Linkwitz-Riley low/high-pass precision filter which he built into my autoformer icOn Pro4 SE preamp. I was so impressed by the results that I wondered what might work best in our bigger downstairs system. I'd reviewed three prior RiPol-enhanced speaker systems. I was familiar with box-less somewhat directional bass. For that job description, Michael Wydra's MusikBass seemed the most commercially and cosmetically baked option. The concept doesn't promise the most output or bandwidth. It promises the fasted least resonant most room-invariant bass possible. For music not T-Rex stomps and submarine missile launches, that could well make it my golden downstairs ticket I thought. "I'll aim to send one to you right after New Year's eve." Now I'd find out whether theory and prior exposure would deliver as expected.
"Do you know which amp you want?" That was Michael. "I offer a 500-watt Truaudio class AB mono amp with all the key settings for sub integration like phase, low pass and subsonic filter. You can adjust everything including volume by remote or display. I also have the Cornered Audio, a bridgeable 140wpc class D stereo amp that can drive two subwoofers. That needs to be configured via Windows and after initial setup works even wireless. So you must install software and spend time learning it but then enjoy a huge feature set including up to 30 bands of fully adjustable parametric EQ. Both amps offer RCA and XLR inputs, the Cornered by adapter cables which I supply. In general the Cornered Audio is less suitable for someone who likes to play with different cables because of its Phoenix connectors." I requested the Truaudio and a MusikBass in white. I had my preamp's active lo/hi-pass and Kinki Studio's powerful integrated to test another scenario.
MusikBass customers with their own amp will need an outboard crossover. In the analog domain, there's the €3'000 JL Audio CR-1 and €4'500 Wilson Audio ActivXO. In the pipeline is Pál Nagy's Gradient Box which should cost significantly less but add full remote control over its 16 corner frequencies for selectable 2nd/4th-order filters with linked or separately adjustable hi/lo pass plus four bass EQ curves including bypass.
As my old boss Pat McGinty of the reborn Meadowlark Audio reports, "the 24/96 Delicate Sound of Thunder (remix live) 2020 from Pink Floyd definitely benefits from our new 21-incher. We're getting zero droop at 10Hz at max prudent pressure. This project held a few surprises. Low-passed steeply at 25Hz, much of its work is not audible per se. But it still lifts the perception of grip in the bottom octave to quite an extent. The on/off A/B leaves no doubt. More surprising is that even on music will little or no low bass, the soundstage clarifies and vocals take a step towards naturalness. That I can't explain at all. I have a recording I've used for evaluation for years, of a children's choir performing in a cathedral. That's really something to hear with this infra-bass system on."
This mirrors the experience of anyone who has ever experimented with quality subwoofers. Better bass isn't the half of it. As to the scientific why and how… does it really matter?