Again, it's not about just tacking onto small monitors extra bandwidth. Any box boomer could do that. It's about seriously reducing room blur, front-corner pressure zones and box talk to improve bass timing, control and… yes, speed. Slow omni bass is very real. It's not a myth. It's just a miss once you hear perfectly damped directional RiPol bass by contrast. That despite an expired patent standalone such subs remain virtual unicorns and even rare built into speakers doesn't invalidate their effectiveness. If you find standard box bass problematic, it makes spotting an add-on RiPol sub in the wild a once-in-a-blood-moon event. So excuse my mounting excitement as this one nears completion. White elephant. Approaching. Nearing on a parallel track less traveled, there's Pál Nagy's Gradient Box. That will give advanced subwoofer integrators an unusually flexible tool to hone their craft. Needless to say, I'm planning to combine both. On another parallel track we then have Stereophile bunker man Herb Reichert's expanding subwoofer tales. If you're still on hold with the entire sub-for-music topic, his reviews on the SVS 3000 Micro and KEF KC62 make for good reading. If you do German, there are multiple Velodyne installs by different members of the HifiStatement crew and John Darko in Berlin has made a KEF micro sub a permanent addition to his setup and plans on a second unit. On this subject long overdue, attitudes are finally changing. Perhaps it's time you got in on the action as well?
As my photo showed, other than very real performance gains—routinely overlooked is the higher satisfaction from low playback levels—a subwoofer can very effectively shrink your boxes. This will often look better, set up easier and, all else being equal, come in for less. When monkey coffins are out and refrigerators exclusive to the kitchen, the job description of monitors + sub reaps dividends on multiple counts. Now best off are those who plan this division of labor from the onset. It avoids throwing away paid-for bass extension in big tower speakers. It can save big by sidestepping overkill box constructions where low loud woofers share an enclosure with midrange/tweeter. It can save on speaker amplification no longer being tasked with low bass which sucks up most the power. To maximize these gains just wants a solid plan so you don't waste money and time remodeling a system which could have been built this way from the start. And, if you come from a big complex tower rig wishing to downsize without giving up performance, the sub/sat music system too becomes a very sensible solution. This is from someone who did it the other way for nearly 20 years before wising up. Call it hard-earned smarts which you could exercise a lot sooner. We all learn from personal experience. Smart people simply also learn from other people's mistakes so they needn't repeat them. Just sayin'…
August 23rd. "I'm hoping you're both settling into your new digs and that the move went okay. Apologies for the silence. Earlier this year we found that our old chalet needed a new roof. One thing led to another and we're presently in total kaos. We ended up gutting the place and hope that by November we'll have a shiny new home plus new workshop and listening room. Went all the way with 100m² photovoltaics, heat pump and under-floor heating plus a serious amount of insulation. Most the ripout is done and we're starting to put it all back together again. Working out of my old office—the only room still habitable—and an apartment in the village.
"The DSUB 15 is nearly there, just want to try some filter foam on the rear wave to see if I can get a bit more loading. Since I had to break it down for the move about a month ago, I've been having real withdrawal symptoms. Had only set it up with my MiniDSP/250-watt ICE amp and the Liber|8 about 80cm forward of the main speakers. It really does work a treat. The main takeaway is the subtleness and speed of the low end. It's not really there but when you turn it down, you know what you're missing. I'm going to try and ship it out to you in a few weeks. It's 60kg so may have to go road freight."
I'd use my Pál Nagy icOn 4Pro SE preamp with integral hi/lo-pass filter plus had external 4th-order low-pass filters at 40Hz, 60Hz and 80Hz so didn't need to wait for Martin's own. As woofer driver I had the 250w-watt Kinki Studio integrated with precision volume control to match the Kinki Studio EX-B7 monos on the Aurai Lieutenant mains. This unusual Swiss sub wouldn't be the beast from the East but perhaps the best from the West? I couldn't wait to hear it in our new 6x8m sound room which was just a bit shy on low-end power. Of course getting to know our new delivery man with such a load might not start our association on the right foot. But then I'm left-handed so probably left-footed. I could always offer a cup of tea. At least in the UK, a cuppa makes everything betta. If you wondered why I mentioned Martin's chalet remodel, it was to show that he doesn't do things half-assed. Once committed, he goes all the way even if it exceeds the originally planned. So he's more of a double-cheek guy. That applies in full also to the subject of today's review – two woofers not one, each 15 inches across not 10" or 12", rigid box, exotic loading, all electronics external. Yet despite all seriousness of raw hardware, it still presents visually as surprisingly compact. At least so I thought before it touched down and my furniture dolly cranked back.
… to be continued…
Would you like to download the current image?
Would you like to download the current image?