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In terms of output, real music in my room posed no real challenge for one G-928. In terms of volume, a single G-928 was all that was required for the aforementioned transformation. However, two subs were marginally better. Marginally but appreciably. Adding a second subwoofer wasn't about louder bass or increased impact. Once two subs were balanced for natural music reproduction, such anticipated effects really didn't happen at my preferred listening levels. I already had plenty. What I did hear was added body to the bass itself, just what you'd expect to hear when a second track of a solo vocal is laid down upon a single identical track. Think Britney Spears. Added layers of her voice actually produce a fairly convincing facsimile of a decent voice. It's not that the G-928s require the same trickery to sound good but two of them do add a measure of body and depth. Two subs improve upon bass timbres by deepening their color and making the bass ever so slightly more natural. Slightly but appreciably.

If you've never experienced a music system capable of extremely low frequencies at high amplitudes and if you like music recorded in real space, you're in for unexpected surprises. Most of the classical music recordings I listen to always produced sounds -- unexpected rumblings -- whose origins I could only speculate upon as they weren't part of the music. Shuffling noises picked up in the recording sounded as though they were mostly resonating through the floor of the hall. As I sat listening now, I'd hear what I thought where sounds outside my house. Many times I thought I heard the UPS man stomping across the wooden deck outside my room. Other times I thought I heard muffled knocking at the door. Many were the times I'd hit the pause button on the remote just to be sure someone wasn't actually at the door. If the music was recorded with a live audience, the frequency of these occurrences increased greatly to add to the sense of being there with the audience as one of them.

So the Genesis Advanced Technologies G-928 subwoofer is all roses and no thorns? You knew better than to expect perfection. There is one teensy caveat, one tiny pea under a stack of mattresses. This one thing the G-928 couldn't do will be a deal breaker for only 2% of readers while the other 98% won't give a damn. By now at least 2% of readers will probably have that famous Telarc recording with the "Jurassic Lunch" track. You can actually find it on various Telarc discs. For the other 98% who don't know, it opens with nothing but rain forest ambiance but off in the distance you soon hear the foot falls of an approaching T-Rex headed your way. Eventually he's right on top of you and destroying and consuming whatever medium-sized animal is in his path. It's fairly cool with all the bone crunching and huge belch at the end of his meal. But as it happens, the very first and the faintest of foot falls on this cut are the deepest. They are faint because they are buried in infrasonic territory. Telarc says 16Hz. There's not a lot to hear down there but you can certainly feel it and you will hear various things in your room start to quake. Not only are these low frequencies, they are of unnaturally high amplitude for a combination of depth and power never found in real music. While the G-928 handled these frequencies fairly well and at responsible levels, a little too much gas on the volume control and you'll hear the woofers freaking out and hitting their stops. For 98% of shoppers, this won't be an issue. For the other 2% who live for this cut at high volumes, it'll be a little disappointing.

I asked Gary Koh and he wasn't surprised. He knew the cut very well. Rather than complicate the design of the G-928 with protection limiters which would compromise overall performance, he made a conscious design decision to omit overload sensing circuits that would limit the internal amplifier's output, something he claims most other subs do. He conceded that it would then appear the subwoofer was handling the piece with aplomb yet the protective scheme would be a detriment to the subwoofer's performance on everything else. Of course, readers with glasses half full will no doubt have recognized already that the G-928 does indeed reproduce those 16Hz, something few subs pull off. Despite this slight hiccup of ultimate infrasonic SPLs, I'm pleased to report that at no other time during my audition did I bottom things out. I listened to plenty of other sonic spectaculars without incident and nothing from the world of real music ever seemed to challenge the G-928. Two bass-rich soundtrack albums I turned to are both by composer James Horner. The Sneakers Soundtrack [Columbia CK53146] and Patriot Games [RCA 66051-2] are filled to the brim with explosive and room-shaking bass drums throughout but "Assault on Ryan's House" in particular is real torture. The G-928 handled both discs with aplomb, producing bass that was deep, powerful and visceral.

Despite my enthusiasm and through no fault of the G-928 subwoofer from Genesis Advanced Technologies, there won't be awards handed out today. It's been a while since I've played with subwoofers in this price class. Though the subwoofers I'm most familiar with were actually priced fairly close to the G-928's 2008 dollars, in today's market the G-928s are not all that expensive, comparatively speaking. Nevertheless, I'm not familiar enough with the offerings of other companies to know exactly how the G-928 stacks up. I only know this: in terms of speed, power, detail and pitch definition, the G-928 is the best overall subwoofer I've used and at its price, looks like a bargain to me. I'll also admit that my own opinion is bolstered just a bit by the fact that the G-928 has been reviewed by just about every home theater publication extant and received nothing but raves and highest ratings including from reviewers who know music. Still, you don't pronounce the first piece you try the best there is even if you have the sneaking suspicion that it might be.

In October 2004, I reviewed the Thiel $3,000 PCS monitors with the $4,900 SS2 subwoofer and matching $350 PX02 passive crossover and declared the SS2 sub good value. Shortly thereafter I ran into my local Thiel dealer (at his store of all places!) and was asked if I really thought the SS2 a good value at $4,900. At first I was a little taken aback. Indeed, $4,900 is a lot of money for a subwoofer. But then I recalled my thinking at the time I wrote the review. The subwoofer had combined with a $3,000 pair of speakers for a system that was adjustable in the bass ensuring that it could be made to work in just about any small, medium or large room. When taken as a package, the $8,250 PCS/SS2 combo was competitive with any $10,000 full-range speaker I knew. That spells value to me particularly when considering the versatility of the Thiel system. So in terms of what the SS2 did for the system, yes I did and still do think that it's a great investment - if you already own Thiel speakers.

To get the very best from the G-928 subwoofer (or any other sub for that matter), an active outboard crossover is just about mandatory. As I've discovered, the $3,100 Bryston 10B (full review to come) fits the bill extraordinarily well and won't be rendered obsolete regardless of which speakers you buy in the future. The G-928/10B combo lists for $5,700 and will do what the SS2 did for any speakers (the Thiel sub is only recommended for Thiel speakers unless you add the $4,000 SmartSub Integrator.) Remember, it's not just about cleaner and more powerful bass. It's about taking the speakers you already have to another level too. When combined with the excellent Usher Be-718 or Acoustic Zen Adagio Jr., you're talking about systems retailing for between $8,995 and $9,700 respectively. They'll go head-to-head against any full-range $10,000 speaker I know of and most likely walk away the winner by most criteria.

Of course, I've been using the Genesis sub with the $17,950 Tidal Pianos. In that context, it looks like an outstanding bargain. I've also used it with the excellent $12,000 Mark & Daniel Apollo IIs and found the combo outstanding. At the other end of the spectrum, I plan on trying the G-928 with a pair of tiny and affordable $2,100 Genesis 7.1 monitors.

If you're contemplating the purchase of a top-notch subwoofer but the price of an active crossover looks a little steep just now, re-read the beginning of the listening impressions of this review. Particularly with smaller speakers such as the Adagio Jr.s, I got wicked good performance with the G-928 all by itself. Wicked good. Even had I not experienced the G-928 with the Bryston B10, I still would have purchased it.

Oh, yeah, I guess I almost forgot to mention it: the G-928 ain't going nowhere. It's far too good and has brought way too much enjoyment to my system to even consider letting it out of my listening room. The Genesis Advanced Technologies G-928 subwoofer is a great subwoofer and fantastic performer.

Quality of packing: First rate
Reusability of packing: Should survive at least a few passages
Ease of unpacking/repacking: Easy enough given the considerable weight of the subwoofer
Condition of component received: Excellent
Completeness of delivery: Excellent
Quality of owner's manual: Excellent All Genesis owner's manuals are unusually complete and written by someone who obviously cares about you getting the most performance from your component
Website comments: As good as most, better than many
Warranty: 90 days; 5 years with return of warranty registration card and dated copy of receipt
Human interactions: All e-mails were promptly and completely answered
Genesis website
Bryston website