Archive for category Subs
In the end, I lost … and it wasn’t any of the big, dumb action set pieces that did me in. It was a scene in which Dom (played by Vin Diesel) pulls his ’71 Plymouth GTX up to a New York City intersection, revs the motor, then floors it into a right turn. At roughly six dB above reference listening levels, the bass cranked out by the PB-4000 in this scene literally made me physically discombobulated. My chest felt queasy. My heart went floopy. I had to bring the system back down to reference levels just for the sake of my own bodily comfort. At no point during any of that, though, did I hear anything other than perfectly clean, perfectly sustained, perfectly forceful and articulate low-frequency energy.”
I moved on to recordings that didn’t make big demands on the SB-4000. When I played Spoon’s “Hot Thoughts” CD, the sub helped the 3020 speakers project a larger and deeper soundstage. I tested it further by turning off the SB-4000 and running just the 3020s. Right away the sound space seemed markedly smaller. Then turning on the sub didn’t just add more bass, the SB-4000 enlarged the soundstage. I’ve noted the same effect with other top-quality subwoofers over the years.”
So with this woofer it pays to play to its strengths. The SuperSub X is a thrillingly ballistic performer that hits far harder than a box with these compact dimensions has any right to. It can create bone-jarring impacts, and goes deep enough to find soundtrack secrets that can be overlooked. It’s clear that GoldenEar has worked extremely hard to ensure that its vast power output is contained and used to good advantage, and it’s easy to live with day-to-day.
The Quads and SVS sub rendered clean, solid, full bass reproduction of the sounds of many different instruments—kick drum, bass drum, timpani, and synthesizer. For a review I wrote for the October 1989 issue, I listened to Velodyne’s ULD-18 subwoofer with a recording of John Williams’s Liberty Fanfare, from Lowell Graham and the National Symphonic Winds’ Winds of War and Peace (CD, Wilson Audiophile WCD-8823). The downfiring Velodyne remained silent for the first 55 seconds of this track, then burst into life with the bass drum’s first notes. The bass-drum whack had no unnecessary overtones, no overhang, and disturbed no midrange or treble sounds. The SB16-Ultra delivered the same dense, solid punch with no added sustain, but revealed more of the bass drum’s timbre.”
I only really have one negative comment about the No.25, beyond the typical ‘it’s big and it’s heavy,’ and that’s that the front-facing LED display causes a faint whine through the driver. Apparently the company wanted white LEDs rather than a more garish blue, and this is an unavoidable side-effect of the display unit specified. The display only comes on when an adjustment is being made and switches off after a few seconds, so it’s not a big issue but it is a bit ‘odd’ at this price.”