January 19, 2022 § Leave a comment

As I mentioned earlier, you’ll need the Gravis app to do the majority of the subwoofer’s setup. I grabbed a copy of the Gravis app from the Apple App Store and installed it on my iPhone 11 Pro. The app found the Gravis III within a few seconds and prompted me to connect via Bluetooth. Even once paired, the blue connectivity light on the back of the sub continued to blink every few minutes which was very noticeable when watching movies at night. Fortunately, Sonus faber released a firmware update to address this and now the light will only blink a few times when the Gravis powers up. From the main app screen, you can see the available Gravis subs, a choice of four EQ modes, and a volume level. Choosing the sub you wish to calibrate allows you to select some additional screens. I tried the Auto EQ first. The app prompts you to place your phone near the sub and then triggers a test tone

Velodyne MicroVee X Review

January 13, 2022 § Leave a comment

The Velodyne-typical “Digital Drive Control System” (DDCS) is supposed to ensure extremely low distortion. It should be clear that the MicroVee X, which weighs almost ten kilograms, was not designed to be combined with floorstanding speakers the size of telephone booths or extremely loud low bass orgies. Let‘s be honest here: everyone wants bass, but you wouldn‘t want to see an accompanying or even necessary subwoofer.

The MicroVee X is an ideal, extremely ambience-friendly solution for helping a rather compactly designed music system or even a small home theater corner to significantly more emphasis in the lower registers – and that already in its third generation. It can indeed do this with an astonishing authority and sovereignty. In contrast to many a competitor that works around dominant frequencies and is also larger, it reveals itself to posses an extremely subtle spirit. Through physics, the sub furthermore also ensures that the impression of spaciousness can be dramatically improved when using it. Lower tones indeed suggest a much larger room. Textures in the bass, for example from the classic albums “Crime Of The Century” by Supertramp, Pink Floyd‘s “The Wall” or “Rumours” by “Fleetwood Mac”– which I probably know better than any other record – can be followed very clearly and cleanly with the MicroVee. And what about some “Boom” in the home theater? No problem either, in fact, quite the contrary. As a very good addition to smaller speakers, it com

REL Serie T/7x subwoofer Review

December 23, 2021 § Leave a comment

So far, so REL. What the T/7x does is introduce some extra speed and weight to the bass, the sort of performance normally expected from more upmarket models in the line. Weight here is a difficult subject because the Serie T/7x does not make a small speaker seem ‘weightier’, just ‘bigger’ and more importantly ‘better’ across the midrange. I used this in particular with the Rogers LS3/5A SE tested in this issue and this proved to be both an ideal test subject and an ideal candidate for the Serie T/7x. The REL added depth to the sound, but not in the way that it changed the tonality of this well-known speaker system; more that it filled in the bottom end in the same way the SE version fills in the midrange over the original; thoroughly, but paradoxically almost imperceptibly.. The REL was fast enough to pass the Trentemøller test [‘Chameleon’, The Last Resort, Poker Flat] and provided enough reinforcement to make out a few more left-hand piano notes on the Liszt B-minor Piano Sonata played by Martha Argerich’s during her Début Recital {DG], but more importantly on this recording, it also gave that recording the sense of space and gravitas needed to make it something truly outstanding. Switch the sub off and seemingly not a lot happens to the sound, but the sound also collapses and becomes insubstantial. Put it back in and the bass is not overt or oppressive, in fact, it’s almost not there, but the way the T/7x delivers that ‘almost not there’ bass makes all the difference. And, if you compare that bass delivery to previous REL designs under about £1,500, the new T/7x has both more substance and form and less intrusion into the sound of the speakers.

REL T/9x Subwoofer Review

November 16, 2021 § Leave a comment

As mentioned, each of the three models in the /x series provide a similar voice and level of resolution. The one (or pair) you choose will depend heavily on how low your main speakers can extend, the volume of your listening room, and ultimately how loud you play music.

Moving up to the Serie S subs brings more refinement in every aspect, though at a higher cost. If you are looking for a high performance, yet compact and cost-effective way to add low frequency extension, the REL T/9x is fantastic. The T/x subwoofers are meant to be used as single subwoofers or in pairs, they can’t be expanded to six-pack array service. This may be your ultimate decision when trying to decide between a pair of T/9x’s and a single S510. If you want bang for the buck, and a minimal box compliment, the T/9x will serve you well. Higher audiophile ambitions? Maybe the S/510. Or, just put the T/9xs in another system. I can spend your money all day.

REL T/5x sub

November 6, 2021 § Leave a comment

DIY Passive Radiator Subwoofer BUILD

September 5, 2021 § Leave a comment


August 15, 2021 § Leave a comment

The proverbial icing on the cake is the SVS Subwoofer app which you can download for free on an Apple or Android phone. The app does everything you can do manually on the back of the sub, plus it provides parametric EQ, room gain compensation, and programmable presets. If you mess with the presets, just remember to hit SAVE, or else they will not “stick” when you leave the app. At this price point, having an app is a real plus! Only a few other companies offer this type of tool and it works well and is easy to use. That said, when I paired my RSL sub with the SVS, I EQ’ed everything via my Marantz SR 1650 receiver with Audyssey MultEQ XT32. With the Audyssey Editor app ($19), I was able to EQ each sub separately and then sum them together. I placed the subs on opposite sidewalls with the RSL one-third of the way down the left wall and the SVS two-thirds of the way down the right wall.

KEF’s KC62

July 13, 2021 § Leave a comment

KEF KC62 subwoofer Review

June 11, 2021 § Leave a comment

I will spare you the details of my experiments. Suffice it to say I preferred the LS50s running through the KC62’s high-pass filter set to 40Hz. Relative to baseline, response was now +2dB at 40Hz, –5dB at 31Hz, and down just 20dB at 20Hz! Midrange clarity improved even more. But what impressed me most was how now, with the LS50s running through the high-pass filter, subtle changes in rhythm and tempo became more obvious. After getting nice measurements, I put on a variety of piano recordings and used them to tweak the woofer’s level. I turned it down until the keyboard’s upper, mid, and lower registers connected seamlessly. With the KC62 sub, the LS50s sounded more relaxed, tonally even, and natural.

SVS SB-1000 Pro and PB-1000 Pro Subwoofers $499 Review

June 4, 2021 § Leave a comment

A good example of the SB-1000 Pro’s musical competency could be heard on Norah Jones’ debut album Come Away With Me. This album is now nearly 20 years old, but arguably her best as it offers a great mix of soul, pop, jazz, and country tunes. Her cover of Hank Williams’ “Cold, Cold Heart” is still one of my favorite renditions of that tune due to its simple arrangement—just bass, piano, and Jones’ silky-smooth voice. The bass sets the mood out of the gate and it’s important for the subwoofer to convey it because most speakers can’t dig deep enough to do the track justice. The SB-1000 Pro sub really shined here, rendering the bass in a tight, punchy manner and never overpowering the vocals or piano.

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