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.
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.
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.
May 7, 2021 § Leave a comment
There is still a continuum between ‘bass reinforcement’ subwoofers and ‘improved midband’ designs (at least, there is at the SB-2000 Pro’s level; those subs that are the size, weight, and price of a reasonably powerful car engine can effectively meet both demands). The SB-2000 Pro tends more toward the former; adding depth, weight and authority to the bass. And, like the provision of the app, this bass depth shows just how good a modern subwoofer can be, even in the context of audio nerdism. For while ‘depth, weight and authority’ used to be audiophile code for ‘boomy, flabby and overpowering’ on the SB-2000 Pro it holds no double meanings; it does add depth, weight and authority to the sound, especially the sound of most stand-mounts and many smaller floorstanders.
March 19, 2021 § Leave a comment
The CR-1 crossover/Dominion d110 system made a major difference in the way my room interacted with the ELAC AF-61s, and that difference was even more sonically impactful to the overall sound than the additional headroom and reduced physical stress on the loudspeakers and power amplifier. Shunting the mid- and low bass away from the mains and into the Dominion subwoofer removed a noticeable amount of excess midbass bloat and huffiness coming from interactions between the room and the AF-61s, when ELACs were responsible for generating frequencies below 60Hz. The audible effect was an increase in overall bass clarity and definition and a reduction of overhang and midbass bloat. It was a real surprise to hear the whole room become a better listening environment as a result of the addition of the CR-1/Dominion system.
March 13, 2021 § Leave a comment
The trick to getting better sound with subwoofers than you can get without them is to set up and configure them optimally for both your room and the loudspeakers they are paired with. I was very pleasantly surprised by the many ways in which the addition of the CR-1 and the stereo Dominion d110 subwoofers improved the overall sound of my system. The first and most obvious improvement was bass extension. Listening to the song “Heaven” by Meshell Ndegeocello, which combines her luscious voice with a real piano and synthetic bass, it was hard not to be wowed with the Dominion’s low-frequency performance. The bass was powerfully big—phat but also controlled, with well-defined textures and detail. Oh, and clean, too.
March 3, 2021 § Leave a comment
The fact that a literally breadbox-size subwoofer can produce actual 25 Hz-and-lower content at any musically useful level is newsworthy. And so is the KC62 as a whole: if you insist on breaking Hoffman’s Iron Law, or at least bending it to its limits, KEF’s inaugural Uni-Core design does so as dramatically, and as classily, as any sub I’ve seen. Within the “iron” caveats of a small room and/or relatively modest level demands, it will match the performance of a well-engineered 12-inch sub in every important parameter except peak dynamics and level. There may be other mini subs on the market, but none I know of go quite as low in quite as small and elegant a package as what KEF has managed with the KC62.