A simple test

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Yesterday's post mentioned a few controversial things–among them my repeated thoughts on subwoofers. I can't tell you the number of times I have been asked "how's the bass?" on speaker systems supposedly having lows. "They go down to 22Hz" is a claim I hear often. No they don't. Few do. I have a favorite track I use to demonstrate the fallacy of this myth. No, it's not crazy pipe organs or non-musical subsonics. It's alternative performer Boz Scaggs and his album, Dig. One track in particular, Thanks To You, features an electronic keyboard. At exactly 26 seconds into the track the pianist, David Paich of Toto fame, hits a low note at the end of a riff–just before Boz starts to sing. Very few systems ever produce that note. Instead, we're left with it going nowhere. The IRSV produces it just fine. Systems with good subs do as well. Once you hear the note, you'll understand. Most other speakers, even those purported to go down to 20Hz, don't reproduce it. And expensive ones too. The lowest note of an 88 key concert grand is 27Hz, which any speaker capable of 20Hz shouldn't have a problem with. However, it's likely Paich never struck that low of a note. Buy the album and have a go at it yourself. It's a simple test. One that hopefully opens your eyes to the need for a full frequency system. Just sayin'.
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Paul McGowan

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