Best sounding subwoofer

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First I want to take care of a bit of housekeeping. Terri always makes me clean up BEFORE I start making a new mess with a project, so following in her lead ..... Yesterday's post we welcomed Sprout to the world and many of you wrote back asking for pictures and specs. Sorry about that! The link I provided to the pictures was pretty small so if you click here you will see the pictures and the description. Secondly, I have gotten quite a few complaints about the new Paul's Post comment area where readers engage with each other on a post I've written. Our intent with the design was to make it more engaging, not less. Any help you could send my way as to what would make it a better experience would be helpful. Just email me back or, even better, post a comment! To do this, there's always a post a comment link at the bottom of each daily post. Thanks for the help. I have been playing, in Music Room Two, with a new subwoofer from REL. It's a stunning product from a very special company. These guys get it. Really. If you don't have a sub in your system, you should. There's nothing like low deep bass. Yes, we can abuse a sub by taking its frequency too high. A perfect sub is one where it sounds like your main speakers magically have subterranean bass response, yet sound no different. REL subs integrate beautifully like that. When I suggest REL is a company that "gets it", here's a note from one of REL's owners, John Hunter, in response to my post about devices.

"REL's chief engineer had recently made a minor change to our new LongBow™wireless transmitter at my request; adding an on-off switch (so we can easily demonstrate the new system) and a mast antenna to improve delivery of signal within "tough" rooms--i.e. rooms with odd structural elements that scatter the signal. LongBow is a zero compression, fast 24 bit, 48kHz delivery system that flat out works. 'Nuff said.

So we get the transmitter sample in for final approval, prior to making a running change and he asks me to listen to it against our standard production version. I settle in to our new state of the art studio--Paul, our recent paths have so many similarities--and am struck by how lifeless, tight, cool grey and un-involving the sound is. Naturally, I question my own listening--it's late in the afternoon, maybe I'm tired-and so I swap back to the original version. No, absolutely NO question, there's a difference and it's an important difference. Now I'm energized; switching back to the new sample, I realize the air in the recording is GONE, replaced instead with a hard lifeless quality that affects the entire upper midrange-to-low-treble and onward into the air above the music. All the subtle room cues present in the recording are gone, the system has cycled downward about $30,000 in delivered goosebump-inducing magic.

Justin comes down,listens and reluctantly, after hearing it for about three cycles of back-and-forth admits that there is a noticeable degradation."So what else did you change Justin?" I ask. "Nothing", he insists. After more questioning he recalls "Except the assembly factory did ask me for permission to get rid of the hand wiring of the inputs to the mother board that houses the A/D encoder but that can't have any effect..." The words hang there like an unfortunate, methane-based release in church."Since it's late, could you, um, please re-wire the input board tomorrow morning with the copper wire we normally use so we can repeat this?" I ask. As you might imagine, the test reveals that the air, the music, nay, the magic is immediately restored.

Let me emphasize what we're talking about; a not-hard-to-hear event that greatly affected the mid-to-treble liquidity observable by three of us in the entire system (not the bass)--Justin, myself who originally caught it, and a longtime employee Dermot--was caused by eliminating point-to-point hand wiring. Of an input block. On a wireless transmitter. For a SUB BASS system! Naturally, we re-wrote the spec to require restoration of the point-to-point wiring prior to production, but it goes to show how carefully good companies need to work to maintain their own standards and their culture."

Thanks John. Wonderful to support a company that gets it.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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