- The crossover
- The power amplifier driving the woofer
- The woofer itself
- The enclosure
Dissecting the sub
Let's accept, for purposes of this discussion on subs, that you need one in your room (if you don't already have one). Let's also agree that whatever main speaker you have cannot produce the lowest bass notes found in music at your listening position. And lastly, let's consent to the notion that a properly executed subwoofer completes your musical palette ... and without one, you're missing some of what's been recorded. Given all that, the challenge then is to find the best subwoofer for your application and determine where to place it. Let's focus on the first part for now. The best subwoofer in the world is invisible. Properly done you simply do not know there is one in the room. To the extent you become aware of the subwoofer, you have failed to achieve perfection. It should sound as if your main speakers have bass. Turning of the sub should result in you feeling the main speakers are lacking. On/off should only affect the main speaker sound. There are many fine subs that, when properly placed and adjusted, will achieve this lofty goal. I mentioned earlier that REL makes subs that perform like this. the subs we made at Genesis did as well. There are certainly many others, I just don't have a great deal of brand specific experience to share with you. Let's begin by taking a subwoofer apart to see what makes it tick. This will help us to be in a better position to make a judgement on what parameters are important to us. Modern subwoofers have four main component areas:
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