|Definitive Technology SuperCube Trinity Signature Subwoofer|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Subwoofers|
|Written by Bryan Southard|
|Sunday, 01 April 2007|
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Music And Movies
As this is a subwoofer review, I lined up a couple of solid action films rather than dialing up such Oscar hopefuls as, say, Little Miss Sunshine, which wouldn’t exactly provide the thump needed to really test a top of the line subwoofer. 2006’s 16 Blocks (Warner Home Video) surprised few as a typical Bruce Willis saga equipped with whimsical one-liners and plenty of gunfire and car wrecks to exercise the Trinity’s low-frequency prowess. In this simple plot, NYPD Detective Jack Moseley (Willis) is assigned to transport petty criminals to their court appointments, a simple job for an old and tired officer who’s a stone’s throw from retirement. In Willis-flick fashion, the plan goes awry and guns are drawn. Although the action is mediocre at best, there is plenty of “bang” for my buck. The trinity sub produced an abundance of low frequency energy I had not yet felt in my theater. It took some minor calibration and adjustment to get the Trinity to blend with my Revel Salon loudspeakers. However, once tweaked, my low-frequency information became seamless and the SuperCube Trinity literally disappeared. I found this to be a tremendous early indication that there is more to this sub than brawn. It can be difficult to blend slower low-frequency drivers to ultra-fast loudspeakers. Although many suggest that any sub can be blended well with knowledge and patience, this is simply not true. I have had some of the better subs produced and have been unable to integrate them seamlessly. The Trinity subwoofer has a rare agility that transcends its massive shape. Gunshots had a percussive ring that was as convincing as I have heard. Being that my Revel Salon loudspeakers have been measured down to 18Hz at -3dB in my room, my patience for reduced performance in order to achieve a few lower frequencies is nonexistent. Because of this, I often reduce the volume of the subwoofer in order to not pollute my more pure bass information. The Trinity sub provided flawless low-frequency support that made me constantly want to turn it up. I remained enamored by the previously missing information that I was now hearing.
I upped the ante with some of my favorite war footage from We Were Soldiers (Paramount). Although this movie has its share of corniness from its director, our resident anti-Semitic poster boy Mel Gibson, it also has some of the best shoot ‘em up footage since Saving Private Ryan. Soldiers is set in the early days of the Vietnam War and has a plethora of flying bullets, mortar and air attacks. I first played this flick without the use of the SuperCube Trinity Sub, then added its might, and might it was. It made the difference between watching the war and actively dodging bullets as a live observer. What was most impressive was the Trinity’s ability to provide earthquake-like thunder without over-saturation. Large subwoofers often overcome my room. Once properly set up, saturation and overabundance were not a problem in the least.
The Terminator trilogy is perhaps one of the greatest action series of all time. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Warner Home Video) dishes out a low-frequency pounding like few can. In the scene where the Terminator walks into the bar to acquire some much-needed clothes, the impending fights had huge impact. Although a subwoofer doesn’t provide much of the audible information, it does provide the bottom end, and when the bottom doesn’t mach the top, sloppiness prevails. The Trinity sub was having no part of any sloppiness and rocked with authority. As the Harley fires up and begins to idle, there was so much thump that I could almost smell exhaust fumes. Wow, this subwoofer can move some air. Looking to jump-start your pacemaker? The Trinity sub might just be the most powerful and energetic sub to grace the sub-$5,000 market. It is in fact the most articulate and dramatically energetic sub that I have auditioned.
Many subwoofers shake the rafters during movies, but bass that is agile and articulate enough to properly reinforce music is a whole different story. In lower-priced systems, this is a breeze, yet trying to compliment higher-performing speakers is anything but. It’s simply not easy to get a low-frequency driver to moves masses of air quickly enough to catch up with smaller and more efficient bass drivers found in the better loudspeakers.
Metallica’s Black Album on DVD-Audio is one the more bombastic rock releases of past decades. Definitely over-played on “alternative” radio, this recording still serves as a great reference for low-frequency extension and overall cohesiveness. “Sad But True” has enormously powerful bass that dips to the lowest octaves in solid fashion. I played this cut without the use of the SuperCube Trinity to get a good reference. I then added the Trinity sub and was surprised with the results. With my Revel Salons reaching down to a flat 20Hz, the audition without the sub in the system was tight and very deep, leaving me to wonder where improvement could come from. With the Trinity sub in the rig, the bass had the same quickness and snap, but with tons more energy. The kick drum had so much power that it felt like I was being squeezed. Even the higher ranges of the Trinity Sub (20-40Hz) sounded clean and nimble – in many ways better than what you will hear at a Metallica show live. The intro to “The Unforgiven” has proven difficult in the past for my system, thanks to its beefy bass notes. My fear was that standing waves could easily saturate my limited room size of 12 feet by 20 feet. There was some room resonance, but overall, there was great control at high volumes. Better yet, the low frequencies didn’t overburden the lush, higher-frequency information. The recording remained detailed and percussive.
Continuing on, I went with one of the early 1980s’ more successful classis rock releases, Foreigner 4, DVD-Audio (Atlantic). There are few who graduated high school in the ‘80s who didn’t dance awkwardly to this record at one or more of their proms. This album is a complete assault on the average guy’s manhood. Like the moped joke, I think this record is best reserved for private moments. The song “Jukebox Hero” has a lot of very heavy bass information that can be particularly problematic at high volumes in some systems. It’s no surprise that the SuperCube Trinity had the quickness to make this piece thunderous without congestion and bloating of the bass. I listened to this cut at greater than 100 dB and it sounded tight, with gigantically percussive bass. I found this particularly impressive, because it’s been a long time since this cut moved me. The Trinity Sub came up big. “Urgent” starts with the combination of mighty snare strikes and bass guitar. I again found myself looking for the remote to turn up the volume. As powerful as the sub frequencies felt and sounded, the Trinity blended seamlessly with my Revel Salons and never stepped forward in my soundstage – a very impressive audition.
As a final test, I grabbed an old test favorite with the band Yello and their 1989 release Flag (Mercury). This is an electronic, synthesized high-energy recording that has tight bass and drums that can really get the blood flowing. In this cut, the Trinity Subwoofer “huffed and puffed ad blew the house down” with tight and articulate bass. This was an old favorite of mine that got lost in relative obscurity over the years and the Trinity has brought it back with a bang. I forgot how powerful and engaging this recording could be.