|Outlaw Audio LFM-1 Subwoofer|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Subwoofers|
|Written by Brian Kahn|
|Monday, 01 November 2004|
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Music and Movies
I let the LFM-1 break in over several days before doing any serious listening. This gave the drivers and crossovers a chance to loosen up and settle in to their optimal performance. Starting out with “Finding Nemo” (Pixar/Disney), I listened closely to the beginning of Chapter 11 when Darla taps on the fish tank. I noted that the Outlaw LFM-1 subwoofer was able to fill my listening space with low-frequency energy at high enough volumes to be felt in the depths of my chest. When evaluating subwoofers, it is important to both be able to feel and hear the sub and have the impact be coincident in timing with what you hear. This means a couple of things: you have set up the sub in proper phase and, equally, the subwoofer is reaching the lowest depths on its own and not from resonant backwash in your room. The LFM-1 was clearly supplying solid and accurate bottom-end support without assistance from the room.
In the scene where Nemo’s father Marlin meets the sharks and then sets off the mines, the LFM-1 had no problems reproducing all the necessary effects at volume. I compared the LFM-1 with the Canton Ergo RC-A and Martin Logan Descent, both of which cost several times what the LFM-1 does. The LFM-1 clearly kept up with sheer output and energy. The other two aforementioned speakers were incrementally tighter and able to articulate slightly more detail, yet the differences were only minor. This is a gigantic compliment, considering the Canton and Martin Logan cost more than double the LFM-1’s svelte price tag.
I then played “Black Hawk Down” (Columbia/TriStar). The scene where the choppers are warming up contains some extremely low frequencies that the other two speakers were able to reproduce with greater strength than the LFM-1. The battle scenes had lots of low-frequency information with the explosions and gun blasts, which the LFM-1 did a great job of reproducing. Throughout this movie, I was able to get lost in the war and the mission at hand and often didn’t focus on the LFM-1. This means that the sub was performing as it should and was providing solid enjoyable bass support, rather than drawing my attention to poor or overbearing performance.
I continued with another war-themed movie, “U-571” (Universal), and cued up the mine scene. Again, the Outlaw subwoofer proved itself to be very capable in reproducing bombastic explosions, a common low-frequency test. I listened to the scene several times at different volumes. The Outlaw remained stable without noticeable dynamic compression, as one might expect to hear from an under-$600 subwoofer under AV siege.
Moving on with some music, I played the bass-heavy Insane Clown Posse’s The Wraith: Shangri-La (DVD-Audio, Riviera Entertainment). I focused on a track I used during my review of the Canton Ergo, “Ain’t Yo Bidness.” The Outlaw, like the Ergo, reproduced deep and powerful bass. Each had a sound of its own, yet I was very impressed with the way the LFM-1 was performing for its price. As audio/video gear comes in and out of my home, I can become a bit unenthused when high-priced manufacturers provide average performance at a huge price. When a product like the LFM-1 comes along and provides high-end performance at a price most often seen at your local appliance retailer, then I get excited. The Outlaw Audio LFM-1 took me there.