|Outlaw Audio LFM-1 Subwoofer|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Subwoofers|
|Written by Brian Kahn|
|Monday, 01 November 2004|
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Subwoofers are never easy to hide. They are most often cubes that occupy valuable floor space. Over the years, subs have gotten smaller and smaller; some are no larger than a basketball (still in the box). The LFM-1 is physically on the larger side of its performance class. Depending on your room, this is something that you might want to consider. Most good systems have the room for a good-sized sub, which would make this a non-issue.
The LFM-1 comes with a two-position phase switch, rather than a variable potentiometer. This makes exact phase tuning a tough job and prevents you from finding a perfect blend. Subwoofers can be difficult to match to your other speakers and variable phase often helps immensely. On the other side, it takes a highly trained ear (or a professional room tuner) to tweak a variable phase knob correctly; this is something that would in most cases take a professional to perform properly. In my case, I was able to blend the Outlaw LFM-1 with numerous sets of speakers in two different rooms without a problem. Most high-end speakers like Revel, Sunfire and Velodyne have set-up software and increase parts costs that explain why their price is many, many times more expensive than the LFM-1. It is important to remember that this sub costs about as a much as a really bad speeding ticket – not the actual sports car.
You don’t have to sell movie nuts on why they need a good sub. Deep bass is an essential element of the Dolby 5.1 soundtrack. In fact, the sub is the “.1,” allowing a dedicated track for the low-frequency information on almost every DVD we all own. Audiophiles for some reason traditionally fight the idea of subwoofers, mainly because they are mostly snobs who wouldn’t know really great sound if they were in the studio sitting next to Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Kramer. Music enthusiasts, on the other hand, know that bass is an important part of enjoying the emotional power of music. While your front speakers will take center stage in your system, the idea of backing them up with some bass reinforcement is truly a smart idea. With Outlaw’s aggressive pricing, you can add real bass at a very affordable price. In fact, for less than what the better competitors charge, you can splurge for two Outlaw LFM-1s, thus creating a potentially louder, deeper and more even low-end sound in your music and movie playback system.
I have heard a lot of subs in my time, some impressive, some mediocre and others like the Outlaw LFM-1 - an unquestioned bargain of epic proportion.