|Outlaw Audio LFM-1 Subwoofer|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Subwoofers|
|Written by Brian Kahn|
|Monday, 01 November 2004|
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Outlaw Audio has very quickly earned a fantastic reputation for selling high-quality electronics at a high value price by bypassing the retailer and using the Internet to sell factory direct. This is hardly a new business model, but the highly successful implementation and consumer appeal of their model in the audio-video industry make Outlaw unique. Outlaw Audio sells various audio electronics, including a critically acclaimed under $1,000 AV preamp and a host of power amps for music and home theater. The company has just now released their first speaker, a powered subwoofer.
The Outlaw LFM-1 Subwoofer, which stands for Low Frequency Module 1, is a 12-inch down-firing dual-ported sub that retails for a competitively priced $579 for a single sub and a discounted $999 for two. The LFM-1’s enclosure measures 21.75 inches in height by 15 inches wide and 22 inches in depth. At a beefy 58 pounds, this sub has the heft you expect from the big boys in a box that is only slightly larger than more expensive offerings from Sunfire, Velodyne and others. The LFM-1 has a clean low gloss back finish with a high-gloss Plexiglas top. There are no optional finishes, which is just fine, because at its price, the LFM-1 is beautiful without an expensive dress.
At the heart of this subwoofer is a 325-watt amplifier that uses BASH technology, which produces 1300-watt peaks that are more than enough to power audiophile music sessions or the deepest bass in movies without a hiccup. The LFM-1 sports common features, including a two-position phase adjustment switch and a variable level crossover ranging from 40 to 180 Hz with a bypass switch for systems with bass management. Your input connection choices include a mono single-ended LFE and a pair of speaker level inputs/outputs. The LFM-1 also includes an automatic on/off option that worked flawlessly on my review model.
The LFM-1 subwoofer came very nicely packed, wrapped in a protective cloth cover. Outlaw provided machined aluminum cone feet that threaded into each corner. When I turned the subwoofer over, I found that four machined discs had been included along with the feet to go under them in order to protect wood flooring. The LFM-1 is a downward-firing subwoofer, with downward-firing ports, so placement can be slightly easier, depending on your room. At a minimum, it can reduce annoying phase issues. The owner’s manual is very well written and gives a lot of good advice on how to set up a subwoofer. Each of the controls is well explained, as is speaker placement and the use of multiple subwoofers.
I had no problems making a line-level connection between my Krell AV preamp’s LFE output and the LFM-1’s input. The crossover was set to bypass, relying upon the Krell’s internal crossover. The phase switch only had two positions, zero or 180 degrees, but the continuously variable volume made it easy to dial in the proper relative level.
Without EQ and set-up software of the type you’d expect in subwoofers costing 10 times more than the Outlaw, you can get down (and I mean down) to business very quickly.