|Sunfire True Subwoofer Architectural Subwoofer|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Subwoofers|
|Written by Bryan Southard|
|Tuesday, 01 May 2001|
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I have my audio/video system connected so that my musical sound system is independent of my theater system. What this means is that the subwoofers are connected to my theater processor, something that I do not typically use for two-channel music listening. However, I do occasionally listen to multi-channel or two-channel music through my theater processor to have the added bass performance from the subs.
While I was looking for something with some slam, I ran across an older disc of mine from Yello, titled Flag (Mercury). This disc is full of high-energy jams. The first song, "Tied Up," has a heavy quasi-techno beat. I don’t think that I have ever heard this louder and tighter than I did with the Architectural Subwoofers in my system. It is an electronically created drumbeat that becomes more and more addictive with the low-end power of the Sunfire subs. Listening to this material through the Sunfire subs was incredibly engaging and perhaps preferable to the more refined listening experience through my two-channel path.
Perhaps the biggest difference between rock ‘n’ roll shows that are live and those that are reproduced in at your home is that live rock shows have huge power. If you want to rock for real, you need low-end smack. I fired into some "Rock Candy" from Montrose’s self-titled debut (Warner Bros.). The opening drumbeat had very good dynamics - dynamics that you just cannot get with loudspeakers alone. Although many owners of very high-priced loudspeakers might be concerned about degrading the quality of their existing low end with the use of external subwoofers, many of the recordings that benefit most, like old rock recordings, don’t supply enough resolution to make this an issue.
My only real criticism is that, when driven at very high volumes, the Architectural Subwoofer can begin to sound a little slow and confused. This I believe is due to the long throw of the driver, a byproduct of packing enormous low-frequency energy and air movement into a cube no bigger than the size of a basketball. Personally, I believe that this is something that many can overlook to have a concealable, unobtrusive subwoofer.
In the case of a system that is highly fine-tuned, the addition of an internal equalizer would be a wonderful option to go along with all of Sunfire’s other adjustment and setup tools. As the woofers are predominantly designed for tough, situation specific applications, an EQ could bring an added level of performance of these subs, especially when tuned by a qualified installer or, better yet, a professional acoustician.
The Sunfire Architectural Subwoofer, just like its line mates, packs a huge sound into a small convenient package. It can be placed inside or outside a cabinet, providing a flexibility that many can find nowhere else. For movies, this product is dynamite. For music, it will give you some much-desired low-end reinforcement. There are subwoofers that are quicker and that will blend better with high-priced loudspeaker systems, but you must expect to spend many times the price of the Sunfire True Subwoofer Architectural to get there. Even then, there are no guarantees that the other products will be as friendly to awkward applications and installations. If you are looking for a small subwoofer that can be easily concealed, with tons of sound pressure and volume output, priced reasonably, look no further. The Sunfire True Subwoofer Architectural is a true giant in a tiny package.