One-foot cube subwoofers are all the rage, but if you really want to feel the bass, size still matters. These three uber subs at last week's Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) Expo in Denver, Colorado really shook me up.
Eminent Technology's TRW-17 Rotary Woofer($12,900) will blow you away. Instead of a conventional woofer, it uses proprietary technology to create ultra deep bass, deeper than the largest and most powerful subs. Sure, it looks like an industrial strength fan, but the TRW-17's fluttering blades generate bass frequencies down to 1 Hertz (standard $1,000 subs poop out in the 30 hz. range, and ultra high-end models rarely make it below 18 hz.). As the entire room throbbed and rattled Eminent's demo left no doubt about the TRW-17's subterranean prowess. The bass was so intense I forgot what movie they were showing. TRW-17 installation is complex and ET price estimates run to $25,000. The company was also showing a prototype of a car audio Rotary Woofer that promises to deliver extraordinary bass. It's a much smaller unit and installation should be a breeze. Eminent Technology is based in Tallahassee, Florida.
Velodyne's Digital Drive 1812 Signature Edition ($15,000) is a sub to be reckoned with. The 1812 name refers to the sub's 12 and 18-inch woofers. In the picture you don't get the scale of the thing, it looks like a two-way speaker, but the mighty Digital Drive 1812 stands 40-inches high and weighs 385 pounds. It's the first "two-way" sub I've seen. The 12-inch woofer handles the upper bass frequencies, the 18 plumbs the deepest bass. Velodyne is based in Morgan Hill, California.
Over the past few years JL Audio's subs have rocked the audiophile world. Designed and built in the company's Miramar, Florida factory JL Audio's massive subs, like this 130 pound beauty, the Fathom f113 ($3,400) have been embraced by even the most persnickety audiophiles, even those who rarely use subs. It's that good. Check out Mark Fleischmann's review in the April, 2007 issue of Home Theater magazine to learn more.