- Written by John E. Johnson, Jr.
- Published on 07 November 2012
I tested two DXD-12012's as stereo subs with an OPPO BDP-95 universal player, Classé SSP-800 surround sound processor, Classé CP-800 stereo preamplifier (serving the front left/right channels, via the front left/right outputs from the SSP-800), and Classé CA-5200 multi-channel power amplifier. Speakers were Threshold ES-500 electrostatic speakers for the front left/right, Paradigm Reference Signature C5 (center), and Final Sound electrostatics speakers for the rear surrounds. The SSP-800 was configured for stereo subwoofers, with a crossover (low-pass) of 50 Hz. The two subs were placed near (about 1.5 feet out) the front two corners of the room, with the side driver facing the side wall.
Well, after reviewing so many subwoofers over the past nearly two decades, I expected the DXD-12012 be just another good subwoofer, and there are lots of them out there. What I was not prepared for was the complete lack of any audible harmonics in that lowest octave assigned to the subs. The sound was absolutely clean, and extremely deep, regardless of the volume.
Chapter 3 in House of Flying Daggers where the star dances around the room, thumping numerous drums with her long silk sleeves, has some very intense bass, and I had to put in a dedicated 120 volt circuit just because of movies like this. The DXD-12012's handled those drums without breaking a sweat, delivering slam that I could feel in my chest. I switched in my Audio Control Phase Coupled Activator, which adds a subharmonic that is half the frequency of the original, meaning that I was getting some sounds that were bordering on the inaudible (below 20 Hz), and yet, still no perspiration. The only indication of those frequencies was my pants legs vibrating in the wind from those long-throw drivers.
Pearl Harbor is another sub-killer, as the attack scene is probably the best ever filmed. Funny how even machine guns have very low, intense, frequencies, probably courtesy of the special effects sound department, and of course, when the Arizona's gun cotton (they used tightly packed nitrocellulose, which is explosive) magazine blows up and splits in two, the DXD's got a good workout, but I never felt that they were exercising any cardio at all. The Oscar winning sound for Pearl Harbor was created and mixed on speakers and subwoofers designed by Ken Kreisel. If KEN KREISEL subwoofers are good enough for movie studios to use as a reference, they are certainly good enough for my home theater.
I tried pipe organ music, thunderous Rachmaninov (the lowest note is 29 Hz), and everything else I could throw at it, but the KREISEL's just sat there and put it to the man.