- Written by John E. Johnson, Jr.
- Published on 21 March 2011
I tested the DD-18+ with an OPPO BDP-95 Universal Player, Denon AVP-A1HDCI SSP, Classé CA-5200 multi-channel power amplifier, Final Sound electrostatic speakers, Paradigm Reference Signature C5 center channel speaker, and Emotiva cables.
For subwoofers, I always start with this movie. It's a lousy movie, but the attack scene is the best ever filmed. If the studio had released just that part of the movie, say 15 minutes of action, and nothing else, I still would have bought it. Anyway, one of my framed photos fell off the wall. Fortunately, the cover is plastic and not glass. I'm sure glad those Ack Ack guns were not pointed in my direction, because they have some awesome deep, pounding bass. Guess there is a lot of gun powder in the cartridges. No distortion. No clipping. Just kaboom, kaboom, kaboom ! ! !
The Untouchables was my favorite TV series in the 1960's, and it was a fantastic movie in 1987, although Costner was vastly overshadowed by the legendary Sean Connery. Regardless, there is plenty of loud deep action with explosions and Thompson sub-machine gunfire. With films like this, a good sub is a must! Those little subs with the 8" drivers and 100 watt amplifiers are fine for background music, but not for watching a truck crash through the door of an illegal distillery. This subwoofer is a bad boy in the best possible way.
Did you know that the lowest note on a piano is 28 Hz? That is definitely subwoofer territory, and Michel Camilo knows how to play. Jazz is a big interest of mine right now. I burn my favorite tracks to my iPod, and connect it to my electronic drum module and play along with the music. All I can say is that the low notes on Camilo's piano came through all the way down to the fundamental.
Nothing like a little pipe organ music to get the windows rattling, and Handel could do it like few others. Well, the windows rattled, and those pedal notes sounded massive. The DD-18+ is definitely a can do product.
I also paired the DD-18+ with the now venerable Thiel CS3.7 floor-standing speakers in a stereo setup, using a Classé CDP-10 CD player, Balanced Audio Technology VK-5i stereo tube preamplifier, and Balanced Audio Technology VK-75SE stereo tube power amplifier. The 3.7's represent some of the best speakers out there, and although their midrange and high end are superb, they could use a little help in the deep bass.
The combination just blew me away. Pure Class A amplification, great speakers, and a killer subwoofer. After the first movement of one of my favorite Beethoven symphonies, I went into the kitchen, broke off a chunk from the 1 pound block of Belgian dark chocolate that my daughter had given to me, sat back down, and enjoyed "Food of the Gods" on my tongue as well as in my ears. Bottom line: subwoofers are for two-channel systems as well as for multi-channel home theater.