- Written by Jim Clements
- Published on 19 May 2014
The JL Audio E-Sub E112 Powered Subwoofer In Use
Once I got the system set up and dialed in, it was time to settle in and begin the listening sessions. I started with "Black Swan" on Blu-ray. For the first hour or so, I didn't obsess in the least over the bass. I just sat back and enjoyed, becoming immersed in the movie. The early parts of the film include a few heavy bass effects as in Nina's dream sequence that opens the film.
Then a bit later in the movie when Nina goes out on the town with Lily, the bass in the music at the night club seriously shook the sofa. This was different from most subs I've had in my system as the shaking took place across a wider cross section of frequencies. So this was cool, but the bass didn't really take off until the movie started the run up to the climax. In the stages where the metamorphosis was really taking hold, the wholeness of the bass sent chills up and down my spine with every beat of the black swan's wings.
David Crosby's new album is simply called "Croz" and I wanted to put on the CD because this whole album is a very good test for low bass. It answers the main questions - is the bass connected, is it bloated, distorted? How is the timing? I tried listening with the EQ on and off to verify that *on* was the way to go. Then with the EQ engaged, songs like "The Clearing" demonstrated the slam and the subtlety of the E-Sub.
Switching back to cinema, I put on a movie that is something of a low bass showcase/torture test – "Inception". This movie is full of ample low bass effects (that were too prominent at first which meant that I needed to adjust the sub's level which made me most thankful that the volume knob was on top of the sub's cabinet!) And once I got the balance right, the whole performance in the bass was so much better coupled to the actual proceedings. The effects gained coherence and a proper tonal balance. The bass was still felt in my bones it just was not disproportionate anymore. Take the sound of the track vehicles in the snow in the third dream sequence - they had a very believable growl now. Then on the movie's final "kick" the bass supported the action with no audible compression.
I needed to try some organ music with the e112 because sometimes you just have to. I'm getting "into" high resolution downloads these days and that is where I got the 176/24FLAC version of Felix Hell's "Organ Sensation" album. Pipe organ is one instrument where a sub can actually enhance the realism (not just the impact) of music. In this case, the e112 sub reinforced the sense of space as it should.
But of course you are wondering if the e112 sub was able to produce the entire frequency range of the pipe organ. The answer is a resounding "yes"! The e112 sub filled in the fundamentals produced by the lowest pedals as heard in the final third of "Guilmant Final" or the opening bars on "Liszt Prelude & Fugue on Bach".
It's time for another movie and why not the most exciting sci-fi movie of the last year, "Gravity"? I feel that the low bass effects during the opening space walk are over-accentuated on this Blu-ray. But this is just based on my intuition. In any case, I turned down the bass at the beginning of the movie and then turned it back up later.
The particular scenes that benefitted from the fuller bass setting were where Bullock enters each space station and on the closing re-entry scene. During these moments, the deep bass was a major asset with both the music and the effects. This was an all-around scintillating performance by the JL Audio E-Sub.
I'll wrap up my subjective analysis with a fun and exciting CD choice – "Texas Sheiks". The bass was balanced, extended and supported the rhythm the way it should on songs like "Fan It". And, once properly set up, this sub added the lowest bass in a much more subtle and beneficial way with better than average pitch integrity. This was apparent on "Hard Time Killing Floor" where the bass was felt and heard. This may be about the best bass I've ever heard on this song.