I tested the SB12-Plus with a McIntosh MCD201 SACD
Mark Levinson No 326S preamplifier,
Lamm M2.2 power amplifiers, and Carver Amazing Platinum ribbon speakers.
For the movies, I used the SB12-Plus with a Theta Casablanca III, Classé
CA-5200 power amplifier, and Final ESL speakers (I cross all of the home
theater speakers over to the subwoofer at 50 Hz). Cables were Nordost.
This new SACD from Telarc
(SACD-60664) is a must-have for film music fans (it has a CD
Tracks from Star Wars,
Harry Potter, and The Lord of the Rings will
give your system a run for its money.
Don't forget that music needs
good bass just as much as movie special effects, and this is
There is plenty of sound down
there at < 50 Hz, which my main speakers, being bipolar in
design, don't project all that well, and the SB12-Plus sang
along with the sound tracks nicely, thank you.
This recording of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture
is becoming a standard tool for my subwoofer listening tests.
Yes, it has fabulous
cannons at the climax, but it is a thunderous musical piece just
about all the way through.
The SB12-Plus never
flinched anywhere in the music, nor did it have a problem with
the cannons. It also had plenty of power for my 18' x 20' room,
which has significant room treatments on the walls and ceiling,
plus wall-to-wall carpeting.
And, the bass was
clean. No audible distortion. That is absolutely critical with
Prokofiev knew how to write
passionate music, such as on this EMI Classics CD
Again, it is so important when
listening to music to have a subwoofer that does not produce
audible harmonics, and the SB12-Plus is just such a sub.
All I heard was great classical
orchestra. The bass blended with the other speakers
perfectly, especially after I used the PEQ to adjust the
room response (see On the Bench).
Pearl Harbor is one of my
favorite films to use with subwoofers, and especially
now that it is starting to show up on satellite in high
The attack scene is the best ever filmed
(maybe the only part of the movie that is really
entertaining), and the SB12-Plus did its thing with no
I thought that, perhaps, it might meet
its limits when the first torpedo strikes one of the
American ships, but no. Depth to spare.
Click Here to Go to Part III.
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