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Discussion in 'Speakers' started by ChrisHeflen, Apr 8, 2004.
NiceReview. It’s exactly the way I felt about it too. The LFM-1 is so musical. It’s smooth, it’s tight and it looks good. It’s just an incredible value.
I read it last night....very nice.
While closely related to Hsu's STF-3...it looks like the LFM-1 got all the "looks" in the family.
The reviewer spends more time talking about the "dimpled disks" than any other aspect of the subwoofer, even bringing the topic up in two seperate locations of the text.
But not as many words are used on any given media review....hmmmmm
John Johnson should have measured it. They also missed that on the VTF-3R. And the measurements of Velodyne's SPL series are a bit useless. Too bad.
Good review, as far as it went. Not enough comments on quality for music vs movies, low end impact, etc. Measurements would have been really nice. Sounds like Outlaw promotes it as pretty much flat to 25 Hz.
It's an interesting read but I, too, was curious to see some numbers. Does anyone know what causes Secrets to perform those great measurements, like they have on some other products? Does the manufacturer request that, or is it up to the reviewer?
I thought it was a poor review. There are several "subwoofer myths" written as facts.
"I prefer a port-less (sealed) subwoofer configuration, as it is usually ensures a more flat response with more realistic tone"
Meh. I've heard this tired old rant too many times.
"a configuration with two subwoofers placed at varying locations will produce a smoother more evenly distributed bass response across your home theater, i.e., with less dips and peaks"
In many rooms it's hard enough to get smooth response with 1 sub. Using 2, and in different locations throws a big and dirty monkeywrench into the works. Using 2 subs just feels like a good thing to do, very few have the patience or skill to make it actually work better. Plus you lose a few db by not co-locating the subs.
"down-firing ports eliminate the throaty "whoosh" that you can some times get from side-firing ports"
Huh? Port noise is only related to diameter/total port area. Whoosing/chuffing happens when a sub is underported for a given task.
I'm a little surprised that this review was posted as such. Secrets is generally near the forefront of subwoofer understanding and the above assumptions have been well refuted. The Outlaw sub wasn't tested alongside the SVS+HSU comparison so saying it's superior to both of them is unjustified. The total lack of objective testing is disappointing although understandable. You can't expect every reviewer to do ground plane testing but that's the only method that gives useful data when done in different locations. At best, this review is Home Theater Magazine quality, i.e low.
I don't know... I got a pretty bad feeling overall from the review.
When the LFM-1 was first announced, I declared that I was skeptical of the highly-touted down-firing ports. I don't actually have a problem with the orientation of the ports - I just don't like how Outlaw advertises them as the cure for port noise. I felt that the reviewer may have been influenced by the product literature.
Taken from the Outlaw website:
If you've ever put your hand in front of a port on a sub, you'll notice that as you move your hand closer and partially block the opening, you will get a fluttering sound. Now take a look at the first picture on the review page and notice how low the sub sits in relation to the ground. I can't imagine someone putting a side-ported subwoofer that close to a wall. If anything, it seems as though the down-firing ports in this case would be more conducive to creating port noise. And yet the reviewer proclaims that the LFM-1 just might singlehandedly change his mind about ported subwoofers.
Any thoughts on this?
Lastly, any speaker review without objective data should be taken very lightly, as there is simply no reference for correlating the reviewer's adjectives with the actual performance of the product.
Shucks, didn't get a chance to see Ned's post before I responded. He summed it up quite well and I concur with his thoughts on the review.
I concur with your thoughts as well
Wouldn't it have been great if the Outlaw sub was part of the SVS and HSU comparison? Darn.
I actually agree with y'all too. Kind of a light weight review for how Secrets typically reviews gear.
I was sort of expecting a John Johnson review. His reviews are pretty thorough with some measurements to go along with his subjective testing. It's the best of both worlds.
Still it was a nice looking sub.
One more to add to Ned's list of myths.
There is no "tonal match" below 80 Hz with main speakers. Its either flat and undistorted or it isn't.
Good point. Much like when people buy a sub from company X to match their main speakers. Somehow the sound will "match" even though neither unit shares similar frequencies.
I think (hopefully) what he meant by tonal match, was that he was able to blend the two together for a "transparent" final result.
Personally, I would like to see them discuss some of the "myths" with the writer and have him make an update. If he can't do the objective tests, he should send the sub to John Johnson and have him do them and add them to the review. It's only half a review without measurements (IMO).
I'm no expert on bass theory but I do know there is an intricate relationship between a sound radiating device and the surfaces next to it, and they aren't always apparent by using common sense reasoning methods. And knowing Outlaw's reputation I doubt they would spew a bunch of made-up techno-bullshit just to impress potential customers. Reputations take a long time to build but are easily ruined so I have faith in this subwoofer's designers. And while I like numbers too, totally ignoring a reviewer's subjective opinion just because there are no numerical specs provided is rather shortsighted IMO. While I myself have participated in many objective vs. subjective arguments, ultimately when it is purchasing time it really does come down to how a component actually sounds, not what its spec sheet says.
For examples of how bass reproduction can be a really mind-bending subject check these out:
* An article about JBL's slot-loaded "Aquarius" series of the 70s.
* And Roy Allison's special speakers (they're back!!): Allison Acoustics. Click on the "Technical Articles" link. Some of his designs back in the 70s/80s had their woofers pointing upwards to better deal with certain problems.
And different subs certainly DO have different sonic personalities. I'm not sure how one could say they don't: look at all the posts here about such-n-such sub sounds tight and hits hard, while another one sounds loose or boomy. These kinds of qualities are easy to hear, even for novices. Sealed subs are often described as laid back or clinical while some bass reflex types hit hard but lack definition (and vice versa). While a sub's sound may be nonidrectional below a certain frequency, the personality of that sound is still going to be perceivable.
So it is totally up to the user if he thinks, say, a Cambridge SoundWorks sealed sub will match with his bass-reflex-equipped Athena bookshelfs. I for one detest thumping/"intense" bass but do like clearly defined mid and highs so am planning on a similar test in the future with my Bostons. But to use an extreme example, personally I don't think a Velodyne or Klipsch sub would pair too well with the "quietness" of a pair of Martin-Logans or Magneplanars--these companies' sonic philosophies are just too different.
And for a black-colored sub I think the Outlaw sub does look nice. Though personally I think Legacy has some of the prettiest ones out there: Legacy Audio subwoofers
Since subs aren't a big deal to me I will only address the last question:
When designing a 3-way loudspeaker for example, would it be a good idea to pair a silk dome tweeter with a horn loaded midrange and woofer? Or how about a horn loaded tweeter, a heavily-damped fabric dome midrange and a sealed woofer? Even compensating for level differences, IMO such a mismatched jumble of very dissimilar-sounding drivers is going to end up sounding like cow poop.
So it's no wonder Martin-Logan's own Descent subwoofer is a sealed design, as are the bass drivers (using cone-type dynamic drivers) in several of their full-range electrostatic speakers.
Of course, using that logic you'd have to question them using woofers at all. They use a sealed design because their speaker enclosures are way too small to accomodate a port, and "audiophiles" don't like passive radiators.
Here's an interesting paper that makes the case for multiple subs and shows you a how to place them.