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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by FredV, Jan 23, 2003.
I think it's because are a little big for most home theaters. I know if I had the room and money then I would intigrate them into my system.
I was interested in the contrabass not too long ago. Sent them an email and they replied back. When I got serious as to dealers in my area their emails stopped. Sent them a couple of more emails and never got a reply.
I also read, somewhere, that their system requires maintenance and adjustments (As opposed to subs that use conventional woofers) + very expensive to buy.
That kinda did it for me and decided on other avenues.
Mark Seaton, a Sound Physics Lab employee, is a very active poster over at AVS. I've seen him answer a lot of Contrabass questions over there.
Sorry for the delay in response, I've been in and out of town, and I am headed back out again. I do want to address this question though.
First, understand the ContraBass has been around before we were buying Pro-Logic receivers, and the original concept of who would employ this subwoofer were those recreating or producing organ sounds, as well as theme parks and other unique applications. Hey, its ancestor was designed to communicate with Elephants! That one certainly falls under "unique" in my book.
Secondly, the ContraBass was always designed for "intelligent use" and maximum performance, not a boom box you could beat on for days at a time.
As pointed out by Cam above, the ContraBass is only small relative to its performance, and while an efficient package, hardly the most attractive possible.
The above out of the way, the ContraBass has long offered performance not otherwise available, and characteristics unique to the mechanism like lowering distortion as output increases (opposite of conventional drivers).
As designers began to more regularly conceal the loudspeakers in custom home theaters, new possibilities arose for putting ContraBasses to use. Someone who understood its capabilities could achieve rather amazing performance. In the hands of "Joe Boom Box" a rather expensive repair bill was more a possibility, much like handing a 16 year old the keys to a true race car. Just because you have the power on tap (or headroom available) does that mean you should/can use it through every turn?
Finally, it is an expensive product using a motor which costs more than many complete powered subwoofers.
Having myself worked in both a high end retailer and as a custom designer/installer, I found it apparent that there were custom installers who would be able to put the ContraBass to good use with very minor but significant tweaks and refinements. This is where the Theater Calibrated ContraBass has grown from. I am seeing now what I had expected, which is a recognition by eager enthusiasts outside of the custom install/ CEDIA world who are interested in the performance. To more freely serve the enthusiast market significant changes to the package and other details need to be made. Enough so that an entirely new product is justified. One of these days that product will become available. Until then, we are in a catch 22 of getting some return on the ContraBass to justify that next product. It will be about a year later than I had hoped, but it is finally coming.
As for popularity here at HTF, a ServoDrive subwoofer is unlikely to overtake the popularity of SVS, Hsu or Rockets as they will reside at the more expensive end of what is discussed here and what people are willing to chance over the internet.
With the above out of the way, if the suggested retail of $5500 each doesn't deter you from achieving bass nirvana, we are steadily aquiring competent installers in many locals. Anyone is free to contact me directly with any questions.
I later found this to be all to common an occurence this past summer as we had some significant shortcomings with our e-mail routing. I can only apologize for the lack of response. Being that most of our dealers are not retail fronts, providing a demonstration is not always possible even when a dealer is local. On a more positive note, for those seriously considering our products as an option, by late spring there should be a VERY nice demonstration system available by appointement at a dealer located north of the Chicago Loop.