Ask the Editors: Can I Use Definitive Technology BP9040 Towers with a Subwoofer

Definitive Technology BP9040 Speakers

Q: One of my Definitive Technology BP 20 towers has failed (I certainly got my money’s worth) and I have a $2000 budget for a replacement system. I assume that the best replacements for my BP 20s are new Definitive Technology BP9040 towers.

If I am correct, the BP9040s fit within my budget and want to continue using my M&K sub. Would I be able to configure the BP9040s as “small” and leverage the sub?

– Michael Dembo (mdembo)

A: It is a happy coincidence that I am currently reviewing a pair of BP9040 speakers, so answering your question is a piece of cake. The short answer is that using the LFE input of the BP9040 is strictly optional, when you wire up a pair and use the speaker terminals, they behave like any other speaker even though the bass is amplified.

Arguably, Definitive Technology’s approach gives you more setup flexibility than passive speakers afford, even when using bass management. That’s because the company’s Intelligent Bass Control feature lets you fine-tune the amount of bass the speaker produces. This can be helpful in achieving a smooth and seamless blend between a subwoofer and speakers.

Although the BP9040s are fairly capable in the bass department, since M&K makes good subs it’s likely you’ll benefit from including it in your system. The ability to place a sub in an optimal location for bass reproduction goes a long way.

It’s also worth considering running the BP9040s as “large” speakers and using your sub at the same time. With this configuration, it’s like having three subwoofers instead of one; that can result in smoother overall bass response.

If you wanted to take a deep dive down the bass management rabbit hole, you can connect the M&K sub as well as the BP9040s to the subwoofer output of your AVR. This configuration is exactly like having three subwoofers in your system. Definitive Technology suggests calling for configuration advice if you choose this route.

I don’t see any reason why you should not be able to use the M&K sub to contribute to the system’s overall performance, regardless of which approach you take.

Finally, it’s worth noting that I am enjoying what I hear from the BP9040 towers. So, if you decide to get a pair, I suspect you’ll be pleased.

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