AVS Special Member
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Calgary, Canada
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I understand the preference for full floor range fronts. I demoed the S8's on a MacIntosh amp and they were simply incredible. On the S4's it has been my experience that a sub can definately enhance the sound. Overall they just seem "full" with proper sub implementation. And there's plenty of music with material in the high 20's and low 30's that the S4's probably can't quite handle. I found the Servo-15 to be the only sub that can stand up to music though, (I probably demoed 10 or so) so a very good sub is critical. The main benefit though is the additional "feel" that a sub can provide with a nice large driver. The Servo-15 creates impact without sounding boomy, which is exactly what I was after. It's not as good as something like a concert, but at least it's part way there. The S4's alone just couldn't generate that impact.
There's also the science of bass management that claims that proper subwoofer placement will go a long ways to achieving a much more level frequency response.
Having said all that though, I do believe that proper subwoofer placement, calibration, and configuration is critical. I also think it's extremely difficult and very few people ever do it properly - but people here are not a random sample of average people. :) I have personally never heard a subwoofer system that I've liked, but I'm confident that I can be the first person I know to have done it right. I have the science on my side, and also I've heard it done properly in 2 of my demoes (out of about 10) so I know it's possible. :)