GoldenEar SuperSub X and 5.1.4 Atmos "Invisible" System at CEDIA 2016 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 18 Old 09-21-2016, 05:37 AM - Thread Starter
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GoldenEar SuperSub X and 5.1.4 Atmos "Invisible" System at CEDIA 2016

So here's what happens at CEDIA, you go from room to room listening to systems that cost as much as a new house and get as loud as a rock concert. Then you hear a bunch of lifestyle-oriented systems that sound good, but don't exactly trigger goose bumps. Then you step into Sandy Gross's sanctum sanctorum and hear GoldenEar's Atmos system with a single SuperSub X taking care of the bass, and you are reminded that you don't have to blow a fortune to get great sound, nor does a high-performance audio system have to dominate a room.

This demo marked the debut of the company's SuperSub X ($1250), an extremely compact high-performance subwoofer that combines dual 8-inch drivers plus dual passive radiators with a powerful 1400-watt amp to belt out near-bottomless bass, without wasting space.


AVS Forum Editor Scott Wilkinson experiencing this year's GoldenEar demo. Photo by Mark Henninger

The rest of the system was comprised of GoldenEar's Invisa MPX ($500 each) architectural speakers for the left and right channels, the side surrounds, and the rears. A SuperSat 60 ($800) served as a center channel, and was mounted right on top of a TV. The elevation channels used for Atmos and DTS:X were all angled in-ceiling Invisa HTR-7000s ($500 each). On the electronics side, a Marantz AV8802A pre/pro plus twin Parasound Halo A51 five-channel amps and an Oppo BDP-105D ran the show.

Unlike most demos at CEDIA, Sandy was dedicating time to playing music through the Dolby Surround upmixer that comes with Atmos. We listen to Enya, whose recordings are excellently produced, and the system performed ambience extraction like a champ. Honestly, I felt like I was at home, because that's how I listen to music every day. Side-fill was such that I did not even notice the absence of side-surrounds in the 5.1.4 system and initially thought it was 7.1.4.

Movies and Dolby Atmos demo clips (like the Star Wars: Battlefront trailer) also sounded great, with pinpoint localization and crisp, clear, but non-fatiguing sound that completely erases the room's walls and puts the listener in the action. Personally, I was not all that surprised by the performance of the subwoofer because I had a chance to preview that exact unit for a couple of weeks prior to CEDIA (thank you Sandy) and have already measured its performance and know that it can deliver clean bass right down to 20 Hz. That review is coming soon, but if you heard it at the show you already know that it is full of surprises for a subwoofer of that size.

GoldenEar consistently puts on some of the best-sounding demos at CEDIA. This year's system deftly combines high-performance, affordability, and "invisibility" to deliver sound that you'd swear could only come from full-sized speakers and a large subwoofer. And for what it's worth, I experience goose bumps twice in one demo, and those were the only two times that happened at the show. Proof enough that Sandy Gross knows how to put together a system that can satisfy audiophiles, AV enthusiasts, and interior decorators alike.
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post #2 of 18 Old 09-21-2016, 06:17 AM
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We saw this demo as well but must confess I was disappointed. Maybe it was partially the material or the volume but this room lacked anything that would excite me about 3D audio. I know the GoldenEar room at CEDIA 2014 was superb, but this one for me just didn't get it.

But, like you, I too listen to virtually all 2 channel music utilizing the Dolby up-mixer. If you like acappela music, try PTX or Straight No Chaser played through your up-mixer. It is better than being there!!
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post #3 of 18 Old 09-21-2016, 06:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by audioguy View Post
We saw this demo as well but must confess I was disappointed. Maybe it was partially the material or the volume but this room lacked anything that would excite me about 3D audio. I know the GoldenEar room at CEDIA 2014 was superb, but this one for me just didn't get it.

But, like you, I too listen to virtually all 2 channel music utilizing the Dolby up-mixer. If you like acappela music, try PTX or Straight No Chaser played through your up-mixer. It is better than being there!!
Perhaps it's relative. I'm not saying the demo sounded as good as a Triton tower and SuperCenter-based system, but I do think it could keep up with some tower and bookshelf-based systems I have heard.

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post #4 of 18 Old 09-21-2016, 06:47 AM
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Perhaps it's relative. I'm not saying the demo sounded as good as a Triton tower and SuperCenter-based system, but I do think it could keep up with some tower and bookshelf-based systems I have heard.
I would agree.
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post #5 of 18 Old 09-21-2016, 07:21 AM
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I had to ask Sandy where the second sub was bc I honestly didn't think there was just one in the room. It was incredible for it's size.
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post #6 of 18 Old 09-21-2016, 09:02 AM
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It sounds to me that you were impressed by the price/performance ratio of the setup, in a configuration that the average consumer could reasonably conceive to setup in their own home (I mean who can't relate to placing the center channel on top of a TV?), moreso than the raw performance of the system. And I'm not saying that's a bad thing
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post #7 of 18 Old 09-21-2016, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tezster View Post
It sounds to me that you were impressed by the price/performance ratio of the setup, in a configuration that the average consumer could reasonably conceive to setup in their own home (I mean who can't relate to placing the center channel on top of a TV?), moreso than the raw performance of the system. And I'm not saying that's a bad thing
Yup, that's exactly right.

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post #8 of 18 Old 09-21-2016, 09:44 AM
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Maybe it's just the angle of the picture, but the left and right channel seem high.
Could be on purpose though so it blended with the center better.
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post #9 of 18 Old 09-21-2016, 06:20 PM
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Do you know the dimensions of the boxes they are put in? I might build out a fake wall similar to that so just wondering how deep they have theirs.
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post #10 of 18 Old 09-25-2016, 10:30 PM
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Found an interview with Sandy Gross on DT from CES 2016.

Hilarious him talking about 'inertially balanced patent pending technology' and attributing that to the big output of this sub. It's just a dual opposed sub with passive radiators. Throw the word "technology" in there and you can put a patent on there. That's marketing for ya hey? All the 'technology' that helps them get big output would be in the driver and PR choice, and the DSP work in the amp. In saying that, I do love hearing big sound out a small box. Something immensely satisfying about it.

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post #11 of 18 Old 09-27-2016, 06:58 AM
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Patent Pending onDual Plane Inertially Balanced Sub

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Originally Posted by AudyoVidyo View Post
Found an interview with Sandy Gross on DT from CES 2016.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ik-gH2j-wK8

Hilarious him talking about 'inertially balanced patent pending technology' and attributing that to the big output of this sub. It's just a dual opposed sub with passive radiators. Throw the word "technology" in there and you can put a patent on there. That's marketing for ya hey? All the 'technology' that helps them get big output would be in the driver and PR choice, and the DSP work in the amp. In saying that, I do love hearing big sound out a small box. Something immensely satisfying about it.
Hi, Hilarious? I don't think so. The combination of the dual opposed inertially balanced active drivers, combined with the inertially balanced passives is very much part of the reason that the SuperSubs, X and XXL, work so well; of course in combination with everything else, including amp, drivers, passives, DSP etc. Passives, when properly done, can be very effective in terms of bass loading and getting maximum performance out of a small box.Yes, there have been dual opposed inertially balanced subs before. In terms of inertially balanced dual opposed subs also including a single passive radiator, this I am not sure of. It is important to note that if you had a single passive, that passive would not be inertially balanced and would cause quite a bit of cabinet movement, as it would be heavy with lots of throw. However, the concept of inertially balancing two passives, in this case opposed in the vertical plane, in conjunction with two active drivers inertially balanced in the horizontal plane, is very effective and has never been done before. It is simple, but really works. Unique concepts like this are what patents are all about. All the Best, Sandy
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post #12 of 18 Old 09-28-2016, 10:09 AM
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Hi, Hilarious? I don't think so.
He was referring to the "inertially balanced" part, which has been around for decades.

If any part of the patent was granted for that, it just shows the sorry state of the patent system.
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Hi, Hilarious? I don't think so. The combination of the dual opposed inertially balanced active drivers, combined with the inertially balanced passives is very much part of the reason that the SuperSubs, X and XXL, work so well; of course in combination with everything else, including amp, drivers, passives, DSP etc. Passives, when properly done, can be very effective in terms of bass loading and getting maximum performance out of a small box.Yes, there have been dual opposed inertially balanced subs before. In terms of inertially balanced dual opposed subs also including a single passive radiator, this I am not sure of. It is important to note that if you had a single passive, that passive would not be inertially balanced and would cause quite a bit of cabinet movement, as it would be heavy with lots of throw. However, the concept of inertially balancing two passives, in this case opposed in the vertical plane, in conjunction with two active drivers inertially balanced in the horizontal plane, is very effective and has never been done before. It is simple, but really works. Unique concepts like this are what patents are all about. All the Best, Sandy
Thanks for commenting Sandy. I really appreciate your comments and input. It is an honor to have you on here, and it shows that you care about your products, potential customers and you are enthusiastic about developing great products! That is fantastic so thank you!

Let me preface my comments with the fact that these points are only my own opinion, and that's the beauty of the internet and open discussion forums.

Don't get me wrong. I love the whole concept of attaining big sound out of the smallest possible size everything. I'd even go so far to say I have an absolute fascination with it! And I think the rest of the world loves to see things like this being done too. (eg. phones, hard drives, silicon chips & miniaturization in general!) I've been making subwoofers & speakers for both car and home ever since I was 15. That was 15 years ago. So I completely love what you have done with the SuperSub X and XXL. I think there is real talent in being able to extract every ounce of performance out of each component and perfecting every piece of technology in the signal chain to achieve unbelievable output, as well as being able to balance a quarter on the box when it is blasting! I absolutely completely love the idea!

After a quick Google search I couldn't find any commercial subwoofer manufacturer making subs with the same driver configuration. (Correct me if I'm wrong everyone). There are heaps of subs that use 1 active + 1 passive, or 1 active + 2 passives. So kudos for doing something different in itself.

In saying the above, what I take issue with is the marketing jargon attached to the product, as well as the patenting. I completely understand that every company will say their product is the BEST! And every company has to say that to compete with each other properly these days. They also have to put a convincing complicated set words together that most people don't understand in order to make the product sound extremely difficult and expensive to produce. Most manufacturers rely on the fact that most customers won't look up the words they don't understand in the sales pitch to see what the words actually mean. For instance, almost any tool or physical item can be referred to as 'technology' to make it sound like new ground is being broken.

The following is an extract from the forum part of your website where you can see what I mean. (Bold type with my comments in red)
(reference: http://www.goldenear.com/forum/News/...coming-in-2016)

Quote:
"New GoldenEar Technology Dual-Plane Inertially-Balanced SuperSub™ X Subwoofer to Debut at CES 2016

(January 4, 2016 – Stevenson, MD) GoldenEar’s new SuperSub™ line up is a very special group of ultra-high-performance compact subwoofers that incorporate many recently developed unique and advanced technologies and components. The goal was to create beautifully styled, finely finished, reasonably sized subwoofers, that could generate very low frequency pressure waves of extremely high amplitude (compared to what exactly?), while delivering accurate and precise low frequency performance that is both highly impactful and extremely musical. In order to achieve this, we have incorporated a unique, patent-pending, 360 degree dual-plane inertially-balanced driver and sub-bass radiator topology, combined with a very advanced electronics package. (So in other words, it is unique because no one has done this configuration yet, what is the patent pending on exactly?, 360 degree in the vertical plane only right? dual plane (ok I get it, up and down, side to side), inertially-balanced (so dual opposed in both directions = no force in one single direction - ok cool), sub-bass (what the?) radiator (passive radiator yep got it?) topology? (Wikipedia's definition: "In mathematics, topology is concerned with the properties of space that are preserved under continuous deformations, such as stretching and bending, but not tearing or gluing.") The first of these extraordinary new subwoofers to be released, the SuperSub XXL, shipped in November 2015, and has already received fantastic press and consumer response. In addition, it is the proud recipient of one of the industry’s highest honors, the 2016 International CES Innovations/Design and Engineering Award. We are now pleased to announce the second SuperSub, the SuperSub X. In reality, the new, amazingly compact SuperSub X, was the original focus of this development program. It is, as was intended, the best ultra-compact powered subwoofer ever created, delivering extraordinary musicality along with earthshaking impact (really?).

The attractive enclosure of the X is constructed of very thick, high density medite (Just MDF yeah?) , which is beautifully finished in high-gloss piano black lacquer. It is intricately and effectively braced in order to eliminate the possibility of resonances or the flexing of cabinet panels due to the tremendous internal pressure. There is a unique (patent pending) combination of two fully inertially-balanced 8”” long-throw active drivers in the horizontal plane and two fully inertially-balanced 10”x11” planar infrasonic radiators (Google definition: "The term "infrasonic" applied to sound refers to sound waves below the frequencies of audible sound, and nominally includes anything under 20 Hz. Sources of infrasound in nature include volcanoes, avalanches, earthquakes and meteorites." I'd like to see a frequency response graph to confirm this!) in the vertical plane. This force-cancelling inertial balancing preserves, conserves and focuses all the energy produced by the transducers in order to effectively move the air in the room (rather than the box) (so it doesn't move the are in the box?), as well as enabling full recovery of the finest details, (where did they go?) rather than allowing loss and blurring due to wasted box movement. In a way, it is as if the enclosure were a totally inert 500 lb. cabinet, but in some ways even better. (what the?) Also, because there are two active drivers that are separated horizontally in space, as well as two passive radiators which are separated vertically, the driver-to-room coupling is distributed much more smoothly. (what on earth does this mean? How is the 'driver-to-room' coupling distributed more smoothly? and compared to what?) The different driver locations couple to different room standing wave patterns, thus working better with and driving multiple room eigenmodes (Googles definition: An eigenmode is a natural vibration of a system such that various parts all move together at the same frequency. The different parts all move sinusoidally at the same frequency and their amplitudes all increase or decrease in proportion to one another), almost as if you had two separate subwoofers. (there are two separate subwoofers!)

The electronics package that drives the fully balanced driver and radiator arrays is unique and effective. There is a 1400 watt (more of a question, this is max or peak wattage right? 2x 8" subwoofer drivers couldn't take 700W each continuous under any circumstances I wouldn't think, and certainly not at very low frequencies? I would assume most of this power is required for the DSP to EQ in order to get down to the stated 12Hz frequency response?) Class D Digital Amplifier, originally developed for the Triton One, that is controlled by a 56 bit DSP device with a 192 kHz sample rate. This Programmable Logic State Machine has nearly instantaneous 278 ns update time to perfectly manage a myriad of functions including frequency response, soft clipping, DC offset control, output-stage saturation control, discrete multi-band limiting and phase-perfect equalization. The amplifier also utilizes many small, separate power supplies for each circuit section in order to provide isolation, so there is little opportunity for coupling through the power supplies. A fully balanced topology is used to minimize noise and distortion.

Finally, advanced reconstruction filters (Google's definition: In a mixed-signal system (analog and digital), a reconstruction filter is used to construct a smooth analog signal from a digital input, as in the case of a digital to analog converter (DAC) or other sampled data output device.) are utilized in order to maximize damping factor (Google definition: Amplifier damping factor (DF)is defined as “the ratio of the load impedance (loudspeaker plus wire resistance) to the amplifier internal output impedance.” This basically indicates the amplifier's ability to control overshoot of the loudspeaker, i.e., to stop the cone from moving.). Sonically, the result is rock-solid bass response that is both exceptionally fast and tuneful for music, and extraordinarily deep and powerful, in order to effortlessly reproduce the most extreme movie sound effects. Also, of critical importance, is the fact that the electronics have been designed with a strong focus on minimizing latency to an absolute minimum. Latency is basically time delay that exists in digital circuits. It has the effect of moving the subwoofer back from its physical position. This creates a misalignment with the rest of the system. We have measured many subwoofers that have relatively extreme levels of latency, which, in effect, moves the subwoofer back 15 or 20 feet. (This really wouldn't need to be a consideration as the latency or 'time delay' would be adjusted in any AV receiver's "distance" measurement when setting the speaker distances in the system I would think?) Two RCA inputs are provided for both LFE connection, as well as low-level connection from a stereo source. There is a precision level control as well as a phase perfect low-pass control to enable seamless integration into any system. U.S. Retail Price is $1249. Each. Delivery is expected in Spring 2016."


SuperSub™ X Specifications:
Enclosure Dimensions: 12 ½” H (w/feet) x 13 ½” W x 12 ½” D
Frequency Response: 12Hz-200Hz. (is this -3db at 12Hz? -10db at 12hz? or -50db at 12Hz? Without some perspective, how is anyone supposed to believe that 2x8" drivers could produce 12Hz with any authority?)
Driver Complement:
Two 8” long-throw high-output bass drivers
Two 10” x 11”quadratic planar infrasonic radiators
Amplifier: 1400 Watt ForceField (really? Is this a patented or copyrighted name or something?) Digital/DSP Amplifier
Low Pass Filter: 12dB per octave continuously variable from 40Hz-200 Hz. for Stereo Inputs
Inputs: Direct Coupled, unfiltered LFE-input / Low Level Left and Right channel inputs
Like I said, I understand the compulsive need of any product manufacturer to give the best sales pitch possible in order to sell their product. However I don't see any need to totally overwhelm and confuse any potential customer with excessive sales pitch jargon in order to sell your product. The product itself is fantastic! It would sell itself from its sexy piano black exterior, without having to lower yourself to the practice of confusion marketing!

So after all of that, the real main question I would have for you would be:
What are you actually trying to get a patent on?
(Does this mean I could put a patent on putting any low frequency transducer in a box, call it a subwoofer and putting a patent on that design?)


Once again, this is only my opinion. However, I have an immensely strong aversion to overcomplicated marketing material as do many others I am sure. Please don't take my words as any kind of criticism of the subwoofer itself. I think you have done an extraordinary job achieving what you have done in all of your speaker lines. From my perspective, the the SuperSub X is a great addition to your awesome line up at a very reasonable price if you ask me.

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post #14 of 18 Old 09-29-2016, 01:00 PM
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"...it is unique because no one has done this configuration yet"

I've seen it several times; the only one I can specifically recall is Tom Danley's Contrabass subwoofer from a couple of decades ago.

I should add that I greatly admire GoldenEar and its products, but as an engineer, the patent issue gets under my skin.
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post #15 of 18 Old 09-30-2016, 03:38 PM
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Patent on SuperSub

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Originally Posted by noah katz View Post
He was referring to the "inertially balanced" part, which has been around for decades.
If any part of the patent was granted for that, it just shows the sorry state of the patent system.
No, Actually it was for the combination of inertial balancing in two planes in the same loudspeaker (Dual-Plane Inertial-Balancing, which I think very accurately describes what is going on and is not, as some may inappropriately describe as marketing hype) . This has never been done before. Patents are granted for something unique, which this is, that also has a benefit, which this does. The patent granting process is quite rigorous and involved. Thanks, Sandy
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Tom Danley's Contrabass Subwoofer

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Originally Posted by noah katz View Post
"...it is unique because no one has done this configuration yet"

I've seen it several times; the only one I can specifically recall is Tom Danley's Contrabass subwoofer from a couple of decades ago.

I should add that I greatly admire GoldenEar and its products, but as an engineer, the patent issue gets under my skin.
Hi, I appreciate the fact that you like my products. We work really hard, and are very proud of them. I did look up this subwoofer, and while it does have 2 active drivers and 2 passives, which are inertially balanced, they are located on the front and rear of the cabinet, so only inertially balanced in one plane. Actually, it was a rather interesting design as the 2 active drivers were driven together by a belt connected servo drive (they called it servo drive) and I believe it had a patent, now expired, on the belt servo drive. All the Best, Sandy
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post #17 of 18 Old 04-14-2017, 05:37 PM
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Okay! After much research (mostly reading reviews and comments), I went out to my nearest dealer today here in sunny Southern California and purchased the SuperSub (mini) X. I put the mini in there because the dealer only had the XXL on display and when we decided that the SuperSub X may be the best sub for me, he brought the boxed unit out and I gasped at how small it was and it was still in the box, double boxed. Now, I'm wondering if I shouldn't have just spent the extra money for the XXL. Or, I can keep it and add another X later on.

Anyway, I'd like to personally thank Mark Henniger (imagic) for his detailed review of the SuperSub XXL. That is the review that finally made up my mind to choose the Goldenear brand.

PS> Where is that SuperSub X review?!

Sincerely,


Jeffrey Michael
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post #18 of 18 Old 05-09-2017, 01:23 PM
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Just put a cushion on that bad boy, and you can use it as a chair.
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