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I had a very interesting experience this weekend with a new subwoofer that I would like to share and get comments on; my subwoofer seems to be a major factor in the coherecy of my soundstage.

Here is what happened. I upgraded my receiver and speakers, but kept my old subwoofer. The new system (Parasound AVC-2500u pre, and HCA-2250A amp, along with Energy speakers) overpowered my subwoofer. I compensated for the lack of bass by increasing the volume to hear the lower octave sounds (the woof of a car door closing for example). This resulted in an overly bright presentation.

When I got my new subwoofer (Energy Microstar 12.1) it had the power to present the lower octave sounds without getting lost. This solved my overly bright (and painful) problem, and was astounded at what the sub did for the coherency of the soundstage. Because the sounds from the sub are non-directional and accompany many effects, I have a more dimensional sonic environment!

I always thought that a sub was just a boom-box for special effects. Now I realize that it seems to be an essential part in creating a coherent soundstage.