After trying another brand, and listening to some others, I finally ordered a LFM-2 while it was on sale. I set it up this past weekend, and I have to say that I couldn't be more pleased!
My rig prior to the LFM-2:
- Onkyo SR705
- Polk R150s for mains (mounted as satellites)
- Polk RM101s for surrounds
- Either a Polk CSR or Klipsch RC-10. I haven't decided which one to stay with; CSR with better low-mid range, RC-10 better high end, more clarity as center channel for movies (due, I think to Klipsch's "tapered array" technology).
- Polk PSW10 for sub.
- partially enclosed 13'x14'x8' in finished basement. Wall where sub (and center speaker) is located is only a partial, where the right side opens up due to a stairway that goes upstairs behind the wall. The sub is positioned approximately 2-3 inches from the wall. The left corner of the room has a large opening that opens to a small game room. Porcelain tile floors, but area rug covers 75% of HT room. Subwoofer sits on the tile.
Strangely enough, even though the Polk PSW10 is only 100 watts max, it always sounded "musical", and had decent bass extension. My only real complaint was that it exhibited very pronounced port noise on LFEs during movies. A good example is the LOTR, Return of the King, during the confrontation with Saruman. Especially when they leave from there to go back to Rohan. The bass note from the "Rohan theme" that plays at that point would always make the little PSW10 distort badly, with pronounced port "chuffing".
So I was looking something that would still sound musical, and that could also handle a deeper extension and eliminate port noise.
The LFM-2 delivers this in spades. The above mentioned scene from LOTR is amazing when that bass note hits (not to mention Treebeard's voice!). Watching the battle scenes in LOTR is now like a new experience. The bass extension on this sub is really all that I need. I can't imagine needing to go any lower (especially since I don't usually spend time listening to pipe organ performances).
I actually find that as the LFM-2 breaks in, I have to keep turning the sub level down.
As was mentioned in the "Secrets" review from 2006, I found that the 40-65 Hz range was just a little weak with a flat EQ setting. Actually, not really so much weak as overwhelmed slightly by the 25Hz range. So I bumpled my EQ on the Onkyo SR705 as follows:
- 25 Hz = 0dB
- 40 Hz = +2 dB
- 63 Hz = +2 dB
- 100 Hz = +1 dB
- 160 Hz = 0
Now when I listen to music from mixed sources (contemporary, gospel, jazz, etc) the bass mix is perfect, with well articulated and tight bass notes from low B on up (I happen to be an electric bass player).
LFEs and bass channels on movies are just spectacular. I'm amazed that duing explosions, etc, it seems as though the concrete floor in the basement actually vibrates. And the music during movies is also exceptional.
Another benefit is that the bass response is more "even" thoughout the room. This may be because of the down firing port and driver. The Polk PSW10 was front firing on both accounts, and this seemed to produce a "sweet spot" at the opposite wall where the seating is located. If you got up from the seat, the bass response and extension dropped off noticeably. With the LFM-2, this is much improved, even with the LFM-2 in the exact same location that the PSW10 occupied.
I would heartily recommend this sub to anyone who is looking for a fantastic deal on a quality product. It seems as though this sub could easily handle a room much larger than mine. Right now I have my sub-out level from the Onkyo set at -2 dB, and the LFM-2 level not quite halfway up. My overall system volume for movies if usually around -10 dB from reference.
I've got the LFM-2 internal crossover bypassed, and handle all the crossovers at the Onkyo. I've got my mains and center at 90 Hz, my rear surrounds at 100 Hz. Phase is at 0. I use the autosense, and it works at least as well as the Polk sub.
The finish is just beautiful on the LFM-2. It is easily the best looking sub that I've seen. That piece of black plexiglass on top really contrasts nicely with the painted finish of the cabinet. Even the Outlaw emblem on the front is the perfect size, not too large and garish, but still visible.
My only complaint at all was the power cord. It doesn't fit snugly into the recepticle on the back of the unit. However, I easily fixed this by wrapping a few turns of black electrical tape around the outside of the plug prior to inserting it into the recepticle on the sub. Now the plug fits snugly into the recepticle.
I bought this on the recent sale for $199. With the shipping it came to $248. This is truly an exceptional value.