Originally Posted by jima4a
Tell us about the bass design also on the new SS 9.5.
The woofer section of the SS 9.5's is based on the woofer sections of previous SS floor-standing models. These have all featured passive radiators rather than ports. The passives generate the deepest bass without any possibility of port noise. But there is another advantage as well (and we'll get to that in a moment).
SS 9.5's utilize the Satori 9.5" woofer. This is a somewhat ground-breaking woofer designed in Denmark and produced in Indonesia. So it represents a real value.
Most great woofers in this size range are about 84 dB efficient. So a pair of them is normally required in order to get increase the overall sensitivity of the design (which is based on the sensitivity of the woofer section). Since this woofer has a native sensitivity of 87 db, only one driver is required. The benefit is there is no comb filtering at the intersection of the output from a pair of woofers in space. And the 9.5" cone means there is plenty of cone area to move a lot of air down low.
Also, normally when you go up in sensitivity, the cabinet volume requirements rise fairly quickly. But in this case, the internal volume requirements still result in a reasonably-sized cabinet.
The Satori woofers are really a marvel of driver engineering, bumping right up to the laws of physics.
Each woofer section has a pair of side-firing passives. These passives produce the deepest bass in the system and provide an F3 of 25Hz (-3 dB down-point).
When designing a new model, once in a while you discover a benefit you had not anticipated. The side-firing passives fall into that category.
We first showed the SS12's in California. We had shipped a pair and flew to the show. We wanted a very minimalist set-up and had not shipped any room treatments--especially bass traps. When we arrived and saw the small size of the room, we thought we were in big trouble. We had shown large ported speakers in small rooms in the past and had a bit of trouble controlling the bass. But when we fired up the SS12's, there were no problems.
Think about it this way. There are four passive radiators spread across the front of the room and all of them are delivering the deepest bass. It is almost like having four subwoofers spread across the front of the room. The passives load the room very evenly and don't present the kind of issues associated normally with a rear-firing port.
Instead, what you get is tight, well-controlled bass down to 25Hz, even in a smallish room.
I hope this helps.