A7S-450 Listening Tests
Blu-ray: The Mummy – The Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
To work out this big boy with some LFE, I turned to this special effects laden recent addition to the Mummy franchise. Opinions of the film itself aside, it does have what it takes to fit the bill of blockbuster popcorn fare that will put the low end of a sound system to the test. The most extreme sound effects proved to be no issue for the A7S-450. And angry Yeti are cool.
The A7S-450 performed well throughout the film. Intense sound effects were given plenty of support and the A7S-450 never showed any signs of giving out at very respectable volume levels. On the flip side of the mayhem, the A7S-450 was appropriately delicate and articulate with subtle deep sound effects and with the orchestral score. When asked to provide both of these extremes simultaneously, the sub did a fine job of blasting out explosions, collapses, and battle without losing the composure to render the delicate bits with finesse.
Right from the start, the Universal intro is delivered with solid, deep rumble segueing into the back story of ancient battles that were presented with solidity and sustained depth through the A7S-450. The musical score was rendered with an articulate bottom end and clean percussion. Thousands of years later, as the tomb is opened, dynamite and the crashing of traps were potent through the sub, while the low rumble of accidentally activated mechanisms working in the background came though quietly but distinctly. Percussion and the bottom of the score were again rendered with articulation and good timbral character by the A7S-450. I found the Chinese New Year fireworks were taut and realistic through the A7S-450 while the big band double bass at Imhotep’s was rendered delicate and light. The awakening showed off the A7S-450’s subtle side again, supporting ominous orchestral depth and the quite but distinct deep percussion while rendering hall ambience. The tactile throb of airplane engines over the Himalayas was developed enough by the A7S-450 to support the illusion of being on the plane, avalanches and cave collapses were most impressive, and the wing flaps of the two headed dragon all but gusted air around the room. As the final battle gears up, collapsing tombs, marching terra cotta armies, the sounds of battle, and raging of beasts get solid rumble and thump from the A7S-450. The score, with trombone petal tones and surging low brass, came through cleanly behind the demanding sound effects. All of this leading to the final confrontation with the mummy in a hidden chamber within the Great Wall where ancient mechanisms came through with a low, deep rumble. The closing score cycles through multiple sections showing off the subs prowess with musical content with resonant string passages, surging low brass, and percussion all of which came through with subtle bass detail and depth fully intact
CD: Mick Karn: The Tooth Mother
Fretless bass and clarinet player Mick Karn, like former Japan band mates David Sylvian and Richard Barbiari, embarked on a solo career trajectory based on creativity and experiment well outside mainstream musical tastes after the dissolution of the aforementioned Japan. With his unmistakably distinct playing style and virtuoso technique on the bass guitar and his skills with various woodwind instruments, Mick fuses experimental rock, funk, and jazz into a Middle Eastern idiom that defies easy categorization on The Tooth Mother. Supported by a wide range of musicians, including the likes of guitarist David Torn and former band mate Richard Barbiari who, along with drummer Gavin Harrison and guitarist Steve Wilson, would ultimately form three quarters of Porcupine Tree, the album is quite simply unique.
Karn’s bass sound can be best described as fat but agile; it is a very full sound that is simultaneously nuanced and articulate, and the eD A7S-450 did a fine job rendering these qualities in the performance. Arrangements full of bass guitar chords, elaborate percussion, low woodwinds, and low synthesizers provide a lot of sonic complexity for a sub to work through, and throughout, the A7S-450 remained relaxed sounding and detailed at volume. Song after demanding song, the sub had enough punch and substance to fully flesh out Mick’s meaty bass guitar sound. It was quick and delicate enough to render all of the musical subtleties dynamically without bowling over them. I found that the eD A7S-450 kept all of the sonic layers In the low frequency range cleanly separated, and it did this with seamless voicing integration to the mains.
From the opening of the album with Thundergirl Mutation, Karn’s bass playing was solid and immediate through the A7S-450 without sacrificing musical nuance or getting bogged down in all of the layers. Opening with bass clarinet with well realized timbre, Plaster the Magic Tongue was rendered with a resonant bottom end, rich in quality and detail by the A7S-450. Bass guitar gymnastics were sonically seamless as Karn jumped from low to high register with all of the details of the performance captured. The A7S-450 did an excellent job keeping the layered bass arrangement during Lodge of Skins separated. Percussion was tight while the layered bass guitar, low winds, and synthesizers were all clearly discernable through the lushness. Ethnic percussion featured in Gossip’s Cup and Feta Funk came through the A7S-450 with depth, punch, and realistic timbre. The bass playing benefited from the sub’s ability to keep up with transients and dynamics while keeping the unique fullness inherent to Karn’s sound, cleanly rendering layers of bass guitar chords, low winds, synthesizers, and percussion. The A7S-450 again did a fine job with the timbre and transients of ethnic percussion during The Tooth Mother. Bass guitar was seamless through the crossover point as Karn moved up and down the finger board with no hint of voicing change between the mains and the sub. Towards the middle, deep electronic bass transients pop in and out of the arrangement, which the A7S-450 did a fine job in portraying. Bass guitar and drum parts during Little, Less Hope were tight and clean through the A7S-450, which had no trouble developing a resonant bottom end that rumbled the room. The album closes with There Was Not Anything But Nothing, which brings the winds to the forefront over the bass guitar playing. With a rich arrangement and a chord structure that shifts through harmonic changes, the A7S-450 kept everything going on at the bottom distinct. Bass clarinet had a realistic timbral character and remained distinct from tenor saxophone, synthesized bass, and bass guitar as chord structures were then piece by piece constructed on top.
yep, same here. Wait a minute, i did...:d
lol :d :d
croseiv;533454But if it has a nice frequency response and sounds good, who cares? A sub's a sub right?
Sounds like they are just slapping a car subwoofer into a box...
I have had my A7s-450 for almost two weeks now. I begged the wife to let me get it as I already had an A2-300 that has worked wonders in our old, smaller living room. However, a new house meant more room and a higher ceiling...the A2-300 was struggling on some movie scenes that had the lowest bass (i.e, Master and Commander, Terminator, etc.) as I had to turn the gain higher than before, despite a corner location. I just needed to move more air.
I e-chatted with Brett to great effect; he was very knowledgeable from a design standpoint and had much insight into what was mechanically and electrically required from a subwoofer to accurately reproduce bass. I learned a lot and centered on the A5-350 15" ported and the A7s-450 18" sealed units. Brett helped me figure out how much air i needed to move (as in total driver linear displacement and the proper amp power to take advantage of it.) and the type of sound I was looking for for my music listening. We had an extremely productive chat and Brett was both very friendly and very professional. I was taken aback because it was much more like speaking with a friend on IM than a person I've never met in Iowa (I'm in Florida). His open-ness to share specific figures and specs on his products sold me. Having a background in live pro-sound mixing, I know enough to know that he did not BS me. Not even once. He didn't even try...he just knew his stuff inside and out. Then I pried it out of him....he had a direct hand in the actual DESIGN of several eD sealed subwoofers, to include the A7s-450. We talked turkey for about 15 minutes and then I let him go. NO pressure and he got ZERO info from me. There was no guarantee of a sale on his part...he just poured out the info.
Days later, I spoke with Matt over the phone, who was equally knowledgeable and helpful. I verified the free eQ.2 promo for the A7s-450 and ordered one over the phone. Wam, bam, thank-you-ma'am. No hassle and I was G2G.
I received it via, as always, free shipping. This sub was so big, I had to un-pack it completely just to fit it in my Hyundai Elantra (don't try this at home boys and girls). After a few sacrificial (and permanent) modifications to my front passenger seat, two little helpers at the UPS depot, I shoe-horned the beast in.
After getting it home and turned-on, it was a revelation; the sub just had no limits in my new living room. This was before tweaking via the included eQ.2 (a steal, I might add). I went to bed, perfectly happy with my purchase.
A few days later I found the time to fiddle with the eQ.2 Long story short, you can dial this sub to make it sound like whatever you want in your room. I've got the mid-bass shelved by about 6db from 60-65Hz on up and the low EQ centered on 25Hz with a Q of 2 and about 7 or 8 dB of boost. It's dynamic from barely audible night-time everyone-else-is-sleeping volume levels to neighborhood-rapport-destroying levels with Terminator:Salvation, Transformers II RoTF, and Master & Commander. Amazing output at well below 20 Hz. I test-toned it down to about 10Hz. Amazing. Just stupid levels of sound from this thing. It left me shaking my head at how low it went and still maintained its composure....it just kept getting louder and louder...I decided to stop testing as it was getting late and the sub just kept getting louder. I became legitimately concerned that it was going to break my sliding-glass-door as it was sitting not far from it.
Music performance is as accurate as I could ever hope. It's dynamic and impactful. It sounds great with Metallica, Anberlin, MuteMath, Diana Krall (her damn-near-perfectly recorded 'Live in Paris'), Van Morrison, Dave Brubek, AC-DC ('Shoot to Thrill' and 'Thunderstruck' will change your life using this sub), John Mayer, Michael Jackson, Jack Johnson, Black Eyed Peas, Red, Breaking Benjamin, Bach, Handel, U2, etc. It sounded great with everything I played through it...Once I got the levels dialed in, NO further adjustments were needed. I have never experienced this...it just disappeared and added depth and impact to what I thought were familiar recordings. Every song had added depth and the soundstage seemed HUGE....much bigger than the room....especially with live recordings (like U2's 'Live in Chicago' DVD). The eQ.2 adds so much versatility to this sub...they should be considered a pair. You can adjust the sub to even out your room response in so many ways, it would be worth the price of the upgrade (even though it's free now). Just amazing. I haven't heard ANYTHING any where near this price point that can even match this performance in a regular guy's living room. I do not have any sound treatments or other goodies...I have a wife who uses her magnifying glass about what the room looks like. The sub sounds so good, she even passes it now. She was able to clearly articulate that it sounds MUCH better than ANY theater she has ever been to. She said that anything that 'sounds this amazing' is okay in her living room, regardless of size. She watches romantic comedies with the sound system now because even she thinks it makes the closing of doors and city scenes seem more real. Who am I to argue?
I can whole-heartedly recommend this sub. The only thing I could imagine that would be better than an A7s-450 would be TWO A7s-450's.
And buy a subwoofer that is one year into the warranty? If it was 1200 with shipping I'd say yes, but 1350? id rather spend the extra 350 and make sure i get my full 3 years.
Also 3 years doesn't really seem that long. If you look at eD they have a 5 year warranty. Now thats a warranty, that shows they really stand by their product.
That's true, but then I wasn't sure where you are. It could've been a short road trip. Then at $1200 it would've been a steal.