Outlaw Audio LFM-1 EX Review Listening Tests
For all of the listening sessions the LFM-1 EX was placed in the front right corner of the room firing down into the floor of the corner about 2 inches from the walls. This places the subwoofer a little over 4 meters from the primary listening position. I have determined this to be the best available single subwoofer placement in the room for most units. Audyssey was run on the system to allow it to integrate the LFM-1 EX, which was then followed by a check and recalibration of the subwoofer and speaker levels prior to the listening sessions. I used the Outlaw in 2 ports open mode for all of the listening to give it more headroom since the room is large.
CD: 311: From Chaos
I’ve been listening to 311 for many, many years. While this is not my favorite effort from them I do like the album and the mix. It features a very snappy and percussive drum sound locked in with a round bass guitar tone, which only gets better the louder you turn it up. Chad Sexton does his usual masterful playing on this disc as does Aaron Willis. There is not much bass below even 35Hz here but what is there is very clean and percussive and the LFM-1-EX delivered plenty of kick and subjective punch from Sexton’s kick drum and toms. The bass playing by Willis is at times laid back and open, while at other times he gets very busy. The LFM-1 EX had no trouble keeping up with the bass lines as they wound their way through and around the drum beat and easily resolved each individual note on tracks such as “From Chaos”, “You wouldn’t Believe” and “Sick Tight” from in between the kick drum. As usual I started cranking the level up to see how the subwoofer maintained dynamics and note delineation at higher output levels. The Outlaw got quite loud before any loss of resolution was noted. When it happened it was a sort of cloudiness to the notes and rounding off of the kick drum hits. Things were quite loud at that point. At more typical volume levels the LFM-1-EX was thoroughly enjoyable to listen to and I noted no notable sonic irregularities.
Blu-ray: Terminator - Salvation
The latest movie in the long running Terminator series, Salvation packs a powerful audio track that is mixed hot and demands a lot from the subwoofer both from a standpoint of overall loudness and depth of extension. There is plenty of action in this title and the bass is varied throughout with nuanced parts, loud explosions, very deep powerful bass rumbles and everything in between. The master volume was set to -15dB for the movie. I briefly thought about trying the LFM-1 EX in 1 port mode for the extra extension but decided not to in order to preserve the extra headroom and larger vent area of having the higher system tuning and both ports open. Throughout this movie the LFM-1 EX did a very good job filling the large room with whatever bass the sound track called for. The amount of output headroom available from this $650 subwoofer is very impressive. For the most part the LFM-1 EX delivered whatever types of bass the situation called for whether it was loud, abrupt or percussive events, ominous rumbles, or deep impacting thuds. All were produced quite well and with no lack of accuracy. The deep bass was well represented as well, but some of the very deepest frequencies present in the audio track seemed to be glossed over compared to what I remember from watching this movie at other times. Using the deeper tuning of 1 port mode would have no doubt helped out there, but at the cost of diminished overall headroom. The Outlaw did seem to reach its limits and emit a little distress noise or perhaps port noise on a few parts, most notably the scene involving a giant robot devastating a gas station, which has absurdly gratuitous amounts of 20-40Hz bass. There was also an odd sort of sound from the Outlaw during the end of the scene with the flying hunter killer unit. This was at rather loud levels in a big room though. The LFM-1 EX’s performance with this piece of bombastic home theater bass was above and beyond what subwoofers in its price range would usually be able to provide. Impressive.
Is it odd to find it to sound better in these places?
Sub at 10 o'clock
If you put your hands on both while its playing can you tell if they are in phase with eachother? Yes
What are the knob settings on the plate amp & what are the settings for it in your receiver?
Subwoofer=Crossover is all the way to the right (LFE input being used, so this should not matter). Output level is 10 o'clock, phase is @ 0.
Receiver = Level is 3.0, crossover is 120hz, LFE+main, placed about 8-10' from primary listening area and currently underneath TV / Front mains. ( I have also placed it in the rear of the room)