Outlaw Audio LFM-1 Setup
Outlaw Audio is a company that does a few things and does them well. They are known for their rather refreshing “in your face” approach to marketing and speaking about their amplifier, processor, bass management and subwoofer products. In fact, they seem to have a keen desire for good bass, judging from the considerations they put into their Model 950 processor and ICBM bass management system. The LFM-1 subwoofer was conceived to be a product the company could be proud of. To ensure this, they consulted with Dr. Poh Ser Hsu to design a sub that would 1) play deep with even frequency response, 2) play loud enough to compete with larger speakers and systems, and 3) fit in with just about any décor. Keep in mind that Outlaw Audio states this is not a HSU Research sub; however his design recommendations played a major part in what Outlaw Audio ultimately utilized to develop the LFM-1. We put the Outlaw Audio subwoofer through its paces and came away with several observations that, quite frankly, surprised us.
The LFM-1 subwoofer is a dual-ported down-firing design with a single 12” driver. The down-firing ports all but eliminate audible port “chuffing” from the listening position unless you overdrive the sub – which is a difficult thing to do if your system is correctly balanced. The 12” down-firing driver also assures that there is a significant physical transfer of energy to the room during high SPL output.
The MDF cabinet is solidly built, with ample bracing and dampening material (they even wrapped the speaker wires going to the 4-ohm driver). The twin down-firing ports were flared both inside and out to reduce port chuffing. To be honest, we couldn’t hear any port noise from the listening position at even high levels of playback.
The power-handling capability of a driver is directly related to the voice coil's ability to dissipate heat. The LFM-1 uses a vented pole piece (usually appearing as a hole in the center of the magnet structure.) This is really a hollow pole around which the voice coil is suspended. When the driver goes through excursion, cool air is drawn in. As the driver moves backwards, warm air is pushed out. There are several schools of thought on driver voice coil cooling methods and we won’t go into those now. Suffice it to say, the LFM drivers appear to function well within operating parameters for optimal performance.