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GoldenEar SuperSub X Ultra-compact Subwoofer Preview

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GoldenEar SuperSub X

GoldenEar SuperSub X

Summary

  • Product Name: SuperSub X
  • Manufacturer: GoldenEar
  • Review Date: October 07, 2016 08:00
  • MSRP: $1,249
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!
  • Buy Now

Frequency Response: 12 Hz - 250 Hz

Dimensions: 14˝ W x 12-3/4˝ H x 13-1/4˝ D

Weight: 31 pounds

Drivers: Two 8˝ long-throw high-output bass drivers and Two 10-1/2˝ x 9-1/2˝ quadratic planar infrasonic radiators

Amplifier: 1400 Watt ForceField digital amplifier

LFE input: Unfiltered (no low pass), direct-coupled

Line level input (right/left): Variable Low-Pass from 40 Hz – 150 Hz

Over the years, if you’ve wanted to pump out the bass, you’ve needed a large sub. And to get bass below 18Hz or even 16Hz you need a really large sub.  It’s just physics, plain and simple.  Unfortunately, large subs have also created marital friction. They don’t rank his on the spouse-acceptance factor. Sure, there have been some ultra-compact models that have been significant overachievers, but those quality models have been few and far between.

GoldenEar SuperSub X CEDIA Teaser

GoldenEar caught our attention At the 2016 CEDIA Expo show, with the announcement of its SuperSub X, and envisions it as sitting atop the ultra-compact subwoofer world. The company says the SuperSub X is a smaller version of its SuperSub XXL. Like the larger XXL, the SuperSub X features GoldenEar’s Dual-Plane Inertially-Balanced Technology, which the company says is patent pending. The SuperSub X has a 360 degree dual-plane inertially-balanced driver and sub-bass radiator topology, combined with a DSP engine.

Golden Ear SuperSub XXL and SuperSub X

GoldenEar says that the SuperSub X (right) is a smaller version of the SuperSub XXL (left)

GoldenEar says, “force-cancelling inertial balancing preserves, conserves and focuses all the energy produced by the transducers in order to more effectively move the air in the room (rather than vibrating and shaking the cabinet).” In simple terms, the full impact of the subs drivers go into the room and don’t rattle the sub’s enclosure.

The SuperSub X’s fit-n-finish is a high gloss piano black lacquer cabinet in a spouse-friendly cube that’s almost 12 1/2-inch squared (it’s actually 12-3/4-inch H x 14-inch W x 13-1/4-inch D). The enclosure is made of thick, high-density medite (though GoldenEar didn’t specify the thickness of the enclosure).

There are two 8-inch long throw drivers and two 10 1/2-inch by 9 1/2-inch quadratic planar infrasonic radiators.  The active drivers are powered by a 1400 watt Class D Digital Amplifier, that GoldenEar says was originally developed for the company’s Triton One tower speaker.

GoldenEar SuperSub X four driver configuration

GoldenEar's SuperSub X has two active and two passive drivers

The amplifier is controlled by a 56-bit DSP device with a 192 kHz sample rate. GoldenEar claims that the Programmable Logic State Machine has nearly instantaneous 278ns update time to perfectly manage all the different frequency response, soft clipping, DC offset control, output-stage saturation control, discrete multi-band limiting and phase-perfect equalization, etc. functions. GoldenEar also noted that the amplifier utilizes several small, separate power supplies for each circuit section in order to provide isolation, so there is little opportunity for coupling through the power supplies. The subwoofer uses fully balanced topology is used to minimize noise and distortion.

SupersubX3As you’d expect in a high end subwoofer, here is a a 12 dB/octave low pass control. The control is continuously variable from 40Hz-200Hz. The sub accepts two stereo RCA inputs. A switch allows you to select the direct-coupled, unfiltered LFE input. As is typical with subs at this size and price point, there are no balanced (XLR) inputs.

The biggest feature that made us do a massive double-take, however is it’s overall frequency response.  GoldenEar claims that this little guy will pump out the bass from 200Hz all the way down to a Tyrannosaurus Rex pounding 12Hz.  Not a typo, 12Hz (though to be fair we don’t know at what SPL it will be able to deliver all those frequencies at).   The laws of physics are a limiting factor for ultra low frequency output for subwoofers of this diminutive size.  All in all, the fact is that the majority of households just can’t support huge subs. There’s clearly a need for high-performance, compact ultra-compact subs that sound great.  The SuperSub X looks like it hits that mark.

Initial Impressions

GoldenEar certainly thinks they have a winner and based on our listening demo at CEDIA, we'd have to agree.  GoldenEar put on quite a great Atmos demo with an in-wall / in-ceiling speaker system powered by one SuperSub X.  During our  listening tests we thought for sure there were at least two of those subs playing but Sandy informed us it was just one.  Impressive, most impressive.

Given the company’s past product history and its performance in the subwoofer space, we’re certainly excited by this prospect.  While the retail price of $1,249 is certainly an investment, it’s right on par with other high-performance, ultra-compact competitors in this space. And you won’t have to wait long for one, delivery of the SuperSub X is expected this month.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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Theo Nicolakis has been reviewing high end audio, video, home theater, headphone, and portable music products for the past 14 years. His reviews have appeared here on Audioholics as well as Techhive.com, PCWorld.com, MacWorld.com, and more. His reviews span high end two-channel and home theater systems, AVRs and immersive audio processors, headphones, DACs, DAPs, music servers, sound bars, and display technologies.

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