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Brian Kahn of has offered up a GREAT review of the stunning B&W DB-1 subwoofer.  Some of the highlights:

“Listening to “Le temps pass e” from Michel Jonasz’s album La fabuleuse histoire de Mister Swing (CD, EMI), I immediately noted how well the drums locked into and pressurized the room. The notes were solid and locked in, with a dimensional presence and depth that were missing before I switched the subwoofer into the system.”

“Moving to a more familiar piece with dynamic bass, I listened to Paula Cole’s ‘Tiger’ off her album This Fire (CD, Warner Brothers). Those of you familiar with the piece know the dynamic drums and deep bass lines that can test a system’s low-end response and detail. The impact of the initial drums was dynamic and visceral, with no compression even at high volumes. In addition to hitting hard, the DB-1 reproduced the detail in the bass lines as well as any other subwoofer I have had in my system. This impression remained consistent with the detailed bass lines in Holly Cole’s ‘Train Song’ off of It Happened One Night (CD, Blue Note Records). Whether the volume was low or on the higher end, the DB-1 added depth and impact to the system. While I expected this at the higher volumes, I was pleasantly surprised by the resolution and detail the subwoofer added, even at lower volumes.”

” The DB-1 also performed well with modern bass-heavy tracks, such as ‘Super Bass’ by Nicki Minaj of off her album Pink Friday (CD, Cash Money Records) and the Black Eyed Peas’ ‘Imma B'” from The E.N.D. (CD, Interscope). This disillusioned me of the DB-1 being overly polite; it hit as hard and tight as any other single subwoofer I have had in my system. The quick bass of the synthesizers used on these albums may not be natural, but it can be good for checking out the speed at which a subwoofer can respond to the signal. The DB-1 did not have problem with either the leading edges of the quick notes of the synthesizer, or playing the low-driving bass beats with conviction.
As the DB-1 had no problems with any of the two-channel music I threw its way, I switched over to multi-channel music using the second preset on the subwoofer. I began with High Altitude Drums SACD from Ray Kimber’s IsoMike label. This album features two different bands with, no surprise, lots of drums. Bowers & Wilkins’ 800Ds were utilized in mastering this album. The track ‘Square Push’ has very dynamic drums with good pitch, definition and space. The spacing and notes of the different drums were readily discernible and well-balanced. The bass remained well-balanced, despite the changes in notes or locations of the drums. The ‘Amazing Grace’ from this disc was drum-filled and dynamic. Despite the multitude of drums, the DB-1 remained detailed and musical.”


The B&W, Bowers & Wilkins DB-1 subwoofer $4,500.00


“It would be hard to imagine this subwoofer not impressing just about any listener. The combination of room equalization and number of setup options should allow the DB-1 to be to be integrated into nearly any system with ease. This, coupled with its great sound quality, should please almost every user. True, it is not cheap and there is some heady competition at this price range, but the sound quality and aesthetics are hard to dispute. The only listener who might not be impressed is one who is seeking quantity first. For that listener, there are other subwoofers on the market that can hit harder, but I doubt one could find a subwoofer that hits harder that is just as musical as the DB-1 in this price range.”

“The DB-1 is an exceeding clean and musical subwoofer that not only can play low with great power and precision but, just as importantly, can play cleanly into the higher frequency ranges, allowing a clean transition to smaller main speakers. One of the greatest challenges in getting a subwoofer integrated into a music system is the transition between the main speakers and the subwoofer, especially if the main speakers have limited low-end extension. The DB-1’s clean reproduction capabilities, coupled with its setup options, should allow for a clean and musical transition. The only thing that would make this transition even easier would be a high-pass crossover for those main speakers that cannot handle low frequencies without distortion or clipping”.

“The DB-1s musicality provided a good start to its LFE duties with movies. A musical subwoofer can also reproduce the various low-frequency notes associated with blasts, crashes, etc., without them turning into a jumbled mess. Indeed, the DB-1 handled these tasks with ease. The dual 12-inch woofers and 1,000-watt amplifier also provided plenty of punch for visceral, chair-shaking bass. Despite high listening volumes, the DB-1 never lost its composure, remaining detailed and dynamic throughout my listening sessions.
To sum it up, the DB-1 is among the elite subwoofers. Its small size makes it unusual within this group and opens up more placement options than the majority of its competitors can offer.”

Click here to read the complete review.


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