Audio Kinesis Swarm Subwoofer Awarded 2019 Golden Ear Award by Robert E. Greene

Recognizing member and contributor @audiokinesis for this award!!!
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Can this work with passive subs and a powerful amp driving them in series. 

     Just wanted to add my hearty congratulations to Duke Lejeune and James Romeyn at Audio Kinesis.
     I purchased the Audio Kinesis Debra 4-sub distributed bass system (very similar to the AK Swarm system, using the same amp and 10" long-throw aluminum woofers, but with sub enclosures that are built locally in Utah and slightly different in shape and size than the Swarm's custom enclosures built locally in Austin, Tx.).  
     I bought mine new about 5 years ago for about $3K and I don't believe I can overstate how well this distributed bass array (DBA) concept and system has performed in my 16'x23'x8' room.  I still use the same Magnepan 2.7QR 3-way main speakers that are 6'x2'x2" dipole planar-magnetic panels that have a rated bass extension of 35 Hz.  
     I drive them with a pair of D-Sonic M3-600-M monoblocks rated at 1,200 watts into the 2.7's relatively stable 4 ohm impedance load.  On their own this resulted in very high quality, well integrated bass from the 2.7s but I was wanting more powerful and dynamic bass that could extend a bit deeper and be felt as well as heard.  
     I have a combination system that I use for 2-ch music and 5.1 surround HT.  I initially added a single older 15" M&K sub and later added a 12" Klipsch sub.  While these subs added more bass, I didn't consider it high quality bass because it was a bit lagging, slow, not very detailed and it wasn't well integrated with my main speakers, sounding somewhat disconnected.
     I was almost ready to give up on subs when Duke's AK associate, James Romeyn. convinced me to buy and try the Debra DBA system on a free 28-day home trial period. 
     It took me most of a Saturday for a buddy and I to properly position all 4 subs, route and hide the wiring in the crawl space below my living room and optimally adjust the volume, xover frequency and phase controls on the amp/controller.
     I can honestly state that the bass quality produced by the Debra 4-sub DBA system in my system and room has been nothing short of a revelation.  I consider the bass as very close to state of the art on both music and HT.  The bass is fast, detailed, smooth, powerful, dynamic and it seamlessly integrates  with the fast, smooth and detailed full-range sound quality of my main speakers.  
     Everything sounds like a well integrated complete whole with excellent bass response just naturally being added to the seemingly expanded and even more realistic soundstage; the bass sounds like it's originating from the proper instruments and voices within the soundstage.  This adds to the perception, on good recordings, of listening to music when listened to live and in person, with bass that is felt as well as heard and with the powerful and wide dynamics live instruments and voices are capable of.
     I believe the bass power, dynamics, speed, smoothness and overall bass quality produced by the Swarm, Debra or even a custom 4-sub DBA system are so good that they will seamlessly integrate with virtually any pair of main speakers and in any room.  
     Congratulations again on your extremely well deserved awards, Duke and James. I highly recommend the 4-sub DBA concept and system to anyone wanting sota bass response in their systems and rooms.  Since these systems will work seamlessly with any main speakers, you'll never need to buy another sub system again, even if you switch main speakers or use very fast planar-magnetic or electrostatic main speakers.  
     I've stated this many times before but it's the honest truth; I'm constantly surprised that more individuals don't know about how effective DBAs are and that more don't use one, especially members of a high quality audio site.

Hans asked:  "What are some ways you can suggest to position (suspend/hang?) the subs near the ceiling?" 

Thus far, to the best of my knowledge, all of the Swarm units that have ended up near the ceiling have been placed on the top of bookshelves or something similar.   I don't have any ideas for how to suspend subs from the ceiling... no GOOD ones, at least! 

Audiomaze wrote:  "Can this work with passive subs and a powerful amp driving them in series." 

Yes.  I use series-parallel connections for the four 4-ohm subs to present the amp with a 4 ohm load.  

I sent my deposit into Duke last week

This system is going to absolutely kick ass in a Golden ratio room with an Iso wall system ! !

Hello benzman,

    Congratulations, Prepare to be amazed!  

    Imho, the beauty of the distributed bass array (DBA) concept and system is that it provides near state of the art bass performance in virtually any room and with any pair of main speakers. My advice is just to take your time and strictly follow the sequential procedure for optimally positioning each of the four subs in your room. Any furniture/décor adjustments and cabling concealment can be concentrated on afterwards.
    When I purchased my AK Debra DBA and knew all four subs would be operating in mono, I was a bit concerned about how this would effect my already very good soundstage imaging. I was very pleased and relieved to discover that the addition of high quality deep bass, even though it was in mono, not only significantly expanded the size of my system's soundstage image it also greatly improved the perceived level of detail and realism within the soundstage, including a greater sense of the acoustics of the recording venue.