Review: Hsu Research TN-1220HO Subwoofer

Category: Speakers

This sub is used for both HT and music, as my Acoustic Energy Aegis 3's are nowhere near to full range. I've tested out this sub with music ranging from jazz to acoustical, reggae to rock, and nursery rhymes (It hasn't gotten a real workout for the last 7 baby).

Movie wise, this sub has seen it all - drama's with big scores to acion/sci-fi with major explosions. Saving Private Ryan probably gave this sub the biggest workout.

I've had this sub for a couple years now, replacing a crappy KLH sub I got from a friend, but again, I've listened to many subs.

The best thing about this sub paired with the 500 watt amp (amp designed to power two tn1220's) is extension. The bass goes ALL the way down, to something like 15hrz. This sub completely fills in the sound of my system, like I'm listening to giant 8 foot towers. The low end is tight, not boomy. When played loud, it will shake your house, but at low volumes (recently discovered) it still produces accurate, deep low bass.

The only weaknesses of this amp are as follows -

(1) the UPPER bass. Apparently, this sub is tuned to play deep. With speakers like mine, this leaves a slight whole in the upper bass. This sub is meant to be paired with speakers that play useful bass down to 40hrz or so. And I mean useful, not the listed freq. response in the spec sheet. While this sub fills out my sound, it could use a push in the above 60hz range. Now this could just be my room, but my home is the only place I've listened. But where subs are supposed to work, the low end bass is tight, musical, and as powerful as you want it to be.

(2) top heavy design. This speaker is a 12" diameter circle, and 51" tall. The driver is at the top, upward firing with a port down to the ground, the cylinder raised off the ground by 2 or 3" spikes. couldn't it have been reversed?

if money was no object, i would still likely own this sub, probably 1 or 3 more. i figure my speakers in a $ no object set up will be full range. The TN1220 could augment them in the area they work best - around 20hz.

Highly recommended musical subwoofer.

Associated gear
Speakers: Acoustic Energy Aegis series - 3's in front, 1's in rear, Center where else, but center.
Amps - Odyssey stratos 150x2 with cap upgrade for fronts
Chiro C-500 for rears/surrounds
Denon AVR-3300 for pre/pro duties only
Pioneer 5 disc DVD changer

Similar products
I've listened to a number of subs - various M&K, sunfire true sub signature and tru sub jr., monitor audio, jbl, and klipsch subs.
Dr. Hsu had a very good demonstration setup at the CES in Las Vegas this year. He even had a remote to switch between the various subwoofers while the music and movies were playing.