Why the fascination with subwoofers?

I have noticed many posts with questions about adding subwoofers to an audio system. Why the fascination with subwoofers? I guess I understand why any audiophile would want to hear more tight bass in their audio system, but why add a subwoofer to an existing audio system when they don’t always perform well, are costly, and are difficult to integrate with the many varied speakers offered. Additionally, why wouldn’t any audiophile first choose a speaker with a well designed bass driver designed, engineered and BUILT INTO that same cabinet? If anyone’s speakers were not giving enough tight bass, why wouldn’t that person sell those speakers and buy a pair that does have tight bass?

Showing 1 response by akg_ca

It’s no fascination, but rather a measured extension of your speakers limitations

Here’s an edited précis from one of a buzzilion prior posts on this subject

“.... A crossover is inserted into your signal path in order to remove the lowest frequencies (the deep bass) from your main speakers so that they no longer have to do all of the dirty work. The deep bass will instead be dealt with by the subwoofer.

The #1 benefit of adding a high quality subwoofer to your system is not how it further extends the bass response, but how it can dramatically improve the sound of your existing power amp and main speakers from the midrange on up. That, my friends, is by far the most compelling reason to add a sub to your high-end music system. Once your main speakers are freed from the burden of making deep bass, they will sound cleaner, faster and clearer, especially in the midrange and midbass.

They will also image way better because there will be far less air pressure and therefore resonance and vibration affecting their cabinet walls.

And since the power required to make the deep bass is provided by the subwoofer’s built-in amplifier, your main power amp will be free from that burden and begin to sound like a much more powerful amplifier.

The one big problem with all of this is that you need a good crossover to roll off the deep bass in your system and achieve all of these benefits...”