Published On: February 15, 2005

THIEL SS2 SmartSub and PX02 Passive Subwoofer Crossover Reviewed

Published On: February 15, 2005

THIEL SS2 SmartSub and PX02 Passive Subwoofer Crossover Reviewed

The SS2 SmartSub employs two forward firing, long-throw, 10-inch divers housed in attractive cabinetry available in over 12 finishes to fit almost any room. This model succeeds in reducing distortion by using a superior short coil/long gap system. It also features "specially designed suspensions and very high excursion capabilities that lessen distortion"

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The THIEL SS2 SmartSub is a stand-alone subwoofer that employs two forward firing, long-throw, 10-inch drivers housed in beautiful cabinetry available in over a dozen attractive finishes. The exterior of the cabinet features a furniture-quality surface nice enough to put on display in the middle of the room. The front mounted grille is tough and durable without concealing the handsome appearance of the drivers peering out. The grille is secured to the cabinet by removable hardware. The rear panel of the SS2 not only has controls for the sub, but it also has grab handles and a digital LED readout for making numerous adjustments. The 108-pound sub has a 1000-watt Class D amplifier with thermal overload protection to combat long and hard use.

Additional Resources
• Read audiophile subwoofer reviews from Paradigm, PSB, JL Audio, SVS, B&W and many more.
• Read more about THIEL loudspeakers

Typical subwoofers have several sonic problems. Examples of common problems are distortion, poor sonic integration with the main speakers and room interaction issues. The SmartSub SS2 powered subwoofer from Thiel in conjunction with the PX02 Passive Crossover were designed as a solution for these bass management woes.

Read more on Page 2

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Dirty and strained low frequencies from distortion are reduced by using a superior short coil/long gap motor system. Additionally, the THIEL SmartSub's drivers have specially designed suspensions and very high excursion capabilities that lessen distortion. Combine that with dedicated electronic circuitry that corrects compression distortion from overheated voice coils and overall distortion levels are severely diminished. To combate poor sonic integration with the main speakers, Thiel takes into account the low frequency characteristics of the main speakers and offers a solution to using a Low Frequency Effects (LFE) channel. The answer is the Thiel PX02 Passive subwoofer Crossover.

When linking a subwoofer to a loudspeaker configuration with a LFE connection, bass delivered to the main speaker channels is not reproduced by the subwoofer. Therefore, much of the low frequencies aren't being sent to the drivers best able to reproduce the signal -- the sub. However, when redirecting the bass through a two-channel passive crossover such as the PX02, the subwoofers can reproduce the low frequency element of the left and right channels in a two-channel multimedia system. The benefit of redirecting lows to the sub become apparent when either the main speakers don't reproduce very low bass or they distort at higher volume levels. The PX02 Passive Subwoofer Crossover can be used with two subwoofers to provide stereo bass reproduction. One limitation is that this crossover does not redirect bass energy away from the main speakers and so the main speakers will not play any louder than otherwise. Another limitation is that the bass extension and level of the sub are not adjustable. While the passive crossovers provide correct balance and greatest extension and depth, they do not permit the bass level to be artificially increased. The PX02 has an aluminum chassis that matches the ViewPoint speaker cabinets, and because it's passive, not active, they are reasonably priced to fit most budget constraints.

Additional Resources
• Read audiophile subwoofer reviews from Paradigm, PSB, JL Audio, SVS, B&W and many more.
• Read more about THIEL loudspeakers

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