Bowers & Wilkins DB1 subwoofer Associated Equipment

Sidebar 2: Associated Equipment

Analog Sources: Linn Sondek LP12 turntable with Lingo power supply, Ittok tonearm; Spectral cartridge; Day-Sequerra FM Reference Signature tuner. Digital Sources: Bryston BCD-1 CD player, Bryston BDP-1 digital transport with USB-2 flash drives and external USB hard drive, "Bryston BDA-1 D/A converter, NetGear WN-350 wireless router connected to BDP-1 via Ethernet.
Preamplifier: Bryston BP-26.
Power Amplifiers: Mark Levinson ML-2 monoblocks, No.334, No.27.5, No.532H.
Loudspeakers: Quad ESL-989; Velodyne DD-18, JL Audio Fathom f113 subwoofers.
Cables: Digital: Bryston, Hosa AES/EBU; Wireworld Starlight Coaxial S/PDIF. Interconnect: Mark Levinson Silver, Red Rose Silver One, Totem Acoustic Sinew single-ended, Pure Silver, Bryston balanced. Speaker: QED X-TUBE 400, Pure Silver R50 biwire double ribbon, Ultralink Excelsior 6N OFHC, Coincident Speaker Technology CST 1.
Accessories: Bryston Universal Silver BR-2 remote control, Torus RM-20 Power Isolation Unit, ATI SLM-100 analog sound-level meter. Listening room: 26' L by 13' W with 12' H semi-cathedral ceiling, moderately furnished with sound-absorbing furniture. Left wall has large bay window covered by Hunter Douglas Duette Honeycomb fabric shades. Rear of room opens through 8' by 4' doorway into 25' by 15' kitchen.—Larry Greenhill

Bowers & Wilkins Group, Ltd.
US distributor: B&W Group North America
54 Concord Street
North Reading, MA 01864-2699
(978) 664-2870

cybrsrch's picture

9th paragraph


The DB1's internal electronics include a signal input circuit board that concrets the analog input ( concrets ?, includes ? perhaps)

John Atkinson's picture

"Concrets" should have read "converts." I have corrected the typo and thanks for catching it.


John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

Audio Asylum Bruce from DC's picture

I have been "messing about" with subwoofers since 1977 when I got a 12" "acoustic suspension" subwoofer to augment the bass on my Magnepan MG-IIs. This was a passive sub whose adjustability consisted in using various resistors to adjust its level relative to the main speaker.  While it added need punch for rock records, it did nothing for the quality of the sound and I never used it when listening to classical music.

In 1979 I sold the entire rig because I didn't have a room big enough to accommodate all of that stuff.

15 years later, I got a Mirage BPS-150 powered sub with the usual crossover and level controls.  I never successfully mated it with the first pair of speakers I tried (Snell K-IIs), but after much trial and error got it to sound acceptable with Joseph RM-7sis.  At that point someone one of the Audio Asylum boards mentioned the inexpensive Behringer parametric equalizers, which can be used with a calibration mic.  I managed to get one used, even cheaper.  Finally, really good bass that did not boom, although the Mirage really didn't do much below 30 Hz.  Replacing the Mirage with a REL Q400E got me a little more extension with much better definition.

Here's my point: the chances of a serious audiophile making a net improvement in sound adding in a subwoofer "by ear" are, I believe, very small; and the chances of worsening the sound are not insignificant.  So, the audiophile who can't afford a self-calibrating sub like the one you reviewed should, I think, either by a unit like the Bheringer or save his/her money.