Bowers & Wilkins DB1 subwoofer Specifications

Sidebar 1: Specifications

Description: Powered subwoofer in sealed enclosure. Drive-units: two 12" long-throw Rohacell-cone woofers, each with 3.66" voice-coil and 11-lb magnet. Frequency response: 17–145Hz, ±3dB. Passband of automatic room compensation: not stated. Low-pass filter: 40–120Hz (adjustable), slope, phase. High-pass filter: no option. Total harmonic distortion: not specified. Amplifier: 1000W RMS. Rated power consumption: 300W. Input impedance: 15k ohms. Signal/noise ratio: >100dB. Inputs per channel: stereo, unbalanced (RCA); mono LFE, unbalanced (RCA), and mono balanced (XLR). Controls: 5 presets, input sensitivity, gain, graphic equalization, low-pass frequency, slope, phase, room compensation, auto on/standby, trigger on/standby, trigger preset switching, RS-232 automation control. Included: detachable IEC power cord; 4 spiked feet, 4 rubber feet; owner's manual; USB-connected soundcard to be inserted in first USB port in owner's computer; interconnect cable from second USB port in owner's computer to DB1 input panel (serial RS232 connector); calibration microphone (XLR jack); cable from microphone (XLR) to soundcard (minijack); line-level interconnect from soundcard output (minijack) to DB1 input panel (RCA).
Dimensions: 19.3" (490mm) H by 18.1" (460mm) W by 16.2" (410) D. Weight: 97 lbs (44kg).
Finishes: Piano Black Gloss, Cherrywood, Rosenut.
Serial Number Of Unit Reviewed: 0000635. System v., DSP v.
Price: $4500. Approximate number of dealers: 250. Warranties, parts & labor: 5 years drive-units, 2 years electronics.
Manufacturer: Bowers & Wilkins Group, Ltd., Dale Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN11 2BH, England, UK. Tel: (44) 01903-221500. Fax: (44) 01903-221501. Web: US distributor: B&W Group North America, 54 Concord Street, North Reading, MA 01864-2699. Tel: (978) 664-2870. Fax: (978) 664-4109. Web:

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.