A Compact but Potent Subwoofer from Thiel

Mark Mason, Vice President, Engineering of Thiel Audio, presented the new Thiel Subwoofer, with a suggested retail of $3000. The small, sealed and powered sub has a sophisticated limiter circuit that allows one to set the sub for "party mode," using maximum output, or for extended mode. Neither setting allows the internal amplifier to clip or the woofer to be overdriven.

It uses a 1000W class-D amplifier and a 12" driver with a 3" peak-to-peak excursion. The sub specifically doesn't use a high-pass filter to roll off below 20Hz, preferring to use a sealed enclosure to minimize the group delay associated with a ported design, which Mason finds is clearly audible. The subwoofer is optimal in small- to medium-sized rooms, in which the typical room gain will keep its output flat to 10Hz, but it is not designed to be able to "pressurize" the largest listening rooms—like mine. I will have to wait for the next Thiel subwoofer, which will use two 12" drivers and a 2kW amplifier.