THE Show Newport Beach 2016 • Hot Product

We at The Audio Beat need no convincing of the significance of subwoofers to music reproduction, even with seemingly full-range speakers. But their importance is becoming more widely accepted as more audiophiles hear them. The soundstage opens up from the extra ambience in the bass region, a trick that not even speakers with prodigious bass can equal.

Vandersteen's new Sub Nine can bring onscreen explosions to life, but its use with one of the company's speakers -- including the Model 7 Mk II, with its own separately amplified bass -- is undeniable based on the demo we heard at THE Show. It is the bass section of a statement-level speaker that Richard Vandersteen has been working on. It has a 13" downward-firing, slot-loaded woofer with cellulose-fiber/foam cone and 400-watt amplifier. Adjustments include 11-band equalization and adjustable Q, so it can be tailored precisely to the room in which will be be used. The Sub Nine's internal amplifier raises output at 6dB/octave while the high-pass filter rolls it off at the 100Hz crossover point.

Another nod to music reproduction is the fact that the Sub Nine is sold in pairs -- always best for state-of-the-art sound. The final price hasn't been set, but Richard Vandersteen said will be "under $20,000 per pair." He also was quick to say that the choice to include a pair of Sub Nines "will depend on the room and loudness at which you play music."

The Vandersteen reference trio: Sub Nine, Model 7 Mk II ($62,000/pair) and M7-HPA amplifier ($52,000/pair).

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