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PSB Subsonic 2I Subwoofer

PSB Subsonic 2 I

Subwoofer packs punch

by Les Enser

Your body has a gut wrenching sensation, your ears pop as if you’ve descended from high altitude, the floor and walls vibrate as if shaken by an invisible force. My goodness what has happened? Suddenly you fling yourself up in a sitting position; you’re awake now and realize you’ve discovered deep bass. Wow!

How can I get this kind of result in my audio system? Well look no further than PSB’s new family addition the Subsonic 2 I.

Featuring a 12" driver with foam surround along with a dual ported cabinet pumped by a 130 watt RMS (300 watts peak) amplifier, you certainly get "what it shakes". Add to that a low level input (RCA connection) which is crossed over at 80 Hz, and you can fine tune your present speaker system to sound like Godzilla.

If you don’t have preamp inputs on the back of your receiver, the feature that gives you the luxury of taking advantage of the 80Hz crossover, don’t despair: PSB has also added a high level passive 100Hz crossover. Using this hookup you need to feed your speaker wire out from the receiver to the high level "in" to the sub. From there you take the speaker level "out" from the subwoofer to your main left and right speakers. This allows any frequencies lower than 100Hz to go to the Sub 2I and anything above to your main speakers, so the "heavy" work is done by the subwoofer, tending to take the strain off of your receiver.

Generally your main speakers can concentrate on the mid to higher frequency, again causing them to work with less of a load. This is especially useful if your main speakers are either a satellite or bookshelf type.

The point of this exercise is to clean up the sound produced by the main speakers. letting them concentrate on the frequencies they handle best.

When we put the PSB subwoofer to the test we ended up using the speaker level connection - since our reference receiver did not have the necessary inputs needed to try the line connections. After a lot of experimenting to find the "right sounding" location, we decided the bass output was the most evenly distributed by placing the sub to the right of the left speaker (also a PSB product in this case), about 12" away.

After a bit of trial and error, we found the correct sub volume and crossover settings, then we turned on our Laserdisc player (No DVD you say?) and spun a few discs.

In Criterion’s version of the original "Robocop," when Robo makes his first appearance at the Precinct (chapter 24, side one), the Sub 2I convincingly produced the sound of heavy machine like feet trouncing down the hallway. At this point it sounded clean without the over emphasized thump that you would hear from the average subwoofer. The scene in the Final Showdown revealed the depth and impact the PSB could produce while the thugs use their high tech, high powered rifles against our lonely hero.

The Imperial Walker scene in "The Empire Strikes Back" is equally impressive: our walls shook as if the technological giants where about to attack our listening room!

As for music, the PSB added an extra dimension of depth that was missing from the normal speaker setup.

All in all we found this product offered tight and controlled bass without the over emphasized "boom". The key, of course, is patience and experimentation when installing a subwoofer. Take the time to grab a partner and work together for the optimum sound settings and sub location.

PSB is a serious contender when it comes to getting into the heavy bass battle. The Subsonic 2i offers good value and will enhance most of the home theatres in cyber world.

If you want a little more punch for the serious audiophile, we suggest checking out PSB’s Sub3I.

PSB Century Subsonic 2i Specifications (Manufacturer's figures)
  On Axis @ 0° ±3 dB
 LF Cutoff (-10 dB)
(Anechoic Chamber)

Sensitivity* Anechoic Chamber
  Listening Room
92 dB
94 dB

4 Ohms
4 Ohms
  Dynamic Peak
130 Watts
300 W
Class AB
Discrete MOSFET Output Devices


  Design Type

  Internal Volume
12" (305mm)
Poly-coated Fiber Cone
with Foam Surround
1 1/2" Voice Coil, 28 oz Magnet

Variable, 50Hz-150Hz
24 dB/octave Linkwitz-Riley
Low Pass Filter

Ported Bass Reflex
2 x 2" Front Port
Radiused Internally and Externally

1.67 cu ft (47.3 liter)
SIZE (W x H x D) 19.25" x 14.50" x 14.25"
489 x 368 x 382mm

40 lbs (18.2kg)/each
45 lbs (20.4kg)/pair
FINISH Ebony Ash
FEATURES Standby/Auto On, Phase
3-way Binding Posts,
Gold-plated Connectors
Horizontal or Vertical, Feet
CONNECTIONS Low/Line Level Input and Output
80Hz Active High Pass Filter
12dB/octave Butterworth
High/Speaker Level Input and Output
100Hz Passive High Pass Filter



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Updated May 13, 2006