Vandersteen Audio Sub Three Subwoofer
For more than a decade and a half, I’ve owned a pair of Vandersteen 2Wq subwoofers to enhance bottom-octave bass support in my approximately 43′ x 18′ x 8′ listening space. These subwoofers have integrated successfully with stand-mount two-way speakers in addition to large panel speakers, as well as many varieties of full-range cone speakers. Vandersteen Audio has improved on the performance of the 2Wq with its current replacement: the Sub Three. Featuring an analog-based 11-band equalizer, triple die-cast 8-inch drivers, a sealed enclosure, adjustable “Q” control, speaker sensitivity level-matching control, a 325W amplifier, and a switching, power-factor-corrected, regulated power supply, the Sub Three operates using a unique inverse-crossover arrangement that requires a first-order crossover between the preamplifier and amplifier to gently, and predictably, roll-off the low frequency before it gets to that amplifier. This approach frees the amplifier and speakers to perform upper bass, midrange, and treble duties without having to cope with the current-demanding mid-to-lowest bass the amplifier would normally have to supply to the speaker. Attached to the output of the amplifier, the Sub Three internally applies an inverse-crossover and restores the bass via its built-in subwoofer amplifier, while taking on whatever characteristic the main amplifier imparts on the speakers and subjectively creating a better blend with the speakers being used. The resulting sound, when fully integrated, is cohesive, powerful, and natural.