Tag Archives: subwoofer

Asheville, Walnut Cove, Biltmore Forrest and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

Opinions and experiences

I am not a fan of passive radiators in full-range speaker cabinets. In every instance, I was underwhelmed with the sound of their bass and blamed the common denominator, the passive radiator.

A passive radiator is a woofer without a motor. Just picture your favorite woofer cone and that’s how a passive radiator typically looks. Were you to take it out of the box you’d note its lack of magnet and its light weight. Radiators act as tuned ports, lowering the speaker’s bass frequency cutoff to below what just its active woofer can produce.

My opinion of passive radiators has been negative for years.

Our opinions are formed by our experiences. If every beet we eat makes our stomach turn just a little then we declare our dislike of beets. Likewise, if every passive radiator we hear is muddy and ill defined we reject anything resembling it.

That is until we taste a beet we like or hear a radiator done right.

Our speaker genius, Chris Brunhaver, has opened my eyes and ears to the delights of a properly designed passive radiator. And what’s fascinating to me is that it doesn’t even look like a woofer. In Chris’ design a piece of heavy material, like wood, is the cone and it’s held in place with a carefully engineered surround material. Together, they form a tuned circuit that is sonically invisible in the same way a proper subwoofer extends the apparent bass of the main speaker without pointing to itself.

Little woofers can have big, tight, low frequencies with a properly designed radiator.

The point of this post is more about how experiences form opinions and less about radiators.

When we have the opportunity to extend our knowledge and venture out into the unknown, we often return with new opinions that are to our benefit.

I just love being wrong.


Asheville, Walnut Cove, Biltmore Forrest and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

Please see PS Audio’s website for pictures!

Bits and pieces

We’re dipping into a bit of the past with this post but I thought you might find it of interest.

As you read this we’re tearing down the finished AN3 loudspeakers we’ve been laboring over and putting them on a truck for tomorrow’s setup day at RMAF.

Over the past few weeks, it’s been a whirlwind of change and work getting to this point and I haven’t had much of a breather to share the “sausage-making” behind the scenes shots, so forgive me.

As some may remember, the new construction for AN3 is in two boxes, a top cabinet with the twin midbass woofers, and the coaxial ribbon midrange and tweeter. The bottom cabinet is all subwoofer with its frightening 12″ beast and 700-watt amplifier. Here, have a look:

This will give you a better idea of how that works. The finished cabinets aren’t that heavy and even I can easily lift one and pop it onto the sub cabinet. From there, it’s easy to add the side fastener that tie the two together. On the rear of the speaker are multiple sets of binding posts where the top and bottom cabinet’s audio signal are connected via supplied jumpers. I’ll send you pictures of what this looks like when I get a chance.

Below are even more pictures. You can see a closeup of the new custom ribbon coax midrange Chris designed, the custom leveling hardware on the base, and what the new woofer looks like peeking through the side panel.

Tomorrow it’s all hands on deck at the show set up day.