Sunfire Cinema Ribbon Loudspeakers Page 4

The Super Junior sub has appeared in S&V before (see Tiny Killer Subs), so its ability to pump deep bass out of a ridiculously small package did not come entirely as a surprise. But it's still impressive: The SJ has plenty of 35-Hz output to make real cinematic deep bass happen, and a pair of the subs pump just that much more - about 6 dB, to be precise. As I had before, I found that putting something good and heavy, suitably padded, atop each sub to hold it steady made an audible improvement in output and extension (I used an old blown-up power supply and a huge dead car battery, each about 40 pounds). When it's really working, the Super Junior has a sort of rocking-couple vibration, which I theorize squanders electroacoustic effort as movement rather than sound. The dual subs had enough output to push the system to honest big-cinema levels with ease (a single unit did not, quite), though the very biggest hits induced a bit of "flappy" excess on peaks. Nonetheless, these remain simply amazing little subs. If you truly must have a subwoofer the size of a 12-pack (or two), I don't know that you can do better.

BOTTOM LINE Summing up the Sunfire Cinema Ribbon loudspeakers is not much easier than describing them. To say you should give them a serious audition and make up your own mind may seem like a weasely-journalist cop-out, but it's the truth. The Cinema Ribbon system is different enough that I cannot simply rank it on a linear scale with other high-end ultra-compact systems. But I can say with complete confidence that anyone looking in this field - and everyone else who's truly interested in good sound and innovative engineering - owes it to himself to seek out a competent audition. Only then can you decide if the Cinema Ribbons' unusual route to high-end reproduction fits your ear.

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