Review: Wisdom Audio SCS Subwoofer Page 3

Bottom Line

The SCS certainly achieves the goal Wisdom Audio set for its design: It delivers high output from a slim enclosure that fits where most subwoofers won’t. Its sound is smooth and neutral, and I suspect a lot of serious audiophiles would love it. However, I expect hardcore home theater fans will prefer a sub that gives them more impact and a more thrilling experience — if, of course, they have the space for such a sub.

Here’s the issue that cannot be disregarded, though: The SCS costs $4,000. That’s an extremely high price when you consider that it’s in a plainly finished black MDF enclosure and includes no special features such as automatic room equalization. The high price limits the applications for the SCS; it makes sense only for large, very expensive audio systems in which there’s no way to incorporate a conventional subwoofer.

Test Bench

Frequency response

44 to 155 Hz ±3 dB

Bass output (CEA-2010 standard)

• Ultra-low bass (20-31.5 Hz) average: 109.9 dB

20 Hz              106.7 dB

25 Hz              110.6 dB

31.5 Hz           112.5 dB

• Low bass (40-63 Hz) average: 118.1 dB

40 Hz              115.1 dB

50 Hz              118.6 dB

63 Hz              120.6 dB

I measured the frequency response of the SCS by putting a mic up to its metal vent and using its LFE input. I tried a few different mic positions but got the same result in all of them. Obviously, the frequency response is idiosyncratic because of the -12.8 dB dip centered at 90 Hz, which would seem to be the result of a cancellation between the sound coming from the back of the woofer and the sound coming from the front of the woofer. I’ve never seen another subwoofer with a big, deep dip in the middle of its response. In fact, to calculate the SCS’s frequency response in a way that was somehow comparable to other subs I’ve measured, I had to exclude this dip entirely. The response curve you see here is normalized so its peak response shows as +3 dB.

However, when the crossover setting in the receiver or preamp/processor is set fairly low, to 60 or 70 Hz, the effect of this dip should be small and possibly even inaudible. I can’t say I heard it even with the crossover point set to 80 Hz. Although the low-frequency response starts to decline below 50 Hz, the unusual physics of the enclosure/driver arrangement gives the SCS ample response almost down to 20 Hz.

CEA-2010 output measurements were impressive in the ultra-low bass, where the SCS delivers 109.9 dB averaged response and retains substantial output all the way down to 20 Hz, where it hits 106.7 dB. The averaged output of 118.1 dB in the low bass is competent but nothing special; it’s typical of what I’ve measured from good midpriced/midsized conventional subs.