19 April 2014
- Product Reviews
Ken Kreisel DXD808 DUO Sub-woofer Review Part II
How Ken has worded the bass system is quite clever and if you are thinking it is just marketing hype or gimmicks then you are mistaken because once you actually here a DUO in action the speed at which the bass is presented to you is in a ferocious way, and probably the snappiest and biggest hitting bass I have felt in a long time, it is as if someone walks up to you and clouts you very hard with a wave of bass and you feel it pulsate through your whole body, that is the best way I can describe the way the bass can hit you in an instant, but it can also play as quietly as you want it too and just underpins your music or movie soundtracks with a character all of its own, in a melodic way blending seamlessly with the Q125 speakers.Putting the 2 subs together is such a simple task as long as you order the correct kits from L Sound, that is the fixing brackets and rubber pads to sit in between the 2 subs which sort of cushion the two together, I have also made a thread in the Sub Forum showing you how to put them together which you may all find useful which has lots of pictures there too, they also now do a special range of XLR cables specifically designed for the DXD subs at the correct lengths so it keeps your cables tidy, see L Sound for more info on these.Now the fun can begin and the critical listening of music and movies which these subs are so damn good at, it is funny because once set up and running you can close your eyes but you cannot locate the source of Bass, it just sounds like you have 5 in my case as I am running a 5.1 system, 5 full range speakers.MusicI thought I may as well start with the same disc from the first review which is the Police BD Concert Live in Dolby True HD, now this is real demo material for any good sub bass system or speaker system for that matter, and Immediately from the beginning you can tell that there is raw power in the room each kick drum beat really thumps through your chest with a beat that is so much more powerful and yet the realism is even more so because of the systems dynamics and transients have all been shifted up a few gears, Stings bass guitar low notes are strummed with real definition to each note and with real musicality, this is what I feel the DXD subs are so good at and that is music they are so stunningly good with music that you just do realise how much quality these subs bring to your system as a whole.Now when playing this concert at near reference the whole room thumps to the music and I was having moments where I was slightly concerned that this old house may not be able to cope with this type of vibrations as it is an old cottage style house that we have and even though it has been done up inside the exterior shows its age, and I could just envisage roof tiles falling off so kept an eye on the window just in case, seriously though the bass was the hardest hitting I have heard on this disc and that is even with my old MX5100SF that I had before which was a brilliant sub.On to some 2 channel listening and for this I received a nice disc through the post, courtesy of Russell Williams who was kind enough to lend me his copy of the 10 Poem of Chinese Drums by Hok-Man Yim, now this is a brilliant piece of music which is 10 minutes long and features some of the most intense drumming which literally shakes you through to the bone but each note is so precise and immediate that there is no ringing left at all, it is certainly one of the best demo pieces to be played and to show off the power of the DUO of 808s and also the sublime integration with the Q125s as they really do play loud and for this you need to have the seamless integration between sub & satellite speakers to make it work, and it certainly does that with aplomb !This is certainly shaping up to be more of the same really as the DXD808s are so damn good with music but adding a second just makes it even more enjoyable as it is able to dig deeper and go louder on the tracks that you want it too, Pink Floyds Dark Side of the Moon is a classic DVD-Audio and with the 5.1 mix being of superior quality the DUO stack makes the recording feel more alive and surreal in its presentation, Roger Waters and David Gilmore were masters of their era and with this kind of music, to be able to play there recording at near reference with no sign of stress but just pure audio nirvana is a blessing and it is the closest thing to actually being at one of their great gigs in the Sky! Pun intended.Another favourite of mine since having the DUO set up, on audio is The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra which is on Blu-ray and in Dolby True HD, now having a full symphony in full swing and on such a large scale as the SFS one it really is incredible listening when they are playing and with the 2 DXD808s it just gives so much more power to the sound and scale that you really feel every note that is being played, Keeping Score: Mahler, is a marvellous piece which certainly sets apart the men from the boys when it comes to subs, with one sub it really does not do this piece justice but with the 2 you really appreciate the sound, now I know classical music may not be to everyones liking but you really do need to hear it being played on a Kreisel system and then tell me you do not like Classical, it is a visceral experience like no other!Another music piece which is actually the soundtrack to one of the most famous sci-fi movies of all time, no it is not Star Wars but it is Blade Runner by Vangelis, It is mostly a dark, melodic combination of classical compositions and synthesizers which mirrors the futuristic film noir envisioned by Scott and is played faithfully by the Kreisel system, with the bass underpinning the beautiful classical score.The DUO can play softly as well which hides there true hidden power, which leads us nicely on to the Movies part!MoviesI put on Kung Fu Panda to just hear the difference of what having another 808 meant or should I say having the DUO, this is one of my favourites and great for demoing your system and the part where Po is trying to get into the arena to see the chosen one is an absolute gem of a scene, with some cracking moments of bass, to say it is an improvement on the single is an understatement as the bass is just spectacular in every way, and bass shakes the sofa and thuds the ground as if Po was in the room with you, it gives you a great sense of realism to what Fireworks really do sound like for real, and especially after I have been to a few displays recently, you could swear I was setting off a chair strapped with rockets in my house, courtesy of the DUO of DXD808s, incredible stuff!This time round I have had the luxury of having some cracking Blu-ray titles that have been released and therefore had the pleasure of listening to them on the DUO, Pacific Rim is one of them and so is World War Z and the Conjuring, all of these movies have some corkers of soundtracks on them and I will start off with Pacific Rim which is a Monster title, literally.Giant robots slaying monsters from the deep, well if this was not going to give the DUO a workout I dont know what will, from the start the sense of scale is presented with massive impact and dynamics from the pair of 808s and it does not stop throughout the movie, it really is earth moving sound with massive transients, starting & stopping the bass on a dime, the sofa was shaking and the feeling of stomping robots trashing through my living room could not get any closer to the feeling of realism.World War Z is another great movie with big action and non-stop bass, bashing my living room once again, the DUO feels like a wave of pressure which just keeps on pushing and no matter how loud I go I do not think I will ever reach their limit, more mine. A grenade goes off with some serious SPL and pressurising of the room with ULF from the grenade, and masses of zombies coming at you with the wrath of the apocalypse a perfect movie to show off the traits of a good sound system and one that easily betters your local cinema.The Conjuring was the biggest surprise for me as regards to sound, it has to have one of the best soundtracks I have heard on a Horror film to date, and it gives you the most realistic sense of fear from a film with the bass moments making you jump out of your seat, perfect combination, it had me laughing out loud because it was so creepy, and then the pressurising of the room leading you up to a moment of surprise, some ULF content in there and it really was amazing how loud and low the DUO was going, crazy levels, I could almost feel the floor boards curling up!I also have had a good run of War of the Worlds again with the DUO set up, this time round the machines emerging from the ground had a much bigger impact and especially when there Pod feet landed on the ground, some real impact there and you could really feel it through the sofa, when the Ray blast went off, it was like an electrically charged experience with the whole room feeling it from left to right and right through you, the DUO really punch you in the chest like no other sub combination I have heard, the upper bass frequencies really do go loud and this is what gives you so much impact and the slam when the machines are crashing through the buildings are so impressive.Conclusions and Final ThoughtsBeing lucky enough to have a full Ken Kreisel speaker system really has helped doing these reviews as it has been so much fun, and tbh I have missed having this much fun when watching movies and listening to Music that my hobby had almost gone, but thankfully Ken has brought the pleasure of Home Cinema and High Fidelity Audio back into my life once again.The DUO of DXD808s is really a formidable force to be reckoned with and is one serious Sub Bass system, entering into the High End territory quite easily with this combination, I have listened to many a high end sub over the years and owned quite a few but none have given me the pleasure like the pair of 808s have, when stacked in this manner they really do turn from a VW Beetle into a roaring V8 Ford Mustang with a hell of a lot of horse power under the hood, and I still do not think I have touched their full potential whether that be Music or Movies!!I can only imagine what a QUAD stack will bring to the table, well that is for another time and review.
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