A subwoofer is a popular upgrade to both hi-fi and home theater systems, as it will give the sound an extra dimension, and expand the frequency range with bass that you can both hear and feel. They come in all sizes and price ranges, from the small, affordable bass chunks the size of a shoebox, to the more extreme variants the size of a small refrigerator.
And there are also some really extreme varieties out there, too …
Ascendo SMSG50: A planet killer sub?
The German manufacturer Ascendo is behind what must probably be the world’s largest subwoofer for home use. The model SMSG50 is equipped with a giant, specially made woofer that measures a full 50 inches (127 cm) in diameter!
The speaker cabinet that houses the monster is 185 cm high and about the same width. However, the depth is “only” 60 centimeters, so that the subwoofer can fit behind transparent cinema screens, custom walls and the like. The cabinet is of the closed type – perhaps to prevent cats or other pets from being swallowed and shaken by the enormous sound pressure?
Of course, controlling such a hefty woofer requires an amplifier with serious power. For that purpose, Ascendo uses a 6000 watt amplifier with DSP room correction and other features. The manufacturer claims that the SMSG50 delivers serious amounts of deep bass – enough to make it “the most powerful home cinema subwoofer in the world”. The 50-inch element apparently moves as much air as 40 ordinary 18-inch wooers, and reproduces frequencies all the way down to 5 hertz! Maximum sound pressure is stated to be 140 decibels, and the SMSG50 can handle a full 125 dB @ 20 hz. Perfect for recreating rocket launches, earthquakes and other seismic events.
What does something like that cost, then?
The manufacturer does not go lightly when it comes to the price tag either: SMSG50 is only made to order, and will cost around GBP 100,000! Yes, you read that right: A hundred Grand for a subwoofer! Of course, it is significantly more than most people spend on the entire home theater, or an extension to the house for that matter. At that price you can buy up to 100 “regular” subwoofers, for example Klipsch R-115SW which we have good experience with. But, it can be impractical with so many extension cords in the TV room …
No doubt: the SMSG50 is an extreme subwoofer for the extreme installations. The thoughts immediately go to the Back to the Future movies and Marty McFly’s huge guitar amp …
The UK distributor is AIA Cinema