Sunday, November 16, 2008

Subwoofer Pas de Deux

A while back Parts Express offered a deal that seemed too good to pass up: the Spherex XBox system with 5 satellites and a subwoofer carcass, minus the amp and remote for $99.00. Plus free shipping! (I see now that the price is $75, a deal!) The Spherex system was well reviewed and the satellites use technology from Mirage. The sub contained a 6 channel amp that apparently was failure prone, so the systems have been a PE close out for a while, sans amp of course.

I sprung for 2 and scattered the satellites among work room, kid's room and friends. But what to do with the subwoofer carcasses with a hole in back?

Apex Jr. came to the rescue.

I purchased the M&K 150 and the Audiofile VRS 1205 amps since they seemed to have nearly the correct dimensions for the cut out. Each is a bargain at $99.95 and nominally rated at 150 watts. These are real amps with real transformers, not digital amps. Here are the finished products:

The Spherex boxes have a downward firing 8" driver with a port. Fit and finish is good and I love the handle on top. The driver is a respectable performer, but the amps probably deserve a bit more than the Spherex carcass can provide. I shouldn't complain since I spent just a bit more than 2 hours assembling the pair. Both amps required a bit more than an inch off the width and just slight shaving off the height of the opening for installation.

Both amps are well made with the M&K having the edge in performance, but the Audiofile having the edge in gadget factor. The first photo above shows the remote sensor installed on the front of the Audiofile. Oh yeah, that is a new hole you will have to cut on the front. The remote works well and allows you to crank the volume for the good parts of Con Air and drop it back to realistic levels for music.

If you already have a home theater receiver you can have a very respectable 5.1 system for under $200, definitely a deal. This is a killer system for the kids' game room or a budget theater system. Break out the jig saw and get some sweat equity in a subwoofer!


Tom said...

Hi there, my amp in my system has just died and looking at doing what you've done here. It looks dairly straightforward apart from the hooking up to the other speakers. how have you done this ? does this work for 5.1 surround for movies etc?


Unknown said...

I want this. Where to get it??