TESTED: Definitive Technologies SuperCube Reference Subwoofer

Definitive Technology SuperCube Reference
TESTED: Definitive Technologies SuperCube Reference Subwoofer

Definitive Technology’s new SuperCube Reference subwoofer is dead serious about delivering world-class low bass in a compact package, fitting a 14” long-throw woofer, two 14” passive radiators, a beefy 1800-watt Class-D amplifier, and an extensive control panel with electronic crossover inside an enclosure that measures just under 17” per side. Don’t let those compact dimensions fool you; this subwoofer is capable of incredible low frequency extension (reaching below 20 Hz with authority) and very high output (playing nearly as loudly as four of Definitive’s original SuperCube 1s). Obviously this subwoofer offered large quantities of low bass on demand, but what surprised me was the amazing quality of the bass it produced.

In sharp contrast to the many big, billowy, boomy subwoofers on the market, the SuperCube Reference was at heart an audiophile’s subwoofer—one that combined the cat-quick reflexes of Jet Li with the man-mountain clout of a defensive lineman. The result was a subwoofer that speaks forcefully and clearly, yet is capable of remarkable delicacy and grace. In the first few minutes of Open Range [Buena Vista], for example, a coming cloudburst is announced by a nearby lightning strike, and the SuperCube Reference captured the subterranean slam of the lightning bolt and the loud peal of thunder that followed so convincingly that I startled involuntarily and instinctively began looking around to see if the lightning blast had fried any of my home theater components (one of those moments where cinematic art imitated life too closely for my comfort). What is more, the SuperCube Reference proved equally convincing on music, striking a great balance between power and control, and offering so much headroom that it never seemed to be working hard.

There aren’t many subwoofers that can outperform the SuperCube Reference, and the few I’ve heard that do cost a lot more. I recommend this subwoofer highly, subject only to the suggestion that you use crossover frequency settings below 100 Hz (so as not to force the 14” woofer and passive radiators to go higher than they should).

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