Vandersteen Model 2W series subwoofers augment the deep bass response of a stereo or home theater speaker system. They provide the power, dynamics and low-frequency detail required for superlative reproduction of music and film. In addition to assuming the responsibility for deep bass reproduction, both of these subwoofers dramatically improve the mid-bass and midrange response of any speaker system. It couples advanced materials, construction and design with innovative technology in a system that is always true to the emotion and content of the original sonic source.
The 2Wq’s Unique Adjustable Q
In Subwoofer engineering terms, system Q is the product of a complex mathematical equation derived from driver, electrical and enclosure parameters. In practical terms, it relates to the character of the bass response. A low Q subwoofer sounds highly damped and very tight. A high Q subwoofer produces a warm loose bass with more energy in the most audible bass range. The trick has always been to try to find the subwoofer with the Q that best matched your listening room and personal tastes.
The 2Wq is the first subwoofer to feature adjustable Q.A bass contour control on the rear panel allows you to set the system Q anywhere from .5 (Slightly overdamped, i.e.., tight jazz sound) to 1.2 (Significantly underdamped, i.e., typical mass-market home theater sound). Somewhere in this wide range, you will find the perfect sonic complement for your room and taste.
Conventional powered subwoofers receive their input signal directly from their crossover before the main amplifier. The sonic signature of the main amplifier that is an important part of the sound you hear from the full-range speakers is missing from the subwoofer.
This causes blending and integration problems as the sonic characteristics of the system are different above and below the subwoofer crossover point. This deterioration of system coherence is why conventional subwoofers have never been totally accepted as part of ultra high-performance audio systems.
The 2Wq uses a unique, innovative connection method that reduces the current demands on the main amplifier, but leaves the main amplifier in the signal path to the subwoofer. The system realizes the benefits of bi-amplification with absolute sonic continuity as the main amplifier ’s characteristics that are evident through the full-range speakers are maintained to the deepest bass, but with the power and control of the 2Wq ’s internal 300-watt amplifier.
The crossover of the 2Wq is divided into separate low-pass and high-pass sections. Like conventional subwoofers, the high-pass portion of the 2Wq ’s crossover is inserted into the signal path just before the main power amplifier to roll-off the low-frequency response of the main amplifier and speakers. The critical difference is that the 2Wq does not take its input from its crossover, but samples the output from the main amplifier that is driving the main speakers. To compensate for the low-frequency roll-off induced by the crossover, the response of the 2Wq’s amplifier is contoured to restore the low frequencies to the proper level. The 2Wq ’s input impedance is high enough that it has no effect on the output of the main amplifier.
Since the high-pass portion of the crossover is inserted between the preamplifier and power amplifier, you must be able to separate the preamplifier and power amplifier sections of a receiver or integrated amp for it to be compatible with the 2Wq. In all systems, the input impedance of the main amplifier must be known in order to properly set the 2Wq ’s high-pass crossover. The low pass crossover is integrated with the 2Wq ’s amplifier and does not require adjustment. Both sections of the crossover are transient perfect, 6dB per octave designs. A variable single-ended crossover is included with each 2Wq subwoofer. Optional fixed value crossovers are available both in single-ended and balanced configurations to match any main amplifier.
The output level of the 2Wq can be adjusted to match speakers with an efficiency rating of between 82dB and 100dB. Wires and banana plugs to connect the output of your full-range amplifier to the input of the 2Wq are included with each subwoofer.
A pair of 2Wq subwoofers is the premier configuration for high-quality multi-channel home theater systems where the surround-sound processor can be programmed to redirect the LFE (Low Frequency Effects) information to the main speakers. In addition to the benefits of stereo bass, disabling the surround processor’s LFE output often improves the system ’s midrange clarity and articulation. For the ultimate system, additional 2Wq ’s can be added to the surround channels.
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