Speakers with deep/powerful bass

I used to have a system with large speakers. Each speaker had two 12" woofers. When I would play Hard as a Rock from the AC-DC BallBreaker CD there was a moment at 35 seconds into the song when it felt like someone was jumping on the floor behind me. This would only happen if my JPS Labs Golden Flutes were looped into the system, and it was playing very loud. Without the Golden Flutes it didn't happen. It was a truly frightening experience the first time it happened, because I was home alone. Has anyone else had anything like this occur?


some Meridian dsp 8000's really try to push the walls off the foundation. a pair of usher be20 dmd's also overloaded my room with bass.

I used to have a pair of TDL Monitors which were supposed to be capable of bass output below 20 hz. When I had owned them for a while, I was entertaining friends one evening and playing the first Enya disc. It was a soft. slow tune, but suddenly there was a subterranean tone, likely from a synthesizer that made it feel as if the floor was going to give way beneath us, and the music wasn't even loud.  

Yes, all the time. Legacy Audio Focus SE’s. They’ll rattle windows if you let them.

I like my older JBL's. I have a pair of L100T's and a pair of L100T3's. Even at low volume I can feel a can of soda vibrating in my hand when listening. At high volume pictures hanging on the wall have crashed to the floor. Got rid of the pictures, LOL!

@mastering92 ,




older Vegas are rock/metal monster machines! Even though they are labeled as efficient I’ve found they really come alive with some real power. 

Totally agree - classic L100s and cerwin Vegas were called party speakers for a reason. 

the track I like is “coming in from the cold” intro by bob Marley. It’s by big bass speaker test track. 

I was with my friend George Bischoff who was the main designer of Scaena speakers at Harry Pearson's years ago. The Scaena were line sources with planar tweeters and dynamic mids. The woofers were powered modular 18" woofers with equalization(actually they rolled off from 180 Hz but were rolled in about 65Hz and equalized flat to about 16 Hz and yes it took hundreds of watts). I believe Harry's set had 3 sets of bass modules.

Anyway we were playing a cut from a CD with music from the sound track of a movie called Lost World. The cut we used according to Harry had a real volcano in the trach that went down to at least 16 Hz. Harry liked loud. And as the cut played I looked at Harry's and my friend's eyes and they were like saucers. I could tell they were waiting for flying woofers. But all we got was tons of very tight loud bass.

I got a copy of the CD and have tried it on multiple systems that claimed they went DEEP. But nothing, so far, has come close.

I had Salk Songtowers that, all of a sudden, had deep, powerful bass. Had them for years before I put them in a new position. I thought the reviews of this speaker’s bass response were mostly hyperbole until I placed them in a decent room, in a decent spot with nothing between them or around them but air.

It’s really the room. I’m guessing most of us have no idea what our speakers are truly capable of. I don’t even think I found a perfect position but simply came closer than any time before.

So really, I had a room that produced amazing bass. I've since moved, sold those speakers and have invested triple my investment. Although I like the sound of my new system...it really falls short of that room...



I have a pair of AR303s that are driven by a Parasound Halo A21. 12" woofer acoustic suspension "Bookshelf". They are set 4 feet above the floor. Enough bass to shake the room with the right song or movie. No subwoofer needed.

Just buy some Svs 4000 or ultra subs they will go lower and with more impact 

with their high current amplifiers built in and 13-16 inch drivers 

buying 2 will balance out the rooms Bass.

I love my KEF Blades!  Great bass for sure and it fills my room and sounds amazing.  Definitely the most full range speakers I’ve ever had.

Used a 25 inch sub for dances for a while.  Could rattle every window in the whatever venue I was in if you let it.  Not intentional, but cracked a plate glass window doing a wedding dance at a Holiday Inn once.  Used a Phase Linear amp on it, high damping factor, had good control over the sub! 

In 1991, I had Cerwin Vegas.  They could rip the roof off and keep going. So much fun.  Funny thing is, they really weren't that bad of a hifi speaker. They weren't great either but they were all around serviceable. 

As my longtime HiFi mentor recently reminded me "Bass Counts".

Why? It enhances the sound stage. Use as many subs as you can.

Paradigm is the brand I am considering next.

I used to sell those big 15 inch Cerwin Vega's in the 1980's - sold them with the massive Pioneer/Sansui/Marantz receivers back then. I probably account for hundreds of people losing most of their hearing at a young age. But man did Stairway to Heaven sound like Heaven, as did the Who, Rolling Stones, Alice Cooper, Meatloaf and AC/DC. Mozart? Not so much.....

Hmmm, might be giving away my age there.....

+1 on the room being the most important factor. My Rockport Avior ii speakers give all the high quality bass I would ever desire and then some. 

GoldenEar Triton Reference.  Built in subs with 750w amps. They go down to 12 htz. 92db sensitivity. Great speaker. 

So do you want it to sound like it was recorded or do you want it to shake the floor.  Very seldom do those 2 choices overlap.

I used to enjoy watching people who came over to enjoy some tunes, jump out of their skin, when Tony Levin hit that certain note on his bass stick on Al DeMeola's Scenario. At the time I had a pair of AR9lsi driven by a pair of Perreaux PMF 2150's. Priceless! 


Cheers to that. 

I used to have a pair of Cerwin Vegas. Old Fisher Audio amplifier + CD player. It was nice...a big, open, warm sounding system. It couldn't convince me that what I was hearing was real, but did a nice job of filling up the room with sound and plenty of bass too. 

Good ole Infinity Kappa 9 and 9.2 will rattle the house 

with the right power behind them 

Most speakers mentioned here has Non accurate bass big rounded bass altec Lansing cerwin Vega , Klipsch , these speakers at best upper 30 hz 

that’s why i mentioned  a good quality powered sub woofer if that’s what you want 

this will enhance most speakers unless you have  over $20k+ for upper quality speakers. I am torn from a decent say marten oscar trio which will do quality bass to around 30 hz , or buy a great stand mount such as the. MBL  126 stand mount with matching stands , and just buy another Svs SB 4000 sub . I have all year to ponder this for these are all in the $15k + range , I have to save my Pennies.

The Volti Audio Rivals w/ their 15” pro audio sourced woofers, while maybe only flat to 35hz, can play as loud as you want & sound great doing so in just about any size room. I have listened to Jethro Tull’s Aqualung on many good systems & thought I knew it well. Then through the Rivals w/ a good tube amp, I heard the true impact of the bass guitar & drums like never before. It was up very loud & I was both scared & cracking up at the same time. That said, Martin Barre’s guitar solo on the cut was also outstanding w/ power & body that few speakers can do at least for long. 

If you want the volume & dynamics of the old JBL’s, Altecs, Klipsch, Cerwin Vegas etc & the nuanced detail & imaging of good modern speakers, check them out. Imo, They’re the closet thing to live music I’ve heard at anything near a reasonable price. Their “smaller” model, the Razz, comes pretty close for less than half the $. ( about $6K vs about $15K).  Both are so much fun!!

I've shook my room and at times the house with my Moab's (2 - 12's" each) more than a few times. My wife thought the military base not far from us was detonating old ordinance (MCAAP base in OK).

They were VERY well-known for bass, but when we built a couple of cabinets for  24" Hartley woofers for the Mark Levinson HQD system, we learned what REAL bass was in a relatively small room.

No slam on CV's, but it you want REAL bass...get yourself a pretty hefty amp, of  course...




I had the Snell Type A V5 system. It was fun to bring a newbie into the listening seat and hit them with deep percussion. (18 inch subs) Even their wife downstairs would jump when the walls rattled!

As I read through the responses the talk turned to only what the bass could or was doing and nothing about the overall sound quality of the speaker. With that in mind I will put up my old Bose 901’s running through my Sansui 7070 receiver. I was able to knock trinkets off the shelf of my neighbors home. Take sound quality out of the mix they are the best party speaker made. 


Great review of your previous listening room! What were the dimensions of that room?

["grundy1700      This would only happen if my JPS Labs Golden Flutes were looped into the system, and it was playing very loud. Without the Golden Flutes it didn't happen. It was a truly frightening experience the first time it happened, because I was home alone. Has anyone else had anything like this occur?"]

As I understand it, the JPS Labs Flutes were a low frequency filter that allowed lower frequencies access to the speakers woofers likely bypassing some aspect of the the crossover? 

If memory serves me the Flutes required another long speaker cable run which became the impetus for the JPS Labs Cable business?

Did running the Flutes do any damage to those woofers?


Unknowingly, my first Gene Cerwinski product was the L-187 driver used in Russ Alee's acoustic Control 360/361 electric Bass amplifier. Shortly after I purchased my first stand alone solid state amplifier the Cerwin-Vega A-1800 and a B-36 bin for the PA all from Leo's Music on College Ave. in Oakland.

m-db  The Golden Flutes extended the bass without disturbing the midrange. They were used in the tape loop - so no long cables were needed. They also needed a wall-wart for power. I always had a hard time knowing if they were actually doing anything. The AC-DC song I mentioned made me realize they worked very well. They didn't ever cause any harm to the speakers. I think they just flattened the frequency response.

Someone else mentioned Legacy Focus SE. I have the XD version of the same speakers, bi-amped leaving the internal amp to run the 12 inch subwoofers on each..... supplimented with 2 Rythmic 12 in subs. Where they need to, the bass rocks it in a very controlled manner with the rest of the speaker. Still though, cannot literally shake my pants legs the way my K-horn knock offs from the 80's did with ELP "lucky man". Loved those speakers but finally grew up and went with my current system that blows all of that away with amazing sonics out of a "real" speaker system. changed it all out and never looked back. Except for the 2 minutes just now. :-)

grundy1700, I remember glancing over this article some time ago. It seems that's all I remembered.  


Just like that AC-DC song the media plays a huge part. 

What is your budget  these cheaper speakers have bass but it’s far from bein tuneful and accurate , bloated is a good way to describe vs even a goodsubwoofer like a Svs 400; Rel anythjng over $1500 in a sub will be more accurate 

in a speakerover $10 k for quality drivers , please remember only 25% on average goesinto thespeaker this includes all packaging ,the rest R&D overhead and markup..

If we start with the retail price of a product and work backwards from the dealer and from the distributor, then typically- not always the selling price from the manufacturer to the distributor is half the retail price.  This is typical for luxury items.  The manufacturer's selling price is based on manufacturing costs plus overhead, administrative costs and profit.  (Marketing affects the price too but only in the positive direction, ie. if a company cannot make money producing a product then they won't.)  The manufacturer's selling price is typically a 300% markup added to the material and labor costs of the product plus a markup for profit.  This 300% covers all costs of doing business- R&D, Healthcare, 401k contributions, taxes, building leasing, utilities, etc.  Labor is typically 8%-13% of the cost of the product making material about 90% the cost of a product.  Luxury items that are low volume and mostly hand made can skew the labor costs higher to maybe 15% of the cost of the product.  

So let's say, for the sake of argument, that the cost of all materials for this pair of speakers adds up to $4,000.  These are some premium grade components and very expensive cabinetry.  We will also assume all assembly is done in house and not farmed out to a low cost country.  Focusing on one speaker we have $2000 in material costs.  This premium speaker contains some high dollar composite material that costs $10/lb.  This speaker weighs 200 lbs and let's assume that half the weight is the cabinet.  That's $1000 for the cabinet material.  (That's $1000 of our total of $2000 material costs).  So the other $1000 covers the drivers, crossovers and hardware.  This is definitely a premium speaker.  Labor costs are about one hour to cut the panels for the cabinet at $150/hr machining time.  Then assembly of the cabinet and finishing takes 4 hours because this is a handmade labor intensive finishing process typical for a premium luxury product.  Assembly of the components into the speaker takes one hour and testing takes about 0.2 hours.  Say being a premium speaker it is subject to a listening test, then we add 0.8 hours.  6 hours labor total for assembly and test costs about $30/hour (unburdened) so total labor is $180+$150 or $330.  Manufacturing costs of our high end speaker, material and labor is $2330.  Add in 300% for overhead, admin, etc costs and this speaker now is at $6990.  Add 10% profit and the manufacturer needs to sell this speaker to a distributor for $7689.  Final cost to the end user ends up being $15,378 for one speaker or $30,756 for a pair.  The irony is that this business considers moving the manufacturing to a low cost country to save on labor.  That's right- the $330 that it costs to machine, assemble and test the speaker.  They potentially could save $100 minus shipping costs.  The other way to cut costs is to reduce overhead so that the multiplier is not 300%.  That means either outsourcing or moving the engineering, administrative functions to a low cost country.  But in the end these measures have limited impact on costs.  This is my opinion:  Outsourcing engineering and administrative functions lowers product quality in terms of both design and reliability, customer service degrades as well  leading to a loss of reputation and market share.  In other words, it is a downward spiral.  

And that sums up the challenge of my entire engineering career trying to keep costs down and keep jobs in the US.

@carlsbad  says who exactly? Lol that is one old trope. Debbie Downer, your wet blanket is ready 

+Carlsbad   ..  He's right.  Floor shaking bass or good sound.  I'm thinking I've driven beside gregdude and every one within a block got to audition his sub bass system.. LOL ..  

Some the best bass I have heard in a conventional floor standing speaker is by Gershman. The bass is insanely powerful for the foot print. Similar comments for the high end Paradigm models with the built in plate amplifier for the woofers.


It isn't hard to get lots of low bass, quite often rather poorly controlled but it is very hard to get really good well controlled low bass.

I have two speakers that are excellent at low bass (one is 3dB down at 23 Hz and the other at 20 Hz.  Implementing well controlled low bass is hard to do and probably impossible to do cheaply except in boom boxes 

There is a big difference between low bass and just a lot of bass.

@tonywinga - enjoyed your description from the manufacturer side!


For pounding rock with deep bass the large JBL's are great. The specs on the low end say 33HZ.  IF I had the money I would demo these baby's


I’ve always failed to understand the obsession with bass. Give me an exceptional midrange any day of the week. Maybe I’m simply in the minority. 

The old Polk audio SDA line put out some really good low bass if you properly powered them. They also have decent sound quality with upgraded tweeters and crossovers.