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Reg­u­lar read­ers will note that all three win­ners here — in three dif­fer­ence price breaks — were part of our huge sub­woofer group test last is­sue. This Su­miko S.5 opened the test­ing since it was the least pricey at a mere $999, yet it sur­prised us. For starters this new brand comes from the Fine Sounds Group which in­cludes Ital­ian ar­ti­san speaker brand Sonus faber, and Aus­tralian dis­trib­u­tor Syn­ergy con­firms that it shares some of the de­vel­op­ment team. It is cer­tainly a pretty lit­tle thing, fin­ished in a beau­ti­ful pi­ano gloss in black or white, its 210mm driver mounted in the base of the unit, fir­ing down­wards and held up from the floor by a four sil­very legs. There are 150 watts be­hind the driver and, un­usu­ally th­ese days, the amp is Class A/B rather than some dig­i­tal thing.

The Su­miko proved a lively lit­tle sub­woofer, de­liv­er­ing punchy and ef­fec­tive mid-bass, ex­tend­ing into the up­per reaches of the deep bass. It nicely cov­ered the range re­quired for full de­liv­ery of a kick drum and bass, both acous­tic and elec­tric, and in han­dling mu­sic it was con­trolled and pre­cise, avoid­ing any sense of lumpi­ness or mono­tonal­ity. The vol­ume lev­els were more than ad­e­quate, even for a large-sized lounge room.

What was miss­ing was much in the way of a real deep un­der­pin­ning to mu­sic, and there were no in­fra­son­ics of course — go big­ger, pay more for those. But for the price, the S.5 is highly im­pres­sive value, per­haps an ideal choice for cou­pling with high-qual­ity satel­lites or small book­shelf speak­ers, and well worth the money for any­one in that mar­ket. More info:

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