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: www.synergyaudio.com