Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Getting Jiggy With SYZYGY - A New Sub in Town


SYZYGY Acoustics is relatively new here in Malaysia where the launch of their product was just done a few months ago in AV Designs new flagship store. The company was founded by a team of audio specialists who have been leaders in various well known premium audio brands in the USA, Canada and Europe. Based out of Princeton, New Jersey, this company offers a unique wireless solution for your subwoofer needs. Not only its wireless, it comes with a dedicated software app to fine tune the sub into your existing set up for both HT and 2 channel audio.

Given the chance to be the first to review this subwoofer in Malaysia, I quickly jump on the opportunity when Tony Low of AV Designs offered to send this unit around together with PMC 25.23 speakers (speakers is another story where I am in the midst of choosing a replacement to my already sold ProAc D18). I was given the the SLF 850 model which comes complete with the wireless module.

Specifications

Driver Size:10"

Type:Acoustic Suspension

Amplifier Power:1,000 Watts

Frequency Response:24-200 Hz

Room Output:104 dB

Dimensions:12.5" cube

Weight (net):28.4 lbs

Wireless:Yes

Analog RCA In (LFE):Yes

Auto Standby:                                                                                                                                     Yes

The unit uses BASH amplification where it delivers the high efficiency of a Class D amp but with the immersive sound quality and dynamic power of a Class A/B design. It gives out a high current, high output and low distortion.

Setting Up
Syzygy uses SoundSculpt Technology where the subwoofer makes a 3D sonic map of its space followed by an adjustment to its output to smooth out any aural peaks and valleys. During the set up, the unit sends out series of tones (just like a hearing test but it goes really low and loud) that measure the shape and size of the room, position of furniture and how your home decor absorbs and reflects sound. This data is capture by your smartphone or tablet and sent back to the unit where it is corrected and perfected to produce a seamless blend to your speakers.

WARNING! The signals generated during the set up go really low. It did rattle some of my furniture.

For the room acoustics adjustment, it uses Digital Room Correction hence its not really picky with the position of the sub.

All this is done wirelessly from your tablet or smartphone. Its like subwoofer setup for dummies :)

Do note, not all android phones is compatible to the app. My Blackberry KeyONE could not detect the subwoofer so had to resort to my Samsung Tab.

You can also turn the unit on and off from the app in which it is very useful to differentiate the sound from your set up with or without the sub. The unit also has an auto standby function where it will go on sleep mode after prolong time without any music signal.


The package comes complete with the transmitter and the receiver is already built in the subwoofer itself. All the cabling is also supplied plus the power plugs for the transmitter. You still have the option of connecting the sub using RCA but for me, I have put the sub at the rear of my listening position. The subwoofer can set up as front firing or down firing.

Rear sub set up

Transmitter





The Tracks

1. I Just Cant Stop Loving You by Michael Jackson - DSD
2. New York New York by Andrea Bocelli and Tony Bennet  - FLAC 24/192
3. Money For Nothing  by Dire Straits -  WAV 16/44
4. Kitakan Bersama by Ammarah - WAV 16/44

The Session - 2 Channel


I Just Cant Stop Loving You

With this Michael Jackson track, I can now feel a more enveloping experience on my 2 channel set up. The bass at times can be a bit overwhelming, hence I lower down the volume from the app. With the added sub, it does not just bring up the low end notes from the bass guitar drums, but it gives out quite a warmer overall experience and a tad of deepness in the vocal. With this kind of music, it can easily create a very emotional ambience for the listeners.


New York New York

For a more cheerful atmosphere, I put on this duet by Andrea Bocelli and Tony Bennet in one of their open air concert in New York. Given the live performance, I somehow didnt get too emotional when I listen to this track before even with its catchy tune. But with the Syzygy in play, again it gave a richer presentation where the overall presentation was taken up a notch in the liveliness and deep bass ambience. A track that sounded flat before is now more entertaining and emotionally expressed in a better way. No adjustment was needed on the sub.


Money For Nothing

A must have test track for bass heads. I was expecting heavy distortion on this track as I am paring the Syzygy with a set of speakers which are known to be bass heavy.. But I was wrong. The Syzygy instead gave a richer presentation to this track. I can feel that the music was all around me. The unit did not give out pulsating sensation  from the rear but what it does it fills up the void a 3D experience for me. It was indeed avery unique experience. This was one track that I did not need to adjust anything on the sub setting. The drums on this track was heart pounding with the Syzygy giving a very enveloping ambience.


Kitakan Bersama

Trying it with a a heavier ballad from this Singapore based band Ammarah, again the Syzygy added warmer ambience to this track. The bass again became a bit overwhelming, hence I lowered the volume. Even though it emphasises on the bass, it did not at anytime drown the vocals and the shredding guitar works. With the Syzygy, it definitely added more grunt to this track which suits the musical genre that Ammarah carries. 


The Session - Home Theater (5.1.2)

I also took the liberty to hook up the unit to my ATMOS set up replacing my SVS sub which is also on wireless mode. Paired with PMC 20.23 fronts, PMC Centre, SVS rear and Elevate speakers, the Syzygy was set up using the apps again and the I rerun the calibration on my Denon AVR.

Playing The Justice League movie, the Syzygy gave out quite a forceful bass response; enough to feel the vibration on my sofa. It does not give out the grunt that I get from my SVS but it is adequate to rumble some of the basic HT set ups I have seen around. Maybe the 12" model will give a more satisfying low frequency effect.

Conclusion

I was first skeptical about adding a sub to my 2 channel set up especially having the PMC speakers which are known to be bass heavy with its ATL technology. But given that the PMC 25.23 is inadequate for my hall, the Syzygy complement the speakers nicely. What confuses me is that the fact that I have to change the volume on the sub for different musical genre. It does a good job with creating the fulfilling envelope that wraps listener in emotion but having to change the volume, it gets a little bit troublesome.  But if you get that sweet spot, having a sub in your 2 channel system will give you wonders towards your low notes and that warmer ambience.  And with the wireless technology, you do not have to run long RCA cables if you wish to place your sub further from your set up. You do need a spare plug point though for the transmitter.

The Syzygy is a compact unit but offers flexibility of placement and can be set up for both 2 channels and HT. Room size still is important but there is always a bigger model that complement a bigger room.

Thank you to AV Designs for loaning both the PMC 25.23 and Syzygy sub.

Syzygy and PMC are exclusively distributed by AV Designs. For a demo, please call Tony on 012-2330771 or James on 016-3280237

Gear

2 channel
  • Source - Sony HAP Z1 ES
  • Amp - Musical Fidelity M6i
  • Speakers - PMC 25.23
  • Cabling - Vermouth Audio Black Pearl
Home Theater
  • Source - Oppo UDP205
  • LCR - PMC 20.23 and Centre
  • Rear - SVS
  • ATMOS - SVS Elevate
  • Amp - Denon 6200
  • Cabling - QED










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