Amazing quality and sound for such a small subwoofer
The Fluid Audio F8S is a compact, studio quality, powered subwoofer measuring just 254mm W x 270mm D x 340mm H. Rated at 200W and with just an 8" front firing driver, this little subwoofer is clean and smooth and its flat frequency response makes it ideally suited for small studio or lounge room to fill out the bottom end missing in virtually all compact speaker systems, either in a studio or home.
I bought this item online from one of two Melbourne music stores that sell the Fluid Audio range in Australia. I was a little apprehensive about spending $400 on an unseen item, but a quick check on the internet turned up a pro review that immediately hinted I would be buying something worth the outlay. And it certainly is!
The subwoofer arrived ahead of time in a double layer cardboard carton snugly fitted inside another, heavier double layer cardboard carton. The unit was isolated from the inner carton by polystyrene corner packing blocks that allowed me to see and remove the sub from the inner box without getting my hands anywhere near the unprotected driver cone.
The stylish cabinetwork is classy and the driver is not covered with a grille, giving it an ‘uncaged’ look. The little fader on the front panel also makes this unit somewhat different from other subs that have all their controls either on the back or top of the cabinet. The front panel also houses the reflex vent, which is always the preferred location to assist with placement options.
The back panel amp has separate input and output sections, each with balanced XLR connectors and balanced or unbalanced 6.25mm TRS phono connectors. The input section also has low level RCA inputs, while the output section has a T&S phono connector for the included foot-switch to bypass the unit. There are rotary pots for adjusting crossover frequency and varying the phase adjustment (nice!) and there is a switch for ‘Flat’ response for critical monitoring or ‘Punchy’ for dance music. If you plan to use it as a reference speaker, leave the switch in the ‘Flat’ position (see photo).
Initial listening tests were impressive. A quick tweak of the crossover to match it with my tiny, but modified, Realistic Minimus 7 desktop computer speakers and some level adjustment so that the sub was just noticeable, left me convinced I’d bought the right subwoofer for my needs. Once the driver had bedded in, it was even better – the designers have done a great job delivering a smooth but tight sound, with nicely balanced frequency response displaying hardly any noticeable dips or peaks - and all down to about 30Hz.
I really like the foot-switch for bypassing the sub to check its contribution to a mix or to what you're hearing from your stereo. What I'm not so keen on is the lack of a grille. Let's face it, most little subs will end up under a desk of some sort, so having the option of protecting your investment makes sense to me. I think Fluid Audio need to add that to this otherwise perfect little studio quality subwoofer.
If you need something other than earthquake effects specifically to annoy the neighbours, and where space is also a consideration, there's nothing else I could find to compete with this for the same price.
Purchased in May 2019 for $429.00.
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