Andover Audio SpinSub Powered Subwoofer Review
A few weeks back, I reviewed the SpinDeck, a turntable from Massachusetts-based Andover Audio that was designed and manufactured in partnership with Pro-Ject. It was a nice upgrade turntable for vinyl enthusiasts who wanted more from their collection than a record player or basic turntable. One of the appeals of the SpinDeck is that it can be used as part of Andover Audio’s Spin System. Today, I’m looking at another component that was released as part of the Spin System: the SpinSub.
This is a subwoofer that fits perfectly on the company’s Spin Stand, and it provides a low end boost to the SpinBase speaker at the heart of the system. Through a unique, dual-woofer design and the company’s proprietary IsoGroove technology, the SpinSub delivers powerful bass without vibration. And while it’s designed to physically and visually match the Spin System components, this is a fully-featured, powered subwoofer that can be used with other audio systems as well.
Subwoofers are a big part of home theater audio systems, but they are also key to boosting the low end performance in audio systems used for listening to music. Especially compact systems with small speakers that lack the big woofers needed to really move the air around.
One of the challenges with a subwoofer is the potential for vibration. Considerable vibration. I went through this recently when I added a subwoofer to the audio system in my office. My bookshelf speakers left me wanting more prominent bass. With hardwood floors, there was enough vibration from the subwoofer to rattle objects on my desk and the nearby bookshelves. I solved the problem with an acoustic isolation platform for the subwoofer. That being said, I still wouldn’t place my turntable anywhere near the subwoofer — even slight vibration wreaks havoc when playing records.
Andover Audio’s SpinSub solves the vibration problem. Most subwoofers are equipped with a single, large woofer that fires straight ahead or sometimes down. The SpinSub has a slightly smaller driver (6.5-inches versus the 8-inches and up that is more typical), but there are two of them and they are side-firing. The force-cancelling driver arrangement is supplemented by the cabinet employing the company’s proprietary IsoGroove technology to deliver impressively deep bass that doesn’t vibrate the cabinet. Even at high volume!
While I didn’t have Andover Audio’s SpinStand handy to test it out, the company has designed the SpinSub to sit on that stand — the same stand where the SpinDeck turntable would be placed.
SpinSub Key Specs
- Dual 6.5-inch woofers with vented enclosure
- 32Hz to 180Hz frequency response
- 100W Class D amplifier
- Employs IsoGroove technology
- 50HZ to 180Hz adjustable low-pass filter
- Adjustable level control
- Auto signal sensing actuation
- Includes 10-foot braided 3.5mm cable
- Includes 3.5mm to stereo RCA cable adapter
- 14.25 x 11.25 x 12.75-inches, weighs 21 pounds
- Available in black or white heathered fabric
- MSRP: $299
Hands-On With the SpinSub
The SpinSub is a handsome-looking subwoofer that’s wrapped on three sides with a premium heathered fabric. My review unit was white, which really pops.
The back panel will be familiar if you’re ever worked with a powered subwoofer before. There’s a line input for connecting to the audio system (Andover includes an RCA adapter for wider compatibility), along with dials for subwoofer volume level and low pass frequency. There’s also a power switch. Leave the subwoofer turned on and it will automatically go into standby mode when the system is powered off, and wake when it detects an audio signal.
The instructions suggest that when using with the the company’;s Spinbase speaker, the default factory setting (80Hz low pass frequency and power level 5) are ideal. However, you can adjust them and the SpinSub’s position for optimal performance. The one thing to note is that because of the side-firing woofers you’ll want to avoid placing this subwoofer in a closed cabinet (the SpinStand is open) or too near a corner.
In testing with the SpinBase and SpinDeck, I found the SpinSub was a big win and well worth adding to the system. The SpinBase speaker was already a solid performer on its own, but adding the SpinSub adds so much impact to the equation. I like to play tracks like Pink Floyd’s “Time” when comparing audio systems with and without a subwoofer. And the SpinSub did not disappoint. Music gains depth and energy when a subwoofer like this is handling the low end. Tracks like “Time” hit a new level of orchestral foreboding that smaller speakers simply can’t pull off on their own. The SpinSub is a worthy addition to any compact music-listening system.
If you are assembling an Andover Audio Spin System — a top pick in my 2021 gift guide for music lovers — the SpinSub is a no-brainer. The company’s SpinBase turntable speaker does a decent job of providing some low end punch for but when you really want to feel the bass, the SpinSub is an add-on that delivers.
And if your existing audio system could use some more low end power, the SpinSub can do the job nicely while eliminating the issue of vibration.
Disclosure: Andover Audio provided a SpinSub for evaluation but had no input into this review.