MJ Acoustics Reference 100 Subwoofer [AIG Archives]

      Date posted: May 12, 2008

MJ Acoustics Reference 100 Subwoofer (Top)
Sugg. Retail: $1195 in veneers (Cherry, Light Oak);
$1050 in Black Gloss or White Paint
Size: 11″ cubed, plus approx. 1″ for knobs & feet
Distributor: Tri-Cell Enterprises, 176 Monsheen
Drive, Woodbridge, ON L4L 2E9 (905) 265-7870
FAX 265-7868

From the Fall 2005 Audio Ideas Guide

The MJ Acoustics Reference 100 shown at right is finished in a lovely, glossy Cherry veneer on 3 sides, and it’s got to be the most attractive sub in my experience.

Reading the specs, I discovered that it is a “Neutrik Speakon connector”, which I’ve never encountered before, but they are widely used in studio applications. Separate level controls are provided for each input, seen in the photo for the unbalanced inputs.

On the other side of the panel are knobs for crossover setting and phase. In between these are displays that underline the uniqueness of the Reference 100’s crossover. At top is an LED display that shows the crossover frequency as set by the user; underneath a linear power LED shows how much the sub’s 120-watt amplifier is putting out. Their acronym for the crossover is DAMP, ie; Digitally Accurate MicroProcessor.
M J Acoustics Reference 100 Subwoofer (rear)
Though the sub claims “a superb low 13 Hz” on their web site, I doubt it, given my experience with subwoofers, including numerous small ones. Our measurements go only to 20 Hz, and if this sub does produce anything below 15-to-18 Hz, it would have to be well down in level. At the lowest crossover setting, cone breakup could be induced at what I would call realistic levels for, say, organ fundamentals and blower noise.

That is not say that the 100 is not an excellent sub. It does manage a flat 20 Hz at this setting at a very reasonably high level, and in our room measuring position is almost dead flat to 70 Hz, remarkable smoothness. At middle rotation it is +/-3 dB from 100 Hz down, while at control full up it is +5/-4 dB from 20 to 200 Hz.

MJ Acoustics Reference 100 Subwoofer  (frequency response)

Tested with pink noise, which drives the sub with a full bandwidth signal at all frequencies, it fared well in producing satisfying deep bass for small to moderately sized rooms, but could not move air like the identically sized Sunfire MK. II with its additional passive radiator. But it’s prettier and much less expensive, and if your room and your wallet permit, the MJ Acoustics Reference 100 is an excellent choice.

Andrew Marshall

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