This unit rocks! Kosmos puts out the bass - bass with attitude, an attitude that translates as tight, punchy, low end in extreme abundance. It even has what I would call an "exciter" function. Peavey refers to this as a "stereo image enhancement system." Kosmos is a stereo device with balanced inputs and outputs at +4 dBu with your choice between XLR and 1/4" connections. There is an additional 1/4" sub woofer output with a crossover point set at 90 Hz. The designers at Peavey, knowing this unit rocks, have whimsically named the parameter controls after various earth shaking activities. For instance, the sub woofer controls are labeled "Seismic Activity". They consist of two incidental switches: "cut sub bass from main", and "subterranean shift". There is also a sub woofer level control potentiometer. The main output parameters are called "Quake", "Thud" and "Xpanse" and a continuous pot controls each one. Quake provides a synthesized bass tone an octave below the input signal. Thud blends in bass frequencies at a higher band than Quake to fill out the low end. Xpanse provides the exciter effect. It boosts high frequencies and slightly widens the stereo image to make things sound big. In addition, the very cool-looking bright blue front panel includes a bypass switch and an input level pot. There are yellow and red LEDs to indicate input signal of 0 and +10 dBu respectively. A blue LED lets us know the unit is powered and a red one lights up in bypass mode. Finally, a yellow LED beside the Quake control lights when it's quaking.
I was turned on to using sub harmonizers many years ago by Bill Laswell and have used the same model all this time. I tried other models over the years but nothing sounded as good until I heard the Kosmos. Kosmos has a much faster response than any other sub harmonizer I've heard, which means it adds warmth and bottom without noticeably increasing the decay time of the source signal. It adds bass without sounding like there's an extra note hanging over. This greatly cuts down on the "mud factor" that can occur when processing with synthesized lower frequencies. Kosmos sounded great on the bass guitar and bass drum, as might be expected, but it worked well on the toms and snare too. I also used it effectively to warm up the vocals and lead guitar. Blending in a subtle amount of the Xpanse brought out the attack of the kick drum and helped the lead vocal stand out. Careful though, too much of this exciter effect can result in a hard and edgy sound. One odd thing about this device is that the sub woofer output is out of phase with the main output. (Corrected on later units and the upgrade is free. -LC) I could not hear the slightest difference when switching in the subterranean shift. The manual says that it serves to switch the sub harmonic tuning between two different speaker sizes. I was listening on Genelec and Alesis near field monitors. Perhaps the difference is noticeable on big speakers or PA systems. I found it interesting and enlightening that on the manual cover it says RATTLE YOUR PLANET. Obviously Peavey is thinking ahead with the notion of marketing this product to extraterrestrial clients, or perhaps Kosmos is a result of alien technology. It wouldn't surprise me, as until now I haven't heard anything on earth with low end like Kosmos. ($300, www.peavey.com)