JL Audio Fathom F113 V2 13.5” Subwoofer Review

April 21, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“Unsurprisingly perhaps, the big Fathom couldn’t quite match the speed and grip of my usual 10” VAF Veritas subs, or for that matter JL Audio’s smaller E-110. What is surprising is how little the bigger sub yielded in terms of speed to the smaller ones. Its speed ensures that it complements the extension of the main speakers, without overwhelming them. Able to fill the listening room with powerful, visceral bass, it has real ability to dig in to lower frequencies, making for an exciting listening experience.

Action films are what typically come to mind when evaluating subwoofers, yet a good one can add an extra layer of detail to even the subtlest of movie fare. Unusual for horror movies, Anabelle Comes Home has its share of ambient cues designed to unsettle the viewer, intermingled with the soundtrack and of course, more than a few jump-scares. Here it added welcome extension to the eerie Dolby Atmos soundtrack without getting in the way of the other speakers. More often than not, the extension was felt rather than heard, making for a more engaging and exciting – if somewhat terrifying – listening experience.”

Focal Integration IBus 20 compact powered subwoofer

April 13, 2020 § Leave a comment

JL Audio Fathom f110v2 Subwoofer $3,500 Review

April 12, 2020 § Leave a comment


John Wick is a movie that gets better every time you watch it, especially on Ultra HD Blu-ray. Also, the plethora of gunshots and other bass-heavy effects in John Wick‘s Dolby Atmos soundtrack makes it particularly good for evaluating subwoofers. In the film, Wick has to come to grips with a new reality, one that forces him to literally dig up his past by breaking through a slab of concrete in his basement to retrieve a cache of weapons. Every strike of the sledgehammer is not only heard but felt in this scene, and the pair of f110v2s were more than up to the challenge. While my reference subs deliver more output below 20Hz in comparison, they don’t measure up to the quality of bass I heard from the JL Audio drivers. These babies hit hard, really hard: Every impact from the f110v2 pair was precise and realistic, with a visceral quality that I felt in my chest.”

REL S/812 subwoofer Review

March 2, 2020 § Leave a comment

“A downward-firing 12in carbon ‘SuperProgressive’ passive radiator again uses a new design intended to produce extremely long travel while retaining the variable stiffness of its suspension. The thinking here is that it enables the S/812 to act like a sealed-box compact 12in design at low volume, but still deliver bass down to 19Hz when pushed. At the rear are the inputs, including high-level Neutrik Speakon, low-level stereo phono, and LFE (phono and balanced XLR) connections. There are also high-level Neutrik Speakon and LFE (phono and XLR) outputs. 

Otherwise the back plate is surprisingly sparse, with just two switches (On/Standby, and 180-degree phase), and knobs for high/low/LFE levels and crossover. The Serie S subs are also compatible with REL’s new wireless transmission system (AirShip).

These are the first mid-sized RELs designed to be stackable, thanks to special fixtures and included metal plates. You can safely stack and lock S/812s up to three units high. That sounds bonkers but there is logic in REL’s madness. In the real world, bass has width, depth and height; by stacking these subs you can create bigger bass presence from a smaller footprint.”

Arendal Sound 1961 Subwoofer 1S review

January 22, 2020 § Leave a comment


What this well-priced woofer won’t do is completely overwhelm you in subsonic mayhem. For larger setups and bass obsessives, the vented Subwoofer 1V model, which claims to hit 16Hz, might be a better fit – as long as its bigger cabinet and €200 price hike can be accommodated.

A more obvious criticism concerns usability. Ideally, the parametric EQ and other features would be accessed via a smartphone app. The sub’s dial/button arrangement is simplistic and intuitive, but making adjustments is long-winded, and the back of the woofer might not always be easily accessible depending on

REL no.25 six pack $45,000 Review

January 11, 2020 § Leave a comment


A single REL no.25, or even a pair, is the finest subwoofer I’ve heard. But the six pack is in a class by itself. There’s nothing to compare them to. The level of realism that they bring to a world class system is unmatched. That is why the REL no.25 six pack is more than deserving of one of our first ever Product of the Decade awards. This is the new benchmark, indeed it is the missing link in our systems, not just for low frequency reproduction but for dissolving the boundary between recorded music and physical reality happening in one’s own home. And there’s no other way to get it.”

Paradigm Defiance V12 Review

January 4, 2020 § Leave a comment


His final test, using “She Will,” from Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV and featuring Drake (16/44.1 FLAC, Cash Money), was the one that made the differences between the subs “most obvious”: “The SB-4000 managed to dig down deeper in reproducing ultra-low bass, and the slam of the thumping bass notes had just a bit more pressure with the SVS. Still, these differences were obvious only in these direct comparisons. The Defiance V12 really did perform admirably, especially considering its price.” In the “Conclusion” of his review, Diego summed up: “All told, the Defiance V12 is a great value that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to anyone — even those willing to spend much more.”

When Diego’s review of the Paradigm Defiance V12 was published, the subwoofer earned, based on his high recommendation, our Reviewers’ Choice award. In December 2019, the Defiance V12 was recognized as one of our 2019 Products of the Year: Exceptional Value. This month, we add it to our list of Recommended Reference Components — the lowest-priced subwoofer yet to be included.”

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