The best sub I have ever heard is no sub at all! How can that be?
Any good, highly damped sub that's been digitally corrected. Compensating for the room's destructive effects down below 100hz or so is a game changer - IMHO. I use a Velodyne SMS-1 DRC unit with a pair of Rythmik 12" subs. The Rythmiks are a very fine design, but real world priced with no pretense to SOTA status. Still, they beat the hell out of any of the non DRC units that I've heard.
Again, just my own HO.
I have heard a few good ones but JL audio stood out as on of the best sounding. It lacks some integration features that other subs have but once setup it is quick, clean, and powerful.
I saw som one mentioned Thiel. Thiels subs are very good but more geared towared pairing with thier own speakers. If you want to put them with another brand you need to add an integrater that is very expencive.
Some speakers need it.Unless you have something so pure you don't want to screw it up (I was thinking a narrow range system like 47 Labs Essence I heard once).Some folks love their Quads or Maggies but their strengths mean seamless integration is tough and more has been written about those two speakers than any.Sure if you want HT 'Boom In Room" try a Velodyne 1812 (JL is a good large sub and price pint wise better than ginant Velodyne).But for music is you want to hear below low note on an electric bass (40Hrz) and have quality then go for a multi driver (usually 3) not larger than 6" or 8maybe 10" as they as rule are faster and give better pitch definition.Some names like REL,MJ Acoustics (employee spin off of REL).Electronics help so adding EQ SMS-1 helps or like Thiel where you don't have 18" driver with enormous magnets.If you have a nice two way which just can't get down their a sub can add but with best systems it's a trade off it's just that some people want to hear and feel Organ music or such down to low 20's.I have heard some great horns with them.One that is a single driver with fast light pitch accurate footprint is Magellan TBI which I know one guy with Avantgarde swapped larger much more expensive subs made by Avantgarde themselves.He loved them.One other 'Gonner I read made a Fostex and ribbon dipole and put a number of subs into his floor joists and linked them all up with a DEQX electronic crossover to control all drivers.I wished I heard that.Sometimes they work.If someone thinks they might have a hybrid two way of quality and wants HT in same Martin Logan Depth is a 3 8" multi driver that with an EQ is great but not as refined as REL which has been 2 channel fave for years at a sane price.Now they have revamped their line and to get original designs you need to buy two top end Stentor and Stadium.This is from what I have heard and read.So they can work but if you can be satisfied with what you can get out of two boxes all things being equal that is better.
Vandersteen subwoofers are one of the best I have used and they have a unique way of integrating with your main speakers. Maybe not the deepest bass, but deep enough and very musical. Highly recommended for music with three eight inch drivers in a slot loaded cabinet.
JL Audio only offers a line in connection, so if you need a different type of connection you are out of luck. Also, the input impedance, which is very low, may cause a problem for some systems.
In all things audio there is always a trade off and as was mentioned in a previous post, sometimes the best sub is no sub at all.
The JL F113 is the best sub I have ever owned but if you want more spl for movies then multiples are in order.
In the majority of rooms you are going to get the best response at the LP with multiple subs rather than one. If cost is a concern I would rather go with a good quality pair of $1,500 subs than a single high quality $3K sub as distortion will be reduced and room modes will be easier to tame resulting in better SQ.
The Sub 2 is quite astonishing for the very brief time I heard it, only I did not have an extensive audition.
I was actually there to audition some McIntosh gear. The dealer also said that he had not yet tuned or calibrated it.
At the time, I didn't realize what it was, nor was I even interested in listening to a sub. Had I known, I might have spent a little more time pushing it to its limits - if it even has any limits from what I read.
In any case, it was very impressive, blending very well with the B&W 802 Diamonds. I will be returning soon & will report further.
At this time, my original posted impressions remain until I have the opportunity to further audition the sub 2.
Ericjcabrera; thx for your thoughts and info on the Sub 2. My good friend works at the local store here and said the sub 1 & 2 or phenominal. He saw them at Vegas show. Claim to beat the JL Audio Gotham 213. Thx all for comments.
I might keep my SVS PB 13 Ultra for movies and get another and run two. I am awaiting the new SVS sealed 16" sub due this x-mas. Or maybe move to the big Paradigms(yikes)...
More, more, more...
Your PB13 Ultra is one of the best for theater and not too shabby for music either. A small faster sub, such as my MJ Acoustics 150 MK II is better still for music. One sub that is almost as good as BOTH is the JL113, but I still like two subs better....one deep and loud, the other fast and articulate.
Iv`e have diffently not heard them all,but after my opinion the DD series from Velodyne it`s proberbly some of the best Sub`s out there. They are all digital and there is roomcorrection with it, with a little microfon so you can correct the bass to play where you sit and listen, very smart! I used the DD12 for music at the most, and was expecting very much bass, but after pluggin it in i was not overwhelmed. But after getting used to the Sub, i cannot imagine my self without a sub. It`s much more fun with a sub, and you will hear bass that you didn`t now was there......I think ´`m gonna have another DD12:-))
I really like my JL 113s,I did have two DD-15's ,
I only had one f-113 at the time and I have to say she musically blew my DD's out of the water musically.
One JL 113 did that, I was so impressed I purchased 3 more.
I could only imagine what the JL gothams do.
these JL's are the most musical and fast subs I have listened to.
If you can audition different subs at home that would be the way to do it.I have no JL dealer here,so I took a chance and picked the one on Audiogon,then the other three.
Totally satisfied musically with the JL's.
My vote goes to the Vandersteen 2Wq. I've heard louder subs, but none that blend as seemlessly or are tight and tuneful and extended as the Vandys. I have a pair of them. I also think it was smart of Richard Vandersteen to design these subs for corner placement. It has made placement of these subs a non-issue (as long as you have available room corners). A recent preamplifier upgrade finally let me hear what these subs do in the bottom octave. Wow! These subs are keepers. I have no interest in ever upgrading them. For their price, they are a steal, IMHO. Read about them on the Vandy web site before you start auditioning and shopping. They are not for every main speaker or every room.