JL Gotham F212 v2 vs ?

This is a pricey but seems to be a high quality well made sub. This is for a future listening space that would be 20x30. For some real power but control is there any other subs to consider at that price point or lower?
EDIT SORRY I meant Gotham V2 (not f212).
IMO stereo pairs of the REL 212se and 2x stereo REL 812se’s. The 812’s are stackable. I would also consider a stereo pair of the Rel 25.

The 212 and 812 with the smaller drivers would probably be a bit more nimble but the 25 would blend better with larger mains to produce a bigger soundstage.

You could also do 6x REL 812se and be about the same price point as your single Gotha. I’d have to think that 2 REL 812 se x3 stacks are going to be superior to your single Gotham.



Here’s a link to a YT video featuring 2 line arrays of the baby brother in the REL performance lineup which is the 510 and an introduction to the REL philosphy by John Hunter REL CEO.

REL lineup goes

Reference series
1. REL 25 Reference
2. G1 v2
Performance series
3. 212se
4. 812se
5. 510se

T series

Be sure to listen to the part of the Demo @ 10:45. It’s a quite impressive demonstration of the REL’s speed.

I have a single S5 SHO which was recently replaced by the 812se. It’s a fantastic performer and I would say the value champion in the REL lineup is the 812se. IMO 2 line arrays of the 812se would be incredible and give you much more all around performance than the single Gotham.
Smod, will reiterate when we discussed in private, but oftentimes the “correct” choice is to go for the absolute best price to performance ratio. In the case of subwoofers, there are a lot of small scale companies that basically started out as DIY outfits that offer up only slightly marked up bits of kit since they sell direct. Powersoundaudio being a good example, their x4 18” system is just a beast with reference volume output down to 8hz. Just blows REL out of the water in that regard. Lol, buying 6 of them to get useful bass output is just a head scratcher if you ask me.

for me, when I approach high end audio, I try to take a look at things on an inner level, understand why we do what we do.

The whole concept of feeling cheap about the subs but not the other parts of the system I just don’t get. We never have qualms paying what is obviously a 10-15x markup at retail over true cost of our loudspeakers, or source electronics, line amps, preamps, and the digital side of things. Often times in high end audio we are paying for the “luxury tax” it’s just higher priced because these companies are the only companies spending the $ on r&d, the actually need to charge an arm and a leg to make money at the end of the day. 

In the case case of JLA Gotham, you get a ton of sub for your money, DOUBLY so if you buy used. I believe a pair of Gotham v2 sold last year on the ‘goN for $12k? Whoever got those got a great deal. 360lb of heroic build quality and a lot of great modern touches to make the sub easier to integrate in room. For reference, the Gotham is using two 13.5” in house custom made propriety drivers, designed by JLA themselves for use in their Gotham series. The cabinet is a floor breaking 360lb each. The PSA sub I mentioned uses 4 massive 18” drivers yet weighs 100lb less... obviously to keep costs down they went with a much cheaper cabinet enclosure. For me, I just see better value in JLA then others, I don’t know -shrugs-

just how I feel about things YMMV
Paradigm Signature SUB 2...end game
REL 812 stereo pair, stereo quads, or six pack would blow away a Gotham.  
Paradigm Persona Sub is also incredible.  A pair of those would be ridiculous, but I think the 812 REL stacks would be your best bet.

Or you can get one of the -0.4db @ 7hz internet direct subs mentioned earlier and try to convince yourself you’re happy with the sound.  Then sign up on AVS Forum to complete your transformation and be sure to post several times daily because now you’re an audio knowledge god.
For two channel, there is no substitute for REL subs. As others have pointed out, a pair of S/812 would be the way to go.  
@smodtactical --

This is a pricey but seems to be a high quality well made sub. This is for a future listening space that would be 20x30. For some real power but control is there any other subs to consider at that price point or lower?

For my money the Gotham’s are simply too expensive, period. I’m sure they’re excellent subs (and, seriously, you’d want at least two of them, so do the price-math on that), but it’s high-end audiophilia moved into the subs arena with all that entails in exotic finishing and an overabundance in areas that aren’t strictly serviceable for bass capacity and overall quality.

You can get a lot more a lot cheaper, and with bass quantity in abundance translates into headroom which in turn equals lower distortion (= better, cleaner and more effortless bass), and finally their number, potentially in quads (placed spread-out) will minimize room modes to where PEQ is hardly needed.

The PSA sub mentioned would be a good choice, it seems, and I’d consider the vented twin 21" IPAL option as well. Both options will provide in-room extension and SPL to die for, and their number in quads would cost you roughly the same as a single Gotham V2. Any which way you bend this the quad PSA options would obliterate a single Gotham in quality/quantity.

If you care to investigate a bit further, and keep an open mind, I’d look into horn sub options as well. Why? Because bass horns sound different compared to direct radiated bass, and by ’different’ in this case and to my ears, I mean better. Quality horn bass appears smoother, more present, effortless and enveloping compared to DR’s, and just flows into the music very organically and viscerally. An interesting option here would be the JTR Orbit Shifter LFU with an 18" unit per horn, which is a classic Front Loaded Horn (with the driver hidden inside). You may give up a bit in extension compared to the PSA’s, but still have usable output to a claimed <10Hz in-room - more than sufficient for most any situation. 4 of these in the future space allotted to you would be quite the experience, I’m sure. Oh, and they’re only $3,000 a piece..

For the price of the Gotham F212 v2 you can get 8 HSU  ULS-15 MK2 Subwoofers and still have money leftover for top of the line cables.
No absolutes in audio, only preferences, but I do want to share my experience with subwoofers. I've owned the following subs: Martin Logan Depth I, HSU(can't recall the model), SVS SB15 & SB16 Ultra, Dual JL Audio F110 v2s with the JL CR-1, JL Audio F112 v2, and now dual REL Carbon limited subs. To my ears, in my system, the REL Carbon Limited subs are the only subs that have improved everything across the entire audio spectrum. The RELs totally disappear and have taken my 2-channel to the next level. 
So it sounds like Rel is the main competitor to seriously consider. I like the arguments you guys make about many more subs to smooth out modes.
It’s not just about smoothing out modes. Its about recreating the subtle social textures in greater detail. The sonic pictures that the REL helps create will take your system to another level. You could do 2 stereo stack of RELs (4×812se) and be under 12K retail.
My only in home experience with JL Audio was when a friend brought his F113 v1 ARO over and another brought his REL Studio III to compare to my Velodyne DD 18. 
I set one of the Velodyne's presets back to factory settings to compare the ARO to Auto EQ. The differences weren't dramatic but noticeable and we all preferred the Auto EQ.
The JL lacks manual EQ adjustments and the Velodyne offered manual adjustment of eight parameters. Feeding the JL from the manually adjusted DD 18 finessed the JL's output almost indistinguishable from the larger Velodyne. Very impressive for a 13" driver. Great sub. 
I'd suggest reading up on JL's CR-1 and Mini DSP.

Following the beautifully made $8900. British REL Studio III's setup procedures, the sub provided a poorly integrated, muddy presentation with a low frequency limitation.
We then relocated it, placed on its side to directly radiate the drivers and fed the same EQ'd low level (RCA) signal from th Velodyne. While still limited the REL was clearly better integrated and the equalization allowed greater output. Unfortunately not enough, its owner sold it the following week.
Looking at the suggested S/812 it's another stylish looking sub. Surprisingly, the setup procedure is almost word for word the same as it was for the Studio III.     
What about psa s7201? It looks insane but apparently delivers high quality bass. Especially since it's sealed. 

The key differentiator between REL subs and any other sub on the market is it’s high level input connectivity. By using the high level cable (included with sub), you connect REL sub from your amplifier’s or receiver’s speaker terminals. It allows RELs to effect a transparent connection to your system that permits utterly seamless blending of main-speaker-to-subwoofer. When properly adjusted, REL will transform your system with dynamics, warmth and body. And not to mention it do so with greater delicacy than you probably ever heard out of your system. None of that bloated, flabby or often overpowering bass you can’t tame from the other subs.

I suggest you read up on this more before making a decision.
Spacial not social***

Following the beautifully made $8900. British REL Studio III's setup procedures... We then relocated it, placed on its side to directly radiate the drivers and fed the same EQ'd low level (RCA) signal from th Velodyne


Except that you didn't also connect with the high level connection which also needs to be dialed in. The high level connection is there to support the bass frequencies your mains are not capable of producing. It's done through the Amp and not the pre-amp to preserve and better match the sonic characters also fed directly to your main speakers.
cjazzy007  We initially connected our friends Studio III using the high (speaker) level to an Ayre V-1xe amplifier and located the sub in a corner exactly as the manual suggests. 
The signal must first pass through the preamplifiers input and output sections to get to the amplifiers own input output sections were the signal absolutly took on the sonic characteristics of the amplifier.
As good as the Ayer was all three of us found the preamplifiers low level connection superior even before the Velodyne was inserted and equalization was applied.
The corner location created monstrous bass modes in that room. The REL proprietary high level cable was too short for the rooms crawl tested location. 

ricred1 has refreshingly offered an impressive list of subwoofers he's actually used along with his current preference. I find comparative first hand in home experience and opinion regardless of personal taste can be the most useful information in this hobby. Well done.
Not your typical, 'I bought one and its great'...compared to what?

REL is one of the early manufacturers to offer low frequency augmentation to the High-Fi market at a time when preamplifier section outputs on receivers of the day were non existent. Their high level connection was a very welcome method to the majority of music lovers and is still a popular choice.  

There's no right or wrong, "we may exercise more agency, assembling a system that presents the music just the way we like it, and in so doing, participate in the act of creation?" Jim Austin, As We See It, Stereophile Volume 43 Number 4, April 2020.
Thanks for the kind words. I agree with the comments, "There's no right or wrong, "we may exercise more agency, assembling a system that presents the music just the way we like it, and in so doing, participate in the act of creation?" It's about personal preference. As a matter of fact I don't use the high-level connection with my REL subs. I purchased  upgraded speakon cables and compared the high-level connection to the low-level connection. The high-level was connected via SignalCables speakon cables and the low-level via Audioquest Husky RCA subwoofer cables. After a week of listening I preferred the low-level connection...more dynamic and tighter bass. The subwoofers still disappear more than any others subs I've owned. 
The Gotham is a wonderful sub. You might consider instead getting two (or three) of their Fathom f113v2. The reason is that with subs, having several in different locations helps smooth the bass and also gives an increased sense of ambiance.

Two smaller subs also will be easier to move around, if you want to experiment.

JL Audio is a great outfit that makes a great sub. I have two f112 (v1) and they’ve made a huge difference in my systems through the years.
Rythmik F18se or G25HP in duals should be high on your list. with just a little research you'll see why.

No matter what speakers I have, I always have a pair of sub to enhance the overall musicality of the system. I can never go back to a speaker system without the support of subwoofers. Prior to my pair of JL F212V1, I was using a pair of Revel Sub30. The JL was a step up in my music enjoyment. Last year, I decided to add 2 more subwoofers to help smooth the bass around the room. Instead of adding JL subs, I bought a pair of Funk Audio 21.0LX. The added Funk Audio subs is another step up in my music enjoyment. I tried to setup the speaker system with the 4 subwoofers but I prefer the speaker system with JUST the Funk Audio subs. Now all 4 subs is used in my HT system. 
@chazzzy007 --

It’s not just about smoothing out modes. Its about recreating the subtle spacial textures in greater detail. [...]

We certainly agree here, but I’d add smoothing out room modes could aid what you point out. Below the Schroeder frequency what needs to be addressed is, to a point, less about preference and more purely about parameters dictated by physics, and it’s why I gave up early chasing the proverbial "holy grail" of bass with the more typical segment of lower sensitivity, direct radiating subs. Apart from focusing on the importance of minimizing room modes with at least a pair of subs, symmetrical placement close to the mains (my hobbyhorse) and, not to forget, overall implementation, there are two aspects in particular that has caught my attention as being essential in attaining great bass reproduction:

One is the SPL capacity at hand and how its abundance (i.e.: LOADS of it) can lead to sufficient headroom, which has the sonic effect outlined in my earlier post. Many seem to believe this approach is mainly about challenging the structural integrity of one’s house/apartment, and that subs capable of this mayn’t be the last word in refinement and subtlety in their reproduction of the lowest frequencies at more sane levels. Given a well executed design, nothing could be further from the truth; the ease of reproduction that follows from huge headroom and low distortion results in a wholly relaxed and pure bass presentation, not least via horn iterations, that brings out the best in the perceived experience of this frequency spectrum. Indeed I’d wager that if more people actually had the opportunity to witness bass like that, fewer would argue against countering subjectivity as a prevailing point of view here.

Following the necessity of or even logic behind above mentioned, another important aspect to my ears is the horn loading of bass, and I’ve already explained why in above post. The rub of it all - achieving headroom, potential horn-loading and upping the number of subs to at least a pair - is BIG size and the need for a minimum of available space, not to mention usually implementing a DIY-approach, and few are willing to or capable of meeting these demands.
Would you guys do, dual gotham v2 or S/812 6 pack ? Gothams are double the cost almost so not really fair. And 6 pack of no. 25 would be double gotham almost.
My friend has dual S/812 with Raidho C3.1 speakers and it sounds good. I've never heard the Gothams or No. 25; therefore I can't provide any advice. I have the choice between dual REL Carbon Limited subs and a single No. 25 and I chose dual Carbon Limited subs. 
 @ricred1 im betting either way you will be happy!
That No.25 does look awesome though.
“Would you guys do, dual gotham v2 or S/812 6 pack ? Gothams are double the cost almost so not really fair. And 6 pack of no. 25 would be double gotham almost.”


What are your room dimensions? Do you have any room treatments?

I am currently using a pair of Carbon Limited and find them more than adequate in my dedicated audio room - 30”W x 15lD x 8”H. I did look at No. 25 last year, I thought they would have overwhelmed my room with their physicality and bass output. No doubt they are gorgeous!!!

smodtactical OP263 posts03-17-2020 5:47pmWould you guys do, dual gotham v2 or S/812 6 pack ? Gothams are double the cost almost so not really fair. And 6 pack of no. 25 would be double gotham almost.

I would do a dual line array (6 pack) of 812se's.

Another vote for Rythmik. I had previously only used REL subs and recently purchased a Rythmik F12. No regrets with my purchase at all. From what I've read, the JL Audio subs have reliability issues with the amps.