My experience from selling all types of audio equipment (mostly home audio), is that measurements don't necessarily mean better overall perceived sonic performance! One amplifier can have better total harmonic distortion ratings, or higher current output, better damping etc - but that doesn't mean it necessarily sounds better than another with less impressive numbers! The same goes with speakers. I've deal with and sold many speaker designs with otherwise stellar free-room response (+/- 3 db throughout from 20hz-20khz, approx), excellent impulse response time, favorable water-fall plot curves and off-axis response, impressive top end frequency extension ratings (as well as low end extension and overall dynamic range),etc, yada, yada. And yet they sounded AWEFUL!!!
And the same speakers that certain engineers claim are simply so wonderful and perfect, are not so perfect when you consult other engineers! (For instance, Wilson audio makes some otherwise very highly rated speakers, as does Bobby Palkvovic from Merlin - applauded and praised by audiophiles the world over. And yet guys like John Dunlavy and Jim Thiel might say they think those designs are not good! - and vice-verse.
I've talked to some of these highly regarded speaker manufacturers over the years, and they don't agree on many things - and surely their idea of measurements, speaker design, and real world performance differ greatly.
Back to sub-woofers, I can tell you from personal experience that just because a sub woofer is more efficient, and can play lower/louder than another doesn't mean that it's more accurate within certain performance parameters, than another. Also, I've found many sub-woofers with otherwise excellent power handling, extension, dynamic range, and response capability, to lack seriously in terms of speed, damping factor, "Q", etc!!!
I can tell you for certain, that some otherwise musically accurate and fast, coherent sounding sub-woofers don't necessarily have the measurements you sight, and yet they are otherwise very good within certain limitations and applications, offering advantages over more robust woofers. And yet these still perform superbly at real world listening levels and application - sans super large venue applications, playing at THX levels, and so forth.
I would submit that, for most people's listening levels and preference/lifestyles, and such, many subs on the market work just fine for the masses. If, again, you have seroius money to spend, and an ambitious set-up in a massive space, and need all out sheer brute output and extension, dynamic range, etc, then I could see being more critical of "numbers".
Case in point: the Rel subwoofers are otherwise highly sought after by many audiophiles, and are musical and "accurate" sounding, overall. I find these very same subwoofers to lack dynamic output and extension, even "bottoming out" and distorting, in full on THX playback in modest sized spaces, and with heavier dynamic music demands!
I would beg the point, thatmany of the larger woofers out there, with better power handling and extension, aren't so musical, accurate, fast sounding, potentially coherent, often - and are not necessarily right for everyone's taste or applications.
Basically, there's lots of compromises in audio/video equipment, and none of it's perfect, or perfectly suited to another application, taste, or lifestyle. If so, everyone would own the same gear!
I can tell you right now, without even looking at the JL audio specifications, that the Paradigm Servo 15 is still likely a better sounding subwoofer across the board! It's probably more "musical", fast" and "accurate" sounding in most any reasonable environment and application for the home. As I said, I've sold the Theil subwoofers, and even Wilson's $10k subwoofer in the past, as well as the M&K's and Earthquakes (which I actually like overall), Velodynes, etc. And I would rather have the pardigm sub over all of these, at this point! Infact, I wouldn't own any of the mega buck subs, likely. (Actually, If I did, I'd sell em, and use the money to buy a couple of the Paradigms in stead - leaving money left over for other more important opions, indeed -You bet!) But, that's me.
Infact, you should pose the question to pro reviewers, as to which of these two subs they'd be picking between the two. I bet the Paradigm wins out. But, I could be wrong. Ya never know - its' just a hunch.
In fact, If you're right about sub-woofer choice criterion, then you should contact every single audio/video magazine professional reviewer, and let em know they should buy YOUR SU-WOOFER CHOICE! And if they don't agree with you, you should tell em what you told us, and tell em why they're wrong! I'd be interested in hearing their response's.
Lol- actually, that would make for a great thread!!! Why not email this position (opinion) Bob to guys like Bob Harley, Steve Geuttenberg, and other writers for publications, and argue these points with them?! Then post their responses, and your posts to them. That would be a hoot! Then we might better decipher some view points here.
What do ya think?