Maybe these rankings will help: http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/subwoofer-tests/5748-cea-2010-standard-compilation-new-information.html
Note the SVS PB13-Ultra in the list. Based on measurements, I'd probably pick the Paradigm if money was not an issue. Otherwise, I'd take the SVS. Any of these three will be a big step up from the M&K. I owned the pro version (MPS-5310) of that sub for several years and really loved it, but it's not in the same league as many modern subs.
Well those numbers don't tell me about real performance in real world applications (unless I plan on winning a loudness contest).
What does tell me something is the time I spent with the Paradigm Servo 15 in a retail environment and custom installation projects. I personally have never found any subwoofer at $1500 (or double that, for that matter), that outperformed the Servo 15 in combination for movies and music! It is definitely my favorite. (and I say that from working in a few audio/video stores in my day.
You'll be hard pressed to bottom out or distort that woofer during movies or music (as much as I like M&K woofers, you can bottom them out much easier in my experience), and it's very musical as well. It puts out plenty of volume, with lots of power and control.
As for the JL. Couldn't tell ya.
My thought is if it ain't broke, don't fix it! I'd go with the Paradigm. They've always made good subs for the home
Well those numbers don't tell me about real performance in real world applications (unless I plan on winning a loudness contest).
Actually, they tell you a great deal about real performance because they take the room and subjective opinion out of the equation. The key term is "clean" output; I believe they use 10% distortion as the cutoff.
I agree completely about the Paradigmn Sig Servo based on these measurements: http://www.avtalk.co.uk/forum/index.php?t=msg&th=13932&start=0&rid=14&SQ=1127556373
It's an excellent sub.
Since you hear the room below 300Hz or so, free space measurements for subs are very valuable. You can confidently pick subs based on measurements alone. What you hear in a room will depend on your setup.
Hey Bob, tell us an example of the measurements these subs offer at certain frequencies, where it would be pertinent enough information to chose one sub over the other, strictly (as your suggestion) on those measurements/benefits, etc.
I'd like to hear this one...
...and no, really ,what are you stating you can pick out using these measurements, as far as selection choices go?
I really think the reading audience here would like to be able to know what you are talking about, so they can maybe pick up some pointers about picking subwoofers bassed on the numbers? Because this DEFINITELY would be something of a new science to most here, in terms of shopping for a woofer, I assure you.
Sure, no problem...Sunfire True Subwoofer EQVelodyne DD-15
Let's pick 100dB SPL. The Sunfire reaches 10% distortion at about 47Hz. The DD-15 extends to about 20Hz before reaching 10% distortion. If your goal is accurate bass at even moderately realistic levels, the DD-15 is the obvious choice. The DD-15 also has a better looking group delay.
Put these two subs in a showroom playing music with no real bass content at a fairly low SPL and you would not be able to distinguish them. However, it's possible a DD-15 could be setup so poorly that the Sunfire would seem subjectively to be the better sub, though it obviously is not. So for subs, free space measurements are priceless.
Well Bob - and anyone listening here - if any of these subwoofers (or any speaker for that matter) where going to actually be used, setup in a large 500,000 cubic foot ware-house, or out in the open in a park, I could see one subwoofer/speaker possibly outperforming another in certain aspects of output and loudness capabilities. For that, I would concede superiority of one speaker over another - especially for that/those applications, in such large open spaces.
However, 99% of the time, these subwoofers are going to be used/placed in relatively small domestic home spaces, where the close proximity of boundaries to the woofer drivers and ports are so close, that there is an exponential reinforcement curve of the frequency response and volume level of a given frequency set, who's frequencies lie within a certain range in the bass response. Respectively, the frequencies that are boosted the most, are the lower bass notes, who's frequencies are very long wave lengths - easily boosted as a factor of the proximity of boundaries, in relation to the wave-lengths. Actually, any frequency who's quarter wave length is longer than the distance of a boundary to the woofer (in this case), is going to be reinforced at a certain factor (I think 6db of boost for one boundary, 12db for 2 boundaries, and 18db of boost for 3! - I think that's right)
Never the less, the practical application and real-world performance of one of these subwoofers over another, placed in a small acoustic space, is going to negate any real advantage here, in the respect you're suggesting.
Actually, I believe audio/magazine reviewers have covered this point on numerous occasions over the years, when reviewing subwoofers, and real world applications. In fact, placing the Sunfire in/near a corner, would boost ALL it's perspective frequencies and output so much, that it would possibly NEVER distort at any output level of relevance, I suggest!
I've had experience with both the Velodyne's and Sunfire's over the years. And I find the key is really in the setup of the woofers, as a first priority.
I also wouldn't way that one Ferrari is superior to another, simply because one set of statistics is better than another. Each one would have to be judged in the context of it's APPLICATION! This I think is the far more important factor. I would judge one subwoofer much much more on their musicality and response time rather than how low and loud they could play at certain frequencies, balls out! but that's me.
I'm sure an engineer would see things differently, from a pure science point of view.
But then EVERY SINGLE speaker and audio equipment engineer I ever met (and I met a few of them, including John Dunlavy, Bobby Palkovic, Peter from PBN, and others) has A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT OPINION ON WHAT IS BEST, MOST ACCURATE, AND WHAT IS THE RIGHT/WRONG WAY TO BUILD EQUIPMENT!!! - even difference in opinions on what are the importance performance and measurement criterion for a speaker or piece, amp, etc.
I basically don't think the measurements you're siting make that much difference, as a critical performance factor, in most typical home applications. It's like saying a bookshelf speaker is of no use, because it only plays down to 80hz, or starts distorting at a lower output spl level, than another.
That's my opinion anyway. I wouldn't not get one woofer because another played lower, louder, basically - just on those criterion
Yes boundary reinforcement is real and that's exactly why you don't measure subwoofers in a room. I agree completely, as I noted, that setup is crucial with subwoofers and that's why it's so important to take the room out of the equation. If you want to judge a sub solely own its merit, you only use free space measurements.
For a given budget, why wouldn't I want to buy a sub with the best possible performance regardless of what room I'm going to place it in?
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?
In reply to Bob_Reynolds...
I never mentioned that I do have full Paradigm signature S1's v2,center,and ADP's in piano black. I am wondering whether to go with dual subs. What do you think about that issue??? I do wonder about the 13.5" woofer In the JL F113 being tighter for music but the Sigs 15" woofer playing lower for movies.........it's a hard decision to make as they are both nice and both come in gloss black. I really think my M&K just bogs on movies and is underpowered for some loud movie passages and loud loud music . Let me know your thoughts....
Naked guy, I think it took you a lot of words to say that you prefer Paradigm subs, that you base your preference on different criteria than I do and that name dropping is important to you. And you like to use exclamation points. :-)
Have we wasted enough bits, yet?
Wasting? I actually thought all this was to kill time anyway - lol. Ya know, entertainment value, and such.
Sorry about all the punctuations. I got a C in English - lol
Actually, sorry if you thought I was name dropping too. I'm just trying to make a point, as you see.
Actually, also, I'm not actually favoring the Paradigm over the JL. In fact, I've never even heard the JL! I'm just assuming. On that note, everyone should asses these two subs on their own. Maybe the JL is "that good". I don't know.
I do know however that the Servo 15 is a superb sub. My point I was trying to make was that I disagree with you in regards to "the numbers" being the criterion to measure a good subwoofer - in your case, your numbers are strictly distortion ratings at a given output level, for certain frequencies.
If what you are saying is correct, than likely ANY 18" subwoofer with 4 large ports that are 12" across in diameter, with a cabinet volume of 10 cubic feet, driven by 10,000 watts, should give better performance and numbers than anything on the home market, right?!
I simply believe there are much more important performance parameters and considerations for quality performance from a subwoofer. Otherwise, we would all just get the largest most powerful sub-woofers we could find, yes? And then selling sub-woofers would be easy. You would just build a bigger subwoofer than the next guy!
Heck, maybe the trick to getting the best subwoofer possible would be to track down that subwoofer/amp that they used on Back to the Future's opening sceen?! Ya know - the one that blew Michael J Fox across the room...
Bacardi, you might be interested in these two papers if you haven't already seen them.http://www.harman.com/about_harman/technology_leadership.aspx
Click on the White Papers link and then find the papers entitled "Subwoofers: Optimum Number and Locations" and "Part Three: Getting the Bass Right".
Two subs can yield a smoother bass response over a wider area, but it depends on placement. I don't put any stock in the idea about smaller woofers being "tighter", "faster", etc. than larger ones.
The M&K sub was measured here: M&K MX350
It killed me to see how badly it distorts, but its group delay is excellent. My room is 17' x 17' x 10' and I never found my M&K MPS-5310 to be lacking. I may have never really pushed it though.
With servo one thing to consider latency. Sure driver speed maybe fast..but there is latency from the feedback circuit (it takes time for the output signal to be fed back to the input and mistakes the mechanics the woofer made being corrected to what the input was) takes as much time as it sounds. something Arnie nudell, Genesis Loudspeakers. INFINITY SYSTEMS..nuclear engineer responsible for the first servo controlled speaker in 1969 infinity servo static 1A was $50k back when hotdogs were a nickel and plasmatronics flame tweeter debuted In 69..before my time has been trying to conquer since 1969 . MY point being servo has drawbacks also lacking attack and speed in the sense of phase linearity..it falls behind the rest of the group when all playing in symphony....jl has been around since 1975..they’ve made a huge impact in autosound industry especially in the late 80s and 90s they were on par with infinity IRS V woofers graphite injection molded poly cones not cast basket yet until the jlw7
Series came out in mid to late 90s jl has a fine mix between accurate low fundamentals with ability to play loud with minimal distortion with impressive mannerism...I’ve sold more paradigm , than i can begin to mention also high end dynaudio. Mark levinsons brand cello.Eggleston, Goldmund reference. mbl. Jm labs , Worked at 14 high end stores and 5 high end manufacturers engineering and assembly everything..also marketing CES and Stereophile shows blah blah... USACI, IASCA. In my opinion the jl is a naturally aspirated f22 raptor and the paradigm . RhythmIK audio velodynes etc servo units are AN 87 BUICK GNX (maybe a bit extreme..lol) OLDer unrefined technology that performs well..not quite what newer technology such as jl audio drivers amplifiers and cabinets offer. If u want loud make a digital designs 18 z series in apropriate enclosure and throw a 10000 watt crown on it orlook at the stereo integrity 24 in woofer or rockford fosgate 19 steve Meade designs 18 SMD 18 or (Adire Audio PARTHENON) phoenix gold cyclone Bruce Thigpens TRW 17 fan subwoofer of eminent technology frequently response 1hz -30hz...everyone else has theory of WHat is and what should be I’ve been around a bit also I have owned Irs V subs 12 X 12in servo woofers with 1000 watt amp also modified kappa 9s and rs 1B’s all servo all for infinity. its when i began mastering live music i realized how far off servo bass really is from reality . Running a mastering lab and engineering loudspeakers around what live music sounds like ... it doesn’t have latency in the low-end like servo subs...I do like the level of accuracy of servos it’s the lost time and disconnection to the entire performance Is just something i can’t get over..it’s all a compromise..which imperfection can u tolerate the most?...my lousy 2 cents...
SYSTEMS..nuclear engineer responsible for the first servo controlled
speaker in 1969 infinity servo static 1A was $50k back when hotdogs were
a nickel ...Huh? Your memory has failed you.
From the 11/75 edition of Stereophile:
The SS-1 is appallingly expensive. The basic speaker system, consisting
of two electrostatic panels, a bass "commode," and a combined electronic
crossover and bass amplifier (100W RMS) costs $2000, and that's only
for starters. (On top of that you need two power amplifiers —a
very high-powered unit for the midrange electrostatics (Infinity
recommends the Crown DC-300, at $685), and a more modestly-powered but
equally distortion-free amp for the tweeters. This pushes the total
price up to around $3000, which ain't peanuts."
.. and hot dogs weren't a nickel in 1975, either.