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I'll preface my comments with in my system and in my room! The F110s are more articulate/tighter, provides more air, deeper, and play louder. Unfortunately, it isn't even close, because if it were I would have kept my SVS 13 Ultras.
Adding the CR-1 is a game changer! Everything and I mean everything is improved...more defined bass, wider soundstage, better imaging, "more AIR" and just a relaxation to the music being played!
I'm just curious as to the size of your space. From the test data that I've seen, a pair of Ultras offers enormous clean output capability. Your observation that the JL does better on that front (and, to be clear, Im not contesting that observation) suggests either a huge space or crushing SPLs (or your Ultras not delivering what the test pair did).
BTW, test data is available at hits hack.com.
one other sub to consider, especially if you have a large room, is Seaton Sound. I've owned subs from Velodyne, Vandersteen, JL Audio, SVS, and now Seaton, and find that my F2 outperforms all of them. Absolutely nothing wrong with the others, especially JL and SVS, but I find the Seaton to be better all around.
Rythmik also has a loyal following - I was considering the F15HP when I purchased my Seaton F2. I'm sure it's another fine option, but I have absolutely no regrets nor desire to try any other subs since integrating my F2. It's an amazing sub.
The Seaton website is in progress, but as you noted the forum is updated and you can always call them at 773-290-8436. You could also email, though it may be a day or two to get a response. I've always found them to be great to work with on the phone.
I had a single JL F110 for a mid sized room and it did a pretty darn good job, but ultimately it didn't have the really deep bass I was looking for. It was very articulate and fast. If you have a large room, I highly recommend going with the F112 or F113, the F110 won't do it justice in my experience. This also depends on the type of music you play and volume.
I ended up selling my F110 and bought a Rythmik 12" with GR Research drivers and I'm happy as a clam with the improvement. With the servo technology, it sounds very linear and tight and goes lots lower than my F110. I purchased mine through Jim Salk, who improves the internal bracing, a thicker cabinet, and custom veneers. My plan is to get another one. My buddy let me borrow his dual subs and after that experience, I gotta have duals.
My room is 23'x13.5' and my speakers are Coincident Total Eclipse II's. I spent 3 weeks listening to the standard version and loved it, but returned it because of the industrial look of the sub. Salk is building me a sub as we speak with a dyed maple burl in high gloss. It looks like gorgeous art, which matches better with my main speakers and my home. It should be ready in a month, so I haven't heard it yet.
I did notice that there was lots of vibration on the standard version, when I put my hand on top of it during moderate use. I believe that is the reason Salk focused his version on bolstering this area. Jim said that his upgrade reduces this so there is hardly any vibrations. Now whether this can be discerned from the listening chair, I can't say.
I found both the F110 and Rythmik F12G to be very tuneful and musical subs. The biggest difference was that the F12G had more output and easily reached depths that the F110 couldn't touch. I loved the auto EQ the F110 has, which the F12G doesn't. The F110 looks gorgeous, but also cost a lot more.
My bias is that I love bass. When I play the Eagles live cd or powerful classical music, I want it to sound realistic. I like to tune subs so that they don't draw attention to themselves, like you don't even know they are on, until you switch them off and then you can tell.
Right, the V2 has not been out all that long so I presumed other comparisons were to the v1. From the website it appears as though the amp is new on the V2 as is the DARO room correction process. Not sure what else they changed. All specs seem to be the same except for the weight which probably accounts for the new, more powerful amp.
Did you find the DARO useful? Does it work with dual subs?
ctro---Jim Salk puts the Rythmik guts (15" servo-feedback woofer and 600w plate amp combo) into his own sealed enclosure, which has much more bracing than the Rythmik box and greater internal volume (4cu.ft. versus Rythmik's 3cu.ft.), for more efficiency and slightly more output. Jim offers the sub with beautiful wood finishes. The Ryhtmik guts are also available as a DIY kit, and you can have your own box made from the plans on the Rythmik site.
But for use with planars such as your M-L's, the sub to get is the OB/Dipole sub, co-designed by Rythmik's Brian Ding and Danny Richie of GR Research. It mates with planar speakers better than ANY other sub, regardless of price. Remember the dipole sub Gradient made for the QUAD ESL63? Picture that, but with far better woofers featuring servo feedback control. Not as much sound OUTPUT as sealed or ported subs, but superior sound QUALITY. If that's what you're looking for.
Great suggestion bdp24. I’ve never heard the OB/Dipole sub, but there is a growing camp on the AudioCircle forum that swear by them. It would be fun to demo these and hear what all the hoopla is about. I understand they sound best in larger rooms.
Also would be fun to demo the new Fathom V2 to hear how it compares to the original. And I can't leave out the E112 to demo too. Gosh I need to retire so I can have enough time for my hobby.
erndog, the OB/Dipole sub needs to be placed as all dipoles do---not less than three feet from the wall behind them. If they are paired with dipole main speakers, no problem, as the speakers are already there. They can, however, be placed right up against a side wall, as there is a null to each side, a result of the front and back wave cancellation. The OB sub, by the way, uses the same woofer as that of the Rythmik F12G, but optimized for Open Baffle use. It can be used as not only a sub, but also a woofer, crossed over as high as 300Hz.
The sub sounds quite different from sealed and ported subs, without the room-loading boom, fatness/thickness, and all-too-often "lagging-behind-the-speaker" sound of them. They have the "start and stop on a dime" sound we all want. Leaner, cleaner, more transparent, like the bass produced by the 3-panel Maggies---the Tympani T-IV and T-IVa---but with far more output, far less distortion, and far deeper response. The woofers are not only NOT loaded into a bloat-producing box, but are controlled by the Rythmik Direct-Servo-Feedback system included in the plate amp. An Open Baffle woofer with servo-control---the only one in the world, and a game changer imo!
Imagine the sound of an open baffle loudspeaker, but with response into teen frequencies. The way it reproduces the woody resonance, growl, and percussive "plunk" of the acoustic stand-up bass (whose open-E string produces a 42Hz tone) is unmatched, in my experience, the fundamental (produced by the sub) and it’s harmonics (produced by the loudspeaker) in complete sync. The left-hand registers of a grand piano are just as clean as the right. The OB sub doesn’t sound like a subwoofer has been tacked onto the bottom of your speaker, it’s response trailing behind the speaker’s like the caboose on the end of a train. It instead makes your speaker sound as if it’s response has been extended down into the very lowest frequencies, leaving the speaker's character unchanged and intact. Isn’t that what you want a sub to do?!