Which sub to buy: JL Audio f113 or Velodyne DD18+?

I've narrowed down my search for my next sub to either the JL Audio Fathom f113 or the Velodyne DD18+. Which one would you recommend, and why? I would really like to hear from people who have listened to both subs.

Factors to consider:
- Mains are currently Legacy Audio Signature IIIs (rated to 20 Hz);
- My next speakers will be Legacy Audio Focus SEs (rated to 18 Hz);
- Room size is 13'x20'x9';
- Listen to 60% music & 40% movies; and
- No set budget.

Thanks in advance.
Hi Shak - I've heard both. Personally I went with the F113. But I could have easily been happy with the DD18. There's no bad decision here.

Since the performance of a sub is very room dependent, it's a bit difficult for me to say exactly how the two subs differ in sound quality. Both are powerful, fast, deep, and tuneful. The F113 may be a touch faster, and the DD18 might be a touch deeper, but I could be wrong about that. If I'm right, then I would also say that the F113 might be a slightly better choice for music, while the DD18 might be a slightly better choice for movies. But others may have a different opinion.

One significant difference between the two subs is that the DD18 has an 8 band digital EQ and the F113 has only a single filter for reducing the room's primary bass mode. IMO, digital EQ is virtually essential to good sub performance, so if you don't have a plan in mind for adding digital EQ to the F113, I would go with the DD18. When I was making a decision about which to buy, I already had a digital EQ in the system, so I didn't need to choose on that basis.

Good luck.

Pretty much agree with Bryon, but I'll state it a bit differently:

If you go with the JL (a great product!) or other non/minimally -EQ'd subwoofer, I'd strongly suggest that you functionally add digital EQ/crossover to your system. Either look at the Velodyne SMS-1 (essentially the x-over/EQ from the DD series subs pulled out and sold separately) or find an integrated amp (HK-990) or pre-pro (anything with Audyssey, ARC, or equivalent) to provide the functionality.

IME, the odds of optimally integrating a subwoofer improve exponentially when you go this route.

Good Luck,

If you're planning to roll in the sub without a crossover, consider that the Vel doesn't offer a corner point below 40hz. This may produce excess overlap with main speakers that go as deep as Legacy.
Go with Velodyne, they have decades of experience and their room-correction software is very good. The DD-18+ is a terrific subwoofer...

Thanks for the great responses!

I failed to mention in my opening post that my pre/pro is an Integra DHC-40.2 which has the Audyssey MultEQ®.

Based on your feedback, I'm leaning towards the f113 - no point in paying extra for another eq, since I already have one.

Thanks again!

The JL Audio f212 should be on your list. Good Luck

06-17-12: Needfreestuff

The JL Audio f212 should be on your list. Good Luck

Almost took the words right out of my mouth. That is a tremendous sub!
With main speakers that reach down as far as the Legacy Focus, the primary reason to use subwoofers is to smooth out the bass, as opposed to giving you more of it. Unless you get lucky, you might find that positioning your Foci for best imaging doesn't result in the best bass response.

Your room really isn't very big, so a massive sub like the DD18+ is probably overkill - IMO what you should go for are two smaller subs, like the DD12s, and place them in the room for smoothest bass response. Of course, two big subs like DD15s or DD18s are good too, but two Foci and two DD18+ may look rather overpowering in a room of your size. Not that sound will be affected, big subs don't sound overpowering just because they're big, you simply run them at the appropriate level.

My recommendation is not to order any subwoofers until you have the Foci in your room. I'd invest in some measurement software like the OmniMic system from Parts Express, and measure the smoothness of the bottom four octaves. The Focus, with its crossover at 120Hz to the 12" drivers, already has a built-in subwoofer, so to speak. I think there's a good chance they may suffice. If they don't, order a single subwoofer - that you can afford two of - and hook it up. You'll probably want a 40-60Hz low-pass filter point on the sub. If bass octaves are now smooth (+/- 5db is about what you're looking for) you're done. If you still don't get smooth bass response, order up another sub. Now you'll have four bass sources, and by spacing the subs around the soundstage space you'll have a very high probability of getting smooth bass response.

I use main speakers capable of very deep bass too (Salon 2s), but I had a lot of problems with smooth bass response. My room has a much larger effective volume than yours, so I chose the DD18+, and by chance I got lucky, and one DD18+ gives me very smooth bass response.

I like the Velodyne DDPlus series because it has so much adjustment flexibility that other subs, like the JLs, lack. For example, I use a 40Hz low-pass crossover point, but Velodyne gives you the choice of a 6db/octave roll-off, which means that at 80Hz the Velodyne is 6db down from the 40Hz level. That gentle slope meant better blending with the Revels, according to the OmniMIc, than the 12db/oct or 24db/oct settings, which are the only two the JLs offer. Blending subs and mains can be a trail and error situation, so the more options the better chance there is of success. Of course, starting with full-range speakers like the Foci makes it easier too.

Of course, this might be a moot point, if you're using electronics with bass management, but if you're not, if you're using audiophile 2-channel stuff, then the wide array of filter and slope options (not to mention the EQ capabilities previously noted) may make the Velodynes a better choice.

Just don't assume one sub is enough to get smooth bass response. And you're shooting in the dark if you don't measure.
Demo'd both side by side and both are great. I went wth two JLf113's and I use an Onkyo TX-NR 906. JL is a little faster and tighter.
JLs are wicked fast. I think you bought the best solution for your situation.
Agreed. I can't imagine anyone with 2 F113's ever wondering if they made the right choice or craving more (quality)bass. Congrats!