I wouldn't sweat that too much. In fact, it probably works to your advantage because of additional competition among sellers...
IME, it's difficult (tho not impossible) to properly integrate subwoofers into a 2 channel music system by ear. Many, many moons ago I tried and failed. I didn't revisit the idea for three decades. Now, I use Audyssey and it's simple and straightforward. However, I doubt that many people here want to go that route. Instead, they try manual set-up and, not surprisingly IME, are disappointed with the results and sell the subs.
As to JL specifically, I suspect it's because JL and REL share the biggest piece of the high end audio market for subwoofers. At any given time, I'd think that one or the other would dominate the re-sale listings here. OTOH, given the lower price point offerings, I'd think that you might see more Velodyne products on e-bay, or the like.
I own Rythmik subs, but I've auditioned JL extensively and think that (provided they're properly set-up) they are outstanding performers.
I use my f113 primarily for HT and it is quite a seamless affair.
Using a sub for music is as others have noted not a simple job. I always hated finding the right point because there never seemed to be one... what seemed ok for one track was too much or too little for another. I still have trouble dialing in the active bass section of my in-law's Martin Logan Ethos.
But with my Thiel SS2/2.2s and an S1 integrator, it's been a breeze. Jim Thiel is a genius. He took the guesswork out of integrating a subwoofer. It's all a matter of measuring how far the sub is from its nearest walls (and dialing those on the knobs in the subwoofer) and reading off the specs of the speakers and power amp (-3dB lowest frequency, gain, sealed/ported) and telling the S1 box what those numbers are.
The last time I demoed subs was +/- 4 years ago, when I was looking to replace a pair of Velodyne SPLs. Those were pretty good subs (especially considering their compact cabinet size) but I set out to see what a larger sub could do and I subsequently spent A LOT of time around SoCal auditioning.
These demos always vary with the set-up, but - at their best - the JL was very impressive. Overall, outstanding subs. Deep, tight, effortlessly loud on HT demo. Seamlessly extended the bottom end of excellent mains in a two channel system. I personally preferred JL to any other sub I heard on demo (including Velodyne, REL, Martin Logan, TBI and several other well regarded brands that I'd have to work to recall).
I also did a lot of test result study and found that Rythmik and SVS are both monsters on the test bench. Both brands are sold factory direct with an in-home trial period. I ended up buying a pair of Rythmiks for an in-home demo with the idea that they would go back if they didn't measure up. I should note that the Rythmiks are about half the price of the comparable JL, so I figured it was worth the effort. I never did a direct A-B in my system, but I was very happy with the Rythmiks so I kept 'em (and a few bucks, too).
I should also note that, while the Rythmiks feature excellent fit 'n' finish, the JL is a much slicker looking product, IMHO. I'm sure that many people would find the delta in price justifiable, but I decided to pass.
What did you think of the JL's you heard?
Mcpherson (Threads | Answers | This Thread)
Greetings Mcpherson. I thought they were awesome. So much so that I'm thinking of selling my JM Lab / Focal Sub Utopia Berylliam, which is really a great sub and has been my reference for the last 5 or 6 years. I've owned numerous different subs over the last 15 years or so. Velodynes, Bag Ends, Von Schwikerts, Sunfires, HSU's, and the list goes on. Went through them like toilet paper for a while in search of the "perfect" bass (if that's even possible), then bought the JM Lab-Focal and loved it. Now I want to try a JL Audio sub. SO many of them up for sale here on A-gon. Just makes me question why, is all.
But I have indeed experienced them and they really do kick some ass. And of course....I'm kind of a "Bass Freak" "Bass-a-holic" and want to see/hear what a Fathom F212, or a couple of F113's will do in conjunction with my MBL 101e Mk2's, 9008A's, and my 6010D Preamp. I know. Why? It'll probably be too much, and completely unnecessary but I think it will be fun and the JL Audio stuff is quite affordable here on the Gon. It's the question of why the heck does everybody seem to be dumping them that gives me pause and makes me hesitate, that's all.
SO I thought I'de throw it out there and see what the fine folks on A-gon had to say about it. Thank you to all who have conrtibuted so far.
Great thread....I have thrown the question out here on Audiogon in the past about the worth of adding a sub to a 2 channel system. Everyone here was great with informed responses, however, I agree with James 63's answer. A two channel system sounds best as two channel system. I auditioned only the REL's that were to be used with Sonus Faber Cremona M's in a room that is 13 1/2 feet across, 21 feet deep and with a 7 foot ceiling and is all ASC treated.....I know that you have to find the '' right '' sweet spot for the sub to work correctly , but .....I think that I would rather save the money spent on a sub(s) - and upgrade the speakers in a strictly 2 channel system. Just my opinion and I'm sure some will disagree, and that could a reason why you do see them up for sale.
To its ability to output well defined extra low frequency the JL can do an outstanding job. I've heard their technical support can be very helpful. The JL Audio Automatic Room Optimization is very useable but may need updating. The JLs brut force paired with an Audyssey system or similar, would make it a contemporary world class performer.
Understandably, the failure to successfully integrate a subwoofer by selecting a favorite recording with deep bass content and simply adjusting the crossover, volume, and location is stunningly outmoded.
I've been in many post production studios and all of them use a sub/s. With decent low frequency room equalization almost any subwoofer can be a useful addition to almost any system IMO.
Well you know what? You've all convinced me that buying a JL Audio sub , maybe 2, is going to be ok. This is great to hear, and everybody who's contributed to this thread has made alot of sense, so thank you all for your input. I think I'll just snap me up a Fathom F113 and give it a spin in my listening room. Or would anyone suggest I buy an Fathom F212?? My listening room is approx. 15 feet wide x 18 feet deep with 9 foot ceilings. I'm running MBL 101e Mk2's with MBL 9008A's and a MBL 6010D. Already a pretty potent match, and when I run my JM Lab / Focal sub...the result is quite good. Actually it's DAMN good (not to sound like a braggart or anything). If I step up to a single Fathom F113 do any of you think that would be "sufficient" given my room dimensions? I wouldn't be looking to use the JM Lab /Focal sub in the mix any longer. Just a single (maybe a pair?) of F113's. Or just a single F212. Again, as mentioned in my original posting, I'm a bass freak. So it absolutely MUST play clean, tight, loud as hell, and hit like a sledgehammer. The JM Lab / Focal I have IS all that...but only to a point. I'm looking for "bone-crushing" bass. (Yeah, I'll admit it. I'm into ROCK, and Heavy Metal, hence MBL speakers, amps, and Preamp.) That having been said- and given my room dimensions- what would YOU folks do with regard to my quest for monster, ass-kicking bass?? 1? a pair? Like to see where others would go with this. Thanks in advance for humoring me about this.
I went for two F113's over one F212. My room is about 18x30 10' ceilings.
Jp1208 (Answers | This Thread)
Hello Jp1208, thanks for the input. Question for you: did you hook them up as independent subs, each with their own signal input from the preamp/processor? Or did you link them together using the "master/slave" configuration.
And whatever you did, would you mind giving me more input about what you thought? or the percieved differences?
I had them as independent at one point when running Ming Da pre and two Linn Klouts. Things changed and now they are running together through a modified Onkyo reciever. Running the ARO as separate or in master didn't seem to make that much difference in my room so I set the left as the master.
After listening to all the JL's and reading about multiple subs vs. single subs I just felt that two F113's placed right next to each main made sense. I ran this by a factory rep and he said either two F212's or two F113's in my room should work well. Two F212's were out of the question.
In the demo room the differences were minor until you started running into the 90db range and this is where two F113's started to shine over the one F212. Just a stronger grip over all and a little more slam. They were both crossed at 80hz, eq set to zero on pre with -3db on 25hz and lower. Volume was set to ref and the two F113's could have been dialed back slightly.
The stage these produce is pretty stunning so either way you decide should work very well.
Howdy Jp1208. So you ARE operating them in a Master-Slave configuration. That is interesting. Having not owned JL Audio before, I have often wondered what differences may exist if coupling one to the other as opposed to running them in stereo mode. Also, you (Jp1208) mentioned that you x-over at 80hz, and even 90hz. Personally, I have not liked the overall sound when setting any of my previous subs x-over points that high. I have generally set my x-over points at around 50hz to 60hz, and found that to be much more to my liking. I HAVE indeed run dual subs (of the same manufacturer) before. I've run 2 Velodyne FSR 18's, 2 Von Schweikert "Towers of Power", and 2 Sunfire True Subwoofers. All at different points in time. The big Velodynes were staggering and waaaaaaaaay too much for a two channels set-up. The Sunfires were friggin' terrible...I'm talking real hammered dog shit (only MY opinion), Muddy. Overblown. Distorted. Inaccurate. Shook the whole house but could never get them to integrate worth a darn. I dumped them quickly. The Von Schweikerts were probably the best overall pair of subs I ran in conjunction with a pair of Martin Logan Quest Z's. I'm still kicking myself for having gotten rid of them. Oh well, live and learn, huh? I always ran the pairs of subs in stereo, sending the left and right signals from my preamps, to each of the subs, respectively . Never used any sort of processor. Now here I am in 2013...15 different subwoofers later, and now it's time to try JL Audio. I suspect a pair of F113's might be a bit too much given my room dimensions?? But I'm leaning toward a single F212. Maybe? Haven't yet decided. My JM Lab / Focal Sub Utopia is really an awesome sub, but seems to be "out-paced", and "out-gunned" when used in conjunction with MBL 101e Mk2's. I loved what the JM Lab sub did while doing duty with my Martin Logan Quest Z's, but not so much with my MBL's.
Hence, my renewed "quest" for bigger, badder, more ferocious bass.
That having been said- any last bits of input from you fellow Audiogon members regarding which direction you might take things?
1 Fathom F212?, or 2 Fathom F113's in a master-slave configuration? (again, my room is 15'w. x 18'd. with 9 foot ceilings).
Thanks to all who have contributed input so far.
Hello Coloneltushfinger. Right on! Our listening rooms are very close to the same size. Get back to me, and this thread once you've got them set up and dialed in. Be interested to read what your experience is once you've lived with them for a bit. Still have not yet got those JL Audio subs myself, but your input will be welcomed and much appreciated. Rock on brother!
Jl audio subs may be more common on the market due to their well deserved popularity and the unfortunate downturn in the economy
Subs are the "extraneous" component and can be downsized at less expense
I have one F113 that drives my ht to great levels
I also have a 13 in sub in my car and two pair of door speakers