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Active subwoofer suggestions, $5k budget

Sven777

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I've skimmed through the subwoofer comparison thread, but one thing that I haven't been able to extract from there is which subwoofers are more geared towards games/movies as opposed to music. The sub will rarely (if ever) be used for listening to music, so that is not a priority. It will be used primarily for video games (80%), and tv/movies (20%).

What very much appeals to me is raw boominess and punch-to-the-gut feelings (I do not have a sophisticated ear :p) . An active sub would be more ideal for me because the amp would only be used for the sub anyway, so may as well have an amp built-into it. I could probably be persuaded away from that if there is a compelling enough product.

Room dimensions 14x24x9 = 3024 cuft. Budget $5000 USD.

I'm currently eyeing the JTR Captivator RS1 because of the audioholics review, but perhaps there's something newer/shinier or perhaps that's just overkill for my room. I'd have to assess my electrical to see if there is an outlet in this room that would support the full 2400 watts based on the other gadgets in there.


Thanks in advance for any assistance! :)
 

staticV3

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Here's the appropriately filtered Subwoofer comparison spreadsheet:
Screenshot 2023-08-09 at 00.14.31.png

Filters applied:
  • Discontinued: No
  • Price in USD: <$5500
  • Passive: No
  • Sorted by highest SPL at 20Hz
The Monoliths seem like real bargains comparatively :D
 
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Sven777

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Here's the appropriately filtered Subwoofer comparison spreadsheet:
View attachment 304592

Filters applied:
  • Discontinued: No
  • Price in USD: <$5500
  • Passive: No
  • Sorted by highest SPL at 20Hz
The Monoliths seem like real bargains comparatively :D
Thanks much!

I'm unclear how to interpret this data, though. Is there some characteristic about any of the ones in that list that speak to how well each of them do wrt rumble-bass and punchy-bass in comparison to each other? I.e. how would one know which one delivers the best of both worlds in that list?

Thanks again
 

staticV3

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I'm unclear how to interpret this data, though. Is there some characteristic about any of the ones in that list that speak to how well each of them do wrt rumble-bass and punchy-bass in comparison to each other? I.e. how would one know which one delivers the best of both worlds in that list?
The spreadsheet shows which sub can produce the highest clean SPL at different frequencies.

Is there some characteristic about any of the ones in that list that speak to how well each of them do wrt rumble-bass and punchy-bass in comparison to each other?
"Rumble-bass" and "punchy-bass" are attributes of frequency response, which this spreadsheet does not compare.

A subwoofer's stock frequency response is not important in the first place, since you're supposed to shape it to your preference using EQ, to make the sub "deliver the best of both worlds".
 

DVDdoug

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but one thing that I haven't been able to extract from there is which subwoofers are more geared towards games/movies as opposed to music. The sub will rarely (if ever) be used for listening to music, so that is not a priority. I
Music is more critical because it's important to have accuracy and flat frequency response. For games & music it's mostly effects like booms & explosions*. It's still good if frequency response goes low and loud. But there are musical low-frequencies in the music in movies and games.

What very much appeals to me is raw boominess and punch-to-the-gut feelings
Just FIY - "Boominess" is generally bad in a hi-fi speaker (or as an acoustic characteristic in a room). When you hear "one note bass" from a car stereo, that's usually a poorly designed woofer (from a hi-fi point of view). A good sub will put-out good-strong, deep, bass but it should reproduce the range of bass notes in the music.

And with real (live) music, or music in a dance club, or you can feel the bass from the bass guitar and kick drum in your body. Same thing with a good home system if you turn it up!

I built my subs so I don't know that much about the market but for $5000 I think you can get a subwoofer (or a pair of subs) that can do a good job of both.



* I was reading recently about Sensurround from the 1974 movie, Earthquake. I believe this was the 1st use of subwoofers. The technology of the time couldn't handle the low bass on the movie soundtrack, so they used some not-as-low frequencies to trigger a tuned low frequency noise generator for the the subs. (No "musical accuracy", just noise.)
 

rynberg

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I've skimmed through the subwoofer comparison thread, but one thing that I haven't been able to extract from there is which subwoofers are more geared towards games/movies as opposed to music. The sub will rarely (if ever) be used for listening to music, so that is not a priority. It will be used primarily for video games (80%), and tv/movies (20%).

What very much appeals to me is raw boominess and punch-to-the-gut feelings (I do not have a sophisticated ear :p) . An active sub would be more ideal for me because the amp would only be used for the sub anyway, so may as well have an amp built-into it. I could probably be persuaded away from that if there is a compelling enough product.

Room dimensions 14x24x9 = 3024 cuft. Budget $5000 USD.

I'm currently eyeing the JTR Captivator RS1 because of the audioholics review, but perhaps there's something newer/shinier or perhaps that's just overkill for my room. I'd have to assess my electrical to see if there is an outlet in this room that would support the full 2400 watts based on the other gadgets in there.


Thanks in advance for any assistance! :)

A JTR Captivator RS1 is really nice and relatively compact, but it costs $3,299 plus shipping and is finished in a very utilitarian pebbly black...a Rythmik FV18 is $2,189 shipped and has more output below 31.5 Hz (and is close enough above). It doesn't exactly have a Piano Black finish, but looks much nicer than a JTR standard finish. The sound quality of a Rythmik sub is as good as anything on the market and you get actual personal support. With your budget, you could even do two of them if you wanted to smooth out the response in the room. You won't need more than a single FV18 from an output perspective in that size room.
 
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Sven777

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A JTR Captivator RS1 is really nice and relatively compact, but it costs $3,299 plus shipping and is finished in a very utilitarian pebbly black...a Rythmik FV18 is $2,189 shipped and has more output below 31.5 Hz (and is close enough above). It doesn't exactly have a Piano Black finish, but looks much nicer than a JTR standard finish. The sound quality of a Rythmik sub is as good as anything on the market and you get actual personal support. With your budget, you could even do two of them if you wanted to smooth out the response in the room. You won't need more than a single FV18 from an output perspective in that size room.
Thank you all for your input!

Specific shout-out thanks to rynberg for the FV18 suggestion. I would definitely choose two of those over a single RS1 now after reading up on them. I was kind of writing-off some of the larger units with beefier amps (>2400watts) because I was thinking I'd have to rewire to add separate circuits just for the subs. Then I found some forum chatter asking about twin FV18 vs a single Captivator4000:


The subject of electrical supply came up and this person seemed to indicate that you could run even multiple 4000ulf's on a single 15-amp circuit:


I need to do some more research on how accurate that is, but do any of you folks with 2400+ sub amps have any real-life experience they can share? Do you plug your subs into an outlet that is not used by anything else on the circuit or do you just plug it in wherever/without-a-thought and never had any problems? Do any of you do anything to protect your sub amps like line conditioners or special surge protectors?

Thanks again!
 

rynberg

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I think you're overthinking this. :)

My last two houses, I had a separate circuit ran to the living room, because it was relatively cheap insurance. I plug my single FV18 into my Panamax surge protector, but it is only 900W Class D. I personally would have no concern plugging two FV18s into a single circuit. But I don't listen at reference with the LFE channel seriously boosted above flat.

Also, the size of the FV18 isn't for everyone...so I can understand why there is a market for the RS1. :)
 
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