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Monoprice Monolith 10, 12 and 15-inch Subwoofer Review

hardisj

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I just wrapped up my review of the following Monoprice Monolith 10/12/15-inch subwoofers:
Monolith by Monoprice 10in THX Select Certified 500-Watt Powered Subwoofer - $499
Monolith by Monoprice 12in THX Ultra Certified 500-Watt Powered Subwoofer - $799
Monolith by Monoprice 15in THX Ultra Certified 1000-Watt Powered Subwoofer - $1339


You can watch the video or just look at the data/link posted in the below sections. The video covers a little bit more than is mentioned here but the bottom line is the performance of these subwoofers is really quite good and it is very evident to see just how much more output below 50Hz these offer than "budget" subwoofers.

The Monoliths provide quite a bit of output, have very nice linear response with extension down to 20Hz in the ported configurations. They have a variable phase adjustment which is a *big* deal IMHO (I know others have it as well). There is no chuffing (demo'd in the video) from the port and the mechanical aspects are quiet (no resonances, no motor noise, no tinsel lead slap).

The drive units themselves are quite nice but I do wonder if they would benefit from pole piece (cooling).



Video Review:



Photos:

DSC07038.JPG


DSC07041.JPG


DSC07042.JPG


DSC07048.JPG


DSC07053.JPG


DSC07085.JPG



CEA-2010-A/B Max SPL Testing:
CEA-2010-A & CEA-2010-B test data can be found in the below spreadsheet.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/18bz7z-xIlRJsC-bw6k4mHkuwv_uiGAMyEhgrTkjwdXc/edit?usp=sharing


CEA-2010-A.png

CEA-2010-B.png





FREQUENCY RESPONSE:

Here are the graphics for the frequency response (not CEA-2010 results; just the FR, taken at 0.5vRMS).
They include ported vs sealed and "extended" vs "THX" EQ in each graphic.

10-inch Monolith Frequency Response:

Monolith 10 Comparison.png




10-inch Monolith vs the Elac SUB1010 ($130, budget 10-inch subwoofer). You can see very clearly the Elac (which was the better of my recent 10-inch Budget Subwoofer Shootout) is easily bested in linearity by the Monolith.

Monolith 10 vs Elac & Polk.png







12-inch Monolith Frequency Response:

Monolith 12 Comparison.png


12-inch Monolith vs the Monoprice Budget ($99) 12-inch subwoofer.

Monolith 12 vs Budget Monoprice 12.png






Monolith 15-inch:

Monolith 15 Comparison.png







Comparison of all the Monolith sizes, sealed:

10-12-15 inch Monolith Sealed Comparison.png





Comparison of all the Monolith sizes, ported:

10-12-15 inch Monolith Ported Comparison.png





Bottom Line:

The Monolith subwoofers are a very nice value. They don't have a lot of flash to them but what they lack in aesthetics (for some), they make up for in performance and features. The variable phase and XLR input are two features that delineate these subwoofers from "budget" subwoofers. The CEA-2010 testing yielded really solid results, though, to be fair, I don't have many to compare against at this moment in time. But by looking at others' results, I'd say these more than hold their own and present a very high value. There is no internal resonance, port noise is only an issue if you're playing test tones at the lowest of frequencies. Very solid subwoofers with great performance. I recommend them if you're looking at them as an option.




Contribute:

If you appreciate the review and would like to support further reviews, you can do so via this link.
https://www.erinsaudiocorner.com/contribute/
 

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escape2

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Thanks for ths review. The results look great. Are you planning to test any other subs in this price range for comparison?

Did you notice any quality issues? Some people reported mouldy enclosures and grills, for example. But if monoprice knew they were being sent for testing (did they?), then they probably made sure they were in pristine condition.
 
OP
hardisj

hardisj

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Are you planning to test any other subs in this price range for comparison?

SVS is sending me a PB-2000 to review. They are giving me 60 days to get it sent back to them but I'm going to try to have it done before Christmas if possible.

Did you notice any quality issues? Some people reported mouldy enclosures and grills, for example. But if monoprice knew they were being sent for testing (did they?), then they probably made sure they were in pristine condition.

Nope. I've seen smatterings of talk about QC issues but didn't experience any issues with the ones I tested at all.
 
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hardisj

hardisj

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But if monoprice knew they were being sent for testing (did they?), then they probably made sure they were in pristine condition.

Nope. Went straight from my warehouse to Erin. I'm sure he can vouch they had never been opened before.

Yep. They came from the warehouse in Kentucky. Actually struck me as funny because I expected them to come from HQ or something along those lines. I got the shipment notice they had left, saw it was from Kentucky (my home state) and it caught my attention. So, I did some Google searching and found it's the east coast MP warehouse. So, that told me I was getting what I would have gotten had I ordered one myself. No golden samples... unless you guys think they had workers on the shipping line opening up the boxes and finding me the best one. (I don't)

:)
 

AnalogSteph

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1. Audio quality of your narration is substantially better now. :cool: (Better visual background separation is neat, too, even if it means that the posters aren't showing in all their glory.)
2. I think midbass testing was too much for the microphone input, either very quick ALC was kicking in or it was plain clipping. Bzzz...
 

Lorenzo74

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Nov 17, 2019
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Info:
I just wrapped up my review of the following Monoprice Monolith 10/12/15-inch subwoofers:
Monolith by Monoprice 10in THX Select Certified 500-Watt Powered Subwoofer - $499
Monolith by Monoprice 12in THX Ultra Certified 500-Watt Powered Subwoofer - $799
Monolith by Monoprice 15in THX Ultra Certified 1000-Watt Powered Subwoofer - $1339


You can watch the video or just look at the data/link posted in the below sections. The video covers a little bit more than is mentioned here but the bottom line is the performance of these subwoofers is really quite good and it is very evident to see just how much more output below 50Hz these offer than "budget" subwoofers.

The Monoliths provide quite a bit of output, have very nice linear response with extension down to 20Hz in the ported configurations. They have a variable phase adjustment which is a *big* deal IMHO (I know others have it as well). There is no chuffing (demo'd in the video) from the port and the mechanical aspects are quiet (no resonances, no motor noise, no tinsel lead slap).

The drive units themselves are quite nice but I do wonder if they would benefit from pole piece (cooling).



Video Review:



Photos:

View attachment 91851

View attachment 91853

View attachment 91854

View attachment 91857

View attachment 91859

View attachment 91860


CEA-2010-A/B Max SPL Testing:
CEA-2010-A & CEA-2010-B test data can be found in the below spreadsheet.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/18bz7z-xIlRJsC-bw6k4mHkuwv_uiGAMyEhgrTkjwdXc/edit?usp=sharing


View attachment 91881
View attachment 91882




FREQUENCY RESPONSE:

Here are the graphics for the frequency response (not CEA-2010 results; just the FR, taken at 0.5vRMS).
They include ported vs sealed and "extended" vs "THX" EQ in each graphic.

10-inch Monolith Frequency Response:

View attachment 91845



10-inch Monolith vs the Elac SUB1010 ($130, budget 10-inch subwoofer). You can see very clearly the Elac (which was the better of my recent 10-inch Budget Subwoofer Shootout) is easily bested in linearity by the Monolith.

View attachment 91846






12-inch Monolith Frequency Response:

View attachment 91847

12-inch Monolith vs the Monoprice Budget ($99) 12-inch subwoofer.

View attachment 91848





Monolith 15-inch:

View attachment 91849






Comparison of all the Monolith sizes, sealed:

View attachment 91844




Comparison of all the Monolith sizes, ported:

View attachment 91843




Bottom Line:

The Monolith subwoofers are a very nice value. They don't have a lot of flash to them but what they lack in aesthetics (for some), they make up for in performance and features. The variable phase and XLR input are two features that delineate these subwoofers from "budget" subwoofers. The CEA-2010 testing yielded really solid results, though, to be fair, I don't have many to compare against at this moment in time. But by looking at others' results, I'd say these more than hold their own and present a very high value. There is no internal resonance, port noise is only an issue if you're playing test tones at the lowest of frequencies. Very solid subwoofers with great performance. I recommend them if you're looking at them as an option.




Contribute:

If you appreciate the review and would like to support further reviews, you can do so via this link.
https://www.erinsaudiocorner.com/contribute/

that’s another Excellent review, as expected from Erin s corner.

@hardisj , you are providing the Best Subwoofer (and single component) reviews supported by standard method and repeatable data
nowhere I see something similar (@amirm I’m talking just subs... :) )
I’m challenging High end audio company to submitting you their Subs so you can asses their Value in an indisputable manner.

one day I would love to see the in-room reaponse (and Value) from one, two,three ... subs for an overall given value
Ex:
3x10 inch
2x12 inch
1x15 inch
(As @Floyd Toole rules)
it will help to address the budget aiming at the end result (that’s what high end means right?)
My deepest appreciation
Best
Lorenzo
 
OP
hardisj

hardisj

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Why does the 10" have more and deeper output than the 12"?

It does in terms of frequency response, taken with the same input voltage. But, if you level match the responses to the 70-100Hz region, you can see that changes things. IOW, the 10-inch is more sensitive it seems, than the 12-inch.

But, in terms of max SPL testing per the CEA-2010 standards, the 12-inch beats the 10-inch. This is the CEA-2010-A test results with THX EQ, ported. The 12-inch has an average of 3-4dB more output capability and below 25Hz, about 6dB more than the 10-inch.

1604767504303.png



And in sealed mode, the 12-inch bests the 10-inch by about 9dB at 16Hz

1604767616068.png
 
OP
hardisj

hardisj

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Are there any distortion graphs at different SPL available?

No. For subwoofer testing, I am just going straight for the max output testing per the CEA-2010-A/B standards. I tried to provide additional distortion data, but I punted. Why? Well, because it would take me longer to capture, log and then share the HD and/or IMD measurements at varying output levels. Much longer when you factor in the sensitivity offsets between subwoofers not just due to the drive units themselves but the gain structure of the built-in amplifiers. Doing this now and again isn't bad. But it's a royal pain to do it every single test when the outputs can vary so much AND you have amplifier limiting as well (something all the budget 10-inch subwoofers had; right around their peak which was @ 50-63Hz). It caused me headaches in my first round of subwoofer tests and I decided it wasn't worth my effort as it was taking up a lot more of valuable time.

IOW, providing HD/IMD at varying levels for these kind of things is a pain in the butt and is somewhat redundant given the CEA-2010 testing is specifically set up to find max SPL for a given distortion threshold.
 

ernestcarl

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12-inches seems to be just the right size and volume... considering the cabinet size of the 10-inch model isn't anywhere near as compact -- in comparison to, say, a sealed 12-inch sub.

It looks like a family portrait of the three little bears. There's the papa bear, mama bear, and the not so very small baby bear.
 

Harmonie

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So in term of added value which is better:
10" or 12" ?

Or rather
2x10" or 2x 12" ? (1000$ <> 1600$) ?
 

AnalogSteph

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So in term of added value which is better:
10" or 12" ?

Or rather
2x10" or 2x 12" ? (1000$ <> 1600$) ?
Depends. The difference in level handling in musically relevant frequency ranges is a fairly constant 3 dB and no more, so if you are primarily after music playback I would consider sticking with the 10s (possibly even 3 of 'em if feasible).

BTW, these do not seem to be universal voltage capable, but rather 120 V~ only.
 

Astrozombie

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I've always wondered if there is any technical difference between a True sealed sub and one like these with bungs in place? Other than the Sealed being smaller of course.
 
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