ACI Force worth 2x Adire Rava?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Victor Chan, Apr 6, 2003.

  1. Victor Chan

    Victor Chan Stunt Coordinator

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    I need some advice on setting up a 5.1 system in a small-ish 13x12x8 ft^3 living room (opens up into a 9x7x8 dining room, though, making the effective volume ~ 1850 ft^3).

    While I do watch a lot of movies -- making low end extension somewhat of an issue -- I've been spending a lot of time (60%?) listening to music, making the quality of the bass more important than output. In looking for a good musical subwoofer to match with my Ascend Acoustic CBM-170s, I've narrowed my choices to the ACI Force and the Adire Rava based off of rave reviews on numerous forums regarding their musicality.

    Is the bass extension (low 20Hz for the Force vs ~30Hz for the Rava) and the reportedly slightly greater accuracy of the ACI sub worth double the price of admission? Or are the differences which seem big on paper so negligible in real music and HT use that I should just save my money? For the price of the Force, I could almost pick up a stereo pair of Ravas, but if the Force truly is noticeably superior, than I wouldn't mind plunking down the difference.

    Thanks for any advice that you may give on this matter!
     
  2. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Without having listened to either (though I am familiar with the Shiva driver in the Rava) I would say the Force isn't worth twice as much. Given that it uses a smaller driver and the same power amplifier, output is probably comparable between the two. The difference in frequency response specification is most probably because the Force uses equalization to boost the low end (no driver reaches to 20Hz in a sealed box). The Rava has an anechoic -3db point of around 40Hz, I think. In your room, either sub should extend to 25-30Hz or below, so I wouldn't worry about it. Start with the Rava, its music quality is excellent, unless you want earthshaking power.

    (Edit- Brian's right about the Force having a lower Q. There's a wide variety of opinions on how much difference that makes. Frankly I don't think the better damping is worth $350.)
     
  3. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    I'd say it's possible that the Force might be a better match for a music only system as it's Q is around .6 vs. the Rava's Q of .68. I also believe the Force has a more sophisticated amp and adds more setup flexibility than the Rava's amp.

    But to answer your question, only you can decide for sure. I believe both have a good in home demo policy so you could always order one of each and only keep the one that you prefer. You might be out a little shipping, but it may be worth the price of answering the question for you.
     
  4. Victor Chan

    Victor Chan Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for your reply guys. I think your response has a lot of merit, Brian and I may end up ordering both in order to demo them side by side. I think what I may do is order the Adire Rava first and then see if I'm at least happy with the quality and level of bass that it affords me as that would definitely be the more wallet friendly decision. Within that trial period, if I still feel curious enough to demo the Force, I may go with your suggestion and demo them both.

    While the differences are obvious on paper, I think Michael is correct in saying that the benefits of the Force probably does not justify the price differential as the Adire Rava is already more musical and provides more accurate bass than a majority of the subs out there in and reasonably above its price range.

    Brian, perhaps you could answer a question for me. I rad somewhere that the Q of the Rava can be dropped an additional amount by "over-stuffing it" if I so requested at the expense of efficiency. How would this effect overall bass extension and the overall capabilities of the subwoofer? Would you recommend this option and would this modified Rava require a more powerful amp given the drop in efficiency?
     
  5. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    It'll reduce the efficiency slightly but will also smooth out the rolloff so that it's more gradual. It may give you slightly more extension and will definitely lower the Q a bit. I think it's definitely worth trying out. There's nothing to lose by doing so anyway. And you should still have plenty of power from the amp so don't worry about that.
     

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