Brief Subwoofer Impressions (SVS, Velodyne, JL Audio)

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Michael_V, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. Michael_V

    Michael_V Second Unit

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    I just went through a subwoofer upgrade, so thought I would share my thoughts on the few I tried out, to help possibly save others some time (and shipping costs!).

    First off, understand that my HT is also my living room, so how things look is important, particularly to my wife. Second, the room is fairly large. Maybe 15' x 20' with 12' cathedral ceilings. The room itself is carpeted but it opens rather capaciously into a large kitchen with tile floors and granite counter tops. So it poses some challenges!

    SVS PB13 Ultra: I tried this first, and OMG, this thing is a monster! It had no trouble digging deep and filling my cavernous HT with earth-shaking bass. Problem was (in my wife's opinion) it is (1) HUGE and (2) UGLY. Okay, I thought it looked fine, but my wife hated it. I mean, hate. And she puts up with a lot when it comes to my HT addiction. So, looking at it like she might, I have to admit it is just plain black and does not look like furniture at all. More like an engine block or industrial refrigerator. Oh well. Sent it back to SVS with my heart in my throat....

    Velodyne SPL-1500R: This was reasonably small and had a cherry veneer cabinet, which my wife liked. Problem was (sorry to any Velodyne owners!) it could not hold a candle to the SVS. Not even close. And it cost just as much, which is a shame. I was almost embarrassed for the poor little thing. This time I was the one insisting it go back.

    JL Audio Fathom f113: OMG! Best of all worlds, my friends. Just as small as the Velodyne but with performance that at least equals (and may even best) the Ultra. I got mine in Satin black, but the build quality is so outstanding, it actually looks *nice* in our living room. Exceptionally musical but thunderous and tooth rattling when it needs to be. Honestly, I had never even heard of JL Audio before last week, but I am so impressed with this thing! It even calibrates itself, smoothing out the largest peak to help it integrate into my problemic room. So very, very nice. And I got it slightly used (1 month old) for only a few hundred dollars more than the Velodyne....
     
  2. Vaughan Odendaal

    Vaughan Odendaal Second Unit

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    Congratulations on the purchase ! The JL Fathom is a very nice performer.

    Regards,
     
  3. Saida

    Saida Extra

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    Your thread is indeed very helpful to me thanks a lot Michael[​IMG]
     
  4. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    I haven't heard the JL but I have a Paradigm Servo-15 which is outstanding. If I ever decide to go with a different sub, it's going to be an SVS. [​IMG]
     
  5. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    Glad you like your purchase. Good luck with it.
    When I can get one, I'll be going with an SVS cylinder sub. They are also a beast. The one I heard, hit lows that were unbelievable. The cylinders don't stand out as much as the big boxes. [​IMG]
     

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