any data on AR Passive Radiator subwoofers?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by David_Rivshin, Jun 13, 2002.

  1. David_Rivshin

    David_Rivshin Second Unit

    Dec 13, 2001
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    I was just browsing AR's site and noticed a new subwoofer line, the PR808, PR1010, and PR1212. They have 8, 10 or 12" down firing woofers with a front firing passive radiator. FR on the 1212 is only listed as 20-150Hz with no indication of how much it's down at 20Hz. Without knowing any more about it I'd guess that it might make a good music sub, and a step up from a JBL PB12. Crutchfield has it listed for $450, which seems reasonable if it performs well, while lists it as $270, which seems like a steal in any event [​IMG]
    Since I've got a 2039CS I'm not really interested in getting one, but it'd be interesting to see how say the PR1212 stacks up against a 2531PCi or a VTF-2 which are in roughly the same price range.
    Does anyone know if these woofs are planned to be reviewed by some publication in the near future? I'm really just curious to see a frequency response curve for them.
    Thanks in advance [​IMG]
    -- Dave
  2. Mohammed L

    Mohammed L Auditioning

    Nov 29, 2002
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    Well, I just picked a pr1010 up today for about $500 canadian after tax, and should be setting up the home theater in a couple days, so well find out!

  3. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

    Dec 9, 2000
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    The front mounted BLUE LED for (powered up is a nice touch). Also nice to see a slight change in the typical BOX design.
    The design:
    Down fire-12" driver thats slot loaded with a front fire Passive Radaitor. Unless well designed & built, I'd expect this to be a higher output 30hz area one note boomer. Reaching below and above, but not smoothly as one would natural want.
    Don't jump all over me as at this point,,,!!!!
    Of course, at this time I have no data or experience with the NEW for mentioned sub & subs in this line, but I don't expect much. I could be very wrong.
    Their OLD slot loaded subs were very placment sensative (above and beyond the norm), and if modded & eq-ed could sound respectable. Movies fine, Music not so good.
    Given their price point I guess I should go a little easier on them. You can find the 12"PR'ed for $249.00 or less all over the web....
    For those that want a look at the NEW Performance Series Slot loaded and PR'ed-12", check it out HERE!
    Very curious to what our HT member thinks of his-(New 1010). Nice to give your room size and freq responce of the sub in it, if possible. Of course what you think of it once you have tweeked it all you can????
    Also, I did not mention, they do have a nice array of connections on the back of the amp. All 5-way binding post for high level in and pass threw along with 2 rca for hook up and a single for straight threw from receiver/imagen for letting the receiver do the crossover work. Also a pass threw rca output. Green power ON-LED on the back with the mentioned Blue in operation LED on the front...
    Good going on Amp connections AR!
  4. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

    Sep 30, 2001
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    That's like the amp I am using for my DiY sub..

    It's not your typical plate amp.. I know we have beaten
    the horse to death about bass boost circuits and rumble
    filters over on the DiY section.

    The amp it's self is nothing short of amazing (Of course it
    is a Bob Carver Sunfire) Huge Torodial Transformer, Massive
    Capacitors, All crossover components use audiophile grade
    metalized foil caps. I don't think these new AR amps are
    Sunfire TDC's like the one I picked up but they are still
    good amps and thier subs are also very well built.

    Honestly thier ARS300 and ARS500 have no "placement" issues
    any more than any other ported sub. Infact if you read the
    reviews on those subs you will see nothing but "I couldn't
    touch a sub like this for less than a thousand dollars from
    anyone else"

    But the Performance Series is in no way near the level of
    the Hi-Res line..

    I am curious about these new PR subs..
  5. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

    Dec 9, 2000
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    Yeh, Apples to Oranges comparing the Hi Res to Performance series.....
    I'm curious also on this new Slot loaded and PR'ed sub.
    Pull them rubber floor discs and replace them with a nice Brass or Gold floor spikes and it would even be sharper looking, and at 227.00 well ain't that something. I like the new look, but to the performance issue, guess we'l have to wait and see.
    One thing is for sure with AR....
    You are unquestionably the biggest die hard AR fan I know bud.
    The High Res line are nice speaks, like the ones your running, but for me can't take long listening sessions with them. To forward on the top end.
    Don't care what you drive them with!
    A personal taste thing obviously, but at low level listening I like them allot. I am the same way with good horns. Low spl I like the detail and what comes with a good horn, but at high volumes I find them just unbearable.
    Dose that make sence?
    Im a typical Britt sound man most of the time. Detailed high end but with a softer presentation, I find it to be the sound I prefer the most. Ya I know, missing out on so much detail, (Yeh what-ever).
    Yes many of the typical Britts speaks are rolled off slightly at the very top end. I belive you would call this laid back and lifeless...[​IMG] Again I say, what-ever...
    Don't belive good metal or true horns are in my tweeter vocabulary..[​IMG]
    Now get the AV-12" in something would ya!
  6. Yousaf

    Yousaf Second Unit

    Nov 20, 2002
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    Me to the rescue! I guess it pays to be cheap...
    I have had the PR1212 for close to three weeks now. I don't have much experience with subs, and have certainly not heard anything high end. My "schooling", so to speak, has been pretty much at Best Buy and Circuit City, with a Klipsch KSW-series sub thrown in (I went to Tweeter once). I have not heard a Hsu or SVS or Velodyne, I don't have an SPL meter, my receiver (H/K 320) is fed mostly MP3s by my computer, and I don't have the luxury of even trying to place the sub optimally in my dorm room due to space considerations...GASP! Now that I've sufficently put myself down, here is my opinion.
    Using a tone generator on my computer, I started outputting a tone at 80 Hz and went down in 5 Hz increments. Down to 40 Hz the level was pretty much constant, with a slight apparent decrease as it approached 40. My guess is around there drops in tone may start sounding a bit quieter anyway, so 40 is good. 30 Hz is what you can reasonably expect out of this sub. I am currently at home for the holidays, and though the sub is still under a desk, the desk is much larger. At school the sub took up almost all of the space underneath the desk, and I'm guessing that that might have contributed to a boost in sound volume though I'm not quite sure. Seeing as to how it's 2:30 in the morning I am not going to test maximum output anyway. Having said that, the sub sounds a bit quieter now in the lower frequencies. Once again, I had the sub much louder at school, so it might just be that my volume was louder to begin with. I can test again later in the day when I will not be waking anybody up.
    20 Hz is unreasonable for this sub. Granted, I have never heard a 20 Hz tone (at least that I was aware of at the time), and I do not know how much is heard vs. how much is felt, but the sub seems to be whooshing and not outputting much sound. To sum up on the frequencies, down to 35 Hz or so is good at lower volumes. At higher volumes, you will be able to get reasonably good output at 30 Hz but it rolls off rapidly after that point. For what it's worth, the "death" of Sauron in LOTR:EE still puts a smile on most people's faces when I play it for them (though pretty much nobody has been an audiophile).
    In general, this sub is a bit boomier and notes aren't very defined. Once again I feel it is obligatory to point out that I do have a relative lack of hands-on experience with subs, so I do not know just how much better it gets. Most of the bassier stuff I listen to is movies. I notice a lot of seemingly incoherent rumbling coming from the sub especially in submarine scenes from K-19 (I just finished watching it [​IMG] ) and background bass in other movies. The bass seems to pulse at times especially when there is background bass present in a movie; I do not know whether this is because of room reflections, the source material, or the sub. If I were to guess, I'd probably say it's all three, especially because I don't notice the effect when I listen to music or hold a sustained tone using the tone generator. For music, the sub is still pretty good. Most bass comes out clear and pretty well defined, though I do notice slurring sometimes. My music is all in MP3 format, so this could be the result of compression. Tones in the tone generator are all distinct, but these do not rapidly alternate so I cannot just the overall speed of the woofer.
    My review so far has not been too favorable, but that's only because I've kept the best for last. Though it may not be the clearest or deepest sub around, it does play LOUD. I was watching K-19 earlier and it was bothering my parents two floors up even though I was listening at what I thought were nighttime levels. My dorm room is 16x18x8, and it shakes the room. I still don't think that I have ever turned it up to its max, but even at the levels I play at it is very powerful. Once again, at a moderate level (overall power-wise for the sub), within a minute of starting LOTR with my friends the first comment I got was "Jesus, you think you got enough bass?" Here (at home) my basement is approximately 14x25x7 and it still shakes the room. If you want your bass to hit hard, this sub will not let you down. Granted I have not heard the 12" Sony everyone loves, but I don't see how it could possibly reach these the levels that this sub does. As far as I know, even though the Sony can be gotten using deals for $120 or so, most of the time it is purchased for upwards of $150. The above link has it at $230; for only $80 more I think you would see a significant improvement.
    The sub goes down to around 40 Hz when you play music quietly (nighttime levels), and 30 Hz when you listen at higher levels. It rolls off rapidly after that; do not expect to get the 20 Hz it claims. Bass is a bit muddy overall, but my issues with it are mainly with background bass in movies. It runs pretty well for music and bass scenes where bass noised are not sustained for quite so long. Still, don't expect to listen to your pipe organ recordings on this sub. The best part about this sub are the sound levels you can reach with this sub. For me, it has really brought the theater experience home, and then some. I was disappointed hearing LOTR: The Twin Towers after I got what I felt was louder bass on LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring. Of course I'm still going to buy it so I can listen on my system [​IMG]
    My overall rating as a sub would probably be 3.5/5. For the $450 list price you can do a lot better with Hsu or Adire subs, or even stretch your budget and get an SVS. Buying it at $230 online, I would have to give it a 4.5/5 because I do not know how much better it can get for the price without going DIY. I bought mine HERE for $212 (but it seems they bumped it up to $222), so I'd look there and at the previous link to see which has the cheapest shipped price to you. Also, it might be worth the money to just spend an some additional money to get it at a place that has a good return policy if you don't like the way it sounds.
    I hope that helped!
    And Brett, I'm with you on being an AR fanatic! I have AR15 bookshelves and love the way they sound. I don't know why people think they are too forward...I've even boosted the treble on mine a bit! They are only 5 feet apart and I sit 3 feet away from them, but the soundstage is excellent. When listening to music I could swear I have a center channel because although I hear instruments coming from all around I could swear the main voices are coming straight out of my monitor. Next on my list are two more AR15s for surrounds and then an AR2C for the center, and I'm in 5.1 heaven...[​IMG]
  7. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

    Sep 30, 2001
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    Yes I am an AR fan and yes the Hi-Res line IS forward..
    I think it not only stems from the use of the Ti Dome but
    just the fact that they are so efficient to begin with.
    They honestly can be driven to very moderate music levels
    with very low power (7-10 watt tube amps for example) of
    course that's not driving the integrated sub in the tower
    lines that are not internaly amped.
    I love the detail but yes it can fatigue even my ears. But to be honest I blame a lot of that on the aparent lack of good source gear and amplification. I know these aren't
    JM Labs Grand Utopias but they should have much better amp
    and source gear than what I have [​IMG]
    At moderate levels there is no fatigue but the question is
    "What is moderate?" Hell I find myself listening at well
    past 100 decibels and that's not "easy listening" by any
    stretch. Now if I am ehm "Critically listening" it's usually
    at maybe 80DB or sometimes even less. [​IMG]
    I prefer the detail metal domes and horns put out, but they
    most certainly expose the weakest of links both in your
    media and in your source componentry. Don't get me wrong
    though, I love a good Silk dome or Aerogel tweet too..
    Sometimes I like listening to "Laid Back" speakers... It
    all depends on my mood honestly.. Heck I should actually
    have more than one set of mains just for that reason [​IMG]
    You know your speakers are of at least "Decent" quality
    when you are listening to 2 Channel and you SWEAR the
    Center Channel is on...
    I was listening to Manheim Steamroller's Christmas Extrodinaire
    yesterday and I was in the sweet spot love seat and I got
    up and walked up to the center channel and it was off and
    I scratched my head.. Sure sounded like that guy that was
    smacking those chimes was standing on top of my TV...
    I hate it that AR doesn't get the respect the deserve because
    they are associated with Recoton.. So is NHT and I have heard
    NHT and they are great too, but they seem to get all the
    raves and AR remails shrouded in mystery.. A real shame for
    such a historic company (Of Henry Kloss fame no less).
    Have I ranted enough yet?
    I will get working on the AV-12 after the holidays! I can't
    wait to get that monster done.. it's gonna be nuts [​IMG]
    Those AR15's are nice.. I really want to replace my PS216's
    with the 15's but I just can't bring myself to doing it
    becayse the Performance Series works real well as surrouds
    the timbre even matches very well to my Hi Res towers and
    center.. After I get all the other goodies I want, then I
    guess if I feel the need to just blow money, I will order
    a set of AR15's.
    As far as your sub goes, placement helps the output tremendously
    and placement can make or break a sub, the room gain can
    be over emphasised in one particular frequency band but
    the only way to ever really know is to use an RTA and get
    a room response curve and equalize from there... The goal
    being Flat of course.
    I need to get a response curve for my room because I know
    there are peaks and dips and I am buying a Behringer Tube
    Ultra-Q (It is a Parametric EQ as well as a Notch and Shelf
    Filter and has a Tube Stage to add "warmth" to the music.)
    And if I have the response curve then I will know what and
    where I need to boost and cut to get the flat response.

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