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Definitive Technology PowerField 1800 vs. Rythmik FV18 has subwoofer tech. changed all that much in 25years? (1 Viewer)

JohnRice

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My thought is that ANY 24 year old sub has probably been driven to death.
 

JediFonger

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I have no idea what sub you’re thinking of buying used. But if it was a 12” woofer (or larger) sub that sold for ~$1000 to $2000 a decade ago, has an integrated amp, and is still “like new”, then it’s going to be great. My SVS PC12 from 2009 is still superb.

Also…it’s only $250. Buy. Try it. Works as hoped, then awesome. Doesn’t work? Get rid of it and spend for a new sub.
twas 18” but imma keep waitin. cause the seller has a tough time selling and i just dont wanna be stuck with another component in my basement i cant get rid of
 

Carlo Medina

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Actually a couple of more thoughts, and a correction.

First the correction. I found a PDF copy of the manual someone scanned and posted online. It definitely does look 25 years old because that manual is very reminiscent of the one that came with my Energy Connoisseur 6s (my first serious speaker purchase) back in the late 1990s. http://shimonmor.com/TEMP/DT/DT_PowerField_Sub_Manual.pdf

It seems it's a 15" woofer. I too thought it would be 18" (1800) but according to the manual it's a 15" woofer. Not that there's anything wrong with that, both my PSA 15S and Hsu VTF3-Mk5 HP have 15" drivers and are each in a larger room than Jedi's dimensions, and both can absolutely energize the space if I ever decide to run at reference level (which, admittedly I almost never do).

But given the age of the sub, we have to assume it's a Class AB amplifier. Almost all of the modern subs use Class D, because it runs cooler, will theoretically last longer, is more efficient, and when it only has to drive the limited tonal spectrum of a sub, any perceptible "loss in sound quality" to AB at 20hz-20kHz is largely mitigated by only having to drive one speaker from say 20-120hz. While there are ample examples of Class ABs going strong well after 20 years...well you just have to wonder how much it was run, how much life it has left, etc. I looked at Rythmik's site and they cite Hypex amp modules, and Hypex is a company known for its high quality Class D amps.

As far as the thinking that it's cheap and he can re-sell it, remember that this is likely a 70-90lbs sub (I have no idea what it weighs but it's nearly the same dimensions as my Hsu which is 85lbs). That's not cheap, or easy, to ship. And depending on where he lives, what's the chance he'll find a local buyer? The only other option would be to just discard it, but then he's talked about how saving up for $2K is a bit of a challenge...well throwing away $250 certainly won't make that savings any easier.

I look at it this way: how long do you think you'll be in the HT game? I've been in it a lot longer than I thought I would, got started in 1997 and still going strong. Most of the speakers and sub I bought and have only recently started to replace lasted me well over 15 years (sub was first to be swapped out). That's because they were all new purchases that were, at the time of purchase, recent models. So the tech lasted. I can't imagine for example buying my 25 year old Energy sub right now and thinking I'd be happy with it for the next 5-10 years knowing what I get out of my Hsu and PSA subs. I would view that as throwing $250 away vs saving longer and getting a PSA or Hsu (both of which admittedly are considerably cheaper than Rythmik).

Just my thoughts. Good luck on your decision!
 

DaveF

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I wasn’t really paying attention to the used sub being 25 years old. I saw it but it didn’t really sink it.

That’s a sub from 1997.

Subs have come a *HUGE* way since 1997.

Buy new.
 

JediFonger

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yep same thinking. like if this seller has a tough time selling then i will as well. hate getting stuck older gear i cant offload.

i bought a b&w speakers previously trying to flip em but now i’m stuck w/them. it aint always easy
 
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ManW_TheUncool

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Nothing wrong w/ buying used provided you're not overpaying and have accounted for all the factors, which is not always easy/straightforward, especially w/ a subwoofer that old.

Actually a couple of more thoughts, and a correction.

First the correction. I found a PDF copy of the manual someone scanned and posted online. It definitely does look 25 years old because that manual is very reminiscent of the one that came with my Energy Connoisseur 6s (my first serious speaker purchase) back in the late 1990s. http://shimonmor.com/TEMP/DT/DT_PowerField_Sub_Manual.pdf

It seems it's a 15" woofer. I too thought it would be 18" (1800) but according to the manual it's a 15" woofer. Not that there's anything wrong with that, both my PSA 15S and Hsu VTF3-Mk5 HP have 15" drivers and are each in a larger room than Jedi's dimensions, and both can absolutely energize the space if I ever decide to run at reference level (which, admittedly I almost never do).

Yeah, I found that too, but I wonder if there wasn't just a typo in the manual (as unlikely as they might seem at first thought). Their brochure does indicate 18" driver, and the couple pictures I saw seem like it might be (instead of 15") given the cabinet dimensions, which are all 2" greater than the PF1500 (w/ 15" woofer), which itself is already a bit larger than the lower-end PF15 (also w/ 15" woofer). Also, all other listings, commentary and reviews about it mention it uses 18" driver.

But given the age of the sub, we have to assume it's a Class AB amplifier. Almost all of the modern subs use Class D, because it runs cooler, will theoretically last longer, is more efficient, and when it only has to drive the limited tonal spectrum of a sub, any perceptible "loss in sound quality" to AB at 20hz-20kHz is largely mitigated by only having to drive one speaker from say 20-120hz. While there are ample examples of Class ABs going strong well after 20 years...well you just have to wonder how much it was run, how much life it has left, etc. I looked at Rythmik's site and they cite Hypex amp modules, and Hypex is a company known for its high quality Class D amps.

As far as the thinking that it's cheap and he can re-sell it, remember that this is likely a 70-90lbs sub (I have no idea what it weighs but it's nearly the same dimensions as my Hsu which is 85lbs). That's not cheap, or easy, to ship. And depending on where he lives, what's the chance he'll find a local buyer? The only other option would be to just discard it, but then he's talked about how saving up for $2K is a bit of a challenge...well throwing away $250 certainly won't make that savings any easier.

I look at it this way: how long do you think you'll be in the HT game? I've been in it a lot longer than I thought I would, got started in 1997 and still going strong. Most of the speakers and sub I bought and have only recently started to replace lasted me well over 15 years (sub was first to be swapped out). That's because they were all new purchases that were, at the time of purchase, recent models. So the tech lasted. I can't imagine for example buying my 25 year old Energy sub right now and thinking I'd be happy with it for the next 5-10 years knowing what I get out of my Hsu and PSA subs. I would view that as throwing $250 away vs saving longer and getting a PSA or Hsu (both of which admittedly are considerably cheaper than Rythmik).

Just my thoughts. Good luck on your decision!

Generally agreed about the rest of this...

_Man_
 

JediFonger

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it's still fascinating to see how many mfr in the industry inflated their specs then & now. not much as changed lolz
 

Carlo Medina

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Even if it is a typo, and it is 18", I still stand by the rest of my post (and in fact makes reselling/shipping even worse because the sub might approach 100lbs...just do a FedEx Ground quote on that and prepare to have your eyes water).

I don't have any issues buying used, as electronics, like most luxury goods, lose most of their value in the first year or so of ownership.

Unless it's vintage gear, I do have issues buying electronics that are 25 years old, especially if it's been constantly used and has parts that might reasonably wear out in that time. Depending on how hard and how often this sub's been driven, that driver's experienced a lot of travel. Think of it this way: is the kind of person who buys an 18" sub in 1997 the kind of person who barely used it and only at lower volumes? Maybe, because admittedly I am that guy who plays my system at reasonably levels 99% of the time, but probably not. That type of person is more likely someone who was driving a large room and/or the kind who likes to have friends over to say "hold on to you balls and listen to this".

But even under light-to-moderate use, I'd be hesitant to buy any sub 25 years old in Jedi's case, where he's wanting to save up 2K and is familiar with what modern subs sound like. That's going to turn a $2K Rythmik purchase into a $2250 purchase, as chances are good he won't be happy with the PF1800 for long based on knowing what else is out there. If this was "ignorance is bliss I just want a louder sub than my current 12 inch" I would say do it and don't look back and hope the DT doesn't die.

I take my most recent shopping for speakers example. The first speakers I listened to were some Martin Logans on sale. I was upgrading from my 19 year old MB Quarts. If that had been the only speakers I heard, I likely would have bought the Motion 40i on sale for 1K each for my mains. But I ended up auditioning many speakers and ended up with the (ironic to this convo) Def Tech Demand line, which fortunately was also on sale so the price difference ended up being close. If I'd never heard the Demands, I would have been okay with the 40i. But once I had, even if you'd offered me the 40i for 70% off I wouldn't have taken it knowing that there was something that I preferred so much more on the market. The sound of the Demands would always be in my head. But I went the other route and for 2+ weeks now I've been in my living room in sonic nirvana and have never looked back.
 

JediFonger

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Even if it is a typo, and it is 18", I still stand by the rest of my post (and in fact makes reselling/shipping even worse because the sub might approach 100lbs...just do a FedEx Ground quote on that and prepare to have your eyes water).

I don't have any issues buying used, as electronics, like most luxury goods, lose most of their value in the first year or so of ownership.

Unless it's vintage gear, I do have issues buying electronics that are 25 years old, especially if it's been constantly used and has parts that might reasonably wear out in that time. Depending on how hard and how often this sub's been driven, that driver's experienced a lot of travel. Think of it this way: is the kind of person who buys an 18" sub in 1997 the kind of person who barely used it and only at lower volumes? Maybe, because admittedly I am that guy who plays my system at reasonably levels 99% of the time, but probably not. That type of person is more likely someone who was driving a large room and/or the kind who likes to have friends over to say "hold on to you balls and listen to this".

But even under light-to-moderate use, I'd be hesitant to buy any sub 25 years old in Jedi's case, where he's wanting to save up 2K and is familiar with what modern subs sound like. That's going to turn a $2K Rythmik purchase into a $2250 purchase, as chances are good he won't be happy with the PF1800 for long based on knowing what else is out there. If this was "ignorance is bliss I just want a louder sub than my current 12 inch" I would say do it and don't look back and hope the DT doesn't die.

I take my most recent shopping for speakers example. The first speakers I listened to were some Martin Logans on sale. I was upgrading from my 19 year old MB Quarts. If that had been the only speakers I heard, I likely would have bought the Motion 40i on sale for 1K each for my mains. But I ended up auditioning many speakers and ended up with the (ironic to this convo) Def Tech Demand line, which fortunately was also on sale so the price difference ended up being close. If I'd never heard the Demands, I would have been okay with the 40i. But once I had, even if you'd offered me the 40i for 70% off I wouldn't have taken it knowing that there was something that I preferred so much more on the market. The sound of the Demands would always be in my head. But I went the other route and for 2+ weeks now I've been in my living room in sonic nirvana and have never looked back.

yeah dude. the used gear at this point has probably gone through several hands and my local guy is just another flipper who probably got this from estate sales or something who knows what the history is.

but yes it aint worth shipping subs the cost is way too high but even locally if it’s tough to get rid for my seller then it would be challenging as well for myself.

i would say if it was $50-100 maybe i’d give it a whirl… but a quarter of a grand is just enough to detract from the main mission
 

Carlo Medina

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Keep your eyes on the prize. That Rythmik is going to blow you away. The PSA and Hsu make my old Energy seem like a relic of bygone times. Not just in sheer SPL, but in quality as well. Once you dial them in to your room arrangement (something the PF only has very limited controls to do) you get powerful, deep, accurate bass across the 20hz to x-over point spectrum.

When I got my first sub in circa 1998, it made me realize that I had no idea what bass was like before this.

When I got my first high quality sub twenty years later, it made me realize that I had no idea what good bass was before this.
 

JediFonger

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Keep your eyes on the prize. That Rythmik is going to blow you away. The PSA and Hsu make my old Energy seem like a relic of bygone times. Not just in sheer SPL, but in quality as well. Once you dial them in to your room arrangement (something the PF only has very limited controls to do) you get powerful, deep, accurate bass across the 20hz to x-over point spectrum.

When I got my first sub in circa 1998, it made me realize that I had no idea what bass was like before this.

When I got my first high quality sub twenty years later, it made me realize that I had no idea what good bass was before this.
oh absolutely. when i bought my sub in 2003-ish. i had never owned one prior to that and until you have ANY subs you don't realize you can't even hear the 'presence' or the ground floor room acoustics layer that sound engineers place on great recordings or even great film soundtracks.

so i was skeptical and i knew i wanted the bombastic bass, but i really didn't know that the sub would add so much.

so i'm now lookin forward to having that deep infrasub under 20hz thing in my house =P. i can finally listen to my complete organ works sacd of maurice durufle! cause right now, i can't hear jack hahaha it's like there is nothing on the album
 

JohnRice

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oh absolutely. when i bought my sub in 2003-ish. i had never owned one prior to that and until you have ANY subs you don't realize you can't even hear the 'presence' or the ground floor room acoustics layer that sound engineers place on great recordings or even great film soundtracks.

so i was skeptical and i knew i wanted the bombastic bass, but i really didn't know that the sub would add so much.

so i'm now lookin forward to having that deep infrasub under 20hz thing in my house =P. i can finally listen to my complete organ works sacd of maurice durufle! cause right now, i can't hear jack hahaha it's like there is nothing on the album
A common misconception is that good bass produces "chest slam", but that's NOT good bass. That's massively over ephasized frequencies in the mid bass range, usually around 60 Hz. I think of really good, clean, deep bass as a "sonic massage". It feels like the earth is moving, even though it isn't.
 

JediFonger

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Also to moderate your expecations...unless you have really good hearing you're not gonna hear much below 20...rather you'll feel it.
oh i've felt it before... that's why i want to get it.

it was either that or getting transducer-type stuff.... which i dunno... there is a line of how much you want to spend and i dunno if i'm quite there yet in terms of crossing that line hahaha.

cause that's basically like d-box, i dont even know if that is still a thing.
 

Carlo Medina

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I would go with good, deep bass before any of that other stuff. You can always add that on later if you still feel you're missing something, but good, deep, clean bass will pay off in everything you listen to, both music and movies.
 

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