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Finally got my HRS120 sub!!! (1 Viewer)

JamesDB

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Jan 30, 2003
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I just received my new Mackie HRS120 sub a week ago and wanted to share some of my thoughts, and experiences with this sub in hopes that it can help someone in their search. Due to my amazing hot hot wife I have been driving it with a Denon 3803. For anyone that is considering buying a higher end home class sub ($1000+), I would highly recommend placing this studio class HRS120 on your research list.

Looking for a sub to use for 50/50 music/video is not an easy task. Initially I auditioned a couple of home class subwoofers from Velodyne HGS, and VLF series since my brother in law owned both. I also had the chance to hear a smaller tube SVS along with a Klipsch 12 inch reference ($1500 wow expensive!). Along with these higher end models I heard a smaller Boston Acoustic, and a Polk, in the $500-600 range but I haven’t heard a HSU or B&W. I have to say that although they all seemed good they did not really clearly stun me (except perhaps the HGS 12’’ Velo due to its size). Having some experience in the pro audio field I decided to hear the HRS120 since I know some movies and music are mixed using this sub and sister monitors.

I have to say that I was floored with this studio class 12 inch 400 Watt servo sub. Since this sub is used in recording with +4dBu balanced XLR it is preferable to run it that way, however it also has the standard –10dBV RCA inputs (due to THX requirements) which I am currently using with my input sensitivity (kinda like gain) set at about 1/3 or < -10dBV. Eventually I will place a DBX DriveRack active RTA between it to correct for room modes, room response, and frequency timing but for now I have been running it pure.

In one word I can say that this sub is amazing. I nearly killed myself carrying it into my home since it weighs 94 lbs (almost as much as my wife hehe). I have never heard such accurate tonality from any sub in my life. Further more it is loud, easily reaching reference levels in my 13x16x12 room making my neighbors none too happy :D. I am sure that it could not compete for SPL with an 18inch Velo, but then again it is much more accurate not suffering from transducer (woofer) distortion and costs far less.

For music it is beyond compare, and would be perfect with a pair of HR824 monitors used in the industry to mix the CDs. For movies some might prefer a sub with more distortion as this can add to explosions etc. although I prefer accuracy. As with all subs compromise is at its heart and the HRS120 is no exception. How do you get this kind of extension and control from 12 inches? A bigger box. While this sub is not bigger than a HSU or SVS, it is not as small as the Velo HGS series. If you can find it at $1100-$1150 it’s a great deal and pro audio usually has a much better price/performance ratio than home audio. It has a big brother for those that can’t ever have enough, the HRS150 for $2000 MSRP with 900Watts 15’’ woofer that is now considered the standard for subs. Way too much for me

On a final note I would also like to say that it’s built like a tank using thicker than standard walls (my kid will be able to bang on it all she wants), heavier and larger magnet than home stuff, and true AB class fast response low distortion amp for heavy use.

For those that like technical details, here it is

Sub is ruler flat +-1.5dB from 21-150Hz and –3dB at 19Hz.
Max SPL: 117db @ 1m
Subsonic Filter flat/15Hz, 18dB/octave filter
Filter bypass In/full range (THX)
Filter Select Variable/110Hz elliptical high cut
Polarity 0°/180°
Variable crossover 55Hz to 110Hz, 24dB/octave Linkwitz-Riley filter
THX PM3 studio certified if you care about that
0/+10db switch for recording THX and DTS tracks
Signal pass through / pedal mute
RFI protection
Sensitivity at 7.5dBu/ 1m : 100dB SPL
Distortion: 0.02%
S/N ratio: 107dB at 350watts, 8 Ohms
45 mm cone excursion / 4 inch voice coil
2 12inch transducer (1 active down firing, 1 passive front firing)
Weight: 94lbs

Here’s the website
http://mackie.com/record/hrs120/
The owners manual has a lot more tech info
You can also see a picture of its rear panel online

If anyone has this or the HRS150 I would love to hear your experience and your placement in the room.

James
 

JamesDB

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 30, 2003
Messages
84
Hi Eric,

Using 824's in the front, 626 for center, and 624's for rear. Running them all off a denon 3803. Kinda funny that I don't have to use the Denon's amps right now. With this sub they sound absolutely amazing. What gets me is how I hear all the errors on the recordings, the pics on the strings, the string harmonics on a well tuned Martin, the breath of the singer. Also since I used to be in recording before going into concert sound I love to hear the old analog technology coloring the sound like for instance of the ABBA tracks :) Been wanting to move to 7.1 but right now wife and I looking at getting a new house so that's the priority.

For my needs the sub is absolutely amazing. I'm in a 17wx13x14hft room now and I still don't turn it up more than half way. I've shook pictures off the wall a few times, but for me that's not that cool. I really just prefer the level of control that the sub has and the finetuning allowed by all the buttons on the back. So far I haven't seen any SVS or Rel (mind you they are amazing subs and I love them too) with that kind of circuitry. I think the new PB2 could out woof it by a few db (although not that much given its power rating) but you have to like the ported sound. I cross my HRS120 over at 60hz since I have some standing waves right now is the 70 range that I hope to get rid of with a DBX driverack in the near future.

If you get that HRS150 I think you'll blow anything else away. I heard it outdoes 2 HRS120's!
 

Eric_Strickl

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 19, 2003
Messages
70
I think I gotcha beat
I honestly dont think so. Sure the denali is big as hell but so what? Why doesnt it have xlr ins? I dont know but most pro quality subs do. Can it draw a flat frequency response like an hrs150?? Have you seen the back of the hrs150??? You get way more of everything. Sure denali is louder but loud isnt everything, sound quality is. Did they use the denali to record the 2 matrix films and the animatrix??? Nope they did however use the mackie hrs150.
 

Dustin B

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2001
Messages
3,126
I'm sure the Mackie is a great sub that sounds great (as typically good quality pro gear does). But it won't be able to reach full reference even in a room the size of yours (especially being EQed flat to below 20hz). The HRS150 likely couldn't either. The Denali could come close, but I wouldn't be surprised if even it fell short. Mackie would have found a way to cheat physics if they could get a 12" sub with 400W and an enclosure that small to hit 115dB at 20hz at the listening position (121dB if all your other speakers are set to small).

As for the Denali. It uses the Adire Tumult and a pair of 18" passive radiators that can displace 9L each. The Tumult can displace 5.1L. What makes the Tumult so special though is it's motor topology. Uses a new design patented by Adire called XBL^2. You can read about what it does here.

http://www.adireaudio.com/tech_papers/xbl2_motors.htm

Simply put a few people have killed this driver as it doesn't distort until you've passed it's rather extreme limits, unlike most other drivers that give you plenty of warning they are approaching there limits. Depending on how you look at it that can be a good or a bad thing. Also most people that thought they could hear 18-20hz sounds find out they can't when a Tumult is producing it. What they were hearing before was higher harmonic distortions that the Tumult will not produce.

Then for the amp, I really doubt you could hear the difference between an XLR and an RCA connection on a sub. The amp that is on it is plenty capable. But Acoustic Visions is a custom sub shop. Want a different amp, ask. Want it setup passive and add your own pro amp with XLR connections and outboard active crossover and phase control, that can be done as well.

I still don't turn it up more than half way
This also means nothing. The sub has a gain control not an absolute volume control. You could back it off all the way and if your input signal was high enough still clip the amp.
 

Eric_Strickl

Stunt Coordinator
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Feb 19, 2003
Messages
70
QUOTE]Mackie would have found a way to cheat physics if they could get a 12" sub with 400W and an enclosure that small to hit 115dB at 20hz at the listening position (121dB if all your other speakers are set to small).[/quote]

Uhh the mackie hrs150 is a 15 and 2 passive 12s driven by 950 watts. Your statement could be true if we where in fact talking about the same speaker.

The amp that is on it is plenty capable. But Acoustic Visions is a custom sub shop. Want a different amp, ask. Want it setup passive and add your own pro amp with XLR connections and outboard active crossover and phase control, that can be done as well.
This right here is my problem with this sub. You can get it with what ever amp you want. Sure it sounds like a good thing but you generally get a better sub if every component is made specifically for that sub. Think about it when you buy a Lamborghini do you get to pick what engine it uses?? The Mackie hrs150 to me is just a more complete package. The 15 and two 18s just would not have the speed I am looking for in a sub.
 

Dustin B

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2001
Messages
3,126
I'm not arguing that XLRs could make a difference to active speakers. But to a sub, I seriously doubt it.

I don't understand this matching an amp to a sub. If the amp produces enough clean power for the sub, it will work. It's that simple. Servos need to be matched carefully to a specific sub. Crossovers and rumble filters need a little bit of care for matching, but it's still pretty simple. The amp needs no more matching that having enough clean power.

A pair of 12" PRs would not have enough displacement to prevent compression from occuring when paired with a capable 15" driver. The rule of thumb is the PR's should displace a minimum of twice what the active driver can (preferrably 3 or 4 times).

And give Jason's link a read.
 

Eric_Strickl

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Feb 19, 2003
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70
And give Jason's link a read.
Have you done this research yourself??? Can you show me real world models of it working??? Nope its your theory of someone else's theory which is based on other peoples theories who where biased by theories they had read at one point. Science is only valid if you make it valid. Just like speaker stats.
 

Dustin B

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2001
Messages
3,126
See if you can get a chance to listen to a sub that uses the Siesmic HK8096 driver or the Adire Maelstrom. Those should be 18" driver that can wow you from a sound quality perspective.

I've read many people who claim that a 15" or an 18" cannot sound as good as a 12" and here you are saying an 18" can't sound as good as a 15". Although it is very true that there are only a few good 15" subs out there and even fewer good 18" subs, but they both do exist.

Adire has been at this for quite some time and have loads of first hand experience (they help OEMs who supply drivers to manufactures come up with driver designs). To them it's not a theory, it's experience that they are backing up with science. I just trust their experience as I know first had what their products can do.

If you really liked the Revel B15 you should give a Tumult based sub from Acoustic Visions or Rutledge Audio design a chance. Or hell if you have some tools and time, build the enclosure yourself. I'm confident if you approach the comparison with an open mind you'll find a better sub at half the cost.
 

Dan Hine

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 3, 2000
Messages
1,312
Or how about an 18" Aura driver. I've heard them, sound incredible. Or the drivers used in Meyer's subs. Absolutely killer. They don't go as low as something like a Tumult or even a Tempest. But "quickness" they have plenty of.

On the XLR topic, unless you are running 50ft or more of cable per speaker, you won't really gain the benefit of using it. XLR cables are designed for pro audio applications where (typically) you're running from your FOH console to your amps which 99% of the time are located back stage. So you need 100ft or more of cable that will get the signal from A to B with the least amount of loss. Also, regarding the Mackie systems used in mixing studios...unless you've got $300,000 (minimum) worth of audio equipment in your house, you're not up to the level of needing balance connections throughout. To use the fact that the Denali does not have balanced connections as a way of saying it is not as good is silly.

Sure it sounds like a good thing but you generally get a better sub if every component is made specifically for that sub.
I'd be more inclined to say that you get a sub that hides its faults. The amp probably has eq to boost its dips, lower its peaks and limit its output past a certain freq. Nothing "wrong" with this. But you get artificial response. I'd rather have pure signal down the line, one amp, one EQ and adjust how I want it...in MY room.

And I know a pretty reputable company that won't use Mackie anymore...period. Instead they use Nexo, V-Dosc, Aura, Meyer, Midas, Allen and Heath, Soundcraft...just a few "decent" lines. ;)

But there are others who won't touch Soundcraft or Meyer...to each their own. If you are happy with your stuff then more power to ya! Too many of us are always looking for the next best thing.
 

JamesDB

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 30, 2003
Messages
84
Hey All,

Not to be condescending or rude but I'm a bit disappointed in what I just read here. My purpose in posting my experience was to offer people some information on an alternative sub in the $1200US range not to propagate mine is better than yours threads and confusing pseudo facts. Yes a Tumult, SVS B4 or other 15-18 inch $2000-3000 sub will outperform my HRS120 by a fair margin as I mentioned before. But my room is only 17x13x14ft. If you have a significantly larger room by all means buy a sub that will handle that, but one doesn't need a B4 to reach 20Hz in my size of room at usable levels. In my opinion I'd rather spend the difference on some nice Pass amps or some other toy. Buy 20-50% more than what you need today but present value of money should make you think twice about buying 3x more.

Also please take the time to differentiate between opinions which I know people including myself love to read, and the (incorrect) "facts" we can be so quick to throw around because people that use this forum for learning purposes are likely to walk away knowing even less :).

Anyhow I think the HRS120 is a great sub, offering some very special things that many other subs don't have. But its not the end all and be all of subs. Currently that's God when he shakes Los Angeles with a less than 2Hz 8 Richter earthquake. Now that's power hehe :)

James
 

Eric_Strickl

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 19, 2003
Messages
70
But there are others who won't touch Soundcraft or Meyer...to each their own. If you are happy with your stuff then more power to ya! Too many of us are always looking for the next best thing.
Your right. I love to argue and have enjoyed our argument but we should just agree to disagree.
 

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