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post #1 of 198 Old 09-04-2010, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
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I recently got my 18.1 from TweakCity Audio and I've been loving it! I thought I'd share my thoughts on the sub with you all. Cross-posting from the TCA forums, what follows is my review. 18.1 owners, feel free to follow up with your thoughts!

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I don't have an audiophile's ear. That said, here're my thoughts on the 18.1.

When I removed the sub from the packaging my first thought was, "Damn, what a pig!" The packaging says it weighs 92 pounds. This thing is big, dark, and unapologetic. I feel like I could use this thing as an anvil. It's covered in rugged black armor. The driver is massive. I love the appearance! I've never been one for frilly shiny finishes; my bike is flat black by choice. The 18.1 is here to do work. It has the ultimate masculine appearance with its thick and strong features.

Despite its weight and apparent sturdiness, UPS managed to press a 1" groove into the top-rear edge and break all pegs off the grille (of course I've filed a claim). These blemishes are why I haven't posted any pictures. Though the sub is a beast, its packaging was not. The box the sub came in is just slightly larger and there is only additional protection on 8 of the 12 of the sub's edges. Coincidentally, it was one of those 4 unprotected edges that was damaged on my subwoofer during shipping. Functionally, the sub doesn't seem to be damaged. Since the grille is damaged, I've been letting the woofer "get some air", as they say, and I actually prefer the look. Who needs accessories with beautiful boldness like this!

Unfortunately, I can only put the sub in one spot in a corner of the room. I don't have the luxury of a dedicated home theater room, which as it turns out is both a blessing and a pain. The pains are obvious. The blessing is that I get to use the 18.1 nearly all day! It sits behind and to my right as I type this. It's sending its rich, full waves through the room. In this manner, I've spent a lot of time with the 18.1 over the last couple days. I couldn't even bring myself to dial it in until half way through day two because I was so busy enjoying it.

Good lord this guy can belt out some bass! Sometimes you buy something, and it just makes you smile every time it does its thing. Ever since the 18.1 got here, I've been listening to everything at -15.0 or higher whereas I usually kept it at -25.0 or so. The CraigSub is just fun!

Quick equipment run down:
Room: 11'x15' closed
Onkyo TX-NR807 receiving
PS3 for Blu-ray
Home built server severing up music, movies, etc.
Energy RC-10's in front, CC-10 in the middle, and CR-10's for surrounds
The 18.1 of course
Velodyne SMS-1 to equalize the sub

To introduce us to each other, I fired up Terminator Salvation. This movie has an unreasonable amount of LFE; much of it seems to just be there for the hell of it. If you want to determine the pure output capacity of your sub, I think there is no better movie. The helicopter and gas station scenes are especially brutal. I invited my roommate for a listen. He was shocked when the compression waves started tickling his leg hair. I just had a giant smile! I had to straighten the beer signs on my walls after.

I pretty much expected TS to be impressive on the 18.1, so I wanted to see what it would do with a much more reasonably mixed movie. So, I threw The World's Fastest Indian on. The 18.1 was subtle and gentle, that all ended when the Indian revved up. I've been around a lot of straight-piped engines and, as you probably know, it's a violent event when they rev up. I'm happy to report that the 18.1 can be extremely gentle one moment, and then suddenly turn violent when it's asked to be. The cylinder impacts were discernable, not in your ears, but in your jaw. The violence of each explosion ripped through the room giving what was an extremely convincing experience. Screw theaters, they don't have anything on the CraigSub! I feel sorry for friends who think they picked up a real sub at Fry's.

Of course I listened to much more over the next day-and-a-half, but I'm going to skip ahead to the calibration.

First I fired up Audessy and had it do its thing. Since I'll be using the SMS-1 to calibrate the sub's gain, I neutralized the -15.0dB given to the sub. Then I got the SMS-1 going. I've attached before and after images of the frequency sweep. Crossover is set at 70Hz. As I mentioned earlier, I wasn't able to find the ideal room position, so it's very likely that I could do much better than this. I know it looks like I'm running the highs way too low, but I set them to about 76dB before with the sub muted, there's just a null at 200Hz or so. Ultimately, after a couple hours toying with it, this is the best I could do (if I have to listen to another sweep I'll kill myself). I think the low frequency is killing me here as I'm in a small room and the sub was designed, I think, for a larger room.

Anyway, I'm not one to dwell too much on whether the sweep comes out perfectly flat or not, I much prefer the actual experience. So, did the adjustments make any noticeable difference? Hell yeah they did! As I sit here, I am comparing the before and after images for the first time and it's giving me something to help me explain what I'm hearing. That giant peak at 65Hz before calibration seems to correlate to a sound that just seems cleaner when doing comparisons of the un-equalized and equalized sound. For music, I think I'm going to add a slight boost to this area. The boost I made to the low end makes the sub much more tactile (obviously). I thought the 18.1 was powerful before, now it's ridiculous! The details really come out now. When a door slams on screen, it feels like a door slammed in the room.

On to music! As I said, for me, a flat frequency response is not preferable for music. The bass seems much clearer with a little boost around 60Hz. With this bump included, the 18.1 comes alive with music! Anywhere it seemed muddy before, it comes through clean now. I listen to a wide range of music, including some stuff that most of you probably don't. I'm 22 and just graduated college, and I am a product of my generation. I listen to Iconic stuff like Thin Lizzy, classics like Buddy Holly, literal classics like Bach, dark mother****ers like Carl Orff, rockin' Van Halen, blues from guys like BB King, everything. I also listen to newer stuff like Foo Fighters, Metallica, hip-hop like DJ Zeph or 2Pac, and even pop music like Lady Gaga and 50 Cent.

Of all the tracks I listened to (Bad to the Bone was awesome), Metallica's Enter Sandman was probably the most impressive to me. This is a song that holds some special value. It was my favorite song when I was a kid and it's the only song I can play on guitar because I sat and practiced it repeatedly until I got it through brute force memorization. To say I've heard it a lot would be a gross understatement. I've never heard it like this! I mentioned violence earlier, and I still think it's a really key word here. The violence of this song really rips through the room every time the kick drum hits or Jason Newsted gets aggressive on the bass. I listened to the whole album again with a bit of water in my eyes. The Unforgiven was glorious.

Bottom line: the 18.1 can be subtle one moment, extraordinarily violent the next. It's big, dark, and unapologetic for its raw masculinity. It's caused me to go back a listen to some of my favorite material with a tear in my eye.

Sorry for the wall of text. I think D.T.Mike said pretty much what I wanted to get at in his review of the 18.2.

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I can truly say this is the sub I have been looking for It has unbelievable slam, sounds fantastic for music, has the impact of a sledge hammer but will totally disappear in my room. For lack of terminology it does not have that muddy tone, slow decay time if that makes any sense.

I will have to watch all of my favorite movies again there are sounds that have never been heard or felt like this before by me even at low volume settings. For example in WOTW during the pod emergence when the street is breaking up I used to get a constant "rumble" tone that stayed the same. Now the rumble is there big time but at the same time while that is playing there are other bass tones present like heavy things falling with a felt in the chest thud mixed in with the rumble.

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post #2 of 198 Old 09-04-2010, 04:55 PM
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DaneJa congrats on getting your new 18.1 and your review is IMO very well written! Purchasing a product and have it perform better that expected is a good feeling no doubt, enjoy it.
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post #3 of 198 Old 09-04-2010, 09:47 PM
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Subscribed.

Thx for the great review. I have my sights set on duals.
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post #4 of 198 Old 09-04-2010, 09:58 PM
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What are these going for shipped and also are they available for sale yet?

1 Mitsubishi WD-82642 82" TV
1 Onkyo TX-NR929 11.4 setup
2 Emotiva XPA-5's
1 Emotiva XPA-100
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2 Definitive Technology BP2004TL's (Mains)
2 Definitive Technology ProMonitor 1000's (Heights)
6 Definitive Technology BPX's (Rears Wides Sides)
4 CHT VS-18.1 Subs
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post #5 of 198 Old 09-04-2010, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post

What are these going for shipped and also are they available for sale yet?

Pricing, inquiry and other information can be found at the link below.

Yes they are available, mine is due to be shipped next week.

http://www.tweakcityaudio.com/
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post #6 of 198 Old 09-05-2010, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakeman02 View Post

Pricing, inquiry and other information can be found at the link below.

Yes they are available, mine is due to be shipped next week.

http://www.tweakcityaudio.com/

Hey Jakeman02

So are you stepping up from an MFW to 1 of these? Interested in hearing your thoughts on the 18.1 being that you're an MFW owner.

1 Mitsubishi WD-82642 82" TV
1 Onkyo TX-NR929 11.4 setup
2 Emotiva XPA-5's
1 Emotiva XPA-100
1 Definitive Technology CLR 3000 (Center)
2 Definitive Technology BP2004TL's (Mains)
2 Definitive Technology ProMonitor 1000's (Heights)
6 Definitive Technology BPX's (Rears Wides Sides)
4 CHT VS-18.1 Subs
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post #7 of 198 Old 09-05-2010, 11:57 PM
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Former MFW owner, sold as of the beginning of August. Anyway can't wait to get it as I'm subless at the moment and it's getting on my nerves haha. Wish there was a way we could reschedule Labor Day as that's going to give me another 24 hour wait.
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post #8 of 198 Old 09-06-2010, 09:14 PM
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Well I wish there were more people talking about these but I did shoot an e-mail to TCA about getting an 18.1 and hopefully I get the go ahead to pay for it soon. I have been waiting a long time to get a really nice sub and for the price this one is impossible to pass up. If and when I get one in my hands I can post some impressions on it. I don't have spl meters and computer software to measure results in room or anything but obviously that's not all there's to it especially when you read a review like DaneJa's

Ill try and get some pics up whenever I get one as well since those seem to be lacking
I hope the wait isn't more than a couple of weeks god I really want one now heh
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post #9 of 198 Old 09-07-2010, 12:45 AM
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Been researching this sub a lot lately and theres really not that much information out about it other then its a beast. Some of you may have seen my thread about trying to decide between an 18.2 or dual empires and i think i made my choice.

The TCA 18.2 just seems like a monster. I have a small room and so i know this sub will be amazing but i know as much as i love bass ill be adding another 18.2 once i get my first one. Im just starting my Ht project/audio hobby and i have yet to have a good sub only a sub from a panasonic htib, so i cant wait to order this and shake the house down
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post #10 of 198 Old 09-07-2010, 09:38 PM
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DaneJa, considering the size of your room, IMO this particular sub might be an overkill. I wouldn't be surprised if you get a lot of room response/null/echo. Also you mentioned that the subwoofer was damaged during shipping. Since the TCA 18.1 is a sealed sub, you might want to make sure that the enclosure is not damaged.
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post #11 of 198 Old 09-08-2010, 02:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckychuck7 View Post

DaneJa, considering the size of your room, IMO this particular sub might be an overkill. I wouldn't be surprised if you get a lot of room response/null/echo.

You can always smooth the response with additional subs.

Just curious, how did you come to this determination? If the sub is integrated with the room and proper settings are observed, this shouldn't be an issue.

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post #12 of 198 Old 09-08-2010, 10:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by chuckychuck7 View Post

DaneJa, considering the size of your room, IMO this particular sub might be an overkill. I wouldn't be surprised if you get a lot of room response/null/echo.

That's what the gain knob is for. He just has more headroom for dynamic peaks or pushing towards reference volume than most people will with the same sub in larger rooms.

Too much sub is never a bad thing, unless you have drywall issues... or a wife.
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post #13 of 198 Old 09-08-2010, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckychuck7 View Post

DaneJa, considering the size of your room, IMO this particular sub might be an overkill. I wouldn't be surprised if you get a lot of room response/null/echo. Also you mentioned that the subwoofer was damaged during shipping. Since the TCA 18.1 is a sealed sub, you might want to make sure that the enclosure is not damaged.

Having additional headroom will *not* cause any additional frequency related peaks/nulls or any other aberrations in FR or time domain issues. It will just allow him to keep the levels low, ensuring low distortion, and headroom for high SPL peaks, (which are different than FR peaks. ) Headroom is *always* good, and there is no such thing as "overkill".

Craig, (John), (not craigsub)

Lombardi said it:
Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."

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post #14 of 198 Old 09-09-2010, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac_hs10 View Post

got pic? whats the watts on the amp?

http://www.tweakcityaudio.com/forum/...35&postcount=3

The CS-18.1 has an amp rating of 540 Watts RMS.

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post #15 of 198 Old 09-09-2010, 05:14 AM
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Why do you post pictures that cannot be seen unless I register at that site. I'm not going to register at every forum just to look at some pictures. Could you please post them here?
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post #16 of 198 Old 09-09-2010, 05:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Tom Bley View Post

Why do you post pictures that cannot be seen unless I register at that site. I'm not going to register at every forum just to look at some pictures. Could you please post them here?

Unfrizzingbelievable. I WAS JUST ABOUT TO SAY THE SAME THING. I am using an Empire that I absolutely love. I have been discussing the merits of sub 20hz material but have no intention of paying a lot of cash to experience it. Also, I love the SQ of the sealed Empire. I am wondering if I could experience pressurization below 20hz with this sub while still having the SQ of the Empire. I have a small sealed room and multiple subs just isn't practical. I wish Epik made an 18" version of the Empire. Pleaaaasssee post some pics. All this talk about these subs(18.1, 18.2) and I have yet to see pics of the amps, drivers, cabinet, etc.
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post #17 of 198 Old 09-09-2010, 06:08 AM
 
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Try one of these http://www.thebuttkicker.com/home_th...bk_lfe_kit.htm

You'll get to experience the sub 20hz tactile sensation without taking up any room.
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post #18 of 198 Old 09-09-2010, 06:19 AM
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That's why I said, MIGHT...

Where I came from, I have heard people having problems with 15" subs in similar sized closed rooms with untreated concrete walls, tile/hardwood floors... Not exactly optimum place for a HT... You get the idea...

But seeing the OP has an equalizer for the sub, I guess he shouldn't have problem with it.
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Originally Posted by floridapoolboy View Post

Try one of these http://www.thebuttkicker.com/home_th...bk_lfe_kit.htm

You'll get to experience the sub 20hz tactile sensation without taking up any room.

Had my interest until the $500 price. Out of stock anyway.
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post #20 of 198 Old 09-09-2010, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bley View Post

Why do you post pictures that cannot be seen unless I register at that site. I'm not going to register at every forum just to look at some pictures. Could you please post them here?

Apologies, guys. Part of our reluctance to show photos is because we are totally lousy photographers. We should have some professional shots sometime in the next 30 -45 days. Plus we have put our emphasis on achieving a price/performance ratio as optimal as we can deliver.

Anyway, here are some shots taken under less than ideal conditions - dusty factory, mediocre cameras, lousy photographers.




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post #21 of 198 Old 09-09-2010, 10:33 AM
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How much do those 18 inch drivers weigh?
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post #22 of 198 Old 09-09-2010, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdm1699 View Post

Unfrizzingbelievable. I WAS JUST ABOUT TO SAY THE SAME THING. I am using an Empire that I absolutely love. I have been discussing the merits of sub 20hz material but have no intention of paying a lot of cash to experience it. Also, I love the SQ of the sealed Empire. I am wondering if I could experience pressurization below 20hz with this sub while still having the SQ of the Empire. I have a small sealed room and multiple subs just isn't practical. I wish Epik made an 18" version of the Empire. Pleaaaasssee post some pics. All this talk about these subs(18.1, 18.2) and I have yet to see pics of the amps, drivers, cabinet, etc.

Here is a picture of my Dual 18.2's stacked with their amps sitting on top.

I also have 4 Epik Empire's, and they are an amazing sounding sub, but for tactile response, and in room interaction, these 18.2's take things to a whole different level, and it is not subtle at all.

David
LL
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post #23 of 198 Old 09-09-2010, 10:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Rijax View Post

Apologies, guys. Part of our reluctance to show photos is because we are totally lousy photographers. We should have some professional shots sometime in the next 30 -45 days. Plus we have put our emphasis on achieving a price/performance ratio as optimal as we can deliver.

Anyway, here are some shots taken under less than ideal conditions - dusty factory, mediocre cameras, lousy photographers.

[/IMG]

You have my undivided attention. It is perfectly sized for my space. I could afford to hide one of those while comparing it to my Empire. How long is the wait?
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post #24 of 198 Old 09-09-2010, 10:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by bukiwhitey View Post

Here is a picture of my Dual 18.2's stacked with their amps sitting on top.

I also have 4 Epik Empire's, and they are an amazing sounding sub, but for tactile response, and in room interaction, these 18.2's take things to a whole different level, and it is not subtle at all.

David

Thanks a bunch dude. So you get the Empire's performance in full with the added benefit of good sub 20hz performance? Totally happy? The sub 20hz is my only reason for asking. I am happy that you have experience with the Empire. How long was your wait? Thanks again.
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post #25 of 198 Old 09-09-2010, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by mdm1699 View Post

Thanks a bunch dude. So you get the Empire's performance in full with the added benefit of good sub 20hz performance? Totally happy? The sub 20hz is my only reason for asking. I am happy that you have experience with the Empire. How long was your wait? Thanks again.

I ordered the 18.2's on a Thursday, had them on Tuesday.

Prior to the Empire's, I had Dual SVS Pb Plus 2's. The 18.2's are the best purchase for my theater room I have made so far. I have Buttkickers in my room as well, and the 18.2's have made them absolutely useless. The response in room is AWESOME!!! They have made me go back and replay every single great movie scene I can think of, and every time it is the same result, a big old **** eating grin from ear to ear. So yeah I guess you could say I am totally happy.

David
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post #26 of 198 Old 09-09-2010, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mdm1699 View Post

You have my undivided attention. It is perfectly sized for my space. I could afford to hide one of those while comparing it to my Empire. How long is the wait?

We are hoping to be shipping the CS-18.1 by the end of next week. We will be filling the orders we have in line first.
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post #27 of 198 Old 09-09-2010, 02:03 PM
 
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We are hoping to be shipping the CS-18.1 by the end of next week. We will be filling the orders we have in line first.

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post #28 of 198 Old 09-09-2010, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bukiwhitey View Post

I ordered the 18.2's on a Thursday, had them on Tuesday.

Prior to the Empire's, I had Dual SVS Pb Plus 2's. The 18.2's are the best purchase for my theater room I have made so far. I have Buttkickers in my room as well, and the 18.2's have made them absolutely useless. The response in room is AWESOME!!! They have made me go back and replay every single great movie scene I can think of, and every time it is the same result, a big old **** eating grin from ear to ear. So yeah I guess you could say I am totally happy.

David

What size is your room and is it sealed?

Are you saying that the 18.2s have the same midbass as the Empires?

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post #29 of 198 Old 09-09-2010, 08:27 PM
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From what I have heard that seems to be the conclusion on the 18.2's Great LF response well into infrasonic range and also great midbass.
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post #30 of 198 Old 09-09-2010, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lurkerage View Post

From what I have heard that seems to be the conclusion on the 18.2's Great LF response well into infrasonic range and also great midbass.

Well wouldnt that then be what we are all looking for?
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