Funk Audio quad TSAD custom review
Something wicked this way comes...
- Four TSAD18v1 drivers
- 4800 W RMS (9600 W peak)
- AllDSP PEQ
- Quilted Bubinga finish
I contacted Funk Audio in mid-July to see what they might recommend in the realm of an “uber sub”: Clean, flat response down to single digit territory, high max SPL, and a beautiful finish. After tossing some ideas back & forth, the sub described above was what I decided on. I’ve been very impressed with my 18.0, so it didn’t seem to stretch the imagination too far that four TSAD’s in a single enclosure might perform rather nicely.
I considered having the quad done in the same brindle bamboo as my 18.0. Although that wood is quite striking, I thought the quad would look fantastic in a burl walnut. Nathan said that veneer was hard to find in the large sizes that were needed, but that quilted bubinga had a similar appearance and was easier to obtain. The color samples he sent (chili cherry, paprika, and clear) were all very nice, but the stains darkened the wood too much for my taste so I requested no stain. Funk Audio uses a rather flat (12 degree) clear coat as their standard. I requested a shinier varnish (30 degree) to give it a bit more pizazz. For reference, an ultra-high gloss is 90 degree.
After placing my order and waiting nearly 3 months, DHL arrived last Friday and deposited a gigantic plywood crate weighing nearly 400 pounds in my garage. The uncrated sub is probably still around 300 pounds. After realizing that there was no way my wife & I were going to be able to get it in the house and that my decrepit friends were also inadequate for the task, I begged assistance from a helpful Home Depot employee. He stopped over a few hours later & we managed to get it placed.
Once the sub was safely inside I removed the wrapping. Beautiful!!! I knew from past experience that Nathan would do a bang up job, but the finish still exceeded my expectations!
After I finished ogling the massive beast I hooked it up, disabled Audyssey in my AVR, and took some OmniMic measurements. The acoustics aren’t great in the location where the sub had to go, but a few AllDSP tweaks evened the response nicely. I then ran the Audyssey setup, did my usual post-Audyssey tweaks (including an 80 Hz crossover), and measured again. The response improved a bit more. My last week has been spent listening to music & movies, fine-tuning AllDSP settings, and tweaking sub gains in the AVR.
Without further ado, here’s the chart:
I turned off my 18.0 and increased the AVR’s subwoofer gain to the behemouth to run about 10 dB hot. War of the Worlds
is my gold standard for subwoofer testing. I watched the entire movie. The phrase “Freaking incredible!” came to mind many times as the ground quaked, giant alien craft smashed, crashed, and incinerated their way though my home theater. My wife, who normally puts up with my sonic indiscretions, complained afterwords about things rattling on the other end of the house. My first thought was sorrow at disturbing her peace. My second thought was “Shock & Awe: Check”!
Quadzilla’s sound quality is very close to that of my 18.0. At high SPL it seems more tactile. My open floorplan HT doesn’t lend itself to pressurization, but the beast does seem to provide more of a physical sensation than the single 18-incher does. I tweaked the AllDSP settings in the 18.0 yesterday and the measured response with both subs is a slight improvement over the chart above, but nothing significant. (Really, how much better could it get?) Having the 18.0 assist makes a noticeable improvement to the overall SPL output. I’ve lowered the AllDSP Input gains on both subs and the AVR’s subwoofer gain for both subs are set at -10. Even with those low gain settings the combined output provides an SPL that’s about 10 dB hot, which is just where I like it.
I had the pleasure of meeting Nathan and Mark at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest last weekend, and also of having them to our home for dinner. They were both sleep deprived from travelling & the hectic show activities, but they were able to stay for a brief music & movie demo with the new sub. I played a selection from the Eagles Blu-ray - “Funk #49”. (It seemed like an appropriate track...) They also sat through the first half hour of Avengers 3D. Although that movie doesn’t go super deep, it still has some great LFE scenes. The new sub wasn’t optimized at that point (I had received it the day before), but it still sounded incredible. Hopefully Nathan & Mark enjoyed hearing Nathan’s creation in it’s new home. I’m certainly enjoying the heck out of it!