BIC F-12 or Polk PSW 505 (both for ~$200) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 01-17-2011, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

I found the following two competitive subwoofers both are on good deals:

BIC America F-12:
  • 12" magnetic cone
  • 150 Watt RMS (475 peak)
  • Sensitivity: 90 dB
  • $200 incld. shipping

Polk Audio PSW 505:
  • 12" magnetic cone
  • 300 Watt RMS (460 peak)
  • Sensitivity: unknown
  • $200 incld. shipping

As you can see, prices are same for both, spec is also very similar. That's why the dillema

I have seen many people on this forum have owned these subs, please share insights here. Specially, if you have had chance to listen to both which one would you go with?

My room size is approx. 22' X 20' and my budget is ~$200 for sub. For this, please mention if you have any other recommendation.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 24 Old 01-17-2011, 04:37 PM
 
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I was in the same exact position as you recently and I ended up buying the F12.
I like their 5 year amp and driver warranty, makes me feel good that I'm covered for a solid 5 years. The PSW505 has a 3 year amp warranty.

I believe they are both comparable, but it is hard to truly judge without hearing them. Unfortunately Bic doesn't sell to retail stores, so you will have to judge it based on other reviews.

+1 for the F12, my room size is 20X14 and I recently talked to an AVS member with the same room size and he said it delivered more than enough bass. I can't wait to receive it this week.
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post #3 of 24 Old 01-17-2011, 05:47 PM
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I recently purchased the PSW505. It was going to replace my Velodyne VX-11 which was going to be moved downstairs. The VX-11 sounds much much better than the 505. I'm not sure if I didn't give it enough time to break in but not even close in sound quality. I played about 20 hours through it. A little deeper though. A friend of mine who has has had quite a few high end subs agreed. He was really surprised that the vx-11 could sound so good considering it's specs and price. So all I can say is I wouldn't recommend the 505. I like Polk too and have RTi4's for fronts and surrounds. I returned the 505.
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post #4 of 24 Old 01-17-2011, 07:52 PM
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I'd suggest neither, and save up for a better sub if you're looking to get the most bang for your buck w/an ID (internet direct) company such as Elemental Designs, Hsu, Rythmik, Epik, or CHT...just to name a few. The Emotiva Ultra 12 would also be a much better sub at $429 on sale shipped right now.

Read a bit more here on the forums here as there's a ton of information, and this suggestion is coming from someone that owns both the PSW10 and PSW505 right now.

Though this is my first post here, I've been a long time lurker and recently upgraded my 10+ year old system and then joined after being unhappy w/my sub purchase (everything else turned out OK) and thought I'd ask tons of questions, but just about everything I could ask has already been answered here. I thought buying a cheap sub would get me by - I first purchased the PSW10 and was completely dissatisfied, and did a bit more research and got the PSW505 thinking I didn't need an "audiophile" grade subwoofer and stayed the cheap route. While the PSW505 is in a completely different league than the PSW10, it lacks on the low end and doesn't fill my room unless placed nearfield (close to the listening area). This is in a ~15x25 room. I'm in the process of deciding on a new sub now, and could have used that $300+ towards a MUCH better sub.

Out of the Bic and the PSW505, if you're stuck on the price, I'd suggest the BiC based on the reviews here and elsewhere regarding low end extension, sound quality, and output. My suggestion on the other companies/subs is out of my own frustration and results - your sub will play a dominant role in your system, and one that may end up costing you more in the long run.
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post #5 of 24 Old 01-17-2011, 08:16 PM
 
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I'm inclined to agree with Clev's advice about getting a better sub off the bat. I originally wanted to get a HSU stf-2, but its not on sale right now. I have two rooms, one of them is big and the other small, so I figure I'd settle with the Bic F12 for one room, until I see the stf-2 on sale.

As for Polk, they are not known for their subwoofers and I've hear a lot of people agree that Polk subs generally suck. I don't hate Polk, I have the monitor series for my other speakers and they sound great, but subs isn't their forte.
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post #6 of 24 Old 01-17-2011, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestion guys!

@techhappy - when r u getting your delivery? Please let me know how it sound in your room?

@djp2k7 - I am surprised to hear that VX11 outperforms a PSW505 with that spec (10" woofer and 100 watt peak!). Moreover, I can a VX11 at amazon for 180 shipped!!

@ClevATL - I agree with you on the higher end one. However, for now I have no sub and the movies are just significantly lacking it. So I want to put something within this budget for the time being.
I also noticed the recommendation tilting more towards the BIC side, but two things confused me -
  1. 300 watt vs 150 watt, I know this is logarithmic, so a PSW505 wont be twice as loud as a BIC, but it *should* still be at least ~15% louder
  2. The reviews of PSW505 owners on amazon, cnet or newegg... there are literally hundreds of owners (as opposed to a handful tens for BIC) and they seem to be super happy with their purchase. Is this because none of these people have heard a better piece?
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post #7 of 24 Old 01-17-2011, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalrashi View Post

Thanks for the suggestion guys!

@techhappy - when r u getting your delivery? Please let me know how it sound in your room?

@djp2k7 - I am surprised to hear that VX11 outperforms a PSW505 with that spec (10" woofer and 100 watt peak!). Moreover, I can a VX11 at amazon for 180 shipped!!

@ClevATL - I agree with you on the higher end one. However, for now I have no sub and the movies are just significantly lacking it. So I want to put something within this budget for the time being.
I also noticed the recommendation tilting more towards the BIC side, but two things confused me -
  1. 300 watt vs 150 watt, I know this is logarithmic, so a PSW505 wont be twice as loud as a BIC, but it *should* still be at least ~15% louder
  2. The reviews of PSW505 owners on amazon, cnet or newegg... there are literally hundreds of owners (as opposed to a handful tens for BIC) and they seem to be super happy with their purchase. Is this because none of these people have heard a better piece?

Check out the F12 thread which has over 1700 posts, you will get a better idea of what people think of it. Most people used to buy the F12 through another online retailer: BLT, because it used to regularly cost more to buy on Amazon. Sometimes the price for the F12 on Amazon has ballooned up to about $260, as compared to BLT, which has always had it for around $180, and it was almost always out of stock so people would wait from a month or two to get one through shopblt.com, even right now the F12 seems to be sold out at BLT.

I'm a proud owner of two F12s, so I'm a bit biased, but I would say pick either one on amazon and see if you like it, if you like it then great if not return it and get the other one.
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post #8 of 24 Old 01-17-2011, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalrashi View Post

Thanks for the suggestion guys!

@techhappy - when r u getting your delivery? Please let me know how it sound in your room?

@djp2k7 - I am surprised to hear that VX11 outperforms a PSW505 with that spec (10" woofer and 100 watt peak!). Moreover, I can a VX11 at amazon for 180 shipped!!

@ClevATL - I agree with you on the higher end one. However, for now I have no sub and the movies are just significantly lacking it. So I want to put something within this budget for the time being.
I also noticed the recommendation tilting more towards the BIC side, but two things confused me -
  1. 300 watt vs 150 watt, I know this is logarithmic, so a PSW505 wont be twice as loud as a BIC, but it *should* still be at least ~15% louder
  2. The reviews of PSW505 owners on amazon, cnet or newegg... there are literally hundreds of owners (as opposed to a handful tens for BIC) and they seem to be super happy with their purchase. Is this because none of these people have heard a better piece?

* From what I've read, it takes 10X the power to equal 2X the sound with the SAME speaker. There's a lot of factors in play though since we're comparing two different subs. Driver efficiency, port tuning frequency, box size, etc. are just a start. If you're looking at equal speakers, the difference numerically would only be 5% (150/3000).

* I'm not at all trying to say the PSW505 is a bad sub. It's a great sub for the price. Polk is a well known brand, and BiC is not known at all, and folks will go w/what they know (myself included). It will play loud, depending on room size, and sound better than any HTIB system. While I can't speak to the BiC's sound since I haven't owned one, if I were to buy at the same price again I would buy the F12 based on my experience and reading more "experienced" reviews of both subs. The price of the BiC right now on Amazon is quite a bit less than the 505 as well.

FWIW - I love Polk, but at the budget level their subs aren't the best buy IMO. That's it. I own an earlier pair of M70's, from the early 90's, that are in a completely different league than those sold today and I have had drivers replaced free twice out of warranty thanks to Polk's incredible customer service. The cabinet wear was the only reason I've replaced them as they still sounded great, and I still can't let them go to the dumpster.
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post #9 of 24 Old 01-17-2011, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClevATL View Post

[snip] ...Polk is a well known brand, and BiC is not known at all... [snip]

That's not exactly true. BIC America has been in the audio industry from the '60s, and started it's own line of speakers in the early '70s.

Matt Polk (and 2 friends fresh out of college) started making handmade speakers in an old house in Baltimore around the same time (early '70s).

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post #10 of 24 Old 01-17-2011, 09:47 PM
 
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I should be getting my F12 by next Thursday via amazon. I'll let u guys know what I think.

I saw this from another post that puts the F12 at the top of the home subwoofer pack:

http://home-subwoofers-review.toptenreviews.com/

Another interesting choice for a little more is the Klipsch Sub 12, which can be found for 250. Some people here say its great, but I hear it has amp issues, which makes me hesitate.
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post #11 of 24 Old 01-18-2011, 02:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Arrite! Ordered a BIC F12 in BLT... Hugely back ordered though... Any idea how long do they generally take? The website doesn't even mention an ETA for this item!
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post #12 of 24 Old 01-18-2011, 02:50 AM
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That chart is ********!
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post #13 of 24 Old 01-18-2011, 03:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elisha View Post

That chart is ********!


Why?
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post #14 of 24 Old 01-18-2011, 06:21 AM
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Polk 505 pretty solid bass to 40-35 Hz

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...er-4-2005.html

Individuals in the BIC PL-200 thread who have had the F12 and PL-200 indicate that the PL-200 is significantly better. Check the thread for how to get the best price.
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post #15 of 24 Old 01-12-2012, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalrashi View Post

Arrite! Ordered a BIC F12 in BLT... Hugely back ordered though... Any idea how long do they generally take? The website doesn't even mention an ETA for this item!

I ordered mine on Amazon and it was here in less than 5 days! That was around the Holidays aswell. Hard to say on a back order, I am waiting for a center channel and they said 5- 10 days and it has been every bit of 10 days!

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post #16 of 24 Old 01-12-2012, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClevATL View Post

I'd suggest neither, and save up for a better sub if you're looking to get the most bang for your buck w/an ID (internet direct) company such as Elemental Designs, Hsu, Rythmik, Epik, or CHT...just to name a few. The Emotiva Ultra 12 would also be a much better sub at $429 on sale shipped right now.

Read a bit more here on the forums here as there's a ton of information, and this suggestion is coming from someone that owns both the PSW10 and PSW505 right now.

Though this is my first post here, I've been a long time lurker and recently upgraded my 10+ year old system and then joined after being unhappy w/my sub purchase (everything else turned out OK) and thought I'd ask tons of questions, but just about everything I could ask has already been answered here. I thought buying a cheap sub would get me by - I first purchased the PSW10 and was completely dissatisfied, and did a bit more research and got the PSW505 thinking I didn't need an "audiophile" grade subwoofer and stayed the cheap route. While the PSW505 is in a completely different league than the PSW10, it lacks on the low end and doesn't fill my room unless placed nearfield (close to the listening area). This is in a ~15x25 room. I'm in the process of deciding on a new sub now, and could have used that $300+ towards a MUCH better sub.

Out of the Bic and the PSW505, if you're stuck on the price, I'd suggest the BiC based on the reviews here and elsewhere regarding low end extension, sound quality, and output. My suggestion on the other companies/subs is out of my own frustration and results - your sub will play a dominant role in your system, and one that may end up costing you more in the long run.

+1 on investing a good sub as it is there to stay for the longest time. In my case, I ordered the HSU VTF2.3 about 6-7 years ago. All of my other equipment has been upgraded since (receiver, speakers, source, etc...) and the HSU is still going strong. I ordered the Klipsch RW12-D last month for my other room and my 7 yrs old Hsu still outperforms the brand new Klipsch.
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post #17 of 24 Old 01-12-2012, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by crazyrob425 View Post

The PL-200 has similar roll off!!! Ricci proved that when he tried the PL-200 outside

I love how you ignore the in-room response report of the PSW505 where the reveiwer states the PSW505 was flat from 25hz and up..... Quit the bias and get serious

You and tvuong are responding to a conversation that is a year old

Not your fault, though. I have no idea why Reefdvr27 felt the need to revive this thread.

Your questions are answered:
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post #18 of 24 Old 01-12-2012, 10:51 PM
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Yep. Year old thread.

For anyone else interested, I happened to notice Amazon has this on sale right now:

BIC F12

$188.38 with free shipping.
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post #19 of 24 Old 10-15-2013, 08:58 PM
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Yes, yes.  Year old thread.  Two year old thread.  Two and half year old thread.  Geez.

 

I just got the F12 in the mail today.   I previously owned a PSW505 (only a few weeks; paid $200 brand new) and purchased the F12 (used-like new; $150) based on the simple concept of DIVERSIFICATION.  Especially after so many reviews had argued that this was a neck-to-neck race that the F12 wins.  After all, Polk does not make good subs and there has to be something better for $200 - right?

 

And sometimes diversification helps and sometimes it detracts.  I have to argue at $200 retail for both subs, I AM NOT UNHAPPY WITH EITHER OF THEM.   But the PSW505 is a better sub IMO for $200 retail.   It isn't quite a neck-to-neck race, but rather the PSW505 by one length (maybe one half if you insist).   And as far as those that say, "Polk does not make good subs", I can say that IMO they built at least one (PSW505) that is better than the F12.  I have not owned nor can I comment on other Polk subs other than the PSW505.

 

Now I'm judging this on sound by pure listening.  I put on a few music songs and movies on to test.  So FYI, here are some specifics:

Music:  Dr Dre - Nothing But a G Thang, Dr Dre - Dre Day, ASAP Rocky - F*cking Problems, 2Pac - I Get Around, The XX - Intro, M83, and like 30 more (really too much to list)

Movies: The Dark Knight Rises (opening scenes), Oz Great and Powerful (climax scenes), U-571 (beginning and close to the ending scenes with depth tests), Iron Man III (climax scene close to the end), Tron Legacy (the scene), Captain America (battle scenes), Heat (shootout), GI Retaliation (scene with Snake Eyes/Storm Shadow mountain side) plus a few others.....I watched the GI Joe R scene so many times my fiancé came into the room to make sure I didn't leave the BR player on "A-B Repeat"......

 

Just to give you an idea.....its like 10pm and the sub arrived at 3pm and I have been experimenting with it (and PSW505) nonstop.

 

Music - the PSW505 was noticeably better....hands down....its hard to argue otherwise....

Movies - tough to tell.....but the PSW505 was louder and the bass sounded crisper and more sustained (esp when I tried one sub at 180 while other was on phase....it was almost like the F12 was not in the room on certain scenes)

 

Both subs have crisp bass and can fill a large living room (20 x ~24) out easily....And I have to say while I know there are SO many factors....but the truth remains that my initial thoughts are THESE.  And I feel I have a right to chip in given I bought this F12 based on some many people arguing the F12 was better (actually all over the internet).  Had I thought so, I wouldn't have posted a word.

 

What was the conclusion?  I would have rather purchased another PSW505 at $200 retail.  But I can't say I'm unhappy with the F12.  At $150 "used" can't say I'm upset with the purchase (afterall,we all have had buyer's remorse - sometimes immediate).  And at $200 retail I would have gotten the 5 year warranty on the F12 .... so I guess that's the cost of the $50 option - used and no warranty.  Hope this thing can make the stretch.  Meanwhile, if Newegg puts the PSW505 on sale for $150...My 7.2 will become a 7.4 .... heck I might add few speakers using preout capability with the PSW505 powering them.

 

Just in case you are wondering:

Receiver - Yamaha RX-A830

Fronts - Polk TSx 440T

Center - Polk TSx 250C

Sides - Polk TSx 220B

Rears - Polk TSx 220B

 

Look I'm not an audiophile...but I am a music and movie buff (esp movies).  Previously, I have owned two other subs (not worth discussing as one didn't cut it and the other I returned immediately) ... Finally found value and performance with the PSW505 and the F12.  But ultimately, better value in a PSW505 (I don't care if their other Polk subs aren't good - this one is).  And I own both.

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post #20 of 24 Old 10-17-2013, 03:48 AM
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For another $30 you could've bought it new from amazon...it took me awhile to get the right settings for both music and movies on my f12. I have a big living room 24x20 that leads to an open kitchen. What worked best for me was to increase the volume at the sub to about the 12 o'clock position and lower the gain on my Yamaha reciever (-2 to 0db). All I can say is that the sub puts serious and loud bass, odd to read that you said sometimes it was barely noticible. But I totally understand speakers are a personal preference. Enjoy the new toy !

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post #21 of 24 Old 10-17-2013, 09:14 AM
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I purchased a bic pl200 from acoustic design for a best offer of $282 shipped. Should be a much better sub than the f12 and not much more in price!

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post #22 of 24 Old 10-17-2013, 06:05 PM
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@Yankees24  Umm, I LOVE MY NEW TOY!!!.....my all in price (tax 8.25% + shipping $0) would've have been ~$197, not ~$180...Amzn charges sales tax in TX....The true numbers I paid was $120 for the F12 + $25 for shipping.  I can give you more details.  I bought this "Used-Like New" on Amazon from koo-sound...he/she stated they used this item to showcase their HT system products and it had very little use.  So I was like why not.  Plus, I have a stats background and I know how manufacturers develop their warranties - in short, through modeling.   **A 5 year warranty is a big statement for ANY product.      ** (WARNING: the next few lines have nothing to do with audio)  No stats background needed, but effectively they are saying that <5% of their subwoofers will have a life shorter than 5 years...of course there exists a variance [an estimate] which describes their tolerance for returns (i.e. up to 10%), but this could be a long discussion meant for another forum ... so lets not go any further ... LMAO

 

@schmize Oh snap....I probably have to get on the watchlist for that pl200!  Or any others in this performance/price range category!!!!    I am not against spending money on another subwoofer...from my earlier post, it might lead you to believe that the 7.2 will be a 7.4 with 3 PSWs and 1 F12......now I'm thinking if I decide to spend more money, I should throw it down on a sub in high performance category that can put both of these to shame.

 

And I wanna add this:  After I posted my orig thread, where my posting had a PSW, PSW, PSW rant....but then yest/today I watched Star Trek Into Darkness and Tropic Thunder (which led me to subsequently play "Flo Rida/T Pain - Low" on repeat --- LMAO)......Again both subs are freaking great....

 

So, I am beginning to lean towards saying its hard to differentiate which is better, from a pure listening perspective.  The size, look, and grill on/off for the F12 is decisively better. They are both worth $200 in my eyes - NO DOUBT ABOUT IT.  I feel I got lucky buying the F12 for what I PAID and what I GOT.  Therefore, I find it hard to believe that anyone would be unhappy throwing a dart to decide which one they buy.  And yes I would pay $200 retail for the F12 if time travel was possible.

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post #23 of 24 Old 10-18-2013, 03:24 AM
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Time yravel IS possible wink.gif

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post #24 of 24 Old 10-19-2013, 11:55 AM
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Ok....Here it is....Newegg has PSW505 @ $150 ($200 with a rebate of $50 when purchased today 10/19/13 and tomorrow 10/20/2013)

 

 

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882290130

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