JTR Captivator: A Kinda Comprehensive User Review... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 96 Old 07-13-2011, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
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If most “AVS’ers” are anything like me, they appreciate and even seek out product user-reviews. Beyond just the entertainment value they provide to our hobby, they many times provide a wealth of knowledge, insight, and usage tips that can be critical when considering a new A/V component for our own homes. I know I have personally taken quite a bit away from them and I’m thankful to those who have taken the time to author them.

In my mind, these assessments have become especially beneficial during the last half-decade boon of the ID (internet direct) subwoofer/speaker companies. These outfits, while enjoying of course their own dedicated web-sites/forums and other www outlets such as AVS, suffer from a critical lack of venues where prospective buyers can audition their products…and even more crucially, those where a buyer can compare and contrast at least some of the competing product- something we may have taken for granted with the some of the larger boutique brick and mortar stores that have disappeared over the last 5 years.

With ID’s, if one desires a good once-over, they’ll either require a residence within reasonable proximity of the ID manufacturer, a plane ticket to the aforementioned, or need to reside nearby another forum member who also happens to be kind enough (and available) to offer up their own home and time for a trial. Unfortunately, even if you’re able to partake in any of the above, none of the experiences will really yield a result that will detail how the sub or speaker will sound in YOUR room.

There is of course another option with some vendors, and that is to take advantage of a trial program, where you have “x” number of days or weeks to audition a subwoofer in your own home before making a decision on whether to purchase.

These avenues, while generous and almost certainly well-intended, are still not optimal for some, however. Competently-constructed subwoofers are generally heavy. High performance/output subwoofers tend to weigh as much as an average human…ok, in this day and age of burgeoning waist-lines, let’s say the average female.

With that being the case, a good number of folks are simply not compelled enough to consider (or cannot even entertain the idea due to physical limitations) potentially having to RE-pack and RE-ship a box half the size of a refrigerator. This reality, coupled with the fact that they will (most times) bear the burden of return shipping costs AND its inherent liability- neither of which are terribly attractive during the current state of economic affairs this country is wading through- is enough for many to forgo the opportunity altogether. I for one have had personal sub shipping tragedies myself. Ouch.




So, with most (or all) of the above options off the table, the personal testaments to these products become invaluable for many. And in that vein, here’s my effort to assist my fellow subsonic man.


The JTR Captivator (passive version): A User Review

Getting the 160lb "toy" in the house...

Out of the CRV!



Will these stairs support 400+ lbs?!



Amost there!








APPEARENCE/CONSTRUCTION:





Without running a single watt into it, one could reasonably define “The Cap” (as affectionately referred to by many an owner) as a serious subwoofer. There are larger subwoofers. There are subwoofers that appear very straight-forward. There are however not likely to be many that accomplish both feats as quickly and thoroughly as the Captivator.

A cabinet the size of a dorm fridge housing an 18” driver and two menacing-looking (exposed) ports is not something that will go unnoticed, and if you think you’re going to get away with using it for an end table you had better own furniture that possess the world’s highest arms, as its 30” height will preclude it from being much of anything of use elsewhere in your living room.

Still though, straight-forward isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and in the right environment, it can even appear appropriate. Now, if this matter-of-fact-look is unsuitable to you, go ahead and doll this beast up in some veneer (oak, cherry and walnut are available) at an extra charge and you could then have something that’s nearly acceptable to other humans not of our insanity…I mean ilk.

And duh, since I value my marriage, I chose black oak, and it is excellent, since you asked.

If you’ve read/heard others rave about JTR’s cabinet work, I can attest that the praise has been well-earned. The rounded corners appear symmetrical and uniform. The grain is true and predictable throughout. The driver opening edges on the cabinet are seamless and nary an imperfection can found.

Essentially, the cabinet appears as one would expect from a piece of fine furniture. Not much more you can ask out of a big black cube, as far as I’m concerned.

Adjustable feet (or at least threaded inserts that would accept them) would be nice, but it’s not a deal-breaker. If you’re really hot after them they’re easy enough to add or perhaps you can convince Jeff (JTR’s owner) to add them at a nominal cost. For my application, I constructed a simple, black, padded, riser for under $20. It works quite well, actually.

Simple (if not monstrous), gold plated binding posts adorn the back of the cabinet. They look like mega-thick gold poker chips to me for some reason. Needless to say, they are substantial and perhaps only slight if you were attempting to power a light standard at a football stadium. It appears to me they would accept at LEAST 8 gauge wire if you felt so compelled, as they accepted my 10G stranded variety without complaint. If these do not strike your fancy, I believe “speak-on” receptacles are also available if you so choose.

Overall the appearance and construction of the cabinet is first rate. If you’re looking for a subwoofer with ultra high WAF (wife acceptance factor) you probably won’t be looking at a sub nearly 3 feet high and 2 feet deep to begin with, so its lack of museum-like curves is largely a non-starter as far as I’m bothered. The availability (and competent application) of fine veneers is more than an acceptable middle ground for a subwoofer of this nature.

Looks great with the balance of my system...



PERFORMANCE:

Having both auditioned and owned high performance/output subwoofers, my expectations were high for the Captivator…as they should be. It is not an inexpensive product- arguably even less so at its “new” price-point of $1800 (veneered) when contrasted with many other ID offerings- so it is perfectly reasonable to expect an output and composition of bass that is commensurable to the price-tag.

Before I discuss the sub’s performance though, a quick word about my music and movie “tastes” as well as expectations of a sub of this stature.

First, as far as my personal music/movie “preference”: although a quick peek at my 11 channel DSX array would seem to indicate a primary focus on home theater, my main love is still music. Simple as that, really.

Crucially though, from a sonic standpoint I really do not make the (in my view) ocean-wide distinction between well-produced theatrical and musical bass. Poor bass response is poor bass response. Average bass response is average bass response. Fantastic bass…you get the idea.

Does that mean all subs perform equally well in every room to everyone? Of course not.

While some are (seemingly to me anyway) really after the pronounced (even boomy), overly-robust bass that seems to make a great “home theater” sub (usually/automatically large, ported/bass reflex designs to many, it appears to me), others seem to be able to really do without substantial output capabilities in order to secure the “tight”, “responsive”, and “punchy” bass offered by a great “music” sub (which happen to be smaller, sealed, designs, on many occasions).

But I say: why not simultaneously retain as much quality and quantity (without the boom and bloat, of course) as you can afford?

Even more simply: as far as I’m concerned, a subwoofer in the $2k range should be able to fill a large room with plentiful, musical, and muscular bass, with no significant sacrifice in any area. I think the expectation is a reasonable one for such a monetary expenditure and space allowance.

So then… after first placing the Cap in the identical position I’ve had my last three subs, hooking up my Crown xs900 amplifier and Behringer MIC 2200 PRE/PRO (with only a 17/18hz HPF engaged), and running the Audyssey XT32 (8) position auto set-up on my Denon 4311 AVR, I began rifling through some of my most familiar “bass-laden” music…

Starting with Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain”: who isn’t familiar with the bass line during the bridge of this classic? But don’t forget about the abundant percussion throughout…the great bass drum, especially so during the intro. Their tones were precise, palpable, and notably, lacked the wee bit of muddiness I sometimes encounter with even the best subs in my room. Now in all fairness, my SVS PB Ultra and HSU UL15 never saw the benefits of Audyssey XT 32, so I cannot say how much of this muck was cleared up by it, but my Definitive Technology Trinity DID yield the fruits of XT32 and I simply do not recall it delivering the veracity of attack with a distinct lack of coloration at similar volumes that was readily identifiable with the Captivator.

Moving on, I happily heard more of the same with Sade’s “No Ordinary Love”. The bass I was hearing (and feeling) was not that of which some would anticipate out of a large, vented, box. Even at 90db + volume levels, the character of the response changed little to not at all; very smooth and controlled. It just kept getting louder and increasingly physical if there is such a thing. It was clear it (volume) could continue to rise, but what for? I’m no longer 16 and rock concert levels are more than enough for me, thanks.

Further auditions with the Tron Legacy soundtrack, John Mayer, some straight ahead rock with accomplished drumming (Foo Fighters, Rush), and more electronic selections (Basement Jaxx and Daft Punk) continued to affirm the realization that this subwoofer delivers measured, authoritative, deep bass without an ounce of strain when the content demands it. Pointedly, I was pleased (and a bit surprised) at a near complete lack of port chuffing, even at extremely high levels. Although I’m certain it’s not an accident (given the sheer size of the dual ports), it was a very welcomed change from the vast majority of ported models I’ve auditioned, nonetheless.

Onto movies, I again proceeded to some of the usual suspects within the "bass genre", including War of the Worlds, The Incredible Hulk, Master and Commander, and a newcomer, Tron: Legacy.

And in the most convenient terms: hello Captivator, look out home.

Very infrequently have I been fearful of rotating my volume dial, but the Cap turned such a rarity into a conscious habit…all the while not running a decibel “hot”, mind you.

Waves upon waves of room-pressurizing bass. I would add that this was occurring in a space not exactly the size of a broom closet (my living room is ~1800^3, and it is directly open to an 850^3 dining room as well as a hall way and kitchen nearing 1500 ^3, combined). Quite a bit of volume to still feel like you could have a spontaneous bowel movement on your couch. Cannon shots were coming from the back yard and the Tripods were in the front if you know what I mean.

My aim is hardly to appear flip here, either. If you happen to be privy to the video that emerged from the recent Kansas City subwoofer get together: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCR9iCsVWCM I can assure you that the Captivator can indeed double as a $1500 room fan, if need be.

I always felt the SVS Ultra moved about as much air as one could imagine out of a cube this size between its ports and single driver, but I’d now liken it to a sneeze when contrasted with the Captivator. It really needs to be felt to be believed. I’ve hit ~125db peaks in my room before (verified with a RS SPL meter), but this was simply a different ballgame- truly a visceral caning at times. Colossal.

In the end, while I won’t (and really, can’t) say the Captivator offers the pinnacle of subwoofer performance; I will say it delivered the most accomplished all-around exhibition of any subwoofer I’ve auditioned…certainly in my room anyway. And although I feel very sure-footed regarding my overall estimation of its capabilities, I’d advise those taking my every word to heart to tread lightly, as my comparisons between the Captivator and former subwoofers are obviously derived from my recollection, which we have come to learn can be flawed in this hobby (although still not without some real value, in my mind). In this particular instance, I feel my comparisons of the Captivator to the aforementioned offer considerable validity if only because I am very familiar with both them AND their performance in my room. As I’ve yet to enter the arena of REW and more precise (and useful) measurements, I’d heed (as always): your mileage will vary.

Overall though, if I were to asked to draw a parallel between what I’ve owned/heard in the past and the Captivator, I would attest that it delivers a sound quality to what I would expect a hybrid of my HSU ULS-15 and SVS PB-13 Ultra to sound like: very controlled, accurate, deep bass, while still having the goods to deliver the prodigious amount of home-shaking output that I vividly recall emanating from my DT Trinity (and most certainly, even MORE SO with the Cap- and even more certainly: a brand of it that I would call more “aggressive” for lack of a better descriptor).

And at the end of the day, I suppose a combination of the finest attributes of those heavy-hitters represents the highest compliment I can bestow upon JTR’s offering.

VALUE:

As the text below my username implicitly states, value is the name of the game to me. And I fully realize it’s most times in the eye of the beholder. Keeping that in mind, I can only really attest to what the Captivator means to me from a value POV.

First, it doesn’t take long in this hobby to understand that you can spend a fantastic sum of time and (and more crucially for most) money chasing the final (if there is such a thing, lol) few percentage points of audio/video performance.

Subwoofer sound quality and output is certainly not immune to such a reality.

I realized early on that if I really wanted to reach the pinnacle of bass reproduction I would not necessarily be on the wrong track implementing MULTIPLE high quality drivers in MULTIPLE sealed enclosures, driven by MULITPLE high (read: HIGH) power amplifiers, while re-orientating my room to make the aforementioned possible in the first place.

But (sadly, lol), like the vast majority cruising these boards, I am not currently in the position to do so.

Not monetarily, for the thousands of dollars it would demand. Not from a living space scenario, for the physical footprint it would require. And last, not from a time perspective, where it would surely demand a more concerted effort to have everything purchased (and/or built?!), arranged, and integrated.

With my first little lass on the way , I required a process that was at least somewhat expeditious, space-conscious, and affordable for me.

Keeping all those variables in mind, I am supremely confident I made the right, high-value decision for me. In the interest of full-disclosure, it needs to be noted that I ordered my Captivator just before the price bumped up $300, so I was in at about $1900 for an oak-clad Captivator, amplifier, and EQ/HPF when it was all over. I had to do a bit of searching for a deal on an amplifier, but I can attest very competent units can be had at a reasonable price if you’re willing to do the leg-work.

Onward, since I realize this review is really centered around the passive version of the Captivator, I think it’s only fair to include the total costs of getting a unit up and running when you consider that much of its similarly-priced competition come powered/plug and play, right out of the box.

And while on the subject, a quick note on my choice of a passive Captivator over a powered unit: it simply came down to a personal, perceived value-based choice on my part.

Right off the bat, it’s important to understand that the supplied amplifier with a powered Captivator is not some mickey-mouse trap, but a fully configured DSP, 4 kilowatt power house that’s capable of 7200 watt bursts. Now undoubtedly, this would yield greater output (likely, 3-6dbs) over my Crown xs900 (verified @ ~2,000 RMS watts into 8 ohms, peak output not known), as well as potentially offer improved sound quality, but I had to weigh those benefits against an additional $1400 (powered, veneered units were ~$3300, my total was ~ $1900 for the subwoofer, EQ, and amplifier).

Imperatively though, while the increase in output is all-but a given, the assumed increase in fidelity was not necessarily a guarantee for me, as I’m VERY happy with the results I receive(d) from Audyssey XT 32.

In the end I obviously made the decision to pocket the $1400.

And while I’m confident that one could surely make a different (read: powered) choice and be perfectly content, I can attest that, when contrasted against my ~$1800 SVS Ultra and similarly “street priced” DT Trinity, along with +/- 20% offerings from Seaton Sound, Chase, ED, and others(which are outstanding values in their own right) the passive Captivator cannot be viewed as anything but a thoroughly superb product at a price-point that would be at or near the top of its class.

And that is not to say (and stress) of course that there are not others, as I believe there is room at the top for friends, but in my mind it would be a grave mistake to not strongly consider this subwoofer if you’re in the market for serious, authoritative, low-end reproduction and desire to stay in the $2k ballpark.

I can assure you that it delivers top-flight performance in spades…and at times, breezes.


Report Card (note: all listening was done in "20 hz" mode with both ports open. The Captivator can also be run with one port plugged, yielding a tuning point of 15hz with a slight reduction in output ~ 20hz):

Aesthetics: B-

Craftsmanship/Build Quality: A

Performance:

Extension: A-

Quality: A-

Output: A

Dynamics: A

Value: A

Overall: A


Thanks for reading and I hope some of this was helpful!

James

Actual phone call (see pic to left):

 

Tech (responding to laughter): "I'm sorry sir, did I miss something?"

Me: "Yeah, a case of Diet Mountain Dew walking across my living room."

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post #2 of 96 Old 07-13-2011, 11:40 AM
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Wow James, in addition to being incredibly well written (English major?) this may be the best non-measurements review of a subwoofer ever on AVS (and I’ve been around awhile ). The value proposition and performance level you describe are a real testament to an excellent offering from a nice little US company trying to make a go of it. I have been accused of being a fanboy (by you as I recall) of JTR and now perhaps you better understand my reserved enthusiasm.
Now if you only had some black oak sheathed Triple 8’s (or Triple 12’s) you would really get it … (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

In any case, thanks for the good read and detailed subjective information. As another who has attempted to write my impression of my system and its components, I stand in your shadow.

HToM

"Who are you, who are so wise in the ways of science?"
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post #3 of 96 Old 07-13-2011, 11:41 AM
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Excellent review, James!
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post #4 of 96 Old 07-13-2011, 11:42 AM
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That is quite a write up, James, and you are quite the wordsmith. Nicely done!
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post #5 of 96 Old 07-13-2011, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Good gravy, a great thanks for the praise RMK (and everyone else!). I attempted to convey my thoughts as best as I could.

I really did strive to avoid a "sloppy wet kiss" to JTR, but the product truly is an all-out performer in my mind and even more startling still when you consider that you can spend another 50% (or more) and not reach this level of quality (or quanitity, lol).

James

Actual phone call (see pic to left):

 

Tech (responding to laughter): "I'm sorry sir, did I miss something?"

Me: "Yeah, a case of Diet Mountain Dew walking across my living room."

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post #6 of 96 Old 07-13-2011, 11:46 AM
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Great read and nicely done review!

Life is good.
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post #7 of 96 Old 07-13-2011, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
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And BTW: while I (like most here) adore the measurements, as I mentioned in the review; I simply do not yet have the software (never mind the expertise) that some in these parts do (of which I am deeply grateful) to supply reliable data.

I CAN assure those wondering though that I was hitting 120+db peaks with relative ease in a considerable space at ~7-9', and I never felt (or witnessed) that I was even approaching the driver's xMax, quite honestly.

James

Actual phone call (see pic to left):

 

Tech (responding to laughter): "I'm sorry sir, did I miss something?"

Me: "Yeah, a case of Diet Mountain Dew walking across my living room."

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post #8 of 96 Old 07-13-2011, 12:39 PM
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I love reading well written reviews like this. Great job!!!

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Very well written review James! Thank you for the time and effort. Reviews such as these enrich the community as a whole, for both those who are considering the product, and for those who simply enjoy reading about others experiences.

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Great review James. I certainly could not have said it better. It is hard to put into words the emotions evoked by this sub. I have two powered caps in my room and the results are sometimes downright frightening. If you have not listened to the scene in terminator salvation where they encounter the robot at the gas station you have got to experience that. The rapidly oscillated waves of bass are magical. I think it restructures your molecules
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+1. Would read again.
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post #12 of 96 Old 07-13-2011, 03:30 PM
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Bravo!!! Bravo!!!:d
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post #13 of 96 Old 07-13-2011, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMK! View Post

Wow James, in addition to being incredibly well written (English major?) this may be the best non-measurements review of a subwoofer ever on AVS (and I've been around awhile ). The value proposition and performance level you describe are a real testament to an excellent offering from a nice little US company trying to make a go of it. I have been accused of being a fanboy (by you as I recall) of JTR and now perhaps you better understand my reserved enthusiasm.
Now if you only had some black oak sheathed Triple 8's (or Triple 12's) you would really get it (sorry, I couldn't resist).

In any case, thanks for the good read and detailed subjective information. As another who has attempted to write my impression of my system and its components, I stand in your shadow.

btw RMK, I doubt it was me labeling you a "fanboy" as I generally try to avoid such dreadful, "hipster" terminology AND I've always (if anything) been quite open-minded about the Cap's specs, as I'm usually pretty optimistic about such things until I'm inclined to believe otherwise.

If for some odd reason I did though, my apologies.


James

Actual phone call (see pic to left):

 

Tech (responding to laughter): "I'm sorry sir, did I miss something?"

Me: "Yeah, a case of Diet Mountain Dew walking across my living room."

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post #14 of 96 Old 07-13-2011, 03:45 PM
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This is a fantastic review and as other stated, very well written/worded!

One critique though:
The only thing missing from this review, other than measurements like you stated, is a disclaimer above and or below the pics where you are carrying it from the vehicle and up the stairs: Do Not Attempt this at home kids! or Attempt this at your own risk!

There was a time where I feel I might/could have done that myself and definitely would not look so graceful doing it. Attempting something like that now would probably leave pieces the Captivator and pieces of me on those steps.

You make it look real easy - like you are carrying an empty cardboard box!

All kidden aside, wonderful review James!

Thx,
Claude
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post #15 of 96 Old 07-13-2011, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunga99 View Post

This is a fantastic review and as other stated, very well written/worded!

One critique though:
The only thing missing from this review, other than measurements like you stated, is a disclaimer above and or below the pics where you are carrying it from the vehicle and up the stairs: "Do Not Attempt this at home kids!" or "Attempt this at your own risk!"

There was a time where I feel I might/could have done that myself and definitely would not look so graceful doing it. Attempting something like that now would probably leave pieces the Captivator and pieces of me on those steps.

You make it look real easy - like you are carrying an empty cardboard box!

All kidden aside, wonderful review James!

Thx,
Claude

True! I've done a lot of heavy weight training most of my life, but I concur that this is NOT something I would recommend anyone attempt.

I was simply impatient and didn't want to wait for help (I had waited a considerable time for the sub to begin with, which likely had a lot to do with my haste).

I will tell you that 160lbs in the shape of a huge cube like this nearly 2 feet away from your body is a punishing load...and that's before the 22 steps. It's not an easy undertaking regardless of how strong you liken yourself to be.

That plastic on the sub was another problem too. It required my grip to be ferocious, as my hand began to slip half-way up the stairs. With nowhere to set it down without surely damaging the veneer, it was make the living room or suffer dire consequences.

I did make reach my summit, but I would have never forgiven myself if the outcome would have turned out less fortunate.

Be smart people!

James

Actual phone call (see pic to left):

 

Tech (responding to laughter): "I'm sorry sir, did I miss something?"

Me: "Yeah, a case of Diet Mountain Dew walking across my living room."

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post #16 of 96 Old 07-13-2011, 05:27 PM
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All of this sounds just like when the Conquest was king.
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post #17 of 96 Old 07-13-2011, 08:37 PM
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I was fortunate enough to host the aforementioned KC Subwoofer Gathering with the video linked in mastermaybe's post (Cap blowing the cap ) The best moment was not filmed, but indeed what motivated me to take the camera out was moments like what you see or even when the Cap blew Luke Kamp's baseball cap about six or eight feet back to the seating area. I figured one would have to see it to believe it! We should have rewound the scene and filmed that particular spectacular blast moment, but you still get the idea in the footage we did take!!!!! )

I can attest to the Captivator stealing the show, at least for me -- and against some stiff competition. It didn't necessarily measure the loudest (Seaton or Yamaha did -- though my subjective impressions didn't collaborate), it didn't necessarily look the prettiest (Unequivocally the gloss black SVS PB12 + won that show), it certainly wasn't the cheapest --- but I'll be darned if it didn't sound amazing and proved completely in a different league in my opinion ----- Top Fuel Harley vs. V-Rod Harley, Kawasaki KFX-700 vs. Honda 350EX, Dodge Viper vs. Dodge Challenger SRT8. NOT that the other subs were at all bad by any measure, just that the Captivator was borderline ridiculous! By far my favorite of the meet.

I know not everyone echoed my sentiments --- some people liked the Seaton Submersive better, they felt it was cleaner and possibly even pressurized the room more . I just enjoyed that indescribable "feel" ...the amount of shaking my house, walls, projector screen and very person were subject to coupled with the unique air jet 'esque sensation felt in the front seating position. I also noted the cavalier, nigh reckless abandon that Jeff displayed while controlling the Onkyo AVR's volume while demoing obvious pride and confidence in his product at tremendous output levels with absolutely no fear of damaging the beast!!!! All of this in addition to the near sandstorm dust effect that was stirred up with that crazy air movement. Lint, cat hair, dust, etc were stirred up off the tile floor and flying around through the projector beam light like the tornado scene out of the wizard of oz (none of the other subs had disturbed the previously unseen dust!) --- It just made the movie watching portion of our shootout something of legend! The War of the World's scene was good enough to make you smile in your dreams!

Some people might prefer not feeling the air - and call that more refined. Again the Captivator IMO is something akin to a Top Fuel Harley. Not about finesse, but power and impression! If you've no idea how to make sense of that reference, go to a Harley Drag Race Day and experience the 800hp Top Fuel rocket sleds hitting 225mph in the quarter mile with their riders velcro'ed onto the seats to assist them in staying on the bike!!! -- then liken that over the top craziness to the Captivator experience in the world of subwoofers. It is indeed a very enjoyable subwoofer! My friend, echaot, who drove up from out of state to be at the meet said it this way. 'If you were going to pick a sub out of this group based on raw ability to impress your guests it would certaintly be the Captivator'


http://www.ahdra.com/

"Without subs it's just background music - with subs it's the main event!"
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2011 KC Sub Shootout
2012 KC Blind Sub Shootout

My Subwoofer Recommendations by Pricepoint

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post #18 of 96 Old 07-13-2011, 09:04 PM
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What's interesting about that Captivator at the KC meet is that we now know that it was a crippled Captivator with a defective driver, yet it still made a damn good showing limp and all.
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post #19 of 96 Old 07-14-2011, 01:15 AM
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That youtube video only touches on the fan effect of the Cap. When watching the Incredible Hulk I was able to blow out a match 7 feet away from the vents.
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post #20 of 96 Old 07-14-2011, 03:44 AM - Thread Starter
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I agree with your sentiments, Archaea. And while I would (and really, did in the above) stress the Captivators prodigious and sometimes obscene physicality, I wanted to translate that this sub is by no means a one-note HT wonder, as I was thoroughly impressed with its ability to accurately replicate music that is VERY familiar to me.

There certainly may be better "HT" and "music" subs out there, but I've yet to encounter a unit that does both as adeptly as the Cap.

And although I've yet to hear a Submersive, I'm confident that it too is a real "bo jackson" in the sports of bass as well, based upon numerous personal accounts.

James

Actual phone call (see pic to left):

 

Tech (responding to laughter): "I'm sorry sir, did I miss something?"

Me: "Yeah, a case of Diet Mountain Dew walking across my living room."

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post #21 of 96 Old 07-15-2011, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mastermaybe View Post

I agree with your sentiments, Archaea. And while I would (and really, did in the above) stress the Captivators prodigious and sometimes obscene physicality, I wanted to translate that this sub is by no means a one-note HT wonder, as I was thoroughly impressed with its ability to accurately replicate music that is VERY familiar to me.

There certainly may be better "HT" and "music" subs out there, but I've yet to encounter a unit that does both as adeptly as the Cap.

And although I've yet to hear a Submersive, I'm confident that it too is a real "bo jackson" in the sports of bass as well, based upon numerous personal accounts.

James

The Submersive is perhaps the best sounding subwoofer I have heard. Mark Seaton is aware that there are crazy types who want even more tactile bass effects and that is the reason for his development of the soon to be reality Terraform XL. I believe that the Captivator (and it's Orbit Shifter cousin) are in that class of xtream subwoofer . All will do music and movie effects beautifully ...

HToM

"Who are you, who are so wise in the ways of science?"
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post #22 of 96 Old 07-15-2011, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
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^ Well put, and the Submersive was definitely on my list and I'm certain its selection would have left me grinning like I am now.

I spose I was REALLY looking to extract every penny out of every dollar I spent, and again, while the Submersive is also a bona fide bargain when contrasted with the balance of the industry, it would've taken me another 400 clams over what I spent on the Cap to get one in black oak and prolly another $150 in shipping (I live 7 minutes from JTR ).

So call it another $550. I had to make a tough decision, but I LOVE having these "tough" decisions.

James

Actual phone call (see pic to left):

 

Tech (responding to laughter): "I'm sorry sir, did I miss something?"

Me: "Yeah, a case of Diet Mountain Dew walking across my living room."

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post #23 of 96 Old 07-15-2011, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojomike View Post

What's interesting about that Captivator at the KC meet is that we now know that it was a crippled Captivator with a defective driver, yet it still made a damn good showing limp and all.

Jeff emailed me recently that he should have my new driver by the end of the month so it will be interesting to see if I notice any difference. My driver has made bad sounds but only on one scene from Hot Fuzz where the house explodes so I don't know how defective it really is, like I said I guess we will find out.

Great review James. The problem with reviews like this is that it maked be a bit gun shy to write any kind of review myself. I'll do my best to at least give my impressions of the replacement driver.
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post #24 of 96 Old 07-15-2011, 12:03 PM
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As far as the KC meet, I'll say again that the Captivator was better than the Submersive on movies (for me anyway). Music it was REALLY close, it wasn't like there was much of a difference between the 2.
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post #25 of 96 Old 07-15-2011, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carp View Post

Jeff emailed me recently that he should have my new driver by the end of the month so it will be interesting to see if I notice any difference. My driver has made bad sounds but only on one scene from Hot Fuzz where the house explodes so I don't know how defective it really is, like I said I guess we will find out.

Great review James. The problem with reviews like this is that it maked be a bit gun shy to write any kind of review myself. I'll do my best to at least give my impressions of the replacement driver.

many thanks. As long as you impart the feeling that's all that really matters at the end of the day. I'm confident the "corrected" driver will do nothing but affirm your affection.

James

Actual phone call (see pic to left):

 

Tech (responding to laughter): "I'm sorry sir, did I miss something?"

Me: "Yeah, a case of Diet Mountain Dew walking across my living room."

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post #26 of 96 Old 07-19-2011, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carp View Post

As far as the KC meet, I'll say again that the Captivator was better than the Submersive on movies (for me anyway). Music it was REALLY close, it wasn't like there was much of a difference between the 2.

Just noticed this and yes, it was unbelievably close between the two for music according to the results. As I have listened to it more and more over the last two weeks, I've become that much more impressed with it. It seems there's little it cannot replicate.

James

Actual phone call (see pic to left):

 

Tech (responding to laughter): "I'm sorry sir, did I miss something?"

Me: "Yeah, a case of Diet Mountain Dew walking across my living room."

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post #27 of 96 Old 07-19-2011, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
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In the end, while I won't (and really, can't) say the Captivator offers the pinnacle of subwoofer performance; I will say it delivered the most accomplished all-around exhibition of any subwoofer I've auditionedcertainly in my room anyway.

great review

when you mention "pinnacle", are you referring to anything specific?
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post #28 of 96 Old 07-19-2011, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
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great review

when you mention "pinnacle", are you referring to anything specific?

Other than the very finest subwoofer performance, no. If there's an allusion somewhere in there to a particular brand or product I didn't mean to infer one.

I suppose we all know there's multi-thousand dollar boxes that possess the power, technology, and driver arrays that units like the Captivator, Submersive, and Ultra couldnt touch in output, extension, and almost certainly, sound quality departments.

But to me the real trick is doing it for 15-$1900.

James

Actual phone call (see pic to left):

 

Tech (responding to laughter): "I'm sorry sir, did I miss something?"

Me: "Yeah, a case of Diet Mountain Dew walking across my living room."

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post #29 of 96 Old 07-20-2011, 09:03 AM
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great review!

I watched the youtube video,definitely lots of air velocity through the port. How's the port noise? In other words, how audible is the wind noise coming from the port?

What limit (if any) was reached first? Amp power or woofer excursion?
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post #30 of 96 Old 07-20-2011, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
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^ Thank you. As I said in my critique, I have been quite surprised at the LACK of port noise with the unit. That's not to say you can't get it to create some with certain media at oppressive levels, just that I haven't experienced any of substance thus far.

Perhaps other owners could chime in here?

James

Actual phone call (see pic to left):

 

Tech (responding to laughter): "I'm sorry sir, did I miss something?"

Me: "Yeah, a case of Diet Mountain Dew walking across my living room."

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