Originally Posted by jsulmeyer
Jim - thanks for the input. I'm curious, other than that price still being too high, what are your impressions, good/bad, regarding the Optimum 10? I'm currently trying it out and my impressions are mixed. I'm comparing it to a 12-inch JBL ES 250, which I picked up on an Amazon lightening deal for $179. Very different sound - much bigger, boomier - definitely fills the room in a way that the sealed Optimum 10 does not. Not sure I like the boominess but I do like that it fills the room nicely. Unfortunately, the thing is HUGE and from an aesthetic standpoint, it's a bit too big and ugly for my apartment's living room. Still, it's a lot of sound for the price, so it may be worth keeping.
In comparison, the Optimum is deep (at times), smooth and tight, but a lot of the time it seems to get lost in the room, and then - when watching movies for example - it suddenly and impressively comes to life - especially the low end. Then, like before, it seems to disappear. I don't know if this is the nature of a sealed sub - especially when comparing it to the ported JBL. The only other sealed subs I tried were both Velodynes - MiniVee 8 and MiniVee 10, and in both cases the same thing happened, so I'm not sure if it's the nature of a sealed sub or the nature of a sealed Velodyne sub. I've tried the auto EQ and it's doesn't help, and my placement options are few.
Any addition thoughts? Do you think the SB12 would have very different characteristics? If so, how? I like the presets and remote on the Optimum and I'd hate to give them up unless the SB12 is that much better/different.
What you describe tends to be typical of a sealed sub in general, but a good sub in particular, so it's not a bad thing.
Quite a number of people seem to feel that if the crash/boom/bang effects are not evident all the time they aren't getting the full value, which is actually backwards; a soundtrack is not designed to be like that. A realistic presentation will have periods of low bass, along with times of prominent bass. When you encounter the situation you have it's often because the sub is doing it's job properly, not the opposite. The entire sound system is supposed to augment the experience, not dominate it.
Unlike most here I don't summarily dismiss the Velodynes. I do have personal ownership experience, and believe they make a quality product (for the most part), but the pricing model is perhaps a bit out of line. The Optimum 10 is a nice sub, with some higher-end features, and getting it for less than $800 is quite a savings, but that doesn't automatically mean it's a good value. It also doesn't mean it isn't either...
The SB12 is almost universally considered a very good sub for a very good price, relative to it's capabilities of course. It's been praised in professional reviews and by the user community alike, so there's little downside to owning one. The Optimum 10 has a stated lower extension of 23Hz at -3dB, meaning with expected room gain 20Hz is not out of the question. Very good for a sub with a 10" driver, no doubt, but at what output level will it be playing that 20Hz? It has to be a certain level -- or above -- in order for it to be considered usable, otherwise it's of no value. What it can effectively achieve I can't say, but physics will play a role; a 10" driver, no matter how clever the design or capable the amp, will have finite abilities. Same for every sized driver, of course, but with the SVS using a 12" you can reasonably assume it's ability will be greater.
There are myriad other things to consider, so this is a rather simplistic view of it, but it should at least give you some understanding of what I'm alluding to. 1200 watts RMS, EQ, remote, DSP, they're all very compelling features, so I understand what's drawing you to the Velodyne. The only potential issue I see would be missing the very last bit of lower extension, vis-a-vis the SVS, so if you're comfortable with that then perhaps the Optimum 10 is the better choice for you. The last part of that sentence is the most critical; ultimately what you select has to be right for you
, which may differ from what might work for someone else. Even if you concede that you have to "give up" something in order to "gain" something else, so long as you're comfortable with those tradeoffs then it's the right choice.