Advice on new sub(s) kindly requested - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 01-20-2013, 05:20 AM - Thread Starter
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After spending countless hours reading through the wealth of information on this site, I think I have narrowed down my choices for a new sub(s) but I thought I would seek advice to try steer me towards a final decision.

My circumstances / requirements are:

Budget: Up to $8k

Room size: 22 x 18 x 10 (sealed room)

Primary uses: 70/30 HT/music

Listening habits: Would like to be able to listen at high levels

Appearance/size: Aesthetics are important (I think all the options below are acceptable, although some are clearly more attractive than others)

Sound preferences: Emphasis on tight, articulate, accurate (mid-upper) bass rather than room shaking/room rattling infrasonic sub 20hz bass (although that's not to say there is anything wrong with that smile.gif). For this reason I'm leaning towards a sealed design, although I have included a ported sub as well in my options below.

Here is my shortlist (with comments):

- Paradigm Sub 15 (expensive for a pair, may be overpriced compared to ID subs, looks superb)
- Paradigm Sub 1 (pair would exceed budget, excellent reviews, looks stunning, a single may be sufficient, but would a pair of Sub 15s be better if I went with Paradigm)
- SVS SB13 Ultra (relatively inexpensive, looks nice in piano black, small(ish) size, excellent reviews, some have suggested these maybe better for music than HT)
- Rythmik FV15HP (excellent pricing, good reviews praising high SQ, not as nice looking as Paradigms or Funk Audio, ported but reviews suggest bass is very tight and similar to sealed subs, not the top of the food chain - will I be looking to upgrade sooner than might otherwise be the case?)
- Seaton Submersive HP or F2 (consistently exellent reviews, good bang-for-buck, more output than Paradigms/Rythmik - but do I need it in my size room, maybe I wouldn't need a pair of these?, not as nice looking as Paradigms/Funk Audio)
-Funk Audio 18.0 (expensive for a pair compared to Seaton, best looking together with the Paradigms, no formal reviews but user reviews are positive and they use some of the best drivers etc, beautiful craftsmanship, like the Seaton is this overkill for my room size? maybe a single would be sufficient?, top of the food chain so unlikely to feel the need to upgrade)

I am leaning towards a pair of Funk Audio 18.0s, but perhaps the difference, in my room, between those and a pair of Rythmik FV15HPs or SVS SB13 Ultras would not be noticeable enough to justify the additional cost (double the cost).

I am open to consider other options as well. Note that I discounted the JTR subs on the basis of their looks and after reading the comparisons to the Seaton Submersive HP, I decided that the Seaton sound characteristics may be better suited. I also discounted the JL Audio offerings.

Please assume that I cannot audition any of these subs.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 29 Old 01-20-2013, 06:14 AM
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Seaton would be my choice for price to performance. But if WAF factor is important, I think the Funk subs are some of the best looking subs out there. For me, it would come down to those two products with WAF being the big decider. Not that the Seaton subs are that ugly, I just think the Funk subs are better looking subs.

Tough choices, and I can't imagine you can go wrong with any of the above.
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post #3 of 29 Old 01-20-2013, 06:34 AM
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The Rythmik FV15HPs are ported but employ servos, so their accuracy is reputed to be excellent. And duals would have plenty of output for a room the size of yours (just under 4,000 cu.ft.).

That being said, and given your budget, I'd go for dual SubM HPs. Their reputation for combining output, extension, sound quality, build quality and good looks is stellar.
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post #4 of 29 Old 01-21-2013, 03:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses. Much appreciated.

I should also add my current sub is a Focal Electra sw1000 Be II, which I bought as part of a full Focal Electra Be II 5.1 set-up. I am not particularly happy with this sub. To me it sounds boomy (it's placed in the front corner of the room as per the Focal recommendation and calibrated using XT32) and lacks punch. Now, by all accounts Focal make great subwoofers, and you'd expect the Electra subs to be excellent, so it may be that I simply do not have it set up properly. On the other hand, perhaps the Focal sub is not sufficiently powerful for a room that size (it's 600watt max 750watt, bass reflex ported design) which would explain the lack of punch, so adding another Focal sw1000 might also be an option to add punch and reduce the boominess?
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post #5 of 29 Old 01-21-2013, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by daver27 View Post

Thanks for the responses. Much appreciated.

I should also add my current sub is a Focal Electra sw1000 Be II, which I bought as part of a full Focal Electra Be II 5.1 set-up. I am not particularly happy with this sub. To me it sounds boomy (it's placed in the front corner of the room as per the Focal recommendation and calibrated using XT32) and lacks punch. Now, by all accounts Focal make great subwoofers, and you'd expect the Electra subs to be excellent, so it may be that I simply do not have it set up properly. On the other hand, perhaps the Focal sub is not sufficiently powerful for a room that size (it's 600watt max 750watt, bass reflex ported design) which would explain the lack of punch, so adding another Focal sw1000 might also be an option to add punch and reduce the boominess?

The Focal sub looks like a nice little subwoofer, but it is probably running out of steam in your room. Adding a second could really help, but you also need to take the time to try measuring your response after moving your subwoofers around. It could be a placement issue. I am also not sure how accurate the specs are for the Focal sub, so it could be the specs are inflated.

If you are looking for really tight accurate bass, the subs recommended in this thread will give you that and then some, but it might be worth it for you to measure your room first and understand how your current subwoofer is interacting. It could be something as simple as moving the sub out of the corner, getting it placed closer to the listening position (side wall, behind your seating, middle of the front wall, etc). You will need to re-run Audyssey after you move it and then measure.

Based on your budget, I would invest in something like this:
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=390-792

It is all plug and play and it just works. You still may find you need a more powerful sub (subs), but it would be nice to see the results on paper vs just guessing.
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post #6 of 29 Old 01-22-2013, 03:26 PM
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I've had the opportunity to hear the Rythmik FV15HP in person, along with the Seaton Submersive HP and F2. The FV15HP is a tremendous subwoofer, but for me it would be the Submersive. Excellent sound quality and depth. The Seatons are impressive subwoofers.

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post #7 of 29 Old 01-22-2013, 06:57 PM
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With your budget and aesthetics being something important to you I would think Funk Audio and Seaton would be your best bet. I know Paradigm makes some nice stuff, but I wouldn't be able to spend that much on a sub knowing what else you could get for the same price or less.

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post #8 of 29 Old 01-22-2013, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daver27 View Post

Sound preferences: Emphasis on tight, articulate, accurate (mid-upper) bass rather than room shaking/room rattling infrasonic sub 20hz bass (although that's not to say there is anything wrong with that smile.gif). For this reason I'm leaning towards a sealed design, although I have included a ported sub as well in my options below.

Rythmik sealed or vented.
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post #9 of 29 Old 01-23-2013, 02:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

The Focal sub looks like a nice little subwoofer, but it is probably running out of steam in your room. Adding a second could really help, but you also need to take the time to try measuring your response after moving your subwoofers around. It could be a placement issue. I am also not sure how accurate the specs are for the Focal sub, so it could be the specs are inflated.

If you are looking for really tight accurate bass, the subs recommended in this thread will give you that and then some, but it might be worth it for you to measure your room first and understand how your current subwoofer is interacting. It could be something as simple as moving the sub out of the corner, getting it placed closer to the listening position (side wall, behind your seating, middle of the front wall, etc). You will need to re-run Audyssey after you move it and then measure.

Based on your budget, I would invest in something like this:
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=390-792

It is all plug and play and it just works. You still may find you need a more powerful sub (subs), but it would be nice to see the results on paper vs just guessing.

Thanks ack-bk. I took your advice and ordered an OmniMic. seems like worthwhile investment. Just hope it is as simple to use as you suggest !
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post #10 of 29 Old 01-23-2013, 02:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jbrown15 View Post

With your budget and aesthetics being something important to you I would think Funk Audio and Seaton would be your best bet. I know Paradigm makes some nice stuff, but I wouldn't be able to spend that much on a sub knowing what else you could get for the same price or less.

Assuming I need dual subs and aesthetics is the deciding factor, it would probably come down to either dual Paradigm Sub 15s or dual Funk Audio 18.0s.

Is there likely to be a big difference in sound quality /output, in my room, between those two subs?

FYI, the Sub 15s would cost me less than the Funk Audio 18.0s and are available now whereas the Funk Audio 18.0s would take 7-9 weeks to get to me, which is also a factor.

Thanks for all the feedback so far smile.gif
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post #11 of 29 Old 01-23-2013, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by daver27 View Post

Assuming I need dual subs and aesthetics is the deciding factor, it would probably come down to either dual Paradigm Sub 15s or dual Funk Audio 18.0s.

Is there likely to be a big difference in sound quality /output, in my room, between those two subs?

FYI, the Sub 15s would cost me less than the Funk Audio 18.0s and are available now whereas the Funk Audio 18.0s would take 7-9 weeks to get to me, which is also a factor.

Thanks for all the feedback so far smile.gif

The Funk subs will have far greater performance, and also look nicer depending on which finish you select for it. In this case, your patience would be rewarded.
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post #12 of 29 Old 01-23-2013, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

The Funk subs will have far greater performance, and also look nicer depending on which finish you select for it. In this case, your patience would be rewarded.

Agreed, the Funk subs are gorgeous.
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post #13 of 29 Old 01-23-2013, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by daver27 View Post

Thanks ack-bk. I took your advice and ordered an OmniMic. seems like worthwhile investment. Just hope it is as simple to use as you suggest !

Well Parts Express has good support and a forum over there as well, so you should have no problem. A number of folks here at AVS use it and there are plenty of threads on the system. For what you are spending, it is a no brainer and it should really give you an idea of how placement and EQ are affecting your sound quality.
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post #14 of 29 Old 02-01-2013, 02:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

The Funk subs will have far greater performance, and also look nicer depending on which finish you select for it. In this case, your patience would be rewarded.

Are there any published reviews of the Funk Audio 18.0s ? I've read alot of positive feedback on the forums but I can't find any full reviews/tests/comparisons with competing subs.
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post #15 of 29 Old 02-02-2013, 01:53 AM
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Are there any published reviews of the Funk Audio 18.0s ? I've read alot of positive feedback on the forums but I can't find any full reviews/tests/comparisons with competing subs.

May I suggest the consideration adding dual Ken Kreisel DXD12012's to your list, as you mentioned tight bass with the ability to handle upper midbass well, plus plunge you to depths when called for, these are new and I would recommend serious consideration i currently have one I just installed in my setup and can't say enough about this sub.

Sww.hometheaterhifi.com/subwoofers/subwoofers-reviews/ken-kreisel-dxd-12012-dual-12-push-pull-subwoofer.html

Secrets has a nice review on it as well!
.
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post #16 of 29 Old 02-02-2013, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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The Ken Kreisal DXD12012s were on my radar but I can't get past the industrial appearance. By all accounts though a great subwoofer.
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post #17 of 29 Old 02-02-2013, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daver27 View Post

The Ken Kreisal DXD12012s were on my radar but I can't get past the industrial appearance. By all accounts though a great subwoofer.

The sub is beautiful and its very favorable comments from my wife, Has the black tie look if you will and far from industrial here's a couple of pics in my setup as I just finished a livening room make over ( I included one of the M&K Mx150 it replaced) not the best pics but enjoy!
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post #18 of 29 Old 02-02-2013, 12:28 PM
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Another suggestion I would seriously look at with your budget, would be to get dual JTR Captivator S2's with a custom finish. Here's a link showing some of the finishes Jeff offers http://jtrspeakers.websitetoolbox.com/post/JTR-Custom-Speakers-5012941
A Cap S2 will pretty much blow any of the mentioned subs out of the water for HT use and give any of them a run for their money with music too.

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post #19 of 29 Old 02-03-2013, 09:33 AM - Thread Starter
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The sub is beautiful and its very favorable comments from my wife, Has the black tie look if you will and far from industrial here's a couple of pics in my setup as I just finished a livening room make over ( I included one of the M&K Mx150 it replaced) not the best pics but enjoy!

Thanks. The DXD12012s actually look quite good in your photos. The gloss black accents are quite classy. Maybe i was a bit harsh describing the looks as industrial...

Wht other subwoofers have you compared KKs too?
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post #20 of 29 Old 02-03-2013, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Another suggestion I would seriously look at with your budget, would be to get dual JTR Captivator S2's with a custom finish. Here's a link showing some of the finishes Jeff offers http://jtrspeakers.websitetoolbox.com/post/JTR-Custom-Speakers-5012941
A Cap S2 will pretty much blow any of the mentioned subs out of the water for HT use and give any of them a run for their money with music too.

The Cap S2 looks like an absolute beast! Would two of those be overkill in my room?

In terms of SQ, I wonder how an S2 would compare to a Funk Audio 18.0 or Paradigm Sub 15?
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post #21 of 29 Old 02-03-2013, 01:28 PM
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Thanks. The DXD12012s actually look quite good in your photos. The gloss black accents are quite classy. Maybe i was a bit harsh describing the looks as industrial...

Wht other subwoofers have you compared KKs too?

I diddn't really have the chance to compare subs only years of whatbad and good bass sound like and my specific needs ,comming back from the days of car audio in the late 80's and good ole' fashion crank it up contest and ripping out a few back seats and building boxes to install dual 15's from M&M to the fabulous Rockford Fosgate "Punches", over the years I've heard and had many decent good subs, but bass quality became a driving passion and I lived with my last sub which was the M&K MX150 mk2 for 14 yrs because not its ability to be last word in extreme lows but for its sheer musicality, but as time marched on and many system configurations latter the MX150 became lacking to the rest of the setup. I considered many of the current offerings taunted highly here in the sub forums and at this level the Seaton's, Rythmik's and SVS SB13 along with JL were on the short list as I only wanted one sub to get it done or add a second to the MX150. I took advantage of the more than generous trade offer on the DXD12012 as I had 30 days to evaluate the sub, upon hearing it as i had a friend who had the MX350 and having heard the legendary MX5000, ken's new sub are a new revelation of bass and what never imagined how well it can be integrated and sound well with any source any bass note it produces is on par with the rest of the bass frequecies no one note sounds great stuff or favorite room mode frquency as per Ken's instructions I have it placed 2" from the side wall and 6" from the rear in this positon I sure expected the favored 50hz note in my room to shine as I had to pull the MX150 a good foot into the room to smooth the bass, coner loading the DXD locks on the room and becomes one with it like you won't believe, keep in mind I have only one your in the market for two (which for me would be more than over kill). its hard to believe at times its only one sub tracking the signal from one or multiple speakers with out drawing attention to itself. I can't stress enough that it's a sub that must be heard to believe! I'm not sure how it compares to the others but my bass is done and done well!

good luck on your search!
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post #22 of 29 Old 02-05-2013, 07:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by audiofan1 View Post

I diddn't really have the chance to compare subs only years of whatbad and good bass sound like and my specific needs ,comming back from the days of car audio in the late 80's and good ole' fashion crank it up contest and ripping out a few back seats and building boxes to install dual 15's from M&M to the fabulous Rockford Fosgate "Punches", over the years I've heard and had many decent good subs, but bass quality became a driving passion and I lived with my last sub which was the M&K MX150 mk2 for 14 yrs because not its ability to be last word in extreme lows but for its sheer musicality, but as time marched on and many system configurations latter the MX150 became lacking to the rest of the setup. I considered many of the current offerings taunted highly here in the sub forums and at this level the Seaton's, Rythmik's and SVS SB13 along with JL were on the short list as I only wanted one sub to get it done or add a second to the MX150. I took advantage of the more than generous trade offer on the DXD12012 as I had 30 days to evaluate the sub, upon hearing it as i had a friend who had the MX350 and having heard the legendary MX5000, ken's new sub are a new revelation of bass and what never imagined how well it can be integrated and sound well with any source any bass note it produces is on par with the rest of the bass frequecies no one note sounds great stuff or favorite room mode frquency as per Ken's instructions I have it placed 2" from the side wall and 6" from the rear in this positon I sure expected the favored 50hz note in my room to shine as I had to pull the MX150 a good foot into the room to smooth the bass, coner loading the DXD locks on the room and becomes one with it like you won't believe, keep in mind I have only one your in the market for two (which for me would be more than over kill). its hard to believe at times its only one sub tracking the signal from one or multiple speakers with out drawing attention to itself. I can't stress enough that it's a sub that must be heard to believe! I'm not sure how it compares to the others but my bass is done and done well!

good luck on your search!

Thanks for your detailed response audiofan1 smile.gif I've been doing some research on the DXD12012 and it gets a lot of high praise, similar to your views. Might have to give it further consideration possibly with JTR Cap S1 / S2 - my shortlist is supposed to be getting shorter !
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post #23 of 29 Old 02-06-2013, 04:32 PM
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OP,
With your budget I recommend you get at least two but maybe even three subs. Not for the output but for a smoother frequency response. It's nice that each sub isn't working as hard too.

I love my dual Rythmik FV15HP's, with multiples you get a 10% off discount on each sub. Agree the finish isn't as high end as the Seaton, Funk or custom JTR, but it is still nice. They do have a piano black finish as well which is very nice if you like that. The non-ported is a bit smaller if that is an issue. 3 F15HP's would be sweet (or maybe the down firing version). If you want the more output then the FV15HP will be the way to go. Also note there will be a dual 15" driver Rythmik called the F25 coming out soon which may be up your alley.

I also heard the Seatons and JTR Captivators at the GTG, they were a step up in output compared to my Rythmik and sounded very accurate as well to me although I do buy into the servo providing better cone control and lower distortion. It's my understanding the Funk is in this high sound quality category as well. I think with your budget I'd probably end up with two submersive HP's in the rosenut looking finish (which is gorgeous IMO) and depending on how flat it measured I may get a third. If I had heard the funk and it was as good as the other's I'm mentioning I would love to have that beautiful furniture grade sub in my home. The captivators I heard were just monstrous amounts of good bass but the finish wasn't there for me, however, those custom finishes look like they'd do the trick though.

In the end if you end up with multiple Seaton, Funk, Rythmik, or JTR's you're going to be listening to one awesome system. Can't go wrong with those brands.

Enjoy
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post #24 of 29 Old 02-09-2013, 04:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the helpful advice and suggestions smile.gif

After weeks of deliberation and research (half the fun!), I've ordered a pair of gloss black Funk Audio 18.0s biggrin.gif

The decision came down to a pair of Rythmik FV15HP / F15HP or a pair FA 18.0s. In the end, the FA 18.0s combination of looks, quality of build, size and (hopefully!) exceptional sound quality won the day. The Rythmiks were a close second, based on the value and top reviews. But I kept coming back to the FA 18.0s and I knew if I got the Rythmiks or any of the other shortlisted options for that matter, I would no doubt keep wondering what all the fuss is about with the Funk Audio offerings and want to upgrade in the not too distant future.

The other options on my shortlist - Submersives, JTR S1/S2, Ken Kreisals, Paradigms - were too close price wise to the FA 18.0s and, for the reasons stated, the FA ticks all the boxes for me. I briefly considered the new FA 18.2, dual opposed 18s, but a pair of them would be way beyond my budget.

Of course it is very difficult to make a decision without an audition , so I have to be guided by the feedback I can find, mainly here and on other forums.

Now the wait begins... up to 3 months with the gloss black option, but I'm hoping Nathan will be able to get them to me sooner!
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post #25 of 29 Old 02-09-2013, 04:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by daver27 View Post

Thanks for all the helpful advice and suggestions :)Now the wait begins... up to 3 months with the gloss black option, but I'm hoping Nathan will be able to get them to me sooner!

Congratulations on your purchase. During this waiting period for their arrival, use to time to buy, download and install room analyzing capabilities and learn how a room analyzing program works so when your babies do arrive, you'll be able to best integrate them into your room's acoustics so as to get the best out of them.

In the meantime, three months is a long time to wait so having something to do while waiting, will help while the time away.
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post #26 of 29 Old 02-09-2013, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by daver27 View Post

Thanks for all the helpful advice and suggestions smile.gif

After weeks of deliberation and research (half the fun!), I've ordered a pair of gloss black Funk Audio 18.0s biggrin.gif

Awesome, congrats. I'm sure you will be very pleased. I've got to hear the funk someday. Owners certainly have very high praise and those things are gorgeous.
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post #27 of 29 Old 02-09-2013, 12:45 PM
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Very nice! The gloss black 18.0s is one of my most wanted subs. Your living my dream!
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post #28 of 29 Old 02-09-2013, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by daver27 View Post

Thanks for all the helpful advice and suggestions smile.gif

After weeks of deliberation and research (half the fun!), I've ordered a pair of gloss black Funk Audio 18.0s biggrin.gif

The decision came down to a pair of Rythmik FV15HP / F15HP or a pair FA 18.0s. In the end, the FA 18.0s combination of looks, quality of build, size and (hopefully!) exceptional sound quality won the day. The Rythmiks were a close second, based on the value and top reviews. But I kept coming back to the FA 18.0s and I knew if I got the Rythmiks or any of the other shortlisted options for that matter, I would no doubt keep wondering what all the fuss is about with the Funk Audio offerings and want to upgrade in the not too distant future.

The other options on my shortlist - Submersives, JTR S1/S2, Ken Kreisals, Paradigms - were too close price wise to the FA 18.0s and, for the reasons stated, the FA ticks all the boxes for me. I briefly considered the new FA 18.2, dual opposed 18s, but a pair of them would be way beyond my budget.

Of course it is very difficult to make a decision without an audition , so I have to be guided by the feedback I can find, mainly here and on other forums.

Now the wait begins... up to 3 months with the gloss black option, but I'm hoping Nathan will be able to get them to me sooner!

Congrats ! keep us posted on your findings as I'm sure it was a daunting task , but hey the decision has been made!

Enjoy the Music and Movies:)
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post #29 of 29 Old 02-09-2013, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

Congratulations on your purchase. During this waiting period for their arrival, use to time to buy, download and install room analyzing capabilities and learn how a room analyzing program works so when your babies do arrive, you'll be able to best integrate them into your room's acoustics so as to get the best out of them.

In the meantime, three months is a long time to wait so having something to do while waiting, will help while the time away.

Good advice, thanks. I've purchased an OmniMic for this purpose. I'm also installing some room treatments, bass traps etc.

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Originally Posted by dstew100 View Post

Awesome, congrats. I'm sure you will be very pleased. I've got to hear the funk someday. Owners certainly have very high praise and those things are gorgeous.

Thanks dstew100!

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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

Very nice! The gloss black 18.0s is one of my most wanted subs. Your living my dream!

Thanks shadyJ. Initially, I was going to go for the walnut wood finish, but the finish gloss black is just stunning. It's done by an auto shop so I expect the finish to be top notch.

I will post lots of photos when they arrive biggrin.gif

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Originally Posted by audiofan1 View Post

Congrats ! keep us posted on your findings as I'm sure it was a daunting task , but hey the decision has been made!

Enjoy the Music and Movies:)

Thanks again audiofan1. I hope I enjoy them as much as you are enjoying your DXD12012!
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