Polk PSW505 vs BIC F12 SPL and clarity below 30hz? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 02-21-2013, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
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So, I could link to probably 20+ threads about the BIC F12 vs. Polk PSW505 and "which should I buy".

I've done an extensive amount of reading on both, but I can't seem to find any clear information on their output below 30hz.

So far what i've been able to determine all from hearsay is that the BIC provides more SPL and more clarity below 30hz, but not any actual measurements. The closest thing I was able to find is this:

BIC F12:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1368326/subfest-2011-huskeromaha-and-desertdomes-subwoofer-showdown#post_21119776

Polk PSW505:
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_12_2/polk-psw-505-subwoofer-4-2005.html


However, the results (at least to me) aren't clear.

I've read that the Polk actually has higher over all SPL than the BIC, but again this is all hearsay.

Also, how much movie content is actually below 30hz?

Anyone have any technical or first hand experience with this particular topic?
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post #2 of 31 Old 02-21-2013, 08:09 PM
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if it's any help, I chose the f12 over 505. Looks great and sounds really really good when properly tuned imo. I didn't like the silver face of the 505 when all my polk monitors are black with dark silver/grey cones. the f12 matches much easier and wife liked look of f12 more anyways(like sound matters to her).

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post #3 of 31 Old 02-21-2013, 08:14 PM
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If the Polk Is under $200 that is the one I would buy. I would not buy it at it higher price as there are better option.

However when its under $200 its the best subwoofer available with usable output down to 25hz when placed properly in your room.

The graphs I have seen of the Polk show smoother performance versus the Bic F12 which is ideal.

I have heard the Bic H100 and Polk PSw505 in the same room and my choice is the Polk.
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post #4 of 31 Old 02-21-2013, 08:29 PM
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there are reviews that do show the 505 doesn't go below 30hz. or at certain db. something like that. where as f12 will.

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post #5 of 31 Old 02-21-2013, 09:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Threefiddie View Post

there are reviews that do show the 505 doesn't go below 30hz. or at certain db. something like that. where as f12 will.

This what I've heard too! Which is why I'm hoping I can see a graph. In the link I posted below, it looks like the Polk drops off pretty quickly below 28hz(At least in this individuals test).
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyrob425 View Post

If the Polk Is under $200 that is the one I would buy. I would not buy it at it higher price as there are better option.

However when its under $200 its the best subwoofer available with usable output down to 25hz when placed properly in your room.

The graphs I have seen of the Polk show smoother performance versus the Bic F12 which is ideal.

I have heard the Bic H100 and Polk PSw505 in the same room and my choice is the Polk.

Hey do you have a link to the response graphs for the F12 and 505?

Or are they just the graphs in that review that I linked to?

I found this link earlier, and the Polk does pretty well in contrast to the PB10 it looks like above 28hz, then loses about 10 or 15db after that?

http://www.avsforum.com/t/469981/svs-pb10-vs-polk-psw505-freq-chart
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post #6 of 31 Old 02-21-2013, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Threefiddie View Post

there are reviews that do show the 505 doesn't go below 30hz. or at certain db. something like that. where as f12 will.
Please look at the tests linked by the OP the Polk does go be low 30hz just as much as the Bic F12 and it does that with a smoother bass curve cause the tests say opposite to your opinion
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post #7 of 31 Old 02-21-2013, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyrob425 View Post

Please look at the tests linked by the OP the Polk does go be low 30hz just as much as the Bic F12 and it does that with a smoother bass curve cause the tests say opposite to your opinion

These two subs were measured in different situations by different people with different equipment. It's not possible to make claims that one performs definitively better than the other--"a smoother bass curve"--by comparing these measurements.
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post #8 of 31 Old 02-22-2013, 05:35 AM
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There is nothing that clearly indicates which of the F12 or 505 is better. You would probably be happy with either. Both have been reliable.

If you want better: In the under $300 category, the BIC PL-200 is clearly better than either F12 or 505 (according to individuals who have had both at the same time). In the under $400 category, the Hsu STF-2 is clearly better than the PL-200 (according to two individuals in the PL-200 set of comments who have had both the STF-2 and the PL-200).
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post #9 of 31 Old 02-22-2013, 05:48 AM
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It really all depends on your room. I personally was never able to get anything usable below 28Hz on the Bic F12. This is due completely to my room and my seating position though. As the bass in my seating position was at times a bit muddy and hollow on the low end, in a random corner of my attached dining room the bass was much clearer and deeper. In that random corner I had "usable" output down to around 26Hz. But it was useless as I couldn't put my couch in the dining area..

Also, there is a ton of information below 30Hz for movies. There is even lots of music with information below 30Hz. I've recently upgraded from a Bic F12 and now love anything with below 30Hz content.
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post #10 of 31 Old 02-22-2013, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyrob425 View Post

Please look at the tests linked by the OP the Polk does go be low 30hz just as much as the Bic F12 and it does that with a smoother bass curve cause the tests say opposite to your opinion

yeah well there are some that says it doesn't all over the place from googling.

so all dependent on the setup

like i said comes down to it, f12 was prettier for the WAF and it does just fine when properly setup. you can't go wrong with either one.
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post #11 of 31 Old 02-22-2013, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

These two subs were measured in different situations by different people with different equipment. It's not possible to make claims that one performs definitively better than the other--"a smoother bass curve"--by comparing these measurements.
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Originally Posted by Louquid View Post

It really all depends on your room. I personally was never able to get anything usable below 28Hz on the Bic F12. This is due completely to my room and my seating position though. As the bass in my seating position was at times a bit muddy and hollow on the low end, in a random corner of my attached dining room the bass was much clearer and deeper. In that random corner I had "usable" output down to around 26Hz. But it was useless as I couldn't put my couch in the dining area..

Also, there is a ton of information below 30Hz for movies. There is even lots of music with information below 30Hz. I've recently upgraded from a Bic F12 and now love anything with below 30Hz content.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wwinkler View Post

There is nothing that clearly indicates which of the F12 or 505 is better. You would probably be happy with either. Both have been reliable.

If you want better: In the under $300 category, the BIC PL-200 is clearly better than either F12 or 505 (according to individuals who have had both at the same time). In the under $400 category, the Hsu STF-2 is clearly better than the PL-200 (according to two individuals in the PL-200 set of comments who have had both the STF-2 and the PL-200).

AH HA!

Thanks for these responses!

I hadn't considered that the room affects the sub woofers ability to reliably produce frequencies based on size and shape. I'm sure more expensive sub woofers can compensate because of their design/size/output(e.g. HSU VTF-15H).


I suppose you could place both subs on a bench with professional testing equipment and see what each will do, but that could change when they are put in a different environment. I think this would explain why some choose one over the other if they had the opportunity to buy both and try them out. I would do that, but then Amazon would make me pay return shipping on one or the other, and I'd rather not do that. I guess this is just one more reason that audio equipment is highly subjective.

Right now the Polk is $189, and the BIC is $229, it was 187 a couple days ago...

However, chances are both would probably sound good to me. I haven't had the opportunity to hear higher end systems, although there are some members in my area but my guess is that most haven't been active on the forum in ages.

Louquid, what sub did you upgrade to?
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post #12 of 31 Old 02-22-2013, 09:01 AM
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I was comparing ground plane to ground plane in the charts I have seen
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

These two subs were measured in different situations by different people with different equipment. It's not possible to make claims that one performs definitively better than the other--"a smoother bass curve"--by comparing these measurements.
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post #13 of 31 Old 02-22-2013, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyrob425 View Post

I was comparing ground plane to ground plane in the charts I have seen
+1. Assuming they're both referenced to 1w/1m then you do have an apples to apples comparison as far as sensitivity is concerned. Even if they're not referenced to 1w/1m if both are measured ground plane then the response comparison is valid.
Quote:
These two subs were measured in different situations by different people with different equipment. It's not possible to make claims that one performs definitively better than the other--"a smoother bass curve"--by comparing these measurements.
The entire point of adhering to a standard measurement protocol is so that speakers measured in different places by different people with different gear can be fairly and accurately compared. With respect to subs ground plane, which is the equivalent of half-space, is the accepted standard.
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post #14 of 31 Old 02-22-2013, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

+1. Assuming they're both referenced to 1w/1m then you do have an apples to apples comparison as far as sensitivity is concerned. Even if they're not referenced to 1w/1m if both are measured ground plane then the response comparison is valid.
The entire point of adhering to a standard measurement protocol is so that speakers measured in different places by different people with different gear can be fairly and accurately compared. With respect to subs ground plane, which is the equivalent of half-space, is the accepted standard.
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Originally Posted by crazyrob425 View Post

I was comparing ground plane to ground plane in the charts I have seen

Good points. So say one out performs the other on a ground plane test, would that same sub perform better in someones living room than the other then?

crazyrob425, do you have a links to those ground plane charts for both subs so that I may look at them?
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Originally Posted by crazyrob425 View Post

I was comparing ground plane to ground plane in the charts I have seen

As Bill already said, that could work. But your sentence specifically referred to the previously mentioned charts/resources offered by the OP which are not valid for that comparison. I'm pretty sure Archaea's measurements are done in his HT room (I could be wrong).
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post #16 of 31 Old 02-22-2013, 10:48 AM
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Good points. So say one out performs the other on a ground plane test, would that same sub perform better in someones living room than the other then?
Yes. Response in room won't be the same as ground plane, which is typically measured outdoors, but if one sub goes lower than another outdoors it will indoors as well.
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post #17 of 31 Old 02-22-2013, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

As Bill already said, that could work. But your sentence specifically referred to the previously mentioned charts/resources offered by the OP which are not valid for that comparison. I'm pretty sure Archaea's measurements are done in his HT room (I could be wrong).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Yes. Response in room won't be the same as ground plane, which is typically measured outdoors, but if one sub goes lower than another outdoors it will indoors as well.

Ok that makes sense.

So now I need to see if I can find(or if crazyrob posts the graphs) the ground plane tests between the two to see:
A. Which one goes lower.
B. And which one does it better.


I feel like that would be a pretty definitive piece of data to have because these two are so often compared, lots of a good technical information in this thread. In the end some will still choose one over the other based on personal tastes, but having semi solid numbers to look at would be helpful when deciding.
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I think it's more likely splitting hairs to be worried about that kind of difference between these to subs. If the performance is that important to you, you'd probably be better to wait and get the Klipsch RW-12d when it goes on sale at Newegg or get the BIC PL-200. Otherwise, anyone who is this worried about that difference will probably be wondering what a better sub would sound like before too long smile.gif

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post #19 of 31 Old 02-22-2013, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radiohunter View Post

So now I need to see if I can find(or if crazyrob posts the graphs) the ground plane tests between the two to see:
A. Which one goes lower.
B. And which one does it better.
Lower is easy to see from a chart. Better, not so much. What limits driver output is the excursion limit, xmax, and if you don't know that you can't compare their maximum outputs unless someone measured it.

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post #20 of 31 Old 02-22-2013, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info!
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rw-12d goes on sale tomorrow for $279 according to slick deals. BAH! owell got the f12 tuned nicely and sounds great. owell! I still only spent $187 for a sub.

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post #22 of 31 Old 02-22-2013, 08:38 PM
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radiohunter, I upgraded to a DIY 18" Dayton HO. Was thinking of jumping to a higher quality ID sub, but took the leap into the DIY realm.

That Klipsch RW12-d would outperform the Bic F12 and Polk 505 combined(below 30Hz and possibly above 30Hz). For $279, you can't go wrong. I'd jump on that if I were you. If I only had $200 to spend I'd have no problem going with either the Bic or Polk. It would come down to which you think looks better.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Louquid View Post

radiohunter, I upgraded to a DIY 18" Dayton HO. Was thinking of jumping to a higher quality ID sub, but took the leap into the DIY realm.

That Klipsch RW12-d would outperform the Bic F12 and Polk 505 combined(below 30Hz and possibly above 30Hz). For $279, you can't go wrong. I'd jump on that if I were you. If I only had $200 to spend I'd have no problem going with either the Bic or Polk. It would come down to which you think looks better.

I've thought of building my own sub, but for the cost I could almost buy the HSU sub(VTF-15H) i'm planning on picking up once I get a home, which isn't too far off.

Did you do a build thread/pictures for your sub? It's totally cool to see those kinds of things go together.


I'd like to get that Klipsch, where is it $279 at? I've seen it at NewEgg for 299...


Oh wait never mind, I just saw Threefiddie's post.


The only problem is that I have around $120 to Amazon in the form of gift cards which I was hoping to use. The cheapest I can find the Klipsch is 384.00

I'm probably going to go with the BIC if they are really that close. I like the way the BIC looks better more so than the Polk, but I could make an impulse decision and go with the 505 anyways. tongue.gif

I'm waiting for the BIC to come back down in price before I pull the trigger.
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post #24 of 31 Old 02-23-2013, 06:25 AM
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with a giftcard jump on the f12 imo.

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post #25 of 31 Old 02-23-2013, 07:21 AM
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How about the 2 Velodyne VX-11 for $229, my buddy said there definitly worth more then that, and with two, the bass will be smooth, heres the website http://velodyne.com/vx-11.html.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Threefiddie View Post

rw-12d goes on sale tomorrow for $279 according to slick deals. BAH! owell got the f12 tuned nicely and sounds great. owell! I still only spent $187 for a sub.
where did you get the f12 for 187???
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post #28 of 31 Old 02-23-2013, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by rahkz View Post

where did you get the f12 for 187???

I saw it for the price on Amazon for a few days not too long ago.

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post #29 of 31 Old 02-23-2013, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Prime316 View Post

I saw it for the price on Amazon for a few days not too long ago.

Yeah, X2. Amazon has it go on sale once in awhile.

Use camelcamelcamel.com and setup a price alert.

Essentially it's a website that tracks the prices of all sorts of items on Amazon you can see the price history, and set a price alert so it will shoot you an email when it goes on sale, or meets your specific price. I have one setup for the BIC right now.

They also have a version for NewEgg called camelegg.com, does the same thing.
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post #30 of 31 Old 02-23-2013, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radiohunter View Post

I've thought of building my own sub, but for the cost I could almost buy the HSU sub(VTF-15H) i'm planning on picking up once I get a home, which isn't too far off.

Did you do a build thread/pictures for your sub? It's totally cool to see those kinds of things go together.


I'd like to get that Klipsch, where is it $279 at? I've seen it at NewEgg for 299...


Oh wait never mind, I just saw Threefiddie's post.


The only problem is that I have around $120 to Amazon in the form of gift cards which I was hoping to use. The cheapest I can find the Klipsch is 384.00

I'm probably going to go with the BIC if they are really that close. I like the way the BIC looks better more so than the Polk, but I could make an impulse decision and go with the 505 anyways. tongue.gif

I'm waiting for the BIC to come back down in price before I pull the trigger.

For $650 I was able to build a sub that easily outperforms the HSU VTF-15H in both extension and output. A sealed 18" HO or SI 18" would outperform many commercial sub's upwards of three times the cost. For the cost of a VTF-15H you could build dual sealed 18"s and experience true bass nirvana. lol. When you get your home you should definitely go DIY straight away.

If I were to start all over again I would still go with the Bic F12. It was my first true subwoofer for the most part, and performed well. I was very happy with it's performance for both music and movies. It wasn't until I heard someone else's sub play music with 20Hz bass that I wanted to move on from the F12.

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