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post #1 of 101 Old 07-19-2015, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Aperion Audio Bravus II 12D Alternatives

Hello all,

I have searched this forum and the Internet quite extensively over the past few weeks and have decided to finally start my own thread mostly because the advice I have read is 3 years old and I would like some updated advice.

Firstly, some helpful information:

Budget - I would like to keep it around 1000 USD. If there is something absolutely amazing then I am willing to stretch it to 2000 USD. I know this price range is huge but I really do care about the best bang for my buck.

Size requirements / limits - none.

Room dimensions - 16' x 25' x 8' - 12' (the ceiling is vaulted). The furthest seating position is 12 feet back from the display and the ceiling is about 9 feet at that point so it may be more useful to say that the room dimensions are 16' x 15' x 9'. It is a very weird room with a huge window and open floor plan. I know it is not the best choice for a home theater / entertainment center but it's what I have to work with for a few years.

Primary uses - 75% home theater, 25% music.

Listening habits - I am not a bass head and I like a nice balanced sound with a little splash of treble and bass. I like to crank it up when I am watching a movie but for Netflix and Hulu I tend to sway towards a more subdued volume.

Appearance requirements - I have no problem with a big black box but the main reason why I am leaning towards the Bravus is because it will match my Verus Grand Towers (piano black).

Timeframe - I am in no rush whatsoever. The Verus Grand Towers will be here next week and I will be auditioning them for a while before I decide on a appropriate sub.

Like I said above, I will be receiving two Verus Grand Tower speakers from Aperion Audio next week and will be pairing them with my Denon AVR-X4000. My goal is to add a sub for a nice 2.1 setup, then add a center for 3.1, and eventually add two surrounds for 5.1. If I am pleased the with Verus Grand Towers then the following speakers will also be from Aperion Audio. I have come to this forum for some subwoofer advice. I really like the Bravus II 12D mostly because it matches the rest of the Aperion speakers but that is not a deal sealer for me. I am looking for the best sound for my money and if it happens to not be the Bravus II 12D then I will gladly look elsewhere.

Based on my research and old advice, it looks like Hsu Research, SVS, Rythmik, Outlaw, and Reaction are within my budget and may offer a better value for my money. The problem I am having is picking a few from the long list and sticking with it. I hope to be able to compile a list of at least 5 subs including the Bravus II 12D and narrowing that down to 2 and finally picking one that is right for me. Any advice and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your time,
Ben

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post #2 of 101 Old 07-19-2015, 02:08 PM
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The Bravus II 12D get pretty easily outperformed by many other similarly priced subs. For $1k, I think the top performers will be the Hsu VTF3 mk5 and VTF15h mk2, the Reaction Echo 15 and Gamma 18, and the Rythmik FVX15. Those are all roughly $1k and they will beat the pants off the Bravus sub. One thing that is very peculiar about the Bravus sub is the burst measurements on it are not all bad, but the long term output measurements are awful with respect to the burst results. For example, for the CEA burst measurement for the Bravus at 63 Hz, it posts 113.8 dB, and that is not shabby, but the long term measurements drops to about 101.5 dB for 63 Hz. That is a pretty severe discrepancy. This can be seen here. Anyway, the Reaction, Rythmik, and Hsu subs are all much larger, but they will massively outperform the Bravus sub in any metric for about the same price.
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post #3 of 101 Old 07-19-2015, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post
The Bravus II 12D get pretty easily outperformed by many other similarly priced subs. For $1k, I think the top performers will be the Hsu VTF3 mk5 and VTF15h mk2, the Reaction Echo 15 and Gamma 18, and the Rythmik FVX15. Those are all roughly $1k and they will beat the pants off the Bravus sub. One thing that is very peculiar about the Bravus sub is the burst measurements on it are not all bad, but the long term output measurements are awful with respect to the burst results. For example, for the CEA burst measurement for the Bravus at 63 Hz, it posts 113.8 dB, and that is not shabby, but the long term measurements drops to about 101.5 dB for 63 Hz. That is a pretty severe discrepancy. This can be seen here. Anyway, the Reaction, Rythmik, and Hsu subs are all much larger, but they will massively outperform the Bravus sub in any metric for about the same price.
Thanks for the fast response. I have read about most of the subs that you mentioned and I guess they are still on the top from 3 years ago? Do you think there are any subs in the 1000 - 2000 USD range that would total blow any of the above out of the water or is 1000 USD a great bang for your buck place to be?
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post #4 of 101 Old 07-19-2015, 02:38 PM
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All of these subs are less than a year old. I think you are thinking about the previous versions of the Hsu subs and the Rythmik FV15HP, which is like the FVX15's big brother. As for subs up to $2k that really outperform them, I don't think that many do. Maybe the Reaction Audio Gamma 218. The JTR Captivator 1400 will outperform these, but with shipping that is a bit over $2k.
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post #5 of 101 Old 07-19-2015, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
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All of these subs are less than a year old. I think you are thinking about the previous versions of the Hsu subs and the Rythmik FV15HP, which is like the FVX15's big brother. As for subs up to $2k that really outperform them, I don't think that many do. Maybe the Reaction Audio Gamma 218. The JTR Captivator 1400 will outperform these, but with shipping that is a bit over $2k.
Okay, thanks. I have some thinking to do. Will the Denon AVR-X4000 be able to handle any of these subs? Including the Captivator 1400 and Gamma 218?
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post #6 of 101 Old 07-19-2015, 03:28 PM
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The AVR-X4000 is a very good choice if you want subwoofer integration, thanks to Audyssey's SubEQ. It does especially well with two subs. Audyssey's SubEQ can independently calibrate two separate subwoofers, and this is a major advantage for sound quality. If that is your receiver, you might think about getting dual subs to take advantage of this feature.
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post #7 of 101 Old 07-19-2015, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post
The AVR-X4000 is a very good choice if you want subwoofer integration, thanks to Audyssey's SubEQ. It does especially well with two subs. Audyssey's SubEQ can independently calibrate two separate subwoofers, and this is a major advantage for sound quality. If that is your receiver, you might think about getting dual subs to take advantage of this feature.
Yes, I do own the AVR-X4000 and I do plan to add another sub down the line. How about any 1000 - 2000 USD offerings from SVS?
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post #8 of 101 Old 07-19-2015, 04:55 PM
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I think the highest value sub from SVS is probably the PC12-Plus. I think it might be able to match the deep bass output of these other subs or come close, but I think they will surpass it above 30 Hz. SVS is not bad, but they are behind these others in the price/performance ratio. For example, the Hsu VTF15h mk2 should be able to match or outperform a PB13 Ultra at 25 hz and above, while only trailing it by a bit below that point, and it is half the price. You can get two Hsu VTF15h mk2s for less than a single PB13 Ultra, and they will massively outperform it.
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post #9 of 101 Old 07-19-2015, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I think the highest value sub from SVS is probably the PC12-Plus. I think it might be able to match the deep bass output of these other subs or come close, but I think they will surpass it above 30 Hz. SVS is not bad, but they are behind these others in the price/performance ratio. For example, the Hsu VTF15h mk2 should be able to match or outperform a PB13 Ultra at 25 hz and above, while only trailing it by a bit below that point, and it is half the price. You can get two Hsu VTF15h mk2s for less than a single PB13 Ultra, and they will massively outperform it.
Thanks for all of the advice. I also found the "Best Availalbe ID Subwoofers by Pricepoint" doc here and it's amazing. I'll do some more research and make a decision in a few weeks.
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post #10 of 101 Old 07-20-2015, 06:53 AM - Thread Starter
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I have performed lots of research overnight and have decided that I am going to go with SVS because of their smaller footprint and aesthetics. Most of their offerings are available in a piano black finish which will match the Verus Grand Towers. I do not have an issue with paying a little more for a bit less performance. Do you think I am making a huge mistake or is there no shame in owning a nice SVS sub?

Thanks for any input.
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post #11 of 101 Old 07-20-2015, 07:30 AM
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The ported SVS boxes won't get you a smaller footprint, but the cylinders do. The sealed SVS cabinets certainly have a smaller footprint. The performance for the 2000 series and Ultra series isn't bad. If you aren't in a hurry, Hsu is coming out with a sealed sub called the ULS-15 mk2 in September which, according to the available CEA measurements, more than doubles the performance of the SB2000 and exceeds the performance of the SB13 Ultra, but it only costs a little bit more than the SB2000. It's a bit larger then the SB2000 at 18" wide and deep. Another sub to consider if you are not in a hurry is the Reaction Gamma 15. There is a lead time of the orders of the Reaction subs, but it should have a similarly huge performance advantage over the SVS sealed subs for the same price as the ULS-15 mk2. To be sure, the SVS subs are not bad, I would expect better performance than the Aperion sub, and if you need a sub with a piano black finish and under $1k, the SB2000 is it. You do give up quite a bit of performance for that piano black though. The satin black finish on the Hsu is pretty nice though, and the Reaction satin black looks nice too although I have not seen that one in person.
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post #12 of 101 Old 07-20-2015, 08:24 AM
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Also I would give Power Sound Audio a look. The offer some smallish foot print box subs at a great price Look up the S1500, XV15se, and XS30se.

I also like the specs on the new ULS 15 MK2.

The SVS subs are still great. I have a PC12NSD in my garage and even tho its not rated as a output monster it still puts out a great amount of clean bass.

Getting Started with REW: A Step by Step Guide --> http://www.mediafire.com/view/aolmz2..._101_v3.92.pdf

Mini DSP Tutorial by Neutro --> http://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-su...g-minidsp.html
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post #13 of 101 Old 07-20-2015, 09:27 AM
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Your room is 4800 ft^3, and you are 75% movies; you won't be happy for long with the small sealed SVS subs. I'd bet my current subs on it.
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post #14 of 101 Old 07-20-2015, 10:03 AM
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If you care about the most bang for the buck, look no further than RA subs.

RA Echo 15 ( $950 ) is at least $60 cheaper AND performs better than other similarly priced products.
RA Gamma 18 ( $999 ) is the only sealed 18" sub for $1000 shipped.
RA Echo 18 ( $1300 ) is the cheapest regularly priced 18" ported sub. PSA's V1800 ( $1250 ) is cheaper till the end of the week.

You can ask Jeremy at Reaction Audio about the upcharge for Piano finish.
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post #15 of 101 Old 07-20-2015, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys, I also like the look of Reaction subs so I will take a deeper look at those. My room is 4800 ft^3 but the furthest seating position is halfway back which essentially makes the "home theater" section only about 2300 ft^3. The area behind the couch is empty.
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post #16 of 101 Old 07-20-2015, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warmacblu View Post
Thanks for the replies guys, I also like the look of Reaction subs so I will take a deeper look at those. My room is 4800 ft^3 but the furthest seating position is halfway back which essentially makes the "home theater" section only about 2300 ft^3. The area behind the couch is empty.
The subwoofer will see the entire area, so if you want good bass at all, you will need to pressurize that entire space, not just the home theater section. If you can place the sub next to the couch or right behind it, then you will not need that much firepower, since you would be so close to the sub. That is called near-field placement, it's a lot easier on the sub as well, which means better performance and better long term reliability.
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post #17 of 101 Old 07-20-2015, 10:38 AM
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Re: finish, Reaction Audio can do piano black as a custom offerring, IIRC.
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post #18 of 101 Old 07-20-2015, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warmacblu View Post
Thanks for the replies guys, I also like the look of Reaction subs so I will take a deeper look at those. My room is 4800 ft^3 but the furthest seating position is halfway back which essentially makes the "home theater" section only about 2300 ft^3. The area behind the couch is empty.
Quote:
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The subwoofer will see the entire area, so if you want good bass at all, you will need to pressurize that entire space, not just the home theater section. If you can place the sub next to the couch or right behind it, then you will not need that much firepower, since you would be so close to the sub. That is called near-field placement, it's a lot easier on the sub as well, which means better performance and better long term reliability.
This.

And, if this space is open to other spaces (dining, kitchen, hallway, etc.) it's even bigger than you think.


Also, just to give you some peace of mind...you're getting some great advice from some of the most experienced subwoofer guys on the forum. They know what they're talking about (esp. Shady & basshead....even though Shady hates PSA ).
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post #19 of 101 Old 07-20-2015, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for the awesome responses. Do you recommend I solely look at ported subs due to the big area? I also want to stress that my budget can stretch up to $2000 if there is an offering that will total blow the others out of the water. Reaction Gamma 218 maybe?

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post #20 of 101 Old 07-20-2015, 12:11 PM
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Thanks guys for the awesome responses. Do you recommend I solely look at ported subs due to the big area? I also want to stress that my budget can stretch up to $2000 if there is an offering that will total blow the others out of the water. Reaction Gamma 218 maybe?
Ported subs are quite a bit larger, but they will give you deep bass. Sealed subs will struggle with deep bass in that space. I would go ported.
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post #21 of 101 Old 07-20-2015, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warmacblu View Post
Thanks guys for the awesome responses. Do you recommend I solely look at ported subs due to the big area? I also want to stress that my budget can stretch up to $2000 if there is an offering that will total blow the others out of the water. Reaction Gamma 218 maybe?
I would only look at ported subs in your large space.

Currently the ported sub with the most output under $2000 would be RA Echo 18. I am surprised that there isn't any ported ones in $ 1500 - $2000 range. So you can save some $$$ by going with RA Echo 18.

If you can stretch your budget just a little bit further to $2150, you can get JTR Cap 1400, which is undeniably THE offering that will totally blow the others out the water. It is also tested on Data-bass, to boot.
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post #22 of 101 Old 07-20-2015, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warmacblu View Post
Thanks guys for the awesome responses. Do you recommend I solely look at ported subs due to the big area? I also want to stress that my budget can stretch up to $2000 if there is an offering that will total blow the others out of the water. Reaction Gamma 218 maybe?
Weird rooms are good. Speakers and subs usually like weird rooms more than symmetrical rooms.

Your room of 4,000 cu. ft. falls right in the middle of a large room (3,000 to 5,000 cu. ft.). Most people will tell you to go ported, and with solid reasons. I’m one of a few that will tell you that a good sealed design can really impress in that size room. And the Gamma 218 would certainly be extremely impressive (as is the S3000i from PSA). But the Gamma is a big sub (makes the Seaton SubMersive look small and the S3000i look tiny).

You noted that you aren’t looking for reference levels, but enjoy some media played very loudly at times. Very loudly and reference are two different things. I don’t play at reference levels, nor anything approaching reference levels, but I do play movies very loudly. My room is a bit smaller at 3,400 cu. ft., but has 3 openings (two 4-foot openings and a 6-foot opening to the kitchen), so I have a lot of cubic footage to fill. The S3000i I just tested has no problem slamming and shaking everything in sight, so don’t think a sealed sub can’t perform impressively in your room. It can. People often assume one is looking for reference levels and beyond, when in fact most people do not listen at those levels.

If you have a small seating area (like a couch or a couple of chairs), one subwoofer is probably all you need. That is all I needed, but I have excellent coverage at my listening position. If, however, you have multiple seating over a fairly large area, two subs will probably be necessary. If it were me, and it isn’t, I’d try out one sub first, hopefully with free home trials (free return shipping). You will then be able to better assess your situation. We here can only guess and approximate.

Music area: Magnepan 3.6, McIntosh MC2205 & C48, SVS SB13-Ultra, Oppo BDP 95 and assorted equipment.
Movie area: EMP Tek R5Bi, PSA XS30, Denon X2000, Oppo BDP 83.
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post #23 of 101 Old 07-20-2015, 01:12 PM
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I think you have two good options here:

1) Start with one or two $1000 ported subs:
PSA V1500
Hsu VTF15.2
RA Echo 15
Rythmik FVX 15

2) Start with one monster ported sub....period(right at your max budget):
JTR Cap1400
PSA V3600
RA Echo 18 this and the next come in quite a bit under max budget
PSA V1800
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post #24 of 101 Old 07-20-2015, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
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I think you have two good options here:

1) Start with one or two $1000 ported subs:
PSA V1500
Hsu VTF15.2
RA Echo 15
Rythmik FVX 15

2) Start with one monster ported sub....period(right at your max budget):
JTR Cap1400
PSA V3600
RA Echo 18 this and the next come in quite a bit under max budget
PSA V1800
Thanks again guys, I have narrowed my choices down to 2 ported and 2 sealed:

Sealed:
PSA S3000i
Reaction Audio Gamma 218

Ported:
PSA V1800
Reaction Audio Echo 18

The JTR and PSA V3600 is just too much out of my preferred budget range and the V3600 is just gigantic (40 inches tall!!!). I'm not sure if I can convince my significant other to accept that. I hopped this wouldn't of boiled down to ported vs sealed but both of my choices seem great. Please attempt to break down my choices for me.

Thanks again for all of the help, I truly appreciate it.
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post #25 of 101 Old 07-20-2015, 02:00 PM
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FYI, you could lay the V3600 on its side...

Yippee-ki-yay...
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post #26 of 101 Old 07-20-2015, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
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FYI, you could lay the V3600 on its side...
Hah! True ... Hm ... *rubs chin*

Truth be told, I really want to stick around 1500 USD (without custom finish from RA) and I am leaning heavily towards the Reaction Audio offerings. Not only do they seem more powerful according to the spec sheets (not a good indication, I know), Reaction Audio is located closer to me (Florida) and they may be able to offer a piano black finish which is something I desire. If there is any huge reason why I should not purchase a RA sub over a PSA sub then I will probably be giving them a call by the end of the week.
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post #27 of 101 Old 07-20-2015, 03:56 PM
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Hah! True ... Hm ... *rubs chin*

Truth be told, I really want to stick around 1500 USD (without custom finish from RA) and I am leaning heavily towards the Reaction Audio offerings. Not only do they seem more powerful according to the spec sheets (not a good indication, I know), Reaction Audio is located closer to me (Florida) and they may be able to offer a piano black finish which is something I desire. If there is any huge reason why I should not purchase a RA sub over a PSA sub then I will probably be giving them a call by the end of the week.
Then Piano finished RA Echo 18 it is!!! Give Jeremy a call. He will take good care of you.
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post #28 of 101 Old 07-20-2015, 04:07 PM
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Then Piano finished RA Echo 18 it is!!! Give Jeremy a call. He will take good care of you.
That would be a killer sub. It would probably take awhile to deliver though, given the special finish order. From the OP's list I would go with the Echo 18. Nicest looking looking and highest performing. The Gamma 218 might be fine in near-field placement. I'm not known as a fan of PSA's stuff, but I don't know why the S3000i is being considered, it does not have enough displacement to work in that situation.
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post #29 of 101 Old 07-20-2015, 04:33 PM
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It has more displacement then that ULS 15 you mentioned a few posts back.

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post #30 of 101 Old 07-20-2015, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post
It has more displacement then that ULS 15 you mentioned a few posts back.
And it should with twice the number of drivers and twice the number of amps power...
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