JL Audio F112 V2 Sealed Subwoofer Hands-On - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 55 Old 08-07-2017, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
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JL Audio F112 V2 Sealed Subwoofer Hands-On

In the world of subwoofers JL Audio is known for offering some of the finest luxury bass-making machines money can buy. Don't hate, dB-per-dollar bass guys (you know who you are, and I know who you are, lol ) Anyhow, the f112v2 sub ($3700) is an update to the company's popular f112, which has been a top choice is the cost-no-object category for over a decade.

Like a fine sports car, the f112 delivers power and thrills in a compact package that's stuffed with modern technology, a huge motor, and finished with an immaculate paint job.

On its own, a single JL f112v2 is a formidable sub. But, in the spirit of reckless abandon, when I had a chance to grab two instead of one (full disclosure, JL Audio said "Do you want two F112s?") well, it's not a complicated question and I'm sure you'd give the same answer. I said yes.

Anyhow, the system JL sent me is comprised of two Fathom f112v2 subs and the company's CR-1 active subwoofer crossover ($3000). Yes, that adds up to a $10,400 subwoofer system that consists of two 12-inchers. No, life is not fair.

With such a lofty MSRP, by necessity you need to stop worrying about price/performance ratios, and how many 18" woofers you could get—in the form of finished, powered subs—for the cost of this system (a dozen is a good guess). Instead, just read the review, and enjoy this episode of "Subwoofers of the Rich and Famous."

The f112v2 is a compact, cube-shaped, 12" sealed subwoofer. It is powered by an 1800-watt amplifier (short-term RMS) and it accepts both unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR cables. Each f112 ships with a lab-grade calibrated measurement mic to use with its Digital Automatic Room Optimization (D.A.R.O.) system.

The optimization process is automatic, fast, and effective. This system makes one or more f112s fast and easy to integrate, no apps or laptops required. If you have two f112s, you can link the second sub with a balanced XLR cable and calibrate them as one system.

Inside of the f112's immaculately glossy piano-black enclosure you'll find the huge motor that drives it's 12" high-excursion cone and allows it to dig very deep with no audible distortion despite the sub's small size. JL's background in car audio, where small enclosures are the norm, has resulted in designs that dig deep despite the use of small enclosures.

Conveniently, the f112's controls are in the front of the sub. You have to remove the grill to access them, otherwise they remain hidden and protected from pets kids.

JL lists an anechoic response of 21 Hz to 119 Hz (+/-1.5 dB), -3 dB at 19 Hz / 150 Hz, and -10 dB at 17 Hz / 167 Hz. Thanks to room gain, that translates to lots of clean and powerful deep bass, delving deep into infrasonic territory. Because room sizes vary, each F112V2 sub includes a dedicated, variable extreme low frequency (E.L.F) adjustment of -12 dB to +3 dB at 25 Hz to compensate for the effect of room gain.

I've done tons of listening with the F112s and because I don't need more bass than what they offer, I enjoy them very much. I plan to continue to use the pair as the subwoofer section in future hands-on threads and reviews; they are not going back to JL Audio anytime soon.


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The AVS Forum Hands-On Review Process (master list of hands-on threads)
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post #2 of 55 Old 08-07-2017, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
In the world of subwoofers JL Audio is known for offering some of the finest luxury bass-making machines money can buy. Don't hate, dB-per-dollar bass guys (you know who you are, and I know who you are, lol ) Anyhow, the f112v2 sub ($3700) is an update to the company's popular f112, which has been a top choice is the cost-no-object category for over a decade.

Like a fine sports car, the f112 delivers power and thrills in a compact package that's packed with technology and finished with an immaculate paint job.

On its own, a single JL f112v2 is a formidable sub. But, in the spirit of reckless abandon, when I had a chance to grad two instead of one—full disclosure, JL Audio said "Do you want two F112s?" and I said "Yes." It's not a complicated question, and I'm sure you'd give the same answer. Anyhow, the system JL sent me is comprised of two Fathom f112v2 subs and the company's CR-1 active subwoofer crossover ($3000). Yes, that adds up to a $10,400 subwoofer system that consists of two 12-inchers. No, life is not fair.

With such a lofty MSRP, by necessity you need to stop worrying about price/performance ratios, and how many 18" woofers you could get—in the form of finished, powered subs—for the cost of this system (a dozen is a good guess). Instead, just read the review, and enjoy this episode of "Subwoofers of the Rich and Famous."

The f112v2 is a compact, cube-shaped, 12" sealed subwoofer. It is powered by an 1800-watt amplifier (short-term RMS) and it accepts both unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR cables. Each f112 ships with a lab-grade calibrated measurement mic to use with its Digital Automatic Room Optimization (D.A.R.O.) system.

The optimization process is automatic, fast, and effective. This system makes one or more f112s fast and easy to integrate, no apps or laptops required. If you have two f112s, you can link the second sub with a balanced XLR cable and calibrate them as one system.

Inside of the f112's immaculately glossy piano-black enclosure you'll find the huge motor that drives it's 12" high-excursion cone and allows it to dig very deep with no audible distortion despite the sub's small size. JL's background in car audio, where small enclosures are the norm, has resulted in designs that dig deep despite the use of small enclosures.

Conveniently, the f112's controls are in the front of the sub. You have to remove the grill to access them, otherwise they remain hidden and protected from pets kids.

JL lists an anechoic response of 21 Hz to 119 Hz (+/-1.5 dB), -3 dB at 19 Hz / 150 Hz, and -10 dB at 17 Hz / 167 Hz. Thanks to room gain, that translates to lots of clean and powerful deep bass, delving deep into infrasonic territory. The sub includes a dedicated, variable extreme low frequency (E.L.F) adjustment of -12 dB to +3 dB at 25 Hz to compensate for the effect of room gain.

I've done tons of listening with the F112s and because I don't need more bass than what they offer, I enjoy them very much. I plan to continue to use the pair as the subwoofer section in future hands-on threads and reviews. They are not going back to JL Audio anytime soon.
How do they compare to the SVS SB16U?

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post #3 of 55 Old 08-07-2017, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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How do they compare to the SVS SB16U?
I only reviewed the PB16 Ultra. But I'll say this, based on demos Gary's given me, it's clear the SVS SB16U plays louder and deeper, but is larger and does not have auto-EQ. Looks like you can get two SB16Us for $3600, the value proposition of the JL is not the same, you have to want the small size, slick gloss, easy auto-setup and be willing to pay for it with JL.
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post #4 of 55 Old 08-08-2017, 06:07 PM
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Will you be posting a more in depth review? I'm also running dual JL F112. Although mine are v1 and I bought them used for less than half price. I'm very happy with them. They go very well with my Ascend Sierra-2s.
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Will you be posting a more in depth review? I'm also running dual JL F112. Although mine are v1 and I bought them used for less than half price. I'm very happy with them. They go very well with my Ascend Sierra-2s.
Yes, I'll have more impressions to share, and likely a formal mini-review. There is no way you can't be happy with them. I don't need more output, and I'm not obsessed (anymore) with feeling sub-16 Hz content, so two of these do everything I need very nicely and stylishly, lol.

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post #6 of 55 Old 08-08-2017, 09:40 PM
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I run pretty much JL everything in my boats, cars, and trucks, and love the company. I have never once regretted paying more for a JL product because I can see where the money went in a lot of subtle ways. I am also not a db-per-dollar guy and am willing to pay for quality design and construction. But man, intro warning and disclaimers aside, $10k for two 12'ers and some room correction is still a pretty tough pill to swallow.

All that said, I am still looking forward to the full review.
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post #7 of 55 Old 08-09-2017, 07:45 AM
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Thank you so much for posting this. JL does not get the respect it deserves on this forum. I personally have owned Rythmik (4 F12s, F15HP, FV15HP), SVS (SB13, SB2000, PC2000, PC13U), HSU (ULS15v1 and v2), and several others along the way. All great subs by the way. I now have a F212v2 and a F112v2 in a dual setup. I can honestly say my quest is over. Expensive? Yes. The best package I have owned yet? Absolutely. The right fit for everyone? NO


Just my .02
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post #8 of 55 Old 08-09-2017, 06:23 PM
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Thank you so much for posting this. JL does not get the respect it deserves on this forum. I personally have owned Rythmik (4 F12s, F15HP, FV15HP), SVS (SB13, SB2000, PC2000, PC13U), HSU (ULS15v1 and v2), and several others along the way. All great subs by the way. I now have a F212v2 and a F112v2 in a dual setup. I can honestly say my quest is over. Expensive? Yes. The best package I have owned yet? Absolutely. The right fit for everyone? NO


Just my .02
Out of curiosity, are the JLs better than those others from a purely performance angle, or do the aesthetics play into your experience?

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post #9 of 55 Old 08-09-2017, 07:44 PM
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Aesthetics definitely are important to me, no big ugly black boxes that are an eyesore in the room. Aesthetics aside, my subjective opinion is that the JLs just have that something extra that I didn't experience with any of the others. Not that the others aren't phenomenal for the price. There is definitely a point of diminishing returns at some point. For me however, the JLs put a smile on my face and are worth the extra cost.
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post #10 of 55 Old 08-10-2017, 05:52 AM
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In the world of subwoofers JL Audio is known for offering some of the finest luxury bass-making machines money can buy. Don't hate, dB-per-dollar bass guys (you know who you are, and I know who you are, lol ) Anyhow, the f112v2 sub ($3700) is an update to the company's popular f112, which has been a top choice is the cost-no-object category for over a decade.

Like a fine sports car, the f112 delivers power and thrills in a compact package that's stuffed with modern technology, a huge motor, and finished with an immaculate paint job.

On its own, a single JL f112v2 is a formidable sub. But, in the spirit of reckless abandon, when I had a chance to grab two instead of one (full disclosure, JL Audio said "Do you want two F112s?") well, it's not a complicated question and I'm sure you'd give the same answer. I said yes.

Anyhow, the system JL sent me is comprised of two Fathom f112v2 subs and the company's CR-1 active subwoofer crossover ($3000). Yes, that adds up to a $10,400 subwoofer system that consists of two 12-inchers. No, life is not fair.

With such a lofty MSRP, by necessity you need to stop worrying about price/performance ratios, and how many 18" woofers you could get—in the form of finished, powered subs—for the cost of this system (a dozen is a good guess). Instead, just read the review, and enjoy this episode of "Subwoofers of the Rich and Famous."

The f112v2 is a compact, cube-shaped, 12" sealed subwoofer. It is powered by an 1800-watt amplifier (short-term RMS) and it accepts both unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR cables. Each f112 ships with a lab-grade calibrated measurement mic to use with its Digital Automatic Room Optimization (D.A.R.O.) system.

The optimization process is automatic, fast, and effective. This system makes one or more f112s fast and easy to integrate, no apps or laptops required. If you have two f112s, you can link the second sub with a balanced XLR cable and calibrate them as one system.

Inside of the f112's immaculately glossy piano-black enclosure you'll find the huge motor that drives it's 12" high-excursion cone and allows it to dig very deep with no audible distortion despite the sub's small size. JL's background in car audio, where small enclosures are the norm, has resulted in designs that dig deep despite the use of small enclosures.

Conveniently, the f112's controls are in the front of the sub. You have to remove the grill to access them, otherwise they remain hidden and protected from pets kids.

JL lists an anechoic response of 21 Hz to 119 Hz (+/-1.5 dB), -3 dB at 19 Hz / 150 Hz, and -10 dB at 17 Hz / 167 Hz. Thanks to room gain, that translates to lots of clean and powerful deep bass, delving deep into infrasonic territory. Because room sizes vary, each F112V2 sub includes a dedicated, variable extreme low frequency (E.L.F) adjustment of -12 dB to +3 dB at 25 Hz to compensate for the effect of room gain.

I've done tons of listening with the F112s and because I don't need more bass than what they offer, I enjoy them very much. I plan to continue to use the pair as the subwoofer section in future hands-on threads and reviews; they are not going back to JL Audio anytime soon.
Are you using this for Home Theater or Music if both what is the ratio? What is the benefit of the crossover if you have a processor or receiver that has duel sub outputs and the platinum audyessy suit? I have been a long time JL Audio fan and have used their subs in all f my cars. I had a $20K Focal system in my car and still used JL subs, I felt they hit harder and were tighter than the Focal subs. I mainly do home theater and very little music. I am trying to decide if I want two F112v2's or one F113v2, space is a major issue for me. The compact size, build quality and look are second to none. I know you can get SVS, HSU or rhythmic for a fraction of the price they are all to big and honestly I think they all look ugly. My home theater is in my living room and the sub needs to pass the WAF, I thought about funk audio but with no LFE i would would have no clue on how to tune it or someone to come over and tune it.
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Are you using this for Home Theater or Music if both what is the ratio? What is the benefit of the crossover if you have a processor or receiver that has duel sub outputs and the platinum audyessy suit? I have been a long time JL Audio fan and have used their subs in all f my cars. I had a $20K Focal system in my car and still used JL subs, I felt they hit harder and were tighter than the Focal subs. I mainly do home theater and very little music. I am trying to decide if I want two F112v2's or one F113v2, space is a major issue for me. The compact size, build quality and look are second to none. I know you can get SVS, HSU or rhythmic for a fraction of the price they are all to big and honestly I think they all look ugly. My home theater is in my living room and the sub needs to pass the WAF, I thought about funk audio but with no LFE i would would have no clue on how to tune it or someone to come over and tune it.
Here are some answers...

Because of my job, these subs are used in a variety of systems ranging from stereo to Dolby Atmos surround-sound. I listen to music a bit more music than I watch movies, but the ratio is probably 2:1, but that would ignore the gaming that I do. Reality is more like 40% gaming, 40% music, and 20% movies.

I can't see any benefit to the crossover if you have an AVR that does bas management. It's more of a device for 2-channel purists who want to keep the signal balanced and analog. But, it is nice to have instant knob-twirl adjustment of the crossover. The crossover came with the subs, but most of the time I do not use it unless I am doing something 2-channel minimalist.

JL definitely has that combo of small size, deep extension, and clean bass in an immaculate package.
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post #12 of 55 Old 08-10-2017, 07:12 PM
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I have owned the F112V2 for about six months and I love it.

I totally agree that is an expensive option but for me the right one. I wanted small form factor with world class performance and I love the set-up option.
JL has a look and feel that is hard to beat. The quality is all there.

That aside, I notice what it does and more quiet passages than full drop a bomb out of the sky. Passages where simple bass notes are required and almost not noticed are there in spades. I can never tell where the bass is coming from but you know it's there. When you are watching a blockbuster and earth shattering bass is required oh boy you will get it but I get it without shaking the windows and walls and shelves in the house. The auto-setup is very good.

$3700 was a commitment. I want a second and now will need to look at that $3700 investment for a second time and that is pill to swallow but like amps, a sub can be a decade or greater long commitment with no worries of OBS provided the quality is there and can stand the test of time. I am all for these great ID subs but it would be great to have a long term metric say five years or longer to see how things are going. Any quality issues? Did it die yet? Customer Service in the later years etc. It just might be that the upfront investment in JL was a long term payoff in terms of long term running.

Not a great picture but you can see how unobstructive the sub is to the right side of the monitor. I did not want nor had room for a refrigerator. I got what I wanted.

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I am all for these great ID subs but it would be great to have a long term metric say five years or longer to see how things are going. Any quality issues? Did it die yet? Customer Service in the later years etc. It just might be that the upfront investment in JL was a long term payoff in terms of long term running.

Rick
Which ID companies are you referring to that haven't been around for 5 years or more, to see the things you listed? Most of them have been around much longer than that. I can't think of any off hand that haven't other than maybe PSA and both of the owners started with or were involved in SVS which has been around for many years and PSA is known for some of the very best customer service out there.

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post #14 of 55 Old 08-10-2017, 07:31 PM
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Which ID companies are you referring to that haven't been around for 5 years or more, to see the things you listed? Most of them have been around much longer than that. I can't think of any off hand that haven't other than maybe PSA and both of the owners started with or were involved in SVS which has been around for many years and PSA is known for some of the very best customer service out there.
That's not what I meant. I said it would be nice to see a metric of quality after five years of ownership of said product including JL. Meaning is the product still running? Any amp issues etc? This includes JL as well. Of course more money does not always mean long term reliability. I had two REL B series subs that died at different times and I do not think the value per long term reliability was in spades. It seems it was around the five year mark and there was no available amp for replacement. These subs especially the B1 was in-line in cost of the JL.

I have had amps in the past that hit ten years or longer. A well built sub should be able to get close in my opinion.

Rick
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I'm sure I'm like a lot of others that have a hard time with the price tag on these.

For that price, if you want small sealed gloss black subs, you can do 2 - Rythmik F-12SE's and a DSPeaker Anti-Mode 2.0 Dual Core or an 8033S-II (with money to spare) or 2- E15HP's and a DSPeaker Anti-Mode 8033S-II for room correction.

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I have had amps in the past that hit ten years or longer. A well built sub should be able to get close in my opinion.

Rick
I bought a floor model Mirage BPS-400 subwoofer 15 years ago that's still going strong in my main setup! I've been waiting for it to die for years to justify a new pair of subs, but it just isn't happening!!

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post #17 of 55 Old 08-10-2017, 09:56 PM
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I'm sure I'm like a lot of others that have a hard time with the price tag on these.

For that price, if you want small sealed gloss black subs, you can do 2 - Rythmik F-12SE's and a DSPeaker Anti-Mode 2.0 Dual Core or an 8033S-II (with money to spare) or 2- E15HP's and a DSPeaker Anti-Mode 8033S-II for room correction.
I'm a big fan of Rythmik subs. I even had a pair of F8 that sounded amazing for music. Unfortunately for HT they didn't have as much output as I needed. If I hadn't found a used pair of JL F112 in mint condition for less than half of msrp, I would probably be running a pair of Rythmik E15HP. Rythmik says the F12 is 1.5dB more output than the F8, so I don't think that would have been enough output for me. The E15HP is probably close to the JL F112, but with a slightly larger footprint.
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I think some people do not understand or overlook that the driver JL uses is not comparable to most of the drivers that other companies use. For the same size driver, the JL will have much more Xmax so they can have more output in a smaller enclosure of an equal sized driver with less Xmax. There are other parameters involved but that is one big one. The JL W7 driver alone costs close to or more than what the complete subwoofer from some other manufacturers (driver, enclosure and amp) or ID companies costs. The retail price of the W7 driver is close to $1000 for the 12 w7 and $1300 for the 13w7.

The 12w7 will have an output comparable to a 15" from many of the ID companies and the 13w7 is closer in output to an 18". That is pretty dang impressive considering the 13w7 came out way back in 2001 or so and it is still one of the better subs out there.

I own a 13w7 and a few other subs listed in my signature so I have heard some pretty good subwoofers and the w7 is impressive even for what it costs all things considered.

I'll attach a couple graphs. One from databass comparing the lower model 12" JL E112 to the PSA 15" and then a WINISD comparing the 13w7 in 3cf to the UM18 in 4cf. Pretty impressive to me that in a smaller enclosure they can get similar output over most of the frequency range and still have very good SQ. Sure if you have unlimited space then a w7 is probably not the woofer for you but you have minimal space, they have incredible output and SQ in one compact package.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Jl 12 vs PSA 15.jpg (123.3 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg 13w7 vs UM18.jpg (233.5 KB, 39 views)
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post #19 of 55 Old 08-11-2017, 04:25 AM
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Obviously $3700 is MSRP for the F112v2. A buyer shouldn't be willing to pay close to MSRP. FIND A DEALER WHO WILL DEAL!!! My new F112v2 and F212v2 cost me a lot less than the $10,700 retail.

Still a big investment though.
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post #20 of 55 Old 08-11-2017, 06:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brmott View Post
Obviously $3700 is MSRP for the F112v2. A buyer shouldn't be willing to pay close to MSRP. FIND A DEALER WHO WILL DEAL!!! My new F112v2 and F212v2 cost me a lot less than the $10,700 retail.

Still a big investment though.
Great point.

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post #21 of 55 Old 08-11-2017, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bscool View Post
I'll attach a couple graphs. One from databass comparing the lower model 12" JL E112 to the PSA 15" and then a WINISD comparing the 13w7 in 3cf to the UM18 in 4cf. Pretty impressive to me that in a smaller enclosure they can get similar output over most of the frequency range and still have very good SQ. Sure if you have unlimited space then a w7 is probably not the woofer for you but you have minimal space, they have incredible output and SQ in one compact package.
Disclaimer: I'm a huge JL fan!

@bscool , how accurate are those graphs? That is insanely ridiculous considering the Sd between the two - maximum SPL is one factor, but I'm curious about distortion levels at those volumes. I have much respect for JL and what they can accomplish, but I just haven't nabbed that winning lottery ticket yet. I haven't had the pleasure of trying too many different subwoofers for home, but only my SB13 Ultras have come close to replicating the "JL experience" from my car audio days in my home.

@imagic , thanks for the review! I can't say I was really surprised by it, really, as it fits the typical "easy integration, crazy output and clarity for such a tiny box!" MO that is what we know JL Audio for.

Travis
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post #22 of 55 Old 08-11-2017, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brmott View Post
Obviously $3700 is MSRP for the F112v2. A buyer shouldn't be willing to pay close to MSRP. FIND A DEALER WHO WILL DEAL!!! My new F112v2 and F212v2 cost me a lot less than the $10,700 retail.

Still a big investment though.
who did you buy from?
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post #23 of 55 Old 08-11-2017, 10:08 AM
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$3700 USD? that would be a steal!

The MSRP in Canada on the F112 V2 is $6090 CAD, over $12k for a pair ...ouch!
(that's ~4800$ USD ea at the current exchange rate)
Link: http://www.jlaudio.ca/f112v2-gloss-h...bwoofers-96141

I went with Funk Audio (based in Canada) on a pair of sealed 18.0's for a lot less,
22 x 22 x 20, 2.4Kw/4.8Kw peak output (each) and extension down to 10Hz

Could have had the slick glossy black like the JL's,
... but opted for Walnut Veneer (Huge WAF)

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post #24 of 55 Old 08-11-2017, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave-T View Post

who did you buy from?

Sent you a PM
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post #25 of 55 Old 08-11-2017, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k1n3t1k View Post
Disclaimer: I'm a huge JL fan!

@bscool , how accurate are those graphs? That is insanely ridiculous considering the Sd between the two - maximum SPL is one factor, but I'm curious about distortion levels at those volumes. I have much respect for JL and what they can accomplish, but I just haven't nabbed that winning lottery ticket yet. I haven't had the pleasure of trying too many different subwoofers for home, but only my SB13 Ultras have come close to replicating the "JL experience" from my car audio days in my home.

@imagic , thanks for the review! I can't say I was really surprised by it, really, as it fits the typical "easy integration, crazy output and clarity for such a tiny box!" MO that is what we know JL Audio for.

Travis
Usually, WINISD is fairly close from what I have seen, the higher BL drivers usually have more a hump in the FR and some drop off in the upper bass in real world measurements vs the sims. I think is pretty close though comparing the Databass of the JL E112 vs the PSA 15 and then modeling the JL 12 vs the Eminence 15 in WINISD it gives a pretty close sim. Within a dB or so from what I can see. I'll post the sim also. I don't know the specs for the driver in the JL E112 sub databases used so i used the 12w7 so that is close as I can get to do a comparison to subs that have been measured in the real world vs sim. Also, PSA says the modify the Eminence Lab 15"s T/S parameters to that could account for the PSA model having more output down low in the real world vs the modeling sim. Anyway take it all with a grain of salt I just find it interesting and it seems to match up fairly well.

I do know the UM18 is going to have very low distortion as when it was measured by database it has very low distortion, one of the lowest I saw on the site. I have never seen any measurements of the W7 on distortion levels at maximum output. But from subjective listening comparisons of people that have had the Submersive (which is known for very low distortion and excellent SQ) and the JL f113 people said they were very close in SQ to the Seaton with the Submersive having a little more output. That is pretty crazy because I have a Seaton Submersive and that is a very impressive sub. I also have 2 UM18 so I have heard both of those in my house. The 13w7 I have is in m car so hard to directly compare a car to a house. So if 1 f113 can have close to the output of the Submersive and SQ that is impressive.

The info I read comparing the Submersive to the f113 was in the f113 thread on this site. I read it a long time ago so I don't have direct links to the people that had compared them.

In my car I did have a pair of JBL GIT 15" and the 13W7 has more output. The JBL GTIs I had were their first GIT car audio subs way back from the mid-1990s. They looked like the pro audio subs with the ribbed surround so they were higher efficiency sub and not the high Xmax ones like their later models where.

As for distortion, you can see that on Databass also I'll post 1 of the UM and 1 from the PSA and 1 from the JL. You can see the UM18 is very low and the JL the PSA are also pretty low.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 12w7 vs Eminence 15.jpg (258.8 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg Jl 12 vs PSA 15.jpg (123.3 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg UM18 dist.jpg (147.6 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg JL dist.jpg (139.6 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg PSA dist.jpg (152.3 KB, 20 views)
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post #26 of 55 Old 08-11-2017, 05:18 PM
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To offer a comparison of the JL F112's and the Submersive, and as an alternative perspective on these JL subwoofers, I submit a post I made way back in 2009:
Seaton Sound SubMersive1

Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post
Ok, my JL F112's are sold, so now I feel like I can make some observations about the differences between the Submersives and the F112's. (I was refraining because I had the F112's advertised on this forum, and I didn't want to make any remarks that a potential buyer might find "disparaging" about the F112's. In fact I have nothing at all "bad" to say about the F112's. I have had a thoroughly enjoyable ownership experience with those subs). Nonetheless, I have moved on to the Submersives.

First off, if you saw the pic I posted earlier, the Submersives are quite bit bigger than the JL's. I'll re-post the pic here for convenience:



The JL's were the best subs I had ever heard for music. I have quite a few SACD's and DVD-A's with some excellent bass recordings. I also have quite a few concert DVD's, HD-DVD's and BluRays. The JL's made the bass on those recordings sound more like *music* than anything else I've ever heard. I was actually very reluctant to sell them because I was afraid I would never be able to duplicate that sound quality.

However, their performance for Home Theater left something to be desired. I have a THX Ultra2 speaker system, (Atlantic Technology 8200e's, 3 of the L/R's up front behind an Acoustically Transparent screen, with SR's for surrounds). They are driven by an Earthquake Cinenova amp, (325 wpc into 8 ohms, 650 wpc into 4-ohms). The speakers and amps were definitely capable of full Reference Level... but the JL subs were holding them back. On scenes with really deep VLF effects, I couldn't get much above -15 to -12 before the subs would hit the "limiters", (and the limiters on the JL's are really obnoxious, with their "clacking" sound).

In my room, the dual JL's could hit about 100 dB before the limiters kicked in, unless the content had bass below about 30 Hz. Then the max output dropped as the frequency dropped. Some of the VLF bass spectaculars, like Pulse, Cloverfield, M&C, WotW, Ironman etc., were not playable unless the MV was kept below -15.

I recently went to a friends' house to check out his theater. He's an AVS member, and he has a Klipsch THX Ultra2 speaker system with 4 Klipsch THX Ultra2 subs driven by a pair of the 1 kilowatt amps. His system is in a large, but fully sealed room. His system is easily capable of full RL at the seats, with headroom. I was floored by the sound, especially the bass. Right then and there, I decided I needed a subwoofer upgrade.

Enter the Submersives. Where the JL's were two 12" drivers in very small, sealed boxes, the Submersives are four 15" drivers in much larger sealed boxes. The JL drivers (probably) have more excursion (xMax) than the Seaton drivers. However the total air movement capability of four 15" drivers overwhelms the capability of two 12" drivers. Where the JL subs were moving like crazy to attempt to produce output, the four Seaton drivers are loafing along, barely breaking a sweat, producing the same, (and much more), output.

The resultant sound is...

...well, let's just say that the Submersives do everything the JL's did in terms of sound quality for music, (in fact, they provide the same sound quality at significantly higher SPL's), while at the same time, providing the massive output and extension I desired for Home Theater. Reference Level is now a piece of cake for my system, even with the bass spectacular's! In fact the system sounds like it has plenty of headroom left, even with the deepest LF soundtracks.

These Submersives are the best upgrade I have implemented in my system since I went with 3 identical front speakers behind an Acoustically Transparent screen. I have lost *nothing* in terms of sound quality and I have gained massive output capability and VLF externsion.

Mark Seaton, I couldn't be happier. Your subs have definitely taken my system to the next level. The whole system plays back louder, cleaner and "better" with your subs than it ever did with the dual JL F112's*.

*Having said all that, I don't want, in any way, to disparage the JL subs. I think, for what they are, (small, sealed, well built and executed subs), they have no peer. They simply have limitations. I wanted to go beyond those limitations, and the Submersives allowed me to do so.

Craig
I offer that post because because I think it's important for prospective buyers to understand exactly what you get with the Fathom F112's. You get a very small box with a beautiful finish, a vastly superior build quality, excellent electronics, and impeccable sound quality. However, what you don't get is massive output or deep extension. The F112, no matter how well made it is, is still subject to Hoffman's Iron Law:
Quote:
Hoffman's Iron Law: 1) Bass Extension. 2) Efficiency. 3) Small Enclosure. Pick two... you can't have all three.
So it you want anything close to this kind of output and extension:

Compression Sweeps, 3 Submersive HP+: 115 dB @ 10 Hz with no compression


...you'll need something with a bigger box. My F112's had their limiters kick in at 30 Hz, and wouldn't even output a 10 Hz tone. In addition, the limiters were quite hard and intrusive, making bad noises whenever they encountered a signal they couldn't output.

I'm not trying to disparage JL or the F112. However, for the price you pay, it just seems like you should get more... more output, more extension and softer limiters.

I anticipate there will be some JL owners and fans who will be offended by this post. If so, all I can say is, "Enjoy your subs and ignore this post."

Craig

Lombardi said it:
"Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."

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post #27 of 55 Old 08-11-2017, 07:52 PM
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Hey Craig, not offended at all. One thing I'd like to point out is that my dual F112 have never made any sort of ugly noise when reaching the limit, and I have pushed them pretty hard. Even when blasting them with 10hz test tones outside at Marc's house, they remained composed. They just stop getting louder.
So, maybe JL did something to fix whatever was causing the noise on your subs.
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post #28 of 55 Old 08-12-2017, 05:10 AM
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Not offended here either; we all have different criteria to base our purchases. And to be honest, our hobby would be boring and AVS wouldn't exist if everyone had exactly the same equipment.

Some of the differences in what we all choose has to do with our listening rooms. Mine is a dedicated 18x20 with one entry and no other doors or windows. Some have big living rooms that open to other parts of the house. BIG DIFFERENCE. The Submersives are incredible subs, no doubt about it. In my room, being that it isn't huge, boxes that big would overpower the room and that isn't the look I want. The Fathoms offer me the sound and performance I want in an elegant package that looks balanced in my room.

That being said, I have spoken with Randy at JL many times. Prior to buying my v2's I had questions about all that was changed in the v2's and why. According to Randy, since introduction in 2004, even v1 subs underwent many tweaks and changes over the years to the amp and driver. So an older F112v1 is not the same as a newer F112v1. And then there came v2: redesigned amps with 20% more amp power, improved drivers, and more robust 18 band all digital room correction.

So, a Fathom from 2009 is not representative of a newer Fathom and definitely not of a new v2 Fathom.

Last edited by brmott; 08-12-2017 at 06:26 AM.
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post #29 of 55 Old 08-12-2017, 06:44 AM
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Has anyone compared JL's subs to the new SVS SB16? I think the Muscles guy is running two of each, but not sure which JL subs he has.
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post #30 of 55 Old 08-12-2017, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B T C View Post
Has anyone compared JL's subs to the new SVS SB16? I think the Muscles guy is running two of each, but not sure which JL subs he has.
I compared the two F112 V2s to the PB16-Ultra I reviewed, which I ran sealed as well as ported. I needed both F112s to keep up with that beast.

But anecdotally, what happened over the course of the PB16-Ultra review is I kept using the JLs for my personal listening. I only really ran the big SVS when I was evaluating it. Now, please note that I'm never maxing out the capabilities of either the twin F112s or the PB16-Ultra, so it's not a peak output discussion with me. I just... liked running the JLs. Is that OK to say? Lol.
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