Originally Posted by animeking
What other sealed subs are in the same performance bracket?
Is this the type of sealed sub that we can do an apples to apples comparison vs. a vented sub?
An apples:apples comparison never occurs unless you pick one single metric to compare on. Subwoofers from different manufacturers are all different prices, sizes, form factors, performance, and of course aesthetic appeal. You can compare on price alone and come up with some pretty amusing comparisons with radically different designs where you might compare a JL F113v2 ($4500), a Paradigm Prestige 2000SW ($3,999), and the PSA S7201. Obviously those products are all designed for very different customers, different applications, and different expectations.
Very large subwoofers are a unique niche where it is possible to gain significant performance from the same power as a compact design, assuming it is practical to ship and deliver such a beast. Using one large amplifier is often more cost effective than 2-4 smaller units, and once the box is already huge, you don't fret as much about another 2-3" in any one dimension... so long as it still fits through a doorway.
Having delivered a 600 lb, 7' tall subwoofer for a custom project
, along with a handful of 200-350 lb beasts
. For a production offering I opted for a scalable and expandable approach that kept depth reasonable for screen walls, rear of the room, and to avoid the acoustic faux-pas of a subwoofer creating a very audible, near reflection from subwoofer cabinets protruding forward of nearby the main speakers. Over the years I've found many customers run into limiting dimensions where a soffit and stage quickly eat up height, a design feature, seating distance, or already constructed screen wall limits depth. If you then consider how many theaters are in basements or 2nd floors, any item much over 200 lbs should be given serious evaluation and even be mocked up to insure it will clear through the path. I've seen others seriously struggle or have to demo walls to get the Wilson XS subwoofer into basement and 2nd floor theaters (at 700 lbs it makes the Thor's Hammer look modest in comparison). The theme here is that when it comes to extreme subwoofer solutions, there's almost always more to consider than just price and performance.
To answer the original question, there are many alternate options, although they will all come with different strengths and benefits. JTR, Funk, Deep Sea Sound, myself and a few others all offer some pretty wild options to blow your hair back. There's even the wacky 50" subwoofer Ascendo
demonstrated in Munich this spring. No matter how crazy a design seems, I guarantee you will find someone going further or using 2-4 of what is already pretty over the top. Soon after introducing the F18 modular solution, I quickly had a customer install 6 and then bump to 12 F18s in 4 stacks of 3 x F18s like the set in my Avatar. I think of those as 4 separate subwoofers rather than as 12. For those with the 23.5" x 18" footprint and 6-8' of height, a stack of 3 or 4 is certainly a valid comparison with their own strengths in both form or performance.
We even include magnetic grills: