Originally Posted by vishal
I used to own a Fathom F113 and had the desire for something that dug a little deeper. As you all know in this hobby, it also tends to be the case that we switch out equipment just for heck of it. I sold the F113 for a Hsu ULS-15. While I was able to accomplish my initial goal (I had flat in-room response to 5Hz) I lost much of the effortless midbass that the Fathom provided. The Hsu was also unable to match the JL's clean output at higher volumes. Consequently, the Hsu is now for sale.
I could have probably solved these issues with a second ULS-15 (and addressed any particular room issues as well) but WAF dictated a single sub solution. Enter the SubMersive.
I have been eyeing the SubMersive since its release in 2006 but went with the Fathom at that time because of the abundance of rave reviews. Hindsight is 20/20 and I now wish I had gone with the Seaton product instead.
The SubMersive is far and away the better sub in every respect except for finish and physical size. It hits harder, faster, cleaner, and with more authority than the Fathom or the Hsu. It goes very deep as well (almost flat to 6Hz in my room) and gives up nothing at higher volumes. It has tremendous midbass capabilities and is even harder to localize than the Fathom was (which was no slouch in that department). Some others have mentioned that the SubMersive's true differentiating factor is the uncanny ability to start and stop at a moment's notice. I have never before had the pleasure of such instantenous room pressurization. And the decay is just as dramatic.
Another benefit is the inherently inert box due to the opposing drivers. With both the JL and the Hsu I had to use an Auralex Subdude to limit as much physical energy as possible from being transferred to my wood floor. Without the Subdude, movie watching would result in numerous vibrations from the adjoining dining room and kitchen. However, the addition of the Subdude ruined the aesthetic appeal of the small, sealed subs. The SubMersive has no such issues. No energy is transferred to the floor and therefore its even a more effective solution than the combination of the Subdude and my other subs.
I mentioned finish as an area where the SubMersive falls behind some of the other commercial offerings. There is no denying this. While it might be rugged, it cannot be compared to the satin finishes of the JL and the Hsu. However, the fit
and overall quality of components is better than the Hsu and almost on par with the excellent JL. The stepped volume control of the amp, the snug XLR connections, and the Neutrik power connector all indicate this is a very well made and very serious piece of gear.
There are certain scenes that I consider personal benchmarks for subwoofer performance. While some of these are older scenes, I have listened to them with so many different subs, I can compare them effectively. Just for information's sake, I have owned the following: Bose AM-5, Bic H-100, SVS PB12-Plus/2, JL F113, Epik Conquest (in my father's theater), Hsu ULS-15, and now the SubMersive. The rest of the gear is an Outlaw 990 preamp, Earthquake Cinenova Grande 7 amp, Gallo Reference 3.1 fronts, Reference center, and Due surrounds. Room is part of an open layout but is 13' x 19' with very high sloped cathedral ceilings.
I have never heard gunshots from Open Range sound so effortless. In fact, the gunshots and the opening thunder clap made my 6'4" 250lb friend literally leap off of the couch! Additionally, the fight sequence from the Matrix has one scene where Morpheus puts his knee through the floor. This easily demonstrates the speed at which the SubMersive can add to the weight of a scene, it's absolutely amazing. Another scene I like to use is the NYC flood scene in The Day After Tomorrow. My entire room was pressurized with uncanny ease. Other scenes tested were from Master and Commander, Finding Nemo, Star Wars Ep. 2, Black Hawk Down, etc. I have still to find the upper limits of what the SubMersive can do. In fact, I am sure I will find the limits elsewhere in my system, my room, or my townhome neighbor's room before the SubMersive gives up.
I also use the SubMersive for music. I find the integration with my mains so cohesive that I have them crossed at 80Hz. I was always impressed with the JL's ability to disappear during a music track with a fast bass line. The SubMersive is even better. The same friend I mentioned earlier could not even believe the sub was on during one passage until I turned it off and the music lost all of its detailed depth.
I apologize for the long post, I never intended to go on for so long. I am truly in awe of the ability of this sub and my quest has ended (for now of course). If and when I move into a larger space, I will simply augment with another SubMersive.
I also wanted to mention that Mark Seaton is very gracious to communicate with. While he is a busy person and can sometimes take a day or two to respond, his responses were always detailed and thoughtful.
I have no hesitation in recommending the SubMersive to anyone looking for what is, in my opinion, the best commercial subwoofer on the market today.
Here is the frequency response in my room (post EQ with a BFD):