Originally Posted by craigsub
"However, most audiophiles should by now realize that spending $2500 for an off-the-peg subwoofer is pretty silly "
It is statements like this that make one roll with laughter.
Mr. 21, if nothing else, you never let us down.
Sorry, some things are just better in all aspects but one* bespoke rather than off the peg. Subwoofers are one of those things. There's no technology in most commercial cone subwoofers (including the JL's) that isn't readily available on the open market to anyone. Nor are most subwoofers hard to design. (Some, such as tapped horns and stuff like the forthcoming AV123 BMF-1, are probably above the level that most bespoke audio shops or individuals can handle.) In the case of something like the Jellos, just take a big, long throw woofer, add a big honking amp, and some parametric EQ.
And "The Ear," you seem to think that I'm arguing price. That is not the case. As someone who current runs two audio systems at home that would each be well into the five figures were everything bought new, I have an idea of what people can spend. And just as with men's clothing and furniture, only saps spend that kind of money for off-the-peg products instead of doing it properly and going bespoke. Sure, sometimes bespoke costs a little more, but the end result is something just for you in every respect (performance, aesthetics, etc.) rather than a generic solution. Would you spend $3000 for a pair of off-the-shelf Slivano Lattanzis beautifully styled and constructed but built on a generic last, or get something that actually fits your foot because it was built over a last carved based on your own foot from John Lobb Paris's bespoke program (or your cobbler of choice)? Would you buy a $5000 Kiton suit off the peg at Neimans, or would you do it right and spend the same money from a top-flight tailor? Would you settle for an off-the-floor $50k dining room set, or would you sit down with a craftsman and commission your own bespoke set?
If I wanted to match the Jello Fathom exactly in form factor, I'd possibly start with a 13W7.
Actually, I wouldn't. I'd probably use four Peerless XLS12's instead and use an even smaller box while having both greater max SPL and less ringing due to the fact that they'd be in a natively low-Q enclosure.) But the whole point of bespoke, in subs as in anything else, is that one isn't limited to what's on the shelf. Want something taller and slimmer, or shorter and squater? Done. Want a finish that matches an heirloom piece of furniture? Done. Want performance that will blow any off-the-peg product out of the weeds for similar money? Done. Off the peg subwoofers certainly have a place in the world, but not really in the homes of somewhat nutty enthusiasts such as the people who post frequently on fora such as AVS.
*The one exception is resale value. It is a fair point that a bespoke or DIY sub won't have much in the way of resale value whereas a well-regarded commercial product will cost less for serial upgraders. So such people are better off just buying a generic box than putting some thought into it. People who care about the music more than they care about having shiny new gear every few months are generally better served by bespoke, though.