Yes, just to confirm, there was no factory box (like the one pictured on page two of this thread). To me this implies that this was a refurb/open box/floor model sub. However, this is not indicated on the product page on the provantage website and (as previously stated) to say they failed to repack the product adequately is a radical understatement.
The power cable and instruction manual were in zip loc bags.
The entire sub was in a large plastic bag that was not closed fully on one end, which allowed dust to get in and be all over the sub.
Then the sub in the plastic bag was simply placed in a large plain brown shipping box and taped shut and shipped from PA to NC. The box looked like it had been through a terrorist attack.
That the sub arrived in working order at all is a miracle! I can't believe the speaker cone wasn't bashed in or even fully separated from the cabinet.
As I've stated, the sub is in perfect working order, as far as I can discern, except for some minor damage to the grille.
I have never in my life seen or heard of anyone shipping something packaged this poorly. Wow.
Just wanted to warn you all before you made the same mistake I did. Please order from Beach Audio (I think only about 10-20 bucks more). Not only are they an authorized dealer, but I've dealt with them before and had a really good experience.
Anyway, the sub rocks. It was pretty late, so I wasn't able to test is fully, but it is quite a radically different experience from my Sony 10" that I temporarily picked up from Best Buy for $99 while I was sub shopping. No contest. For less than twice the price of the Sony, the BIC is many many times better. In fact, I wouldn't even call the Sony sub a sub. It was just a fart box in the corner.
I know very little about subs and haven't played with this one much yet, but my first impression is that the BIC F12 is probably better suited for movies than music. Not that it's really all that boomy, but perhaps a little too loose to reproduce the low frequencies in music with great accuracy. As I said, most of this is speculation, since I haven't had time to play with it fully. I definitely moved it away from the corner and wall quite a bit, and the bass is still pretty powerful. I set the volume on the sub to 3 and the sub volume on my AVR to -5 (overall AVR volume was at about -5 on my Yammy 565) and in the scene in the beginning of Iron Man where he is unveiling the Jericho weapon, some papers I had on the floor blew across the floor!
Needless to say, this thing moves lots
Also, I ran a tone generator, and sure enough the volume output drops *dramatically* at around 25Hz or so (sorry, don't have an SPL meter yet), but still... that is to be expected. One would need to spend a lot more money that this to get good extension down that low. Overall, in watching Iron Man, I was very pleased with the F12's performance, especially for LFE, but also with helping out my speakers (xover = 90Hz)
What I wanted was a sub that I could play at low volumes and still hear/feel the low frequency stuff, and this sure fits the bill (and on the cheap too!). I live on a second story apartment, so I decided on this because it was not downward firing and I am impressed with the subdude as well. Sorry, I haven't run without it yet, but I am convinced it is helping. I don't feel the "booms" through my feet anymore, but instead it hits me in the chest. As someone in the subdude thread discribed it feels like the subwoofer is lifted high off the floor and that the bass waves are more in the middle of the room, but at the same time, the bass is less localized. Hard to explain, but I definitely recommend both the F12 and the subdude (even though it is more than 25% the cost of the sub!), although I would stay away from Provantage...