Originally Posted by desertdome
Interestingly, nobody has yet commented (I think) that the Submersive "dug deeper" than any of the other offerings. The demo clips were all checked with a spectrum analyzer and many have bass extending down into single digits. Black Hawk Down, Hulk - Cop Car, How To Train Your Dragon, Red Cliff, Bass I Love You and a couple others all had very low content. I was in seat #5 which had 5 dB more of bass below 15 Hz than the calibration mic and I didn't notice any more low bass. It must take several to a lot of sealed subs to really notice the difference.
Regarding the comments or lack there-of about the VLF content...
I've listened to most of these scenes more times than I care to count with a wide range and scale of subwoofers, especially scenes like Master & Commander. I generally listened from the same area to the left of desertdome and behind HuskerOmaha. While there are many subtle variations within these groups, I heard two dominant areas of notable differentiation between subs.
To me, the low tuning and in-room extension differences were readily apparent having played around with various high passing or not and differently tuned subwoofers on many of the scenes before. Obviously this wasn't as directly noted by listeners as other qualities. Without a bit of experience in what different ranges added or subtracted to the experience, I think some were looking for the words to express what they heard, and/or the "loud & low bass" region in the 25-35Hz range was often lumped together with deeper content. Indeed, doubling the SubMersive HP or quadrupling the Rythmik would have been more fun in this regard and made differences more obvious. The ported Turbos, Captivator and VS-18s all have similar tuning frequencies, making distinction of the low extension less apparent as other differences with the sealed designs made for more obvious differences.
With the response smoothed to the target curve and the more obvious differences in ground plane/anechoic responses it was possible to hear the different fingerprints and qualities of the various designs. IMO, the nature by which each design changes when driven harder and design factors which affect distortion vs. frequency and level were audible and listeners did react to them even if they might not have correlated the exact causes for such differences. The F20 is the extreme example, where it had tons of output but sounded a bit resonant and lumpy. The Rythmik was the antithesis of it.
Detailed measurement efforts like those of Keith Yates, Ilkka and Ricci report on a lot more than the frequency response at a single level for very good reason, and many of those reasons relate to the differences heard. Of course the frequency response matters greatly as well, and unless you are measuring yourself, you can also expect to also hear the effects of the differing no-EQ measurements posted here by desertdome
. Very few comparisons I've seen done to date have had anywhere near this type of effort put into better matching the frequency responses between subwoofers. There are plenty of differences in real use beyond the low level frequency response, but there's no question the ground plane frequency response differences between products play a notable role in preferences and subjective impressions.