Originally Posted by Ricci
Surprisingly well behaved discussion guys.
A couple of things about the Sub 2 that have sort of been pointed out already. It is smaller than you would think. I believe it is actually slightly smaller in total external volume than a PB13-Ultra and similar in size to most sealed 18's such as the DD18+. Perhaps slightly larger. It is easy to get huge numbers out of a refrigerator sized cab. It's much more difficult to get big output out of a small size. Comparing sealed systems to vented ones right near their tuning always heavily favors the ported system since that is the area of the ported systems greatest strength. Comparing output or distortion at one small frequency band doesn't mean a whole lot and won't give an impression of how the subwoofer will do with wide bandwidth effects and bass reproduction over the total bandwidth. The Sub 2 has powerful performance over the entire 10-125Hz bandwidth not specifically at any single point. Sealed systems do not put up huge output numbers at any specific frequency range generally. Even with the massive amplifier in this subwoofer the system is amplifier limited. The drivers cannot be overdriven. That being the case you cannot make the Sub 2 sound bad. It never made any noise of distress even when driven really hard. A lot of subwoofers are audibly distressed and not sounding so hot at full output. This can't be seen in the output charts and to some extent may not even be evident in the distortion measurements as it actually takes quite a bit of deep bass distortion for it to be obvious. Basically up to the point that the amplifier limits the system it still sounds great. Also consider that 10" drivers especially those with surrounds this large have a relatively small amount of cone area. 300cm^2 would be a good rough estimate. An 18" driver has almost 1200cm^2 which gives it the SD of about 3.5 to 4 10" drivers so an 18" capable of 30mm xmax can theoretically displace as much air as 4 25mm xmax 10's. Each doubling of air displaced results in only a 6dB increase in output. The output measured is well in line with what would be expected from 6 long throw 10" drivers in a small sealed enclosure.
As far as the opposed driver compensation is concerned I do not claimed that the 10m measurement allows full integration of the output and that the resultant file is "perfect", far from it, but I am confident that it is well within 1dB. An inconsequential amount of error at least to my way of thinking.
Also another thing about the Sub 2 is that it just has that something about it. Sure it's not the loudest sub ever, but it does factor into the top rung of dB per cubic inch of enclosure rankings. You guys might not ever consider purchasing one, but I would be very surprised if anyone had a chance to use one or 2 in their system and was disappointed in anyway. In a room it is quite powerful, sounds great, it looks amazing and is just plainly put a very cool piece of gear.
Excellent post as usual Ricci. The other thing to factor in with these discussions is that the Sub2 was simply not built for the DIY crowd, or, FTM, the AVS crowd looking for the best $ to performance ratio.
When my brother was considering one, I told him that I was fairly sure dual SubM's would outperform it for slightly more than half the cost (shipped). Spoke with Nathan at FW about potentially ordering 2 18.0's with the LMS or his new driver, etc.
At the end of the day he didn't care about cost (must be nice
), he just wanted to own a "$9k" subwoofer that was an incredible performer. He also didn't want to deal with an ID brand as this way he could deal with his local dealer and Paradigm directly (when you purchase these subs you can pretty much speak directly with the engineers at P'Digm when you have questions), have them come and unbox the sub, set it up, etc. Plus, when people come over they know what "Paradigm" is. Yes, he's a huge brand whore.
Having spent some time with it, it's just an awesome piece. As Ricci says, you can't make the thing make a bad noise. I'm fairly certain I may have had it several db hot (think my mic was on the fritz that day), but it simply didn't complain. It was downright frightening at times in his 4,000 cubic foot family room/kitchen combo that opened up to the rest of his main floor.
The quality of the fit and finish, right down to the amazing grills ...
... was simply stunning.
Plus, it's really not that large. It looks much smaller than my PB13-Ultra for instance. Also has that amazing plate amp ...
... name another available plate amp that matches this in power without fans, or potential issues with using proamps (dealing with pro gear, hum, fan noise, gain structure, external EQ devices, etc).
Somewhat reminds me of the old "F113 vs PB13" arguments, that I myself used to get into. I.e., the F113 was I believe double the cost of the PB13 way back when and we all argued it was ridiculous to buy it over the PB13. But when I finally had the F113 in my room and another to compare it, sure the PB13 IMO still outperformed it. But staring at the size of the box and hearing/feeling what it could put out at the time gave me a huge appreciation for what it could do.
Clearly for the $6/7k you'd spend on this sub post discount, you could get a lot more in terms of db/$$$ ratio. But if money isn't much of an object, the Sub2 is an awesome sub to experience.