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Four JL Audio Fathoms F212, remember the old days

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Dear Readers,

Just came up with a crazy idear, I am a person that grew up with the IRS Beta and the Genesis systems.
The one thing really stayed with me, were the giant woofer towers on each site of the room.

The IRS Beta had two base towers with four woofers. The Genesis has a similar system. And the thing that really impresses me was the sound that came free when the towers began to play. The wall of sound and the air displacement that the sytems create.

I am thinking of stacking up two Fathom F212 on each site of my system, so I create two 162cm towers, on each site, one master and one slave.

Now I expect that te drivers of the F212 are better then the driver they were using in the systems back then.

What are youre idears on this. Did anybody ever try this before? Or has this setup at home?

Any feedback is welcome,

Regards,

Alex
Edited by Texas25 - 1/6/14 at 12:53pm
post #2 of 34
[]I've seen people stack the SVS PB13 Ultras. They seem to prefer co-locating them. And I remember those speakers well. I had a friend that had the Infinity Betas with the separate sub cabinets. I think they had 4 twelves in them. Loved those with the ribbons. Keep us posted on your results.

You might move this over to the sub threads. You'd get more responses there.
post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thank you I will
post #4 of 34
I have two Fathom F212 and with subwoofers it's gonna be much better if you use 4 of them in different spots in the room. Perceived peak levels will not be much better with 4 compared with 2. The main reason to get 4 would be to equalize them independent and the use each sub to correct for listening location nulls in the other subs. In other words, with 4 subs and good placement, the odds of having a very linear bass response are VERY good with proper calibration.

I am using 4 more in wall subs to help correct for "holes" in the in-room response of the two fathoms. I wish I had designed the room for 4 fathoms though...

Next time if I design a new room, I would plan for 4 locations for 4 fathom 212 size subs... truly epic sound I assure you. 4 across the front of the room might be quite an effective placement option too.

If I were you, I would buy two of them first and see how things sound, then buy a third if calibration reveals the need for another subwoofer and then a 4th if that one doesn't do the trick. Of course your flexibility in subwoofer placement makes a big difference.
post #5 of 34

This thread is scary! I really like the two JL Audio Fathom f212 subwoofers I recently installed. But 3 or 4? Whoooooo!

post #6 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by SBruzonsky View Post

This thread is scary! I really like the two JL Audio Fathom f212 subwoofers I recently installed. But 3 or 4? Whoooooo!

lol

I started off with 2 F113s and they had plenty of grunt. When I added the second pair it wasn't for more output but it definitely smoothed out the bass response for all 7 of the theatre seats. Plus there is more grunt when needed. biggrin.gif
post #7 of 34
4 subs is sweet but unfortunately there is not a great auto EQ to balance all 4 subs with multiple permutations...

This is the next big product innovation i guess. A software that allows you keep track of sub location which each curve would nice. Like a floorplan chart that saves your sub position along with the curves. Obviously you can keep running REW over and over and just keep moving subs in between adjustments. No matter what though, its too many permutations to get "best" bass at all listening positions... This is where a line array of subwoofers I am guessing works best but I'm not sure about that.

I usually try to get great linear bass at main position and then try to get decent bass at the rest of positions by luck and multiple subwoofers. Anything more perfect than that is really very hard to do... If not impossible in a "normal" room. My room is treated more than 99% of avs forum folks and my bass curves in some positions are defintely not that great.
post #8 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post

4 subs is sweet but unfortunately there is not a great auto EQ to balance all 4 subs with multiple permutations...

This is the next big product innovation i guess. A software that allows you keep track of sub location which each curve would nice. Like a floorplan chart that saves your sub position along with the curves. Obviously you can keep running REW over and over and just keep moving subs in between adjustments. No matter what though, its too many permutations to get "best" bass at all listening positions... This is where a line array of subwoofers I am guessing works best but I'm not sure about that.

I usually try to get great linear bass at main position and then try to get decent bass at the rest of positions by luck and multiple subwoofers. Anything more perfect than that is really very hard to do... If not impossible in a "normal" room. My room is treated more than 99% of avs forum folks and my bass curves in some positions are defintely not that great.

Apparently the Harman Sound Field Management algorithm that you can only get with JBL Synthesis is pretty good at "auto" EQ.

You can DESIGN for consistent bass across all seats using multiple subs and signal processing. It's difficult (requires using sophisticated modeling software in any room that is not a rectangle), but not impossible. Retro-fitting this to an existing theater is difficult, as the seating positions make a huge difference. The seating positions need to be in areas of similar room mode activity for this approach to work.

Take a look at what I did in my demo room here.

Example modeling software output:


If you've spent north of $20k on subwoofers then a coupe of thousand for design and calibration services might be a worthwhile investment.
post #9 of 34
No question that experienced sensible design would be worth the money. Finding someone loval that's any good at it is another issue altogether. It is very hard to be sure your money is being put to good use unless you know the acoustics guy has a long history of being awesome.
post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post

No question that experienced sensible design would be worth the money. Finding someone loval that's any good at it is another issue altogether. It is very hard to be sure your money is being put to good use unless you know the acoustics guy has a long history of being awesome.

Erm, all of this work can be done remotely smile.gif

Most of my projects are outside local area. All the design and engineering can be done remotely, even some of the calibration, assuming the person on the other end of the phone is happy to move mics around and tweak settings on the pre-pro. The DSP I use can be hooked up to a computer and all settings changed via a PC program. With online screensharing it's possible to control the DSP from the other side of the world if necessary! For those looking for best results I would always recommend an in person calibration, and obviously that incurs some travel expense. But if you are spending $30k plus on your theater it may well be worth it, plus they could do the video at the same time.
post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post

4 subs is sweet but unfortunately there is not a great auto EQ to balance all 4 subs with multiple permutations...
If all 4 subs are receiving the same signal, you don't want to EQ each sub individually. You don't *hear* each sub individually. What you *hear* is the combined response of all 4 subs. Therefore, what you want to EQ is the combined response of all 4 subs. If you EQ them independently for flat response, (or your desired target curve), when you combine them, you are not likely to end up with the desired response. They will reinforce and cancel each other, and the combined response will be anything but flat, (or your desired curve.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post

This is the next big product innovation i guess.
Probably not for the reasons I list above.
Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post

A software that allows you keep track of sub location which each curve would nice. Like a floorplan chart that saves your sub position along with the curves. Obviously you can keep running REW over and over and just keep moving subs in between adjustments.
You can save and label as many graphs as you want in REW. As long as you can get the sub(s) back to the same physical locations, those graphs would be reproducible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post

No matter what though, its too many permutations to get "best" bass at all listening positions... This is where a line array of subwoofers I am guessing works best but I'm not sure about that.
A line array of subs will act like a single sub with more headroom. Distributed subs is a better solution, at least if consistent frequency response at multiple LP's is important.
Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post

I usually try to get great linear bass at main position and then try to get decent bass at the rest of positions by luck and multiple subwoofers. Anything more perfect than that is really very hard to do... If not impossible in a "normal" room. My room is treated more than 99% of avs forum folks and my bass curves in some positions are defintely not that great.
Shoot for consistent bass across the most LP's, even if it's not "linear", (by which I assume you mean "flat" or a smooth target curve.) Once the bass is consistent across multiple seats, then add EQ to the combined subs... and it should apply consistently across multiple seats.

Craig
post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post

If all 4 subs are receiving the same signal, you don't want to EQ each sub individually.
Craig

You might want to EQ some subs differently than others if you are trying to arrange them for some room mode cancellation. For example if you are trying to cancel the first axial length mode but one sub is 4ft away from the front wall and the other is on the back wall you might want to reduce the SPL of the front sub at the room mode frequency in question so the two subs balance and effectively cancel the room mode.

Certainly being able to individually delay each sub is very much required, and if you are using different subs in the room then you should also have ability to phase shift the response of individual subs (to phase match them) without changing their frequency response.
post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyal Mellor View Post

You might want to EQ some subs differently than others if you are trying to arrange them for some room mode cancellation. For example if you are trying to cancel the first axial length mode but one sub is 4ft away from the front wall and the other is on the back wall you might want to reduce the SPL of the front sub at the room mode frequency in question so the two subs balance and effectively cancel the room mode.

Certainly being able to individually delay each sub is very much required, and if you are using different subs in the room then you should also have ability to phase shift the response of individual subs (to phase match them) without changing their frequency response.

Exactly what i was meaning to say... But the permutations can be done by rapid fire trial and error by the software with various permutations of phase, etc. if the software could assist you by also 3d scanning your room size and shape, perhaps it could also estimate where your subs should be to get better effect.

Simplifying this process for the bulk of users is what room correction is all about.
post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post

Simplifying this process for the bulk of users is what room correction is all about.
I'm a big believer in SoTA room correction, but it won't mitigate/eliminate LP nulls, whereas proper placement of multiple subs generally will.
post #15 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post

Exactly what i was meaning to say... But the permutations can be done by rapid fire trial and error by the software with various permutations of phase, etc. if the software could assist you by also 3d scanning your room size and shape, perhaps it could also estimate where your subs should be to get better effect.

Simplifying this process for the bulk of users is what room correction is all about.

Like I said earlier, most of this stuff is in the JBL Synthesis room correction technology ARCOS. You have to buy a JBL Synthesis system to get it unfortunately. Having said that apparently the new JBL M2 is a fabulous speaker, even for two channel.
post #16 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by RUR View Post

I'm a big believer in SoTA room correction, but it won't mitigate/eliminate LP nulls, whereas proper placement of multiple subs generally will.

Well at least it will in the subs range of operation, which is <120Hz or so. Above that you need some beefy acoustic treatment to deal with speaker boundary interference nulls.
post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyal Mellor View Post

Well at least it will in the subs range of operation, which is <120Hz or so. Above that you need some beefy acoustic treatment to deal with speaker boundary interference nulls.
Of course, Nyal.
post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by RUR View Post

Of course, Nyal.

biggrin.gif
post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyal Mellor View Post

Like I said earlier, most of this stuff is in the JBL Synthesis room correction technology ARCOS. You have to buy a JBL Synthesis system to get it unfortunately.

Can you get ARCOS just for multiple subs by purchasing an SDEC?
post #20 of 34
Four JL Audio 212 Fathom's....how large is your theater, the size a small church?LOL That's too much unless you want excessive bass. My friend had a subwoofer custom designed by velodyne...this is 15 years ago. It was a single 24" driver that was also used as a coffee table in a 900sq room. It cost him only 10,000. In today's market that would cost around 20k. Go for quality rather than quantity. Although my friend is a famous person and billionaire, I'm sure you guys can afford going his route. So go with one huge sub custom designed by an audio engineer. It will sound unbelievable. biggrin.gif

If velodyne no longer makes custom subwoofers, then try PBN Montana- I'm sure they can craft you a sub that will exceed your expectations. That's just a suggestion. Enjoy!!
post #21 of 34
My room is 22x19x13 around 5000cu feet. Fathoms work great and a pair gives good in-room response and great undistorted SPL at reference volumes.

The fathoms 212 is the product I can genuinely say I have zero regrets about. This is not easy to say about anything audio related.

I hope mine work for the next 20 years...
post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post

My room is 22x19x13 around 5000cu feet. Fathoms work great and a pair gives good in-room response and great undistorted SPL at reference volumes.

The fathoms 212 is the product I can genuinely say I have zero regrets about. This is not easy to say about anything audio related.

I hope mine work for the next 20 years...

Is that Avantgarde Duo in your avatar? A friend with the Duo is looking for subwoofer; his system is audio only with tube pre and power amps (he has 3 different tube amps of different types that he switched per taste fo the month :-)).

Any advice regarding matching of Fathom to Avantgarde please? He is looking into some Martin Logan subwoofer but I have been telling him Fathom 212 might be the one to have and considered by many to be among the very best (man all this talk is reminding me that I don't have one).
post #23 of 34
YUP- I hope I last for the next 20 years LOL smile.gif I'm sure the JL's will be in perfect running condition for a long long time.

My room is tiny- 12x12 with 7.5 ft. ceiling. So far I have no need to add a subwoofer....the Montana's shake the pictures off the wall. smile.gif

I used to have dual def tech trinity subs in my old place. Sounded cool but the bass was overkill. And that's coming from a guy who had 3 JL 12w6s with 2 phoenix gold amps..1000 watts each...in my old probe:D
post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by cannga View Post

Is that Avantgarde Duo in your avatar? A friend with the Duo is looking for subwoofer; his system is audio only with tube pre and power amps (he has 3 different tube amps of different types that he switched per taste fo the month :-)).

Any advice regarding matching of Fathom to Avantgarde please? He is looking into some Martin Logan subwoofer but I have been telling him Fathom 212 might be the one to have and considered by many to be among the very best (man all this talk is reminding me that I don't have one).

The subs will likely work well with any speaker but the avantgarde's are truly some of the most exciting speakers on the planet today. They make wilson audio stuff sound small in comparison.

I crossover the fathom at 80hz so with movies i dont bottom out the woofers in the duo omegas.

I would bet the JL would be a even greater fit for the avantgarde trios since the crossover frequency is 110hz or something. You could use the trios with dual fathoms and likely get away with not buying bass horns.

I have heard bass horns so i cant really comment.

I really want to trade in my duo for trios if i can find a good deal used though.
post #25 of 34
^^^ Thank you. I will need to come to my friend's house for an audition of the great sound of Avantgarde one of these days; for some reasons I have never heard these at shows or any store.
I forwarded your response to him - will wish him "happy spending."
post #26 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by cannga View Post

^^^ Thank you. I will need to come to my friend's house for an audition of the great sound of Avantgarde one of these days; for some reasons I have never heard these at shows or any store.
I forwarded your response to him - will wish him "happy spending."

Yeah they don't really market them much in the USA anymore... not many distributors and I am not sure why. Maybe the pricing and whatnot. They are very popular among German, Chinese, and Japanese audiophiles. If you get chance to hear them properly setup, there is very little that can compare. They feel somewhat like a planar speaker in transparency but with a magnified image and limitless volume compared to the typical planar speaker. It basically has a "live" music presentation. It feels like the singer is in the room.
post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post

Yeah they don't really market them much in the USA anymore... not many distributors and I am not sure why. Maybe the pricing and whatnot. They are very popular among German, Chinese, and Japanese audiophiles. If you get chance to hear them properly setup, there is very little that can compare. They feel somewhat like a planar speaker in transparency but with a magnified image and limitless volume compared to the typical planar speaker. It basically has a "live" music presentation. It feels like the singer is in the room.

Singer in the room... congrats. Over my many years of being an audiophile, I would think this is the single most elusive and expensive cool.gif goal. I will definitely ask him for an audition.

What amp and preamp/front end are you using? I believe my friend used to have Jadis, but currently uses 3 different amps, an output transformerless Atmasphere, another one called Kronzilla, and a third one that I can't recall now. Probably because the speakers are so revealing, he's always seemed to be tweaking and changing something. I've frequently needled/teased him about the constant switch. Last we talked he was mentioning SET.
post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by cannga View Post

Singer in the room... congrats. Over my many years of being an audiophile, I would think this is the single most elusive and expensive cool.gif goal. I will definitely ask him for an audition.

What amp and preamp/front end are you using? I believe my friend used to have Jadis, but currently uses 3 different amps, an output transformerless Atmasphere, another one called Kronzilla, and a third one that I can't recall now. Probably because the speakers are so revealing, he's always seemed to be tweaking and changing something. I've frequently needled/teased him about the constant switch. Last we talked he was mentioning SET.

The new pass labs xa30.8 amp that just came out is amazing with these speakers and more convenient than a set amp and without the distortion of one.

Using a marantz 8801 (i know heresy... But i have the avantgardes in an 11.3 setup). I love movie sound as much as great 2 channel so it is a compromise.

I would prefer to try a 2 channel pre amp like a pass labs just for grins but it doesnt do bass management which i really like for music.
post #29 of 34
The Avantgardes can sound really nice. Because of their efficiency, you need ultra-quiet upstream components.

I heard them with a Viva preamp and amp, all in matching Ferrari red, and the combination was magic.
post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post

The new pass labs xa30.8 amp that just came out is amazing with these speakers and more convenient than a set amp and without the distortion of one.

Using a marantz 8801 (i know heresy... But i have the avantgardes in an 11.3 setup). I love movie sound as much as great 2 channel so it is a compromise.

I would prefer to try a 2 channel pre amp like a pass labs just for grins but it doesnt do bass management which i really like for music.

There are some two channel preamps with bass management: Classe CP800, DEQX HDP4, DEQX PreMATE or the Trinnov ST2.

The new DEQX processors sound fabulous, and they have an async USB input.
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