After exhaustive research, and several auditions I finally came to a decision on what subs to buy. I basically considered most every sub I could find at all price points, and also considered several DIY designs. (And to think my wife says I am analytical by nature
) My priorities are accuracy, sound quality, and headroom for lifelike dynamics. I need two subs, one for use in my HT room with Klipsch Reference speakers, which are very efficient. And one for use in my study/office with a pair of monitors (maybe ERA, B&W, ML, or Selah). I decided on a Rythmik Audio 12" servo for the study/office, where accuracy is priority and SPL level will not be quite as demanding.
For the HT room application I chose the F112, because we enjoy critical music listening, and movies as well. There were several factors that drove my decision in the end. One was the exceptional value that the Fathom's represent. By having evaluated several top DIY alternatives, I found that I could purchase an F112 for not much if any more than it would cost to buy a JL W7, a comparably powered Prosound amp, and a DSP, before even considering a cabinet. I knew that I couldn't approach the fit, finish, and integrity of the Fathom cabinet with any DIY effort, even after investigating having one built. So, though not inexpensive, the F112 and F113 represent an exceptionally solid value.
With several years experience with high end car audio, I was well aware of the quality of product that JL brings to the table since they are for many the standard bearer for excellent SQ and SPL in car audio. In fact, my research on the JL Fathom caused me to examine their mobile line a little closer, and I also decided to upgrade my car to a 12w6 as well. JL as a corporation has always been innovative, with a passion for excellence. They are well represented by Manville Smith, and his professional and forthright support here was another factor that was important in my decision. I know that I can get direct support from JL if needed because they are committed to a total ownership experience. (To their credit, SVS, HSU, and Rythmik are exceptional in this regard as well. The respect that each has for the others speaks well of their own integrity, and for their confidence in their own products.)
But what really made the most difference was being able to audition one at my local dealer in Nashville. They patiently worked with me to compare virually every sub in their store, and there were many (B&W, DefTech, Klipsch, etc.). The JL's were the most accurate, the most transparent, and had the most headroom and output of any I heard. They seamlessly integrated with any mains I heard them with, and didn't draw the image away from the mains. The ARO was also a significant plus, as all rooms have nodes that can benefit from correction. I think the F112 will work well in my room of about 2500 cubic feet.
I appreciate the input from many here in narrowing my choice, whether by my asking directly or by lurking on other threads. Especially helpful has been TheEAR whose insight and experience I found to be spot-on in the comparisons I have made.
After hearing the Fathoms, I can understand his unbridled enthusiasm.
Comparison of the Rythmik and the Jl in a few more days will be fun. Or at least my idea of fun.