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Sound quality of Rythmik vs JL Audio F112 or F113

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
I heard the JL Audio F113 and F112 yesterday again and was very impressed by the articulation, transparency, and seamless integration of these subs. I heard the F113 with Klipsch RF83's and the F112 with Wilson Watt Puppies. I noticed two clear advantages of these subs over peer subs (Klipsch, B&W), which was clarity and authority in the lowest octave, and very apparent accuracy in tracking signal decay. Several of the subs did well with attack, but the JL excelled in accurate decay, or lack of "overhang".

I was curious as to whether anyone has heard both the Fathoms and the Rythmik subs and could compare the sound quality of the two?

Understand that the difference in output capability between the two is obvious to the casual observer, and I have no illusion that The Rythmik approaches the JL in output capbility and headroom. However a realistic assessment of my listening needs is that I seldom listen really loud ( I am very protective of my hearing) and about 100-105 db would be the maximum level I would ever listen to, with 80-90 db more typical. I also do not have a really large room of about 2500 cubic feet. I desire accuracy, articulation, yet authority, even at lower volumes. The JL is within my budget, however if if the Rythmik would meet my needs as well, I have to question whether the difference in price is justified.

So given my listening needs, I wonder how the Rythmik and the JL subs would compare, as long as you remain within the performance envelope of the Rythmik. Or put another way, if I don't need the output capability of the JL, how would the JL and Rythmik compare in terms of sound quality at moderate to moderately loud volumes.

Sub selection is a matter of identifying various tradeoffs at play among the alternatives available, and deciding which elements carry the highest priority for a particular application. I'm trying to sort out where these alternatives fallout in my particular case. YMMV

So if anyone has heard both, I would appreciate your input.
post #2 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SE-Raider View Post

I heard the JL Audio F113 and F112 yesterday again and was very impressed by the articulation, transparency, and seamless integration of these subs. I heard the F113 with Klipsch RF83's and the F112 with Wilson Watt Puppies. I noticed two clear advantages of these subs over peer subs (Klipsch, B&W), which was clarity and authority in the lowest octave, and very apparent accuracy in tracking signal decay. Several of the subs did well with attack, but the JL excelled in accurate decay, or lack of "overhang".

I was curious as to whether anyone has heard both the Fathoms and the Rythmik subs and could compare the sound quality of the two?

Understand that the difference in output capability between the two is obvious to the casual observer, and I have no illusion that The Rythmik approaches the JL in output capbility and headroom. However a realistic assessment of my listening needs is that I seldom listen really loud ( I am very protective of my hearing) and about 100-105 db would be the maximum level I would ever listen to, with 80-90 db more typical. I also do not have a really large room of about 2500 cubic feet. I desire accuracy, articulation, yet authority, even at lower volumes. The JL is within my budget, however if if the Rythmik would meet my needs as well, I have to question whether the difference in price is justified.

So given my listening needs, I wonder how the Rythmik and the JL subs would compare, as long as you remain within the performance envelope of the Rythmik. Or put another way, if I don't need the output capability of the JL, how would the JL and Rythmik compare in terms of sound quality at moderate to moderately loud volumes.

Sub selection is a matter of identifying various tradeoffs at play among the alternatives available, and deciding which elements carry the highest priority for a particular application. I'm trying to sort out where these alternatives fallout in my particular case. YMMV

So if anyone has heard both, I would appreciate your input.

Well I have heard the Rythmik 12 and the Martin Logan Descent sub and I can say that the Rythmik was definitely tighter than the Descent sub and had a much lower Q than the Descent sub. The Rythmik is so far the best small sub I have ever listened to.

I would say if you are looking for the ultimate in DIY (few may disagree) it is the IB. If you have the ability to build a good one with plenty of displacement it will go lower, louder, and cleaner than any other sub you can think of (with exception to the super-expensive Thigpen Rotary Subwoofer).
post #3 of 38
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the comparison to the ML Descent. The ML Abyss was another sub that I have considered as my final three alternatives.
post #4 of 38
Thread Starter 
I guess sometime you just have to figure it out yourself...

Monday, Lord willing, I will be picking up an F112 from a local dealer for use in my HT room.

I will also be ordering a Rythmik Audio 12" kit for use in my study with a pair of monitors. I'll be using one of the Parts Express cabinets, to make it as near a turn-key kit as possible.

I think it will be an interesting comparison.
post #5 of 38
Yeah that'll definitely be an interesting comparison. Thanks a lot for doing this test.
post #6 of 38
Yeah, I'll also be very curious to hear how this turns out. Thanks.
post #7 of 38
I'm not expecting the rythmik to edge it out in Max spl by the laws of physics. I'm way more interested in the tonal differences.
post #8 of 38
Me too. With almost 4 times as much power, and more than 50% more excursion, it should be no contest in terms of output. But it will be very interesting to see how sound quality compares. Even If it takes two Rythmik kits to match the output of the F112, that's still half the price of the Fathoms. It's not often we get to see good comparisons of DIY subs to commercial offerings. Thanks for doing this!
post #9 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darin View Post

Me too. With almost 4 times as much power, and more than 50% more excursion, it should be no contest in terms of output. But it will be very interesting to see how sound quality compares. Even If it takes two Rythmik kits to match the output of the F112, that's still half the price of the Fathoms. It's not often we get to see good comparisons of DIY subs to commercial offerings. Thanks for doing this!

Bingo!

Oh yeah, and I'm very interested on the outcome.
post #10 of 38
I'm interested as well... thanks!
post #11 of 38
Five Star Restaurant vs. Mom's Home Cooking.............Let's Get It On!
post #12 of 38
it's almost Tuesday....UPDATE!
post #13 of 38
Thread Starter 
Checking in... picked up the F112 Monday evening, barely had time to set it up. Tuesday, busy again with the kids. Wednesday, had a little time to tweak. Got a lesson in sub placement and nulls. I think a corollary of Murphy's Law is that a sub never sounds good in the place where it fits best, or looks best. The first place I tried it, there was a severe null and cancellation with my mains, which have good extension normally. The ARO works really well, simple, intuitive. After running the ARO, it took quite a bit of time to optimize the Yamaha's settings, and to play around with the crossover settings, etc. Once done, wow. Smooth, deep, transparent and integrated bass. I listened to my favorite CD's and forgot about tweaking and got lost in the music. The bar is definitely set high.

The dilemma I have at this point is which Rythmik to order. The 12" directly compares in size to the F112 driver but will use a cabinet slightly smaller than the F112's. The 15" Rythmik driver is larger in diameter, but the actual cone area is closer to that of the F113 due to the design of the JL's suspension, and the cabinet size required by the 15" Rythmik is in between that of the F112 and F113. What to do, what to do....

I'd like to order this week if possible; any thoughts welcome..
post #14 of 38
Well in the interest of being fair as far as cost, footprint, and output goes, the 15" would make the most sense.

You have it wrong though, the 15" Rythmik driver's cone area is larger than both the 12 and 13" JL drivers (806cm^2 for the Rythmik, 729cm^2 for the JL 13").
post #15 of 38
Thread Starter 
I had a typo in the previous post... I meant to say that the cone area of the 15" Rythmik would be closer to that of the F113, not the F112. Thanks for the opinion and data for clarification. I was guesstimating. Do you know the area of the 12" Rythmik and F112?
post #16 of 38
The 12" Rythmik has an Sd of 530cm^2.

The F112 driver has an Sd of 542cm^2.
post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willd View Post

The 12" Rythmik has an Sd of 530cm^2.

The F112 driver has an Sd of 542cm^2.

Didn't expect them to be so close for some reason. Theres too small of a difference in cone area to make it a determining factor in output, its all Xmax.
post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exocer View Post

Didn't expect them to be so close for some reason. Theres too small of a difference in cone area to make it a determining factor in output, its all Xmax.

Yeah, neither did I. Who knows how accurate either spec is, but they should be close either way.

And yes, the linear excursion is what separates the two, with the JL edging the Rythmik out by over 10mm.

Of course the JL also doesn't have the servo tech...

I know I am looking forward to this comparison. I don't really like subjective impressions, but they mean more when its DIY vs Commercial.
post #19 of 38
SE,

When it comes to SQ, Brian recommends the 12" as having the edge over the 15".
jmb
post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SE-Raider View Post

The 12" directly compares in size to the F112 driver but will use a cabinet slightly smaller than the F112's. The 15" Rythmik driver is larger in diameter, but the actual cone area is closer to that of the F113 due to the design of the JL's suspension, and the cabinet size required by the 15" Rythmik is in between that of the F112 and F113. What to do, what to do....

I'd like to order this week if possible; any thoughts welcome..

Well, we're all anxious to hear your review, and it'd be nice to have a direct comparison. But in the end, you are the one who is going to have to live with whatever you buy. The 15" model is certainly going to win from an output comparison, but it needs at least a 3 ft³ box. The 12" won't have the output of the 15", but reportedly has an edge in SQ, and is perfectly happy in 2 ft³. You say the Rythmik will go in your study... if it's a relatively small room, and/or it won't be played at very loud levels, the 12" might be a better option. On the flip side, while Brian (and even the graphs, to an extent) indicate the 12" has better sound quality, I can't help but wonder if that advantage is maintained at equal output levels... the 15" is going to be stressed less to provide the same output level. Another thing to consider is the speakers you are mating them with. The 15" model isn't very good above 80hz, while the 12" can go a little higher. So the extension of your monitors may play a role. And of course, if this is strictly for music reproduction, you may at some point decide you want stereo subs. So the slightly lower price and smaller cabinet may make the 12" a better choice, since output probably wouldn't be a consideration any more with two.

Whichever way you go, I'm looking forward to hearing about it.
post #21 of 38
Thread Starter 
Great feedback and info folks. Darin, you confirmed my thinking on the two; in fact you pretty well wrote the script of what's been bouncing around in my head for the last few weeks. It's just hard to decide. Don't think I can make a bad choice though.
post #22 of 38
Since this comparison will primarily address sound quality rather than SPL, I'd suggest that the 12" Rythmik is a more interesting comparison based on what I've read from Brian in other threads. If you get the 15", and the JL slightly bests it in sound quality, you may have nagging doubts and wonder how the 12" might have performed.
post #23 of 38
Try both.
post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wet1 View Post

Try both.

if you had the means, that would be awesome. i still would love to hear some direct comparisons about the sound of the 15" rythmik vs. the 12".
post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotus View Post

...i still would love to hear some direct comparisons about the sound of the 15" rythmik vs. the 12".

Yes! me too...
post #26 of 38
I cant wait to read about it! The more I read about these rythmik kits, the close I get to pressing the buy button!
post #27 of 38
Any updates reagrding this comparison?
post #28 of 38
When you are doing these comparisions, are the subs freq equalized to the room with a parametric equalizer like the BFD? Or are you comparing mid-bass humps in freq response?
post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobgpsr View Post

When you are doing these comparisions, are the subs freq equalized to the room with a parametric equalizer like the BFD? Or are you comparing mid-bass humps in freq response?

Ya, I am dying for a comparison. I am on the fence with building a couple Rythmiks versus and F112 or F113.
post #30 of 38
So, when are we going to hear this comparison?
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