Thanks for all the input. I've edited the FAQ answer based on points made by several posters. See below. I'll continue to take edits on this, and post Q&A #2
soon. Please keep in mind that I'm not a sub expert, I don't even (yet) own a Rythmik sub, and I'm just trying to capture GENERAL
What do I lose in SQ going from a competitor’s sealed sub to a ported Rythmik? What about from sealed Rythmiks to ported Rythmiks?
Frequent contributors to this thread will maintain that the servo technology used in all Rythmik subs allows even Rythmik’s ported offerings to compete well against other brands’ sealed subs. Alongside servo tech, the amps on Rythmik subs allow a level of tuning control not found on other brands. As such, a ported Rythmik set to high damping will exhibit SQ comparable to competitors’ sealed offerings. A sealed Rythmik sub will sound even tighter and faster (although some maintain that discerning between ported and sealed subwoofers is impossible – e.g. post 40384 by
and post 41363 by
; others disagree based on in-room experience, maintaining that a difference in sound quality is discernible between sealed and ported subs, as in post 41353 by
In the transition from sealed Rythmiks to ported Rythmiks, you can expect to pick up increased TR (tactile response, i.e. floor shake) and low-Hz output (dB). Set to high damping, a ported Rythmik will sound closest to a sealed Rythmik but will roll off faster at low frequencies. Set to low damping, a user picks up extra TR and output.
Sealed subs also have slower roll-off at ultra-low frequencies, whereas ported subs roll off very quickly below their port tune. As such, per post 33381 by
, sealed subs are recommended for small- or medium-sized sealed rooms, where room gain can result in deeper extension relative to a ported sub. Regardless, due to servo tech, Rythmik ported subs offer very low distortion compared to other ported subs. Sealed Rythmiks are even better in this regard.
For HT (home theater) use, ported subs are often recommended. For music-only setups, sealed subs are often recommended. For mixed use, a ported Rythmik sub set to mid- or high-damping seems to provide the best of both worlds based on forum discussions. Ultimately, it is up to the end user to decide
, as a sealed sub(s), properly integrated into a room, can deliver a full home theater experience (post 41346 by
One final note: because Rythmik subs have reduced distortion (and thereby less “ringing”) relative to the “one note” subs that are available, the bass impact may initially feel lacking. This is the trade-off for cleaner, more accurate bass reproduction. It may take some getting used to, but most forum posters never go back! Low damping can bridge the gap between higher distortion subs and Rythmik subs, but the Rythmik will almost always still sound “cleaner.” The paper cone of the FV18, which provides additional mid-bass output relative to the aluminum cone, is therefore recommended for HT use.