Rythmik Audio FV15-HP Data-Bass test results - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 172 Old 06-22-2011, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
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About 3 months ago Brian from Rythmik Audio was gracious enough to send me this sub to test. This is the same exact unit from the Audioholics test earlier this year. It is a dual ported subwoofer with a 15" driver and a 600w rated amplifier that employs Rythmik's signature direct servo feedback (Visit Rythmik Audio for more information on this.). It is the largest and most powerful vented sub in Rythmik's lineup and comes in at $1199 plus shipping. The sub has a black oak finish and is quite chunky weighing in at 120lbs shipped and to be honest it felt like a little more than that. I had to pick it up to load it in and out of vehicles single handedly more than a couple of times and it is a bear for one guy. The dimensions of this sub are 18"(W) x 24" (H )x 24"(D) - (26" D with grille and heatsink). I don't consider that excessive or even large for a subwoofer but I am probably a little skewed on that subject. The 2 ports are flared and of 3.5" diameter and they extend deeply into the cabinet. The driver is a quality piece sporting a black anodized aluminum cone, a rubber surround, a 12 spoke cast basket, and a generously sized motor with double stacked ferrite magnets, aluminum shorting rings and a lightweight 4 layer 3" voice coil. The enclosure is heavy and inert with adequate bracing. The amplifier also appears to be a quality piece. Overall a good bill of parts to make some quality bass.












Now... Normally I would put this information on Data-Bass and not create a thread like this but the update and overhaul of the site is taking longer than anticipated and Brian has been patiently waiting while we sit on the results for the last couple of months, so I figured it more fair to go ahead and just put the information out there and get it added to Data-Bass later.

A few notes about the tests...

1.) All output tests are conducted outdoors in a large field with the nearest boundaries and large objects at-least 60ft away if not more and the microphone at a distance of 2 meters from the closest edge of the subwoofer unless noted as otherwise.

2.) CEA-2010 results are at 2 meters and have 3db subtracted to approximate rms levels. To compare with peak values add 3db. To compare with 1 meter results add 6 db. To compare with a 1 meter peak result add 9db.

3.) All measurements and data presented have either no smoothing or minimal smoothing applied. (1/48, or 1/24th octave if any at all.) This will not result in pretty flat graphs like you are used to seeing. It will show more detail.

4.) The sub was tried in both the upright position and laying on it's side. Laying on it's side gave marginally better results so all tests were conducted with the sub in that orientation.

5.) The arsonist had oddly shaped feet...
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post #2 of 172 Old 06-22-2011, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
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I took a full set of measurements for this sub in both 1 port and 2 port open modes. These are the results for 1 port open operation. Applying the supplied foam plug to one port results in a very low tuning and seems to be near to 14hz or so. The foam plug was inserted into the top most port with the subwoofer laying on it's side. The settings on the amplifier were set as follows for all of the 1port testing.

Power set to the "On" position which defeats the limiter.
PEQ set to off
Delay/Phase set to 0
Crossover set to the maximum 120hz position
Level set to 12 o'clock
Low Pass set to EXT/12
Rumble Filter set to Off/1
Extension filter FREQ set to 14
Extension filter damping set to LOW






Here are some measurements showing the effects of the various amplifier settings on the subwoofers response.


Effect of crossover settings





Effect of low pass filter switch





Effect of damping settings





Effect of extension settings





Effect of various PEQ settings








As you can see there is quite a wide range of adjustments that can be made to the response of this subwoofer and that is not even counting changing from 1 to 2 ports open.










Here is the basic sub response as configured for the measurements.





Impulse





Group Delay





Waterfall





Spectrogram
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post #3 of 172 Old 06-22-2011, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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This is the results for the large signal measurements of the subwoofer in 1 port mode.


95db Spectral contamination test





110db Spectral contamination test





115db Spectral contamination test





Long term power compression sweeps





Long term power compression chart





Maximum long term output





Maximum long term output comparison






THD at levels corresponding to those used in the power compression tests






Distortion by harmonic component 105db sweep





Distortion by harmonic component 110db sweep







CEA-2010 output and comparison chart
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post #4 of 172 Old 06-22-2011, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Here are the small signal measurements taken of the FV15-HP with 2 ports open. All measurements were taken with the amplifier setting as follows...

Power set to the "On" position which defeats the limiter.
PEQ set to off
Delay/Phase set to 0
Crossover set to the maximum 120hz position
Level set to 12 o'clock
Low Pass set to EXT/12
Rumble Filter set to On/2
Extension filter FREQ set to 14
Extension filter damping set to LOW





Comparison of the basic response from 1 port mode and 2 port mode.





Basic response for 2 ports open operation






Impulse





Group Delay





Waterfall





Spectrogram
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post #5 of 172 Old 06-22-2011, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Large signal measurement results for the Rythmik FV15-HP with 2 ports open.






105db Spectral contamination






110db Spectral contamination








115db Spectral contamination






Long term power compression sweeps






Long term power compression chart







Maximum long term output







Maximum long term output comparison chart







THD at levels corresponding to those used for the power compression sweeps





Distortion by component 105db






Distortion by component 110db







Distortion by component 105db






CEA-2010 output comparison chart
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post #6 of 172 Old 06-22-2011, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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To sum this whole thing up. This is a good sub. It is competently engineered, looks good, the components are of high quality and it really doesn't have any major holes in it's game. It has very deep extension especially in 1 port mode and has the output headroom to back it up. The distortion performance is pretty good up until the sub is overdriven. You can see in the distortion charts how it suddenly gets out of control and the cause of this is the driver simply being asked for too much excursion. Note the jump in 3rd harmonic distortion the driver is probably somewhere past 2" peak to peak excursions at that point and there could be some amplifier clipping involved at that point too. Everything has a limit and the driver used in the Rythmik is actually quite robust. The sub overloads gracefully and the sound changes enough to let you know that you've reached the limit. It appears that the amp and the driver give out at about the same time. If the input is reduced 2 or 3 db the sub goes back to it's normal quite good sound character. Some companies prefer to severely limit, and protect their subs to keep them from ever making any objectionable noises at all but that is difficult to pull off without also throwing away some potential headroom and dynamic tracking ability. I prefer the approach used here better. The sub performs quite well in either mode but I think that it is slightly better in 2 ports open mode. If you like to listen very loudly or have a large room to fill up I would recommend 2 port mode. If you have a more bass friendly room and or don't always listen at house party reference levels then 1 port mode is probably a better choice.

The sub performed flawlessly the entire time I had it and never shutdown or exhibited any unexpected quirks or issues. The 3 minor quibbles that I have with it are...

1.) No xlr inputs on the plate amp. Brian says this is being remedied in the future. Most of Rythmik's amplifiers already have balance xlr connections.

2.) It does not have a true LFE input that bypasses the internal LPF of the amplifier. Brian says they are working on this as well.

3.) Port area. During high output near the port tuning in 1 port mode the subwoofer will overload the single port and some port noise was audible. You can also see this port compression in evidence in the power compression graphs. The big dip is the port overloading. Otherwise the power compression performance is top notch. In 2 port mode there is still port compression at high drive levels, but the whistling port noise was greatly reduced and wasn't apparent until the final 115db sweep level. Now to be frank there really isn't much that can be done about this since it is governed by physics. The larger you make your port area, the longer the port has to be to achieve the same tune in the available enclosure volume. Also larger longer ports are harder to fit in the cabinet and also decrease your airspace seen by the driver. This almost always results in a compromise of vent size, length,tune and cabinet volume. In this particular case the ports used are probably what would realistically fit in the enclosure and achieve the desired tune. Passive radiator's are an option to get a low tune inside a small cabinet but they have their problems too. They are another moving part and a cone to potentially damage, they are much more expensive than ports which would raise the cost of the subwoofer, and it would no longer be a simple affair to have multiple tunings by inserting a plug.


Almost forgot this...Here are the CEA-2010 output averages.










That is all that I have for now. See you next time on another installment of Lifestyles of the Sick and BassHeads.
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post #7 of 172 Old 06-22-2011, 11:18 AM
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post #8 of 172 Old 06-22-2011, 12:21 PM
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Awesome technical analysis...

This Sub is showing back ordered? Does any one know the shipping time frame?
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post #9 of 172 Old 06-22-2011, 01:30 PM
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Awesome stuff Josh!

Intesting, results from 25hz up through 63hz are almost identical to the tests performed by Audioholics. However, the 20hz test is some 4db higher.

Curious as to Brian's comments on the differences at 20hz (i.e., what their own tests show) between AH and now your tests given I don't recall if he commented on the numbers originally. The only comment I recall seeing was from Ed at SVS who indicated the test results were more or less in line with their own measurements.

Which could imply there was an issue at 20hz in particular for both the HSU and Rythmik subs and clear up a lot of debate. Or just adds to the fact that comparing various setups and measurements by various people is next to impossible!

Also, unless I'm mistaken (based on a quick comparison/glance vs Illka's 20hz PB13 measurements), from a strict "max cea2010" output perspective, this sub is the equal of the PB13 at 20hz and below, and really starts to take over above 30hz (makes sense given the Rythmik has a woofer size advantage but a box size and port disadvantage I guess). Has less group delay, though it looks like it has more THD at each sweep vs what Illka showed (based on a quick glance, though this could be higher distortion in the "less offensive" harmonics").

Hmmm ... did you get the chance to listen to it for a while and what are your comments? Edit: Actually, nevermind, probably don't want to get into the "subjective" part of things. I'd imagine given the measurements above, this sub "sounds" quite nice.

 

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post #10 of 172 Old 06-22-2011, 01:38 PM
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Looks great. These types of tests are a great starting point for those looking for a new sub and are a great way to make sure a sub's specs aren't exaggerated. You can't be thanked enough for doing these tests. Looking forward to more results.

Have you tested any of the same subs that Ilkka tested to see how close your measurements are to his? I know many people will be comparing your results to his, myself included.

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post #11 of 172 Old 06-22-2011, 01:41 PM
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Wow my head is spinning. Great analysis of a great sub. Do you plan on doing this test for any other popular subs? Perhaps subs from the recent Audioholic or AVS shootouts?
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post #12 of 172 Old 06-22-2011, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricci View Post

To sum this whole thing up. This is a good sub. It is competently engineered, looks good, the components are of high quality and it really doesn't have any major holes in it's game.

I would say, based on your measurements, it has one. It doesn't seem to want to play particularly high. The "120Hz" crossover actually results in a ~90Hz corner.

Now, for people following the (dubious, I think) conventional wisdom of a subwoofer just playing just from ~80Hz down, that admittedly doesn't matter.

But for people using more modern multisub setups, it suggests that the Rythmik unit isn't the best choice.

I think too many people pay attention to the numbers down low, and not enough to behavior at the top of a subwoofer's passband. Audible differences are far more likely to be discerned at the top of the passband than at the bottom, just because the human auditory system is more sensitive at the top of a sub's passband (in a well-designed modern system, let's say 120-150Hz).

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post #13 of 172 Old 06-22-2011, 02:54 PM
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DS...are you saying that folks with multiple subs set higher crossover points?

Can you explain this a bit more?

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post #14 of 172 Old 06-22-2011, 03:01 PM
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Curious about the multisub setup comment as well. I could see having a x-over over 80hz starting to be a problem if your speakers aren't able to produce the SPL levels you want down to 80hz and you need to cross the sub higher. Not sure I'm following the multi-sub setup...

Unfortunately Illka's tests fall somewhat short on FR in that IIRC they only went out to 100hz?

 

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Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

I would say, based on your measurements, it has one. It doesn't seem to want to play particularly high. The "120Hz" crossover actually results in a ~90Hz corner.

"2.) It does not have a true LFE input that bypasses the internal LPF of the amplifier. Brian says they are working on this as well. "

Id wait to see what that does before making a judgement on how high it plays.
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post #16 of 172 Old 06-22-2011, 03:25 PM
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In a real room, an 80Hz crossover is suboptimal at best. Why? Room modes are a big problem well above that, and a proper subwoofer setup can help. The alternative is to live with lumpy upper bass. That's doable, but it's not the high-fidelity answer. The high-fidelity answer is to randomize the excitation of those modes, which means lowpassing the subs sometimes as high as 150Hz. I'm pretty conservative, so I expect a subwoofer to play cleanly an octave above the nominal passband (not "flat," necessarily, but at least without any big resonant spikes), which means a sub doesn't interest me unless it's good to ~300Hz or more. (Yes, I wish Illka's tests had been better in that regard, and that's why I've bugged Ricci periodically to extend the passband of his tests upwards.)

But wait: what about localization? After all, we all "know" that bass is localizable above ~80Hz, right? Sometimes that's true, especially with a single subwoofer. However, with a properly set-up multisub system it seems to be less of an issue.

Ideally, one will also have mains with enough cone area to allow significant overlap as well, and run them wide-open rather than highpass them. That further aids things by providing three more sources to randomize room mode excitation, and provides an "anchor" up front for localization. However, even if one must use a highpass on the mains (which anyone with mains using woofers smaller than 10's probably should), it seems localization isn't a big problem as long as you can tame the various rattles in a room. I discovered that because a recent temporary move required me to downscale my system quite a lot. The little KEF KHT3005SE eggs I bought as mains pretty much required a highpass at ~120Hz to avoid too much strain. Yet I've yet to "hear" the subwoofers' locations, despite the highpass on the mains. (That multisub setup is documented here.)

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post #17 of 172 Old 06-22-2011, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tack View Post

"2.) It does not have a true LFE input that bypasses the internal LPF of the amplifier. Brian says they are working on this as well. "

Id wait to see what that does before making a judgement on how high it plays.

Why? There's no reasonable ground to do so. For one thing, those aren't the subs shipping now.

Also, when the dial indicated a 120Hz highpass on the dial, the sub actually starts rolling off at about 60Hz, with an actual upper corner frequency (-3 dB) of about 90Hz per the measurement.

That suggests that the amp may be rolling the sub off as intended, but the subwoofer itself is rolling off, too.

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post #18 of 172 Old 06-22-2011, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

Why? There's no reasonable ground to do so. For one thing, those aren't the subs shipping now.

Also, when the dial indicated a 120Hz highpass on the dial, the sub actually starts rolling off at about 60Hz, with an actual upper corner frequency (-3 dB) of about 90Hz per the measurement.

That suggests that the amp may be rolling the sub off as intended, but the subwoofer itself is rolling off, too.

In the Rythmik thread, Brian explains why this happens in his servo setup.

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post #19 of 172 Old 06-22-2011, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

In a real room, an 80Hz crossover is suboptimal at best. Why? Room modes are a big problem well above that, and a proper subwoofer setup can help. The alternative is to live with lumpy upper bass. That's doable, but it's not the high-fidelity answer. The high-fidelity answer is to randomize the excitation of those modes, which means lowpassing the subs sometimes as high as 150Hz.

The high fidelity answer is to not use monopole radiating main speakers that would excite those modes offensively, and cross subs over as low as 50hz when possible, since the shroeder frequency of most rooms is around 300hz or higher
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post #20 of 172 Old 06-22-2011, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

Why? There's no reasonable ground to do so. For one thing, those aren't the subs shipping now.

Also, when the dial indicated a 120Hz highpass on the dial, the sub actually starts rolling off at about 60Hz, with an actual upper corner frequency (-3 dB) of about 90Hz per the measurement.

That suggests that the amp may be rolling the sub off as intended, but the subwoofer itself is rolling off, too.

I know what you're saying, but with electronics, you just never know. The "Dial" can indicate anything, that doesn't mean the amp is doing exactly that.

I would wait for LPF bypass before making judgement, that's all. If it still rolls off, then I agree, much too sharp and early. Less options in integrating into the mains for sure.
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post #21 of 172 Old 06-22-2011, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Eternal Velocity View Post

The high fidelity answer is to not use monopole radiating main speakers that would excite those modes offensively, and cross subs over as low as 50hz when possible, since the shroeder frequency of most rooms is around 300hz or higher

Whatever. Some people prefer midrange that isn't a smeary mess from all those backwave reflections.

How about show us your measurements in the bass from your "superior" approach.

I've showed you mine, supra.

And that was with cheap subwoofers: one decent compact DIY sub and two marginal commerical ones.

Quote:
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I know what you're saying, but with electronics, you just never know. The "Dial" can indicate anything, that doesn't mean the amp is doing exactly that.

A high quality piece of kit will have well-calibrated, reliable controls. I'm inclined to think here that is the case, as everything about the package appears well-engineered. The problem limiting the upper bandwidth is the servo system. Something about zero-crossing or something or other. Brian wrote about it years ago. Me, I'll stick to a regular sub. I've not heard a Rhythmik, but nothing about the Velodyne, Genesis, or Paradigm servo subs I have heard made me think that servo control is necessary or even that useful compared to just getting the basics right.

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post #22 of 172 Old 06-22-2011, 06:56 PM
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Appreciate your efforts, Ricci...mountains of great information!

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post #23 of 172 Old 06-22-2011, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

Me, I'll stick to a regular sub. I've not heard a Rhythmik, but nothing about the Velodyne, Genesis, or Paradigm servo subs I have heard made me think that servo control is necessary or even that useful compared to just getting the basics right.


I agree with you on this. Servo reminds me of Desmodronic valve actuation on Ducati motorcycles. It works. It works well. Its complex. There are other ways to complete the task. No one is lined up to buy the patent.
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post #24 of 172 Old 06-22-2011, 07:38 PM
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Excellent work Ricci, thanks for doing this.

Regards,
Charlie

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post #25 of 172 Old 06-22-2011, 08:23 PM
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In comparing maximum output data with the data on the DTS-10, the Rythmik appears to actually outplay the mighty DTS-10 in the range between about 25hz to about 60hz. Very impressive.
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post #26 of 172 Old 06-22-2011, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

...I've not heard a Rhythmik...

This really tells me a lot more about you and your theories than the rest of your babbling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

...The little KEF KHT3005SE eggs I bought as mains pretty much required a highpass at ~120Hz to avoid too much strain...

And the real motivation behind your opinion is duly noted. Apparently your set-up requires a high cross-over but fortunately there are many others who's don't. People tend to reason that whatever set-up they are running is the best and therefore whatever doesn't work for them is going to be junk for everyone else... even if they've never actually heard one. Sigh... it would seem to me your system is handicapped... even though I've never heard an "egg". So you see, its all about point of reference.

Oh and here's a link to an REW graph and couple of waterfalls taken some time ago... in it I'm running two F12's and the mains are vintage 4-way Infinity References packing 10" woofers... crossing over at ~50Hz and the realism in the sound produced throughout the bass region is just astounding.

"For deep bass, the listener is not really listening to the speaker, but rather, is listening to the room as it is being played by the speaker."
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post #27 of 172 Old 06-22-2011, 09:47 PM
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Thanks for the testing and results Ricci. Not that I know how to interpret all the graphs, but it's great info to be sure.
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post #28 of 172 Old 06-23-2011, 02:14 AM
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Eeesh! Just want to add to the chorus of praise for this work you've done Ricci! First rate job and so appreciated!
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post #29 of 172 Old 06-23-2011, 04:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mojomike View Post

In comparing maximum output data with the data on the DTS-10, the Rythmik appears to actually outplay the mighty DTS-10 in the range between about 25hz to about 60hz. Very impressive.

That is actually not true. Do not compare these maximum output test and cea2010 results to what is currently on Data-Bass. I did not have cea2010 at that time and much of the equipment has changed. I am redoing all of the earlier tests so that everything is comparable. I have already done 3 of them including the dts10. All of that is part of the update to the site that is being done. I just don't have the data updated yet. I posted the dts10 cea2010 results in the dts10 thread in the diy section in the last couple of pages.
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post #30 of 172 Old 06-23-2011, 05:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ironhead1230 View Post

Have you tested any of the same subs that Ilkka tested to see how close your measurements are to his? I know many people will be comparing your results to his, myself included.

-Mike

I have but they are only diy subs so variance in the enclosures and the amplifiers used would cause differences in the maximum output. In particular the CSS SDX 15's and the LMS 5400. It would be better to get one of the same model of commercial subs that he tested last but many have changed. It has been a few years.
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