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JL Audio e112 Subwoofer Official AVS Forum Review



Mark Henninger takes a critical listen to a pair of premium-priced, powerful sealed 12" subwoofers.

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Subwoofers may well be my favorite AV component. Back in 2013, I heard JL Audio subwoofers in a Keith Yates-designed home theater demo and took note of the exceptionally clean and dynamic quality of the bass.

It took a year, but I finally got my hands on a JL Audio sub to review for AVS. In fact, JL sent two subs, because the company finds using a single subwoofer presents problems when it comes to achieving a flat in-room frequency response. I strongly support this position. All else being equal, I always recommend including more than one sub in a sound system—with two (or more), you get smoother in-room response (depending on placement), as well as more output. Furthermore, for 2-channel listening, you can use a pair of subs in a stereo configuration for a true full-range audiophile experience.

JL Audio has a reputation for building some of the best subwoofer drivers money can buy. The company specializes in high-excursion drivers with extremely powerful motors, and the E-sub e112 is no exception. The moment you pick one up, it's obvious the enclosure contains much more heavy-duty components than found in less-expensive 12" subs.

Before we get into the review, take a quick look at the cutaway view of an E-sub. The driver takes up practically the entire enclosure! The result is prodigious output from a relatively compact package.


Inside the E112.


Features

The e112 is a compact, 1500-watt, 12-inch sealed subwoofer featuring a front-firing driver. JL Audio lists its anechoic frequency response at 22-118 Hz (+/- 1.5 dB), -3 dB at 21 Hz and 120 Hz, and -10 dB at 17 Hz and 153 Hz.

The 73.5-pound e112 measures 15.5" (W) by 16.23" (H) and 18.39" deep. It comes in three finishes: Black Ash for $1900, and either Black Gloss or White Gloss for $2100. The enclosure is basically a cube, but beveled edges add an attractive design touch. Also—for fans of exposed drivers—the e112's 12-incher looks as impressive as it sounds.

\
JL's E-sub e112 looks great with the grill off.


Here it is with the grill on.

Signal-processing controls are top-mounted—a nice ergonomic touch that makes tweaking the sound a lot easier than subs with rear-mounted controls. The crossover has a true 2-way design, plus it's defeatable and offers an adjustment range of 30 Hz to 130 Hz.


Top-mounted controls make the e112 easy to set up and tweak when it's up against a wall.

The e112 has a stereo speaker-level input and a stereo line-level input on its rear panel. According to JL Audio, all of the sub's signal processing occurs in the analog domain, with minimal latency.

The e112's 2-way analog crossover is a 4th-order Linkwitz-Riley design, with a lowpass filter for the sub itself. When active, it offers a highpass filtered signal through stereo line outputs—perfect for 2-way systems. When the crossover is disabled, the line outputs produce a signal identical to the input; you can connect multiple e112s using this feature. Additional audio processing features include switchable polarity and a variable phase control.


Setup

While the e112 does offer convenient onboard controls for integration with 2-channel systems, for the majority of my listening I opted to bypass onboard signal processing. Instead, I relied on the bass management built into the Pioneer Elite SC-85 AVR and the Crestron Procise PSPHD 7.3-channel pre/pro. I used the Elite for movie watching, and the PSPHD for music playback.

I placed the subwoofers in the front left and right corners of my room—not necessarily the most optimal positioning for the subs, but a common configuration that I've managed to make work with various other subs. The bass response at my main listening position varied by +/- 6 dB—nowhere near perfect, but usable. After applying Dirac room correction using a miniDSP DDRC-88A, the spread between peaks and nulls was reduced.


I used Dirac room correction to compensate for bass peaks and nulls at my main listening position.


Performance

I'm happy to say the twin JL Audio E-Sub e112s have produced exemplary bass over the hundreds of hours I've listened to them. I enjoyed every minute I had the subs in my system—plus they were a pleasure to look at.

Thanks to ample amplification, room gain, and their high-excursion drivers, the e112s easily reproduced sub-20 Hz bass in my studio. That crucial capability turns virtually any decent speakers into true full-range systems.

The twin e112s proved more than capable of producing earthquake-like rumbling, while also offering nuance and precision. At high volumes, the subs kept pace with aggressively bass-heavy music and movie soundtracks. When called upon to extract nuance from a quiet passage, they also rose to that task.

During the four months I had the JLs, I used them in conjunction with a wide variety of speakers, and never had a problem integrating them seamlessly; I always found a good crossover point and achieved a perfect blend. From the $270/pair SVS Prime Satellites to the $6000/pair Thiel TT1s, I found a lot to love when I used the e112s with engaging speakers. They were a key component in getting the most satisfaction out of every system I added them to.


The twin e112s paired up with Thiel's TT1 towers.

Whether I used them in stereo mode for music with the Crestron PSPHD or mono-summed as part of a 5.1.4 Atmos-capable system (with the SC-85 handling the processing), I found the e112s enthralling, thanks to their clean and impacting output.

Musically, the two e112s handled everything from the 16 Hz pipe organ in John Rutter's Requiem: Pie Jesu to the synthesized extreme low frequencies found in Daft Punk's Tron: Legacy soundtrack. Furthermore, the subs are proficient at playing one of my favorite jazz reference tracks: "Cotton Tail" by Duke Ellington, from the album Duke's Big Four.

The best thing about the e112s is how they reproduce tone and timbre. In a progressive metal track like Animals as Leaders' "Ka$cade" (from the album The Joy of Motion), you don't just hear the kick drum—you can tell how drummer Matt Garstka set up his kit and mics. All that nuance comes through, despite the music's density and intensity. In a smaller listening room like mine, the e112s offer that chest thump sensation I associate with a live performance in a venue equipped with a great PA—although not at the same insane SPLs you hear at some concerts.

Speaking of drums, the e112s ace Dead Can Dance's fantastic 2012 album Anastasis, which requires tight and fast bass response to reproduce the percussive instruments often featured in the group's recordings. David Axelrod's "Holy Thursday"—from the album Song of Innocence—featured drums so realistic, I could visualize the kit. It was hard to believe the recording was made in 1968.

Many modern movies contain unforgivingly brutal bass sound effects—including foundation-cracking explosions, subterranean bass sweeps, and infrasonic ambient drones—meant to instill fear or excitement at a subconscious level. The e112s consistently delivered a physically involving movie-watching experience. The re-release of Gravity on Blu-ray (with an Atmos soundtrack) offered a perfect demonstration of how these subs increase the sense of immersion by emulating the precise character of different bass sounds.

Conclusion

The JL Audio e112 is undeniably a luxury product, but compared to JL's top-tier subs (such as the $3500 Fathom f112), it's comparatively affordable. The e112 is a sophisticated and capable subwoofer design that audibly outperforms many other 12" sealed subs—but you do pay for that privilege.

Buying two e112s is not a trivial investment, but my advice is to go for twin subs if you can swing it. Of course, there are numerous less-expensive subs available, and a number of them offer excellent performance. Even so, by packing so much power and performance into the e112, JL Audio manages to offer a superior overall product in terms of performance, fit, and finish. The law of diminishing returns may be in effect with JL Audio's E-sub series—you get what you pay for, it just happens to cost a lot.

If you can afford two (or more) e112s, I can recommend that approach without reservation. If your subwoofer budget only allows one e112, it remains a compelling choice. Regardless of your budget, it's worth thinking about your bass-related needs before committing to subs in the $2000 price range—there's only so much a sealed 12" sub can do once you get under 20 Hz. However, despite the aforementioned caveats, in my opinion, JL Audio does pack enough premium performance into each e112 to justify its elevated asking price.

REVIEW SYSTEM

Sources

DIY PC (Windows 8) running Tidal and iTunes

Amplification and Processing

Crestron Procise PSPHD pre/pro
Crestron Procise ProAmp 7x250
miniDSP DDRC-88A Dirac Live processor
Pioneer Elite SC-85 AVR

Cables

Monoprice 12-gauge OFC speaker cables
Mediabridge Ultra Series subwoofer cable
Mediabridge Ultra Series HDMI cable

Additional Components

Behringer B215XL PA-style speakers
SVS Sound Prime Satellite speakers
Thiel TT1 Tower speakers

-------


Mark Henninger
Editor, AVS Forum

Last edited by imagic; 05-17-2015 at 08:02 AM.
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post #2 of 158 Old 05-17-2015, 07:31 AM
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"But but but -- my SVS will outperform this sub I've never heard for $600 less on paper! Sooo overpriced!"

This sub will smoke any ID sub as far as speed/musicality, which is not just good for music, but movies as well. It's too bad you didn't give any context in just how articulate they are COMPARED to any of the ID subs you've reviewed.
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post #3 of 158 Old 05-17-2015, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Contuzzi View Post
"But but but -- my SVS will outperform this sub I've never heard for $600 less on paper! Sooo overpriced!"

This sub will smoke any ID sub as far as speed/musicality, which is not just good for music, but movies as well. It's too bad you didn't give any context in just how articulate they are COMPARED to any of the ID subs you've reviewed.
whats funny is, your comment is actually dumber than the SVS one.... Just saying, you have no idea and are making yourself look like a complete tool..... Since you know, You've heard every ID sub out there eh?

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Originally Posted by N8DOGG View Post
whats funny is, your comment is actually dumber than the SVS one.... Just saying, you have no idea and are making yourself look like a complete tool..... Since you know, You've heard every ID sub out there eh?
All of the popular ones, and most of the unpopular ones. I think you'd be surprised.

I OWN one. How much more unbiased can I be?
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post #5 of 158 Old 05-17-2015, 08:21 AM
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Thanks for that review! i got two of them on my shopping list as well...
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post #6 of 158 Old 05-17-2015, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Contuzzi View Post
"But but but -- my SVS will outperform this sub I've never heard for $600 less on paper! Sooo overpriced!"

This sub will smoke any ID sub as far as speed/musicality, which is not just good for music, but movies as well. It's too bad you didn't give any context in just how articulate they are COMPARED to any of the ID subs you've reviewed.
Unadulterated BS.

Well designed subs with good drivers will perform well with music and movies, period. There are oodles of ID subwoofers which will outperform the above in both departments for far less money. If you're convinced otherwise than great, buy one - I won't give you a hard time about it, but don't spew nonsense.

As far as why Mark didn't "give any context in just how articulate they COMPARED ..." I would surmise that Mark couldn't very well some up his review with "but the ID subs for $1000 dollars less sound every bit as good".
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post #7 of 158 Old 05-17-2015, 08:30 AM
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Here comes the sub wars ownership bias and we are not even 10 post in.

Nice review, Mark. I always wanted a JL sub. Specifically the 112. The price is too expensive though and I couldn't spend that much on one sub. The discounts didn't help much either. And now they made the price even higher. Crazy.

I settled on a SB13 Ultra. Which I had to change to a SB2000 for now. I think both SVS and JL make amazing sounding subs.
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Originally Posted by Sean Spamilton View Post
Unadulterated BS.

Well designed subs with good drivers will perform well with music and movies, period. There are oodles of ID subwoofers which will outperform the above in both departments for far less money. If you're convinced otherwise than great, buy one - I won't give you a hard time about it, but don't spew nonsense.

As far as why Mark didn't "give any context in just how articulate they COMPARED ..." I would surmise that Mark couldn't very well some up his review with "but the ID subs for $1000 dollars less sound every bit as good".
Don't even know where to start with this. Why couldn't he sum it up like that?

I find it odd that the review in no way compares the quality to any ID subs.

By your logic, the SB13-Ultra is just as musical and articulate as an F113 -- correct?

And there's an ID sub that is as good as the E112 for $1000 less? Which one? I'll make it easier for you, which one for $500 less is as musical?

A lot of people out there don't really understand what makes a sub good for music. I'm sure you would insist that the PB 13 Ultra is amazing for music too right? Instead of the reality that it would get by for music, but there are dramatically better options out there? The only thing I can say about ID subs is they can obviously be a better VALUE, because they cut out the middle man, although the value is declining as they gain popularity. Because -- why not make more money off of them now that they're as hyped up as they are? However for you to say they're just as good is a joke. There are things about high end music oriented subs, such as the higher end JL subs, some of the better REL subs, Scaena subs, etc that the ID subs just cant touch. And there's a reason why they're expensive. They're not as much of a "value" but that doesn't mean they're not better.

Again, the thing you seem to not grasp is that I OWN and love my HSU ULS-15. But I actually understand the reality that there are dramatically better subs out there.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Spamilton View Post
...As far as why Mark didn't "give any context in just how articulate they COMPARED ..." I would surmise that Mark couldn't very well some up his review with "but the ID subs for $1000 dollars less sound every bit as good".
Which of course begs the question, how does the performance of this sub compare to the FF5? Similar power and identical driver size, but not so similar with pricing. An especially relevant question considering how well you like the dual FF5 setup.

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post #10 of 158 Old 05-17-2015, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Contuzzi View Post
"But but but -- my SVS will outperform this sub I've never heard for $600 less on paper! Sooo overpriced!"

This sub will smoke any ID sub as far as speed/musicality, which is not just good for music, but movies as well. It's too bad you didn't give any context in just how articulate they are COMPARED to any of the ID subs you've reviewed.
FWIW, I've heard the Jello E112 as well as the SVS closed-box sub with Peerless's XXLS12 driver and their Sledge amp. (I own neither. The subs I run use the drivers Magico uses in their Qsub models; they have underhung motors with full copper sleeves.) The Jello does get louder, which perhaps gives it an advantage for movie use. But the SVS is IMO the better sub for high-fidelity applications or for critical listening.

The biggest quality difference between the two is top-end extension. The SVS has flat response that extends about an octave higher than the Jello, which gives the user much more flexibility and also helps bass management work properly (the lowpass slope is what the pre-pro or AVR expects, rather than quite a bit steeper).

I don't care about store vs. ID, I don't care about price. I care about performance. And my subjective weighting of performance gives more value to smooth extension an octave above the subwoofer's nominal passband than sheer output in a subwoofer. I think output is less important because differences are mitigated when one uses multiples, ideally three or more, which are required anyway to achieve smooth upper bass response. Others may have different preferences, which are equally valid as to them. But here the actual difference between the units is that the Jello can play louder and the SVS has more linear and extended frequency response.
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Originally Posted by nx211 View Post
Which of course begs the question, how does the performance of this sub compare to the FF5? Similar power and identical driver size, but not so similar with pricing. An especially relevant question considering how well you like the dual FF5 setup.
I'd love to hear this as well.
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post #12 of 158 Old 05-17-2015, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Contuzzi View Post
Don't even know where to start with this. Why couldn't he sum it up like that?

I find it odd that the review in no way compares the quality to any ID subs.

By your logic, the SB13-Ultra is just as musical and articulate as an F113 -- correct?

And there's an ID sub that is as good as the E112 for $1000 less? Which one? I'll make it easier for you, which one for $500 less is as musical?

A lot of people out there don't really understand what makes a sub good for music. I'm sure you would insist that the PB 13 Ultra is amazing for music too right? Instead of the reality that it would get by for music, but there are dramatically better options out there?

Again, the thing you seem to not grasp is that I OWN and love my HSU ULS-15. But I actually understand the reality that there are dramatically better subs out there.
The ID subs I have on-hand are not in the same class, performance-wise. The closest I can get is the SVS PC-2000, but it's relying on a port to do its thing and I only have one of them. The single PB-2000 I have here is also outclassed and not worth comparing. The GoldenEar ForceField 5 is a very tight-sounding sub that is musical, but it does not have as much extension as the e112—although it is more compact and costs $1000 less. I'll have the JLs around for a little while longer, and I may be able to perform more relevant comparisons in the future.

The only other sub I have with similar extension and output is the recent https://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-su...um-review.html I have two of those on-hand and they are not as tight as the JLs, nor can their amps handle extended deep bass (think Tron: Legacy soundtrack "Disc Wars") the way the JLs can.

Here's a picture showing how much more compact the e112 is versus a Klipsch R-115SW. And yet I'd say the JL offered similar output and extension with a bit more precision. That's especially true in the sense that when I placed the ported Klipsch in those corners, the peaks an nulls had a much wider spread than with the JLs. On the flip-side, the GoldenEar ForceField 5s measured almost flat without EQ when used in that position, so the JLs did not perform best in that (admittedly somewhat arbitrary) performance parameter.


Klipsch 15" ported R-115SW on the left, JL Audio 12" sealed E-sub e112 on the right.

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post #13 of 158 Old 05-17-2015, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nx211 View Post
Which of course begs the question, how does the performance of this sub compare to the FF5? Similar power and identical driver size, but not so similar with pricing. An especially relevant question considering how well you like the dual FF5 setup.

nx211
My previous post discusses this, but the short version is the FF5 does very well. It's as musical, and it also pounds out the bass. But it does not offer as much extension, nor does it have the same build quality or flexibility in terms of audio controls.

Still, from a SQ perspective the FF5s deliver the goods; they are more compact, and measure flatter when placed in corners. When I'm "off duty," I've been running a four-sub system with the JLs and the FF5s. Quite nice, and there no way to tell which one is creating the bass—even when you are close to a sub it just sounds like the same bass that's throughout the room—no giveaway because of different timbre or distortion or whatever.

The real question is, how does the new GE SuperSub compare at the same price... It's going to be fun to find out!

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On a related note, hooking my Sump Basin subwoofer up to the Crown XTi-2002 in bridged mode and feeding all 2000 Watts to the Sony Xplod woofer (I bought at Wal-mart) also sounds great. That's because when you have 2000 watts RMS to provide headroom and a huge enclosure tuned to 14 hz, you can get great sound out of a $80 driver. That is to say, there are many routes to getting great performance out of a sub.

A powerful amp and a driver that's appropriate to the enclosure are two key components of an effective subwoofer. In the case of the JL, that's a sealed 12-incher that offers clean and deep extension without choking on demanding content. There's (almost) no way a DIY guy is going to see value in a sub like this, but that's only because its a luxury product with a combination of fit, finish, and performance that combine to make it worth a premium price.
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
...The real question is, how does the new GE SuperSub compare at the same price... It's going to be fun to find out!
Yeah, no kidding.

Honestly, I think it's gonna be all over for a premium sub selling for $1900 with a single 12" driver when the GE 12" SuperSub XXL comes out this summer - with it's dual-opposed drivers and dual-opposed passive radiators. My suspicion is that forthcoming comparison is gonna pretty much conclude game over for any premium sub with only a single 12" single driver trying to sell for $1900.


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Nice to see you mention Animals as Leaders in your review. It makes me want to try that song out on my SVS's at home. I listen to a lot of instrumental metal like that, a lot of it makes for a very rewarding listen on a capable system.
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Thanks to imagic for another informative review! The results coincide nicely with Ricci's comments and review on data-bass. I don't, however, understand why Contuzzi wanted to turn this into a JL Audio vs SVS contest. Simply takes away from imagic's fine review.

Music area: Magnepan 3.6, McIntosh MC2205 amp & C48 preamp, SVS SB13-Ultra, Oppo BDP 95, dbx 3BX, and assorted equipment.
Movie area: EMP Tek E5Bi (were rebadged to R5Bi), RBH/EMP Tek R55Ti, PSA S3000i, Denon X2000, Oppo BDP 83.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Contuzzi View Post
By your logic, the SB13-Ultra is just as musical and articulate as an F113 -- correct?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Contuzzi View Post
There are things about high end music oriented subs, such as the higher end JL subs, some of the better REL subs, Scaena subs, etc that the ID subs just cant touch
"Things" doesn't seem very specific. Like what things?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Contuzzi View Post
And there's an ID sub that is as good as the E112 for $1000 less? Which one? I'll make it easier for you, which one for $500 less is as musical?

A lot of people out there don't really understand what makes a sub good for music. I'm sure you would insist that the PB 13 Ultra is amazing for music too right? Instead of the reality that it would get by for music, but there are dramatically better options out there? The only thing I can say about ID subs is they can obviously be a better VALUE, because they cut out the middle man, although the value is declining as they gain popularity. Because -- why not make more money off of them now that they're as hyped up as they are? However for you to say they're just as good is a joke. There are things about high end music oriented subs, such as the higher end JL subs, some of the better REL subs, Scaena subs, etc that the ID subs just cant touch. And there's a reason why they're expensive. They're not as much of a "value" but that doesn't mean they're not better.
There are an absolute TON that best it from 20hz up that fall into the ~$1000 price range, and many that better it at 16hz+. I'm not doing your research for you - just have a look at the independently measured numbers at Data Bass: http://www.data-bass.com/systems

As far as 12hz+, The FV15HP betters it at every measurement and can be had for $1339 USD.
I'm also willing to bet that the Gamma 18 from Reaction Audio ($1099) will match or better it at every level.

And yes, these will sound every bit as "musical" as the F113.

Does the F113 sound great? No doubt. Is the price paid for the luxury of having one worth it? Up to you. Are there others subs that sound just as good for an appreciably lesser amount? absolutely.

Last edited by Sean Spamilton; 05-17-2015 at 11:30 AM.
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post #19 of 158 Old 05-17-2015, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by nx211 View Post
Yeah, no kidding.

Honestly, I think it's gonna be all over for a premium sub selling for $1900 with a single 12" driver when the GE 12" SuperSub XXL comes out this summer - with it's dual-opposed drivers and dual-opposed passive radiators. My suspicion is that forthcoming comparison is gonna pretty much conclude game over for any premium sub with only a single 12" single driver trying to sell for $1900.


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I doubt it. JL Audio has built up their status as a premium brand over many years. People will pay more $$$ for the JL Audio name, just people will pay more $$$ for a Mercedes-Benz or Rolex.

A Citizen or Seiko with a quartz movement will tell time more accurately than a Rolex with an automatic movement, but that's not really the point. The Rolex is still more desirable in most people's eyes.
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post #20 of 158 Old 05-17-2015, 11:39 AM
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Nice review. Never seen a driver such as the one used in the e-series.
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post #21 of 158 Old 05-17-2015, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Contuzzi View Post
Don't even know where to start with this. Why couldn't he sum it up like that?

I find it odd that the review in no way compares the quality to any ID subs.

By your logic, the SB13-Ultra is just as musical and articulate as an F113 -- correct?

And there's an ID sub that is as good as the E112 for $1000 less? Which one? I'll make it easier for you, which one for $500 less is as musical?

A lot of people out there don't really understand what makes a sub good for music. I'm sure you would insist that the PB 13 Ultra is amazing for music too right? Instead of the reality that it would get by for music, but there are dramatically better options out there? The only thing I can say about ID subs is they can obviously be a better VALUE, because they cut out the middle man, although the value is declining as they gain popularity. Because -- why not make more money off of them now that they're as hyped up as they are? However for you to say they're just as good is a joke. There are things about high end music oriented subs, such as the higher end JL subs, some of the better REL subs, Scaena subs, etc that the ID subs just cant touch. And there's a reason why they're expensive. They're not as much of a "value" but that doesn't mean they're not better.

Again, the thing you seem to not grasp is that I OWN and love my HSU ULS-15. But I actually understand the reality that there are dramatically better subs out there.

In the same room, I have placed two Fathom F113 subwoofers in front corners; and two SB-13 Ultra subs in back. I was looking for fill in the back, and had originally purchase two PC13-Ultra units for those locations. I returned them, and got the SB-13 units. My experience with them is the reason that I find terms like "blown away" to be virtually useless.


The PC-13 (the cylinder subs) were extraordinarily powerful ported subwoofers, and their output exceeded the Fathoms. If you want concrete-busting sound (I'm a basshead, and was looking for that in my theater), it's a good way to go. If you are expecting the Hulk to recite Shakespeare, you'll be happy. Even though they have the odd foam plugs to make them sealed (they have three sealable ports), they will never work as sealed speakers. They simply won't take prisoners, but they don't play well with others. Ported sound is different from sealed.


So I sent these bruisers back, after an humbling experience with Interstellar that the neighbors still remember and discuss. If you're looking for brute force, get these, and ignore anyone telling you about their choices for output, unless it's a DIY guy with sufficient amperage pushing some mystery box to the point where his eyes don't focus. SVS has it on the shelf.


But that wasn't what I wanted, after listening to them. I wanted something to match my Fathoms, without blaring like a tuba symphony for the King of Hell. The Fathoms will do that, but more cleanly.


The SB-13's fit the bill nicely. They really romp, and come very closely to Fathom performance. I suspect the E112 comes close. The real difference is transitional power.


Take a series of low tones, suddenly blasting, and the Fathoms do it beautifully. So do the SVS units, but just a shade less gracefully. I could only tell this with organ music, or with certain tunes (try the infectious Peanut Butter by Lenny White, it's on YouTube), or with the aforementioned Interstellar. Since I have both subs, I could try them one against the other, which is expensive. My first Fathom was a blind buy, and my wife insisted on the other. The SVS's were a total blind buy, both the cylinders and the sealed units.


I didn't get more JL gear - I only wanted clean fill, and they're not cheap - and thought that the SVS, being a few hundred dollars cheaper, would get it done. My wife insisted on gloss black, which influenced my choice. Everyone has their own reasons for their purchases.


Once you go over $900 or so, you're pretty much past the ported units, where the manufacturers are selling lower-powered units in bang-for-the-buck mode. I have ported units in other rooms at lower volume, but once that increases, the ported boxes have an unpleasant tendency to start unloading and fluttering like flags in a stiff wind. I hate that.


My thought - after the excellent review - is that the E112 is the best way to go if you're not planning to donate blood to come up with Fathom money. JL simply has some of the very best build quality. However, I know people who have spent less, using multiple subs that cost far less, that have spectacular result. Can't knock that approach, either. I have a friend with 4 10" ported Klipsch units that sounded better in his rather large living room than my original single Fathom did - just not as loud. Which you really don't want.


I still have some "sub-crawl" work to do, but I won't get into comparisons of one particular sub against the other - there are just too many dependencies. I certainly won't get into these crazy "it blows everything else away" discussions. My advice: Pay for the power to push a sealed unit whenever possible. That, provably, is the best.
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post #22 of 158 Old 05-17-2015, 01:18 PM
 
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Nice and clean review Mark. ...And cute small pair of subs for roughly four grands. ...I would have like to see the amp's internals.

I think those would excel @ both movies and music reproduction. ...But for sheer movie power, 15" and 18" and + size drivers I think is/are best for nice size rooms...four of them.

The driver in the JL Audio e112 looks quality all over.

"Musical" ...are they?
"Fast" ...are they?

* Those two last terms ('Musical' and 'Fast') are funny terms in our audio hobby, short of more accurate words to describe.

____________

I believe that 12" and smaller size drivers are preferable with music, like multiple of them (8 to 12").
And with movies (LFE & all...like 'Mad Max: Road Fury'), 15 to 24" size drivers (multiple of them) are a great attribute.

With subwoofers we can buy or diy from $100 to $100,000 ...it's all relative. Some people live in a jail cell, others @ a IMAX theater.
But it's nice to travel the world and visit state-of-the-art facilities from all extremes.

I would easily buy a pair of those (e112) for my own room, @ their street price. ...As I value Music as much as the soundtracks in Movies.
And, of course it would be real swell eventually to have a brand new shootout with all the various best subwoofers right now, including the DIY variety.
An elaborate sub's shootout with all the objective and subjective evaluations by some of the best pro sub reviewers. ...Music and Movie lovers from all branches.
Yes, because @ AVS we all love bass and impact. ...Soon that I saw the first front page today I clicked right away on that JL Audio e112 subwoofer review (pair of them) by Mark.
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post #23 of 158 Old 05-17-2015, 01:48 PM
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I believe that 12" and smaller size drivers are preferable with music, like multiple of them (8 to 12").
I'll have to disagree with you here. I just hate to see this myth spread...especially if new or uninformed enthusiasts see myths like this and start to take them as truth. Smaller drivers are not better for music....the only advantage is that they are smaller. So you can put them in a smaller box. Which means you need more excursion and more power with more chance of distortion. Bigger driver, bigger box, less power, less distortion. All else being equal, a quality 18" > a quality 15" > a quality 12". Movies, music...doesn't matter. Bigger is better. I'm not saying a large, cheap, poorly designed sub will perform better than a smaller very high quality very high power well designed sub.

But I would put a Funk Audio 18.0 up against any 12" "audiophile tight crisp tasty articulate smooth" nonsense adjective expensive small sealed sub on the planet, at any cost.

I am not in any way bashing the JL E112 sub. If someone wants a very high quality sub and is limited to the size of this enclosure, you won't get much better performance at any price in a box this size.
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post #24 of 158 Old 05-17-2015, 01:55 PM
 
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We need a serious subwoofer shootout...music and movie wise.

Also, when I say that "I believe" ...that doesn't mean it's a myth...you said that, not me.
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post #25 of 158 Old 05-17-2015, 02:07 PM
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The myth of sub woofer size affecting SQ is a awful one. I've had well over 100 sub drivers, and 18 in my current system and 12 others in my house alone, from 8's to 21's. It's just simply not true at all and has been proved time and time again it's a load of crap. Any well designed sub will sound great with movies or music, it makes no difference on driver size at all.

Blasting brown notes for 20 years and counting!
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post #26 of 158 Old 05-17-2015, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sk373 View Post
I doubt it. JL Audio has built up their status as a premium brand over many years. People will pay more $$$ for the JL Audio name, just people will pay more $$$ for a Mercedes-Benz or Rolex.

A Citizen or Seiko with a quartz movement will tell time more accurately than a Rolex with an automatic movement, but that's not really the point. The Rolex is still more desirable in most people's eyes.
you are really over simplifying these comparables that you use

I have owned every brand you mention except the a Citizen watch

One of the reason someone buys a Mercedes ( or any german car actually) is because the way they drive
You can buy infinitely more reliable cars...in my case I traded in an Acura that was more reliable than the Mercedes
The Acura certainly didnt drive as well..IMO

I have had cheap watches that kept better time than my perpetual movement Rolex...though the Rolex looks a lot better and has much better exterior build quality

keep in mind that these are my subjective opinions and someone could easily have the exact opposite one

I dont buy the idea that people are buying things just for status...there is more to the story

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post #27 of 158 Old 05-17-2015, 02:43 PM
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Question are the grill magnetic ? One of the things that bothered me about the old Fathom which had pike, mind you thick sturdy pikes, but they where still plastic. Would have prefer magnets on the F113 at the time of ownership.


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post #28 of 158 Old 05-17-2015, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Djoel View Post
Question are the grill magnetic ? One of the things that bothered me about the old Fathom which had pike, mind you thick sturdy pikes, but they where still plastic. Would have prefer magnets on the F113 at the time of ownership.


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The e112 grill is not magnetic. You can see where the grill connects in the image with the bare driver.

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post #29 of 158 Old 05-17-2015, 03:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by turnne1 View Post
I dont buy the idea that people are buying things just for status...there is more to the story
People definitely buy status symbols in audio, walk in any hi-fi store and you can see that plain as day. A lot of the ostensibly hi-fi five figure stuff functionally performs worse than many mass produced mid-fi products, but they look much nicer and have luxury components like silver leads and capacitors made in Italy. This is jewelry for the home, and its not necessarily a bad thing, but don't confuse it for audio science.

With respect to how much 'tighter' or articulate these audiophile subs are than the larger woofer subs discussed around here, we are fortunate to have a nice comparison since the JL e112 has been measured pretty thoroughly, thanks to data-bass.com:
Here is the e112's impulse response:


Now lets compare that to one of these supposedly low fi large woofers, the recently measured SI HS24, a 24" woofer sub:


Even though the HS24 has four times as much surface area and probably has at least three times as much moving mass, it still takes less time to regain control over the cone. Let's take a look at group delay for more evidence of this:

JL e112 group delay:


SI HS24 group delay:


The 24" woofer has less group delay. Now lets look at distortion:

e112 THD levels:


HS24 THD levels:


Keep in mind the levels those sweeps are taken at. The highest sweep run on the e112, 110 dB which is pretty much its maximum capability, where the sweeps start on the HS24, so to compare them you have to use the bottom red line on the HS24 chart against the highest line on the e112 chart, the green one. The HS24 doesn't even come close to 5% THD until 15 Hz, where it goes over it by just a tad. The e112 hardly goes under 5% THD, and under 20 hz it's almost entirely harmonic distortion. Forget talk about output and extension, for sheer linearity and accuracy, this monster cone driver, the HS24, is a higher performing sub.

The story doesn't end there, you can compare other metrics at data-bass's measurements for these subs: e112 and HS24.
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post #30 of 158 Old 05-17-2015, 03:19 PM
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As quoted from Sean Spamilton's post #18 ...

"As far as 12hz+, The FV15HP betters it at every measurement and can be had for $1339 USD" ...

I wouldn't doubt it as a 15" dual port sub! Rythmik's Direct Servo is phenomenal as well for music....and I love my DIY Rythmik sealed downfiring 15"...$600 and my own box. That's apples and oranges though. You could also purchase two F12se's for the price of the E112, get far more flexibility with the amps built in PEQ, [email protected] @14HZ., and the Direct Servo control....Yeah...some bias here and I obviously haven't listened to every sub on the planet in the same controlled environment, but I have to go with logic before glitter. The E112 is undeniably a beautiful sub, but IMO, for my money...it just doesn't sell me.
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