Captivator 4000ULF impression so far:
I finally had the chance to move the beast into my HT/family room. I haven't had the time to fine tune its location yet. Therefore, I put it where I had my 1400 and where I reviewed the Monolith 15" before - the tested and true spot next to my right main speaker. First I set the LF Adjust @ 12 o’clock then ran the MCACC, then turned the LF Adjust to the max. This is to match how I usually listen to my 1400. As usual, I listening at MV of -13dB.
Right off the bat, I played Bassotronics - Bass, I Love You
and The End of My Life is You
. Potent subs that can handle the deep bass are built for songs like these. The Cap 1400 belted out precise and controlled bass notes. However, as awesome as the 1400 is, there was still a slight hint of loud wind noise at the lowest 7 Hz. The 4000ULF exhibited no chuffing whatsoever. The bass was even cleaner, more effortless and articulate throughout. So much so that if not for the potent port wind, I would have thought that I was listening to a sealed sub. The drivers barely moved.
I believe the break-in period is for the user's ears. Therefore, I went for the gusto - Edge of Tomorrow first 40 seconds
. The hot bass signals start at 30Hz, then 25Hz, 20Hz, 15Hz and finally 10 Hz. From 30Hz, the tactile response from the 1400 was amazing. The port wind at 20Hz and 15Hz was tremendous. The chuffing was also apparent, though not objectionable, at those 20 and 15Hz. The chuffing and port wind both stopped at 10Hz, and spl was way down as 10Hz is way below 1400's port tune. The 4000ULF produced no chuffing at all... alright, maybe there was a little wind howling at 10Hz. However, it was again, very tolerable even for those who prefer sealed subs because they just can’t stand the chuffing. The bass notes were distinctive and not colored. Now that I think about it, I believe a lot of what I heard from the 1400 were the 2nd or even 3rd harmonics rather than the fundamentals. The 4000ULF played the bass with authority and very little, if any, distortion. Instead, I heard a lot of house shaking and window vibrating because there was no chuffing and distortion to mask them!
Next up were World War Z
scene and Pulse
scene. Two words. No chuffing. The Granade scene contains a sweep that goes down to 15 Hz and the Server scene is a loop of 17Hz sweep. These two scenes are problematic for most 15” and 18” ported ID subs because they are tuned to high teens. Not so for the 4000ULF. Data-bass CEA 2010 numbers suggest that the 4000ULF is equal to 2 1400s above 20Hz and destroys the 1400 below 20Hz. Be it the extra headroom or its 10 Hz port tune, the 4000ULF just sounded more refined and less edgy than the 1400. It was effortless and smooth.
Then I remembered that I felt nothing in my HT playing Black Hawk Down - Irene
before on my Cap 1400 and Marc's sealed PSA S3000i. Expecting the Cap 1400 to play the scene is unreasonable. I needed much more than 2 PSA S3000i to pressurize my HT in order to feel 7 Hz. I want to feel it. I felt it in point1
's dedicated HT. That's why I asked him what's wrong with it after I hearing the 7 Hz in his HT. I also know that it requires higher spl to feel 7Hz, so I turned the MV up to -8dB... Then I started to sound like this guy...
When the chopper blades were spinning, the 4000ULF's twin drivers went crazy and pumped out glorious amount of wind. I felt the change in air pressure. I started yelling "Yes! yes! yes!" with a huge grin on my face.
I also wanted to see my favorite bass demo clip: Olympus Has Fallen - Washington Monument
scene. This clip has one of the longest ULF bass note and my Cap 1400 was undaunted by it. Recall my Cap 1400 registered 118dB playing this scene before:
The same spl was a walk in the park for the 4000ULF. It handled the scene with more finesse and replied "Is that all you got?" The 4000ULF provided the same TR and rumble. However, some how I feel that the sub made the noisy scene quieter. The bass was very crisp and did not linger.
I played the other chuff inducing scene, Don't Breathe - Money shot
scene. The Cap 1400 was up to the task but still exhibited very slight chuffing. 4000ULF took it on and passed the chuffing test with flying colors. I could be imagining this but I thought the 4000ULF provided the same TR and rumble, but with less undesirable roughness.
Finally I played Justin Bieber - Baby
Live at MSG. This MV is bass heavy and there were even explosives on stage. It can make 1400 sound a little boomy or muddy due to room resonance. The 4000ULF just sounded cleaner and tighter. I felt that even the 50~100Hz bass from kick drum sounded more crisp, controlled and precise.
It is a complete 'ear' opening experience as I have never had so much headroom and heard so little distortion. The Captivator 4000ULF is also drastically different from the JTR Caps I have heard. After all, the most powerful one I have heard was mine at my HT and at Marc's huge den. It does take some time to sink in and get used to. The Cap 1400 is already a very capable sub that is plentiful for 99% of the 3000 cu ft HT areas out there. It fills my HT with clean and earth shattering bass. Honestly, I didn't know what to expect from a 4000ULF because the 1400 can already provide the 115dB+ at the MLP. This is also one of the reasons I have held out for so long. The group buy was the last straw. Did the 4000ULF provide double the TR and rumble? Of course not, because I listened at the same MV. The upgrade is primarily on the quality side. The headroom also greatly reduced the distortion. No wonder so many people want to go dual, even if the subs would conveniently flank the TV. The 4000ULF is 2 Cap 1400s > 20Hz but below 20Hz, there is no comparison. Better extension is so much harder and more expensive to achieve. I am so glad that I went with the 4000ULF rather than getting another 1400.
In the Cap 1400, I already have a nice USDA Prime filet mignon. I was expecting 2 of the same fine steak when I ordered the Cap 4000ULF. I couldn't be more wrong. Instead, I received an A5 grade Japanese Wagyu Kobe ribeye steak - the best steak money can buy.