Monoprice Monolith 15" THX Certified Ported Subwoofer - First Impressions & Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 97 Old 04-01-2018, 05:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Monoprice Monolith 15" THX Certified Ported Subwoofer - First Impressions & Review

I've got the Monoprice Monolith 15" sub on-hand to review, unpacked it Friday and ran Dirac Live on the NAD T777 I'm also reviewing yesterday evening. The result of that alone speaks to a tremendously capable sub. Subjectively speaking, it's sounding damned good right now... I'm running it with two ports open. With room gain, we're looking at -3 dB point of 12 Hz or so. Also notable is the mid-bass extension up to around 300 Hz.

This thing is a beast and best I can tell targets the bassaholics on AVS Forum with laser precision. More to come...

Update: Review is located here: https://www.avsforum.com/review-mono...ied-subwoofer/



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post #2 of 97 Old 04-01-2018, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
I've got the Monoprice Monolith 15" sub on-hand to review, unpacked it Friday and ran Dirac Live on the NAD T777 I'm also reviewing yesterday evening. The result of that alone speaks to a tremendously capable sub. Subjectively speaking, it's sounding damned good right now... I'm running it with two ports open. With room gain, we're looking at -3 dB point of 12 Hz or so.

This thing is a beast and best I can tell targets the bassaholics on AVS Forum with laser precision. More to come...


Mark, please remind me what subs you normally run in this room. JL? Is there a link somewhere to your equipment list?
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post #3 of 97 Old 04-01-2018, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Mark, please remind me what subs you normally run in this room. JL? Is there a link somewhere to your equipment list?
Yep, two JL F112 V2s, stacked. I moved 'em and put the Monoprice in the same spot. No offense to JL, but I'd be totally happy to just keep the Monolith where it is.
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post #4 of 97 Old 04-02-2018, 03:47 PM
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Yep, two JL F112 V2s, stacked. I moved 'em and put the Monoprice in the same spot. No offense to JL, but I'd be totally happy to just keep the Monolith where it is.
How does the SVS PC4000 compare to the Monolith?

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post #5 of 97 Old 04-02-2018, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
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How does the SVS PC4000 compare to the Monolith?
Very similar, doubt you'd be able to tell 'em apart in a blind listening test if each was properly integrated (and accounting for all the things you would hypothetically have to account for were one to perform such a test).

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post #6 of 97 Old 04-02-2018, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Very similar, doubt you'd be able to tell 'em apart in a blind listening test if each was properly integrated (and accounting for all the things you would hypothetically have to account for were one to perform such a test).
Thanks.

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post #7 of 97 Old 04-02-2018, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
It's sounding damned good right now...

We're looking at -3 dB point of 12 Hz or so...
That's what I said! I am glad there is nothing wrong with my ears!

I also found the extension and output to be outstanding for its $1300 price tag.
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post #8 of 97 Old 04-02-2018, 05:49 PM
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The price point on this sub looks crazy good!

How is the fit and finish?

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post #9 of 97 Old 04-02-2018, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by BRAC View Post
The price point on this sub looks crazy good!

How is the fit and finish?
I've got two of the twelve inch Monolith subs and they look great. They aren't fine furniture quality by any means, but they look every bit as good if not better than I expected for the price. They also sound pretty fantastic too.
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post #10 of 97 Old 04-02-2018, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRAC View Post
The price point on this sub looks crazy good!

How is the fit and finish?
The Monolith subs vinyl wrap is almost exactly the same as the standard black ash finish from SVS. Monolith uses the same type of small, cone shaped feet as SVS, as well.

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post #11 of 97 Old 05-04-2018, 04:37 PM
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When will the review be up for this?
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post #12 of 97 Old 05-04-2018, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
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When will the review be up for this?
I don't have a specific time frame and I can't really commit to one of this time. It's not going to be a particularly long or complicated review, so I'll try and get it done in the next few weeks. But my work responsibilities cover more than just equipment reviews, which is why I can't pin down a date for completing it.

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post #13 of 97 Old 05-04-2018, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJosh View Post
When will the review be up for this?
I don't have a specific time frame and I can't really commit to one of this time. It's not going to be a particularly long or complicated review, so I'll try and get it done in the next few weeks. But my work responsibilities cover more than just equipment reviews, which is why I can't pin down a date for completing it.
Thanks for the quick reply! I look forward to your review.
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post #14 of 97 Old 06-13-2018, 02:03 PM
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Any update on the review?
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post #15 of 97 Old 06-13-2018, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Any update on the review?
Sure... Great sub for the money if you like what you see in the CEA 2010 numbers and charts Monoprice published you will be happy, super solid sub for the money as long and your system deals with the room EQ.

I am writing it up, yes. Still no promises, has been a lot of equipment churn lately but I do know it's some point I need to make room for other gear.

Anyhow for my living room system, this is all the sub I would ever need.

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post #16 of 97 Old 06-13-2018, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Sure... Great sub for the money if you like what you see in the CEA 2010 numbers and charts Monoprice published you will be happy, super solid sub for the money as long and your system deals with the room EQ.

I am writing it up, yes. Still no promises, has been a lot of equipment churn lately but I do know it's some point I need to make room for other gear.

Anyhow for my living room system, this is all the sub I would ever need.
Great. Thanks, Mark.

I'm wondering if Mono will ever get in to the 18" sub market.
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post #17 of 97 Old 06-13-2018, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Sure... Great sub for the money if you like what you see in the CEA 2010 numbers and charts Monoprice published you will be happy, super solid sub for the money as long and your system deals with the room EQ.

I am writing it up, yes. Still no promises, has been a lot of equipment churn lately but I do know it's some point I need to make room for other gear.

Anyhow for my living room system, this is all the sub I would ever need.
Maybe you could two-for-one the review with the new Klipsch Towers? And I bet they would sound great together.
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post #18 of 97 Old 06-15-2018, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Review posted. Nothing technical because Monoprice covered all the bases with extensive charts and CEA-2010 tests and all that. Just a great sub, no need to over-analyze it. https://www.avsforum.com/review-mono...ied-subwoofer/
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post #19 of 97 Old 06-15-2018, 03:35 PM
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You should really test this sub out with the new 4K scan UHD & Atmos mix in Fury (2014)

Those films you mentioned have mixes that a literally nothing compared to this

The long tank battle scene starting at 01:18:40 is ruthless and freaking unbelievable!!

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-s...l#post56329864

Bass Graph


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post #20 of 97 Old 06-15-2018, 04:46 PM
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Dammit McGray. I have the BR of this but down the line I may have to get the 4k version. The BR is stellar to begin with.
As for this sub, It looks very impressive. I am not in the market since I have a SubMersive, but if I were, I think I would have to put this on the
short list of subs I would consider.
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post #21 of 97 Old 06-15-2018, 05:02 PM
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Great writeup on the Monolith THX Ultra 15, Mark. As far as Fury goes, interesting to know what is different with the LFE in the Atmos mix. The Blu-Ray DTS-HD Master soundtrack is great as it is and that tank scene is very powerful already. I hate re-buying movies I already have on Blu-ray.

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post #22 of 97 Old 06-15-2018, 11:24 PM
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Yes, but does it chuff playing the opening to Edge of Tomorrow at reference level?

We know the SVS PB-16 does, as does at least one JTR, so I'm curious.

How about ground loop sensitivity? The PB-16, again, is more sensitive than any other sub I've ever used, but you can get it nailed down eventually.
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post #23 of 97 Old 06-16-2018, 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by kucharsk View Post
Yes, but does it chuff playing the opening to Edge of Tomorrow at reference level?

We know the SVS PB-16 does, as does at least one JTR, so I'm curious.

How about ground loop sensitivity? The PB-16, again, is more sensitive than any other sub I've ever used, but you can get it nailed down eventually.
Here is the problem of playing the opening to Edge of Tomorrow at reference level. Some subs with very aggressive limiter will just clamp down on the distortion and thus the output, while others will just let the subs fly more freely.

I believe Mono 15" belongs in the first group, so do most commercial subs tune to mid-20 Hz.

JTR subs, and I would say most ID subs belong in the second category. How these ID subs chuff playing the opening to Edge of Tomorrow at reference level depends largely on their port design and tuning frequency. JTR is exemplary in regards to the port design.

Having heard all and owning 2 of JTR's current ported offerings, as well as auditioned the Monolith 15" for 3 weeks, I can tell you that if you are looking for a ported sub that chuff the least, Monolith 15" is likely your best bet.

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post #24 of 97 Old 06-16-2018, 01:22 AM
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From what I've experimented with, the server scene from the movie Pulse can be especially difficult for even good subs when it comes to port noise. The repetitive, droning sound, which I believe is right at 16-17Hz, is right around the port tune of many quality subs. It's a demanding scene that pushes a lot of air.

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post #25 of 97 Old 06-16-2018, 01:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIX_MASTER_ICE View Post
From what I've experimented with, the server scene from the movie Pulse can be especially difficult for even good subs when it comes to port noise. The repetitive, droning sound, which I believe is right at 16-17Hz, is right around the port tune of many quality subs. It's a demanding scene that pushes a lot of air.
Correct.

World War Z - Grenade scene, another chuff-inducing scene with hot bass centered around 18Hz is also problematic for many top ID ported subs.

World War Z - Grenade Scene PVA:


The Intro of Edge of Tomorrow would make these ported subs tuned to high teens chuff at 25Hz, 20Hz and 15Hz, but not at 10Hz because it is way below their tuning frequencies. The same clip would make the 10Hz tuned Cap 4000ULF produce a hint of port noise only at 10Hz, but not at the other tones.

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post #26 of 97 Old 06-16-2018, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by chucky7 View Post
The Intro of Edge of Tomorrow would make these ported subs tuned to high teens chuff at 25Hz, 20Hz and 15Hz, but not at 10Hz because it is way below their tuning frequencies. The same clip would make the 10Hz tuned Cap 4000ULF produce a hint of port noise only at 10Hz, but not at the other tones.
Very interesting. When a lesser woofer doesn't chuff as much (1400 vs 4000), it could be that it's not producing any sound at all at the lower freq. The cut off is by a limiter or DSP programming I assume?

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post #27 of 97 Old 06-16-2018, 06:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Very interesting. When a lesser woofer doesn't chuff as much (1400 vs 4000), it could be that it's not producing any sound at all at the lower freq. The cut off is by a limiter or DSP programming I assume?
There's no good reason to let a subwoofer driver flap away at below port tune, it's just gonna cause trouble, such is the loss in efficiency after that point.

I'm a firm believer in ultra low tuning points, but you'd need a huge sub enclosure to do a 10 Hz port tune for a high-excursion 15" or 18" driver effectively... certainly something larger than the Monolith 15".

That's why if someone wants to do the Black Hawk Down "**cking Irene" scene right, they should do what @popalock did years ago... https://www.avsforum.com/forum/92-co...gger-subs.html

Honestly, sometimes I forget exactly how "dynamic" some of the more hardcore home theater enthusiasts like their sound, but it's always fun to be reminded.
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post #28 of 97 Old 06-16-2018, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cannga View Post
Very interesting. When a lesser woofer doesn't chuff as much (1400 vs 4000), it could be that it's not producing any sound at all at the lower freq. The cut off is by a limiter or DSP programming I assume?
The drivers in the JTR Captivator 1400 and the 4000ULF have virtually the same T/S. The difference is maybe resistance and voice coil (the 1400 voice voil is driven by 2 amp modules) .

Remember those graphs of port air velocity vs cone displacement?

At port tune, almost all spl is provided by the port, and the driver does not move. This is why hot 17~18Hz bass is problematic for those ported subs tuned to similar frequency. Around this frequency, high spl = high air velocity = higher propensity to chuff.

Below the port tune, manufacturers would have high pass filter (maybe at 2/3 of the port tune?) to protect the driver. There is also the broadband limiter to protect the sub from being over-driven.

Therefore, if I play the intro of Edge of Tomorrow, the 30Hz, 25Hz and 10Hz tones are primarily produced by the 17Hz tuned 1400's woofer, while the port contributes in 20Hz and 15Hz tones. This is the reason the port wind at 20Hz and 15Hz is just mind blowing and some chuffing would result. By 10Hz, the port wind almost dies down and the chuffing is mostly gone. On the other hand, the woofer of the 10Hz tuned 4000ULF is primarily responsible for the 30Hz, 25Hz, 20Hz and most of 15Hz tones, while the port contributes in the 10Hz tone. Therefore, the 4000ULF will have less port wind at 20Hz and 15Hz (because the driver is still producing virtually all of the spl), but way more port wind at 10Hz (because the port is doing the heavy lifting). This is why the 4000ULF is immune to chuff-inducing scenes such as World War Z - Grenade scene or Pulse - Server scene because the driver is still doing the heavy lifting.
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post #29 of 97 Old 06-16-2018, 07:59 AM
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Mark really enjoyed your review. I have dual Monolith 15's in a roughly 280sq ft room and I just love their sound. Not boomy or sloppy, very tight, clean, and controlled.
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post #30 of 97 Old 06-16-2018, 03:56 PM
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I keep reading that the Monolith 15 is "not boomy", "tight", "clean", etc.
Are these the same characteristics that would make the "chest slam" or "tactile feel over whole body" less?


Never really seen anyone praising this subwoofer for the latter set of characteristics. Is tactile feel something that this subwoofer lacks? My current reference is a single SVS PB 12 plus and on some movie scenes I really like the slam that the PB 12 plus dishes out.
I'm not chasing extension. I want maximum chest slam over 20 Hz with no distortion or chuffing.

Looking at replacing the single PB 12 plus with dual Monolith 15s(trying to gain some output in my super large room) but not sure of the Monolith as I don't want to miss out on the tactile sensation that I really like.

PS: The most memorable subwoofer moment with my PB 12 plus was when it was in a smaller room and during a scene in the Dark Knight where machine guns go off in an underground car chase, I could actually "feel" each bullet "separately" hitting the chest (not one big boom).

Last edited by tojo_m; 06-16-2018 at 04:03 PM.
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