And boy do these guys rumble, but let's get this out of the way first. Please keep in mind that this comparison is mostly my subjective opinion (albeit laden with sarcasm) with some objective information and numbers.
Alright, I’ve never really done anything like this before so I’m kind of winging it along with mixing in a little bit of what I’ve learned from AVS and my experience. So I’ll post some graphs, pictures and my listening experience. Hopefully you’ll get something helpful out of it or at the very least be a bit entertained.
We (meaning Brian, Enrico and Ray) were able to get the FV25 up to my 2nd level wood floor. The FV25 weighs a ton….not really, just 225 pounds but still, it takes 2 if not 3 or 4 guys to move the sub up any type of stairs. It’s construction, fit and finish are excellent. It’s weight is comprised of 2x15 inch drivers, a big toroidal amp and MDF construction/bracing and because of these things, it is super inert. The aluminum drivers are beautiful and you have the option of silver a finish if that’s your thing. The finish is a smooth matte black. The boxing is incredible, double boxed, foam corners, cloth bag and skateboards……..did you hear what I said “skateboards”! The amp plate has so many dials that it looks like a NASA desk station. Houston……..we are go for liftoff!! I’m kidding of course, but it does have a lot of flexibility. That might be a little bit intimidating to beginners but I think it allows the sub to be tweaked for many different tastes and rooms, which I see as a bonus. Without feet it is a little over 41 inches tall, 21 wide and 22 deep. The FV25 and the 2400 are roughly the same size, if you can fit one, you can likely fit the other.
JTR Captivator 2400-10ULF:
I bought these new earlier this year. I was actually the first person to receive the new tune at 10hz; needless to say, I was super stoked. They weigh about 165 pounds each and I did have to have a neighbor help me get them up. The 2400 is easier to move around due to its single 18 inch driver, digital amp and baltic birch construction. It does not quite feel as inert as MDF and when pushed it can walk a bit. There’s some debate about MDF vs. baltic birch and I can see the pros and cons for each. My 2x2400’s arrived safe and sound on a pallet which were shrink wrapped, boxed (piece meal boxes but well covered), individually shrink wrapped and had foam separating the subs. I was most impressed with the heavy 3 inch foam/rubber piece they were lying on. The whole packaging may be a little unconventional but very effective. Fit and finish are good. The 18” drivers are super impressive, they just look mean. As I have stated before, the standard black finish is pretty industrial, but on the plus side, I don’t really worry about hurting it. The amp has 4 dials, delay, crossover, LF adjust and volume so it is less flexible and less intimidating. The 2400 is 39.5 inches tall, 20.5 wide and 22.5 deep.
The boxing on Rythmik subs is top notch as well as it’s fit and finish. JTR (for a fee) can customize your sub with just about any finish you want and they are spectacular. The aluminum drivers on the Rythmik are beautiful but the JTR drivers basically say “we mean business”. The flexibility of the Rythmik amps is impressive. I know subs are supposed to be heavy, and I agree, but I like the lighter weight of the 2400, if not for the very reason that I’m fat and out of shape and it’s easier to move. YMMV on any one of these aspects.
Output and Extension:
I’m not going to get into this too much because, IMO, they are very similar. I’m even thinking their sound signatures are going to be more evident than thinking “wow, that one is 1.5 dB louder at 35hz”, I don’t see that happening. Likewise for extension, I just don’t think anyone is going to pick these apart because one is 2hz lower than the other. Even when compared against each other, for me, these 2 aspects can’t be singled out. Here’s what I’ll do though, I’ve included a handy dandy chucky7 chart for quick reference and link the Databass review from Josh Ricci for each sub.
My goal was/is to listen and measure them with their native frequency response without room correction and then try to optimize both. I’m used to having duals but a single sub measured best corner loaded, front left. Each sub was then boosted +10 dB hot, using REW. Caveat, on the 2400 when audy and mD are on, audy lowers the spl by about 3dB so when listening with both active I boosted the 2400 by 3dB.
The 1st measurement is audy off and no miniDSP. Native response.
The 2nd measurement is audy on and miniDSP off. Audy adjustment of native response.
The 3rd measurement is with audy off and miniDSP on. Adjusting native respond with MiniDSP.
The 4th measurement is with audy on and miniDSP on. Audy adjustment of miniDSP tweak.
You might be wondering why I did this and the honest answer is that I was just playing around to see what audy did with and without the miniDSP. Not sure if that’s the “right” way. Let me know if you have any requests for graphs and I’ll try to get them.
I’m not going to list out all the music I listened to because, well, my music tastes are not that sophisticated and I’m not really a critical music listener. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want my subs to sound like a&& with music but I am primarily a HT guy first. Sorry, no Beethoven, Chichovsky, etc. Tony did get busy with Suck My Bass at -5…….I thought my windows were going to give no matter which sub was playing!
As has been mentioned by numerous owners and reviewers the FV25 is ridonkulous with music, so fuhgeddaboudit …...it’s outstanding! I need to mention this before my next sentence, my mains are capable down to 35hz (so they say). So, one thing I noticed is that with the 8801 remote app I can switch between Direct, Pure Direct, Stereo, Dolby PLLc, etc. and when I do that with the FV25 it’s a great blend between the sub and my mains. Meaning, when I listen to just my mains and then switch to any of the other modes that include the sub, it’s pretty seamless. I know what you're thinking, “why have a sub at all?”, that’s an awesome question, you are so smart! Well, adding in the sub just gives it more weight and depth which is noticeable but it’s quite impressive that 15” drivers are as “fast” as the 6.5” drivers in my mains. So thumbs up for the FV25 on music! Shocker, I know.
So if the FV25 is so good with music then the 2400 has to come in 2nd right? Well, that depends. I happen to really like the 2400 with music. It has a much thicker sound. Is it an accurate reproduction? Not sure, but as was pointed out by MKtheater recently, distortion numbers posted on Databass are done when maxing the sub out so the 2400 (duals at that) should have very low distortion in my room. And in my mind, I’m extremely satisfied with it’s signature. Using my 8801 stereo/direct modes, it is much more apparent when the 2400 is active and when it’s not. The 2400 is just a much more “in your face” kind of sub but it can be somewhat delicate when it needs to be. I just don’t think it likes to be delicate very long! It wants to be unleashed. So here you go, an 18” ported sub that’s also good with music. Winner...winner….chicken dinner!
I/we listened to many of the standard movie demo’s. 13 Hours, Ironman Jericho, Pulse Server Room, TIH Sonic Cannons, The Dark Knight Tunnel, John Wick, Underworld Awakenings, Tron Legacy Light Cycle, EOT intro, etc., etc.
This is the first time I have heard the aluminum drivers from Rythmik. Much has been said about the TR of the aluminum drivers and in my room and experience, you can get really good TR. Just remember, I am on second level with wood floors. I liked the 12hz, low dampening setting because it gave me more TR than the high setting. Punches and weapon strikes are…...well…..very punchy! They are forcefull and hit hard. Explosions and gunfire have a similar sounding nature but much, much louder. The machine gun fire in TDK when Bruce is shooting into bricks is extremely percussive and feels like it goes right through you. The TR has a heavy feel but precise and the entire room is excited for that brief second. And like I said the TR is really good but you have to set it up that way. Then, the FV25 goes back to blending into the background without being noticed. But when called upon, it will raise your ears and your head. The FV25 cuts on and off quickly, it never lingers on a note, it doesn’t blend everything together. It is very good about parsing out every sound particularly when it is on high dampening. I didn’t mess too much with the dampening settings, I had it set at low dampening and 12hz tune as I think that is more apples to apples to the 2400. But, Enrico and Tony asked me to listen a little bit with high dampening. This is my technical explanation of these 2 settings (there’s also a mid) but the high setting asks the drivers to be more civil, refined and controlled….dressed in a tuxedo if you will. The low dampening setting asks the drivers to be a little more loose, casual and somewhat off the chain……...dressed in a tuxedo shirt and untucked. I kind of like that, remember I said it was super flexible, it can suit up for some critical music listening or shred up some movies.
Controlled chaos is how I think of the 2400 when playing movies…..slightly restrained violence, a wrecking ball with a quilt around it. That maybe a stupid analogy but I’m trying. While the FV25 has really good TR in my space, the 2400 is just wicked awesome if that’s your thing. For me, it is definitely my thing. As I have said before, it’s like the Goldilocks zone for TR and sound reproduction. Watching the 18” driver travel is mesmerizing, which is why I have them front and center without the grills. I love watching them in action. They still do a great job at sound separation, just not as well as the FV25. I think the 2400 really shines at pressurizing the room and enveloping you. The bass comes from everywhere and penetrates to your core. Another observation is that the 2400 emphasizes many of the smaller/lower volume moments in a movie whereas the FV25 tends to disappear. Again, YMMV as to whether you like that or not. The 2400, IMO, has more heft and depth and seems to display that attitude in almost every situation and scene. There’s something a little bit hard to explain with the 2400, it just has something that checks all my boxes.
Pushed at high levels, the 2400 will walk; it is a lighter sub and the driver travels more so, there you go. It obviously does it more so on hardwood than it would on carpet but it also moves some on my seagrass rug. The FV25 does not move at all. On Suck My Bass, the 2400 did chuff at -5 MV and 10dB hot. I doubt it does with duals and Suck My Bass isn’t exactly my favorite song. While we are on the subject of sub punishing material, I prefer the sound of the FV25 over the 2400 on the EOT intro. Again, we were listening at -5 MV and 10dB hot. The 2400 is much more mechanical and the FV25 is smoother. I’m guessing the servo technology has something to do with that. Both subs have some adjustability to have more or less TR which is awesome if you need to move from a smaller to a larger room or vice versa. The placement of both subs was the front left, corner loaded because they measured best there. I first listened to the FV25 and I could localize it more so than the 2400, not sure if that means anything to anyone. It’s just something I noticed. One other thought, more often when I am listening to unknown material with the 2400, I raise my head and just smile, it takes me by surprise sometimes.
Both subs are awesome! Off the chain good! I can appreciate the strengths of both of them and I would love to have another room to put the FV25 in, but alas, so many subs…...so few rooms and money.
Heck, I would love to have another room to put some sealed subs in! Who wouldn’t?!? Two more rooms with dual G25s and S2s anyone…..Bueller? Bottom line for me is this, if you are looking for tight and controlled with good TR and ultimate flexibility…..then the FV25 is your guy. If you are looking for unabashed, unapologetic, in your face, destructive bass and TR…... then the 2400 is your guy. Don’t get me wrong they both cross into a gray area so this isn’t a hard line description. Some aspects are closer than you think but they each have their own sound signature. Just depends on your ears and what you like!
Lastly, many thanks to Brian, Enrico and Ray! I couldn’t have gotten the FV25 in place without them. I have been lucky enough to listen to these Two Towers back to back and super appreciative. Extra special thanks to Jeff P and Brian for making such great subs! All of us are not going to agree on what they like best and that’s ok because we have such a good selection. Hats off to both JTR and Rythmik!
That’s it for now. I tried to be as fair as possible. Please point out any mistakes and I’ll correct. If you have a measurement request or any other question, just let me know. And like I said, I’ll try to get a few more people over to listen if I can.
Thanks for reading.