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post #1 of 39 Old 02-16-2020, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Rythmik FV18 Unboxing

I'm going to walk through my purchase, the arrival, and unboxing of my new Rythmik FV18 subwoofer (Rev2 with paper cone in black matte finish). For those who don't care about the story and just want to go directly to the pictures, here is a link to imgur with them all.

First my space. My house was built four years ago. It has an open floor plan of the living room, kitchen, and dining room with an opening to a long hallway to a two story foyer entry way. The space is about 5,000cf not including the hallway/foyer.

Use - Primarily Home Theater. Like 95%. I want something that sounds great and feels intense during those critical scenes in movies.

Budget - Well, I quickly found I'd need upward of $1,000 to get what I thought I wanted (i.e., Hsu VTF-15H MK2). From there it wasn't too much farther to a PSA V1512 for $1,300. And from there $1,900+ for the Rythmik FV18 (with paper cone in the black matte cab upgrade) didn't seem SOOO much more than the PSA...right? Sigh...so that's how the budget went.

The HSU VTF-15H MK2 started out in the running. But honestly, I just didn't like the design. Then I moved to PSA after reading more. I like the V1512 design more, it came with a 60 day return policy (compared to HSU 30 day), and the PSA price included the warranty and shipping. The Made/Built in America tag was also a consideration. I describe the jump from PSA to Rythmik below. I didn't really consider other brands for a variety of reasons (price, design, name brand, warranty, forum talk, etc).

Why the upgrade? I had an elemental Designs A5-350 subwoofer for many years. It traveled with me to several homes and worked like a champ...until the LT-550 amp blew out. I eventually replaced the amp (you can read about that in the eD sub thread), but it got me thinking about upgrading the subwoofer. So, I visited this subforum and down the rabbit hole I went.

After some research, I decided on a PSA V1512 for several reasons, among them - comments on these forums about PSA and their subs/driver/quality, the relative driver and box size compared to my eD A5-350, and the cost/budget I set. I ordered it on 12/25/19 and it arrived on 01/08/20. I auditioned it for about six weeks and, while it is an amazing sub, I just wanted something more and bigger. I considered their V1812, V3612, and TV3612. The 3612s seemed too big for me and the budget higher than I wanted to go. Looking at the V1812 got me reconsidering all my options again. I have to say, Tom V is amazing. He worked with me on questions and the purchase over Christmas. The man doesn't take a break. And continued to provide helpful information about my options after the purchase.

After reconsidering my options and more research, I arrived at the Rythmik FV18 for several reasons, among them - again, comments on these forums about Rythmik and their subs/driver/quality, the size of the driver and box, the tuning, and the aesthetics of the sub (it reminds of the eD A7-450 which is something I always wanted). This seemed a compromise in size and price to a PSA 3612. Enrico, Brian, and Lynn were great and very patient with me. I had several questions about options and shipping and they answered them all quickly. Even after I placed the order I wanted a change which they accommodated.

I first placed an order for the FV18 Rev2 with paper cone and black oak finish, which was on back order. I read Enrico say in a thread that they had black matte finish cabinets in stock and they could put a paper cone in one. So I asked for that and they upgraded and changed my order. I preferred the black matte finish anyway over the black oak, and I'm super impatient. I didn't want to wait even a few weeks for the black oak cabinets to be back in stock. It shipped a day or so after I paid for the black matte upgrade and arrived within three days I think - the longest three days of my recent life!

Rythmik offers a $100 discount to pick the sub up at the UPS freight terminal. I considered this, but changed my mind after stressing about getting it off a pallet and into my SUV. So it arrive by UPS freight. It technically came on a pallet; however it wasn't tied down to it by the time I got it. It was sitting loose on top. The UPS driver got it off the truck and to my front door. I took it from there with a hand truck into the house. The driver took the pallet.

The first thing I noticed is that the box is the size of a dishwasher. Cool, nice and big.


The second thing I noticed is the free included carpet moving pads Rythmik sends didn't quite make the journey intact. I got 1 and a 1/2. Not sure how may are supposed to be included. I assume four? Dunno.


Next, I start opening the double box to find a very well packaged subwoofer. There is a thick set of foam on top with three cardboard/foam skateboards on the sides. Embedded into the top foam are the power cord and feet in separate boxes.


Once the top foam is off I remove the skateboard sides leaving one (following the directions on the box top - nice touch). And I tip the box over on the side left with the skateboard. Then I shimmy her out of the box. As you can see, nicely wrapped in a white cloth bag. Then I stand her up and (SLOOOOWLY ) remove the bag!


After that I take a few shots of all three boxes before SPL gain matching the eD A5-350 under the TV and then moving it back near the couch. The FV18 slides under the TV and I set the SPL gain to match the eD.


Finally configured the FV18 AMP settings, plugged it in, went to the miniDSP 2x4 HD and worked the magic I found in the following threads (thanks to mthomas47, cdy2179, and Home Theater Gurus for such great content):

1. Guide to Subwoofer Calibration and Bass Preferences
2. REW subwoofer alignment Video using MiniDSP complete walk through!
3.
4.

My impressions:
The PSA V1512 is amazing. Someone in the market for a 15" sub wouldn't be disappointed. It is very articulate and digs deep. I probably didn't need to go any larger, but, well...And Tom V is great to deal with.
The FV18 is awesome. I love the size. I love the sound. I love how it fills my space. It sounds and feels awesome. I am re-watching movies just to hear them again - you all know what I mean.

As far as finish, the PSA is nicer. I prefer the slightly more aggressive finish to the smooth finish of the FV18. I'm used to the eD which is even more aggressively finished. The PSA driver also looks nicer. And small things, like the grill dowels are metal on the PSA. It's a nice touch. However, the FV18 looks fine. Those are minor preferences, which I wouldn't even know about had I purchased the FV18 first. The sub really brings the sound together, very full.

My wife, who is perfectly happy watching a Marvel movie on her iPhone in bed, even commented "wow I really notice the difference now and understand why you're spending so much time on this."

There are more pics in the imgur link. I attached a first pass at EQ graph. I have a little more work to do and want to kick up the SPL more. But so far I'm very happy.
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Last edited by corwiniii; 02-17-2020 at 07:09 AM.
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post #2 of 39 Old 02-16-2020, 02:08 PM
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Nice sub! I'm sure you will love that FV18 such a beast!
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post #3 of 39 Old 02-16-2020, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corwiniii View Post

There are more pics in the imgur link. I attached a first pass at EQ graph. I have a little more work to do and want to kick up the SPL more. But so far I'm very happy.
Congrats. Make sure you run through the set up guide linked in Enrico's signature. There are many options to tailoring the sound to how you like it so play around with them especially the tuning and damping. I am running one port closed 14hz and high damping
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post #4 of 39 Old 02-16-2020, 02:11 PM
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Love the impressions of both subwoofers. Both companies are top notch and there while every sub is not perfect for every room / customer needs there is a perfect sub out there for everyone. Just take your time and do your research and you will reap the benefits

I’m glad you’ve found yours. Loved to hear you had a great experience with both Tom and Enrico. Great post and enjoy some content.


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post #5 of 39 Old 02-16-2020, 02:13 PM
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Can the FV18's be set on their side? They look like amazing performers, and may be my next upgrade at some point, but I'm really not a fan of the height of them. Personally prefer a shorter and deeper cabinet.

TV: 65" LG E6 OLED
Receiver: Denon AVR-X3600H
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Sub: SVS PB-3000
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post #6 of 39 Old 02-16-2020, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaskCanesFan View Post
Can the FV18's be set on their side? They look like amazing performers, and may be my next upgrade at some point, but I'm really not a fan of the height of them. Personally prefer a shorter and deeper cabinet.
Yes, they can be placed on their sides.
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post #7 of 39 Old 02-16-2020, 04:16 PM
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Be thankful you didn't have to move that beast to the second story.
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post #8 of 39 Old 02-16-2020, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsc79 View Post
Yes, they can be placed on their sides.
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaskCanesFan View Post
Can the FV18's be set on their side? They look like amazing performers, and may be my next upgrade at some point, but I'm really not a fan of the height of them. Personally prefer a shorter and deeper cabinet.
Hi neighbour,

This is the way I got my front FV18, and my rear one is standing up. Pictures can be seem here, on the last page;
The Chimaera theater

When it come to sub/s, they only care about there physical location within the room. Not if they are facing forward/backward or downward, Therefore having that sub on it's side, will work perfectly.


Darth
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post #9 of 39 Old 02-16-2020, 06:36 PM
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@corwiniii

Big thanks for those detail pictures, it was a joy to look at them.


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post #10 of 39 Old 02-16-2020, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imureh View Post
Congrats. Make sure you run through the set up guide linked in Enrico's signature. There are many options to tailoring the sound to how you like it so play around with them especially the tuning and damping. I am running one port closed 14hz and high damping
I think I'm at one port closed and 12hz low damping which was the default. But I am definitely going to get my money's worth and play with some settings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by darthray View Post
@corwiniii
Big thanks for those detail pictures, it was a joy to look at them.
Darth
No problem. Imgur really wrecks image quality. These were taken with an iPhone and the real pictures are actually quite good. I'll resize a couple and add them as attachments some time.
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post #11 of 39 Old 02-16-2020, 07:23 PM
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Very nice. Both subwoofers look great, and I'm sure sound great as well. Consider posting the link to this thread in the Rythmik forum, I think people there will enjoy reading your thread and looking at the pictures.

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post #12 of 39 Old 02-16-2020, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corwiniii View Post
I think I'm at one port closed and 12hz low damping which was the default. But I am definitely going to get my money's worth and play with some settings.

No problem. Imgur really wrecks image quality. These were taken with an iPhone and the real pictures are actually quite good. I'll resize a couple and add them as attachments some time.
You should compare 12Hz Low Damping and 12Hz High Damping. The FV18 paper cone has extra TR and mid bass output compared to FV18 aluminum cone so you have the luxury to run damping on High without sacrificing TR and get cleaner and more articulate sound. Listen to Pulse server room scene with 12Hz High damping and you will hear the difference between Low and High damping.
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post #13 of 39 Old 02-16-2020, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by JD23 View Post
Be thankful you didn't have to move that beast to the second story.
Not a big deal. Just do what @flat4 did to bring his, iirc PSA S7201 up to the 2nd floor.


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post #14 of 39 Old 02-16-2020, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darthray View Post
Hi neighbour,

This is the way I got my front FV18, and my rear one is standing up. Pictures can be seem here, on the last page;
The Chimaera theater

When it come to sub/s, they only care about there physical location within the room. Not if they are facing forward/backward or downward, Therefore having that sub on it's side, will work perfectly.


Darth
Thanks, that makes sense. Also, I really want to visit your place you need to be a closer "neighbour!"
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post #15 of 39 Old 02-17-2020, 04:59 AM
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Not a big deal. Just do what @flat4 did to bring his, iirc PSA S7201 up to the 2nd floor.

Yep 2 S7201's wouldn't make the corner up the stairs. They fit through the upstairs window perfectly!
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post #16 of 39 Old 02-17-2020, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by drh3b View Post
Not a big deal. Just do what @flat4 did to bring his, iirc PSA S7201 up to the 2nd floor.

Tom posted that pic in the PSA thread and I thought it was some sort of a joke. I didn't notice the flattened PSA box on the ground until now. Even if I were able to get it to the second floor, I would be worried about it shaking the entire house to the ground.
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post #17 of 39 Old 02-17-2020, 06:32 AM
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Very nice write up, pics and comparison to the PSA. It's great to see you have landed on a sub you are happy with and fills your room with bliss. Enjoy your new found joy!
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post #18 of 39 Old 02-17-2020, 07:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback and comments. It was fun reliving this in this post.
I added a bit more to the first post (see below).

Quote:
Budget - Well, I quickly found I'd need upward of $1,000 to get what I thought I wanted (i.e., Hsu VTF-15H MK2). From there it wasn't too much farther to a PSA V1512 for $1,300. And from there $1,900+ for the Rythmik FV18 (with paper cone in the black matte cab upgrade) didn't seem SOOO much more than the PSA...right? Sigh...so that's how the budget went.

The HSU VTF-15H MK2 started out in the running. But honestly, I just didn't like the design. Then I moved to PSA after reading more. I like the V1512 design more, it came with a 60 day return policy (compared to HSU 30 day), and the PSA price included the warranty and shipping. The Made/Built in America tag was also a consideration. I describe the jump from PSA to Rythmik below. I didn't really consider other brands for a variety of reasons (price, design, name brand, warranty, forum talk, etc).
I started out not wanting to go above $1,000. But I felt I wasn't going to be happy with subs at or below that price point. I considered the FV18 from the start, but thought $1,800 for a sub was more than I wanted to spend even though I really wanted it. The PSA V1512 seemed to be the sweet spot for me on price to performance as well as other factors I discuss above. Like I said, in the end, getting to $1,800 (FV18) from $1,300 (V1512) didn't seem like such a big leap...
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post #19 of 39 Old 02-17-2020, 09:58 AM
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Nice, how'd you score a matte black FV18PC? I recently got the same but in Black oak as the website specified the paper cone was Black oak only. Was that a special order or something? Either way it still sounds amazing but would have preferred matte.
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post #20 of 39 Old 02-17-2020, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Nice, how'd you score a matte black FV18PC? I recently got the same but in Black oak as the website specified the paper cone was Black oak only. Was that a special order or something? Either way it still sounds amazing but would have preferred matte.
Enrico mentioned in a thread they could make that change, so I contacted them and they upgraded the finish. It did cost more. It looks really nice. The black oak would have matched my Klipsch speakers, but I much prefer the matte black.
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post #21 of 39 Old 02-17-2020, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flat4 View Post
Yep 2 S7201's wouldn't make the corner up the stairs. They fit through the upstairs window perfectly!
LOL

This reminded of my 21 years in the Military, and the next 6 years when back to Civilian life. With the philosophy of just get-it done! After those first 6 years as a Civilian, I started working for the Oil and Gas Industry for the last 10 years. Where Safety always come first, and become just a way of life. My first thought, was At least since you posted, it all went well and hope your are enjoying those dual S7201's


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post #22 of 39 Old 02-17-2020, 06:49 PM
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Potential addition

Hi, might get in trouble for this. I currently have a FV25HP in my room and need to add a second sub to deal with some issues.

A JTR Cap 4000 ULF has come near me, and wonder if this would be difficult to add to my system.

I usually would try to keep it the same, but this seems like a great deal.

Thanks for your feedback.
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post #23 of 39 Old 02-17-2020, 06:56 PM
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Hi, might get in trouble for this. I currently have a FV25HP in my room and need to add a second sub to deal with some issues.

A JTR Cap 4000 ULF has come near me, and wonder if this would be difficult to add to my system.

I usually would try to keep it the same, but this seems like a great deal.

Thanks for your feedback.
I would post your question in the Rythmik thread.
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post #24 of 39 Old 02-17-2020, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by AnthemAVM View Post
Hi, might get in trouble for this. I currently have a FV25HP in my room and need to add a second sub to deal with some issues.

A JTR Cap 4000 ULF has come near me, and wonder if this would be difficult to add to my system.

I usually would try to keep it the same, but this seems like a great deal.

Thanks for your feedback.
I don't see any issues regarding integration. You will have of course two subwoofers with totally different sound signature and different output capabilities. In this case my only recommendation would be to place the FV25HP closer to the main listening position to compensate for the extra output of the Cap 4000. If you don't do that, most likely you will be overdriving the FV25HP or under driving the Cap 4000. In any case, I would ask @chucky7 as I far I can tell, he is the only person that I know that have had both models in the same room for a long period of time. Not so sure if he did run both subwoofers together, though. Also, he is in LA so in case you get the Cap 4000, he can help you integrate both subwoofers as he knows the FV25HP pretty well and also he owns a Cap 4000.

Enrico Castagnetti @ Rythmik Audio - Dialing In Rythmik Audio Subwoofers - REW for macOS
Media Room: Sierra Towers w/RAAL, Horizon w/RAAL, Sierra 2s & Lunas | Rythmik G22 (x2) + FV25HP | Denon X6500H | Panny 820 + ATV 4K | Bluesound Node 2 | Sony 77A9G OLED |
Desktop: Dynaudio BM5 mkIII | Rythmik L22 | Apogee Quartet | 27" iMac| Bedroom: B&W 685 S2 | Rythmik LVX12 | Marantz SR6013 | Sony X700 + ATV 4K | Sony XBR-65Z9D |

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post #25 of 39 Old 02-18-2020, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by AnthemAVM View Post
Hi, might get in trouble for this. I currently have a FV25HP in my room and need to add a second sub to deal with some issues.

A JTR Cap 4000 ULF has come near me, and wonder if this would be difficult to add to my system.

I usually would try to keep it the same, but this seems like a great deal.

Thanks for your feedback.
Quote:
Originally Posted by enricoclaudio View Post
I don't see any issues regarding integration. You will have of course two subwoofers with totally different sound signature and different output capabilities. In this case my only recommendation would be to place the FV25HP closer to the main listening position to compensate for the extra output of the Cap 4000. If you don't do that, most likely you will be overdriving the FV25HP or under driving the Cap 4000. In any case, I would ask @chucky7 as I far I can tell, he is the only person that I know that have had both models in the same room for a long period of time. Not so sure if he did run both subwoofers together, though. Also, he is in LA so in case you get the Cap 4000, he can help you integrate both subwoofers as he knows the FV25HP pretty well and also he owns a Cap 4000.
Thanks for the vote of confidence enricoclaudio!

Yes, since the Cap 4000ULF and the FV25HP's port tune are close enough, using them together shouldn't post any problems. When I still had the FV25HP, I put the Cap 4000ULF at its normal spot and moved the FV25HP around the room to find a location that yields complementary FR for my future 2nd sub. All you need is a good AVR with good ARC and REW/UMIK-1.

These are 2 of the best sounding ported subs I have heard, period.

I would put the sub with more output capabilities (in this case, the Cap 4000ULF) further away from the MLP, so that they both work equally as hard.

Man, $2200 for a unused Cap 4000ULF is a great price. SpeakerPower is in OC so the service cost is minimal if needed. I would have jumped on it if the form factor worked in the back of my room.
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Speakers: L/C/R: JTR Noesis 212HT. Surrounds: Jamo C103, KEF Q100, Polk Audio RTiA3.
Subwoofer: JTR Captivator 4000ULF.
AVR: Denon AVR-X4400H. TV: Samsung UN75NU8000FXZA.

Last edited by chucky7; 02-24-2020 at 09:16 PM.
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post #26 of 39 Old 02-18-2020, 06:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthemAVM View Post
Hi, might get in trouble for this. I currently have a FV25HP in my room and need to add a second sub to deal with some issues.

A JTR Cap 4000 ULF has come near me, and wonder if this would be difficult to add to my system.

I usually would try to keep it the same, but this seems like a great deal.

Thanks for your feedback.
For the price of that 4000ULF I would go for it. I didn't have any trouble integrating a 10hz tuned sub with a trio of 18hz tuned subs. So integrating 2 subs with similar tuning points shouldn't be any issue at all. You also have damping control on the Rythmik so you can try to match the sound signature of the 4000 to some degree. I agree with others on placing the sub with less output capability closer to the MLP and level match them.
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post #27 of 39 Old 02-23-2020, 06:47 AM - Thread Starter
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I did a bit of tweaking last night. I've had the sub at 12Hz Low Damping since I got it 2/13. Last night I made the change Enrico suggested with 12Hz High Damping and re-ran some measurements (attached) with Audyssey Multi EQ off. That 0MV line was thrilling and scary. I wont be doing that again. I'll keep it with 12Hz High Damping for a few weeks and see how that sounds.

I've read conflicting things online about using REW EQ/MiniDSP before or after Audyssey, so I'll try both. I did Audyssey first, turned it off, ran REW and EQed, applied that to MiniDSP, and then turned everything on and it was ugly. So I'll probably re-run Audyssey with this REW EQ and see how that turns out. Last step, Audyssey first, then REW EQ with Audyssey on.

Bottom line though this sub is amazing. I can't wait to watch ANYthing now (even the nightly news). And it looks impressive. I was joking with my wife about wanting a second one, and rather than say no she just said "pace yourself." This is a good woman! The voice of reason, but not slayer of dreams.
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Klipsch RP-8000F L/R | Klipsch RP-504C C | Klipsch RP-500SA atmos | elemental Designs A6-6T6 MTM surrounds | Rythmik FV18 Rev2 Paper Cone Black Matte + Elemental Designs A5-350 Restored! | Denon AVR-S920W | Vizio P75-C1
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post #28 of 39 Old 02-23-2020, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corwiniii
This is a good woman! The voice of reason, but not slayer of dreams.
That is a great line! My wife is that way also.

Ross
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__________________________________________________
DISPLAY: JVC RS540, 160" Stewart WallScreen ST130 G4
SPEAKERS/SUBS: Chane A5.4/A2.4/A1.4, Rythmik FV18 x 2
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post #29 of 39 Old 02-23-2020, 09:33 PM
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Quick question, why does the FV18 Amp has heat sinks and the ICE Amp doesn't? I also noticed the JTR Amps doesn't have heat sinks? Different type of Amp? D vs A/B?
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post #30 of 39 Old 02-23-2020, 11:34 PM
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Quick question, why does the FV18 Amp has heat sinks and the ICE Amp doesn't? I also noticed the JTR Amps doesn't have heat sinks? Different type of Amp? D vs A/B?
The ICE Power Amps, as well as SpeakerPower amps are class-D digital amps that use the face plate to dissipate heat.

The FV18 amp is Hypex class-D analogue amp with a large transformer. Maybe this is the reason for the heat sinks.
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Speakers: L/C/R: JTR Noesis 212HT. Surrounds: Jamo C103, KEF Q100, Polk Audio RTiA3.
Subwoofer: JTR Captivator 4000ULF.
AVR: Denon AVR-X4400H. TV: Samsung UN75NU8000FXZA.
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