Rythmik vs JTR for music-focused multi-use system? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-18-2020, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Rythmik vs JTR for music-focused multi-use system?

Most of the discussion here focuses on subwoofer movie performance, and with good reason. My installation, though, will be 50/50 movies/music, if not even more heavily tilted towards music.

After quite a bit of reading and research and some helpful input from this forum last year during the early planning stages of my project where the G25HP was strongly recommended to me, I've narrowed my candidates to a pair of either the Rythmik F18-SE (or possibly E15HP2-SE?), or the JTR RS1. I have no doubt that duals of either choice will have plenty of firepower in terms of raw output for my needs. I'm wondering, though, which will do better on music? It's time to actually make a decision and buy, so it's for real this time.

A bit of background:
  • Room is 23x30x8, mixed use media/game/rec room in the basement. Screen on the 23ft wall, offset to one side due to a 6ft wide open entry on the left. Seating position about 12 ft from the screen. Wet bar full width in the back 10ft of the room. The floor and 2 walls are concrete (with vinyl plank on the floor). Decor uses lots of absorbing materials on the walls and ceiling. Not anechoic by any means, but reasonably damped. Dedicated acoustic treatments are extremely unlikely, so the room correction software will be working overtime.
  • Main speakers are Focal Kanta No3, with matching Kanta center, all in blue and piano black. Surrounds and heights are Focal 300-series 8" custom install units. Electronics TBD, but likely to be the JBL SDP-55 or one of the other new 16-channel Pre/pros with Dirac Live and Bass Management under $10k (whichever one gets their act together enough for me to be willing to spend money). Amps will be Class D units, likely based on the Hypex NC1200 or the IcePower 1200AS modules.
  • Appearance and packaging of the subs are critical. Must be a piano black finish, and must be a "cube" no more than 20" per side. That requires sealed boxes and eliminates several other manufacturers due to lack of gloss finishes. The F18 and RS1 are absolutely the biggest cabinets I can allow - the G25HP, for example, is too tall and deep. An E15HP2-sized cabinet is even better, if it's believed they'll provide adequate output.
  • Listening volume levels are low for this crowd, I suspect. For music it's very rare that we break 85dB sustained, and more typically in the mid-70s. I honestly haven't gotten out a SPL meter for movies, but I suspect it's similar.
  • Based on this forum's suggestion, Funk was strongly considered for size, appearance, and overall performance, but ultimately is more than I want to spend for this project - maybe another day for the big upstairs 2-channel system. Salk was also considered, but since I'm doing piano black, I can get that direct from Rythmik (or JTR).

So I need something that blends with fast and articulate main channels that have respectable bottom-end output in their own right, but adds a little of the TR and last-octave punch that comes from driver size. I know I'm not going to have a 10hz room because of the concrete floor and walls, and will give up major TR for the same reason, and that's ok. But we listed to various forms of EDM and pipe organ (among other things) that dig deep, and want to do it right. But in addition to raw power and output, these subs still have to be delicate enough not to overwhelm classical and jazz and other more delicate media.

Thoughts between the couple of subs I nominated? I'm hoping to avoid re-opening the field of candidates, but if I'm missing something obvious that's a clear winner for a music-focused system, I'm interested. Rythmik has the reputation for being tight and controlled thanks to the servo feedback, but I've heard very good things about the S1 / RS1 as well. Unfortunately I have no chance of hearing them in person short of buying both and returning the loser (which I really don't want to do).
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post #2 of 16 Old 05-18-2020, 03:16 PM
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at those listening levels you dont need much for a sub. my 20 yr old velodyne hgs 12 could hit 110db in very large space. maybe a couple sealed 12's


edit...shoot, my focals can almost hit 110db without sub. Im guessing you want ulf bass nice and loud/strong. get the biggest sub can fit that goes low loud.

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post #3 of 16 Old 05-18-2020, 03:40 PM
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A pair of E15's will very easily provide far more SPL than your 85 dB listening level. Each sub produces 100 dB or so at 20 Hz in a field, so 106 for a pair. Your large room won't provide much if any gain down low though if it matters. I would probably lean towards the F18's due to the size of your room. No one has ever complained that their subs were just too darn capable.

Why such a strict size requirement for such an enormous space? Of the 5500 ft^3 of space available, you only have 6 to allocate to subs? Not that it will matter for such low listening levels though.

However, be careful not to underestimate your SPL requirements. If you watch movies at 75 dB, the LFE channel can call for 105 dB peaks from the subs, 110-115 dB if you have them calibrated hotter than flat, which is pretty much guaranteed. A pair of small sealed subs will definitely hit their limits even at these levels, which is why bigger is often better. So F18's IMO.

Last edited by bear123; 05-18-2020 at 03:48 PM.
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post #4 of 16 Old 05-18-2020, 06:24 PM
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I would lean to Rythmik as well. Not that I've heard the JTR RS1 and don't think it's capable, but just due to cost compared to the only other sub you're considering, F18. Based on what you say are your listening habits, I'm not sure the price to performance difference is worth it. You could get three F18s for the price of two RS1s.

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post #5 of 16 Old 05-18-2020, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by corwiniii View Post
You could get three F18s for the price of two RS1s.
Good Point... I wonder why.
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post #6 of 16 Old 05-18-2020, 07:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Good question about why so little space in such a seemingly large room. It comes down to the "multi purpose" part. It's best to consider it a living room that happens to have a media system, and on top of that has a very specific design theme. The subs have to live on the front wall, along with the mains and center. This may not be ideal for acoustics, but that's the location that's allocated. Add a big L-shaped sectional on one side, a very large linear fireplace on the other, and a 14 ft raised bar counter at the back, and there simply isn't any remaining wall space for subs, or places to hide them. Add to that a need for them to (relatively speaking) disappear in the room visually, and small is the name of the game.

The media system is "my part" of what is otherwise a mid-century south-pacific themed room, and even I agree that big subwoofers don't exactly seem compatible with a "breezy island feel", even if exquisitely finished. So the idea is to make things as discrete as possible, while still having enough headroom to occasionally crank up a sci-fi blockbuster.

I agree about our listening levels being low compared to most, but I also agree with the point about needing peak transient headroom, particularly with minimal room reinforcement and bass-sucking concrete. I very much suspect i'll have to run things hot to get the effect i'm looking for. And simply because we listen at more "conversational" levels, the lowest bass often goes missing from the mains because they're not being pushed hard enough to come alive. A sub that can plumb the depths from right off idle is what we need to reinforce things from 35hz on down.

I have no objection to the F18 solution, and agree that the price point is lower than JTR. But relatively speaking, the price of either isn't that bad. If I were looking at "audio first" subs from JL or REL, I wouldn't even hit the basic price of admission for the cost of an overkill JTR. So it's all how you look at it, I guess. We're spending enough on the rest of the media system and room in general that the $2000 difference between a pair of RS1s and a pair of F18s isn't going to make me loose too much sleep. Another $3k beyond that for a pair of Funks is where I really can't justify it for our listening habits. Maybe for the bigger 2-channel system upstairs, but it's on a wood truss floor and does pretty well without subs down to 23-25hz, and won't be the movie location once the basement room is finished.

I'm still hoping that one of you has heard both brands and can offer comments on the difference in "house sound" when it comes to music.
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post #7 of 16 Old 05-18-2020, 07:30 PM
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post #8 of 16 Old 05-18-2020, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post
Don't sleep on the PSA S1812's.
I was gonna recommend that, but I think OP would have better finish options with the S3012 but unfortunately I don't think piano black is an option. I know with JTR the PB finish is an extra $500. Maybe OP can email PSA for a quote.

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post #9 of 16 Old 05-18-2020, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, I looked at the PSA offerings, but found nothing to suggest they would do a gloss piano black finish on any of their models. If they do, the 1812 would be a possibility.
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post #10 of 16 Old 05-18-2020, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2FlyingYorkies View Post
Good question about why so little space in such a seemingly large room. It comes down to the "multi purpose" part. It's best to consider it a living room that happens to have a media system, and on top of that has a very specific design theme. The subs have to live on the front wall, along with the mains and center. This may not be ideal for acoustics, but that's the location that's allocated. Add a big L-shaped sectional on one side, a very large linear fireplace on the other, and a 14 ft raised bar counter at the back, and there simply isn't any remaining wall space for subs, or places to hide them. Add to that a need for them to (relatively speaking) disappear in the room visually, and small is the name of the game.

The media system is "my part" of what is otherwise a mid-century south-pacific themed room, and even I agree that big subwoofers don't exactly seem compatible with a "breezy island feel", even if exquisitely finished. So the idea is to make things as discrete as possible, while still having enough headroom to occasionally crank up a sci-fi blockbuster.

I agree about our listening levels being low compared to most, but I also agree with the point about needing peak transient headroom, particularly with minimal room reinforcement and bass-sucking concrete. I very much suspect i'll have to run things hot to get the effect i'm looking for. And simply because we listen at more "conversational" levels, the lowest bass often goes missing from the mains because they're not being pushed hard enough to come alive. A sub that can plumb the depths from right off idle is what we need to reinforce things from 35hz on down.

I have no objection to the F18 solution, and agree that the price point is lower than JTR. But relatively speaking, the price of either isn't that bad. If I were looking at "audio first" subs from JL or REL, I wouldn't even hit the basic price of admission for the cost of an overkill JTR. So it's all how you look at it, I guess. We're spending enough on the rest of the media system and room in general that the $2000 difference between a pair of RS1s and a pair of F18s isn't going to make me loose too much sleep. Another $3k beyond that for a pair of Funks is where I really can't justify it for our listening habits. Maybe for the bigger 2-channel system upstairs, but it's on a wood truss floor and does pretty well without subs down to 23-25hz, and won't be the movie location once the basement room is finished.

I'm still hoping that one of you has heard both brands and can offer comments on the difference in "house sound" when it comes to music.
@muscles has owned Rythmik G25HPs, FV25HPs, F18s and JTR RS1s. He would be the right person to ask as he is music first.
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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 #11 of 16 Old 05-18-2020, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by 2FlyingYorkies View Post
Yeah, I looked at the PSA offerings, but found nothing to suggest they would do a gloss piano black finish on any of their models. If they do, the 1812 would be a possibility.
Have you emailed PSA customer service?
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post #12 of 16 Old 05-19-2020, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rhelliott2 View Post
Have you emailed PSA customer service?
Not directly, no. But Tom did mention in my thread last year that veneers were only available on a couple of models, and gloss finishes weren't mentioned at all. I'm taking that to mean that you can pick from the 6 choices shown, but not custom beyond that.

Is there a compelling reason to pursue a custom PSA S1512 over a stock E15HP2 if I downsize to 15"?
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post #13 of 16 Old 05-19-2020, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by 2FlyingYorkies View Post
Not directly, no. But Tom did mention in my thread last year that veneers were only available on a couple of models, and gloss finishes weren't mentioned at all. I'm taking that to mean that you can pick from the 6 choices shown, but not custom beyond that.

Is there a compelling reason to pursue a custom PSA S1512 over a stock E15HP2 if I downsize to 15"?
Here is what I believe to be the differences between those two models. The PSA will have more output above 40 Hz with more mid bass kick/slam if you listen loud enough for it to matter. The Rythmik will have more output below 40 Hz. One is available in piano black and the other is not. IMO, both will sound very good.

Order one of each unless piano black is a deal breaker.
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post #14 of 16 Old 05-19-2020, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2FlyingYorkies View Post
Not directly, no. But Tom did mention in my thread last year that veneers were only available on a couple of models, and gloss finishes weren't mentioned at all. I'm taking that to mean that you can pick from the 6 choices shown, but not custom beyond that.

Is there a compelling reason to pursue a custom PSA S1512 over a stock E15HP2 if I downsize to 15"?
I wouldn't know. IMO order both and keep what sounds best to you... You can look at specs all day but nothing beats listening/feeling IN YOUR ROOM. Unless PSA cant do PB and that is a deal breaker... then forget about PSA, the E15HP2 is a great sub.
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post #15 of 16 Old 05-19-2020, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2FlyingYorkies View Post
Most of the discussion here focuses on subwoofer movie performance, and with good reason. My installation, though, will be 50/50 movies/music, if not even more heavily tilted towards music.

After quite a bit of reading and research and some helpful input from this forum last year during the early planning stages of my project where the G25HP was strongly recommended to me, I've narrowed my candidates to a pair of either the Rythmik F18-SE (or possibly E15HP2-SE?), or the JTR RS1. I have no doubt that duals of either choice will have plenty of firepower in terms of raw output for my needs. I'm wondering, though, which will do better on music? It's time to actually make a decision and buy, so it's for real this time.

A bit of background:
  • Room is 23x30x8, mixed use media/game/rec room in the basement. Screen on the 23ft wall, offset to one side due to a 6ft wide open entry on the left. Seating position about 12 ft from the screen. Wet bar full width in the back 10ft of the room. The floor and 2 walls are concrete (with vinyl plank on the floor). Decor uses lots of absorbing materials on the walls and ceiling. Not anechoic by any means, but reasonably damped. Dedicated acoustic treatments are extremely unlikely, so the room correction software will be working overtime.
  • Main speakers are Focal Kanta No3, with matching Kanta center, all in blue and piano black. Surrounds and heights are Focal 300-series 8" custom install units. Electronics TBD, but likely to be the JBL SDP-55 or one of the other new 16-channel Pre/pros with Dirac Live and Bass Management under $10k (whichever one gets their act together enough for me to be willing to spend money). Amps will be Class D units, likely based on the Hypex NC1200 or the IcePower 1200AS modules.
  • Appearance and packaging of the subs are critical. Must be a piano black finish, and must be a "cube" no more than 20" per side. That requires sealed boxes and eliminates several other manufacturers due to lack of gloss finishes. The F18 and RS1 are absolutely the biggest cabinets I can allow - the G25HP, for example, is too tall and deep. An E15HP2-sized cabinet is even better, if it's believed they'll provide adequate output.
  • Listening volume levels are low for this crowd, I suspect. For music it's very rare that we break 85dB sustained, and more typically in the mid-70s. I honestly haven't gotten out a SPL meter for movies, but I suspect it's similar.
  • Based on this forum's suggestion, Funk was strongly considered for size, appearance, and overall performance, but ultimately is more than I want to spend for this project - maybe another day for the big upstairs 2-channel system. Salk was also considered, but since I'm doing piano black, I can get that direct from Rythmik (or JTR).

So I need something that blends with fast and articulate main channels that have respectable bottom-end output in their own right, but adds a little of the TR and last-octave punch that comes from driver size. I know I'm not going to have a 10hz room because of the concrete floor and walls, and will give up major TR for the same reason, and that's ok. But we listed to various forms of EDM and pipe organ (among other things) that dig deep, and want to do it right. But in addition to raw power and output, these subs still have to be delicate enough not to overwhelm classical and jazz and other more delicate media.

Thoughts between the couple of subs I nominated? I'm hoping to avoid re-opening the field of candidates, but if I'm missing something obvious that's a clear winner for a music-focused system, I'm interested. Rythmik has the reputation for being tight and controlled thanks to the servo feedback, but I've heard very good things about the S1 / RS1 as well. Unfortunately I have no chance of hearing them in person short of buying both and returning the loser (which I really don't want to do).
I have personally owned all the sealed subs you have mentioned. Bottom line they are all more than capable at doing what you want. The most overkill would be RS1's, cost/performance ratio. With your listening habits I think you should go with dual F18SE's, they have enough output for your room at the levels you require. The RS1's have a lot more output, but I would say lose to the F18SE's in music sound quality. Movies are more intense with the RS1's, they hit so hard for a small sub that it can startle you. Keep in mind I am just a normal guy, I am not a professional calibrator. I do however try speakers and subs in every conceivable configuration to get the best sound. The F18SE for the money is impossible to beat, it smashes the SB16 that is so widely praised(had 2 of those as well). Good luck with your sub hunt!

Greg
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post #16 of 16 Old 05-20-2020, 03:30 AM
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If you can fit the JTR RS1 (21" x 21" x 18" (d)), the DSS Mariana 18S (21" x 21" x 18.5" (d)) might be an option.

I didn't see any mention of it on the product page, but according to their Official thread here on AVS they seem to offer custom finishes.
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