Originally Posted by Boxozaxu
Great posts! Question: did you demo movie or music or a combination?
All of the above. We watched multiple clips off the scubasteve demo disc, multiple clips off my HTPC, and a few scenes off some blurays. We listened to music off Spotify. This was to compare with similar clips, but then we watched a different full length movie on each setup. His response at the end of the night was - eh, not that much difference between the two and he actually said he remembered the ported being more tactile from the front of the room. Though he said he did like the nearfield 18"s firing into the back of the chair.
I personally prefer the eight sealed overall slightly because:
More placement options
Nearfield subs are nice (6 font, 2 rear)
My caps are tuned to 20hz and the sealed give me flat response in my room lower, it's a worthy difference between 15hz and 20hz. I can use the Captivator subs in a 15hz tune (1 port plugged) but they lose some output, and are underported in 15hz tune if you run them hard (like nearly any ported sub with port plug options). I typically ran them in 20hz tune.
I've typically/historically preferred sealed subs slightly for music, but by a larger margin preferred ported subs for movies. I've found you can narrow and overcome my preference gap for ported in cinema use with multiple sealed. I've never tried more than a couple ported - so I don't know how they scale (but it seems less necessary, because I honestly never needed more output than my two ported captivators could provide). I've been in multiple rooms with eight 18"s or even to popalocks that has sixteen 18"s. I tried four sealed 18" SI, and I tried four sealed 18" UM18-22. Both were beaten pretty strongly, in my opinion, by the pair of ported captivators. Eight sealed wins the battle though, and nearfield subs really rock.
Would I like four ported Captivators better? Perhaps, but I can attest I didn't lack for output with just the two Captivators, and with four sealed 18" I want more than they can give in the several rooms I've heard them in.
I have less than $3k in my passive ported Captivators, not including amps.
I have $4,500 in my eight sealed, not including amps.
I asked my buddy if he thought the eight sealed were $1,500 better than the ported Captivators after our demo session. He said no. I asked him if he thought they were better if they were the same price. He said he was indifferent.
I think they are slighty better and enough to warrant that uptick in $ outlay -- so I'll keep them for a time, and play with them more. I like trying and listening to different gear in this hobby.