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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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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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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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.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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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.
 

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Yes, they can be placed on their sides.
+1

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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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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.

@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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This spot for sale or rent.
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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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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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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.:cool::D

 

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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 :D you need to be a closer "neighbour!"
 
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Not a big deal. Just do what @flat4 did to bring his, iirc PSA S7201 up to the 2nd floor.:cool::D

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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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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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
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).

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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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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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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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