Okay I've had my FTW 21's in their boxes and playing for the last few days. So I'm ready to give my initial thoughts on these subs.
In my previous setup I had six CV CLS 215 speakers along with two CHT 18.2 subs and two CHT 18.1 subs. The CLS speakers had very smooth, deep bass however their mids/highs sounded muffled on certain musical tracks and action scenes in movies. The CHT subs had fantastic midbass that was very tight and articulate during music. Comparable to my old Bagend Infrasub. But they never seemed to truly dig deep during movies. Also their bass was good but never encompassing during movies in my opinion.
To address these issues I recently changed my entire setup. I sold all of the aformentioned speakers and subs. This time I wanted to try a pro speaker setup so I purchased four CV CVP 2153 speakers and one CV 1152 speakers as a center speaker along with two Mach 5 FTW 21 subs.
CV 2153 speakers once eq'ed have very strong, chrystal clear highs along with immense midbass. Separation is average. Their main weakness due to their efficient design is lack of low bass below 40hz.
Enter the FTW 21's. I purchased a pair of custom boxes from www.caraudiofactory.com
for $175 each. Shipping was $50 for each box. Boxes were finished in truck liner and weigh over 100lbs each. The owner stated he would love to do more of these types of custom home audio orders for anyone interested. I told him I would spread the word online to others since his prices are very fair.
Boxes are very heavy duty and of great quality. As for the FTW 21 drivers, I must admit they are the best built drivers I've ever seen in person. These things are massive and overbuilt. I wired my subs at 4 ohms. These subs are very easy to drive. I'm using my trusty Samson SX 3200 amp which is spec'd at 1100 watts at 4 ohms and it easily drives one sub per channel to reference with no problem. These subs definitely must have eq for music. Without eq they sounded a bit bloated and shallow.
However once I ran a calibration using Audyssey eq.......all I could say was WOW .These subs are definitely the real deal. To get satisfactory bass with the CHT subs I had to run them 6 dbs hot. I have to trim the sub sensitivity to minus five to get these subs to bearable bass levels. Otherwise they overpower everything including my apartment. Their bass with various musical tracks is smooth and POWERFUL.
They can hit like thunder when called upon. Otherwise, they will blend in with the mains seamlessly. The soundstage seems so much wider with these monsters of the midway playing now.
The CVP 2153 speakers give a dynamic experience with HT like most pro speakers. Gunshots, rolling tank tracks, horse footsteps, and explosions are now clearly discernable along with clear, concise dialogue. No more having to turn down the bass during action scenes to hear dialogue.
The FTW 21's performance during Battlefield Los Angeles was nothing short of jaw dropping. The bass was ultra deep, all encompassing, and gut wrenching. These were the first pair of subs that have ever made me feel physically sick from sound pressure waves after watching a movie. These subs are by far the best subs I've ever heard for home theater. Period.
So in conclusion, these FTW 21's are very musical subs which can seamlessly blend in with any two channel setup if called upon. The CHT subs tended to get boomy when pushed near reference. These subs just breeze through smoothly without breakng a sweat with music. However for home theater I feel they are unmatched for their price point. These are definitely home theater first subs which will would be a superb cornerstone for any home theater setup.
As for me, I've accomplished my goals. I've attained increased clarity in the highs dept, along with deeper, more encompassing bass for movies. These FTW 21 subs are definitely here to stay in my setup. I can't imagine anyone needing more than two of these monsters in most rooms. Two of these subs easily outgun my previous two CHT dual 18" when it comes to output. However I fully understand that four of these would give you almost limitless headroom in many larger rooms.