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Discussion Starter #1
Serious question...what sub is available for $250 or less in today's market, that will out perform the Klipsch R-12SW?

As you know, I snagged a pair of these at Costco for $169 each. They are currently serving in the rear of my theater. Four subs total, 2 front, 2 rear. What a huge difference these make! LFE that rolls through the entire room, putting the listener/viewer in the center of the action.

The R-12SW's excel at movie soundtracks. They also are no slouch when it comes to pure music.

My front subs are from Madisound, the same company in your link above. Sealed enclosures, 12 inch drivers. Powered by a B&K amp. These perform well. The subs were purchased as complete kits, and I assembled them. Very easy!

But I now have learned the advantages of a powered sub. More flexibility in tuning and tweaking. Before most of the info I saw stated that powered subs are prone to failure of the amplifier due to cabinet vibration.

The R-12SW’s are holding up well, and playing nice with the other subs. Had to boost the sub level by 6 db, and then back off the Klipsch subs a bit to get an overall balance in the room. These are hyper efficient!

While these do perform decently with music, they really shine with sound track LFE.

I have the IMAX movie Space Station, in 4K. The liftoff of the shuttle is impressive, and you can “feel” the power of the rockets as they all fire up. So far, we are very happy with this purchase. Klipsch no longer has them on sale, but the price at Costco is still $169.
 

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For 250 or less I’d look at Dayton sub1500. 229ea.
Or the sub1200 which performs almost as well. 150ea, and I’d bet they’d be better than the klipsch. I did ask in your other thread about how you chose the klipsch. You mentioned performance AND price. I get the price, but for a dedicated theater I would expect better.
Seems you really are happy though, so congratulations!
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
For 250 or less I’d look at Dayton sub1500. 229ea.
Or the sub1200 which performs almost as well. 150ea, and I’d bet they’d be better than the klipsch. I did ask in your other thread about how you chose the klipsch. You mentioned performance AND price. I get the price, but for a dedicated theater I would expect better.
Seems you really are happy though, so congratulations!
Yes, we are very pleased with these. I bought these on a whim, simply because they were priced so low. And knowing if they failed to perform we could return them to Costco.

The online reviews were studied, of verified owners. Most of them paid full list price. 97% of the ratings were 4 or 5 stars.

The driving factors in my decision:
1. The number of positive reviews, at Klipsch, Amazon, and Costco, plus reviews on YouTube.
2. The $169 price tag.
3. My personal experience with the K-100SW.

As I just learned, the secret is interfacing with your main speakers. If your L&R speakers cut off at 40 hz, set the sub to 40 hz and below. Per Steve Guttenburg, you should not actually hear the sub. It should blend seamlessly with your stereo speakers.

I think most people have the x-over set too high, with the volume a bit high also. This will get you that non-audiophile boomy bass. Even with a more expensive sub.

In my secondary listening room, stereo with Klipsch R-820F’s, a K-100SW is employed. A cheap entry level sub. X-over is set at 40 hz, and it is a perfect fit. The sub integrates with the towers perfectly.

Location and correct settings are the secret. The R-12SW’s have added a great bottom to my theater, with 4 subs total. I will say they actually outperform my Madisound Subs, which were much more expensive in kit form.


Have you auditioned the R-12SW’s, or done any blind listening tests? Like stated, nearly 3000 reviews were looked over. And 97% were extremely happy.

My background is music, having played Lead Alto Saxophone in Big Bands (Jazz), and in Rock & Roll bands. My theater was designed with the philosophy “music first”. I would not settle for anything that failed to live up to my expectations.
 

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Yes, we are very pleased with these. I bought these on a whim, simply because they were priced so low. And knowing if they failed to perform we could return them to Costco.

The online reviews were studied, of verified owners. Most of them paid full list price. 97% of the ratings were 4 or 5 stars.

As I just learned, the secret is interfacing with your main speakers. If your L&R speakers cut off at 40 hz, set the sub to 40 hz and below. Per Steve Guttenburg, you should not actually hear the sub. It should blend seamlessly with your stereo speakers.

I think most people have the x-over set too high, with the volume a bit high also. This will get you that non-audiophile boomy bass. Even with a more expensive sub.

In my secondary listening room, stereo with Klipsch R-820F’s, a K-100SW is employed. A cheap entry level sub. X-over is set at 40 hz, and it is a perfect fit. The sub integrates with the towers perfectly.

Location and correct settings are the secret. The R-12SW’s have added a great bottom to my theater, with 4 subs total. I will say they actually outperform my Madisound Subs, which were much more expensive in kit form.


Have you auditioned the R-12SW’s, or done any blind listening tests? Like stated, nearly 3000 reviews were looked over. And 97% were extremely happy.

My background is music, having played Lead Alto Saxophone in Big Bands (Jazz), and in Rock & Roll bands. My theater was designed with the philosophy “music first”. I would not settle for anything that failed to live up to my expectations.
You are absolutely right. Placement and integration are the key. I also agree that way too many subs are run too hot, and use too high a XO. As far as reviews go, I’ve found that the ones that matter to me are done by professionals that can measure them. Not a guy on Amazon who’s never heard a sub with 18hz output.
I also wave a history in music and I definitely can appreciate the music first ideal. But imo you can have one system to rule them all. One reason I asked about your satisfaction was the the r12sw only goes down to 29hz(per klipsch). And while I have not auditioned the r12 specifically, I have heard many other Klipsch and similarly Polk subs and in a music only system they can be setup well enough, and truth be told they’ve come a long way.
In my studio, I use an older JBL that only goes down to 25hz. It works perfect for what I need.
But for movies, they just leave too much in the table. My point of reference(mainly) comes from my own room where I’m very lucky to have extension down to about 14hz. Tanks and cannons and King Kong walk through here with absolute authority. I do use a minidsp/rew to set my house curve and music nice and tight while movies super deep and powerful. My mains go down to 35hz but I’ve used different XO’s from 40-80.
I apologize if I came off rude. My questions are sincere, as the approach you’ve taken is much different than mine.
My eloquence has been suffering lately, sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
You did not come off as rude, not at all!

You make valid points. The reviews that were looked over come from average folks. For some, this might have been a first time purchase. For others it was an upgrade from another brand, or from a smaller sub. With so many responses, I would not discount their input simply because they are not professional audio engineers. Yes, there were a handful of 1 star ratings, saying this sub totally sucked (pardon my French).

I used to scour all of the Hi-Fi and Stereo / Home Theater publications religiously. And numerical measurements are good to know for a products performance. But in the end, we listen with human ears, so perhaps scientific measurements don’t always tell the whole story.

I am not a fan of subs! They have a bad reputation in many circles, perhaps based on the cars that I pass on the road with some "Boom Box" blasting away at a very high db level. But that is another story...

With the R-12SW's augmenting the 2 subs up front, the sound has been nothing short of awesome. The Space Shuttle lift off (IMAX - Space Shuttle, in 4K), is as close as you can get to the real deal.

No, I'm not in denial, as there are certainly subs on the market that will blow this one out of the water. But if I spent $2000+ on a pair of new subs, my wife would blow me out of the water!

My RF-7 III's go down to 35 hz, just like my R-820F's. The 7's have bass response that has to be heard! I replaced my VMPS Towers, which were hand built by Brian Cheney, with the 7's. These Klipsch speakers sound so much better than my previous VMPS Towers, and Cheney is legendary in the industry for his designs.

The main thrust here is to let others know that a decent performing sub is available, at an entry level price ($169), for those who might be on a tight budget.

The R-12SW had an original list price of $350, when introduced as a new model.

I appreciate your input, as well as input from others on their personal experiences with subwoofers in general.

174863
 

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As I just learned, the secret is interfacing with your main speakers. If your L&R speakers cut off at 40 hz, set the sub to 40 hz and below. Per Steve Guttenburg, you should not actually hear the sub. It should blend seamlessly with your stereo speakers.

I think most people have the x-over set too high, with the volume a bit high also. This will get you that non-audiophile boomy bass. Even with a more expensive sub.
That's actually not the case; quality products properly tuned will not sound boomy with a higher crossover. I have an 18" sub crossed at 80Hz and there is no bloat to be found. Also, you never want to set a crossover for the lowest frequency your speakers can play. The edges of its range are where the first distortions will appear as you turn up the volume, so if anything that will create audible issues more so than a higher crossover. If your speakers -3dB point is 40Hz you really don't want them set any lower than 60Hz. That will allow them to play well within their operating range and have some capacity left to sound clean when the volume goes up, or to accommodate wide dynamic swings in the source material.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
That's actually not the case; quality products properly tuned will not sound boomy with a higher crossover. I have an 18" sub crossed at 80Hz and there is no bloat to be found. Also, you never want to set a crossover for the lowest frequency your speakers can play. The edges of its range are where the first distortions will appear as you turn up the volume, so if anything that will create audible issues more so than a higher crossover. If your speakers -3dB point is 40Hz you really don't want them set any lower than 60Hz. That will allow them to play well within their operating range and have some capacity left to sound clean when the volume goes up, or to accommodate wide dynamic swings in the source material.
My 2.1 setup, with the Klipsch R-820F’s (35Hz - 21KHz +/- 3db) towers are operating full range, the sub (K-100SW) is set to 40Hz.

The gain on the sub is at 10 o’clock. This provides a smooth and listenable sound, especially for music.
But program material varies greatly...broadcast TV, CD’s, Blu-ray DVD’s, FM, etc.

So in my case, some tweaking is required from time to time to get the overall balance correct.

This sub was only $139, so my expectations were not all that high. But it has performed nicely, and integrates with the towers in a musical manner. Note the 820’s are no slouch in the bass department.

My goal is not to actually “hear” the sub.

Thanks for your input!
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
After reading theJman's post, I decided to try something...

Changed the sub x-over to 80Hz, and set my Klipsch towers to "small" size in the pre-amp (NAD T-163) menu. The power amp is a Peterson/Klaus MOSFET 120.

Popped in a CD (Marvin Stamm / Ed Soph Project) of a very well recorded jazz quartet. In particular, the bass is very prominent and cleanly recorded. It's an upright acoustic bass, so the sound is more percussive than an electric bass.

After making the above tweaks, I immediately noticed an overall improvement in sound clarity and smoothness. The K-100SW sub performed even better, picking up more of the lower octaves. There was no boominess, or muddy sound that was noted.

It was a pleasant surprise that there was no apparent loss of bass from the towers, even though it was noted right after selecting the small size setting. The whole 2.1 system worked in concert very nicely.

Of course, this is a very subjective observation. But it's what my ears heard. If the sound was sucky, I would be the first one to say so!

Again, the source material plays a huge role here. Clean and well recorded deep bass is a thing of sonic beauty.
 

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IMHO, the subjective part trumps the objective part. It doesn't really matter what the numbers say, it's your ears that have to be happy. What looks good on paper might not be what you want it to sound like. I'm glad it worked out for you.
 

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IMHO, the subjective part trumps the objective part. It doesn't really matter what the numbers say, it's your ears that have to be happy. What looks good on paper might not be what you want it to sound like. I'm glad it worked out for you.
HERESY!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jk. Hi Jim.
 

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Somebody drink too much coffee today? 😋
 
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