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Dayton Audio SUB-1200​
By Jim Wilson (theJman)



The Dayton Audio SUB-1200 is a 'bottom line' subwoofer -- meaning the people who are most likely to purchase one are interested in the price, first and foremost -- so I'll skip directly to my bottom line (as in what I think about it); buy one. Better yet, buy two. At this price you can almost certainly afford a pair. How is it even possible for a company to sell something with an amp, driver and enclosure for less than $130 and still make a profit? Usually it's a piece of junk, that's how. Dayton Audio has managed to hit that price point alright, but without the last bit; the SUB-1200 is not a piece of junk. Quite the contrary actually. Forced to describe the SUB-1200 using a single word it would absolutely have to be "value". It's often said DIY (Do It Yourself) is the least expensive way to get a good subwoofer. In a lot of instances I would concur, but not in this case. I don't believe anyone could build something capable of doing what the SUB-1200 can for the same price. If you're on a tight budget, and can do without the very lowest octave of bass, this is the subwoofer to own.

For the full review Click Here
 

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Great write up Jim!!

I own two of these boogers due to the fact of their price point which I bought them about 8-months ago, however they been sitting in there boxes for about 7 months now!! These Daytons can't beat dauls for $200 shipped!! Does parts express even make money?

I always thought for the longest that the Velodyne XV11 was my favorite cheapy / bang for the $ subwoofer, but once i got my hands on these Daytons they just are a great deal for the money!!

They will not hit them low-notes, but they are very nice for a simple home audio enthusiast thats on a budget and want "bang for the buck" under the $200 price point or just starting out for sure.

Bass-on my friend!


12/18/13 - At PE they have it on sale for $109! Linky: http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-sub-1200-12-120-watt-powered-subwoofer--300-629
 

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Excellent write up Jim,

I just hooked up 2 of these subs in my living. Was looking for a budget sub for mostly music and TV, and I am pleasantly surprised by their performance. I've listen to them for only a few hours, but they sure put out very good values for the price.
 

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Great review, as always, Jim.

Wow, you hammered that sub... WOTW and Cloverfield??

I love the challenge you (sort of) issued: build a sub that sounds better for less. It would be fun to have a contest with builds sent to you for review! ;)

I'm curious, are these Dayton subs similar to the cheaper Polk subs in terms of sales? It seems that the Polk PSW10 is on sale every other week for lower and lower prices... do you think this Dayton will drop down to (or below) the $100 price point? It sounds like it is almost unbeatable at $130...
 

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Yea, the music aspect caught me of guard as well. So long as the rhythm section isn't too quick the SUB-1200 will definitely hold it's own.
 

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I'm curious, are these Dayton subs similar to the cheaper Polk subs in terms of sales? It seems that the Polk PSW10 is on sale every other week for lower and lower prices... do you think this Dayton will drop down to (or below) the $100 price point? It sounds like it is almost unbeatable at $130...
They've been at $109 for several weeks now, but more than likely that's a holiday special. Frankly, I'm not sure PE needs to do that because they're easily worth the $129 regular price.
 

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Another nice review Jim especially when there is a lot of ppl that don't want to spend more than $200 in a sub .

BTW Symphony X i consider that they are more on the melodic metal side than trash since there sound is the same as bands like Sonata Arctica , Stratovarius , Helloween or Nightwish but a bit far from Trash like Exodus , Kreator , Slayer , Testament etc .

For Michael Schenker stuff and some audition i advise his live One night at Budokan , especially the Cozy Powell drum solo :T
 

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BTW Symphony X i consider that they are more on the melodic metal side than trash since there sound is the same as bands like Sonata Arctica , Stratovarius , Helloween or Nightwish but a bit far from Trash like Exodus , Kreator , Slayer , Testament etc .
Did you mean thrash? :rofl2:


For Michael Schenker stuff and some audition i advise his live One night at Budokan , especially the Cozy Powell drum solo :T
I used to love his work in Rainbow. Cozy died way too young...
 

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Did you mean thrash? :rofl2:




I used to love his work in Rainbow. Cozy died way too young...
:rofl: yes i did .

He was and is one of the greatest drummers of all time . I only saw him once live with Whitesnake back in the 80's good memories .
 

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I own 2 of these as well and have them stacked, and i love them for what they cost. i mainly use them just for movies, most of the time i listen to music with just the mains.

I've had a $1500 sub from Paradigm, tho these arent as good overall i have no complaints.

I have a wall that when the sub its that walls resonance frequency it louder than the sub, very irritating...been meaning do something to fix that... i live in a double wide so the drywall is like 1/4 in thick, and the place itself probably is not that good for sound period...
 

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Jim,

Thanks again for a great review! One of my first subs was a kit from Dayton Audio (Parts Express). It was more expensive then this one and couldn't hit as low (only had a 10" Titanic driver). That was a long time ago and one of my brothers is actually using it in one of his rooms now, still working great! I think it's amazing they can come out with a very decent sub for cheaper than you can actually build one. Kudos to them!!!
 

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One more thing the plastic feet on these leaves a lot to be desired...

what I did is order some rubber ones from parts express. now on my hard floor they are coupled better and dont slide around and the rubber feet are only a couple bucks.

PS-- my 2 also have a ding on the corner just like the review sample... if i read it right... just read it again and says on the foot so not the same but i found it odd that my 2 had the same ding on the right top corner. :rubeyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
OPS-- my 2 also have a ding on the corner just like the review sample... if i read it right... just read it again and says on the foot so not the same but i found it odd that my 2 had the same ding on the right top corner. :rubeyes:
The mark on the review unit is actually a slight indentation in the cabinet itself, not the foot. It's on the side, at the intersection of the bottom and side panels. It's near the front foot.
 

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Thanks for the review. I love PE for my enabling DIY fetish, but hadnt seriously considered these subs due to the Price point (and the price concerns you mentioned), so I was pleasantly surprised! Im always looking to get my adult kids & step kids into better quality audio(the MP3 Generation), and this sub will give me one more option to get them the gift of good sound w/o breaking the bank!
 

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I've been out of the HT phase of my life for a couple of years and I'm looking to go with a budget powered sub to get back into it. I was considering the PL-200 or the F-12 from Bic until I stumbled upon this jewel (sub-1200) and his review. My intentions were going to be to go with a single powered sub, but at this price point, I'm considering going with (2) of these, a PL-200, or an F12. My living room is just under 3000 cuft and the listening position is against a wall 8ft from the TV. I have open doorways on each side of my listening position being 4ft and 3 ft wide. There is about 2ft of space between each end of the couch and the open doorways. I want this for good acceptable hometheater sound but I REALLY love my music. What would the members here suggest?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
In the context of a subwoofer the words 'budget' and 'musical' are generally considered antonyms, so while I do believe the SUB-1200 did better than its prices suggests it's still not musical in the purest sense. Having said that... it might surprise you with what it can do.

The BIC subwoofers are often considered to be good values, but mostly from people using them for HT applications. I'm not certain too many of those folks would call them musical though, so the Dayton may be the better alternative given your circumstances.

I would suggest you'll need a pair of subs to adequately fill 3000 ft^3, so whatever you ultimately decide to buy you should strongly consider getting two of them.
 

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Thanks for the reply. I'm almost certain I'm going to go with (2) Dayton Sub-1200's. It has got to be better than my Samsung flat screen's speakers while my Onkyo receiver gets worked on. Once I get the receiver back, I should have both the Daytons set up and ready to go. I've listened to a couple of soundbar/ sub combos recently in much bigger rooms, and if the Dayton's sound as good or better I will be ecstatic. I've been without my 5.1 for six months now and have been relying on my flat screen speakers for my listening pleasure, lol. I think I will be happy with this. Btw, once my receiver gets back from repair, I will have my Bic DV DV84 fronts, and DV-62CLRS center channel operating. While what I have is nothing extravagant, I'm excited to get back in this.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
If you do ultimately get the SUB-1200's be sure to come back and post your impressions. It's always valuable to others when actual owners provide their insight.
 
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