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I decided to consider replacing my 10 year old NHT SW2 subwoofer & MA-1 amp/crossover a couple of weeks ago. I did a crash course in what was available and narrowed the list to an Epik Sentinel and a Rythmik F12. In the end, enclosure size became a deciding variable simply because I use the 2500 c.f. room for HT, music listening, music practice and, less and less often as a home office. As such, my placement options are limited and footprint is a significant issue.

I called both Epik and Rythmik and got a return call from Rythmik almost immediately. Since it took nearly a week to get a return call from Epik, I had already had several conversations with Brian Ding at Rythmik and was increasingly of the opinion that he both fully understood my needs and could build a sub to meet that need. In addition, the enclosure size and price fit my specifications so I ordered from Brian.

During the sourse of our conversations, I had mentioned to Brian that I had appreciated the performance of the NHT for many years and that I was considering simply augmenting the sub performance in the room by adding (in this case, an F12). I wondered how the two subs would complement each other. Brian responded with the observation that he liked the NHT and that things had changed in the subwoofer world since the SW2/MA-1 came out. In short, he observed that the NHT would not add to the performance of the F12.

The F12 arrived today and I spent a few hours positioning and setting it up with the other speakers in the system. I should add that the fronts and surrounds are new also. I just installed three Energy RC-LCR speakers in order to create a seamless tone and color across the front end. In addition, I just installed 2 sets of Emotiva ERD-1 speakers for side and rear surrounds. I was previously using 25 year old Energy Pro 22 Reference Connoisseurs in front L/R and Energy Pro 22 Reference surrounds along with a long line of various center channel speakers, none of which came close to matching the RefConns (or, as it turned out, did a particularly good job at articulating dialogue). I had planned on ordering a single RC-LCR to try to match the RefConns, but finally decided that getting three was the only way to be certain of consistent sound. The Pro 22 RefConns are now reserved for stereo.

Prior to setting up the F12, I realized a significant improvement in center channel performance from the center Energy RC-LCR. My test for center channel performance for Home Theater is to play any scene from "Snatch" that has Brad Pitt speaking. The more of Pitt's dialect that I can understand, the better the center channel speaker. The energy tops all the center channels I have tried.

But the real eye opener came when I hooked up the Rythmik F12. Brian Ding couldn't have been more accurate as to the question of F12/NHT interaction. No matter how I set either sub, I always came back to the best setting and that was with the NHT turned off.

Where the NHT was always "musical" in my ears, the F12 brings new meaning to the term musical. In addition, every BD or DVD I tried that has impressive low end has become an all new listening experience. Where I previously heard low effects that approximated a helicopter landing or armored bears fighting, I now hear sounds that actually sound like those events as opposed to simply sounding low and loud. SACD music from classical to "you name it" is dramatically improved over using the NHT whether the crossover is set at 50 Hz or 100 Hz.

I will spend time over the next weeks tweaking and adjusting as I go along, but if I never get any improvement over what I am experiencing now, I think I will still be satisfied.
 

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Brian is a guy who really is a good audio person first and a salesman second. His products are always ranked at the top when sound quality is the category and his clients can back that statement. I have a friend that was going to get a sub to upgrade his htib and I pointed him that way for a kit. He talked with Brian for a good couple hours and got some really good info. He didn't end up buying because of money troubles at the last minute, but he has said just because of.his conversation he will go back to him when he is able to purchase. Unless more output is required you should stick with what you have. He really makes good subs.
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I certainly agree. It was clearly apparent from my conversations with Brian that he was primarily interested in accessing my needs and answering my questions. Ironically, most of what we discussed was not specific to his products. He only referenced them in direct response to specific questions I asked about them.

I'm going to retire the NHT but I am still interested in a combination of a bit more output (It's a want, not a need) and the ability to balance sub output with two locations. Anyway, that's the logic I'm applying to justify getting the same parts that are in the F12 from Brian and building an enclosure to match the F12 that I bought from him.
 

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I would love the kind of quality those put out, but I am a newly converted headroom man. The sub system as a whole that I want will do 130 db in room with no problem. That way when reference level comes up the drivers barely move.
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Check out the subwoofer testing by illka here at the shack. He tested one outdoors. I don't think its a bad performer at all with the spl, just that its not the final word in db. For a smaller room a single 12 would probably be more than enough for the average consumer. I am not an average consumer though. I need more. In fact, I need more than my 4 foot long 18" sub backed by 1300 watts can provide.
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