Sunfire XTEQ 12 Subwoofer Review

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by Steve Withers, Jun 10, 2015.


    1. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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    2. REM Germany

      REM Germany
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      Thanks for the review! :smashin:

      How would you rate the Sunfire versus the usual suspects like the SVS SB-13 Ultra which comes at roughly a similar price?
       
    3. Mercurial

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      Thanks for the review Steve.
      Sunfire has a prestigious history and I wanted to mention that Bob Carver, who created Sunfire, is one of the greatest electronics designers of our time. He was responsible for taking on a challenge with Stereophile magazine where he built an amplifier which in blind listening tests the staff of Stereophile were unable to tell the difference between his amp and a Conrad Johnson $10,000 amp, which was highly regarded as the reference amp of its day. The CJ is still listed as an iconic amp. Carvers' amp was a fraction of the cost of the CJ.
      Carver was also responsible for the Pre C4000 with a Sonic Holograph Generator built in. This pre was capable of astonishing results, effectively making the speakers disappear and producing a sound field of 180 degrees. I personally owned one of these from new and kinda wish I'd never sold it. At the time I had a complete Carver system with power amp pre and a pair of Mirage speakers. The sound was superb.
      Anyway I digress. I currently own a Sunfire sub too which personally, having heard many other brands, ranks with the some of the best out there.
      In regards to placement I use two ways which work to find best placement.
      First is to put the sub in the seating position and then walk around the room until you can hear where the best bass is coming from. This should be the ideal place to position the sub.
      Secondly position the sub anywhere between the front speakers and again walk around the room until you find the place that the bass sounds it's best. Put the sub in that spot if possible without upsetting the lady of the house.
      Anyway hope that helps.
      Forgot to add, my Sunfire walks across the room a bit too. A heavy rug seems to have resolved the issue though. ;)
       
      Last edited: Jun 10, 2015
    4. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      Unfortunately Ed reviewed the SB-13 Ultra but the prices are similar and the XTEQ 12 is smaller, so it's genuinely compact. I personally prefer the design of the XTEQ 12, never been a fan of the metal grille on the latest SVS subs. As far as actual performance is concerned I'm really not in a position to comment as I haven't heard the SB-13 in action.
       
    5. stephenbarnes

      stephenbarnes
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      The prices aren't similar - the Sunfure is £400 more. However the Sunfire includes EQ so if it's similar to a antimode, that is about equal. However, the antimode could be moved to another sub, sold, or upgraded.

      Sunfire subs were a bit expensive, but it seems this one a bit more reasonable with the included EQ.

      How does the included EQ compare against antimode 8033C, also how about other built in sub EQ Paradigm, JL Audio, Velodyne DD series?
       
    6. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      The original list price for the SB-13 Ultra was the same but you're right, you can get it for around £1,400-1,500 now. That's a good point about the included EQ and the price of an Antimode. Unfortunately in much the same way that Ed reviewed the SB-13 Ultra, the 8033, Paradigm and Velodyne reviews were done by another reviewer who no longer writes for AVForums and we've never reviewed anything by JL Audio.
       
    7. Russ 66

      Russ 66
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      @Steve Withers, did you measure the in room response?
      I skim read the review so apologies if I missed it.
       
    8. SonOfSJ

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      Hello Mr Withers, can you please give us the dimensions of the AVForums dedicated home cinema room? So that I can see if it is similar to my 14' x 17' x 7'6" kitchen or my 14' x 18' x 10'6" living room (my avatar shows part of the rear half of my living room).
      It's quite a shame that you are not able to compare the performance of this clearly excellent subwoofer with others at similar prices, because most folk on this forum will not be able to compare various items of equipment for themselves and must rely on comparisons made by the reviewer at the end of the article. I have the SVS PC12-Plus subwoofer in my kitchen and I had been hoping, funds by Christmas permitting, to get the SVS PC13-Ultra for the living room. I don't have a problem with the shape or size of the SVS cylinder subwoofers. But I have been waiting a week for this review, so now maybe I'll reconsider in favour of this Sunfire XTEQ12.
       
    9. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      Hi Ken, I'll get out the laser measure a bit later and let you know the exact measurements. Russ 66, I did measure the room response on my iPad, I'll see if I can dig out the graph.
       
    10. rhino2k

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      Having owned a HRS-8 some years ago, I can confirm these subs ooze quality. And the power was simply beyond belief for the size. Also integrating it into a very tricky room was very easy!

      I am not surprised just one did the trick :D
       
    11. Tom @ PSA

      Tom @ PSA
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      Nice review. I always like to see measurements but I know many don't worry about that. Anyway, I would re-think this comment...

      >>>The sealed nature of the XTEQ 12 made it very responsive, allowing it to easily keep pace with the fastest or most complex of tracks<<<

      This isn't a sealed design. The passive radiator is simply a port substitute. They function in a similar manner although there are (somewhat subtle) differences as well.

      Tom V.
       
    12. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      That's a fair point, perhaps I'll use the phrase non-ported.
       
    13. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      True, mind you with two it's bass heaven.
       
    14. Tom @ PSA

      Tom @ PSA
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      You could add in that using the PR eliminates any chance of port noise AND it also allows a small box like this to be "tuned" significantly lower than if a "port" was used instead. Also, the lower tuning point(all things being equal) will often lead to better impulse, group delay, and waterfall metrics.

      Like you mentioned Bob knows what's up..:)

      Tom V.
       
    15. themovierooms

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      I have had a pair of these running in the demo room for a month or so, as well as one at home. By far, the best sub in it's price bracket.
       
    16. themovierooms

      themovierooms
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      The EQ is basic but good, on a par with everything bar PBK. Paradigm's PBK still sits head and shoulders above the other aforementioned. The strength of the XTEQ's is really the power and how it delivers it. Se-up correctly they really are outstanding.
       
    17. Ed Selley

      Ed Selley
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      Making a direct comparison to the SB-13 is almost impossible as I've not heard the Sunfire but I will say that the extra volume of the SVS makes it a damn sight harder to fit in a room. It might be a bit better (there are few substitutes for cubic capacity after all) but the Sunfire is rather more UK friendly.
       
    18. i_raz

      i_raz
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      Anyone knows how this compares to to Sunfire’s previous high end model (sunfire true eq12 signature)? At one time I had 3 of the eq12's at the same time. Very, very powerful subs for the size. The eq12 signature retailed for about £2700 so there is a big price drop from the last model.

      Just wondering whether there is an improvement over the previous one?
       
    19. themovierooms

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      The finish is very different, the old one had a lovely deep dark ebony finish on it. This one is just plain black. The connections have been re-jigged slightly and the amplifier is bigger. It definitely gives more authority than the previous model and to me sounds better. I would agree that at £2700 the old one was good, but expensive given it's peers at the time. At £1800 this is a conscious effort for them to be more competitive and is a steal for those who are serious about their bass. One of the best things about it is how good it is with music.
       
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      Last edited: Jun 12, 2015
    20. REM Germany

      REM Germany
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      From the pictures it looks as if the Sunfire is not front firing, but got the driver to one side of the enclousure and the passive radiator on the opposite side.

      I currently have my sub (front firing Velodyne DD12) to the right side of my right front speaker and to the left of a wall. About a foot distance between both the speaker/sub and the sub/wall.

      Would the driver/radiator mounted to the sides of the sunfire cause any problems in this setup? Just wondering as the driver would "fire" into the speaker and the radiator into the wall so to speak. o_O:eek:
       
    21. Tom @ PSA

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      No problem at all. Home audio subwoofers are essentially omni-polar---emitting their acoustical energy in all directions equally. You can rotate your dd12 90/180/270 degrees and its performance won't change except incidentally because of the changes in the driver-boundary relationship.

      And the spacing you have for each cone is plenty. I bet you'd be fine with 2-3 inches each way.

      Tom V.
       
    22. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      My room is 17 x 10 x 8' Ken.
       
    23. brettuss

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      Reading about the anti-walking feet, I have multiple diy built subs with PR's (Earthquake Magma subs, Supernova style) and they all walk around, even the 3cuft behemoth I have walks in a circle when the PR is at it's limit soI tested a few items and settled on NBR foam mats (gym, yoga mats). I bought a couple of these gym mats from Big W here in Australia ($8 each) and the squishy foam retains it's memory and stops the subs moving period and these are only 10mm thick!
      I tried the aircon ducting first as it was very similar but it compressed to near nothingness but these mats just cut to the size of the sub itself hold them in place whether they have rubber feet attached or not...
       
    24. RickyDeg

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      I think some of the price drop might be due to the fact that the XTEQ series is being assembled in China (like basically everything else these days). If memory serves me correctly earlier Sunfire subwoofers were made in the USA, to a higher cost.
       
    25. stephenbarnes

      stephenbarnes
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      or perhaps they have to lower their prices as now people buying ID, there is price competition.
       
    26. RickyDeg

      RickyDeg
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      ^ Perhaps a combination of both strategies...? ;)
       
    27. ashenfie

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      £900 assembly costs. Wow i need to move to the USA. £1800 is a much more acceptable price point
       
    28. themovierooms

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      In fairness the build quality is just as good on the new ones (even though the finish has changed colour) as it was on the old and they do sound better. Win, win in my book.
       
      Last edited: Sep 8, 2015
    29. Zamzia

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    30. RickyDeg

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      Pictures of the XTEQ series don't really do them justice. They look amazing in person!
       

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