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World Class Subwoofers - The finale

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by Ian J, May 8, 2004.

  1. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Stereophile Guide to Home Theater has changed it's name to Stereophile Ultimate AV and in the first of it's newly renamed editions there is an article entitled "World Class Subwoofers" in which 12 of the big boys are put through their paces in this and the next two editions.

    All of the testing has been done outside to negate any in room problems and many and varied readings were taken and graphs constructed to provide quite an objective review as well as the more subjective listening tests.

    The biggest disappointment of an American review of "World Class Subwoofers" is how few of them are known or available in the UK.

    The four looked at this month were the Revel B15 at $2,995 which has already been reviewed by Home Cinema Choice and Wilson Audio Watch Dog at $10,850 Next up was a newcomer, Kleiss Sound with the S15A at $2,449 which interesting enough is available on a direct from manufacturer basis and finally the big beast of the month which was the Genelec HTS6 which is the most unusual subwoofer that I have seen with four 12" drivers all in a row, each driven by it's own amplifier. This beast costs $9,950 and is nearly six foot wide and would fail every WAF test known to man.

    The Genelec delivered 6-10db more undistorted level than it's closest rivals and 15-20db more than the smaller units in the survey. It also sounded cleaner at all playback levels irrespective of the source, be it test tones, music, sountracks or special effects.

    Roll on part two next month.

    For those interested in how the testing was done, there is an article here

    www.revelspeakers.com
    www.wilsonaudio.com
    www.kleissound.com
    www.genelecusa.com
     

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  2. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    yes and it's as massive in real life as it is in the picture. I liked it when I heard it. The little brother HTS4 is rather superb too.

    Gordon
     
  3. alancolledge

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    Yikes!:eek:

    Is home cinema going the same multiple driver route that car audio seems to have?

    I've seen, and heard/felt, lots of car installs involving many large subwoofers pushing out obscene dB's.


    Or is the future for the best subwoofers in the world just turning into nothing more than a bank of PA bass bins......
     
  4. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    If you want to shift lots of air undistorted at high levels you can't do it with a little box.......Using an HTS6 in your living room is obviously a bit stupid. (as is puting 12" bass units in a car). I don't think they are starting a trend or that Home Cinema is going to go down the BIG and Loud is beautiful route.

    I'm sure Genelec would advocate using the correct tool for the job. They have a range with devices for most room sizes.

    Gordon
     
  5. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I don't think that I have heard a Genelec sub but the feedback from Event 2 seems to imply that they are the biz
     
  6. Gordon @ Convergent AV

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    Ian, I was never a believer until I heard Elliots. Then he made me go with him to Genelec's stand at CEDIA USA (where they had one of those mothers....) and I started to come around. Then we did Event2 and the big demo room was great. It's even better now it doesn't have piles of projectors in it and the decor etc is finished.

    I was so impressed I did a cinema for a client with Genelec stuff and it was fantastic. The subs really are quite special but because they have so few dealers in UK (for domestic use, commercial they are world re-knowned and have large market share), it's hard to get a demo.

    Gordon
     
  7. X3ELS

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    Ahh yes but you only need one dealer ;) especially one who has had his room eq training from the boys at Genelec :)
     
  8. danny-p

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    Huuuuuge!!! Wouldn't mind a few of them
     

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  9. Nimby

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    For that sort of investment I'd prefer an in-wall, true infinite baffle. WAF asside the average AV punter doesn't have the room (or need) for such a massive device.

    Why not 4 identical boxes arrangeable in any configuration that suits the buyer? Because it simply looks more impressive the way they do it? (if you like wardrobes lying on their sides)

    Nimby
     
  10. X3ELS

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    Nimby

    Have you seen the size of some of the dedicated theatres in the states, products like these are exactly what is required and these are designed to be baffle mounted. Just like i do with my Genelec sub at home and the ones at the shop.
     
  11. Nimby

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    X3ELS

    You're quite right of course. I was thinking more of the UK domestic market. The Average American home does seem to be larger or open plan. (or both)

    I suppose a few can be shoe-horned into the odd British stately home? :D

    Given the nature of bass couldn't the beast have been seperated into four seperate boxes? There seems to be no structural need for a single box.

    4 drivers + four amps = four boxes? :)

    I suppose one should be grateful that you only have to install them once. Until one moves house of course. :D

    One of those might finally end my wife's demand for more bass. Our neighbours would probably demand that we move. (probably to another country) :devil:

    What sort of minimum volume AV room are we discussing here?

    Regards
    Nimby
     
  12. Nic Rhodes

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    No surprize about the Genelec coming out so well, just speak to these guys and you will know why.
     
  13. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Part 2 appeared some time ago featuring the Adire Sadhara, Bag End S21E, Servodrive ContraBass and HydroSonic HS-12S with the third and final part arriving on my doorstep a couple of days ago and featuring CDrive CB1, Snell ICS Sub24, Triad InRoom Platinum and Velodyne DD-18.

    As I said when the first article appeared it's a shame that we don't see most of these subs over here as none of them were poor at all.

    Having done extensive testing on all of these subs they have concluded that the Best Real World Solution was the Velodyne DD-18 which was up there with the best of the bunch in every category but they especially liked it's EQ facilities - Best New Face was the Kleiss S15A which the engineers at Dolby and Skywalker have "hauled out their personal chequebooks to buy" - Best Special Effects Workhorse was the ServoDrive Contrabass which for "sheer pants flappage bettered every thing else in the survey in the all important 15-25 Hz range" but the overall winner was....................


    Genelec HTS6 which they concluded set new standards for "tonal neutrality, stability of response at all playback levels, very low distortion, explosive dynamics and utter unflappability and judging by their comment that "It wasn't much of a horse race" this one seems to have won by a mile.

    If only I had $10,000 to spare :D
     
  14. avanzato

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    I want one and who wouldn't want a sub that comes with a warning like this:

     
  15. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I don't know how much is sales patter and how much is hard fact but if the Dolby and Skywalker boys are willing to buy this with their own money it must be something special.
     
  16. Daneel

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    Do these massive Genelec subs give us anything above say a PB2 Ultra or Velo DD-18 other than volume? I would guess not, but I haven't heard one.
     
  17. samhain

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    Nice one Velodyne :smashin:

    Ian $10,000 WOW !! We all know that will equate to £10,000 if it ever came across here .......Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    Thank you kindly for the information.
     
  18. Ian J

    Ian J
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    They are over here and a few forum members heard a pair at The Event 2. I don't know anyone who attended who didn't think that this was the ultimate in subwoofery but I don't know the price and don't expect them to be cheap.

    I think that the biggest difference between the Genelec and more common subwoofers like the pair that Daneel mentioned is the effortless ease in which the Finnish sub will go lower and louder with less distortion than even the runners up in this sub shoot out
     
  19. Jeff

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    Oh yes, I've never heared or felt anything like it. Different class.
     
  20. Kazman

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    But you do have to pay for it. Wish I was loaded enough to buy one, and a home cinema setup to truly do it justice, but alas, real worls subs only for me :(.

    Still, we can dream eh? Now, where did I put those guaranteed to win lottery numbers..............
     
  21. avanzato

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    It would have been interesting had they done a cost comparable test too. Seeing as the Genelec is near 4 times the cost of others in the test and double some of the others. Would 2xContraBass have moved into first place or how about a couple of DD-18's? For Nimby if he reads this how about 15xSVS 16/46 Pci's etc, etc.
    Judging by the size of the Genelec I don't think anyone conteplating one of those would be short of the real estate needed for more of the others.
     
  22. Gordon @ Convergent AV

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    It was two of the ones tested little brothers at The Event2.

    Maybe we'll get one of the biggies for EVENT3. They are available in UK and I believe X3ELS is putting one in to one of his UK cinema installations.

    Gordon
     
  23. Nimby

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    Success with these infrasaurs depends largely on the size of the room. :)

    One can only assume that those with the funds to afford a Genelec (or indeed 16 x 16-46PCi's! :D ) have sufficient indoor space with acceptable acoustics to make proper use of them. All else is simply vanity of ownership. Like owning a Ferrari in a country with a 65mph speed limit. :rolleyes:

    The lack of SVS representation makes the tests a little 'academic' IMHO. Apart from the rarity in Europe of some of the contenders. (As already mentioned)

    Isn't the B4+ considered the loudest domestic subwoofer in the world in some circles? Is a Genelec truly a "domestic" subwoofer? :blush:

    Then define "domestic". :devil:

    Nimby
     
  24. samhain

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    HCC have just reviewed the DD-18 and it is welcomed as a best buy and also gets the reference status tag. Seems to get universal praise which is a good benchmark for anyone wishing to take the plunge.
     
  25. Beatles

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    The DD18 is worldwide considered something of a standard. Little more than the SVS twins are.
     
  26. samhain

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    What does that mean ?
     
  27. avanzato

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    That Beatles has over come his pathological hatred of SVS and puts them on a par with Velodyne? :D

    Or is it that there are just some words missing?
     

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