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Old 01-08-2009, 12:21 AM   #1
Brain Sturgeon Brain Sturgeon is offline
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Sep 2007
Default The Official JL Audio Subwoofer Owners Thread

Please discuss your JL Audio subwoofers in this thread. You can include pictures, reviews, or any other comments regarding your subwoofer.

Manufacturer’s Website:

A tour of the JL Audio factory

Brain Sturgeon's New JL Audio Subwoofer:

So, in the never ending quest for Home Theater and audio Nirvana, I decided it was time for a sub upgrade.

I previously had a Velodyne DD-18 that I used as an LFE sub, and a B&W 800 ASW that I was using as a mono sub. I was running my mains (802D) full range, and they can effectively get to 35 Hz or so. This worked okay, although the older B&W sub was very much the weak link in the system.

I thought about getting another DD-18 as I really like the built in EQ in the sub. However, the price/performance ratio of this sub has deteriorated since its debut. It's still a great sub, but there are definitely better for the price.

I started looking at the top commercial subs out there (I just don't have the time to do a DIY sub), and these include the Danley DTS-20, eD A7-900, Epik Conquest, Seaton SUBmersives, SVS PB13-ultra, Genelec HTS6, Velodyne DD-1812, and the JL Audio Gotham, among others.

The Danley's form factor wouldn't work in my room as it is, and it doesn't do well in the aesthetics department (basically a long, black box). The big eD, Epik, and Seaton are a little better looking, but not by much-- basically large ported boxes. The SVS is a pretty sub, but a step below these others in performance. I've never heard the Genelec and don't know any dealers in my area. The Velodyne is a bit bigger than I would like, and the price/performance is not great as it is hideously expensive. Which leaves me with the JL, which I had on my radar anyway as I was wow'ed by Gothams in the past.

So, here she is at my front door today:

Just an absolute beast of a box-- every bit of 400#. It took four of us to wrestle this down to my theater while avoiding getting crushed by the thing...

Moving into position:

Almost there:

Final set up:

I'm going to run left and right subs through the Lexicon MC-12 and not run an LFE sub (LFE will just be rolled into the usual sub output). I'm going to run the 802's small (not full range) and cross them over @ 40 Hz, and use the THX 80 Hz crossover for the subs. I did the basic automatic setup and Room EQ through the Lex, and have got a lot more EQ'ing to do with the DD-18 and Gotham. It will be interesting to see if I can get these subs to play nice.

Early impressions in my system: The output of the Gotham is absolutely ungodly. It just smokes the DD-18, which is not a slouch in any way. This poses the problem of having to turn down the output of the Gotham, which I am doing with the Lex. Even so, I may have to reduce the gain of the Gotham manually on the sub itself to get it just right.

In very limited listening, the bass is incredibly powerful, palpable, and crisp, although I need to work on matching them with the 802D's a bit better as it feels a little too forward right now. Adjusting the EQ and crossover points will probably be in order. I had thought about going with two Gothams, but I'm glad I started with one as it is getting close to overwhelming the room at this point. I'll see how it is once I get the subs a little better dialed in-- I may or may not like how it matches with the Velodyne.

Anyways, fun stuff...

Last edited by Big Daddy; 01-22-2009 at 12:01 AM.
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