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Thread: L12 on its way

  1. #1
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    Default L12 on its way

    Ordered it yesterday, should get it next Monday! Next on the list, a pair of CBM-170 SE

  2. #2
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    Default Re: L12 on its way

    Please let us know what you think and how it compares to what you've experienced. I'm planning to order a couple of them next month.
    Nate

  3. #3
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    Default Re: L12 on its way

    Will do, two more days This will be my first sub, always had "full range" speakers so far, I am definitely looking forward to do some thorough listening. Rythmik servo technology and universally favorable reviews got me intrigued. I am a "music first, HT second" kind of guy, a sub like the L12 seems a very good fit for my need.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: L12 on its way

    Got the L12 this evening. Did a coarse setup, connected to the AVR using the LFE input, crossed at 80Hz with the mains (set to "small"), set levels using the pink noise generator in my Emotiva Fusion 8100 and a sound meter app and fired it up. NICE!!!!

    Went through a few CDs and a couple of movies, very, very nice.

    Will elaborate more tomorrow, now it is late :-)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: L12 on its way

    Okay, so I got the L12 Monday evening and spent some time after dinner doing a quick set-up and some listening. More to be done to achieve 100% integration. Below my comments. Long post, proceed at your own peril, hope it won't bore you to death

    I positioned the L12 to the right of the right speaker, next to shelf where the speaker is. It is one of the two locations in the room where I can realistically put it. The other is close to the rear right corner of the room, on the right of the couch, the only sitting place for listening and watching in the room (which is our family room, unfortunately not a dedicated room).

    Our house has an open floor plan, the family room is at one end of the house and it is a 17x13x8 space, with TV and LCR speakers (and now sub) along one of the two long walls and the couch and the SL and SR speakers on the opposite long wall.The floor is carpeted and there are two windows on the short wall to the right of the listening position (couch) and one behind it. The long wall with the LCR speakers and sub is open to the kitchen on the left side and to the hallway with the entrance door on the right side, with the openings to the left of the left speaker and to the right of the right speaker. Essentially, the actual wall on that long side is in the center of the total 17' length and it is about 9', which is therefore the distance between L and R front speakers.

    I have a Fusion 8100 AVR, so I connected the L12 LFE input to the Sub output of the pre-amp section of the 8100. Set the xover knob of the L12 all the way up and its slope at 12dB (although I think that when using the LFE input the xover is by-passed anyway) and the volume knob at 12 o'clock. The L12 has a three position switch to choose between extension and output. I listened to all music with the switch set to "Low Music" (which gives the greatest extension) and flipped between that and "Low HT" which filters signals below 20Hz or "High" the settings for max output at the expense of extension.

    On the 8100, set the main LR to "small" (which automatically set also SL and SR to "small") and the xover for speakers and sub to 80Hz. Slope 12dB for speakers and 24dB for sub (the default settings, I have to dig deeper into this, I would think slope should be the same for both speakers and sub?). Since the whole family was home and the room is not separate from the rest of the house, I did not run the 8100 ARCS again to integrate the sub. I just set the distance manually and using the pink noise generator in the 8100 and a sound meter app on my phone I set the sub output level the same as the main LR using the volume knob on the L12. I ended up setting it at about 1 o'clock position. This will have to do until I am home alone and can run the full ARCS routine.

    Done that, I started listening. Music first, as performance with it is what counts more for me. I set the 8100 to "Stereo" and off I went. This is what I used and my comments:

    - Africa, Toto, from Toto IV
    Not the best recorded CD I have, but it is not bad either and I have always liked that song and the bass/percussion in it. It is also recorded at a lowish level, so I had to crank up the volume a bit. It sound definitely fuller and with more impact than with the "full range" speakers" alone.
    - Rosanna, Toto, from Toto IV.
    Another one of my '80s throwbacks... Very nice punch and slam of the kick drum in the initial few measures. Nice blend of voice, bass, drum and everything else. As some have said, it is definitely true that clean bass brings out the rest. It could be because the ear perceive a better balance and/or because relieving the amp and mains of bass duty makes for less strain at high volume, not sure, but it works!
    - Hotel California, Eagles, from Hell Freezes Over, live recorded acoustic version.
    Terrific sounding intro, with the acoustic guitar solo being joined by the percussion. I suppose because of being a newer recording, the true capability of the L12 starts to show. I could not only hear, but "feel" some serious bass out of those percussion! Deep but not bloated, strong but not overwhelming or loud upper bass faking for real bass.
    - Get Over It, Eagles, Hell Freezes Over.
    Interesting song, as it does not have very deep or punchy bass. However, the L12 did its job with what was there. It did not add what wasn't there. Very nice, tight, and believable sound in the mid-bass region. This is the one song where I did not perceive much difference compared with the mains alone. I consider it a good thing, it means that the L12 does not add to the music of its own just because it is a 12" sub...
    - I Can't tell You Why, Eagles, Hell Freezes Over.
    Another song that gained a lot from having a sub when played at high level. It got so involving that my wife came over from the kitchen and wanted to dance with me to it, to the great amusement of my teenage kids :-) The bass and drums felt so real.
    - Radioactive, Imagine Dragons, from Night Visions.
    Now... even if you do not like the genre, you got to listen to this song with a sub or speakers capable of delving deep. Holy Cow! I am not crazy about how the whole album is recorded, but the drums in that song are loud and most of all, low. The L12 was putting out lots of energy and again that was the bass that you feel on your body with a sub (and on the couch, and wall, and furniture, and windows...)
    - Fragile, Sting, from the live DVD All This Time.
    The song I enjoyed the most. Probably the best live video recording in my possession. The sound engineers did a very good job in preserving the qualities of a live recording and it got quite good bass throughout. The show was recorded with a small audience at Sting's villa in Tuscany. Of all days, on 9/11 2001. This song was the opening song and it has a high emotional charge, it was dedicated to all those that lost their lives on that dreadful day. All of the songs, including Fragile, have a "jazzy" arrangement, with the traditional jazz upright bass well in evidence. Not as good as a CD recording, being a DVD, but still quite enjoyable with the sub contribution.

    Than I checked out a couple of movies:

    - Star Wars II on DVD
    The opening sequence, when Padme spaceship flies through the atmosphere before landing and then explodes on the landing pad. The rumble of the flying ship was quite something, compared to what the mains alone can do. Much deeper and again you could "feel" it on your body. It was a eerie sensation when my son and I heard a fainter but even lower frequency rumble in a point of the scene when before we had never noticed it. I suppose that the LFE track has a sound that is below the capability of the mains, so it never hit us as it did with the L12. The explosion was very impactful too, especially because it comes out of the blue in the middle of a dialog with very little other sounds in the background. It definitely had a movie theater quality to it!
    - Interstellar on Blu-Ray
    This has become my stress test disc! Somebody did a spectral analysis of the sound track, it has very long sequences of very low sounds and effects. We watched a few scenes: the first few minutes, when all of a sudden you see Cooper spaceship almost coming apart with all the relevant mayhem coming from all channels, right after a very quiet dialog... Still remember the first time I tried this after getting the BD. Almost blew up my speakers.................. It is of course hard to say how realistic the sound of a vibrating spaceship is (never flown one ), but I can tell you that there was no match between that scene with the L12 and the speakers alone.
    Then we watched the drone chase, when Cooper and his kids drive the pickup truck in the corn field. Besides the noises there is a sustained very low note going on all the time. Again, the L12 did its job, contributing to the overall mood of the scene, but without overwhelming everything else.
    Last we watched the Endurance docking scene, right after Dr. Mann blows the airlock. This was interesting, as it was not the explosion that intrigued me. It was rather the whole docking sequence, which is accompanied by a crescendo of organ music. I have watched it a few times, but at some point I got so enveloped by the action that I totally stopped listening to the sub and I was just listening to the music. It was almost hypnotic, as the music score is somewhat repetitive and hammering. However, the combination of images and music was absolutely fascinating. I suppose even for a sub this is the mark of a good speaker, it "disappears" and it leaves only the music. You focus on the message, not the messenger.

    Well, by now it is clear that my first impression is largely positive. In some cases I detected hints of boominess, but the room is untreated and I have not yet done any serious fine tuning. I attribute that to the room and the rough set-up rather than to the sub. Unless more prolonged listening brings up major flaws, this is a keeper.

    Take all of this for what it is, my first, personal impression. This is my first sub and so I have no elements to compare it to others. However I have been around audio for more than three decades and I believe to be able to detect what sounds good and what does not. The L12 definitely sounds good and more importantly (to me) sounds good with music! The L12 is also the one that fits best my space and position constraints and budget, therefore I could not be happier (for now, it seems that subs can become an addiction!)

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: L12 on its way

    Nice review! I have 2 L12s coming next Monday. I'll give that Sting DVD a spin, I think it sounds excellent.
    Nate

  7. #7
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    Default Re: L12 on its way

    Congratulations for the two L12! Are you going to run them stacked or in different positions in the room?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: L12 on its way

    I'm going to try one in the front and one in the back. I'm coming from a 15" Rythmik in a 21" square box. I'm hoping to not lose too much output and gain a better frequency response. The 15" was just too big for my room and for potentially moving.
    Nate

  9. #9
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    Default Re: L12 on its way

    Nice, two on opposite walls should be the ideal positioning, or so they say. The 15" might extend a little lower, but I do not think you will lose output with two 12" vs one 15". Plus, with two it is much easier to tame peaks and nulls. Size was definitely one of the characteristics that made me choose the L12 among the many Rythmik offers.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: L12 on its way

    I'm trying to decide between two placements. Option 1 would be to place the front sub between the left and center speakers and the back sub diagonally across the room on the back wall. Option 2 would be to pull the TV/Equipment stand out another 6" or so and put both subs at the centers of each wall. Option 1 would look better IMO.
    Nate

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