The recession has been very hard on my business so when it comes to audio equipment I have been looking especially hard for maximum value. I have been looking for a high quality subwoofer to give a little boost to my two-channel mains (which are quite nice and pricey). I previously owned two servo subs from a very reputable company that ran nearly $5K for the pair. I sold them last year because I could never get them to integrate satisfactorily with my speakers.
In searching for a new sub that would be suited to music reproduction (I have no interest in HT) and also affordable, I kept running into GR-Research and Rythmik (I realize that both companies work together closely). I was gun-shy this time because I have learned the expensive way that subs that are good for HT can't necessarily make the transition to high quality, two-channel audio. I exchanged emails with both companies and did A LOT of research. I decided on Rythmik because I really was not in the mood to bite off building a sub from a kit. I have the ability, not the time.
When I was about to place an order, a lightly used F12 came up on audiogon and not knowing if I would like it or not, saving a little $ on the experiment appealed to me and I bought it. (Don't worry Brian, I'm going to need more). I unpacked the sub last night and hooked it up. Long story short, this is an outstanding subwoofer. I set initial settings, plugged it in and turned in on. I played a few songs that are good tests for such things (Dire Straits 'You and Your Friend', Boz Scaggs 'Miss Riddle', some organ music, etc. Without even having experimented with position and phase alignment, this sub has already trumped my last subs and has very good cohesion with my mains. Granted, the volume is set at medium and crossed over at 50hz but after two hours of listening, the plate amp cooling fins were not even warm (in stark contrast to the rest of my electronincs). Music had more depth and authority when it was called for, and nothing more.
I think that with some experimentation with position, volume and phase, this sub will do exactly what I had hoped - deep, articulate, controlled bass in the last octave while allowing me to forget that it is even there. Shortly I plan to purchase another F12 so that I can run a stereo pair.
I am writing this "review" for one reason - once in a while I come across a product that is of high quality, represents outstanding value and truly satisfies me. This is one of those occassions. Is it the best subwoofer on the market? I'm sure it's not. But if you look at the price to performance ratio, it's probably on top. If you are looking for a subwoofer to augment your main loudspeakers, you should defintely give Rythmik a close look. And at the price, you may decide on more than one.
Happy Thanksgiving all.