My First Sub - Hi-Fi Use

Budget: ~2,000 USD

I don’t mind how big the enclosure is. I think I would like a 15" woofer. I don’t want multiple subs.

Room Dimensions (approximate): 15 ft * 13 ft * 11 ft (lwh) = ~2150 ft³

For hi-fi music, and some video games and movies.

I listen loud but not “concert level”.

Appearance: don’t mind. A pro-audio look is fine, or a nice finish wood / piano black.

Time frame: no hurry, and I don’t mind waiting for shipping even for a month or so.

I would like to buy my first ever subwoofer. It will go in my hi-fi along with my 2x JBL Studio 530 bookshelves. However I want something that will work with anything, as in the coming years I plan to get other speakers too. The most I’d ever spend on bookshelf speakers would be to get the Revel Gem2 (12,000 USD), or the JBL 4429 (5,500 USD). That is a few years away though.

There are a few subs I’ve found online that look good to me:

JBL S2S-EX (passive) :: ?

JBL SSW-2 (passive) :: ?

Rythmik FV15HP (silver cone, XLR) (powered) :: 1759 USD

Seaton SubMersive (passive) :: 1695 USD (rosenut) / 1595 USD (esp)

Seaton SubMersive (powered) :: 2895 USD (rosenut) / 2795 USD (esp)

Would one of these be suitable? Is there something else as or more suitable? Thanks all.

How would the powered SubMersive compare with the passive SubMersive and say a Hypex mono amp?

I like the rythmik fv15hp, real solid sound with great punch and control, pretty dang nice imo. That is a bit high in price though for that sub, but it’s reasonable due to the location where you are at. My preference does lean towards the F15HP for music though over the FV15hp

So imo you could get buy with the passive + hypex, but it’s going to be more of a hassle than going with the powered for sure, and also the potential for it to not be as good of a match sound wise as the powered is, but it would depend on which hypex you go with

The jbl studio subs are pretty nice, but imo they do lack some control in exchange for output

I also enjoy my Rythmik purchase as well. The quality of the sub and sound has surpassed anything I’ve used in the past.

That’s the price quoted on the official Rythmik website. I think it will be more where I am.

I’m now thinking of going dual PSA S1512’s. Or dual 12" of something like SVS 2000 or Rythmik F12G or JL.

Do you know how much the JBL’s I mentioned cost? I don’t

if you go with the f12g, just go with the l12 for your room size. L12x2 is plenty of horse power. with the various rythmik sub’s, its more about spl lv’s then extra extension. now if you stuck with a 15, you would get a little more teen extension then the 12’s. but unless you listen to a lot of edm/electronic, it wont really matter.

I don’t have any experience with the PSAs, but I’m sure the Rythmik is a more refined sub compared to the SVS and the JBL. The servo system is quite nice.


also, if you are thinking about rythmik and are handy, they sell driver/amp kits for a healthy chunk cheaper then finished subwoofers. they also have plans for enclosures. you can also go to for the GR research variants to buy kits without boxes. and if you search rythmik subs, theres quite a few american companies that make “fancier” and possibly better rythmik subs. one guy in detroit used quite the large enclosure with a bracing system skyscrapers would be jealous of lol.

edit: mistype link

Thanks. It turns out the JBL’s are over 3,000 USD anyway according to RRP.

Out of curiosity the REL subs get a lot of industry hype. I’m sure most of it is well earned, but like everything else there are bandwagons people get on simply because it’s what everyone else has gotten.

The REL owner said something in a video I watch, he was against servo controlled subs, said they added too much delay in exchange for control. So there were negative aspects introduced by that decay. One of them being loss of immediacy and impact, noticeable in kick drums for example.

A sub is in my future but I haven’t gotten tot he point of research yet. Anyone corroborate that REL statement?

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If you don’t properly account for that in a servo design I might agree, but personally I find plenty of impact, and most of the high end 2.1 I use are servo controlled


I feel like that perception of a loss in impact is probably the fact that the servo sub is actually more controlled, and they’re used to hearing more decay or maybe even room gain. In theory, a servo-controlled sub actually reduces delay and decay compared to traditional drivers because it starts and stops with greater immediacy.
That being said, I neither own or have used a servo sub so this is all conjecture.


You are most likely correct, some of the most accurate sounding subs I have used have been servo


The commentary was around the amount of time required for “processing” measuring and then correcting the signal. That takes time.

Ultimately our ears are the judge and there isn’t gain without loss. Conversely I’m sure there’s loss of control without servo control. I’m sure both camps have their duds and their shining examples but @M0N yours is likely the best explanation of why good servo subs are prevalent in the high end.

Now I’m thinking I’ll delay the sub until I’ve got better speakers (and power amp maybe), as spending 2k+ on subs is not a great idea for 530’s. I’m probably never selling my 530’s though.

I think I’ll get a JBL Sub 550p if I can get one for cheap enough. Then I’ll go back to the dream sub idea when I’ve got other speakers.

Or something else of similar price.

In my mind sub with a mention Hi-Fi, should perform down to 20Hz with ± 3 dB.
Plus would like more settings / tuning possibilities.

Still probably not the worst 10" option.

Hm. Not available from my local place any more. To be honest I really want a PSA or Rythmik but they’re not available in my country as far as I know. Shipping would probably be in excess of 600 USD, and then there’s 15% tax.

Any first hand experience from the community with these? Looking to augment my Dynaudio monitors a little on the down low, these looked interesting. Small 11’ x 12’ office.

No experience with earthquakes for Home use but they are an old company from way back in the 90’s and their car audio stuff always hit hard for a budget price.
Before you buy though consider the new Emotiva 8” sub. It has one of the most versatile amplifiers and Emotiva are not slouches in the market. Just another option for you to look at…

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