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Nice BF212 sub review

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DaVinci Media

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From the review

The MartinLogan Balanced Force 212 is one of the three best subwoofers I have ever tested.
  • Powerful
  • Low distortion
  • Flexible
  • Plenty of inputs
  • Massive build

The other two are much more expensive. It is powerful, plays deep, distortion controlled, and is very flexible in terms of how you can set it up.

 

Chops

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For similar money, I'd go with the JL Fathom f113v2. Subwoofers and bass reproduction is what JL is known for. Just my 2 cents.
 

sleepysurf

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I have no idea how to interpret the reviewers measurements. Also, he alludes to frequency dips from room effects, but never utilizes ARC to address that. He also doesn't mention anything about optimizing phase/timing with his mains. Pretty worthless review, IMHO.
 

Gordon Gray

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Better than the comparably priced / sized REL? And yes, optimizing all parameters is critical for top performance.
 

DaVinci Media

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For similar money, I'd go with the JL Fathom f113v2. Subwoofers and bass reproduction is what JL is known for. Just my 2 cents.
I was a dealer for both JL and Martin Logan and I prefer the MartinLogan ‘s. The room correction is better. And they integrate much better with a Martin Logan panels with the custom design crossovers as well.
 

tonyc

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I have a few preliminary comments on the BF 212. Recently impulse bought one of these to replace the aging Descent in my home theater which is in my living room. This system consists of a Focus center channel, a pair of Aeons for the front, and scenarios for the rear in a 5 channel configuration. Prepro is a Classe Sigma SSP. I use a Rowland 8T for the Aeons and 3 channels of a Classe Sigma Amp 5 to run the center and surrounds. Sources include my direct TV box, an Oppo UDP 205, a Mojo modded Mac mini using J River into an Ayre QB9 DSD Twenty. TV is a 65" LG OLED. The original plan was to move the Descent into the big rig in my dedicated stereo room. The big rig is Summit based and consists of a VPI Prime (heavily modded), my recently rebuilt Koetsu Rosewood signature cartridge, an arc ph7 phono stage, arc ref 3 preamp, arc Ref 110 amp, Aurender NH100, PS Audio Direct Stream memory player, PS Audio Direct Stream DAC, and my trusty Magnum Dynalab FT 101 tuner that I bought in 1986 and still listen to regularly.
I installed the BF212, downloaded the custom filter from the ML website for the Aeons, adjusted the level by SPL meter and ears and listened. I quickly noticed the improved integration afforded by the custom filter. It was like the Aeons grew new woofers. The BF 212 plays louder, goes lower than the Descent and looks wicked cool in the gloss black which matches my Focus. Although the BF 212 is massive visually, it is hard to find sonically. I have not yet purchased the PBK (and do not know if I will).
What impressed me more than adding the BF 212 to the home theater was what happened to the big rig when I installed the Descent. I did get more LF extension and power but the soundstage simply exploded in all dimensions. I can't believe I waited this long to consider trying a sub in the big rig!
But life happens and this is after all 2020, the year the whole world went psychotic...No sooner than I got both systems humming tragedy struck and my arc ref 3 went haywire. Sent it back to arc for hopeful repair. So what does a stereo nut do?. Well, I moved the Summits into the home theater, downloaded the custom filter for the Summits and listened. Once again a seamless integration. If you have ML main speakers I think the ability to download custom filters is a no brainer, and I can't imagine any ML owner being displeased with a BF sub. I haven't heard other brands of subs in my system so cannot comment about this. When the big rig is back together I will try switching the two subs. I fear the BF 212 is going to wind up there because in my home stereo always trumps home theater. More to come as the saga unfolds.
 

gadgetguy11

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Better than the comparably priced / sized REL? And yes, optimizing all parameters is critical for top performance.
I would look carefully at REL. I just bought 4) REL HT/1508 Predator for my theater, and I highly recommend them. I am running 2) ReQuest for Left Channel, 2) Request for Right Channel & 2) Logos (above & below the 144" screen), 1 each R/L SL3 as Rear speakers, 4) Stylos semi-flush mounted in the walls & 4) Atmos in the ceiling.

The 4) REL's balance well with 2) Carver 1000 Watt 12" subs in the rear. The REL's are fast, powerful & accurate.
 

Chops

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I was a dealer for both JL and Martin Logan and I prefer the MartinLogan ‘s. The room correction is better. And they integrate much better with a Martin Logan panels with the custom design crossovers as well.
I've heard both and the JL is clearly much cleaner, detailed, musical and dynamic than the ML. I would put the ML just a notch above SVS, IOW, more for moveis than music.
 

Robert D

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Nope. Never have.
It's frustrating to have so many good looking brands of speakers that you can't listen to and compare. Im pretty sure you can send back rythmik subs if you don't like the sound, but you have to pay shipping.
 

spkrdctr

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Those Rythmic subs are no joke. Get the ported versions with servo control and you have an equivalent $3000 sub in other brands for a lot less. A 15 or 18 ported would pressurize most rooms. I think they are a good bang for the buck subwoofer line. I looked at Rel and the price was unbelievably high. It all depends on people's wallets. Also, the style and looks fit high-end fancy homes well. All of the subs mentioned here are very, very capable. No wimpy subs discussed here!👍
 

Robert D

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Those Rythmic subs are no joke. Get the ported versions with servo control and you have an equivalent $3000 sub in other brands for a lot less. A 15 or 18 ported would pressurize most rooms. I think they are a good bang for the buck subwoofer line. I looked at Rel and the price was unbelievably high. It all depends on people's wallets. Also, the style and looks fit high-end fancy homes well. All of the subs mentioned here are very, very capable. No wimpy subs discussed here!👍
I've not had a ported sub, aren't they a little too boomy for music at times? I was thinking ill get a sealed box. My Martin Logan Depth i is still holding up, so not buying for awhile i hope.

Been looking at lots to build a new home. Hoping to build a new ranch in the next year or two and put in a nice home theater in the basement. Thinking about a pair of those Rhythmic 18 inchers to rock it!

My only experience with a ported sub was a band pass i had in my car. Back in the early 90s with my Alpine stereo. It was really boomy and sloppy.
 

spkrdctr

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Robert, ported servo subs are NOT boomy. Older subs or very cheap subs can be garbage but we are talking about higher end servo subs that are very accurate and do not have any chuffing, booming, or uncontrolled cone movement. Of course when your at the very top end of the Rythmic line, sealed or ported really doesn't matter for 98% of the customers. But if you look at the specs, you will see that the ported subs just flat out outperform the sealed subs. Like I say, the bang for the buck is pretty high. Especially if your going into multiple subs. If you can get four for $6000 vs 4 of the other high end brands for $8 or $9000 then you have $2000 or $3000 left for some snake oil stuff. Everyone wants snake oil most just can't afford it! I recommend going to the Audioholics website and watch their youtube videos and read up on their website. It is chock full of good information.
 

Robert D

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Robert, ported servo subs are NOT boomy. Older subs or very cheap subs can be garbage but we are talking about higher end servo subs that are very accurate and do not have any chuffing, booming, or uncontrolled cone movement. Of course when your at the very top end of the Rythmic line, sealed or ported really doesn't matter for 98% of the customers. But if you look at the specs, you will see that the ported subs just flat out outperform the sealed subs. Like I say, the bang for the buck is pretty high. Especially if your going into multiple subs. If you can get four for $6000 vs 4 of the other high end brands for $8 or $9000 then you have $2000 or $3000 left for some snake oil stuff. Everyone wants snake oil most just can't afford it! I recommend going to the Audioholics website and watch their youtube videos and read up on their website. It is chock full of good information.
Yeah, I saw how the ported has higher levels of output. I guess the only downside on them then is the size of the box, but I will have plenty of room for them. The Rythmik brand seems like a great value, bang for the buck. Still wondering how they offer such quality at a low price. Guess lower overhead and maybe cabinet isnt as fancy? Im not real big on spending a lot to make it pretty. Im more concerned with how it sounds. Kind of like how I spend money making my Porsche go faster but dont buy stuff like fancy wheels.
 

Robert D

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Your doing very well to afford a Porsche. That's out of my league. Maintenance would kill me.
You can pick them up used at a much more affordable price. I bought mine at about 1/2 the price of when it was new with a certified warranty. Once the warranty runs out it can get expensive if you have major work to do but its not crazy especially if you find a good local shop to do the work so you don't pay the higher rate at the dealer.
 

Dan F.

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Yup - local shop is the way to go for all the German brands post-warranty. Porsche is actually one of the most reliable brands. I had one for a couple of years and it was an absolute blast to drive (too much so in some ways). The audio hobby is a lot safer...
 

Robert D

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Yup - local shop is the way to go for all the German brands post-warranty. Porsche is actually one of the most reliable brands. I had one for a couple of years and it was an absolute blast to drive (too much so in some ways). The audio hobby is a lot safer...
I track mine, but with the covid problem I havent been in over a year. I need to soon!:(
 
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