Mark_Seaton
Today a formal review of the SubMersive was published to Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity.  The full review can be found here at http://www.hometheaterhifi.com.

A big thanks to John Johnson for taking so much time to evaluate the pair of SubMersive HPi+ as any owner knows getting them into a room and positioned is no trivial task!

Due to John Johnson's past experience with a Paradigm Sub 2 which was limited by the 120V power supply he was very interested in testing a pair of our 240V capable, SubMersive HPi+ subwoofers.  The high Voltage supply requires >200VAC to deliver rated power, but the more expensive power supply (usually a $300 premium) does offer added regulation of the power line the higher you are above ~200VAC.  Put simply, a 230V or 240V AC power line would have to sag more than 15% (30-40V) before there is any change or reduction in maximum power.

Driving a single SubMersive cabinet as was tested, this is rarely an issue, but when you start using a pair of HP+ or F2+ models with each driving the matching HP-Slave or F2-Slave this can be a benefit over a single 20A line.  If you have limited circuit capacity and can convert a circuit or run a new 240V circuit it is a great way to deliver more power over less wire in the wall.  The vast majority of SubMersive owners in the US are not missing anything vs the "i+" version, and in fact you loose a bit of performance running the i+ models at 120V.  They will operate, but clip at a lower power level.
Mark Seaton
Seaton Sound, Inc.
sales@seatonsound.net
773-290-8436
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Mark_Seaton
Reserved
Mark Seaton
Seaton Sound, Inc.
sales@seatonsound.net
773-290-8436
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herndonb
This must be why I find the SubMersive subwoofer to be the finest subwoofer on the planet.  The distortion is SO low.  I always find specs tell you very little about how something really sounds, but <1% distortion from 25 Hz up...does any other subwoofer do that?  <0.5% distortion from 50Hz up!  The SubM rules!!!  The SubMersive is the quickest, most detailed, sneakiest (as in blend into the room and disappear sonically) subwoofer on earth.
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MikeDuke
Congrats on a great review Mark.  Having had the original 1000 watt SubMersive and now the original HP 2400 watt model for years, I can agree with that reviewer %100.  It is one of the best HT buys I have ever done. I am very satisfied with it.  Just imagine what would happen if one of the bigger versions ever came to be a staple in the choices offered by Mark [eek].
Congrats again Mark.  
I simply love this stuff.
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Mark_Seaton
herndonb wrote:
This must be why I find the SubMersive subwoofer to be the finest subwoofer on the planet.  The distortion is SO low.  I always find specs tell you very little about how something really sounds, but <1% distortion from 25 Hz up...does any other subwoofer do that?  <0.5% distortion from 50Hz up!  The SubM rules!!!  The SubMersive is the quickest, most detailed, sneakiest (as in blend into the room and disappear sonically) subwoofer on earth.


Thank you, and great to hear you are still loving your SubMersive. [smile]

Below is what I just posted to the AVS thread regarding the distortion measurements:

I would caution against too much comparison of John Johnson's test data vs those done by others like the more rigorous testing at Data-Bass, especially with regards to output capability. I will double check with him, but I believe the measurements were all taken in the middle of his room or off the midpoint of a wall. Much more useful comparisons can be had by looking at his past history of reviews. You will see the SubMersive is similarly low in distortion with more headroom beyond his 100dB spot-check or exceeds many well known subwoofers he has tested.

A quick scan of the subwoofer reviews under the "AUDIO" section found these past reviews for some comparison. The first 2 show how well the SubMersive has strengths over even the servo-feedback designs like the $9k Paradigm Sub2, and Velodyne DD-18+, while also showing much lower distortion, more output and deeper extension than well reviewed subs like the JL F113 and Ken Kreisel DXD-12012. Do take note a few older reviews measured at 1 foot rather than 2m or the 18" distance he used for the frequency response he saw in his room.

[B]Direct links to Secrets' subwoofer reviews by John Johnson - "On the bench"[/U]

SubMersive HPi+
Paradigm Sub 2
Velodyne DD-18+
JL Audio F113
KEN KREISEL DXD-12012
JL Audio F212
Sunfire SDS-10
Earthquake MiniMe P10
Earthquake Supernova MKV15

Poking through the above, here's a fun quote from the earlier review of the Paradigm Sub2:

Quote:
At 15 Hz and 100 dB output, with the microphone 2 meters away, distortion was less than 2%. That is a landmark result. But it gets better. At all measurements up to 50 Hz, 100 dB output, and the microphone 2 meters away, distortion never rose above 2% except at 25 Hz, where it was still only at 2.3%. I am speechless about these results, except for the word "Astonishing".

Having some fun with some admitted cherry-picking...

15Hz 100dB - Sub2 vs SubMersive:

20Hz 100dB - Sub2 vs SubMersive:

25Hz 100dB - Sub2 vs SubMersive:

And then in the very important upper octave... 50Hz 100dB - Sub2 vs SubMersive:

Happy reading. [cool]

Mark Seaton
Seaton Sound, Inc.
sales@seatonsound.net
773-290-8436
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Kain
Two thumbs up! [smile]
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Stereodude
Congrats on the published review.  However, I'm not sure I can afford a Submersive since Mark is using $6,000 watts and they start at 2400W. [tongue]

This statement in the review left me a tad confused.  "There is also a limiter dial that you can set to keep the amplifier from clipping."  - AFAIK, there's a gain / volume knob, not a limiter knob.

And why did he keep referring to them as subs intended for custom install?  I would have guessed that's the minority of your customers.  Is that not the case?
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herndonb
Agree with all StereoDude.  The "$6000 watts", the "clipping limiter", and the custom install talk...didn't understand where any of that came from?
So even though the distortion is remarkably low, there must also be something to the opposed driver configuration and lack of cabinet noise or something?  The SubMersive is just so effortless and sonically locks into a room so easily.  I haven't heard another sub disappear in the room like the opposed driver design does.  It just does it's thing without ever drawing attention to itself.  Magic.  Will the 18" driver be as low distortion as the 15"?  When the opposed 18" XL/2 is available will it sound just as clean?  I mean in theory the larger driver is working less hard and should be even more effortless I assume, but how do you improve on perfection with the SubMersive HP?  I've never heard an offensive sound from this sub, even running it hard.  While I have no need for the 18", if Mark says it outperforms the SubMersive HP, then I must hear it!  :-)
Also, did everybody notice that Secrets never dared run any of the other subs a 10 Hz?  Either they didn't have 90 dB of output, because the manufacturers had to high-pass protect them all, or they had distortion that was off the charts and they didn't want to publish it...
SubM rules! 
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Secrets
I should have said limiter indicators (three LEDs) instead of knob. I will edit the article to correct that. I have never tested a subwoofer at 10 Hz, because most subs have difficulty at 20 hz, let alone 15 Hz or 10 Hz. I have blown out a few subs trying them at 15 Hz. At Mark's suggestion, I went back and got the data at 10 Hz. It delivered measurable output, but was limited to 90 dB output and had 24% distortion, which makes it not very useful. However, in Program 2 mode, it probably would have delivered a few more dB.

As to the Paradigm SUB-2's, they are the closest in performance to the Seatons that I have tested over the years. When I play Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man, my neighbors tell me they can feel it when standing outside in their yards, and on the floor in their basements. One neighbor is two houses up, which is 200 feet away. Literally, the earth moves.

Anyway, congratulations to Mark for making such a fine product at an affordable price. They are truly great subwoofers.

John E. Johnson, Jr., Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief
Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity
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Secrets
Since you have been discussing a comparison of the Seaton SubMersive to the Paradigm SUB-2's, and I have the Paradigms here, I tested one at 10 Hz today. The spectrum is shown below. I am sure you are surprised. I am too. But, to be fair, the SUB-2's are about 3 times the price of a Seaton SubMersive.

paradigm-sub-2-subwoofer-10-hz.gif
John E. Johnson, Jr., Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief
Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity
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KenWu
Interesting diverse result fcompared to what I read about Paradigm sub 2 at Data-bass .
http://www.data-bass.com/data?page=system&id=69&mset=75
It's hard to believe such low THD @10hz /100db can be attained.
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Secrets
I used a calibrated laboratory grade microphone accurate to within plus or minus 0.5 dB from 8 Hz to 30 kHz. The graph is accurate, and the SUB 2 can put out 100 dB at 10 Hz. Part of it is room gain to be sure, but the spectrum is an objective measurement of the SPL in the room at 2 meters from the subwoofer. That's why we gave it the Bad Ass award. I have never encountered any other subwoofer that can beat the SUB 2. But, it's nearly $10,000. It should be awesome, and it is. When I played the 10 Hz test tone, I could hear nothing at 100 dB. I thought it wasn't playing for some reason, but the low distortion was the reason. 10 Hz is inaudible, and the harmonics were too low to be heard as well. Everyone who visits my test lab says they have never heard any system like my reference setup.
John E. Johnson, Jr., Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief
Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity
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Secrets
Paradigm's website page on the SUB 2 states that the sub will output 112 dB at 10 Hz, and the voice coil has an Xmax of 2" peak to peak. They build the drivers themselves at their own factory in Canada. So, those are the reasons the SUB 2 does 10 Hz at such a low distortion. My test lab has no windows and I test with the doors closed, so subwoofers that have sealed enclosures, like the SUB 2, can pressurize the room, as opposed to testing outdoors on a ground plane. My two SUB 2's are wired at 240 volts, so the amplifier can output 9,000 watts. The price this year is $10,500/each.

http://www.paradigm.com/products-current/type=subwoofer/model=sub-2/page=overview

It's a benchmark product, no doubt about it.
John E. Johnson, Jr., Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief
Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity
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audioguy
I can buy 8 SubMersives for about the same money as 2 of the Paradigms, More placement options so much more uniforum response at each seat. Would the output ability at 10HZ of these 8 match dual Paradigms in SPL and distortion?
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Secrets
My guess is that 8 SubMersives would match the two Paradigm SUB 2's because you would not have to turn up the volume very high on the SubMersives, so the distortion would be lower. But, with 8 SubMersives, where would you put the couch to sit on and listen to the music?  [smile]
John E. Johnson, Jr., Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief
Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity
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Mark_Seaton

Secrets wrote:
My guess is that 8 SubMersives would match the two Paradigm SUB 2's because you would not have to turn up the volume very high on the SubMersives, so the distortion would be lower. But, with 8 SubMersives, where would you put the couch to sit on and listen to the music?  [smile]


Hi John,

Thank you for the added input and background on the measurements you take in your room.  While in the retail/hi-fi world the SubMersive might be described as a behemoth, in the online direct market of those fleshing out their own dedicated theaters, it's actually on the reasonable end of the spectrum with a very high percentage owning a pair or an HP+/F2+ & matching slave unit.  Many more than you might expect also have 4 total units, with a handful having 6 in rooms such as "thebland's" theater from AVS which I happened to visit and calibrate.  There was general info in the Home Theater of the Month highlight here, and specifically here is more detailed info on the in-room performance of the 4 SubMersive HP subs behind the screen wall and stacked F2+ & F2-Slave in the rear corner.

This was the starting in-room response before any EQ/room correction with nothing more than a 7ms delay on the rear pair (green = main/middle row):
[thebland-3rowsCenter] 
By comparison, even I was surprised at how many were interested in a limited run of these massive, dual 18", ported beasts tuned for ~10Hz extension we had dubbed the Terraform XL.  These stand 54" tall, 22.5" wide and 28" deep.
[TF-D18-pair] 

Everyone who ordered... ordered 2! [eek]

A little perspective of their size with 4 of them set up behind me next to our tri-amplified Catalyst 12C loudspeaker:
[12C-prep-1] 

As always... Size is very relative. [cool]

Mark Seaton
Seaton Sound, Inc.
sales@seatonsound.net
773-290-8436
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dmraupp
How much $$$ does the Terraform XL cost?
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herndonb
For those wanting the SubMersive's ultra-low distortion, speed, snap, dynamics, and effortless presentation...and are still concerned about achieving 100 dB at 10 Hz, just wait until the sealed SubMersive XL/2 with opposed 18 inch drivers is released.  I haven't heard every subwoofer available, but I bet the current SubMersive opposed 15 inch already is more dynamic and "pops" more than every other sub out there.  The SubM has >3X less distortion at 50 Hz...this probably matters more than 10 Hz output numbers?
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Mark_Seaton
dmraupp wrote:
How much $$$ does the Terraform XL cost?


After we get some new units shipping the immediate future I'll probably come back to see what can be done in getting the enclosures reliably produced at a quality level I'm happy with.  For many rooms I feel the new F18 + & slave and possible combinations will offer more flexibility in a much more manageable package which can be assembled in pieces over time vs dealing with a 300 lb behemoth.

My current estimates would have a production Terraform XL like the 8 units we delivered selling for about $3995 powered and $2795 for a slave unit.  At the to-be-announced introductory prices, you could assemble a dual amplified system with 6 sealed 18" drivers making for dual 6' tall stacks of 18" drivers for only $1200 more than what we would have to sell a Terraform XL +/slave pair for, and you still have an option to add 2 more 18" drivers.  All while using less floor space or allowing for multiple locations with 3-4 units across the front and rear walls.

I'll certainly be looking at a Terraform-like design in the future, but we'll have to come up with something that really offers some performance advantages in a useful package to make it worth polishing out for production.  While we are long due for some new introductions, I try to refrain from adding products and variations unless I feel the product really makes sense and offers something unique where I can clearly recommend it to specific customers.  Too many offerings just "because we can" only pushes out lead times and confuses choices.
Mark Seaton
Seaton Sound, Inc.
sales@seatonsound.net
773-290-8436
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pbc
Congrats on the awesome Secrets review Mark.  Hopefully this starts to silence many (myself included at times!) who always wondered why the sub was never third-party tested!

The fact that it holds its own and in many cases beats the Sub2 is no small feat.  My brother owns the Sub2 (I was trying to get him to buy 2 submersives a few years ago instead but he is a "look at my expensive name brand" kind of guy...and I guess if you can afford it, why not!), and it's an incredible sub.  But as John says, it should be at $10k!

Now call me back on those Spark XC1's would ya! (It's Steve ... [smile] ).
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grahamjones365
Hi
I have been following the forum for a while and have come to the conclusion that the submersives should be a contender in my set up. Are they available for the Uk market, ideally I would want a master and slave unit. I have emailed seaton a few times but not had a response on either email so take it they are not available to UK. Does anyone know of similar spec/sounding subs that are available for the uk market
Thanks
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Mark_Seaton
grahamjones365 wrote:
Hi I have been following the forum for a while and have come to the conclusion that the submersives should be a contender in my set up. Are they available for the Uk market, ideally I would want a master and slave unit. I have emailed seaton a few times but not had a response on either email so take it they are not available to UK. Does anyone know of similar spec/sounding subs that are available for the uk market Thanks


Hi Graham,

We did receive your e-mail yesterday afternoon and are looking into current shipping details.  We can definitely ship to the UK.  You will need the HPi+ or F2i+ version for 240V operation.  We do have a few of the original style amplifiers available to ship within a few business days of ordering (you can see here the new features vs the original) at a nice savings over the newer version which we will be in stock the week of August 1st.

You should see an e-mail shortly (it appears something happened with a response we sent to your 1 previous e-mail).
Mark Seaton
Seaton Sound, Inc.
sales@seatonsound.net
773-290-8436
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grahamjones365
Thanks Mark I will look out for the email
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