My application is primarily for music and secondarily for video games in a 2.1 channel system. I use it with a pair of Klipsch Synergy F-20 speakers, which bottom out around 38hz, but start to taper (slowly!) around 60hz. The speakers are powered by an Adcom GFA-535 amp and GTP-500 pre, and the primary source is a PC with a Fiio E7 DAC/headphone amp.
First, this is a big subwoofer for big speakers. You /can/ use it with small speakers, but results will vary. The seller tested it for me with his pair of AudioEngine A5s, and while he admitted to turning up the gain some for the sake of the demonstration, it was not an ideal pairing for speakers that don't reach very low to begin with.
I didn't use any sophisticated equipment to blend it with my system, just some sine waves and my ears. The filter is set around 50hz and I played with the gain until I could sweep from 100hz down without any noticeable gains or losses in response. As with any subwoofer, blending it seamlessly with your system is absolutely key. It should supplement the low end without changing the timbre of instruments or vocals. I have a smaller sub (Polk PSW202) that plays far too high even with the low pass set at its lowest because it would have nothing to do otherwise. This, on the other hand, goes fantastically low and has no need to cheat in such ways. The filter is very obedient; I've put my finger on the driver during parts of songs which should need no subwoofer whatsoever, and indeed, the driver was absolutely still. This is how the Sub-12 should be used.
If there is any looseness in the construction of your house, this subwoofer will let you know. You don't need to have the gain set unnaturally loud to shake the room, as its beefy and powerful performance is authorative enough to do so when naturally blended with your speakers. I played Dave Brubeck's Far More Drums as a test of how natural and musical it sounds. It adds tremendously to the power and musicality of drum hits, especially toms and other drums with distinct tone, without bloating or changing the timbre. I can turn it on and off and the only difference is in the power of the low end; I haven't tested a song yet where it changed the bass in a way that sounded separate or worse from what the speakers do, and that's exactly what I hoped for. I'm being forward about that for a reason, because I'm sure I'm not the only one who was concerned that adding a (essentially) budget 12" sub would make things sound worse.
Low bass performance is massive as well. I tested that with a few dubstep tunes (Manslaughter from Let's Be Friends and Evil Gameboy from Virtual Riot were my two picks) and the low bass was so strong, I'm still waiting to have the house to myself before trying it turned up.
On the technical side, it does hit 24hz, but I'm not sure if I'd say it does it well. It hits 20hz too, but it's not super tidy about it. Even though sine wave tests didn't show 100% ideal performance at such frequencies, nobody actually listens to sine waves. People listen to music, and for music, it hasn't become a dilemma yet.
Also, don't expect the speaker passthrough to also be a crossover. I don't understand why the importance of proper crossovers is ignored in two-channel audio; I think every preamp should have one built in. The manual even says that the sub's passthrough high-cuts the speakers at 100hz, and it absolutely does not. In fact, you shouldn't use the passthrough at all, as I noticed a distinct loss in fidelity when I did.
I think people overstate how big it is. Sure, it's big, but what did you expect? It's not surprisingly large if you anticipate how big it should be to reasonably accomodate a 12" driver and an amp.
In a few words, this sub is powerful and clean, without sounding slow, muddy, or indistinct. Despite concerns for the contrary, it's definitely musical, and is a great pairing for my midrange Klipsch floorstanders.
I have owned this sub for almost a year now, It replaced an ancient Klipsch SW-8 II sub. It stands in the corner of my living room like a monolith. I keep it at about 4 clicks on the Gain (quarter of the way up) and it absolutely kicks. Start with the Gain at 0 and click one by one until you find your desired volume. Set the sub Crossover all the way up, and adjust the crossover from your receiver, if your receiver has that option. This sub pounds, it has a downfiring 12" Driver, the back features the largest Bass port that I have ever seen. It is almost large enough to stick your leg into. The bass reflex port extends through the inside, all the way to the front of the sub. Everything about this sub tells you that Klipsch engineered it maximize the most bass out of it that they possibly could. If you want your movies/music/games to come to life, look no further. I get compliments from guests all time about the experience. If you play Modern Warfare 2 on PS3, and a grenade gets thrown near you.. lets just say, it will wake you up, to say the least.
I have had this sub for 2 years now and have no complaints. I mostly use it when watching movies. This sub is better than a 12' velodyne sub woofer i had before buying this one. The klipsch sub went lower and sounded much louder at the lower frequencies ( 25-50Hz) range. I have pushed this sub very hard and it has held up to everything I have thrown at it. For the money I think this is one of the best subs you can buy new for under $500. I've also had a 12' Cerwin-Vega sub that didn't go nearly as deep as the klipsch or velodyne.Overall this sub is a real performer and sounds good doing it as well. Music sounds fast and tight never sloppy. Low bass is loud and well defined with demanding movie soundtracks High quality sound for home theater and music.
I already have a Velodyne SPL 1000R which was doing the dual duty of home cinema and for hifi listening, but found it messy each time I needed to switch back and forth between the functions. In choosing a new sub, I had 2 primary objectives in mind 1) performance (akin to the Velodyne's) but 2) at a sensible price level of not more than $500. Confronted with a wide selection, I eventually settle for the Sub 12 because of it's awesome performance with a 12 incher. After having used it for some time, the Sub 12 does not lose out that much to the much higher priced Velodyne. Sheer bottom end oomph was comparable with deep, deep bass in the nether regions as both subs rumble in the low 20 Hz. Where the Velodyne was preferred (slightly) over the Klipsch was in the absolute control in the last octave or half. With an EQ feature of the Velodyne, placement was easy with little or no boominess. However, with the Klipsch, you need to experiment a little to get the placement just right to minimize any tendency to boominess (which I don't find in the Sub 12 anyway). Considering that the Velodyne is about 3 times the cost of the Sub 12, I actually have no complaints at all. What a bargain of a sub! For those still unwilling to use a 12" design, you won't know what you are missing until you try the Klipsch. Make space for the Sub 12, it will greatly enhance your home cinema and music experience! A full 5-Stars performance for the price. This is a value proposition sub for every discerning enthusiast with budget on their mind. Highly recommended budget 12 inch subwoofer with great performance to boot.
This is an excellent midrange 12" subwoofer, and is probably the best sub currently sold at Best Buy. It has an overall clean and pleasing sound, as well as having the capability for loudness with minimal distortion.
Deep bass (below 60hz in this case) is where this sub shines. Deep notes are clean, tight and loud, with minimal cone or port noise. They can easily fill a large room, and creates excellent impact for listeners. This is the sub's strongest point.
Midbass is good for a 12" sub, but is by no means amazing. Depending on the source and sound, bass in the 80-120hz range can sound a little muffled or boomy, but if yoiu have relatively large front speakers or a smaller sub to handle this range, then you eliminate the only real flaw in this sub's sound. Let me repeat, THIS IS NOT A BIG DEAL, AND IS TO BE EXPECTED. This sub produces it's best bass below 80hz, so don't plan on it doing anything above that as exceptionally as it does the deep bass.
I currently have the sub in a 13x13x10 room, and the front speakers currently have 4" midwoofers, and I definitely need to get some new fronts with 5.25s or 6.5s to really get the best bridge between sub bass and speaker bass. In a larger room, or for those who really need good midbass, get a powerfull amp for your fronts, and get some speakers with multiple 6.5s or at least 1 8".
The only other complaint I have with the sub is a slight buzz, only noticble when nothing is playing, as it is quite faint, but it is probably a ground loop, making it not really a sub flaw. Even with the gain turned way up, I can only hear this buzz within about a foot of the sub, and it is gone when the sub goes into standby, which by the way, works flawlessly.
Overall, a very difficult sub to beat if you want good quality deep bass for music or theater