“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

Aperion Audio Bravus II 12D Subwoofer Listening Session

By

For all of the listening sessions the Bravus II 12D was placed in the front right corner of the room with the PR about 3 inches from the wall. This places the subwoofer about 4 meters from the primary listening position. I have determined this to be the best available single subwoofer placement in the room for most units. Audyssey was run on the system to allow it to integrate the Bravus II 12D, which was then followed by a check and recalibration of the subwoofer and speaker levels prior to the listening sessions. It is assumed that the majority of purchasers would utilize some form of automated room correction system to integrate a new subwoofer. The Bravus II 12D’s internal low pass filter was defeated in favor of a 100Hz internal one inside of the Onkyo PR-SC886P processor.

Editorial Note: I have recently moved into a new home and have a listening room that is significantly different from my previous one. The new room is a smaller 3150 cubic ft but open to a large hallway connecting to the rest of the basement with a shorter ceiling and more complex shape. Additionally the new room is cement slab floor with 3 walls of brick as opposed to the larger wood frame and floor constructed room I had been in. This room is easier to drive than the old space but has much less tactile transmission so I now use a -10 master volume setting for movie playback instead of -15. I am still slowly getting acclimated to the differences in sound in the new room.

Music: WBaroness-The_Red_Album-Frontal 800.JPGith the 12D being the first compact subwoofer that I have listened to in the new house I was curious as to how it would behave and how much energy it would impart in a space without wood framing to energize. Turns out it did rather well. I started off listening to random selections from my collection including but not limited to: Loreena McKennit, The Police, Animals as Leaders, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Volbeat. Throughout which the 12D happily provided solid fundamental tones and support to underpin the music. The electronic bass tones, bass guitar and drum work from various random genres of music were all well reproduced by the Bravus 12D and without any sense of over emphasis on any particular part of the bass spectrum. The sound was neutral and clear at typical listening volumes for me, especially through the crossover region. So far so good. For a greater in depth listen I decided on the “Red” album by the rock band Baroness. This album has a distinct and clear bass guitar tone that is set very nicely in between the drums and guitar in the mix while the drum set has a large and thumping kick drum and booming floor toms. The music is at times relaxed and meandering and other times morphs into furious rock riffing with the result being that it sounds better the louder it is turned up. As usual I started off at low volume for the first couple of tracks where the 12D did a great job tracking the often wandering bass line amidst the dense guitar and drum work at which point the song Isak came on and volume knob was twisted up a bit more. The 12D responded with more volume and seemed to have no issue with maintaining composure even among the most treacherous and twisty passages. Tonal accuracy was very good with no obvious smearing of notes, loss of purity or lack of kick drum attack. The final track is Wailing Wintry Wind which starts off with a great drum build up running from the rims, to the snare, into tom work descending into the floor toms before finally breaking into full riff and a bass line that is complex and prominent with fundamentals covering most of the mid bass and typical crossover region between sub and mains. During this build up the drums are mixed loudly with the snare thick and woody when laid into and the floor toms cavernous. I turned the volume up a bit louder still for this track and the 12D was up to the task and produced a strong presentation of the low register present in the track without the warming over or smearing sound that often occurs when smaller subwoofers are asked to do heavy lifting in a large open room. The kick was even starting to get a bit of tactile sensation to it and the bass line was still clear despite the heavy kick drum being reproduced at the same time. Certainly there are limits to the Bravus 12D but I was impressed at the composure and what amount of “fun factor” was available from such a compact unit.

Blu-ray Movies: The Grey

Since the 12D did so well supporting the low eThe grey.jpgnd of all of the music I listened to, I was curious to see what it could do with the louder and much lower frequencies present in modern movies. One movie that I viewed with the 12D covering the bass range was The Grey starring Liam Neeson, which isn’t the most demanding soundtrack ever but has a couple of parts requiring significant power from the subwoofer. There are plenty of background bass rumbles that accompany the howling Alaskan wind throughout the movie and it can get quite loud at times. The 12D did a good job of transporting me into a howling gale force wind when called to do so. Near the beginning Liam Neeson’s character goes into a bar which is accompanied by loud bar music. Here the 12D again did a nice job of acting like a bigger sub system and projected lots of thumping bass into the room sufficient for me to believe that I might actually be in a club. At about 25 minutes into the film the plane that the workers are riding in experiences major catastrophic failure in several systems and the horrific plane crash that follows is home theater demonstration quality material with violent bass and lower midrange reproduction required from the subwoofer and mains as the plane disintegrates and plummets from the sky before finally plowing into the ground. The 12D valiantly gave its all during this section and produced lots of roaring bass to accompany the onscreen destruction but seemed to lack the lowest bass frequencies and dynamically the presentation seemed a bit squashed and muted compared to what it can be. Less scary lets say. Similar to the difference between experiencing a plane crash from a hundred feet back rather than having the plane crash around you. I also thought that I perhaps heard a bit of overload or distortion from the 12D during this part but with so much going on at once I can’t be sure. This is a very difficult piece of audio for any subwoofer to handle at these volumes so considering the price and size of the 12D the fact that it gave a good account of itself in a large room during this section without going into protect or obviously sounding bad is a result to be proud of. The 12D can produce substantial bass output but for loud HT playback adding a second 12D would be worthwhile.

 

Confused about what AV Gear to buy or how to set it up? Join our Exclusive Audioholics E-Book Membership Program!

Recent Forum Posts:

pbc posts on November 15, 2012 17:58
It's nice to finally see a real review of the Aperion subs. I've been wondering about how the 12D performed for ages as it looked like a potentially good “compact size” recommendation.

Looking at the build quality, driver complement (i.e., one 12“ driver plus two 12” rads), and amp power, that's not a bad price for the performance provided and box size.
shadyJ posts on November 11, 2012 18:44
theJman, post: 921826
You mean the one were you said "If there is an issue shown in the waterfall it will usually show up in the group delay chart or vice versa"? If so, that's what actually prompted my original post.

The ‘usually will show up’ part is a bit of a concern, but the biggest issue I guess is the waterfall is easier for me to read/decipher. That, along with the distortion and compression tests, are usually the first ones I look at, because combined I think they give a good picture of the basic functionality of the sub.

Maybe Ricci will put those up at his data-bass website, if he adds the Aperion data there.
theJman posts on November 11, 2012 14:39
Ricci, post: 921733
See my comment about the waterfall and group delay above.

You mean the one were you said "If there is an issue shown in the waterfall it will usually show up in the group delay chart or vice versa"? If so, that's what actually prompted my original post.

The ‘usually will show up’ part is a bit of a concern, but the biggest issue I guess is the waterfall is easier for me to read/decipher. That, along with the distortion and compression tests, are usually the first ones I look at, because combined I think they give a good picture of the basic functionality of the sub.
Steve81 posts on November 11, 2012 11:45
3db, post: 921761
I don't know what all the excitement is about this sub. I think its performance for the money is not all that great…If given my choices, I would take the Outlaw over the Aperion.

Sure, if you can fit the Outlaw, it's a much better option. But keep in mind, the Aperion is a 15.5" cube. For what it is, it performs quite well.
3db posts on November 11, 2012 11:28
I don't know what all the excitement is about this sub. I think its performance for the money is not all that great. The PSB300 fro $100 more has a much flatter frequency response and digs a little deeper. Its finish is not nearly as nice I will admit.

Post Reply