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Aperion Audio Bravus II 12D Subwoofer Measurements and Analysis

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The 12D was placed outdoors in a large field with the nearest large objects a minimum of 60ft or greater away from it and with its active driver pointing directly at the microphone and the 2 passives firing 90degrees perpendicular to it. The measurement microphone was placed on the ground at a distance of 2 meters from the nearest enclosure face of the 12D containing the active driver and pointing directly at it. The LFE input was used with the gain at maximum unless otherwise specifically noted for all measurements. For more info on the testing equipment and procedures please see the article here.

Powered Subwoofer Testing Outline and Procedures Overview

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 Aperion Bravus II 12D: Effect of Low Pass Filter Settings

A measurement was taken of the 12D with the low pass crossover bypassed using the LFE input and also at its maximum, minimum and settings corresponding to the 3,1,11 and 9 o’clock positions on a clock in order to observe its effect on the response shape. This is presented in the graph above. The effective adjustment range appears to cover what amounts to a 60Hz low pass to a 150Hz low pass with a 4th order roll off. Interestingly using the LFE input gives about a 4dB boost in input sensitivity.

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Aperion Bravus II 12D: Basic Frequency Response as Tested

The response shape of the 12D subwoofer measured using the LFE input stays within a 6dB total window from 22-400Hz which is very good and confirms Aperion’s response rating. There is a bit of a hump in response at 40-50Hz but this is low q and less than 3dB in total. The 12D is capable of running up as high as 180Hz or higher if needed to match small bass limited speakers.

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Aperion Bravus II 12D: Group Delay

The group delay plot for the 12D shows only a small increase in delay between 16-25Hz which is likely to be where the passive radiator tuning and rumble filter are located. However the total delay barely breaks 1 cycle and not until below 23Hz. 1.5 cycles is never approached. This is a fairly clean result for a bass reflex system and certainly there is nothing likely to be audible or worth worrying about shown here.

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 Aperion Bravus II 12D: Long Term Power Compression

The long term output compression sweeps for the 12D subwoofer indicate that the response shape is well maintained through the 100dB nominal sweep level. A 105dB sweep produced some overload noise from the passive radiators and active driver over a narrow bandwidth. The measurement appeared to indicate that this was around 20Hz as output barely increased there and compression below 25Hz was substantial. The subwoofer likely still has output headroom to go in the upper bass range but the testing was stopped here due to the behavior in the deep bass. It appears that the high pass filter to protect the system below the passive radiator tuning might be set just a bit too low in frequency. Being the nice guy that I am I decided to see what happened if I push the 12D even harder in the deep bass in an effort to ascertain whether the protection circuits would prevent the drivers from beating themselves to death below tuning. The limiter circuits did clamp down preventing any further level increases before any damage could occur. A simple change to a few components in the amp to raise the frequency that the rumble filter kicks in a little higher would likely prevent the driver noises entirely. This was the only objectionable sound that I could get out of the 12D and it seemingly only occurs when pushed very hard around 16-20Hz. Otherwise it was unfazed throughout the testing and listening sessions both and emitted no rattles, buzzes or bad resonances from the cabinet which was inert throughout.

Editorial Note on Output Compression Testing: This is by far the most demanding measurement type conducted on the subwoofers during our testing and will reveal any issues with overload, port compression, port noise, driver distress, creaks, rattles, buzzes, etc. Additionally the test is conducted outdoors with just the subwoofer operating so there will be no nearby walls or objects to vibrate and no upper frequency content from other speakers in operation. These would normally help to cover up or mask any objectionable noises from the subwoofer in a typical room. Any sort of audible distress or issues with the subwoofer are readily apparent in this environment.

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Aperion Bravus II 12D: Output Compression Magnitude

Looking at the amount of compression exhibited only, it can be seen that the 12D performs well in this regard up until the point that the drivers in the system ran completely out of excursion near 20Hz. Above 30hz the compression is less than 2dB at the maximum sweep level used.

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Aperion Bravus II 12D: Total Harmonic Distortion

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Aperion Bravus II 12D: Distortion by Component

 The distortion results for the Bravus II 12D presented above are rather good for a subwoofer of this size and price. Looking at the THD graph the notch in distortion right at 25Hz indicates that this is the likely tuning of the system. The increase in distortion levels to a peak at 31.5Hz indicates this is the area of maximum driver excursion above tuning. Above 35Hz the THD stays below 10% and below 5% above 40Hz. The distortion by component graph shows something even more interesting as the distortion percentage is greatly dominated by the 2nd harmonic which is largely held to be the least audible and in some cases a little H2 is even described as sounding better. The predominant 2nd harmonic distortion and the low overall distortion levels above 25Hz combine to indicate that the 12D will sound very clean in its useful range of operation.

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Aperion Bravus II 12D: CEA2010 2 Meter Groundplane RMS Results

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Aperion Bravus II 12D: CEA2010 2 Meter Groundplane RMS Graph

CEA2010 Results

The CEA2010 burst testing results for the Aperion 12D indicate that while it isn’t a sub bass Goliath it has surprisingly potent output over much of its range. At 20Hz the 12D could only muster 87dB while passing and just over 90dB if distortion is ignored. This is obviously below the tuning of the system. At 25Hz the 12D grunts out just over 100dB with acceptable distortion which is impressive for a subwoofer the size of this one. At 31.5Hz the 12D recorded 105.3dB and from 40Hz through 125Hz the output approaches 110dB or more. A maximum figure of 112.6dB was recorded at 50Hz. That’s a lot of gumption from a 15.5” cube and partly explains why it did so well in both the music and movie portions of the listening tests.

 

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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.

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