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RBH SX-10/R and S-10 Measurements & Analysis


Fortunately, my current residence sits on a plot of land that is larger than a one acre field.  This allows for subwoofer measurements 80+ feet away from any object.  The closest object is a well pump that is 30 feet from the house.  Overall, it is nice to be able to take ground plane measurements in your backyard.  Unfortunately, depending on the time of day, there is a potential that small planes will be routed overhead and occasional residential traffic.  While measurements are taken when the RTA says these elements are gone, it is hard to overcome disturbances due to wind.  Using the Earthworks M30 measurement microphone ground plane with a wind screen does a pretty good job blocking these effects but there is a definite variable noise floor that is evident in measurements.  This was further mitigated by averaging several measurements in software for measurement types that support this.


 RBH SX-10/R Crossover Settings

The RBH SX-10/R has a variable 12dB per octave crossover adjustable from 40Hz to 150Hz according to the plate amplifier.  The above measurement shows crossover set at 40Hz, 95Hz, 150Hz and LFE input without crossover.  The crossover targets do not appear to be spot on, as a vertical crossover setting yielded an output that was almost 15dB at the target of 95Hz.  At 40Hz and 150Hz, they appear pretty close to their targets.  It is advisable to use an RTA to find the proper target setting for your system if you are not using bass management or room correction with measurement systems.

RBH S-10 Crossover Settings

RBH S-10 Crossover Settings

The crossover settings for the S-10 yielded similar results.  The vertical setting on the crossover does not represent 95Hz.  Therefore, if you plan on using the line input and relying on the subwoofer’s built in crossover, make sure you have a measurement system such as an RTA to find the proper setting for your system.

RBH SX-10R vs S-10 Frequency Response

RBH SX-10/R VS S-10 Frequency Response (90dB Sweep)

 The above graph compares the frequency response of the subwoofers using the LFE input without any crossover in place.  The measurements were level matched but the graph offsets the two curves to simplify display. The SX-10/R clearly has a more linear response with deeper extension than the S-10.  The SX-10/R has -6dB points of 25.3Hz and 194.1Hz while the S-10 has -6dB points of 28.7Hz and 232Hz.  The -3dB points for the SX-10/R are 27Hz and 120Hz while they are 32Hz and 109Hz for the S-10.

RBH SX-10 and S-10 Group Delay

RBH SX-10/R VS S-10 Group Delay

The group delay measurements for both subwoofers were very well behaved.  Due to wind noise contamination, the graph starts at 15Hz as data below this is invalid due to noise floor issues.  Neither subwoofer approached 1 cycle of delay throughout its usable bandwidth.

RBH SX-10R Compression

RBH SX-10/R Compression (90-110dB 5dB Step)

The RBH SX-10/R did not exhibit any artifacts of thermal compression when comparing 90dB measurements before and after long term power testing.  The RBH SX-10/R shows slight compression with increasing power but is very well protected.  The subwoofer employs voltage limiting at the input to limit maximum power.  Compared to other subwoofers, this subwoofer has low input sensitivity.  Using the Oppo BDP-105 I had to set this subwoofer to 0dB with the volume pot on the subwoofer at 100% to level match the mains.  Typically, the HSU volume pot is set to around 25% and I have the BDP-105 set at -6dB.  As can be seen in this graph, the subwoofer is capable of peaks around 106dB before the signal is completely squashed by voltage limiting.

RBH SX-10R Compression Magnitude

RBH SX-10/R Compression Magnitude (90-110dB 5dB Step)

This graph shows the amount of compression relative to the 90dB sweep.  The lowest curve is for a 110dB sweep, which shows the voltage limiting and compression at max sound pressure level.

RBH S-10 Compression

RBH S-10 Compression (90-110dB 5dB Step)

The RBH S-10 did not exhibit any artifacts of thermal compression when comparing 90dB measurements before and after long term power testing.  The S-10 shows slight compression with increasing power but is very well protected.  The subwoofer also employs voltage limiting at the input to limit maximum power.  The S-10 has the same low input sensitivity as the SX-10/R.

RBH S-10 Output Compression Magnitude

RBH S-10 Compression Magnitude (90-110dB 5dB Step)

The results here are very similar to the results for the SX-10/R.  The low frequency compression is relatively gradual with increased power.  The subwoofer is well protected against over excursion and clipping.  

RBH SX-10R vs S-10 Max Output

RBH SX-10/R VS S-10 Maximum Output Comparison

This graph shows the difference in maximum RMS sound pressure level for the SX-10/R in black and the S-10 in Red.  At maximum power, the SX-10/R has significantly greater low frequency output and maintains reasonable linearity.

RBH SX-10R Distortion 90dB

RBH SX-10/R Distortion at 90dB

The RBH SX-10/R remains below 4% total harmonic distortion throughout its operating range at 90dB.  The distortion at this power level is very low.  When comparing this graph to the graph for the S-10, note that the fundamental output is louder at lower frequencies.  Since the distortion in dB is close between the two graphs, what is important is the distortion in decibels relative to the fundamental frequency.  Therefore, the SX-10/R exhibits a lower percentage distortion at low frequencies. 

RBH SX-10R Distortion 105dB

RBH SX-10/R Distortion at 105dB

The SX-10/R at maximum output exhibits a maximum of 18% distortion from 30Hz to 120Hz at 105dB.

RBH S-10 Distortion 90dB

RBH S-10 Distortion at 90dB

The S-10 has no more than 6% total harmonic distortion from 30Hz to 120Hz when producing 90dB.  This is slightly higher than the SX-10/R but still low.

RBH S-10 Distortion 105dB

RBH S-10 Distortion at 105dB

The S-10 distortion hits a maximum of 20% from 30Hz to 120Hz when attempting to drive the subwoofer to 105dB. 

CEA2010 Results

RBH SX-10R CEA 2010 Results

RBH SX-10/R CEA 2010 Results

RBH S-10 CEA 2010 Results

RBH S-10 CEA 201 Results

The results for the maximum short-term power output using CEA2010 test methodology are shown above.  The RBH SX-10/R and S-10 produce good results for a smaller-sized 10 inch subwoofer.  At 25Hz the SX-10/R was 3rd harmonic distortion limited to 94dB meaning at higher SPL, the 3rd order harmonic was less than 15dB below the fundamental.  At 31.5Hz and above, both subwoofers were amplifier limited to the sound pressure levels indicated in the table above.  The SX-10/R was able to produce more output than the S-10 across the board.  However, above 40 Hz, the difference was within a couple of decibels. 


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Recent Forum Posts:

BoredSysAdmin posts on February 13, 2020 22:51
Reviving a 6-year-old thread? hehe. Ok. My opinion hasn't changed. I want to see the measurements first.
What changed with time is my knowledge of how to read these measurement graphs. What to dismiss and what to pay close attention to. RBH/EMP still makes great products that measure really well in important things, such as low distortion, linearity, and self-control.
CoryW posts on February 12, 2020 21:55
BoredSysAdmin, post: 1034427, member: 28046
Is it just me or anyone else is irked to see “Musicality” in poll options? Don't know whatever heck it is.
Now, “Flat Response” - I do understand

And as for RBH subs - thanks for great review, but imo both of these subs need to quickly migrate to EMP, price reduced, to compete with SB1000/SB2000 likes
I understand this type of comment. I’ve owned subs that could produce huge quantities of low end thump that made movies with a lot of special effects shine. When listening to low end content that needed a bit of grace, such as the sound of fingers plucking an upright bass in jazz, or other tracks that needed finesse, classical music etc, they left me wanting. I’ve had a sub with 8” driver with passive panels that was amazing for music, but puked awfully trying to create a “big badda boom”.

I own 5 RBH subs right now, two 1010-SEN (later upgraded to 10” reference) two TS-10AN, and a TS-12AN.

Each one of these subs handle everything with ease. The standard 10” and 12” driver really produces a satisfying wave that rolls right through the chest. Running the TS-10 as a pair in my stereo listening is perfect perfect perfect. The listed low of 30hz should not put anyone off. They produce an satisfying low end. They should bottomless. The 12” inch sub was a lucky thing. It was a very old black paper woofer, but an awesome cabinet. I put a standard 12” aluminum woofer in the case, let it break in and holy cow.

Now, the 1010-SEN/r subs are something completely sic. They reach down to 18hz or so, and will rip your face off if you sit too close. I put an amp in bridged mode at 1500 watt, then made a mistake on the initial volume setting when firing off a sub test track. The driver didn’t bottom out, the amp didn’t clip, and the felt waves made me jump out of my chair. There is nothing in the recorded audio world that these subs can’t reproduce to absolute perfection, and at any volume level.

I dream of a pair of reference 12” twin monsters one day. They make some of the best subs in the business.
ousooner2 posts on May 31, 2014 13:26
I get some decent output down to 25hz and then it falls off. I'm using 2, but it's closer to a 1,000sqft area (yes, sqft). They sound incredibly musical too, which is something that just does not happen at this price point. I know there are more factors than just the sub that play into that, but I've had the PA-120, Klipsch rw-12d and e1010i all in the same spot…and it's not even a fair fight.

I'd love to have a ton of lower end extension, but that comes at a much higher cost (unless you DIY)
AcuDefTechGuy posts on May 30, 2014 20:07
gene, post: 1034636
Sometimes we all get a little too caught up in the measurements without actually trying a product real world to see how it really performs.
Yeah, what's the saying? Measurements aren't everything? If it sounds good, then it's good?

Real world experience.
gene posts on May 30, 2014 17:28
BoredSysAdmin, post: 1034628
I don't have to imagine, only to remember. At AH GTG 2012 in EMP small room a single “little” i1010e corner loaded - was extremely impressive during few short movie clip demos

Sadly forum folks dismissed this sub b/c it didn't have a lot of measured output below 30Hz so it was never a big seller. Sometimes we all get a little too caught up in the measurements without actually trying a product real world to see how it really performs.
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