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Emotiva Ultra 12 Subwoofer Review

by January 02, 2011
Contributors:
  • Product Name: Emotiva Ultra 12 Subwoofer Review
  • Manufacturer: Emotiva
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStarStar
  • Review Date: January 02, 2011 09:30
  • MSRP: $ 499
  • Buy Now

 

Power Output: 300 watts RMS, 500 watts peak

Frequency Response: 22Hz to 200Hz (in-room)

SPL: 110 to 113db (in-room)

Balanced Input: 1V

Unbalanced Input: 500 mv.

Phase Adjustment: 0 - 180 degrees @50Hz

Low pass Crossover: 50-150Hz variable, 24db/oct

Warranty: 5 year transferable

Dimensions: 14.5" W x 14.5" H x 15.25" D

Weight: 38 lbs.

 

Pros

  • Clean tight sound
  • Superb output
  • Unbeatable value

Cons

  • No speaker level inputs
  • Small size limits ultimate bass extension

Introduction

"Subwoofer" - it's like a magic word around here and makes all of us audioholics have little dreams of black boxes that cause our walls to crack, dishes to rattle, and rock our children to sleep... from the other end of the house. Some people think a good subwoofer will go down to 2 Hz, cost $200 and live in a box the size of a small laptop computer. Others go for size, wanting nothing less than a small refrigerator that will smack them around like a rag doll. We prefer a slightly more balanced approach, so when Emotiva announced their affordable Ultra Sub 12, we were intrigued. A 12” high quality driver mounted in a modest sized sealed enclosure with a meaty power amp for under $500 sure sounded like a winner to us. Could their magic black box deliver good bass and punch at an affordable price? Read our review to find out.

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About the author:

Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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Recent Forum Posts:

Protostar1 posts on February 25, 2011 20:55
digicidal, post: 794823
Yes, it is necessary (unless you are going to use it as an end table) - however, there is nothing required other than playing it.

I just put on Lord of the Rings and ran it boosted louder than I have it running now (I put the gain dial on both - I got two Ultra 12's - at the third hash mark) and let it play at a pretty loud volume. Loud enough that I didn't really want to be in the room basically for about 25-30 minutes. I would guess from the sounds alone that the break-in took less than 5 of those, but during that time it did audibly get deeper and smoother in the bass.

After that I calibrated both which called for reducing the gain by 2/3 what I had it at… and the sound hasn't changed. Bascially all you're doing is getting it a little warm and working the surround. After it's broken in during the first few minutes… the rest is just for fun anyway.

Great! I have just been thumping music through it for the past two weeks. It has been working great (way more sub than I need with my wuss Canton bookshelves). Much improved over the tiny 8" Canton sub paired with the MXII speakers.

I did have a very bizarre and loud rattle in what sounded like the front baffle of the driver on the sub. I lifted the sub up and gave it a light shake and put it back down and no further noise… A little disconcerting but the thing is brand new and has a solid warranty I suppose.

I have set up the sub to the best of my ability (I have an SPL meter but am not sure how to run a pink noise calibration on my RX-V559…) and I am getting some serious standing waves in my roughly 12x12' room with one wall solid concrete, one open to a kitchen, one drywall, and the other all glass windows. The bass booms at about 3', 7', and like 12' from the sub. Is this a function of my room or is there a way I can smooth this out? I have the sub volume down to only about 1/4 of max because the speakers are simply over powered any higher. The lower volume marginally alleviates this issue but not totally. Higher overall volumes still produce a bit of the boom at those radii. Any advice?
son-yah-tive posts on February 24, 2011 10:05
openvista, post: 778493
Thanks, Gene, for the great review. However, I believe the MSRP on Emotiva's site is $599.
It's on SALE right now for 429.00 shipped! I'm ordering it tomorrow. Along with a Balanced Cable.
tattoo_Dan posts on February 23, 2011 08:52
Sugarbear, post: 794933
Man, I have the Anti-Mode 8033B and it's easily one of my best AV buys ever. Those little boxes are amazing. Enjoy!


cool ! that's good to hear,I will set it up later today.
Sugarbear posts on February 23, 2011 08:18
tattoo_Dan, post: 794812
I also bought a Anti-mode 8033C today.

Man, I have the Anti-Mode 8033B and it's easily one of my best AV buys ever. Those little boxes are amazing. Enjoy!
digicidal posts on February 22, 2011 21:04
Protostar1, post: 790340
I will be setting it up in a moment but wondered if anyone had recommendations for a break-in procedure. That assumes such a thing is even necessary…

Yes, it is necessary (unless you are going to use it as an end table) - however, there is nothing required other than playing it.

I just put on Lord of the Rings and ran it boosted louder than I have it running now (I put the gain dial on both - I got two Ultra 12's - at the third hash mark) and let it play at a pretty loud volume. Loud enough that I didn't really want to be in the room basically for about 25-30 minutes. I would guess from the sounds alone that the break-in took less than 5 of those, but during that time it did audibly get deeper and smoother in the bass.

After that I calibrated both which called for reducing the gain by 2/3 what I had it at… and the sound hasn't changed. Bascially all you're doing is getting it a little warm and working the surround. After it's broken in during the first few minutes… the rest is just for fun anyway.
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