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Outlaw Audio Ultra-X12 Subwoofer Preview

By Jose Munoz

Summary

  • Product Name: Ultra-X12 Subwoofer
  • Manufacturer: Outlaw Audio
  • Review Date: June 07, 2015 10:00
  • MSRP: $639.00 (Shipping not included)
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Buy Now

  • Frequency Response: 25Hz. -180Hz. +/- 2 dB w/o Port Plug 17Hz.-180Hz +/-2dB w/ one port plugged
  • A down firing design with dual ports that virtually eliminates audible port noise
  • A long throw 12" driver for deep bass extension
  • A powerful 350 watt Audera amplifier for precise driver control
  • Variable port tuning for customized output 
  • Crossover Type: 4th Order Low Pass Network
  • Crossover Frequency: 60Hz to 120Hz and Bypass
  • Signal Sense for automatic turn on/off
  •  180-degree phase control
  • Line and speaker level inputs
  • Detachable power cord
  • Phase: 0 to 180 Degrees
  • SPL: 120dB (subject to placement and room gain)
  • Dimensions: (HxWxD) 21.25" x 16.0" x 23.0"
  • Weight: 66 lbs.

We were quite taken with the Outlaw Audio  LFM-1EX Subwoofer that we reviewed a couple of years back. The EX was capable of producing nice articulated bass and a lot of chest pounding punch which, to be honest, is not expected from a sub its size - it surprised us. The EX behaved so well, that it even received our Audioholics Bassoholic Large room rating and, believe me, that's not an easy task to accomplish for a "compact-sized" unit like the EX. What amazed us even more was its $649 price tag. For those wanting a smaller footprint, less pricey alternative, LFM-1 Plus Subwoofer; also put on a good show. 

We are happy to share more good news with our readers and Outlaw fans around the globe. Outlaw Audio decided that it was time to evaluate their line of high performance subwoofers and wondered what could be done to design a better product. As a result, they began interviewing customers who owned some of their previous models to determine what was important and what they were looking for in a subwoofer. While some said the power from the EX was their main priority, others wanted a smaller footprint. After they got enough feedback and information from their customers, they finally were in a position to start developing a new product that would combine the best features based on the customer feedback. That means a smaller enclosure with lots of  power - That's what I call the best of both worlds!

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The new X12 features a long throw 12" down-firing woofer powered by a 350-Watt Audera  amplifier.

Below you can see a close look at the back plate of the subwoofer's amplifier. Common features include auto-on, phase, crossover adjustment, volume and port mode. It also offers a sub in internal crossover, a sub in external crossover, loudspeakers pass-thru, and high level inputs.

ultraplate.jpg

Outlaw Ultra-X12 Backpanel Amp View

 

According to Outlaw Audio, the new Ultra-X12 is one inch wider and one inch deeper than the PLUS and delivers 17Hz (+/- 2 dB) in the max extension mode. By redesigning the interiors of their current LFM models Outlaw Audio claims that in maximum output mode the Ultra-X12 delivers 120dB, which would exceed the EX by 2 dB. 

Based their website Outlaw Audio made the these changes to develop the new X12:

1. PORT DESIGN - Outlaw decided to use a longer port than the plus for greater bass extension for the cabinet size.

2. AMPLIFIER TECHNOLOGY - This is a totally new amplifier design from Audera. According to the company, it offers greater efficiency and power in a compact design. Idle power consumption has been reduced to 0.5 watts, which meets the latest subwoofer amplifiers guidelines.

3. BRACING SYSTEM - The X12's cabinet features a totally redesigned bracing system. They call it "window pane" Perimeter Bracing". It consists of vertical and horizontal interlocked lattices which now support the side and end panels as well as the top and baffle. Outlaw says it raises the resonant frequency of the cabinet away from the critical 60-65 Hz range, virtually eliminating any tendency for coloration in the mid-bass frequencies.

4. ELECTRONIC PROCESSING - As we said, the Ultra-X12's amplifier is a totally new design. As a result, it offers an improved equalization system to linearize the frequency response. Earlier LFM model designs tended to be a bit "fatter" in the 60 Hz range, producing a slight overemphasis of that frequency. In order to solve this, they have effectively eliminated that mild elevation to produce a very flat response. They have performed A/B comparisons with an EX, and they say that the new X12 showed an audibly improved resolution.

5. NEW LIMITER CIRCUIT - A new advanced limiter has been optimized to strengthen maximum output to keep the integrity of the system's performance.

6. ADDITIONAL OUTPUT - The X12 includes an output for a second subwoofer to simplify "scattered subwoofer" installations without the need to use an external RCA "Y adapter". This is a plus when you have little to no possibilities of wiring a second unit from the main source.

Outlaw Audio says this is the best unit they have ever produced, but of course, we'd like double check on that. After witnessing what the EX had to offer in terms of performance, we must say that we are already expecting very good things from the new Ultra-X12.

But what about the actual measured performance?  Well we couldn't help notice our friend Brent Butterworth ran some CEA-2010 groundplane tests which are provided below.

Frequency (HZ)             SPL (2M RMS)

63 Hz                               113.3 dB

50 Hz                               112.4 dB

40 Hz                               108.8 dB

31.5 Hz                            107.1 dB

25 Hz                               106.0 dB

20 Hz                                99.3 dB

* CEA2010 data courtesy of Brent Butterworth of Hometheaterreview.com

Based on the CEA2010 data, the Ultra-X12 sub meets our Large Bassaholic Room size rating with a good degree of margin.

The Outlaw Audio Ultra-X12 Subwoofer is available now with an MSRP of $639 plus shipping.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.