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XTZ Cinema Series 3X12 Subwoofer Review

by September 08, 2015
  • Product Name: Cinema Series 3x12 Subwoofer
  • Manufacturer: XTZ Sound
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStarStar
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStarStar
  • Review Date: September 08, 2015 07:00
  • MSRP: $ 2,500
  • Buy Now

XTZ 3X12 Specifications

Triple 12” drivers

Large “shaped” slot vent with flaring to prevent turbulence

Heavy MDF cabinet with internal bracing and damping

Amplifiers: A total of three Claridy, 500 watt RMS modules, High efficiency Class D, (1500 watts RMS total/ 2700w peak total. No distortion rating given.)

Frequency Response: 16-160Hz vented / 22-160Hz sealed (No tolerances given.)

Finishes: Matte Black with Semi-Gloss Black baffles

Dimensions (H/W/D): 44.5” x 21.1” x 21.9”

Weight:  170.3 lbs

Warranty: 5 years on the drivers and cabinet (2 year warranty on the amplifier & electronics)

XTZ Sound 3X12 Driver Features

FEA optimized motor structure

Shorting ring for lowered distortion

Stamped Steel Frame

Rubber high excursion half roll surround

96oz magnet

Spider optimized for high excursions

2” diameter voice coil

XTZ Sound 3X12 Amplifier Features

Triple Claridy amplifier modules: One per driver

Class D, high efficiency (>90%), switching design

500 watt RMS, 900watt peak per amplifier (1500 watt RMS, 2700 watt peak, total)

Output Maximizer Circuit: Prevents driver over excursion, amp clipping, excessive distortion

Auto On/Off

Gain control

Balanced XLR input

Balanced XLR pass through (Direct/Buffered)

Unbalanced RCA inputs

Variable phase control 0-180deg

Adjustable Low Pass Filter: (40-160Hz, 24dB/Octave, with bypass)

Pros

  • Tank-like construction
  • Bullet-proof protections
  • Huge dynamics
  • 15Hz extension in room

Cons

  • Very large and very heavy

XTZ 3X12 Subwoofer Introduction

A few monthssub3x12-frog.jpg ago I received an email asking if I would be interested in reviewing a subwoofer from XTZ Sound. I had seen the XTZ name tossed around a few times on the forums but knew little about the company and had never had firsthand experience with any of their products. When they mentioned sending in their largest subwoofer the 3X12 and I looked up the description of it, I thought it would be the perfect chance to find out what XTZ and their products are all about. 

XTZ Sound was founded out of Sweden in 2004 by Olle Eliasson, but as of today has a global presence. The XTZ brand currently has products in a wide range of markets from large powered subwoofers, to earphones, to the XTZ Room Analyzer systems. XTZ Sound focuses on internet direct sales and they have a number of interesting philosophies as well, such as “Product Quality over Marketing” and honest and accurate product information. XTZ also sources components from some of the most respected manufacturers in the world such as SEAS, Peerless, Accuton and Bang & Olufson. XTZ Sound also offers a 60 day “Buy & Try” return policy with no cost incurred by the buyer if the product is returned. With this kind of pedigree I’m surprised to say that I had not known about XTZ until perhaps a year or two ago. I’m aware of them now!

When the 3X12 showed up it was on a box truck strapped to a pallet and I was a bit taken aback at the size of the box containing it and the 5’x4’ pallet it sat on, once deposited into the middle of my garage. It was a little bit more than I expected. You would think that I’d be used to that by now. Contained in the box with the 3X12 itself is an owner’s manual, a set of white gloves, the set of three grilles to cover the drivers and the power cord. Unpacking wasn’t that difficult. Leverage is your friend. Use of a dolly for wheeling the 3X12 into place is highly suggested. If you do have steps to be navigated to get the 3X12 into your room, be prepared for you and a buddy to get a bit of a workout.

XTZ offers a 60 day Buy & Try return policy with NO cost for return shipping!

Unpacked the 3X12 is one big subwoofer. It measures 21” wide, 22” deep, 44.5” tall and tips the scales at a hair over 170lbs. Like I mentioned before…A few stretches may be in order if you have to take this monster up a set of steps. Despite its girth I like the looks of the 3X12. The front baffle has grilles and individual baffle covers for each of the drivers, a flared slot vent and a big round over on the edges of the baffles which all help to break up the large rectangular profile a bit. The finish is a dark matte black that is quite durable except for the speaker baffle covers which are a smoother, gloss black appearance. Another thing that jumps out once you see the 3X12 in person is that the cabinet side walls are not parallel. The cabinet is narrowest in the front by the driver baffles and widens substantially towards the back wall of the cabinet. I did not notice this in any of the pictures. The 3X12 is not going to disappear into the décor of a small apartment that is for sure, but it is a good looking system considering its size.

Design Overview

The 3X12 is a large bass reflex or vented design with a set of three 12” drivers arranged in a vertical array on the front of the enclosure and a large heavily flared slot vent below the drivers and also on the front of the enclosure. The amplifier system for the 3X12 is rated at 1500watts and the amplifier plate and controls are on the back panel of the enclosure. Each driver has an individual grille cover which is cloth covered and is easily removed or replaced. I decided not to use the grilles for the 3X12 as I liked the look better without them.

The drivers for the 3X12 are accessed by removing the piece of wood that holds each grille and becomes the front fascia of the subwoofer. Each driver has an individual cover baffle that holds the grille and driver mounting screws. The drivers can be removed by unscrewing four large star drive bolts from each baffle cover to access the driver mounting flange and then removing the screws holding the driver. The drivers are each a 12” nominal frame diameter and feature a pressed paper cone with a poly dust-cap embossed with the XTZ logo. The frame is stamped steel and the suspension system consists of a rubber half roll surround and a 6.5” diameter spider with a small spacer for extra clearance. The drivers utilize a single 2” diameter voice coil which appears to be 4 ohms nominal. The motors have a double stack of ferrite magnets which are about 6” in diameter and weigh 96oz. The back plate is adorned with the XTZ logo and the magnets are covered with a protective rubber boot. The motors also employ a shorting ring in them which lowers inductive, even-order distortions related to asymmetries in the motor system. The drivers are not massively overbuilt like some others but they are engineered well and there are three of them to share the work load, which often ends up performing better than a single “uber” driver.

 3x12 808.jpg        807.jpg

XTZ Sound 3X12 Driver 

The amplifier system for the 3X12 actually consists of three 500watt rated, class D amplifier modules, each of which is in charge of powering its own driver. All are controlled by the same singular set of controls on the amplifier input plate which is on the back of the cabinet. Two of the modules are actually mounted to the amplifier control plate. The third is mounted off to the side on the left cabinet wall. The amplifier controls consist of the usual things like: Variable gain, a 0-180 degree phase control, variable low pass filter control with bypass setting via a toggle switch and a detachable power cord. The inputs consist of both RCA unbalanced and XLR balanced connections. There is also a direct pass through XLR out. There is an auto on/off toggle switch which only works for the unbalanced connections. The XLR balanced input needs to have the toggle set to always the always “ON” position.  Finally there is a toggle switch to control a room EQ setting. The settings are either “Anechoic” which is for larger spaces without significant boundary reinforcement or “Room” which reduces the deep bass level below 35Hz for smaller spaces which exhibit significant boundary reinforcement. The power cable for the 3X12 does not have a center ground pin utilized but since I used the balanced connections the entire time I experienced zero ground loop or noise issues even with the gain on the amplifier at maximum.

3x12 803.jpg         3x12 804.jpg

XTZ Sound 3X12 Amplifier Modules

The cabinet of the 3X12 is built from one inch thick medium density fiber board. The internal construction features a pair of large cross braces spaced at about the 1/3rd points of the panels and connecting the side walls and front and back panels together rigidly. The slot vent is quite large and features a flared opening for less air noise at high output and it also helps to stiffen the bottom of the cabinet. The cabinet walls also have a generous amount of damping material on a number of the internal surfaces. As previously mentioned the side walls are not parallel and the cabinet widens toward the rear panel to a significant amount. This will help avoid standing wave issues between those internal surfaces. The driver cover panels are a thick piece of MDF machined with a couple of nice round overs that cover and hide the mounting screws and hold the grilles over the drivers. It’s a nice way to handle the issue of aesthetics and provide ease of driver access. The 3X12 has a relatively dead and well damped cab despite its large panel area, due to the efforts described above. The parts, build and finishing quality are all quite good. The impression is of a thoughtfully conceived and well-executed design.

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Attached Files

Recent Forum Posts:

KEW posts on May 29, 2018 23:50
Danzilla31, post: 1250877, member: 85700
Hey Kew every time I try to submit my email they say I deleted my Webform and give me really weird instructions on how to resend it they have a contact # I'm gonna try to call it tommorow. ….. Weird.
Yeah, I noticed some weirdness on their website as well when I was wanting to look at products! The “U.S. Store” section was more reliable.
Danzilla31 posts on May 29, 2018 23:45
KEW, post: 1250856, member: 41838
They only list 3X12 Demo! So, apparently this is the price for demo units and they say none are in stock!
They say:


It is interesting that they do not list the 3X12 at regular (non-demo) price! I can think of two scenarios to explain it:
1) This model has been discontinued, so the only ones they might sell are used “demo” units.
2) They are having a difficult time gaining a presence in the US market so decided to discount the price and attempt to build a name here. So they don't piss off European customers, they call them demo units.

Hopefully ShadyJ can get the real story or if you email them, please share what you find out!
Hey Kew every time I try to submit my email they say I deleted my Webform and give me really weird instructions on how to resend it they have a contact # I'm gonna try to call it tommorow. ….. Weird.
Danzilla31 posts on May 29, 2018 20:02
KEW, post: 1250856, member: 41838
They only list 3X12 Demo! So, apparently this is the price for demo units and they say none are in stock!
They say:


It is interesting that they do not list the 3X12 at regular (non-demo) price! I can think of two scenarios to explain it:
1) This model has been discontinued, so the only ones they might sell are used “demo” units.
2) They are having a difficult time gaining a presence in the US market so decided to discount the price and attempt to build a name here. So they don't piss off European customers, they call them demo units.

Hopefully ShadyJ can get the real story or if you email them, please share what you find out!
Hey appreciate the heads up KEW I'm gonna for sure email them and try to get back at ya guys as soon as I can with anything I find out.
KEW posts on May 29, 2018 19:23
Danzilla31, post: 1250853, member: 85700
Hey Shady J I was browsing this article and was curious about they're products so I just checked out they're XTZ U.S. store website. This sub looks like it is on sale they're now for $1500. Did I just work too hard at work today or something? If that's the price now that's one serious subwoofer for that kind off money. I'm gonna contact them myself just to clarify but can you possibly let me know if I'm right? or do I need time off from work Lol Thnx!
They only list 3X12 Demo! So, apparently this is the price for demo units and they say none are in stock!
They say:
Currently out of stock, please E-Mail us for status.

It is interesting that they do not list the 3X12 at regular (non-demo) price! I can think of two scenarios to explain it:
1) This model has been discontinued, so the only ones they might sell are used “demo” units.
2) They are having a difficult time gaining a presence in the US market so decided to discount the price and attempt to build a name here. So they don't piss off European customers, they call them demo units.

Hopefully ShadyJ can get the real story or if you email them, please share what you find out!
Danzilla31 posts on May 29, 2018 17:59
shadyJ, post: 1105625, member: 20472
I would guess the Golden Ear sub is unlikely to have the output, low distortion or overall performance of the 3X12. I would be interested in seeing tests of the Golden Ear sub though, an interesting design though for squeezing a lot of output from a small box. One serious advantage that the Golden Ear sub has is it does not weight 170 lbs.
Hey Shady J I was browsing this article and was curious about they're products so I just checked out they're XTZ U.S. store website. This sub looks like it is on sale they're now for $1500. Did I just work too hard at work today or something? If that's the price now that's one serious subwoofer for that kind off money. I'm gonna contact them myself just to clarify but can you possibly let me know if I'm right? or do I need time off from work Lol Thnx!
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