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XTZ Cinema Series 3X12 Subwoofer Measurements and Analysis

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The XTZ Sound 3X12 subwoofer was measured while placed outdoors, on the ground, in a large field, with the nearest large objects a minimum of 60ft away from it. The cabinet was lying horizontal on its side with the drivers and port facing towards the microphone. The microphone is an Earthworks M30 measurement microphone which was placed on the ground at a distance of 2 meters from the nearest enclosure face of the subwoofer, pointing towards the drivers and centered between the 3X12’s various radiators. The grilles were also left off. The amplifier was set to maximum gain, the low pass filter was bypassed and the Anechoic EQ setting was used for all measurements unless otherwise noted. For more info on the testing equipment and procedures please see the article here.

Powered Subwoofer Testing Outline and Procedures Overview

 3x12 low pass settings.jpg

XTZ Sound 3X12: Low Pass Filter Settings

The XTZ 3X12 was measured in both vertical and horizontal orientations in order to find the one which offered the best response shape, output and blending of the driver and port output. An orientation with the XTZ 3X12 lying horizontal on its side with the drivers firing directly at the microphone was found to offer the best overall response. This is the orientation suggested by XTZ also. The microphone was placed so that the mic was centered between the three 12” drivers and the slot vent.

The first set of measurements, after settling on the cabinet orientation, captured the effect of changing the low pass filter setting. These can be seen in the graph above. The black trace is with the low pass filter bypassed. A number of settings were used ranging from maximum down to a setting of 40Hz. The low pass filter control was quite accurate, was very close to the indicated frequency and exhibited a 24dB octave roll off as advertised.

3x12 room eq settings.jpg 

XTZ Sound 3X12: Effect of Room EQ Toggle on Frequency Response
Black trace: Anechoic / Red Trace: Room EQ

Above is the frequency response of the XTZ 3X12 with the room equalization toggle switch set to both positions. The anechoic setting produced a relatively flat response shape down to about 35Hz with a gradual roll off towards 16Hz below that point. The room setting triggers a slight boost of about 1.5-2dB above 100Hz and a shallow roll off towards the deep bass which appears to begin up near 100Hz if the two responses are merged up top. The responses converge again way down near 14Hz. The room equalization setting should work just as designed by reducing the deep bass energy in smaller spaces to keep it from becoming excessive or bloated sounding.  

3x12 basic response.jpg 

XTZ Sound 3X12: Frequency Response as Tested

 

You can't really get the 3X12 to sound bad no matter what you throw at it.

Above is the frequency response measurement of the XTZ Sound 3X12 as it was configured for the majority of the measurements. XTZ lists a frequency response of 16-160Hz for the 3X12 with no tolerance given and also lists a response of 22-160Hz as a sealed system, also with no tolerance given. With the low pass filter bypassed, the equalization toggle set to “anechoic” and the vent open the response of the 3X12 was measured to be within a 6dB total window from 19-242Hz and within a 10dB total window from 16-274Hz. The measurements also indicate that the port resonance is at about 175Hz but it is fairly well damped. That being the case the 3X12 would likely be best if crossed over no higher than 120Hz or so. With the same settings except the vent being plugged the response measured as 26-242Hz while staying within a 6dB total window and from 18-274Hz while staying within a 10dB total window. (Note: This is the only mention of running the 3X12 system sealed I found in any of the literature. The system did come with a large foam plug in the vent but there are no other settings on the amplifier or other indications that it is expected to be run as a sealed system. I did measure the system with the vent plugged, in what would be the sealed configuration, but the very steep high pass filter is still in effect, so the system does not effectively utilize the shallower 12dB octave roll off of a sealed system and would lose a large amount of headroom around the vent tuning as well, so in my personal opinion it would be a waste to run this sub without the vent open. That being the case and due to there being no mention of the sealed operation mode other than a single response spec in the manual, I decided to forgo an entire set of measurements on the system with the vent plugged.)

3x12 group delay.jpg 

XTZ Sound 3X12: Group Delay

The group delay chart for the 3X!2 subwoofer is characteristic of a bass reflex system which employs a steep high pass filter for protection just below the vent tuning frequency. Both the vent resonance and the electronic filter cause some delay in the energy of the system which shows up in the group delay chart. In the case of the 3X12 it remains well below 1cycle of delay until down close to 22Hz. The delay increases until it reaches about 1.5 cycles from about 13-17Hz. It is generally considered that group delay of less than 1 cycle is inaudible in the bass frequencies and that it becomes less of an issue at the deepest frequencies. Since the 1 cycle threshold is not crossed until down near 20Hz or even lower there is nothing of audible concern in the group delay graph in my opinion. I certainly never heard any smearing or sluggishness from the 3X12.

3x12 long term output sweeps.jpg 

XTZ Sound 3X12: Long-Term Output Compression

The long-term output compression measurements for the XTZ Sound’s 3X12 indicate a stout system with impressive output capabilities. The measurement starts at a baseline drive level which produces 90dB referenced to 50Hz at 2 meters using a very slow sine wave sweep which puts a heavy demand on both the amplifiers and drivers. The output is then increased by 5dB for each subsequent measurement until the system makes obvious distress noises or severely compresses the output. The 3X12 is stoic and resolute up to and through the measurement that asks it for 110dB over much of the upper bass range. At this point it is still maintaining its basic response shape well and is not compressing much. The next 5dB increase in output demand causes the 3X12 to start compressing noticeably near the vent tuning at about 18Hz. Another full 5dB increase produced broad band compression and virtually no increase in the deep bass output so the testing was stopped there. Note that by this point the 3X12 was producing about 107dB at 20Hz and 115 to 118dB above 30Hz which is a lot of output in an outdoor measurement setting. Also noteworthy is the fact that the 3X12 produced all of that output with nothing more offensive than a bit of port wind noise. I didn’t hear any cabinet rattles, speaker distortion, or mechanical noises. Combined with the in room listening sessions this proves that the XTZ guys have this baby very well protected and you won’t accidently grenade it with the wrong signal. Heck, you can’t really get it to sound bad no matter what you throw at it.

Note on Output Compression Testing: This is by far the most demanding measurement type conducted on the subwoofers during our testing and it mercilessly reveals any issues with overload, port compression, port noise, driver distress, creaks, rattles, buzzes, etc. Additionally, the test is conducted outdoors with only the subwoofer under test operating so there will be no nearby walls or objects to vibrate and no upper frequency content from other speakers in operation. These things would normally help to cover up or mask any objectionable noises from the subwoofer in a typical room or operational setting. This is pretty much the worst case scenario for any subwoofer, putting it under the proverbial microscope with test signals. Any sort of audible distress or issues with the subwoofer will be readily apparent in this environment. Much more so than in a typical room with accompanying speakers and electronics, while listening to music or movies.  

3x12 long term ocm.jpg 

XTZ Sound 3X12: Output Compression Magnitude

The 3X12 is a serious bass system. It is one of the most powerful subs we've ever tested

The chart above is the measurement information from the previous graph titled: Long Term Output Compression, presented in a different manner which shows only the amount of compression occurring in the signal. In other words, how well is the speaker tracking the increases in output demanded by the signal input? In the case of the 3X12 subwoofer as presented here we can see that it tracks the signal quite well until asked for roughly 110dB over most of its upper range. At that point it exhibits just 1 to 1.5dB of compression right at the vent tuning down below 20Hz. The next 5dB increase causes more compression of the output in the deep bass from 14-22Hz where it is now compressing by up to 5dB. The bandwidth above 25Hz still exhibits less than 1dB of compression though. Increasing the output demand from the 3X12 another full 5dB to a level that would produce near 120dB over a large part of the bandwidth finally puts it into severe compression in the deep bass where the output is being compressed by 5-10dB near the vent tuning. The upper bass is also starting to see a bit of compression by this point. Again it is worth noting that the 3X12 did not act stressed or distorted at all while this was occurring, so its protection circuits are operating very well. 

 3X12 CEA2010 GRAPH.png

XTZ Sound 3X12: CEA2010 2 Meter Ground-plane RMS Results

CEA2010 Results

The CEA2010 maximum-distortion-limited-short-term output results for the XTZ Sound 3X12 are excellent and further cement that this is a serious bass system. The 3X12 manages a passing output of 97dB way down in the depths at 12.5Hz which is significantly below its intended operational range. Moving up to the 16Hz band the port and driver stop fighting each other and the system cranks out a bit over 106dB which is impressive. At 20Hz the 3X12 produces over 110dB with a passing result of 111.5dB and the output only continues to grow from there. At the 40Hz bands and higher, the 3X12 starts producing in the range of 122-123dB, which is very loud. This performance further solidifies the 3X12 as one of the most powerful subwoofers that Audioholics has ever tested. Also interesting is the fact that the 3X12 just stopped getting louder in the majority of the frequency bands rather than approaching the distortion thresholds at all. Even down at the 12.5Hz and 16Hz bands the output stopped right near the point that the distortion thresholds were met. This is another indicator of how well-behaved and sonically clean the 3X12 is. It appears that someone on the engineering and development teams at XTZ Sound spent a lot of time dialing the 3X12 in.

 

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Recent Forum Posts:

KEW posts on May 30, 2018 00:50
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 30, 2018 00:45
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 21:02
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 20:23
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 18:59
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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