Funk Audio 18.0 Sealed Subwoofer Review

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by admin, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. admin Audioholics Robot Staff Member

    admin
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    Love sealed subs? We do too and you're gonna love the Funk Audio FW18.0 subwoofer that features an ultra high excursion 18" driver with a massive high power 2400 watt amplifier. The old myth that larger drivers sound "slow" is clearly disproved with our audio tests of this baby. And, look at our test data. This is one high performance, compact sealed sub you will want to take a closer look at.


    Read our Funk Audio FW18.0 Subwoofer Review.

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  2. Steve81 Audioholics 5-O

    Steve81
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    Not too shabby looking for sure; it compares quite well with the Velo DD18+ and Paradigm Sub 2, particularly considering the cost. Thanks for the review Josh, and keep up the good work!
  3. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

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    I'll say. You could practically swap the DD18+ and 18.0 measurements, though the 18.0 is smaller, 45lbs lighter, has more output above about 40Hz (as if anyone will ever use it), and the 18.0's list price is about 45% less than the Velodyne's. The DD18+ has cool set-up software, application-specific programs, and a remote control, and perhaps better looks, but the 18.0 seems like quite an achievement. Of course, if I could I find a single reason why my DD18+ isn't good enough for me, and I can't, I'd probably go for the 18.3, just to scare people when they come into the room. :)
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
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  4. lsiberian Audioholic Overlord

    lsiberian
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    This is about what I expected from such a great product. The price is a high though and I think that is it's biggest drawback.
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  5. mwmkravchenko Audioholic

    mwmkravchenko
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    Nice thorough Review

    Good to read a well written, and factually supported review of a loudspeaker.

    Looks great.

    Thanks Josh.
  6. shadyJ Audioholic Ninja

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    For me, this looks like the platonic ideal of a subwoofer. It is basically flawless. It's the perfect balance of performance, aesthetics, price, and manageability. The performance is all-around excellent, as the review shows. Yeah, there are a handful of less expensive subs that you could get more output from, but they are a sacrifice in every other respect: they don't look nearly as nice, and they are usually a lot larger and heavier. Here we come into manageability, I wouldn't want a sub that I can't move by myself. Placement makes a big difference in the bass sound, and I need a sub that I can try in different areas of the room without having to call a friend, so goodbye to all the subs that weigh 150+ lbs. By the way, from some google searches, it seems the FW 18.0 is 130 lbs., but that isn't in the review or product page, however that would be a bit of useful information to be included.

    There are few subs that look as gorgeous as this one. I would say that high end KEF 18" subs looks as good but that thing is 5X the price. That is seriously the only one I can think of that is a match for the aesthetics. Using a grill on the 18.0 is a crime though, that really ruins it. It reminds me of that awful bumper they had to put on the North American version of the Lamborghini Countach which completely ruins its curves. For a reference, the European Countach:
    Lamborghini_Countach-LP400_1974.jpg
    and the US Countach:
    1987_lamborghini_countach_25039577.jpg
    Ugh!

    Another thing is I think a single driver per cabinet sub is the best solution; less heat, less weight, and fewer moving parts for greater reliability. I would prefer this, and I would also take the 18.0 over the 18.3, yeah those PRs will get you more deep bass around a certain point, but only by sacrificing SPL everywhere else, and also making the sub a lot larger, heavier, more expensive, and less visually appealing, and probably adding a good chunk of group delay to its performance as well.

    As for the cost of the 18.0, yeah it is expensive, but not unattainably expensive like a JL Gotham G213, Paradigm Sub 2 or the aforementioned KEF sub. And that cost can be mitigated by getting the passive version which is only $2k. You could get two passive 18.0s and a couple of iNuke 6000s for $5k, that would be a killer setup. I agree with the review, for the caliber of cabinetry involved, this sub is a bargain. If I were on the market for some subs today at this price range, the 18.0 would be at the top of my list, but I am all set up for subs for the time being, and my next upgrade would have to be my speakers at this point.
  7. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

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    In the review it said the 18.0 weighs 95lbs. You have to expand the Specifications header on the first page.
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  8. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

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    I think most music bass is from 40Hz-80Hz. Also, a lot of people set their XO @ 80Hz.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2013
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  9. Steve81 Audioholics 5-O

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    There's certainly no shortage of content in the range, but 120+dB at 2 meters outdoors is a LOT of output. You "only" need 114dB to hit the bassaholic extreme mark, which is considered adequate to deliver peaks of 123dB in room at the listening position (115dB for the LFE channel + 5 channels of rerouted bass at 105dB; 4m distance in room, sub corner loaded).
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2013
  10. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

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    For acoustic instruments, yes, but a lot of contemporary jazz and pop music has a surprising amount of content below 40Hz. Large (22"+) kick drums are like that too. Not that I'm trying to argue with you, because I think subs in this class have more output than all but really huge rooms may ever need. For subwoofers we seem to do a lot of output level locker room checks on this forum, if you know what I mean.
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  11. Steve81 Audioholics 5-O

    Steve81
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    Behold, 18" of slam! :D
  12. Adam Audioholic Jedi

    Adam
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    This is why I never look in a locker room. I felt pretty super fantastic about my 13"...until now. Then again, I do have two of them. :eek: :D
    Adam,
  13. Steve81 Audioholics 5-O

    Steve81
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    Well you've got a 4 foot long black tube, so you've got nothing to really be ashamed of :p
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  14. lsiberian Audioholic Overlord

    lsiberian
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    Someone is in love.
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  15. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

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    Ugh, look what I started. Mea culpa!
  16. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Warlord

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    I hope that Josh will add this sub's measurement data to his own database o data-bass.com
    I most curious how 18.0 compares to chase vs18.1. and Yes I know the later is much bigger and not as polished, but price is very tempting
  17. Ricci Bassaholic

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    Thanks for the remarks on the review Mark and everyone else. I try to keep it fair and interesting...

    Nathan said the weight was about 100lbs in an email. Using my "back scale" I gauged it at about 95lbs. It might even be slightly lighter. I had no problems carrying it myself. (150lbs and bulkier cabinets is where subs start to get uncomfortable to lift for me.) The 18.0 is certainly not 130lbs. That would have to have been back when he was using the 80lb 5400 driver. The TSAD driver is more like 35lbs.

    Steve81,
    As far as the amount of gain you will see in room and how much headroom you could possibly need...It is complicated but from the few rooms that I have actually measured the gain in, you do not recieve nearly as much as people make out (The amount assumed in the AH room ratings calculation is very generous to say the least, but I still feel like it is a good general guideline as to how capable a sub is at filling a larger room.). First off you don't sit 1 meter from the sub usually...Most cases are probably more like 3 or 4 meters from the sub. The room is a huge factor and there are so many variables in room construction, shape, size and the positioning of the listening position and speakers within it, that it is very difficult to even generalize what might happen in a broad sense. That said in the cases I have personally investigated the gain is nowhere near uniform above the Schroeder frequency and is subject to the typical peaks and nulls present at the listening position. These effects are most pronounced above 30Hz and increasingly so on up past 120Hz into the lower midrange. The situations I have investigated have resulted in mostly positive gains below the 25-35Hz area at roughly 4 to 8dB increase per octave. Up above 30Hz there is much less uniform gain and usually a couple of large peaks and large depressions in output. In the rooms that I have measured the output from a corner loaded subwoofer measured at the listening position will result in a net loss in output in the upper bass as compared with a 2m groundplane measurement except for where the room acoustics cause a peak in the response. For example the peak output of the FW18.0 in my room measured using CEA-2010 was basically even with the outdoor 2m GP measurement at 30 and 40Hz and had lower output in room at 50-125Hz except for the 80Hz band. In one frequency band the FW18.0's max output as deliverable to the main listening position was reduced by almost 10dB due to a room acoustics induced suckout in that frequency band, 112dB @125Hz maximum at the LP. Yes you read that right...The FW18.0 offers a blistering 121.6dB capability at 2m outdoors but just 112dB in this band in my room at the LP. Remember that the LFE channel has content going up to 120Hz and past at sometimes full power and unless your sub has the LFE xover set lower which will throw away this content you have to expect that your sub may be expected to reproduce it. This is part of the reason that I measure up to 125Hz. My room is far from unique in this, in fact most peoples rooms will have several peaks and dips from 30-125Hz to overcome even after careful placement, optimization and/or room treatments. If you are trying for a smooth uniform response, these dips in the response will mean that your subwoofer system's dynamic capabilities are limited in these depressed areas first, meanwhile the other parts of the frequency range will have plenty of headroom to go. Typically some amount of EQ will be used to help flatten and smooth the response delivered to the LP and EQ manipulation will mean that the subwoofer is driven much harder in some frequency bands compared to others. Additionally when looking at a subwoofer or any other speakers maximum output you don't want to be using everything the speaker system has got... Yes it will hit those measured peaks if driven hard enough but you want to be running the system about 6dB lower than maximum because that last 6dB of output is where distortion skyrockets, the amp starts limiting or clipping, power demands on the amplifier are increased by 4X which also means much more power into the driver/s, more thermal compression and heating effects, more port or vent compression, etc...Speakers never sound as good in that last few dB of output. So if you care about a smooth response shape, consider that your room will likely cause there to be some frequency bands where the subwoofer is going to work much harder than others for the same output at the LP and also that you do not want to be running your sub system at its limits but preferrably well below that point and that while the deep bass generally gets a welcome pick me up boost in room, the upper bass frequencies get no such guarantee and can often be depressed in output rather than recieving gain and you can see how suddenly much more headroom is needed in the upper bass than it may seem at first glance.

    When looking at your in room response measurements and gauging your available headroom it is the lowest points on the graph from 25-100Hz that you need to be concerned with not the average or peaks. No single commercial subwoofer I have yet measured has come anywhere close to being able to provide uncompressed REF level peaks from movie playback over the majority of the frequency range of 25-100Hz in any of the rooms I have measured. Not the 18.0, the PB13-Ultra, Sub2, DD18+, etc...Granted this is darn loud and most of us listen well below that (I'm usually -15 to -10 even with my reference system.) but it just goes to show just how much firepower it really takes to have that type of wide bandwidth output with headroom to spare.

    BoredSysAdmin,
    Yes eventually the FW18.0 measurements will be on DB a few weeks from now. (Including quite a few measurements not put into the AH review for the sake of keeping it under 20 pages...Gene already gets on me for how stupidly long the reviews are...:D)
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  18. shadyJ Audioholic Ninja

    shadyJ
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    Dude, I have been salivating over that beauty for a long time... one day she will be mine, oh yes she will be mine! (but in a piano gloss black finish)
  19. Pyrrho Audioholic Ninja

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    There is almost always going to be a better subwoofer out in the world than whatever it is that one owns. However, there comes a point when an improvement is trivial, particularly for the cost. Unless you have a huge room, I imagine that 2 SVS Ultra subwoofers are perfectly adequate. I personally use two of their old 12" Ultras (twin CS-Ultra subwoofers), and I have no intention of ever upgrading. Anything better is not going to be worth the cost to me. Of course, if I move and then have a bigger room, I might change my mind, but I do not expect to ever have a larger home theater than I have at present.

    In this case, given that the Funk Audio 18.0 subwoofer costs almost as much as both of your SVS subwoofers combined, if it is not much better than one of yours, it is a very bad value.

    Before upgrading subwoofers, I would be looking at new main speakers if I were you, not that I think there is anything particularly wrong with what you have.
  20. Adam Audioholic Jedi

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    Thanks, Pyrrho! I was just making a locker room joke, though. ;) :D

    You're absolutely right - two Ultras is more than enough. Heck, one was enough. :) The second one was a good deal, though, and it helps smooth out the response across my different sitting positions. An 18" sub would be awesome, but I don't know where I'd put it (shut up, Steve :D).
    Adam,
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