RBH Sound SX-12 Subwoofer Review & Measurements

A

admin

Audioholics Robot
Staff member
RBH Sound has chosen to forego most of the extra bells and whistles that accompany many other subwoofers with their SX-12 model and instead chosen to focus on the basics. A vented subwoofer based around a 12" driver and utilizing a 350 watt amplifier, the SX-12's curved side panels and aluminum cone provide an upscale look amongst a sea of black cubes. The SX-12 achieved our Bassoholic Medium Room rating, so it is not an all out SPL juggernaut, but its low distortion and greatly extended top end capabilities helped it reproduce music in a very satisfying manner. Those looking for a subwoofer stressing musical performance the RBH SX-12 just may be for you.


Discuss "RBH Sound SX-12 Subwoofer Review & Measurements" here. Read the article.
 
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Clint DeBoer

Clint DeBoer

Banned
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haraldo

haraldo

Audioholic Spartan
I like this from the review: It's hard to make a big black box look good but I think that they pulled it off :p
 
B

Bghead8che

Audioholic Intern
$1050? :rolleyes:

For that amount of money you could get an SVS, HSU, Rythmik, etc that would easily give you much better performance. I can't see why anyone would want to pay $1050 for a sub that underperforms.

My .02 cents :p

-Brian
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
$1050? :rolleyes:

For that amount of money you could get an SVS, HSU, Rythmik, etc that would easily give you much better performance. I can't see why anyone would want to pay $1050 for a sub that underperforms.

My .02 cents :p

-Brian
I have to agree. It looks nice, but those are not fantastic CEA measurements for over $1k, especially from a "no frills" sub. I wouldn't be surprised if alternatives half its price can top or exceed those results.
 
gtpsuper24

gtpsuper24

Full Audioholic
On the light side too only 53lbs for a $1k 12" sub!? Even Axiom's subs weight more then this thing, EP 350 has over 20lbs on this sub. Would like to see what the inside of this sub looks like, I bet its just 3/4" mdf with no bracing.

I have been checking out EMP and RBH stuff and to me they seem cheaply made, over priced and under performing. EMP stuff I know is budget minded, but that new dual 10" is pathetic. First I though that maybe the woofers use Neo magnets but havent't found any thing mentioning it.
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
On the light side too only 53lbs for a $1k 12" sub!? Even Axiom's subs weight more then this thing, EP 350 has over 20lbs on this sub. Would like to see what the inside of this sub looks like, I bet its just 3/4" mdf with no bracing.

I have been checking out EMP and RBH stuff and to me they seem cheaply made, over priced and under performing. EMP stuff I know is budget minded, but that new dual 10" is pathetic. First I though that maybe the woofers use Neo magnets but havent't found any thing mentioning it.
Before comparing the RBH sub to the Axiom you should look at the CEA data for the Axiom..... This is difficult to do since Axiom doesn't submit product to anyone to measure via groundplane or CEA test methodology.

Here is their 2nd top of the line sub (EP600) which doesn't even outperform a $700 sub from SVS:

Axiom EP-600 (2nd test) - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com
(Notice the high group delay as a result which results in ringing caused by the steep filters.)

Sadly the SVS sub is less than 1/2 the size and 1/3rd the cost of the Axiom EP600 sub. Both companies are ID so the price disparity shouldn't be that great.

Let's see how the EP600 performance against the much smaller and cheaper RBH Sub looking at the continuous 2 meter sweep data.

The Axiom EP600 shows:
20Hz 95dB, 30Hz 105dB, 50Hz 100dB

The RBH SX-12 shows:
20Hz 90dB, 30Hz 105 dB, 50Hz 110dB

The EP350 has significantly less output than the EP600 so its doubtful it would even compete with the RBH sub below 30Hz.

RBH does make heavier hitting subs but this is their top seller and they wanted it reviewed. They also offer an upgrade version with their Status 12" driver and bigger amp which would put out at least +3dB more output at low F.

If you want more output from RBH you will have to step up to their 1010-SE/R or soon to be released 1212-SE/R but that starts approaching $5k and a very large box. RBH subs cannot compete with ID subs from the likes of SVS / HSU dollar for dollar. Their business model doesn't allow for that nor do any Brick&Mortar companies for that matter.

The RBH sub in question does have quite a lot of output above 30Hz and a shallow enough slope below to get a bump from room gain so it still performs pretty well for what it is and as Josh pointed out, it was great for music.

EMP stuff is designed for value and aesthetics. We haven't even measured or reviewed their new sub so how about you sit tight before slinging mud against something you've never heard and something that hasn't even been reviewed yet?
 
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gtpsuper24

gtpsuper24

Full Audioholic
I was comparing Axioms build quality vs RBH build quality. So how about it? Lets see those internals of that sub and see what $1K gets us? I've seen many reviews of speakers with the drivers and tweeters hanging out showing off the insides, also seen the PB13 Ultra's interior shown off.

Couldn't agree more Axioms subs suck, even Axiom fanboys on their own forum usually don't recommend Axiom subs.

I said that EMP was value oriented. Didn't realize I was slinging mud, giving my honest opinion on something.

Didn't realize that me criticizing RBH/EMP would prompt such a response from you, I realize you have a business relationship with RBH/EMP, but I feel you over react to any negative about RBH/EMP comments. I searched several other forums for EMP and haven't found one positive comment on EMP subwoofers. Their towers, yes many happy satisfied owners and get recommended more frequently.

Comments on EMP subs:
" The specs on that thing don't even read well. 30 pounds? Extension to 30Hz. 13 X 15 X 15 inches, might be an alright sub for a den but not for hometheater."

Heres one the OP was asking about the EMP ES10i sub
"Stick with the name brands like HSU, Outlaw, Ed ect..."
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
I was comparing Axioms build quality vs RBH build quality. So how about it? Lets see those internals of that sub and see what $1K gets us? I've seen many reviews of speakers with the drivers and tweeters hanging out showing off the insides, also seen the PB13 Ultra's interior shown off.

Couldn't agree more Axioms subs suck, even Axiom fanboys on their own forum usually don't recommend Axiom subs.

I said that EMP was value oriented. Didn't realize I was slinging mud, giving my honest opinion on something.

Didn't realize that me criticizing RBH/EMP would prompt such a response from you, I realize you have a business relationship with RBH/EMP, but I feel you over react to any negative about RBH/EMP comments. I searched several other forums for EMP and haven't found one positive comment on EMP subwoofers. Their towers, yes many happy satisfied owners and get recommended more frequently.

Comments on EMP subs:
" The specs on that thing don't even read well. 30 pounds? Extension to 30Hz. 13 X 15 X 15 inches, might be an alright sub for a den but not for hometheater."

Heres one the OP was asking about the EMP ES10i sub
"Stick with the name brands like HSU, Outlaw, Ed ect..."
There are plenty of internal shots of the RBH sub in the actual review. Here is the page where you can see them:

RBH Sound SX-12 Introduction &mdash; Reviews and News from Audioholics

The cabinet is 3/4" MDF and well braced. Not a tank like an SVS but the RBH driver is lightweight in comparison.

I honestly could care less if people buy or don't buy EMP/RBH products. My point was let's see the verdict after we or someone who can competently measure the product before judging.

I too am skeptical about the new EMP sub. My sister-in-law ordered it b/c she wanted a nice looking sub that was inexpensive and not too large. When I set her system up, I will check it out and report back.

So far the best subs in the $600 price range are Outlaw, HSU and Emotiva from what we've reviewed. Hopefully EMP can make it to this list but I do fear their goal is more about aesthetics and dynamics over low end extension thus far at least.
 
MinusTheBear

MinusTheBear

Audioholic Ninja
I was comparing Axioms build quality vs RBH build quality. So how about it? Lets see those internals of that sub and see what $1K gets us? I've seen many reviews of speakers with the drivers and tweeters hanging out showing off the insides, also seen the PB13 Ultra's interior shown off.

Couldn't agree more Axioms subs suck, even Axiom fanboys on their own forum usually don't recommend Axiom subs.

I said that EMP was value oriented. Didn't realize I was slinging mud, giving my honest opinion on something.

Didn't realize that me criticizing RBH/EMP would prompt such a response from you, I realize you have a business relationship with RBH/EMP, but I feel you over react to any negative about RBH/EMP comments. I searched several other forums for EMP and haven't found one positive comment on EMP subwoofers. Their towers, yes many happy satisfied owners and get recommended more frequently.

Comments on EMP subs:
" The specs on that thing don't even read well. 30 pounds? Extension to 30Hz. 13 X 15 X 15 inches, might be an alright sub for a den but not for hometheater."

Heres one the OP was asking about the EMP ES10i sub
"Stick with the name brands like HSU, Outlaw, Ed ect..."
The build quality on the Axiom sub cabinet is as budget as you can get. It just looks like a box to me? This is their EP400 which costs over grand.

 
billy p

billy p

Audioholic Ninja
The build quality on the Axiom sub cabinet is as budget as you can get. It just looks like a box to me? This is their EP400 which costs over grand.

If my memory serves me correctly, Gene was warmly receptive towards it (ep400)...AAMOF...he flat out defended it when people started to dig in their knives...much like the RBH in this review....;). I am not an Axiom apoligist or advocate for Axiom but come on...audioholics.
 
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gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
If my memory serves me correctly, this sub Gene was warmly receptive towards it...AAMOF...he flat out defended it when people started to dig in their knives...much like the RBH in this review....;).
It's not a bad sub for its size class. I gave mine to my parents and they are quite happy with it. It's just pricey, especially since the $379 Emotiva Ultra 12 outperforms it in some areas. Emo wasn't in the sub business when the EP400 came out so it may be time for Axiom to refresh this sub.

If Axiom would have removed the brickwall filter at 20Hz and used a more gradual roll off, it would have been an even better sub IMO. The EP500 for an extra $150 or so is a much better deal than the EP400, but its also a bigger box.

see my 1 meter GP measurements of the EP400: Axiom EP400 1 meter groundplane Full Screen Image &mdash; Reviews and News from Audioholics
 
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3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
I'm not impressed with this RBH sub either. The VTF-2 MK3 by HSU could be had for $750 and outperforms the RBH.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
I'm not impressed with this RBH sub either. The VTF-2 MK3 by HSU could be had for $750 and outperforms the RBH.
The VTF2 costs less than that, you must be thinking of the VTF3. The VTF2 is half the price of the RBH SX-12, $549 before shipping.
 
F

farrow099

Audioholic Intern
That seems to be one seriously overpriced subwoofer. :eek:

I think it's time RBH takes a look at the competition from HSU, SVS, Epik, and Rythmik.
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
That seems to be one seriously overpriced subwoofer. :eek:

I think it's time RBH takes a look at the competition from HSU, SVS, Epik, and Rythmik.

Those brands are not RBH's competition. RBH doesn't sell direct. EMP yes, so EMP needs to take a look. But,the question is do people buying EMP want aesthetics and reasonable sized box with decent performance down to 30Hz, or a giant heavy black box with 20Hz extension? The latter seems well covered in the ID market already by the brands you mentioned.
 
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3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
The VTF2 costs less than that, you must be thinking of the VTF3. The VTF2 is half the price of the RBH SX-12, $549 before shipping.
That price includes shipping/duty up to Canada. ;)
 
K

kevon27

Annoying Poster
A slight off topic question. I see that the RBH sub has some high THD ratings at 25hz and below. My question is, what does high THD sound like? Without measurement tools, can the human ear easily detect the distortion.
 
GranteedEV

GranteedEV

Audioholic Ninja
For that amount of money you could get an SVS, HSU, Rythmik, etc that would easily give you much better performance. I can't see why anyone would want to pay $1050 for a sub that underperforms.
Here's a few reasons:

- Many people aren't comfortable purchasing online
- Custom Installers can set things up for many people
- CI/ B&M Dealers can sometimes more effectively do repairs / warranty issues with shorter lead times. It's often just a case of ordering the replacement part and swapping it for you, rather than sending the entire speaker back and forth and the associated shipping delays/costs.
- Many people think every subwoofer has different sound quality, so they think subjective auditioning is meaningful, even if it's in a different room, a different calibration, etc.
- Many people just buy the matching brand of subwoofer to their main speakers
- Many people can't accept the sheer size of vented ID stuff in their rooms.

It's a business model that works effectively for many sub manufacturers. Of course, all of the above reasons aren't acceptable to us :D :p

I think the RBH sub isn't poorly designed. It just isn't up to OUR expectations at the price point. One such expectation for me, is to have a vent tuning below 20hz, even if there is some loss in max output as a consequence.
 
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