I wanted to get some input from others on whether they would buy Rythmik or Monolith for their home theater.
Initially I thought I would be buying a pair of JTR RS1's as an upgrade to the pair of HSU ULS15 MK2's. Supply chain and other factors delayed my purchase. I am starting to think about this again. My use case is 100% home theater. I have a small room +/- 2200 sq ft (it's 13x17x10). I have limited placement options, both subs would be placed in the left and right corners where the screen is.
I recently auditioned a pair of PSA S42iPals which were available locally at a fantastic price. I didn't move forward with a purchase because they were just too big for my room and I was somewhat underwhelmed by them. As I was talking to some others, someone directed me to Rythmik, and in particular the G25HP or FV18 if I wanted to stay sealed. At the same time, I was urged to consider ported given my home theater application. That had me looking at both Rythmik and Monolith. What holds me back about Monolith is the concern about support. That said, what keeps me intrigued is the data shows this to be a fabulous sub at its price point.
I realize we are comparing apples and oranges when we compare sealed to ported. I have felt all along that in my room, I would get tremendous room gain which had me leaning to staying with a sealed design. I can make the ported monoprice 13 or 16's work in my room. Cannot make the 18in ported Rythmik's work in my room, even on their sides. In much the same, a JTR Cap2400 ported won't fit either.
So that takes me to Sealed or Ported, and if sealed, would you go with the JTR RS1's or the Rythmik G25P's? If ported, would you give Monoprice a shot?
Thank you in advance.
If I were to buy an OEM Sub, new, today, I would likely buy Monolith over Rythmik.
This isn't to say that Rythmik isn't worthwhile... they are.
It is more a measure of the performance gains you have in the design of the newer Monolith Subs rather than the over 10 year old tech that Rythmik still uses. (And in that statement, you can perhaps understand why Rythmik gets the recommendations they do!)
First, for HT and even if it was Music only, you get a lot more bang for your buck in the performance of a well designed and built Ported Sub. Perhaps my only concern about Rythmik is that I have heard complaints and seen measurement results that comment of noise from the Ports. On the other hand, the Monolith reviews were pretty straight forward and IIRC, Shady said that they will not make a bad noise.
Now if you compare and contrast similar models from Rythmik and Monolith using the old Data Bass measurements Ricci did for the Rythmiks and Shady's Monolith reviews you will see that they are almost a wash in performance. You get a little deeper extension in one vs higher nid-bass efficiency in the other or a little less compression here vs cleaner distortion there...
But these metrics really are so close in most cases as to come down to another aspect(s):
Which looks better or fits your aesthetic best... Which offers the best connectivity or user interface/"ergonomics" to suit your system?
If you want to look at Sealed, there are some other important questions to take into consideration.
What is the TOTAL OPEN ROOM VOLUME the Sub will be in? This is key to getting the best performance. Keep in mind, Subwoofers don't care about arbitrary room definitions: you are either in a closed room with a door, or an open floor plan with gobs of open space. (Yes, I know you gave dimensions above... but didn't specify if that is a closed room or not.
Short version: to benefit from Cabin Gain and get the low frequency boost that Sealed Subs can offer, you really need to be in a smaller closed room, less than 3000cu.ft at the most. Counting on Cabin Gain, however, is a poor gamble. Every room will behave differently and while you may think your room is small enough, until you put the Sub in that space you will not be able to accurately predict if it will perform well or not... And that doesn't even take into consideration where you actually place the Sub in the room! (This latter point is a very BIG part of the equation when setting up any Subwoofer, whether single or multiple Subs are being used.)
FWIW, I use 2 Ported Subs in extended mode in my small room (closed, about 2000cu.ft) and my usage is mixed but primarily Music first. My Subs were designed by the same company that Monolith is working with (Claridy Audio, now InterSource OEM). They perform exceptionally well and I am mostly happy with them.
I crave a little better performance down low as I do chase 16 HZ for Pipe Organ among other demanding content. This isn't to say that the Subs aren't capable down low, just that I think I can do better now that I understand more about design limitations and whatnot.
One last point to consider is making certain you get a Subwoofer that can crossover well to your Mains as well as other Bass-Managed Speakers. A proper cross should be up around 80-100 Hz in most cases. Even high quality full-range Speakers with top-notch Drivers can see compression issues start to crop up as you get lower in to the Bass regions of FR.