Subwoofers

JL Audio E-Sub E112 Powered Subwoofer Review

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Setup of the JL Audio E-Sub E112 Powered Subwoofer

I placed the sub in the front left corner of my listening room. This is where I place all subs. My own tests have shown that I get exceptionally flat response without equalization when subs are placed in this spot.

JL Audio E-Sub E112 Powered Subwoofer Review

I connected my surround processor's unbalanced subwoofer output to the e112's line level input. I set everything on the sub to the nominal settings – crossover off, phase at 0° and gain at the midpoint. I then set up the crossover (80 Hz) and gain in my surround processor. As has been my current trend over the last year or so, I did not run Audyssey room correction and left the processor in the pass through mode.

It was to my honest surprise that the bass from the e112 started out sounding weak and indifferent. This is not what I was expecting. Since I will always make every reasonable effort to get the most out of each product I review, I pulled out my surround processor's mic and ran the Audyssey routine. Once it was done, I found that the bass improved dramatically and benefitted the upper ranges of the audible spectrum significantly. In the case of the e112, I preferred Audyssey's flat curve over Audyssey's proprietary EQ curve and both were light years better than the unequalized set up.

JL Audio E-Sub E112 Powered Subwoofer Review

Please take note that JL Audio recommends 2 - 4 subwoofers for the best results in most set ups. And they offered to send me a second one for this review. I did not do this as my room is not well suited to the proper placement of more than one subwoofer. Another point is that the corner placement should be ideal for a subwoofer, but the JL Audio e112 sub just did not sound its best without equalization. I am at a loss to explain this, but you can rest assured that most modern surround processors and receivers have equalization capabilities that can overcome the type of room-sub interaction problem I encountered.

My advice is do not give up too easily on new equipment you get even if it doesn't sound quite right at first. It may need to be tweaked, adjusted or broken in to get the most from it. Please do what you can to get the best of your gear. The e112 sub is a great example since the post-eq'd performance was balanced and dynamic, winning me over in just a matter of minutes.

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