on October 11, 2010
As an audiophile who has had numerous very high end (Meridian, Cello, McIntosh, B&W, Proceed...) components in and out of my systems over the years, I can say wholeheartedly that the F-12 is an outstanding value for the $170-$200 retail price. I bought it for my 13x20x9 budget media room which is currently under construction but have been using it in my 2 channel system for kicks over the last two weeks. The low frequency extension is excellent(down 4db at 25Hz in my room) and I would consider it pleasantly musical with speakers capable of flat response at or below 80Hz (which isn't asking much). It is when this sub is paired with very small speakers that it begins to tarnish; typical of many ported subwoofers, it just doesn't play well above the 80Hz range. For example, Paired with NHT Superzeros, which fall off a cliff at about 85-90Hz, some of the "punchiness" is lost. This frequency response trough is most likely the reason why some reviewers claim that the F-12 sounds "muddy".
With the right speakers and set up correctly (with a decibel meter), the F-12 is an outstanding sub for the asking price. Truly a great bargain and one heck of a warranty.
on August 13, 2011
From my own experience two most important components in a home theater system (for movies) is your center speaker and your sub-woofer. What ever you do make sure you get the best one you can afford and if like me your budget is less than $400/-, you have Bic F12 as a very serious contender for top spot.
I spent almost a month searching for a sub (for 50:50 music/movies), researching in lots of online forums and auditioned in couple of different local stores. High on my list were:
- Emotiva Sub 10: No longer being sold :(
- Emotiva Sub 12: Slightly out of my budget
- Elemental Design A3S-250: Past quality issues and too long a wait to get one
- Def Tech. ProSub 800: Checked this out in local store but I was not impressed by it
- Velodyne Impact 10: Checked this out in local store, did not like it as it could not go low.
- Polk subs: Don't bother (I tried couple and nothing impressed me) although I own Polk speakers which I love.
Although I did not audition this Bic but based on online forums and reviews I ordered this Bic and I have no qualms in saying that dollar for dollar this sub is perhaps the best value out there.
- Not boomy and can go low effectively.
Tried out couple of bluray's - Dark Knight sounded fabulous, it has this low rumbling sound track through out the movie and the sub did an excellent job with the same. Lord of Rings (return of king) was again excellent, especially the elephant war scene. I could literally feel the room shaking and the intensity building up.
- Easy connectivity with LFE
- Phase switch (although I never used it)
- Good with music (for the kind of music (pop/rock) I listen to this is a very good sub)
- Solid construction
- Strong grill that I know will withstand my toddlers continuous barrages
- Size (but then its 12 inch sub) and I knew what I was getting into.
Other things to look out for:
- Use a decent cable. I used a cheapo RCA cable which was sitting around to connect this sub to my receiver and everything sounded horrible (My cable a belkin sub woofer cable was delayed in transit). Belkin cable made a huge huge difference and for a 25ft cable it was only ~$6/-
- Room placement is critical, I tried many different places in the room before I was able to find the sweet spot. Since the sub is heavy and hard to move, I mounted the sub on a plant moving caddy, ($3/- from a local store), moving the sub was very easy until I found the sweet spot.
- Know your sub's limit, I am crossing this sub at 90hz and it compliments my Polk's very very well. My Polk's are doing a better job in handling frequencies above that.
- There are better subs out there (Hsu or Svs) but I don't think there is anything that offers better value. This sub is great, it rocks my house with tight bass and does the trick for music, I cannot be more pleased. I will likely get another one to compliment the one I already have.
My set up:
- Polk Monitor 60's as front, Polk CS2 as center
- Yamaha RX-V867 receiver
- Living room dimension: 15' x 25' x 10'
on May 19, 2011
I purchased this subwoofer in March of 2011 I wanted to give it some time before I gave my review, First let me give you a little back ground of what I have. I am a huge Klipsch fan I have now the Quintet speakers,which are amazing but that is another story, I finally got rid of my Klipsch sub12 after many repairs so I wanted something comparable and had to be a 12 inch sub. For the price I and not ever hearing anything from Bic I was doubtful, but I took the plunge. I have had many different Polk subs and the Yamaha 8 and 10 sub and various other companies who are actually made by Klipsch yet are not as good. With all that being said this sub has been outstanding, it is not quite as loud as the Klipsch sub12 when listening to music, but there is more accuracy from the Bic because it is a front firing sub verses down firing. Now when it comes to movies there is no notable difference, i am a big fan of deep low bass in action movies and this does not bottom out like many small and costly subs ( Bose, Pinnacle,velodyne) Plain and simple this sub performs better for the money than any sub you can buy and better than most subs that are more money, With my Quintets Bic sub and Yamaha 6.1 receiver I will take on any would be Bose owner. So dont hesitate this sub is great and I have been in to this for over 20 years and have been installing home audio for just as long, feel free to email with questions.
on April 4, 2013
I'm a skeptical buyer when it comes to most purchases, so I was hesitant to pull the trigger on this sub when the reviews seemed to good to be true. But once the sub dropped to $192 and was sold and shipped by amazon (for return/defective purposes, easier to deal with amazon), I had to bite. With that said, I cannot believe the negative commentary on this sub, from even the positive reviews. I, myself, am a bit of an audiophile. My front towers in my set up were about 2k for the pair, brand new (They were basically given to me). I mention this because I noticed in a few reviews, people stated if you have high end front speakers, that retail in the $500 and up range, that this sub cannot keep up with them. I am here to dispel that as complete and utter nonsense. The F-12 is a high end performer, provided you set it up correctly. It is capable of hitting the earth shattering lows that you feel more than you hear. In fact, a lot of negative comments I've seen on this sub complain the sub cannot replicate bass frequencies in the low 20hz range and below. Well guess what? The Human ear cannot HEAR frequencies that low. Some might then argue they don't care about hearing that ultra low, sub 20hz bass, they just want to *feel* it. Well, then go drop 1k+ on an SVS or HSU sub and shut up. Trust me, you're going to *feel* deep, deep bass with this sub, as well as a nice mid-bass punch. When it comes to movies, the F-12 is very impressive and can do it ALL. While playing the opening battle scene of Saving Private Ryan, I walked into an adjacent room to my HT room, which is on an elevated floor plan and separated by a wall. As explosions were going off, I could literally feel the floor shaking beneath my feet as the sub rumbled and replicated the deep explosions with precision....and this was in another room!!! In fact, I have the sub so dialed in, that I only have the gain turned up half way and during Iron Man, when he's flying, the bass notes shake the floors, the walls, the entire room quakes. No distortion. ZERO port noise....volume cranked to face melt setting. The key to getting this type of performance is room placement (google sub crawl or sub walk) and tuning with the receiver the sub is connected to (you need to go into the settings after audio calibration and really tweak things.) Bottom line, this sub can blend in with just about any kind of system, whether high end or budget. It's all about tuning, tuning, tuning! Those that complain, aren't tuning their system correctly!
Music is an aspect of this sub I haven't quite figured out, yet. When playing really fast metal (think Guttural Secrete), the kick drums ring out nice and clear, but they lack punch, as does the bass guitar. I find myself having to turn up the gain to achieve better bass performance. However, I think this is less the subs fault than me only owning this sub for less than a week and not having figured out a way to tune it correctly for music.
I would also like to touch on build quality. Again, I'm very impressed with the design and construction of this sub. When I opened the box, I was surprised by how large the enclosure was. It's a fairly large box and takes up a bit of realstate, but this is a good thing. When it comes to subs, the general rule of thumb is, the larger the enclosure, the larger the bass response! The enclosure has a nice black finish that should last a long time and the box itself is very sturdy and has a good *heft* to it. The driver itself is of very high quality and seems very, very sturdy. I imagine the woofer will outlast the rest of it. Note, the surrounds on this woofer are very tight. So tight, in fact, you might not achieve good bass right out of the box as it may take some hours of play time with a bass heavy soundtrack to break it in. Which leads me to think, if I'm getting such great bass right out of the gate, I can't wait to hear how it sounds once it's actually broken in and those surrounds loosen enough to get good cone movement (more cone movement = more air movement = more bass).
If I had a complaint, it would be that the sub has a rear port. Higher end models, like SVS and the like often have front firing ports. There are many reasons for this that I won't delve into, but one is that it would allow you to place the sub closer to a wall, or closer to a corner. Because of the F-12's rear port, you can't place it close to a wall (the air coming from the port needs space to move freely) if you want to achieve maximum bass. For this design flaw, I deducted a star.
All that said, this is an incredible sub for the price. Really think about it. What do you really get for $200 these days? At that price, they're basically giving it away. I cannot overstate the value. If you have big money, go buy a big money sub. If you're on a budget like the rest of us, this will work with whatever existing system you're running and it will elevate the sound stage to new heights. I guarantee it.
on September 1, 2009
I have used this for tv watching, blurays with uncompressed audio, ps3 games, and Flac files.
It is paired with a denon avr590, 2 cerwin-vega re30s, 2 sony ssf-6000s, and a celestion f35c.
As it took longer to arrive, I was running only a 5.0 system for about a week. The difference while running this sub is absolutely amazing. I actually had trouble level matching so that dialogue could be heard clearly without the bass blowing it away, on the other hand... my music gobbled up the bass and I needed to push it to create that "in the club" feeling.
As good as this sub sounds, not too tight and no where near muddy, I cant wait to hear how its matured at about the 200 hour break in point. I simply cannot imagine what I would gain by spending many times more on other subs as this one does everything I need it to and more.
Thanks bic america, for an amazing budget sub.
on February 3, 2012
Ok, here the skinny on both PSW 505 and Bic F12, first and formost the nicest thing about Amazon is that I bought both of the mentioned models. The 505 is no slouch but kept chuffing, it's good but not great, the Bic no chuffing of the speaker, tighter bass and equally good bass response if not better than PSW 505 without the annoying chuffing. Save your money, and read all the reviews, this is an entry level AUDIOPHILE budget subwoofer. My velodyne FSR 12 went out and I was not wanting to spend 1000 again, honestly this is about as good as my old Velodyne, save your money, branding does not always mean it's a better quality and it certainly is not in this case with Polk vs BIC. Best of all buy both and compare and you be the judge, I'm certain you'll agree that the BIC in the end is the better of the two!!