252 of 264 people found the following review helpful
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.
249 of 263 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2013
Let me make myself clear before I begin. I love Polk, I originally was going to make my system all Polk however, as any half decent audiophile knows, one company simply does not make the best of everything. I have Polk Audio Monitor70 Series II Floorstanding Loudspeaker (Black) Each as fronts Polk Audio CS10 Center Channel Speaker (Single, Black) and BIC America Venturi DV84 2-Way Tower Speaker, Black (Single) rears. I own the Polk PSW505 and have been using it on my main surround system for the past 7 months
I wasn't content at all with my Polk PSW505 as you can see in my over 1000 word review of the PSW505 on Amazon, so I saved up money to try the F12 and planned to send it back after testing it out. Honestly, I didn't want the f12 to sound better than my Polk. I tried to tell myself the no name Bic f12 could not compete with the Polk PSW505, that sub is practically God of home subwoofers on Amazon. As the current owner of both, I would advise you to buy this f12 and never look back.
My main issue with the PSW505 was port noise. When my Polk sub hit below 30 hertz it sounded just awful and unless you just watch Teletubbies, Dora the explorer, and Sesame Street your sub will be forced to hit below 30 hertz. This becomes very important if you are watching blu rays with Dolby True HD or DTS HD Master Audio. This sub can punch, roll, and roar much beyond its $200 price tag. With my Polk PSW505 it struggled to hit some lows in Dark Knight among other Blu rays as well as music with heavy bass. That is not the case with the F12 not only will it hit these low notes, but it will shake the room while maintaining clarity.
I have seen quite a few negative reviews on the build quality of this Bic F12 I would agree and disagree. I have disassembled the Polk 505 multiple times so I am more than aware of its build quality, but have not yet taken apart the Bic. I believe the PSW505 has a better exterior finish than the F12, bic clearly did not spend as much on the cabinet. Bic spent its money on the driver and amplifier, which far surpass the Polks driver in quality. I would know this because Polk has sent me two PSW505 drivers(the actual 12 inch speaker) and they somehow even sound muddy and distort when not inside the cabinet. The F12 has a very nice metallic looking driver and it does outperform the PSW505
I know its difficult to believe that this f12 sub will outperform the tried and true 505 but it really does. Don't stray away from the Bic just because it isn't a big brand. Polks subs have a premium to them because of the brand. With this Bic all your paying for the sub. For example Klipsch, Energy, and def techs are great well-known subs but they have a markup because of the name. In contrast HSU, Outlaw, Epik, and SVS are not household names but they will destroy the big names in performance without the markup.
Don't let the brand scare you! Bic customers are some of the happiest in home audio. If you have any questions about the differences between these 2 sub-woofers please leave a comment and I will be happy to respond.
138 of 146 people found the following review helpful
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'
68 of 72 people found the following review helpful
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.
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2013
i have two of these badboys for my 7.2 setup. the bass from them is just overpowering. .i live in an apartment unfortunately so i have the volume on these turned down to 2 for the sake of the neighbors.I also own a polk audio psw 505 which is in my bedroom but honestly, the bic has better sound quality than the polk. i bought one of each initially to compare ouput before purchasing a second of the better sounding one. if you are on the fence about which one to get between the polk and the f12 then this is your que, get the bic. unless its beauty your after then the psw505 wins that.
38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
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.
55 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2009
This is probably one of the top 3 subs that you can regularly find for $250 or less. If it's on sale, buy it. It has more than enough power for small rooms, and enough power for medium rooms. Works great for movies, and works well for music if your front speakers can go 80hz or lower.
The downside is finding good room placement. You have to experiment a little to get rid of any "boomy-ness" from your listening area.
60 of 73 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2012
This sub is an incredible value. It performs. It hits hard and will fill a medium room with bass. I have a "lower high end" system. I needed a second sub because my system is in a large room. I didnt want to spend $1k on a second sub, so I figured the bic America sub would suffice and I could tweak it out with the crossover and phase control. It performs very well for movies. I find for music it lacks in response and recovery time (which is expected for 12 inch subs). It does not perform well with the low deep bass. It is rated to go down to 25 hz - it can however not clearly. It will hit 25 hz but there is distortion and the sound is not sound deep. This sub will hit- while watching movies I open all doors to the room because they rattle. Overall this sub is very good value and I think you would be hard pressed to find a better sub in the price range. As a benchmark, I would say that if you spent over $500 each for a tower speaker, this sub is not for you- this sub will not keep up with he rest of your systm If you spent less that $500 for each tower then this sub is a bargain and stop wasting time searching for other subs- buy now. Lol. Everyone hears things differently so keep in mind hat this is just my opinion. Oh and like other reviews have said " the sub is boomy" well it is. Sub placement and crossover frequency is key. I run two subs and I found he following to give me h best results: place the bic sub away from a corner, max out the crossover on the sub, set your receivers lfe crossover to 50 hz, and adjust amplification depending on material listened to. Again this sub is a great value depending on the level of your system....
40 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2009
This is the second home audio sub-woofer that I've bought. The other one is a little Sony powered sub that came with a Sony HTIB that I purchased about 6 years ago. It served it's purpose, but wasn't going to do the job for the home theater I'm currently putting together. I picked up a few Energy speaker separates to make a nice 5.0 system and a friend of mine from work gave me a couple old Yamaha's that pushed my system to 7.0. I don't claim to be a sound pro or an audiophile in the least. I basically spent a good amount of hours for a few weeks or so researching good entry-level sub-woofers that would sound great. After looking at tons of different brands, reading a bunch of sub-woofer reviews, and going through different forums to see what the more experienced and knowledgeable people had to say, I came to the conclusion that for the price, this sub-woofer was agreeable one of the best in it's class. I searched around and found it for a good price and it arrived within a week. It definitely has enough power for a good sized room (I used it in a room of about 20' X 15' with cathedral ceiling). The bass output is clean. It will shake the walls if that is what you want, and the bass output is still clean and tight. I've used it for about 40% music and 60% movies. It seems to do very well with both. Now I can enjoy a blu-ray movie that gives 7.1 audio output. Sounds similar to the theaters.
36 of 43 people found the following review helpful
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.