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Customer Review

251 of 263 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Truly a Great Bargain but...., October 11, 2010
This review is from: BIC America F12 12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing Powered Subwoofer (Electronics)
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.
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Comments

Tracked by 10 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 44 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 6, 2011 11:44:03 AM PST
JSR700 says:
I am looking to replace my Polk Audio PSW110. It is okay, tight and punchy, but I need something more. My use is 60% movies and 40% music. However, I have been listening to music more and more (jazz, classical and disco/pop) and I was wondering if the BIC F12 is musical enough or spend on almost 3x the price for a HSU VTF-2 MK3. Given that you are an audiophile, I was wondering what you think? Thanks in advance.

Posted on Feb 20, 2011 8:45:27 AM PST
Iowadad says:
Yes, what JSR said. I'm curious about the same thing. I want a sub for music with some decent PSB bookshelves and I was wondering if it's worth doubling down for this hsu; http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/stf-2.html or if it's smarter to save the dough and play with the F12. The money does matter to me but I'm trying to figure out if the performance gap between this and the next level up is so pronounced that it makes sense to save up for a while. It's pretty impossible to sample the sound from all these online products so any insights y'all can share are greatly appreciated. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2011 9:22:38 AM PST
JSR700 says:
Hi Iowadad,

I ended up getting a Bic Acoustech PL-200 which is similar to the Bic-F12. It is very musical. It has a great improvement in bass over my PSW110. I don't think you will be disappointed with the F12.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2011 1:12:04 PM PST
jchussey says:
Hello Gents:

After calibrating my room and spending some time with the F12, I am still very pleased. I am using Sonance Cinema LCR in wall speakers which I have crossed over at 80Hz and the result on movies is fantastic. I have measured -2db down at 24 Hz in my media room which is very, very respectable.

My feeling about this subwoofer for music reproduction with small speakers stands - it can't be expected to rival a high quality sealed unit's accuracy in the upper (80Hz plus) registers. But for the price, it is hard to argue with it's capabilities - you would have to pay $900 plus for the latter. The Hsu is fundamentally the same (ported) design for double the price. I would not spend the extra money for what will be the same level of performance.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2011 1:45:38 PM PST
Iowadad says:
Thanks for the perspective, I appreciate you taking the time. My concern with buying a sub without hearing it is that I'm not using it for movies. I think, for that, you can practically look at the specs (if they're accurate) and know if you're getting enough to impact your movies well. I'm specifically looking for something for music and I love that clear, uncolored sound of real high fidelity gear. I know I can't really get that on the cheap but I'm trying to come as close as I can.

The fact that a sub can dig down to a certain hz isn't as important to me as how it sounds in getting there. Does a bass note plucked on a string sound like a bass note or is is a fuzzy rumble. I'd just as soon that it not go as deep if it blends well with my satellites and reproduces notes with clarity. It will never be required to shake my couch when something blows up on tv.

Considering that, do you think I'm barking up the wrong tree entirely with the F-12 or do you think it would be worth trying to blend it with some (entry level) audiophile speakers for sweet sounding music? While the Hsu is using a similar strategy, isn't it likely that they're using a higher quality amplifier and driver to achieve more detailed sound quality?

From your previous comments, I take it that you feel any effect from that would be negligible. Do you believe that would still be the case for someone who, specifically, really wants to listen closely to music? I ask because it seems that just about every rave review of this sub is from someone using it primarily for movies. As much as I love high quality gear now, I don't have very much experience with it so it's great when people kick down with some of what they know. Again, thanks a lot for your time.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2011 3:36:52 PM PST
Iowadad says:
Hi JSR, thanks. Doesn't the PL-200 cost about three times as much as the F-12 or is it for sale somewhere at a comparable price?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2011 7:52:58 PM PST
JSR700 says:
Hi Iowadad,

No problem. I was in the same situation. Not really. Only about $100 more. You can get a F12 for about $180 shipped. I got my PL-200 for $280 out the door a couple of days ago. I got mine from Mike Embers at Acoustic Sound in Las Vegas. For me a $100 difference was worth it. If its too much base you can always lower the volume. But if its less than what you wanted, you may end up spending more like I did with my Polk PSW10 and PSW110. Given that my set up are polks, I made a mistake of choosing Polk subs. If you have the time to audition them that would be the best. But in my case, they don't have them in the box stores, so I had to take the chance from the reviews. Check out the reviews on AVS Forum and other audiophile sites. Good luck!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2011 7:58:50 PM PST
JSR700 says:
Iowa Dad,

I've been listening to a lot of jazz lately, e.g. Charlie Parker, Ella Fitzgerald, etc. and I can definitely hear bass string plucking detail from my PL-200 which I was not able to hear from my old Onkyo 990THX sub and Polk PSW110. Based on the reviews of the Bic subs, they are definitely better than the ones I had.

Posted on Feb 21, 2011 7:11:58 AM PST
Iowadad says:
Ok, I think you guys sold me on trying this sub. For one thing, I simply don't have the dough to throw at a Hsu. And the fact is, this F-12 seems to have really good resale value. I'm sure I could use it for a year and still sell it for a good portion of what I paid if I feel like upgrading.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2011 9:43:08 AM PST
JSR700 says:
Iowadad,

Check out the reviews of the F12 in Top Ten Reviews. It beats out a lot of subs in its level.
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