Review of Subwoofer or Speaker:
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It's been quite awhile since I've been active on this forum. I'm posting this up here for the benefit of a team member who is active here quite a bit. He asked me to give a 3rd party non affiliated review of a new subwoofer from his up and coming company.
Okay, so at this point I'm sure you're wondering "Who the hell is 93rd Audio?" and "What the hell is a TCH12D2?". I'd be glad to answer that. 93rd Audio is an up and coming company started by a member of the IAK Competition Team. The TCH series subs are the first series of subs to be released. They are built here in the USA, it has a 2.5" coil and will have a 600 WRMS power rating.
I was asked by another team member if I would be interested in testing the prototype for this new company and line of subs. No matter what the deal was I wasn't going to pass up a great opportunity such as this so I agreed and he put the owner in contact with me. I was supposed to have a fair bit of time to test the sub, multiple enclosures, different amps, etc. however life being what it is the time table was truncated and I had to work with what I had on hand already. So I borrowed my sister's single 12" enclosure for her DCON which is 2.25cuft NET tuned to 31hz and mounted the TCH in and hooked it up in the van to the SAZ2k. So let me explain here that my testing results aren't as well rounded as I had originally planned on going into this with. The owner was hoping to have a sub that can take a good deal of power and make a presence in the competition lanes. I believe it can definitely do that and I think that it's going to be a fair sub to compete with the Sundown SA12, and possibly even the GCON and the Fi X series in specifications, performance and price point. With no official experience with any of those three that comment is really only an opinion, but I don't come to it lightly. Me and my wife threw A LOT of abuse at this sub and with 2k on tap to beat on it with and I was generally only able to reach it's limits on the most abusive songs at listening levels that belied a single sub.
Okay, now with that explained it's onto the review itself.
Avenged Sevenfold - Nightmare -- This song is fun to listen to with a good sub setup. It's hard and fast and can sound like a complete and total muddled mess on anything that can't keep up. The TCH had no problem at all keeping up with everything that goes on. I have to imagine when I listen to the song that the band gets a hell of a workout when they play it, especially the bass guitarist and drummer, and that workout carries on to whatever is playing the song. This sub did it fast, clean and with the power it was being fed I never heard it cry out for mercy even once.
Offspring - Hit That -- This is another song whose bass lines are all over the map. It has great low end bass lines with overlapping lines in certain parts of the song. On any system I had before I got the Q's those overlapping lines would sound like either a distorted mess or were just a booming bass line. The Q's showed me how detailed those bass lines really were and it was a whole new listening experience that brings a smile to my face every time I listen to it. I am very proud to say I had the same smile on my face with the TCH. The overlapping bass lines were clearly identifiable and the rest of the deep lines were reproduced with the authority I've grown used to from the Q's.
Journey - Faithfully -- The name of this song sets the stage for the reproduction of the bass guitar and the drums from the TCH. It was a fantastic, enjoyable and very realistic listening experience and the sub and my components blended together beautifully. The sub is as much at home doing SQ work as it is making the windows rattle.
Limp Bizkit - Behind Blue Eyes -- I love the bass lines in this song. They're nice and deep and it's fun to play this song for people who've never really heard a sub system play like that. The TCH was able to drop down and bellow out the deepest tones without any complaint as long as I kept the listening level just below obscene. If I tried to push it into the obscene realm I could hear distortion from the sub that I attributed to being well past it's XMAX. It was well beyond 70% of it's BL and well into the realm of audible distortion but understand that it was being pushed EXTREMELY hard at this point and was louder than an average person would ever try to get from a single sub.
Ja Rule - Livin' It Up -- Another fun song to listen to with bass lines and drums that play in an attractive rhythm. The sub had tons of output to give but with the drums on top of the bass lines I was actually able to reach the subs XMECH and got some noise out of it. I was very surprised when that happened but remember I'm driving this single sub to the same output levels that I'm used to hearing with the pair of 12" Q's that I'm used to listening to.
Alice in Chains - I Stay Away -- I'm a big fan of AiC and have about every album they've released. I Stay Away is on my top 10 list of their songs and is always cranked when it comes on. The TCH did not disappoint at all with it's ability to keep up with the note shifts and drums. It was a great listening experience with all the output I could ask for.
Metallica - One -- My absolute favorite Metallica song. Any system that can keep up with this song at absurd listening levels is a good one in my honest opinion. There's a TON of musical information
being thrown at every component of a system and it is pretty easy to overload it and hear lots of unwanted distortion. The TCH was right on par with the Q's on quality, keeping up with those ultra fast bass guitar riffs and Lars' unreal ability to beat the living **** out of the drums. I had a big smile on my face and listened to it twice. The second time I turned the gain knob up more to give the sub a good bit more stress and it still delivered a great performance. I was limited more by the components in the van than the sub.
Staind - Outside -- Another great song it has bass lines and drums that can play havoc on a sub system. The TCH was able to play it quite well at a very moderately high listening level. As before with a few other songs when I went for the limits of the components I found a little distortion from driving it well past it's XMAX.
Keep in mind here that we were almost constantly pushing this sub to the point that it was giving us the same output that we listen to the pair of Q's with. Now we don't listen to them at full tilt, the remote gain knob is generally only turned up about 1/3 of the way, however the fact that a single 12" sub was giving us about the same output and in some cases more gives credence to just how capable it is. My wife would have complained IMMEDIATELY if she wasn't getting what she wanted from it. The fact I never heard even ONE complaint from her tells me a lot as to how strong a sub this can be as she's consequently been through quite a few in the 17 years her and I have been together, lol. The enclosure I was testing it in and the sub paired together did a great job giving lots of output that sounded fantastic, but I'm absolutely certain that with a little smaller enclosure tuned a bit higher this thing would be able to excel in output levels and given multiples of the same sub in such enclosures it should do very well in the lanes. I think it's ability to also do such a good job in the sound quality department makes it a super well rounded sub that will be at home in the hands of the average listener as well as competitors. I know the owner was wanting it to be able to handle in the 1kw realm for competition use. I tried to test with some degree of accuracy the power I was applying to the sub only to find that it seems my $300 clamp on meter isn't quite as adept to this job as I had hoped. I've never been one to trust clamp test power results anyway so I wasn't too horribly worried about it myself. IMHO it doesn't matter how much power the sub was seeing during the testing. The fact it was able to give so much output for a single 12 and knowing there was 2kw of power available from the amp it was able to take abuse that a lesser sub wouldn't have. The few limitations I was able to find with it, revolving around being able to reach distortion going well past XMAX and reaching the XMECH limits could very well have been negated with an enclosure change as well.
I'm looking forward to seeing these hit the market. I think for the price point the owner is going for these are going to be a great choice for daily listening setups and competitors alike. Though I have to say I feel it's going to be more popular as a daily sub given it's superb reproduction abilities. That too is just my opinion and being a fellow team member I hope he understands that. If you're looking for something new to try when they're released I highly suggest trying it out, I don't see how anyone could be disappointed.
I do have some pics to post up of it. I'll wait for the okay from the owner before doing so though.