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  1. User Review (store manager)

    I recently took delivery on a pair of the Tekton Cinema subs to complete my Pendragon Theater system. My hope was that they would combine the accuracy and high-impact of world class movie theater subwoofers with the soothing, ultra-low subharmonic frequencies of high-end audiophile subwoofers.

    Prior to the Cinema Subs, I tried a large number of subwoofers in standalone applications and in combination. I have owned SVS, Velodyne, JBL, HSU, Outlaw Audio, Dayton Audio, AV123 MFW-15 and others. At one point, my setup included four (4) JBL 4645C movie theater subs which house JBL’s top-of-the-line 2242H 18” subwoofer drivers. With their 18” cone diameter, high sensitivity and low cone travel (xmax), the JBL’s produced immediate and accurate response to high-impact signals. I had never heard another sub put out the extreme impact these could. I enjoyed them very much but, with a low end rating of 25Hz, they didn’t quite dig deep enough for my tastes. Their timbre was also not a good match with the Pendragons.
    Looking for something that dug deeper than the JBL’s, I decided to go with one of the most highly-acclaimed, “affordable-class” home audio subs, the SVS PB13 Ultra. This is regarded as an audiophile sub rated down to 16Hz. Along with the SVS, I had two Dayton 12” Reference sub drivers mounted into large 4.4cf ported boxes tuned to 23Hz. Because the output of the SVS was significant, the function of the Dayton’s was to simply balance out the LF in the rear section of my home theater. In essence, the Dayton’s were turned down very low.

    For music, the SVS provided very enjoyable ultra-low frequencies. For movies, however, it didn’t produce the high-impact LF response of the JBL’s. From my experience, explosions weren’t as immediate and accurate, and the SVS didn’t seem to consistently reflect what the input signal was delivering. With the much longer cone travel of the SVS, it was as though the driver couldn’t keep up. Explosions at lower volumes were fine but, after turning the volume up to the high levels I prefer, they became less defined. It seemed like the low frequencies were compounding and made explosion peaks louder than they should have been. This apparent cascading phenomenon also made it harder for me to dial-in the proper gain since I couldn’t predict the snowball effect of the compounding low frequencies.

    I know there are a lot of loyalists out there who swear by SVS, and I certainly respect that. I have owned several myself including the PB13 Ultra, SB13 Ultra, 16-46PC Plus and 25-31PC Plus. They are really great subs but, based on my personal experience with them and JBL movie theater subs, I think they are best suited for music.

    When I first looked at the specs for the Tekton Cinema Sub, I thought…“This might be the one. This should combine the high impact and accuracy of a real movie theater sub with the ultra-low subharmonic frequencies of an upper-end musical sub. Could this be the Holy Grail of subs I have been seeking?”

    I went through my personal checklist…1.) Big box for musicality, CHECK…2. High-displacement 18” driver, CHECK…3.) Lower XMAX for accuracy, immediacy and high impact, CHECK…4.) Frequency range down to 19Hz, SOLD!
    Often when you buy something with a certain expectation, you find yourself excited and nervous at the same time. You plunk down a significant amount of cash which may end up buying you a gem or a major disappointment. I can tell you, the Cinema subs ended up being Diamonds. They exceeded my expectations, which were REALLY high. When I ran my initial sample clips from the original Matrix movie (gunfight in the lobby, shootout with the agent on the rooftop and saving Trinity as the helicopter was crashing), I was floored at what I was hearing. Like the JBL’s, I was walloped (in a good way) by with the high-impact response but swaddled by the soothing full range of the low frequency spectrum. The Cinema Subs reached noticeably lower than the JBL’s and were much more precise than the SVS. Gain control for the Cinema Subs was highly predictable as, unlike the SVS, there was no cascading low-frequency compounding effect when I turned them up. They are just plain clear whether the volume is high or low.

    Playing music through them is similar to movies….the output is full, accurate and consistent throughout the frequency range. I enjoy their musicality far more than the JBL’s and SVS. You are bathed in the entire range of the low frequency spectrum.

    The timbre of the Cinema subs blend perfectly with the Pendragon Theater package. It is difficult to tell when one speaker drops off and another picks up. It is a remarkable setup with seamless matching. After 6 years of trying numerous subs and HT setups, I have no more reasons to tinker.

    Not sure if you saw the movie “Gladiator” with Russell Crowe, but, immediately after the Romans prevail at the end of the opening battle scene against the Germanic tribes, Marcus Aurelius bows his head and heaves a profound sigh of utter relief.
    That was me with the Cinema Subs…my battle was over, my quest complete.

    In the end, my hope became reality. Tekton Cinema Subs combine the accuracy and high-impact of world class movie theater subwoofers with the soothing, ultra-low subharmonic frequencies of high-end audiophile subwoofers. Excelling in both music and home theater, the Tekton Cinema Sub truly is, in my opinion, the Holy Grail of subs.


    Cinema SubCinema Sub

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