|Revel Concerta B12 Subwoofer|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Subwoofers|
|Written by Bryan Dailey|
|Wednesday, 01 March 2006|
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Compared to the other subs in the Revel line, the look of the B12 is really devoid of any distinctive styling. It essentially is just a big square box. Of course, this helps keep the cost of the speaker down. Ultimately, it may end up appealing to a wider audience than its futuristic big brother, the Revel Sub 30. I was thrilled that the natural cherry color almost matched my kitchen cabinets, so it brought consistency to the look of the sub in my room, but I have always been partial to the soft rounded edges and compact look of Sunfire’s small subwoofers. The MDF faux wood does not authentically simulate the look of real wood and the Revel version of cherry is a bit on the orange side.
The B12 is essentially a perfectly square box with nothing that sets it apart from other subs, other than a small silver Revel logo on the bottom of the black grille. Ultimately, I think the best visual design element of the B12 is the muted silver back panel, but this is not something that you’d want to feature anyway, so what I did is tuck the sub into the corner of the room and left the black grille cloth in place, so it calls less attention to the square box in the corner. It sounds great, but the looks are just above average.
Being primarily a Mac user, I had to track down a PC to use with the set-up software. The B-12 does not come with any kind of sound pressure meter, so you will need to go to your local Radio Shack or electronics store and track one of these meters down. I was not able to find the B12 software set-up program on the Revel website, so I found the version for the Revel B15 subwoofer and was able to make it work. The larger B15 has more controls on the back. However, I was able to get a nice set-up with the room EQ, rolling off a particular frequency that was giving me a nice rattle from my built-in gas fireplace and finding the correct volume setting for my particular needs.
At $999, it’s hard to argue that there is a better value on the market today in high-performance entry-level subs. The term “trickle-down technology” is often overused and seems clichéd, but it’s the perfect explanation of why this subwoofer is so good. Harman’s research and design in Northridge, California is amongst the finest for any speaker brand in the world and the B-12, as well as the rest of the new Revel Concerta line benefits greatly from this research without having it heavily tacked on to the price tag. For the little extra that you’d spend over a subwoofer in your big chain electronics store, you get a whole lot more performance for a few hundred more dollars. Having set-up software and the ability to tune the subwoofer to the room and match your speakers is a nice benefit as well.
Setting up a subwoofer is one part science, one part art. The finest professional acousticians in the world can set up your room, so you know that your subwoofer is just about as perfectly tuned as you can imagine. Revel has given the do-it-yourselfer the ability to try to achieve some of the audio bliss that you’d get from a pro set-up. I was able to get what I felt was a reasonable accurate set-up that blended with my RBH on-walls and in-walls.
Before you drop upwards of $2,000 on a subwoofer, you owe it to yourself to audition the Revel B12. If you are in the market for an entire speaker system, be it in-wall or floor-standing, the entire Revel Concerta line is one you might want to consider. If you already have a system and need some extra kick in the low end, you should know that the B12 rocked my world. I bet it will rock yours, too.