JL Audio Gotham G213 V2 Subwoofer Review
Florida-based JL Audio products are popular and well-known among audio and hi-fi enthusiasts. Founded in 1975, this American company manufactures audio and hi-fi equipment for homes and cars. They have received numerous awards and international recognitions. The speakers, amplifiers and subwoofers are developed in-house, and 14 American patents are associated with the brand name. The company mainly prefers to produce closed systems.
The amplifier circuit for the subwoofer at hand was developed by JL Audio itself, and they implement their own technological innovations to guarantee the optimal operation and performance of active subwoofers. One such innovation is the design of a basket that also includes a rugged front panel, or even DMA technology, which controls the operation of the speaker driver, namely by ensuring that the diaphragm maintains its linearity over the entire range of motion.
JL Audio Gotham G213 V2 model
The polished MDF housing of the active, closed-system, front-emitting G213 V2 subwoofer is made with stable, rugged and durable technology. There is a status LED on the front panel, it also has automatic shut-off and standby modes, as well as MOSFET stages and LFE input. The subwoofer has a diameter of 2×345 mm and the subwoofer measures 546 x 867 x 610 mm, and weighs 163 kg! Due to the huge weight, it is worth carefully considering where to place the subwoofer, preferably for larger rooms. Frequent moving and relocation may not be possible for the extremely heavy weight device.
There are many fine-tuning options on the front panel. It operates with a “D” class amplifier with a power of 4500 Watts, and has a frequency transmission between 19-112 Hz. It is also equipped with an IFC power cable and of course a foot, XLR output can also be found on it. The device is hand-made and the speaker is protected by a grid. Measuring microphone helps to make precise settings, low-pass filter and crossover control functions are also available, phase polarity and power can also be controlled. We also have the option of EQ settings. In terms of design, the speaker box is elegant and very beautiful.
Bass acoustic wall panels with double leather membrane83 € – 260 € +Vat
3D acoustic diffuser 70x70x10cm122 € – 139 € +Vat
An 18-band room optimisation system helps with integration and setup. The DARO digital room optimisation system has proven to be extremely useful and performs settings with great precision. The subwoofer also has an unbalanced RCA input and Neutrik Combo XLR / TRS balanced bases. The casing is a solid fiberglass composite in a glossy black and stainless steel alloy. A driver with JL Audio technology was used in the production of the subwoofer, complete with a new signal processing DSP system.
We tested this subwoofer with a huge weight and performance!
We chose louder rhythm music to test the subwoofer. We took out the album of the classic rock band, Guns ’n Roses. We connected the subwoofer with an Anthem amplifier and Klipsch stationary speakers.
The dynamic, detailed and nuanced sound, the incredible clarity and power this subwoofer delivered was truly impressive. As it is very large, it is by no means recommended for smaller or medium sized rooms. On the other hand, the design is very stylish and elegant, so there is no need to hide it. Controlled, guided bass ensures maximum sound. The dynamics were quite simply impressive, and even when connected to multi-channel systems, Gotham’s production is unique. The controls and the automatic room optimisation features are essential and very practical. As it has very serious performance, it is definitely necessary to pair it with speakers of the same power and category for ideal performance. This reference subwoofer is also high on the cutting edge in terms of music, but it comes at a very expensive price.
The room where the test was performed was a 38-square-foot living room, the acoustics were improved not only by sound-absorbing and diffuser panels on the walls and ceiling, but also by the thick, acoustic curtains placed in front of the windows and the glass door to optimise sound quality.
The smaller model
The JL Audio Fathom F113 V2 subwoofer was also tested another time. It has a multi-band equaliser like the Gotham model. The very subject of room acoustics is related to the Schröder frequency, a sound frequency zone which ranges from 100 to 200 Hz that is the transitional or crossover zone in which room resonances dominate until wavelengths adjust to the size of the room, which can be determined by acoustic measurements.
Above a certain frequency, the sound can be distorted by reflections. This should definitely be cope with, the best way to handle it is to use wall and ceiling panels. Electronic or digital corrections based on software are only effective if the acoustic conditions in the room are already ideal.
The weight and dimensions of the Fathom are also smaller than those of the Gotham, so we would prefer this type for smaller or medium sized rooms. The price and performance are also smaller than those of the heavier model. 3000 Watts is the power of the built-in amplifier, and it weighs 60 kg. The frame is made of rigid cast aluminium and is manufactured together with a strong magnetic system. Strong magnetic systems such as those found in this type tend to generate too much heat, which can cause distortion or malfunction. To avoid this, JL Audio uses a cooling system that delivers cool air directly from the openings above the top plate to the speaker coil, further enhanced by radial cross-drilling technology, which in addition to improving heat dissipation and energy management, it also improves sound quality and linearity by minimising dynamic parameter shifts and compression losses.
We could experience extended low ends listening the Fathom, in terms of dynamics, however, we would clearly declare the Gotham as the winner.