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JL Audio Fathom f112 Subwoofer

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Shake, rattle and roll! Hear the majestic power and clarity of JL's f112 Subwoofer.

JL Audio Fathom Subwoofers push the boundaries of Bass Reproduction and feature Automatic Room Optimization (A.R.O.) delivering smooth, powerful and well-balanced sub-bass from a variety of positions and in challenging room environments.

Testimonials (on all JL Audio Fathom Subs)

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"Never before had new audio gear reshaped the depth and width of the soundstage, doubled the dynamic range, and increased the transparency, all at the same time... I recommend the JL Audio Fathom f113 for Class A of Stereophile's "Recommended Components," and urge you to listen to a pair of them. I'm sure you'll be convinced, as I was, that the benefits to your system's soundstaging will be as impressive as they will be in the reproduction of deep bass. My entire system achieved its best performance to date, producing clean, tight, solid bass signals with excellent pitch definition. Great work, JL Audio!" 
 - Larry Greenhill, Stereophile
(read the review)

"The JL Audio Fathom is of reference quality and a benchmark by which all other subwoofers can be judged." 
 - Robert Harley, The Absolute Sound (read the reivew)
 

"Through the f112, bass guitars, low winds and brass, low percussion, bass synthesizers, and especially pipe organs had the majestic power and clarity that they do in real life."
 - The Perfect Vision Editors Choice Award 2007: JL AUDIO Fathom f112 (read the review) 

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Product of the Year, Home Theatre & Sound

"The Fathom line of subs is a shot across of the bows of competitors that signals the arrival of JL in the world of high-end home audio... The JL Audio Fathom f113 is the single best A/V product I have experienced. The improvement it made to my home-theater system was stunning. I've never heard better."
 - Randall Smith, Home Theatre & Sound
(read the review)

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"SUBWOOFER OF THE YEAR" ( JL Audio Fathom F113), 2007, The Perfect Vision (download the .pdf) 

"...the JL Audio guys are serious audiophiles who have both the technical know-how and manufacturing wherewithal to build world-class subwoofers."
 - Chris Martens, The Perfect Vision 

"The JL Audio f113 is an impressive performer, capable of filling the average room-and clearly a larger than average room, as well-with deep, powerful, high level bass. It also blended superbly with the rest of my system. And when there was little or no bass in the program material, it stayed out of the way and didn't intrude on the sound. JL Audio has brought in a winner for its first line of home subwoofers."
 - Thomas Norton, UltimateAVmag.com

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"The JL Audio Fathom 113 dollar for dollar is the best subwoofer I have heard on the market. If you are in the market for any of the top-of-the-line audiophile products, you owe it to yourself to go out and take a test drive with the Fathom 113. It has the power to knock your socks off. It has the finesse to make your best speakers sound even better."
 - Michael Levy, AudioVideo Revolution 
(read the review) 

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Living with the Fathom was like chatting with the smartest and most agreeable guest at a party full of blowhards... The bottom end of pretty much any kind of music took on more definition and shape, even with the lowest string of the lowest instrument...
I now have a broader frame of reference for what a sub can accomplish.
  - Mark Fleischmann, Home Theatre
(read the review)

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"It has low distortion, and will reach the depths of musical instruments' fundamentals (the lowest note on a piano is 28 Hz). The old thing about such and such a subwoofer (or speakers) being good for movies while a different sub is more suited to music, well, that is nonsense. What you want is deep, clean, and powerful. That kind of sub will handle anything, and the f113 did just that." 
- John E. Johnson Jr., Secrets of Home Theatre and High Fidelity

"It was the most intense bass experience I ever hope to have."
  - Kal Rubinson, Stereophile, (On the JL Audio CEDIA demonstration) 

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Overview

The challenges associated with designing high-output compact subwoofer systems can be quite daunting. In most cases, designers sacrifice low-frequency extension or output capability in order to keep the design small.

The Fathom® subwoofers sacrifice nothing, thanks to the dynamic advantages of their proprietary JL Audio woofers. These exceptional drivers allow for a true subwoofer passband and very high output, while keeping distortion well below audible thresholds. To extract full benefit from the excursion envelope of its woofer, each Fathom® employs an exceptionally powerful switching amplifier with a large toroidal transformer and a patented circuit designed to enhance control and fidelity.  

The compact design and conventional form factor of the Fathoms apply beautifully to most home theater applications, including built-in designs. Front-mounted controls make them a dream to set up and adjust, while JL Audio's exclusive Automatic Room Optimization circuit makes sure that response is smooth, even in challenging rooms.

Simply put, Fathom® is the compact subwoofer system for those who enjoy demanding program material and won't
settle for compromises.

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Technical

Fathom® Drivers
You won't find an off-the-shelf woofer in any JL Audio home subwoofer because designing and building superior subwoofer drivers lies at the core of our passion for audio.   For the last decade,  JL Audio has been at the forefront of research into fundamental loudspeaker behavior.

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The company has developed proprietary electromagnetic and suspension analysis systems and invested heavily in state-of-the-art testing and manufacturing systems. JL Audio's intense focus on research has borne subwoofer driver designs widely considered as reference standards for linear displacement and dynamic stability. It has also resulted in numerous U.S. and International Patents issued for technologies that refine and extend the performance envelope of the dynamic driver.

JL Audio's experience with long excursion woofers is a perfect foil to the intense low frequency demands of home theater program material. The drivers used in Gotham® and Fathom® offer a performance envelope so vast, that we can deliver exceptional output without resorting to aggressive electronic limiting or compression.   

Driver Technologies:
DMA-Optimized Motor System
DMA is JL Audio's proprietary Dynamic Motor Analysis system aimed at improving dynamic motor behavior. As a result of DMA optimization, our loudspeaker's motor systems remain linear in force over an extreme range of excursion while maintaining a highly stable fixed magnetic field over a wide power range. This leads to vastly reduced distortion and accurate transient performance... or put simply: tight, clean, articulate bass.  

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OverRollTM Surround
The OverRollTM surround spans over the driver's mounting flange, utilizing available diameter wasted in conventional speakers. This allows the use of the wider roll necessary to control high-excursions without sacrificing precious cone area.

Fathom® Amplifier Technologies
To fully realize the benefits of  JL Audio's long excursion driver platform, a huge amount of controlled power is needed.   These lofty power requirements create a difficult challenge when the realities of typical home electrical circuits are considered. Our electronics engineering team conducted an intense analysis of demanding program material and its dynamic characteristics in order to balance current draw and actual output power requirements relative to the subwoofer system's impedance characteristics.  The result of this research led to advanced switching amplifier designs with massive toroidal transformers, each precisely optimized for its subwoofer model.   After careful study, a pair of precisely engineered switching amplifiers employing JL Audio's patented Class D feedback technology were created. These advanced designs are capable of unclipped output voltages equivalent to 1,500 watts (f112) and 2,500 watts (f113) of RMS power when referenced to the nominal loudspeaker impedance, allowing us to take full advantage of each driver's full excursion envelope.   It's not magic, but it certainly borders on it.

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Neutrik® Combo-XLR and Cardas® RCA jacks provide inputs for balanced or unbalanced signals in stereo or mono. A single XLR output allows for interconnection of multiple Fathoms while using one as the master control unit.  Fathoms also meet UL/CSA electrical certification standards.

Proprietary Features

Automatic Room Optimization (A.R.O)
A wise man named Murphy long ago prescribed that a subwoofer will generally sound best in the most impractical spot in the room... a fact that home theater professionals wrestle with constantly. Subwoofer placement almost always involves a compromise between sonic performance, practicality and aesthetics.

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To face this dilemma head on, JL Audio subwoofer systems incorporate a clever piece of technology called Automatic Room Optimization (A.R.O.).

The A.R.O. system self-generates a series of calibration tones, measures the response at the listening position, analyzes the shape and magnitude of the primary response error and configures an appropriate filter to tame it.  The system effectively allows for smooth, well-balanced sub-bass from a variety of locations that may have been less than ideal without A.R.O.

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To accomplish this complex feat, all you have to do is:

1) Connect the included calibration microphone to the front panel of the subwoofer.
2) Press the "calibrate" button on the front panel of the subwoofer system.
3) Hold the microphone at the primary listening position.
4) A few minutes later, you have completed this one-time setup routine.

You won't need a computer, spreadsheets or expensive equipment and you don't need to navigate and manipulate complex interfaces... a fine example of technology in the service of man, if there ever was one.

Fathom Signal Processing
Fathom® powered subwoofers incorporate a comprehensive suite of signal processing tools.

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These include:

  • A low-pass filter with selectable slopes (12dB/octave Butterworth or 24dB/octave Linkwitz-Riley), variable from 30 Hz to 130 Hz, fully defeatable via switch  
  • Fixed gain or Variable gain modes (selectable via switch), Variable gain from full mute to +15 dB over reference gain   
  • Input polarity reversal, via switch  
  • Variable phase from 0 to 280 degrees  
  • ELF (Extreme Low Frequency) trim cuts extreme low frequencies by as much as -12 dB or boosts them by as much as +3 dB at 25 Hz

Controls: Front and Center:

We simply couldn't find a good reason to place user controls at the back of the product, so we put them on the front, right above the woofer. It costs more to build them this way, but some things in life are worth a few more dollars... like not having to use a mirror and a flashlight to make a level adjustment.

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Other Features

  • Unbalanced Inputs: Stereo or Mono (two RCA jacks)
  • Balanced Inputs: Stereo or Mono (two female XLR jacks)
  • Output To Slave: Balanced (one male XLR jack)
  • Input Modes: Master or Slave
  • Level Modes: Reference (fixed gain) or Variable from full mute to +15dB over reference gain
  • Power Modes: Off, On or Automatic Signal-Sensing 
  • Light Modes: Off, On or Dim
  • Low Pass Filter Mode: Off, 12 dB per octave or 24 dB per octave
  • Low Pass Filter Cutoff Frequency: Variable from 30 Hz - 130 Hz
  • Polarity: 0 or 180 degrees
  • Phase: Variable from 0 - 280 degrees
  •  ELF Trim: Variable from -12 dB to +3 dB at 25 Hz
  • Automatic Room Optimization (A.R.O.): with included, laboratory-grade calibration microphone, defeatable 
  • Available in a beautiful high-gloss black finish

Specifications

  • Enclosure Type: Sealed
  • Driver: Single 12-inch (nominal diameter)
  • Frequency Response (Anechoic): 21 - 119 Hz (±1.5dB), -3 dB at 19 Hz / 150 Hz, -10 dB at 17 Hz / 167 Hz
  • Effective Piston Area: 84 sq. in. / 0.0542 sq. m.
  • Effective Displacement: 287 cu. in. / 4.7 liters
  • Amplifier Power: 1500 watts RMS short-term
  • Dimensions*: (H) Height x (W) Width x (D) Depth 18.5 in. x 15 in. x 17.625 in. 470 mm x 381 mm x 448 mm
  • Net Weight: 115 lbs. / 52.0 kg
  • Cabinet Finish: High-Gloss Black



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