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Klipsch R-12SW Sale


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Ok...after living with these two subs, they are performing at a level that is way above their pay-grade!


Smooth bass lines literally roll across the seats in my theater. With great low end. Tight and clean...yes, really. These sound so good that I actually enjoy the music tracks in some commercials on TV.


These are positioned in the rear inner corners in the theater. Having an all around bass sound (4 subs, 2 front, 2 rear) has done wonders for soundtracks in movies like Saving Private Ryan, Hacksaw Ridge, etc.


Yes, there are better ($$$) subs available. But to realize a significant upgrade in overall performance, you would have to spend several multiples of the current $169 price tag.


Anyone who is looking for a bargain, this is your chance. And you will not be disappointed.

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On 1/24/2021 at 3:46 PM, Iteachstem said:

I've always preferred a sealed sub or one with passive radiators.  I know the ported ones are more efficient, but you also have all of the negative issues that go a long with a ported enclosure as well.


I've tried several klipsch subs in the past including the SW12, SW15, KSW15 and seversal others that slip my mind at the moment, and my brother owns the RSW15 (The RSW15 was the only one that I was really impressed with!) The only commercially made sub I own now is the little Velodyne 10" sub, just  because it was a used speaker deal I couldn't pass! There are a lot of great subs out there, you just have to find the one that meets your needs.


I wasn't having a ton of luck finding decent subs for what I thought would be reasonable prices. (Us teachers don't get paid a whole bunch!) So, I build my own in sealed cabinets and power them with decent amps with a lot of overhead.  You can use some processing , if need be, to get the in room response you like.  My current 2.2 music system (My RF-83's and 2 subs) consists of 2 relatively small sub cabinets (17" by 19" by 19") loaded with Dayton Audio RSS390HF-4 drivers.  ($195 each) They are powered by a crown K2 amplifier delivering up to 800 watts to each sub if necessary and it has a damping factor greater than 1000 from 10-400 hz.  These two subs provide solid low end in a room that is 18 by 25 with a ceiling that slopes from 9 feet to 16 feet.  Ideally I would want four 12" subs spaced out correctly in the room, but the way the room is set up, this is not a possibility.  The cost for the wood, speakers, parts, and used Crown amp was all under $900 and performs at a level well above it's cost.


Just some food for thought.  You can always scale up or down depending on your budget.



Main product image for Dayton Audio RSS390HF-4 15 Main product image for Dayton Audio RSS390HF-4 15

My front subs are from Madisound, the same company in your link above. Sealed enclosures, 12 inch drivers. Powered by a B&K amp. These perform well. The subs were purchased as complete kits, and I assembled them. Very easy!


But I now have learned the advantages of a powered sub. More flexibility in tuning and tweaking. Before most of the info I saw stated that powered subs are prone to failure of the amplifier due to cabinet vibration.


The R-12SW’s are holding up well, and playing nice with the other subs. Had to boost the sub level by 6 db, and then back off the Klipsch subs a bit to get an overall balance in the room. These are hyper efficient!


While these do perform decently with music, they really shine with sound track LFE. 

I have the IMAX movie Space Station, in 4K. The liftoff of the shuttle is impressive, and you can “feel” the power of the rockets as they all fire up. So far, we are very happy with this purchase. Klipsch no longer has them on sale, but the price at Costco is still $169.

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On 1/23/2021 at 10:13 PM, Ceptorman said:

The R-12SW is just a lower tier speaker. 


There aren't many subs in this price range doing better, a $200 Polk sub won't compare.


Lets bump it up a bit. What is available for $250 (the current list price at Klipsch) or less that will out perform the R-12SW?


In a side-by-side comparison, double blind.


Forget my $169 price tag (still on sale at Costco). I just found some info that when this sub was introduced as a new model, the list price was $350.


The following is my post on another HT forum:


You did not come off as rude, not at all!

You make valid points. The reviews that were looked over come from average folks. For some, this might have been a first time purchase. For others it was an upgrade from another brand, or from a smaller sub. With so many responses, I would not discount their input simply because they are not professional audio engineers. Yes, there were a handful of 1 star ratings, saying this sub totally sucked (pardon my French).

I used to scour all of the Hi-Fi and Stereo / Home Theater publications religiously. And numerical measurements are good to know for a products performance. But in the end, we listen with human ears, so perhaps scientific measurements don’t always tell the whole story.

I am not a fan of subs! They have a bad reputation in many circles, perhaps based on the cars that I pass on the road with some "Boom Box" blasting away at a very high db level. But that is another story...

With the R-12SW's augmenting the 2 subs up front, the sound has been nothing short of awesome. The Space Shuttle lift off (IMAX - Space Shuttle, in 4K), is as close as you can get to the real deal.

No, I'm not in denial, as there are certainly subs on the market that will blow this one out of the water. But if I spent $2000+ on a pair of new subs, my wife would blow me out of the water!

My RF-7 III's go down to 35 hz, just like my R-820F's. The 7's have bass response that has to be heard! I replaced my VMPS Towers, which were hand built by Brian Cheney, with the 7's. These Klipsch speakers sound so much better than my previous VMPS Towers, and Cheney is legendary in the industry for his designs.

The main thrust here is to let others know that a decent performing sub is available, at an entry level price ($169), for those who might be on a tight budget.

The R-12SW had an original list price of $350, when introduced as a new model.

I appreciate your input, as well as input from others on their personal experiences with subwoofers in general.




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  • 2 weeks later...

Got a RA from Crutchfield for my Black R-112SW.


Adorama, an Authorized Klipsch On-line Dealer for Clearance has them in Cherry, for $299, with FREE Shipping. That’s $100, plus tax, less than many other Authorized On-line Dealers.


Klipsch R-112SW Cherry


If you want Black, Newegg, as of yesterday had an Open Box R-112SW for $300.



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How do you characterize a sub-woofer ?


I own a few of them, but would like to experiment with a theater horn that dives down in sub range someday. Lack of space being the issue. War of the Worlds might be the test track.


I have a RW-12 d sitting in front of my LaScalsa that is off most of the time, doesn't add a lot to the music listening experience.


On the other hand, movie sound tracks are built around them, with slam being an important feature.


When all speakers are turned off, the sub bumps away, not much to listen to stand alone.


What makes a good sub ?


Are we chasing a better kick drum ?



Ime 25-80 is about the range for chest slam. It’s gonna depend on your subs capabilities as it’s also largely a product of SPL at XYZ frequencies.
If you can, download a tone generator app, or run tones on YouTube and see which gives you the most slam. In the old days, the bass knob was frequently centered at 50hz. So turning that up would give some impact to kick drums and bass guitars. Also a lot of bassy music is hot in the 30-80ish range.



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$169 is a heck of a bargain. With free delivery. You won't get anything near this level of performance unless you want to spend $250+, and more.


We absolutely love ours, positioned in the rear of our theater. It has made a huge difference in the overall impact of sound tracks.

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