file Need feedback on FF5 from an owner or dealer

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lees23 Posted 6 years 6 months ago
#4343
I am considering purchasing a FF5 for a large room (3500-4000cu feet). I like the concept of the FF5 but struggle that there is so little published on it. If this sub is as good as GE claims they should be handing them out to be evaluated. I know of at least one very well respected "evaluator" that has tried to get a FF5 that hasn't been able to. There have been a couple comments on it when it's being evaluated as part of a system and most have been good but how come it hasn't been scrutinized as a stand alone sub more? If you look at other $1000 subs they have been evaluated by multiple sources and it's very easy to find information on them, the FF5, not so much. If this sub is everything GE says it is they would be selling like hotcakes and you would see publication all over about them. A 14hz, compact, $1000 that can fill cavernous rooms would be like sliced bread to the home theater sub market. Maybe it's bad marketing?

I would like to hear from someone that has heard this sub and compared it to similarly priced subs. GE has promised me that the FF5 will outperform anything close to it's price. I have a hard time believing that it will outperform a PSA XS30(1149) or even a PSA VF15(799). Statements like this make me even more skeptical about their claim. If the FF5 is able to perform on the same level as these subs I much prefer it due to size. I was told that I can find all kinds of feedback about the FF5 here, which isn't true... The more I dig into this sub the more skeptical I become.

My local dealer only stocks the FF3 and FF4 but pushes their other brand because it has room correction. I would probably buy the FF5 if I could audition it but my dealer isn't real excited to do that because it's not a regular stock item. I don't want to be stuck with their other brand if I don't like the FF5 because my room will swallow it, not much output.

I am trying to decide between a SVS SB13-Ultra and the FF5. Should I really believe that the FF5 is going to match the output of the SB13U? I have heard the FF5 performs on pace with the SVS PB 2000 but under 25 hz the 2000 is stronger. Can anyone confirm or deny this?

Thanks for any feedback anyone is able to provide.

Steve

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WayneWilmeth Posted 6 years 6 months ago
Last edit: 6 years 6 months ago by WayneWilmeth. Reason: thought of something more to add info_outline
#4345
Hi Steve,
Welcome here.
You are asking questions that will be VERY hard for anyone to answer, IF the person answering must have auditioned enough subs and the FF5 in their home.
[Most who have heard all of these subs, have heard them in their HiFi shop and may have other motives behind their comments]
I have the FF5 and I had it replace a very decent Mirage sub, but none of those you are considering.
It is between the FF5 and a sub 3 times more expensive, there is nothing close to the FF5 in it's price range, for me.
BUT I find the ForceFields much easier to find and audition than the other subs you are looking at.
Not sure this helps, but the one thing you might be looking for, since you are asking on this forum is a response from someone who actually has heard the FF5.
I can tell you this. The thing with the FF5 is taming this beast, turning it down. My house is built SOLID, or so I THOUGHT. My wife thought it would cause structural to our concrete and brick construction new home (no wood) when I had the volume at 10:30.
Flirting around with 9:00 being a bass freak.
Hope this helps,
Happy hunting,
God Bless,
Wayne

P. S. Just a friendly suggestion, a little less attitude here will likely help, FWIW
God bless the child that's got his own.
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lees23 Posted 6 years 6 months ago
#4346
Thanks Wayne:

Forgive my straightforwardness for coming through as attitude.. I admit that I was having a pretty rough day and probably was more "grumpy" than usual while creating my message. Thank you for taking the time to reply.

I understand that my questions are hard to answer. People are looking at a sub of this quality will often audition several subs in thier home before selecting one. Both the companies listed above (PSA and SVS) offer generous "audition" periods and I think both will even pay for return shipping if you are not happy with their products.

You are the first person that I have heard from that owns this sub. I work in an industry that is probably more scrutinized than any industry in the world. We cannot make claims that have not been substantiated by scientific evidence. Maybe that's why I'm so frustrated with the "it's that good, but you just have to trust us on that" mentality here. I am comparing it to a sub that is less than 2x as expensive(1000 vs 1599 for the sb13u) because they are both compact, high output subs and GE claims that the FF5 is better than anything in it's price point. I am guessing that Sandy doesn't want this sub heavily evaluated because he knows that frequency curves will be measured and he feels that these are not reliable or worthwhile data. I can understand this to a point but it would be nice to see how this sub lines up against the competition.

I will probably end up buying this sub and hoping it is all that they claim but am still frustrated with the little information that is out there about it(after over a year of being on the market).
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Moderator Posted 6 years 6 months ago
#4348
Hi Steve -

Welcome. Thanks for the feedback Wayne, hopefully other owners will chime in too. I'd like to address a few of the comments, while not offering any opinions (we believe the forum is for owners' opinions, if you want our opinion you can always call or email us directly). So, in no particular order:

Sell-direct brands always offer in home trial, there is no alternative. IMO, sell-direct brands cannot compete on equal footing with store brands and that's why they aren't in stores. I remember years ago a very well known speaker manufacturer tried to force retailers to display their product in a separate room and not allow any competitive products in the room for comparison. Basically the same idea... I'm sorry your dealer does not have the FF5, I agree with Wayne that there is probably some mixed agenda t work. MOST GoldenEar dealers allow in home trials, maybe you should ask to borrow the FF4, knowing the FF5 will be "more"?

If you want scientific evidence, you need a new hobby. Speaker design is primarily art, the science is easy and everyone can do it. Speaker designers and engineers spend a couple days getting their desired measured frequency response, and then months getting the speaker to sound good. Measured frequency response at +/- 3dB is meaningless, since we hear variations of less than 0.25dB in relative frequency. There is no scientific specification that will tell you the performance of anything in the "better" audio world. The most successful designers (and Sandy Gross is the most successful speaker guy EVERY) are listeners, not scientists. And Sandy's team of engineers are among the most experienced speaker engineers in the world today, dedicated to creating Sandy's "art".

Regarding reviews, the major (and trusted) review magazines generally do not review subs, and if they do they do so very infrequently. They also generally only review subs alone if they are quite high priced. Otherwise, they are almost always reviewed as parts of systems these days. If you know someone at a review publication that has not been able to get a ForceField 5 for review, there's a reason, as we've made it available to all the major (and trusted) publications. We've had reviews from Secrets of Home Theater, Sound & Vision and Home Theater Magazine on the FF5. The other ForceField subs, which have been on the market longer, have a few more reviews (especially the 3, due to its price/performance ratio).

You seem to be stuck on the "GE claims" stuff, which comes from direct experience in our dealers' showrooms (and of course lots of consumer feedback). Combine this with "Sandy doesn't want it evaluated" and I can see where Wayne was a bit put off by the perceived attitude. As is pretty evident by the large number of GoldenEar product reviews (more than any other speaker brand in the last three years), Sandy LOVES getting his stuff reviewed. He didn't become the most successful specialty speaker designer in history by hiding his products from the press. No offense, but are you a conspiracy theory guy? :)

Regarding a frequency curve, I have one for the FF5 sub in my room, did you want to see that? What would you compare it to? How would that be useful? The answer of course is you can't compare it to anything and it would be worthless to you. I, on the other hand, have the room response for several other subs I've owned over the years in the same room. So I know exactly how it compares to the >$2000 sub that preceded it in the system. But even having a response curve doesn't tell me the most important things I want to know when evaluating a sub: 1) Maximum output at lowest frequencies (in my room), 2) Distortion by frequency (something that no one will report - I remember a market splash for the first "mini" subs, sounded terrible and nobody talked about the fact that they were over 100% distortion at the lowest frequencies), 3) Maximum output at 80Hz (in my room). Interestingly, I answered all these questions just by playing the sub in my room with source material I was familiar with ... all the specs and curves in the world won't get you there.

In looking over the posts here there have been quite a few comments about the FF5, not sure what else you were hoping for but perhaps a few more owners will chime in.... not sure why any of this would raise your skepticism. The brand is less than four years old and the FF5 is only about a year on the market. Just curious, have you found ANYTHING negative about the brand or the products in your research? I'm guessing not, as owners seem very happy, we have been applauded for our excellent support and customer service, the press has been overwhelmingly positive, and we have won more awards than any other loudspeaker company in decades. From the outside looking in, it seems like a pretty safe bet. That said, if you're not comfortable, there are GoldenEar speaker owners with other sub brands on this forum, maybe they'll chime in too.

Sorry for the long answer - hoping it will be insightful for you and others facing this dilemma. Thanks for joining the forum and considering the GE subs.
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wweiss Posted 6 years 6 months ago
#4349
On this site I might be somewhat of a sub expert. At this time I have 7 subwoofers! Some for my electronic drum studio. I have played drums for 40 years so I know what real bass should sound like. I listened to the FF5 and was thinking of getting it. For the price it is excellent. I ended up getting a Velodyne Optimum 12 for $1,770. on Amazon. It is tight and accurate-best for music not movies. I use it for movies in a large bedroom set up and it is fine. I love the fact that it has a remote control. This is the feature I am glad I paid an extra $770. With my Triton 2's I fine tune the bass for different tracks and different artists from my listening position. It also has a mute so I can A/B it with and without sub at the press of a button. Most sub manufactures think remote control is not necessary but with my set up and purpose-critical music listening- it is a necessity! All pro gear at least has a sub mute for monitoring purposes. It also has EQ room correction and presets for movies which I use. Beautiful gloss finish is a plus,small size like FF5. By the way I don't work for Velodyne.

I was about to get the SVS sb-13u but the 90LB weight was a bit much for me.
I still have my eye on that one for the future. It has the best reviews but I have never heard it.

So if money is the factor $1,000 for the FF5 is the way to go. Also if your main purpose is movies the FF5 with that thunderous gain is also the way to go.
So much music-so little time!
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lees23 Posted 6 years 6 months ago
#4350

wweiss wrote: On this site I might be somewhat of a sub expert. At this time I have 7 subwoofers! Some for my electronic drum studio. I have played drums for 40 years so I know what real bass should sound like. I listened to the FF5 and was thinking of getting it. For the price it is excellent. I ended up getting a Velodyne Optimum 12 for $1,770. on Amazon. It is tight and accurate-best for music not movies. I use it for movies in a large bedroom set up and it is fine. I love the fact that it has a remote control. This is the feature I am glad I paid an extra $770. With my Triton 2's I fine tune the bass for different tracks and different artists from my listening position. It also has a mute so I can A/B it with and without sub at the press of a button. Most sub manufactures think remote control is not necessary but with my set up and purpose-critical music listening- it is a necessity! All pro gear at least has a sub mute for monitoring purposes. It also has EQ room correction and presets for movies which I use. Beautiful gloss finish is a plus,small size like FF5. By the way I don't work for Velodyne.

I was about to get the SVS sb-13u but the 90LB weight was a bit much for me.
I still have my eye on that one for the future. It has the best reviews but I have never heard it.

So if money is the factor $1,000 for the FF5 is the way to go. Also if your main purpose is movies the FF5 with that thunderous gain is also the way to go.


Great constructive feedback. Thank you.

From what I have found it looks like the SVS might have a little more output at 25hz and below. The weight and money don't really bother me. Was also thinking of adding transducers to supplement <20hz output since I will be using a sealed sub. Decisions decisions.

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