JL Audio Subwoofers - Fathom F110, F112, F113, F212, IWS and Gotham

by ct_acoustic_frontier July 06, 2022

Who are JL Audio?

JL Audio made their name in the car audio business. Unlike some other subwoofer manufacturers they make all the components that go into their subwoofers, including the W7 driver, enclosure and amplifier, in house in Miramar, Florida. In 2007 they released the Fathom and Gotham subwoofers for home use.


What is the Fathom / Gotham?

Equally good in high-end audiophile two channel systems and home theaters, these subwoofers are definitely some of the best on the market. Incorporating JL Audio's proprietary W7 driver and a powerful amplifier, this is a tour-de-force in sub design. Here is a summary of their features:

  • Sealed box
  • Switchable mono or stereo operation
  • Unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR inputs
  • ARO (Automatic Room Optimization) measures your room and counteracts the main modal resonance by implementing a parametric EQ filter in the analog domain
  • Switchable input isolation
  • Phase continuously variable from 0 to 280 degrees
  • Low pass filter variable from 30Hz to 130Hz with 12dB and 24dB slopes
  • Variable volume level control
  • Possible to completely switch off low pass filter for use with home theater pre-processors using internal bass management
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Who are JL Audio?

JL Audio made their name in the car audio business. Unlike some other subwoofer manufacturers they make all the components that go into their subwoofers, including the W7 driver, enclosure and amplifier, in house in Miramar, Florida. In 2007 they released the Fathom and Gotham subwoofers for home use.

What is the Fathom / Gotham?

Equally good in high-end audiophile two channel systems and home theaters, these subwoofers are definitely some of the best on the market. Incorporating JL Audio's proprietary W7 driver and a powerful amplifier, this is a tour-de-force in sub design. Here is a summary of their features:

  • Sealed box
  • Switchable mono or stereo operation
  • Unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR inputs
  • ARO (Automatic Room Optimization) measures your room and counteracts the main modal resonance by implementing a parametric EQ filter in the analog domain
  • Switchable input isolation
  • Phase continuously variable from 0 to 280 degrees
  • Low pass filter variable from 30Hz to 130Hz with 12dB and 24dB slopes
  • Variable volume level control
  • Possible to completely switch off low pass filter for use with home theater pre-processors using internal bass management

The Fathoms differ from each other in enclosure size, driver size, bass extension and amplifier power.

  • F110 - 10" driver, 900W amplifier, -3dB at 25Hz
  • F112 - 12" driver, 1500W amplifier, -3dB at 19Hz
  • F113 - 13.5" driver, 2200W amplifier, -3dB at 18Hz
  • F212 - 2 x 12" drivers, 3000W amplifier, -3dB at 19Hz

The Gotham is two 13.5" drivers in a custom made fiberglass cabinet.

What about in wall subs?

JL Audio released an in wall sub in 2009. They have two models - the IWS1 and the IWS2. Both are designed to fit into a standard 2x4 stud cavity. In wall subs are a great way to free up floor space and reduce clutter in your listening room or home theater. They are also an option with much higher 'WAF' (wife acceptance factor) since all you see once they are installed is the grille (which can be painted for a completely custom look)! The IWS1 is a single subwoofer cabinet driven by a 1000W outboard amp whilst the IWS2 is two separate cabinets driven by a 2000W outboard amp.

We are strong believers in using multiple subs to deliver smoother bass to more seats - we've written a about using mode canceling arrangements and near wall placement to avoid boundary interference in other blog articles.

Want to find out more about JL's home audio subwoofers or our subwoofer integration services? Contact us now!

About the author: Nyal Mellor is founder of Acoustic Frontiers, a company specializing in the design, build and calibration of high performance home theaters and listening rooms for enthusiasts worldwide.




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Nyal Mellor, Founder, Acoustic Frontiers

  • (415) 524-8741
  • Serving USA & Canada
  • Fairfax, Northern California, USA

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