These monster subs were known in his range as the MX5000 and over the subsequent years there was a MKI and a MKII but they were also known as the mighty Goliath which was a worthy nickname considering their prodigious amounts of BASS that they produced.Ken also went on to develop a successor to the MX5000 sub which was then known as the MX5100SF this was truly a monster sub, not just for its BASS but for its size and It was aptly named Goliath 2.Anyway enough of that, this was a clean sheet design for Ken and the DXD12012 originally was named the MX5000, and still are for Professional purposes to distinguish between consumer and PRO, the use of 12 subwoofers in a push pull configuration are still in use but this time powered by two mono block Claridy amplifiers pumping out nearly 400 Watts for each sub, these really are bullet proof amps and can take some serious abuse and are perfectly matched to the drivers which are side mounted in the cabinet hence they are meant to fire into the side of the wall so as to couple with the room better, this produces a better BASS response when placed near a corner location of the room it is designated to.
So you know I am familiar with KEN KREISEL products and subs in particular and have tested and listened to quite a few of them over the years so this is something of a routine for me now, and being Wowed by his products is no surprise then, but it is always nice to be treated to the KEN KREISEL way of sound, and in particular BASS!!For listening purposes I am using the same set up as I have with previous reviews and that is with my trusty Denon AVR4520 doing the processing and powering of my KEN KREISEL Q125 Front speakers L/C/R and M&K CS29 playing at the rears, the Denon has been Audyssey PRO calibrated so that the speakers and subs are playing flat and as you can see in the graph below the subs are flat all the way down to 20Hz and below.
On to the main event then and that is the review of the DUO and I am using various demo pieces, for both movies and music, old and new and on Blu-ray and DVD which I am going to subject myself to and give the DUO of DXD12012s a good work out, hoping that there is some decent LFE to entertain me and also give me enough to write about, I am also going to be listening to some of my usual demo material which I know well so as to give some balance to the listening.MoviesI am starting off with some old material but good material and ones that I have listened to a lot of times in the past on many systems over the years, so have a good idea how they should sound when done properly, well the BASS that is!The first movie I give a whirl with the DXD12012 DUO is Minority Report, a brilliant film which has an excellent sound mix and is directed by one of the best Steven Spielberg who is the person also responsible for bringing us War of The Worlds, so he knows what he wants when it comes to visuals and sound.The scene is from the Blu-ray and scene 8 where Tom Cruise is being chased into the car factory, where the futuristic police are chasing him and have pulse guns, now when I first saw this I loved it because it was so intense on a good subwoofer and when the first shot is fired you feel a wave, a pulse literally from the gun hit you in the armchair with such force that it is made so real, the DUO really are reference BASS at its best, just pure unadulterated BASS, so clean and dynamic with power that only KEN KREISEL knows how to deliver, then Tom Cruise grabs the gun and more shots are fired and I swear someone turned the volume up as it just felt even louder and harder than before, he then runs on into the factory with the machinery noise being depicted by the BASS which is low very low and loud, but the best bit is when he is fighting with Colin Farrell in the car which is being built around them and Tom gets trapped with the car being made and the machines enclosing him with huge thuds and bangs and you can feel the pressure in the room as one giant thud when the car seat nearly squashes Cruise, but the BASS is just stunning it really is, there is NO distortion just clean powerful BASS that is so good at Reference it made my room quake and me sit there with one big huge grin, I just had to watch it again so I did, LoL!I Robot is next and what a film to follow on from Minority Report, again this is another one that has been watched many a times on different systems, most of them with Kens speakers though.This is the scene where Will Smith gets chased down in the Tunnel in his futuristic Audi by the 2 giant Robot Carrier vehicles which have the biggest wheels ever and make a thunderous noise as they make their way down the tunnel, and then block Wills car in and all hell breaks loose, the DXD12012s subs are so precise and taught with their presentation of BASS that you just have to love them the way they make easy work of any soundtrack and at any level, with huge transients being created they are dealt with ease, and then stopping and pure silence in the room!Master & Commander Now this is a film which needs no introduction as it is probably one of the best pieces to demo a Sub BASS system to anyone on, or to give you a good idea how your subs are performing and with a DUO or Quattro formation you really are in for a treat.The cannon scene starts off with the fire and rumble of cannon fire from the ships off in the distance and the DXD subs stir the room with enough energy to give you a good idea of what is about to hit you, and sure enough wallop the power and dynamics in this scene are tremendous that the DXD12012 perform just as you would think a reference grade system would, the huge transients and pounding of the cannons being felt by the movement of the armchair and the hairs on the back of your neck standing up such is the realism of this epic battle, the recoil of the cannons is brilliant and your room rocks with the energy that the big DXD12012 DUO creates, just stunning!!THOR: THE DARK WORLD is the next film to get the DXD12012 going over and from the beginning the BASS is tremendous but when Jane (Natalie Portman) uncovers The Aether Awakens scene, it has some bone crunching BASS which is so accurate and precise that it startles you, or should I say that is the beauty of having such a powerful sub BASS system, which is what the DXD12012 is, it really does turn on the power and when THOR shoots up into the sky back to his home world you are treated to a pulse of BASS which you feel through the room, it is a dark and scary setting compared to the first film but I thought that this one had everything and more than the first.The Attack on Asgard is an impressive part of the film with ships flying in and laser cannons trying to shoot them down, the BASS levels reached in some of the scenes is tremendous and puts you right in the middle of the action, every pass of the ships swooping by you feel and then when one crashes an almighty bang but with no distortion at all just huge transients which start and stop on a dime, incredible stuff, but the best bit is when the ship flies into Asgards Palace and smashes through all the columns, THOR and the others are underneath and the palace foundations rock and break away, at that point I also thought that parts of my room were going to also, fall away that is!!Some incredible BASS from the monster DXD12012 DUO combination which is pure reference grade and when partnered with the Q125s it is a match made in heaven, it truly is.It is something special about the DUO that really does do what one sub cannot, it is like you turbo charge your system as you feel the raw power in the room, when Ken designed these subs he knew exactly what he wanted to give the end user and that is the most powerful sub BASS systems available on the planet and in DUO and Quattro formations that is what you get.
As you can see in the picture above the DUO look fantastic in my room just as the DXD808 DUO does, the look and feel of the quality of the subs is superb it really is, they are so well built that no picture really does them justice, it is only when you see one in the flesh for yourself do you appreciate the quality of the DXD subs.Movies is one thing but how do the big DXD12012 stand up to music, music is a strong passion of mine and I have a huge collection on all sorts of media, be it disc or HDD and High Resolution I have it, so that leads me nicely on to the music part of this review.MusicKens subs are built with the studio in mind and because of that, fidelity has to be of the highest order when it comes to speakers and subs whether it be movies or music and I already know how good the DXD808s are with music so how good are its bigger brothers!?!Well I start off with not the usual affair but more of a heavy session of hard electronic/rock music from Nine Inch Nails or NIN this is there concert disc from 2007 Live: Beside You In Time and it is has some really excellent BASS which a good sub needs to keep up with, as it is hard and fast.Closer & Burn are 2 of my favourite tracks on the disc with Closure you get a wonderful and rich BASS which is so dynamic and has some great depth, but you can also pick out every shift in tone of the BASS that is how good the DXD12012s are, but hard hitting at the same time, Burn is a little more hard core and has some really deep BASS in it which gives the arm chair your sitting in some great movement and gently massages you with the energy produced by the DUO!Sara K: Made in The Shade on Blu-ray Pure Audio in DTS-HD MA is a wonderful disc, it is one of my favourites as it just such a mellow and melodic sounding album that it is so easy to listen to and it does not have the most demanding BASS but what it does have is so much texture and shifts in BASS tone which are so quick that it needs a good sub to make it sound convincing and thankfully the DXD12012s play sweet music with the Q125s, just like the DXD808s you really would have to look at some serious high end HiFi speakers to match the quality that the KEN KREISEL pairing make, they are that good.After the Blizzard has some nice depth to the BASS which the DXDs dig deep down, just like Aura to the Blade which again has some great depth and tuneful BASS, the DXDs do not exhibit any kind of distortion at any level, not that I can notice with my ear and that makes the music even more natural sounding as it is just so dynamic and raw!I really recommend anyone getting this album and listening to it with their DXD subs as it really does make them shine.The Police Certifiable: Live in Buenos Aires I could not finish off without listening to this great Blu-ray, and in particular Wrapped around your Finger which shows off Stuart Coplands stunning drumming, and the great depth and power of how your sub system can perform, and I can attest to say that the DXD12012s do not miss a beat with huge amounts of slam and punch pounding from the drums, but with the musicality of the system as a whole just sounding superb, the huge transients at reference level is amazing and the DXD12012 sub can handle whatever you throw at it, which is now very clear to me and I just love the sound that is being generated by this brilliant DUO!!Conclusions and Final thoughtsI have had many subs in my room over the last year and this DUO will be one of my favourite pairing as the BASS generated by them is just pure reference grade and your ears and house will give in before the subs do as they are just bombastic fantastic !!Seriously If you are after the best BASS available then KEN KREISEL is where it is at, as he produces weapon grade sub BASS systems they are just so damn powerful but do they sound oh so sweet too.