Top contenders in their class 15,18,21 inch drivers - AVS Forum
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Old 09-10-2010, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
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So what do you think the top contenders are ? Now, you can list the all out top of the line and the low cost top performer.

I'm sure some are better suited for sealed and some for porter, so list your fav and the alignment that lends them to be a top driver.....
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:14 PM
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for subs or woofers?
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:39 PM
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it depends on the application (the performance goals and the constraints). i know...sounds like a cop out, but its true. an extreme example is a sub designed to work in a tiny sealed enclosure and an infinite baffle will be very different, with each being a "top contender" in its class.

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Old 09-10-2010, 10:01 PM
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"Bose bass module" it's in a class by itself

Blasting brown notes for 10 years and counting!

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Old 09-10-2010, 10:06 PM
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"Bose bass module"

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Old 09-12-2010, 12:47 PM
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IMO:

15, elite class: Aurasound NS15-992-4A, JBL W15GTi
15, budget class: Dayton Reference 15, old TC Sounds TC2+/TC1000/Epic. (Hmm...I know of one of the latter available. See 320587403504 on the big auction site.)

18, elite class: Aurasound NS18-992-4A, TC LMS-Ultra, TC "pro" woofer with the Aura NRT knockoff motor
18, budget class: Exodus Audio Maelstrom-X, Peavey Low Rider 18

21: no experience with current production drivers, but until I discovered the Auras the Cabasse 55ND was the best-sounding subwoofer I had ever heard. The new 6" coil B&C's measure quite beautifully.

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Old 09-12-2010, 03:19 PM
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For 15 inchs I could reccomend the Creative Sound Solutions SDX15. Larger Sd than the Aura sound and almost the same X-max. Just a bit cheaper to!

For 12" bang for the buck Same vendor TRIO12

I've been playing around with the two of them for a while. Some of the best available for the price.

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Old 09-12-2010, 03:24 PM
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"15, elite class: Aurasound NS15-992-4A, JBL W15GTi"

the jbl elite 15" is the w1500h as used in their synthesis line of subs or even the jbl 1500al.

"For 15 inchs I could reccomend the Creative Sound Solutions SDX15."

:-( this is not a top of the line, cost no object, driver. may be a good bang for the bucker, but not an ultimate performer.

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Old 09-12-2010, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post


"For 15 inchs I could reccomend the Creative Sound Solutions SDX15."

:-( this is not a top of the line, cost no object, driver. may be a good bang for the bucker, but not an ultimate performer.

It's also no longer made ...

 

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Old 09-12-2010, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by mwmkravchenko View Post

For 15 inchs I could reccomend the Creative Sound Solutions SDX15. Larger Sd than the Aura sound and almost the same X-max. Just a bit cheaper to!

Yeah, but XBL^2 isnt' exactly underhung. It's an attempt to get some of the BL linearity advantages of underhung at a lower cost. Not knocking XBL^2, mind. Until I picked up the NS18-992-4A I was very happy with Exodus's Maelstrom-X.

(And is the Aura near 2.5x as good as the Maelstrom-X as the cost difference would suggest? With the caveat that my Maelstrom-X is from the first run with dual 8Ω coils with by far the lowest inductance of the three or four different iterations of this driver, not a chance. Single-digit improvement at best.)

And I don't know of another driver with an underhung motor (especially not one of the proven performance of Aura's NRT design) with so much throw. Maybe the ones designed by that sexual predator, Carlos whatever. TC never did an 18 in their original underhung motor, to my knowledge.

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the jbl elite 15" is the w1500h as used in their synthesis line of subs or even the jbl 1500al.

Perhaps, except that those are near-impossible to get, whereas the W15GTi is readily available. And I've never heard/used those two, unlike the W15GTi and all of the woofers I listed except the Aura-motored TC Sounds. That one got in based on probability and reputation.

Even if those two other JBL 15's are better - something I frankly doubt, given my inability to distinguish the W15GTi from the Aura when they're stacked atop one another and EQ'ed to the same curve - that does not preclude considering the W15GTi an "elite" level woofer as well.

Also, given its split-opposed 3" coils, the W15GTi may have better thermal performance than the other two. Much more heatsinking. That's way over half the battle for an elite sub, IMO.

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Old 09-12-2010, 04:19 PM
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A little birdie told me a Mark II for the SDX15 is in the works.

It's always interesting how little difference there is between good drivers and stupendous drivers. The differences are almost always in the price points.

When you crunch the numbers on actual X-max available you find that there is not much difference between most of the heavy hitters. It's mostly the price difference.

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Old 09-12-2010, 04:35 PM
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just to kick in some that haven't been mentioned, the fi car audio btl series has specs suggestive of a good design as do the nlw9600 series from 18 sound (18" and 21").

i'd really like to see a btl 18 lms ultra 18 shootout, as the btl's run about half as much money. two btl 18's or one lms ultra? where would folks put their money? :-)

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Old 09-12-2010, 04:52 PM
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ds-21, fair points. but who cares if you have to order them from a foreign land at great expense? ;-)

that said, if we are going to start down the road where a w15gti is an "elite" driver, then aren't we opening the door up to classifying mtx thunder 9500 t9515-44, which is quite similar, as "elite"? then onto jl audio we must then go, as they have many that would compete well for such an "elite" titleage. and so on. how far down do must we go? mtx jackhammers??? :-0 is any good driver "elite"? or by "elite" do we mean something truly extraodinary?

btw, i'm just arguing to argue. i've heard many good things about the w15gti and consider it to be an elite driver*. :-)

*something in my bones just won't allow me to accept a driver with such a low power-to-weight ratio to be truly classified as elite, but i'm work'n on it.

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Old 09-12-2010, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the input guys... The LMS is sold out...at 900.00 each ......nice
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Old 09-12-2010, 09:42 PM
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Having used a variety of 15" DIY sub drivers in both sealed and PR boxes, my experience is the following;

1. Audiopulse LMS 15", the best driver of them all provided you give it 2,000watts or more. For HT, it's simply a monster, with great SQ (effortless). It's the most linear with the best build quality and goes the lowest. The downside? It's expensive. If you have space for only one sub, this is it. It's the one I'm now using in a PR box.

2. AE AV15X sub, this is my second favorite driver. It has very good build quality, great price, the best sensitivity and its SQ is very very close to the LMS sub. It simply has clean SQ. It has good HT performance but just behind the CCS sub for last place in this department. To me, it's the best value.

3. CCS SDX 15", this is an all around good driver. It does both HT and SQ very well. It's HT performance is slightly better than the AE sub and it SQ is just below the AE sub. Build quality is good and has good value for the dollar.

4. TC Sound 3000 15" sub, this sub has the second best HT performance of these subs and goes deep. Where it falls short of the others is in the SQ department. After about 60hz or so, it drops hard. It's linearity is not the best. Value is O.K. and it does have very good build quality. You also need a good size amp to power this beast. If you use a crossover of 60hz or below, this sub is a great performer.
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwmkravchenko View Post

A little birdie told me a Mark II for the SDX15 is in the works.

It's always interesting how little difference there is between good drivers and stupendous drivers. The differences are almost always in the price points.

When you crunch the numbers on actual X-max available you find that there is not much difference between most of the heavy hitters. It's mostly the price difference.

Mark

Very true. By the same token, a system with three-to-four quality value subs placed properly will sound much better in a domestic living room than any one supersub. Especially if one demands decent response in more than one spot.

For example, given the choice between 4 Peerless SLS12's or 1 Aura NS18/TC LMS18, the four SLS12's have more potential.

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ds-21, fair points. but who cares if you have to order them from a foreign land at great expense? ;-)

that said, if we are going to start down the road where a w15gti is an "elite" driver, then aren't we opening the door up to classifying mtx thunder 9500 t9515-44, which is quite similar, as "elite"?

How is the MTX driver "quite similar?" The W15GTi has a really trick motor, with split coils that run in opposite directions to nearly cancel out inductance. So far as I can tell from MTX's propaganda, the 9500 just looks like a conventional overhung woofer with a long coil. We don't even know if the MTX 9500 has a Faraday ring in the motor!

That said, it is the woofer Danley used in the Matterhorn, so it's probably a very stout bass pump. Then again, the TC Sounds TC3000 is a killer bass pump, too. But if asked to cover the bandwidth a typical subwoofer should be able to handle it just plain sounds awful compared to more well-rounded drivers.

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then onto jl audio we must then go, as they have many that would compete well for such an "elite" titleage.

No, they don't. They have the W7, the biggest of which is too small to qualify in this thread. And even then, one could easily argue that while a W7v2 with a copper-sleeved motor and maybe neo magnets to reduce overall mass would be considered "elite," their current W7 is a Faraday ring short of the title. Another "great bass pump, would never consider one because of its other flaws" subwoofer. Their other series are nothing special. (Well, the 13" thin one with the big vc is interesting for many car applications, but kind of pointless for home use.)


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by "elite" do we mean something truly extraodinary?

The latter. And a case can be made for the W15GTi based on the technology in it and the resulting performance. Just because Harman's brain trust has a couple woofers worthy of that word doesn't mean any one of them needs be discounted.

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*something in my bones just won't allow me to accept a driver with such a low power-to-weight ratio to be truly classified as elite, but i'm work'n on it.

I'm not sure what you mean by that. Xmax/weight? BL/weight? Please clarify.

Honestly, my only complaint with the W15GTi is that it's so deep. However, the NS15 is just about as deep.

FWIW, I haven't run mine at home for a little while. Going mostly Aura. (NS15-992-4a + 3x NS12-794-4A + NS10-794-4A in the main system/HT; NS18-992-4A in the nearfield system; either Tannoy B475 18" "pro" sub or twin JBL 2235H's for ULF + 3 Peerless XLS12's in the bonus room system.) Next time my W15GTi gets fired up it will be running I-B in the trunk of my Citroën DS-21.

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Old 09-13-2010, 02:38 AM
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The FI SSD or Q's are some of the best budget woofers I have seen, the build quality and sound is amazing...

I haven't heard many high end subs of this size, other than a couple of LMS drivers. Visceral experience is the best way to describe it, but once you get into the 15" plus club, pretty much anything can accomplish with the right enclosure and placement.

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Old 09-13-2010, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

IMO:

15, elite class: Aurasound NS15-992-4A, JBL W15GTi
15, budget class: Dayton Reference 15, old TC Sounds TC2+/TC1000/Epic. (Hmm...I know of one of the latter available. See 320587403504 on the big auction site.)

18, elite class: Aurasound NS18-992-4A, TC LMS-Ultra, TC "pro" woofer with the Aura NRT knockoff motor
18, budget class: Exodus Audio Maelstrom-X, Peavey Low Rider 18

21: no experience with current production drivers, but until I discovered the Auras the Cabasse 55ND was the best-sounding subwoofer I had ever heard. The new 6" coil B&C's measure quite beautifully.

Have you ever heard the AV series from AEspeakers?

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Old 09-13-2010, 07:04 AM
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I haven't heard many high end subs of this size, other than a couple of LMS drivers. Visceral experience is the best way to describe it, but once you get into the 15" plus club, pretty much anything can accomplish with the right enclosure and placement.

Im with you on the subjectivity of it all!! I will put the LMS 18" (sealed) up against the TC2K (ported) and the AV15X (2 PR) designs in about 2 months (It is taking me that long to get the Marathon MA-5050).

The Ficar Q18s in my original IB are great subs. I have been curious about the latest Fi offerings too, LTD02's post reminds me about them. Maybe I have to put them up against the LMS 18.

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Old 09-13-2010, 09:48 AM
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A bit oh reality check

When comparing woofers take this little nugget home and think on it. As a rule of thumb on a 15" driver every 6mm difference in X-max means about 1 db more in output capability.

Many of the quoted X-max figures are more like X-mechanical figure. Traditionally X-max is where the BL product dives to 75% of the rated small signal BL figure. When you apply that bit of information the woofers behave and the distortion products are low. Once you jump past that figure of 75% stated BL the distortion jumps throught the roof.

What to do then?

A couple of guys have notedthat multiple decent woofers get you the farthest in sound quality and quantity in many ways. They are oh so correct. The same amount of power over 4 woofers compared to one woofer will get you at least 6 db more output. It will also get you 1/4 the amount of distortion.

Just two cents to keep things real.

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Old 09-13-2010, 09:57 AM
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Thanks for all the input guys... The LMS is sold out...at 900.00 each ......nice

Sold out again. This is the second time in a month or so, those big bastards are moving

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Old 09-13-2010, 10:05 AM
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Sold out again. This is the second time in a month or so, those big bastards are moving

Or there are limited quanitities, inventory/supplier issues etc

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Old 09-13-2010, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

Very true. By the same token, a system with three-to-four quality value subs placed properly will sound much better in a domestic living room than any one supersub. Especially if one demands decent response in more than one spot.

For example, given the choice between 4 Peerless SLS12's or 1 Aura NS18/TC LMS18, the four SLS12's have more potential.

This is always good advice.
If your budget only allows for 1 Aura or LMS 18 but you have room for 2 or more sub placements then your money is better spent on multiple subs.
TC Sounds actually recommend to me dual LMS-R 15" over a single LMS 18" and you save over $150 to boot.

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Old 09-13-2010, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwmkravchenko View Post

A couple of guys have notedthat multiple decent woofers get you the farthest in sound quality and quantity in many ways. They are oh so correct. The same amount of power over 4 woofers compared to one woofer will get you at least 6 db more output. It will also get you 1/4 the amount of distortion.

Agreed. Although both contribute to displacement, increased xmax costs additional power to utilize, whereas increased Sd gives you "free" additional SPL. Hence my advice on multiple XLS 12" drivers as an option elsewhere.

That being said, multiple good woofers is still better than the same number of lesser woofers...
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:18 AM
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Or there are limited quanitities, inventory/supplier issues etc

Or the government is working on a top secret LMS sound wave bomb so they are buying up all the inventory

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Old 09-13-2010, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Probably why I only run mono QSC 1450's on my quad Tumults and they don't clip, multiples is the answer.

It's tough to give that advice when someone is new to diy, sounds like diy can't keep up with store bought subs or ID companies.....
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Old 09-13-2010, 12:18 PM
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I can vouch for the Q18's as I have a pair off the old ones prior to the 2010 change. Their excursion capabilities are endless or seem that way. The new Q's model much better than the old ones and only need a third size box compared to the old ones. SQ wise I think they are great and would love to see them tested against other 18" drivers.

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Old 09-13-2010, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjaudio View Post

This is always good advice.
If your budget only allows for 1 Aura or LMS 18 but you have room for 2 or more sub placements then your money is better spent on multiple subs.
TC Sounds actually recommend to me dual LMS-R 15" over a single LMS 18" and you save over $150 to boot.


Well that bums me out.... I should have gone with 12 x 15" drivers
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Old 09-13-2010, 12:51 PM
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Well that bums me out.... I should have gone with 12 x 15" drivers

Yeah but that's only when you have a budget for 1 LMS 18" which you clearly surpass by leaps and bounds

You of all people know that multiple subs trump a single sub, your just an extremist.

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Old 09-13-2010, 12:56 PM
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your just an extremist.


Come on.....

Oh and BTW You all may now refer to me as LORD Patrick....

My B-Day was 9/11, and my woman didn't know what to get me seeing as basically anything I want or need I just go out and buy - so she decided to buy a very unique gift for me me - Land in Scotland - Deed and everything, so now as a property owner in Scotland, my title has been changed to that of an aristrcrat - Laird or Lord Patrick.....

*Edit* - FWIW, it was real, but mostly a joke - Its a 10' sqare piece......
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