Aurasound NS18 18" Subwoofer, worth using? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 138 Old 07-06-2011, 05:49 PM - Thread Starter
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This 18" comes to approximately $630 shipped, Has anyone used this driver? Is it worth looking at at approximately 2/3rd the cost of a lms5400?
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post #2 of 138 Old 07-06-2011, 08:22 PM
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Yes it's worth using. At the price available today it would be on my short list were I in the market at the moment, especially given the relative driver drought lately.

The motor is superbly designed, good volume displacement, rugged enough, looks great, current prices are certainly competitive.

I'd love to see distortion comparisons between the ns18 and lms5400 but I don't think I've seen data that could compare directly.

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post #3 of 138 Old 07-06-2011, 10:20 PM
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I sold my LMS Ultra 18 (for a profit, admittedly) but it would take a lot to pry my NS18 away from me....

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post #4 of 138 Old 07-07-2011, 12:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

I sold my LMS Ultra 18 (for a profit, admittedly) but it would take a lot to pry my NS18 away from me....

thanks for your insight, what do you think of this?

Recommended Enclosure:
F3 of 35Hz: 4.5 cubic feet sealed and stuffed

it was to my understanding that a f3 of 35hz would be pretty unimpressive?
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post #5 of 138 Old 07-07-2011, 01:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ufokillerz View Post

thanks for your insight, what do you think of this?

Recommended Enclosure:
F3 of 35Hz: 4.5 cubic feet sealed and stuffed

it was to my understanding that a f3 of 35hz would be pretty unimpressive?

Yes that would be unimpressive... id go for 7 cu ft or 8 cu ft if youre doing sealed.

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post #6 of 138 Old 07-07-2011, 03:39 AM
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I am not trying to say one is better than the other but I think the Fi Q's are available. And I think they are closer to around 300. The Fi has a 32hz Fs but graham uses them in his multi-tune subs and they seem to do just fine.

I think a pair of these would smash an Aurasound but maybe your after something else.

I have noticed some guys like this sub and alot of others dont. Maybe its the price. Not sure.

Either way its always nice to see another sub build using a different driver.
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post #7 of 138 Old 07-07-2011, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ufokillerz View Post

it was to my understanding that a f3 of 35hz would be pretty unimpressive?

In-room F3 would likely be lowewr, but more importantly, if you're serious about bass you have EQ and would use it to extend response.

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post #8 of 138 Old 07-07-2011, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

In-room F3 would likely be lowewr, but more importantly, if you're serious about bass you have EQ and would use it to extend response.

Thanks for those insightful words noah, the only diy sub i've built so far are 2 danley dts-10's.

i'm hoping to maybe build 4 of the aura drivers into 2 cabinets.
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post #9 of 138 Old 07-07-2011, 12:12 PM
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six cubic feet gives a q of 0.8 for that driver. 1000 watts power takes it to xmax. iirc it is an underhung design.

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post #10 of 138 Old 07-07-2011, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ufokillerz View Post

thanks for your insight, what do you think of this?

That's about what mine is.

F3 is irrelevant. It could be 70 Hz and still be the foundation of a great sub! What matters is volume displacement. With enough volume displacement, you can EQ the frequency response to taste.

Furthermore, it's box size, not the driver, that sets the efficiency of the system down low. So all a higher F3 means is that the driver is more efficient up top. Somebody please tell me how that's a bad thing!

As for Q, listening to subwoofers blind in different sized boxes has brought me around to Bosso's point of view: size the box so that you don't go over the driver's linear throw with the power you have on tap. I used to be a low-Q fanatic, but that's the problem with listening with your eyes rather than your ears...

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I am not trying to say one is better than the other but I think the Fi Q's are available.

Good, because there's no comparison in performance or build quality between the two.

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post #11 of 138 Old 07-07-2011, 01:14 PM
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Good, because there's no comparison in performance or build quality between the two.


I really don't think you can compare the two. The NS18 is twice the price of a single Q18. Are you saying then that the NS18 has twice the ability of the Q18. I really can't see it.
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post #12 of 138 Old 07-07-2011, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

That's about what mine is.

F3 is irrelevant. It could be 70 Hz and still be the foundation of a great sub! What matters is volume displacement. With enough volume displacement, you can EQ the frequency response to taste.

Furthermore, it's box size, not the driver, that sets the efficiency of the system down low. So all a higher F3 means is that the driver is more efficient up top. Somebody please tell me how that's a bad thing!

As for Q, listening to subwoofers blind in different sized boxes has brought me around to Bosso's point of view: size the box so that you don't go over the driver's linear throw with the power you have on tap. I used to be a low-Q fanatic, but that's the problem with listening with your eyes rather than your ears...



Good, because there's no comparison in performance or build quality between the two.

Well said, DS-21. Well said.

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As for Q, listening to subwoofers blind in different sized boxes has brought me around to Bosso's point of view: size the box so that you don't go over the driver's linear throw with the power you have on tap. I used to be a low-Q fanatic, but that's the problem with listening with your eyes rather than your ears...



I have a Aura NS18 with a 1000 watt Parts Express plate amp, what would the proper box size be for this amount of power?
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post #14 of 138 Old 07-07-2011, 02:40 PM
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4-6cuft per driver looks pretty good in my sims.

My Dual 18" LLT subs 120dB down to 10hz

 

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post #15 of 138 Old 07-07-2011, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by gperkins1973 View Post

I really don't think you can compare the two. The NS18 is twice the price of a single Q18. Are you saying then that the NS18 has twice the ability of the Q18. I really can't see it.

More than twice the ability, actually. Great ability vs. very limited ability would be how I would call it. At least for my purposes, though perhaps not someone else's. (Bass fidelity isn't important with movies, just the ability to go boom. So the Fi Q18 is just fine in that role. But for a system designed to reproduce music with high fidelity...one is a reasonable option, especially at the current fire-sale price. The other is not, though one could argue I suppose that it could be used as a cheap ULF boom-generator in a high-fidelity multisub system, so long as the other subwoofers were considerably better units.)

IOW, I'm saying one is a high fidelity drive-unit, and the other is not. There are other high-fidelity 18's that are cheaper than the NS18 and currently available, notably from Peavey and B&C. They don't have quite the throw of the NS18, but are good drivers and many of them will make plenty of bass to keep up with the mains people actually use. (They should also be much easier to recone if you screw something up.) I think some of them might even be lighter than the NS18, which is extremely heavy for a neo-magnet 18 because of the steel required to make an underhung driver with such a long throw.

By contrast, the Fi Q-series just another excessively long coil driver with no shorting rings in the motor. Note that Fi doesn't even specify the inductance of the Q18. What you'll see from one is roughly what Josh got from the eD sub: plenty of output, at the expense of fidelity due to the high inductance.

Also, based on my experience with Fi, their build quality is sloppy. When they reconed my old Ascendant Audio Avalanche 18, they couldn't even bother to glue the surround onto the basket correctly: I had to poke holes in the foam surround landing just to reach the screw holes! I'd rather have a driver well-made in China than one slapdashedly assembled in the USA, but that's just me perhaps...

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post #16 of 138 Old 07-07-2011, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mazdaspeed3 View Post

I have a Aura NS18 with a 1000 watt Parts Express plate amp, what would the proper box size be for this amount of power?

Well, Parallels is loading for me right now (just upgraded to the new version, so it make take awhile to update the virtual machine and such) so I'll have to get back to you.

Sadly, there is no OSX-native box modeling software.

Scott's recommendation seems about right to me, though.

What are the other 2-3 subs in the system? It seems such a shame to have a jewel like the NS18 and ghettoize it in a single-sub system.

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post #17 of 138 Old 07-08-2011, 01:25 AM
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Fidelity I guess would easily go to the Aurasound. Normal sub duties I would use the cheaper. But I didn't like some of the build quality from Fi either.

If I needed a speaker for fidelity I would stick with AE.

But that being said, might this be a multi NS18 sub build?
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post #18 of 138 Old 07-08-2011, 01:59 AM
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Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

Well, Parallels is loading for me right now (just upgraded to the new version, so it make take awhile to update the virtual machine and such) so I'll have to get back to you.

Sadly, there is no OSX-native box modeling software.

Scott's recommendation seems about right to me, though.

What are the other 2-3 subs in the system? It seems such a shame to have a jewel like the NS18 and ghettoize it in a single-sub system.

Well I had 2 DTS10's in the living room and that looked pretty ghetto, so I took them out. I don't have the EQ to make them sound good, for now. I have been wanting to buy something for them, but I am reserving that money for the hopes of buying a Synergy kit when they come out.

I had the NS18 just lying around collecting dust, so I thought I would try it out for a comparison. I stuck it in a 3.5 cubic foot sealed box and I placed it behind the wood stove. I don't even know it's there. Without any EQ it's a lot easier to listen to the sealed enclosure.

I have thought about like you say, using multiple small drivers in addition to the NS18. I have 3 10" car subs (Aluminapro Alchemy), that I thought of trying in small sealed boxes. But I don't know how well car subs will work in this environment.

Thanks, I look foreward to your input when you get upgraded.

Thank you Scott, for your recommendation.
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post #19 of 138 Old 07-08-2011, 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by mazdaspeed3 View Post

I have a Aura NS18 with a 1000 watt Parts Express plate amp

Is it the Dayton SPA1000 plate amp?

How would it handle the NS18 against a EP4000?
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post #20 of 138 Old 07-08-2011, 05:07 AM
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As an owner of following..... 4 Q18s, 2 LMS5400, 4 TC2000s, 2 AV15Xs.

If used properly ANY of the above choices in a subsystem creates 100% accurate bass response. No one will ever post measurements proving their subjective opinion otherwise so take their subjective opinion with a grain of salt. Figure out your specific requirements and ignore subjective opinion from those who do not represent what most on this forum want.

This does not mean a driver like the NS18 isnt also a quality choice, it just means people should understand what each driver brings to the table and how to impliment the right design for each driver. This means an IB design with 4 Q18s does beats a dual sealed NS18s in the 10Hz to 60Hz range easily based on clean output measurements and the 4xQ18 design requires MUCH less power to get output at the lower octaves. Of course if I was build a music subwoofer then the Q18 is not the right design either, again know your requirements and know what each driver can do in different box designs.

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post #21 of 138 Old 07-08-2011, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by penngray View Post

As an owner of following..... 4 Q18s, 2 LMS5400, 4 TC2000s, 2 AV15Xs.

If used properly ANY of the above choices in a subsystem creates 100% accurate bass response. No one will ever post measurements proving their subjective opinion otherwise so take their subjective opinion with a grain of salt. Figure out your specific requirements and ignore subjective opinion from those who do not represent what most on this forum want.

This does not mean a driver like the NS18 isnt also a quality choice, it just means people should understand what each driver brings to the table and how to impliment the right design for each driver. This means an IB design with 4 Q18s does beats a dual sealed NS18s in the 10Hz to 60Hz range easily based on clean output measurements and the 4xQ18 design requires MUCH less power to get output at the lower octaves. Of course if I was build a music subwoofer then the Q18 is not the right design either, again know your requirements and know what each driver can do in different box designs.

What driver would work the best for both low frequency and music? Great music ability usually means accuracy but we also want it to go deep for movies as I don't agree with DS about not needing accuracy for movies. Movies have lots of music, crashes, explosions, etc.... and I want them to sound like it would for real.
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post #22 of 138 Old 07-08-2011, 06:54 AM
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Well I just got my av15h back from my brother because I missed it sooooooo much. After going from it to a Klipsch RW-12d you kinda go nuts. The AE sounds so much cleaner and demolishes it in every way. The Klipsch isn't bad, just good for a nice boom. As many people have already said, musically and for cinema you can't go wrong with AE. I'm glad I didn't sell off my 18" passives! I live in a 800 sq ft concrete walled home so the 15h in a sealed cabinet does nice.

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post #23 of 138 Old 07-08-2011, 06:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mazdaspeed3 View Post

Well I had 2 DTS10's in the living room and that looked pretty ghetto, so I took them out. I don't have the EQ to make them sound good, for now. I have been wanting to buy something for them, but I am reserving that money for the hopes of buying a Synergy kit when they come out.

I had the NS18 just lying around collecting dust, so I thought I would try it out for a comparison. I stuck it in a 3.5 cubic foot sealed box and I placed it behind the wood stove. I don't even know it's there. Without any EQ it's a lot easier to listen to the sealed enclosure.

I have thought about like you say, using multiple small drivers in addition to the NS18. I have 3 10" car subs (Aluminapro Alchemy), that I thought of trying in small sealed boxes. But I don't know how well car subs will work in this environment.

Thanks, I look foreward to your input when you get upgraded.

Thank you Scott, for your recommendation.

Haa, i actually have 2 danley dts-10 in my living room area as well and needed to change it up a bit.


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Originally Posted by chrapladm View Post

Fidelity I guess would easily go to the Aurasound. Normal sub duties I would use the cheaper. But I didn't like some of the build quality from Fi either.

If I needed a speaker for fidelity I would stick with AE.

But that being said, might this be a multi NS18 sub build?

i was looking at 4 ns18 in 2 enclosures
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post #24 of 138 Old 07-08-2011, 08:02 AM
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Better act fast. When good stuff gets talked about on the forums, the price either goes up or they quickly become out of stock.

You'll rarely hear anyone say, "I wish I'd gotten less Sub."

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post #25 of 138 Old 07-08-2011, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

What driver would work the best for both low frequency and music? Great music ability usually means accuracy but we also want it to go deep for movies as I don't agree with DS about not needing accuracy for movies. Movies have lots of music, crashes, explosions, etc.... and I want them to sound like it would for real.

THey all play bass accurately in the proper designs. The dicussion around using the word "fidelity" is a silly audiophile discussion and has no scientific meaning.

I completely agreeing that Movies require accurate playback as much as music.

Each driver has to be model and then the real box/driver/amp has to be measured to know what their accurate operating range is. There is always going to be a compromise in any design. If you want the lowest octave then that same design may not be the best upper bass frequency design.

Again, there is nothing wrong with the NS18s, I think the models, specs do tell us they play nicer in a small sealed box where the Q18s require large sealed boxes or large ported boxes. This is what I was talking about above, the Q18 can be an incredible IB choice because of the displacement it creates. I wouldn't put the Q18 in a small box though and try to EQ it low, throwing lots of power at it.

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post #26 of 138 Old 07-08-2011, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mazdaspeed3 View Post

I have been wanting to buy something for them, but I am reserving that money for the hopes of buying a Synergy kit when they come out.

A MiniDSP costs a small fraction of what the ynergy kit will and any speaker you get will likely require bass EQ to deal with room effects.

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post #27 of 138 Old 07-08-2011, 12:40 PM
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More than twice the ability, actually. Great ability vs. very limited ability would be how I would call it. At least for my purposes, though perhaps not someone else's. (Bass fidelity isn't important with movies, just the ability to go boom. So the Fi Q18 is just fine in that role. But for a system designed to reproduce music with high fidelity...one is a reasonable option, especially at the current fire-sale price. The other is not, though one could argue I suppose that it could be used as a cheap ULF boom-generator in a high-fidelity multisub system, so long as the other subwoofers were considerably better units.)

IOW, I'm saying one is a high fidelity drive-unit, and the other is not. There are other high-fidelity 18's that are cheaper than the NS18 and currently available, notably from Peavey and B&C. They don't have quite the throw of the NS18, but are good drivers and many of them will make plenty of bass to keep up with the mains people actually use. (They should also be much easier to recone if you screw something up.) I think some of them might even be lighter than the NS18, which is extremely heavy for a neo-magnet 18 because of the steel required to make an underhung driver with such a long throw.

By contrast, the Fi Q-series just another excessively long coil driver with no shorting rings in the motor. Note that Fi doesn't even specify the inductance of the Q18. What you'll see from one is roughly what Josh got from the eD sub: plenty of output, at the expense of fidelity due to the high inductance.

Also, based on my experience with Fi, their build quality is sloppy. When they reconed my old Ascendant Audio Avalanche 18, they couldn't even bother to glue the surround onto the basket correctly: I had to poke holes in the foam surround landing just to reach the screw holes! I'd rather have a driver well-made in China than one slapdashedly assembled in the USA, but that's just me perhaps...
Quote:
very limited ability would be how I would call it.

DS-21 - I am looking forward to your tests you have done comparing the FI Q18 to the NS18 based on your opinions you stated clearly in your post. Or anyone else?
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post #28 of 138 Old 07-08-2011, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mazdaspeed3 View Post

Thanks, I look foreward to your input when you get upgraded.

Alas, it's still hanging. Gonna reinstall the virtual machine when I get a chance. I hate windows more than I hate cheap drivers without shorting rings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

As an owner of following..... 4 Q18s, 2 LMS5400, 4 TC2000s, 2 AV15Xs.

If used properly ANY of the above choices in a subsystem creates 100% accurate bass response.

Believe it or not, Penn, you're not the only person to have owned several different models of subwoofers.

But as to your second comment, it depends on the bandwidth. If you're talking below 30Hz, sure, they're all airpumps. They'll all work fine. All that matters there is how much air each can pump. Well, that and power compression, which suggests get the largest-diameter voicecoil with the best possible cooling system.

But play 'em much higher and the story changes. You can't just EQ out the effects of that sky-high inductance, sorry.

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Originally Posted by penngray View Post

No one will ever post measurements proving their subjective opinion

Because some of us aren't going to waste our time with manifestly inferior stuff, when we've played with it long ago (before we had toys such as digital cameras or for that matter even cable modems) and moved on.

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Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

What driver would work the best for both low frequency and music?

Something with large volume displacement, linear motor and suspension, and low inductance.

Of currently-available drivers, I submit the Aura NS18 and B&C 21SW150 (I think that's the model) are tops. TC's LMS and Aura-knockoff lines are up there well, if one wants to roll the dice on TC's build quality.

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Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

as I don't agree with DS about not needing accuracy for movies. Movies have lots of music, crashes, explosions, etc.... and I want them to sound like it would for real.

Fake crashes, explosions, and the like are rather different from, say, reproducing a tympani roll recorded live. There's no real event to reference, so it's not about accuracy but believability. That is to say, does it sound like what you think a crash or explosion in that place might plausibly sound like?

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Originally Posted by penngray View Post

The dicussion around using the word "fidelity" is a silly audiophile discussion and has no scientific meaning.

Nonsense. It means wide bandwidth, low distortion, and high output. Not only one or two of those things.

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Originally Posted by penngray View Post

the Q18s require large sealed boxes or large ported boxes.

And severe bandwidth-limiting compared to a good driver.

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post #29 of 138 Old 07-08-2011, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by gperkins1973 View Post

DS-21 - I am looking forward to your tests you have done comparing the FI Q18 to the NS18 based on your opinions you stated clearly in your post. Or anyone else?

Why would I waste the time lugging something known to be inferior because of a known specific deficiency (high inductance due to a very long, thick voicecoil and a motor structure lacking Faraday shielding to help tame the inductance and inductance variation over stroke) that has time and time again been shown to contribute to degraded sound quality in the upper bass, to compare to my good equipment? There's nothing in it for me, now is there?

BUT, if anyone really wants me to do the comparison, I would be happy to do so at my professional rates. I'm still fairly young in my field (which isn't audio), so that's $750/hr, billable in 6-minute increments.

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post #30 of 138 Old 07-08-2011, 03:16 PM
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I'm shocked to see that a Aurasound NS18 and a FiCar Q18 (or anything from Fi) are even mentioned in the same sentence let alone stated as "comparable" irt fidelity.

That's like saying a Chevy Cobalt is just as good as a Porsche 911 just because they both can get you to work on time.

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