With Acoupower long gone, has anyone else stepped up? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 05-30-2013, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Before I went subwoofer awol 5 years ago, there was a loudspeaker company called acoupower, it appears to have gone out of business long ago after the arrest of its owner/engineer Carlos Beltran. For those of you who owned their products or were at least educated about them, I am curious if anyone else has stepped up to the plate and designed anything amazing in the past 5 years. As much as I love the TC Sounds LMS 5400, there is a lot that the acoupower 18 did to blow it in the dust, literally. I did a build with one of these back in 2007 and used one of those massive 10" flared ports, that driver sounded great and never flinched at all the power my amps could throw at it. The software parts were also dead quiet, something that just about every other high xmax speaker messes up.

If you didn't have hands on experience with these drivers, please don't comment or speculate on the supposed performance of them compared to other known drivers, I am asking for those who knew about these guys to respond, thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 33 Old 05-30-2013, 01:54 PM
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The problem is; for what you're asking, you would need someone who not only tested and used an Acoupower driver, but also every other driver on the planet. That's the only way for someone to give you definitive information without any speculation. wink.gif

There are probably quite a few drivers available today that would compete with them, but there's no way of giving accurate data without having both to compare side by side.

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post #3 of 33 Old 05-30-2013, 02:19 PM
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post #4 of 33 Old 05-30-2013, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't need all the empirical data, I know it isn't there (unless Ilkka got around to it smile.gif )

What I was really looking for was to see if there has been any buzz about a new top of the line driver in the past few years without getting dozens of "dude, the LMS 5400 is the king", from people who have never heard of acoupower before.

I have read what happened to them, I was more curious if there had been a competitor to their drivers.
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post #5 of 33 Old 05-30-2013, 03:25 PM
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I think sundown is coming out with some new drivers that have sick excursion.
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post #6 of 33 Old 05-30-2013, 03:29 PM
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What exactly makes their 18" driver better than the LMS 5400?
I'm sincerely curious as I've never heard one. It sounds like they are designed for ported enclosures?
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post #7 of 33 Old 05-30-2013, 05:13 PM
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i can't think of any off the top of my head.

the tough economy has probably put a dent in that part of the market. most of the recent builds employ multiples of lower cost drivers, such as the dayton 18"ho.

btw, if you haven't seen it, check out ricci's site: data-bass.com

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post #8 of 33 Old 05-30-2013, 05:19 PM
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http://www.magneticmadness.com/2013/01/acoupower-subwoofer-drivers.html

- 6" copper 2 layer voice coil in an underhung configuration.
- Largest neodymium magnet used in any loudspeaker
- 97% of magnetic field lines in the gap
- Entrainment techniques used to eject hot air from the motor
- 5 sqft. of heatsink surrounding the motor
- 18mm of one way throw and still at 100% linearity on the BL curve.
- 39mm of one way peak throw
- 1% odd order distortion with 1KW input power
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post #9 of 33 Old 05-30-2013, 05:36 PM
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Wait wait...somehow a "looks promising" as the only measurement can "blow it in the dust, literally" to drivers that have actually been tested?
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post #10 of 33 Old 05-30-2013, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armystud0911 View Post

Before I went subwoofer awol 5 years ago, there was a loudspeaker company called acoupower, it appears to have gone out of business long ago after the arrest of its owner/engineer Carlos Beltran. For those of you who owned their products or were at least educated about them, I am curious if anyone else has stepped up to the plate and designed anything amazing in the past 5 years. As much as I love the TC Sounds LMS 5400, there is a lot that the acoupower 18 did to blow it in the dust, literally. I did a build with one of these back in 2007 and used one of those massive 10" flared ports, that driver sounded great and never flinched at all the power my amps could throw at it. The software parts were also dead quiet, something that just about every other high xmax speaker messes up.

If you didn't have hands on experience with these drivers, please don't comment or speculate on the supposed performance of them compared to other known drivers, I am asking for those who knew about these guys to respond, thanks in advance.

Heh I have one of those 10 inch ports. Anodized black too. Beauty to look at but WAY bigger in person than I thought ! The flare is as big as an 18.

You are right though, he paid a lot of attention to self noise on his drivers. You don't hear about that being a priority much anymore.
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post #11 of 33 Old 05-30-2013, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lukeamdman View Post

Wait wait...somehow a "looks promising" as the only measurement can "blow it in the dust, literally" to drivers that have actually been tested?

Just because it wasn't tested on data-bass doesn't mean its not legit. TheEAR has(had?) like every driver ever made and I believe he thought it was better than the LMS (its only been ~5 years).

Carlos had posted this before he got arrested about some of the stuff that was special about the driver:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Greetings,

I am back. Many of you have emailed me and encouraged me to come back and speak up for the Acoupower drivers. This is a long message, and it answers many questions and comments concerning our sub drivers. I will place the same message on a few forums.

I do have one favor to ask first: I am troubled by so many negative comments coming from people who have not even tried our drivers. PLEASE hold off your negative comments until you personally gain some practical experience with our drivers- then slam them all you want. These drivers are different enough that they demand a fair examination before giving them a bad rap. All I can say is nobody has complained once receiving them. I have always taken great pride throughout my career in making my customers truly happy. Please give Acoupower an OPPORTUNITY do make an impression before you slam our products just because to can.

First of all, we have heard your requests for data. t-s parameters of our -01 drivers are already on these forums, and will be put on the web site shortly. Keep in mind we have other variations of our drivers available, and we will be posting this data as well. We are accumulating performance data in different boxes and will post some of it on the site soon. We do have some measurements now that I am willing to give out. Just email me directly.

After reviewing my own words on these forums, and those of a few others, I need to clarify where Acoupower is coming from with it's products. Our audio drivers are primarily designed for high end home and professional sound applications, where they may be used to a few hundred Hz, and where distortion is of paramount importance. In professional audio applications, they will be driven very hard for several hours at a time.

O.K., now that you know where we are coming from, lets look at WHY we did what we did.

The voice coil is a low inductance 2 layer 6" diameter coil with every inch of wire facing steel. Between the wire and the steel is a high velocity air flow. This high velocity air is rapidly exchanged with air around, and behind the driver. In addition, the steel is cooled VERY aggressively. On the outside is the largest heat sink ever seen on a speaker- approximately 5 sq. ft. of surface area, 80% of which has high velocity air flowing through it. Deep inside the speaker is an aluminum cup that maintains a very rapidly moving channel of air over the entire inside surface of our enormous "top pot". This air is ejected out of the back of the speaker through a 1.5" diameter hole in the center of the motor structure at enormous velocity. This is one of the primary features covered carefully in our patent application. As a result, our drivers exhibit NO audible power compression when used all but the very largest amplifiers made. This is not an overstatement. The more experience we have with our drivers, the more testing we do, and the more feedback we get from customers, the more we are convinced of this. To demonstrate this another way, our drivers will remain at temperatures only slightly above ambient, even after several hours of being driven at 1,000W RMS. I am unaware of any other off the shelf driver whose motor structure is only slightly warm after several hours of 1,000 Watts RMS. The long term AES rating of our drivers is 2-3.5kW, depending on the application. The true long term power handing (hours) of a driver is dependent on the driver's ability to dissipate it's thermal energy rapidly and efficiently to the surrounding air. Acoupower's drivers excel at this. This is why our long term power handling is 2-6 times that of current high performance drivers.

We also use a full length copper shorting sleeve. Why use a full length copper shorting sleeve when we are only using a relatively low inductance 2L coil to begin with? Because a full length copper shorting sleeve is the one thing that can be relatively easily implemented that is guaranteed to significantly reduce motor based distortion caused by the coil’s magnetic field. Why not lower the distortion even more if it doesn’t cost much to do? I have been designing speakers and transducers for more than 25 years- this is a “no brainer” if you are making a high performance (low distortion) product. I am sorry to disappoint some of you who thought we had to have the sleeve in there to offset some problem in the design. ONCE AGAIN, PLEASE EVALUATE our products before blasting them. Even without the sleeve, the distortion is low. With it- even lower. BTW, I have an impedance curves of our drivers I would be happy to email anyone. The impedance of our drivers is amazingly flat for a driver of this size.

There has been a lot of comparisons made of our drivers to drivers meant for car use. While we have customers who have put our drivers in cars and are in love, our drivers were not designed for car use (in case the 8 ohm ONLY impedance did not make that point clear on it’s own). For more than six months now, our web site has stated that we do NOT recommend the use of these drivers in ANY confined space, including cars. This is the position we have taken based on the actual capabilities of our drivers and the liability inherent in placing such high output devices in any confined space. Moving on. Car drivers are very different animals. Sub drivers for car use are designed for ENORMOUS power capability for the short term. Nobody cares how much power they take for hours at a time. Car audio sub drivers have extremely heavy voice coils. No doubt about it, these heavy coils can take enormous power levels for short periods of time (many seconds) due simply to their thermal mass. These heavy coils are the primary reason that car subs have low efficiency, NOT to be confused with sensitivity, which can easily be made high by lowering DCR. These heavy coils also have large inductances and generate large amounts of distortion through their interaction with the motor structures. Lastly, the high mass and high inductance of these coils results in a response that drops after 80-100 Hz. In fact, the high inductance in the coil tends to give the typical car sub box a boost in the 60-80Hz range. There is nothing wrong with that for a car, but for high end home or pro-audio use, that is a problem. BTW, Acoupower’s sub drivers also handle unbelievable short term power, due not to their huge weight, but because ALL of the wire is in close proximately to steel and a rapidly moving air flow.

Recapping, Acoupower’s sub drivers feature the following attributes:

1) Very smooth response to several hundred Hz. The -01 15” in particular is flat +-1dB to 500Hz.
2) Reasonably good Sensitivity and very good Efficiency for a very high output and very long throw driver.
3) Very low distortion, even at very high drive levels (this is, by far, the attribute that has been most commented on by our customers).
4) Incredibly high short and long term long term power handling.
5) Inherently shielded motor design.

Acoupower’s 18” vs. 15”. I have received some emails about the parameter differences between the 15” and 18” -01 designs. The 15” units are primarily aimed at high end home audio and high end home theater. The 18” units are primarily aimed at the high end pro-audio market. The -01 15” units work great in sealed and vented boxes and yield awesome response characteristics down to very low frequencies. The 18” are primarily engineered for MAX SPL pro-audio applications which rarely go below 30Hz. They are best implementation in multi-chamber bandpass boxes where the excursions for a given drive voltage are much less throughout a reasonable bandwidth. In such applications, two of our -01 18” drivers can yield SUSTAINED RMS 1m levels of 140dB +-3dB from 30Hz to 100Hz from a single box no more than 20 cu. Ft. in size. Needless to say, along with some pro-audio system manufacturers, we are in the process of re-defining the standard “club” box. Most club boxes had very high output in the 60-100Hz range, but the average response from 30Hz to 60Hz is typically some 6dB less. The +-3dB specs often published here is REALLY pushing the limit on reasonable specifications. Our drivers enable equal size boxes to be built with much higher output in the lower octave while maintaining the output at higher frequencies. In short, a lot more thump, and along with it, lower distortion.

Lastly, our web site is being updated regularly. We will post very nice looking 3-D exploded views of our drivers later this week.


Well, that is enough for now.


Ciao,

Carlos
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post #12 of 33 Old 05-30-2013, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kemist1117 View Post

Just because it wasn't tested on data-bass doesn't mean its not legit. TheEAR has(had?) like every driver ever made and I believe he thought it was better than the LMS (its only been ~5 years).

Carlos had posted this before he got arrested about some of the stuff that was special about the driver:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Greetings,

I am back. Many of you have emailed me and encouraged me to come back and speak up for the Acoupower drivers. This is a long message, and it answers many questions and comments concerning our sub drivers. I will place the same message on a few forums.

I do have one favor to ask first: I am troubled by so many negative comments coming from people who have not even tried our drivers. PLEASE hold off your negative comments until you personally gain some practical experience with our drivers- then slam them all you want. These drivers are different enough that they demand a fair examination before giving them a bad rap. All I can say is nobody has complained once receiving them. I have always taken great pride throughout my career in making my customers truly happy. Please give Acoupower an OPPORTUNITY do make an impression before you slam our products just because to can.

First of all, we have heard your requests for data. t-s parameters of our -01 drivers are already on these forums, and will be put on the web site shortly. Keep in mind we have other variations of our drivers available, and we will be posting this data as well. We are accumulating performance data in different boxes and will post some of it on the site soon. We do have some measurements now that I am willing to give out. Just email me directly.

After reviewing my own words on these forums, and those of a few others, I need to clarify where Acoupower is coming from with it's products. Our audio drivers are primarily designed for high end home and professional sound applications, where they may be used to a few hundred Hz, and where distortion is of paramount importance. In professional audio applications, they will be driven very hard for several hours at a time.

O.K., now that you know where we are coming from, lets look at WHY we did what we did.

The voice coil is a low inductance 2 layer 6" diameter coil with every inch of wire facing steel. Between the wire and the steel is a high velocity air flow. This high velocity air is rapidly exchanged with air around, and behind the driver. In addition, the steel is cooled VERY aggressively. On the outside is the largest heat sink ever seen on a speaker- approximately 5 sq. ft. of surface area, 80% of which has high velocity air flowing through it. Deep inside the speaker is an aluminum cup that maintains a very rapidly moving channel of air over the entire inside surface of our enormous "top pot". This air is ejected out of the back of the speaker through a 1.5" diameter hole in the center of the motor structure at enormous velocity. This is one of the primary features covered carefully in our patent application. As a result, our drivers exhibit NO audible power compression when used all but the very largest amplifiers made. This is not an overstatement. The more experience we have with our drivers, the more testing we do, and the more feedback we get from customers, the more we are convinced of this. To demonstrate this another way, our drivers will remain at temperatures only slightly above ambient, even after several hours of being driven at 1,000W RMS. I am unaware of any other off the shelf driver whose motor structure is only slightly warm after several hours of 1,000 Watts RMS. The long term AES rating of our drivers is 2-3.5kW, depending on the application. The true long term power handing (hours) of a driver is dependent on the driver's ability to dissipate it's thermal energy rapidly and efficiently to the surrounding air. Acoupower's drivers excel at this. This is why our long term power handling is 2-6 times that of current high performance drivers.

We also use a full length copper shorting sleeve. Why use a full length copper shorting sleeve when we are only using a relatively low inductance 2L coil to begin with? Because a full length copper shorting sleeve is the one thing that can be relatively easily implemented that is guaranteed to significantly reduce motor based distortion caused by the coil’s magnetic field. Why not lower the distortion even more if it doesn’t cost much to do? I have been designing speakers and transducers for more than 25 years- this is a “no brainer” if you are making a high performance (low distortion) product. I am sorry to disappoint some of you who thought we had to have the sleeve in there to offset some problem in the design. ONCE AGAIN, PLEASE EVALUATE our products before blasting them. Even without the sleeve, the distortion is low. With it- even lower. BTW, I have an impedance curves of our drivers I would be happy to email anyone. The impedance of our drivers is amazingly flat for a driver of this size.

There has been a lot of comparisons made of our drivers to drivers meant for car use. While we have customers who have put our drivers in cars and are in love, our drivers were not designed for car use (in case the 8 ohm ONLY impedance did not make that point clear on it’s own). For more than six months now, our web site has stated that we do NOT recommend the use of these drivers in ANY confined space, including cars. This is the position we have taken based on the actual capabilities of our drivers and the liability inherent in placing such high output devices in any confined space. Moving on. Car drivers are very different animals. Sub drivers for car use are designed for ENORMOUS power capability for the short term. Nobody cares how much power they take for hours at a time. Car audio sub drivers have extremely heavy voice coils. No doubt about it, these heavy coils can take enormous power levels for short periods of time (many seconds) due simply to their thermal mass. These heavy coils are the primary reason that car subs have low efficiency, NOT to be confused with sensitivity, which can easily be made high by lowering DCR. These heavy coils also have large inductances and generate large amounts of distortion through their interaction with the motor structures. Lastly, the high mass and high inductance of these coils results in a response that drops after 80-100 Hz. In fact, the high inductance in the coil tends to give the typical car sub box a boost in the 60-80Hz range. There is nothing wrong with that for a car, but for high end home or pro-audio use, that is a problem. BTW, Acoupower’s sub drivers also handle unbelievable short term power, due not to their huge weight, but because ALL of the wire is in close proximately to steel and a rapidly moving air flow.

Recapping, Acoupower’s sub drivers feature the following attributes:

1) Very smooth response to several hundred Hz. The -01 15” in particular is flat +-1dB to 500Hz.
2) Reasonably good Sensitivity and very good Efficiency for a very high output and very long throw driver.
3) Very low distortion, even at very high drive levels (this is, by far, the attribute that has been most commented on by our customers).
4) Incredibly high short and long term long term power handling.
5) Inherently shielded motor design.

Acoupower’s 18” vs. 15”. I have received some emails about the parameter differences between the 15” and 18” -01 designs. The 15” units are primarily aimed at high end home audio and high end home theater. The 18” units are primarily aimed at the high end pro-audio market. The -01 15” units work great in sealed and vented boxes and yield awesome response characteristics down to very low frequencies. The 18” are primarily engineered for MAX SPL pro-audio applications which rarely go below 30Hz. They are best implementation in multi-chamber bandpass boxes where the excursions for a given drive voltage are much less throughout a reasonable bandwidth. In such applications, two of our -01 18” drivers can yield SUSTAINED RMS 1m levels of 140dB +-3dB from 30Hz to 100Hz from a single box no more than 20 cu. Ft. in size. Needless to say, along with some pro-audio system manufacturers, we are in the process of re-defining the standard “club” box. Most club boxes had very high output in the 60-100Hz range, but the average response from 30Hz to 60Hz is typically some 6dB less. The +-3dB specs often published here is REALLY pushing the limit on reasonable specifications. Our drivers enable equal size boxes to be built with much higher output in the lower octave while maintaining the output at higher frequencies. In short, a lot more thump, and along with it, lower distortion.

Lastly, our web site is being updated regularly. We will post very nice looking 3-D exploded views of our drivers later this week.


Well, that is enough for now.


Ciao,

Carlos

I'm not saying it's a bad driver, but to say it spanks anything without really any testing....
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post #13 of 33 Old 05-30-2013, 06:26 PM
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True. One thing that you can say is that it definitely wont have any thermal compression tongue.gif
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post #14 of 33 Old 05-31-2013, 05:13 AM
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I never used one but there are at least a couple of other uber drivers I would put up against it with confidence. It just didn't have the efficiency or motor strength it could have. Still would have jumped at the chance to play with one though.
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post #15 of 33 Old 05-31-2013, 06:55 AM - Thread Starter
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It stinks that no one else has come along and put the time and effort into engineering all the different areas that Carlos did, I have drivers from TC Sounds, adire audio, exodus audio, dayton, Soundsplinter, Elemental Designs, SSA, CSS and probably half a dozen others but have yet to come across any that I am impressed with as much as the acoupower. It is very possible that there are others that may test out well compared to acoupower, however, to may ears, I haven't heard another that sounds as good. I remember burping that driver with 2000 watts once in free air, the excursion was going crazy (seemed to me like at least 39mm in each direction) but the soft parts were dead quiet, every other driver I have used makes all kinds of noises in free air but those were silent.

I am very happy that TC Sounds is still in business, many of us saw them close their doors for a little while with talks of bankruptcy, but thankfully they have weathered it all.


***Edit, btw, the comment about blowing the LMS in the dust was a pun, just look at the amount of air that moved through the motor assembly on the acoupower drivers. There are areas where I believe the LMS could be as good or better in performance and design, that was just a comment about the insane cooling capacity that driver had.
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post #16 of 33 Old 05-31-2013, 09:38 AM
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The stuff with the impressive motor and suspension tech is occurring mostly in unusual places like smaller mid/woofers, shallow mount designs and improving budget designs, not in the big woofers. Typically the suspension, frames, cones, etc...are off the shelf parts and the motors are variations on a standard extended pole over-beefed ferrite overhung arrangement. If you are lucky there is a shorting ring in there which may or may not do much to lower distortion. Dont get me wrong you can get a solid well performing driver out of this but the cutting edge is not usually there. Basically you have a lot of different combinations of open source parts in most of the big subs. With maybe the top plate and t yoke being truly unique. Most of the advancement in motors and driver design with big woofers seems to be in the pro driver arena.
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post #17 of 33 Old 05-31-2013, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for getting me the skinny Ricci, I am pretty excited about all that is happening on this forum right now, I like where things have gone over the past few years!
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post #18 of 33 Old 06-29-2013, 10:55 AM
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Look for the return of Acoupower drivers soon... The 25" variant will be quite interesting!

"Most recently, Dai-ichi acquired the assets of Acoupower, an over-the-top subwoofer manufacturer. These subwoofers have 6 diameter voice coils! Acoupower s management ran into problems and abandoned the company. Dai-ichi was able to fabricate the specialized soft parts as well as the rest of the Accupower components, so they decided to continue the product line. Additionally Dai-ichi has the resources to further refine the cone, spider, and voice coil components. The product line topped out at an 18 model, but now a 25 model has been added combining the 6 diameter voice coil and honeycomb cone (see Photo 5). These new models will be added to the autosound, pro-sound and high-end home theater subwoofer ODM catalog."
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post #19 of 33 Old 06-29-2013, 02:33 PM
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We need more over-the-top subwoofers so the news from Dai-ichi is exciting!

"Half the world is looking for Jesus, and the other half is looking for more bass..."
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post #20 of 33 Old 06-29-2013, 03:56 PM
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Oh hell yeah! Gimme some of these, please!

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post #21 of 33 Old 06-29-2013, 04:15 PM
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25" won't be good for much other than IB if they don't beef the motor up substantially...Not enough ooomph for that huge amount of cone. Still...Worth keeping an eye on. Who knows?cool.gif
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post #22 of 33 Old 07-01-2013, 06:32 AM
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Who is Dai-ichi? Insurance?
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post #23 of 33 Old 07-01-2013, 06:58 AM
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We need more over-the-top subwoofers so the news from Dai-ichi is exciting!
If you look at their current offerings I wouldn't get too excited.

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post #24 of 33 Old 07-01-2013, 07:08 AM
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Who is Dai-ichi? Insurance?

http://www.daiichielectronics.com.ph/

They look like a jack of all trades budget manufacturer. No idea if their equipment is decent. Their Home theater offerings appear to be of the HTIAB variety. From the pictures, their products don't give much confidence IMO.
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post #25 of 33 Old 07-01-2013, 07:25 AM
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If you look at their current offerings I wouldn't get too excited.
I thought I had heard of them. And I would have to agree with Bill.
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post #26 of 33 Old 07-01-2013, 09:40 AM
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post #27 of 33 Old 07-01-2013, 09:40 AM
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Ya that company doesn't leave me with a "quality driver" kinda feeling hahaha

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post #28 of 33 Old 07-01-2013, 04:32 PM
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Nathan Funk's new driver looks interesting...

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post #29 of 33 Old 07-01-2013, 04:54 PM
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I haven't heard much about what Nathan was working on in a while. Wasn't going to be like a cross between the TC 5100pro and the LMS-Ultra? Something like that?

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post #30 of 33 Old 07-01-2013, 06:44 PM
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If you look at their current offerings I wouldn't get too excited.

Agreed. There aren't any great audio companies based in the Philippines that I know of.
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