Originally Posted by Pure-Evil
Mark Seaton... I guess my biggest question is why you can say the MFW-15 is not a performer when you were the one who designed it? Are you saying that AV1234 used a driver you didn't pick? changed the design from what you started with? used different specs? I'm confused here...so maybe you can clear that up.
You probably hadn't had time to read or maybe forget all the discussion around the time the Turbo kit was announced. I posted quite a bit about our choice to offer a full kit. I didn't feel there was enough of a performance improvement vs. the cost required in upgrading only the driver or only the amp. You do get an improvement with a better amp on the stock driver, but again, it's not a huge gain given the price of an entirely new amplifier. The requirement of a custom fit amplifier further limited options as I couldn't justify ordering and investing in a minimum of 300-500 customized amplifiers for upgrade kits when for a bit more we had a higher performance option readily available. It basically came down to a choice of a lot of money out of pocket for a ~$500 kit which would make a moderate, but nice improvement, or offer nearly twice the perceived performance for $750 with much more flexibility.
Without testing many parts separately it is very difficult to know by simple observation if a limit you are hearing is the amp or the driver, at least not with any certainty. Even with much more robust drivers the amplifier's capabilities sets a limit. If we put the same exact driver design as the stock Eminence driver in a sexy cast frame with pretty metalwork I'm sure you would be pointing to the amp, even when the performance would be the same.
Many of the qualities many like about the MFW-15 come from the characteristics of the driver that other OEM's couldn't deliver at the time, or not for less than a multiple the cost. The driver & amplifier overload at similar points, and there wasn't budget nor desire for a whole lot more as it was already worlds beyond the performance of any other subwoofer previously offered by AV321.
You're after what might have been possible a $799-1099 subwoofer. While it took forever to finally ship, glancing at my early drawings, the MFW-15 was conceived ~4 years ago. It was a highly capable performer in the light of what was available on the market at the time. With many other companies rolling out 15" vented and sealed subs after the MFW-15's first showing at a GTG, I'm more surprised that it's still as attractive to buyers after all this time. It most certainly is a very strong performer in a few important aspects where there were not many comparable options at the time, and many such points of comparison were physically larger or very industrial looking, where size and aesthetics took some priority in the design. When not driven significantly past it's limits, it is a great performer for the money and size.
If cabinet finish isn't an issue, I have posted here in the past that the Epik Empire is worth serious consideration/recommendation for options under $1000 at this scale/size range.
I'm not saying it's your fault that the amps were faulty, but....as I understand it the cheap driver that is in the mfw was your choice as a "matched" driver to the amp...and IMHO there is NO WAY that those cheap asss drivers match or can handle the amounts of power that the mfw15 amp (when working properly) can put out.
Maybe you can clear that up a bit?
As you state, that's your opinion. A less efficient driver could "handle" more power and allow you to hear more of the amp hard clipping while producing even less SPL.
There are many factors to be weighed in the selection of a component for a product and the OEM who supplies it. Simple dollar price and performance are part of it, but so are many other factors. If the other suppliers for the MFW-15 were as experienced, reliable and responsive as Eminence, this thread probably wouldn't exist. In retrospect I very much regret selecting Eminence to supply this driver as the experience was rather taxing on them and an embarrassment to my otherwise great relations with them.
"cheap ass drivers" are again a personal opinion. Parts Express sells a lesser driver with a 2" VC
(2.5" on the MFW') for >$150. In my
opinion you are overstating the value and capability of the amplifier. Yes, a more capable driver can offer improvement in performance or behave differently in overload. With AV321 still operating I'm not likely to offer up suggestions unless they are proprietary to me.