For those wondering if Dayton Audio would be producing an "HF" version of the Reference 18, listen to what Rory Buszka, the Product Manager at Dayton told me:
While we offer “HF” variations of our Reference Series subwoofer drivers in 8” thru 15” chassis sizes, we have decided for the time being to not pursue an 18” HF-style driver.
The HF variations of the other Reference Series subwoofers use a thinner aluminum cone, and a 2-layer voice coil instead of a 4-layer. In the case of the 18” frame size, the thinner cone material would result in the material of the 18” driver being under extreme stress. A loudspeaker cone converts an axial force at its apex into tensile stress in an annular direction in the cone material, and cracking of the aluminum would become a concern. As cones become larger, the thickness of the material needs to increase to maintain the same bending stiffness. Also, the 4-layer coil makes more BL product available to the driver, to keep the enclosure size manageable.
When comparing the HF models to the HO models within the Reference Series subwoofer range, one isn’t ‘less musical’ than the other. The HO designation is simply used to designate drivers that perform well in smaller enclosures, while the “HF” designation indicates a driver that performs well in the much larger enclosures common in hi-fi, and with extended frequency response into the midbass range (well above where a subwoofer is typically applied), thanks to the thinner cone and lower moving mass, allowing them to be employed as woofers in multi-way speakers. Considering your application as a high-end hi-fi subwoofer, I think you’d be very pleased with abilities of the 18” RSS460HO-4 driver.
I have sold both of my Passive Captivators and plan on doing a DIY with these drivers instead. I wonder how many I need to fill a 6,000 cu ft. area that is open to an additional 60,000 cu.ft. ?