Originally Posted by cannga
I do wonder if the progression to ever increasing driver size would stop at 18" (Seaton, JTR, PSA, etc.), or if it moves on to 21, 24, etc. I imagine multiple smaller drivers could be used to equalize the surface are size difference, ie multiple 18's to equal/exceed surface area of single 21, or single 24. What then are the pro's and con's? I am sure the experts would have quite a healthy/lengthy debate on this matter. Who likes to be the instigator and poses this question to Deep Sea Sound and Funk?
I think it's going to stop at 18 though, for ease of handling/installing, and the fact that the 18 could have a narrower front surface by definition.
Originally Posted by Hopinater
Yeah I've been wondering the same thing. I think I agree with you that 18" subs might be where the majority of the companies draw the line. The 18" subs certainly seem to be getting a lot of attention and they also seem to be selling robustly. I think they hit that sweet spot for extreme output capabilities while still being small enough to handle and integrate properly into many rooms. We know the 18's aren't meant for the average Joe but for people like us they check a lot of boxes. The 21's and 24's start to become a challenge (for many different reasons). And while we would all love their capabilities their size may be a real issue for many... as in most.
I guess time will tell.
I agree with both of you that, for most HT owners, 18" subs represent about the maximum in size that will be used in the majority of cases. But, we might want to distinguish between HT hobbyists and subwoofer hobbyists, because I think that they are different, with potentially different goals. Most of us are trying to balance form and function in both multi-purpose rooms and in dedicated HT's. And, for us, 18" subs will be about the practical maximum.
But, there are people who have solid walls of subs, for whom cabinet size, or number of subs, is simply not a factor in the pursuit of their hobby. Some of those hobbyists already have 21" and 24" subs and are eager to keep pushing the envelope. And, I think that sub makers are helping to fuel that by continuing to find ways to set their subs apart from their competitors. Bigger subs, with bigger drivers, will probably continue to be a factor in that arms race.
Of course, that part of the hobby may eventually burn itself out. But, I think that clever designers, such as Nathan Funk, will just find ways to incorporate larger drivers into relatively smaller cabinets, as he has with his FA21. So, who knows whether 21's, at least, might not occupy a meaningful market niche at some point?