Originally Posted by R Smood
Im thinking a PSA sealed like S7201 or the successor the S72 ipal which 4x 18s and sealed might give me the best of both worlds. Incredible power and low end extension and control from it being sealed? I'm thinking either 2 of those or 2x TV42 ipal.
For myself personally, I think I would be able to choose between the TV42 or S7201 based on wether I wanted ported or sealed. I've experienced the difference first hand with enough of them to make the decision. Usually, it comes down to size. For example, I am in the process of downgrading from 18" sealed subs to a pair of 15" sealed subs. Based on my usage, the 15's will provide enough output for me, and the smaller form factor matters more to me than the additional performance I would get from going ported.
In your case however, I don't think you have a clear and firm grasp on whether you would prefer the S7201 or the TV42, and there is essentially not really a size difference to take into account.
Here's my two cents for what its worth, and what I would probably do were I in your shoes(but with your experiences, not mine). I would order a pair of both the TV42 and the S7201 IPAL, *IF* Tom would be ok with you returning the pair you choose not to keep.
Money isn't a huge concern for you, so I think a few hundred dollars in shipping cost would be well worth demoing them both in your home for a couple weeks.
I think either option will give you far more output than you could ever hope to use, even for brief "rabid pit bull on crack" demos. However, you might find the tremendously higher TR of the ported subs incredibly appealing, or you might end up preferring the sound and feel of the sealed version. Even though either option would "only" be $8k or so, far below your budget, I think comparing them side by side and keeping the ones you love would be your best option.
To briefly address the "speed/accuracy/articulation" topic for the last time(for me), the Ipal drivers have light cones with *incredibly* high motor strength. This is drastically more meaningful in terms of the sound quality the driver will produce than whether the alignment is ported or sealed. This also negates the belief that smaller drivers are somehow faster or tighter(made up adjectives without real clear cut meaning), which I think people tend to relate to how well the cone is controlled, the thought being a small cone is lighter which is easier to control. However, the pro audio drivers with Neo motors use very light weight cones. Combined with the strong motors, they actually have a higher motor to cone weight ratio than smaller, lower quality drivers. These are literally some of *the best* drivers in the world, cost no object. They barely have to move to produce the same SPL that small drivers need high excursion for, which results in higher distortion and lower sound quality. For bass, bigger is better, as long as the motor is strong enough to control the cone.
In addition to ordering and demoing both subs if that is an option, I would highly recommend that you get a Umik-1 mic from MiniDSP or Cross-Spectrum Labs(calibrated lower) and download REW. You'll want to measure in order to properly place and set the subs up in order to get the most out of them.