Absolute Performance: Best Known 18" and 24" Driver - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 294 Old 03-25-2015, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Absolute Performance: Best Known 18" and 24" Driver

Greetings. I am brand new to DIY and am looking to purchase a set of the absolute best 24" and 18" drivers. Performance and reliability--quantified by sub-10hz extension, consistency of measurements, very high output, tautness of bass (given an ideal cabinet), and reliability--are the only criteria. I have no practical cabinet size constraints;however, an infinite baffle is not an option, due to subwoofer placement requirements in my theater design.

Any input would be most appreciated. Thank you.
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post #2 of 294 Old 03-25-2015, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post
Greetings. I am brand new to DIY and am looking to purchase a set of the absolute best 24" and 18" drivers. Performance and reliability--quantified by sub-10hz extension, consistency of measurements, very high output, tautness of bass (given an ideal cabinet), and reliability--are the only criteria. I have no practical cabinet size constraints;however, an infinite baffle is not an option, due to subwoofer placement requirements in my theater design.

Any input would be most appreciated. Thank you.
If you intend to produce frequencies <10Hz, you'll want barf bags. Seriously. 3-5Hz audio signals have been used for riot control because it nauseates people.

Do you know that these frequencies aren't used in music and no subwoofer software is accurate in this region? Certainly, no anechoic chamber is effective that low.
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post #3 of 294 Old 03-25-2015, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highfigh View Post
If you intend to produce frequencies <10Hz, you'll want barf bags. Seriously. 3-5Hz audio signals have been used for riot control because it nauseates people.

Do you know that these frequencies aren't used in music and no subwoofer software is accurate in this region? Certainly, no anechoic chamber is effective that low.
umm there are many of us here with systems that are very capable down to and below 5 Hz

as for the OP

the LMS Ultra 18, RE XXX 18, UXL 18, SI24
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post #4 of 294 Old 03-25-2015, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Sibuna View Post
umm there are many of us here with systems that are very capable down to and below 5 Hz

as for the OP

the LMS Ultra 18, RE XXX 18, UXL 18, SI24
Thank you, Sibuna...so those are the absolute best drivers I can pursue? Are the LMS, UXL, and RE 18" drivers identical in performance? Does SI have a competitor that most would also consider high-end?

I'm asking because this forum is very easy to get lost in. Ive seen LMS, UXL, and SI mentioned before. Do they all offer the highest availability performance and reliability (I want it work well and have a mean time to failure of at least ten years, so I wanted to see if, say there's a driver out there that's amazing, but folks don't mention it because it defeats the value proposition of DIY.
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post #5 of 294 Old 03-25-2015, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highfigh View Post
If you intend to produce frequencies <10Hz, you'll want barf bags. Seriously. 3-5Hz audio signals have been used for riot control because it nauseates people.

Do you know that these frequencies aren't used in music and no subwoofer software is accurate in this region? Certainly, no anechoic chamber is effective that low.
I'm an over the top kind of guy...i like capability, even without practicality. I'm not saying I'll use it all the time, but I want to hit at least 7 or 6Hz. I used to pump 7Hz tunes and feel the waves squeeze my finger held up in front of me with my last subwoofer pair.
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post #6 of 294 Old 03-25-2015, 01:48 PM
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Uxl, ft21, or the usual stuff. Bass extension is dominated by box design and power. when not constraint by space or budget. Broc, you have a really nice theatre. I would do multiple seal uxl. Maybe 2 per 1/4 corner wall.
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post #7 of 294 Old 03-25-2015, 02:19 PM
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http://stereointegrity.com/product/hst18-18-subwoofer/

I favor these over the uxl and lms... But that's just my opinion
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post #8 of 294 Old 03-25-2015, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by datranz View Post
Uxl, ft21, or the usual stuff. Bass extension is dominated by box design and power. when not constraint by space or budget. Broc, you have a really nice theatre. I would do multiple seal uxl. Maybe 2 per 1/4 corner wall.
Ah, it's the box and not the driver? I never would have thought that. Thanks for letting me know....I'm now leaning more toward 18" than 24" since the box plays such a huge role. Thanks for the kind words on the theater....I hope to do the bass some justice in the room, man.

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Originally Posted by Stumbo View Post
http://stereointegrity.com/product/hst18-18-subwoofer/

I favor these over the uxl and lms... But that's just my opinion
Ah, they look robust enough. I went to their Facebook page and saw a post about missing a "bunch of orders"....does that typically happen with these folks? (asking seriously here, not critically).

Does anyone know what the difference between HT18 and HTS18 is? And what do I need to know about selecting a voice coil "ohm?"
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post #9 of 294 Old 03-25-2015, 05:13 PM
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if I'm not mistaken, the HST18 use the same motor as the HS24, which is stronger, 3" VC and able to handle more power than HT18, dual 2ohm VC gives you more wiring options

Last edited by WereWolf84; 03-25-2015 at 05:20 PM.
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HST 18 and 24 are excellent drivers

But check out the ZV4. If you want small sealed cabs and silly bass (12) zv4 18" would be almost impossible to beat.

LMS is nice if you can find them.
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post #11 of 294 Old 03-25-2015, 05:24 PM
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instead of 18" and 24", split the difference and get a pair of...21's :-)


http://www.data-bass.com/data?page=system&id=6&mset=74


in an undersized cab (2 cubic feet per driver) they soaked up *** watts of power.


smooth frequency response (though eq would be needed to make it flat).


less than a db of compression until the amp went into clipping.


very low distortion.


6" split wound coils and a crap ton of neodymium give these things crazy horsepower. but good design and some other tricks may them quite linear.


unlike most of the high excursion subs, they have relatively good efficiency on the top end, so if that is important for high spl music, then they may be worth taking a look at.


street price is around $750 I think.




*** i originally has 25kw in here but that is too much for the amp and was based on an erroneous calculation. let's just say they maxed at a k10 amp, whatever that is, probably somewhere north of 10kw of power.
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post #12 of 294 Old 03-25-2015, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WereWolf84 View Post
if I'm not mistaken, the HST18 use the same motor as the HS24, which is stronger, 3" VC and able to handle more power than HT18, dual 2ohm VC gives you more wiring options
The hst should give you 6dbs more than the HT18... According to the results posted at databass
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post #13 of 294 Old 03-25-2015, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post
instead of 18" and 24", split the difference and get a pair of...21's :-)

http://www.data-bass.com/data?page=system&id=6&mset=74
another option for 21" is FTW-21
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post #14 of 294 Old 03-25-2015, 05:55 PM
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35 ft3 11hz tuned box with the equivalent of a 12" round port. BW4 @10hz filter. A pair of the mega 18"s like HST18 or LMS18 per 35 ft3 box, with 3500 watts to the pair for 120db @12 hz
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post #15 of 294 Old 03-25-2015, 06:10 PM
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TC LMS-Ultra

RE XXX18

SI HST-18

SI HS24

Sundown zv4-18

IST UXL18

IST FTW-21



This is a solid collection of the best subwoofer drivers for HT on the market at the moment. Some are in and out of stock at any given time but you should be able to snag most of these today.


Others can be considered as well and multiples of any lesser driver can and should be considered, always.
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post #16 of 294 Old 03-25-2015, 06:18 PM
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Brolic, you should be trying to design the best sub for your space, not space for the sub. You need to figure out how big of a box/boxes you can deal with how much power you'll have to work with, then decide what will be best for your goals. Just grabbing some drivers and throwing power at them will work but you could have tons of output left on the table without knowing what you "could" have done.

Believe me, that is something you don't want to deal with.

Just a quick example, you buy 2 lms 18's, put them in 3 CF boxes, great, sounds awesome. Wait, I could have fit 2 x G-horns in my room and with the same 2 drivers had 4 times the output.... oops lol It's stuff like that you have to figure out before hand.

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post #17 of 294 Old 03-25-2015, 06:46 PM
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So the SI's are considered better than like a Dayton ultimax 18?
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post #18 of 294 Old 03-25-2015, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zpatter1 View Post
So the SI's are considered better than like a Dayton ultimax 18?
For sub duty the HST is yes.
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post #19 of 294 Old 03-25-2015, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zpatter1 View Post
So the SI's are considered better than like a Dayton ultimax 18?
The si 18 and dayton ho are near identical
The uxl 18 is about 1.5 times either of those two
The ultimax 18 is about half way in between the uxl and the other two
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Just found out another choice, thanks to jbrown15's info

http://www.pierceaudioproducts.com/index.html

they use 4" voice coils
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post #21 of 294 Old 03-25-2015, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post
Greetings. I am brand new to DIY and am looking to purchase a set of the absolute best 24" and 18" drivers. Performance and reliability--quantified by sub-10hz extension, consistency of measurements, very high output, tautness of bass (given an ideal cabinet), and reliability--are the only criteria. I have no practical cabinet size constraints;however, an infinite baffle is not an option, due to subwoofer placement requirements in my theater design.

Any input would be most appreciated. Thank you.
You say "set" of the best drivers. What do you mean by "set?"

Quote:

set2
set/
noun
noun: set; plural

noun: sets
  1. a group or collection of things that belong together, resemble one another, or are usually found
    together.
So, set means what exactly? 2? 4? 8?

From your post, I gather that you want the absolute best. However, I recall seeing other posts, in the not too distant past, where you have mentioned cost being a concern. Just keep in mind that most potential short comings of one or two drivers can be overcome when you start talking multiples (4, 8, ect...).

While listening at reference, will you be able to tell the difference at 4% distortion using 8 lesser 18" drivers vs 2% distortion using 8 superior drivers? And the answer is...
Spoiler!


Also, I personally feel it would behoove you to make nearfield placement a top priority... One 18" firing directly in your back will have more of a palpable impact than 8 18's accross your front stage.

What was the last all DIY sub theater that you demo'd? @Gorilla83's right? Did you enjoy? I am assuming that your primary point of reference, right? Or have you demo'd any other similarily capable DIY sub systems lately?

Good luck with whatever you decide to go with. Always happy to see another DIY convert!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WereWolf84 View Post
Just found out another choice, thanks to jbrown15's info

http://www.pierceaudioproducts.com/index.html

they use 4" voice coils
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post #23 of 294 Old 03-26-2015, 03:28 AM
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In my opinion, if you want the best drivers, the LMS5400 Ultra is the one to get. There are several others whose output capability is similar(UXL-18, XXX-18, HST-18), but none can approach the LMS for its extremely low distortion. I believe this is a sign of a superior design, and nothing(that I have seen), even comes close.

Check out data-bass.com and look at the multi-series charts that show distortion at varying sweep levels. Compare it to the HST-18 and XXX-18...just be sure to compare the same sweep levels as they are colored differently.

In fact, look at the 115 and 120 dB sweeps for the LMS5400. Compare it with any driver that has been tested on data-bass.

Last edited by bear123; 03-26-2015 at 03:42 AM.
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post #24 of 294 Old 03-26-2015, 03:33 AM
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What about drivers like the BMS 18N862, B&C 21SW152-4 , etc ?
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post #25 of 294 Old 03-26-2015, 03:35 AM
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Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post
a couple b&c 18sw115's would kill the ultra on the top end and only give up a db or two on the bottom end.
a couple bms 18n862's would seem to beat the ulta everywhere except low end sensitivity.
Source: Best in class for a sealed sub
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post #26 of 294 Old 03-26-2015, 04:05 AM
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Those Pierce Audio products look nice. But looks are one thing and T/S are another. SO who knows.

For large drivers I like value so I would buy what the best value I can. So while the SI is best value I do like the upper end woofers. If money was no object and I had LOTS of space I would love to have a bunch of BC 21 SW152's sealed. Or RCF 21 N551's. Also SI 24's would be nice also.

There are so many options out there that if you can fit anything and have the money to buy anything it really comes down to buying what works best for your taste and wants. Lots of good drivers out there to choose from.
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From another thread's info, seems like Pierce Audio custom make drivers for Reaction Audio's subwoofers, if that's true, then its T/S parameters are not bad
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post #28 of 294 Old 03-26-2015, 05:10 AM
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Whats the size of the space we are talking about ? Sealed subs do have limits...

As of Feb 20th still looking for a Marantz SR7010
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post #29 of 294 Old 03-26-2015, 05:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WereWolf84 View Post
if I'm not mistaken, the HST18 use the same motor as the HS24, which is stronger, 3" VC and able to handle more power than HT18, dual 2ohm VC gives you more wiring options
Thanks for clarifying!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post
HST 18 and 24 are excellent drivers

But check out the ZV4. If you want small sealed cabs and silly bass (12) zv4 18" would be almost impossible to beat.

LMS is nice if you can find them.
I'll actually need small drivers for my balancing subs on the sidewalks....I couldn't find the zv4 on the Stereo Integrity website....is this a word of mouth product from them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post
instead of 18" and 24", split the difference and get a pair of...21's :-)


http://www.data-bass.com/data?page=system&id=6&mset=74


in an undersized cab (2 cubic feet per driver) they soaked up 25,000 watts of power.


smooth frequency response (though eq would be needed to make it flat).


less than a db of compression until the amp went into clipping.


very low distortion.


6" split wound coils and a crap ton of neodymium give these things crazy horsepower. but good design and some other tricks may them quite linear.


unlike most of the high excursion subs, they have relatively good efficiency on the top end, so if that is important for high spl music, then they may be worth taking a look at.


street price is around $750 I think.
That looks pretty cool. Is there a strategic reason to use an undersized cabinet? I'm brand new to this, so I want to learn as much as I can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post
35 ft3 11hz tuned box with the equivalent of a 12" round port. BW4 @10hz filter. A pair of the mega 18"s like HST18 or LMS18 per 35 ft3 box, with 3500 watts to the pair for 120db @12 hz
Jay, I have no idea what most of that means. Lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Simonian View Post
TC LMS-Ultra

RE XXX18

SI HST-18

SI HS24

Sundown zv4-18

IST UXL18

IST FTW-21



This is a solid collection of the best subwoofer drivers for HT on the market at the moment. Some are in and out of stock at any given time but you should be able to snag most of these today.


Others can be considered as well and multiples of any lesser driver can and should be considered, always.
Thanks Scott! Thanks for this list...so should this be considered a top-down hierarchical order of performance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by N8DOGG View Post
Brolic, you should be trying to design the best sub for your space, not space for the sub. You need to figure out how big of a box/boxes you can deal with how much power you'll have to work with, then decide what will be best for your goals. Just grabbing some drivers and throwing power at them will work but you could have tons of output left on the table without knowing what you "could" have done.

Believe me, that is something you don't want to deal with.

Just a quick example, you buy 2 lms 18's, put them in 3 CF boxes, great, sounds awesome. Wait, I could have fit 2 x G-horns in my room and with the same 2 drivers had 4 times the output.... oops lol It's stuff like that you have to figure out before hand.
Great point! What's a g-horn? The cabinet can be about 30" deep, max and can be as wide as it needs to be. Height....not really limited, but I am using a baffle wall around my triad cinemaplus Platinums, which are pretty tall, so I may have some height constraints, now that I think about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wormraper View Post
The si 18 and dayton ho are near identical
The uxl 18 is about 1.5 times either of those two
The ultimax 18 is about half way in between the uxl and the other two
Great info....is this the general consensus? For the Stereo Integrity 18, are you referring to the HT or HTS model as being equivalent to a Dayton (is "Ho" the Dayton model name?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by WereWolf84 View Post
Just found out another choice, thanks to jbrown15's info

http://www.pierceaudioproducts.com/index.html

they use 4" voice coils
Ah, I will investigate right now. Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by popalock View Post
You say "set" of the best drivers. What do you mean by "set?"

[/LIST]So, set means what exactly? 2? 4? 8?

From your post, I gather that you want the absolute best. However, I recall seeing other posts, in the not too distant past, where you have mentioned cost being a concern. Just keep in mind that most potential short comings of one or two drivers can be overcome when you start talking multiples (4, 8, ect...).

While listening at reference, will you be able to tell the difference at 4% distortion using 8 lesser 18" drivers vs 2% distortion using 8 superior drivers? And the answer is...
Spoiler!


Also, I personally feel it would behoove you to make nearfield placement a top priority... One 18" firing directly in your back will have more of a palpable impact than 8 18's accross your front stage.

What was the last all DIY sub theater that you demo'd? @Gorilla83's right? Did you enjoy? I am assuming that your primary point of reference, right? Or have you demo'd any other similarily capable DIY sub systems lately?

Good luck with whatever you decide to go with. Always happy to see another DIY convert!
By set, I mean one high end, top performing driver with 24" diameter and one with 18" diameter. Once those are identified, I can add multiples of each. Near field isn't too much of a concern for me, as I use Crowson bass shakers. Plus, the room was very carefully engineered, and subwoofer placement is already finalized. I've never demoed a DIY sub before...but I'm in bed sick...I may have at a G2G and just can't remember.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Simonian View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by bear123 View Post
In my opinion, if you want the best drivers, the LMS5400 Ultra is the one to get. There are several others whose output capability is similar(UXL-18, XXX-18, HST-18), but none can approach the LMS for its extremely low distortion. I believe this is a sign of a superior design, and nothing(that I have seen), even comes close.

Check out data-bass.com and look at the multi-series charts that show distortion at varying sweep levels. Compare it to the HST-18 and XXX-18...just be sure to compare the same sweep levels as they are colored differently.

In fact, look at the 115 and 120 dB sweeps for the LMS5400. Compare it with any driver that has been tested on data-bass.
Ah....this is EXACTLY what will help me decide. Thank you, sir!!! Will do comparisons today!

Quote:
Originally Posted by neo_2009 View Post
Aweso,e thread...thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrapladm View Post
Those Pierce Audio products look nice. But looks are one thing and T/S are another. SO who knows.

For large drivers I like value so I would buy what the best value I can. So while the SI is best value I do like the upper end woofers. If money was no object and I had LOTS of space I would love to have a bunch of BC 21 SW152's sealed. Or RCF 21 N551's. Also SI 24's would be nice also.

There are so many options out there that if you can fit anything and have the money to buy anything it really comes down to buying what works best for your taste and wants. Lots of good drivers out there to choose from.
I will give all of those a look. Thank you!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kgveteran View Post
Whats the size of the space we are talking about ? Sealed subs do have limits...
The room is 16'8" wide x 28'6" long. Will definitely be using a multiple subwoofer solution.
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