Current landscape of 18 and 21 inch drivers - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 15 Old 04-22-2019, 07:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Current landscape of 18 and 21 inch drivers

Can anyone point me to, or give a quick run down on the state of the market right now in terms of 18 and 21 inch drivers? I know the SI HT18 was all the rage a while ago, but seems to be defunct. Trying to figure out how I want to go moving forward... I'll have a ton of room behind the screen wall (false wall), but basically no other room to work stuff in (unless i can find a way to build a column somewhere, lol).

Probably doing 2 subs total behind the screen and will need to play with MiniDSP for integration. final space likely to be 5000-6000 cuft...

I'm thinking a marty style build with some sort of driver where i'm favoring lowest distortion overall, and not really an opportunity to build separate modules to handle the midbass...


Thanks for any help!

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post #2 of 15 Old 04-22-2019, 08:46 AM
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Thanks for mentioning the space, midbass and the number of boxes



The UM18 is very popular as far as 18 inch drivers go. Best suited for deep HT bass in a large ported enclosure, not a mid bass monster. Next would be the PA460, usually placed in a VBSS that offers a cheap solution that has mid bass and can dig, but excursion limits potential output. Something to consider in a 5000+ cuft space.



For 21"s, the B&C 21DS115 is a popular 21" driver. It will take 20mm of excursion and has a high sensitivity of 99db. That gives it versatility being able to reproduce low bass and hit hard in the mid bass region. The price tag makes it less of a budget option, but if you want to throw two in a couple ported boxes and drive content in a large space at reference, it is a very compelling option. B&C has more variants of 21" drivers, that have different strengths and weakness, the DS is nice balance for HT use. LaVoce SAN214.50 21 is another option that is a bit cheaper and from the WinISD sims it handles very much like a 21DS115. However, it only comes in a 8 Ohm flavor.



I am very pleased with the 21DS115. My friends that come over note how well it blends and sounds effortless. It is in a 11 cuft 18Hz tuned box, it can nearly hit reference on everything I have tried so far, just a few exceptions. The room in which it is in is roughly 6000cuft I want to say 11 ft from the MLP.



If you have not been around here in awhile checkout www.gsgad.com, they sell flat packs for a lot of things. They would be considered a newer development.
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post #3 of 15 Old 04-22-2019, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Five View Post
Thanks for mentioning the space, midbass and the number of boxes



The UM18 is very popular as far as 18 inch drivers go. Best suited for deep HT bass in a large ported enclosure, not a mid bass monster. Next would be the PA460, usually placed in a VBSS that offers a cheap solution that has mid bass and can dig, but excursion limits potential output. Something to consider in a 5000+ cuft space.



For 21"s, the B&C 21DS115 is a popular 21" driver. It will take 20mm of excursion and has a high sensitivity of 99db. That gives it versatility being able to reproduce low bass and hit hard in the mid bass region. The price tag makes it less of a budget option, but if you want to throw two in a couple ported boxes and drive content in a large space at reference, it is a very compelling option. B&C has more variants of 21" drivers, that have different strengths and weakness, the DS is nice balance for HT use. LaVoce SAN214.50 21 is another option that is a bit cheaper and from the WinISD sims it handles very much like a 21DS115. However, it only comes in a 8 Ohm flavor.


I am very pleased with the 21DS115. My friends that come over note how well it blends and sounds effortless. It is in a 11 cuft 18Hz tuned box, it can nearly hit reference on everything I have tried so far, just a few exceptions. The room in which it is in is roughly 6000cuft I want to say 11 ft from the MLP.



If you have not been around here in awhile checkout www.gsgad.com, they sell flat packs for a lot of things. They would be considered a newer development.
Thanks Red Five, that was a helpful primer. I'm liking the easy button for the GSG packs and a couple UM18's.. I won't likely be anywhere near reference except for maybe some demos, as the space will be more general purpose and can't be soundproofed all that well. I'd pay more for lower distortion, but it would really need to be worth it, and I'm guessing with this large of drivers and ported cabs that it just isn't an issue unless listening pretty loud. I don't see any mention of the SI HST model either, so it's either not worth the step up, or it's better to go with the 21, or SI's own 24? I did some quick modeling in WinISD, and the UM18 and BC21 model really similarly... looks like it really depends on how much power you apply, otherwise they both look like good options/similar...


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post #4 of 15 Old 04-22-2019, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by jcr159 View Post
Thanks Red Five, that was a helpful primer. I'm liking the easy button for the GSG packs and a couple UM18's.. I won't likely be anywhere near reference except for maybe some demos, as the space will be more general purpose and can't be soundproofed all that well. I'd pay more for lower distortion, but it would really need to be worth it, and I'm guessing with this large of drivers and ported cabs that it just isn't an issue unless listening pretty loud. I don't see any mention of the SI HST model either, so it's either not worth the step up, or it's better to go with the 21, or SI's own 24? I did some quick modeling in WinISD, and the UM18 and BC21 model really similarly... looks like it really depends on how much power you apply, otherwise they both look like good options/similar...


So much to learn, and so hard to keep up in this hobby!

When you said midbass I figured a high mass expensive HT sub did not quite fit the bill They are capable drivers, you would want to get more amp for them than a NX series. The HST 24 is a beast, if it is in your means dump it in a 11 cuft sealed box and call it a day! Once again, you will want more amp than a NX. Without getting in a big discussion on drivers and mid bass, the sensitivity of a PA460 or a 21DS115 are much better suited for it vs a UM. If you tried pushing midbass on a UM at the levels those two drivers can do, you will puff some smoke out of the UM...



If you want to get into horn loading take a look at the Devastator, LTD02 and I worked on that. It is not too hard to build and has more midbass than any non bass head needs. Distortion on that should be very low due to high sensitivity in the range for a sub where your ear would have the best chance of hearing distortion. That one is really best suited to crossover at 80Hz though, you might be able to get away 100Hz in a pinch.

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post #5 of 15 Old 04-22-2019, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Five View Post
Thanks for mentioning the space, midbass and the number of boxes



The UM18 is very popular as far as 18 inch drivers go. Best suited for deep HT bass in a large ported enclosure, not a mid bass monster. Next would be the PA460, usually placed in a VBSS that offers a cheap solution that has mid bass and can dig, but excursion limits potential output. Something to consider in a 5000+ cuft space.



For 21"s, the B&C 21DS115 is a popular 21" driver. It will take 20mm of excursion and has a high sensitivity of 99db. That gives it versatility being able to reproduce low bass and hit hard in the mid bass region. The price tag makes it less of a budget option, but if you want to throw two in a couple ported boxes and drive content in a large space at reference, it is a very compelling option. B&C has more variants of 21" drivers, that have different strengths and weakness, the DS is nice balance for HT use. LaVoce SAN214.50 21 is another option that is a bit cheaper and from the WinISD sims it handles very much like a 21DS115. However, it only comes in a 8 Ohm flavor.



I am very pleased with the 21DS115. My friends that come over note how well it blends and sounds effortless. It is in a 11 cuft 18Hz tuned box, it can nearly hit reference on everything I have tried so far, just a few exceptions. The room in which it is in is roughly 6000cuft I want to say 11 ft from the MLP.



If you have not been around here in awhile checkout www.gsgad.com, they sell flat packs for a lot of things. They would be considered a newer development.
Another option I will be doing hopefully in the fall is the B&C 18TBW100-4. Same idea as the 21 inch, it has lots of excursion so it can dig deep but it is super efficient so is good at midbass. Similar cost to the UM-18 (when the Ultimax is not on sale).
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post #6 of 15 Old 04-22-2019, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks for the options to think about... i like that 24, but price is so much higher.... (and x2)

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post #7 of 15 Old 04-22-2019, 09:28 AM
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Another option I will be doing hopefully in the fall is the B&C 18TBW100-4. Same idea as the 21 inch, it has lots of excursion so it can dig deep but it is super efficient so is good at midbass. Similar cost to the UM-18 (when the Ultimax is not on sale).

That is another capable driver I have looked at. Lavoce also has some pro 18s with higher xmax ratings of 13mm. You can find those at PE. If my memory serves those drivers all play nice in smaller cabs, like a Marty Cube. You could pick up a four pack at GSG and then stack them for dual 18s

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You can always turn it down, but you can only turn it up so much (before you run out of power, excursion or structural integrity).
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post #8 of 15 Old 04-22-2019, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by jcr159 View Post
thanks for the options to think about... i like that 24, but price is so much higher.... (and x2)

SI does put things on sale from time to time. If you are willing to go to 600 each for the 21's itis not that much of a jump to get to the Hs-24. I got mine last memorial day for 900 each. You just have to check their website often. Good luck with your decision.
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post #9 of 15 Old 04-22-2019, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
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SI does put things on sale from time to time. If you are willing to go to 600 each for the 21's itis not that much of a jump to get to the Hs-24. I got mine last memorial day for 900 each. You just have to check their website often. Good luck with your decision.
Good info to have... thanks Randy_J. That probably makes it harder though, lol

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post #10 of 15 Old 04-22-2019, 03:05 PM
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The Fi HT1 and HT3 are also worth looking into. I don't think many people here have experience with them yet because Fi kinda blew it on timing and delays so everyone that was waiting ended up buying UM18s but Fi designed them around a fair amount of feedback from people on here and the HT1 is a direct competitor to the UM18. If I didn't already have a UM18 in a mini-marty, I would have purchased one of their HT drivers for the second sub I built but I needed them to match or it would have bugged me

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post #11 of 15 Old 04-22-2019, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
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The Fi HT1 and HT3 are also worth looking into. I don't think many people here have experience with them yet because Fi kinda blew it on timing and delays so everyone that was waiting ended up buying UM18s but Fi designed them around a fair amount of feedback from people on here and the HT1 is a direct competitor to the UM18. If I didn't already have a UM18 in a mini-marty, I would have purchased one of their HT drivers for the second sub I built but I needed them to match or it would have bugged me

Interesting... what are the big differences between the HT1 and HT3?

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post #12 of 15 Old 04-22-2019, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Interesting... what are the big differences between the HT1 and HT3?
Scratch that... they have 18 different 18” sub drivers😳

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post #13 of 15 Old 04-22-2019, 05:14 PM
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Scratch that... they have 18 different 18” sub drivers
That sounds about right. They also have nice IBs if you really want to go down the rabbit hole

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post #14 of 15 Old 04-23-2019, 05:30 AM
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Interesting... what are the big differences between the HT1 and HT3?

I asked FI about this since they modeled almost exactly the same (given equal power) in winISD for me. I was told that the main difference is the power handling and if you are limited on power, the HT1 would be the way to go.
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post #15 of 15 Old 04-23-2019, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
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I asked FI about this since they modeled almost exactly the same (given equal power) in winISD for me. I was told that the main difference is the power handling and if you are limited on power, the HT1 would be the way to go.
Thanks GeeReg. appreciate the clarification.

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