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Discussion Starter #1
Numbers aside, how do these compare against each other? I'm interested in quality, depth, SPL, punch.
Choosing which to go with. is never easy. :D:D However eliminating is much easier.

I think I'd be more interested in Reference vs Ultimax :).
So what's to gain and and what's to loose going with each?
 

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I prefer the reference line. To me they have better overall sound. Although i should point out that they need a no compromise box to hit potential over the full range needed.

If you need a small box and are only interested in below 40Hz the other two work pretty well.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Although i should point out that they need a no compromise box to hit potential over the full range needed.
I don't think I'll go ported. Sealed is easier to build.

So what minimum box sizes are we looking at for the Reference 15 HF, 15 HO & 18 HO?
I've seen numerous builds where a 18HO goes in a 4^3 box (comes to 20x20x20). Which is not that large considering its an 18 :).
 

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The 18" ultimax is a pretty sweet driver. I haven't heard much from the latest titanic series driver, and the only time I heard the MK3 I felt it was held back by the plate amp as the guy had the full 15" kit from P.E.

The reference series is nice, but the ultimax has more power down low. What size are you aiming for? If you're going to join the "18 and up club", I'd advise if possible waiting a few weeks as Ricci has one ready to go for testing (he just posted his parameter testing for the driver, http://www.data-bass.com/data?page=driver&id=58, and it's looking extremely promising.)

If you can't wait, and you're going 18", I'd go with the ultimax. 10mm more usable excursion gives for quite a bit more firepower down low.

When it comes to sealed boxes, a 4CF makes for a NICE ultimax build.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If you can't wait, and you're going 18", I'd go with the ultimax. 10mm more usable excursion gives for quite a bit more firepower down low.
Not much of a price difference between Ultimax and Reference 18. But a 10mm stroke difference! Wonder what's the compromise.
 

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18" Ultimax is out of stock until June...I just looked. I modeled the 18" HO reference in ported boxes from 9 to 20 CF. I wasn't very impressed, TBH. Cone excursion is exceeded by quite a few mm even at just the rated 900 watts. I'm sure for many folks it would be plenty in a HT setup, but as a driver in a LLT box, not so much. I'm no WinISD pro but the 18" Ultimax models a LOT better than the HO in a ported box.
 

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460ho is measured at data-bass.
usable excursion is around 20mm.
8-9 cubic feet ported tuned to about 17hz is probably the sweet spot for the driver.
i've heard nothing bad about the 460ho.
the um, some folks feel is missing something on the top end. that may just be sensitivity, freq resp, or both, but it may be something else. iirc josh has one in line for testing...
 

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I think the 460 HO has 20+mm xmax, not what is listed.
The HO has right at 20mm usable. The ultimax made no bad noises at 2" p2p and didn't start giving in and showing noticable distortion until 2.5" peak to peak.

http://www.data-bass.com/data?page=driver&id=48


This is a blurb for the HO
Running the driver in free air with sine waves indicates that it is capable of nearly twice as much stroke as the Xmax would indicate with a value of about 20 mm seeming like a good value for "useful" excursion after which the output distorts heavily. The coil contacts the backplate at just past 30 mm inward.
This covers the ultimax.

http://www.data-bass.com/data?page=driver&id=58

The driver function and mechanical noise was checked with a 20Hz sine wave in free air while breaking the suspension in a bit. The UM18 is rated at an xmax of 22mm one way which I believe is a coil/gap geometry mathematical figure with no correction applied. The driver operated smoothly with very little air or suspension noise up to around 1.5 to 2” peak to peak which is consistent with the xmax spec. In fact the driver was impressively quiet when driven to this amount of excursion with only a bit of air noise from the gap and pole vent. Pushing the driver a bit further to what was roughly 2.5” peak to peak caused a noticeable increase in distortion and noise. This seemed to coincide with the driver being pushed past its linear range of movement. I did not push the driver too much farther than this but it seems that the mechanical limitations on the incursion side of the stroke are at least 35mm or greater.
I personally love the driver, but if you can hold off a bit I honestly would wait for Josh's full testing to decide with hard numbers if it is the right driver for your application. If he's already posted his initial write up on the driver it shouldn't be long before we get his actual review.
 

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I have the UM 18 and love this driver. I am 90% music so SQ is important. The bass is great for music and movies. Get the UM kit when they are available since it is only a few dollars more than the Reference. I use this driver in seal and vented boxes since last August.
 

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My 1st DIY sub build was the Titanic MK4 with a 1,000 watt plate amp. The 1,000 watt plate amp is overkill. whenever I use Aud 32 to setup my sub it has me barely turn up the volume knob. Once it reaches about a 1/4 turn and hits a bass note it sounds bloated. I decided to turn the xo up and use more as a midbass type driver. I also built 2 15" Ulitmax sealed drivers powered by Crown XLS 1500 bridged. I am very pleased with there performance. As I stated, my MK4 volume is barely turned on for fear of "the bloating sound" so its barely used. If I had it to do over I would skip the MK4. And that kit was NOT cheap!
Im currently painting 2 18" S.I. ported boxes so I may lean toward the 18"s over the 15's. we'll see. :)
 

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I have the dayton 15" hf in a mini marty and I am very impressed with the sound quality and the fact that it requires very little power. I cannot speak for the ultimax or titanic drivers but I have not heard one person say much of anything bad about the reference line of drivers but you can read in quite a few places where people are slightly disappointed with the titanic or um drivers. May be sort of a apples and oranges thing but if I were to buy again I would go with an SI-18 or if I had a little extra money the 18" Dayton HO. (im not much for the looks of the um drivers either...not that it matters much but I take that into slight consideration.
 

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Just thought I'd add that I have a lot of respect for the Dayton Reference series of drivers. I've heard a few different bookshelf and MTM type cabs built with them and they were awesome.
I do need to model the 460HO with the 20mm XMax spec and put it up against an Ultimax in the same size box. Looking to start building my LLT subs (two of them) soon as I will need the subs built and ready to go by July/Aug timeframe.
 

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When you do the modeling, make sure you compare it to the results josh got from the ultimax as well. It's about a 10mm excursion difference. That isn't small.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
460ho is measured at data-bass.
usable excursion is around 20mm.
8-9 cubic feet ported tuned to about 17hz is probably the sweet spot for the driver..
What's the recommended size for Reference HF 15 & Reference HO 15?
More importantly, what's the difference between HF15 & HO15?
 

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the 15hf uses less windings in order to reduce inductance.
that in turn reduces motor strength and power handling, but may give a more extended top end response.
it also means a fairly large cab and isn't really a good match for a ported cab (simply because of the size required). not used much around here.
the 15ho works well for movies and music. it doesn't move a whole ton of air, so if only using one, I'd probably suggest a cab tuned to around 19-20hz and an enclosure volume of around 5 cubic feet or so. usable excursion on that one is a little higher than the spec, but not as high as the 18ho.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
the 15hf uses less windings in order to reduce inductance.
that in turn reduces motor strength and power handling, but may give a more extended top end response.
What is an extended top end response? Beyond 100Hz?


the 15ho works well for movies and music. it doesn't move a whole ton of air, so if only using one,
I will be driving with XLS1500. [525W per ch @4ohm and 1550W bridged @4ohm ]
Not sure of my config for now. 18" is quite expensive for me to ship. So my thinking is,
1. If I go 18, then one sub is all I can, for now. Maybe upgrade later (Maybe is not an yes :)). Plus, if I do upgrade later, I might need to get another amp. Can the1500 drive 2 18's rated at 900W RMS? New amp is gonna push my costs up again. Secondly power consumption is quite high with these monsters.
2. If I go 15 HF, then I can go two subs, each sub is rated 500W RMS - 4ohm. With 2 of 15HO, not sure if 2 will work with one XLS1500, which is rated 800W RMS - 4ohm. Also, unsure what the output is gonna be like.


I'd probably suggest a cab tuned to around 19-20hz and an enclosure volume of around 5 cubic feet or so. usable excursion on that one is a little higher than the spec, but not as high as the 18ho.
I'm not too interested in ported.
So How do I tune a sealed box to a given frequency?
 
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