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post #31 of 56 Old 04-28-09, 12:34 PM
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Re: Another subwoofer GTG, Southern Style

Here's my listening impressions...

Note. We didn't use EQ on anything, no boosting up the bottom of the sealed subs, only HPF's for the subs that needed them. No time for that level of detail. I'm sure the pro sealed guys will be all over this later. I'm going to list the price, the external size of the sub, what HPF was used if any and a quick description of each design. I'll estimate if I don't know something for sure.

One thing of interest is that we had 2 CM140's there and 2 RS meters, plus Ivan's real deal pro meter. One of the CM140's (Robert's) was close to Ivan's meter only about 1 db off, but mine was about 4db lower than Roberts consistently. The discrepencies between the CM140 and Ivan's mic grew larger as the freq's got lower, because his mic is obviously flatter down low and reads closer to the truth. for example one sub that had some of the lowest bass response and output of the day registered only 113.2 db on my CM140, but on Ivan's mic it was 121.7db I think that roberts was around 117db peak.

I'm going from my notes and memory here.

Bic H100
$250, 12" vented. Extension is listed as 25hz. 15"x 17"x 18.25" or 2.7 cu ft external.

We started the day off with this guy and I was impressed actually. It sounded good if a wee bit boomy and had more output than I expected. It didnt seem to have a whole lot below 30hz, but it didn't kill itself trying it either. We ran it pretty hard and when we hit Bass I love You it was too much for it and we dropped the level down. It was fine from there until we switched to movies and the THX trailer overloaded it again. We were just asking too much from it in that big room and since it was the first sub of the day we didn't have a real grasp on the levels yet. It overloaded fairly gracefully really. I think it's amp limited. For $250 this thing is a real winner. It looks good, sounds decent and will get pretty loud.

Outlaw LFM-1 Compact
$399, vented 10", extension listed as 25hz, 13"x 16.75" x 19" or 2.4 cu ft external.

This was the smallest sub there and it had the smallest driver too. It was the best looking, had solid fit n finish and won the WAF award easily. Compared to the BIC H100 it sounded a cleaner and more refined to me, with a bit more extension at moderate levels, but gave up some max output. Sounded nice and integrated with the mains well. Again when Bass I Love You came on (track 5) it was too much and we had to back of the level on the sub quite a bit. It was fine with the regular music tracks that are mostly above 40hz at the level we had it, but the lows at that level were asking too much from the smallest sub there. Again once the THX trailer came on we had to lower the volume further still, as there was some driver flutter and distortion. This sub is for a more reasonable sized room and levels.


ED A7S450
$860, sealed 18", extension listed as 22hz, 22.25x22.25x22.25 or 6.4cu ft external.

This was a major jump up in power and useable extension from the first 2 subs. It had a lot more upper end extension than the first subs as well. seemed a bit uncontrolled at times or muddy. We were running it fairly hard though. It seemed like there was a HPF somewhere below 16hz judging from Bass I love You, which once again caused nasty sounds and a reduction in the volume level on the sub. Probably heavy amp clipping. After we reduced the level it did ok with the rest of the music. I thought that the Outlaw had a better sound to it on music. The THX trailer started up the movies and the ED did better here and was the first sub to start to get some tactile feel to it.It's a lot of output for the price.


Shiva X
$500 (estimate including cab and amp), 12" vented, 22hz tune measured, 22" x 24"x 28" or 8.5ft external (estimate), 20hz 24db octave butterworth HPF used.

This was the first DIY of the day and it didn't disappoint. I thought that it sounded much better and smoother than the other subs so far. Just sounded clean on the music tracks. I liked it a lot. Better than the A7S 450 but maybe not as powerful. This was the first sub to not kill itself on Bass I Love You and the driver had a clean sound even though there was a healthy amount of excursion. We thought that we were finally getting close on the levels. Then the THX trailer comes on and WHAM! Stick with around 600-700w on this cab because it did not like what the 8002 dumped into it on that one. I had to dive to hit the power button on the 8002. This is with a 24db octave 20hz HPF too. We stretched the suspension on it all the way for sure. We take an intermission and adjust the level out into the amp. Turn it back on and the driver is all good. Whew... It handled the rest of the movies flawlessly with a more realistic volume setting from there and the near 20hz tune gave it some real extension. The Shiva is a very nice 12" from what I heard.

Dual TC Sounds Epic 12's
$600 (estimate including an amp), dual 12's sealed, 14x16x30 or 3.9ft external(estimate)

Having had a near death experience with the Shiva X (among others) we decided to start 'sanity checking" our levels using the THX trailer prior to running through the tracks. At about this point is where I realized that we were actually asking for near reference level or more from the subs when it cam time for the movies. How many HT enthusiasts does it take to screw in a light bulb? Anyway I thought that the Epic 12's were notably extended in the upper bass and this combined with the sharp roll off made them sound almost bright by comparison to everything else we had heard so far. They had a ton of output up high but not much below 35hz. They really needed some EQ on the lows to bring them up. I didn't think that they sounded too bad with the music tracks, they just rolled off a lot of the lows. Robert thought that they sounded terrible. they did track the upper bass notes well, but i did detect some box panel vibration or something. They were the first subs to make it through all of the tracks without a hitch. we ran them at 2ohms off of one side of an 8002 (2000w) and they ate up the power well. I'd really like to see these up against the Shiva X in a box similar to Mike's. I think they were handicapped a lot here. We ran these with no HPF though.

ED 190v2
$650 (estimate including amp and cab) vented 18", tuned to 15hz, 24x24x50 or 16.7 cu ft external (estimate), 15hz 2nd order butterworth HPF (Rane PE 17)

This was the first sub with real power and extension of the day. I hadn't really gotten a sense of anything below 20hz yet until this sub. It seemed to have some resonance issues in the box or port on the music tracks in the upper bass. A bit of one noteness in there. Having already heard a sealed one earlier I know that it's not the driver. The vented cab did add a lot on the movies over the sealed one though. there was way more low end power. At one point during Bass I Love You on the 16hz note, which is right at tune, we thought that the 8" port was chuffing and compressing badly. It turned out to be the closet door banging away. We pushed it hard too. Probably a bit too hard at times on the movie tracks. We had to turn it down a bit on the THX trailer. We were way over xmax a few times, but it held together well and we reduced the volume a bit. I don't think Brandon has ever pushed his sub like that before. It think that a new better constructed box is in order and will really make it shine.


LMS 18
$1900 (driver, beefy amp, box, hardware, cords, EQ, etc) sealed 18", 21.5 x 21.5 x 21.5", or about 6.2 cu ft external.

I won't say too much here because it's mine. No HPF was used. I pushed it up to where it was driven very hard on the THX trailer, but was still ok and then let it rip with the 8002 bridged. It ran through everything with no further adjustment needed. It was dimpling the surround a bit on Bass I Love You (16hz). Uneventful other than that. I thought it had the best pure sound of all of the subs.

XXX 18
$1900 (driver, beefy amp, box, hardware, cords, EQ, etc) sealed 18", 24.5x 24.5x 36" or about 12.5cu ft external

This one was mine as well so I won't post much. Similar to the LMS, I used the THX trailer and set it to where it was ok with that but being pushed very hard. No HPF, bridged 8002. On Bass I Love You, the excursion got out to the "outer limits" (16hz, 7hz) it ran through everything else easily. The most sub 25hz bass of the day up till then IMO. Sounded similar to the LMS (very good) on the music with a tad less punch and extension up top (music) but more reach and headroom down low (HT). Probably the highest output levels of the day up to that point.

Worx TL118SS
$3000??, vented 18", 24hz rated extension, 22.5x28x30 or 10.7 cu ft external. 25hz 24db octave Butterworth HPF used.

Ivan and myself decided on a 25hz filter due to the shape of the response curve, the cab tuning and the fact that we were really pushing all of the subs hard with the lows. We used 1 channel of Robert's IT8000 for power. I thought this sub sounded quite good on the music tracks similar to the LMS just a bit less defined. Very good though with huge punch on the kick drums and excellent note tracking. Awesome. The Primus and Mudvayne tracks were excellent. On Bass I Love You the lowest tones were subdued or missing altogether due to the HPF but it was very clean and powerful on the 30hz and 25hz tones. The highest levels yet, higher than the LMS or XXX by a noticeable amount on the music tracks. (At this point the mains were fairly well left in the dust, we were getting close to a concert mix at this point. More kick baby!) On movies the Worx plowed through everything and sounded good and controlled doing it. The sub lows were obviously missing but I don't know if I would've noticed without having just had them there. We may have had a db or 2 left in this baby but we did push it hard, so it wasn't much. It was built rugged and professional as it should be. Thumbs up.


DSL CS30
$1650 (I think) single 12" quasi vented bandpass deal (ask Tom D.), rated to 27hz extension, 15x22.5x24 or about 4.7 cu ft external. 30hz 12db octave Butterworth HPF (I think. Ask Ivan)

I really was impressed with this little guy. It was the 3rd smallest sub in the group and was just a bit bigger than the H100, but the output was in a totally different league. It was very solid down to 30hz and would really punch for it's size. It also had a very smooth, clean sound that was undistorted. It was especially nice on kick drums. It did not sound boxey or one notey. The very upper end of the bass seemed to be rolled off a tad, which is not surprising from the design description. On movies it aquitted itself very well, but was of course missing the stuff below 25hz. It had a lot of punch on the Pearl harbor 50cal scene. We skipped a few scenes because it was getting late in the day and with the 30hz HPF some of the movie scenes were kind of moot anyway. The only time we saw a clip light all night was with the CS30 on music running on one channel of the 8002. we did push it hard enough to hear a bit of driver complaining noises during the Jericho missile launch. I think this scene has a lot of 25-30hz content. Of note is the fact that the night before we had a slight mishap with the CS30, some pink noise and the PL9.0. Luckily we did not blow the driver. It must be one tuff little sucker. You could do a small size bar/club with a pair of these. Keep in mind how small this thing is for the output we are talking about and add in the fact that it's really good sounding too and it's a nice piece.

DSL THspud
$2250 (I think), dual 8" TH design, rated to 17hz, 11x45x48 or 13.75 cu ft external. Quasi 18hz HPF used consisting of 20hz 12db Butterworth plus a small EQ bump at 20hz.

I had really been waiting to hear this one. We put it flat against the wall and firing into the room. On the music tracks I was a bit disappointed. There seemed to be some resonance or other issues in the very top of the bass range that were making some notes stand out more than others. It did have a lot of output and handled 16hz note in Bass I Love You with some power. It did better with movies IMO. The extension was solid to around 16hz with real strength so it was strong through all of the movie scenes. I did detect a bit of overload on a few scenes, but like every other sub there we were really pushing the bass out. I got up and along with Vili we listened to a couple of tracks right up next to it the way it was designed to be used. It was much smoother sounding and powerful that close to it, which is no surprise. I can see where a pair under your couch firing up at the back of your head would be pretty stupid levels of output down to 15hz or so and also a nice tactile sensation as well. I think it could've benefitted from a lower 60 or 70hz x over point to clean up the top end a little and give it that deeper sound. It was a very solidly built and rugged professional quality cabinet as were the other Danley's. You could probably drop it down a flight of steps with out damaging it significantly.

DSL TH50
$3150 (I think), single 15" TH, 18hz extension rated, 25x34x45 or 22.15 cu ft external. 20hz 12db octave Butterworth HPF ( I think. Ask Ivan)

This is the one I wanted to hear most. It was run off of one channel on the PL9.0. This was the last one up and there was a lot of anticipation and expectations about it. It didn't disappoint. We ran through the movie tracks first since we were already on that disc. In short it was in a different league from everything else even the Worx sub in output and power from at least 18hz up. It pressurized the room and in a way and with an ease that nothing else did. It was concussive and tactile. You could feel the pressure on your face and your clothing in a way that I had not felt all day. It was clean and deep sounding too. I don't know how close it was to it's limits but it purely overpowered the deep bass void that was in the middle of the room where I had been sitting all day. Brute force. On music it was much better than the THspud IMO and closer to the CS30's. Not as good as the LMS but not bad at all. Huge punch and chest slam. I did detect a bit of some sort of resonance or overemphasis on some notes in the top of the bass range. Ivan switched to a slightly lower 80hz, I think, x over and it immediately sounded better. Just clean and deep at that point. Seems to sound better crossed lower. Once we got to Bass I Love You it was so loud that it knocked over some items on the desk near the computer and we decided to call it a day there. I think we registered 128.7db peak with it. When you consider that it's in the same price range as a Fathom F113, it looks like a bargain to me. It's huge of course and won't win any WAF contests but it'd be worth it for HT. This is the first time I've actually heard Danley products and this is the one that made me think Ok... Now I get what all of the fuss is about. Whatever they are doing in that cabinet is impressive. If you put that 15" driver in a sealed cab it would've got owned by the LMS. It wouldn't come close to doing what it does in that TH enclosure if it was a standard ported cab either. It was insane for 1 15" even if it is a big hefty 15.
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post #32 of 56 Old 04-28-09, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Another subwoofer GTG, Southern Style

Thanks again ricci for the great notes and reviews. I will post a link to the pics when I get home today for everyone to see.

Also ricci, the demo DVD got in the mail today. Be looking for it. Let me know how that xxx in your huge enlosure does with the THX track.
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post #33 of 56 Old 04-28-09, 12:45 PM
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Re: Another subwoofer GTG, Southern Style

Here's the quick measurements I took. I used an ECM8000 calibrated by CrossSpectrum Labs 8hz-20khz, a Turtle Beach SRM sound card and a Xenyx 1202 mixer both with cal files applied. I placed the mic on the floor 3' from the front of the driver, or opening, baffle, whatever, on the sub depending on the design. The actual mic position on the floor changed somewhat due to various cabinet sizes and orientations. Overall there was still a lot of similarity in the measurements: Not much low end gain, a peak around 72hz and another around 48hz. These changed a bit when the mic was placed in a different position on the floor but not much. Again you can tell that the room dominates the response even this close to the subs. Ivan's measurements were much different from mine, but still showed a lot of similarity if you know where to look. Sweeps were with REW, 1M, 22 sec long, 0-200hz. The subs had varying impedences, 2 ohms to 8ohms nominal, commercial subs, and amplifier configrations used, so it's hard to compare anything other than the general FR curve. None of them had HPF's, LPF's, or EQ engaged unless it was built into the 3 commercial subs. These graphs have nothing to do with output levels used during listening, or headroom available and can't really be compared to anything else.


BIC H100



Outlaw LFM1 Compact



Ed A7S450



Shiva X ported



To help illustrate the tuning of the Shiva X enclosure (22hz)and the effect that the room has on the response here below is a combined response showing a close mic of the Shiva driver, the port and also the room response below them. I've adjusted the levels a bit to fit them on the graph together.


Shiva X combined response



Dual TC Sounds Epic 12's sealed



ED 190v2 ported



Here below is a combined response graph showing the close mic response of the driver and the port and at the bottom the combined response at 3'. I had to adjust the scale on the graph and the relative levels a bit to get everything to fit on the graph. The tuning is about 15.5hz. As you can see there is a major port resonance above 100hz.


ED 190v2 ported combined response



LMS 18 sealed



XXX 18 sealed



Worx TL118SS



Danley Sound Labs CS30



Danley Sound Labs THspud



Danley Sound Labs TH50
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post #34 of 56 Old 04-28-09, 12:49 PM
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Re: Another subwoofer GTG, Southern Style

Posted by Ivan Beaver of Danley Sound Labs.


"For those playing along at home, here is a run down of the setup used and some of the test procedures.

In the case of the powered loudspeakers, no particular input voltage was used, just a general level to get in the ball park-level wise. And no attempt was made to match levels. So any difference in the level of the powered loudspeakers was simply due to where the level control was set.

In the case of the nonpowered loudspeakers, almost all of them were run off of one half of a Crest 8002 amp. The exception would be Ricci’s speakers which were wired to be bridged and they were run off a Crest 8002 mono Bridged.

The only times an amp was changed was with the Worx and the Danley TH50 subs. A Crown I Tech 8000 was shipped in to be used with the Worx loudspeaker. So after the measurements were done, the amp was swapped out to provide the drive for that cabinet for the duration of the listening.

On the Danley TH50, the measurements were done on the same Crest 8002, but then it was moved to a larger amp, a QSC PL9. It tuned out that we didn’t need the extra power at all-as the amp was barely tickling the -20dB LED’s.

This resulted in a 6dB gain (because of double the input voltage) being applied to them during the testing phase. So when looking at the sensitivities of the different loudspeakers, those graphs would be actually 6 dB down in level. Those are noted in the names on the graph.

We also made no attempt to account for impedance/ wattage on the input levels. They all received the same input voltage. So the drivers that were of a lower impedance would be “getting” more power. Since the impedance of loudspeakers is NOT a constant (and varies with freq), I feel this is a fine way to test. It is important however to understand what the input actually was and what was done.

The basic procedure that we used was as follows. I did my tests and then Ricci did his. We approached them very differently and the results are sometimes VERY different. It is not a matter of one being “right” or “better” than the other, just different approaches and positions in the room.

I am sure Ricci will tell of his setup, but mine was a matched Earthworks M30 mic placed in a “ground plane” measurement-but actually located in the middle of the largest wall in the room, which was right behind the couch, where most of the people sat during the day. I could not get to a corner easily. My measurement software of the day was EASRA SYSTUNE.

The idea being to attempt to remove one of the room modes. And to try and get a more consistent measurement.

Ricci used the 1Meter (OK actually 3’-we used a yardstick), method. He placed the mic 3’ from the front of the loudspeaker-also in a ground plane position. This actual physical position (in the room) moved throughout the day, due to the different depths of the various cabinets being used, but the distance from the loudspeaker remained constant. You will see different room modes affecting the response in his measurements.

We did do a close up measurement of the Shiva and it was almost textbook perfect-with no room interactions-but this was measured right up against the cone and right at the exit of the port.

So anyway-after we measured (which probably took about 1 minute total) we put in the THX intro track. It was the most brutal track used and we ran each loudspeaker up to what we felt would be safe. This was very unscientific and was solely based on our judgments. The particular point of level adjust was made on the input to a mixer/splitter that Ricci provided. This kept the measurement levels unaffected by the change.

Remember this was intended to be a LISTENING event-so not a lot (almost none) of time was spent trying to “dial” in each sub-as we would not have time for that, and most people in attendance would have gotten bored quickly. I am sure we will get lots of “flack” for that-but those who want to throw up the flack can have their own event and see what other “issues” come up because of that. HA-HA We wanted to listen to a good bit of music and watch movie clips and go through a good number of loudspeakers-so some things just can’t be done in the time allowed.

The level of the mains and surrounds did not change at all during the day. We also used the internal 100Hz low pass (that was as low as it would go) inside his receiver. High passes were varied a bit during the day-as will be noted later.

We then proceeded to listen to a variety of music clips and styles, with one brutal track with lots of 16 Hz notes in it-Bass I love you.

Then it was on to the movies.

We used the same music and video tracks for all loudspeakers, so it was easier to compare one to the other.

The methods used for setting the highpass filters were as follows. On the powered subs-no filters were used. It was assumed that they had an appropriate HP inside the box. On Ricci’s sealed boxes we used a Rane unit that was set around 15Hz-Ricci correct me on that one. (We used no filter at all on the sealed cabs, the Rane was only used for Brandon's big ported cab, 15hz/Ricci)

On all of the other boxes (except the Danleys), Ricci’s Behringer DCX2496 processor was used to set the highpass filters. Ricci and I looked the measured responses of the unprocessed boxes and made a determination based on that. I used a 24dB Butterworth filter to keep the “garbage” out of the drivers. Due to the design, I was unable to set a highpass lower than 20Hz..


On the Danleys, the Danley DSP was used as I had already programmed the highpass filters in it for the different boxes-I just used different outputs. There was no eq used for the Danleys except for a little “trick” that I played to extend the highpass filter a little lower than the 20hz limit for the THSPUD. I put a 3dB (BW.3) bump at 20Hz to give a flat response to19Hz, because the filter would normally start rolling off above 20hz, and this would flatten it out to a lower freq.

The only time a low pass filter was introduced was with the TH50. I knew the mains would not be able to keep up and I did not want the extra level we would be sending to the TH50 to “muddy up” the upper bass range. I think I lowpassed it at 80Hz.

The max levels that were recorded were by various SPL meters brought by others and placed in the middle of the room-on the floor. I would say on an average the distance was 6-10; away from the loudspeaker, but the actual distance would be varying-due to the different depths of the various cabinets. There was a bit of discrepancy between them-as much as 4-5dB. But as long as the same one was being read (I didn’t do this), the comparative results should be the same.

The peak reading of the day was 128.7dB unweighted peak, by my Audio Toolbox which was sitting in front of the screen on top of Ricci’s rack. Maybe 6’ or so off the side of the subs. This was with the TH50 and it could have done a good bit more, but I don’t think the room could have taken it, without physical damage.

Brandon stopped the listening test when the 16Hz music track started knocking stuff around."




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post #35 of 56 Old 04-28-09, 01:01 PM
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Re: Another subwoofer GTG, Southern Style

Quote:
brandonnash wrote: View Post
Thanks again ricci for the great notes and reviews. I will post a link to the pics when I get home today for everyone to see.

Also ricci, the demo DVD got in the mail today. Be looking for it. Let me know how that xxx in your huge enlosure does with the THX track.
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No problem. Post up your own review if you would... and a link to Kip's pics, or I can post some. I will let you know how that THX trailer goes on the ported sub. Should be good. It's so rough because it's harmonically spaced tones if you look at the waterfall. 18-36-54-72-90hz. Tough. Give me awhile on the video, because it's like 8hrs solid and I have to go through it all to find some good parts to cut out.
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post #36 of 56 Old 04-29-09, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Another subwoofer GTG, Southern Style

Here's the pics of the meet. Kip did a great job on the pics. Tons of pics.
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post #37 of 56 Old 04-30-09, 02:15 PM
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Re: Another subwoofer GTG, Southern Style

Excellent review write up and great pics...

Sounds like you guys had a LOT of fun!
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post #38 of 56 Old 05-01-09, 10:19 PM
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Re: Another subwoofer GTG, Southern Style

Thats one serious pile of equipment you guys had in that room!

Ricci. I am fascinated by your comments on the TH50. Looking at Ivan's measurements it starts to roll off at 30Hz, yet, by your description, has the most impact of any of the subs tested.

Is low end extension less important than many make it out to be?
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post #39 of 56 Old 05-01-09, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Another subwoofer GTG, Southern Style

Ivan made a very good point with this sub as an example. You can say "my sub can do 10 hz" but at what spl? Even though the TH50 started rolling off early, it was still able to shake the room with a louder 16 hz tone that the rest of the subs there. My sub got the lowest extension out of the lot on a measurement, but after hearing some of the other subs there I can tell you I want another sub in my room, even though my sub can get low.

The TH50 took me back to my previous car audio days. Imagine 130 dB in a booming car. That's roughly 100-150 cubic feet. Imagine that same level in a 4000+ cubic foot room. That's what the TH50 was doing, and with little wattage I might add. The rated 3000 watt amp we had on it was only lighting up the -20 dB light on the meter of the amp. That equals out to between 30 watts on the low end and max 300 on the high end. It still had a good bit of room to work with.
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post #40 of 56 Old 05-01-09, 11:39 PM
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Re: Another subwoofer GTG, Southern Style

The TH50 was very solid down to about 20hz with very high headroom and output levels available. I thought that the XXX and Brandon's sub had the most <20hz output easily, but the output from the TH50 above 25hz is in a different class. It is also using the biggest enclosure. I could still tell there was some stuff missing with the subs that were Hp'd.

BTW I got the demo disc Brandon.
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