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Discussion Starter #1
Well I guess I got conned into having a subwoofer shootout with a number of local guys

Date is set for Sat. Feb 28th......

See this post for info CLICKY I'll start draggin info over here for us DIYers, when I have a bit more time.... Thought I would let you guys in on the fun... I'll be editing this post with add ons if there are any.

Gear I have in house...
3 - Mal-Xs 6^3 Sealed
2 -TC2000 3.5^3 Sealed
1 -TC3000
JL Audio F112
1 EP2500
2 - QSC 2502's
2 - SMS-1's

Paradigm Signature S4's
D-Sonic 2000-5 IcePower amp (500wpc)


Gear Being Brought

SVS Ultra -13 TJHUB (AVS Member - local)

Rythmik 15 - merrymaid520 (AVS Member - local)

Ricci - XXX-18" & LMS 18, SDX 15, PL 9.0, CE4000 (AVS Member - Louisville KY)

24" cube with an A15H and pair of 18" PR's - John Janowitz (AESpeakers) Green Bay, WI
Dual 18" vented subs with TD18H+ woofers, pair of the Lab Gruppen PLM 10000Q'- John Hanitz (Elite Audio) Eau Claire, WI ?

Peter - ED 190v.2 sealed or a pair if he so chooses - Chicagoland

New Addition - Yet to be announced...
 

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I now have with me a CCS SDX 15" sub and a TC 3K 15" sub. I've been talking to simon5 at AV because I'm interested in getting one of the AV15H/X 15" subs due to their great mid-bass punch and SQ which would help with my small speakers (better integration with the speakers and could due a higher crossover, anywhere from 80hz to 120/160hz). The power I have is more matched to the AV15 sub, a ED LT1300 plate amp than the TC 3k sub I'm now using, the amp does a great job but it can't push the TC sub to its full potential. This sub's upperbass should be close the the Maelstrom sub, but I will wait until you guys finish the reviews before I make my decision, can't wait! If I do get the AV15 sub, the SDX and TC 3K subs will go up for sale.
 

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It happened. It was a good time and informative. I showed up late due to running behind and driving a few counties the wrong way (long story). There were probably 20 people there at the peak and over 10 different subwoofers. It pretty much was an informal affair, with plenty of food, beers, good conversation and hospitality courtesy of the host. WarpDrv. It wasn't a competition to declare a winner, or loser and we didn't do a bunch of objective testing or scientific work on the subs. We just didn't have the resources for all of that with the amount of people and equipment on hand, in addition to a limited amount of time. Basically we roughly level matched all of the subs and just did subjective listening while having a good time meeting fellow bass heads.

The subs were placed where ever we could find room for them. Moving all of them in and out of the same position would have been a nightmare. We used 2 EP2500's, 2 PLX2502's and my CE4000 for the DIY subs. Eventually we just used the CE4000 bridged since it had the most power and switched the speakon back and forth. We also did not use any LT's or EQ on the subs so there responses were just a raw in room response.The mains were Paradigm S4's driven by a D-Sonic 2000-5 IcePower amp (500wpc). We ended up switching out the preamp twice. We had a Parasound at first that someone had brought, then we tried a Denon, but we didn't have a remote for it so we couldn't adjust the channel levels. Then Warpdrv brought down a different reciever for the rest of the night (I forget what it was:duh:). We didn't use any movie's for material, but we did use everything from Jurassic Lunch, to a Perfect Circle, to David Gilmore, to Bass I love you. It wasn't an SPL competition. We were more concerned with the differences in SQ at moderate volume levels. We did however end up pushing some of the subs quite hard as the day progressed.

What we ended up with on hand was the following. Everything was sealed except for the ported Rhythmik 15 and John J.'s AV15X PR sub...

JL F112
Mal-X 18 in 6ft sealed
TC 3000 15 in 3.5ft sealed
TC2000 15 in 3.5ft sealed
ED 190v2 18 in 4.5ft sealed
Rhythmik 15 sealed
Rhythmik ported 15 prototype
LMS 18 in 6ft sealed
XXX 18 in 6ft sealed
AV15X in 6ft(or thereabouts) with 2 18" PR's tuned to 19hz.
I took one of my SDX15's but we didn't even get to it!

A few of the guys who may not have been experienced with the DIY side of things got a crash course. Warpdrv's basement workshop area was full of raw drivers, cabinets and there was a big stack of pro amplifiers. We had to finish up putting together the LMS 18 and dropping it in one of his cabs, plus we drilled out the mounting holes in the frame a little bit to accommodate a bigger screw. John J. from AE mounted up his driver and PR's and wired everything up. we also had to run to the store for some hardware and gasket foam so that we could mount the XXX in it's box that Warpdrv graciously built for me.

There were a few dramatic moments and some injuries throughout the day. I smashed my right middle finger tip dropping in the LMS (purple), Warpdrv jabbed himself in the ocular cavity with a speaker wire (OUCH!), another guy named Peter smashed a few digits mounting the XXX and then he also dropped his end of the XXX cab when we were carrying it into the listening room putting a 3ft gouge deep into the door to the room and narrowly missing breaking my foot. I took a friend with me, Chris who has a lot of footage from the GTG including a lot of what I just mentioned.
 

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This is my impressions of what I heard at the GTG.

Remember that this is without EQ, or signal shaping and with the subs in different positions around the front of the room, so YMMV and take all of this for what it is and all of that.


F112. I liked it. I really don't have much to add to the thousands of descriptions already out there. It was by far the tiniest and best looking sub and it sounded good from the limited time that I heard it. The build quality is excellent. It obviously was not the output champion, but it was impressive for it's size. I wish I could've heard it more.

Rhythmik's.
I didn't get to spend much time listening to these unfortunately as the sealed one was only there part of the day and I was late. I thought the sealed sounded better from what little bit I did hear, which seems to be the consensus. Could've been room placement or the set-up though. They both did appear to have a nice upper end of their range through the x-over region. The sealed Rhythmik was finished very nicely. Hopefully someone has a pic. It was second only to the JL on fit n finish.

ED190v2 18
I didn't listen to this one much either. What I did hear of it left me with the impression that it was a good budget driver, it rolled off the upper bass around x-over a bit, it would get loud with music, but will not shake the room with lows like the other 18's would. Gives up the ghost earlier. It's not on the level of a Mal-X and definitely not an LMS. But the entry price is much lower as well.

LMS 18
It's mine, so I know what it does and I'll let other people comment. I thought that it was right there with the best SQ of the bunch.

TC2K 15
Maybe it was the placement but this did seem to have a perceptible amount of softness in the x-over region compared to some of the others. It was clean though. Both Warpdrv and myself prefer the TC2K over the 3K. Not a bad driver.

TC3K 15
This driver had the most obvious difference in the punchy upper bass 70-100hz. It was noticeably softer than the AV15 PR set-up, or the MAL-X which was right below it. It also seemed to be pretty innefficient. It was still clean sounding but obviously darker toned and less snappy than the TC2K which was stacked on top of it. I would say that it had the most low grunt out of the 2 though and probably the most out of the 15" drivers.

AV15X PR'd
I thought this thing sounded great. From what I heard I'd put it right up there near the top of the heap SQ wise. It was punchy and clean sounding to me. John had a track with a clean un processed sounding bass guitar recording and it had a very fast run of low notes on it that really accentuated the note tracking ability of this sub. The TC3K and TC2K sounded less crisp and defined on that track. Of note here is the fact that John's sub was set-up on the wall by the entrance of the room , which had a hallway, a couple of doors and along with the XXX was the only sub to be set-up there. It also seemed to be pretty efficient and would jam when called upon. At one point we were in the garage talking and someone was cranking on it a bit and you could feel the concrete floor vibrating. Everyone thought it was the LMS. It was one of only 2 resonant alignments in attendance.

Mal-X 18
I thought it sounded good and aquited itself well. It seemed reasonably efficient and had a nice sound to it through the x-over area. Compared to the TC3K and TC2K stacked immediately on top of it, it sounded clearly superior to me. Much clearer than the ED190v2 as well I thought. I really wanted to spend a significant amount of time comparing it to the LMS and XXX, but we just ran out of time. Mainly it just seems to give up a bit of ruggedness and some useable output to those two. It is also significantly cheaper though. Warpdrv can probably expand here. We had a good conversation on these. I know that he knows what the Mal-X can do, as do I for my drivers and I trust his opinion and thoughts on it.

XXX 18
We didn't get this ready to go until late in the day and many people had already cleared out. It performed as I expected. Let me add that I was worried how it would sound in a box that small and those worries have been laid to rest for me. I'll be running mine in a 24" cube in the future. At the point that we got this running it was later in the day and the volume level had steadily crept up all day, as people wanted to see what things would do. It was subjected to a harder beating than any of the other drivers and it didn't dissappoint. We did clip the Crown REALLY hard into it with a 7hz note that Warpdrv's son had on some crazy bass track. I think that we got the full 108mm p2p plus some suspension stretch on that one. No damage. I had to actually say "hey why don't we switch over to some more SQ oriented tracks and lower the volume so we can listen to the x-over area" at one point. I think it surprised a few people when we did.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ricci - Thanks for taking the time to post your impressions at the GTG...

It was a good time had by all, it would have been better if we had more time, too many subs, tons of people, and not enough time.

Ricci's analysis pretty much sums up my thoughts about all of the drivers.
It was a good group of products that was gathered together.
 

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I would've like to have seen what those drivers would have done with a LLT also. Maybe next time. I would just think making a trek like that with something that size would be very difficult. I know my 4 foot long box would've cleared the back two rows of seats in my wife's minivan. Thinking about it, if I ever go to one of these gtg, I will probably do that. She'll just have to be upset afterwards.

OH, Ricci, any word on the video?
 

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No LLT? Pfhhh, what a waste :sarcastic:
I think that we're entitled to a little break here. :sarcastic:

This GTG had nothing to do with different enclosure alignments at all. I think I'm the only person who was there, who does have something like that and I for sure didn't want to rent a trailor to try to take it there:no:. I've already done my experiments and formulated my opinions on that whole this vs that deal anyway. It was more about what different drivers had to offer relative to each other and DIY compared to some good commercial subs. It's easy for people who were in attendance to extrapolate from the way the different drivers performed, how they would be in a big ported enclosure (well maybe for me anyway).

Perhaps you can load up one of yours and drive up with it next time?
 

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Ricci, I just wanted to get your opinion regarding the CCS SDX sub vs the AV15X sub, specially their SQ. Even though the SDX sub was not heard at the sub shootout, you said you have one. I also have a SDX and TC 3K 15" subs. The SDX to me was a good all around sub for both low/upper bass with good (not great) SQ. The TC 3K sub (currently using) is better with the lower bass (60hz and below), but is lacking with the mid-upper bass (60hz-120hz). I plan to get one of the AV15 subs (probably the
AV15H) for my home use, 50% music/50% movies, to replace both of my current subs. From what I've heard so far, it's a great driver, specially the mid-upper bass (SQ) which I value more than the lower bass. My subs enclousure 3.75cf sealed with 1,300 watts for power. With the enclousure and power I now have I'm leaning to get the AV15H instead of the AV15X driver. I also have the ED EQ2 to equalize the sub. Having speakers on the small side, I plan to use a crossover in the 80hz-120hz range. Having heard all these subs, your opinion is appreciated.
 

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I think that we're entitled to a little break here. :sarcastic:

This GTG had nothing to do with different enclosure alignments at all. I think I'm the only person who was there, who does have something like that and I for sure didn't want to rent a trailor to try to take it there:no:. I've already done my experiments and formulated my opinions on that whole this vs that deal anyway. It was more about what different drivers had to offer relative to each other and DIY compared to some good commercial subs. It's easy for people who were in attendance to extrapolate from the way the different drivers performed, how they would be in a big ported enclosure (well maybe for me anyway).

Perhaps you can load up one of yours and drive up with it next time?
I completely understand about it being mainly about the drivers only, but this is kind of like putting a indy car on a drag strip. Could it drive it? yes, and probably pretty well, but would it run at it's max potential? probably not. I know you'd have to get into eq'ing the subs to get the most out of them, but you have to think that, while not convenient, the larger ported would've let at least a lot of these subs stretch their legs a bit more. I think if you would've had this thing in a warehouse with small amps it still would've been a cool thing to do.

If I can work it out I will try to bring my enclosure to the next gtg. Speaking of, Sending you PM Ricci.
 

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Ricci, I just wanted to get your opinion regarding the CCS SDX sub vs the AV15X sub, specially their SQ. Even though the SDX sub was not heard at the sub shootout, you said you have one. I also have a SDX and TC 3K 15" subs. The SDX to me was a good all around sub for both low/upper bass with good (not great) SQ. The TC 3K sub (currently using) is better with the lower bass (60hz and below), but is lacking with the mid-upper bass (60hz-120hz). I plan to get one of the AV15 subs (probably the
AV15H) for my home use, 50% music/50% movies, to replace both of my current subs. From what I've heard so far, it's a great driver, specially the mid-upper bass (SQ) which I value more than the lower bass. My subs enclousure 3.75cf sealed with 1,300 watts for power. With the enclousure and power I now have I'm leaning to get the AV15H instead of the AV15X driver. I also have the ED EQ2 to equalize the sub. Having speakers on the small side, I plan to use a crossover in the 80hz-120hz range. Having heard all these subs, your opinion is appreciated.
Correct me If I'm wrong here but wasn't there a problem with your SDX or something? I have 2 and I would judge their SQ as very good (similar to a Mal-X) through the xover region and used well within their limits. They are not the best at the really low stuff, but I'm a bit spoiled in that department. (TC3K probably wins easily here even though they both have the same xmax rating).

I only listened to the AV15 for one afternoon and it was in an unfamiliar room in an unfamiliar setting, so I hesitate to say which is better or make a comparison between the 2. The AV15 sounded good and was efficient. It was also in a PR alignment. I'd need more time with it.
 

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Yes, my SDX sub would make a clanking sound when a low bass scene was played at a high volume, around 100db and higher, that was the main reason why I got the TC 3K sub to replace it. The reason I like the AV15H/X subs is the fact that not only you guys gave it a very good review, but that looking at the graphs and description that John (AE) sent me comparing the SDX and AV15 subs, for my specs (application), they both have about the same low bass response and the AV15 has more upper bass response in the 60hz-120hz area, about 2-3db more. That's with 1000 watts and in my sealed 3.75cf enclousure.
 
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