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Discussion Starter #21
I have not heard of anyone complaining about the SQ of the FTW. Not sure where that info came from. BUT I am sure there is someone out there that doesnt like it. That being said having an amp that is fully capable of delivering enough power is crucial. While you can feed it 800watts and be happy I was not. Even with EQ they sounded great but I needed more power.

I am not saying you have o have a LOT more power, its just what worked for me. I had about 1100watts going to mine and when I finally upgrade to a much bigger I liked the change. Enough so that I didnt want to go back to a smaller amount again. I had about 4000watts going to each of them.

So capable amp and levels adjusted I would say its pretty hard to beat the 21" in any other 21" size. I do believe the Mal 21" was more sensitive down low but thats about it. They are very similar and should have similar sound characteristics.

I've been using an ep4000, but I see Behringer has the iNUKE series now. I'll have to do some research on those; it sounds like they have more power.
 

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I have never read how a mal-x has better sound quality than a ftw- 21. Any links?
The comment about it not having as good as sound quality made me wonder though, so I would be interested in more info if someone has it.
The Maelstrom-X 21" and FTW-21 use the same basket and soft parts (outside of the spiders). The differences come in the motor and therein lay big differences. The Maelstrom-X is a XBL² motor, which is right up there with a good underhung design or TC Sounds' Linear Motor System. (I've done direct comparisons: playing side by side, an Exodus Audio Maelstrom-X 18" does a very nice job going up against a LMS-U to these reformed audiophile ears.) The FTW-21 is an overhung, high inductance design. (No Le is given, but the UXL-18 is said to have a Le of 5.23. The FTW-21 should be similar.) The inductance will hinder music playback quality. Someone who is amp limited/bound by a large, open listening space (or approaches home theater as a dB drag situation) will prefer the FTW-21 for the sensitivity and output. One who is more inclined to also play music on their system will prefer the XBL² based driver or equivalent.

I have not heard of anyone complaining about the SQ of the FTW. Not sure where that info came from.
I'm not sure either.
If that proves to not be the case, you could opt for a Mach5 FTW-21, which would be a drop in replacement. The driver seems to be well-received...and will give you more boom for the watts though at a loss of sound quality compared to what you've been used to with the Maelstrom-X..
I do believe the Mal 21" was more sensitive down low but thats about it. They are very similar and should have similar sound characteristics.
XBL² drivers don't sound like overhung. If corock has also used his system for music enjoyment for these past four years, switching to, say, the FTW-21 may/will be noticeable, depending. I've enjoyed subs built around XBL² drivers in my system for over a decade now and have been doing a lot of critical comparative listening this year that includes a TC Sounds LMS-U 5400 as a reference. Going back and forth to a conventional driver (unless an exceptional, low inductance design) is a noticeable change and a hard one to accept for music. Movies? Not so much. In some ways, the extra distortion helps amp up the fun of the rumbles there, but it sounds bad with most music.

The si 24 will be very constrained in 7cf. It likes 12+ in sealed as I understand it. A ftw-21 would work better.
The HS-24 likes room to breathe, but it performs notably better in smaller cabinets (real world measurements) than the models suggest. The driver would also see more than 7ft³ once stuffed to ~1lbs/ft³.

The 24 wouldn't fit in this cabinet, even if the cubic feet was appropriate. The diameter of that driver is bigger than the enclosure itself.
That's unfortunate, but better to not cut that beautiful cabinet up then. So, your only options for a drop in replacement are those that use the same baskets, scarce as they are. That limits you to essentially only another Maelstrom-X (which are being priced higher used than new) or the FTW-21. (Your F3 will move up about 10Hz with the FTW-21, but you'll get more output overall. EQ wisely and you're good.) Incriminator Audio is said to be willing (or had been in the past) to do custom 21" Death Penalty drivers for home theater purposes, but I'm wary enough of any outfit that leaves out some T/S parameters. One that leaves them all out? Yeah, I'd do some talking with them first and get some hard numbers before deciding if that would even be an option.
 

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I have chatted with Nick for a long time and while I like his design ideas I dont really care much for his final product.(Incriminator Audio) I have their T/S parameters but most of them are generic numbers and not actual numbers. I would much prefer a product from Jacob at sundown or Nick from SI or Mark from IST/Mach 5 or Nick from Fi. Those guys all appear to be making very high quality products that I would love to own myself.

XBL2 verse other designs will have varying opinions. I wont say you will like this or that one because we are all different. I just hope if you get a FTW that you maybe take a stab at finding out yourself what exactly is wrong with your Mal 21". Right when this one was given away I was looking at buying some 18's and a pair of 21's. Then everything went down hill on the product side and I never was able to own any. :(

So hopefully in the long haul the Mal 21 can live again. And secondly did you ever get the carbon fiber baffle or no? I couldnt remember what ever happened though that whole fiasco.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
This sub's only purpose is for music, so that is a huge factor for me.

I never did do a baffle for the enclosure after that guy ripped me off on the carbon fiber one I designed. Since I completed the sub 4 years ago, I have built a dedicated home theater and renovated almost my entire house, so I've haven't had time to consider working on the baffle again.
 

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Only for music....wow. Pipe organ music:D I will have sealed pro audio 18's for my subs and while not the best for HT they will do GREAT at music.

And as you have stated only being used for music I would have to agree that the Mal 21" would probably yield you better results for your wants. BUT there is not a lot you can do for now.
 

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I have chatted with Nick for a long time and while I like his design ideas I dont really care much for his final product.(Incriminator Audio) I have their T/S parameters but most of them are generic numbers and not actual numbers. I would much prefer a product from Jacob at sundown or Nick from SI or Mark from IST/Mach 5 or Nick from Fi. Those guys all appear to be making very high quality products that I would love to own myself.
Agree on all counts. The numbers I found for the IA subs were for the car audio variants, but none for the home theater types I've heard about. Impossible to judge without those T/S. My suggesting that option was to counter for the fact that I am positively biased towards the others' works and wanted to be fair.

XBL2 verse other designs will have varying opinions.
Opinions are nice. Measurements in a comparative graph are pretty nice, too.



Got to love a good underhung design, but XBL² is one of those elegant designs that makes so much sense it leaves you wondering why it wasn't done before. Wiggins and Dr. Hyre were inspired on that one. Overhung let's us enjoy a lot of output for the motor and can sound really good when kept within its limits, but...yeah.


I've taken the damaged driver to a local repair shop to lift the spider and assess the situation. I'll have to wait for them to do that and then go from there.
Good luck! Here's to hoping you get that magnificent beast singing again.
 
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