When Jacob first posted about his new project- the SD3 line of subs that were going to be for small sealed and aimed mostly at the SQ crowd- my interest was piqued and I kept a close eye on the thread. When I saw the box requirements I knew I had to give this a try once budget permitted and since the price is pretty low it didn’t take too long. Since the last sundown subs I had certainly delivered this was at the top of my list.
The sd3 line is targeted pretty much to guys like me.
-values highly cargo space
-values highly sound quality
-values highly value
I was going through the thread again and here were in Jacobs(sundown audio owner) design goals in his own words
Originally Posted by sundownz View Post
IMO they are going to be pretty incredible... SQ fans have been going nuts over the SD-2 8s and with the SD-3 the 10s and 12s will get a huge SQ boost.
Originally Posted by sundownz View Post
Under-hung, relatively shallow, and relatively inexpensive
Originally Posted by sundownz View Post
Either way I won't be satisfied until the specs nail it for small sealed
Packaging is usual top notch doubled boxed secured with Styrofoam. Taking the sub out reveals this unusual beast with no vent in the back and inverted surround sound. Both tricks to minimize mounting depth requirements. The sub at first glance isn’t that shallow, there are clearly much shallower options but IMO and IME these subs are compromised in terms of xmax, output and of course box volume as they usually don’t ask for a smaller box. The inverted surround takes off about a half inch of typical “big” surround subs and no rear vent means you can mount this thing and have it sit at the bottom of the box. No vent means a typical depth saving of 1inch or more (usually the diameter of the vent itself is recommended as the minimum distance behind a sub). Keep this in mind as you take it out as at first glance it isn’t that shallow. The only that matters though is will it fit? If it does then there is no need for shallower.
“Relatively shallow”. Indeed building anything is always about choosing compromises and it seems that here there was no desire to compromise on amount of output and quality for its sealed purpose. This explains its depth and why we get over 14mm of xmax one way. This is certainly nothing to scoff at in any design, especially in a shallow design. It will of course move more at the expense of added distortion (like every sub). Make no mistake, this thing moves a lot.
I didn’t measure the TS parameters this time myself unfortunately, the kids and I were excited to put this thing in so in it went pretty much as soon as I had some spare time.
SD3 10" specs
RE : 7.00 ohms
FS : 25.5 Hz
VAS : 39.3 L
QES : 0.50
QMS : 3.53
QTS : 0.43
LE : 7.49 mH
BL : 18.57 NA
MMS : 152 g
CMS : 260 uM/N
SENS : 83.1 dB
Xmax : 14.5mm one-way by 70% BL
RMS : 500watts
Enclosure : 0.45 cf
Shorting ring for lower distortion
mounting depth 4.48"
Inverted surround that saves 1inch of front mounting.
Solid heavy basket along with typical quality found with SD products, my first impression was that it is substantial. Woven leads into the spider, pushing the cone in and out is smooth. It looks good from every angle. Anyone with experience with sundown subs will get what they are used to.
The SD10 in particular requires a minimum of about 0.45 cubic feet. I have about that much so I made sure to stuff it full of polyfill. It ended up being a perfect replacement from the Dayton titanic that was there before.
The logo, unfortunately, doesn’t line up perfectly since I didn’t want to make new holes.
So how does it sound? I have it in its smallest box config hooked up to a JBL MSa-5001 @2ohms rated for 500rms (but we know it’s closer to 800 thanks to andyW).
I have been through a bunch of subs in a variety of configs be it IB ported, sealed. I have been playing a variety of music in the past week and a half. It’s broken in a bit I believe and it delivers. Often with subs they can be designed to be peaky at certain frequencies or recommended to be in smaller boxes that are deemed “acceptable” yet far from optimal, at least in terms of sound quality. But am I ever thrilled with the SD3. Its shallow, it’s beefy and it is in a tiny box. So tiny. Yet there I am listening to my music and it sounds amazing. Often I have heard and had subs that translate pretty much everything into various loudness of BURRR BuRRRRR BUUUURRRRRRR. Not here, not the SD3.
The beauty is that it adds depth perfectly to kick drums and bass, songs don’t all sound the same, the sub can be front and center if you put it loud enough but it is so easy to blend in. There is a thread about how some subs are easier to integrate then others. I can’t really speak to that, but this was just dropped in and perfect from the get go. I use MS8 but the sub runs off of the fronts and didn’t get any ms8 magic optimisation. So this is what Jacob meant when he is targeting SQ guys, and it leaves nothing to be desired. This adds incredible punch and has that stiff kick you feel deep within your body, something the Dayton didn’t deliver. Often we get excited during the first listen. But I have had almost 2 weeks of listening over an hour at a time each work day. I have gone through most of my top songs and I love every moment of it. There are 2 major things I need to highlight.
No song has been out of balance, often I have come across songs that have peaks and luls, parts of the song that either sticks out way to much or is the opposite, barely audible. Two songs I like to use that have been notorious for this would be up and down from venga boys where at the very beginning I like to be able to feel the one note that keeps playing and then not be overwhelmed by bass afterword. Here the SD3 delivers perfectly.
Next one is Jarule (Yes I know everyone loves jarule right?) titled between me and you. The chorus has base that varies from higher to lower and I have often had configurations where one part may be to loud or to low. But the SD3 delivers it just as I would expect, just right and satisfying.
Some songs have some really quick kick drum that can easily sound muddled or no longer remains distinct kicks and just sounds like a muddled mess. My favorite for this is DRAGON FORCE. Specifically the title “reasons to live”. Right at the beginning it starts off very intense and super-fast. Everything remains distinct yet punchy and precise.
The SD3 is the sub I had been waiting for. I love super punchy, I always say it for both midbase or subs, I like the midbase or punch to be a bit exaggerated and this is exactly it all while adding depth and letting the song take center stage and precedence, only adding to the experience and not taking over. It’s wonderful. No regrets and like many other components I have been going through all the time this is the final one that won’t get swapped out, it’s staying.
We all know that sealed is easier to design and to implement well but that it is also compromised in terms of overall output. The SD3 does make my hole vehicle shake with jut the one and I can make it to loud for my personal taste. But this wouldn’t be the ideal sub for a bass head…at least not just one. Some reports of people using it ported are intriguing and I might try it in the future if I can figure out a more efficient way of storing all my amps and sub.
The sub delivers on the highway with all windows open, I little twist of my remote bass know and it brings it inline to a level of satisfaction that it certainly hard to achieve in my santa fe.
The sub has an MSRP of only 199 with free shipping for most of you US folk. It’s a hell of a value IMO and for anyone like me that values storage and utmost sound quality with the fun to boom factor then this might just be your final destination. Highly recommended.
Did Jacob meet his design goals? I would say yes. Absolutely.
This is where my amps and the tiny enclosure containing the Sd3 reside.
In conclusion I didn’t think I would be able to get a high excursion, small enclosure sub that is so inexpensive and delivers in terms of detail, punchiness, depth and balance like this. Thumbs of to sundown to always be able to deliver such products, I’d like to say it’s because of his passion but like AndyW has said ,passion can only get you so far, you need skill and knowledge, testing and hard work to get quality products out and this is certainly the case here.
I hope you guys enjoyed it.