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Old 07-03-2008   #1
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Default RS100, TG9, TC9, L3 and 830986 review.

Man I first somewhat detailed review!! A little scared here.


OK "Here-I-Come" with the battle of the 3-3.5” wide-band drivers. First I will say I wouldn’t use any of them fullrange. I know some poeple will have different opinions of the drivers here, hell everyone may, but these are my opinions and just that an opinion and like an A**hole we all have one and must of the time it is full of S**t. We all know how subjective SQ can be so here we go. O ya I must say I have never been a fan of small drivers, but these have open my eyes. I see how wideband drivers are changing things, I'm one of those guys who don't like to run tweeters below 3.5-4 khz and please don't start with this one, PLEASE!

I tested all in a 1.5 liter sealed enclosure running active off an Eclipse 8053. The power source was a old school Soundstream D100II, the mid was on one channel and the tweeter on the other. They all were matched up with the Hertz Audio ML28/Space 1 tweeter with the large camber installed. I will give a honorable mention to the ML28/space 1 here before I start. This is a great tweeter,it will do just anything you ask of it. Its very detailed, accurate, crisp and clean, with great space (air as some call it). A little laid back just the way I like it.

My point of reference was the GMC truck I built sometime back. I listen to it for about 2 hours. The system in the truck is as follows:

Head unit: DRZ9255
Tweeters: DLS Nobelium 1
Mids: DLS Nobelium 5
Midbass: DLS Nobelium 6
Subs: 2 C-Mass LS122
Rears. DLS 425 coax
Tweeter and Mid amp: DLS A4
Midbass amp: DLS A3
Subs amp: DLS A6
Rears amp: DLS A1

Rears was tuned of for listening

With that said I will let everyone know my taste in music reproductions. I like a smooth, natural and detailed presentation with a great sense of space between individual instruments and vocalist. I love vocals, tenor sax and acoustic and string instruments


Here are the drivers in the Test:

Dayton Audio RS100

http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=295-378


Peerless 830986

http://www.madisound.com/catalog/PDF/830986.pdf


Hybrid Audio L3

http://www.hybrid-audio.com/download...s%20Manual.pdf



Peerless/Vifa TG9

http://www.madisound.com/catalog/PDF/TG9FD-10-04.pdf


Peerless/Vifa TC9

http://www.madisound.com/catalog/PDF/TC9FD-18-08.pdf









No driver were used below 160hz and above 6.3khz for critical listening. These are the lower and top limits of the all important MIDRANGE. Because the 8053 couldn't be crossed over higher then 200hz @ 24DB's on the midrange highpass, to help with the drivers that did not like 200hz and below @ 24DB's I use the EQ to lower 160 and 250 down until the sound became tight and crisp. Bass and Treble tones was set at 0 and loudness off.


Here are the tracks I used:

1. Fever by Jennie Bryson (for the great lows)

2. Grandma’s hand by Livingston Taylor (for the very nice midrange)

3. Hotel Cali Live by The Eagles (great around track)

4. Let Me Hold Your Hand Keb Mo’ ( great vocals)

5. Silly by Denise Williams (if a system can smooth this recording out so I can stand to listen to the entire song its going something right)

6. Lately unplugged and live by Jodeci ( great vocals)

7. Made Up My Mind by Lyfe (great vocals)

8. I Care 4 You by Aaliyah (Tons of layering in this track. It has a someone beat boxing in the back ground and on bad system he sounds like a bad high-hat or a bad sneer drum, but a good system you should be able to tell its some one beat boxing)

9. Billy Jean by Michael Jackson (I just love the intro of this one)

Scores: Max points 100

Overall SQ (max 25 points)
Tonal Balance (max 20 points)
Low-Frequency Extension (max 15 points)
Clarity @ low volume (max 10 points)
Clarity @ low volume (max 10 points)
Listening fatigue (max 10 points)
Easy of Use (max 10 points)

All scores are base on this group!!!

DAYTON RS100

The Dayton RS100 has the great low-end (down to 125 at moderate volumes, but 160 at 24DB is best)and great detail, This thing plays loud and say clean doing it and handles power very well. But because of the low-end it can make the midrange sound a little fat and make thing run together a little, but it was easy to fix (EQ out or back in the separation). I loved strings instruments on this driver. I would keep it around 5-6khz on the top-end, above that you well need some very good EQing skills, but it is just a great all around driver and the most dynamic in the group.

Overall SQ: 23
Tonal Balance: 19
Low-Frequency Extension: 15
Clarity @ low volume: 7
Clarity @ high volume: 9
Listening fatigue: 8
Easy of Use: 6

Total: 87


PEERLESS 830986

The Peerless 830986, man I wanted to not like this driver, but I was most surprised with this driver, man this thing detailed, smooth and delicate, I mean this is one great sounding driver. It plays low and has outstanding space and separation. It is really fun how the smallest and largest driver in the group has the best low-end. It can be crossed over at 160 @ 24DB, but just doesn't do it as well as the RS100, a couple of DB' down at 160 and its tight, but with this one you just can't make the midrange sound fat. It just stays detail. I would keep it around 5-6khz on the top-end also it starts to get bright and beams above that. The down side of this one is it can be a little light in is over all delivery.

Overall SQ: 23
Tonal Balance: 21
Low-Frequency Extension: 12
Clarity @ low volume: 7
Clarity @ high volume: 8
Listening fatigue: 9
Easy of Use: 6

Total: 86


HYBRID AUDIO L3

The Hybrid L3 just don't handle low-end very well, cross it over at 250@24DB and what you are rewarded with is a silky smooth, fast(attack and decay), robust and detailed driver(but to be fair here the L3 is design for IB use and being in the enclosure could have hurt the low-end) . It had very good separation and space, but not as good as the 830986, but slightly better then the RS100, but a little more dynamic then the 830986, not as dynamic as the RS100. It just sound great on everything I through at it. This one sound good out to around 8khz, but I would keep it around 6-7khz.

Overall SQ: 21
Tonal Balance: 18
Low-Frequency Extension: 12
Clarity @ low volume: 7
Clarity @ high volume: 8
Listening fatigue: 9
Easy of Use: 6

Total: 81

EDIT:

After write the review i decide this morning to put the L3 in a also 4 liter box (well iron pot with rammat all over it, man my wife is going to kill me) this is over 3 times the vas so it should have been OK, please correct me if I'm wrong! And wow the low-end was allot better, but still not at the level of the RS100, but i would have to say it did come very close to the 830986 with a little more snap, but not quite the feeling of bass. So add 4 points to the L3 for a 78 and one more for Clarity at high volume (I will explain below) for a total of 79.

I give the L3 one more 1 for Clarity at high volume because with the lower crossover point it give the sense of more volume, clean volume. And I add 2 points for Tonal Balance. I had to do this because with the low end the add it sound was more blanaced for total of 81



PEERLESS/VIFA TC9

The Vifa/Peerless TC9 is just smooth and accurate and laid back. This should be a Dynaudio driver. Cross it over at 250 or above @24DB and she comes to life. This one is a mixture of the 830986 and L3, but just could exceed them. But I really like it because it is so laid back. This one sound very good out to around 8khz, but I would keep it around 6-7khz also, but it sound best in group this high. Match this one with the D26 vifa tweeter and you will have one smooth sounding system. But because it is so smooth for some it may be a little dark, but not to me. Give me some old school love making R&B and the wife better run, because it baby making time.

Overall SQ: 20
Tonal Balance: 16
Low-Frequency Extension: 7
Clarity @ low volume: 6
Clarity @ high volume: 7
Listening fatigue: 10
Easy of Use: 6

Total: 72



PEERLESS/VIFA TG9

The Vifa/Peerless TG9 is a very dynamic driver with very good detail. It has the best sensitivity out of this group, it gets loud with out a lot of power needed. Cross it over at 250@24DB or higher and it starts to shine. Good space and strings instruments sound very nice on this one also. This one sounded good out to around 8khz, but I would keep it around 5-7khz, depends on who is listening. The problem I had with this one is, it was to in your face. I just couldn’t get it to smooth out like the other drivers in the group. I thought it was going to the RS100 that I would have this problem with, but it was this one. This one seem to have the best attack and decay in the great.

Overall SQ: 20
Tonal Balance: 15
Low-Frequency Extension: 8
Clarity @ low volume: 7
Clarity @ high volume: 7
Listening fatigue: 5
Easy of Use: 5

Total: 67

The detail reviews are a little short, but to the point I hope.


I also must give mad props to the individuals who judge at competitions and review for magazines. This is one tiring process.

Mark Brooks
CEO/Founder
Melodic Acoustic "Authentic to the Music"
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Old 07-03-2008   #2
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Default Re: RS100, TG9, TC9, L3 and 830986 review.

I will post pictures of the actual drivers later today.

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Old 07-03-2008   #3
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Default Re: RS100, TG9, TC9, L3 and 830986 review.

Great review. I have a set of the peerless 830986 drivers and cant wait to try them out now. Again thanks for the review.
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Old 07-03-2008   #4
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Default Re: RS100, TG9, TC9, L3 and 830986 review.

Nice review. Really glad to see you do a comparison test of the smaller drivers.

If you had to put one in your vehicle which one would you pick for your overall taste?

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Old 07-03-2008   #5
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Default Re: RS100, TG9, TC9, L3 and 830986 review.

Thanks for catching that the L3 needs to be IB to get low. When I saw you put all drivers in a box the first thing I thought was that you just killed the L3 out the gate. But, at least you understand the effect and made sure to note it.

FWIW, I steadily crossed the L3 @ 200hz and even at full tilt it performed just fine in an IB type setup.



I agree with your review on the TG9, though I'll say that I'd give it a lower rating on "clarity at high volume" than the L3.


Anyway, just wanted to add my $.02.

Thanks for the review.

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Old 07-03-2008   #6
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Default Re: RS100, TG9, TC9, L3 and 830986 review.

Wasnt there some issues before with the L3.....and the fact that it needs to be broken it a bit?

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Old 07-03-2008   #7
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Default Re: RS100, TG9, TC9, L3 and 830986 review.

yes. But, it seems to me the OP has had these speakers a while. I don't know why I think that, though.

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Old 07-03-2008   #8
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Default Re: RS100, TG9, TC9, L3 and 830986 review.

Quote:
Originally Posted by unpredictableacts View Post
Wasnt there some issues before with the L3.....and the fact that it needs to be broken it a bit?

The L3 I bought used and they was installed for awhile so they were broken in quite well.

I will add this:

After write the review i decide this morning to put the L3 in a also 4 liter box (well iron pot with rammat all over it, man my wife is going to kill me) this is over 3 times the vas so it should have been OK, please correct me if I'm wrong! And wow the low-end was allot better, but still not at the level of the RS100, but i would have to say it did come very close to the 830986 with a little more snap, but not quite the feeling of bass. So add 4 points to the L3 for a 78 and one more for Clarity at high volume (I will explain below) for a total of 79.

On the Clarity at high levels with the TG9 and L3 the TG9 just need less volume to get to the same level of the others. And it was clean, but if i tried to push it pass the volume up more it started to fall apart. I give the L3 one more 1 for Clarity at high volume because with the lower crossover point it give the sense of more volume, clean volume. And I add 2 points for Tonal Balance. I had to do this because with the low end the add it sound was more balanced for total of 81

Which would a chose for my car if I had to choose one of these. Thats a hard one. I will have to get back to you, because it going to take some time to write it up, but it depends on want I was building the system for and what drivers will be around it.

I also looked of my sheet and I add one point to the RS100 for Tonal Balance I had a 9 over the 8 in 18, it was really 19. That should be it I look over it 6 times already now looking for anything else that I missed. I did a lot of marking and scratching over stuff.

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Old 07-03-2008   #9
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Default Re: RS100, TG9, TC9, L3 and 830986 review.

Fair enough. I'm just thinking that a box with a large sealed space isn't really IB. That's the only thing I'll note. When you talk IB you mean everything around it is sealed from back waves/front waves mingling (mingling is a cool word). So, putting it in a box with a large opening doesn't quantify IB to me.

Honeslty, I'm not picking on you. I have no 'fanboy' motives here (heck, I sold my L3 last month). Just trying to make sure that the people reading this understand how the L3 is to implemented, at least in the terms I was told.



I agree with the 'less power to be loud' thing on the TG9. That is true. The biggest difference I noticed in this department is that the L3 can take much more power, thus can get louder while being more controlled.



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Old 07-03-2008   #10
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Default Re: RS100, TG9, TC9, L3 and 830986 review.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bikinpunk View Post
Fair enough. I'm just thinking that a box with a large sealed space isn't really IB. That's the only thing I'll note. When you talk IB you mean everything around it is sealed from back waves/front waves mingling (mingling is a cool word). So, putting it in a box with a large opening doesn't quantify IB to me.

Could you explain this a little more.

IB to me is not having the box small enough to control the suspension of a driver, in the simplest terms I can think of now I'm falling asleep, been up all night. Free Air is a infinite volume of air behind the driver. Say venting it out side the vehicle. Both require back waves and front waves to be total isolate from each other.

Don't worry about the fanboy, if anyone is one I'm one. I have known Scott for a long time and have work with him a couple of time on the White 240sx. I learn a lot from him and some other greats out there.

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Old 07-03-2008   #11
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Default Re: RS100, TG9, TC9, L3 and 830986 review.

Maybe I'm just misunderstanding but to me a true IB setup would be one where you've completely sealed off the rear waves/front waves and have a very large backing.

But, I guess you covered that with a large enclosure. In my case, my pillars were the 'enclosure', and the seal, too. So, when I was thinking of it, there was a HUGE space behind the driver and a VERY WIDE 'baffle'.

I guess it's just semantics, really.

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Old 07-03-2008   #12
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Default Re: RS100, TG9, TC9, L3 and 830986 review.

I loved this review/write up. Kudos to you.
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Old 07-03-2008   #13
 
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Default Re: RS100, TG9, TC9, L3 and 830986 review.

Thanks for doing this review, I got a lot out of it.
Peerless continues to impress by squeezing so much performance into a tiny $15 driver.

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Default Re: RS100, TG9, TC9, L3 and 830986 review.

I'd put the hivi driver in there as well...

nice comparison!

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Old 07-06-2008   #15
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Default Re: RS100, TG9, TC9, L3 and 830986 review.

Having played with all these driver exept the Dayton, I'm agree with most of the OP's findings.

The little Peerless is really one great little driver.

And the TG9 pleases the detail freaks. These can really sing correctly installed (they would also need a 4 litre box as the L3) and with careful eq.

Just Erik's opinion...
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Old 07-06-2008   #16
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Default Re: RS100, TG9, TC9, L3 and 830986 review.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rbsarve View Post
Having played with all these driver exept the Dayton, I'm agree with most of the OP's findings.

The little Peerless is really one great little driver.

And the TG9 pleases the detail freaks. These can really sing correctly installed (they would also need a 4 litre box as the L3) and with careful eq.

I will have to give them a listen in the pot (since my wife already founded out about it) and see if this changes my opinion of this one. Thanks for the info.

Yep the little 830986 really surpised me. Man if they would make a 4-4.5" in this one with the same openness, detail, and smoothness, but with the added output and dyanamics that should come with the added cone area you would have a midrange that would the very hard to top at any price range.

Oh wait a min, that sounds like the HAT L4 from what I hear.

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Old 07-06-2008   #17
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Default Re: RS100, TG9, TC9, L3 and 830986 review.

O I found one more thing wrong just now. The track "Bady Let Me Hold Your Hand", is by Ray Charles not Keb Mo'. The Keb Mo' track i used was "Am I Wrong".

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Old 07-06-2008   #18
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Default Re: RS100, TG9, TC9, L3 and 830986 review.

I installed the Peerless 830896 in my a pillars IB and they sound pretty darn good. If I make an enclosure in my a pillars it will well under the recommended size, so am I better off just leaving them IB down to 200 hz.
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Old 07-06-2008   #19
 
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Default Re: RS100, TG9, TC9, L3 and 830986 review.

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Yep the little 830986 really surpised me. Man if they would make a 4-4.5" in this one with the same openness, detail, and smoothness, but with the added output and dyanamics that should come with the added cone area you would have a midrange that would the very hard to top at any price range.

Oh wait a min, that sounds like the HAT L4 from what I hear.
I'm planning on using 2 or 3 of them per side. Arrays can be a very good thing in the car, and 6 of 'em still comes in at under $100.

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Old 07-06-2008   #20
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Default Re: RS100, TG9, TC9, L3 and 830986 review.

Hey Mark:

I'd love to hear what you think of the L3's in a purely infinite baffle situation, preferably in a car. Any chance of doing this? Perhaps in a pillar install? I think you'll find once they graduate from the cooking pot you'd add a few points to the total score...just sayin'.

Good review though!
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Old 07-06-2008   #21
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Default Re: RS100, TG9, TC9, L3 and 830986 review.

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Hey Mark:

I'd love to hear what you think of the L3's in a purely infinite baffle situation, preferably in a car. Any chance of doing this? Perhaps in a pillar install? I think you'll find once they graduate from the cooking pot you'd add a few points to the total score...just sayin'.

Good review though!
Ya, I'm trying to get the GMC back so I can try all of them in the kicks. The kicks are vent into the area behind them which runs down the side of the of the Truck. I'm also building some a-pillar pods for my wifes jeep so I can give them all run there also, well in the pillars the RS100 is going to be a little hard, to are little-big monsters. Its hard to tell from the pictures but that are beefy for their size and built like a tanks.

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Old 07-12-2008   #22
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Default Re: RS100, TG9, TC9, L3 and 830986 review.

Thanks for the review.

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Old 07-12-2008   #23
 
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Default Re: RS100, TG9, TC9, L3 and 830986 review.

Great review. I've been using a set of RS100 for about a month now and I think they are great speakers. They can play really low for being so small, but I don't like using them above 2kHz because they start to sound a little colored. On zaph's website, the distortion graphs show a large rise in the distortion above 2k which is probably why they sound better down low.
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Old 07-12-2008   #24
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Default Re: RS100, TG9, TC9, L3 and 830986 review.

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Great review. I've been using a set of RS100 for about a month now and I think they are great speakers. They can play really low for being so small, but I don't like using them above 2kHz because they start to sound a little colored. On zaph's website, the distortion graphs show a large rise in the distortion above 2k which is probably why they sound better down low.

Well, I didn't notice it. I'm not a graph person really, the only graph I really look at is frequency response graph. If you start looking a lot of graph before you listen, your mind always has this in back of your head and the brain is fooled into thinking your hearing something that is really not noticeable. The Hybrid L3 is a prefect example of this. I did not measure well, but this is one great sounding driver. Not saying this is the case with you, but out of all the review I have read you are the first to say 2khz most say 5-6khz and I would have to agree with them. I did not like it above 6.3khz 5khz worked best for me, but you could be right.

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Old 07-12-2008   #25
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Default Re: RS100, TG9, TC9, L3 and 830986 review.

I like the review. If you have the time (or rather, the memory), I'd be interested in hearing how you'd assess their high frequency extension. You made a few comments about that for most of them, but I'm wondering if you could provide more detail about their attributes above ~5kHz. I realize that for many installations using them up that high is not wise, mostly because of poor off-axis performance... but for windshield-firing installs they could potentially be quite useful.

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What I wanted to say is that amps ... sound the same.
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