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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Where to start...introduction of course.

The AE drivers have been long known as Lambda Acoustics. I understand there have been some changes in the company but ultimately the main ideals are reflected in the new drivers in what appears to be their best versions to this date. Highlights: ultra low inductance, a blend of Pro audio rugged construction and Hi-Fi reproduction, high efficiency, low resonance construction, specific purpose built drivers (in this case car IB applications). I'm not going to go over more concepts and history, John Janowitz at AE is the go to guy for more informantion and I don't want to get stats wrong.

My setup:






I am using the in an infinite baffle configuration as required. Given the usable trunk volume I should be pushing .79 overall Q. Each subwoofer has a dedicated 500w amp at 4 ohm with built in 15hz subsonic. For the purposes of this review I can only vouch for 20hz-100hz operation in my 2000 Honda Accord Coupe.

Manufacuter's Specs:

Fs: 20.4Hz
Qms: 4.5
Vas: 387L
Cms: .4mm/N
Mms: 152g
Rms: 4.35
Xmax: 18.5mm
Sd: 825sqcm
Vd: 3.05L
Qes: .45
Re: 2.7ohm
Z: 4ohm
Le: .163mH
Pe: 500W
Qts: .41
1W SPL: 90.6dB

These weigh only 17lbs or so and are sold for $129/ea or $100 x 4 units manuf. direct.

To finish off the objective approach here is an MLS test of the driver with a LP at 200hz, no EQ, at listening position (driver seat with driver). You can see three separate tests for these drivers at different output levels, at the highest run my chassis was shaking violently so I decided that would be max practical output test. The red line with be typical output level in a moving car, you can see there are no variations in FR with different output levels.



Impressive results in my experience, I haven't tested a better sub setup ever. Notice how ruler flat the output is up to 125hz and down to 20 hz, and that is after cabin gain, with the seats up, and no EQ. fuzz factor.

Here is my previous setup with 3 IdMax 12s in the same IB configuration, 100hz LP so judge from there down, no EQ. A total of 3 identical 500w amps were used. The only noteworthy aplication difference is driver orientation, IDmax dirvers were facing the cabin while the AE IB15s are facing the trunk. Polarity was reversed in the IB15 case. To keep variables fixed observe the green test where seats where up and trunk was closed for fair comparison.



The scale MLS used here was in 5 db steps so it may look a bit mysleading. The output is identical, governed mainly by cabin gain! Both drivers are + - 5db over the range 20hz-100hz. With EQ work I generally obtain + - 3 db which is very acceptable.

On to the subjective listening.
I've used many subwoofers in this car in the past: Polk Momo, Infinity Kappa Perfect, Kappa Perfect VQ, Audiobahn flame Q (oh boy), RE XXX '05 model and many more for midbass duty :) This easily tops my chart as best overall. It's only downside is its spartan pro audio looks. The paper cone and foam surround are hand treated with a very sticky coat. The basket has an unatractive rubber ring. Overall this sub is pure function, there isn't a single part in its construction that is for show. While the paper is unimpressive it is light, stiff, not easily dented due to misuse or mechanical stress and handles mobile environment very well. The foam surround has very low resonance just like the cone. The rubber ring protects the surround and allows the sub to be rested on the front frame. The back of the sub is very tasteful, lots of venting, attractive spider and thin spokes.

A+ for blending in with the midbass, virtually nonexistent motor noise, low resonance, upper extension, basically anything one would require from a driver in this application. I am truly impressed how the cheapest sub I ever bought was also the best performer. It shines in its transparency, I am perplexed just how well it dissapears. There is no distinct sound that would draw attention to its work, it has no hallow sound in the 80hz region like most subs 12 and over that i've tried. It is a live example that large diameter subs are not intrinsically sloppy, low end monsters, or slow, these are bogus remarks imo. I've come across none of these drawbacks.

For output enthusiasts the drivers have similar linear impact as the 3 12" IdMax drivers I've tested. They are very predictable after xmax and you know when to back of the knob, but honestly by then it's too loud to drive. Thermal performance is excellent, no complaints after abusing them for nearly 30min in traffic on Hollywood blvd. :) Beyond xmax I think they move a bit less air the the three maxes near collapse, but it's unpleasant to listen as such. Till this day the XBL RE XXX remains the only sub I couldn't bottom out, but it's pointless, since I have more than enough output to bury the front stage.

Verdict: If you don't need flashy gear or to compete in SPL ranks this is the ultimate IB driver.

For those wanting a bit more flash and output but would rather not risk it with inferior subs AE released their new AV 15s, alluminum cone, rubber surround, more xmax. However they are a bit pricier and heavier.

Miscellaneous:

I think these are what the Seas Excel lineup misses, a low distortion subwoofer segment.

Current models should have a diamond finished basket. It is a more attractive silver/black unit.
 

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Very nice!
Really glad to see you got those installed!
I'm amazed you got those in (it's a tight fit) but the install looks great.
And I like the no frills look of the drivers, to be honest;
In car response looks really great too.... looks like a real winner! Hopefully I can hear this setup before you change your setup again.... :p

One quick question: why do you have the bananas on the speaker terminals, instead of just inserting the bare wire?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Very nice!
Really glad to see you got those installed!
I'm amazed you got those in (it's a tight fit) but the install looks great.
And I like the no frills look of the drivers, to be honest;
In car response looks really great too.... looks like a real winner! Hopefully I can hear this setup before you change your setup again.... :p

One quick question: why do you have the bananas on the speaker terminals, instead of just inserting the bare wire?
I still have a couple of inches left before the magnet structure touches the seats. It's just enough so I can try the new AV15 and the CSS 15s in the near future. I'm not swapping any drivers out in a hurry, grad school is demanding and I usually keep my gear for at least a year before I sell to get the full experience. In short, this should be the setup that makes it to Marv's. I want a big change after that however. I plan on going back to Excels, this time the Nextel version.

Lol you got me with the banana plugs. I like to have a quick disconnect solution but it is more for kicks this time since the subs can't come out easily, they are trapped by two amps. I got a dozen for $10 on ebay come on...:laugh:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
On second look it seems like the Max is dropping more severely from 25hz to 20hz. It's about 5 db lower at 20hz. However, few people should hear the difference in output that low.
 

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Nice review! I've been curious about these subs. It's a shame I can't talk my wife into letting me do an IB install in her G coupe. :(

I'll be looking forward to hearing these at the BBQ this coming summer.

Zach
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I may have missed it, but what was your test music?
Well, just about everything plays through them: Soul, R&B, Rap, Hip Hop, Rock, Alternative, Pop, Country, Raggae, Jazz, Blues, New Age, World Music, and a whole lot of Electronica: House, Tech house, Minimal, Trance, Dance, Drum and Bass, and Goa trance.

Unlike some of my previous setups I can't really point out forte points for music types, it sounds good on just about anything. The ribbons might be the only exception left since they like strings a lot but somewhat scream on poorly recored Dance and Trance.



Nice review! I've been curious about these subs. It's a shame I can't talk my wife into letting me do an IB install in her G coupe. :(

I'll be looking forward to hearing these at the BBQ this coming summer.

Zach
I'm not going to make any big changes, what u see is what will get driven down there. I hope I'll make it out of my car this time to hear other setups :laugh:
 

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Current models should have a diamond finished basket. It is a more attractive silver/black unit.
I could not agree more!


Great review and glad to hear the subs perform as advertised. Anyone considering running IB should look at these. You did a great job in getting those in and things look nice as well.

I have been back and forth on rather or not I should run one or two? But, given the theoretical numbers and also what you posted I really think one will do it for me even though my car is larger (300M). John states that 300 watts should take these to max but I am torn right now if I want to supply 360 watts or 600 watts? I really would like to use the lower power as it would simplify my system down to two 4 channel amps. The higher power setup will require three amps and right now I am leaning towards that...as I have allways used modest power but want some impact this time around.

Myself, I was set on using a W15GTi but the heft and depth of that driver creates more of a challenge. With these IB15's I can bring my baffle wall in closer to the seats and there are no worries of the overhanging weight like that of the W15GTi. Anyway, It is much too cold here to get things rolling but I am getting inspired (Thanks to reviews like this!) to purchase a heater for my garage so that I can go to work.

Thanks again for the review!
 

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Excellent review. I appreciate the time and effort it took to create an understandable and articulate review of a product we'll all be paying attention to.
 

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Looks like a good choice for large IB. Hopefully I can get a more thorough listen at the meet on the 3rd. Last time I heard it I think there was only one and it was moving some violent bass air :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I could not agree more!
Great review and glad to hear the subs perform as advertised. Anyone considering running IB should look at these. You did a great job in getting those in and things look nice as well.

I have been back and forth on rather or not I should run one or two? But, given the theoretical numbers and also what you posted I really think one will do it for me even though my car is larger (300M). John states that 300 watts should take these to max but I am torn right now if I want to supply 360 watts or 600 watts? I really would like to use the lower power as it would simplify my system down to two 4 channel amps. The higher power setup will require three amps and right now I am leaning towards that...as I have allways used modest power but want some impact this time around.

Myself, I was set on using a W15GTi but the heft and depth of that driver creates more of a challenge. With these IB15's I can bring my baffle wall in closer to the seats and there are no worries of the overhanging weight like that of the W15GTi. Anyway, It is much too cold here to get things rolling but I am getting inspired (Thanks to reviews like this!) to purchase a heater for my garage so that I can go to work.

Thanks again for the review!
Well if you want to use a single sub 360w is plenty. Your trunk is already larger and if only one sub is going to use all that airspace it's even easier to push it to xmax. I doubt mine ever saw anything over 300w. I have them at the -12db setting on the Alpine gain control, the Polk amps are switched to low input setting, the gain is at 60%, and I only go up to 5db up on the subwoofer control.

I looked at the JBL sub too. I'm not sure it is better in any regards when compared to the AE. The shorting ring implementation in the IB15 seems to make a better job lowering inductance than the ultra deep differential drive motor. For that much mounting depth I would like to see at least 25mm of throw, but the review on this site is uninspiring unless off course the Klippel can't measure it correctly. And it does weigh quite a bit more, although for a torque monster like the 300M I wouldn't worry about it. I'm sure the JBL driver sounds good, I quite a fan of Harman products.

I owed this review a long time ago but I couldn't bear the risk of reviewing a low distortion driver without an MLS plot. For one, I'm always underestimating the output of well build drivers, I have to see an SPL meter to believe it's playing loud. Motor noise, high inductance and distortion can easily be misinterpreted as additional output.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Looks like a good choice for large IB. Hopefully I can get a more thorough listen at the meet on the 3rd. Last time I heard it I think there was only one and it was moving some violent bass air :)
LOL really, I must have been slacking off. I know for sure I fried an amp when I had the Idmaxes and there were only two working.
 

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Yay, some AE lovin' <claps>

It's nice to see some use and a review of their 15" IB. It makes me wish I had a car with a trunk again. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yay, some AE lovin' <claps>

It's nice to see some use and a review of their 15" IB. It makes me wish I had a car with a trunk again. :p
Design an IB setup for the hatch/wagon vehicle! I already have an innovative approach to designing one in my Toyota Supra. Yes, I don't have the car yet, this Ph.D. takes a life time to finish. :knife:
 

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These are the straight IB15's not the "car version" that they were coming out with right?

Glad to see you like them, I see 4 in my future this year for the "rig in the shop revamp" and For some reason I'm rather supportive of AE, I like what they are doing and their ideas.

As for the appearance being a bit stark... nah, not in my eyes, I think they are beautiful!
 

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These are the straight IB15's not the "car version" that they were coming out with right?

Glad to see you like them, I see 4 in my future this year for the "rig in the shop revamp" and For some reason I'm rather supportive of AE, I like what they are doing and their ideas.

As for the appearance being a bit stark... nah, not in my eyes, I think they are beautiful!
 
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