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There generally seems to be a dismissive attitude towards subwoofers that come from manufacturers that are popular with the SPL crowd, such as Sundown Audio, Digital Designs, Fi, SSA, ect. for SQ purposes. Is this warranted?

I absolutely understand there are subwoofers that are made specifically for one note "burping" with mega x-max ratings. Even so, I feel there are many drivers from these companies that are well engineered, have low distortion, and are able to play quite accurately when given the chance (and proper enclosure). What does everyone else think?
 

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Sure I agree but it would be to their advantage if they marketed, supported and targeted the SQ crowd. Simple as if they want to be known as a player get it in the peoples hands here or in the lanes. If not, then they are SPL brand
 

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I'll be running a pair of custom built DD Audio 15s in my SQ build. Will also be running their amps and power supply.



These are 3015s with dry carbon cones which are stiffer and lighter than their standard cone. They're also supercharged (Neo slug on the pole piece) for increased motor force. These can be built with three different suspension options. I chose the standard suspension for these.

Their Porsche was at KFest a couple of years ago with a 21" sub built for SQ.
 

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I'll be running a pair of custom built DD Audio 15s in my SQ build. Will also be running their amps and power supply.



These are 3015s with dry carbon cones which are stiffer and lighter than their standard cone. They're also supercharged (Neo slug on the pole piece) for increased motor force. These can be built with three different suspension options. I chose the standard suspension for these.

Their Porsche was at KFest a couple of years ago with a 21" sub built for SQ.
dry carbon isn't stiffer
 

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Sure I agree but it would be to their advantage if they marketed, supported and targeted the SQ crowd. Simple as if they want to be known as a player get it in the peoples hands here or in the lanes. If not, then they are SPL brand
SPL branded companies whatever the product (sub, amps etc) doesn't get a second look from me so I wouldn't know if they tried to make something nice
 

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This is a great thread; I hope some feathers are rustled.

As mentioned, I think there's a lot of overlap. About the only thing that could benefit the SQ crowd that might be a disadvantage for the SPL crowd is any inductance-lowering shorting paths. For straight one-note SPL ideally you wouldn't use a "real" sub anyway. Something with a higher fs/smaller vas would be prefered - but I assume we're only talking about subs meant to play music.

As always, the enclosure/install is going to make or break a sub.
 

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It's only dismissive if you take people's word as the gospel instead of doing your own research & experimentation. I'm probably near the forefront with some of the drivers I've used and keeping the HO 10" in a small sealed enclosure as it was originally intended. :laugh: But who gives a damn??? I mean really... Once you realize that many regurgitate without actual experience, you're over it really quick. Plus, it's your setup, your money, & mostly... your discretion. How much matters beyond that? I could care less if what I use isn't being endorsed by others.
 

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I've heard subs from spl companies sound great plenty of times. I've run them a few times in my install as well. Like it or not the big money is in spl. That doesn't mean that there aren't those subs in the lineup that happen to sound really good whether it be by design or by accident. I've said it many times on here and at SQ gatherings that if I competed it would be in spl but for daily my heart is still with sq.
 

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She's not overly sensitive - unlike most girls.

As for the sub...no idea. DD doesn't list sensitivity specs and I don't have DATS to measure them.
That is one thing I do find annoying with many SPL companies - they don't bother to list most T/S parameters. Are they hiding something or just assume their primary demographic doesn't care? Regardless, you should measure your own with a DATS even if they are published, but I like to at least be able to plug them into Win ISD and play around before I buy.

This is a great thread; I hope some feathers are rustled.

As mentioned, I think there's a lot of overlap. About the only thing that could benefit the SQ crowd that might be a disadvantage for the SPL crowd is any inductance-lowering shorting paths. For straight one-note SPL ideally you wouldn't use a "real" sub anyway. Something with a higher fs/smaller vas would be prefered - but I assume we're only talking about subs meant to play music.

As always, the enclosure/install is going to make or break a sub.
I've also noticed that SPL subwoofers generally have a higher FS than I would like to use, but it's not always the case. To the point of inductance and shorting rings, I know that Sundown and SSA use aluminum shorting rings, off the top of my head.

The usefulness of low inductance for subwoofers is at least debatable...

the importance of low inductance in sub drivers - Techtalk Speaker Building, Audio, Video Discussion Forum
 

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Just avoid the ones with 36 fs and up, make sure they employ shorting rings in the design while being overall balanced with the TS specs and you should be golden. However most of them do need a lot more power to get loud compared to some of the more efficient SQ drivers, but with power, they do get louder. Most of these drivers are engineered to be suited for ported enclosures as well with EBP numbers well over 65 so they actually sound better in a ported than sealed. Tested quite a few and some actually sound like absolute [email protected] in sealed but sound very musical in a well tuned ported. The issue with most ported setups with spl brands is, they design the box for more efficiency and peak around tuning rather than tuning for flatter response and bandwidth giving up output so its the owner's own personal preference that is at fault, not the sub and system. Problem i see with most setups is they tune way too low, box way too big with a lot of port area causing it to become a fart machine from 25 to 40hz and none of the subs can roll off smoothly up to 100hz, things literally die out at 50-60hz

These SPL brands actually can get quite amazing bandwidth and transient response with minimal group delay in a properly done T-line. Solves the issue of the subs not playing loud enough past 60hz to blend well with the midbass. Buddy of mines specializes in T lines and every one of them wins out sealed boxes by far, some subs are inherently not T line friendly though.
 

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Great thread. Putting things in a proper perspective the audio companies would go broke aiming at the sq crowd. At any competition how man competitors are actually entering? It’s a tiny number compared to the overall consumers out there. The people on the competition circuit know what’s out there and what needs to be done. Most people just want something that goes bump in the night.
But to the op question there are a lot of subs out there even subs labeled spl that can accurately produce the sub stage as well as any other sub. As stated it’s about the box and install to a large degree. Sure some of the one note wonders are out there but most people know which one those are.
But advertisers know the flash is what attracts customers and advertising big number spl subs is what attracts young buyers because that’s what we all wanted when we started. Now I love a balanced system but my first system was nothing but a ground pounder and all my friends did the same. Lets face it, this is the only place sq folks are going to get the real deal on audio.
 

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I've also noticed that SPL subwoofers generally have a higher FS than I would like to use, but it's not always the case. To the point of inductance and shorting rings, I know that Sundown and SSA use aluminum shorting rings, off the top of my head.

The usefulness of low inductance for subwoofers is at least debatable...

the importance of low inductance in sub drivers - Techtalk Speaker Building, Audio, Video Discussion Forum
Not sure how many people are aware, but you can contact DD Audio and have subs custom built for your application. Even their Neo-motored Z series can be built with ultra light cones and softer suspension.

Most of the DD subs sold at the shop I was at in the past were custom built units. People liked the idea of getting a sub built that has a look they like and performs like they'd expect.
 

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There generally seems to be a dismissive attitude towards subwoofers that come from manufacturers that are popular with the SPL crowd, such as Sundown Audio, Digital Designs, Fi, SSA, ect. for SQ purposes. Is this warranted?

I absolutely understand there are subwoofers that are made specifically for one note "burping" with mega x-max ratings. Even so, I feel there are many drivers from these companies that are well engineered, have low distortion, and are able to play quite accurately when given the chance (and proper enclosure). What does everyone else think?
Many times it's stuff that I wouldn't even bother to consider- 15" drivers? 1200W rated subs, huge x deep baskets (total PITA to install in factory locations), lights, bling.

I prefer the Audiophile look and marketing, conservative and stealth. SPL is vulgar, expensive, marketed to to "Bros" with flat-brimmed hats, and who knows if it actually sounds nice? It's always put into SPL builds- which I'm not into. Not my scene.
 

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Many times it's stuff that I wouldn't even bother to consider- 15" drivers? 1200W rated subs, huge x deep baskets (total PITA to install in factory locations), lights, bling.

I prefer the Audiophile look and marketing, conservative and stealth. SPL is vulgar, expensive, marketed to to "Bros" with flat-brimmed hats, and who knows if it actually sounds nice? It's always put into SPL builds- which I'm not into. Not my scene.
Much of what you've said here has very little to do with the equipment and is just a general dislike of the SPL crowd.

But then there's your sig...
Life was much easier when only SPL mattered.
 
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