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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This review is a result of the SSA Dcon Give Away here on DIYMA. So, first I would like to thank Aaron & Mark of SSA for participating in the give-away and providing 2 free drivers to members of the community.

Specifications for the driver can be found HERE. The cost for the driver once added to the cart in the shopping section of the SSA website is $165 plus shipping.

As you can see from the below picture, the driver is single boxed with 4 foam pads glued to the sides of the box at the mounting ring and (not visible) foam padding underneath the motor structure with an inner cardboard "box" that surrounds the motor structure.

The driver did shift slightly during shipping, one side of the basket slipped down underneath one of the side foam supports, but was otherwise unscathed.


The sub itself is an attractive driver, refreshingly free of flash or pizzaz. Black pulp fiber cone, foam surround, 2" wide D4 voice coils, standard 12 spoke basket with venting under the spider, and a new logo design on the dustcap. Build quality appears solid and well thought out; clean glue joints, felt pads to eliminate lead slap and quality push terminals. The motor structure is reasonable in size and weight; It's fairly tall being triple stacked magnets but not unreasonably so (6.5" mounting depth), and the motor structure is fairy narrow which helps keep the weight down and makes handling the driver fairly simple.



It will initially be installed IB as that is how my trunk is currently configured. I'd like to also be able to test the driver in a sealed enclosure and ideally ported aswell....but we'll see how that all pans out. It will be powered by the bridged rear channels of a MB Quart QAA4250 which will provide approximately 500w @ 8ohm. Rest of the system consists of an Alpine W200, H701 and a Memphis Msync 8" comp set in the kickpanels. Sub duty is currently provided by an Exodus Shiva-X, which works out nicely as both it and the Dcon are in the same price bracket :) I'd like to first consider the Dcon's performance on it's own merit, then compare it to how I feel it stacks up against the currently installed Shiva-X. That's my goal atleast......we'll see how well I can stick to it :p

With the weather and my work schedule, I anticipate being able to begin testing the driver this weekend.

So, there you have it so far :) Look for an update on this hopefully Saturday! Expect this to be a multi-part review.......hopefully Dave (audiolife) can find some time in his busy schedule to come lend an ear aswell ;)
 

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Me too. Congratulations on the win also! So many great perks of being a member here. Thank you SSA, DIYMA, and squeak9798 for this awesome writeup!
 

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Love that picture. And Audiolife, are you guys trying it ported? :)
I would like too, I listened to it IB. I think most people should hear a sub IB before they go ported...It demenstrates how clean it can sound. If Squeak gets the wood I would build the box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, I should to be able to get the time tomorrow evening to get a decent write up posted on this. I'll also be sending Mr. Audiolife a PM about getting a ported enclosure for built. I really would like to listen to it in a ported enclosure after my listening experiences so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My initial listening impressions are that this is overall a pretty good driver.

To reiterate, I'm presently running the driver IB on a 500w amplifier with a lowpass crossover of 63hz @ 18db/oct.

Sound quality wise the driver is pretty well defined. This no noticeable overhang. The driver is tight and accurate on fast bass lines and fast transitions. There doesn't seem to be much blending of the various notes. For the most part they seem to be well separated and distinct with good transitions between notes. On faster bass lines, like those found on Mudvayne, and on more complex notes that transition fast or are layered the driver has no problem keeping up with no lag or overhang. It does an acceptable job of sounding "real", instruments sound like instruments. There also doesn't seem to be exaggeration of the notes. And with proper level matching the sub blends well with the rest of the system. The driver isn't perfect, but it's a pleasant driver to listen to with no obvious or obnoxious deficiencies in the way of sound quality.

Output wise the sub is fully capable of getting sufficiently loud at frequencies above approximately 35hz. Enough to be overpowering if so allowed....certainly more than enough output to suffice for all but a true basshead. I honestly haven't got a clue exactly how much power I'm running to it (amp is rated 500w, but I'm certainly not using all of that juice), but from fiddling with the settings I can tell it's capable of more output than I'm utilizing from the driver for daily listening.

On the downside, however, in this particular installation the driver lacks impact in the lowest half octave to octave. Of course, it doesn't take a genius to figure out from the looking at the specs why this would be so. A lower Q higher Fs driver is inherently going to have a weak bottom end in this alignment. Running IB however does give the driver some advantage in low end compared to a sealed enclosure. I did end up bumping 20hz - 32 or 40hz (can't recall off hand) by around 2db to give it some additional low end without trying to overly stress the driver. This helped some, but it's still a little lacking. On tracks like Planet Kryptonite and Beasty Boys the low end is present, It isn't non-existent, it's just not strong.

For this reason, I could not foresee running this driver in a sealed enclosure as that would simply serve to further reduce the low end output.....unless you had the available power and excursion to EQ in the low end. I do however believe this driver would greatly benefit from being ran ported in a low tuned enclosure as this should increase output in the last octave where this driver needs assistance. Sealed would probably be acceptable for just a good sounding daily driver setup.....but expect the low end to be further impaired.

Some of my listening material to test this driver all around for accuracy, performance with different music genres, output, etc;
Michael Jackson
Audioslave
IASCA disc
Puscifer (testing for output)
Eagles
Mudvayne
NIN
Tool
APC
Beastie Boys
And a whole lot of weird **** at Dave's house, most of which I'd not heard of before.

As of right now, I'd probably rate this driver a 7 out of 10. Sound quality is good while not prefect. Output in the upper passband is more than sufficient, while the low end is lacking in this particular installation.

Right now if you were to ask me if I were going to keep the Dcon in my car or reinstall the Shiva-X, I would probably have to say the Shiva-X will be going back in. Why? Well, the sound quality of the Shiva-X was at minimum on par with the Dcon....the Shiva-X seems a little more refined in definition. But, in my particular installation, I also need the low end output the Shiva-X provides since I plan on sticking with IB. However this statement could be different if we were discussing a different alignment, such as a ported enclosure. We'll see how this weekend pans out.....hopefully I'll be able to test it in a ported enclosure.
 

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Basically what I expected. We'll see what other alignments have to offer. Any chance of objective information?
 

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I would say on Car Thief it was more than lacking on the low end drum. It should shake pretty good. On my atlas I have to tune it at 19-20 hz and bump it until it is semi correct (+1.5 dB on a 1.5Q) but it will shake. Only thing my set up doesn't do is make it sound like that drum has open space as you basically sit on the sub. That's why I didn't want to score this in IB as it may turn people off unfairly. In IB I wouldn't score it that high but then again I wouldn't give anything a 10 and most likely not even a 9. It has some good qualities however that wouldn't show through the score I would give it. I will say this though if you HATE any muddy bass at all an IB set up with this sub you wouldn't have much to complain about except for the 1st octive (which is why I suggested hearing it IB before putting it in a ported box to show how really clean it could be). Some ArSe can be dialed in but you would be edging towards perfection with a boost and that is something I have a hard time scoring well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Basically what I expected. We'll see what other alignments have to offer. Any chance of objective information?
At this time I unfortunately have no means by which to provide objective data. I'm not a huge fan of subjective reviews myself, but at present that's all I can give.
 

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I understand; same garbage I did with the Icon, too.
 

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if you want we can meet up at the home depote tomarrow night and get the wood. Saturday I am already building another box so I will have everything out anyway.
 

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box is done except for the cut out for the driver. I usually do my ports differently and corner load them but I did it to the plans I saw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Big thanks to Audiolife for whipping out the enclosure in short order. 2.25cuft tuned to 31hz, which is smack in the middle of the "optimal" ported enclosure as listed on the website (which is why this enclosure was chosen).



I'll do some listening impressions after I get more listening time.
 

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we should try it sealed to but in that box. I don't think it would prove anything outside what the IB to ported has proven but it would be nice to offer a real testament to what it does. We should check on a spectrum analyzer.
 
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