Need help deciding on a driver.

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Dallas, Jul 26, 2004.

  1. Dallas

    Dallas Stunt Coordinator

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    I am planning to build a front firing subwoofer. I have the 1000 watt plate amp from Parts Express but I am having a difficult time determining which driver to go with. I want a 15" driver and have narrowed it down to the following:

    Stryke Audio AV15 MKII $205
    Dayton 15" Titanic MKIII $199
    15" DVC High Performance $190

    Of all of these I am most excited by the looks of the Stryke AV15 but I don't want looks to be the "driving" factor. Do any of you have any information you can add to any of these drivers that could help me make a decision. As you can tell price is virtually not an issue so which one would have the best performance. I am most interested in chest thumping bass for HT but I do listen to alot of music as well so I don't want it to go boomy at higher SPLs either.

    Is there a 15" you think I should seriously consider that isn't on this list?

    Thanks,

    Dallas
     
  2. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    Jask's right if cost isn't an issue go with the Tumult.

    Otherwise look at the BluePrint BP1503
     
  3. Dallas

    Dallas Stunt Coordinator

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    I meant cost wasn't an issue among the 3 drivers I listed (they are all in the same price range.) You are the second person to suggest the Tumult but I think it is a ittle out of my price range right now. However, what makes it such a superior driver (if price indicates superiority)?

    Thanks,

    D-Rex
     
  4. Dallas

    Dallas Stunt Coordinator

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    The blueprint driver is at the upper limit of my price range but what advantages does it have over the ones I listed that might make it worth the extra expense?

    Thanks,

    D-Rex
     
  5. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    Well as far as I know the AV-15's aren't yet available.

    The DVC15 isn't in the same league as the others.

    Compare the T/S parameters of the MKIII and the BP1503.
     
  6. Darren_T

    Darren_T Second Unit

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    I'd be likely to take ThomasW's advice... the BP1503 would be my choice if I had to get another driver. I have the AV15 currently and it is quite nice, you just have the wait to deal with. The BP1503 seems to be well respected and the price is definately right.
     
  7. Dallas

    Dallas Stunt Coordinator

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    I will probably have to wait a few months before I have the funds to purchase the driver and remaining supplies anyway. So, I wouldn't have much of a problem waiting on the AV-15 if it was worth it. I still like the looks of the AV-15, is there anything that can be put over the others that could give them some flash, like an aluminum cone cover or something?

    I will certainly add the BP1503 to my list!
     
  8. Dallas

    Dallas Stunt Coordinator

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    Thomas,

    Can you help me with this comment or point me to a website where I could learn more about it? This comment is from another thread...

    "The material a subwoofer cabinet is made from doesn't matter; as long as the Fs of the cabinet, is out of the passband where the driver is operating."


    Are you simply saying as long as you match the size of the box to the requirements of the woofer then what it is made from is irrelevant?

    Thanks,

    Dallas
     
  9. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    Nope,

    What that statement means is that it doesn't matter if a cabinet is made from stone (I think that's the thread where the statement comes from) or wood or concrete or whatever.... IF the Fs (resonant frequency) for the cabinet is out of the passband (frequencies where the driver is operating) of the woofer.

    Now this doesn't mean that one can build a 'flexible flyer' (box with lots of wall flex). One still must attend to proper consruction techniques.

    Any box has an Fs reaonant frequency (frequency where the box itself naturally vibrates). One doesn't want that frequency to be in the frequencies where the woofer is playing.

    For example, if a woofer is playing from 80Hz down to 10Hz. The Fs of the cabinet should be either higher than 80Hz, or lower than 10Hz.

    Make sense?
     
  10. Dallas

    Dallas Stunt Coordinator

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    How do you determine what the Fs of your cabinet is going to be?
     
  11. Dave Milne

    Dave Milne Supporting Actor

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    You can do this accurately with a good CAD tool (like Pro-Engineer or AutoCad) and an finite element analysis program (like Ansys). Just load in the design and the materials properties (mass, modulus, etc) and voila! it'll tell you all of the resonant modes and frequencies. It will also give you displacement amplitudes for any given excitation.

    For the rest of us mere mortals without access to these tools, just build the box with 1" MDF and lots of bracing (take a look at the plans on the Adire site) and you'll be fine.
     
  12. Cam McFarland

    Cam McFarland Supporting Actor

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    Dang...I've been using ACAD at work for the last 15yrs. & never heard about ANY of this stuff...... [​IMG]
     
  13. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    Hey, you can always suspend the cabinet with a chain attached to the ceiling, and hit it with a really big hammer. Then use a frequency counter to measure the vibrations ..... [​IMG]
     
  14. Allen Ross

    Allen Ross Supporting Actor

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    thats how i did mine
     
  15. Dallas

    Dallas Stunt Coordinator

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    "Hey, you can always suspend the cabinet with a chain attached to the ceiling, and hit it with a really big hammer. Then use a frequency counter to measure the vibrations ..... "

    What size hammer? Will a ball pien hammer work? Should I measure the force with which I hit the box? When my wife calls the funny farm to come pick me up should I go peacefully or should I run like hell?

    Appreciate all the help on these tough questions!

    Just to summarize:

    Tumult is the best but also one of the most expensive.

    The next ranked that were within my price range:
    AV-15 or BP1503 next?
    MKIII 3rd
    Dayton 15" DVC - no longer on the list.

    Measure the Fs with chain, pulley, hammer, and a frequency counter...[​IMG]

    Thanks,

    D
     
  16. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    Dallas

    I have more freedom to recommend and discuss more drivers options here on HTF.

    At this point in time the 'new' AV-15 is an unknown. John J is going to start handmaking his own drivers. I imagine that they're going to be pretty good. Currently they're unavailable, untested and unproven. But John knows drivers. And if you want an aluminium cone driver there probably won't be many out there as reasonably priced as his

    The BluePrint driver are proven and they are TANKS. Click on the Audio-Worx link in my sig you'll see a couple of examples of tube subs I've made with 1503's

    There are some really nice drivers available HERE These are closeouts prototypes and other misc drivers made by TC-Sounds.

    If you want a low buck high performance driver look at THIS I think you'll find it quite similar to the high performance DVC15 from PE but at a much lower price.
     
  17. Dallas

    Dallas Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for all of the links and information. Although I still feel I hav emuch to learn, I do feel much more informed than I did before.

    I have a couple of months or more to research this so I will become very familiar with all of the driver options out there before this process is over.

    Thanks,

    Dallas
     
  18. Paul Spencer

    Paul Spencer Stunt Coordinator

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    Dallas,

    I think the AV15 and the Dayton Titanic MK III are excellent drivers. (Personally I have the AV12 so I'm a bit biased)

    While the Tumult is an excellent driver with extreme output and a very impressive flat BL curve, it is extremely expensive to get so much output from one driver. To keep the response linear over such a huge xmax is no mean feat. I can't help wondering if it is better to design drivers with a little less xmax, design them to be linear over the range they are to be used, and use multiple drivers if needed to get more output. Using two drivers of lesser output together has more flexibility and allows you to mount push pull, cancel harmoninc distortion and reduce vibrations etc. I can't help wondering if the Tumult is more expensive than it needs to be, just to be impressive (and to sound good at the same time).

    In other words, I think it's probably an expensive way to do the job.

    Adire talk about the flat BL curve of the Tumult, but if you look at the data sheet for the Titnic, it also has quite a flat BL factor! I haven't seen any other drivers at that price point and output level make a claim to having a flat BL like that. If you compare it to the DVC you will notice a big difference. The titanic seems to be a very capable driver, and it is more affordable as it has a more sane xmax - it only has to deal with 20mm xmax rather than 34mm. At its price you could buy two for 80% cost of the Tumult with about 150% of the VD! Which would sound better? It's hard to say, the difference might be less than many would assume I suspect. If the Tumult did have any advantage, then I suspect you could more than make up for it by spending what you save on eq to get it sounding just right ...

    Now about the AV15. There's no question about the appearance, it is very good to look at. Better than the pics you have seen online! Very well built. Stryke dont' supply much info on it apart from parameters etc so it's hard to compare on technical terms regarding BL curve etc. But there's no question it is excellent value. Similar output to both the Titanic and Blueprint drivers, the latter being very popular in particular. I think however that the Titanic and the AV15 are generally both under rated. I don't know how this happens. Stryke subs are all excellent value, in my view a bit better than many other more popular drivers. The Blueprint drivers have no real performance advantage for the extra cost, there is nothing I can see to suggest they are better.

    In the end it's a tricky decision, one that only you can make. You have to weigh up:

    - all the things like how big, what type of alignement, size etc and if the driver is suitable
    - how much it will cost including the box and an amp that will get the most out of it (I got my AV12s for the cost of the Shiva but I need a more expensive amp to get more output)
    - the subjective "I feel like going with xxxxx" factor which includes how it looks, how you think it will sound, etc which often ends up being the thing that makes up your mind once you are happy with the size, cost, suitability issues

    If it were me I'd be tossing up between the Titanic and AV15. You would probably be happy with either choice.

    Hope this helps,

    cheers,
    Paul
     

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