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Whats the purpose of square subs? (1 Viewer)

Shawn Solar

Supporting Actor
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May 12, 2001
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I'm trying to understand the purpose of square woofers. I have been gathering info on sub technologies and I might put this in too, if it is an advancement in some regard and not just a gimmick. I thought round was for a reason. Equal pressure along the surround and cone helps keep woofers stay linear with age.
 

Sam A

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Oct 4, 2004
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149
maximize air movement, therefore maximize SPL, therefore making your car shake more, therefore getting more attention, therefore getting laid more. doesnt have much to do with quality sound just a quantity point of view
 

JimPeitersen

Second Unit
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Dec 7, 2001
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470
Many people have commented on the Kicker (and clones) square subs, and the general consensus is that they are SPL subs and not for SQ installs. This may be true, I haven't heard them. I would like to hear from people with an open mind on this issue - why can't they "sound" good. While I know that some people question the durability of these subs, the anecdotal evidence in car audio circles is that they are at least as "tough" as round subs. To me it seems that the engineering side must then be fine. If this is the case, is there any logical reason why this shape can't be made to "sound" good, i.e. a SQ sub? Can people really argue that a solidly designed "square" sub with something like Adire's XBL2 technology wouldn't sound "good"? Just random thoughts.
JP
 

Aaron Howell

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Nov 19, 2003
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At least that's what the manufactuer wants you to think.

The truth is, a sub isn't going to do anything for your sex life unless you rip off the dustcap and the voicecoil is the right size.

Disclaimer:
I take no responsibility for injury if you are stupid enough to do what I said above. But if you decide to go through it, make darn sure you get it on video. :D
 

Sam A

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Oct 4, 2004
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make darn sure you get it on video...

OMG!!!

Aaron, you have a sick mind.

Alot of it has to do with how each of us perceives "good sounding bass" . Didnt Nousaine [sp?] to tests that said harmonic distortion in subs is good? Ive never been a car audio person, and ive never had a sepereate sub. therefore I cant speak from experience, just speculation.
JimPeitersen- I can see square subs being ok until a certain excursion point where the corners move much faster/slower than the rest and not distributing the power arouind the whole cone evenly. I would think that square subs arent that good in the imaging department, thats why they are strictly car sub drivers. I remember KEF getting blasted because they used oval or pill shaped speakers, but Kef is a very reputable company, but then again they dont use non round drivers anymore.
 

LaMarcus

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Well a guy here at work has an old ford pickup. He has one solar barrick (sp?) in his cab. The box is about 6" deep (if that long), and the lenth is the entire lenth of the cab. The size of his one square sub is 10", now keep in mind I've been into car stereo since I was a pup, I've seen and heard all kinds of car stereos. I've had nothing but 15" woofers in my cars since 93'. And this kid's system has the hardest, deepest bass I've ever heard. You can feel your head vibrate. When he gave me a sound demo he told me to open the door and roll down the window because he's already shattered it twice. INSANE.
 

Geoff L

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Who is building Kickers sub/s now?

Credence built them for Kicker Corp (Comp, VR, Solobaric, & other Kicker models also for years, but I don't think they build them now....

Anyone know who builds their Square Solo's now??

Sorry Shawn, seems no one has been able to answer the question "directly" to this point. But speculation is always fun...;)

They are tuff bastards (the Solos) I will say that only.

Geoff ¥
 

Robert_Gaither

Screenwriter
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Mar 12, 2002
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I'd believe that you can make a good sq woofer with a square shape but the question would be is there a market for it esthetically or bang-for-the-buck crowd?

If it doesn't look good or requires a box that's too large then it might not sell from a WAF/SAF pov. I can't picture this sub with the driver hidden or having to maintain a rectangular shaped box for such a driver.

The other crowd is the displacement-for-the buck crowd but such a driver would meet stiff competition as there are already many greater drivers and unless it could find it's niche quick it most likely won't last long enough to maintain it's own market (I think how good the Blueprint drivers were for their time and how many times it changed hands).

The driver design I'm amazed hasn't really prospered is the triangle shape (bazooka) as most people stick their subs in a corner and with a downward facing driver one could have a pretty tall unnoticible sub sitting in a corner or four in a room with maybe very little complaints from the WAF/SAF.
 

Hank Frankenberg

Senior HTF Member
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Oct 13, 1998
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2,573
Actually, square shape results in LESS cone area. The most space-efficient/largest area geometric shape is a circle. The guys with window-shattering auto subs are showing nothing but their immaturity, rather than technical application knowledge.;)
 

Geoff L

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Really.

Throwing the Kicker aside along with anything else, linear stroke, cone depth from top to bottom, etc, am I missing something here.

"Flat Area"
12" circle= 113.04 sq-inches
12" square= 144.00 sq-inches

Math is not my forte for sure, but are my calculatios wrong..?

It would seem that a 12" square cover a larger area...

If you use two 12-inch "actual" drivers working diameter, one being the 12" Kicker Square and the other a Round 12" driver, and then also include liner stroke along with cone depth, things may be different.

Just trying to understand if I'm bonkers on this all the way around or on certain parts.....
 

Sam A

Stunt Coordinator
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Oct 4, 2004
Messages
149
it is my understanding that a 12" square is really like a 15" squared off. according to autocad, its a 16.9" circle squared off. therefore loosing surface area.
a 16.9 circle has area = 226 sq inch
a 12 square has area = 144 sq inch
thats a big difference. thats 82 sq inches or 36% loss. or only 64% efficient compared to a circle.

roughly
 

Aaron Howell

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Nov 19, 2003
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It is true that a circle has the most area of any other shape, but that doesn't mean a 12" circle has more area than a 12" square. A square that is the same size as the radius of a circle results in approx 25% more surface area. As you can/have read all over the place..."There is no replacement for displacement" It is easy to see the square has the advantage in terms of area.

The reason speakers have been round for ages is the strength you get with the shape of a cone. Other options have been around for a long time. But with how fast technology has been advancing the other options(shape/material) are now able to be cost effective.

I'm only going on my own thoughts here, but any flat surface is only as stong as what it's made of and doesn't have any structural help from shape. Wherever the cone has a straight edge is the weakest. Unfortunatly with square cones the weakest point is also the furthest from the center of the cone which at the same time accounts for a large portion of the area of the cone(Sd). So unless the square cones are stong enough to not flex at all, which I personally doubt, you will get physical cone distortion that would not coincide with the motion of the cone. This would most definitly affect the sound of the sub. Maybe that is why the square subs are known as sounding "muddy".

The last paragraph represents my own thoughts and is not guaranteed to be correct. With that said, feel free to rip into me. ;)
 

MichaelAngelo

Stunt Coordinator
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Oct 22, 2002
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137
Hi all !

Re the square Solobaric subs, I have a pair of 15 inch Solos in a common 24 cu ft box. Kicker states the square design was to help acoustic coupling, in competition automotive installs. Square subs maximize cone area on the mounting surface; circles would have greater "gap" between them. This is presented by Kicker as one reason/benefit of square subs.

I can say this about them, as I also have a AV15 in a 4 cu ft sonotube sealed: for HT, the Solos annihilate a room. I have them right next to each other on the mounting board, and they just move awesome amounts of air. Advertised Xmax is 15mm; but I currently have a PE250watt amp on each of the dual voice coils, 4 total, and Ive never bottomed them. (VC are 4ohm ea.) The AV15 sounds cleaner, but it bottoms, (a sick clank is more like it). The Solobarics wont win any SQ awards; in a huge boxed stuffed like crazy they're still a bit boomy. But they shake the house :) with the LOTR ring drop, the depth charges in U571, etc.
However, I bought them before I started reading this forum. If I had it to do over again, I'd get Tempests instead. The stories from readers here are very compelling,; it probably is a better sounding sub, and about the same cost. (Tempest is ~$150.00, and the 15 Solo square can be found ~ $170.00 )

Mike
 

Shawn Solar

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 12, 2001
Messages
763
I figured the only reason would be fitting multiple woofers on a baffle. as most boxes are square or rectangular(or all boxes are cause if they weren't then they're not a box) but I couldn't see that out weigh the possible negative affects of the design. Like the surround durabiltity and non-linearities as the surround could potentially wear uneven pulling the cone to out of its normal movement. Is the suspension round or square?
 

MichaelAngelo

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Oct 22, 2002
Messages
137
linkage :


:)

In an A-B comparison to even a "good" subwoofer, such as the AV15, the Solobarics lose. But as HT subs, I cross mine over at 40hz, they slam. Too boomy tho really- they definitely are meant for auto use.

Buddy of mine has 2 of the 12 inchers in an Infinite Baffle, not in the ceiling, built into a bar, around 16 cu ft each- they sound very nice for what they are. I think he got the pair of 12 squares for around 230, a plate amp for 99, and they blow away his previous sub--a Velodyne CT120. :)
 

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