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Are 18", 21" pro audio subwoofers better than 12", 15" hifi subwoofers?
Are 18", 21" pro audio subwoofers better than 12", 15" hifi subwoofers?
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Old 9th February 2019, 08:39 PM   #1
SpartanX58 is offline SpartanX58  Brazil
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Default Are 18", 21" pro audio subwoofers better than 12", 15" hifi subwoofers?

Are pro audio subwoofers better in terms of transient response and distortion than hifi subwoofers? I plan on using sealed enclosures with Hypex plate amplifiers, so frequency response will not be a problem since I will use DSP to achieve subsonic bass. I just want a driver which can handle lower bass with the least distortion as possible and which has great transient response. With my current knowledge pro audio woofers seem more adequate to the job, since they use larger diaphragms which somewhat have a low mass and are made to achieve high SPL.
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Old 9th February 2019, 10:02 PM   #2
academia50 is offline academia50  Argentina
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The response to transients depends on the type of box, so the sealed ones are much superior to the BR in that aspect. In my opinion, the speaker does not have any or very little influence.

If the major Xmax is important, and the lower FS. The latter will also depend on the availability you have to get the speakers.

I had to buy here in my country in a very limited offer an Eminence PA speaker, and simulate the box to achieve what I'm looking for in HI FI. The PA speakers are usually not the same as a subwoofer speaker for HI FI because their response curve greatly enhances the bass response with "punch", that is, between 50 and 150 hz approx. What options do you have? JBL- Selenium and what else? If you get 18 Sound 18 ", with DSP you'll be comfortable
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Old 9th February 2019, 10:05 PM   #3
daqvin_carter is offline daqvin_carter  United States
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I would have to say yes or no. You have to choose carefully.

A good pro woofer certainly can beat a hifi subwoofer as far as transient response.

If you are looking for alot of clean bass for 100hz and below, 18" is the sweet spot as far as price and performance. There are quite a few 21 inch woofers that not not any better than some good 15 inch woofers. There are even some 30 inch woofers that have poor price to performance.

Think in terms of bore and stroke when sizing up a woofer. Look at xmax times cone area when sizing a woofer for subsonic frequencies.
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Old 9th February 2019, 11:04 PM   #4
SpartanX58 is offline SpartanX58  Brazil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by academia50 View Post
What options do you have? JBL- Selenium and what else? If you get 18 Sound 18 ", with DSP you'll be comfortable
Well, I'm living in Portugal now and I can have access to any kind of european driver. Scanspeak, SB Acoustics, SEAS, Peerless, B&C, LaVoce, Ceare, FaitalPRO, Ciare, Celestion.

I just want something with good transient response and low distortion and high SPL capability in the deepest bass range. I will DSP to tweek the response curve to -3db 10hz on sealed cabinets.
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Old 9th February 2019, 11:16 PM   #5
SpartanX58 is offline SpartanX58  Brazil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daqvin_carter View Post
I would have to say yes or no. You have to choose carefully.

A good pro woofer certainly can beat a hifi subwoofer as far as transient response.

If you are looking for alot of clean bass for 100hz and below, 18" is the sweet spot as far as price and performance. There are quite a few 21 inch woofers that not not any better than some good 15 inch woofers. There are even some 30 inch woofers that have poor price to performance.

Think in terms of bore and stroke when sizing up a woofer. Look at xmax times cone area when sizing a woofer for subsonic frequencies.
The difference between pro woofers for me, it seems, is that they have stiffer suspensions, and much greater cone area. Hifi woofers generally have smaller cone area but softer suspension. In order to achieve the same SPL as pro woofers I would need to use multiple drivers. Which solution gives the lowest distortion? Pro woofers have the benefit of being much cheaper. I can get a LaVoce or a B&C 18 inch driver costing around 250, while hifi woofers are smaller and cost the same if they are 12 inches or much more if they are bigger (the 15" SB acoustics driver costs 400).
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Old 9th February 2019, 11:48 PM   #6
RobWells is offline RobWells  United Kingdom
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Above ~35Hz I'd say pro woofers are an excellent choice. However once you need response below that you are trying to force them to do something they were not designed for.

'Most' pro woofers are designed to be used in ported enclosures. In sealed boxes they often start rolling of around 100Hz so if you want response to 10Hz then you'll need around 500 watts at 10Hz to equal the output at 100Hz / 1 watt.

If I was wanting deep response with pro woofers I'd be looking at big (huge!) ported boxes tuned to ~15Hz and use the available EQ to fix the response once measured in room. (EBS enclosure style) and forget about sub 15Hz response.

It also depends on what sort of spl you are looking to play at. If normal music stuff then a pair of sealed / EQ'd 18's with big amps could do it. If proper home theatre / 'fun' level music then ported / multiple subs will be needed.


My system at the moment is running a pair of fane 15's ported at 24Hz. They do fine on music in my 20' x 10' room but I have had them hit their limits on films.

Rob.
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Old 9th February 2019, 11:51 PM   #7
kipman725 is offline kipman725  United Kingdom
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The short answer is yes, they move more air and are more efficient:
B&C Speakers
low fs in a driver can often mean the cone mass is greater than required which reduces efficiency. If applying electronic EQ the driver fs becomes less important and you start to care more about maximum SPL capability which is governed by input power capability and xmax for a given diameter driver. Powerfull amplifiers with DSP are now cheap to push 1000W+.
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Old 10th February 2019, 12:22 AM   #8
bentoronto is offline bentoronto  Canada
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Are 18", 21" pro audio subwoofers better than 12", 15" hifi subwoofers?
"Better" sure is a vague word in OP's post.

Ordinarily, "Pro" is a code-word for junk sound (small magnets, big magnetic gaps, very heavy cone assemblies, etc) but can play loud without bursting into flames.

For most purposes, the only parameter that matters is the driver resonance because that pretty much defines how low it will go in relation to different types of "enclosures". After that you have cone displacement capturing how loud it will go on peaks and usually not an issue for homes.

Compromising low resonance in order to buy other parameters is not sensible, at least for home HiFi.

B.
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Last edited by bentoronto; 10th February 2019 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 10th February 2019, 12:27 AM   #9
SpartanX58 is offline SpartanX58  Brazil
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I think this might be a good driver for subwoofer application. It has good 13mm of one way linear excursion and can achieve its full excursion at 20 hz with 500 watts in a not so big sealed box. I couldn't find distortion and linearity measurements.

LaVoce SAF184.03 - 18" Subwoofer
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Old 10th February 2019, 12:39 AM   #10
SpartanX58 is offline SpartanX58  Brazil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentoronto View Post
"Better" sure is a vague word in OP's post.

Ordinarily, "Pro" is a code-word for junk sound (small magnets, big magnetic gaps, very heavy cone assemblies, etc) but can play loud without bursting into flames.

For most purposes, the only parameter that matters is the driver resonance because that pretty much defines how low it will go in relation to different types of "enclosures". After that you have cone displacement capturing how loud it will go on peaks and usually not an issue for homes.

Compromising low resonance in order to buy other parameters is not sensible, at least for home HiFi.

B.
Actually, I'm not looking at crappy pro woofers, but quality parts, made for achieving high spl. B&C, Eminence, Celestion are some examples of that. Resonant frequency is not that important for me since I will use DSP and sealed enclosures. What is important to me is low distortion and good transient response.

Last edited by SpartanX58; 10th February 2019 at 12:44 AM.
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