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Author Topic: EAW SB150zR Subwoofer or other tiny subwoofer for EV ZX3s  (Read 13718 times)

Mike Pyle

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Re: EAW SB150zR Subwoofer or other tiny subwoofer for EV ZX3s
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2011, 12:56:33 pm »

I have NOT used the ZX3 and CS30 together, but according to spec the ZX3 is pretty flat to 70 Hz. I think they would be an excellent match. I've only heard the CS30 in Danley's demo room, but I was really impressed with it, as were many others there.

The ART902AS mentioned performs very well given it's size, but doesn't go anywhere near as deep as the CS30.
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George Friedman-Jimenez

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Re: EAW SB150zR Subwoofer or other tiny subwoofer for EV ZX3s
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2011, 03:07:14 pm »

Thanks everyone. Pat, yes I have considered the Growler, but JTR does not publish frequency response data and I don't know how to interpret +/- 3 dB at 41 Hz. It could mean down 3 dB at 41 Hz or down 6 dB at 41 Hz, or something in between, a graph would give more information. I have not heard the Growler and don't know where I could in northern NJ or NYC. At any rate, it is a bit bigger than the others I am considering. I would probably go with an SRX718S if I were to go that large, but I don't think either would fit in my car with all my other gear and instruments.

Cliff, the ART 902-AS is already down 10-14 dB at 40 Hz, although it is temptingly small and light. The ART 905-AS is a little better matched to my needs, but still seems to be down about 7 dB at 40 Hz, although the RCF FR graph conveniently skips the 40 Hz vertical line. Also the price is way above that of others that go lower.

Mike, on paper the ZX3 is only down about 2 dB from 75-90 Hz (from the mean SPL defined by the rest of the frequency response range), and is down almost 4 dB by 60 Hz. In my experience it is more than that and I sometimes need a PEQ boost of 3-4 dB at 100 Hz and crossover at 120 Hz to get a balanced bass sound when I use the ZX3s in my studio with a small sealed subwoofer that is pretty flat. The ZX3 has strong and clear midrange and works great for vocals, but is a bit weak in the lower midbass for dj'ing. I actually may want a sub with a 120 Hz crossover for that reason, to avoid needing to bring DSP.
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cliff truesdell

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Re: EAW SB150zR Subwoofer or other tiny subwoofer for EV ZX3s
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2011, 12:53:45 am »

There are some other small subs out on the market, how they perform is beyond my knowledge.

Carvin TRX118: http://www.carvinguitars.com/trxn/

Spec's look good, lightweight. Ive seen the box in the local store, the logo is removable so all your left with is a nice coated box with the "TRX" in the wood. The box construction is top notch from a visual perspective. Good price. No idea how it sounds. A few friends of mine love there Carvin subs (carpet model) and use them for small local festivals.

http://www.ramsdellproaudio.com/products/subs/FL-1-18.html

This sub always gets me curious, very light, good specs. A few chaps on the forums like there Ramsdale products. I myself have never tried them.

Anyway, just a thought
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George Friedman-Jimenez

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Re: EAW SB150zR Subwoofer or other tiny subwoofer for EV ZX3s
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2011, 03:22:41 am »

I am not familiar with Carvin products, but wow, that Carvin TRX118N looks great for size, shape, weight, price, made in USA, power handling and a max SPL higher than I need, but it has an unbelievably good frequency response. Literally unbelievable. There is a big discrepancy between the specs verbal description of -3dB at 35 Hz and the frequency response  graph which shows the -3dB point around 25 Hz. The specs say -10dB at 29 Hz and the graph shows a -10dB point at 21 Hz. The text mentions an internal crossover but the specs say no internal crossover. I am not sure what to think of the data they are providing. I may call Carvin to find out what is going on. I hope their production and service quality control is better than their marketing quality control. A PSW forum search on Carvin was not very encouraging with regard to other Carvin products. Does anyone else have any first hand experience with the Carvin TRX118N?
The Ramsdell Flylite 18 looks nice, it is lighter but not much smaller than the SRX718. I will have to go measure my car.
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Brad Weber

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Re: EAW SB150zR Subwoofer or other tiny subwoofer for EV ZX3s
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2011, 07:16:45 am »

Thanks guys. I am considing the Danley TH-mini as well, but it looks like the EAW is down 3-4 dB at 40 Hz (with DSP) while the TH-mini is down 9 dB at 40 Hz (with no DSP). The EAW, which costs a bit more than half what the TH-mini costs, goes lower at the price of less SPL, larger size and need for a DSP boost at 40 Hz. Can I use a DSP boost on the TH-mini at 40 Hz and give a comparable frequency response to that of the EAW?
George, I would not get hung up on response charts that include processing unless that processing is integral to or provided with the speaker.  The response shown for both boxes unprocessed is rather similar and if you look at the SB150z unprocessed response it is also 8-9dB down at 40Hz relative to the 100Hz response with the processing shown to be applied peaking at about +8dB at 40Hz.
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George Friedman-Jimenez

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Re: EAW SB150zR Subwoofer or other tiny subwoofer for EV ZX3s
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2011, 08:29:34 am »

Brad, you are right, unprocessed the EAW frequency response is very similar to that of the TH-Mini, maybe an additional 1 dB down at 50 Hz. Because of the difference in the frequency axes on the two graphs, I had not seen how similar they really are, thanks for pointing that out.
So comparing them, the EAW is a little larger but 4 lb lighter, 1 dB less sensitive at 1 w/1m, and with slightly less power handling. I don't know how well the TH-Mini would do with a DSP bump at 40 to extend its FR to make it flat down to 40, but the EAW is designed to do that. The SRX718S goes down to 40 without DSP but is 10 inches deeper and probably won't fit in my car with everything else.
The EAW costs about half what the TH-Mini costs. So for a passive sub, that looks like the best move. The Ramsdell, Carvin, Growler, and others don't have published frequency response graphs and I don't know where I could audition them in the NJ/NYC area. So it looks like my decision is down to whether I want to go to a powered sub at this point, and I haven't yet found a powered 15" sub that goes low enough without external DSP.
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Rory Buszka

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Re: EAW SB150zR Subwoofer or other tiny subwoofer for EV ZX3s
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2011, 11:21:46 pm »

Brad, you are right, unprocessed the EAW frequency response is very similar to that of the TH-Mini, maybe an additional 1 dB down at 50 Hz. Because of the difference in the frequency axes on the two graphs, I had not seen how similar they really are, thanks for pointing that out.
So comparing them, the EAW is a little larger but 4 lb lighter, 1 dB less sensitive at 1 w/1m, and with slightly less power handling. I don't know how well the TH-Mini would do with a DSP bump at 40 to extend its FR to make it flat down to 40, but the EAW is designed to do that. The SRX718S goes down to 40 without DSP but is 10 inches deeper and probably won't fit in my car with everything else.
The EAW costs about half what the TH-Mini costs. So for a passive sub, that looks like the best move. The Ramsdell, Carvin, Growler, and others don't have published frequency response graphs and I don't know where I could audition them in the NJ/NYC area. So it looks like my decision is down to whether I want to go to a powered sub at this point, and I haven't yet found a powered 15" sub that goes low enough without external DSP.

Understanding a bit about how both subs work can shed a little light on how either sub will behave if EQ'ed at about 40 Hz. The EAW is a vented box, which means that below its tuning frequency, if EQ'ed, it will go into driver overexcursion calisthenics and distortion (the 'wubba-wubbas'). However, a reflex box has a 'double-hump' impedance plot with a dip between the two humps, and the dip occurs at the enclosure's tuning frequency because the port is effectively putting the brakes on the driver as it absorbs the acoustic load, so the back EMF generated by the driver at that frequency is reduced and thus the impedance plot shows a lower impedance. In the case of the SB150z, that's occurring right at 40 Hz, so an EQ boost right around 40 Hz shouldn't increase driver excursion very much at all. Instead, the excursion of the air in the port will increase, because it's absorbing the acoustic load of that increased output.

(The reason why these small subwoofer designs tend to have output that rolls off at the low end is because the designer is using an enclosure that's smaller than the driver is most 'comfortable' with driving, so the pressure generated in the small enclosure volume is swamping the motor's available force, but a box large enough to optimally load most pro audio 15's or 18's would be much larger, and definitely larger than you can move around, so the designer chose the tradeoff of sacrificing a little output and requiring tailored processing to bring the sub into a 'flat' response. Neodymium magnetics help in building a 'stronger' driver, but they are expensive and the global supply of Nd is currently subject to some nasty market pressures.)

The Danley TH-Mini's impedance curve is a little tougher to decipher because of its tapped-horn design. However, the same electrical principles apply: the higher the impedance, the larger the cone excursion. The TH-Mini's impedance minimum occurs right around 50 Hz, and very slowly begins to rise around 40 Hz, but at 30 Hz, it's at its maximum for the design. This suggests that the TH-Mini would need a very steep HPF right at 35-40 Hz if any additional EQ were to be used at 40 Hz, to minimize the electrical drive from the amps at 30 Hz and prevent driver distortion or self-destruction at very high levels.

From this analysis, it looks like the EAW SB150zR is your preferred solution because applying the necessary EQ to make the sub flat to 40 Hz will have less of a negative impact on the sub's sound quality. Just be sure to have plenty of amplifier power on tap.

I'm not sure if there is a portable version of the Danley TH-112, but it would be better suited to efficient reproduction of the lower frequencies you're looking for.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2011, 11:34:58 pm by Rory Buszka »
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George Friedman-Jimenez

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Re: EAW SB150zR Subwoofer or other tiny subwoofer for EV ZX3s
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2011, 12:24:32 am »

Thanks Rory for your explanation of why I might not want to put a DSP bump at 40 Hz on the tapped horn TH-Mini. Although I could put a very low Q narrow boost a bit higher say at 44 Hz with a BW HPF slightly below 40 Hz, that might get a bit finicky and I don't know what the combination of DSP filters would do to the phase and group delay. So I agree with your logic and put the EAW at the top of my passive list. Certainly the Danley TH-112 would sound nice, but it is much heavier and bigger (and louder) than I want or need. I am not planning to push the SPL at all because I mainly play small venues and the sub is really only for between sets dj'ing.

However after all this discussion, a complication is that two of my nephews are party DJs and will no doubt want to borrow the sub at some point. One of them asked me tonight to borrow a speaker. I don't trust them to stick to my advice to avoid red lights or properly limit the SPL, and I think they are more likely to blow up a 15" passive sub with the amp I have than to blow up an 18" active sub that is more than adequate for my tops. I also measured my car and find I can fit the PRX618S-XLF (if I limit my passengers!) So my final decision, after months of consideration, was to go with the PRX, which has the lowest bass extension of the active subs I have been looking at, and has plenty of headroom for the small venues we will be using it in. I found a deal online and pulled the trigger tonight on a PRX618S-XLF (under $1k new shipped).

In this process, I actually got to really like everything I have seen about the EAW SB150zR. If the PRX sub is too big and does not sound good doing between-gig double duty in my basement rehearsal studio, I may still get the EAW for that. I still have not heard one and will be looking around for one to hear over the next few months. Thank you to everyone who helped me think this though.
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Pat Latimer

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Re: EAW SB150zR Subwoofer or other tiny subwoofer for EV ZX3s
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2011, 12:44:52 am »

Thanks Rory for your explanation of why I might not want to put a DSP bump at 40 Hz on the tapped horn TH-Mini. Although I could put a very low Q narrow boost a bit higher say at 44 Hz with a BW HPF slightly below 40 Hz, that might get a bit finicky and I don't know what the combination of DSP filters would do to the phase and group delay. So I agree with your logic and put the EAW at the top of my passive list. Certainly the Danley TH-112 would sound nice, but it is much heavier and bigger (and louder) than I want or need. I am not planning to push the SPL at all because I mainly play small venues and the sub is really only for between sets dj'ing.

However after all this discussion, a complication is that two of my nephews are party DJs and will no doubt want to borrow the sub at some point. One of them asked me tonight to borrow a speaker. I don't trust them to stick to my advice to avoid red lights or properly limit the SPL, and I think they are more likely to blow up a 15" passive sub with the amp I have than to blow up an 18" active sub that is more than adequate for my tops. I also measured my car and find I can fit the PRX618S-XLF (if I limit my passengers!) So my final decision, after months of consideration, was to go with the PRX, which has the lowest bass extension of the active subs I have been looking at, and has plenty of headroom for the small venues we will be using it in. I found a deal online and pulled the trigger tonight on a PRX618S-XLF (under $1k new shipped).

In this process, I actually got to really like everything I have seen about the EAW SB150zR. If the PRX sub is too big and does not sound good doing between-gig double duty in my basement rehearsal studio, I may still get the EAW for that. I still have not heard one and will be looking around for one to hear over the next few months. Thank you to everyone who helped me think this though.

George, have you actually had a chance to listen to the Danley's? Depending on what your uses are, I think you should listen to everything before buying. Whoops, I think I'm too late. The XLF, is a respected piece but you should  listen to all comers before dropping the coin. IMHO, take your time before pulling the trigger.

My $0.02.

Pat

p.s.- good luck George, I hope it works our for you.


cliff truesdell

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Re: EAW SB150zR Subwoofer or other tiny subwoofer for EV ZX3s
« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2011, 02:53:21 am »

Interesting choice. Ive used the VRX918SP subs often and know that they perform very nice. While I havent used the XLF I guess they should be pretty close.
Report back after you have used it and let us know your thoughts.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: EAW SB150zR Subwoofer or other tiny subwoofer for EV ZX3s
« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2011, 02:53:21 am »


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