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Author Topic: NYC Subwoofer Shootout 2007  (Read 52781 times)

Scott Hibbard

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NYC Subwoofer Shootout 2007
« on: January 29, 2007, 09:00:57 pm »

Part 1 was getting kinda long so I started this thread focusing on the actual event. Today we took measurements with Mark Seaton and Ivan at the wheel.  Tomorrow we pit them up against each other in listening tests.  Here are the subs we tested.  Note: Meyer MD3, JBL's and EONA 618's did not show up - perhaps tomorrow?

Danley Sound Labs TH-115
Danley Sound Labs TH-215
Electrovoice PX2181
McCauley MS3
BassMaxx Z5000
BassMaxx Trip X3
L’Acouctics SB218
JTR Growler
EM Acouctics EMS-215
EM Acoustics Quake
LAB Sub
Outline Subtech 218
EONA ATA 118 HH

No opinions until all the testing is over and the smoke has cleared.

P.S. Hats off the Paul Bell for pulling this thing off!

ScottH
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Michael 'Bink' Knowles

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Re: The Next Shootout - Part II
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2007, 10:02:49 pm »

Scott Hibbard wrote on Mon, 29 January 2007 18:00

Part 1 was getting kinda long so I started this thread focusing on the actual event. Today we took measurements with Mark Seaton and Ivan at the wheel.  Tomorrow we pit them up against each other in listening tests.  Here are the subs we tested.  Note: Meyer MD3, JBL's and EONA 618's did not show up - perhaps tomorrow?

Danley Sound Labs TH-115
Danley Sound Labs TH-215
Electrovoice PX2181
McCauley MS3
BassMaxx Z5000
BassMaxx Trip X3
L’Acouctics SB218
JTR Growler
EM Acouctics EMS-215
EM Acoustics Quake
LAB Sub
Outline Subtech 218
EONA ATA 118 HH

No opinions until all the testing is over and the smoke has cleared.

P.S. Hats off the Paul Bell for pulling this thing off!

ScottH



Yeah, Paul deserves a round of applause or a round of something with some kick to it. Jolly good show!  Cool

Having never heard of them I was curious about the Growlers... they look like LA400 killers in their specs: lighter weight, less cost, half the cubic volume. The EAWs are rated for more SPL but how do we know what frequency band and what level of distortion products were involved to get the official rating? Too bad Ryan's LA400s didn't get themselves to Club Rebel so we could line the Growler up directly against its worthy competitor.

-Bink
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Paul Bell

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Re: The Next Shootout - Part II
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2007, 10:50:40 pm »

Awww, thanks guys, I could use a round of sleep right about now.

We took our vote and the six cabinets moving on are:

Danley Sound Labs TH-215
BassMaxx Z5000
JTR Growler
EM Acouctics EMS-215
EM Acoustics Quake
Outline Subtech 215

The BASSMAXX Trip missed by one vote and everybody quickly asked for a seventh candidate. Seven it is.

Given time, we'll also do some listening to the other subs.

My take so far:

The EMS215 was the biggest surprise to me. Compact box, very loud, very accurate. Better sounding than it's bigger brother, the Quake which to me, sounded like a typical horn box.

The Growler did very well given its size. It might be a good box for those small gigs.

The Outline was very good for a front loaded dual 18 however, it did have some pronounced air noises.

The Danleys faired very well, up there with the top runners. They are a bit smaller than I'd imagined. EZ to move around.

The EONA self powered single 18 sounded good during sweep tests but didn't do very well with music.

The L-Acoustic didn't do very well compared to the big subs, I think we were all a bit disappointed in them. Hokey jack setup, one NL4 per driver. No way of going in & out.

The EV was good and loud but doesn't do much below 45 Hz. Loud box here.

McCauley MS3. Good box, not a sub. A bass cabinet for flying. I'd say they wisely designed a bass cabinet for free air use where a flown sub bass cabinet would be lost anyway. Rated -3 at 52 Hz, -10 at 35Hz so they did spec it right.

The Z5000 went loud and low, almost as loud and low as it's big brother the Trip. The Trip I think so far was the biggest performer but due to it's size and weight, some folk'll shy away from it.

The Lab Sub on hand is a modified version, shorter horn and open driver cavities. We all feel the original Lab Subs are a better box.

Mr. Prescott announced that the EONA 6X18 sub has arrived in New Jersey and will be delivered tomorrow. We'll toss it into the fray.

Still MIA is the Meyer and JBL cabinets. Let's hope they wander in tomorrow also.

David Lee and I discussed the sound of all the cabinets. We know how the BASSMAXX cabinets are supposed to sound and David has noticed some things when using various amplifiers. Now, without making this an amplifier issue, we'd like to hear the Z5000 and Trip on a QSC 9.0. It's been mentioned earlier in the shootout thread that the 9.0 should be there. We'll hook one up tomorrow just to see if the sound is any different.

It's been suggested to me that we take a more accurate vote in the morning with the folks who'll be there for day two. Also, it should be a paper vote. We'll discuss it in the morning.

On to the listening tests!

Paul Bell
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Paul Bell
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: The Next Shootout - Part II
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2007, 12:43:36 am »

Bink-

All the boxes that made the final cut for tomorrow's listening evals were good in their own right, but for me, the Growlers were the "sleeper" of the bunch.  I think Jeff's little sub surprised everyone, and we're looking forward to hearing more from it.

Mark Seaton will be posting some hard data, and we will be posting our listening impression as things progress.

A big Thank You to Paul Bell and his assistant Karl, and everyone else too numerous to mention (because there are too many for me to remember right now) for making this a great way to spend a couple of winter days!

More later.

Tim Mc
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Mark Seaton

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Test description & explanation from Day 1
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2007, 09:13:54 am »

So with the TEF display burned into my retina's while becoming all to aclimated to 130dB sweeps, I have all the measuremements fairly well organized and named with descriptions of what was measured.  Others who may have the TEF software can e-mail me if they want to look at the data.  The files total about 1.6MB thus far.

I will add to this as time permits.

The system hookup was as follows:

My TEF25 was connected to an input on the Dolby Lake processor.  We had the controls for the Dolby Lake on a laptop next to my position.  The Dolby Lake outputs then directly drove the PowerSoft amps and of course then to the speakers.  The amps were all at the same gain so we could connect multiple channels where needed and Voltage output was the same for a given output from my TEF25.  Ivan brought an EarthWorks M30 microphone and calibrator which was used for all measurements.  We grabbed a mono output from the board to the Dolby-Lake which could be mixed in or muted at the click of a mouse.  After each set of measurements we engaged an 80Hz LR24 low pass and a suitable 24dB Butterworth high pass (per box) for listening.  All filtering in the Dolby-Lake was bypassed for testing you will see posted... as time permits me.  

Please remember I have no direct financial stake in this and have about 8 products I'm working on getting to normal production in the Home Theater market.  My ties to the participants of course includes my history of working with Tom Danley and the guys at Danley Sound Labs.  Jeff Permanian, of JTR, and I are long time friends from before we both started slaving for ServoDrive/Sound Physics.  My involvement with the Growler is limited to helping source the custom driver and helping with measurements and models.

So after getting all the routing and connections sorted we needed to establish a set of measurements that we would be practical to perform on the 13 subs.  Trying to stay "equal" for each sub when they run from 1-6 drivers per box and impedances of 2-8 Ohms would have added another level of confusion, so we decided to set the drive level for our base measurements at ~2.8V as measured on a GreenLee meter with a sine wave at 60Hz generated by my TEF25.  The TEF25 has a numeric output level, which makes relative changes easy.  We adjusted gains in the Dolby Lake such that -30dB on my TEF25's output corresponded to ~2.8V.  This was the base level measurement for each sub.  Let's remember that we are really seeing Voltage sensitivity, NOT efficiency.

The subwoofers were placed in the middle of the floor of the narrow room about 8' in front of the stage.  The M30 was set on the ground 4' from the front edge of the pair of subwoofers under test.

Measurements taken were as follows:

1)  2.8V (to each box or connection), 120-20Hz, 16.6 second TDS sweep, giving a frequency resolution of 2.5Hz for the tracking filter.  This measurement gives us a low level sensitivity reference and basis for the other frequency response and THD measurements.  Finer resolution gives little added information once at <~1/10th the lowest frequency of interest.  In taking longer sweeps at 2Hz resolution, there was no added detail to the measurements, and it just took longer.

2)  2.8V (same as in #1), 300-50Hz, 7.08 second TDS sweep, giving a frequency resolution of 5.9Hz for the tracking filter.  This measurement gives us a view of the out of band response and behavior of the subwoofers which may or may not impact the subjective sound.  This region will have an impact on the crossover region and may skew the effective crossover or require attention to get the desired crossover.

Just got the wireless router Paul Bell has set up for us.  To be clear, there were more measurements than the above starting point taken, and I'll detail those as time permits.

More to come...
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Mark Seaton
Seaton Sound, Inc.
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Mark Seaton

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Data Dump - A snapshot of what the contenders do and don't
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2007, 09:18:27 am »

****This space reserved for lots of names, numbers, curves and graphs.****
Cool
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Mark Seaton
Seaton Sound, Inc.
"Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood..." - Daniel H. Burnham

Tom Young

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Re: The Next Shootout - Part II
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2007, 09:34:36 am »

I decided at the last minute to go down for the subwoofer shootout and was impressed with how well organized it was (I had missed the news that Mark Seaton would be there with TEF) and how well attended it was (by humans and subwoofers). It was GREAT to meet so many LABsters, see others I know and also hobnob with the engineering staff from APB Dynasonics.

In my self-imposed exile from frequent live sound events, it is SO refreshing to be in the presence of such a group. All the anecdotal exhanges and common interests/beefs/insights have recharged my batteries considerably.

Much appreciation for the work that it took on the part of Paul Bell & company and those who schlepped all those big-boys so far.

I will look forward to the data/graphs from Mark and (equally) to the subjective voting tallies.

A great day.
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Tom Young
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Michael Hedden Jr.

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Re: The Next Shootout - Part II
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2007, 09:37:53 am »

The Danleys faired very well, up there with the top runners. They are a bit smaller than I'd imagined. EZ to move around.

Hi Paul and all,
Your assessment of the Danley's makes the point perfectly for the Tapped Horn technology. Anybody can make a big sub, the real art is in getting big and low out of a small box.
Come to NSCA Orlando in March if you want to see enormous, low, and ridiculous output using a tapped horn. Cool
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Grant Conklin

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Re: The Next Shootout - Part II
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2007, 09:42:06 am »

Quick question while you're all there and a consensus can be had.  I don't see the Yorkville UCS1 listed, which I'm guessing is similar to the Danley TH-115.  Any guesses as to how it would have faired against the Danley, and perhaps the Growler?  
Thanks,
Grant
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David J Lee

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Re: The Next Shootout - Part II
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2007, 10:05:05 am »

Welcome to New York.  Well there was four times the turnout this year compared to the last time this was done. Congratulations to everyone who showed up to experience this madness first hand.  It's great to have so many more ears to share their opinions this time.

First order of business:  Many thanks to Paul Bell for going to a lot of time, trouble and expense to organize this event.  Thanks to Mark Seaton for running the test equipment.    So now on to the subwoofers...

The measurements will speak for themselves.  We'll be listening today so I'll post my opinions when I've heard more than one song on each of them. Talk with you soon...
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David J. Lee
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