Thursday, September 20, 2012

BigE subs

So far about all I've talked about are the tops.  The sub I have, a LilE 12, was pretty good.  It had some off brand driver in it that worked reasonably well. It did exhibit all the crazy stuff BigE's do, like not excite room modes and such.   Decided it was time to step it up.  I'd heard their bigger models when I was in Illinois and had been very impressed.

First up was a Lab12 4 ohm model.  It was good.  Not spectacular, but good.  Steve and Tom had warned me that the design of the subs can cause some woofers to lose cone control and oscillate.  Which is exactly what the lab12 did when I put big power to it.  After discussing it with Steve, there must be some differences between the 4 and 8 ohm model, as he said the 8 ohm they have does not exhibit this.

Next was the awesome 3012lf.  I love the 30xx series Eminence drivers.  Phenomenal performance for the price.  This driver turned the cab into a monster. Serious monster.   A single 12" subwoofer was easily keeping up with 2 2x8 tops.  And these tops are loud, I mean really loud.  Tight, defined, and as clean as my horn loaded subs.

I had one more to try.  18sound 12NLW9300.  These are beastly neodymium drivers.  If the 3012 made it a monster, the 18 sound turned it into Godzilla.  The block walls of my shop were vibrating.  I dumped all the power the Digmoda had, 1kw, into it and it never even breathed hard.  The output was just astounding for a single cab.  I've never heard an 18" with this kind of impact, and certainly never one as clean.  To me that's the biggest deal, it's just pure, like a horn loaded sub.  But without all the placement issues that come with horns. 

Man I need some testing software. I do have mic on the way. 


  1. so why do horn subs have placement issues more than other drivers? is it to do with the way they couple with the room (and the way the physical features of the room then induce effects inside the horn?) To be honest I've not had issues with horns - mostly because I use them primarily outdoors, in a single v-plated array. I think what you really need to do, to get a handle on it (as well as getting some software and learning to make measurements - a not insignificant process with loads of issues and quirks) is to take a few different subs - the bigE's, a bfm titan, and maybe a conventional sub- into a bunch of different situations. indoor, outdoor, small room, big room, room with known serious modal issues - and try all of them out in exactly the same positions, and see what you get. and take along an objective listener, prefereably who doesnt know anything much about subs, or what you are doing. just a straight blind A-B-C listening test...
    What are the BigE subs like at the upper end of their range? I know the titans start to lose focus as you push the crossover point up (as do most subs) - one reason I prefer the Titan+DR250 combo to the titan+DR200 combo for sound quality...

  2. As i'm sure you know horn subs are naturally larger because of the length the path needs to be to produce lower frequencies. Size is definitely a factor for many venues.

  3. Horn subs don't have any more placement issues than any other sub, but they magnify the issues. Outdoors the issues are pretty much non existent, except for distance cancellations between the subs.

    The test between subs will happen today. Going to reload the LilE with a 3012lf, and run a 20" wide titan 39 3012lf alongside. Pretty sure what will happen though. I've been running Titans for 4 years or more. I know what they can do. I'll take some pics, but the setup is not pretty. Wires and crap everywhere, the WT8's are still just raw boxes.

    1. do all the drivers you are using share bolt patterns? or do you use a clamp arrangement for quick changeability while testing?

  4. I use recex screws. They can be installed and pulled many times. They'll almost break something before they strip the hole. Especially in 3/4, like the BigE baffle.