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.