Dayton RSS315HF-4 12" Subwoofer

M

MrBoat

Audioholic Field Marshall
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1,179 2 1
#1
I installed this driver (Dayton RSS315HF-4) in the same cabinet my Dayton UM12-22 12" usually resides in. It's 2 cu.ft. sealed cabinet. I think this ends up being the same configuration that Zaph uses for this driver IIRC. It ends up being a close to exact fit with the Ultimax's mount, screws and all. I should also say that I know next to nothing about subwoofers and all the variables that make them tick certain ways.



I have been using these subs crossed over rather high lately in a music only, 2.1 channel setup, with my Nola clone full range project, at 120hz. The clones have been in constant use for over 10 days at this point, if that says anything about how it turned out. Still, being that the little full rangers, each having dual, 3.5" full range drivers and not much else, the system is more reliant on a subwoofer that does well in the higher ranges, and noticeably busier than some of the more typical 80hz and below duties.

I have to say, this RSS315 sounds fantastic with music. Most notably with the bass guitar. To be fair, being that the UM22 is a bit more powerful driver, I was having to hold it back quite a bit paired with such tiny speakers. Things I notice between the RS and the UM being more detail from the RS on such things like bass guitar slides. Perhaps the higher sensitivity of the RS (90.3 dB) compared to the UM's (86.7) has something to do with it, I don't know. The UM has a rather robust (childproof even) Nomex/fiberglass(?) cone while the RS is aluminum.

Not to say one is better than the other, and I am not about to give up my UM but I am liking the RS, at least as a match with this current speaker setup. Different cabinets, ported vs sealed, and a myriad of other possible comparisons could perhaps put the UM on top. But for my music only requirements, I could easily live with this sub.

ETA: I purchased this driver via recommendations from someone on this forum that I can't recall without looking for the thread. So it was yet another good one. I am pleased.

I'd still like to try a paper coned subwoofer driver for curiosity's sake
 
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rojo

rojo

Audioholic Samurai
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#3
I'd still like to try a paper coned subwoofer driver for curiosity's sake
Here are a couple to consider:
The Lab 12C is more efficient than the CSS, but the CSS has a shallower rolloff and is closer to critically damp in a 2 cubic foot sealed enclosure. Although both are rated for 500W RMS, the Lab 12C is xmax limited to about 300W below 40Hz. Both drivers would have significantly better efficiency below 40Hz in vented boxes.

You should install WinISD and play with modeling these and whatever other sub drivers interest you.
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
1,179 2 1
#4
Not so much for improved sound, but I noticed that some of the less expensive subs with treated paper, are rated to higher frequencies, say, 30-2000hz instead of 20-1000. I'm not so much expecting an improvement, as much as seeing if there's a difference above 80hz, or how far above the sub bass range some of these drivers can perform in.

In the case of mid bass, for example, the Eminence Delta Pro-12A, which has a paper cone, has to be one of the sweetest drivers I recall hearing, with bass, and even sub bass to a point. The Eminence driver is not a subwoofer, but a mid bass-mid range driver. Does it work for some subwoofer drivers as well? I know they have/had some higher reaching subwoofer drivers in 3 way speakers, where it's not a target to reach below something like 34 or 36hz.

I don't hear much about it. I am not sure if it's because it's just not a widespread concern, or so many are after the absolute lowest frequencies. All I see mostly is excitement over reaching below 20hz with regard to subwoofers.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
3,375 16 36
#5
Not so much for improved sound, but I noticed that some of the less expensive subs with treated paper, are rated to higher frequencies, say, 30-2000hz instead of 20-1000. I'm not so much expecting an improvement, as much as seeing if there's a difference above 80hz, or how far above the sub bass range some of these drivers can perform in.

In the case of mid bass, for example, the Eminence Delta Pro-12A, which has a paper cone, has to be one of the sweetest drivers I recall hearing, with bass, and even sub bass to a point. The Eminence driver is not a subwoofer, but a mid bass-mid range driver. Does it work for some subwoofer drivers as well? I know they have/had some higher reaching subwoofer drivers in 3 way speakers, where it's not a target to reach below something like 34 or 36hz.

I don't hear much about it. I am not sure if it's because it's just not a widespread concern, or so many are after the absolute lowest frequencies. All I see mostly is excitement over reaching below 20hz with regard to subwoofers.
I haven't considered a driver for the extended range up into the lower mids, can't see any reason for it as a subwoofer for my purposes (yet, who knows). I did seek out performance down low, but my purposes were both music and movies.

While my main diy subs are good out to 350-400hz or so per Josh Ricci's tests and comments (at data-bass.com, for the same driver and box size); even my big bought sub is good out to 300hz per another of Josh's tests. I don't think I really get that close to needing all that even crossing at 120, which I've used quite a bit (but now I'm going to go see how that actually plays out). I'll have to look at your full range project you mention....

Here's an AH article on the materials subject I ran across in looking around a bit http://www.audioholics.com/loudspeaker-design/loudspeaker-drivers/diaphragm-material
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Field Marshall
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1,179 2 1
#6
I haven't considered a driver for the extended range up into the lower mids, can't see any reason for it as a subwoofer for my purposes (yet, who knows). I did seek out performance down low, but my purposes were both music and movies.

While my main diy subs are good out to 350-400hz or so per Josh Ricci's tests and comments (at data-bass.com, for the same driver and box size); even my big bought sub is good out to 300hz per another of Josh's tests. I don't think I really get that close to needing all that even crossing at 120, which I've used quite a bit (but now I'm going to go see how that actually plays out). I'll have to look at your full range project you mention....

Here's an AH article on the materials subject I ran across in looking around a bit http://www.audioholics.com/loudspeaker-design/loudspeaker-drivers/diaphragm-material
Thank you for this.

I should say again how much I am enjoying this RSS315 with the aluminum cone. It is different than the UM. Really nice sounding sub up into the 120hz range. I have not crossed it higher. It's not lacking anything in this use that would make me search out a different material as an improvement. I am just curious is all. Same thing that got me messing with full range drivers.

Otherwise, the whole of modern audio really centers around accuracy and it's difficult to get away from that, understandably. But I still like to discover other things I like, even if it's wrong. Like certain types of enjoyable, euphonic distortion perhaps. Doesn't have to be right, or true to form, just something that my ears enjoy for whatever reason.

What the full range drivers do is really sweet midrange, and in the case of the little 3.5" Peerless TC9, as a tweeter of sorts too. I got lucky on that project. I think yet again, from having a good room for music that helps all of these oddities work. Of course my ears could be tonally handicapped, and I can accept that too. But the vocals, horns, acoustic instruments etc. in this instance, are to die for. Really darned ridiculous to be getting that out of $12 drivers. :D
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
273 5 22
#7
Thank you for this.

I should say again how much I am enjoying this RSS315 with the aluminum cone. It is different than the UM. Really nice sounding sub up into the 120hz range. I have not crossed it higher. It's not lacking anything in this use that would make me search out a different material as an improvement. I am just curious is all. Same thing that got me messing with full range drivers.

Otherwise, the whole of modern audio really centers around accuracy and it's difficult to get away from that, understandably. But I still like to discover other things I like, even if it's wrong. Like certain types of enjoyable, euphonic distortion perhaps. Doesn't have to be right, or true to form, just something that my ears enjoy for whatever reason.

What the full range drivers do is really sweet midrange, and in the case of the little 3.5" Peerless TC9, as a tweeter of sorts too. I got lucky on that project. I think yet again, from having a good room for music that helps all of these oddities work. Of course my ears could be tonally handicapped, and I can accept that too. But the vocals, horns, acoustic instruments etc. in this instance, are to die for. Really darned ridiculous to be getting that out of $12 drivers. :D
I believe I was the one who suggested that RSS subwoofer. I am happy to know that you have enjoyed its musicality so far.

BTW, you can cross it over up to 300Hz. I was successful with it in a 3-way system crossing over at 270Hz.
Cheers,
 
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M

MrBoat

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
1,179 2 1
#8
I believe I was the one who suggested that RSS subwoofer. I am happy to know that you have enjoyed its musicality so far.

BTW, you can cross it up to 300Hz. I was successful with it in a 3-way system crossing over at 270Hz.
Cheers,
I believe it indeed, was you, so, thank you for that. It is a nice subwoofer. I like the tone of it with the music I listen to. I never really cared to nit pick any differences between subwoofer types and applications, but I believe this one does indeed come across more "musical," for lack of a better description. The caveat being, limitations of one specific cabinet type is no measure of judgement, but it worked out well. Your description made sense to me at the time and I believe it was generally a good call. I believe the "HF" designation stands for "hi-fi," so I believe they were trying for a more musical function as well.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Overlord
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#9
Thank you for this.

I should say again how much I am enjoying this RSS315 with the aluminum cone. It is different than the UM. Really nice sounding sub up into the 120hz range. I have not crossed it higher. It's not lacking anything in this use that would make me search out a different material as an improvement. I am just curious is all. Same thing that got me messing with full range drivers.

Otherwise, the whole of modern audio really centers around accuracy and it's difficult to get away from that, understandably. But I still like to discover other things I like, even if it's wrong. Like certain types of enjoyable, euphonic distortion perhaps. Doesn't have to be right, or true to form, just something that my ears enjoy for whatever reason.

What the full range drivers do is really sweet midrange, and in the case of the little 3.5" Peerless TC9, as a tweeter of sorts too. I got lucky on that project. I think yet again, from having a good room for music that helps all of these oddities work. Of course my ears could be tonally handicapped, and I can accept that too. But the vocals, horns, acoustic instruments etc. in this instance, are to die for. Really darned ridiculous to be getting that out of $12 drivers. :D
I suspect you are enjoying it. The Ultimax drivers are high Q, yours 0.59. The RSS315 is low Q 0.39. So the Ultimax is a more resonant driver and also less sensitive. The Ultimax gives you 6 Hz extension in the sealed box. F3 34 Hz versus 40 Hz.

This is a point I have hammered away at for years, that high Q drivers are to be avoided, they just do not sound as good.

I have not recommended those Ultimax drivers.
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Field Marshall
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1,179 2 1
#10
I suspect you are enjoying it. The Ultimax drivers are high Q, yours 0.59. The RSS315 is low Q 0.39. So the Ultimax is a more resonant driver and also less sensitive. The Ultimax gives you 6 Hz extension in the sealed box. F3 34 Hz versus 40 Hz.

This is a point I have hammered away at for years, that high Q drivers are to be avoided, they just do not sound as good.

I have not recommended those Ultimax drivers.
I think room gain is also taken for granted. I was actually subduing the UM quite a bit to about -8db (out of a possible -12db) and more on some music via the gain control. The RSS315 I am at about -3db. The bass now seems noticeably more accurate to the music, even at lower listening levels and without sacrificing the right kind of punch. The Subwoofers in my JBL 3-ways go down to the mid 30's and I was eq'ng those back as well for shaking the house. This RSS woofer is more responsive and it is something you can visually see in the cone of the driver itself.

Now I can almost hear where a stereo pair of these, or even a stereo pair of a smaller (10's) model of these would be pretty sweet.

With that said, to think I am getting this kind of sound out of 2 pairs of $12 full range-3.5" drivers, with a single capacitor between them, and this lone subwoofer (very little,manual EQ at the source, set it and forget it like),is bloody ridiculous. I keep looking over at this. . . . "rig", and sometimes I laugh out loud at it, and myself.
 
S

shadyJ

Audioholic Spartan
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3,143 28 15
#11
I like the HF drivers from dayton, but I have a hard time believing that there is some audible qualitative difference between them and the Ultimax drivers, at least if the frequency response is the same.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Overlord
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#12
I like the HF drivers from dayton, but I have a hard time believing that there is some audible qualitative difference between them and the Ultimax drivers, at least if the frequency response is the same.
The frequency response does not show you everything about a speaker by a long shot.

As I have said before, it is actually quite a simple matter to design and build a speaker with a flat frequency response, that would be totally useless as a music reproducer and produce totally unintelligible speech.

Mr Boat has described eloquently the difference in sound between a low and high Q driver. With the big difference in Q they will sound different. The difference would be highly significant and easily picked out in a DBS, despite the fact that both drivers have a pretty flat response to 1K

As I say, I do not use high Q drivers or recommend them. My mentors drilled that into me years ago.

It is an absolute starting point for realistic reproduction to design and build low Q systems, especially for the bass. It does not hurt for the other drivers either, as you can drive then down though Fs if Q is low enough.

I have others on my side about this. When I was with Billy Woodman at ATC a few years ago, he also stresses that starting with low Q drivers was a foundation of good design.

I commend Mr Boat on his experiment which has drawn attention at least on these forums to a very important issue regarding speakers.

Also as a budding speaker builder, he has experimented with full range drivers. I would bet that the frequency response is far from perfect, but I think through it all he has detected the harm that crossovers cause.

One of the basic points of design of my reference speakers, is that much of the crossover design is very much a sleight of hand.

My years of using full range drivers were truly formative. I think every designer should have played about with full range drivers. It is highly educational. I was lucky that I had easy access to Ted Jordan and especially Donald Chave of Lowther, who was nearby in my formative years.
 
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S

shadyJ

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
3,143 28 15
#13
The frequency response does not show you everything about a speaker by a long shot.

As I have said before, it is actually quite a simple matter to design and build a speaker with a flat frequency response, that would be totally useless as a music reproducer and produce totally unintelligible speech.

Mr Boat has described eloquently the difference in sound between a low and high Q driver. With the big difference in Q they will sound different. The difference would be highly significant and easily picked out in a DBS, despite the fact that both drivers have a pretty flat response to 1K

As I say, I do not use high Q drivers or recommend them. My mentors drilled that into me years ago.

It is an absolute starting point for realistic reproduction to design and build low Q systems, especially for the bass. It does not hurt for the other drivers either, as you can drive then down though Fs if Q is low enough.

I have others on my side about this. When I was with Billy Woodman at ATC a few years ago, he also stresses that starting with low Q drivers was a foundation of good design.

I commend Mr Boat on his experiment which has drawn attention at least on these forums to a very important issue regarding speakers.

Also as a budding speaker builder, he has experimented with full range drivers. I would bet that the frequency response is far from perfect, but I think through it all he has detected the harm that crossovers cause.

One of the basic points of design of my reference speakers, is that much of the crossover design is very much a sleight of hand.

My years of using full range drivers were truly formative. I think every designer should have played about with full range drivers. It is highly educational. I was lucky that I had easy access to Ted Jordan and especially Donald Chave of Lowther, who was nearby in my formative years.
I don't regard the Ultimax drivers as especially high Q. If you want high Q subwoofer drivers, look at the ones from Fi. The Ultimax 18 as measured by Data-bass shows terrific performance, nothing that would be at all offensive. Even so, humans do not hear Q. We don't hear how much something is damped, we only hear the sound it makes. And we are talking about subwoofer drivers, which are most likely only going to see use at 100 Hz and below, a range that human hearing can tolerate a lot of imperfection before it becomes audible. I would bet the house that, given the same frequency response, these drivers would not be distinguishable beyond chance in a blind test.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Overlord
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#14
I don't regard the Ultimax drivers as especially high Q. If you want high Q subwoofer drivers, look at the ones from Fi. The Ultimax 18 as measured by Data-bass shows terrific performance, nothing that would be at all offensive. Even so, humans do not hear Q. We don't hear how much something is damped, we only hear the sound it makes. And we are talking about subwoofer drivers, which are most likely only going to see use at 100 Hz and below, a range that human hearing can tolerate a lot of imperfection before it becomes audible. I would bet the house that, given the same frequency response, these drivers would not be distinguishable beyond chance in a blind test.
I disagree. I would bet that even a sustained tone would sound different. 0.59 Q and 0.39 Q is a big difference. I do not spec, drivers over Q 0.4. The sweet spot tends to be 0.3 to 0.4 for woofers.

Woofer below 0.3 can sound very good also especially if horn loaded.

I guarantee that the bass of the Ultimax has a bit of a bloated warm sound to it. I would bet the lower Q driver has a lighter more natural quality to it.

This is the thing that people notice hearing my rig. There first reaction is that there is no bass, as most are used to high Q bass. Then they listen in and do realize the bass that is balanced and integrated.

As you know I don't like most commercial speaker designs, and with good reason.

Getting this light detailed bass right is absolutely essential, especially for baroque music which I love. That genre tends to sound absurd on so many systems. I have heard the bass line described as elephantine by a reviewer once in a speaker review. That is what high Q systems do.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
3,755 20 4
#15
I suspect you are enjoying it. The Ultimax drivers are high Q, yours 0.59. The RSS315 is low Q 0.39. So the Ultimax is a more resonant driver and also less sensitive. The Ultimax gives you 6 Hz extension in the sealed box. F3 34 Hz versus 40 Hz.

This is a point I have hammered away at for years, that high Q drivers are to be avoided, they just do not sound as good.

I have not recommended those Ultimax drivers.
[/QUOTE]
Does this show up in any of the measurements from Data Base?

I have had a long term frustration over not being at all happy with many of the subwoofers that are considered very good by most here. I have no idea if it falls back to the Q values, but would like to investigate it further.
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
1,179 2 1
#16
I don't regard the Ultimax drivers as especially high Q. If you want high Q subwoofer drivers, look at the ones from Fi. The Ultimax 18 as measured by Data-bass shows terrific performance, nothing that would be at all offensive. Even so, humans do not hear Q. We don't hear how much something is damped, we only hear the sound it makes. And we are talking about subwoofer drivers, which are most likely only going to see use at 100 Hz and below, a range that human hearing can tolerate a lot of imperfection before it becomes audible. I would bet the house that, given the same frequency response, these drivers would not be distinguishable beyond chance in a blind test.
Hey, I offered the caveat in the beginning of my post that the difference could be purely situational with using the same box. Some drivers work better in smaller boxes than others do. The surround on the RSS315 is measurably smaller on the RSS than the UM. Xmax is less, and the cone mass is substantially less just for starters. I have no reason to like one over the other since I own both and nothing to prove otherwise, except perhaps, with regard to efficiency in smaller spaces, where one can not feasibly put the larger, ideal vented enclosure for specific types of subwoofers in their room, when all they need to do with it is listen to music.

But in the time it took to switch drivers in the same cabinet, which was just under 10 minutes, I noticed a rather remarkable, audible and musical difference.

The price difference between the two is not all that great. Why would they make two different styles of subwoofer drivers if both should perform the same? Dayton labels this one for "High Fidelity" (HF) in it's model designation. Apparently, the tradeoff is that it's not perhaps the all around best for HT as well, compared to the UM.

A further observation being, the 12" Eminence Delta Pro-12A in the Tempests is also cleaner for musical bass down into the 40hz area and with mid bass, to where I was running them full range because of it and just using the UM for 55hz and below and well subdued at that for best overall bass performance.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Overlord
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#17
Does this show up in any of the measurements from Data Base?

I have had a long term frustration over not being at all happy with many of the subwoofers that are considered very good by most here. I have no idea if it falls back to the Q values, but would like to investigate it further.[/QUOTE]

Well in the driver base it will show under the T/S parameters as Qts. Manufacturers seldom specify total system Q. One thing for sure, total system Q can never be lower than Qts.
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
1,179 2 1
#18
Does this show up in any of the measurements from Data Base?

I have had a long term frustration over not being at all happy with many of the subwoofers that are considered very good by most here. I have no idea if it falls back to the Q values, but would like to investigate it further.[/QUOTE]

I noticed over at AVS forum, there is a lot of emphasis on subwoofers in their DIY section. Often the prescription for what I consider small rooms, a penchant for relatively large drivers. Then again, the beaten path is often with regard to what IMO, would be considered extreme, sub bass effects. I see very little in the way of optimization towards music. Then again, some seemingly erroneous tradeoffs just for a capability to reach below, or actually perform consistently, if not continuously below 20 hz as well? And furthermore, how 'hot' many are running these subwoofers.

I used to sit in with a lot of live music. If the bassist was to turn his amps up hot like what a lot of people listen to these days, he would have been getting "the look" from the front man or the rhythm section for stomping allover their efforts.

Another trend I have noticed is with the notion of installing 'mid-bass- modules,' when there is already and supposedly a well designed (albeit monstrous) subwoofer in the system that should well cover those upper bass frequencies?
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
273 5 22
#19
Does this show up in any of the measurements from Data Base?

I have had a long term frustration over not being at all happy with many of the subwoofers that are considered very good by most here. I have no idea if it falls back to the Q values, but would like to investigate it further.[/QUOTE]
Hi Kurt,

To put it simply, the situation with the Qts of any type woofer or driver to be used as a woofer in a box, as per my own experience, is as follows:

If the driver is to be used in a ported enclosure and you want it to have a very good low frequency response, the woofer should have a low Fs and a Qts ideally between 0.4 and 0.45.
On the other hand, if the driver has a low Fs but its Qts is around 0.2-0.25 for instance, its low frequency cutoff will be appreciably higher, unless you install it in a huge box. In the big cabinet, it will lose some of its efficiency.
As for sealed enclosures, higher Qts are desirable but you lose in efficiency and you get higher distortion levels. IMO, the only advantage is that the driver can be installed in a smaller box.

Cheers,

André
 
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TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
6,904 12 19
#20
Does this show up in any of the measurements from Data Base?

I have had a long term frustration over not being at all happy with many of the subwoofers that are considered very good by most here. I have no idea if it falls back to the Q values, but would like to investigate it further.
I noticed over at AVS forum, there is a lot of emphasis on subwoofers in their DIY section. Often the prescription for what I consider small rooms, a penchant for relatively large drivers. Then again, the beaten path is often with regard to what IMO, would be considered extreme, sub bass effects. I see very little in the way of optimization towards music. Then again, some seemingly erroneous tradeoffs just for a capability to reach below, or actually perform consistently, if not continuously below 20 hz as well? And furthermore, how 'hot' many are running these subwoofers.

I used to sit in with a lot of live music. If the bassist was to turn his amps up hot like what a lot of people listen to these days, he would have been getting "the look" from the front man or the rhythm section for stomping allover their efforts.

Another trend I have noticed is with the notion of installing 'mid-bass- modules,' when there is already and supposedly a well designed (albeit monstrous) subwoofer in the system that should well cover those upper bass frequencies?[/QUOTE]

I agree on all counts. The idea of a mid/bass module is absolutely preposterous. You have already found out what eliminating crossovers does for you.
 

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