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Longevity of Super 12 Drivers

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by MeLikeDaLowNote, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. MeLikeDaLowNote

    MeLikeDaLowNote

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    I'm really tempted to venture into the realm of the "Super 12s" but should I be concerned about the longevity of the drivers? Does the high excursion make them more fragile or decrease life in any appreciable way?

    I also have a related question (I should probably start a new thread but anyway...:bag:): Do any commercial manufacturers make anything comparable to super 12s? Are genz benz or other good quality major manufacturers producing anything that can come close to a Baer, Barefaced, Thunderchild, etc? I've heard great things about the Aguilar stuff, but is it unreasonable to expect the kind of output of a "super 12" from their (or other major manufacturer's) 112s?
  2. PlungerModerno

    PlungerModerno

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    I'd imagine the prototypes & various versions were all subject to serious testing - the high quality ones seem to have no complaints of wearing out AFAIK - and as I understand it the extra excursion, given the suspension is spec'ed to take it, means they'll outlast less capable drivers in most bass driver applications.

    I would suspect that there are excellent commercial 112's. Haven't tried them vs. the custom 112's or other supers. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect the best of them to do very well against any comparable driver/cab.
  3. MeLikeDaLowNote

    MeLikeDaLowNote

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    Why don't all the big boys make "super 12" cabinets? It seems like any one of the large corporations would have all the capital they need to R&D a kick ass high power box like the Thunderchild 112.
  4. R Baer

    R Baer Gold Supporting Member

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    Simple. This all comes down to price point. Our ML112 is expensive to build and therefore, expensive to buy. The larger companies know their market very well and design their gear to fit in that market. Nothing wrong with that at all. They simply couldn't sell enough high dollar cabs to cover their overhead and make enough profit to stay in business. Can't really argue that, they are selling a heck of a lot more cabs in their segment of the market than I am in mine.
  5. MeLikeDaLowNote

    MeLikeDaLowNote

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    For Mr. Baer: do you have any input on the longevity question?
  6. Bassmec

    Bassmec

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    I think the longevity of any loudspeaker design depends on the expectations and sensitivity to fartyness of the user far more than the X Max of the driver. You don't want to make any big mistakes like assume the maximum power figure is the sort of power the cabinet sounds good
    dealing with. You better take into acount that the most highly rated 12" driver with the most X Max is going to be throwing away half your amps RMS watts in speaker compression and farting at only 200 watts input at 50 hz into a 1 X 12 cabinet. What did you think it would do?:bassist:
  7. MeLikeDaLowNote

    MeLikeDaLowNote

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    I think I understand what you're saying. In other words, a huge excursion is inefficient because it takes a lot of power to get the driver back into position for another vibration? (I'm sure I'm not using the correct technical terminology).
  8. Russell L

    Russell L

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    Hm. I'd like to hear Alex Claber's comments on that.
  9. will33

    will33

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    Not exactly.

    It takes a bigger amp to push them as far as they're capable of being pushed. I think Bassmec was refering to power compression when refer to throwing away 1/2 your RMS power. Any speaker is suseptible to that at some point.
  10. will33

    will33

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    I haven't seen any reports of longevity problems. Some cabs will get creased cones over time from trying to push them farther than they want to go. I would assume that's been accounted for when engineering these high excursion drivers. You can use stiffer, sturdier, heavier cones when upper response isn't a design goal.
  11. dukeorock

    dukeorock Gold Supporting Member

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    We're pretty new to building these sorts of cabs...less than a year. Haven't had a Kappalite go bad yet on any cab we've built so far though. Pretty beefy drivers :)
  12. Mehve

    Mehve

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    As I understand, aside from the sensitivity sacrifice, the super woofers (ie 3015lf) also tend to handle higher frequencies like arse, which is why the sudden interest in good crossovers is present.
  13. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

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    I have had mine for almost a year, and I hit it with some serious power. Nothing has failed.
  14. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

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    I wouldn't think a company like Eminence would put out a driver they felt would fail before the end of a typical driver lifecycle (I believe that is around 20 years on average, before the surrounds start to deteriorate).

    Also, I believe at least some of these hi xmax drivers were designed for subwoofer applications, where programmed music (i.e., very little 'thermal rests') would be wumping at high volumes below 80hz or wherever subs are crossed over in big front of house systems.

    I would think these drivers would laugh at anything a bass guitar could do to them:)
  15. dukeorock

    dukeorock Gold Supporting Member

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    That's certainly one way of looking at it :)

    It's kind of backwards to suggest a 2-3 way cab is a workaround for these drivers. 2-3 way designs were the goal and the Eminence Kappalite LF's tend to be the woofer of choice...note the 'LF' in the model description. They were never designed to be a full range driver. For that you use a standard 3015 or a Faital 15PR400, or some other 'full range' driver.

    There is no 'sudden interest' in good crossover design...that's been around for years and for many (including myself) it's the way to go for huge lows and great detailed mids and highs...you let each speaker do what it does best.
  16. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

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    +1 Andy Lewis of Acme music has a wonderful explanation on his site that has been there for 15+ years, basically talking about how the mid driver's main purpose is that it lets him use a driver that goes really low, not anything to do with the mid driver per se (although you do get smidge better spread of the top of the midrange also).

    As you know, there is no free lunch... for a driver to go REALLY low, it is not going to perform very well up top.
  17. dukeorock

    dukeorock Gold Supporting Member

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    And that brings us back full circle to the whole 'super 12' thing. The one I use has a 3012LF, a Faital 5" mid driver and a horn. It weighs about 37 lbs and is super hi-fi with nice deep lows in a (relatively) tiny package. I think that's why greenboy, Baer and AudioKinesis are the designers to look for regarding a 'super 12.' To get everything you want out of such a small package, I don't think you can just shove a single 12 into a box and call it done. These designers came up with small 'systems.'
  18. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

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    For certain tone goals, I agree. Always trade-offs to any design decision though. A/B/C/D/E, those three and a wonderfully designed Berg HT112ER two way cab (woofer tweeter) or a 3015 non LF loaded LDS cab. Amazing sounding boxes, all in different ways.
  19. will33

    will33

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    I wouldn't expect somebody to blow one in a regular, direct radiator cab, unless they just really, realoy weren't paying attention. With all that excursion, both max, and lim, thermalling them would be the bigger danger. Luckily, most of us don't use near as much power as we think we do consistently. All that excursion, and amp power, mostly just handles transients and keeps the bass clean.


    Come to think of it, there was one guy who blew a 3015LF in a BFM horn sub, so it can happen. Whole different scenario....PA sub. The horn path filters out harmonic distortion so you can't hear the speaker straining. If you don't use a limiter, or do but don't have it set right, it could just be there one beat and gone the next.

    That must've been incredibly loud.....right before the silence.

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