View Full Version : Mach5 MAW12 vs RD Audio Classic12

06-15-2007, 12:58 AM
Ok folks, here it is! The Mach5 Maw12 vs. the rD Classic 12 showdown! I want to thank Mark from Mach5 and Kevin From Low-hz, with a shout out to Steve from rD, for providing the subs. It ahs been fun, and it has been a learning experience. Nothing better then playing with new toys. Ok, on with the setup.




The vehicle is a 2004 Chevy Silverado extended cab. There is a yellow top under the hood, 1/0 Memphis wiring throughout, and a factory 105 amp alternator. The Big 3 has been done as well, also in 1/0. The source unit is a Clarion DXZ955MC, with the HPF set to 125 and the LPF set to 80. The amplification is provided by a Memphis Memphis Belle, MCH1300, which will provide these two subs ~600wrms @ 2ohm. The gains are set to just clipping using an o-scope and a 50hz note. Enclosures will be a 1.25ft^3 sealed affair, and a 2ft^3 @ 34hz w/a 4Ē round port, with rounded edges. Now onto the subsÖÖ

Mach5 MAW12 MSRP $63.51 direct


ďThe analogy "you get what you pay for" simply does not exist when you compare the Mach 5 Audio MAW line to other brands. The MAW-12 is no exception. Its three pound magnet structure keeps the lightweight craft pulp cone in check, delivering accurate and detailed bass response. With a 2.5" dual voice coil and 13mm of linear one way Xmax, the MAW-12 rivals drivers costing three times its price.Ē

T/S Parameters - MAW-12
(coils connected in series)

Fs = 23.3 Hz Power Handling: 350 watts RMS
Re = 8 Ohms Sensitivity: 87db (2.83 volts)
Qes = 0.30 Impedance: 4 + 4 Ohm
Qms = 3.03 Outside Diameter: 31.8cm (12 1/2")
Qts = 0.27 Mounting Diameter: 28.3cm (11 1/8")
Mms = 144 grams Depth: 14cm (5 1/2")
Rms = 6.96 kg/s
Cms = 0.324 mm/N
VAS = 76.6 litres
Sd = 408.3 cm2
Xmax = 13 mm
Cone Diameter = 22.9 cm
Recommended Box Sizes:
Sealed: 29 litres (1 cu. ft.)
Ported: 51 litres (1.8 cu. ft.) 28Hz tuning

Build quality is what youíd expect from a sub costing three times as much. A cast aluminum 4 spoke basket isnít the norm on a $70 woofer. All glue joints were flawless, with no excess anywhere to be found. Nice thick tinsel leads, looks like 12guage, with shrink tubing over the solder joint at the terminal, leads on to believe this thing is designed for some power. A nice gasket and magnet boot round out the cosmetics. The motor on this thing is of good diameter, larger then the Classic in size, yet a bit shorter. My one gripe, the screw type terminals feel cheap. Iím not a fan of those, as they are typically found on lesser subs. However, that is my only gripe.


RD Audio Classic MSRP $175 dealer only


They were designed and built to be small sealed enclosure SQ subwoofers. When we tested them in small ported boxes we were extremely pleased. When tuned to the mid 30's they have a flat response. They are built off the same concept as the Alpha series. They offer a good amount of output with no distortion. The can accurately reproduce any bass note with ease regardless of what style of music you fancy.
Woofer Description
Vacuum formed polymica cone body with reinforced cone collar
Extended neck joints on cone, coil, and spider
Butyl rubber surround
Vented cone
2 inch long excursion voice coil
Rounded deep back plate
Low carbon front and back plate
Powerful dual stacked 55 oz magnets
Cast basket
Integrated tinsel leads
2.5" long excursion motor structure
Available in 15" built upon order
Box suggestions: Please contact us through email to get a box custom designed to meet your needs.
Port and driver already included-
Classic 10"
.75 ft3 sealed 1.0 ft3 sealed
1.5 ft3 with a 4" round or 12.5" slot port by 10.4" deep tuned at 44hz
2.0 ft3 with a 4" round or 12.5" slot port by 10.25" deep tuned at 37hz
Classic 12"
1.0 ft3 sealed 1.5 ft3 sealed
2.0 ft3 with a 4" round or 12.5" slot port by 12" deep tuned at 35hz
2.5 ft3 with a 20 square inch port by 16.33" deep tuned at 35hz *a lot less port noise
2.0 ft3 with a 20 square inch port by 12" deep tuned at 44hz * high output
Specifications coming soon

Build quality is definitely good. Like the maw, glue lines were excellent and there just isnít any excess glue anywhere. The covering over the poly cone leads one to believe itís paper, but itís done very nicely. The 12 spoke basket is a proven winner and offers better cooling compared to the 4 spoke of the maw. The spider has about 6 screws on itís outer edge to compliment the glue and had strength. Nice touch. The bumped back plate is nice on the motor. While overall diameter is smaller, the height is taller on this compared to the maw 12. Two different approaches, but both work. Now, my gripes. The woven tinsel leads are thinner, look like 16 guage, maybe 14, then those on the maw12. Also, no heat shrink around the solder joint at the terminal. Gives it an unfinished look. No big deal, itís just a look thing.


Overall, both subs display excellent build quality, the kind youíd expect from a $175 sub, and beyond what youíd think youíd get from a $70 one. The dust cap on the rD Classic is definitely a love it or not thing. I like the look of the maw12, but basic black is always a good look. The Classic comes through with the shine though, with a nice mix of polish and texture. It would look good inverted!

Sealed box testing;

The Maw12 was in a bit bigger box then recommended, still it faired very well. With either fast double kicks or drop down low bass lines, it delivered and did so very well. As long as the music was fairly simple, this thing worked wonders. Let it get a bit complicated and it would get a tad muddy. Not overbearing muddy, but it would make it hard to tell what was trying to play. I never got it to bottom out either. A rated 350wrms sub, it was taking the ~600wrms from the Belle with relative ease. It would get warm and the coil would let me know I was giving it too much, but I never reached mechanical limits. Output was a bit disappointing. Not poor, but not what I expected. It loves the low lows, it does great on the fast stuff, itís only weakness was a tendacy to get muddy on really complicated music.

The Classic was right at home in the 1.25ft^3 sealed box. It more then kept up with the Maw on the fast stuff, reproduced the low stuff with authority and liked the complicated stuff a bit better. It didnít matter if it was a soundtrack, Dimmu Borgir or Lil John, in itís sealed box home, this sub works. With a rating of 500wrms, I was able to reach this subs mechanical limits with 600. The Classic didnít like playing at itís limits either, the distortion was a bit more audible compared to the maw. Output was better however, not withstanding itís mechanical power handling compared to the maw. It was just the louder woofer, save at the higher frequencies. Up around 70 hz, the maw owned it. But down low where subs like the play, it was all Classic.

Ported box testing;

Wow, did the maw come alive in this alignment. Though still bigger then recommended, it loved this enclosure. So much so, I didnít want to take it out! Loud, low and responsive, there wasnít anything it wouldnít, couldnít do in this box. Dimmu Borgirís insane double kicks whipped *** in this box! Lil John shook the hell outa the truck and even Ozzyís basslines were intense. I never got it to bottom out in this box either, never reaching itís mechanical limits in either box. Distortion is very low, to the point of having to be absolute full tilt to even get it to distort. Output again is on the downside compared to the Classic, even a bit moreso then in sealed. But itís not noticeable. This thing rocks ported!

The Classic on the other hand took to the ported box like the maw did the sealed one. Where the Classic owned the maw in the sealed alignment, itís completely reversed ported. RD says it best with, ďThey were designed and built to be small sealed enclosure SQ subwoofers. ď. While still the louder of the two, it just flat out got confused trying to duplicate those double kicks from Dimmu Borgir. Keep it simple, like a nice low bass line, and the Classic was happy. Anything faster or more complicated then boom, boom and this sub isnít happy. Power handling was similar to the maw, again. It would bottom out, but only at full tilt and again had a bit more distortion. But nothing worth complaining about.

06-15-2007, 12:58 AM
Term Lab numbers;

I tested both subs, sealed and ported. I did it Db Drag style, mic on the glass, just above the dash, windows rolled up and vehicle off. This was all rD Classic. The only time the maw got the better of the Classic was at 70-75hz sealed. And it got it by 3db. Otherwise it went like this,

Maw12 sealed, 127db, occurring at 47hz
Classic 12 sealed, 128db, occurring at 46hz


Maw12 ported, 130.6db, occurring at 42hz
Classic12 ported, 131.8db, occurring at 45hz


The sealed enclosure was on top of the rear seat, driver’s side, with the sub facing up and to the rear. The ported box is a down firing, under the seat affair. The sub is on the driver’s side yet again, while the 4” port is facing the passanger side rear door. Not optimal SPL setups for sure, but with just 600wrms going to each sub, I think they both faired well.

Music played;

As mentioned above, I use Dimmu Borgir for their completely insane double kicks. Disturbed, Trapt, and Ozzy rounded out the rock portion. Lil John, Bass Mekaniks, T.I. and DMX consisted of the rap portion. Soundtracks by Harry Gregson-Williams and John Williams comprised the classical portion. All music listened to at volumes ranging from normal driving, where one could still hold a conversation, to full tilt on the volume knob.


One wouldn’t be hurt by using either one of these subs. The Classic is a sealed box performer who can throw down some numbers ported. Rated a bit more closely to it’s actual power handling, one would be wise to run right in the neighborhood of it‘s rating. If decently loud sealed box sound quality is yoru game, this is a great sub to look at. Priced very competitively, it’s a good sub with good performance.

The maw is a ported box machine. With power handling, build quality and output comparable to subs 2-3 times it’s price, one can’t go wrong with one or two of these in a ported box. Sealed, they are a bit weak, but will perform. As long as one doesn’t mistake these for all out spl, burp machines, it’s hard to beat the maw’s combination of value, build and performance. Mark could easily charge twice as much and still have a winner.

So, how does one pick a winner? By TL numbers, it’s easy. The rD Classic is the subwoofer to have. A full db louder sealed and 1.8 ported, it’s a clear winner. Value? The Mach5 Maw12 is the hands down winner. With similar performance and build quality at a 1/3rd of the MSRP. SQ? It’s a dead heat. The Classic performs well ported, but does an excellent job sealed. The Maw is it’s opposite. Performing on average sealed, it came alive in the ported box. Build quality? Dead heat again. Both subs are very well built, and each one has something I would change. But nothing that looks like it would compromise integrity. Power handling? Nope. Pretty even there as well. The maw is a bit underrated at 350wrms, with the Classic being pretty spot on at 500, I wouldn’t do much more then the 600 I was giving them.

No, there isn’t a clear winner. One has to look at their application, budget and output goals. If I had to chose a winner, it would be the maw12 simply because of cost. Neither sub separated itself enough performance wise to dictate a very clear winner, but by virtue of the fact one can buy, based upon MSRP 2 maw12s shipped for the price of one rD Classic, it’s kinda hard not to chose it. That aside, in lower power situations, 500 and under, I wouldn’t hesitate to run either one of these subs.

Sorry it's so long winded, but i wanted to do a complete review. Hope you enjoyed it. I know it's supposed to be just one item reviewed at a time, but I'm not seperating this, lol.

wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee :peace: