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squeak9798
03-11-2009, 12:34 AM
This review is a result of the SSA Dcon Give Away (http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/diyma-vendors/53947-ssa-dcon-give-away.html) over on DIYMA. So, first I would like to thank Aaron & Mark of SSA for participating in the give-away and providing 2 free drivers to members of the community.

Specifications for the driver can be found HERE (http://www.soundsolutionsaudio.com/products/dcon.html). The cost for the driver once added to the cart in the shopping section of the SSA website is $165 plus shipping.

As you can see from the below picture, the driver is single boxed with 4 foam pads glued to the sides of the box at the mounting ring and (not visible) foam padding underneath the motor structure with an inner cardboard "box" that surrounds the motor structure.

The driver did shift slightly during shipping, one side of the basket slipped down underneath one of the side foam supports, but was otherwise unscathed.
http://www.caraudio.com/gallery/1/4/7/3/6/IM001697.JPG

The sub itself is an attractive driver, refreshingly free of flash or pizzaz. Black pulp fiber cone, foam surround, 2" wide D4 voice coils, standard 12 spoke basket with venting under the spider, and a new logo design on the dustcap. Build quality appears solid and well thought out; clean glue joints, felt pads to eliminate lead slap and quality push terminals. The motor structure is reasonable in size and weight; It's fairly tall being triple stacked magnets but not unreasonably so (6.5" mounting depth), and the motor structure is fairy narrow which helps keep the weight down and makes handling the driver fairly simple.
http://www.caraudio.com/gallery/1/4/7/3/6/IM001691.JPG
http://www.caraudio.com/gallery/1/4/7/3/6/IM001693.JPG

It will initially be installed IB as that is how my trunk is currently configured. I'd like to also be able to test the driver in a sealed enclosure and ideally ported aswell....but we'll see how that all pans out. It will be powered by the bridged rear channels of a MB Quart QAA4250 which will provide approximately 500w @ 8ohm. Rest of the system consists of an Alpine W200, H701 and a Memphis Msync 8" comp set in the kickpanels. Sub duty is currently provided by an Exodus Shiva-X, which works out nicely as both it and the Dcon are in the same price bracket :) I'd like to first consider the Dcon's performance on it's own merit, then compare it to how I feel it stacks up against the currently installed Shiva-X. That's my goal atleast......we'll see how well I can stick to it :p

With the weather and my work schedule, I anticipate being able to begin testing the driver this weekend.

So, there you have it so far :) Look for an update on this hopefully Saturday! Expect this to be a multi-part review.......hopefully Dave (audiolife) can find some time in his busy schedule to come lend an ear aswell ;)

bose301s
03-11-2009, 02:03 AM
Why tease us like this :p:

audiolife
03-11-2009, 12:13 PM
MuHaHAhaa (cough cough)

audioholic
03-11-2009, 12:21 PM
Not a fan of that packaging method. Sub looks nice though.

denim
03-11-2009, 04:29 PM
MuHaHAhaa (cough cough)

Not sure if I should be worried or not. ;)

squeak9798
03-11-2009, 07:47 PM
Not sure if I should be worried or not. ;)

There is always cause for concern when audiolife's involved :p:

I kid, I kid.

audiolife
03-11-2009, 07:53 PM
actually depends on my mood, and how well it would sound on 2 songs in particular. If it retains an open low realistic boominess to them it will score real high, most do not play the two songs smoothly though. Mine being on the poor side.

rumblebee2
03-12-2009, 01:44 AM
the 2 songs?

audiolife
03-12-2009, 04:24 AM
You will have to wait and see..two TOTALLY different kinds of music and there are other songs on the cds but 2 of them I know like the back of my hand and actually listen to for a few hundred hours on every system I ever owned. I'll give you a hint all are older than 15 years.

squeak9798
03-14-2009, 04:06 PM
http://www.caraudio.com/gallery/1/4/7/3/6/IM001700.JPG

bonesninja
03-14-2009, 04:12 PM
You will have to wait and see..two TOTALLY different kinds of music and there are other songs on the cds but 2 of them I know like the back of my hand and actually listen to for a few hundred hours on every system I ever owned. I'll give you a hint all are older than 15 years.

i always use Metallica-One and Bill Withers-Use me up to test my **** first......then go straight to Lil Wyte.....hoods run down

audiolife
03-14-2009, 04:40 PM
One is a good song, the songs I use though will basically tell you what the woofer can and can't do well. Bass line in One though will depict woofer "hang" pretty well though.

denim
03-14-2009, 04:44 PM
:)
http://www.caraudio.com/gallery/1/4/7/3/6/IM001700.JPG


Peak a boo.

squeak9798
03-17-2009, 11:56 PM
Well, I should to be able to get the time tomorrow evening to get a decent write up posted on this. Hopefully I'll be able to test it in a ported enclosure as well. I really would like to listen to it in a ported enclosure after my listening experiences so far.

azbass
03-18-2009, 12:20 AM
I don't recall ever seeing your audio set up..?

squeak9798
03-18-2009, 11:28 PM
My initial listening impressions are that this is overall a pretty good driver.

To reiterate, I'm presently running the driver IB on a 500w amplifier with a lowpass crossover of 63hz @ 18db/oct.

Sound quality wise the driver is pretty well defined. This no noticeable overhang. The driver is tight and accurate on fast bass lines and fast transitions. There doesn't seem to be much blending of the various notes. For the most part they seem to be well separated and distinct with good transitions between notes. On faster bass lines, like those found on Mudvayne, and on more complex notes that transition fast or are layered the driver has no problem keeping up with no lag or overhang. It does an acceptable job of sounding "real", instruments sound like instruments. There also doesn't seem to be exaggeration of the notes. And with proper level matching the sub blends well with the rest of the system. The driver isn't perfect, but it's a pleasant driver to listen to with no obvious or obnoxious deficiencies in the way of sound quality.

Output wise the sub is fully capable of getting sufficiently loud at frequencies above approximately 35hz. Enough to be overpowering if so allowed....certainly more than enough output to suffice for all but a true basshead. I honestly haven't got a clue exactly how much power I'm running to it (amp is rated 500w, but I'm certainly not using all of that juice), but from fiddling with the settings I can tell it's capable of more output than I'm utilizing from the driver for daily listening.

On the downside, however, in this particular installation the driver lacks impact in the lowest half octave to octave. Of course, it doesn't take a genius to figure out from the looking at the specs why this would be so. A lower Q higher Fs driver is inherently going to have a weak bottom end in this alignment. Running IB however does give the driver some advantage in low end compared to a sealed enclosure. I did end up bumping 20hz - 32 or 40hz (can't recall off hand) by around 2db to give it some additional low end without trying to overly stress the driver. This helped some, but it's still a little lacking. On tracks like Planet Kryptonite and Beasty Boys the low end is present, It isn't non-existent, it's just not strong.

For this reason, I could not foresee running this driver in a sealed enclosure as that would simply serve to further reduce the low end output.....unless you had the available power and excursion to EQ in the low end. I do however believe this driver would greatly benefit from being ran ported in a low tuned enclosure as this should increase output in the last octave where this driver needs assistance. Sealed would probably be acceptable for just a good sounding daily driver setup.....but expect the low end to be further impaired.

Some of my listening material to test this driver all around for accuracy, performance with different music genres, output, etc;
Michael Jackson
Audioslave
IASCA disc
Puscifer (testing for output)
Eagles
Mudvayne
NIN
Tool
APC
Beastie Boys
And a whole lot of weird **** at Dave's house, most of which I'd not heard of before.

As of right now, I'd probably rate this driver a 7 out of 10. Sound quality is good while not prefect. Output in the upper passband is more than sufficient, while the low end is lacking in this particular installation.

Right now if you were to ask me if I were going to keep the Dcon in my car or reinstall the Shiva-X, I would probably have to say the Shiva-X will be going back in. Why? Well, the sound quality of the Shiva-X was at minimum on par with the Dcon....the Shiva-X seems a little more refined in definition. But, in my particular installation, I also need the low end output the Shiva-X provides since I plan on sticking with IB. However this statement could be different if we were discussing a different alignment, such as a ported enclosure. We'll see how this weekend pans out.....hopefully I'll be able to test it in a ported enclosure.

squeak9798
03-18-2009, 11:29 PM
I don't recall ever seeing your audio set up..?

Indeed. I think those pictures (an identical picture only with the Shiva-X peeking through) are the only pictures I've posted on this forum in the 5 years I've been a member.

audiolife
03-19-2009, 11:03 AM
I would say it lacks arse for sure, thing is it sounds correct everywhere else. Not flawless but very good. I think just scoring it on IB wouldn't merit a real world score as its application most likely would be different for potential buyers. If Squeak can get the SSA guys to give him box specs for a smooth ported box i'll build it then we can plug the port and get more of an idea what it sounds like in a sealed box as well as ported. I think Squeak has a general idea but I think it needs put through the process.

The weird CD's were Beastie Boys "Pauls Beautique", 2 A.D."Volume 2", US3 "Hand on the Torch", Blue Oyster Cult "Don't Fear the Reaper", Steve Vai "Electric Nightmares" and some other stuff.

denim
03-19-2009, 08:19 PM
Thanks guys for the review so far, looking forward to the ported box testing. As we said on SSA, that is where it is more at home. We have had a few requests for IB drivers, but not enough to change the focus or design on this model.

pawn man
03-19-2009, 08:24 PM
edger winter group "frankenstien" great song to test with.

audiolife
03-19-2009, 08:45 PM
Thanks guys for the review so far, looking forward to the ported box testing. As we said on SSA, that is where it is more at home. We have had a few requests for IB drivers, but not enough to change the focus or design on this model.

It isn't "that bad", I like it better IB than most subs ported that I have heard

squeak9798
03-19-2009, 10:36 PM
Thanks guys for the review so far, looking forward to the ported box testing. As we said on SSA, that is where it is more at home. We have had a few requests for IB drivers, but not enough to change the focus or design on this model.

For shits and giggles I've thought about leaving one of the coils open. It'll lose some efficiency and thermal power handling, but Q would nearly double which should improve the low end response in this alignment. If I remember tomorrow, I might try doing that while on lunch........

Just for an :fyi: to all, here are the links to the other 2 threads;
http://www.soundsolutionsaudio.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=26476#entry492635

http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/member-product-reviews/55891-ssa-12-dcon-review.html

azbass
03-19-2009, 10:40 PM
Indeed. I think those pictures (an identical picture only with the Shiva-X peeking through) are the only pictures I've posted on this forum in the 5 years I've been a member.

I was just curious, seeing some of the other audiophiles set-ups gives me some ideas.

squeak9798
03-19-2009, 11:10 PM
Really, my setup is nothing to look at. Sounds good. Functional. Just not pretty. Bare MDF and unfinished kickpanels :laugh:

Hopefully that'll change for the better this summer :naughty:

But then again, I say that every summer :(

audiolife
03-19-2009, 11:13 PM
you have 2 hours tops time needed on the kicks that includes covering them

denim
03-20-2009, 04:35 PM
Really, my setup is nothing to look at. Sounds good. Functional. Just not pretty. Bare MDF and unfinished kickpanels :laugh:

Hopefully that'll change for the better this summer :naughty:

But then again, I say that every summer :(

I know the feeling. My one car seems to have taken a step backwards every year fort the last 3 years. :(

audiolife
03-20-2009, 04:40 PM
How does this look 2.23 with a 2.5" x13" port 39" long for the box?

denim
03-20-2009, 04:49 PM
How does this look 2.23 with a 2.5" x13" port 39" long for the box?

Haha, just replied to that on SSA. :) Looks good from here, but feel free to tweak the box design to what you like. :)

audiolife
03-20-2009, 04:51 PM
Thinking we just want it smooth, we are not too intrested in SPL numbers or anything LOL

audiolife
03-22-2009, 04:27 AM
the box be done

squeak9798
03-22-2009, 03:33 PM
Big thanks to Audiolife for whipping out the enclosure in short order. 2.25cuft tuned to 31hz, which is smack in the middle of the "optimal" ported enclosure as listed on the website (which is why this enclosure was chosen).

http://www.caraudio.com/gallery/1/4/7/3/6/IM001712.JPG

I'll do some listening impressions after I get more listening time.

JimJ
03-22-2009, 03:39 PM
Excellent review as always, not terribly surprised by the results.

Savstyle
03-22-2009, 03:58 PM
good review as allways

I wanna see your unfinshed kicks lol

audiolife
03-22-2009, 06:22 PM
It has arse now but it went from super tight to slightly muddy IMO but it isn't really tuned yet. Should have a better review after we get kicked out of the Wal-Mart parking lot!

denim
03-23-2009, 02:12 PM
This is the part of the review I am looking forward to, since it is more inline with the purpose and design. Keep of the good work. :)

audiolife
03-23-2009, 03:26 PM
This is the part of the review I am looking forward to, since it is more inline with the purpose and design. Keep of the good work. :)

Its a good sub for sure I just didn't get much time to hear it for more than 10 minutes because Squeak had to go so we really didn't get to tune it. It gets fairly loud off ~500 watts of power and still retains some detail. If you plan on running a smaller amplifier to stay away from costly electrical upgrades this is a good sub to get into. I am not a ported woofer lover at all and it still sounded better than some sub systems I heard in plausible to spec sealed alignments.

squeak9798
03-23-2009, 06:20 PM
Well, I'm not ready to give a more detailed review of the ported enclosure yet because right now I'm having some fun with the output.... :laugh: I'd never keep it this loud, but I'm man enough to admit that it's been fun for the shits & giggles factor to this lame SQ guy. My past few setups have all been single sub sealed or IB, so this is the loudest setup I've had in my car for quite a while. It's finding rattles in my dash I never knew existed with the same power level I had running to it IB, which is somewhere under 500w.....and it's got a lot more left in it.

That and I have an issue I need to work out......low end came alive, but I lost the upper end :( Gotta figure out the cause, and how to go about fixing it.......

denim
03-24-2009, 03:53 PM
Well, I'm not ready to give a more detailed review of the ported enclosure yet because right now I'm having some fun with the output.... :laugh: I'd never keep it this loud, but I'm man enough to admit that it's been fun for the shits & giggles factor to this lame SQ guy. My past few setups have all been single sub sealed or IB, so this is the loudest setup I've had in my car for quite a while. It's finding rattles in my dash I never knew existed with the same power level I had running to it IB, which is somewhere under 500w.....and it's got a lot more left in it.

That and I have an issue I need to work out......low end came alive, but I lost the upper end :( Gotta figure out the cause, and how to go about fixing it.......

You are not the first to say that about this driver. ;) But don't be :(, 1/2 of the fun is tuning. ;)

squeak9798
03-26-2009, 11:26 PM
Well, I tried various box positions just to be sure that it wasn't install related. I ended up bringing the overall sub level up 3-4db, effectively increasing power to the driver, and then EQ'd down the low end since it was a little peaky and overbearing down low for normal everyday listening with music (but it sure was fun when blasting the volume!). This brought the upper end response to the level it needed to be and smoothed out the low end.

Overall the driver performs well. It lost some quality compared to IB. The notes aren't quite as well defined and precise. There's some slight overhang compared to the previous alignment. Transitions aren't quite as seamless. This isn't to say the driver sounds bad, it's still more than listenable and would perform admirably for someone looking for a good sounding daily driver. It however isn't as precise and accurate as it was IB. Music with fast transitions between notes and constantly shifting bass lines helps mask the deficiencies.....they aren't quite as pronounced but a bit of overhang and blending of the notes is noticeable. On music with solid, defined notes in quick succession is where it's most notable but still acceptable for daily listening. Though this is might not be the ideal alignment for those who place the highest priority on accuracy.

The low end however has improved markedly as I had suspected would be the case. As I noted above, I actually had to tame down the low end as it could get overbearing. Definitely no lack of low end output now. This driver ported has absolutely no problems reaching output levels well behind that which is necessary for everyday listening and should be sufficient for all but the most die hard bassheads.

Overall after testing the driver both IB and in a ported enclosure, I stand by my initial impression of 7/10. In a ported enclosure there's some loss of accuracy with the benefit of enhanced low end output. In IB (and likely also sealed) the accuracy is overall good but it lacks low end output. If I were to recommend this driver, I would recommend it for a ported enclosure. To me, the slight loss in accuracy is worth the benefit of low end presence. The driver should perform quite well in a ported enclosure for someone looking for an inexpensive, quality driver with great output and adequate sound quality for daily listening.

rumblebee2
03-26-2009, 11:39 PM
what an extensive review. i mean this in a good way-lol. would definitely consider this if on a lower udget based on your review.

audiolife
03-27-2009, 11:17 AM
how much did you knock down the low?

denim
03-27-2009, 03:37 PM
Thank you Squeak and Audiolife for the detailed review. Glad to see it preformed for you the way we had intended it to. Maybe some others who are not all about pissing off the neighbors or in a power pissing contest will give them a try. ;)

audiolife
03-27-2009, 05:48 PM
1 12" gets loud enough to get a ticket easy you could hear it in my house very easy and Squeak was parked across the street.

James Bang
03-27-2009, 06:25 PM
I never sqeak was a basshead.

audiolife
03-27-2009, 06:26 PM
I never sqeak was a basshead.

He is not, he had the same settings for IB when we first put the box in. I will say this though if someone wants a lot of bass and they have a small amp (500-700ish watts for a pair 250-350 for 1) these subs will do a good job while still being good sounding. Think those 500-600 watt alpine mono blocks would be perfect on a pair of them or close too.

squeak9798
03-27-2009, 06:48 PM
I never sqeak was a basshead.

:confused:

I'm not, this driver really needs to be ported for the low end. It was kinda fun to pound on it for a couple days as I've not had anything this loud for a really long time.....but then I tamed the thing back down closer to where it needed to be for my normal listening habits.

I'll probably drop the Shiva-X in this enclosure for a few days next.....again, just for shits and giggle.....and then remove the ported enclosure all together and go back to IB with the Shiva-X.


how much did you knock down the low?

2-3db from 40hz and down IIRC, and another 1-2db or so (depending on frequency) probably wouldn't hurt. Low end is still a little too strong in certain areas with certain songs.

James Bang
03-27-2009, 06:49 PM
i was just kidding. You would need plenty of bass to keep up with your horny self, though.

squeak9798
03-27-2009, 07:22 PM
:naughty: