I'm not sure the "6-months" number was an indicator of constant turnover - just at some point during my friends employment - they had a whole new group of people assembling their woofers.
The sloppy glue job isn't as worrisome to me as an apparent lack of caring by the QC person(s)... If I was looking at a woofer on a store shelf and it looked like it had been slapped together by a 5 year old - I'd definitely be reaching for a different product. This seems to be a recurring issue - not just on the woofer in the video - but heck - I remember a teammate of mine ordering a pair of the 9917's back in '03ish - and man those things looked raw and unpolished - I actually got metal splinters in my hand from the basket when we mounted them - ouch!... (thankfully they performed like we hoped - but they were far from from what I'd call 'beautiful' or refined.)
Requiring the addition of a CF dustcap sounds like a terrible bandaid - but an excellent 'upsale' opportunity for DD (it adds what, like another $40 to an already overpriced woofer?) Well played DD, well played... =)
Concerning the neo-upgrade - slapping a neo ring on the outer edge of an existing magnetic field seems like it would only increase the magnetic field on the positive stroke, but then what happens on the negative stroke? I'd love to see how one of these SC woofers perform on a Klippel analyzer - I'm suspecting a very lop-sided and non-linear moving mass from having an asymmetrical BL curve. I did read an article about an SPL competitor gaining 1.5-2 db going with the SC upgrade (and Jacob at Sundown seemed to concur it was likely to gain in SPL), which was interesting... but then I guess SPL isn't about being sounding good (though obviously a subjective experience).
Also on the SC topic (as it's applied on these 'upgrades' - not as a all-neo motor) also causes a higher impedance rise, meaning it's going to be more difficult to get power into the woofer - as well as a definable saddle-shaped response curve in terms of frequency reproduction.
I acknowledge the W7's are crazypriced as well - but at least they deliver on the quality end, both in build and musicality.
Would I pay what they want for them - no, but it's nice to know some companies out there still flaunt good craftsmanship. =)
I love Double D's! Never had a prob with Digital Designs either, just the rest of the market caught up and offer it for a better price.
Most of the hand built SPL marketed woofers have seen have ugly glue jobs.
Nah, i'm well aware of MMAts and i never bought UsAmps because they were built close to home, they were just far superior to most brands which is why i loved them. So i'm just trying to find out what would be comparable to them in this day in age. Most people that hated on my amps back in those days were usually either jealous or couldn't afford them.
Heavy materials are not the only way to make a rigid cone. The W7 gets it's cone strength from the shape (a deep 'W' shaped form) - not so much the material it made out of. The smooth parabolic dish you see on the face is actually a secondary cone for cosmetic appeal.
SQ oriented woofers with super rigid cones? Here's a few I could think of off the top of my head:
Polk Audio db series? (from the late 90's?) - the ones with the graphite composite cones...
Eclipse TI series (either aluminum or an aluminum composite, not sure)
SEAS and Elemental Designs also did some sort of composite metal cones at one time (may still?)
PPI Pro series (the original flat piston woofers, not the post-DEI junk)
Paper, as a cone material, is not the issue per se (it's a popular, inexpensive, and lightweight material) - it's the application of that material - and a floppy, deforming cone IS going to affect the quality of sound produced.
A paper cone 'can' also be a structural issue at far below than the power range or SPL levels you suggest. Case in point, the old 18" Strokers were known for creasing the cones on less that 3K - but admittedly, I would cite the shallowness of the cone as being the issue - not the material used.
Now I'm not suggesting people are tearing up cones on these little DD woofers - again - my point was for the same money, there's far better built woofers to be had.
Would totally agree there's better to be had for the money for any application (except feeling elite).
I should of said 'on the outer edge of the existing magnetic field' instead (though technically the pole piece acts as part of the magnet, in the Y-axis)...
Thank you for the correction (late nite typing, lol)
Two different people I know locally running them have shown me they have a bigger impedance spike going from stock to SC woofers. Are you able to share a case where the there was a drop instead?
Who cares what they look like its about performance not cosmetics if you want pretty customise them or get something that looks "Pretty" generally u don't get performance from pretty...just sayin