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Reload Thread: Cerwin Vega 10" VMAX sub. EXTENSIVE review(if you dont like to read move on)

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    Cerwin Vega 10" VMAX sub. EXTENSIVE review(if you dont like to read move on)

    what the heck not too many people seem to know what the deal is with these so I'll go ahead give my thoughts. 1rst and foremost for the last ten years all of my systems have consisted of either one or two 10" drivers in sealed enclosures so I have a pretty good understanding of whats exeptional and whats not so good for a 10" driver as far as output and how low it should be able to play. I am not evaluating sound quality because I find with any good driver not being over/under driven designed to play in a sealed enclosure when used in the right enclosure can sound as good or bad as you are with an EQ/set up and as good or bad as your front speakers/subwoofer transition. spl and impact at different frequencies are far more objective.

    1rst things first pics and specs:

    power handling: 200 watts RMS, 600 watts peak
    sensitivity: 90db (2.8V@1m)
    nominal impedence: dual 4ohm voice coils (also available in single 4ohm VC)
    mounting dept: 5.625"
    speaker displacement: .09cu ft
    Fs: 23
    Qts: 0.46
    Qms: 11.68
    Qes: 0.48
    Vas: 1.55ft^3/44 liters
    Xmax: 19mm
    2" voice coil diameter
    box recommendations: .75cu ft. sealed/1.8cu ft ported tuned to 33hz


    well lets start with the good:
    From about 50hz and up this sub has amazing output for a $75-80 sub. Hardly requires any power to push the effortlessly. Power handling is rated at 200 watts rms and sensitivety 90db seem to be right on. I have both voicecoils paralled into a single 2ohm loud running off a Phoenix Gold 500.4Ti which is rated for 250watts rms bridged into 4ohms. 1rst its underrated, 2ndly under 2ohm brigded mode PG states voltage regulations only kick in during peaks well above most music peaks so in this configuration rms power is alittle bit better than the 4ohm bridged 250rms rating but dynamic power (headroom) is significantly greater. For all practical purposes lets just says I'm feeding it a good 300 watts rms. With MOST rap and just about all R&B music this subwoofer has tremendous output. It plays just about as loud as 2 JBL GT 10" subs I had previously (sealed in .75cu ft each) powered by 400w rms to both. I dont know if it plays as lound because its been a while since I've had that set up but I know with me when there's a noticeable decrease in impact and output going from one system to the next I immediately feel like somethings missing , thinks to myself "this set up up doesn't hit like X set up/this is really lacking to what I'm used to ect". You get the idea, its close enough in output that going from two subs to one made no difference and I'm running the exact same amount of power to the front speakers. In fact the front speakers I have now are able to play louder than the last set up. Compared to the old JL 10W4 (yes W4) and 10W3, this sub blows those out the water as far as output.

    example tracks that this sub excels at: Destiny's child "soldier", Ushers "yeah", Missy's "get your freak on", TI "be easy" anthony hamilton "where I'm from" Jadakiss "why". Effiel 65 "blue". I dont play much Rock but what I do it was a breeze Creed "higher", Guns N Roses (there whole first album), Tom Petty "free fallin" ect. Handled all those with ease. All reggae music with the typical reggae bassline is handled with ease and I listen to reggae extensively from Bob to dancehall. Havent listened to any rock, reggae or R&B that it had any trouble with.

    Now the not so good (but not terrible):
    For whatever reason I simply can not get this sub to play some of the lower bass notes with the kind of impact I'm used to. This may be because I'm expecting it to be the same as it was with two tens or I'm just expecting to much out of one 10" of this nature at those frequency levels or I dont have my box optimized (unlikely, I'll explain later). Its not that the notes aren't there, they are but they dont have the volume and impact they should when my system is at full undistorted spl otherwise. In other words, not with the power and impact the artist/engineer expected you to hear on a fully capable system. 1rst let me say this these types of bass frequencies are missing from 90% of the music I listen to, so 90% of the time this sub is great and this is only an issue when cranking my system to the maximum volume my components will play cleanly, its just a few tracks where this is noticable (yet annoying the same way). since the notes are there and not missing completely naturally my first move is to crank up the sub level or bass eq ajustments. wrong move! all this does instead of increasing volume on those notes is cause the sub to bottom out from the power attempting to play them. It simply wont play with authority at those frequencies at the volumes I need it to play at. at up to 80% of my systems volume capabilities turning up the sub level works great but at my systems full capability of undistorted volume trying to match it only causes the sub to bottom causing me to turn the level back down a notch. If your fronts are only run by 50 watts or dont play too loud you may never experience this. So first I'm thinking my box is a bit big (not as much bigger as it looks, internally it looks much smaller). Its fiberglass so I dont know the exact specs but I've built enough boxes to guestimate its probably about 1.2cu ft or so. So I fill the box with "great stuff" a foam that expands to fill gaps/creases then dries as an airtight/waterproof solid. Filled a good 30% of the box. This should help SOME if the issue really is a too big of a box. Decreasing box size made NO difference. behaved exactly the same. tried both sizes with and without polyfil, no better or worse.

    tracks that had bass notes it couldn't produce with the impact I like without bottoming when increasing power to it:
    Ludicris "slash-waterfalls" it can play the bass note with decent impact but cant keep up with full undistorted system power without bottoming out from lack of powerhandling 1rst
    Lil John and eastside boys "get low" this song was popular enough and if you listen to it on your system you'll note two bass notes in the boom range hit followed by two lower notes on the second go round. The CW plays the 1rst to in the boom range with great impact and authority like it does on most rap music but when the two lower bass notes hit again it cant keep up with the rest of the music at full system power.

    Now I have three options to solve this situation:
    A) buy another matching CW..two of these should easily restore the impact missing on those lower notes. Probably the only reason my last system had no problem with them. two is better than one in this case
    B)play my system at 80% of its capabilites. at less than full volume I am able to turn the sub level up enough to keep up without bottoming but who wants this option.
    C)Try a new sub. This is the option I've chosen. Since I have diamonds in the front I've bought a used 10" M6 (not the current or MKII but the previous gen M6). Its rated to handle 500watts rms and even if it cant play those low notes I doubt I'll be able to bottom it out with the power I'm running. The only reason I'm choosing this option is because I dont want to build a new box because to tell you the truth 90% I LOVE the V-Max and if adding one more solves my issues I'm almost inclined to do it. compared to other subs in its price range my complaint is no complaint at all, they'll likely do worse![ , its just one alone isn't meeting my needs. When I get the new sub I'll give you my results. If you read all this you must really want to know about this sub LOL.

    Bottom line: at the manufacturers recommended 200 watts max rms in a sealed enclosure its loud and clean. However feed it too much power at lower octaves trying to keep up with a high powered system and it will protest with certain program material (use two or a larger model). 600w max power as rated, I think not!

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    Re: Cerwin Vega 10" VMAX sub. EXTENSIVE review(if you dont like to read move on)


    So I replaced the CV with the Diamond M6

    Well well well the power handling and ability to reproduce low bass output is on another level than the V-Max. At first I was affraid that I wouldn't have enough power since the M6 is rated to handle 500 watts rms and then when I got it the suspension barely moves by hand compared to the CV. My amp is rated at 75x4 watts rms but I am only using two channels bridged into 2ohms for the sub. The amp is rated at 250 watts rms with two channels bridged into 4ohms and stable to 2ohms bridged but no power rating. Then when I installed it with no changes to my amp gains it became appearant right away this woofer will require sustantially more power than the CV. So I drive out to an empty lot so I can do my amp adjustments. Turn the gain up appropriately and even turn up the bass boost at 45hz a bit.
    Needless to say:
    A) the Phoenix Gold 500.4Ti is a **** monster of a 75x4 watt amp. Its small and fan cooled, its 1ohm stable, it doesn't get really hot and so far its had virtually bottomless reserves in pounding out the power I need to drive these subs. I crank up the level it simply cranks out more power. I'm starting to believe at 2ohm bridged mode this thing must be approaching 400 watts.
    B) The Diamond M6 is one Monster of a 10" sub! Its built like a tank. The CV motor structure isn't exactly lightweight but the M6 weighs much more. The voicecoil is a full inch bigger. On paper the V-max is capable of moving more air (based on cone area and suspension travel). In reality the Diamond is able to play louder everywhere and subtantially louder at the lower frequencies (by sheer default that the CW will buckle it you attempt to throw more power at it at lower Hz while the diamond just gets louder.

    Sound quality: well like I said before I dont like to get into that because its a personal preference. everybody has a different opinion. The Diamond is a more controlled driver. Does that mean it sounds better? Yes and No. What the Diamond has in control and poise the V-Max has in Dymanics and liveliness. In other words the Diamond only sounds better on demanding music (in which I play very little of) but thats really a mute point because the V-max cant play the volumes I need at the frequencies I need at all and the Diamond can.

    Keep in mind a Diamond M6/D6 will cost nearly twice as much on ebay and over twice as much authorized so if you want a fair comparison as far as money spent you'd have to compare 2 V-Max's to 1 M6.

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