Second guessing my IDMAX15 build

Bassthoven

CarAudio.com Recruit
Long time lurker here, but I finally decided to get serious so I joined! 😁

I’ve had a SA15 (in a prefab box) in the trunk of my Armada for a few years, and was happy(ish) with it until I got a JBL LSR310S studio sub for my home studio setup (running it with 2 little Genelec 8010s), and now I can’t even listen to some music on the SA15 because (at least in my install) it is too “in your face”. 🤣

So, I decided to try and upgrade to a more SQL type sub that will give me similar SPL to the SA15 but closer SQ to my JBL studio sub.

As a first phase of my upgrade, I got a box built that matched the “Audiophile” specs that ID recommends for an IDMAX15 (4 cubic feet, tuned to 27hz). I was fairly confident that the ID Max fit the bill of what I wanted (great SQ, but able to be turned up from time to time), but was also sure I could change my mind if I wanted to get a Brahma, Fi SSD, or SSA Icon (in case one of those went or sale or whatever).

Now that I am digging in more into this forum, I’m reading things about IDMAX subs not being able to handle even rated power (my pioneer GM-D9701 amp is rated for 1200W RMS, so should be a good match on paper?).

Also, the IDMAX cutout is kind of large (14.8”), so not sure if a smaller 15” driver will fit in that baffle?

What do you guys think?

1. Are the stories about IDMAXs blowing on rated power legit, or is it probably due to abuse (poor gain settings and bass boost use)?

2. Would a Brahma, Fi SSD, or SSA Icon 15” do okay in that box and baffle with a large cutout, or am I better if sticking with the plan and getting an IDMAX?
 

1seanv

CarAudio.com Newbie
3
2
Seattle
I had an Image Dynamics 15" sub about 10 years ago and I thought it was decent.

I had it powered by a 1000 watt rms Memphis amp, and installed in a sealed box at factory recommended dimensions.

I thought it sounded good, but I previously had 2 Infinity 12" subs in a sealed box that I thought sounded better and hit harder.

I was giving it the right power, and that particular amp was a very solid, clean amp. Perhaps the sub needed to be in a ported box to get what I probably thought it would sound like.
 

Bassthoven

CarAudio.com Recruit
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I thought it sounded good, but I previously had 2 Infinity 12" subs in a sealed box that I thought sounded better and hit harder.
That’s interesting! What did the Infinity 12s do better? Did they extend lower, have more precise attack, were louder, something else? How long did the IDMAX take to break in?
 

1seanv

CarAudio.com Newbie
3
2
Seattle
The 2 Infinitis had more authority in the 30-60hz range, hit harder, and just overall sounded tighter and more musical, but those Infinitis were known to be very musical subs, but required a proper break in which I never did, so I ended up blowing them up after about 2 weeks.

Never had any issues with the IDMax 15", but it sounded kinda boomy and though it went low, it didn't slam like I wanted it too.

That may have been due to my box being sealed, and power, but both to recommended spec.

Honestly I think I was asking too much of a non-spl focused 15 vs 2 12's.
 

mastershake575

CarAudio.com Veteran
695
185
Dallas
1. Are the stories about IDMAXs blowing on rated power legit, or is it probably due to abuse (poor gain settings and bass boost use)?
Alot of the cases I heard where people treating it like an SPL sub which it's not. The recommended power range for the 10/12 inch models is only 500 watts and 600 watts for the 15 inch model according to Imagine Dynamics own recommendations. I've seen people throw 1500 watt amplifiers on it and then complain why is the sub heating up (hmmm I wonder why ?).

Subs like the IDmax lean more towards SQ. Things like low distortion, high output in the upper portion of the bass range (aka not super peaky), parameters that allow you to easily get a flat response curve for the EQ/tuning portion, good efficency so you don't have to just throw gobbles of power to get good output.

For a 15 inch sub (especially in a large ported box) you shouldn't really have to chase high wattage to get loud.

It's tricky though because alot of the more SQ focused companies (300-700RMS range) don't make 15 inches sub because it's kinda counter productive for the market there targeting (most of there target audience wants lower cone space/area). ARC audio and Audio Dynamics for example make amazing subs but only in 10s and 12. The audiofrog GB which has built it's reputation on being a nice alternative to the famous JBL WGTI once again is only a 10 or 12 inch model.

If I where looking for an IDMax alternative in that similiar RMS range id considering something like this

 

Bassthoven

CarAudio.com Recruit
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Never had any issues with the IDMax 15", but it sounded kinda boomy and though it went low, it didn't slam like I wanted it too.
Oh man, boomy is not good…that’s one of the characteristics of my current sub/box setup that I’m trying to get rid of with this upgrade!
 

Bassthoven

CarAudio.com Recruit
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7
The recommended power range for the 10/12 inch models is only 500 watts and 600 watts for the 15 inch model according to Imagine Dynamics own recommendations.
Oh, I had no idea! I thought that based on the RMS rating in the manual (1,200w) and impedance rise I would be okay with an amp rated at 1,200w @ 1ohm! 😬

Those flatlines are definitely tempting! I came across them when checking out the specs on the Icon 15”. 👍🏽
 

djdilliodon!

CarAudio.com Veteran
504
443
NY
Oh, I had no idea! I thought that based on the RMS rating in the manual (1,200w) and impedance rise I would be okay with an amp rated at 1,200w @ 1ohm! 😬

Those flatlines are definitely tempting! I came across them when checking out the specs on the Icon 15”. 👍🏽
The IDMAX has had some revisions over the years. It’s a good sub (not my style personally) for those who like the sound and they are quality. If I was to pick a sub off the ones you mentioned I would get the adire Brahma. How many sq inch of port area does the box have?
 

Bassthoven

CarAudio.com Recruit
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If I was to pick a sub off the ones you mentioned I would get the adire Brahma. How many sq inch of port area does the box have?
The Brahma is definitely the one I am considering most if I don’t go with the IDMAX. The cutout on the box I had made is 14.8”. As far as can tell, it’s quite a bit larger than the cutout specs for any of the other 15s I am considering.
 

djdilliodon!

CarAudio.com Veteran
504
443
NY
The Brahma is definitely the one I am considering most if I don’t go with the IDMAX. The cutout on the box I had made is 14.8”. As far as can tell, it’s quite a bit larger than the cutout specs for any of the other 15s I am considering.
Is the box a round port or a slot port? Whichever one it is how big is the port?
 

Clifff150

Senior VIP Member
10+ year member
2,396
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Texas
The Image Dynamics subs always run big. A 10 is really more of an 11, 12 a 13, and so on. You’ll have to create a baffle if you change up the subs.
 

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