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anyone have experience with DS18 midranges?

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Posted on December 29, 2016 at 23:16:50
thump
Audiophile

Posts: 115
Joined: April 19, 2016
i'm looking to "upgrade" a sound system from a pair of proel flash 8P 96dB mains to 2 pairs of high efficiency mains, probably with air motion tweeters.

in reading reviews, i stumbled on the DS18 brand which gets good reviews for high output clear sounding drivers that just so happen to be pretty cheap too, but, all of the videos for them i watched didn't do much to make them sound impressive other than how far they project. in all of the videos, they sound edgy, thin and "papery" if not quite screechy. i wonder if maybe it's just an artifact of recordings made at really high SPLs, the lousy mics in cellphone cams, or even the mids overpowering the bass. they don't sound distorted as much as they sound midbass challenged and high mids forward.

is anyone familiar with the brand who could assure me that the mids (looking for 6.5s) are actually capable of a more neutral, even warm sound than on the videos that all remind me of the thin hollow sound of those giant mexican truck systems that have little to no midbass or even bass in any video i can remember seeing?

i'm looking for a loud system, but NOT at the expense of sound quality. i'd rather stick with what i have, or go the "sweet sixteen" route with regular hifi mids than compromise sound for output.

anyone that owns the brand, or has at least demoed it that can weigh in on its sound quality will be giving much appreciated info. i'm inclined to think that the videos just aren't doing the drivers justice as they are popular in competitions and installed in some pretty expensive rides that look like they could afford high end brands.

thanks in advance for any input.

 

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RE: anyone have experience with DS18 midranges?, posted on December 30, 2016 at 16:12:45
Coner
Audiophile

Posts: 1776
Location: S.W. Washington state, USA
Joined: November 17, 2001
Eminence has some well respected mids in the 6-8" range, check out the
Alpha, Beta, and Delta models. The DS18's are new to me...no idea.

 

RE: anyone have experience with DS18 midranges?, posted on December 31, 2016 at 00:57:11
thump
Audiophile

Posts: 115
Joined: April 19, 2016
for the prices of the entry level DS18s, they sound too good to be true, and their tweeters look like rebranded cheap pyle/pyramid JBL clones.

i'm familiar with all the well known high efficiency drivers... eminence, B&C, EV, selenium and even peavy and am a little partial to celestion because of my experience with a pair of nice sounding 8" home 2 ways and my proel mini DJ speaker drivers which don't sound sloppy or screechy at all, but rather detailed and laid back.

sadly, the brand names aren't as cheap, and their midrange frequency response graphs look pretty lame from the ones i've seen, but they have proven their worth in sound re-enforcement for decades.

so, you'd say eminence gear outperforms the other brands then?

my basic instinct is always to just stick with conventional hifi drivers and use the 3dB every time you double rule to get the efficiency up. i'm especially inclined to go that route as i see PE has 88db 6.5" poly woofers with rubber surrounds for an INSANE $5 each! for $40, i could get 8 of those for 97dB without the compromises of high efficiency drivers. PLUS, they're designed for acoustic suspension and i'm the the most bass reflex hating person on the planet probably. that, and i could hit 94dB at 4 ohms with just 4 drivers per channel at $20 and perfectly mate with a 4 ohm 94dB air motion tweeter. i haven't read any reviews yet, but 4.5 at 66 isn't shabby as far as ratings go.

there's more than one way to get high efficiency, and at the silly closeout price PE is offering, i'm liking that route. if nothing else, those woofers dig deeper and reach higher besides being acoustic suspension friendly which would add warmth for my intended use. one other potential perk is that they should mate better with my poly sub than mixing driver types.

i hate the idea of buying a bunch of drivers i don't intend to use right away. i still have a box of a ton of cheap 5 inch sony boombox woofers in storage i never used.

 

RE: anyone have experience with DS18 midranges?, posted on December 31, 2016 at 04:49:33
Scott L
Audiophile

Posts: 245
Location: Knoxville
Joined: February 2, 2001
The problem with most cone drivers intended for wide-band mid range use, is the dust cap. There are a few mid-range specific drivers that use a nice, cool looking phase plug, but the ones that are hi-efficiency don't do very well in the lower mid range.

The dust cap buzzes and contributes to that nasty "cone cry" sound, like a flock of geese heading south for the winter.

I have researched mid range drivers for quite a few years now. I stumbled upon the DS-18 brand and am wondering the same thing. For what it's worth, I have had very good luck with the Tang Band W8 series of drivers--
of which there are only 2 models I can attest to- the 1772, and the 1808.
While these are superb performers, they are somewhat expensive. You would think a major driver manufacturer could come up with a driver, in the 6.5 inch size that incorporates a phase plug. I wonder who makes the Parts Express house brand with those super sharp pointed plugs ?

 

RE: anyone have experience with DS18 midranges?, posted on December 31, 2016 at 09:40:22
freddyi
Audiophile

Posts: 3087
Joined: December 6, 2001
I've play with the 8 inch 8 ohm Crunch "Screamer" which looks similar. The Crunch goes out smoothly on-axis to 9KHz and are $29.95 each (maybe cheaper if you shop around) from Ebay.

you'll have to ignore the cavity peaking and cancellation effects on this graph - since the Crunch is compared directly to a very sensitive L.Cao 6.5", I'd say its about as sensitive as Eminence's Delta Pro8a. That's not so say its as capable in the low end as that driver.

click on the link below to see the Crunch

Crunch 8 inch mid speaker

Crunch 8

Karlson Evangelist

 

RE: anyone have experience with DS18 midranges?, posted on December 31, 2016 at 13:45:25
Coner
Audiophile

Posts: 1776
Location: S.W. Washington state, USA
Joined: November 17, 2001
I would not expect good midrange out of those, you don't want
a cheap poly cone, and the rubber surrounds have the highest
mass of all surrounds. They are cheap, and will sound just that...
cheap. Try for a paper cone and cast frame...steel frames, you'll
have to treat it so it won't "ring".

 

RE: anyone have experience with DS18 midranges?, posted on December 31, 2016 at 13:47:13
91derlust
Audiophile

Posts: 401
Joined: December 25, 2014
"my basic instinct is always to just stick with conventional hifi drivers and use the 3dB every time you double rule to get the efficiency up"

Isn't that true only if drivers are paralleled, which also halves the impedance with each doubling? In your example, the eight drivers in parallel with gain the suggested 9dB, but impedance will be reduced to 0.5 Ohm.

Cheers,
91.

"Confusion of goals and perfection of means seems to characterise our age." Albert Einstein

 

RE: Parts Express $5 polycone 6.5" woofers, posted on January 1, 2017 at 09:54:04
Rpower
Audiophile

Posts: 202
Location: Northeast Georgia
Joined: October 27, 2000
I just changed out a pair of the Parts Express $5 polycone 6.5" woofers in their B652 $30 speakers and they are poor sounding, muffled and veiled. I upgraded to the Tympany 830657 6.5" paper cone woofers on eBay for $18 a pair. Much better sounding speaker in every way.

 

RE: anyone have experience with DS18 midranges?, posted on January 1, 2017 at 16:19:36
thump
Audiophile

Posts: 115
Joined: April 19, 2016
yes, i'm familiar with tang band. parts express used to carry a ton of cool 2-4" drivers in everything from bamboo to titanium, and yes, they ARE very expensive, especially at their terrible low 80dB efficiencies. they're not an option because of costs.

as to dustcap buzzing, maybe that's what i'm hearing in all of the DS18 videos i watched. it's a resonance signature that reminds me of those old see and say pull string toys with the speaker cone directly linked to the stylus. it isn't usually an issue with most drivers though. even the no name high efficiency 12" woofers i bought at MCM crossed over at 3,500Hz don't have any resonant signature i can pick up on. i would bet if that's what's making the DS18s sound papery, it's because they use flimsy undamped cones. it's not a pleasant sound for sure.

 

RE: anyone have experience with DS18 midranges?, posted on January 1, 2017 at 16:23:51
thump
Audiophile

Posts: 115
Joined: April 19, 2016
yes, +-15dB is a pretty hideous looking frequency response. that's why i'm not enthusiastic about high efficiency mids, tweeters OR even woofers which all tend to roll off sharply below 100Hz. the response curves i've seen for conventional drivers tend to look a lot flatter.

on the other hand, i'm really a fan of drivers with phase plugs instead of dustcaps. the drivers in my energy RC10 minis were extremely detailed and distortion free but the cabinets sucked, especially when you plugged those evil little ports.

i'd still rather use smaller than 8 inch drivers though. i'd really like to use 4 1/2" mids, but they have terrible efficiency, but do snap faster due to their lower masses. i like the idea of 6 1/2" as the middle ground between lower mass and larger surface area to move more air. if this was for a home system, i wouldn't go larger than 5 1/4".

 

RE: anyone have experience with DS18 midranges?, posted on January 1, 2017 at 16:29:15
thump
Audiophile

Posts: 115
Joined: April 19, 2016
"you don't want a cheap poly cone, and the rubber surrounds have the highest mass of all surrounds."

oh YES i do!

1st off, i will NEVER under any circumstances EVER do literally rotten foam. second, i'm an acoustic suspension fan, so rubber is the way to go. i'd rather go with doped paper than poly, but for the super low price on those drivers, i can compromise, and i'd go with poly cones before aluminum on anything but a sub maybe any day. actually, it was a pair of 4 1/2" poly coned infinity minis that got me into hifi because they imaged like crazy and had the fastest and lowest distortion bass i'd ever heard and i used to visit 4 different hifi shops before being wowed by
minis.

besides, 4.5 stars at 66 reviews isn't shabby. i'm not expecting scan speak grade sound, i live in the real world, but if they can get that high a rating with that many votes, they can't be bad, and remember, the "competition" is using 12" "mids" and piezo tweeters. i'll buy a sample to test before committing to building a system around them.

in the past, i gambled on a bunch of super cheap 5" sony boombox woofers on closeout at PE, and they didn't sound shabby at all. if they weren't in a box in another state, i'd use those.

"you don't want stamped steel baskets"

oh yes i do! cast baskets are HEAVY! this is for a bicycle system where every extra pound will be felt, especially on inclines. compromises have to be made to save weight, and the crazy amount i'm going to have to invest to switch to lithium ion with enough amp hours to run a 500w+ system and save weight over AGM precludes my going nuts on $50+ drivers all around if i ever want to get this rolling in my lifetime.

as it stands, i've been piecing together phase 1 of this system over a year by now, and this one will cost a fraction of what 2.0 will cost. even if i found work tomorrow, it would take at least 3 months to be able to afford system 2.0, and i want to be rolling by summer.

 

RE: anyone have experience with DS18 midranges?, posted on January 1, 2017 at 16:34:56
thump
Audiophile

Posts: 115
Joined: April 19, 2016
i'd use both series and parallel wiring to keep the impedance ideally at 4 ohms, or if not that, 8 ohms. parallel wiring halves the impedance, but series doubles it.

 

RE: B652 $30 speakers, posted on January 2, 2017 at 21:23:26
thump
Audiophile

Posts: 115
Joined: April 19, 2016
I just changed out a pair of the Parts Express $5 polycone 6.5" woofers in their B652 $30 speakers and they are poor sounding, muffled and veiled. I upgraded to the Tympany 830657 6.5" paper cone woofers on eBay for $18 a pair. Much better sounding speaker in every way.

are you talking about a tweeter issue?

 

found a great $50 deal on JBL Northridge N26AW IIs, posted on January 2, 2017 at 22:25:07
thump
Audiophile

Posts: 115
Joined: April 19, 2016

as someone here was talking about their cheap dayton speakers, i thought i'd pass along this deal on JBL Northridge N26AW II speakers as i just ordered a pair before they're gone to supplement my system, add a couple dB and have both front and back facing mains since i started looking for something lighter than my proels to use in an "on bike" system.

 

RE: B652 $30 speakers, posted on January 3, 2017 at 04:10:09
Rpower
Audiophile

Posts: 202
Location: Northeast Georgia
Joined: October 27, 2000
I think the PE 6.5" $5 woofers you are suggesting using in an array in your earlier post are he same ones used in the B652 speaker. If so, they are not very good sounding. My point was that you can spend a little more and get much better sounding woofers.

 

RE: B652 $30 speakers, posted on January 4, 2017 at 03:10:08
thump
Audiophile

Posts: 115
Joined: April 19, 2016
yes, i believe they ARE the same woofers

the point is moot now as i ordered a pair of JBL 6" outdoor 2 ways for $50 that will project in the opposite direction of my proel mains which was the issue. if they work out, i might just keep the 1.5 system as long as it's not too heavy to haul, and just upgrade the batteries to lithium ion.

the NEW plan is to point the JBLs forward and proels backwards so i can hear decent music as well as project back which makes more sense at biking events, gain a couple dB maybe, and distribute the weight back some with the HEAVY little proels while not getting blasted myself listen to the JBLs at close range.

it's kind of a cobbled setup, but if it works, i'll stick with it.

 

RE: B652 $30 speakers, posted on January 4, 2017 at 06:20:18
Rpower
Audiophile

Posts: 202
Location: Northeast Georgia
Joined: October 27, 2000
I was fooling around with the B652s for a pair of deck speakers, but when I saw the JBLs, I had to order a pair too. Can't wait to hear them. They also match the white trim on my house.

 

RE: JBL Northridge, posted on January 4, 2017 at 16:19:06
thump
Audiophile

Posts: 115
Joined: April 19, 2016
in MOST of the videos of the 26s and their smaller 24s siblings, they sound pretty nice, but lack bass, but in the 26 video with the dented dustcap, they sound very full range with nice deep bass.

regardless, $25 each is a huge bargain where you'd pay that much for just 1 driver most days. as JBLs, i'm hoping they're above average sounding as JBL usually is at a given price point, and 75% off is a sweet deal.

it's great that they'll match your color scheme too.

 

RE: B652 towers sound pretty good to me, posted on January 6, 2017 at 00:44:52
thump
Audiophile

Posts: 115
Joined: April 19, 2016
for having ONLY $20 worth of "midwoofers", the B652s sound surprisingly good to me, and BETTER than all of the high efficiency mids i've found videos for including the DS18s and a couple other accordion surround brands i checked out.

they sound fairly big & dynamic on some of the tracks which is exactly what i'd like in a mobile system. i was thinking they were sucking out on the caravan palace track as i skipped around, but the track sounds even thinner with heavy bandpass EQing.

i wouldn't expect a $5 driver to embarrass anything more expensive, but from what i heard in the demo i linked to below and another demo or two of the smaller versions, they sound like they're worth more than $5 any day.

as to ebay, i hate buying stuff there after getting ripped off by a vendor who suddenly started stiffing EVERYONE on a CD purchase that ebay & paypal played pass the buck on until it was too late to make a claim. besides, i can't access my account anymore anyways as i lost my password and the password to the email account it was associated with as well, so i won't be buying speakers there any time soon.

i've heard more expensive speakers sound worse than this:

 

RE: anyone have experience with DS18 midranges?, posted on January 14, 2017 at 13:38:10
91derlust
Audiophile

Posts: 401
Joined: December 25, 2014
Then you don't get the gain quoted.

Cheers,
91

"Confusion of goals and perfection of means seems to characterise our age." Albert Einstein

 

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