Ok, wrapping this shit up...
Testing subs, by it's very nature, is messy. There are a lot of variables and you can't account for them all. As with all testing and reviews... your mileage may vary. I'm also not a golden eared professional SQ reviewer so take my subjective impressions for what they're worth.
RD Audio Sonance
- this is RD's "SQ" woofer. I'm not sure if that's just because it's a small one and that's what people call their little woofers or if it's actually designed differently than the rest of their stuff, but it did sound great. It's perhaps undermotored in this roundup and it showed. NOT an SPL woofer by any stretch and NOT underrated like some 2.5" coil subs we're used to. It did well in every box I tried it in; even small sealed. It's a versatile sub and more in line with something you'd find at a brick and mortar than an "underground" boutique sub like we use. It's not very sensitive at all for a small sub though. I was rooting for this little guy as I'm an RD fan, but I'm sad to say that it underperformed in my opinion. I actually like this little sub, but depending on your goals, there may be better options for the money.
- This is a very average sub. I like the guy in charge over there, but there is nothing ground breaking or innovative here. It's a budget 3" coil woofer smack dab in the middle of competing with established subs like the American Bass XFL. It sounds average with average low end extension and average linearity. It HATES small sealed but did ok in larger vented boxes. By no means an SQ sub. This is a pretty crowded spot in the market and it's *just* another option. You might choose this sub if you prefer the personal customer service of a smaller company and need a budget banger. Would make a decent SPL sub as evidenced by the burp scores. Decent power handling. Decently sensitive. I have to note that they sent me the wrong coils, but offered to take care of it immediately. I didn't take him up on it and dealt with it, but it's a good indication of two things... first that the communication and customer service is there. And second... that it's still a small company prone to making mistakes like that.
Under Pressure Audio
- Ok, I'm not sure exactly how to word this to not sound like an ass, so I'll just say it... I was told the sub was tested before shipping. I just can't see how this is true. It would not have passed any test you could have done on it. It's been claimed the demag happened during shipping since the package was beat up. I also can not see how this is true. He did offer to take care of it, but never followed up on it- which is why I didn't have a functional sub to test. Bottom line... shit happens but I don't like being bullshitted. Do not recommend. Sorry.
- What can I say about this sub... it's a beast. It's over budget as is, but it was $285 at the time and I kinda wanted to see how much more sub you could get for a few bucks over budget. It's super smooth, super linear and has low end for days. The owner is knowledgeable and has an incredible
team behind him. It underperformed in the pure SPL portion, maybe. But it made up for it in the "daily" settings. It sounds great other than some suspension slap at very high excursion. I never did figure out if it was spider stretch or tinsel slap but both are likely candidates since both have been addressed with the v.2. These power levels were a walk in the park for this thing. Very few subs (if any) can offer this kind of performance at this price point. Very average sensitivity means you may need some power to get it moving, but that's the tradeoff you make for it being able to excel in small boxes. Overall... highly recommend.
- It's very difficult to find something bad to say about this sub. It was the least expensive, the loudest and was subjectively second best only to the Ethos. But that's the nature of smaller subs (usually). They get louder on less power. It didn't surprise me that it kliled it in SPL, but it did surprise me how well it did in the daily portion. To compete with the likes of the Ethos down low is an accomplishment. The Ethos would definitely start stretching it out past 1k or so, but it hard to argue with how well it did. I don't know who "Frank" is or where he came from as it seems it's a bit of a mystery, but he's got a winner on his hands. I'm not ready to crown it as an "SA Killer", but if you're in the market for a $200 sub, this one most definitely needs to be in the conversation. Fantastic value here.
SPL (500w, 1k, 1.5k)
- FU Audio - 149.7 - 152.6 - 154.0
- Sinister Soundz - 149.4 - 152.0 - 153.7
- DSS Ethos - 148.5 - 150.5 - 152.3
- RD Audio Sonance - 148.5 - 151.0 - 152.2
- UPA - N/A
- DSS Ethos - 145.7
- FU Audio - 145.5
- Sinister Soundz - 144.2
- RD Audio Sonance - 142.9
- UPA - N/A
Street Beat Track 9 (31hz, 30 second average)
- FU Audio - 138.9
- DSS Ethos - 138.7
- Sinister Soundz - 137.2
- RD Audio Sonance - 136.4
- UPA - N/A