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Fi IB318 vs Ultimax18

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  • Fi IB318 vs Ultimax18

    I've been looking at the ultimax drivers. I recently started to consider infinite baffle. I see alot of people like the Fi drivers for IB. The Fi has a considerable excursion advantage assuming the spec is true and distortion is reasonable. The ultimax looks like stiffer more durable cone material, dual opposing spiders, and shorting rings. The ultimax seems to have more distortion reducing features. Simulations look favorable for the Fi product. What do you all think about these drivers? Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk

  • #2
    I'll be following this ....
    Sausage With Meat Sause, Please

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    • #3
      You might find what Thomas has to say in the 4th post about the Fi vs Ultimax interesting. Cult of the Infinitely Baffled has been around a while, so has Thomas. There are a lot of interesting builds there.
      http://ibsubwoofers.proboards.com/th...-um18-22-ib318
      http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...khanspires-but
      http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...pico-neo-build
      http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...ensation-build

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      • #4



        Originally posted by pick View Post
        ..The ultimax looks like stiffer more durable cone material..
        There are countless examples of Fi subwoofers withstanding thousands of watts of abuse. I don't really think the cone material is a risk. Although, they certainly don't look as good.



        Originally posted by pick View Post
        ..The ultimax seems to have more distortion reducing features..
        I'm curious as to what frequency these "distortion reducing features" really become noticeable. I'm not saying they aren't, I'm just not sure I would notice.



        Originally posted by Kornbread View Post
        You might find what Thomas has to say in the 4th post about the Fi vs Ultimax interesting. Cult of the Infinitely Baffled has been around a while, so has Thomas. There are a lot of interesting builds there.
        http://ibsubwoofers.proboards.com/th...-um18-22-ib318
        This is even more interesting when taken in context with what he says in the second post.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the replies. I will check out the links you provided in the morning. Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk

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          • #6
            Originally posted by vapor602
            There are countless examples of Fi subwoofers withstanding thousands of watts of abuse. I don't really think the cone material is a risk. Although, they certainly don't look as good. I'm curious as to what frequency these "distortion reducing features" really become noticeable. I'm not saying they aren't, I'm just not sure I would notice. This is even more interesting when taken in context with what he says in the second post.
            Yes this is interesting. He recommends them but then seems to think something else is better. If focusing only on modeled output capability, the Fi driver wins. The excursion spec alone makes it the winner. I just wonder if that tells the whole story. Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk

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            • #7
              IIRC, quite a few years ago, consensus on the 'Cult' was it's all about the volume of air the woofers could move. Then some better spec'ed woofers came along, and things changed a bit. Even though our ears aren't as sensitive in that area, the improvement in bass quality was noticeable. Thomas may remember, as I think it was he that made the observation, but this has been many, many, years ago, and my memory maybe not so good.

              Yes this is interesting. He recommends them but then seems to think something else is better. If focusing only on modeled output capability, the Fi driver wins. The excursion spec alone makes it the winner. I just wonder if that tells the whole story. Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk
              Not really sure about that, possibly because the Fi was a known performer with several builds backing it, and the UM18 was still fairly new. Don't know if Thomas is on this forum, but slip over to the 'cult' and ask him. That forum was invaluable when building my IB's.
              http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...khanspires-but
              http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...pico-neo-build
              http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...ensation-build

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Kornbread View Post
                You might find what Thomas has to say in the 4th post about the Fi vs Ultimax interesting. Cult of the Infinitely Baffled has been around a while, so has Thomas. There are a lot of interesting builds there.
                http://ibsubwoofers.proboards.com/th...-um18-22-ib318

                The 4th post is comparing the Dayton IB385 to the Ultimax. The Fi is not mentioned in that post. The IB385 is "1990s technology," not the FI drivers.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gworrel
                  The 4th post is comparing the Dayton IB385 to the Ultimax. The Fi is not mentioned in that post. The IB385 is "1990s technology," not the FI drivers.
                  You know... I didn't catch that. So I'm still wondering. How important are the dual spider and shorting rings versus the extended excursion? Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kornbread
                    IIRC, quite a few years ago, consensus on the 'Cult' was it's all about the volume of air the woofers could move. Then some better spec'ed woofers came along, and things changed a bit. Even though our ears aren't as sensitive in that area, the improvement in bass quality was noticeable. Thomas may remember, as I think it was he that made the observation, but this has been many, many, years ago, and my memory maybe not so good. Not really sure about that, possibly because the Fi was a known performer with several builds backing it, and the UM18 was still fairly new. Don't know if Thomas is on this forum, but slip over to the 'cult' and ask him. That forum was invaluable when building my IB's.
                    Yeah I don't have an account over there. Maybe I'll have to create one and ask some questions over there too. I always look here first. Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pick View Post
                      You know... I didn't catch that. So I'm still wondering. How important are the dual spider and shorting rings versus the extended excursion? Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk
                      I ran across a Fi 18" driver at a pawn shop the other day that had a MASSIVE heatsinked motor. I have no idea what model it was, but the thing was a beast and made a UM18 look pretty benign. It was much beefier than the ones shown in the link someone posted above. While I haven't heard one, it was obvious that they can build a stout driver.

                      I'll be honest, it is harder to hear distortion in those low frequencies vs. higher ones. While there may be a measurable difference between the two, what you can actually hear is most likely a different story. From that perspective, excursion is the winner for sheer SPL. At the same time, are the UM18's enough SPL wise? If so, go for the more modern low distortion motor and call it a day.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by make_some_noise
                        I ran across a Fi 18" driver at a pawn shop the other day that had a MASSIVE heatsinked motor. I have no idea what model it was, but the thing was a beast and made a UM18 look pretty benign. It was much beefier than the ones shown in the link someone posted above. While I haven't heard one, it was obvious that they can build a stout driver. I'll be honest, it is harder to hear distortion in those low frequencies vs. higher ones. While there may be a measurable difference between the two, what you can actually hear is most likely a different story. From that perspective, excursion is the winner for sheer SPL. At the same time, are the UM18's enough SPL wise? If so, go for the more modern low distortion motor and call it a day.
                        Yeah the IB318v2 has a massive 4 stack magnet structure to support the xmax and a qts around 0.7. Seems really nice for IB. I really like PE and have had good luck with DLS. The UM18 has a more gradual roll off due to the lower Qts and less SPL due to the xmax. With the IB3 i might have to roll off the low frequency anyway due to room gain. I keep leaning toward the UM18 but the IB3's Qts and xmax are hard for me to ignore for IB application. I only intend to buy two so that's why I'm so hung up on this issue. Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by pick View Post
                          Yeah the IB318v2 has a massive 4 stack magnet structure to support the xmax and a qts around 0.7. Seems really nice for IB. I really like PE and have had good luck with DLS. The UM18 has a more gradual roll off due to the lower Qts and less SPL due to the xmax. With the IB3 i might have to roll off the low frequency anyway due to room gain. I keep leaning toward the UM18 but the IB3's Qts and xmax are hard for me to ignore for IB application. I only intend to buy two so that's why I'm so hung up on this issue. Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk

                          I wish I knew what model I saw. I tried to find it on Fi's site and couldn't. But it's motor made the IB318v2 motor look like a toy. I might run over and see if it is still there, they wanted $600 for the driver and it looked unused. I didn't pick it up to find the model since it was too rich for my blood.

                          The Fi may have a better qts and xmax for the application, but I assume that the UM18 will be around for a long time compared to most car audio companies changing their design with a new model replacing the old one all the time. This makes replacement easier should you damage one. I don't think either driver can physically bottom out so it may be a moot point with the UM18. Xmax is not Xmech, and with the motor advances in the UM18, if you exceed Xmax it will help keep distortion down compared to an older generation driver exceeding Xmax. You can drive any driver past Xmax, it's just the distortion starts to go up a lot without shorting rings etc... But cheap drivers have an Xmech that is not much more than Xmax, which means you risk slamming the VC against the back plate. That bottoming out isn't an issue with either of the drivers you are choosing.

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                          • #14
                            The IB3 Fi motor is much less powerful than their other drivers, by design. An IB is excursion limited, not power limited so there is no need for a powerful motor. One of the big advantages of an IB is that it requires relatively little power for the same volume level because there is no back pressure from the box enclosure. The FI driver is definitely more purpose-built for IB, while the UM18 is a general purpose driver. Whether the distortion lowering features built into the UM18 make a difference in a head to head comparison is something that would probably need to be tested. Even if the distortion numbers are significantly better, whether the distortion is audible is a separate question. Data-bass.com has distortion tests of the UM18 and some FI drivers, but not the IB3.

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