Slim Woofers = BIG woofer performance?

Flat Subwoofer 10 12 Inch

Is it possible to get a big woofer performance from a slim woofer? Slim woofer technology has been out for over 12 years. Has it evolved like other technologies? Why has OEM manufactures invested in this area? Trucks are getting more and more popular with customization products; are they a new revenue stream for manufacturers?

“Back in the day,” Pioneer and Earthquake were some of the only manufacturers to offer slim subs. They both used very different philosophies of design and construction. Pioneer was used as a standard speaker design with a short-throw woofer. Earthquake used a system of mounting the pole piece of the magnet assembly in the subwoofer’s dust cap area. This, in turn, would cut down on subwoofer mounting depth. Regarding sound quality, the Pioneer sounded better, but the Earthquake had 2-3x more output. But if you hammered on the Earthquake product, the dust cap would slap against the magnet assembly inside the dust cap, causing unwanted noise. Pioneer woofer might not have had a lot of output, but it worked very well.

What do slim woofers have to overcome? Mounting depth and control of woofer while under heavy power use and tinsel lead slap (the issue of the tinsel leads hitting the cone under high power situations). OEM manufacturers B&W, Kia, Ford, and Hyundai, have been using slim woofers for the past 3-4 years. How are they all overcoming these issues? They use a low power-handling woofer, 20-50 watts, to overcome the output issue. By using low power handling woofers, they can go for the full excursion with little power. But you get output, with no ability to increase output or add more woofers. Pioneer Electronics has a solution for most OEM applications to overcome this issue, but we will cover this in an upcoming blog.

But what about those customers who demand higher performance and want the best of both worlds? I have heard several woofers that have tried to do this, but the new Helix Esprit flat series of woofers have set a new standard. Helix uses a dual spider assembly and a giant magnet to overcome shallow woofers’ shortcomings, but how did they do it? They made the magnet size almost as big as the woofer cut out; instead of making the magnet smaller, they made it wider. As for the tinsel leads, Helix wove them into the spider, eliminating the tinsel lead issue. Using the dual spider system and a carbon fiber dust cap, they maintained control over the woofer under high power handling applications.

Slim woofers allowed woofer solutions for small vehicle and truck applications and shouldn’t be ignored. It is an excellent balance between application and performance.   But these sources of revenue can add to your business image of being a mobile audio specialist.

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