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Mach5 Audio: MAW-15 Review

Old 11-30-2006, 11:59 AM
50 Watt CAFz'r
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Mach5 Audio: MAW-15 Review

Hi guys,

I just received the driver yesterday. I was quite surprised how well built the driver seems to be; it's much beefier in person than I thought...especially for under $100 Cdn shipped.

Fit & finish looks great. The basket is finished in a nice glossy mirror black colour. The rubber gasket and magnet boot look great as well.

I was surprised to see that there is venting underneath the spider, which is a nice touch. The tinsel leads are very thick and are woven into the no need to worry about tinsel lead slap.

The push terminals are very sturdy, but could have been bigger as to allow 12 gauge wiring to fit more easily.

The test enclosure is a 2.5cf ported enclosure with a 25Hz tuning which I previously built for an IDQ15 v.2. With 1000 watts from an older Rockford bd1000a1, peak vent velocity is ~30m/s @ 20Hz...which should be acceptable.

Subjective Listening

I have only had about 20 minutes seat time with this driver on my way to work this morning. I want to reserve my thoughts until I have more time with the driver. But what I can say so far is that I am very impressed.

I'll post more comments later.

Last edited by gleepoy; 12-06-2006 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 12-06-2006, 03:44 PM
50 Watt CAFz'r
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After almost a solid week with the driver, from an SQ perspective I think this driver sounds wonderful! As soon as I fired it up, I immediately had a bit of déjà vu. To ME, it tonally sounds incredibly similar to the IDQ15v.2 in the same enclosure.

Something to keep in mind: when comparing it to the IDQ15v.2, I am going by solely by memory. While I no longer have the IDQ to directly compare it to the MAW-15, I ran the IDQ15 for several years.

In comparing the 2 drivers in the same enclosure, the IDQ15v.2 seems to do a bit better in the upper bass freqs, while the MAW-15 has a bit weightier bottom-end. I tried several x-over points and slopes. If need be, the driver sounds great even when cross-over high.

I tried all the genres of music I could think of…including some genres I don’t listen to. The MAW-15 in the test enclosure in my Jeep does well with pretty much any music. Whether producing long lingering bass notes or quick double bass notes in some trance music, it seems to have a very nice balance of “meat” and “speed”. In this config, it didn’t reveal much if any peakiness in tonality.

However with one or two rap tracks, I had to take the sub down a touch…the bass was just a bit too intense to sound natural to me. But I don’t really listen to rap, so I’m not very familiar with the genre.

That being said, when I had the IDQ15v.2, ultimately I preferred them sealed. I suspect that I would prefer the MAW-15 sealed as well. HOWEVER, I firmly believe that most (if not all) people would prefer the tonality of the MAW-15 in a ported enclosure.

The IDQ15v.2 and the IDQ series in general have largely been “Love-it or Hate-it” subs. Tonality-wise the IDQ15v.2 and MAW-15 would most likely be characterized as “punchy or quick”. In a sealed enclosure, I believe many might call it “dry”. However in the test enclosure, I am confident that most people will be quite impressed with its SQ performance…without factoring price. When you factor in price, IMO it’s a clear winner. I don’t know of another driver it the same price range that’ll out perform it.

For pure SPL, I believe you could probably do better. IMO, it’ll do much better in an SQ app. In terms of sheer output ability, I’m not sure. I’m sure that I didn’t come close to sending it the 1000 watts I had available though. But what I can say is that I pushed the driver hard enough to cause ringing in my ears, not to mention the splitting headaches. While driving the sub to that level, it didn’t seem to stress the driver at all.

To sum up…the very notion that I’m comparing it to the IDQ15v.2 is high praise. It’s a wonderful driver.
- Good built quality,
- good SQ performance,
- low price,
- small box requirement,
- decent looks, and
- decent output potential

With so many good things going for it, it easily gets my thumbs-ups.

Will it be replacing my IDMAXv.3? No. But it's going to make a great Christmas gift!
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