How good are Dayton drivers?

Dayton appears to be a house brand of Parts Express … “Dayton” of course refers to a city in America … and as you may expect Dayton products are made … in China

but how good are they ?

well in my limited experience … they are TRASH

i mean everything is relative of course … are Hyundai cars trash ? i would say yes they are, but i was born in Soviet Union and my pops had a Lada and compared to a Lada a Hyundai is like a Maybach or a Bugatti.

i have more memories pushing the Lada than i have riding in it.

Dayton … is better than Lada … but i would say worse than Hyundai.

i would not recommend a Hyundai to anybody but i would also not warn anybody against getting Hyundai.

Dayton ? The best thing i can say about it is that Parts Express is known to have good customer service … but my Dayton was too cheap to return so i just threw it out ( it might be somewhere in the basement )

This is a great woofer:

This is a great subwoofer:

your great woofer is 87 db efficient and has 2 khz usable frequency range whereas a 15" prosound woofer would be 97 db efficient and have 3 khz usable frequency extension … in addition to this your woofer is 80 watt and a prosound woofer would be 800 watt …

so aside from having 1/10th the efficiency and 1/10th the power handling of a prosound woofer i guess it’s great.

you’re spending about 30% of the cost of a prosound woofer for 1% of the performance … what a great value !

let’s see … compared to a good prosound subwoofer it has half the motor force, half the power handling and twice the moving mass …

it does match the best prosound subwoofers for Xmax … but not the Xmech … which is listed as “over 2 inches” … that’s “over 50mm” … the best prosound woofers have 80mm ( though it is rare ).

xmax is a meaningless spec because literally nothing happens when it is exceedded - it doesn’t really measure linearity or anything at all. Xmech matters a lot - that’s when the driver is destroyed.

if you judge a subwoofer on the basis of Xmax per dollar sure - it beats every prosound subwoofer on that basis. But if you look at things that actually matter it’s a driver that is only competitive with car audio offerings.

Yeah and your 15" pro sound woofer beams at 500Hz and requires a giant M2 style waveguide to be crossed over to the tweeter

The Ultimax drivers are great because they have low Fsc when you put them in sufficiently large boxes. They are also low inductance and have no issues playing high. Becuase they are so cheap you can buy a bunch of them and build a wall of bass with tons of displacement. That’s what you want for home theater.

And something does happen at xmax: the subwoofer distorts and sounds like shit. That is not high fidelity audio.

well yes, RCF crosses the 15" over at 650 hz to a 4" compression driver in their boxes.

JBL crosses them over at ~ 250 hz to 8" midrange.

if you put a prosound driver in the same box you can get the exact same bass extension just by using EQ …

only difference is the driver will pull less power and dissipate the heat better resulting in lower power compression as well as lower strain on the amplifier.

as for the Dayton being “cheap” … it’s $369

here is a 18" JBL for $249 ( just ran out of stock )

yes it has only 8mm xmax but due to symmetrical push push-pull motor it will likely have no higher distortion. and when you consider it’s cheaper and you save money on amplifier due to better efficiency and they work in a smaller box you can use more of them in same space and on same budget and you will be back to same displacement with less distortion, higher output and less compression.

the entire point of engineering is to reduce costs. a lesser engineered product will typically be more expensive when you properly account for all the costs. if a product is more expensive in real world use then it is not better engineered.

a toyota is cheaper to run than a hyundai otherwise all the uber drivers would be rocking sonatas instead of camry.

Yeah but if you put a pro driver in the same cab it takes like 5000 watts to push it to the same excursion as the Ultimax, which has an Fsc of like 25Hz. The Ultimax can be pushed to 25mm of excursion at 20Hz with like 350W. If you get 16 of them and put a tower of 4 in each corner you can ridiculous amounts of low end for relatively little money and low power requirements. That’s what home theater is all about.

it takes LESS power to push a prosound driver to equal output at ANY frequency than any Dayton or Car Audio driver

you misunderstand physics - the low FS of Dayton is due to high moving mass. moving dead weight requires more power, not less.

the ability of the Dayton to go low is due to weak motor force offering very little back EMF - this results in pulling more current and power from the amp producing more heat in both driver and amp and LESS cone movement.

ability of a driver like Dayton to go low is a pure illusion. because it has less midbass output and it pulls more current in the low end that makes it APPEAR as if it has lower extension. in actual physical reality it is less efficient at ALL frequencies and in any type of box.

at any given frequency a prosound driver will produce more SPL with less watts. this is fact.

the Dayton will have a flatter response for two reasons:

1 - it has about 10 db less output above 100 hz or so therefore by comparison to its midbass output its low end looks higher

2 - because it has little back EMF ( basically no motor force ) it remains resistive in the low end pulling more current from the amp which boosts low end on a PER VOLT basis but not a per watt basis.

you could simply use a lower impedance prosound driver to achieve the same effect - in fact this is what B&C iPal is designed to do with its 0.7 ohm RE.

the actual impedance of the 0.7 ohm iPal is about the same as that of the Ultimax - why ? because iPal has tons of back EMF and Dayton doesn’t. the iPal is about 10 times more efficient but the Dayton APPEARS to be efficient because you’re looking at volts instead of watts.

look there are no miracles. prosound driver market is competitive - you can’t undercut the price without losing performance. in case of Dayton you’re not losing a little but a LOT. the iPal uses a 6" voice coil while the Ultimax uses a 3" Voice Coil - that’s where the difference in price comes from.

the JBL i linked has a 3" VC like Dayton that’s why it’s in the same price range.

no miracles.

you don’t save anything with Dayton - in fact you pay more for less.

Daytons are simply designed to FOOL people who aren’t professionals into thinking they are getting value. prosound drivers are engineered to deliver ACTUAL value because otherwise professionals wouldn’t buy them.

if you don’t believe me just model both drivers in HornResp … in HornResp you can actually go to “tools” and “efficiency” and it will calculate the efficiency versus frequency chart for you. in the same box a prosound driver will be about 4 times more efficient overall but more importantly for our argument here it will be more efficient at ANY frequency.

efficiency is roughly correlated with (BL^2/Re)*(Sd/mms) …

you want high BL, high SD and low MMS. the Ultimax is the opposite of all those except SD, which is decent, but not as good as a 21"

this applies at ANY frequency. DIYers simply aren’t sophisticated enough to put the big picture together - they miss the forest for the trees - they see a flat response and can’t think past that. they can’t understand how a prosound driver that starts to roll off at 100 hz can be more efficient at 20 hz than Ultimax that is flat to 25 hz …

i can understand it because i have high IQ as for others they can still see it in HornResp even though they may not understand why it is that way …

the entire DIY industry ( Dayton, PE, diyAudio etc ) is built to exploit the inability of average person to understand physics. audio professionals also can’t understand physics but they have so much experience and because they spend literally all day talking to other professionals with even more experience that they ultimately don’t need to understand physics like i do in order to know what works.

likewise DIYers who have been in the game long enough eventually move to prosound drivers as well and never go back. all this stuff like Dayton is for beginners who don’t know any better. i try to warn them but i get banned because these suckers are how the DIY industry makes money and i am in the way of their business model.

if DIYers and Audiophiles had real knowledge the industries built around them wouldn’t be able to exist at all. the entire ecosphere of DIY and Audiophiles is built entirely on ignorance and lies. fancy cables, fancy capacitors, inductors and resistors, and all of the DIY specific drivers - it’s all part of the same scam.

as for prosound drivers having stiffer suspensions:

1 - not all prosound drivers. the one i linked does not. suspension stiffness in a prosound driver is proportional to its power handling. i linkedd a lower power driver so it has a more compliant suspension. the iPal suspension is VERY stiff, but that’s because it’s an ultra high power driver designed specifically for powersoft amps.

2 - suspension stiffness only really matters in an infinite baffle scenario. in a real box the box and port tuning will dominate suspension compliance for the overall frequency response.

Yeah, and back EMF is measurable. It’s called impedence. Put the Ultimax in a large or infinite baffle enclosure, and what do you get when you measure impedence? A spike at 25Hz or lower, meaning that you are drawing less current at these low frequencies, not more. Put a JBL or B&C driver in the same enclosure, and what do get? A spike at 40-50Hz, and low impedence below that. It’s the driver that’s designed to operate at 20Hz that will be most efficient in that region. Pro subs are designed to be placed in bass reflex enclosures tuned to 40Hz, so they don’t have any efficiency down low. Throw one in an enclosure tuned too low and it will have a peaky response with efficiency around the port tune and nowhere else.

Maybe some 40 IQ chimpanzee retard would be dumb enough to think “durr bigger magnet, lighter cone, more force factor… better subwoofer! It’s bigger and badder so it should be better at everything!”

Those of us with human levels of intelligence and at least third-grade-level understanding of physics realize that there is more complexity to designing an electromechanical device. When you have to work within a budget you have to make a series of compromises.

And the thing is, with these garbage overhung (not to be confused with the micropenis losers who use them) pro drivers, that motor force is worth fuck all since it drops off a cliff as soon the driver moves a micrometer. By the time they have some decent excursion they have all the BL of your grandma’s used diaper.

XBL drivers might not have the highest BL on paper, but it is linear and useful across a wide range, unlike yourself, who is only useful for consuming garbage and turning it into shit.

well friends i don’t think i need to explain to you why i suspended Bill Gates here …

he should have watched his mouth - maybe he would have learned something …

anyway when i have time i will put in that 18" Dayton into HornResp and compare it to the 18" JBL i linked to see if the cheaper JBL really is more efficient at all frequencies as i said it would be …

i had modeled that JBL before but not the Dayton …


There were three people on this forum, and you just banned one of them. Now there is one other person besides yourself. And to call that person a friend is a stretch…

OK !

i put both the $249 JBL and $369 Dayton ( both 18" ) into 10 cubic foot box tuned to 20 hz.

here is the efficiency of JBL:

and here is the efficiency of Dayton:

now we will average from 20 hz to 80 hz but keep in mind that energy begins to fall off starting at about 40 - 60 hz and is typically significantly down by 20 hz. so we have to give more weight to the 40-80 hz octave than to 20-40hz octave.

JBL averages out to 3% and Dayton to about 1% … so JBL is about 3 times more efficient for typical movie content - no surprise there - that’s direct result of having lower moving mass.

but is there any frequency at which Dayton is more efficient ? well yes … Dayton efficiency peak ( corresponding to impedance peak ) is at 30 hz while JBL peak ( also corresponding to impedance peak ) is at 50 hz … so at 30 hz the Dayton is more efficient than JBL … but note that peak efficiency of Dayton is less than 3% while peak efficiency of JBL is over 12% and is also wider …

but the real argument i was having with Bill Gates was which one is more efficient at low frequencies … even Bill Gates would not dispute the JBL will be more efficient at frequencies above its Fs … his argument was that because Dayton had lower Fs it would be more efficient at low frequencies …

looking at the very low frequencies i have to admit the Dayton edges out the JBL slightly there - so was i wrong ?

yes and no …

remember my contention was that prosound drivers have higher force factor … and Bill Gates argued that they cost more … so i picked a low-cost prosound driver to make things fair … well this low cost driver actually has LOWER motor force factor than the Dayton …

to be more precise JBL has a BL of 18 with Re of 5.3 ohms for a BL^2/Re motor force of 61

Dayton has a BL of 23.8 and a Re of 4.4 for a motor force of BL^2/Re of 129

so actually the Dayton has double the motor force of the JBL and that’s why below resonance it is more efficient than JBL while above resonance the JBL is more efficient due to lighter weight cone

so how did this happen ? how did a home theater driver beat a prosound driver on motor force factor ? well it comes down to price. i used one of the cheapest 18" prosound subwoofer driverss at $249 whereas the Ultimax is actually one of the higher-end 18" home theater subs at $369 …

never the less, the cheaper $249 JBL still beats the $369 Dayton on average efficiency from 20 hz to 80 hz, but it loses below 40 hz and i said it would win - so i was wrong there …

my mistake was to use wrong driver as example - i went with the 2279 simply to make a point that not all prosound drivers are expensive. however the reason the 2279 is so inexpensive is actually because it’s not a real subwoofer - it’s a woofer in subwoofer form. exactly the same motor that is on the 18" 2279 is also used by JBL on the 15" and the 12" which are both used in 2-way speakers in the SRX 800 line crossed directly to a compression tweeter.

i knew all that and still used the 2279 as example because of the low cost … and ended up overstating my case … which admittedly happens sometimes when you’re going with the “shock and awe” debating strategy …

the $249 JBL 2279 is used in the number 1 highest rated subwoofer on Sweetwater:

but despite being number 1 highest rated subwoofer and a great value i still ruled it out for my personal use because i knew the 2279 was not a true subwoofer driver … instead i picked Eighteen Sound NTLW5000

unfortunately because the NTLW5000 is three times the price of 2279 i couldn’t use in my argument that prosound drivers are better value than Dayton and used the 2279 instead …

i was too lazy to run the numbers on 2279 and Ultimax before making a wild ass guess that 2279 will be more efficient at all frequencies … which turned out to be not the case due to relatively weak motor of the 2279 … it is one of the weakest motors found on a 18" prosound subwoofer … but then it is also one of the cheapest.

as i told Bill Gates there are no miracles here. everybody faces the same physics trade offs. the reason i assumed JBL will win is because JBL only has to optimize for physics while Dayton also has to optimize for aesthetics ( it has to have fancy looking cone whereas JBL is behind a grille ).

this fancy looking cone adds weight to the Ultimax which i assumed would handicap it enough to allow the cheaper JBL to pull ahead. and indeed it does but only above resonance frequency. below resonance frequency mass doesn’t matter - only motor force does, and the more expensive Dayton has more motor force than the cheaper JBL and as a result it pulls ahead below 40 hz in efficiency.

i made a mistake. i admit it. i am always the first to admit my mistakes. i don’t wait until somebody catches my error.

this Dayton Ultimax VS JBL 2279 comparison has turned out to be less one sided and far more interesting than i thought it would be. Dayton was crippled by the fact that it’s a Dayton but the JBL was crippled by the fact that it was just a 18" version of the 12" midbass used in SRX 812 2-way …

JBL used the same motor in the entire SRX line from the smallest 2-way to the largest subwoofer in order to also be able to use the same amplifier modules or to have similar voicing or for logistics reasons of not having to stock extra parts at the same assembly location or whatever other reasons. this is why the 18" is so cheap but also why it isn’t so great of a subwoofer.

i’m going to call the Dayton Ultimax vs JBL 2279 a draw - both drivers are heavily compromised. Bill Gates actually successfully stampeded me into making a mistake but then he failed to capitalize on it by panicking himself believing he was losing and resorting to ad hominem attacks.

there are lessons here for both sides …

but at the end of the day i learned something and Bill Gates learned nothing even though he could have potentially learned a lot but he allowed his emotions to get the better of him …

by the way here is a thread i started on Dayton Drivers that got me banned from AudioScienceReview: