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Old 2nd September 2010, 02:21   #1
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Default Showdown Fi Q vs GZ Hydrogen vs AA Havoc vs AA Chaos

Last Sunday evening me and my friends decided to spend some time listening and testing some subwoofers. All were 15” subwoofers ranging from 850rms to 1250 rms power handling and having single to triple stack motors.

15" Subwoofers to be tested were -

Ground Zero Hydrogen
Fi Q (with cooling)
Ascendant Audio - Havoc
Ascendant Audio – Chaos







Test equipment- The car chosen for testing was LBM’s swift with test equipment such as - Pioneer P99 RS , Steg K series Amplifiers, front stage – illusion carbon tweeters , illusion horns, and exodus 6.5” midbass driver . Subwoofers were getting 600-800rms varying with tracks. The subwoofer box was a slot ported 4 cuft tuned to 33hz, with minor air leaks and no bracing inside, made of 3/4mm mdf.

It was kept facing rear boot lid of swift at a distance of approximately 4inchs from it. Tracks were from rap to bass tests to tests tones to hindi tracks. We had to compare - tonal control from 30-80hz , punch/kick , highest SPL, bottoming out limits and music detail .

Some of the tracks used were –
Usher – Papers
Florida –Low
Mims- This is why I am hot
Tu bin batye - rang de basanti
Nicole ft T.I. – Whatever you like
Lollipop- lil wayne
Bass I love you ( for bottoming out testing )
Akon- I wanna love you
And 4-5 more….

First - GZ Hydrogen
No Doubt this is a good subwoofer from a German company. This sub had already broken-in as it was a year old sub. It has some really good bottom octaves below 35hz. It played clean throughout the test tracks and had the second best bottom octaves reproduction in tracks such as in “whatever you like” and “bass I love you” . The sub wasn’t punchy compared to the rest but had a good tonal character and musicality to it. Above 60 Hz this sub didn’t had much output, but a good midbass driver would do the job filling in rest of sound spectrum. At 1000 rms it showed a little sign of stress and reaching bottoming out limits. In tracks like “Mims -this is why I am hot” this sub was detailed, handling all frequencies below35hz with authority and total control. It handled all lower octaves like a charm and ease .
Final verdict – the sub has potential but lacked on midbass. Felt like this sub is made for lower octaves which it did beautifully.











Second - AA Chaos
Right out of the box, even without break-in of the sub it was 20 % louder than the Hydrogen and was very punchy and hard hitting.. Spot on it felt it will do best with rock music and fast paced music. It will please guys who want the loudest setup without much power on tap and vitamin-M in their pockets. Cheapest sub in the lot it sounded big for its price tag. This sub is rated at 850 watts and playing at 800rms it didn’t showed any sign of stress playing almost flat from 35-70hz at any volumes and power, may it be 200 or 800rms. It wasn’t as strong as the GZ at lower octaves but was very loud on frequencies above 35hz (I literally had to close my ears). Maybe a box tuned even lower can take care of lower octaves too. This sub had a very good kick, each punch felt right in the chest like hammer, I had never heard and punchier sub in my life till date, literally very hard hitting sub.
Final verdict - the sub had best output per watt per rupee but missing a little on lower octaves maybe due to box and no break-in yet. All kept aside it is Very Impressive!!










Third AA havoc
This sub resembled Jl audio W7 from front fascade but was nowhere it sounded like it. This means it ROCKED!! Its hefty triple stacked magnet looked Meaty :P . Be it 25 Hz test tone or double bass or frequency response till 80hz, it handled everything without a sweat! Better than both subs tested before it was the most musical of the three and handled lower octaves like anything you have heard till now. At par with the output of hydrogen at lower octaves at 800rms, it was louder than hydrogen above 35 Hz. Chaos still remained the loudest.
The music track- “tu bin batye” has a three step bass line descending with each note. The sub was so natural, that it brought smile to all. In track “this is why I am hot” there are bass notes in middle of the song which can get very messy, but havoc was clean like you just took a bath: P , very refreshing and detailed. The sub is rated at1250rms so we took it there. Just a turn of volume knob and my vision blurred.. No stress at all and no bottoming out even with our best efforts. At 1200 rms , it was unbelievably loud! Final verdict- not as punchy like chaos but and all-rounder from 25-80 Hz with a nearly flat response with very strong low end and tonal control.










The last one - Fi Q (with cooling)

Heaviest of the lot weighing over 16kgs! With the biggest and the deepest motor to it, it also had the highest efficiency.. We already knew this is a monster just to be released looking at its theil small parameters. Due to its monstrous motor it didn’t fit in the box with the slot port restricting its fixing. No problem, we reverse mounted it. This sub is very beautiful at first glance.
First track, usher –papers, OMG !! Its 1/3rd louder then GZ hydrogen, very very controlled and had magnificent musical punch with very flat response and detail. Clearly the Q lived up to its name being the most musical sub out of the four. This sub clearly needs braking-in before we can know what it can really do. The music track- “tu bin batye” bass notes were the most natural and controlled I heard yet on any subwoofer. They were so real I felt each note in my heart, its monstrous motor was clearly doing its job keeping the pressed paper cone in control. This sub can stretch way above 80hz (maybe till 150hz) and blended way better than the 8” sub I am currently using.. The midbass of this sub is just so transparent , which I never expected in a 15” sub that too in a ported encloser. This sub had a total flat response, from 35hz to 100hz. In lower octaves it didn’t performed like Hydrogen or Havoc but clearly made its point made to used in a much lower tuned encloser, maybe close to 28 Hz for a strong bottom octave.
In the track”Mims- this is why I am hot” it struggled a little keeping up with lower octaves compared to Havoc or Hydrogen but never lost track. That being said, Q clearly needs breaking-in before I can review it any further.

The final verdict - Q was a clear winner in sound quality, tonal control, sound output and flat frequency response. This sub is so damn controlled and detailed that you will feel your existing subs were faking bass notes till now.




Flat Wind coil in FiQ







Comparison in descending order
-

Highest output per watt
Fi Q , AA Chaos, AA Havoc , Gz hydrogen

Highest kick or punch
AA Chaos, Fi Q , AA Havoc, GZ Hydrogen

Best sound quality and music detail.
Fi Q , AA Havoc, GZ Hydrogen = AA chaos

Highest output below 35hz
Havoc = hydrogen, chaos = fi q

Best upper midbass till 80hz
Fiq, chaos, havoc, hydrogen

Highest output at respected RMS power rating
Havoc, Fi Q, Chaos, GZ hydrogen

We'll do a more detailed review in some time with more subs to compare after they break in. Though this comparison may not seem 100% fair due to same box for every sub, or little air leaks in the box and many other factors that we all know of, real comparison may not be over the top different either. All in all it was a fun evening with friends enjoying a common interest.
Special Thanks to LBM, Manish and Anubhav.

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Last edited by Rehaan : 10th September 2010 at 16:42. Reason: Please take a look at the mod note that has been added to the end of your post.
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Old 2nd September 2010, 02:47   #2
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Nice review boy!

Just let ya'all know that my sub was not a part of this test. I was too eager to collect it & bring it home.

Now, everyday, I open the packaging, look at the massively beautiful sub, admire it & keep it back in the box. Sigh! Waiiting for weekend. This has been one of the longest weeks of my life.

Last edited by StreetAddict : 2nd September 2010 at 02:57.
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Old 2nd September 2010, 16:01   #3
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Nice review Aman...but my thoughts are a little different.

And just for the note none of the subwoofers are mine !!!
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Old 2nd September 2010, 16:31   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by low_bass_makker View Post
Nice review Aman...but my thoughts are a little different.

And just for the note none of the subwoofers are mine !!!
me too, a lil different. but i'd agree to almost 80%. no doubt, Fi-Q and Chaos were loudest. No doubt that Havoc and Hydrogen handled the lower octaves very very well. Q, though bottoming out a bit in present box, made much more solid distinctions in bass notes.

par i'll wait for this chicken to marinate and try it in different masalas to see how it tastes best... and then again, my taste might be different than yours!!!


superb review aman, you took like days to write it!! were you taking serious notes while we were doing the keeda?
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Old 2nd September 2010, 20:22   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StreetAddict View Post
Nice review boy!

Just let ya'all know that my sub was not a part of this test. I was too eager to collect it & bring it home.

Now, everyday, I open the packaging, look at the massively beautiful sub, admire it & keep it back in the box. Sigh! Waiiting for weekend. This has been one of the longest weeks of my life.
just a little more wait bro, sabar ka fal meetha hota hai..


Quote:
Originally Posted by low_bass_makker View Post

And just for the note none of the subwoofers are mine !!!
, thank your sir, glad you liked my review.


Quote:
Originally Posted by montyguru View Post

superb review aman, you took like days to write it!! were you taking serious notes while we were doing the keeda?
i hardly read my course books, taking notes for subs will be madness :P
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Old 3rd September 2010, 08:30   #6
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Nice review @amangujral, completely blown away by the pictures. Really awesome shots, loved the Fi's inside out picture.
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Old 3rd September 2010, 11:50   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amangujral06 View Post
The subwoofer box was a slot ported 4 cuft tuned to 33hz, with minor air leaks and no bracing inside, made of 3/4mm mdf.
Superb review. Simply superb.

The FiQ however needs more volume (20% bigger box; tuned lower) than the one you used. Wonder how it would have done then.

Subwoofer tuning especially bass reflex subs is part art, part science. You cannot take one box for all unless their T/S parameters dictated this.

Did you get a chance to take Free-air measurements of these subs (published numbers are usually off 10% or so and that can mean all the difference between subs that are so close in performance).

LBM and company, time you guys invested in LMS or something like that. I used to have LMS (with LEAP) and MLSSA but those were when DOS was the prevalent operating system. I cant find the mics and software anymore or I'd have shipped it out to you guys.
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Old 3rd September 2010, 13:01   #8
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Very nice work indeed

can you please help me with the pricing of the Fi Q 15" and its avaiability


Rgds,
Jasveen
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Old 3rd September 2010, 17:30   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navin View Post
Superb review. Simply superb.

The FiQ however needs more volume (20% bigger box; tuned lower) than the one you used. Wonder how it would have done then.

Subwoofer tuning especially bass reflex subs is part art, part science. You cannot take one box for all unless their T/S parameters dictated this.

Did you get a chance to take Free-air measurements of these subs (published numbers are usually off 10% or so and that can mean all the difference between subs that are so close in performance).
Thanks navin, Sound_Affects and Punzabi.

Fi recommends a ported box between 2.8-4cufeet. so we were within the recommendation. Fi Q has three progressive spiders holding up the cone and need serious break-in too.

Also mentioned in the last para that results may vary because we were using same box for each sub and ofcourse each sub may need different box too. Also there are many other factors involved too.

Well its too soon to say anything more , but we'll come up with a revised review of the same later after break-in and in respected optimized boxes.

No free air measurements , don't have any equipment to do that :(
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Old 3rd September 2010, 22:27   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amangujral06 View Post
just a little more wait bro, sabar ka fal meetha hota hai..
Me ain't gonna eat that box dude. Main aisa lagta hoon, lekin hoon nahi
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Old 3rd September 2010, 23:35   #11
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Great post aman! I wish I could audition even one of these subs, let alone all of them!
I do happen to have ears that love detail and notes in bass. You could have tried a few drum-n-bass and UK-Garage tracks as well if you know what I mean.

@L.B.M, can we expect any of these monsters to be available in Chandigarh soon?
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Old 4th September 2010, 01:29   #12
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Nice Review.I am interested in some of these monsters. Any Idea on Availability in Delhi and pricing..
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Old 6th September 2010, 00:20   #13
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hi piyush, for Ascendent, you can chck with lbm, fi check with manish.
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Old 6th September 2010, 12:12   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amangujral06 View Post
No free air measurements , don't have any equipment to do that :(
I wish you had. What are the published Fs and Qts numbers n the Fi?
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Old 7th September 2010, 00:12   #15
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Here are some theil-small parameters.

Fs: 32.4 Hz | 32.1 Hz
Re: 0.7 Ohms/coil | 1.4 Ohms/coil
Qms: 8.52 | 8.61
Qes: .43 | .44
Qts: .41 | .42
Mms: 293g | 299g C
ms: 0.82mm/N | 0.82mm/N
Sd: 810cm^2 | 810cm^2
Vas: 75.6 l | 75.6 l
Spl: 89.6dB 1W/1m | 89.4dB 1W/1m
Bl: 13.9 N/A | 19.65 N/A
Xmax: 28mm
Rms: 1000W

Last edited by amangujral06 : 7th September 2010 at 00:15.
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