Lavoce SSF122.50L 12" Subwoofer Review

Lavoce SSF122.50L 12" Subwoofer Review

In this blog I test the Lavoce SSF122.50L 12" subwoofer for use as a replacement woofer is in the Sabourin Speaker No.1309. I needed to find a replacement woofer since the Eton 12-612 woofer was no longer available. 

The Lavoce SSF122.50L retails for $200 USD each and is one sale for 25% off currently with Parts Express. The woofers are marked as Made in Italy. 

Features

  • 2.5 INCH CCAW VOICE COIL
  • 93 dB/SPL SENSITIVITY
  • 800 WATT PROGRAM POWER HANDLING
  • LONG THROW DESIGN
  • 34 mm (1.3 INCH) PEAK TO PEAK MAXIMUM EXCURSION
  • FEM OPTIMIZED MOTOR AND SUSPENSIONS
  • RESONANCE FREE AND HEAVY DUTY BASKET DESIGN
  • OPTIMIZED COOLING SYSTEM
  • RUBBER SURROUND MATERIAL

The driver has a large ceramic magnet which provides the required motor strength for the large xmax of 11.5mm one-way. The mechanical compliance of the woofer is quite stiff when I attempt to move it by hand. This compliance is similar to the Dayton reference subwoofers I've used in the past. 

I began by mounting the driver in the Sabourin Enclosure.

The driver looks good in its new home. 

I played some bass heavy music for about an hour to run them in and get them up to temperature. 

Measurements

I then move one bass cabinet to the middle of my living room and conducting a near field frequency response measurement of the woofer. The below measurements are with no EQ or crossover, connected directly to the Hypex FA501 amplifier. I also measured the port output which shows the tuning frequency at 30Hz. The woofer shows a very linear response up to 600Hz where it encounters the first breakup mode. This in an excellent result.

The step response is shown below. The step response is very clean. 

Burst decay and CSD are also shown. The woofer is free of any significant resonances through it's passband. Most of what we see here is likely coming from inside my enclosure. 

We can clearly see the resonant peak at 2kHz but this is well outside of the driver's passband. 

Distortion

I conducted harmonic distortion at 85dB and 95dB at 1m. The driver has extremely low distortion with H3 at only 0.24% (100Hz).

 

Increasing the test SPL to 95dB we see H3 still remains very low at only 0.34%

 I then conducted intermodulation distortion tests at 85dB and 95dB. To confirm a quiet environment I measured the room's noise spectra which is shown below.

I tested with a 12 band per octave signal from 50Hz to 4kHz at 85dB. The result is shown below with distortion never exceeding -52dB across it's bandwidth. 

I then increase the test SPL to 95dB. We see a marginal increase in distortion to -48dB (100Hz) which is around 0.40%. 

With 500 watts on tap I decided to push the driver further to see where the driver runs out of steam. 

Increasing the test SPL to 105dB shows the following distortion characteristics. Distortion remains extremely low at only -40dB (1.0%) across the spectrum. For reference, 105dB is typical for a loud rock concert, and yet we have not even pushed the 1% distortion barrier. 

You might be wondering why my frequency response graph does not seem to go very low into the bass region. This is simply due to the fact that I have the speaker placed in the middle of the room and so there is no walls to reinforce the lower frequencies. To demonstrate this effect I decided to move the bass cabinet into the corner of my living room and conduct a frequency response measurement with the mic placed at 1m. 

Below is the resulting frequency response which shows bass extension to 35Hz. It also shows all the peaks and valley's due to reflections in the room which is quite normal. The measurement has also been calibrated at 2.83volts to represent the speaker's sensitivity at 1 watt. We see that we get decent sensitivity of around 90dB.

Integrating with Sabourin No.1309

Below is the frequency response of the Lavoce with Speaker System No.1309. The measurement was conducted at 1m with the speaker placed in the middle of my room. I spliced the near field woofer response in at 300Hz.

Subjective Listening 

The Lavoce provided great overall bass quality during my listening test. The woofer seemed a little bit cleaner sounding compared to the Eton. Testing the woofer's maximum output revealed that the Lavoce could play much louder than the Eton and sounded cleaner. This correlates with the test data which shows an 8dB improvement in distortion over the Eton at 95dB output SPL. It also has much more xmax (8.5mm vs 11.5mm). Overall, considering the lower cost, higher output, improved distortion, and improved subjective qualities, I am very happy with the Lavoce SSF122.50L.

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