- Written by Robert Ebeling
- Published on 03 February 2014
The Design of the M&K Sound X12 Subwoofer
"There is no replacement for displacement." This mantra resonates (pun fully intended) throughout the sports car world, but is equally applicable to the subwoofer world. Because all speakers, at the most basic level, are glorified air pumps, it makes sense that you could move more air with a bigger driver.
Unfortunately bigger drivers flex more than a smaller driver made of the same material by simple virtue of having more area to flex. This "flex" or "give" results in some level of distortion. The M&K Sound X12 overcomes this by utilizing two 12" drivers. The two 12" drivers have the same cone area as one 18" driver and can thus move the same amount of air, but without the negative impact and increased distortion on sound. Another happy side effect is a smaller footprint and thus smaller negative impact on the SAF (Spouse Acceptance Factor) that would result from the larger enclosure required to house said driver.
It is worth examining the construction of the M&K Sound X12 subwoofer in detail, as it utilizes a somewhat unconventional driver arrangement.
The two drivers are mounted with the front driver facing forward out of the enclosure and the bottom driver facing upward into the enclosure. When sound is coming from the subwoofer, both drivers move in the same direction, i.e., into the enclosure or out of the enclosure, so that one driver is pushing and the other is pulling.
Because the two drivers are identical, but one is moving toward the front of the driver and the other is movng toward the back end of the driver at any one instant in the music, even-ordered harmonics are reduced.
The enclosure itself is made of heavy, 2.2 cm thick MDF with significant internal bracing to ensure tight tolerances in distortion. The 12" drivers on the X12 are held at attention via a 400 Watt RMS (700 Watt peak) class D amplifier, ensuring enough "oomph" to faithfully reproduce the loudest of bomb blasts.