as your all aware Tony made a trip down to see me in milton keynes for a gig i had on last night, armed with 2 bms drivers and a rack of lovely lightweight matrix amps to play with.
after a minor hitch (1 driver not fitting into a HOG as the cutout was too large) we loaded up and hit the gig- a dubstep night at a venue in town.
we set up the system and Tony set the LMS, which also made me realise just how much i've yet to learn about my own rig.
Being a bit of a pleb when i got the new driver back from void i loaded it into the wrong box without a link out speakon plate, and as a result we couldnt do a straight A/B comparison being powered from the same amp, so we set the scoops up so that tony was running his martix on his BMS loaded scoop, and my set up as usual with the T amps & crowns. 30-80hz, flat. heavy amps with ferrite magnets vs smps amp with neo magnets....dub heads take note.
the first thing that struck me was the presence and clarity, compared to my set up the BMS loaded driver just seemed much more defined, the v18-1200's are pretty damn clean in scoop bins compared to some other drivers we have used personally, and also other drivers like the 1850 which although i've never heard one in a Hog, the general opinion i get is that they have a fairly hard industrial sound to them....
but these BMS units were just on another level, its that scoop sound, but not as you know it- i'd say it sounds a bit like a LAB sub being given some serious stick. in a blind test i think most people would be very suprised to know it was a scoop.
although i was working, i spent most of the night raving the shit out of it in front of the system, you'd be lucky to see my throwing shapes at a gig i paid to go to, never mind one i'm working at, but it really was the best seat in the house being in front of those bins.
of course its my own system and i'll always be slightly biased, but after tony tweaked the setting on the LMS and eq'd the comp drivers it was devastating down at the front....bar manager, promoter, punters, dj's, including the headliner was giving me 'nuff props' for the sound.
Tony uses these drivers in a pair of small ported reflex boxes for live/playback etc, and i'm told he gets good results from them, so to then see them loaded into a >2m rear loaded DIY horn and given almost 7 hours of non stop 30hz dubstep punishment, was simply staggering....and i'm pretty sure both the driver, and the amp, had plenty more juice in the tanks.
these drivers ( and amps too) go against all of the rules when it comes to Dub/scoop heads, neo magnets, 4" voice coil, powered by a switchmode amp....but i think tony will back me up when i say the music being played last night was even more demanding on a system than most dub/roots/etc being played out, straight up, continous, programmed, sustained 30/40/50hz bass-for 7 hours.....what more could you possibly ask from an amplifier that weighed 1/4 of the weight of any of my amps, but can put out as much power as 3 of them combined-mental.
the xp5000/bms combo went at it like it was just another day at the office...i was checking the amp and the air being blown out the back was COLD! in comparison my macrotech's & T amps would have made great hair dryers.
the second thing that struck me was just how calm Tony was about the whole thing, for anyone who's not heard dubstep, i'm pretty much convinced its a sound mans worst nightmare, non stop relentless distorted 30/40hz continuous basslines, with a kick, and a snare....i've lost many drivers to to this devil music.
i was down at the front, partying, but also checking on dj's/levels etc, and also leaning my head down to make sure my v1200's were still working ok after the suprise death of my first v1200 on my last outing, and i must admit i was very impressed with the output, but also nervous as i didnt want to kill another driver, mine, or Tonys! so i walked back up to the bar, sat down and said-
"shit tony, those hogs are going bananas down there"
but he just wasnt fazed in the slightest, he said the limiters will were set and they will do their job, but he also just had an undeniable confidence in the driver, i was always lurking around, checking levels and putting my ear in boxes, just generally being a bit concerned at the bloody heaving bass being emmited from my fairly little system....but tony just set up, tweaked the LMS, sat at the bar and kicked back with a pint, safe in the knowledge he would be taking home a working driver the next day.
he showed me the cooling arrangement the next morning, and BMS have really gone to town on it, and engineering is second to none....and the end result is simply sublime. i was impressed by the compression drivers, but these 18's are serious scoop porn.
so all in all i was very impressed, and learned so much from tony at the same time....
i suppose the only thing i see as a bit of an issue, is the price.....i'm not gonna deny its a pretty premium price, but then after you've held it in your hand and seen the effort that goes in to these drivers, and the rediculous amount of noise it makes, i think i'd be convinced its money well spent, and i would at some point in time when funds allow, love to own 4 of those drivers, a few xp's and throw down a clash against some 1850 HOG's and see whats what..... this is a Grade A heavyweight driver & amp combo.....
but its, err....lightweight.
I've seen the jensen imperial scoop. Very different layout............So I modelled a 18" version, really diy friendly. May be not really musical, and requires a tough xmax and large chamber flavour like BMS, however it can be easily tunable. Here's the sketch scale 1px=1mm 86.5x60x130