In early 2005 the first ever iteration of the Z motor was launched. It forever changed the way people thought of a high-performance subwoofer and pushed the limits of car audio to new extremes. Over the years, many versions of Zs have been produced and this spirit of experimentation has driven us to constantly improve and innovate.
The current generation Z3 is a 13 lens grade 52 neodymium open motor design. This sub rightfully takes its place as one of the most dominant competition subs of all time even though it wasn’t actually designed for competition. The motivation behind the Z was simply to build the best sounding high power handling driver of all time. We consider the Z mission accomplished, but not to rest on our laurels we identified key design elements that presented opportunities for improvement and went to work. The results are the latest versions of the Z3 drivers.
The USA steel motor parts are machined in our hometown of OKC, and all the moving parts are USA made from the finest materials and manufacturing methods available.
The current Z’s feature several design improvements over previous models. We were able to overcome structural saturation levels and increase peak and total flux levels by allowing more energy to flow through our magnetic lens architecture via more efficient flux paths, closer alignment of the lenses and converging flux lines.
The Free Flow Cooling System was improved by incorporating longitudinal pole vents to increase airflow to the coil former. Then we Increased thermal mass and used heat absorbing coatings in target areas to aid in long term heat dissipation.
We also implemented geometric changes allowing for increased maximum excursion capability and a wider range of system design configurations.
The Z’s striking cosmetics feature a black oxide coating combined with red anodized accents. The motors are also adorned with custom CNC engraved designs, and every motor is engraved with its production number, making each sub a one of a kind.
You’ll notice the standard TS parameters are missing for the Z subs. This omission is on purpose because each Z is custom built to order which makes for Zillions of possible parameter sets making one static set of specs very prone to inaccuracy. The reason we build Zs CTO is it gives a system designer the utmost freedom to design for their specific application. The collection of Z subs are the moZt astounding sounding, moZt aurally accurate, and absolutely the moZt loudest subwoofer ever produced.
The Z Series subs also feature our Evolution Subwoofer Package (ESP). ESP equipped drivers sport larger diameter suspensions and deeper frames than standard subs and exclusive surround and cone designs. ESP subs are truly built to maximize performance in their designated size class.
The Z Series comes standard with an oversized dry finish black composite dust cap, red logo, and treated pulp cone, but it can be optioned out with custom suspension configurations, alternative composite dust caps, composite cones, powder coated frames, and a multitude of logo options to give your sub a personalized look and/or added performance for a specific application.
Learn more about the ESP features at The DDownlow.
|Model||Z310 (ESP)||Z312 (ESP)||Z315 (ESP)||Z318||Z321|
|Driver Size - in||10||12||15||18||21|
|Power Band - Watts||1000 - 4000||1000 - 4000||1000 - 4000||1000 - 4000||1000 - 4000|
|Burst Power - Watts||8000||8000||8000||8000||8000|
|VCD - in||3.35||3.35||3.35||3.35||3.35|
|Impedance||D0.5 / D0.7 / D1 / D1.5 / D2||D0.5 / D0.7 / D1 / D1.5 / D2||D0.5 / D0.7 / D1 / D1.5 / D2||D0.5 / D0.7 / D1 / D1.5 / D2||D0.5 / D0.7 / D1 / D1.5 / D2|
|Piston Dia - in||9.25||10||14.25||15.5||18.25|
|Cutout Diameter - in||10.187||12.187||15.1875||16.75||19.25|
|Mounting Depth - in||10.60||11.5||12.125||12.43||13.125|
|Motor Diameter - in||9.0||9.0||9.0||9.0||9.0|
|Driver Displacement - cu ft||0.27||0.29||0.32||0.33||0.40|
|Shipping Weight - lbs||69||70||72||73||76|
|Sealed Enclosure - cu ft||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Ported Enclosure - cu ft||1.25 - 1.5||1.75 - 2.75||3.0 - 6.0||5.0 - 6.0||6.0 - 8.0|
Any DD Audio Product bearing the Marine Grade logo incorporates water resistant features enabling it to be used in applications where moderate exposure to moisture will not result in damage to the product.
Marine Grade products are not waterproof, and submersion or excessive moisture exposure may result in product failure. DD Audio Marine Grade products are not certified for saltwater environments.
We developed the most electrically efficient connections, the Direct Connect, one of the latest DD innovations now being copied the world over. First off, our multiple tinsel leads are twisted and soldered to copper power wire at the edge of the speaker frame. This twisted and soldered connection reduces any signal lost to an absolute minimum.
Our 10 gauge power cable is made from Oxygen-Free copper. Copper provides perfect contact in contrast to speaker terminals or push-down spring connections which are made from low grade metal. Many of these “pretty” (but poorly made) terminals have 0.1-0.2 Ohms of resistance in just the terminal housing. If you don’t believe us, unscrew one and watch it stick to the speaker magnet.
Another flaw of common speaker terminals is the inability to match up with large gauge speaker wire…And if one is able to find a terminal large enough to accept large gauge wire, it is still made from cheap metal thus the signal loss problem. Our 10 gauge power wire Direct Connects can be twisted (the best mechanical connection possible) with any gauge wire, AND also be connected with ANY number of wires. Series and parallel connections can be done in any combination and WITHOUT signal loss.
DD suggests the use of wire nuts for direct wire to wire terminations. Twisted wire connections are the only code approved termination in building codes due to the no loss transfer ability and permanently held connection. These same wire nut terminals are the perfect connection for mobile audio connections.
Direct Connect allows virtually any gauge and number of speaker wires to be connected without signal loss.
Another DD innovation was eliminating lead wire noise, breakage and suspension offset distortions with the introduction of our Laminated Lead Wire System. We pioneered this development as increased speaker excursion exceeded the limits that stretched tinsel jumping across the frame to cone gap could accommodate. The longer lead lengths cause excessive slapping against the cone as well as setting up oscillation modes that fatigued the wire.
The Laminated Lead Wire System placed the tinsel leads between layers of the spiders, eliminating hanging wires to clang around between the spider and cone. The spiders and lead wires become an integral unit with the corrugations of the spiders engineered for the excursion demand of the speaker.
Traditional hanging lead wires place weight and tension on one side of the cone, causing harmonic distortion. The DD system places the wires across the entire spider thereby balancing the weight and tension on each side of the speaker.
The DD system also allows for efficient handling of high current demand applications. Some DD woofers use 8 lead wires for every voice coil conductor, allowing even the most high power amplifiers to transfer power with minimal signal loss.
The aluminum former material acts as a heat sink, lowering the voice coil temperature. The double slits in the former break up and reduce magnetic eddy currents generated by the moving coil. The coil design works in conjunction with the copper capped pole piece to further reduce heat, inductance, and harmonic distortions.
The DD multi-spider suspensions start with layers of fine weave cloth impregnated with thermal activated resin. These fine cloth sheets are then placed together with the weave grain at opposite angles, equalizing the inherent tension and increasing the strength. The layers are formed by heat and pressure until cured in molds with very high peaks and valleys. The two layers of fine cloth are far stronger than a single layer of heavier cloth, the higher surface area of the fine weave cloth gives more contact area for the resin. The high peaks and valleys, or corrugations, dramatically increase the strength over wide, shallow, progressive type rolls.
Two layers of laminated cloth are also more resistant to bending than a single layer. The layers are forced to bend along different section of their respective weaves, making the combined structure stronger and more resistant to fatigue.
We then take these laminated layers and combine them for a given compliance target, most DD speakers will have 4 – 6 layers of cloth in the suspension.
These multiple layers of cloth formed in deep corrugations keep their inherent strength once the resin breaks down. The DD suspension retains restoring force to the cone after years and years of use. It does cost more to build mult-layered suspensions, but the benefits are many and long lasting.