Dayton PA310 12″ Pro Woofer + Pioneer PD-40 Horn

Dayton PA310 (12″ 450W RMS Pro Woofer)
Active Bi-amped

This is my second attempt at finding the right woofer for the Pioneer PD-40 horn. This time round, I’m using a PA310-8, a 12″ carbon fiber impregnated paper cone pro woofer by Dayton. I’m hoping that with it’s lower Mms, this woofer will give me the bass I’m after.

Fig 1 – Blue plot=PA310 Low Pass  |  Red plot=PD40 High Pass  |  Black plot=Summed

The Black plot in Fig 1 is the summed response of the PA310-8 with the PD-40 horn. As before with the DSA315-8, my 24dB/oct LR active crossover is set at 700Hz. Delay is added to the woofer for time alignment.

Fig 2 – Null response

The Violet plot in Fig 2 is the null response when I reversed the phase of the PD-40. It is a deep notch, indicating the two drivers are time aligned.

Fig 3 – Summed Response

The summed response of the PA310-8 and the PD-40 is in Fig 3. Measurements below 400Hz is in nearfield. With the two drivers time aligned, the crossover passband (500Hz~1kHz) is completely flat.

Fig 4 – Waterfall

Fig 5 – Spectrogram

The horn artifacts seen in the waterfall in Fig 4 is not damaging because in the spectrogram (Fig 5), any artifacts from 3kHz and above do not last more than 1 msec. Even those near 1kHz dissipated by 6 msec. 

PA310 vs DSA315

The PA310 is exactly what I’m after. There are very few woofers that I have that exhibits this kind of bass. There’s punch, yet is not bloated. Bass notes are distinct and there’s texture.

The tempo of the PA310 can actually keep up with the speed of the Pioneer PD-40 horn. You will want to dance when listening to them. That’s how matched the two are. I am so pleased with this woofer that I will adopt it for my other designs.

With regards to the Dayton DSA315-8, it’s a disappointment as a direct radiator. It may be more suited in a folded horn, like a Cubo 12. Something to think about.

Update: July 22, 2020

After 3 days of continuous music, the speaker suddenly sounded muffled. I did a sweep to see what is happening and found to my dismay that the response is no longer flat. My PD-40 is lower by 10dB. My first thought was maybe my vintage Pioneer PD-40 horn is about to die on me. I took a matching PD-40 and did another sweep. Their sensitivity are the same. Which means that the PA310 sensitivity shot up because the woofer broke in while I was away. Incredible.

Now for the bad part. The Dayton PA310 doesn’t sound as good after breaking in. The bass is deeper but the attack and the clarity suffered. It lost the tightness and with it, the texture. Ended up sounding like any other ordinary woofer. 

I don’t want to give the impression that this PA310 is below standard. On the contrary, it is excellent for the price. It’s just that it no longer fits what I’m looking for in bass.

Unless otherwise stated, all measurements were made with the mic at 36 ins, tweeter axis. Impulse Window=5ms. No smoothing applied.
Dayton PA310-8 mounted onto a 53 liters test box of 14-1/2″ width.