03 December 2009
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In this very issue, you’ll find an article featuring three different Sony systems that could be had within a very modest price range to suit any budget. As I recall, the most expensive of
them was only about a grand. Let’s take a closer look at the woofer I recommended for the intermediate system, the $129.95 Sony XS-LD126P5. I’m not sure how they came up with that model number, but they were certainly successful in developing a good sounding, yet reasonably priced woofer! The XS-LD126P5 is rated at 400 watts, and it’s a bit different, in that it has a 5-sided shape rather than the usual round format, but it’s a true 12-inch woofer by any measure.
Sony has given this series of woofers a high-tech modern appearance with the use of a woven glass-fiber composite cone, and a beefy looking demeanor. The woofer actually uses a traditional stamped steel basket, and the cosmetic appeal comes from nicely applied ABS plastic covers with a high gloss silver finish for both the basket mounting rim and the magnet structure. The result is a woofer that looks like a big cast aluminum behemoth, but without the added cost. Generally speaking, the overall appearance and fit and finish of the Sony woofer is very good, as one expects from a trusted brand like Sony. While the silver trim looks cool, none of it is removable, and consequently, the woofer is relatively deep with a mounting depth of about 6.5 inches, so a shallow box behind the seat of a pickup truck isn’t gonna work here. While I’m griping, I should mention that you’ll need to use the included, but longer than normal 1.5-inch mounting screws, because the trim ring adds about a half inch of distance between the bottom of the screw head and the enclosure. The mounting bolt pattern is also a bit different, using 10 screws, placed in pairs. This is necessitated by the five sided configuration, and it’s no problem unless you are trying to mount the woofer in a prefab enclosure with pre-drilled mounting holes. Features
Getting into the internal workings of things is one of my favorite parts of my job. I enjoy seeing different engineer’s approaches to solving common problems, and I seldom look at any new product without learning something. Looking at the XS-LD126P5 from the top down, you find a nitrile rubber surround with reinforcing ribs for added stability under high excursion situations. The surround is firmly attached to the cone using adhesive, and the bond appears strong and secure, and unlike other woofers in this price range, there is no glue excess smearing up the looks.
The bottom side of the glass fiber composite cone is covered with an airtight, mica reinforced coating. This design delivers a cone assembly that is rigid, lightweight, and totally airtight. The cone is attached to the voice coil and flat spider via an injection molded retaining cup that provides stability and rigidity to the assembly. The voice coil leads for the dual 4 ohm coils are stitched to the flat surround, and the four amplifier connection terminals are all conveniently placed together. The connectors themselves are gold plated 5 way binding posts, allowing easy series or parallel configurations of the 2-inch copper voice coils. The amp connections will easily accept 10 gauge cable.
The owner’s manual that comes with the woofer is at best limited in its readability and information. It comes in so many languages that by the time you find what you want in English, you might forget what you were looking for. To be fair, all the basic info is there, but you certainly have to really want to find it. But I suppose no one reads the thing anyways, so what am I complaining about? Plus, the XS-LD126P5 woofer has a solid one year parts and labor warranty too!
Read on for Results