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So in an attempt to make my hobby really fun again, I decided to take this year and just focus on a specific driver size. Strange as it sounds, I just want to do some experimenting and decided on the 4" size class due to: cost, size of finished product, and just to see if I can find a 4" driver that surprises me in the same fashion as the (in my opinion) best in class (based on performance/cost) 4" which is the poly cone HDS. I am unsure if I will find a similar driver at that price point, but that is no deterrent.
First up is the Dayton CX120 woofer module and a 4" driver from Aliexpress. They are both 120mm frames, but that is where the similarities end.
The Dayton uses a poly cone, the Aliexpress uses aluminum. The Dayton currently has a gaping hole where I removed the tweeter, the Aliexpress has a shiny gold phase plug. The Dayton is overall a driver with lower build quality. For example, the top and bottom plate on the Dayton is stamped - the Aliexpress is machined. The Aliexpress has gold plated terminals and uses the 6 hole mounting. The Dayton has the tinned terminals and uses a four hole mounting. The Aliexpress frame has additional supports in the gap under the spider. The Aliexpress has a notably larger motor and considerably more overhang excursion. The Dayton has (I think) 3mm of advertised Xmax. There is at least 2mm additional on the Aliexpress. The Aliexpress is one very nice looking and built driver. It likely does not have any kind of shorting rings in the motor, but neither does the Dayton. I plan on adding a poly dustcap to the Dayton. The Aliexpress phaseplug is well centered.
The Dayton measured more or less as advertised, the Aliexpress yielded this:
In my opinion, decently usable for a 4" driver. Reasonable sensitivity for a 4", but that is due in no small part to the 4 ohm impedance. Both drivers measured within a percentage point or so. I am generally impressed with this little guy. A pair will currently run about $100 shipped, so absolute value isn't really there - but maybe if it measures well enough in linear and non-linear distortion I will find out how much a much larger quantity would cost to import.