Looking at the drivers from Fi or AE the cones are pulp reinforced with a layer of epoxy applied Kevlar. These are extremely stiff and offer more pistonic cone motion than poly which by nature is not stiff at all. That's why the JBL drivers have those massive ribs in the cone. To try and stiffen the poly
Don't quote me, but I just read on their own forum that AE have made their very last IB15s.
That's bad news if it comes to be.
The motor technology, and driver quality AE puts out sure seem outstanding by all accounts. I had always hoped there was a significant enough market for John to make an all out assault IB driver,..ie higher a displacement product based on their excellent motors and a larger cone than their 15".
Looking at the drivers from Fi or AE the cones are pulp reinforced with a layer of epoxy applied Kevlar. These are extremely stiff and offer more pistonic cone motion than poly which by nature is not stiff at all.
Although this is my first real excursion into IB subs, I've seen and handled a lot of drivers over time. It's funny how human nature pre-disposes one to prejudices, and certain perceptions that become formed without just cause. And even knowing these influences exist, and being mindful not to allow them to influence your opinion, it still happens.
Well, a perfect example of what I'm attempting to convey is my preconceived feelings about the Fi products, and specifically the Fi IB3-18. For some reason, prior to getting my hands on them, I viewed the drivers as cheap, low quality drivers. This was despite nearly universal approval from the DIY community. My opinions were way, way off. I was pleasantly surprised to receive them and upon inspection, I discovered they have a very nice build quality to them. And to take the comments above a step further, the pulp, epoxied Kevlar cones are phenomenally stiff. I haven't read any negative reports about the driver's abilities either. For the price, the offer a great value.
Every sub-woofer driver in the marketplace consists of a set of compromises, even "cost no object" designs have areas of compromise (ie., sensitivity etc). Well I hope the new Blueprint IB3-18 driver continues where they left off, because the set of compromises that they chose, seemingly possesses all the right elements for high value/strong performance.
I do, however have a complaint. The shipping box and foam retainers etc., are so marginal that I'm happy to have received them un damaged. I'm sure they weigh the cost of a bullet proof container, vs. a lesser approach, and likely this is one of the compromises above,...but damn, it does seems risky. I'll include pics in my build thread of the packing. All that said, they arrived unharmed