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June 2013 Newsletter

The DDownlow

DD Product Feature

June 2013

SS Series Amps

The SS Series amps with our groundbreaking new discrete, full range class D circuitry make high power, high fidelity, and high efficiency available in a compact chassis. These aren’t the micro chipset amps that are receiving a lot of marketing attention lately. Our engineering department tested several styles of amps realized the with current amplifier technology micro amp still means micro power. So we decided to build the smallest chassis amps we could that still met the power demands of our customers.

The SS Series has 3 amps to choose from accommodating almost any application. The SS2a comes in at only 11 inches long, delivers an amazing 375 Watts per channel at 4 Ohms, 600 Watts per channel at 2 Ohms Stereo and 1200 Watts into 4 Ohms mono loads. This SS2a is perfect for driving VO type speaker arrays, sound quality component setups desiring high head room, and smaller sub setups. The SS2a features 24 db/oct 20Hz-5kHz switchable high and low pass filters.

The SS4a may be one of the most versatile amps we've ever offered. With 160 Watts delivered into 4 channels at 4 Ohms and 240 Watts of power at 2 Ohms per channel, the SS4a can be used in high output 4 channel systems, or to drive 3 channel systems with close to 500 watts to the sub and 240 per channel to the mid/high speakers. In bridged stereo mode, the SS4a delivers close to 500 Watts per channel. Both channels 1/2 and 3/4 have 24 db/oct 20Hz-5kHz switchable high and low pass filters.

SS5 Amplifier

The SS5 amplifier is the perfect one amp solution to a clean and powerful high performance car audio system. Our customers wanted a single amp capable of driving a real DD system that was still small enough for a hidden install application. The SS5 builds on the discrete, full range, class D technology we debuted in the SS 2-channel and 4-channel amps. This 5-channel amp delivers 125W x 4 at 4 Ohms, (200 x 4 at 2 Ohms) + 850 at 1 Ohm, and can deliver over 2000 watts of dynamic power on demand from a chassis 450mm(17.7") long and 180mm(7.1") wide. Channels 1/2 have 20Hz-5kHz 24 db/oct high pass filter, channels 3/4 have 24 db/oct 20Hz-5kHz switchable high and low pass filter, and the sub channel has subsonic and low pass filter. In a recent review by PASMAG they said “The SS5 was one of the most powerful five-channel amps they’ve ever reviewed”.

All SS amps include a remote gain control with output clipping indicator light. This gives the listener real time monitoring and control of their high performance amplifiers.

For more detailed specs on the SS Series amplifiers, visit ddaudio.com >


DDAUDIO.COM Website Redesign

DDU video DD Audio is pleased to announce the redesign of the ddaudio.com website, designed with a more modern layout and user-friendly navigation. Our mission was to create a clean new look with updated graphics and accurate information for a better user experience.

For more detailed information on the new features click here.


Voice Coils

What makes a DD coil different?
DD takes pride in not cutting any corners when it comes to the parts used in our subs, and our voice coils are one of those parts. We source our coils from the world’s leading voice coil manufacturer. Then we have them custom wind all of our coils to DD’s stringent specifications. With their combined features DD coils achieve the highest thermal ratings in the industry for every diameter of coil we use.

DD coil family

Most of our competition’s coils sustain severe thermal damage around 300-500 degrees Fahrenheit. DD coils are able to handle temperatures above 700 degrees Fahrenheit. Our coils have several features that set them apart from lesser coils. We start by using thick gauge, double layer, anodized aluminum formers wrapped with Kapton, then nomex spunlace. The double layer aluminum acts as a heat sink to pull massive amounts of heat away from the wire and adhesives. Then we add heat dissipating radiators directly above the coil and at the top of the former to pull even more heat away from the coil and adhesives. The Kapton and Nomex layers add further strength to the coil former and insulate the adhesives from the high temperatures.

DD coils are then wound with the highest temperature wire and adhesives available. The extra lengths we go to in our design give our coils the highest level of durability and reliability possible. All of the subwoofers built in our facility have coils made with these same materials and techniques, from the 6.5” up to the new 21”. We don’t build to the good, better, best philosophy. Every speaker gets the best parts available.

Why are there so many coil options?
To continue our dedication to the custom installers out there, we offer more coil options than any sub manufacture in the world. In the 3500 and 9500 series subwoofers you can choose from eight different coil options. We have Copper D.5, D.7, D1, D1.5, D2, and D4, and Flat Wound Aluminum D1 and D1.5. Having this many coil options allows the installer extreme flexibility with subwoofer configurations and applications.

Copper vs. Aluminium:
DD Coils Contrary to the way some other companies buy their products, our copper coils and aluminum coils have the same power handling, because they are all 100% American made with the same coatings and adhesives,. Other brands buy their speakers and parts from China and may offer an aluminum coil as an option. The aluminum coil is usually from the USA, and inherently has a higher temperature rating than the Chinese coil. They will tell you their aluminum coils have a higher power handling than copper, but they don’t tell you why. We ONLY use American coils, so we don’t have their power handling differences/ problems. The performance difference between copper and aluminum coil windings lies in the physical and resistance differences in the two materials. Copper is the more efficient conductor, able to transmit the same current with less cross section area. Aluminum requires more cross section area to do the same job. Aluminum has lower mass than copper giving the ability to move the same current, albeit through a larger conductor than copper, but with an overall reduction in mass.

The larger surface area of aluminum can have an advantage in a voice coil when it comes to the length of the coil windings. An aluminum coil of the same impedance as copper will end up with a longer winding length, increasing the Xmax number.

DD coil closeup

Some system designs may benefit from the longer Xmax if the system uses extremely long excursions, as may the case is competition vehicles making high distortion 2 second SPL runs. The longer coil windings keep more turns of wire in the magnet gap at high excursion... The aluminum wire, with its larger cross section area, is not as efficient as copper. A copper wire coil will pack more turns of wire into the magnet gap and results in higher energy over the operating Xmax of the coil. Well designed enclosures usually give better performance with the more efficient copper windings in both sound quality and output...

As we said earlier, the power handling differences between copper and aluminum are negligible IF both wires are using the same coatings and same adhesivev systems. Aluminum will have more surface area to dissipate heat, but takes more power to reach the higher efficiency of the copper coil, in subwoofer applications. In midrange/tweeter applications, the lighter aluminum wire can have significant impact on high frequency performance where moving mass dominates...

In 95% of the applications we see, the copper coils are the way to go...


glue videoVisit our youtube channel to watch our newest product spotlight video featuring our M Series Amplifiers. Don't forget to subscribe while you're there, and be the first to know when we upload new videos!


Trevor Hunter has been on and off in the car audio scene since the late 90's. After a break he decided to jump right back in last year, picking up right where he left off. Originally planning on doing a fairly modest build, Trevor soon discovered that it wasn't going to cut it. Trevor tells us that after doing quite a bit of research on several different brands he decided to go with Digital Designs. Some of the things he liked were DD's attention to detail, high temp voice coils, and true 12volt power ratings on the amplifier line.

The first incarnation of his his system included a pair of full Carbon Fiber DD3515's, and the DDM3a amplifier. While thoroughly impressed with the performance of his initial set up, Trevor still felt there was something missing. He added a second pair of DD3515's and now couldn't be happier with his setup.

We asked Trevor what he liked most about his DD set up, and here's what he had to say "When it comes to equipment and comparing DD to other brands, its very apparent that there is a significant amount of engineering that goes into their products. They may cost a bit more in the beginning, but when you factor in performance, reliability and re-cones, they are a better value." Plus, it's always a nice feeling when you open up the truck and hear "oh wow, you have DD"!

See a picture of Trevor's install and details below.


Dealer: Electronic Warehouse
Location: Santa Ana, California, USA

With the weather warming up we head out west to Electronic Warehouse in Santa Ana, California for our dealer spotlight. Store manager, Joe, took some time to tell us a bit about their business and how the response has been in regards to the DD line of products.

Joe told us that while customers were always happy with the work his shop has done, that on some occasions customers would come back and relate to him that there was still something missing from their system. They were spending big money on big names, and still not happy with the sound they were getting. In an effort to better serve his customers, Joe started doing research in to other brands.

When he came across DD he liked what he found. Solid reviews and great feedback that eventually lead to Joe to contact DD. Joe told us, "Since adding DD, we have not looked back." Originally only featured at the company's flagship store, DD is now available at all four branches of Electronic Warehouse. Now, when Joe has a customer that wants the "real deal" he takes them straight to the DD line for a demo. If you're in So Cal and want great sound, and not hype go see the guys at Electronic Warehouse!

Electronic Warehouse

Install of the Month

Find a local dealer or start shopping at DD4Life.com.

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