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a1161979 last won the day on November 1 2009

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About a1161979

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  1. a1161979

    A Mini RE Audio XXX 15 Review

    Not sure if this is a typo, but XBL2 is not a traditional underhung motor. It has a notch in the top plate and pole piece which creates two independent gaps through which the coil passes. It's not really underhung or overhung as the coil is shorter than the overall top plate thickness but taller than either of the gaps individually. That is indeed a Typo, ill edit that. I'm not sure how i missed that/made that mistake. That's actually a 2nd gen. The first gen had XXX on the cone, a boob cap, and different motor. I did not realise it was a 2nd gen, RE drivers are quite rare here in Australia, i was under the impression it was a 1st generation. Seems i was incorrect. Thanks for the kind words guys. I really enjoy writing reviews and i do as often as i can for my local Australian forum. Ill post more up here in future
  2. A Mini RE Audio XXX 15 Review Ok well i have been lucky enough to have the chance to play with an origional RE Audio XXX 15. I once had this in the boot and passed on the opportunity to buy this exact driver and i now regret that but ill come back to that. First a little bit about the driver. This particular model dates back to 2005 and is radically different in design to the current generation of RE Audio XXX's. The current design uses a split coil while the first generation were a XBL motor design. While it is hard to find information on these drivers the first generation used an XBL^2 motor design. Following a fall out between RE Audio and Dan Wiggins (owner to the Patent of XBL^2) RE Audio redesigned the XXX. This is the first generation of RE XXX's which had an XBL^2 motor . It seems that these original XXX's are fairly sought after drivers and they are hard to come by. What is XBL and why is it beneficial? XBL^2 is a traditional underhung motor design. The design gives a very flat BL curve over the drivers intended frequency range which translates into excellent motor control of cone movement throughout the operating range of the speaker. XBL^2 motors are extremely good for SQ, even at high excursion, which makes it a good """"SQL"""" speaker motor design. I have not experimented with this driver ported, only sealed. And to be honest i see no point in building a ported box for this driver. In a sealed box you can achieve a very linear sounding response that is capable of very respectable musical output. I started with a test enclosure that was roughly 2 cubes. This was not ideal. Very tight but the extension seemed limited. Despite being a recommended sealed enclosure prior experience has taught me that very few 15 inch drivers will perform well in 2 cubes, its simply too small. The Driver: 2005 RE Audio XBL^2 15 inch driver. The motor is double slugs with a large chrome top plate. The basket is a standard 12 spoke basket that is common to lots of drivers. Medium foam surround. Dual 2ohm coils with felt pads on the back side of the cone to stop tinsel lead slapping at high excursion. The 2 cubes test box, very rough enclosure but that's the point of a test box. This was some time ago hence the Hertz HP1KD amplifier for power. Next enclosure was roughly 3 cubes, i was much happier with the drivers performance in this box. Last but not least properly installed in a carpeted 3 cube sealed enclosure with light polyfill stuffing. The driver is mounted inverted to highlight the chrome bottom plate and allow for extra motor cooling at higher output levels. The amplifier is a Digital Designs M3a wired at 1ohms. Now onto Listening impressions Morning Glow by Mayuko Aoki (Final Fantasy 12 Vocal Collection) This is an interesting track with a very prominent and hotly mixed bass line that incorporates low notes with tighter bass hits. It is actually a hard track to get sounding good as its very easy for it to become muddy sounding or the bass hits lose some of their punch and tautness. Its also a good indicator of sub bass gain as systems with slightly hot sub bass end up sounding like street beat systems playing this song. The RE Audio XXX had no problem with this song, the lows were accurately produced without sounding overblown. I was highly impressed with this track, not quite headphone perfect but the closest i have heard this track from a car substage. Urban Uppercut (Blood on the Asphalt [street Fighter II Rearrangements]) There are some seriously low drops throughout this track, hard to guess but id say into non audible range (sub 15Hz). You can only just hear them but it is more of a sensation. Tracks like this is where 30mm Xmax become very noticeable due to the air being displaced. Once again no drama's at all with the XXX. Not only can you hear the drops but you can feel the wave inside the car. Other drivers i have listened to a lot such as the Mach5 IXL10 have been able to reproduce such content but not with such authority. The best way to describe it is effortlessly and without strain. Black Coffee by Liz Tobias (A beautiful Friendship) A smooth jazz track with some beautiful female vocals from a local Adelaide jazz artist Liz Tobias. A good track to gauge double bass and kick drum. Not overly hard content for a driver to reproduce, ie not overly dynamic or low yet more often than not a driver will fail to sound musical and articulate. Its hard to describe but the sound is just not right. Again no complaints for the XXX. Musical articulate sub bass that integrated nicely with the mid bass drivers and added just the right amount of depth to kick drum and double bass. The thing that comes to mind when listening to such music with the XXX is that of an Iron fist in a velvet glove. It really is surprising that such a large brute of a driver is able to reproduce the finer delicate detail in a lot of music so convincingly. Angel by Massive Attack (Massive Attack Collected) An eerie and almost disturbing track. I think its best to describe the bass line as a pulsating foundation to the track with a slow bass guitar introduction followed by a deep kick drum and a very full body electronic bass. Yet again the XXX surprised me with good extensions and dynamics. Kaleidscope by Harmonic 33 (Extraordinary People) I remember using this track and naming it specifically in my review of the IXL10. And i will quote from that review "For all the ground pounder guys who are sick of chopped and screwed bass CD's go hunt down this song, the bass line comes from nowhere 48 seconds into the song. The lows are very prominent and dig very deep, you not going to reproduce such lows with budget subwoofer or ported enclosures tuned in the traditional 35-40Hz range. Reproducing the low notes with reasonable volume is difficult but the real challenge comes from doing so while remaining clean and tight with low group delay. To be honest this song is probably the song that made me begin to really appreciate what the IXL10 is capable of. Without a doubt the best reproduction of this track I have yet experienced in my car" The XXX is as good as i remember the IXL10 being. The difference however is that the IXL10 would play cleanly to about 130db before sounding strained while the XXX will just keeping going as the volume is turned clockwise. I could keep listing different songs but i think the theme will be the same and that is that i cannot fault this driver. Its not perfectly integrated with the mid bass but in my car that's a limitation of the mid bass drivers and a lack of processing. Even when it comes to output its very impressive for a sealed driver in a boot that is almost sealed from the old SPL days (ie sealed up parcel tray). im not going to speculate on a DB level as i have not measured it but its certainly loud enough to outrun the fronts without breaking a sweat. I think its also a good example to highlight the age old car audio myth that larger drivers (15s & 18s) are not as capable of tight or fast bass due to the weight of the cones as being false. If i had to list the cons of this driver it would be weight and power handling. I think you really need an amplifier rated at 1000 watts as a starting point for this driver and the larger the amplifier the better. This comes at a cost in terms of partnering equipment. Pros: - Output capability - Linearity - Detail - Extension Cons: - Physical size & Weight - Large sealed enclosure requirements - You will need a good electrical system & amplifier to make the most of this driver So to summarise. This is a beautiful driver. Im disappointed that i passed on the opportunity to buy this driver when i did. The build quality is high, the glue joins are neat. The cone is tasteful as is the XXX logo. The chrome motor looks amazing and its an XBL^2 motor design. Its certainly not a driver for everyone and it requires a powerful amplifier and in turn a solid electrical system. Its heavy and large. But providing you make these concessions i doubt anyone would be disappointed with its performance. I could not fault its performance and it managed to play loud while remaining musical without distortion or physical limitation. Having said this i do think its overkill for a daily music system. Im sure there are other drivers out there that are as musical without being as large or needing as much power but when the volume levels get high they are not going to be able to match the clean output that the XXX is capable off...
  3. Another thing to remember is with a areo port the drag within the port is much lower than a slot of the same area and therefore when using aero ports you can get away with less area and achieve the same flow
  4. a1161979

    SPL: more Port Area or lower Port Mach?????

    It will depend on how the port loads, its hard to model that. In SPL its all about testing different ports to see what works best, as a general rule we start with area before we tune length in a burp box. For a 2.5 cube music box id try 40 square and go from there
  5. a1161979

    Mach5 IXL10

    Probably, these were still a little bit painful, the springs make them hard to turn but like i said in the review probably not worth complaining about, the push down terminals that came on my SPL15 were much nicer and would have suited better
  6. a1161979

    Mach5 IXL10

    Hey Guys i wrote this review for my home car audio forum in Australia, so prices are in Australian but i thought it would be a good idea to post it up here as this is my perfered international car audio forum. I hope you all enjoy Introduction Having spent a considerable amount of time listening to the IXL18 I was interested to see how the smaller IXL10 compared with its bigger brother. I was always very impressed by the IXL18 and I was optimistic about how the IXL10 would perform. I was hopeful that the IXL10 would be able to replicate the sonic character of the IXL18 in a smaller enclosure. Although I have a Mach5 SPL15 I had been looking for a smaller subwoofer for a daily musical system. The IXL10 ticked all the right boxes, small, affordable and orientated towards sound quality systems. Although very applicable for home theatre the focus of this review is on the IXL10 as a sound quality driver for mobile audio. Technical Features & Specifications The build quality is excellent for a driver in this price range as are the driver's features. Triple stack 7.5 motor structure is something that is more fitting of a driver retailing for $500, in this regard the IXL10 punches far above its price tag. Large foam surround is constant across the IXL range. It is worth noting that the surround consumes a considerable amount of area reducing the driver's effective cone area. However the drivers high Xmax of 20mm offsets the small piston diameter. The driver has a single spider which is reasonable stiff, more so that on the IXL18. Dual screw terminals rather than push down terminals. Other reviewers have commented on the frustrating nature of the screw terminals which are spring tensioned and sometimes difficult to use. Granted if you have large fingers they might be annoying but I figure most people will only use the terminals once or twice in the life of the driver. I personally had no issues with the terminals. The motor is large with a considerable pole piece vent for cooling. The coils are dual 2 ohm to facilitate a 1 ohm load when wired in parallel or 4 ohm in series. The coil itself is a 3 inch coil on an aluminium former. Despite the rating of 1000 watts RMS the IXL series coils will take considerably more power if not clipped before any thermal issues. (I'm not suggesting you try but its useful to know, for reference my IXL18 was subdued to 2000 measured watts and it took 4 minuted clipped to burn the coil.) Other specifications worth noting are the low resonant frequency (FS) of 27.8Hz which is very respectable for a 10 driver and the sensitivity rating of 81db/1W/1M. The low sensitivity and high power handling suggests on paper that the driver is very inefficient requiring considerable power to drive however I found this not to be the case. The IXL10 is what I would describe as an industrial looking driver with a focus on performance instead of looks with impressive features and specifications for its retail price of $235. Review Equipment The review was conducted in my daily driver, a Ford Laser sedan. The source was a mid level Alpine Headunit, a CDE-104BTi to be exact. Music content was from either original CD's or an Ipod with files ranging from very compressed MP3's and MP4's (128k) to WMA and Apple Lossless. For the review I listened mainly with three amplifiers, a Jaycar monoblock, a Jaycar 2 Channel and a Digital Designs C4a. All amplifiers retailing bellow $500 which is the price range that potential buyers of the IXL10 will most likely purchase amplifier from. I did also pair the IXL10 with a Hertz HP1KD amplifier for a limited time to audition the driver with a high power, high quality amplifier. Previous experiences with recommended enclosures has lead me to adopt a principle of never building recommended enclosures so for the IXL10 I entered the TS parameters into WinISD 0.50a7 and modelled the driver in various enclosures. My goal for the IXL10 was quality output from a very small enclosure so I decided on a small sealed box. For a QTC of 0.7 (which is considered optimal) WinISD recommended a very small enclosure of 9 litres, due to the impracticality of such a design I settled on 18.5 litres. This gives a QTC of 0.58 which in theory translates into a slower low frequency roll of, or in other words more deep bass. I also modelled the IXL10 is various ported enclosures. Although it models very well in ported alignments due to the small box sizes and low tuning it is very hard to fit enough port area into the box. 20mm's of Xmax means the IXL10 requires a reasonable amount of port area which combined with the small box size and low tuning results in unfeasibly long ports. The box was 18mm all around with the exception of a double thickness front baffle. Given its final size of a little more than 320cm cube I decided box bracing was not required. The box was mildly stuffed with acoustic wool. On a final note most listening was with the box pushed up against the back seats with the driver facing the boot lid. As with all setups there is a compromise between overall output and quality, from the outset the goal was to achieve realistic infra bass reproduction at a level in keeping with the front speakers. Unlike my experiences with the Mach5 drivers (SPL15 and IXL18) overall output was not a priority. Listening I listened to a wide variety of music during this review from Ambient, Orchestral and Acoustic through to commercial Pop and Rock even expanding into Heavy Metal, Dance, Trance and Drum & Bass. Not only because this is what my daily listening includes but more importantly different genres of music challenge drivers in different ways. Massive Attack Without a doubt one of my favourite bands, their albums 100th Window, Blue Lines, Mezzanine and No Protection are real favourites of a band widely attributed with the innovation of the genre Trip-Hop. Mezzanine is widely considered as a fantastic recording with s special emphasis on the bass lines, what better album to test a subwoofer. Track 7, Man Next Door, highlights the deep driving bass lines that massive attack are famous for. Double drum beats that are deep with substantial reverb. Unfinished Sympathy from the album Blue Lines is another perfect example. The IXL10 managed to reproduce these bass lines without the sloppiness and muddiness that many subwoofer produce. What was more surprising was the IXL10's ability to realistically reproduce these lows at a reasonable level from such a small sealed enclosure. I find Massive Attach a real challenge for most subwoofers yet the IXL10 really impressed. This is an IXL motor next to the IXL10, the motor is from an IXL18, they are the same motor accross the range with tripple slugs and a large pole vent for cooling :good: Dream Theatre Progressive metal, heavy metal, rock metal infusion, whatever you chose to classify Dream Theatre they have some impressive songs. A favourite of mine is the 23 minute A Change of Seasons which is very dynamic with fast and hard passages one minute followed by slower rock style sections. Starting at 3:20 there is a drum line that contains incredibly fast kick drum. I have heard systems where the detail in the kick drum is completely lost. Yet again the IXL10 surprised with fast dynamic reproduction. This song did highlight a slight lack of impact from the IXL10, while the sound was very fast and tight it did feel at times like the kick drum did not have the impact that it should have. Some like to refer to it as the missing fundamental, to expand while the sub sounded great I noticed a lack in physical impact, I felt like I could not feel the drum as I would have liked to. To be fair this is probably as much a criticism of my midbass drivers rather than the sub but I noticed it never the less. On a more positive note John Myung's bass riffs were always reproduced with good accuracy, even the low B which is very prominent in Dream Theatres Music. With a many subwoofers the bass lines are drowned out by the kick drum, with the IXL10 despite considerable kick drum I could always hear with good detail and accuracy the bass guitar. Harmonic 33 I only have one album from Harmonic 33 titled Extraordinary People and to my knowledge it might be their only album but it is great. Without a doubt the song Kaleidoscope is the best on the album. For all the ground pounder guys who are sick of chopped and screwed bass CD's go hunt down this song, the bass line comes from nowhere 48 seconds into the song. The lows are very prominent and dig very deep, you not going to reproduce such lows with budget subwoofer or ported enclosures tuned in the traditional 35-40Hz range. Reproducing the low notes with reasonable volume is difficult but the real challenge comes from doing so while remaining clean and tight with low group delay. To be honest this song is probably the song that made me begin to really appreciate what the IXL10 is capable of. Without a doubt the best reproduction of this track I have yet experienced in my car. This photo highlights the IXL's 20mm Xmax, the driver is capable of fairly serious throw which makes up for the small piston diameter. Ghost In The Shell (Stand Alone Complex) Soundtracks 1,2,3 I doubt many are familiar with the soundtracks from the successful anime series Ghost In The Shell series. Musical producer Yoko Kanno is amazingly talented and these three CD's for the base for my auditioning CD's due to quality of the recordings and the diverse range of music. Litium Flower from the first soundtrack is a rock song that is driven by a full sounding bass line. Yet again the IXL seemed to reproduce the complicate and fast lines with accuracy and realism. Another equally good example of the IXL's performance was track 16 (Japanese title which I cannot translate) which contains some very fast drum and a sound effect that I can only describe as a door opening followed by a sweep that drops very low. This track emphasizes the IXL's ability to replicate sub 30Hz content. I did however find myself looking for more emphasised output during enthusiastic listening experiences. Side by side with the cheaper Digital Designs 512a. Pendulum The albums Hold Your Colour and In Silico are excellent examples of Australian Drum & Bass with fast intricate and deep sweeping bass lines. Boxes with high group delay tend to sound horrible on Drum & Bass often ending up sounding delayed and muddy. The track 9,000 miles from In Silico contains lots of low frequency information and most systems struggle to sound realistic, most systems sound very poor on this track, especially at elevated volume levels. I once again noticed a lack of output and for the first time I felt like I was driving the subwoofer hard, at very loud listening levels the IXL10's output started to sound slightly distorted and lacking the clarity I had come to expect from the driver. Andy Salvanos Don't worry if you have not heard about Andy Salvanos, he is a very talented local Adelaide artist who plays a 10 string Chapman stick. I have two albums Fragments and Closer which contain some great songs. The reason I decided to include these albums into the review is these albums I enjoyed listening to more than any others because of the IXL10. It's amazing how the most subtle details can have the most profound impact and effect on the listening experience. In the case of Andy's soft acoustic recordings the IXL10 added subtle impacts such as the harmonics between bass notes and warmth and depth to his melodic bass lines. A good friend who has considerable experience in audio was quick to comment on this when listening. The song Long Black Lunch from the album Closer is a perfect example, the subtle detail contributed by the IXL10 added considerable realism to the bass lines. Listening Conclusions I spent lots of time in the car both stationary in the garage and on the road listening to music from all different genres. Despite the efficiency rating I found the IXL10 was not hard to drive even from 2 bridged channels of a 4 channel amplifier, 400 watts seemed enough to get the driver moving in a 18.5 litre sealed box. While is does seem loud enough on most music materials I found that some songs lacked impact. The best way to describe this is it feels like the 10 cannot sweep enough air to reproduce some material at high volumes. At lower volumes the sub produces very clean bass and amazingly has the ability to reproduce sub 30Hz content without much difficulty. I think the main problem with the lack of impact is due to my love of very loud dynamic music. Although this is not in keeping with the original aim of quality sub bass reproduction sometimes I found with the volume up high the IXL10 did struggle. In my sedan with the back seats folded up I think I would need 2 IXL10's to achieve exactly what I'm looking for. I could always hear the bass note regardless of how loud I pushed the volume but sometimes I could not feel them in a way I would have liked. For someone with a smaller hatch or more modest listening levels I cannot recommend the IXL10 enough. Ported would have given more output again but with a different sonic signature. Here is a video of the IXL10 Final Thoughts In my system other components are the limiting factor for the IXL10. While there is no doubt there are better drivers in production I found the IXL10 to perform far above expectations. Being mainly an SPL orientated car audio enthusiast I did not expect to enjoy the IXL10, yet I found the opposite happened. I have spent more time listening in that car then ever before, the IXL10 is the best sounding subwoofer I have had in my car, great sounding, clean and balanced. Despite a total lack of processing on my headunit I was able to achieve a good balance with my front speakers. I could not help but be impressed that potential buyers need not play around with custom boxes, the IXL10 will sound great in a generic 0.7 cube sealed 10inch prefab box. Unlike many drivers that require trial and error in boxes all I had to do with the IXL10 was build a generic sized sealed box and connect it to an amplifier. Others thoroughly enjoyed listening to music in my car with many commenting specifically on the sub and its clarity, many owning more expensive subwoofers themselves. As far as car audio memories the IXL10 will always be high on the list because it really opened my eyes to how good a subwoofer can sound in an automotive environment. The next step from here is either another IXL10 or an IXL12. As always a big thanks to Mark and Sam for offering great drivers at amazing prices. Oh and you had better get ready for another order when I work out wether I want another 10 or a IXL12 :good: It's a small box, very manageable and great sounding without taking up a large amount of boot space. Some More photos I really love this sub, i even prefer it to my 2005 RE XXX15 which in my opinion says a lot about the ability of these drivers.
  7. a1161979

    Early Christmas

    Time for some more spam... The driver hits very hard and for an 'SPL' sub still sounds very good too, i was expecting a very sharp roll off bellow tuning at 37Hz but its not too bad with fairly good response down to 30ish Hz :yahoo: Stay tuned for numbers guys :good:
  8. a1161979

    Early Christmas

    Talk about a thread Jack Jono Stay tuned i might just add to this thread when i start building the box tomorrow
  9. a1161979

    Early Christmas

    Thanks guys I have a cheapish camera so they were the best photos i could get, glad you guys are liking them Im working on the build log, current amplifier will be a Hertz HP1KD The goal for the car is to do 150 from the trunk, will be interesting for sure, ill have photos of the box build up as it happens during the week Yet again i feel the need to thank Mark and the Australian distributor Sam for all their help, if i ever meet either of you drinks are on me
  10. a1161979

    Early Christmas

    Look what i have to play with next season Finding images of the SPL15 on the internet is hard so i decided to spam up the forum with these, all i can say is that it is one serious driver, very heavy, great build quality, very stiff, i cannot wait to get this thing up and running. Im currently getting the wood cut now but the box will be 4.2cubes tuned at 38Hz with 80 inches of port. It should hammer
  11. a1161979

    IXL 12" v.1 Recone???

    I still dont get how you managed to kill it Thanks for the PM on MEA ill shoot you a reply sometime, i vote you get another and go easy on the gains next time, either that or look at a pair, im not sure what you taste is but i would prehaps even consider an SPL15 if your after output over quality Having thought about it two IXL12's would be a great balance between quality and output Keep us filled in on how it goes and what you decide to do
  12. a1161979

    IXL 12" v.1 Recone???

    Hey mate are you a member on Mobile Electronics Au? You should join up, mind you its great to see another Australian over here I'm very interested to know how you killed it, took a few minutes with a clipped 2500 watts (clamped) to kill my IXL18, very solid driver I dont think you need to be spending money on a PWK design, stick with Mach5's recommended boxes and you will not have any problems, also its probably not worth reconing that sub considering its low price to begin with Oh and i love the venom sub on the couch in the video
  13. a1161979

    Mach 5 in Oz

    Guess its time i posted in here to say that Sam at affordable drivers is a champ, really nice guy Very fast service and a great product at a great price, you have a great Austrian distributor Mark So far i have an IXL18 which has been awesome and hopefully on the way very soon an SPL15
  14. a1161979

    IXL18 experience

    Thanks guys, the topic is a bit misleading so maybe a mod can change it to my IXL experience or something like that I just wanted to post some photos of my IXL18 setup for all too see, it was built to play music and get low so the fact it did 142 on music was a nice surprise, hits a lot harder than most people expect it to, subs are very expensive in Australia so people look at me like I'm on crack when i tell them it cost $320, most guys here run Sound Stream gear or Fusion that they pay big money for then do low 130's I think with a burp box there would be higher numbers for sure, in fact in my sedan with the power i have i think an extra 3Db could be found with less airspace and a higher tune
  15. a1161979

    IXL18 experience

    Hey guys I have had an IXL18 in my car for a while now and i thought i would post up some photos and also some scores of my setup First up and most importantly flying the Mach5 Flag downunder Next is the driver itself The box is 160L gross with two 6 Inch ports tunned at roughly 35/36Hz, it was the largest box i could build that would slide in and out of the car without to maybe problems or effort Electrical consists of a Yellowtop D34 as the starting battery with an Auscell 100AH battery in the boot Now for the power, a Hertz HP1KD, a really beautiful """""SQL""""" amplifier that does rated power, runs cool and sound simply beautiful... I love the in built voltage meter too which can be changed to display amplifier temp Isnt she a good looking sub This sub has impressed me from the begining, even when i unboxed the sub i was supprised by the build quality offered by such a cheap driver, the glue was neat around the surround and spider and the bust cap was nicely centered, overall nothing to fault In the car in 4.5cubes tunned at 35/36Hz the driver has really impressed, even in the small box it hits the lows very well and moves a lot of air on very little power, before the Hertz i was running the amplifier on the small black mono in the photo above and even with a measured 700 watts the driver performed very well The best score to date on the TL playing music out of a sedan had been 142.0, I think thats a fairly respectable score for a sedan with the driver firing up tunned low. The cars best score on a burp has been 142.2 with a peak of 44Hz on batteries that could have done with a charge I guess i just wanted to share some photos of the IXL and my experience with it Overall an amazing driver for the asking price thats capable of producing lots of bass off little power while still sounding great I'd like to thank Mark and Sam (the aussie distributor) for offering such great drivers at an amazing price