Dayton Audio PK165-8
I didn’t think much of this driver when I purchased it. It was listed in Parts Express as a 6″ midrange for the pro market. Even Dayton’s datasheet has it as a 6″ midrange. Crossing it at about 125Hz~250Hz to the woofer is not an issue. However, at the other end, it appears the PK165 suffers from an early cone breakup. Ringing is clearly visible at 4.5kHz onwards.
Based on Dayton’s Frequency response in Fig 1, the optimal frequency to cross is at 2kHz. This is far too low for a midrange. It would be nice to have a smooth response up to 8kHz before cone breakup but for an offer price of $25, the temptation was just too great for me to resist.
Dayton PK165-8 Published Frequency ResponseFig 1 – PK165-8 Frequency Response by Dayton Audio
I loaded the PK165-8 to a 18 liters bass reflex test box just to get a feel of what this midrange sounds like. A quick sweep shows a response that’s very similar to Dayton’s specs. The first peak of the cone breakup is at 4kHz. After that, a series of four peaks are recorded.
Disregard the measurements below 500Hz. Reflections in my room are affecting the plot. The deep notch at about 160Hz is a measurement anomaly. It is not from the PK165-8.
Dayton PK165-8 RAW Frequency Response
Fig 2 – Baffle Width=9.5″ • Ported Box=18 liters
Fig 3 below is the Toneburst Energy Storage of the PK165-8. It clearly shows there’s stored energy (light blue slices) from 3kHz onwards. In an ideal case, there would be no stored energy but since the cone rings during breakup, these unwanted tones are created. Are they a problem when in use?
PK165-8 Toneburst Energy Storage
Fig 3 – Dayton PK165-8 Stored Energy
RAW Dayton PK165-8 Listening Impressions
This Dayton PK165-8 is one of those drivers that doesn’t look too good on paper but sounds awesome. What struck me immediately is the responsiveness. Maybe it’s due to it’s high sensitivity but whatever it is, the music doesn’t sound restrained like some HiFi drivers do. Because of that, the music sounds much more realistic.
As for the cone breakup, my fears are unfounded. There’s no harshness, brittleness or grating highs that’s normally associated with tweeters. In fact, the PK165-8 can be used as a full range driver. It extends to 10kHz before dying off. That’s more than enough for announcements or Background Music (BGM).
What I love most with the PK165-8 is the vocal clarity and the separation. The lead singer is clearly isolated, so are the backup singers. Very few drivers can do this.
I see a wide range of applications for the PK165-8. It is a simple and affordable solution for vocal reinforcement in auditoriums and shopping malls. If a line distributed system is required, the PK165-8 can easily be modified with the appropriate line matching transformers
For live music, the PK165-8 is ideally suited for a compact 2-way satellite with a separate subwoofer. For better performance, a MTM configuration can be realized with just the cost of an additional PK165-8.
Another application for the PK165-8 is in Home Theater. Their high sensitivity and wide bandwidth are great for Mains, Center and Surrounds.
Looks like I will have my hands full with this driver.
|• Excellent Vocal Separation
• Vocal Clarity
• Lively, Realistic Sounding
• High Sensitivity
• Good Tonal Balance
• Tight Bass
|• Announcements/Background Music (BGM)
• PA 2-way Satellite
• Home Theater
Dayton PK165-8 Published Thiele & Small
Dayton PK165-8 Thiele & Small
Sealed Box 20 liters. F3=100Hz, Q=0.88
Sealed Box 24 liters. F3=100Hz, Q=0.86
Sealed Box 35 liters. F3=100Hz, Q=0.83
Ported Box 18 liters. F3=60Hz
Updated on Jul 22, 2019