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Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       10-20-2010, 7:01 PM Reply   
I have 550 Watts and no where to go...literally. The last 2 channels on my Arc Audio KS 900.6 amplifier have yet to be filled. I can bridge the amplifier to 2 Ohms, but no less. I have this amplifier in my 2010 Toyota Tundra crewmax.

The only real place to put a subwoofer box is behind the seat in the back. Leg room is a premium for me, so I am looking for a box that is as thin as possible. One of those giant ported JL12W3 just isn't going to cut it.

I would like the best sound possible with the smallest box possible. I have even considered just doing it free air with a WS 10" sub like some of us have done in our boats. My current JL 10" sub rocks pretty well in my boat with this same amp hooked up to it. But I have never heard of a free air sub in anything but a boat. Do people do such a thing?

There is also a budget here. It does not need to be the loudest sub out there, but I am looking for the best bang for my buck in the littlest package for under $250. Any suggestions? I am also capable of building my own box. I can make it pretty wide, and narrow to get the appropriate volume of box if necessary.

Last edited by talltigeguy; 10-20-2010 at 7:03 PM. Reason: ...
Old     (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       10-20-2010, 7:50 PM Reply   
I'm at a loss as to how a free-air sub would apply to your vehicle, as a free-air 10-inch requires at least two cubic feet of displacement for optimum performance and complete front to rear isolation just like any other subwoofer.
If you had an expansive trunk with a solid bulkhead between the trunk and cabin then it would be a consideration. But another type of subwoofer would seem to fit your situation better.
If you can be specific about the total external dimensions of an enclosure that will fit your vehicle plus the orientation (baffle direction, shape, width, depth and height) then I can recommend the best woofer for your available power and budget and provide a reason as to why.
For example, a wedge shaped box, deeper at the bottom than at the top, woofer firing forward into the rear seat, wide, tall and shallow?

Earmark Marine
Old     (882001)      Join Date: Nov 2003       10-20-2010, 8:00 PM Reply
Old     (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       10-20-2010, 8:27 PM Reply   
It is written in that thread that the box is 1.5 cubic foot per sub times two subwoofers, or 3.0 cubic feet total. If that is accurate then with 2.5 cu. ft. total you could run two 12-inch sealed or two 10-inch bass reflex. I give the two 10-inch in a bass reflex the edge over the two sealed 12s. Use two 8-ohm subs in parallel for 4-ohms net. That will provide 275 watts to each sub. The JL Audio W1 series are fairly shallow mount, more so than the W0 or W3, and fit the power profile perfectly. These are domestic woofers with very precise tolerances and are definitely a sound quality choice. And, its right in line with the budget.

Earmark Marine
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       10-20-2010, 9:12 PM Reply   
I'll throw out two options that I have positive experiences with. I have a MTX thunderform loaded with two 10's in my Silverado extended cab and it continually surprises me with good sound. Ironically my truck has all leftover equipment and it sounds the best out of all of my vehicles. I put leftover MB Quart boat take out 6.5's in the the front and rear doors (moderate modification to the rear doors required) and the underseat thunderform designed for my truck. The thunderform was a craigslist item that had been sitting in a car stereo showroom for 2 years after a customer put a deposit on it and never returned to pick it up. I stumbled upon it when I was searching for upgrade factory wheels for the truck. The system is powered by a leftover Clarion APX480 marine amp. The door speakers are strapped to the front two channels of the amp. The MBQ door speaker crossover attenuation levels are set at -2db for the front and -4db for the back doors keeping the stage in the front of the cab for the front seat. The subs are wired in parallel to at 4 ohms to the rear channels of the amp. The deck is an older Pioneer with adjustable crossover and eq settings. I run the crossover at 80hz and bump the bass 3db. Since the amp has individual gains I may have turned the rears down cancelling the bass bump but who knows? From a bass output standpoint this seems to be just about right.

If they make a two 10" thunderform for your truck I would recommend you give it some consideration.

The other option that I have experience with is the Focal SB 27 V1 ported 11" sub that I had in my Prius. It was quite small but did a pretty good job of filling the cab with low bass. The plug and play nature of the sub made it nice and easy to removed when I needed the space. The amp was easily accessible so it was easy to flip the door speakers back into full range when the sub was out (very rarely). I was never happy with the performance of the MB Quarts I installed in the Prius, they were the newer versons of the same thing I had in the truck.
Old     (aces6692)      Join Date: Nov 2006       10-20-2010, 11:01 PM Reply   
i have a box from this company in my dodge ram and i love the way it sounds, 550 watts isnt really going to power to 12's tho, i would definantly recommend these boxes tho.

sorry didnt read the part about your budget, if $250 is just for a box then i'd recommend this, if not then this is going to be a little expensive.

Last edited by aces6692; 10-20-2010 at 11:04 PM. Reason: spelling
Old     (trio)      Join Date: Jan 2010       10-20-2010, 11:22 PM Reply   
A Basset Hound.
Old     (jonyb)      Join Date: Nov 2008       10-21-2010, 6:12 AM Reply   
I've got 4 JL Audio 6W0's in my 06 Chevy crew cab in a slot-ported enclosure. It goes all the way across the back wall, but fits perfectly and the rear seats are in the original position, they werent moved forward or lifted like some people have done in those trucks. I've got a DD SS3 powering the 6's.

Maybe that's something to consider, 3 or 4 6's? We've also done a couple installs in tight spaces with the shallow-mount MTX woofers, and they sounded really good.
Old     (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       10-21-2010, 7:14 AM Reply   
550 watts is definitely enough to run two 12s if its the right sub selection. The JL Audio 12W1 can be driven nicely with 150 'honest' watts each, especially in a truck. The contradiction comes into play when you apply a mismatch. A woofer with a 1000 watt rating may have a longer and larger voice coil that is nearly as heavy as a roll of quarters, a thick and heavy high roll butyl surround, several spiders and all kinds of mass-inducing elements that make it extremely clumsy to drive efficiently. Btw, an independent test review on the Arc website shows the 900.6 producing 538 watts with channels 5 & 6 bridged into 4-ohms with a supply voltage of just over 13 volts (versus 14.4), which is realistic relating to the true supply in a vehicle. So that amplifier certainly has got plenty of 'real' power for the right subs.
Jonyb, we have also had great success using smaller subs in multiples particularly in ported enclosures. Whatever they lose in slightly less bass extension, they more than make up for in responsiveness. A bass-reflex 8-inch only requires a total external enclosure of a cubic foot displacement including stock and port volume. Tiny!

Earmark Marine
Old     (bruizza)      Join Date: May 2009       10-21-2010, 8:12 AM Reply   
This place has a few options for sub boxes.
Old     (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       10-21-2010, 9:14 AM Reply   
If you are considering a good shallow mount I can tell you from experience that the Diamond Audio Hex is a great sounding sub with 150 watts to it in a sealed .6 or 1.0 vented enclosure off just one channel. This will give you good cabin filling bass without sharing it with the surrounding cars, my guess is that's your aim. They also make it in a 12" version if you want to go a little bigger and use channels 5 and 6.
Old     (jonyb)      Join Date: Nov 2008       10-21-2010, 10:09 AM Reply   
David, we do a BUNCH of smaller enclosures like that. SPL isn't a big thing in this area, so we've had lots of success with the DD 1508's, 1510's, and the occasional 3512. The CTS-V that I just sold had a pair of 1508's in a 5th order firing through a 6" port into the cabin. It was unbelievably loud with the same SS3 on it.

I'd post a pic of the 4 6's, but photobucket and work computers don't get along too well.
Old     (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       10-21-2010, 11:04 AM Reply   
Yes, I agree. Four 6s or four 8s in a three chamber bandpass (two drivers in one outside chamber, two drivers in the other outside chamber and a common center ported chamber) can be nuts! More than enough SPL. And, oftentimes you can design it with the port external to the enclosure as a means to better funnel and couple the output into the interior cabin. But, maybe not as easy to implement behind the rear seat of a truck as is a bass-reflex or sealed system.

In general,
Everyone has a different brand preference or a good personal experience with one brand or another.
In my experience there are always a number of products that can get the job done acceptably. A good designer can get the most out of brand A or brand B. The best performance generally has more to do with matching the vehilcle to an enclosure, matching that enclosure to a driver and matching that driver/enclosure/vehicle to the right power. The best performing systems will be applicationally driven rather than just brand or simply size driven.

There are very few woofer companies that truly have proprietary parts to make speakers. And, there are very few woofer companies that truly have acoustic engineering and the necessary tools despite their assertions. So there a alot of woofers out there that are far more similar than unique.

Earmark Marine
Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       10-21-2010, 8:47 PM Reply   
Thanks for the responses. I very much appreciate your expertise.

Have any of you gone to to build a sub box? They have a cool volume calculator where you can easily adjust the dimensions of the box and get the right volume.

That makes the assumption that the box shape is not all that important, just the that a true assumption for the most part? I would be looking at a box that is 6 inches deep at the bottom and then just a couple inches deep on top, but could be 30 inches wide or more.

The JL W1 would probably fit the bill. Thanks for giving me somewhere to start.
Old     (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       10-21-2010, 11:09 PM Reply   
Shallow boxes when taken to the extreme do start sounding different (like they are too small) even at the same displacement. This also holds true in home theater subwoofers that are designed to fit in the shallow depth between studs. So get all the depth that you can or go with multiples of smaller subs to minimize the effect. You can build a 3/4-inch thick box with a 1/2-inch back. It helps to run a couple of front to rear stiffeners in this case to break up the surface area of the thinner back wall and restore the rigidity. If the magnet is right up against the interior back wall then definitely avoid using a woofer with a vented pole piece (which describes the vent) as this creates turbulence and becomes a noise maker at higher outputs. If you are running sealed and you come up 10 percent short of the ideal displacement then you can loosely fill the entire enclosure with polyester fiberfill to offset this. Place the woofer as close to the bottom as possible so its in the deepest part of the enclosure. It becomes a waste and is actually counterproductive when the internal dimension of the enclosure become less than about 2-inches at the top. Positioning the face of the subwoofer directly up against the back of the rear seat can alter the woofer 'Q' and change the performance. Shoot for 1,1/2-inch clearance if possible, although it can't always be managed. If you stay wthin these reasonable confinements then a shallow wedge truck box will sound great.

Earmark Marine
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       10-22-2010, 9:31 AM Reply   
Not sure if you remember my little ported under seat sub from my boat? It used 4 Tang Band 6.5" long excursion woofers from Parts Express. This box was about a cubic foot, ported with two big 3" ports about 13" long and it sounded very good. It was loosely based on the boogieman project: The design could easily be altered to acheive great performance from your truck with the power you have available. If you search the internet for this woofer you will find a couple guys that have built under/behind seat truck boxes with them. You might want to tune the ports for 60-80hz for in-cab use and let the cabin gain carry you down to below that.
Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       11-08-2010, 7:42 PM Reply   
Thanks so much for the excellent replies.

An update to what has happened:

I ran across a 10 inch Alpine Type S subwoofer and a box at one of those cheesy liquidation sales you hear about on the radio. The price was cheap and after getting it all hooked up, it fits the bill. Not overwhelming bass, but I am sure the guy in the car next to me can hear me if I want him to. It came in way under budget, so that leaves me more moolah for my next projects.

Last edited by talltigeguy; 11-08-2010 at 7:43 PM. Reason: ...
Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       11-08-2010, 7:56 PM Reply   
Just when I thought I had this stuff figured out, I realize there is another concept I don't exaclty understand. The question is about the BASS BOOST.

The amplifier has a bass boost of +15db at 45HZ. As I understand it, then this will amplify the signal specifically around that frequency. I almost think this does not make any sense to me, as I shouldn't have to do that if my gain is set appropriately.

My thinking is that a properly tuned system should have the gain set on the subwoofer to sound appropriate with the interior speakers. If I want more bass, shouldn't I just turn up the gain, as long as I am not getting distortion?

I have found that with the bass boost turned even half way up, that the music is overwhelmed by the bass and sounds lousy. Can any of the gurus here give me a coherent explanation of how to best tune the subwoofer channel using the gain vs. the bass boost?
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       11-08-2010, 11:52 PM Reply   
Bass Boost just increased the bass signal in the range chosen (ie 45hz). It works best if you have a sealed woofer that rolls off too high and it can compensate for a shortfall below say 70hz but it's really a bandaid. I might throw in 3db +/- at times but most fequently run it flat. If you push above 6db you are likely to just create distortion and make the music sound badly. That said the trunk rattling kids just crank it since their systems usually sound like crap anyway. If all you care about is distorted trunk rattling low bass then the bass boost is a good feature.

You might want to replace that type S with a type R at some point in time. I think the Alpine Type R subs are one of the best values out there. I think I have blown up a type S in my old BMW convertible.


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