Quality subwoofers (long) - Chevy Impala SS Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-08-2002, 01:05 AM
MrSag
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I've heard a lot of various opinions on sound quality subwoofers. Some say a sub in a box is the way to go for precise, punchy bass. Others say that boxed subs are better for SPL, and freeairs are better for sound quality, but freeairs have a "loose" sound. That one really puzzled me . What I want from a sub is to match the sound quality that my sound system is producing right now, without a sub, but at much higher volumes. Here's my [img]3.gif[/img]ultimate test [img]3.gif[/img] for the sub's sound quality: put on John Bonham's drum solo from one of Zeppelin's live concerts (click here for an excerpt). If you hear the base drum / low toms crystal clear, the sub passes. If you hear an indistinct hum, the sub fails. My current car audio system (no subs) passed with an A+. My home system (Cambridge Soundworks with a separate sub) failed miserably.
Has anyone tried anything similar, or is anyone willing to try this? Please respond with some names of subs that pass the test. Thanx
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-08-2002, 08:03 PM
Roadmuncher
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I've been tweaking my system a lot. Using the gains, bypasses (high and low), and the equalizers built into the head unit I can produce almost any kind of bass I want. Slappy, woofy, tight, borderline clipping, etc.. I'm running a 2 channel sony amp claiming 780 watts (probably more like 300rms) bridged into an mbQuart single coil 10" in an F150 box. I picked the box because it disappears into the way-back footwell and it was on clearance. I thought it would be mediocre but I've been really happy with it. The guys at the roadshop put a triple ten in back for kicks and it sounded phenomenal but I like the stow away option.
My advice would be to go with quality cones(mbQuart, Alpine, MTX for starters) in a good quality box. Get an amp with a lot of extra power. If you're intent on listening to the great one at volume you're better starting off with twin twelves - you'll likely end up there anyway.

One of the best listening sessions I had was at a place called CarToys out in Portland Oregon. We don't have them here in Cincinnati but if they're in your town go check out their listening rooms. The best sound I heard throughout my search was a set of 12" MTX aluminum faced subs in a "bandpass" box.
post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-08-2002, 08:17 PM
camel
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those subs were most likely either mtx 6000 or 8000's. they have a plastic cone, with some sort of aluminum finish on them. the reason those speakers sounded so good in the listening room is because it is alot bigger then a car. so the sub doesn't have to work as hard, the amp that was pushing it was most likely top notch with some sort or power supply that made the amp preform at its best. in a car the cabin is much smaller therefore there is more pressure in the cabin of your car which takes more power to push the sub that well in the car as it did in the room. there is alot of variables in a car, where a nice little room is alot easier. look at the material the cone is made out of. most people prefer pulp cones to alumion or plastic, the pulp has a richer more realistic sound to it. the pulp isn't to strong tho, so they will mix in kevlar and make the ultimate cone. i have a friend that designs and builds his own speakers. he knows alot more then i do, he would be able to explain it better. www.sonicfxaudio.com check out the 2 levels of sub he has, they are very reasonably priced and he would be able to anwser any of your questions.
 
post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-08-2002, 10:29 PM
CincyR/T
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Well in my experience a sealed enclosure is the way to go. Bandpasses live up to their name--they pass only a certain freq..say 45-70 hz...their response curve looks like a large hump w/ the very low 20-45 hz on one side and then 70-20kz on the other side...they will peak at a certain frequency and roll off quite steeply on either side of that peek. It will have a large gain at the freq but any other frequency will be greatly attenuated. Bottom line you aren't really hearing all your music. The lows are there like the should be nor are the higher sub freq..you just have a boom at the freq it was tuned for..so there good for rap etc but not for someone who really likes to hear all the music. Oh and they tend to be quite effecient. A sealed box will have a flat curve and a gentle slope. Problem is they tend to be a lil' less effecient but they will hear all your sub frequencies. Also if you tend to build your own box they are easier to build and tend to be a lil' forgiving if you are off a tad in your box specs. Paper cones seem to be prefered for vocals etc....people "say" they are a lil' more warm and true to life..not my personal experience. As far as subs go look for a nice rigid cone that won't break up or distort under high power applications. Infinity perfects are nice. Oh well enough blabling..good luck.
post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2002, 04:31 AM
Aaron D
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AAAAAHHHHHH!!!! Man, when gearheads start talking about audio, stand back. I won't bother trying to prove or disprove some of the replies to your post, but I will try to offfer some constructive advice.

Without thinking about it too hard, this is what I'd suggest. Choose a sub manufacturer that will provide specs for a box in both a sealed and ported design (JL comes to mind real fast), preferably w/ different volumes for each design as well. Find a more or less average volume among the 2 designs and build it a little on the small side it w/ a port. You will be able to tune the ported box w/ different lengths of ports if you choose. You will also be able to test the same box as a sealed version if you plug the port w/ something (socks will work until you find a more elegant way to do it). You will be able to increase the effective volume of the box if you wish (why I said to build on the small side) by stuffing it with poly fill, available (cheap) at Wal-Mart or sewing type places. The change in volume is difficult to figure and depends on the amount of stuffing used but estimate 15-30 percent max depending on what configuration you use it in, less stuffing will move the change closer to a zero difference.

Finally, try experimenting w/ your home sub by changing the crossover frequency, gain, and probably most important it's actual placement in the room. You can also try adding some stuffing to it if it doesn't already have it, my guess is that it already does, I sold CSW for a while but never took them apart that I can remember.

HTH

Aaron
post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2002, 07:42 AM
camel
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aaron what did i say that was way off? i'd just like to know so that i may correct myself. i can take it. i have always used jl subs, and i liked them. i know they use a poly cone and i think they sounded very good. they can easily take more power then they are rated for. i still have a pair of 10w0's if someone wants to buy them. i also agree with what you said about the smaller sized box and then stuffing it. i did that and it sounded even better.
post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2002, 01:23 PM
MrSag
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CincyR/T: the roll off (that's the time it takes for the sound to degrade, right?) has to be very fast in order for you to hear the following tone (i.e. the drum solo i posted a link to above). Yet limiting the sound to a short frequency range is a no-no, 'cause the bass drum isn't the only sound that's supposed to be coming out of the sub. What's a bandpass, anyway? Is it the same as a sealed box, only with a crossover? Has anyone ever tried combining differend subs into a system? Say, a sealed box, a freeair, and a bandpass? I wonder what that would accomplish.
Aaron D: When stuffing the box and hence increasing the effective volume, what other parameters change? Any reason not to do it? What're the advantages of a port, besides being able to plug it with a sock? [img]smile.gif[/img]
There's a problem with listenning to subs in the stores' listenning rooms. The ones I've been to have a severe lack of choice, no way to tune 'em, and like camel said, they sound completely different from when their in the car. So I guess the only way for me to experiment is to buy the subs, install em, and return em when I don't like em. If I do that though, I can't mess with the boxes.
post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2002, 08:56 PM
camel
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the sub you choose all depends on the kinds of music you listen to, and what sound you like. try and listen to other people stereo's and see how they like the equipment. thats usually how i pic out my next sub. i look at the materials they use, and power handling just the basics, i don't totally understand what all the other numbers mean. well most of them i do anyways. if you know how to tune a ported box, and how to design them, they will be the most rewarding. it also depends on the sub too. but if you want nice tight bass, i would definatly reccomened the jl woofers. they sound really good in small boxes. if u see a brand u like, post about it and if we know a bit about it we'll share what we've heard and hopefully you will be a happy boomer. bandpass boxes are pretty tricky to build, and usually don't end up being as great as they are supposed to. there are many different types of bandpass boxes aswell. you should do a search on yahoo and see the different orders and what the chambers look like. www.decware.com has a couple cool designs, but ya gotta pay for em. it explains the design and they have a good audio forum there too, and a great home audio forum. check it out.
post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-10-2002, 02:45 AM
DEVIL.DOG
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Generally speaking 10" subs will react quicker than 12" subs allowing for tighter bass. (More efficient transient response). 12" subs in a "sealed box" will respond like 10" subs in a "ported box", but will play down lower. A ported box will allow higher SPL's but will tend to have a slow effect when compared to the same subs in a sealed box. All else being equal, if you want tight, accurate bass go with a 10" sub in a sealed box. (this allows the construction of a smaller box). If you want to go a bit lower in frequency response, go with a sealed 12".

For higher SPL's go with a 10" sub in a ported box. For lower frequency response go with a 12" in a ported box.

Sealed = tight/accurate bass (small box)
Ported = louder/slower bass (big box)

10" = tight accurate reproduction
12" = slower deeper reproduction

Stay away from the band-pass box as they must be tuned perfectly and take up a lot of room. A band pass box is almost always a single, sealed sub firing into a chamber that is ported (tuned) to a specific frequency.

I hope this helps. I guess I rambled a bit but it isn't as simple as it sounds. It is also not as complicated as it sounds! [img]smile.gif[/img]

The second best box I ever designed and built was a sealed box with dual JL Audio 12W1's in separate sealed chambers with 1.75 cubic feet of airspace each. The speakers were running in stereo powered by an A600 PPI artwork series amp. (150 watts * 2 at 4 ohms).

The best box I ever designed and built is a tiny sealed box with 3 JL Audio 10W6's wired in series parallel sharing 1 cubic feet of airspace and powered by the same amp bridged to 600 watts mono at 4 ohms.
post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-10-2002, 12:48 PM
MrSag
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Thanx Dan, that clears it up a little [img]smile.gif[/img]
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