"Best" sub from a build quality stand point? - diyAudio
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Old 11th June 2008, 02:44 AM   #1
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Default "Best" sub from a build quality stand point?

I've not been into car audio before now, so I need some help. I am looking for a 12" car subwoofer. Irrespective everything else, which companies manufacture the best car subs, build quality wise? What constitutes a good car sub?

I am also in need of recommendations for good books for beginners in car audio. Preferably covering most aspects about the subject. If need be, specialised books can be obtained at a later date.
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Old 11th June 2008, 02:55 PM   #2
ppia600 is offline ppia600  United States
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Location: Louis y ana
I think the pioneer premier subs have good build quality.
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Old 11th June 2008, 05:22 PM   #3
jol50 is offline jol50  United States
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It really depends on your budget and use. If you want sound quality many use Seas or something like that...others use IDMAX for example, a more powerful driver. Also depends on what install and power range you are looking at.
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Old 11th June 2008, 07:09 PM   #4
jol50 is offline jol50  United States
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Here is a list from another site of subs people consider high quality:

TC Sounds TC9/Soundsplinter RL-p SQL/SPL subs.
Image Dynamics IDQ
Image Dynamics ID
Image Dynamics IDMAX
Peerless XLS and XXLS
Diamond D6
Arc Audio D series
Arc Flatline
Dayton Audio Titanic
Adire Audio
RE Audio
Soundstream Exact's
Digital Designs
Elemental Designs
Treo
Illusion Audio
Focal K2 series and Be series

I would tend to agree, though I would also temper that with your use. If you don't need the expanded capabilities of the most expensive sub then the money would be best spent elsewhere to further your system. And that list is limited, lots of companies make some good stuff but people tend towards the specialized companies many of the above are. A good sub can be many things; maybe a flatter response curve, holds up to more abuse, works in a smaller box, or has the output you need in your install. That last one is likely most important because the install matters more than the sub IMHO. I have used <$20 subs with great results in a daily driver.
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Old 13th June 2008, 12:11 AM   #5
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I should perhaps have given more info in my previous post.

- Budget is secondary, to a degree.
- Soundquality and good build is what I am after, not SPL
- My application is tapped horns

It has to be sturdy, it will experience some harsh times, due to the way the tapped horns work.

There are so many brands out there, I just wanted some help stearing away from the bad ones. I've seen a few new brands in jol50s list. My own list so far contains these brands:

Alpine
Atomic Speakers
Audiobahn
Audiopulse
Audio Top
Cadence
Cerwin Vega
Clif Designs
Digital Designs
DLS
Dynaudio
Eclipse
Elemental Design Audio
Elevation Audio
Emphaser
Fi Car Audio
Ground Zero
JBL
JL Audio
Kicker
Kole Audio
MA Audio
Magnat
MB Quart
MTX
Orion
Power Acoustik
RE Audio
RD Audio
Soundstream
SPL Dynamics

I have not been able to check out all of their web sites as yet, but I am getting there. Any input on these brands?

What about book tips?
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Old 13th June 2008, 01:28 AM   #6
jol50 is offline jol50  United States
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If you are making a bass horn, people often use pro drivers or maybe like an eminence. I don't recall what a tapped horn is offhand, but true a horn tends to have different needs.
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Old 13th June 2008, 01:49 AM   #7
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A tapped horn is a different beast compared to regular basshorns. The inventor has used both PA driver and car sub, that is at least what many beleive. Most people have used PA drivers so far, but there are also successful applications using car subs. One that at least simulates well is MTX Thunder 95??-04. As most folks has used PA drivers, I want to go the car sub way. That is why there are only car sub manufacturers in my list.

Soundsplinter has a promising 15", but it is too large for me, need to be 220 cm tall. I will start with a couple of 12".
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Old 13th June 2008, 02:30 AM   #8
jol50 is offline jol50  United States
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I like MTX, I have a 4500 10 that works great in a sealed for what it is. Also check DD on your list, since they are so good in spl I am sure they are durable.

Does this horn have an issue with xmax? Most horns I have seen do not need big xmax thus the use of pro style drivers. DD is said to have less xmax than others yet they outperform. Dayton (parts express) also has some interesting drivers though most are not as hardcore as a 9500mtx.
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Old 13th June 2008, 02:35 AM   #9
ppia600 is offline ppia600  United States
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If you are checking mtx, look at the jh551204. 400wrms 12".
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Old 13th June 2008, 07:12 AM   #10
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Speaking of build quality, I notice a lot of round subwoofers never have the cone or magnet perfectly centered. Some even get coil rub if you push on the cone unevenly. Another common problem is the dustcap getting loose and even coming off or the lead wires either breaking or slapping the cone from high excursion . I have a spare MTX Thunder 8000 I don't use, I had to reglue the dustcap.


I got a Sony XS-L120P5W subwoofer, and IMO one of the best quality built car subs, and not all that pricey either at just under $70. It has the lead wires in the top spider (2 spiders), not in the cone. Also it's a 5-sided pentagon-shaped cone woofer with no dustcap, perfectly centered, and a ribbed-rubber surround. And the glue holds well. The never version is the same, but is black.

The best part, is the incredible SOLID BASS down to 20hz, plays clear with no distortion, and NEVER bottomed out!

Click the image to open in full size.

I've blown up one of these speakers and the only thing wrong is the voice coil burned up. The speaker construction itself is ROCK SOLID, so even though I blew up the speaker, I want another one. It played loud and clear until the point it blew with a flash of light! Highly impressive, being most speakers make a bunch of nasty noise when overdriven, this one did not.
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