Should I get Subs or regular woofers? - diyAudio
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Old 13th June 2009, 05:04 PM   #1
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Default Should I get Subs or regular woofers?

Right now I have a Pioneer head unit driving two 10" woofers in the rear seat. They are actually PA speakers with the tweeters disconnected. I want to build a different box and put some higher quality speakers in it. I don't want to buy an additional amp right now. I'm happy with the volume, it's the quality I'm trying to change.

My question is: Should I use regular woofers or subwoofers? I'm looking at the pyle subwoofers that partsexpress sells. I'm worried that the 4 ohm ones would overpower my front speakers which are either an 8 or 12 ohm load. Right now I have 8 ohm woofers in the back, so maybe i should get a DVC sub and wire it for 8?

Thanks for any advice.
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Old 14th June 2009, 01:08 AM   #2
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PA speakers are relatively efficient. Car subwoofers tend to be significantly less efficient. There's almost no chance that the head unit will be able to drive the subwoofers to the same level as the PA speakers. Expect a significant decrease in SPL level (using the head unit's internal amplifier). You'll almost certainly need an amplifier if you use car subwoofers.
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Old 14th June 2009, 01:45 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. So maybe not a sub. Is there a reason why home stereo type of woofers wouldn't work?
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Old 14th June 2009, 02:01 AM   #4
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Home woofers typically need a larger enclosure for a flat response. If you need more/better low bass, add an amplifier. You can find decent amps (used) at good prices.

When you buy a sub, don't buy one that has an RMS power handling rating significantly higher than the amp you intend to use. Too many people buy woofers rated to handle 1000+ watts and try to drive them with a 200 watt amp. Woofers rated to handle more power typically require more power than woofers rated to handle lower power (200-250 watts).
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Old 14th June 2009, 02:28 AM   #5
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I should probably give you some back history on my vehicle. It's an older minivan that I plan to drive until it finally kicks it, so I have some room for a good sized cab. I did try a little amp connected to my head unit, but something in the circuit picked up engine noise. I could never figure out a way to get rid of the noise and gave up. Now I'm a little nervous about buying amps.

About the home woofers, If I built a box big enough, would they be suitable replacements for the PA cabs I have in the back right now?

Thanks again.
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Old 14th June 2009, 03:23 AM   #6
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Let me guess, you had a Pioneer radio when the engine noise would not go away?
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Old 14th June 2009, 03:27 AM   #7
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If the noise was very loud, you probably had an open shield on the head unit's RCA output.

http://bcae1.com/images/rca/temporar...eldrepair.html

If the noise was just enough to be annoying, it could have been due to a poor quality input circuit on the amplifier.


Car subs are designed to have a 3dB down point at a relatively high frequency. The cabin gain of the vehicle boosts the low end so that, when the system is properly set up, the bass response is relatively flat. Home woofers will have a lower 3dB down point when in the proper enclosure but when you add the cabin gain, the bass on the very low end may be too much. If you have the home woofers and an enclosure, you can try it. If you have to buy the woofers, you may not be happy with the results.
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Old 14th June 2009, 05:31 PM   #8
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Maybe it was the amp.... I'll have borrow an amp from a friend to test that out. Thanks for your help.
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Old 14th June 2009, 11:49 PM   #9
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Perform the test at the top of the page Perry posted. If the RCA jacks of your radio are not grounded, then your radio was the problem.
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Old 15th June 2009, 12:41 AM   #10
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I actually did do that test from that webpage when I was having the problem.
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