Using "high-end" car subs for home? - diyAudio
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Old 22nd August 2004, 06:43 AM   #1
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Default Using "high-end" car subs for home?

I can get killer deals on car subwoofers because I work for a car audio shop. Was wondering how well a good car sub would work in the house if I were to make a suitable box for it? Take for instance, the Alpine Type-R sub. Here are the best specs I could find...

* Diaphragm Material : Kevlar Reinforced Pulp
* Magnetic Weight : 89.4oz.
* Mounting Depth (top mount) : 178mm (7”)
* Mounting Diameter (top mount) : 275mm (10-7/8”)
* Recommended Box Types : Sealed/Vented/Bandpass
* Recommended Sealed Box Volume : 0.7 – 1.0 cu. ft.
* Spider Material : Nomex
* Voice Coil Diameter : 50mm

Power Handling
* Power Handling Capacity (Peak) : 1000W
* Power Handling Capacity (RMS) : 300W

Thiel Small Parameters
* Coil Height (Hvc) : 37.74mm
* Cone Area (Sd) : 467.59 sq. cm
* D.C.Coil Resistance (Re) : 3.6 ohm + 3.6 ohm
* Electrical Q (Qes) : 0.45
* Equivalent Suspension Stiffness (Vas) : 58 liters(2.04cu.ft.)
* Free Air Resonance (Fs) : 28Hz
* Frequency Response : 24Hz - 1kHz
* Gap Height (Hag) : 10mm
* Impedance (Nominal) : 4 ohm + 4 ohm
* Inductance (Le) : 3.85mH at 1kHz (1.34mH at 20kHz)
* Linear Excursion (X linear) : 13.87mm
* Maximum Excursion (X peak) : 27.7mm
* Mechanical Excursion (Peak-to-Peak) : 55mm
* Mechanical Q (Qms) : 8.31
* Sensitivity : 87 dB/W/M
* Total Loudspeaker Q (Qts) : 0.43

Looking at those specs, what are this sub's weaknesses and strengths? I can get these subs for ~ $65/each brand new. It is built EXTREMELY well, which I know isn't super relevant to sound and output.

If this one isn't suitable, do you know of any other ones that are? I can get a discount on a bunch of brands. I'd also like the sub to go pretty low if possible.

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Old 22nd August 2004, 08:24 AM   #2
Domingo is offline Domingo  Spain
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He looks at this article, you have the measures, enclosure ect....
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Old 22nd August 2004, 02:51 PM   #3
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I translated that article using Altavista Spanish to English and it was pretty hard to comprehend
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Old 22nd August 2004, 03:26 PM   #4
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The bottom line is that a driver is a driver. The main difference between home and auto sound drivers is their impedance, with auto sound drivers being lower to gain higher output with low voltage/high current autosound amps. When used with higher voltage/lower current A/C powered amps this low impedance can be a problem, so be well sure that your amp can handle the load.

There is a problem with autosound drivers that seems endemic to the genre, in that their stated T/S specs are often very inaccurately stated, verging on grossly inflated in many instances. For this reason alone most experienced builders tend to avoid using autosound drivers in the home, and in fact many prefer using hi-fi drivers in their autos. I personally would not use any autosound driver without first measuring and verifying its specs.
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Old 23rd August 2004, 11:31 PM   #5
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I have too agree with Bill, car audio manufacturers lie about the specs all the time, i have measured the T&S of many car audio woofers and there off by 40% at times, the cheaper companies dont lie for some reason.

You can use a car subwoofer for your home audio, but thats about it, car mids and tweeters tend to be very poor in comparision to home audio.
$65 bucks is cheap so thats not bad at all.
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Old 23rd August 2004, 11:46 PM   #6
JohnL is offline JohnL  United States
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The other thing you need to watch with car subs (for some reason the more expensive ones are the worst offenders here) is that they tend to have a rather high FS for a sub. They make up for the high FS with the cabin gain on the low end. For that reason, and the over inflated prices, most home sub builders stay away from them. Besides, you can get some pretty darn good 12" home subs for under $125; there really isn't any reason for most folks to go shopping for something else. In your case, it makes more sense.

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Old 24th August 2004, 01:50 AM   #7
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JohnL is right again, the prices of the most expensive subwoofers are just marketing hype, i know trust me.
There is only a few dollars difference between the most expensive subwoofers and the cheapest ones.
You get less for your money in car subwoofers on average, i will say a good drive unit is a good drive unit regardless of purpose, you can use home audio drivers in a car and car audio subwoofers in your home.
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Old 24th August 2004, 02:10 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies! I'm looking to build a sub that will hit LOW and it looks like no car sub will do it well. I'd like to get to +- 3db down to 16hz like the SVS subs so it looks like a home sub will have to be the way to go. Any suggestions on some awesome home woofers? Maybe even better than the MKIII Titanic?

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Old 24th August 2004, 04:23 AM   #9
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Check out the Adire Audio Tumult... a bit pricey but awesome

I run a Brahma 15 in my house; speaking of the thread topic.
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Old 24th August 2004, 07:28 AM   #10
trampas is offline trampas  United States
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It's true, a driver is a driver.

In my experiences, subs made for automotive applications are inefficient. This is the reason they starve for rms wattages of over 400-500 when you get into the high output subsonics that they are intended for.

Stick with a sub made for an amp safe to drive an 8ohm load, long term. So many manufacturers of car subs are hitting the thresholds of next-to-zero impedance intrinsically for increased output alone, of a very inefficient driver to begin with.

If you can spy an EFFICIENT car sub, that's an 8 ohm driver - you should be golden.
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