Car Subs.......

Personally I keep away from anything car audio, just a rule of thumb for me! Partly because it's very cheap (most of it) and just by judging from my friends 12" car sub they sound awful too! It sounded as if a piece of plastic was moving quickly although you had something stuck in the wheel of your car more than good bass! I mean have a look at THIS video (especially want some feedback on this!) it disgusts me how it sounds!

Anyway one more thing annoys me about car audio while having a look through ebay for some older drivers for another friend I came across a 12" car sub for £35 just out of interest and this was part of the description! It was advising amplifier power!

Minimum 150w RMS is advised - many people do not realise underpowering a speaker will kill it very quickly!
It will run very very happily on 250w RMS and will take up to 400w RMS without problem.

WHAT ARE THESE PEOPLE THINKING??!

Okay my rant over is there actually any good cheap car audio? What do you think to this?
 
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It could well be better to simply buy something made for home use, then play with eq if there's too much cabin gain for it. It's easy to reduce output, but filling in takes lots of power.
The drivers in the video were almost certainly hitting the stops, which would explain the sound.

The drivers themselves seem to follow some kind of vicious cycle...
You give the cone an interesting pattern (see Kicker, etc), which increases the moving mass (loses efficiency). To keep all this mass under some form of control, they stiffen up the suspension (ever tried to push one in?). This also loses efficiency.
Then they realise the efficiency has all but gone, so they give it a huge motor, with a high power voice coil with lots of vents... Then hope for the best. Usually, people will feed it with a large switching amplifier, and call it good.

When I get a car (now there's a terrifying thought), I plan to get a couple of these MCM Audio Select 8'' Dual Voice Coil Woofer | 55-1455 (551455) | MCM Audio Select , give each one a sealed box and ~100w, and call that good... Lighter cone, softer suspension, higher efficiency.
If I ever get it done, I might come and see what you think :D

Chris
 
Personally I keep away from anything car audio, just a rule of thumb for me! Partly because it's very cheap (most of it) and just by judging from my friends 12" car sub they sound awful too! It sounded as if a piece of plastic was moving quickly although you had something stuck in the wheel of your car more than good bass! I mean have a look at THIS video (especially want some feedback on this!) it disgusts me how it sounds!

You can't and shouldn't judge the sound quality of a subwoofer from a youtube video. Lots of times with those videos, the output from the subwoofer is so high that the audio input for the video recorder is overloaded, and the result is distorted sound.

That's not to say that that many car audio subwoofers sound bad. I'd agree with that, and I think it all has to do with the target audience. And it seems to be getting worse - just follow some of the trends over the years for example - Qts is getting higher and higher and it's not surprising to see manufacturers recommending vented boxes where driver Qts is 0.6" - all in an attempt to get a huge "bump" within the sub's passband.

With most audio stuff, the general rule is: good things aren't cheap - cheap things usually aren't good. Car audio is no different.

Some drivers I suggest looking into for car audio subs:

1. Dayton HO series - feedback on them has been excellent, and cost is under $150 per driver. The ONLY reason why I've avoided buying one is that I know that, based on where I usually locate the subs, the nice black finish on the aluminium cone is going to get scraped up and it's going to look ratty after awhile.

2. CSS Audio Trio12 - my top choice for a replacement sub at the moment (if my Infinities ever give up, or I grow tired of them). Great specs, great reviews.

3. SSA Audio ICON series - lots of good specs for the price, and they hand-build and test each one before shipping. My second choice at the moment (no Klippel data available)

4. Exodus Audio Shiva-X - I've had a good long listen to these - bludy AWESOME in-vehicle. Do you want to FEEL down to 5 Hz? These will do it for you, easily. Just a bit out of my price bracket though, but if you can afford them, go for them.

As for eD, I unfortunately cannot recommend them - the only driver I purchased from them (13Kv2-D4)was waaayyyy out of spec, and another one I measured (13Ov2-D4) was quite a bit off published specs as well. Others have given them good reviews though, and the prices of their drivers are pretty good, so you may be lucky going with them.

JBL and by extension Infinity drivers are usually pretty good as well. I'm a little disappointed in my Infinity 122.7Ws though - Neo mag design with a tough-as-nails cone (nice!), but a little more BL would have made an ok driver into a great one. The 122.7W actually has specs that would make it a pretty good home audio sub. Infinity dropped using Neo for the next generation of subs, so I quickly lost interest in their offerings.
 
Personally I keep away from anything car audio, just a rule of thumb for me! Partly because it's very cheap (most of it) and just by judging from my friends 12" car sub they sound awful too! It sounded as if a piece of plastic was moving quickly although you had something stuck in the wheel of your car more than good bass! I mean have a look at THIS video (especially want some feedback on this!) it disgusts me how it sounds!

Anyway one more thing annoys me about car audio while having a look through ebay for some older drivers for another friend I came across a 12" car sub for £35 just out of interest and this was part of the description! It was advising amplifier power!



WHAT ARE THESE PEOPLE THINKING??!

Okay my rant over is there actually any good cheap car audio? What do you think to this?

Most of those youtube car audio videos are no good because the microphone and/or mic preamp overloads on loud bass passages :(
 
A 6.5 inch woofer with a moving mass of 10 grams doesn't need 200 watts
to drive it to maximum excursion at lf, assuming it is placed in a matching enclosure.
The benefit of increasing moving mass and stiffening the suspension
is that you can get bass from a relatively small enclosure.
Major drawback is that you loose efficiency.
 
That MCM is a bargain.

It seems difficult to find a driver with the right compromise of deep bass, sensitivity, power and mms. Its all a trade off. I want to make a small sub with an f3 of 30-35 hz and thought to go for a large low vas driver in a sealed, like the DIYMA 12, or a BR using the e3.6 or Dayton RSS265HO 10" (but ports are very long) OR a PR set up with the TC sounds 12".. my main concern about small subs is their ability to keep up with satellite speakers.. not sure which ones are good in this regard.
 
looks like boscoe hasnt seen any good quality car audio stuff. and it sounds like your freind has either very cheap stuff or hasnt installed it/ tuned it properly. ive been doing this for 15 years, good reasonably priced stuff is out there, just have to do research to find it.
judging sound quality from a youtube video is like trying to look at a picasso through broken glasses. the only way to actually hear how somthing sounds is to actually hear it in person. an ex gf's dad was wanting to repaint his truck a different color. this guy was actually trying to compare colors from photos of used cars on ebay. i just shook my head and walked away....
 
I personally think using Peerless XLS 10" drivers in small boxes in the car would be very nice. Using EQ to reduce the side effects of cabin gain would actually increase the excursion limited power handling at the lower frequencies.

I have been very tempted on several occasions to build two sealed boxes that are acoustically coupled to the cabin through my ski hatch (my car is an E30 BMW so putting subs in the boot without coupling them to the cabin would be a traffic light thumping nightmare!).

It has been illuded to a few times in this post, but the quality you get out of a car stereo install has HUGE ammounts to do with the tuning, and the 'banging choons' brigade that sit outside McDonalds dont have a clue what this is!

Jai
 
It should be OK. But the reason car subs have such heavy cones is so that they can get deep bass from a small box.

Yeah, but with cabin gain to fill in the really low stuff anyway, why should efficiency suffer as much as it does?

Bill, if you're interested, they're ~£16 each...

--|55-1455|DUAL COIL WOOFER 8" | CPC

They also do 10" and 12" versions, but I can't vouch for those.

Agreed that the Peerless subs would be good to try.
 
It's not particularly easy to get the low-down on car subs, because the vast majority of those who actually install or build a sub system (or car stereo system, period) are interested in Sound Pressure Level above all else, rather than sound quality.

The car environment is a challenging one, and there is no doubt that it takes a special approach to achieve good results. Fortunately, (or unfortunately) a lot of specialist Car Audio gear can, at worst, be described as expensive junk and at best as questionable design choices. So, the bar is actually quite low, and a competent DIY'er can get good results at reasonable cost.

I'm not against a serious effort to sub building, but being "devil's advocate" for a moment, I want to propose an alternative to consider.

For decent sound quality you can get good results simply by stuffing whatever LF driver you happen to have around into a sealed box and buying a high power, cheap-as-dirt amplifier ... whatever is on sale or you can find somewhere. Worry about the amp quality for the other drivers.

That approach to the sub, when you think about it, is much simpler than trying to get good sound quality in higher frequency regions in the car ... with midbass and up, the amp's overall quality becomes more important, the drivers are in fairly crappy locations, and you can't move them around (once installed).

Going beyond "decent" takes much more work. So, the first thing you should probably decide is how much effort you intend to put into it, and how much less fidelity compared to home systems you're willing to put up with (keeping in mind that 'equal to' is way, way, way more effort, if it's possible at all).

Cabin gain helps here, if SQ is important. It's roughly 12 db per octave and where it begins depends on the volume of space inside your vehicle. But, as a rule of thumb, you can expect it to start somewhere between 40 and 80 Hz.

That's why "any old driver in a sealed box" works fairly well ... the car starts contributing pretty much right where you need it.

You can expect to want to have the LF a bit higher in level than you might prefer in a home environment. This is because of the very high levels of noise in a moving vehicle, most of which is subsonic. Pop a meter in a car and take off the weighting, and you can find 70 dB+ of subsonic noise pretty easily (90 dB is hardly unheard of), a good 30+ dB higher than your average home background noise level.

I would also suggest you do not ignore the various "shaker" type transducers available, attached to the seat bottoms. They can work alone with your "regular" speakers but complement a clean, reasonably good SQ sub as well. They can run on much smaller amps than the sub itself, and supplement what you hear quite convincingly when subsonic noise from the vehicle itself is so prevalent. Again, a commodity amplifier can be used here. You can usually adjust a built-in x-over point and the levels for both the sub and the 'shaker" by ear, and just go with it.

There is no reason why you couldn't take it much further than the above, and approach it much more vigorously with a purpose built, high quality subwoofer alone, except that the effort required to do that is significantly higher. I'm currently building a car system for a recent addition to the fleet myself and will be going the "high effort" route myself. But, I've done both, and I really do suggest you consider the easy way.

It's almost effortless (especially for the kind of DIY'ers who frequent this forum) and does give satisfying results. It's easy on the budget, doesn't require (much) compromise with cargo volume or usability, gives you a chance to learn about your particular car's LF audio quirks (and there will be quirks) and provides a good baseline if you later decide you want more.
 
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