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Car Audio 101: Speakers that woof! and Kennels to put them in.

Discussion in 'Car Audio' started by Tasmaniak, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. Tasmaniak

    Tasmaniak Not a valid input....

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    Bass is a wonderful thing, especially when you can feel it in your car. I'm not talking about bass that shakes the pictures off the wall, but solid bass that accentuates the music your listening to....Who am I kidding?! Most people want bass thats going to turn heads and crack the pavement right?

    I once built for a customer a ground pounding setup that consisted of three JL Audio 12W6 subwoofers powered by a 1200Wrms PPI amplifier and a horn loaded compression driver front stage powered by a 600wrms PPI amplifier. This system was tested at 146dB. Later on the owner wanted the car LOUDER and I ended up installing a single 18" Cerwin Vega Stroker that produced 156dB, which is louder than a fighter jet during take off. Just to give you an idea of how loud this car was, it physically hurt to be in this car at even half volume. Whilst it was loud and clear it wasn't enjoyable to listen to due to the physical discomfort...it literally blurred your vision. Imagine the hearing loss potential this thing had!

    A system that is built properly can be a delight to listen to during a drive home from work or school or a blast to have it cranked up at the beach or down the main drag. This is no easy feat to acheive, as the acoustics characterstics of the interior are a real bitch to work with. This is especially true with sedans, coupes and wagons, not so much with hatchbacks...go figure huh?

    The job of a subwoofer is to move air. Thats it. Nothing else. Just move air. The larger the surface area of the cone the more it air it will move and therefore will produce higher sound pressure levels (SPL)

    There are five different sized woofers that are commonly used to produce sub bass...8" 10" 12" 15" and the bad boy.....18". The size that suits you is determined by the size of your boot and the music you listen to. I don't recall the last time I used 8"s for bass...Only where space is a premium. eg. Porsche, MX5s and what not. More often then not it is either 10s or 12s being used. Both will play down to 20Hz (the threshold of human hearing on the lower end of the scale) but the 12" will move more air so generally is louder. It will really depend on what your musical preference is and how much space you can dedicate to the woofers enclosure. Once you have selected the woofer you have to decide what type of enclosure you want.

    A sealed enclosure is generally small in size and is the most acoustic in terms of sound quality. Since the air inside the enclosure acts as a cushion against bottoming out, a sealed enclosure has better power handling capability if you plan to use a high powered system.

    Ported enclosures are larger and more complex in design due to the port design involved. Port sizes and lengths have to be calculated in order to tune the enclosure. A properly ported enclosure will play lower then a sealed enclosure at the expense of the box being physically bigger. An attribute of ported enclosures is that they are fairly efficent and require less power than sealed enclosures but are great if you want loud, slamming sub bass.

    Another enclosure that isn't as popular as the sealed or ported enclosures it the band pass. A band pass has the actual subwoofer mounted INSIDE the box and the output of the woofer is directed out of a ported portion of an enclosure. This enclosure is designed to play LOUDLY within a specific frequency band that is generally narrower than most. e.g from 35Hz to 60Hz, but the frequencies outside of those areas decrease in amplitude very rapidly, and as a result, you can end up having a very booming box that isn't musical at all. Due to the narrow frequency response and the difficulty of designing and constructing a band pass properly, it's not a very desirable enclosure, but it's definetly the coolest looking one. Most bandpass enclosure have plexiglass fronts that allows the woofer to be seen or highlighted with creative lighting effects.

    All enclosures have a 3dB down point - the point where where a frequency is 3dB quiter than frequencies above this point. At this point, bass response begins to taper off considerably, and since every enclosure has this point be sure to bear in mind where you want that when beginning design of your enclosure. If you listen to rock the last thing you want is a bandpass box. If you are looking at building an all out SPL Monster and have the room to spare then go with multiples of 10s or 12s or a few 15s or 18s that will move massive amounts of air.

    Feel free to ask any questions.
     
    savage1987 likes this.
  2. semi

    semi GOD

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    sealed boxes are usually faster arent they?
     
  3. garfa

    garfa New Member

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    sealed have more "punch". dunno what you mean by faster though...
    with a bandpass that has multiple ports, can you have one port tuned to a specific range and then another port tuned to a different range? why are ports tuned the same?
    also last Q my cerwin vega sub (diecast basket, about 300 wrms, not quite top of the range.) is nice (i tested it on a mates 350Wrms bass amp.) but would the jaycar carbon subs have better SQ than my vega? i didnt buy it so i dont know the price.
     
  4. Tasmaniak

    Tasmaniak Not a valid input....

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    as a safe guess I would say the CV is the better SQ producer...they were always incredible pieces of equipment.

    No, you can't tune the ports differently. Doing so makes the ports try to act as a crossover...where do te inbetween frequencies go? They have to go somwhere in all there unfiltered, untuned and disgusting sounding glory....they still come out of the box.
     
  5. ucwepn

    ucwepn America just kicked in yo

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    Hi I have a Soundstream Rubicon12 which is 250wrms in a sealed enclosure running off a 150wrms 2 channel (bridged). I listen to allot of rap music with long low bass notes, would a ported box be better for me? I went to the soundstream website and they have the correct box specs but I can't make much sense out of them. The box I have is just an old box I had laying around which has been recovered to make it look nice. It is nice and bassy but I have grown used to it and want more, maybe a bigger amp?
     
  6. Tasmaniak

    Tasmaniak Not a valid input....

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    Can you give me the model number and I can send you a design for the box...also, need the widest possibile width and the highest possible width...but, find me the details now.
     
  7. ucwepn

    ucwepn America just kicked in yo

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    I managed to find this guide, I think I like the small high output ported box for rap. But I am hopeless at building such devices LOL
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2006
  8. garfa

    garfa New Member

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    i thought i would just give this thread a bump in case any newbs havent seen it.
     
  9. dan-wess

    dan-wess New Member

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    So just to check before i spend my hard earned cash, I like rock and metal music, but have the wife and the kids in the car frequently so the volume gets turned down a lot, also when we go away the boot is piled up with all the crap in the world so.... a single 10 or 12'' in an enclosed box, small and punchy?? oh and is it acceptable to mount the amp on to the back of the box or not? where is best/acceptable positions to mount an amp??
    Thanks
    Dan
     
  10. azzfox

    azzfox Braaap.

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    each to their own but i would rather a 12" over a 10" in a sealed enclosure. dont mount your amp on enclosure because the vibration will reduce its life by heaps. id make an mdf wall on the side of the boot and mount the amp on that or on back of rear seats .etc
     
  11. 253@7k

    253@7k 300rwhp supra. yay.

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    Go a single 10 inch, far better for short sharp bass. You will find that 12's will distort a little with metal and rock.
     
  12. Brycestro

    Brycestro New Member

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    A 12" can be just as responsive as a 10". The quality of the subwoofer has alot more to do with it than its size. Another option for mounting an amp is to make up a simple false floor out of MDF and chuck it under there. Keeps it safe and away from any other junk you decide to pile in there as well.

    P.S. - Aaaww... you mean the kids and wife aren't metal heads? :)
     
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  13. VKStevo

    VKStevo New Member

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    or else u can b like me and get 2 cheaper 12" clarion subs for no reason other than the guy i tried 2 talk the price down, took it down tonnes so it ended up being like half the price of an alpine 12" setup, they crank heaps loud, just now im gonna have 2 buy better speakers 2 keep up with them
     
  14. dan-wess

    dan-wess New Member

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    Cheers for all the good advice, will take it into consideration, and i know it's a shame the wife and kids don't like metal but it's a bit late to trade them now LOL
    Dan
     
  15. garfa

    garfa New Member

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    very debatable, that is. i wouldn't be concerned about reducing the life from 80 years to only 15? personally i would not do it from a security point of view. also there are only 2 wires to disconnect if you need to remove the box if the amp is not mounted on it. its more work to remove the amp and all, power wires are free so the fuse needs to be removed, rcas can otuch each other causing problems in the h/u (blowing the ground track right?).
     
  16. azzfox

    azzfox Braaap.

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    been there done that, not fun. exept the caus was a dodgy wiring harness :p
     
  17. MikeVXSS

    MikeVXSS !!!GO TIMMY GO!!!

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    ok 12 volt i made a thread without seeing this one so soz bout that but my q was in relation to what sort of box do i need to make for my sub. i listen to metal, heavy and rock, rap and a bit of its its its techno. now the sub is a 12 inch boss audio, 4 ohm, 1200 watt cheap n nasty and it didnt come with any specs at all!! not even a friggen template lol. its not top of the line as i dont need it for the work car and just want the best sound possible for it. oh and i bought a 500 watt amp for it . dont know what all the rms stuff is. but can ya help???
     
  18. MikeVXSS

    MikeVXSS !!!GO TIMMY GO!!!

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    just on your seal enclosures? is it better to have a sealed one or ported? i was goijng to build my own but decided it would be cheaper if i bought one already made. the one that iu found in the shop is sealed? is that gonna be ok for the 12 inch subby i have? i dont know a great deal about this stuff lol. also do i need one of those fuses that go from the battery to the amp. is it nessecy or is it a show thing? thanks guys.
     
  19. Tasmaniak

    Tasmaniak Not a valid input....

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    Hey buddy...long time no see around here!

    One of those prefab sealed enclosures will be just fine. It's not perfect but then neither is the sub so does it really matter?

    That fuse is not for show it VERY necessary. It needs to be within 18" of the battery. Remember without that fuse and the insulation rubs off the wire anywhere then you will start accidentally welding things together until it causes a fire or worse yet...the battery explodes.
     
  20. MikeVXSS

    MikeVXSS !!!GO TIMMY GO!!!

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    lolyea long time no see. cheers man me dont wants the car to splode, or do i being that its the ford for work :yeah: . went and bought an amp kit with all the bits n bobs fuse in wires n the go. so fully rewired the old sub n amp set up and shes running friggen awesome. for a cheap and nasty set up id rate it 6 out of 10.which is enough for driven to an from work. thanks for ya help there 12 volt . alls i gotta do now is learn what all the lpf, hpf, flat ,friggen db ups n downs, gain and ill be right lol
     

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