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This is a discussion on Low profile Subwoofer within the Electronics/Car Audio forums, part of the Interior Mods category; Alright, scanned the thread in more detail. Car audio is one thing I actually do have a good bit of ...

  1. #31
    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Alright, scanned the thread in more detail. Car audio is one thing I actually do have a good bit of first hand experience. Would like to throw my expertise out there on some of the subjects I saw.

    Head unit:
    9 times out of 10, this is your best upgrade for your buck. It doesn't seem like it. Ever. That is always the last thing in my mind that would make a difference. But, somehow, it always does. I don't know why, just something I've learned over time. Get a good one. 3 sets of pre-outs suggested. I like Alpine and the better Pioneers. Still not sure why they make such a difference honestly if you are running pre-outs, but they do.

    Amps:
    I buy amps based on brand experience and apparent build quality. Companies that rate their amps at rms power get extra points. Don't skimp, but I don't feel you need to buy the top of the line ones either. Medium quality suggested. It'll last longer, and in my opinion sound no different than the top line.
    Amplifier design is tough. I took an amplifier design course last semester. It isn't easy. I'd say the biggest determinate of amp circuitry is in reliability. When stuff fails, it better not ignite. Mid line amps should be okay for this. I personally like the old BJT amps, although after taking the class, I see why MOSFETs rule the electronics world anymore. In summary, I don't think they are all the same, but yes, they do use similar circuitry techniques.

    Woofer:
    Less important than the woofer quality, is how the woofer suits your needs. Getting a mid line woofer, and building a well made, appropriate enclosure will sound as good as a JL enclosure, and more importantly, be geared towards your tastes. Sub enclosures are tuned to a specific frequency. Remember that. You can build a sealed enclosure for more quality, ported for more quantity, and a bandpass for a mix of both and space savings. There are also some more complicated designs that use multiple woofers to use a box half the size. This is a good option if size is an issue. Isobaric reflex I think is one of the more common ones.

    Sound Deadening:
    I don't run it in mine, but have installed it in others. Surprisingly mine doesn't rattle, but I would put it in if I planned on not driving mine off a cliff when possible. It helps mid bass a decent amount. Use it on large panels and on the doors when you take the panel off to put in door speakers. Some cars you can't skimp in this department, and it is pretty pricey. Dynamatt is the leading quality, not the leading budget. Other brands are less than 1/2 the price, and many double layer it. It basically changes the mass of the panel you stick it to, preventing that panel from resonating. It is not really 'sound proofing' your car. For smaller rattles, creative use of double back tape and spray adhesive will do the trick.

    Weight Reduction:
    Sorry. Quality (Sound Quality - SQ) and quantity (Sound Pressure Level - SPL) audio equipment is heavy. It's not gonna make a huge difference for daily driving. I have my sub enclosure and amp rack on quick connects in my car so I can put the back seats in need be. I wired the door speakers from the back of the head unit with a relay/switch. When I am running with the sub/amps, I leave it off. The RCAs signal the amp that powers the system. When I want the back seat, I just pop off my quick connects, slide the sub with the attached amp rack out and flip the normal speaker connections back on, hence running off the head unit internal amp. This is a very good alternative if you are too concerned about saving some weight. You are **** out of luck with sound deadening though. I'd say its worth the weight just to make your doors feel more solid and luxury-ish.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    He was throwing balloons filled with sulfuric acid and shrapnel at the swat team. They finally had to take him down with rubber bullets.
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  3. #32
    The Fruit mangostick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heide264 View Post
    Couple points on your post mango (in my opinion)..

    -1 on the cap: It might work. In the end, it is covering another issue up though.
    You're correct.. but I'll get to why..
    Normally, it is caused by running too thin of wire for the rated current. I forget the exact physics as to why it does this, I'm sure you can find it if you read around though a bit. Make sure you run the proper size wires and you should be okay. Otherwise, it's time for a big 3 upgrade (batt/alt/grounding).
    Yes, yes and yes... fyi its ohms law. Only so much current can be passed over a conductor of given density. Current is limited by resistance given constant voltage .. etc. Its a variable equation depending on one of the 3 factors involved. However, if you dont have locomotive force in the amount needed to feed what is demanded.. regardless the size of the conductor it aint gonna happen mang. 8ga is fine for anything up to 400w rms. I prefer overkill when it comes to wiring though.

    I personally run 4Ga wire on everything. Single amp system.. 4Ga wire, I have yet to NOT see an improvement upon reinforcing the delivery of current (adding a cap). Side benefit of a capacitor is filtering ac current.. though the internals of modern amplifiers are good about noise reduction.. and modern day alternators are good about keeping ac to a minimum.. the cap still helps. Cars are very noisy electrical environments.

    You're completely correct about the charging system needing to be upgraded. Most oem's skimp here so that it barely covers the vehicle load (cost cutting) However.. the amplifier manufacturers are also skimping on power supply caps to save costs and space. Its not just the constant supply from the vehicle that is the issue, its the ability to have enough on demand reserve to cover the amplifiers demands on sharp spikes. It has to come from somewhere.. Caps aren't a "might" work.. they do work. They are the instant current reserve the car doesn't have built into its charging system.

    You took a amplifier design course..generally thats not for fun (though I'd find it fun ) I'm thinkin you're on a scholastic path that brings you more understanding here than most.. but to break it down to those that aren't as educated...

    think of the electrical system like you would fuel injection (its really not exactly like this but its a good example for those that dont know better) ..

    you have a fuel supply at a given pressure and volume (alternator) with a slow response reserve built in (lead acid battery) .. everything is good if you have a constant supply that meets a fairly constant demand (slow reserve covers any mild demand changes). Here's where it gets fun.. sharply open the throttle (represents amp yanking for power to produce a loud low note).. blahp.. goes lean.. system falls on its face but recovers once the pump and slow reserve catch up to the demand leveling out.

    The cap acts like a larger fuel rail.. a reserve under pressure immediately responding to sharp changes.. when demand is instant and high.. it delivers before the rest of the system can fall short and replenishes quickly as the system stabilizes.
    Basically how a stiffening cap works. Now electrical theory and ohms law play more detailed and important parts into that, but without getting exponentially more complicated thats a good description.

    This is a pretty touchy subject, and I am just playing devils advocate with mango. I said -1 to even out the scale more so and let you know there is a debate on the subject.
    hehehe.. I can play this all day Electricity and I have long been friends. Its not touchy to me, I know they (caps) work. To a point though, you're right they aren't "needed" for a auto system .. but do have a nice effect when used correctly. Also much cheaper than a bat/alt upgrade.

    I think you'll enjoy your boss. It isn't going to be the top quality system out there, but it certainly will be better than what you have I bet. Should be enough to support your low end. It's a nice medium without going too far into the audio world in my opinion. Let us know how the install goes and how it sounds =)
    Agree'd.. for some the integrated subs hit the spot. Def keep us posted.
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  4. #33
    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Makes sense. Couple more counter points:

    When dealing with car audio, I have found it tends to not work out perfectly. I always try to keep it as simple as possible. Everything you do has a slight possibility of introducing ground noise and stupid gremlins everywhere. Main reason why those awesome 16band equalizers aren't used any more. I loved mine in my '96 sooby outback - paired nicely with a single din unit to take up that accessory bin. Adding a cap just introduces one more thing that can go wrong in my opinion. Car audio can have some nasty gremlins.

    I really don't see them doing anything on the downside. Most power rectifiers use a large capacitor at the end of the line anyhow to smooth out the bumps for the input voltage. If you have a couple cheap amps, you are very right, it may in fact help your amp reliability.

    In my experience, I've seen them put in 3 cars I was working with. One of them it helped. Two of them we didn't notice a change. If it prevents you from doing a big 3, however, kudos. I think if I was in that situation I'd barrow one and see if it helped first, or at least make sure I could return it - those things aren't cheap. For what it is worth, my system I've moved within a 96 outback, 97 deville, and 98 astro van is about 500Wrms. I keep my gains set correctly, but do like my music pretty loud. My door panels and windows do shake as I slowly destroy my hearing lol. I haven't had a problem with any lights dimming in any of my cars. I used the largest walmart wiring kit for the power wires (figure half of what they rate it is okay).

    As far as scholarly path, I'm going for EE. Not really specialized in anything, just a general degree with a bit of everything from power conversion, design, software, and digital logic/compEng stuff. The amplifier course I took was the second circuit design class we have up at state. Design classes are always fun for me, but I always get shafted on the curve and have to really work to pass. Darn honors college .
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    He was throwing balloons filled with sulfuric acid and shrapnel at the swat team. They finally had to take him down with rubber bullets.
    2011 STi Build Log
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    -Part 2 - Turbocharger 101 & Basic Boost Control
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  5. #34
    The Fruit mangostick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heide264 View Post
    I keep my gains set correctly, but do like my music pretty loud. My door panels and windows do shake as I slowly destroy my hearing lol.

    lmao!!! love this quote.. but its so true

    I try not to destroy my hearing any further than it already is.. but its SO hard .. lol I like tunes too much.
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  6. #35
    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mangostick View Post
    lmao!!! love this quote.. but its so true

    I try not to destroy my hearing any further than it already is.. but its SO hard .. lol I like tunes too much.
    ...I figure if my grandpa had a hearing aid 10 years ago, we should have some darn good ones in 30 years
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    He was throwing balloons filled with sulfuric acid and shrapnel at the swat team. They finally had to take him down with rubber bullets.
    2011 STi Build Log
    -Part 1 - Reading, Data Logging, and Analyzing Data
    -Part 2 - Turbocharger 101 & Basic Boost Control
    -Part 3 - EcuFlash, Experimental Defintions, and a Drive By Wire Intro

  7. #36
    The Fruit mangostick's Avatar
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    I'm hoping by the time I need to wear corrective lenses or hearing aides.. they'll have developed one of two things

    a. genetically cloned replacement parts

    OR

    b. Artificial organic parts that are even better than the originals.
    OBP 2010 5dr *traded*
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  8. #37
    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mangostick View Post
    b. Artificial organic parts that are even better than the originals.
    Oh that would be such a foot up the rear for everybody who was responsible
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    He was throwing balloons filled with sulfuric acid and shrapnel at the swat team. They finally had to take him down with rubber bullets.
    2011 STi Build Log
    -Part 1 - Reading, Data Logging, and Analyzing Data
    -Part 2 - Turbocharger 101 & Basic Boost Control
    -Part 3 - EcuFlash, Experimental Defintions, and a Drive By Wire Intro

  9. #38
    The Fruit mangostick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heide264 View Post
    Oh that would be such a foot up the rear for everybody who was responsible
    HAHA!!! wouldn't it though?
    OBP 2010 5dr *traded*
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  10. #39
    Registered User SubaruWRC's Avatar
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    hey guys. So I am still planning to do the install tomorrow. I'm just curious if there is a way that I can connect the subwoofer to my stock head unit without splicing wires with a line output converter. Does the stock deck have some special plug that i could do rca converter to that?
    Last edited by SubaruWRC; 04-09-2012 at 03:45 PM.
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  11. #40
    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Well, you could always pull the head unit out and look. This would allow you to do two things.

    It might be more convenient to splice into the wires right out of the head unit if there is space behind the head unit. Sometimes the wires to the speakers are not nicely placed, and splicing it back there could make hiding the RCA cables easier.

    Your head unit might have pre-outs on. Somebody else on here can help out with that one. If this is the case, no line output needed, just RCA to RCA connection.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    He was throwing balloons filled with sulfuric acid and shrapnel at the swat team. They finally had to take him down with rubber bullets.
    2011 STi Build Log
    -Part 1 - Reading, Data Logging, and Analyzing Data
    -Part 2 - Turbocharger 101 & Basic Boost Control
    -Part 3 - EcuFlash, Experimental Defintions, and a Drive By Wire Intro

  12. #41
    Registered User SubaruWRC's Avatar
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    One more thing. Do I need some bass blocker on my other speakers so my component speakers aren't still putting out the bass?
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  13. #42
    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Nope, the sub won't add to the amount of bass the component speakers get at all. Your sub most likely includes the opposite of a bass blocker (known as a low pass filter). The sub will be getting the component highs, the components won't be getting the subs lows. No worries.

    For reference, I'd just say high pass instead of bass blocker. It's just a type of crossover. Bass blocker is kinda a thrown around walmart type term in my opinion.

    Let us know how the install goes, if not I'm on here pretty religiously 8-4:30 so just post back up with any other questions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    He was throwing balloons filled with sulfuric acid and shrapnel at the swat team. They finally had to take him down with rubber bullets.
    2011 STi Build Log
    -Part 1 - Reading, Data Logging, and Analyzing Data
    -Part 2 - Turbocharger 101 & Basic Boost Control
    -Part 3 - EcuFlash, Experimental Defintions, and a Drive By Wire Intro

  14. #43
    Subaru Newb MainFrame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mangostick View Post
    lmao!!! love this quote.. but its so true

    I try not to destroy my hearing any further than it already is.. but its SO hard .. lol I like tunes too much.


    For some reason ever since I installed my PDX-4.100 amp my music only sounds good if I have it cranked up REALLY loud.

  15. #44
    Moderator   Sasquatch's Avatar
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    I do not mean to thread jack, but have sort of wanted a solid under seat sub for a long time. Let me know how it works out.

    Some better stock location drivers plus the Boss (yeah it looks like a Chinese made POS) would likely do OK for me. After six plus years I still have a bone stock sound system.
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  16. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by SubaruWRC View Post
    hey guys. So I am still planning to do the install tomorrow. I'm just curious if there is a way that I can connect the subwoofer to my stock head unit without splicing wires with a line output converter. Does the stock deck have some specail plug that i could do rca converter to that?
    Why didn't you buy an aftermarket HU?
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