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The "final" Subwoofer Replacement Question?


Mister Jed
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:ph34r: I think I've read about every subwoofer thread on this web site. It seems that the concensus is that the free-air subwoofers (factory or aftermarket) do not work near as well as a sealed or ported box type. I believe all users prefer this second type when at all possible. Either way one would go, an additional amplifier is also recommended because the factory amp just isn't enough to push the additional bass that everyone desires.

:cheers: I belive most everyone would agree with what I have paraphrased above from the 50-100 posts I've read concerning this matter.

:geek: My new topic or question is, with everything that has been stated from all threads concerning replacing a factory free-air sub, doesn't it make sense to go with a pre-amplified subwoofer or bass tube? It satisfies the free air/ported subwoofer problem, is solves the additional amplifier problem, it's variable with both volume and frequency, it can be installed easily to the factory wiring, and it keeps everything 'looking' stock.

I'm not saying this as fact. This is still a quesition to everyone. I am looking to replace my factory SC400 10" sub and this is the conclusion I've come to based on reviewing everything I could get my hands on.

Please, everone, respond if you agree or disagree with this conclusion. Or does anyone feel there's something better than what I'm proposing?

Thank you for all inputs.

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I think that is the general consensus. The thing is you can get better speakers and sound from a good woofer and amp than from the powered sub units. My recommendation is a sealed box with a strong amp... good tight bass. I'm not a big fan of the bass tubes. awesome SPLs but very muddy sound. Not something you'd want from a Lexus IMHO.

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Why exactly are you replacing the sub in the first place? Is it more volume or better quality....? When i sold car audio i always recommended a head unit first cause a crappy signal going to an awesome speaker is still going to sound crappy. If youre after better quality then you might want to look at getting a Death Box or something thats a little more complicated to build, but will yield greater quality. I cant vouch for the factory stereo since i have a 91 barebones soarer TT. I had the 12" DB in another car and it sounded alot better than a sealed or ported box and was louder also.

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Just curious since this was one of the next todo things. Can someone confirm these facts:

1) Regular sub 10" or greater

2) Must not be free air type

3) Must go into stock location

4) Must be amplified by external amp

Now my question is how do you fit a 12" into your stock location? Does this require cutting or enlarging that area? Wouldnt it be easier to just drop in a 10"? Or are you guys just talking about shoving a box in the trunk?

Thanks.

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In response to bean_8044, I'm looking for both better quality and more volume. With the stock woofer, I have to turn the treble and midrange down and crank the volume up in order to get any bass out of the system. This obviously doesn't sound very good. When I do this the system lacks the clarity with the treble & mid turned down, and the bass that the free-air sub puts out is a very high frequency bass, like 60-70 hz I'm guessing.

What I'm looking for is low bass that can fill the car without jeopardizing the highs and mids. I'd also like it to have a little punch to it also. I'm not looking for a competition system mind you, I just want it to sound excellent for the people inside the car.

For southernsc300, what are your referring to by sq and spl? I'm not familiar with these abbreviations.

Thanks.

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SQ = sound quality

SPL = sound pressure level (big loud boooom)

the problem with our cars is that theres that huge freakin gas tank right under the sub so it leaves little room for the sub. what you need to do to get the best sound is take the stock sub out and just leave the hole open. have a 12" sub put in a box and have it in your trunk (this does not take up much room). i have a 12" boston pro series subwoofer hooked up to a Alpine MRD-300 amp pushin about 400watts. the car is filled with a good clean bass. you can also replace the stock sub with a 10" infinity kappa sub, but you must MUST get a new amp for the sub. unfortunatly to get a good sounding system you must replace the whole freakin thing. I suggest going with a alpine headunit and alpine amps. and boston acoustic speakers and a boston sub. that will be your best soundquality set up you can buy from any store. now if you want to spend alot of money and get the BEST system. i suggest still an alpine head unit(best head units out there no questions asked), sound stream amps, CDT audio euro component speakers, and a XXX sub or a elemental design sub. but your looking at a $10,000-$15,000 sound system. and if your willing to spend that much check out the Alpine F1 status system.

low bass requires a larger surface area on the sub. low frequency will always be more apparent on 12" sub over a 10", just like a 15" will hit lower than at 12". 18" subs just hurt like hell when they are turned up loud. every sub will sound better in a box over free air. but i cant stress enough. DAMPEN YOUR CAR!!! check out second skin, they have awsome sound dampners for your car. it will make all the rattles in your car go away, it will kill road noise, engine noise, people out side wont be able to hear your sub (unless you roll down the windows), and it really does improve the quality of sound.

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I've found the perfect sub for our stock 10" hole.

It's a Rockford Fosgate Punch Z Series. (Will try to post the model # later)

It's gonna be a bit harder to find now because Rockford just introduced their 2004 line of subs and the Punch Zs are gone.

It fit absolutely perfect in the stock location.

I powered that with a Rockford 2 channel amp and it sounds damn beautiful.

The problem with putting a box in your trunk (besides the fact that you now have no trunk) is to move the air you need to take out the stock sub.

When you do that, there's nothing between your interior and your trunk and you hear everything from small rocks hitting inside the wheel well to the sound of the gasoline swishing around in the half-empty gas tank.

I sound-dampened the whole rear deck (part that the 10" and 2 more speakers are attached to) with Dynamat Xtreme and I love how it sounds.

Clean, responsive, and can hit surprisingly low notes considering it's a 10"

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I think car audio brands are like clothes. Whichever one you think looks cool, go for. Naturally with head units there is a big difference between Pyramid and Alpine or aftermarket Nakamichi and Macintosh. I can honestly say that ive heard a full pyramid system, minus the head unit, beat out a full Orion system back when they were using the Big Red...wierdest thing in the world. Ive also had Rockwood 10s that were just as good if not better than anything and they only cost $50 a piece. Id go to a bunch of pro shops and see what they all have and what they recommend and price for ya

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:( In my never ending saga of trying to figure out what sub will be best for my car, I bought a 220 watt amp over the weekend. I hooked this up to the factory sub in the back deck of my SC. I opted to try this because every amplified sub and bass tube I've found is too large to fit beneith the rear deck and also behind the removable trunk panel. This amp had a fixed 80hz crossover built in. This helped the volume of bass in the car, but I still have the same problem of the bass sounding high, like its 60-70hz. I'm use to low bass around 50hz or below.

I also replaced my rear deck speakers with 6.5" 3-way pioneers rated down to 25hz. I had these installed in a past Acura, and they sounded awsome; in my SC though they don't. It sounds like there's a low pass filter going to the back speakers; these new speakers have absolutely no lows at all.

Does anyone know if the factory Nak amp or deck has these high or low filters/crossovers built in?? Can I just replace the amp with another that has no high filters for the door and deck speakers and a built in low crossover at <50hz for the sub?

Please, if anyone knows where I can get this type of information on the Nak amp or deck, please reply. I'm spending way too much time trying to figure this out oon my own and getting no where!!

Thanks.

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Dunno about the rear speakers but the amp is definitely receiving a filtered signal.

I just used the line that used to power the sub as the input for the amp and put the amp on full (instead of using my usual LPF-Low Pass Filter).

It sounds great right now.....I hate when the bass kicks in where it doesn't belong or when it should be pounding and it's barely tapping.

Neither of these problems are present with the way I have it set up now.

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'92 LS400 owner thinking about updating standard premium audio system (NO CD changer) to a Nakamaichi audio system with cd changer. After reading all the posts re the stock subwoofer not putting out out good volume I am doubtful about useing a stock 10" Nak subwoofer and subwoofer amp. Of all the posts SC300 seems to have found a way to get the deep bass and volume that I'm also looking for. I was thinking of doing it myself but now wonder if I would be better off going to a very good mobile audio shop to have the Nakamichi system installed. I want to stay with the Nakamichi head unit and cd changer and use aftermarket for the rest of the system (subwoofer amp/subwoofer). Also considering aftermarket for the door speakers. I'v been told that the '90-'92 Nakamichi head unit contains the amp for the door speakers and the wiring is compatable with my present speaker wires. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Four Door ('92 LS400)

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Haha. Yeah, the eD subs are nice.

If I didn't need my trunk, I'd probably put a set of eD subs in a nice box in there.

JL is top quality stuff, but even as high quality as it is, it's still way too overpriced.

Best way to buy JL is to find it wholesale from a dealer who doesn't offer warranty (I doubt you'll be able to blow a W7). Much cheaper without the warranty.

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welcome back, i would help you build it but you live far away. but i need to warn you, 2 jlw7 10" subs in your trunk isnt the best idea, jlw7s require a massive amount of airflow inside the box, so it means you need big boxes, and that means you will have no trunk. you best bet is to take out your spare tire and build a box that fits in and expands into a false floor, its hard for me to explain, take it to a local car audio place, they can explain it better.

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i was wondering what everyone else uses when builidng their boxes. most people prefer particle board, but i use plywood. plywood will give you that loud BOOM bass, it'll make your car sound like afghanistan and it's only interior bass, but the downfall of plywood is that its heavy.

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i was wondering what everyone else uses when builidng their boxes. most people prefer particle board, but i use plywood. plywood will give you that loud BOOM bass, it'll make your car sound like afghanistan and it's only interior bass, but the downfall of plywood is that its heavy.

it's not so much the plywood that gives you the boom, it's the quality of the speaker plus the correct domensions of a box. it's much more feasable to use particle board instead of carrying all that extra weight in the back. i have two 10" w3 jl audio pro comp speakers and you can hear me from two blocks away in my supra. i put them in the trunk of my aristo, and didn't hear crap. the stock sub was hitting much harder than my own comp subs. so it's more dimensions of the box you are designing or using.

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twinturbo, i very much agree with the fact that dimensions and box size have a definite affect on the way your subs will sound. but i would not totally agree with the point that loud booms only come from speakers. i've built many many boxes as trial and error for my cars, and what i personal discovered, is that the box is responsible for more of the sound than the sub itself. if you hook up a sub outside of a box, you wont get much bass, no matter the cost or quality of the sub. but if you were to encase that very same sub into a well built box, the sound will magnify much more. different material used for the box also account for it's reproduction of sounwaves. from my experience, particle boards give you more of a muffled bass and it can be heard from far distances easily. and the difference you mention in your aristo and supra can be the acoustics of the car itself. i once had the same configuration in my acura RSX as i do now in the sc400, and i can assure you that the RSX will hurt your back just sitting in it.

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AHHHH you use plywood?!?!?!?! NOOOOOO it hurts!!! your joking right? you use plywood to make your sub box? plywood creates the worst vibrations and a type of "backpressure" inside the box, your killing the sound of the sub, and your sub can be damaged in loud, low hz excursions.

you need to use MDF or highquality MDF, or if you got extra money use thick plexyglass.

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yea, i understand all the backfires plywood can give me. i have a box with 2 12's and 1 10, but theyr in all seperate components. to me and a couple of my buddies, the plywood sound is more tight and doesnt drag. it's basically just personal preference. i used mdf particle board before, and well...it doesnt tickle my fancies :)

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