View Full Version : Subwoofer suggestions

05-07-2010, 01:43 AM
I've finally compiled a short list of audio components that I'll start purchasing in the next few weeks. I'm still undecided about the subwoofer. Of course I've read good things about the WS and Exile. I'd really like to hear what other people are using and are happy with. I'm hoping to power this sub ~500W RMS. What are you guys running?


05-07-2010, 02:11 AM

I have a Kicker 10" Solo-Baric L5 (can be had for under 120.00) in a closed waterproof box (that I made for under 50.00) under the dash below the drivers feet. Its behind the kick panel so noone knows its there. I run it with a Kicker 500.1 amp. It bangs very very hard. The ebay seller at the top is who I have used several times and they are pretty good, really fast shipping also.

05-07-2010, 08:58 AM
really need to know your pricepoint..
kicker has some great subs, both inexpensive up to crazy priced, rockford has some great stuff for not a lot of cash. I used jl 12w6 and love it.

price will ultimately determine where you land..

imo tho(zips up flamesuit) wetsounds and exile make some great products, however there are better values for your $$ out there..

05-07-2010, 09:28 AM
If your on a budget the Kicker Comps and VR Comps are great and my choices. I've installed a few Comps for people and with good power they really hit hard for the money. Stepping up there are a lot of choices as sandm said with the Rockfords, Kicker Solobarics, JL Audio, Boston, Exile Shift & XT to name a few. The biggest thing is make sure it can withstand the marine environment and the power and enclosure are matched to the sub. You also didn't mention what size your looking either.

05-07-2010, 09:47 AM
I got a couple of Alpine Type R subs and love them. 500watts is perfect for 1!!! I think you can find them for around $100.

05-07-2010, 11:31 AM
I seem to be good at leaving out important info. I'm leaning towards a 12" but could be swayed to using a single quality 10". Hoping not to exceed $250 on the sub. It will likely be powered by the sub channel on a JL HD900/5.

05-07-2010, 11:41 AM
my buddy just picked up 2 kicker L5 solo barics and a 750 amp for 600 shipped if I recall correct they are insane for the price

Go to www.dealercostcaraudio.com

05-07-2010, 04:00 PM
My local shop has a l7 dual VC in a carpeted box for 699.00 ans some wonder why we shop online.:confused:

ian ashton
05-07-2010, 04:24 PM
I also Kicker woofers - 2 10" L7's running off a single channel of a Kicker ZX700.5, and it sounds awesome, especially with the incredibly small amount of power I'm running to them.

05-07-2010, 06:46 PM
I'll have to take a closer look at those kickers. Anybody running a JL sub?

05-07-2010, 07:03 PM
I'll have to take a closer look at those kickers. Anybody running a JL sub?

YUP - JL 12W3
I think SandM runs the JL 12W6.

My sub has as much (and more) thump as you'd need/want. I swear by JLAudio stuff. Personally I think it's as good as you can find out there. But again, that just my opinion :)

05-07-2010, 08:51 PM
I run one JL 12w6 and power it with a JL 500/1 amp. Mine POUNDS!! It's a down firing sub and because of the air requirement its in the battery compartment. I crack the door to let it breath. I'm waiting for the Exile cnc sub box thats in the works for the XLV that goes in the foot area of the drives side.

If you have only one sub this is the best location for a single sub. IMO. I'm slowly working toward having 2 JL 12w6's. I'd like to drive with the foot-well one working and when we are stopped and hanging out have both subs working.

IMHO-ONE 10 inch sub is too small a sub for a open air environment, ie boat. Perfect for cars but again IMO.

Flamesuit, That made me laugh out loud!!! Classic.


05-07-2010, 10:27 PM
Mr BBY - You should never feel like you have to wear a flame suit when soliciting opinions on gear. My advice to you when looking at subwoofers is look at the project as a solution and not parts. Meaning, get the right woofer for the right amplifier at the right load, and hopefully all marine enclosure. sounds complicated, but its really not. Honest.

When it comes to the world of wakesports boats, I would highly recommend looking at a 12" subwoofer and mate it to a port tuned / Bass reflex style enclosure. This type of setup will give you two distinct advantages. 1st, woofer wise, its all about cone area. Without getting brand specific etc, going with a 12" versus a 10" woofer gives you more bass. In the open air environment a single 10" woofer often times can sound washed out.

Another suggestion is to make smart upgrades. I'm not saying you have to spend tons of money the first time, but I have a feeling if you end up with a 10" solution, next year, you'll kick yourself and say, "why didnt I do a 12!!"--ARG!

Another question, I'd ask the group about is install location. Newty would be a good guy to ask as he has subs in both the helm and cubby area. I'm not fond of having to crack open your cubby to be able to hear bass. And it also restricts your useable storage as well. In my experience helm location offers a few benefits such as acoustic coupling to the cavity without any choke like you'd have in the cubby.

If your interested in Exile subs, there are several guys on here running them and can give you first hand feedback. If not, no flame suit needed. (I'm still chuckling about that).

Remember, everyone... "It's all good!"


Exile Audio

PS: Auquaholic - Our design on the VLX enclosure is now complete. Shoot me an email and we'll get you in the production.

05-07-2010, 10:42 PM
Hey Brian, if your still logged in check your PM, I've got a question for ya.

05-08-2010, 12:08 AM
I do like the sound of JL subs (12w6v2 $599) but they seem so over priced I run the same amp (500rms 1000max) to a $99 Alpine type R and it sounds just as good. Just my 2 cents.

I agree with everyone about getting a 12 over a 10. Its open air on a boat. Just get a 12" woofer. You will be happier.

I would spend more money on a good amp than spend high dollars on an expensive sub. Good amp with a crappy sub will still sound good, but a crappy amp with expensive sub will sound like crap.

05-08-2010, 12:37 AM
I do like the sound of JL subs (12w6v2 $599) but they seem so over priced I run the same amp (500rms 1000max) to a $99 Alpine type R and it sounds just as good. Just my 2 cents.

Don't know where your shopping but you can get the 12W6v2 for about 1/2 that price:confused:

05-08-2010, 02:55 AM
Exile! I've got their entry level 12" sub - the sd12 in Exile's custom enclosure powered by a kicker zx700.5 (420w rms @ 2 ohms) and it pounds but is also very musical.

05-08-2010, 11:57 AM
i bought my 12w6 from a guy in cali for $220. bought 3 and decided to just use one. it was new. they are all over ebay for less than 3 bills. great sub and more than enough for a boat, but it needs a good solid box..

05-08-2010, 12:45 PM
And I used the 12W3 (a step lower than the 6) and it's better than their entry level. I got it for a little north of $100. It's a solid sub. Shop around and you can find deals.

SandM...........I'd love to hear yours someday :)

05-09-2010, 11:50 AM
wherebouts in montana are you?

lived in kalispell(well, actually almost to Kila) for a year and loved it, but that was a long time ago and it's been californized from what I hear...
gf has parents in hamilton..

05-09-2010, 11:42 PM

I noticed you mentioned the JL Audio HD900/5 for your in-boat needs. Keep in mind that this model is ideal for four highpass speakers but definitely not six. Since its biased specifically for 4-ohms it will drop to 75 watts at 2-ohms and any inequity in front and rear channels will affect the power supply voltage on the highpass section which in turn affects the output of the other two channels. So only use this amplifier for a sub and four with all four satellites being an equal 4-ohm load only. Don't get me wrong. I think the JL HD900/5 is the industry's most sophisticated amplifier as long as you abide by this one restriction. If you are going to run a sub and six coaxials then look into the JL Audio XD600/1 and XD600/6 combination pertaining to subwoofers. Under the driver's helm console is the preferred location. Surface area in a marine environment is the most leverage you've got and there's no better way to maximize your effective surface area than going bass-reflex. We've done single 10-inch systems that would literally flex the hull and disassemble the dash so you can definitely get it done with the right 10-inch sub correctly executed.

Here is where to start in determining which size is right for you. A bass-reflex 10-inch enclosure will usually consitute 2.25 cu. ft. external displacement including port volume and stock. Its usually 3 cu. ft. for a 12-inch enclosure at minimum. If you build a bass-reflex enclosure that is too small it will tune too high. You can remodel the alignment to tune it where you want it within limits but several sacrifices will result including a.) an under-damped alignment that is super loud and peaky but compromises a linear response and tonal construction, b.) a noisy port, c.) a small port volume that is overdriven by the woofer's collective surface area and excursion resulting in limited power handling, plus another couple of abberations!

So the best size of woofer is the one that is truely optimized in the enclosure that best fits your available space. Your starting point is to determine in concise measurements how much space you are willing to give up in consideration of leg/foot room and other enfringments. Once you've arrived at that volume your enclosure type and size will dictate the best woofer option. This way you're guaranteed to get the best available performance. Its an objective method that beats forcing the enclosure to fit the woofer (putting the cart before the horse so to speak).

Earmark Marine

05-10-2010, 12:58 AM
Thanks so much for the input on the jl hd900/5. I really thought I had found the amp I needed, but I guess I'll keep looking. I would have just made a really expensive mistake if it weren't for advice like this.

While I am definitely on a budget with this project, I'm not planning on doing it twice. So I will ensure that I use an enclosure that is designed both for the marine environment and for the sub that goes in it.

This is good stuff guys, keep it coming before I do something stupid!

05-10-2010, 01:19 AM
I'm running a JL M6600 6 channel amp to 6 Polk cabin speakers and the Kicker ZX700.5 to run 4 tower speakers and the sub. I've got a DVC 4 ohm sub so the Kicker is delivering 420W rms @ 2 ohms to the sub. Sounds great.