Well i've had this sub for a while but not in a spec sized box or a camera worth shooting it with. I bought this sub because when i first started getting into SQ audio 4 r 5 months ago, i somehow thought this sub was recommended on this site. After searching now, i really cant find anyone on this site or anywhere else that actually uses one of these. Not people that didnt like it, but used it in general. All i can find is one review giving it stellar ratings from caraduiomag. Anyways, these are often available new on Ebay for around $200 which is what i paid for it. Here's my basic review and i would love any questions or requests for further testing.
Basic Impressions on physical appearance
This is a beautiful sub. Gorgeous. It kind of worried me because i was hoping the metal cast around the back of this sub was not hiding anything they didn't want me to see on the inside. The paint is a deep gloss black with a delicate flake, it looks powder coated and durable. No visible damage. The jumper-plug thing looks pretty cool. It's a pull out plug you can flip to adjust the resistance settings of the amp since its DVC. The two built in fuses give me some hope it will last a long time, but im honestly not sure about that as i don't have enough subwoofer knowledge to understand why you need fuses on a sub. I assume its to snap if the + and - cross so your amp doesnt blow that way. The surround is massive, especially for a 12" sub. It compares to my 15" brahma in girth! It came with a "smart trim ring" which was very confusing and odd because it really doesnt protect the sub but instead makes your install look cleaner...thats good i guess? The huge logo on the cone isn't my favorite thing ive ever seen, but hey, if JVC makes a killer product why shouldn't they want the world to know it?
Testing in a 2.2 cu.ft. sealed box
Im powering the sub with a JL 1000.1 amp, running at 4Ω. The jumper was nearly impossible to remove. What the heck, it's supposed to make installs easier i though...i had to use pliers and rip that beast out, now its a little chewed up. I installed it inversely because it was meant to be installed either way and for my install the inverse works better since im using a shallow box. The screws it comes with have a tall head that the smart ring pushes into, it's actually pretty nifty and makes an install look very clean. My box was just for testing so its UGLY UGLY UGLY using scrap MDF, but it's sealed well and works for this testing. The sub is not fully broken in yet, maybe 20hrs at low volume max in the prior 1.cu.ft box i had. Anywyas, onto the sound
I've fallen in love with an artist named, "Yelle" who is french 8-bit inspired electronica pop....i highly recommend her if you have a broad musical taste and appreciate experimental pop. Her tracks are rather spaced and have large gaps of frequencies since its pretty much solid simplified electronica with a hot chick singing vocals. I like this for some testing because it's easy to hear seperation and not a mush of sounds. There are some LOW tones in this music too, my brahma would shake the car apart on track 3, so i tested that one.
The next song i chose was one im VERY VERY familiar with as it's my favorite song; Thank You by Led Zeppelin in the live BBC recording. This is NOT a perfect recording and is live, so it has some grit and errors here and there. This is exactly why i test with it! IMO, you can tell a lot about a sub by how accurately it portrays a POOR recording when compared with good recordings. This is not in anyways a poor recording, but its nothing compared to some of the greats. John Paul Jones lays good thick bass and an organ has some low hits that would stand interesting. Also, John Bonhams enormous kick and low toms would have to be tested since they are such an icon.
Personally, i love the recordings of Dave Matthews. They seem clean and crisp, also im very familiar with them. "Ants go Marching" is a great bass track, it's got huge range of bass guitar playing and some slides that are beautiful and alone.
These are the only 3 tracks i really have tested with time so far.
This sub has an oddly soft sound to it, in a great way. I'd call my Brahma 15 MKI's sound...being hit with thick butter on a concrete wall. great sound and tone that is thick, accurate, and filling. My two Earthquake 12"s i would call...Having large stones thrown at you in a biblical sense. They were loud, but very harsh and un-distinguishible, very similiar to a kicker sound. I would call this JVC a pillow fight with Hulk hogan. It hits hard but doesn't have the same impact and pressure sense of the brahma or other SPL featured subs ive heard.
Sub is set at 100hz Xover @ 24db
The Yelle track showed a "weakness", the low tones in the track were not nearly as audible or loud as the tones in its more suitable frequencies. I'm also running no bass boost though, to have accurate testing. The bass was very tight and accurate and did not seem to drop out suddenly when the bass sounds got higher in tone. The lower tones did seem to be lacking which bothered me...it could be the initial flaw of a 12" speaker though.
Thank you was an interesting sound. It sounded a little flustered, when the drum fills and bass were coming in but i really think its a good thing. My studio monitors always seem to get a "confused" sound at these parts in the track. The bass guitar really did sing throughout most of the track and Bonham's kick sounded VERY VERY acoustic, it sounded like a kick, not like a kick through a sub.
Dave proved to be the perfect audio for the JVC. The bass guitar here was a gorgeous thing. The slides and lead-style-trills were gorgeous and everything was immaculate in separation. I really don't know what to say besides it sounded exactly like it should! At high volumes it didn't turn shrill or harsh but instead just sounded like a bass amp in your face...perfect.
The only real probelm i've encountered is that it seems to start and give off "that electronic smell" before i push what i assume is 1000w through it. In my mind, im getting around 600w when it gives off that smell. This was in both boxes too.
IMO, this is a SQ sub. One of these in a ride is NOT going to be the sub you buy to bump rap tones and get the neighborhood attention, it's just not meant for that. Ive heard that you can cross these very high, even sounding correct at 300-400hz, i haven't tried yet but will soon. After playing around with it for a bit, im liking a 100hz Xover with a slow cutoff. It blends very well.
If anyone wants me to test things with it i'd love to! This is a great sub for $200-300!