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Old 03-11-2015   #1
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Default Highest Efficiency Subs, ie, high SPL, low watts....

Hi all,

I'm looking for contenders for my next system for the subwoofer. In order to get the lowest possible frequencies and highest possible efficiency, a 15" sub is likely going to be necessary in that build.

I want to the sub to run on no more than 350 watts and still deliver a decent car shaking experience. I will be getting an all-electric car, so the system will need to be a high-efficiency system that runs on the least amount of current while still delivering powerful SPL output and the best possible sound quality.

The best example of what I want, which I could find online while searching was the old-school JBL GTI-1500. It's efficiency, frequency response and enclosure size all seem to be optimal, only problem is that this is a very old subwoofer and difficult to find.

I would like help getting a list of similar contenders from others please.
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Old 03-11-2015   #2
 
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Default Re: Highest Efficiency Subs, ie, high SPL, low watts....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alias essSQuee View Post
Hi all,

I'm looking for contenders for my next system for the subwoofer. In order to get the lowest possible frequencies and highest possible efficiency, a 15" sub is likely going to be necessary in that build.

I want to the sub to run on no more than 350 watts and still deliver a decent car shaking experience. I will be getting an all-electric car, so the system will need to be a high-efficiency system that runs on the least amount of current while still delivering powerful SPL output and the best possible sound quality.

The best example of what I want, which I could find online while searching was the old-school JBL GTI-1500. It's efficiency, frequency response and enclosure size all seem to be optimal, only problem is that this is a very old subwoofer and difficult to find.

I would like help getting a list of similar contenders from others please.
How will the sub be mounted?
Sealed? Vented? Infinite Baffle?
IB would probably be the most efficient from a power standpoint.
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Default Re: Highest Efficiency Subs, ie, high SPL, low watts....

Pro audio 18" IB would do the job.
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Default Re: Highest Efficiency Subs, ie, high SPL, low watts....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion525iT View Post
Pro audio 18" IB would do the job.
I second IB... And you should seriously talk to Mikey about PA...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRTHJTA View Post
You should check out Mike's build...


Mikes Pro Audio Passat 2-0t

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Default Re: Highest Efficiency Subs, ie, high SPL, low watts....

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Originally Posted by Orion525iT View Post
Pro audio 18" IB would do the job.
Do you have an actual manufacturer and model to recommend?
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Old 03-11-2015   #6
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Default Re: Highest Efficiency Subs, ie, high SPL, low watts....

The enclosure will have a lot to do with the efficiency of the sub, so IB should be a very serious consideration. Stay away from sealed, unless you can make a very big box. The Acoustic Elegance 15's that I'm using get very loud with only 250 each.
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Default Re: Highest Efficiency Subs, ie, high SPL, low watts....

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRTHJTA View Post
I second IB... And you should seriously talk to Mikey about PA...
Infinite Baffle is doable I think, and I have some design ideas to conceal the back of the sub in the trunk, while still allowing full air flow. Acoustically transparent fabric over a wood frame with metal wire stapled to the wood. That will create an acoustically transparent wall inside the trunk but cover the subwoofer.

I am also considering using the spare tire well and glassing in an enclosure. 2.5 cubic feet seems to be doable if I ever found a JBL GTO-1500 sub in mint condition.

So, nobody has an actual "modern" subwoofer model that performs like that old JBL sub?
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Old 03-11-2015   #8
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Default Re: Highest Efficiency Subs, ie, high SPL, low watts....

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Originally Posted by Alias essSQuee View Post
Infinite Baffle is doable I think, and I have some design ideas to conceal the back of the sub in the trunk, while still allowing full air flow. Acoustically transparent fabric over a wood frame with metal wire stapled to the wood. That will create an acoustically transparent wall inside the trunk but cover the subwoofer.

I am also considering using the spare tire well and glassing in an enclosure. 2.5 cubic feet seems to be doable if I ever found a JBL GTO-1500 sub in mint condition.

So, nobody has an actual "modern" subwoofer model that performs like that old JBL sub?
I'm sure there are plenty, but you're asking us to either:

1. Know the details of every subwoofer ever made.
2. Look up the specs for you.

Post the specs for what you're looking at and that would help people recommend something. What is your budget? The AE subwoofers I recommended are going to be some of the best IB subwoofers you can get. They are high efficiency, low distortion drivers with great build quality and a solid motor that will take more power than you'll likely need IB.
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Old 03-11-2015   #9
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Default Re: Highest Efficiency Subs, ie, high SPL, low watts....

Quote:
Originally Posted by gijoe View Post
I'm sure there are plenty, but you're asking us to either:

1. Know the details of every subwoofer ever made.
2. Look up the specs for you.

Post the specs for what you're looking at and that would help people recommend something. What is your budget? The AE subwoofers I recommended are going to be some of the best IB subwoofers you can get. They are high efficiency, low distortion drivers with great build quality and a solid motor that will take more power than you'll likely need IB.
Sorry for prying a bit. I was just hoping people would already happen to know of some models and reply with some that they have heard or read about. No pressure. Just trying to get a new perspective. I have been doing a little research myself for the last day, so I've been looking. My previous experience is more with standard gear and big amplifiers, not very much experience with small amplifiers, big/high-efficiency speakers. But I'm willing to keep at the research. Was just hoping someone would have some wisdom on models and an opinion.
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Old 03-11-2015   #10
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Default Re: Highest Efficiency Subs, ie, high SPL, low watts....

Quote:
Originally Posted by gijoe View Post
I'm sure there are plenty, but you're asking us to either:

1. Know the details of every subwoofer ever made.
2. Look up the specs for you.

Post the specs for what you're looking at and that would help people recommend something. What is your budget? The AE subwoofers I recommended are going to be some of the best IB subwoofers you can get. They are high efficiency, low distortion drivers with great build quality and a solid motor that will take more power than you'll likely need IB.
Hmm. Their SPL is 90db. Not exactly efficient, but for an IB, that isn't uncommon as drivers typically have a drop in efficiency with IB setup and expectation of low frequency response.

That old school JBL GTI-1500 is a 95db efficient, 20Hz capable old school sub designed for a 2.5 cuft enclosure.

http://images.forum-auto.com/mesimag...0/P1000564.jpg
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Default Re: Highest Efficiency Subs, ie, high SPL, low watts....

For a subwoofer, 90dB if pretty damn good. I'm not doubting the efficiency of the JBL, but either way you'll need a large box. I would seriously consider using a large woofer in an IB configuration, tied to a class D amp. You only get to pick 2, efficiency, small enclosure, or low bass. Which 2 are most important? It sounds like efficiency and low bass are what you want, so you will need a large enclosure. IB is perfect and you'll find many subs that will do very well IB. The Pyle woofers are a very common solution that apparently do very well, considering they are cheap. Take a look through the IB threads and you'll get a lot of good recommendations.
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Old 03-11-2015   #12
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Default Re: Highest Efficiency Subs, ie, high SPL, low watts....

What electric car? Are you certain it has a spare wheel cavity?



curious, as I am about to transition to an electric.... that doesn't have a spare tire/wheel.

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Old 03-11-2015   #13
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Default Re: Highest Efficiency Subs, ie, high SPL, low watts....

also... if you happen to find a 1500gti in spec:


JBL 1500GTi Specifications (Page 2 of 3)

for availability, I would consider otherwise. E1200, 15wgti, Ultimo12..... just because.

There are LOTS of other options as well!

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Old 03-11-2015   #14
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Default Re: Highest Efficiency Subs, ie, high SPL, low watts....

Quote:
Originally Posted by danno14 View Post
also... if you happen to find a 1500gti in spec:


JBL 1500GTi Specifications (Page 2 of 3)

for availability, I would consider otherwise. E1200, 15wgti, Ultimo12..... just because.

There are LOTS of other options as well!
Okay, I'll look at those recommendations and research. If there are lots of other options, please list them. The more the merrier. I have a long time to plan this one out. I could look through hundreds of different product recommendations with no problem. I'm in no hurry.
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Default Re: Highest Efficiency Subs, ie, high SPL, low watts....

I will echo what was said earlier and add to it:

Without knowing more about your install parameters, noone will really be able to do anything other than give "advice" based on non-information

Can/will you go IB? > much easier to align with specific suggestions.
If not, then you truly need to determine the enclosure size and other constraints... else we are all simply spinning our wheels to generate some mildly entertaining reading for you.

The 3 I posted are what I will stick to for advice, for now

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Default Re: Highest Efficiency Subs, ie, high SPL, low watts....

Check into the wgti, JL w7, Image Dynamics, AE SBP, and Pyle to start with. The Pyle is cheap, but apparently it does well in IB. The w7 and wgti might need more power than you have, but they will take every bit of it without issues. The AE has incredibly low distortion, which some people don't like. Low distortion causes a subwoofer to sound quiet. Most people (although they don't realize it) prefer a subwoofer with a decent amount of distortion.
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Default Re: Highest Efficiency Subs, ie, high SPL, low watts....

Quote:
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What electric car? Are you certain it has a spare wheel cavity?



curious, as I am about to transition to an electric.... that doesn't have a spare tire/wheel.
Well, I don't have a "specific" model in mind. And while looking around, it seems that trunk space is limited in most electric models. Looks like I'm going to need to do more research. This plan is for 2 years down the road though. So, I'm confident there will be more trunk space available in future electrics. We'll see.
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Default Re: Highest Efficiency Subs, ie, high SPL, low watts....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alias essSQuee View Post
Hmm. Their SPL is 90db. Not exactly efficient, but for an IB, that isn't uncommon as drivers typically have a drop in efficiency with IB setup and expectation of low frequency response.

That old school JBL GTI-1500 is a 95db efficient, 20Hz capable old school sub designed for a 2.5 cuft enclosure.

http://images.forum-auto.com/mesimag...0/P1000564.jpg
IB has every important acoustic advantage over sealed. Wider frequency response, less power to reach limits, every bit as loud.
Some folks will say IB has reduced "Power Handling". It sure does, it takes less power to make it move and doesn't have the "air spring" holding it back.
Yes, you will have to provide excursion protection with the crossover and gain settings.

I find it difficult to believe any 15" subwoofer would be able to dig down to 20Hz in a 2.5 cuft enclosure.
Most of the Pro Audio woofer, the ones with great efficiency ratings, usually have a high Fs and want large vented enclosures. Xmax is usually not very large either.
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Old 03-11-2015   #19
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Default Re: Highest Efficiency Subs, ie, high SPL, low watts....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alias essSQuee View Post
Well, I don't have a "specific" model in mind. And while looking around, it seems that trunk space is limited in most electric models. Looks like I'm going to need to do more research. This plan is for 2 years down the road though. So, I'm confident there will be more trunk space available in future electrics. We'll see.
Lol! There's a lot to be said about planning in advance. The good thing is that two years will give you plenty of time to research subs

If you research iindustry trends (vehicle manufacture) you will discover that more and more are going toward not having a spare.... to save both cost and weight (CAFE standards like less weight). This creates less space for those of us who would otherwise utilize the spare tire wheel well.

I would also suggest that you take a hard look at the electrics that are out there now...it's pretty close to what you will find available two years from now, unless you venture into the (as yet unseen) Audi/MB territory.

Good luck!

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Old 03-11-2015   #20
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Default Re: Highest Efficiency Subs, ie, high SPL, low watts....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alias essSQuee View Post
Hi all,

I'm looking for contenders for my next system for the subwoofer. In order to get the lowest possible frequencies and highest possible efficiency, a 15" sub is likely going to be necessary in that build.

I want to the sub to run on no more than 350 watts and still deliver a decent car shaking experience. I will be getting an all-electric car, so the system will need to be a high-efficiency system that runs on the least amount of current while still delivering powerful SPL output and the best possible sound quality.

The best example of what I want, which I could find online while searching was the old-school JBL GTI-1500. It's efficiency, frequency response and enclosure size all seem to be optimal, only problem is that this is a very old subwoofer and difficult to find.

I would like help getting a list of similar contenders from others please.
The GTI-1500 was not really any more efficient than any other sub from that time frame. those sensitivity specs were taken at 1k so for sub duties... Not so relevant.

If you have a trunk, like mentioned, a simple baffle and run IB.

Is weight an issue? Is space an issue?

I ask because with a properly designed bandpass, you could actually get better system efficiency with a smaller sub in the specific subwoofer pass band.

OR,

a ported/passive radiator design. Anything will be better than sealed/IB as far as output per watt.

It is very easy to conflate cause and effect that are unrelated in audio design. In fact, the entire audiophile industry is based upon this ease of fallacy.

"Heck yeah you can spend more to get the same sound."
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Old 03-11-2015   #21
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Default Re: Highest Efficiency Subs, ie, high SPL, low watts....

Denno prompted me to think of another parameter needed: What sort of music do you want to listen to? Max volume death metal? Enya?
Different need= potentially different path

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Old 03-11-2015   #22
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Default Re: Highest Efficiency Subs, ie, high SPL, low watts....

Quote:
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The GTI-1500 was not really any more efficient than any other sub from that time frame. those sensitivity specs were taken at 1k so for sub duties... Not so relevant.

If you have a trunk, like mentioned, a simple baffle and run IB.

Is weight an issue? Is space an issue?

I ask because with a properly designed bandpass, you could actually get better system efficiency with a smaller sub in the specific subwoofer pass band.

OR,

a ported/passive radiator design. Anything will be better than sealed/IB as far as output per watt.
Hmm. Looks like "space" may also become an issue in this. We have an engineering challenge ahead with my build gentlemen. I must prepare multiple designs just in case.

Don't bandpass designs have problems under 40Hz though?
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Old 03-11-2015   #23
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Default Re: Highest Efficiency Subs, ie, high SPL, low watts....

I personally don't believe that musical style should be an indication of subwoofer selection. With a properly tuned and balanced system, and a capable woofer, all music types will sound good. A woofer that can accurately produce 20-100hz will sound good with any music. If you have certain preferences then the EQ can easily be adjusted to provide the type of bass that you're looking for. I may be in the minority, but there isn't any reason to chose a subwoofer based on a genre of music.
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Old 03-11-2015   #24
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Default Re: Highest Efficiency Subs, ie, high SPL, low watts....

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Originally Posted by gijoe View Post
I personally don't believe that musical style should be an indication of subwoofer selection. With a properly tuned and balanced system, and a capable woofer, all music types will sound good. A woofer that can accurately produce 20-100hz will sound good with any music. If you have certain preferences then the EQ can easily be adjusted to provide the type of bass that you're looking for. I may be in the minority, but there isn't any reason to chose a subwoofer based on a genre of music.
I think you are correct. As long as you have enough SPL and a full frequency range, then you can correctly reproduce any music style because at that point it's about how you tune the system.
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Old 03-11-2015   #25
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Default Re: Highest Efficiency Subs, ie, high SPL, low watts....

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Originally Posted by gijoe View Post
I personally don't believe that musical style should be an indication of subwoofer selection. With a properly tuned and balanced system, and a capable woofer, all music types will sound good. A woofer that can accurately produce 20-100hz will sound good with any music. If you have certain preferences then the EQ can easily be adjusted to provide the type of bass that you're looking for. I may be in the minority, but there isn't any reason to chose a subwoofer based on a genre of music.
I've always looked at it the same way. 30hz is 30hz, 40hz is 40hz etc. etc. no matter what type of music it is. Anything after that is just a preference to how much you like each frequency to be set at, which is something that's changed at the EQ.
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