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Given a JL HD900/5 amp, and a love of BASS, what sub/enclosure combo should I go for?

  • JL 10w7 in a Bassforms 10" fiberglass enclosure, compensate for .98 cu ft with 1.3 lbs of Polyfill

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • JL 12w6v2 in a custom-made, fitted fiberglass enclosure made to proper size

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • JL 13w6v2 in a custom-made, fitted fiberglass enclosure made to proper size

    Votes: 5 50.0%
  • JL subwoofer are terrible - get a custome enclosure made, but put another brand in there!

    Votes: 3 30.0%

Basshead seeking Subwoofer/Enclouse Advice

2807 Views 14 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  bbotelhoHI
Hi All. New to the community, but have been reading as much as I can here. Thanks to all the contributors.

Now, I am planning out a system for my 02 Camry. While I've settled on the speakers and amp - Going with the HAT Imagines I61-2s all around, powered by a JL HD900/5. Crossover centered around 80Hz, 85 tops. This gives me 500 watts RMS to power the sub and should be plenty loud. SPL is a far and distant consideration, (900 watts should be easily more then my preferred listening level). Sound Quality is paramount, especially with respect to the low-low-end response. I am a basshead, pure and simple. I listen to a lot of dubstep, trance/techno, hip-hop, metal. So while I may be skimping on my speakers a bit* - due to not planning on keeping the car for too long - the subwoofer/enclosure needs to hit those lows.

With that in mind, I could use some advice as far as the subwoofer & enclosure go. A caveat. Space is a constraint (I snowboard and the opening into the cabin must stay open) - so my plan was to make or buy a custom-fitted sealed fiberglass box to go in the left side pocket of the trunk.

I have heard many good things about JL subs. Considering the power I have available, I was looking at either the 12w6v2 or the 10w7 (I'm aware both have higher rated RMS, but JL graphs point to the optimum power for both at about 500W).
As far as the enclosure goes, two options here. Make my own or have a local shop make me one, or buy a pre-fabbed one from** (only read good things about them). While I would love to go the Bassforms route, the issue there is the 10" and the .98 cu ft volume constraints. Considering my need to hit the lows, a) 10" won't go as low, b) the 10w6v2 is too wimpy and c) box is too small for the 10w7. Concerning problem c, my current thought was - stuff the box with Polyfill, at about 1.4-1.5 lbs/cu ft.
The seemingly better option is to make or have someone make me a custom box that is larger volume with an opening to acomodate the 12w6v2, as I've read these will a) offer better sound quality over the w7, although not SPL, b) will hit lower frequencies more clearly***, and c) don't need as much juice.
The two options should be relatively close to each other in terms of overall price, give or take $100 or so. Added side benefit to getting/making my own enclosure (2nd option) is that I can specify the front to be made of MDF, which would allow me to mount the amp to it (this is a big plus for me!). And since the Imagines are responsive down to 50Hz, I could even consider sizing up to the 13w6v2. To be honest, the only reason I'm considering the 10w7 in the Bassform is that its all prefabbed and would make the install easier.

SO, dear DIYers, considering I'm a major basshead, I love my love of the bass and sub-bass frequencies, which of the above options would you recommend I persue? Any advice, thought and feedback would be greatly appreciated. Note that I am not married to using JL subs either - just heard they are awesome for SQ. But, if there is another company that doesn't have quite as much of a "brand-sticker price premium" attached to it, I would love to hear it.

Note also that while I understand 2x woofers would give me even better SQ properly enclosed and installed, the money & space constraint precludes this option.

Thanks so much!

* I am also doing some sound deadening to improve the quality of the speakers. SecondSkinAudio products in the front doors (Damplifer + Closed Cell Foam + MLV layers outer skin, Damplifier inner skin, 2x layers around speaker locations, sealing the gaping hole in the inner skin, plus that dandy rear-wave diffuser behind the mid-ranges), rear deck (Damp + CCF and/or MLV, depending on the space tolerence), and trunk (Damplifier Pro all around + thicker CCF + MLV)

** Can't link on the forums yet. Specs on the Bassform enclosure are: 10" opening, 8" mounting depth, sealed, all fiberglass, .98 cu feet volume.

*** I realize that all generalizations on web forums are bad to go by, so for the sake of argument, assume both subs are housed in well designed and well built enclosures.

**** Posting from work, so have to use this disclaimer:
"The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the official opinion of my employer or the organization through which the Internet was accessed."
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DIYMA - SPL Forum -

Turn the bass down, maybe reading skills would return...:laugh:
"An open discussion forum for members to discuss all things related to car audio. Noobs should start here first!"

That seemed to apply to me directly :p

"The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the official opinion of my employer or the organization through which the Internet was accessed."
PWK Designs

Might be worth $50 to contact Pete.

How long are you keeping your car for? I ask because it seems like you're putting a lot of money into sound deadener. :)

Here's a 12" sub you might be interested in...
Nice Link fish, will have to check it out more when i have the time. That said tho, probably for pure entertainment at this point, as his designs seem to be geared towards perfection, and while I would love said perfection, the $$$ associated with it is untenable.

That said, when/if I DO get a new bat-mobile that I plan to drive for a while (or at least sell with low enough miles that the premium audio is a selling point, not a detractor), I will definitely give this guy a call, as it would absolutely be worth it.

The Camry I see lasting about 3-5 years (90K miles, now, 15K/yr, ditch her around 150-160K). So with that in mind, sure, spending a bit on the deadner at the moment, but its worth it for me for the several years of music. Let's put it this way though, if I had any plans on the car lasting any longer then 5 years, I would go the overkill route - deaden it 100% of all steel, roof, floor, panels, wheel-wells and firewall... probably not all in one go, but ultimately. I figure about $250 for sound deadening is a happy point before I really get into the deminished end of the return curve...

"The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the official opinion of my employer or the organization through which the Internet was accessed."
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JL is overpriced equipment IMO. Pretty good quality, but overpriced. There are more SQ guys on this forum, is for the bassheads.
Oh, I thought you were talking like 6 months or something. :)

What's so expensive about it besides $50? He sends you a design based on your vehicle, space, & music tastes. Then you or someone else builds the box.
The Shiva does look really nice, but it seems the HD900 would be underpowered for it, considering it seems to want 650+... On the other hand, I did hear the JL amps can put out more then they are rated for...
Out of the JL subs, the 13W6 is going to provide the best performance at that power level.
OK, so have done a LOT of reading since last night (oh 5-6 hours...) on various 12" sub options. First an update on the enclosure, I very luckily found someone selling a custom-fit enclosure for the 02-06 Camry, 11" mounting diameter, 12.75" flush mount overall diameter, 1.5 cubic feet, so very very set on that one, considering the price he's willing to sell it for.

So then, going about the actual woofer to put in it. Looking at the following list now:

Exodus Shiva X2
Imagine Dynamics IDQv3 12"
Memphis C312D4
FiQ12 (2ohm coils)
JL 12w6v2 is also still on the list - mainly because I can get one from classified here or at caraudioclassifieds for same general price bracket as the above options ($200-$300).

So whachu guys think. In terms of level response way down into sub 35Hz and even sub 30Hz frequencies (going to actually cross over at 65Hz, 24db/octave) and musicality. Again, SPL least of my considerations.

"The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the official opinion of my employer or

the organization through which the Internet was accessed."
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Exodus Shiva X2 - Nice choice if it was available, but would excel w/ more power.

Imagine Dynamics IDQv3 12" - Sadly, I can no longer recommend or support ID on principle, I don't care how good the subs sound.

Memphis C312D4 - meh. Not bad, not great.

FiQ12 (2ohm coils) - Pretty good choice. I would rather have a new one of those than a used JL.

JL 12w6v2 - Actually a very good performer in sealed enclosures. Worth the $$$ for a new one in my opinion.
Hmm, another one to the list for comparison - Massive Audio QC or DC 12"?
1.5 cf is a nice sized box for a 12". Maybe a little bigger than what most manufacturers recommend, but you'll gain efficiency where you lack in power. Although I think 500 watts will be fine.

Hers's another one...

Creative Sound - Product Details
Here is my scoop.

JL 12w6v2 powerd with 800 RMS 1.5 cube and after displacement became 1.38. Was nice but missed low end and output.

2 12w6v2's power EACH with about 180 RMS in a 1.7 cube box EACH provided the low end i was lacking and gave me the output I was looking fore. My box is sealed by the way and I LOVE DUBSTEP!!! Trust me, you need around 1.7 cube box for the low end to shine for these. The lowest I would ever consider after what I figured out would be 1.5 after displacement and add pollyfill.

About the X over. Try to keep the sub as low as possible and make the speakers play the lows. X the sub at 60 and the speakers at 60 if possible.
ive played with a few DC subs and have yet to be disappointed... solid choice for your application IMO.
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