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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The thirst for more bass has me tangled up right now. I wanted something simple to add bass to a lacking system. The car is a Mercedes CLS with the Harmon Kardon Logic 7 system. IMO, the mids and highs are very good but the bass was always terrible and severely lacking. I started with a JL Powerwedge+ (ACS110LG-TW1) because I didn't want to lose a lot of trunk space. 400w RMS was decent at lower volumes but to me, once the volume was turned up maybe half way, the mids and highs completely overtook the bass (if that makes sense).

I had a 10 year old Alpine Type R (SWR-1023D) in a 1.0 ft3 sealed box that has been on the shelf for 6 years. Bought a Alpine S-A60M amp and installed it the other day. 600w RMS definitely has more bass then the JL Powerwedge and I think it sounds better but once again, when the volume gets turned up the mids and highs take over and I feel Im lacking bass.

As it stands, I want more bass when the volume gets turned up. I'm willing to lose the back portion of the trunk to get that bass. Looking at the picture of the Type R in a 1.0 ft3 box, I think 2.0 ft3 is largest box I would want to go with if I need to.

Looking for recommendations. Considering I already have a Type R and a S-A60M amp, If I went with a second Type R and a second S-A60M amp, will I get that heavy bass in the higher volumes that I'm after?

I thought about spending a little money but If I don't need to in order to get that extra bass then I wont. I started to consider a Alpine X-W12D4 with a Alpine X-A90M but the price tag is maybe too hefty if I can get the bass I want with a second Type R.

Im not really well versed in car audio but I keep seeing Skar products pop up and it seems like they can handle a good amount of power without breaking the bank.
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I think your problem is you have relatively small subs trying to push bass out of a trunk. You're going to need more cone area or a sub that you can throw a lot of power at to get higher levels of bass into the cabin.

My brother has 3 sundown 10's in his trunk, pushing 147dB at the dash with the seat up, so it's possible.

If you get a second sub you'll need another, or different amp. Your sub is dual 4 ohm, so it's probably running 2 ohms to the amp, which is all it's stable to. Adding a second sub could get wired to 1 or 4 ohms, you amp can't handle 1 and would be pushing half the power at 4 ohms, which defeats the purpose of a second sub.

If you happen to know people that have sub boxes in their trunk that you think are loud enough, you can do what we used to, get a long wire and put the box in your trunk and see if you're happy with the amount of bass you get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think your problem is you have relatively small subs trying to push bass out of a trunk. You're going to need more cone area or a sub that you can throw a lot of power at to get higher levels of bass into the cabin.

My brother has 3 sundown 10's in his trunk, pushing 147dB at the dash with the seat up, so it's possible.

If you get a second sub you'll need another, or different amp. Your sub is dual 4 ohm, so it's probably running 2 ohms to the amp, which is all it's stable to. Adding a second sub could get wired to 1 or 4 ohms, you amp can't handle 1 and would be pushing half the power at 4 ohms, which defeats the purpose of a second sub.

If you happen to know people that have sub boxes in their trunk that you think are loud enough, you can do what we used to, get a long wire and put the box in your trunk and see if you're happy with the amount of bass you get.
I have the rear seat unlatched and opened about 1 inch which is allowing much more bass into the cabin vs closed. I'm getting everything this sub and amp have to offer in the cabin.

Yes the sub is wired for 2 omhs and I agree that a second sub utilizing the same amp is not worth it and wont work. I was suggesting adding the same type of second sub (assuming I can find a used one) and adding a second amp but I dont know if that will give me the results I want compared to ditching the Type R and Alpine amp totally and starting over.

That's a good suggestion for trying out somebodys sub box but not in my circle of friends unfortunately.
 

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Adding the same sub and same amp will get you about 3dB louder (twice as loud) which is probably less than the difference of seat closed or open.

You can always try a larger or ported box which will help with the output.

You don't really need to go high-end if you're adding bass to a factory radio, particularly if it's in the trunk, how clean or mechanically quiet the sub is doesn't matter as much. You also don't want super cheap, but some middle of the road stuff is fine, like Skar or Sundown offer. There are a lot of brands to choose from. Just pick a budget, decide if you are keeping or selling what you have and see what you can get for the money, and what the wiring you have now can handle.

If you happen to be in the Atlanta area, my brother will throw his subs in your trunk and you can hear them. :)
 

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Sounds to me that you have a factory rolloff in those lower frequencies. It's very common in modern cars for them to cut volume on the low end the higher you turn the volume. Did you use a standard line out converter to feed signal to the amp? If so, I recommend getting something like the kicker keyloc that can de-eq the factory signal to prevent that rolloff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Adding the same sub and same amp will get you about 3dB louder (twice as loud) which is probably less than the difference of seat closed or open.

You can always try a larger or ported box which will help with the output.

You don't really need to go high-end if you're adding bass to a factory radio, particularly if it's in the trunk, how clean or mechanically quiet the sub is doesn't matter as much. You also don't want super cheap, but some middle of the road stuff is fine, like Skar or Sundown offer. There are a lot of brands to choose from. Just pick a budget, decide if you are keeping or selling what you have and see what you can get for the money, and what the wiring you have now can handle.

If you happen to be in the Atlanta area, my brother will throw his subs in your trunk and you can hear them. :)
I honestly don't understand the concept of twice as loud. Car audio is not my thing. To me, at face value, twice as loud appears to be a great thing but I don't think that equates to what I think it really means as far as volume is considered.

Again, car audio is not my thing. Can it be simplified in terms of more watts will give me what I want? Will a 1000w RMS sub assuming its in the correct enclosure hit that much harder then the 600w I have now? I mean, going from the JL at 400w to the Type R at 600w hits way harder

I dont mind spending the money if I get the results I want. Buy once, cry once. But I would hate to buy new equipment only to have it be sub par and not give me the results I want.

As far as the Type R is concerned, specs say;
  • sealed box volume: 0.5-1.0 cu. ft.
  • ported box volume: 0.8-1.5 cu. ft.

Oh and Im located in NY.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sounds to me that you have a factory rolloff in those lower frequencies. It's very common in modern cars for them to cut volume on the low end the higher you turn the volume. Did you use a standard line out converter to feed signal to the amp? If so, I recommend getting something like the kicker keyloc that can de-eq the factory signal to prevent that rolloff.
I did not use a LOC. There's 2 factory amps in the car. During the first install with the JL, I took the signal from the secondary stock sub amp and used the high level inputs on the JL amp. This sounded horrible because the stock sub makes the rear deck rattle or maybe the stock sub is even blown. Im not sure but it doesnt sound good.

Then I completely unplugged the stock sub amp but obviously couldn't use the high level inputs anymore. I tapped into the 2 sub wires from the primary stock amp that run the secondary stock sub amp and used RCAs for the JL amp. This sounded better to me.

Now that you mention the term factory rolloff, I have read about this in the past.
 

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i see no mention of how you interface with the stock system. you should make sure the signal going into the amplifier for the sub is a full range or a subwoofer signal that does not have either volume based attenuation or volume based high pass filter. additionally, to get maximum coherence and impact, you need to make sure that the crossover implementation and phase is complimentary to the other speakers. in a modern car like this, it is likely you will want to check the type of signal going to the sub and also some minimum DSP to interface most coherently with the oem setup.
simply adding a sub without addressing input signal, crossover and phase will produce these kinds of "mediocre" results you describe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
i see no mention of how you interface with the stock system. you should make sure the signal going into the amplifier for the sub is a full range or a subwoofer signal that does not have either volume based attenuation or volume based high pass filter. additionally, to get maximum coherence and impact, you need to make sure that the crossover implementation and phase is complimentary to the other speakers. in a modern car like this, it is likely you will want to check the type of signal going to the sub and also some minimum DSP to interface most coherently with the oem setup.
simply adding a sub without addressing input signal, crossover and phase will produce these kinds of "mediocre" results you describe.
Right about this post I laid it out. Everything you said is way above my league. Might have to leave this to the pros at a shop. But I would like to make sense of it all so I can at least understand what they and you are talking about
 

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I honestly don't understand the concept of twice as loud. Car audio is not my thing. To me, at face value, twice as loud appears to be a great thing but I don't think that equates to what I think it really means as far as volume is considered.

Again, car audio is not my thing. Can it be simplified in terms of more watts will give me what I want? Will a 1000w RMS sub assuming its in the correct enclosure hit that much harder then the 600w I have now? I mean, going from the JL at 400w to the Type R at 600w hits way harder
So 3dB is considered to appear twice as loud, which is good. When you double your speakers you gain 3dB. If you close the seats up completely as your sub is now and then open them, you're probably gaining 3 or 4 dB, so that would give you an idea of what doubling what you have now would represent. That's basically what I was getting at.

How loud a sub or enclosure is going to play is hard to compare to what you have. It all depends on the efficiency of the sub and the enclosure. You can see that when you went from the JL to the Apline. That JL box is a space saver, and just meant to add a little something to a otherwise stock system.

You know what you have now, if you find a sub you may want the enclosure can be modeled and compared to see what you can gain.
Below is an Alpine R (I don't think its the same model you have) modeled in a .5 and 1 u.ft. sealed and a .8 and 1.5 cu.ft. ported. (pretty much in that order on the graph, from lowest lines to highest) The red lines are the frequency response and the blue lines are the SPL. So you can see in the lower bass the ported curves are around 5dB louder. So just by changing the box you'll have more output than 2 in sealed enclosure. (that SPL doesn't account for "cabin gain" from putting the box in the car)
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Right about this post I laid it out. Everything you said is way above my league. Might have to leave this to the pros at a shop. But I would like to make sense of it all so I can at least understand what they and you are talking about
Basically, they are saying to make sure you have a full signal going into your amp, and that your amp crossover (where you are cutting the bass off) is set right with the rest of the system.

Most factory radios will roll the bass off to the speakers to protect them. If you tap into those lines and run them into an amp for a sub, you might not be getting all the bass you want. The Kicker Keyloc that was mentioned, takes the factory signal and flattens it out to give you a clean output for your aftermarket amp. There is a good chance that if you connected to the factory sub/amp you will have at least a more full bass range signal, although that could be rolled off as well, just lower than the doors would be.
 

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What @vactor is saying is a lot of modern stock head units use various methods of manipulation to protect the speakers.
Diverting specific frequencies to certain speakers, and cutting the frequencies or "turning down" power to factory subs, as the volume goes up.
What the Kicker KeyLoc does is "cleans" those changes out to give you a full strength signal to your aftermarket amp.
 

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3dbs is not considered twice as loud. 3dbs takes twice the power or an adding of a speaker to achieve said gains. IIRC 10dbs is considered twice as loud.
 

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Maybe you should consider doing an infinite baffle setup, that should give you everything you need as long as you are currently getting the proper signals to your amps.
I can see how a single sm sub locked in the trunk would not give you what you are looking for.

I just reread your original post. It sounds like the gains aren't quite setup right. this could be why the subs are okay to a point then fall short at higher volumes. I could be mistaken though if your subs have hit their limits but I wouldn't think so. I've pushed a 600w amp to a JL10TW3 and it did well, but also ended up wanting more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I certainly appreciate the breakdown from everyone it now makes sense to me.

On the one hour drive home I played several of the same songs over and over leaving the bass knob set to max but constantly changing the volume. Now that I understand what you guys were saying, I can easily detect the change in the bass notes as the volume gets higher. The lower bass notes basically flatten out and get less boomy. Its like amp gain gets cut and theres less bass. The change is rather pronounced at a certain volume so its clear to me that the factory system is manipulating the signal.

As you guys suggested, the kicker keyloc seems to be the way to go.

Is the keyloc the same as the l2ci? I had the l2ci years ago on another car.

I guess starting with the keyloc is the first step. Afterwards maybe change to a ported box for a few more db like @Sounds_Insane mentioned. If Im still not happy its time for a second sub or start from scratch
 

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Some systems will "roll off" the bass with a filter or crossover, no matter the volume level, others will roll the bass off as the volume increases, which sounds like what the factory radio is setup to do.

The KeyLoc will compensate for that, in a way. It will flatten out the bass at the level you set it up at, but I do not believe it's dynamic, so then as you lower the volume back down, you will essentially be increasing the lower bass. You may have to look and see if there is another way to get a signal from the factory sub, or tie into the front or rear speakers and see what is happening to the bass there.

This will take some experimenting or equipment to test it. You can take it to a shop but they could just do whatever it takes to get the sale and you out the door, unless you can fine a reputable place.

All this doesn't really matter how "perfect" it is though. If you add another sub or new stuff all together and you're happy with it, that's all that's important. I don't believe you're trying to enter a competition, you just want it to sound better than it did.
 

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You better get a compatible MOST integration device to integrate your subs.
Defeats any roll-off and gives you a clean, unaltered signal.
Which one to get depends on the system that is actually installed (MOST25 or MOST150).
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Some systems will "roll off" the bass with a filter or crossover, no matter the volume level, others will roll the bass off as the volume increases, which sounds like what the factory radio is setup to do.

The KeyLoc will compensate for that, in a way. It will flatten out the bass at the level you set it up at, but I do not believe it's dynamic, so then as you lower the volume back down, you will essentially be increasing the lower bass. You may have to look and see if there is another way to get a signal from the factory sub, or tie into the front or rear speakers and see what is happening to the bass there.

This will take some experimenting or equipment to test it. You can take it to a shop but they could just do whatever it takes to get the sale and you out the door, unless you can fine a reputable place.

All this doesn't really matter how "perfect" it is though. If you add another sub or new stuff all together and you're happy with it, that's all that's important. I don't believe you're trying to enter a competition, you just want it to sound better than it did.
Let me write the in the simplest terms that makes sense to a layman like myself :LOL:

The oem factory system is likely cutting off the signal in the lower frequencies when the volume gets turned up to prevent damage/distortion/whatever to the stock speakers. I base this on the fact that I can hear the change in the bass tones when the volume increases and the aftermarket sub is not hitting those lower frequencies any more and loses most of its heavy bass. Is this somewhat correct?

The kicker keyloc takes that stock signal that is being altered and adjusts it so its the signal is now providing the aftermarket amp with a full range unaltered signal. If so, it should be able to bring back those missing lower frequencies that are dropping out when the volume increases. Is that correct?

After reading the oem wiring schematic, I can get a bass signal from 3 locations
1. Low level signal from the main harness from factory amp for the stock sub that goes to the stock sub amp. This is what I am using now.
2. Low level signal from the main harness from factory amp for the front door bass component. Front doors are 3 way
3. Hi level signal from the stock sub amp going to the stock sub. This is what I tried first but I needed to keep the harness connected which was still allowing the stock sub to be used and it sounds terrible.

If what I wrote is exactly what the keyloc does then it sounds like the solution to my missing bass when the volume increases
 
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