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Discussion Starter #1
OK… back again, now that I have narrowed my subwoofer type selection a bit.

Looking for a pair efficient 12” subs that with a depth less than 7.25” (including clearance for venting). Focus is SQ and the subs would be matched to a pair of HAT Imagine I6 up front.

Looking at 2 – 2.5 cf of volume for both subs (could be sealed or vented, but will be shallow). Power supplied will likely be 300-400 watts RMS. Closer to the 300 end is most probable.

Oh yeah, and the budget is still at about $250. If I had to spend a couple bucks more for a significant improvement, I could stretch a bit.

I have my own ideas, but I want to hear other people’s thoughts.
 

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Looking at your budget, I question the need for having a pair of subwoofers instead of just one high quality subwoofer. A lot of 12 inch subs will get pretty loud on 300-600watt RMS.

Given your budget, you could afford only one from these highly acclaimed subwoofers:

Aura MR-12.4 (on sale right now for $200)
Image Dynamics IDQ
Peerless XXLS


If you need to buy a pair of subwoofers, you would have to look into subs in the same class with

Alpine Type R
RE Audio SRX
Infinity Kappa

I have the Kappa and I like it.

Or you could buy a pair of Dayton Reference HOs. They have very good SQ at a good price. The only problem is that they may strain your amplifier relative to some other options.



Edit: there are some reports of a possible defects of Aura subs sold by PE on the hot deals thread, so perhaps it's a risky buy right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There are a couple key restrictions that have me looking at a lower cost pair of 12s. First is the height restriction. Second, I would like to use a single 4 channel amp to power the entire system. That will likely keep my RMS power to somewhere between 300 and 400 watts. I figured the two 12s would give me plenty of surface are for more output.

Looking at my restrictions/requirements and your recommendations...

Aura MR12.4... too deep by quite a bit for my restrictions.

Image Dynamics IDQ12d4v3... Love the ID stuff, but how would a single IDQ12 compare to a pair of CTX or even ID 12s?

Peerless XXLS... This one could work, though I have never heard it in person. It does look a little short on Xmax compared to some of the other subs I have looked at.

Alpine Type R... This looks like a pretty power hungry driver. A pair could probably work in the enclosure, but would need far more power than I was looking to buy.

The Kappa may be an option I'll take a closer look at. Same with the JBL equivalents and the Dayton 12" HOs.
 

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I think 300-400watts RMS is enough to get pretty loud with a single subwoofer. My Kappa is running off 250watt RMS amplifier, and it can reach into volume levels I don't particularly enjoy. I suppose it will sound sweeter (more dynamic) with more power or if you use two subs. The cool thing about Kappa is that in 4ohm mode, it needs something like 1.25cu ft sealed box for 0.7 qtc, perfect for many cars. In 2ohm mode, it needs 1.7cu ft, though I have it in 1cu ft box, and it sounds great. Very clean bass IMO, with good extension into upper end, making blending it with front stage much easier. Of course, if you can afford two Kappas, I don't see why not.. even if you don't crank up your stereo, two subs should sound better because they need less cone excursion for a given volume level.

When I was deciding to buy the Kappa, I was also looking closely at Peerless XXLS (the currently sold version, there were many others before). Besides very good reviews, one cool thing about it is that it can get very loud on little power. For example, according to WinISD models, the 12 inch XXLS on 160watts at 4ohms can get louder at 50Hz than Kappa and many other comparable subs on twice as much power! The thing that turned me off from XXLS was the high price and the 12.5 xmax. XXLS needs 240watts to reach its xmax in a 1.4cu ft box playing in 20-30Hz region. Kappa needs something like 600watts RMS in a typical sealed box to reach its xmax. Maybe, it was a wrong decision, I will never find out. Note that xmax is not the maximum mechanical throw of a driver. The mechanical throw of XXLS is much bigger, something like 26-28mm each way, but within xmax the driver movement is more linear. At excursion above the xmax, supposedly there will be more audible distortion. And there is no way to confirm that the Kappa truly has the 17.5mm xmax without testing it with specialized equipment. XXLS (different version) had been tested and it was confirmed that its xmax is as reported by factory, but no one really knows the true xmax of the Kappa at this point. Nonetheless, the Kappa is very sweet subwoofer. You will not be disappointed if you buy it.

Oh by the way, the Alpine Type R is not more power hungry than Kappa. WinISD predicts that it has the same sensitivity as Kappa running in 2ohm mode, and actually better sensitivity compared to Kappa running in 4ohm mode. I think in an average sedan, 12 inch Alpine Type R in sealed should sound good running on just 300watt RMS power. Also, IDQ has sliiiightly better sensitivity than Kappa or Alpine Type R, but not quite as high as the XXLS. The HO will have the worst sensitivity on that list, but two of them may have sensitivity comparable to one Kappa or Type-R. Besides getting loud, you should also be concerned about amplifier efficiency. The less power you need to send to the sub, the less heat there will be, and the amp will need less cooling and last longer.

I have yet to hear the IDQv3. I didn't look into it because I bought into the common forum rumor (or myth?) that low inductance subwoofers sound better, with "low" being something like 0.6mH per ohm of impedance or less. However, based on reviews, IDQv3 is a great subwoofer and can get pretty loud. In the end, it is best to buy the subwoofer that works best for your intended box volume and dimensions. For example, I suspect the XXLS will not be as happy as IDQ or Kappa in 1cu ft sealed box.
 

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If you have a meter to set your gains exactly, get a single 2 ohm and wire it to the amp. Or if you hhaven't gotten an amp yet, look at 2 channel amps if you're trying to stay flexible.
 

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I haven't heard the most recent iteration of type r's, but the ones that I have heard seem like they would want more power than that. Also, if you haven't bought an amp yet, you may want to look into five channel amps. They provide a great deal of flexibility, and they are some excellent ones on the market
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ZAKOH…

I fired up WinISD for the first time in a while to do some comparisons between several different subwoofers under similar power (300 watts @ 4 Ohm) in similar enclosures. And I have to say, without varying enclosure size (2CF shallow rectangular sealed enclosure) I’d be hard pressed to purchase anything beyond a pair of ID CTX 12s ($200) after seeing the results. Overall output is great compared to other options (including a pair of ID12s ($330) as well as Dayton HOs ($312)) with very similar curves when plotted. Though, the CTXs in this enclosure does produce a bit of a peak near where it would be crossed over that isn’t seen in some of the other subwoofers. (I assume because of the smaller than recommended enclosure size which could be partially remedied with poly fill.

What really surprised me was how well a single Peerless XXLS ($250) did in the same enclosure compared to the other configurations. The dB peak wasn’t as high as most of the dual setups, but even sealed it had more output below 50+/- Hz compared to pretty much every other configuration I looked at. That includes the IDQ12 v3 ($275) in a vented enclosure with the same 2CF volume. And it had a smoother roll-off on the bottom end than the IDQ ported.

That single Peerless XXLS really has me tempted. It looks like it will cost me a bit more up front compared to a pair of CTXs, but it almost seems tailor made for my installation. Not to mention the fact that it should work very well with the type of amp I would likely be using (4 Channel Type AB w/ 2 channels bridged to 4 Ohm @ 300-350 watts). Really, the more I read about this particular sub, the more I like it. I just wish there was some place around here I could audition it.

Thumper26…

I do not have a meter at home and I have not selected an amp yet. Though I am leaning quite heavily at using a single 4 channel amp to run my entire system. 2 channels to run a pair of HAT Imagine I-6s passive up front and 2 channels bridged to handle the sub stage. I’d like to go class AB over class D if possible just to help eliminate some possible SQ/noise gremlins. Though, I’m really not even sure what you are driving at with your statement. It seems a bit generic, and selecting a “2 Ohm amp” without matching it to the subwoofer(s) seems a bit premature.

Vanlan…

I have looked at a few 5 channel options, but I think I could accomplish what I am looking to do with a 4 channel for now. Also, most AB 5 channels are fairly large, and to get one that fits my space requirement, it would likely end up having to be a class D.

For reference, I have been looking at both the Clarion XH5410 (90x2+320x1 @ 4 Ohm, $218), Massive Audio NX4 (100x2+400x1 @ 4 Ohm, $205) and possibly Kenwood XR-4S (120x4+300x1 @ 4 Ohm, $311).

The single 4 channel amp can simplify the installation, and help keep the cost of installation materials (wiring, etc.) down as well.
 
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