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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
About 1.5 years ago I bought a Sundown SD3-10 (dual 4 ohm version) to run in a sealed box that I built in the side panel of my Dodge Caravan. By getting a bit creative I was able to achieve a net airspace of 0.5 cubic feet while not encroaching on any storage space. The generic plastic grill I used to protect the woofer still sticks out a bit, but not enough to interfere with the rear row of stow-n-go seats going up and down.

I thought that the Sundown SD-3 would be a good sub to run due to the positive reviews and optimization for small sealed enclosures. The sub was running at 2 ohms on the mono channel of my Alpine PDX-v9. I will say that the Sundown sub sounded decent, and output was good enough. However, there were some problems. It made mechanical clicking/popping noises in cold weather even at low volumes. I had to wait for the cabin to warm up a while before really playing any music. Secondly, the SD3 bottomed out regularly, which was surprising, because I made sure to seal the box extremely well and ensure that there was no air leakage. Being that the box was sized appropriately and my amp gains were set correctly I was disappointed by this and wanted to try a different sub.

Because I had a limited mounting depth to work with, and small volume, my options were somewhat limited. However, I found that the Alpine RW-10D4 only had a mounting depth of 5 7/8 inches while also requiring an identical 0.5 cubic feet of net airspace like the SD3. I was familiar with the Alpine subs as I previously owned an RW-12D4 and SWR 12D4 before that which were ultimately replaced with a JBL W12 GTI. (I posted a comparison between those subs in another thread for those who are interested). After verifying that the Alpine would fit I picked one up from a local dealer. I installed it. The result was interesting and pleasantly surprising.

Both subs were getting 500 watts at 2 ohms. I was surprised that the Alpine got much louder and digged lower than the Sundown in the sealed box. The Alpine sub does not bottom out even when played LOUD. I have not noticed any weird mechanical noises in cold weather either. I was hesitant to spend the money on another sub especially because I was worried that the Alpine would be a lateral move at best, but that was not the case at all. In my opinion the Alpine outperformed the Sundown, hands down. To top that off it cost me slightly less (both subs were bought brand new at authorized dealers). Granted the Alpine is not a "shallow mount" sub so this is not an entirely equal comparison but I still thought I'd post my thoughts after making the swap.

Not sure if they improved the bottoming issue with the SD4 but I likely will not be purchasing another Sundown sub.
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The Alpine with grille installed

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The SD3 after being uninstalled next to one of my W12 GTI subs

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I had the same issue with the sd3 sub. However the rest of the sundown line are completely different beasts.
 

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Slowpoke
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You touched on my only 2 complaints about the SD3. Mine did the same thing in cold weather. I contacted Sundown twice about it and they sounded surprised. They wanted me to take a video of it not moving...sort of lost interest in pursuing it at that point. And it indeed does have a hard bottom. No bumped back plate on this one. I still think it sounds amazing, but eventually pulled it and replaced it with a ported SA10...which does not sound near as good, but I haven't managed to find bottom yet and it doesn't mind the cold.
 

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I have a Sundown SD3 10 that I ran at first in a .5 cu ft box sealed and it sounded good but I wanted a little more output so I installed it into a 1 cu ft ported box with a 31.5 Hz tune and man-O-man did that wake it up. It sounds perfect in a ported box and mine doesn’t bottom out either or make any mechanical noises. It’s one of my favorite subwoofers so far. I also have a years worth of experience with an SA-12 too.

I also owned for a long time now an Alpine SWS 10 and SWS 12. The SWS 10 is in a 1.1+ cu ft ported box also tuned to 31.5 Hz and it sounds really good in my wife’s van. I would say this is the best $90 I have ever spent on a speaker. I would not hesitate to purchase another Alpine subwoofer. My wife loves the bass it produces so mission accomplished there.

Both of these subwoofers have low distortion underhung coil designs so it doesn’t surprise me that they sound so good. I think I like the Sundown a little more in my truck but feel like the Alpine gets a little louder and can take a little more power but I have never actually compared them in the same vehicle.

I did compare the Sundown SD3-10 directly with my Sundown SA-12 and the SD3 definitely has less distortion and sounds better but the SA-12 is a beast that gets insanely loud and will take a lot more power too. The SA-12 was a fun subwoofer to mess around with.

My AudioFrog GB12’s well those are some very good sounding subwoofers that also get very loud. I’m very happy with those. I recently built a 3.5 cu ft box with dual 4” ported box tuned to 27.5 Hz (was aiming for 30) and this combination is just too much bass for me. I’m thinking of raising the tune or going to a different smaller dual sealed box. A single GB12 in a ported box tuned to 31.5 Hz sounds just right.

I recently re installed my JL Audio CP108LG-W3v3 while I rethink my dual ported box build and for a very small 8” ported subwoofer it actually sounds really good. It’s a little bit anemic sounding compared to what I’m used to but the fidelity of sound is there.

I picked up a JBL GX series 12“ subwoofer from Best Buy over the holidays and installed that into a sealed box. My intention was to put this in my brother in-laws van but he bailed on me last minute so I tried it for myself. For $30 this subwoofer sounds surprisingly good and I would say it’s definitely worth even $60.
 

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Slowpoke
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I also owned for a long time now an Alpine SWS 10 and SWS 12. The SWS 10 is in a 1.1+ cu ft ported box also tuned to 31.5 Hz and it sounds really good in my wife’s van. I would say this is the best $90 I have ever spent on a speaker. I would not hesitate to purchase another Alpine subwoofer. My wife loves the bass it produces so mission accomplished there.

Both of these subwoofers have low distortion underhung coil designs so it doesn’t surprise me that they sound so good. I think I like the Sundown a little more in my truck but feel like the Alpine gets a little louder and can take a little more power but I have never actually compared them in the same vehicle.

The SD uses an underhung motor, but the Alpines are overhung.
 

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The SD uses an underhung motor, but the Alpines are overhung.
The Alpine type R use an overhung coil design and the SWS use an underhung coil design. Please see the attached diagram taken from the Alpine SWS owners manual that shows this.
E0FDE756-0A23-4722-B02D-0AF2A574D2DF.jpeg
E53DEEF8-716D-4EEA-BF2E-10DE5112B08C.jpeg
 

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Thanks for keeping me honest. I thought both the R and the S were overhung.
No problem Rob, it was good that you made me double check because it had been a long time since I checked and I don’t want to give incorrect information.
 
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