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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok guys, where am I going wrong? Here's my issue: My bass has no "impact". That's how I'm describing it anyways. What I mean is, I can't feel the bass hits in my chest, even when my eardrums are crying out in pain. I expect the impact of the last 12" subwoofer I had, which was almost the same subwoofer as I have now. It's basically the same exact setup so I don't know why this system sucks so much compared to the last one.

On the current system that sucks, I've replace the amp with a different model, returned the subwoofer for an identical replacement, tried two different sources of signal (to rule out some problem with the head unit), and wired it up with overkill-thick 2GA wire. Oh, I also found the grounding wire between the car battery and the frame, and upgraded it to 4GA CCA wire.

Last system that rocked:
Single Infinity Kappa Perfect 12.1 subwoofer, 4ohms, 350W RMS rating, amp is a Rockford Fosgate amp with 400W rating, 1.0 cu ft sealed enclosure. 4GA CCA amp wiring. No upgrading to the "big 3" wires, no special car battery.

Current system that sucks:
Single Infinity Kappa K1200 12" subwoofer, 4ohms, 500W RMS rating, amp is an Infinity K600 amp with 380W RMS rating, .9 cu ft sealed enclosure, 2GA OFC amp wiring. Upgdraded the battery-to-frame ground wire from 16GA to 4GA.

The sound quality is night-and-day different. On the old system you didn't even have to turn it up that loud to feel it in your chest. Stuff like kick drums would really kick you in the chest. That old 12.1 subwoofer was known for sound quality and not SPL too. It would rattle the rear-view mirror. It would literally rattle your eyeballs in their sockets, making shit blurry. Fantastic!

On the new system it never kicks you in the chest. Frequency response is terrible, like only loud at around 35 to 55 Hz, below that you can barely hear it. And you never feel it. It never rattles the rear-view mirror. The quality of the bass is muddy, lacking crunchiness and impact. Boomy-sounding.

Sounds the same whether I have the ignition off or engine running (12.5V vs 14V)

No change after replacing the subwoofer, amp, wiring 2 Ohms vs 4 Ohms. What the hell is going on here? Should I double the RMS power of the amp next? Add a stiffening cap? New, super-expensive AGM battery? Get a totally different 12" subwoofer?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Oh! One more observation: the new subwoofer has a super-stiff rubber surround compared to the old one. In fact the new subwoofer has an incredibly stiff-feeling driver, just pushing on it, compared to other subwoofers including the old Kappa 12.1 sub that I loved so much. Seems to me a lot more energy is getting absorbed through the rubber surround and other suspension components because it's so damned stiff, and maybe that would be another reason to try using a much more powerful amplifier to drive this thing compared to the old one.
 

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Start with a new box. I don't know the specs on that Kappa sub, but you can load the specs into a modeling program like WinISD and see what enclosure will bring out the best in that sub. It could be a sub that is poorly suited for a sealed enclosure that size.

Also, what do you have going on for the front stage, particularly midbass? Is the sub in phase with the midbass, do you have time alignment? There are plenty of things to look into. Doubling power isn't going to help much, and you don't need a cap.
 

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The Infinity Kappa Perfect & the Infinity K1200 are not identical drivers. The K1200 is more comparable to Infinity's older Kappa 124.7, which IMO is an inferior driver to the older Kappa Perfect's.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Start with a new box. I don't know the specs on that Kappa sub, but you can load the specs into a modeling program like WinISD and see what enclosure will bring out the best in that sub. It could be a sub that is poorly suited for a sealed enclosure that size.

Also, what do you have going on for the front stage, particularly midbass? Is the sub in phase with the midbass, do you have time alignment? There are plenty of things to look into. Doubling power isn't going to help much, and you don't need a cap.
I made sure to check the specs for the sealed enclosure volume. Both the old and new subwoofers are designed for a small sealed enclosure, .9cu-ft in size in fact, which is exactly what my current one is. The old one was a 1.0cu-ft enclosure.

I have it crossed over at about 80 Hz for the subwoofer. My midbass is kinda wimpy, because it's just a cheap set of Infinity component 6.5" speakers. That is, the 6.5" drivers are just one speaker each, with no pole sticking through the middle with tweeters on it. It's a solid 6.5" speaker with the tweeters mounted at the base of the A-pillars.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The Infinity Kappa Perfect & the Infinity K1200 are not identical drivers. The K1200 is more comparable to Infinity's older Kappa 124.7, which IMO is an inferior driver to the older Kappa Perfect's.
This could be it alright. If I could find an old Perfect 12.1 on eBay I would buy that shit right now and use that and see how it sounds. It wasn't even an expensive subwoofer but man did that thing sound good, and have chest-caving THUMP. And you know what that old 12.1 didn't even have a huge magnet either. Pretty wimpy-looking magnet actually.

If I were to try and find a replacement 12" subwoofer, what would the design features of the driver that I could look for that would translate into power and driver control? I feel like the voice coil needs to be beefier somehow, in order to really get the cone moving RIGHT NOW, in that first fraction of a second when a heavy bass note tells the driver to create that first powerful pressure wave on the initial "attack"...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The Infinity Kappa Perfect & the Infinity K1200 are not identical drivers. The K1200 is more comparable to Infinity's older Kappa 124.7, which IMO is an inferior driver to the older Kappa Perfect's.
What do you think about this sub? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BMN7NNK/?coliid=I1Y2S49UKZLGNU&colid=2E58O191L483G&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

I like in the description where it says, "3" 4-Layer Black Aluminum Voice Coils Wound with OFC (100% Copper) Wire Made in Japan"
 

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What do you think about this sub? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BMN7NNK/?coliid=I1Y2S49UKZLGNU&colid=2E58O191L483G&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

I like in the description where it says, "3" 4-Layer Black Aluminum Voice Coils Wound with OFC (100% Copper) Wire Made in Japan"
Just because a speaker can handle more power, doesn't mean it will get louder, especially off of the existing power that you have.

Also, a similar sized sub, in a similar sized box, will have similar output. I wouldn't expect a simply sub swap to give you drastically better results. Again, I think you should get on WinISD, and start modeling a few different subs to see what will work best for you. Assuming there isn't an underlying problem with your current setup.
 

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Ok guys, where am I going wrong? Here's my issue: My bass has no "impact". That's how I'm describing it anyways. What I mean is, I can't feel the bass hits in my chest, even when my eardrums are crying out in pain. I expect the impact of the last 12" subwoofer I had, which was almost the same subwoofer as I have now. It's basically the same exact setup so I don't know why this system sucks so much compared to the last one.



On the current system that sucks, I've replace the amp with a different model, returned the subwoofer for an identical replacement, tried two different sources of signal (to rule out some problem with the head unit), and wired it up with overkill-thick 2GA wire. Oh, I also found the grounding wire between the car battery and the frame, and upgraded it to 4GA CCA wire.



Last system that rocked:

Single Infinity Kappa Perfect 12.1 subwoofer, 4ohms, 350W RMS rating, amp is a Rockford Fosgate amp with 400W rating, 1.0 cu ft sealed enclosure. 4GA CCA amp wiring. No upgrading to the "big 3" wires, no special car battery.



Current system that sucks:

Single Infinity Kappa K1200 12" subwoofer, 4ohms, 500W RMS rating, amp is an Infinity K600 amp with 380W RMS rating, .9 cu ft sealed enclosure, 2GA OFC amp wiring. Upgdraded the battery-to-frame ground wire from 16GA to 4GA.



The sound quality is night-and-day different. On the old system you didn't even have to turn it up that loud to feel it in your chest. Stuff like kick drums would really kick you in the chest. That old 12.1 subwoofer was known for sound quality and not SPL too. It would rattle the rear-view mirror. It would literally rattle your eyeballs in their sockets, making shit blurry. Fantastic!



On the new system it never kicks you in the chest. Frequency response is terrible, like only loud at around 35 to 55 Hz, below that you can barely hear it. And you never feel it. It never rattles the rear-view mirror. The quality of the bass is muddy, lacking crunchiness and impact. Boomy-sounding.



Sounds the same whether I have the ignition off or engine running (12.5V vs 14V)



No change after replacing the subwoofer, amp, wiring 2 Ohms vs 4 Ohms. What the hell is going on here? Should I double the RMS power of the amp next? Add a stiffening cap? New, super-expensive AGM battery? Get a totally different 12" subwoofer?
Well, right off the bat, I noticed your old sub was overpowered by 50 watts and the new one is underpowered by 120 watts. So, my suggestion, get a 1000 watt rms amp, that'll help a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just because a speaker can handle more power, doesn't mean it will get louder, especially off of the existing power that you have.

Also, a similar sized sub, in a similar sized box, will have similar output. I wouldn't expect a simply sub swap to give you drastically better results. Again, I think you should get on WinISD, and start modeling a few different subs to see what will work best for you. Assuming there isn't an underlying problem with your current setup.
Well yeah but I'm already using the exact enclosure volume that the official specs say the subwoofer is specifically designed for.
 

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Well yeah but I'm already using the exact enclosure volume that the official specs say the subwoofer is specifically designed for.
Well yeah, but that doesn't mean it's the ideal enclosure. Most subwoofers do much better in larger boxes, you get less power handling, but you get more low end extension. Frequency response is almost always improved by making the box bigger.

I'm still skeptical of the "night and day difference" either you did something wrong when you swapped subs, or the difference is much less than you think. Again, similar sized sub, similar enclosure, similar power, will give you similar performance.

If you can post the actual TS parameters of each sub we may be able identify something that could explain the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well yeah, but that doesn't mean it's the ideal enclosure. Most subwoofers do much better in larger boxes, you get less power handling, but you get more low end extension. Frequency response is almost always improved by making the box bigger.

I'm still skeptical of the "night and day difference" either you did something wrong when you swapped subs, or the difference is much less than you think. Again, similar sized sub, similar enclosure, similar power, will give you similar performance.

If you can post the actual TS parameters of each sub we may be able identify something that could explain the problem.
Well the old subwoofer I'm comparing this one to was also designed for a 1 cu ft enclosure too so why would they have the night-and-day difference?

I found the TS parameters for both online! I have to attach or imbed pictures of them because they aren't very cut-and-paste friendly. The first picture is from the old 12.1 and the second pic in black-and-white is for the K1200...
 

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Unless both systems were installed to similar/same standards and in similar/same vehicle, you might well be comparing apples and oranges, due to installation particulars, nulls and/or cabin gain characteristics.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Unless both systems were installed to similar/same standards and in similar/same vehicle, you might well be comparing apples and oranges, due to installation particulars, nulls and/or cabin gain characteristics.
Well the physical sensation of these two woofers in the same enclosure with similar amplifiers in similar cabins IS apples and oranges. I am trying to track down what could make two very similar setups create the difference between bass you can clearly feel in your chest and muddy bass that you can't feel at all. Think physical sensation and not frequency response.
 

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Let's back up a bit. You swapped amps too, right? How did you set your gains? A difference in gain setting could certainly account for your "night and day" difference.

Your description of the first setup rattling your eyeballs seems like a dramatic exaggeration, I think you're disappointed with the new setup because you have a very unrealistic memory of the old one. A single 12 in a sealed box can have plenty of output, but "rattling your eyeballs"? I call BS on that one.
 

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Your description of the first setup rattling your eyeballs seems like a dramatic exaggeration, I think you're disappointed with the new setup because you have a very unrealistic memory of the old one. A single 12 in a sealed box can have plenty of output, but "rattling your eyeballs"? I call BS on that one.
This is how I looked after listening to a 12" sub on 100 watts.

 

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But that was a Funky Pup! With normal subs you'd be hard pressed to really pound your chest with a 12. It can be very loud but your not getting that crazy impact unless your at it below like 28hz and 1 12 ain't likely going to do it
 

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Do you have any tuning on the sub or any of your speakers? This can be done via a DSP (easiest) or by designing a proper box and testing it for the location you are placing the speaker.

These words tend to say you do not
muddy, lacking crunchiness and impact. Boomy-sounding.

Help us out some more
Is the vehicle the same? What vehicle? Did you upgrade anything else? What HU? What about other speakers/amps?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
This is how I looked after listening to a 12" sub on 100 watts.


LOLOLOL Yes, this is exactly the feeling I am going for. I want to rattle my eyeballs out again!

Yep, after that 12.1 subwoofer I was convinced that was the only type of subwoofer anyone would ever really need, because how could someone ask for more? Turned up more than halfway would leave your ears ringing if you listened to music for more than about 15 minutes. I think there's just something about the way that subwoofer was designed... I'm looking for a used Perfect 12.1 on eBay every day now almost, just so I can truly compare the difference to the boring new version (the K1200).

Here's another clue as to how that sub behaved: the old 12.1 sub would start to do what I interpreted as some type of clipping, the more you pushed the volume level. Clipping is probably not the right term to use. What I felt was going on, was during a sine-shaped wave, lets call it, the cone was reaching the limit of excursion, and being stopped short by the surround/suspension, cutting off the top of the wave, and you could hear that. I think any subwoofer would start to sound like this as you reach the limit of excursion. A type of overtone is then produced, I'm sure you guys know what I'm talking about but I don't have quite the audiophile vocabulary to describe it. But anyways I mention this because the point that the chest-pounding feeling was most intense, was with just a little bit of this clipping sound. Right at the border before real obvious clipping was the most intense pressure wave at the beginning of a bass note. It's like the driver/cone was able to start moving RIGHT NOW when asked, and that created a wonderful sharp, whip-like wave of pressure at the onset of the bass note, and throughout the bass note. Sounded clean, and tight, and it kicked you in the ribs like you were in an MMA match, lol.

These are the qualities of what I would imagine you'd also get if you had an 8" subwoofer: Fast, tight, crunchy bass. It's just that that 12.1 did it even being a 12-incher.

I've been doing some research online of other similar discussions talking about subwoofer "speed" and "punchy" qualities, that sound very similar to what I'm talking about here. I'm going to do some reading in that department today. This is a fascinating topic. Before this current 12-inch subwoofer I thought they'd all basically sound and feel the same, but boy was I wrong.

I'm really surprised no one has chimed in yet saying they know what I'm talking about. Maybe you're all chicken to admit it ;)
 
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