In Search of a Tuneful Sub

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Scott F.

In Search of a Tuneful Sub
« on: 20 Dec 2012, 03:31 pm »
Hiya guys,

Well, as the title of the thread states, I'm in search for a tuneful for my car. First a little back story.

My daily driver is a 2001 Lincoln Continental. It's big, comfy and has a huge trunk. The enclosure I'm using is the Parts Express dual 12 sealed (not ported, about 1.2cf per cell). I started off running a pair of Adire Shiva subs. These did a really nice job. Bass was tuneful, the harmonics were right, there wasn't much overhang and I got a nice even bass response. Well, in July somebody decided that they needed my subs more than I did and they disappeared. Well, since Adire in no longer, I gave Danny a call at GR Research. I picked up the last pair of his 12 SW-08s that were designed for small enclosures. Holy crap were these things good. I thought the Adires were nice but these were a significant step up in terms of accuracy, depth and outright slam. Well, about 3 weeks ago, somebody decided they needed them more than me (again) and off they went.

So this brings me to today. Unfortunately Danny doesn't make that particular 12 SW anymore. He suggested that I try a pair of Dayton HO 4-12s. Well, these drivers are just OK. Sure, they go reasonably deep and make lots of noise but harmonically they are wrong. First, they are dry as a popcorn fart. Musically, they are un-involving. As opposed to being tuneful, they sorta go thud, thud, thud. I don't mean to besmirch the PE driver, it's OK, but after having accurate tuneful bass it's hard listening to anything else. I've got a sneaking suspicion part of the issue is that the cone material of the PE driver is aluminum. The other two (Adire, GR) were doped paper.

So, my question for you guys is, do you know of any 12"ers that are high Q (work in a small sealed enclosure), have a large xmax (12mm or >) and sound good? I'd really prefer doped paper cones. The other thing is, I really don't want to drop $300 per driver to get what I'm looking for, though I may be stuck.

Oh, I'm driving the sub with some 800 watt Class D amp. I think it's a Pioneer (I cheaped out on the sub amp). It's not 2ohm stable, been there, tried that. My head unit is the Pioneer AVH 5200BT. I'm using the onboard XO in the head unit. The EQ for bass management is almost non-existant in that head unit. I have 80 and 40Hz only. My cab amp is the Butler 475 which drives the Polk SR6500's.

One last thing, my buddy Jon VerHalen is sending me a set of PE 12s that aren't offered anymore. They have a high xmax and paper cone. Apparently they were designed for OB use. PE didn't sell enough of them so they got discontinued. Hopefully they work better than the aluminum coned drivers I've got now.


iFi Tyler

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Re: In Search of a Tuneful Sub
« Reply #1 on: 20 Dec 2012, 04:35 pm »
I used to have two Crystal Mobile Sound Comp12 in my Nissan Maxima.  They were great sounding subwoofers.  I can't recommend them because I don't know how they would compare to the SW 12.  They have yet to be matched in another system with a subwoofer that I have heard.  I felt compelled to chime in as I have empathy for your disappearing subwoofers. 

medium jim

Re: In Search of a Tuneful Sub
« Reply #2 on: 20 Dec 2012, 04:37 pm »
I've never been disappointed with JL drivers....