Is it possible to get good sound from a car subwoofer...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Tattooed, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. Ericman197


    Feb 23, 2004
    The general consensus is no, but if it can be done, I'd consider it for an interesting project that I thought of a while ago. The reason is that a car audio subwoofer is meant to be in a huge enclosure, ie your car. They're very inefficient ( 80ish dB sensitivity vs. 90ish dB ) so it'd be like dealing with an Acme cab... very deep, but not loud enough. There are a few car audio subwoofers that are very loud, but still, you won't be able to hear them at a gig.
  2. That makes sense, thanks.
  3. I've heard bad things about doing this.

    Apparently Car Subwoofers use the car density to get that deep sound, the entire car in fact acts like a cab, if you were to take out that sub and throw it into a cab.. it would sound like poop.

    I'm not 100% about this.. coz i remember reading on a forum (not sure if it was this one) but everyone advised against it..

    I'm sure someone will jump in on this for me.

  4. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
  5. Ericman197


    Feb 23, 2004
    Hmmm, come to think of it, I ran the stats on some of the drivers, and they'd work very well in vented boxes outside of your car. The only problem is that they're not very loud, but for sub lows, they'd work well. I might try it as a fun project.
  6. Yes. I own four 15" and four 10" Rockford subs.

    Efficiency is a sore point for sure. Then again, that is why they get down to 20 Hz where an efficient driver such as those used in the Eden XLT series is only wishful thinking.

    The -10dB efficiency translates into "sounds half as loud". This can be a huge factor for many players. The way around it is by using multple drivers and feeding them lots of power.

    I have a 1x10 slot vent cabinet in glue-up now. Everything is done except the jack disk, grille and carpet. It takes a single 10" Rockford subwoofer and operates in 0.5 cubic feet, net volume. I have it shaped to mate with one of my 1x10 JBL E110 from my bigger rig. The sub is bi-amped and crosses over at 100 Hz. The intent is a small rig for intimate venues that will get all the way down. My rack is larger than the two speaker cabs.
  7. I have idea to build box with JBL Power series 15" or 12" car sub and (maybe) eminence B102 for mid and hi frequencies. JBL subs give good results on my computer (Win ISD), but I will love to hear opinions from guys that have more experience than me. Anyone?

  8. lsimy

    lsimy Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2003
    Virginia, USA
    Let's also not forget how your average music played through car subs is highly compressed both in the tracking stage and in the mixing and mastering stages. This has a dramatic effect on how much work the sub has to perform on the average.

    Heavy dynamic transients caused by playing live bass may not produce the results you hope for at high volumes. Also, you may find that the low driver may not last as long as those intended for these purposes.

    Just my views on it. Let us know how they come out !!
  9. CrackBass


    Aug 10, 2004
    we used to use a couple of jl audio 12w6's for our pa subs. we built cabs for them(don't forget you have to do the math) and put about 2000 watts on them. they sounded fantastic for kick drum. very tight bass. car audio speakers can be used anywhere any other speaker can be used. they just have different characteristcs. and if you think they won't get loud enough go to a car audio competition. some of them boys hit like 160+ dbs. granted it takes a rediculous amount of power but it can be done. oh and most high end car subs are a lot tougher than your average speaker in even high end bass cabs.
  10. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Hitting 160 dB, so what if the dynamic range needed is only 5 dB!!! Why do you suppose bass cabs are bigger and cost more than home stereo speakers (which based on the paper specs should be able to do the job just fine for less $$$$)???
  11. CrackBass


    Aug 10, 2004
    look, i'm just talking about world record car audio stuff just to make a point. it's so loud that they have to operate their stereo by remote from a safe distance. the point being that high end car audio subs could have applications in live sound if you know what you're doing. i'm not talking about your sony home stereo. i'm talking about subwoofers that are very expensive and have power ratings in the 100's and even 1000's of watts. our old subs sounded great and wieghed in at a whopping 45 pounds apiece. they just took more power than an 18" in a gigantic enclosure. but in the small places we played with them, they sounded better. very handy for a cramped stage if you still want the kick drum to hit like a hammer.
  12. dBPete


    Jan 2, 2011
    I'm trying to use a 1x12 cabinet with a jl12w6v2. I'm pushing it with a Hartke lh1000 @ 8 ohms. I'm probably going to get a second jl12w6v2 to get it down to 4 ohms. I'll let you all know how it works out.
  13. rumblethump

    rumblethump Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    Pioneer CA. 95666
    I tried it once. Loaded a 12" into an old Peavey monitor. When turned up enough to hear, the cab started moving on the floor from vibration. 87db sensativity. I sold it an got a celestion with 98db sensativity from avatar. Works for both vocals and bass if not pushed too hard.

  14. A) You do realize this topic was 7 years old right ?

    B) With an efficiency rating of 87db, you will have to feed that speaker 1,000 watts just to make it as loud as a "normal" speaker getting only 100 watts.
  15. dBPete


    Jan 2, 2011
    A) If I would have made a new thread, someone would have just said "someone already made that thread."

    B) I know the efficiency rating is quite a bit lower, but the hartke lh1000 can pump enough power to it. I'm trying to see if I can put this together to give myself a small rig with big sound and great sound quality. I may end up scrapping the idea and just using a regular cab, but I thought I'd at least give it a try.

    So far, I've got one 12w6 set to 8 ohms. The lh1000 is set to bridged to give it 750W. I liked what it seems to be giving me so far, but the true test is a live performance. I'm gonna play around with it a bit. I have a practice with my band this weekend, and a show next weekend. Hopefully it doesn't end in disaster. We'll see.
  16. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    If there were not very good reasons to have auto-sound drivers and musical instrument drivers with totally divergent specs then there would be no such thing as auto-sound drivers and musical instrument drivers. More to the point, if everyone could use auto-sound speakers for pro-sound applications they would. They can't, so they don't.
  17. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin' Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    I'm amazed that it takes so long to figure this out. :D

    Personally, if I had a bass amp that sounded like the bass coming out of the local low riders, it would go straight to the landfill.
  18. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    So would I!, even though my sons in car audio design work is Legendary.
    The sort of 15" Bass drivers from his sponsors he uses in his exhibition vehicles are designed to only produce a very low fundemental resonance and are very poor for agility and have no midrange response at all. In my sons designs these are electronically crossed out at 24db per octave at 100hz.
    But hey who am I to judge if the OP wants to build a nice little cab that goes blub blub blub at what appears the same note whatever you play.
    PS. The blubing noises can get quite loud with about 3000 watts, so thats cool too.
    Its a blub thing man! :bassist:
  19. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    Yes mate coupling a good many and horn loading them with a central hexagonal phase plug/helmholts resonator style port, helps lots here is my sons rad 12 X 15" Hexaport design:
    Where software fears to tread box design, right there!.