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Old 02-02-2008   #1
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What a good average amount of watts for a subwoofer?

Hi, im looking to buy a subwoofer for my civic, and i was wondering whats a good average amount of watts for it, im not looking for something ridiculous that you can hear from a mile away but im also not looking for something too weak.

-Thanks in advanced
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Old 02-02-2008   #2
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Re: What a good average amount of watts for a subwoofer?

get two subs, 10 or 12" and power it with at least 500 watts, pref. 1000 watts
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Old 02-03-2008   #3
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Re: What a good average amount of watts for a subwoofer?

Im trying to save room in my trunk, so i might wanna get 2 of these:http://www.onlinecarstereo.com/CarAu...roductID=13963 , you think 400w would be enough?
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Old 02-03-2008   #4
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Re: What a good average amount of watts for a subwoofer?

those dont make much sound, they save space, but suck for performance, just get 1 12" and get a good amp, 500 watts or more
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Old 02-03-2008   #5
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Re: What a good average amount of watts for a subwoofer?

You're asking the wrong question. When it comes to sound, the more important question is which amplifier you should buy, that's what's going to make your system sound good or bad. And my suggestion is to forget how many watts it has and focus only on a single channel, D-class amplifier. Match the RMS with the sub and you're set.
But it sounds like you have a few hours of research before hitting your local Bestbuy. And hopefully enough research to convince you not to.
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Old 02-03-2008   #6
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Re: What a good average amount of watts for a subwoofer?

Perception of sound is subjective to each of us, just as some of us find black cars more appealing than other color cars. If you like your car stereo system more than any other in the same vehicle, then you have the best. But, if you like some other car stereo system more than yours in the same vehicle, then that one is better. Only you can decide which is best for you. For a car stereo system and installation to be a good or great system and installation, it must meet or exceed the user's expectations.
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Old 02-03-2008   #7
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Re: What a good average amount of watts for a subwoofer?

Many people think that if I have three to four twelves that the bass will be better. That might be true to a certain degree, but its not. Yes it will be louder and more carrying but its easier to distort the sound in your car or truck. Two twelves is the most recommended for sound quality in your vehicle. Of course the type of enclosure, type of amp and how it is wired matters, but it depends all on the sound you're looking for. When it comes to size, the bigger the sub, the deeper the bass, but the bigger the sub, the slower your bass responses are. If you like for your bass to be heard more outside of your vehicle than inside then I would recommend 15's and up. If you're looking for your bass to be more inside your vehicle, I would recommend 8's, 10's, and 12's(depending on the box its in and the amp pushing it).
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Old 02-03-2008   #8
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Re: What a good average amount of watts for a subwoofer?

i forgot, ported box is a must
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Old 02-03-2008   #9
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Re: What a good average amount of watts for a subwoofer?

nice alpha! i paid $330 budget shopping for 2 alpine type-r 10" subs with an amp. amp off eBay! and unless I open all the vehicle, all the bass pounds inside. all you hear outside is sheetmetal + trunk rattle. But once you get in, the seats all vibrate.
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Old 02-03-2008   #10
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Re: What a good average amount of watts for a subwoofer?

I cant even begin to explain where most of you are wrong. Except for Alpha 5.

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Originally Posted by defjam56 View Post
Hi, im looking to buy a subwoofer for my civic, and i was wondering whats a good average amount of watts for it, im not looking for something ridiculous that you can hear from a mile away but im also not looking for something too weak.

-Thanks in advanced

There is no good/average amount of wattage. There are to many variables that go into the sub stage.

Seriously, if you're trying to just get the lower frequency sound then you're find with the tube and whatever amp you choose.

Although if you want something that is noticeably loud (not over bearing just a nice tight hard hitting subwoofer) then you need to figure out lots of things. First, you need to know if you have a computable deck. Not even all after market decks have a subwoofer output RCA. Second, you need to know how much space you are willing to sacrifice. Every subwoofer you buy will have a certain size box it likes (notice XX.XXcubic feet when looking at specs) best. Your sub will excel in that box and perform its best.

Ill find you the best setup for your car... Ill keep this simple as possible. What is the range you want to spend TOTAL, and what is the MAX space you want use in your trunk? Give me an inch by inch by inch idea.
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Old 02-03-2008   #11
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Re: What a good average amount of watts for a subwoofer?

i have a single Kicker Comp 12" that i'm pushing only 150w RMS to it. it's more than enough for a civic. i've had more in the past. it's simply not needed for our cars. you don't need 1000w or even 500w to have loud, clear, hard hitting bass.
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Old 02-03-2008   #12
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Re: What a good average amount of watts for a subwoofer?

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i forgot, ported box is a must
Not necessarily, it depends on the type of sub and excursion ratings. And also the acoustics and type of sound you want.
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Old 02-03-2008   #13
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Re: What a good average amount of watts for a subwoofer?

yeah, I have a box that I either open for ported or seal for sealed. I like how the ported is louder but its not as responsive. The sealed gives that quicker bass hit.

Currently I am running 1 10" Alpine Type X and I am satisfied =D but like others said, don't worry about "watts" look for what matches up and a good tune and you'll be set.
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Old 02-03-2008   #14
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Re: What a good average amount of watts for a subwoofer?

personally, ported and bandpass sound like a$$ to me. too boomy and watered down. not enough clarity. i've had ported, bandpass, and sealed in various combinations. sealed sounds the best to me. it's all personal preference though.

Last edited by electric130; 02-03-2008 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 02-03-2008   #15
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Re: What a good average amount of watts for a subwoofer?

Thanks for all your replies, ArrizX, im willing to spend around 200-300 dollars, i wanna use as little trunk space as possible, im gonna take a couple of pictures of my trunk and give you an estimate in inches on how much space i want to use tomorrow. Thanks again
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Old 02-04-2008   #16
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Re: What a good average amount of watts for a subwoofer?

Quote:
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i have a single Kicker Comp 12" that i'm pushing only 150w RMS to it. it's more than enough for a civic. i've had more in the past. it's simply not needed for our cars. you don't need 1000w or even 500w to have loud, clear, hard hitting bass.
Thats strictly personal preference. To the average audio user, that is perfectly fine though.

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Originally Posted by DeX View Post
Not necessarily, it depends on the type of sub and excursion ratings. And also the acoustics and type of sound you want.
Solely sub Dependant. Everything factors into it, especially fs, vas, bl and spl ratings. Xmas (excursion) has its role to though..

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Originally Posted by aznprid214 View Post
yeah, I have a box that I either open for ported or seal for sealed. I like how the ported is louder but its not as responsive. The sealed gives that quicker bass hit.

Currently I am running 1 10" Alpine Type X and I am satisfied =D but like others said, don't worry about "watts" look for what matches up and a good tune and you'll be set.
True as a general rule of thumb. Although my TC-7s are ported at 2.45cu3. Thats a fairly small box (only measures 40x12x12). My point being I have such quality subs, they don't sound terrible no matter the conditions. Not to mention my 3'' wide voice coil leaves them almost impossible to hurt so I can put as much power as my car can handle towards them. I have as quick of a bass hit as any sealed box. The trick is getting the specific space requirements for your box. That and the port area. And type of port. I have two precision ports on my box (kinda like back flared PVC pipe), and ive never heard anything I liked so much or sounded so clean. Its a strict SQ sub. But still loud enough I can make my windshield wipers bounce off the windshield and cell phone do flips on the roof.

Its really how you apply what you have.


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personally, ported and bandpass sound like a$$ to me. too boomy and watered down. not enough clarity. i've had ported, bandpass, and sealed in various combinations. sealed sounds the best to me. it's all personal preference though.
Well it really depends on the sub you're using in them. I really cant stress that enough. My friend has a RF P1 sealed. Sounds like *** because its not to right size.

Quote:
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Thanks for all your replies, ArrizX, im willing to spend around 200-300 dollars, i wanna use as little trunk space as possible, im gonna take a couple of pictures of my trunk and give you an estimate in inches on how much space i want to use tomorrow. Thanks again
Sub + amp + wire + install? Or 300ish for sub and amp only? What exactly is the budget for? But thats fine I dont need measurements if all you want is as small as you can get.
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Old 02-04-2008   #17
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Re: What a good average amount of watts for a subwoofer?

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Well it really depends on the sub you're using in them. I really cant stress that enough. My friend has a RF P1 sealed. Sounds like *** because its not to right size.
i've had subs made ported installed in ported and subs made for bandpass installed in bandpass. i've had custom boxes as well as sub/box combos that came from the manufacturer together. never had a ported or bandpass combo that i've liked. nor have i heard anyone's that sounded good either. sure, they're loud, but if they sound like garbage, who cares?
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Old 02-04-2008   #18
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Re: What a good average amount of watts for a subwoofer?

Before I start to argue.... What equipment have you experienced?
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Old 02-04-2008   #19
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Re: What a good average amount of watts for a subwoofer?

I had 2 Boston Acoustics ProSeries 10.5LF's (2-ohm, single coil) in 0.5 ft^3 sealed boxes for a while. I was running each sub off of an Alpine mono sub amp, ~400rms (@2ohms). The Bostons arent the most efficient subs around, but they're supa-clean when perfectly sealed.

Anyways...
*Distortion kills subwoofers (and other speakers too).
*Distortion is the result of buying too small of an amplifier and turning it up to the ****ing max till that bass sounds tight yo...
*This is a quick way to destroy a really nice subwoofer with a total crap amplifier.

Without getting all up in the math, spend your money on good, solid amplifier. If you are only going to use it for the subwoofer, heres what I recommend:

(1) 300-400w RMS amplifier,
--either single-channel (mono, monoblock, sub-amp, whatever they're calling it these days) or two-channel.
--If you get a 2-channel amp, make sure that if you decide to bridge the channels together, that the amp will handle bridging into a 4-ohm load. Just about every reputable amplifier on the planet can handle bridging into a 4-ohm load. (Sigh, this can get complicated, someone please feel free to explain in a later post)
--Try to get an amplifier with a "low-pass" crossover built in.
--If the amplifier has bass boost, be careful with that damn ****.

Ok, im getting too technical already. Summary: Spend good money on amp. If funds are tight afterwards, buy crap no-name sub and build your own box out of MDF, deck screws, insulation and liquid nails.

PS. Please do not put a big "rockford fosgate" or "powered by: easily stealable audio system" sticker on your car. From personal experience, this is not a bright idea. Good luck sir.
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Old 02-05-2008   #20
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Re: What a good average amount of watts for a subwoofer?

The distortion is also known as clipped. By turning up the gains on the amp to high (thats not a volume ****, damnit!)

Here, ill keep this very simple.

http://www.edesignaudio.com/edv2/pro...products_id=30
http://www.edesignaudio.com/edv2/pro...products_id=61
http://cgi.ebay.com/POWER-ACOUSTIK-O...QQcmdZViewItem
http://www.onlinecarstereo.com/CarAu...roductID=15603
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Re: What a good average amount of watts for a subwoofer?

Ok i couldn't get pictures of my trunk yet cause of camera problems, but i did get measurements, length 16" height 7" width 16" , also i drew out what it should look like some what, obviously its not in proportion but you'll probably get the idea



[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]
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Old 02-05-2008   #22
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Arrow Re: What a good average amount of watts for a subwoofer?

I do not know who this ArrizX guy is but he seams to know his stuff. I have maintained my car audio sponsorship for the last 11 years. I have graduated from a 4 year university with a degree in electronics. I am also co-owner of a car audio store that specializes in high end stuff.

I have to agree with just about everything he has to say so far.

BACK TO TOPIC.

Each type of enclosure is designed to be used with a particular type of subwoofer and vice versa. It is important to choose a subwoofer that's designed to work with the type of enclosure you want.

Sealed

Sealed or "acoustic suspension" boxes are the simplest and smallest sub box designs. As the name implies, sealed boxes are airtight and use the air trapped inside to act as a spring against the subwoofer's cone as it moves in and out.

Ported / Vented box
Ported boxes tend to be larger than sealed enclosures. These boxes are named for their most obvious physical trait—a port (tube) that allows air to move in and out of the enclosure. Ported enclosures represent a good compromise between the small size and accuracy of an acoustic suspension enclosure and the efficiency of a bandpass box.

Bandpass box

In a bandpass box, the woofer or woofers are completely enclosed inside the box and all the sound you feel and hear is radiated through the port(s) or tubes that allow air to move in and out of the box.

Click the image to open in full size.
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