Tag: sub boxes

How to Install Boat Subwoofers

boat2-JL-Audio-Subwoofer

You might already have a marine stereo in your boat. To really pump up the volume, cosider adding marine subwoofers and amplifiers.Boat subwoofers produce the low frequency bass beats that enhance the sound of your music. Subwoofers are an absolute necessity if you want a commanding sound system on your boat.

Mounting Options

Subwoofers can be mounted with a baffle (free air) or in a box. By nature of a boat’s dimensions, you more than likely will end up mounting a subwoofer in a location where a box cannot be used. If you plan to do so, make sure the subwoofer you choose is designed for this purpose. Most marine subwoofers are designed for free air mounting and baffle installations. Even if you plan on using a box, marine subs are the optimal choice for boat installations because they are designed with water and salt resistant materials.

If you do choose to install your subs in a box, the front compartment of the boat is a practical place to mount the box. To install your subwoofers into an enclosure, merely connect the leads to the terminals and screw in the subwoofer along the diameter of the enclosure hole. See the wiring configuration section below for more information.

You can also install manufacturer enclosed marine subwoofers. Some of the most popular enclosed marine subs are bass tubes. Bass tubes are water-resistant cylindrical enclosures loaded with subs. They have various sizes, ranging from 8” to as big as 15” loaded bass tube subwoofer enclosures. Bass tubes come preloaded with subs, and are either powered (do not require an external amp) or unpowered (require an external marine amplifier).

Enclosed subwoofers are popular for boats because they save space and you do not have to build a custom box. The manufacturer figures out the specific box size required for optimal performance, and designs an enclosed sub accordingly. They are usually easier to install. Bass tubes come equipped with mounting straps for easy and secure mounting. After it is mounted, you will need to connect the loaded enclosure to the amplifier using speaker wires.

Wiring Configuration

You have two choices when wiring an unpowered component subwoofer to an amplifier. You can wire the subwoofer in series or parallel. To wire in parallel, simply connect the positive leads of both subs to the amp’s positive terminal and the negative leads to the amp’s negative terminal. Wiring in parallel will lower your impedance, and a lower impedance value will enhance your amp’s power capability. To wire in series, simply connect the positive leads of the subwoofer to the amp’s positive terminal, but then connect the negative terminal of one subwoofer to the positive terminal of the second sub. Then connect the latter sub’s negative terminal to the amp’s negative terminal. You will need to connect the amp to the boat battery with a power and ground wire.

For powered subs, just purchase an amp kit for power, ground, and lead wires, and then run the wires to the rest of your system and boat battery.

You’re ready to cruise the seas with exploding beats and vibrating seats. Happy sailing!

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Subwoofer Box Types

Sealed Enclosure

Subwoofer enclosures do more than just give you somewhere to mount your subs; they also play a huge role in the bass produced by your subwoofers. Choosing the right enclosure can be tricky, but we are here to help relieve some of that confusion and get your foot planted firmly through that car door. There are three main subwoofer enclosures types to consider: Sealed, Ported/Vented, and Bandpass enclosures. Each has advantages and disadvantages in efficiency, size, distortion, cost, and power handling. The different enclosure types produce a unique sound and choosing an enclosure should be based upon the music style you listen to. Here is the rundown on the various enclosure types:

Sealed Subwoofer Box
Sealed Sub Box

Sealed Enclosure:
The sealed subwoofer enclosure is characterized by excellent transient response(less boom, more punch), superb low frequency power handling, and a smaller box size. When a speaker is mounted in a closed box, the air in the box acts to some extent as a spring. However, sealed enclosure systems tend to suffer from higher cutoff points and lower sensitivity than the other low frequency systems. They are usually the subwoofer system of choice for audiophiles because of their excellent transient response. The box internal volume should be as close as possible to what is recommended by the manufacturer. If a box is smaller than what it is recommended, the sound will be tighter, but more amplifier power will be required to push it.
If the sub box is too big, then the sound will be filthy and distorted.
Overall it produces a crisp and clean sound for any type of music. If you did not understand what any of that meant, here is a basic run down:
– Less Boom, More Punch
– Top Choice for Audiophiles
– Smaller Box Size Required
– More Amplifier Power Required

Ported/Vented Enclosure:
A ported enclosure system consists of a driver mounted on one side of a box that has an open tunnel or port which allows the passage of air in and out of the box. The function of the port is to “tune” the enclosure so that the rear wave of the speaker enhances the front wave of the speaker. This typically results in a woofer system with a higher efficiency (it plays louder with less power). At low frequencies, the vent contributes substantially to the output of the system. The box design acts as a filter, cutting off lower frequencies.

Ported/Vented Sub Box
Vented Sub Box

The ported enclosure system is characterized by lower distortion and higher power handling in the system’s operating range, and lower cutoff frequency than a sealed enclosure system using the same driver.
Distortion rapidly increases below the cutoff frequency as the sub loses load. The transient response of a ported enclosure system is usually inferior to that of a sealed enclosure system using the same sub. Let’s rehash the main points of a ported/vented enclosure:
– Equal Boom, Equal Punch
– Strengthens Bass
– Amplifies Sound
– Bigger Box Size Required

Bandpass Enclosure:
Enclosures consist of a woofer between a sealed and ported box. Bandpass boxes will yield more bass than sealed and ported boxes (especially at lower frequencies), but over a narrower frequency range.
Since the box acts as a filter, mechanically blocking lower and upper frequencies, a crossover is not needed in most cases.  These enclosures are usually big and very unforgiving when precise volumes and port sizes are not followed.  Bandpass boxes also tend to mask distortion which could lead to damaged subs. Bandpass enclosures are extremely efficient in the band of frequencies that they are tuned to or “pass” (hence the term bandpass). Disadvantages of this design are a limited frequency range, huge enclosure size and limited power handling. We don’t recommend any more than 500 watts RMS power to a bandpass enclosure.
Let us take another look at the main points:
– Lower Bass Frequencies
– Should Be Tuned
– Low Power Handling
– Biggest Box Size Required

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The Subwoofer Buying Guide

Add a Subwoofer to Your System for Deep Lows

 Buying a Subwoofer

Add Bass to Your System with a New Subwoofer

To add some extra bump to your vehicle’s sound system, all you need to do is add a subwoofer to your system. Car subwoofers provide depth to the sound of your music by supplying accurate bass beats to supplement the high frequency musical tunes. We carry car subs in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit your specific needs. However, buying a subwoofer is a more complex process than picking one at random, throwing it in your car and wiring it up. Some research is highly recommended so that you can choose the perfect subwoofer for your system. When choosing car subwoofers, you also need keep in mind things like the amount of space in your vehicle’s cab or trunk and what kind music you listen to. Most car audio enthusiasts take particular pride in their woofers. When buying a subwoofer there’s a couple things you may want to consider before pulling that “Checkout” trigger.

What Does a Subwoofer Do?

Subwoofers Displace Air to Create Sound Waves

Let’s start by talking a bit about how subwoofers create bass. This will help you make a better decision when picking out how many subwoofers you want, and what sizes you want the drivers to be. Simply put, subwoofers create bass by moving air. Each time the subwoofer moves back and forth, it’s creating displacement. The size of the driver and how much power is running through the woofers motor determines how much overall bass output you’ll get. Two 250W 10″ subwoofers will be louder than one 12″ subwoofer handling 500W because the two 10″ subwoofers are displacing more air.

Buying multiple subwoofers is a great way to double the surface area that’s being moved, but it’s not the only factor that determines how much bass you’ll be getting. The power handling of the subwoofer is very important in this process as well.

What Size Subwoofer?

NVX NSW124 Subwoofer

When looking for your ideal subwoofer, it is also important to note the physical size of the subwoofer you want. As with everything in car audio, space is not always readily available, and subwoofer sizes can vary from slim fit subs to 18″ behemoths. The size of your subwoofer (the diameter) is important to know for installation processes and if you are planning to purchase or build an enclosure. The most popular subwoofer sizes are 10″ and 12″. Other common subwoofer sizes are 6.5″, 8″, 13″, 15″ and 18″.

It is also critical for you to be aware of the mounting depth space you have to work with and what the mounting depth of the subwoofer is that you are planning on purchasing. If you buy a subwoofer that has a mounting depth greater than you have to work with, you’ll either have to get a different subwoofer or do some serious modifications.

Bigger is Better?

In the case of car subwoofers, bigger is not necessarily better. The best subwoofers have high sensitivity ratings. These measure how effectively a speaker converts power into sound. Subs with a higher sensitivity rating will play louder, given a set amount of input power.

To demonstrate, consider the following example. If “SUBWOOFER A” has a relatively lower power rating than “Subwoofer B”, but“SUBWOOFER A” has a relatively higher sensitivity rating, then “SUBWOOFER A” will play louder (assuming the sensitivity differences are substantial). Therefore, a smaller subwoofer with higher sensitivity ratings can boom louder than a larger subwoofer with lower sensitivity.

What Kind of Power Do You Need?

The RMS power handling rating refers to the amount of power a car subwoofer can handle on a continuous basis. Ignore the peak power ratings, these ratings are merely a marketing scheme used to grab your attention. They are totally insignificant when trying to match up an amplifier with subs and speakers.

We recommend slightly over-powering your subwoofer based on its recommended RMS power rating. This will help prevent accidentally over-powering or blowing your sub. You should select a subwoofer based on the amount of power output generated by your amplifier, the sub’s impedance and the voice coil specifications.

What Else Do You Need to Know?

Impedance

The impedance measures the load value (in ohms) that the speakers present to the amplifier, or the amount of resistance to the current flow. Car subwoofer impedance can be rated at a 2 ohm, 4 ohm, or an 8 ohm load. When you are trying to match up a subwoofer’s power rating with an amplifier, be sure the power ratings are estimated at the same ohm load.

Voice Coils Provides the Push to Move the ConeVoice Coils

A voice coil is the coil of wire attached to the cone. Driving a current through the voice coil produces a magnetic field, which in turn moves the cone. The number of voice coils allow for different wiring configurations. The type of voice coil setups includes single, dual, or quad voice coil. Dual voice coil subs have more wiring flexibility than single voice coils subs; however, single voice coil subwoofers provide easier hookup options for wiring multiple subwoofers in parallel or series. You may run a dual voice coil (DVC) sub in parallel, series, or combination. A quad voice coil has four voice coils and is equal to two dual voice coil subwoofers (in terms of wiring capabilities).

Cone Material

Paper cones natural sounding bass. Some of the best sounding bass, but the least durable cone material. This is why you commonly see materials such as polypropylene being used for cones. Polypropylene tends to be more durable than paper, but also retains some natural sound. Finally, you’ll find titanium cones and other materials in some premium woofers. This is all used for specific reasons depending on the manufacturer, and can provide different sounding bass.

Do I need an Enclosure?

Component subwoofers should be mounted in an enclosure for optimal performance. We advise you to choose a sealed, ported or bandpass box based on your subwoofer specifications and available vehicle space. We also offer premade package deals underSubwoofers with Enclosures. These Enclosed Subwoofer Systems include subwoofers prebuilt into a box.

If space is at a premium, we offer powered subs, which are essentially enclosures loaded with an amplifier and a woofer. We also offer vehicle specific subs that are specially designed to save space and match the interior of your vehicle. For the ultimate luxury, check out our BassForms fiberglass enclosures featuring a lifetime warranty.

Price

Make sure you plan your budget ahead of time. To power your car subwoofer, you will need an amplifier, speaker wire, wiring kits and other install accessories. If you need help along the way, give us a call at 1-877-289-7664.

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Enclosures Pre-loaded with Subwoofers

Loaded Enclosures Ensure You End Up with a Perfectly Matched Sub and Box

Setting up the ideal audio system can be difficult. Perhaps you’re searching for a car subwoofer, an amplifier, or even an enclosure. You have to know how much power you need from your amplifier, what type of subwoofer enclosure to use, and what type of accessories you need for your installation. The simple solution is to order a pre-loaded subwoofer box.

In the past, these combo packages were designed for car audio beginners who wanted to test the water without much headaches. However, times have changed, and there are now many packages designed specifically for audiophiles.

What are some advantages to these types of enclosures? First of all, the manufacturer uses their insight to select the size and volume of the enclosure that will enable the subwoofer to operate at the optimal level. With this in mind, they do the technical work behind the scenes to make sure you get the best sounding system. The end result is precise calculation, calibration, and perfect tuning.

You don’t have to worry about measuring the port size or trying to figure out the internal wiring. All you have to do is place it where you want it, hook up the wires from the amplifier, and you’re good to go! They have various sizes, ranging from 8” to as big as 15” loaded subwoofer enclosures. In addition, various companies have both dual or single voice coil designs as well as single or dual subwoofer mounts. Save time and order a pre-loaded subwoofer box, you will be free of headaches and you will not be disappointed!

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How to Build a Subwoofer Box

Build Your Own Enclosure

Required Tools:

  • 3/4″ Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)
  • Power drill
  • Screws
  • Table saw (or circular saw or hand saw)
  • Jigsaw
  • Putty Knives
  • Wood glue
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Compass
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Razor
  • Caulking gun
  • Goggles
  • Air compressor (optional)

We recommend using Medium Density Fiberboard because the density of the board will keep vibrations at a minimum. Plan ahead to ensure the box will fit in your vehicle. Once you establish how much space is available in your vehicle, calculate the box volume required for playing your subwoofer at its maximum performance level. The box volume depends on the subwoofer size. Check the table below for recommended box volumes or contact the subwoofer manufacturer for more specific recommendations.

Sub Size (inches) Box Volume (ft3)
6″ 0.36 – 0.48
8″ 0.72 – 0.96
10″ 1.2 – 1.8
12″ 2.4 – 3.6
15″ 6.0 – 10.8

 

Constructing the Subwoofer Box

After measuring your desired box dimensions, use your pencil to draw cutout guide lines. You should use your compass to draw the exact speaker hole and the measuring tape to determine the panel size. To make the box frame, cut the Medium Density Fiberboard with a table saw. Next cut out the speaker hole with a jigsaw. Clean up any roughness from the cuts and blow out the edges with an air compressor. Now that the main panels are cut, make sure the panels match up together by temporarily assembling the box frame.

Apply glue to the joint lines to set up the frame. It takes at least an hour for the glue to dry. After it dries you can start adding screws. Take a power drill to pre-drill your screw holes, and drill in screws to connect the panels. You should have one screw for every 6 inches along the joint line.

Scrape off the dried wood glue with the putty knives. Use glue to seal up the inside of the box to ensure an airtight enclosure. Attach the baffle board last. The baffle board is the panel that is fashioned with the speaker hole. While the box is still open, you can use a caulking gun loaded with silicone sealant to make a seal along each joint line. Once you finish caulking the joints, you can now attach the baffle board. It is imperative that you seal off the enclosure so that it is airtight. If it is not completely airtight, it will result in less power handling for your subwoofer as well as speaker distortion.

Now that your box frame is constructed, take the putty knife and apply putty along along the seams and the screw holes. Let the putty dry, and use a palm sander to first sand over the screw holes and then the flat spots. A sanding block with some sand paper will also do the trick, just use sandpaper with a 120-220 grip.

You can line your box with carpet and felt in order to match your vehicle’s interior. Spray an adhesive to attach the carpet to the box and use a razor to cut away edges and the speaker hole. Use an adhesive to add some poly-fil inside the box to maximize subwoofer performance. Now place the subwoofer in the box and mount the subwoofer box and you’re ready to rock.

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