Recommendations for a car subwoofer? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-18-2020, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Recommendations for a car subwoofer?

Hope its not a problem to post about car audio. Looking for a compact subwoofer solution to be used with a Ford CMax plug in hybrid paired with the 6 speaker factory Sony system. Cargo space is at a premium, therefore I'm looking for something small in footprint. Perhaps under the driver seat, unless someone can recommend a better alternative?

Just looking for tight clean musical bass and am not overly concerned with output. Listen mainly to rock, blues, jazz, country.

Budget is flexible but thinking in the $200-$300 range.
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-18-2020, 10:33 PM
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I was in a similar boat with my Mazda3 hatchback - With packaging as your top priority, that will likely affect your choices more than variations in the sound signature of different sub brands/models.

One really convenient placement option in a hatchback is the side of the rear cargo area, but you'd need a custom enclosure for the woofer. I lucked out with the Mazda--there was a guy making custom boxes that took the place of the jack cubby. This isn't mine but it's the same idea: https://www.mazdas247.com/forum/prox...c4cac1fa4898ac

A competent custom shop could build something like that, but it might exceed your budget.

So, the key piece here might be finding a reasonably-priced off-the-shelf enclosure designed to fit in a tight spot, and then reverse engineer a suitable sub from there. Most of the compact enclosures are designed for 8" or even 6.5" subs. Here are a couple:

https://www.crutchfield.com/S-ZaGFpO...QaAkNHEALw_wcB

https://www.skaraudio.com/products/e...0aApeXEALw_wcB

Most of the shallower small subs that would fit in enclosures like these can typically only handle up to 200w or so RMS. The high-power-handling small subs tend to have big magnets that increase the mounting depth quite a bit - and once added to the amp and enclosure, might be beyond your budget. The one in my Mazda is a 200w sub, and it definitely falls into the "fills out the bottom end" category, as opposed to the "blow the windows out" category.

You'll also need to think about where the amp is going to go - I've got mine under the driver seat, which you say is one possible spot for your sub - my Mazda wouldn't have enough room for both the amp and sub under there. Maybe your C-Max has more room, or maybe you could put the sub under one seat, and the amp under the other.
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post #3 of 8 Old 03-18-2020, 11:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigcitrus View Post
I was in a similar boat with my Mazda3 hatchback - With packaging as your top priority, that will likely affect your choices more than variations in the sound signature of different sub brands/models.

One really convenient placement option in a hatchback is the side of the rear cargo area, but you'd need a custom enclosure for the woofer. I lucked out with the Mazda--there was a guy making custom boxes that took the place of the jack cubby. This isn't mine but it's the same idea: https://www.mazdas247.com/forum/prox...c4cac1fa4898ac

A competent custom shop could build something like that, but it might exceed your budget.

So, the key piece here might be finding a reasonably-priced off-the-shelf enclosure designed to fit in a tight spot, and then reverse engineer a suitable sub from there. Most of the compact enclosures are designed for 8" or even 6.5" subs. Here are a couple:

https://www.crutchfield.com/S-ZaGFpO...QaAkNHEALw_wcB

https://www.skaraudio.com/products/e...0aApeXEALw_wcB

Most of the shallower small subs that would fit in enclosures like these can typically only handle up to 200w or so RMS. The high-power-handling small subs tend to have big magnets that increase the mounting depth quite a bit - and once added to the amp and enclosure, might be beyond your budget. The one in my Mazda is a 200w sub, and it definitely falls into the "fills out the bottom end" category, as opposed to the "blow the windows out" category.

You'll also need to think about where the amp is going to go - I've got mine under the driver seat, which you say is one possible spot for your sub - my Mazda wouldn't have enough room for both the amp and sub under there. Maybe your C-Max has more room, or maybe you could put the sub under one seat, and the amp under the other.
Thanks for your input. I'm probably leaning to a powered subwoofer such as this Kicker from Crutchfield:
https://www.crutchfield.com/p_20611H...S8.html?tp=114

There isn't much cargo space in the rear, due to the plug in battery but I'm wondering if perhaps I could put a larger enclosure under the cargo cover? Not sure if it would be wise to have it that close to the battery either.
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post #4 of 8 Old 03-19-2020, 09:31 AM
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If you look on crutchfield, they should have shallow sub enclosures that fit under the seats of the Can-Am Mavericks & Polaris Razor side-by-sides that come with marine grade MTX & Fosgate drivers. Perhaps you could double check the dimensions on one of those to see if it will fit?


Hope this helps,

Darrell

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post #5 of 8 Old 03-19-2020, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlanetAVS View Post
Thanks for your input. I'm probably leaning to a powered subwoofer such as this Kicker from Crutchfield:
https://www.crutchfield.com/p_20611H...S8.html?tp=114
Don't do it. I had 2 of those underseat subs. They suck and are one note wonders...when they work. I replaced it with the following:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...RoC5RIQAvD_BwE
And to power the system I have this:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Front speakers:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Rear speakers:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Incredible sound in a compact footprint...All this in a 2012 Ford Escape.

Main: Mitsubishi 73736|OTA|fireTV|Sony BDP-S1100|Denon AVR4311CI|MartinLogan Preface|Phantom|MartinLogan Encore TF|1-1000watt & 1-500watt DIY 12" Subs|2 Bass Shaker|APC H15 Power Conditioner|Harmony Hub|Sennheiser RS 160|SMSL B1 BT Rx|Linksys SE2500
MBR: Vizio VF550M|OTA|fireTV3|Sony BDP-S1100|Denon AVR-X1000|Chane A1rx-c|Dayton SAT-BK|MartinLogan Dynamo 300|Belkin PF30|Harmony 550
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post #6 of 8 Old 03-19-2020, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirrel! View Post
Don't do it. I had 2 of those underseat subs. They suck and are one note wonders...when they work. I replaced it with the following:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...RoC5RIQAvD_BwE
And to power the system I have this:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Front speakers:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Rear speakers:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Incredible sound in a compact footprint...All this in a 2012 Ford Escape.
Did you have the kicker sub? Or are you referring to all underseat subwoofers in general?

On further review, I don't know if a powered sub will pair with a factory head unit anyway.
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-19-2020, 11:03 AM
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Any of the subs you choose will be "powered"--meaning that they'll have a separate amplifier from the stock head unit. There are the all-in-one packages that include the amp, or the separate sub/enclosure/amp route.

If you're referring to the fact that your head unit doesn't have a dedicated signal output for a subwoofer, that's not unusual. The traditional way to get signal to your sub amp is to use a line output converter tapped into your main speaker wiring. There are some downsides to that method, but it's the simplest solution if you're retaining the stock head unit.

Looking at the pic of your cargo area, the rectangular cubbies along the sides of the cargo area would be a natural spot for a custom enclosure with small subs, but that's a lot of custom work. It doesn't look like there's much room under the battery cover. Your best bet may be to use one of the shallow sealed enclosures linked above and just stick the box on top of the battery cover. It'll cut into your cargo space, but could be moved around if needed.
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post #8 of 8 Old 03-19-2020, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlanetAVS View Post
Did you have the kicker sub? Or are you referring to all underseat subwoofers in general?

On further review, I don't know if a powered sub will pair with a factory head unit anyway.
All underseat, self powered subs are really garbage. A powered sub will work with factory as they usually have high level inputs...just tap into your rear speakers and you're in. But again, I suggest to not waste your money on that stuff, spend a few dollars more and get what you want...a quality, musical experience.

Main: Mitsubishi 73736|OTA|fireTV|Sony BDP-S1100|Denon AVR4311CI|MartinLogan Preface|Phantom|MartinLogan Encore TF|1-1000watt & 1-500watt DIY 12" Subs|2 Bass Shaker|APC H15 Power Conditioner|Harmony Hub|Sennheiser RS 160|SMSL B1 BT Rx|Linksys SE2500
MBR: Vizio VF550M|OTA|fireTV3|Sony BDP-S1100|Denon AVR-X1000|Chane A1rx-c|Dayton SAT-BK|MartinLogan Dynamo 300|Belkin PF30|Harmony 550
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