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Are there any real differences in a sub speaker made for a car audio system compared to a home audio speaker? I'm just curious about the driver itself, not so much the box designs.

Thanks,

James
 

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Most car subwoofers are optimized for max SPL in the 30-45hz range. (Their magnet and voice coil and surround is optimized for that.)
Dual 1-ohm coils is a really-bad idea for home use (unless wiring in series for 4-ohm).

dual 2-ohm or single 4-ohm is pretty standard for home theater.
Home theater subs are usually optimized for maximum depth (a 20hz to 10hz tuning and voice-coil optimization is not uncommon, actually one could say that it is expected!)

Other than that, there is zero difference.

There are two ways to get loud.
1) A 30inch cone with ultra high efficiency (good luck finding one). Unobtainium
2) Or a more modest 18-24inch with high excursion and mediocre efficiency and reasonable-to-good power handling (optimized for 15hz to 40hz, with decent performance to 200hz)
3) Pro-woofers are somewhere in-between, high effeciency, good power handling, but low excursion (they are optimized for getting loud >30hz-200hz with a 500-4000watt amp.)

Obviously a mix of #2 and #3 is best.

As for the top 10 rated subwoofer-systems on AVS, they are all sporting an SI-18 equivalence of beyond sixteen 18's, and are running a mix of horned and ported boxes, or massive IB/sealed arrays, and typically have between 10,000-80,000watts pushing it all.
Those systems typically have ULF scores below 150 (the lower the better): http://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-s...cers/1488059-your-home-theater-ulf-score.html

Bassheads be bassheads.
 

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And I have heard that the competition subs in car audio, are built for max SPL as priority with sound quality the least important.
 

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And I have heard that the competition subs in car audio, are built for max SPL as priority with sound quality the least important.
That wasn't always true and I'm not sure that car audio subwoofer manufacturers love that their products are being used this way.

I've had 2 different custom-built systems in my car: 1 based on JL Audio and one on Rockford Fosgate. While the Fosgate was definitely louder, the JL was more capable in terms of audio reproduction. Both were based on dual 10" drivers.
 

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It's like Import Tuner magazine got lazy and said, "You know, we could have a girl in clear heels just post with an engine rack--that'd save money on the engine itself! Or, hell, the car!" And someone said, "yeah, but we need *something* else in the photo..."

I'm glad that's an area of audio I know nothing about. :D
 
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