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Anyone running different sized subs?

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Old 01-22-2013, 10:08 PM   #1
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Anyone running different sized subs?

Wondering if anyone is running different sized subs. They would probably have to be wired to a separate amp (dont quote me on that, idk for sure) but I know that smaller subs handle tighter bass and bigger subs are just for pounding the shit out of peoples eardrums. So i'm wondering if anyone has tried to put two different size subs in their rig?
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:31 AM   #2
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I wouldn't run two different size subs (especially in the same enclosure since they require different air volumes). There really isn't any benefit. Larger subs can sound just as good as smaller subs. In fact, most of the time they sound better. The myth that "smaller subs are tighter" isn't really true.

A larger sub displaces more air without moving as far so in reality is doesn't have to work that hard to keep up.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:24 AM   #3
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Of course not in the same enclosure. But depending on what music you listen to where the bass changes quickly and is not just one or two notes the entire song, smaller subs I think can change notes quicker
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidjmay View Post
Of course not in the same enclosure. But depending on what music you listen to where the bass changes quickly and is not just one or two notes the entire song, smaller subs I think can change notes quicker
Can you prove that?

....because I can prove otherwise. Keep in mind that the larger subs you're used to hearing could potentially be crap. A good 12" sub with a high strength motor should have sufficient force to quickly accelerate the cone to any desired frequency.

My best advice would be to go with the largest size cone you can fit in your application. There's a variety of reasons for this including (but not limited to) displacement and efficiency.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:51 PM   #5
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Nah I can't. Just a hypothetical question to see if it had been done.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:55 AM   #6
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David, if you're theory is right (patience Steven, let me finish :-), then theoretically you are asking to muddy up your bass. If a large sub is slower to respond and get moving, while a smaller sub responses faster, then if you team the two up, you'll get the large slow sub and the small fast sub introducing a bit of a phase difference into the bass, essentially muddying up the bass.

Now Steven you may attack at will. :-)
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:00 AM   #7
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In order for using two different sized subs to actually make any sense you would have to be using something like an 8" coupled with a 20".

The thing is... there aren't really any advantages to that.

An 8" sub in a setup like that is going to be tuned for the higher end of the bass range and for a little midbass. (which sounds like shit.)

The 20" sub (with ample power, talking like 2000W) is going to play super low notes that will also sound like shit.

If you're going for pure volume, sure. Use as many different size subs as you want. But if you want it to sound good it's hard to beat 1 quality 10" or 12" sub in a good enclosure with plenty of power.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:11 PM   #8
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"good enclosure"- ported or sealed?
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidjmay View Post
"good enclosure"- ported or sealed?
ported no doubt about it
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:22 PM   #10
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I have ran 2 different set-ups recently.Can only speak from my own set-ups. I ran 1 10" kicker comp in a sealed box(1.2cu'). i kept seeing these 8's getting good reviews about thier quality and how low they went. I remembered "hay thier only 8's". got a good deal on them , so i got them. built a sealed(.35 per chamber)box. I have had them in for 3 weeks. I can say they would devistate most any single 10 or 12 under 150$. Now the upside of the 8" upside:less watts to run,can pretty much fit any 8 behind are seats, cheaper, less air space aka: less stuff you are going to have to remove from your back wall or the back of your seats. now most good 10's or 12's under 150$ have deeper depth(5 7/8 +) and take more airspace the cheaper they are from what i can see, with a few exceptions(10" type "r", Jl) . and the quality ones are 150 plus, mostly good on air space but are deep. If you find a good 10" usually its 8" brother isnt to far behind and sometimes alot cheaper because of the thought that bigger always better. Dont get me wrong an 8 will never go as deep as a 10 or 12 its just a better option than I originally thought it would be. I dont listen to many notes between 20-28Hz anyways. But thats why i bought 2 and put them in a sealed box. To get as low as I could out of them. And from what I have seen 8's for the most part do react quicker then a 10 or 12. maybe because its bigger and takes more time to change notes, i dont know i am no audio engineer just sounds that way. maybe someone else should chime in on that. I have had several systems over the past 16 years. From a 12" solobaric that was crazy(it made me have respect for a 400$ speaker). To a cheapo all in one system that was well worth the 100 dollars i paid at circut city. There is know perfect answer when it comes to car systems because of all the variables and every body hears things different.So do lots of research and do what sounds like it would fit you. I am no expert by far, and there several very audio savy people on here, Stallion being one of them. I have read about lots of great ideas on here and it has inspired me to experiment and push my own knowledge and skills. good luck with your venture
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:39 PM   #11
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Beach taco, what 8's did you run? Brand, model etc. And where were they located in your car? Of course everybody hears things differently, but were they the type of sub that you can crank up and still hear it from a few feet away from your truck? Since I have an xtra cab (1st gen) I'm very interested in trying to stick 2 8's underneath the back seats, curious as to how that had been done-- but I know it has.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:40 PM   #12
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And blake5995, any experience with building ported boxes yourself? Sealed is a bit easier but I have no clue how to build a ported one.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:08 PM   #13
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Ok, I'm going to answer and risk sounding like an asshole. But I need to do it so no one gets burned by listening to false information...

First, a speaker moves in and out to make noise by displacing air and making sound waves. Hopefully everyone here understands that. The goal is to MOVE AIR.

So let's pretend we're Japanese for a moment and we have those cool fold out fans to cool us off in the summer. I give you a fan that has a diameter of 5" and I myself use a fan that's 12" in diameter. We both start fanning ourselves. Your fan is small and doesn't move a lot of air while mine is larger and moves a TON of air with very little effort. Here are the potential outcomes....
1) You work REALLY hard to move air with the tiny fan.
2) You never get cool.

The same goes for speakers. Displacement is simple math. You take the area of the cone and multiply it by how far the subwoofer can move in or out. An 8" subwoofer has HALF the cone area of a 12" sub so in order to move the same amount of air it must move in and out TWICE as far.

Now consider this. Amplifiers produce distortion on the order of about .05% (that's a high estimate) and the source like your headunit probably lower than that. A subwoofer easily makes over 5% distortion. That's more than 100x the amount. Why do you think that is? I'll tell you why. It's because it's the only piece of the signal chain that involves mechanical motion. This should make it plain to see that motion creates distortion. If we can keep the cone motion to a minimum we can keep distortion very low.

So how do we keep distortion low? Well for starters we can use a very large cone. I believe someone earlier in the thread stated that 8" subs don't need as much power as larger subs. In addition to being wrong, the exact opposite is true. Smaller subwoofers are generally less efficient because the cone geometry is so small. You can increase the output of a system by 3db by either doubling the power or by doubling the cone area. So if we had an 8" sub that was 84db efficient (getting fed 1 watt of power) and we magically made it a 12" subwoofer it would then yield an efficiency of 87db; still only getting 1 watt of power.

The other way to keep the cone movement to a minimum is to load the cone with a well built enclosure. Sealed boxes do alright but struggle with lower notes. As you go down in the frequency range the cone will start to move further and further. Eventually you'll hit the mechanical limits of the speaker and kill it. Ported boxes are awesome because you can "tune" them to a specific frequency. As the speaker plays notes near the tuning frequency of the enclosure the cone will start to move less and less. If you play the tuning frequency of the box the cone will move hardly at all even with a large amount of power. This is because the air pressure is loading the cone. So the idea is you tune the enclosure to a lower frequency where the speaker begins to run out of XMAX (a fancy term for how far a speaker can move). What's really awesome is that the ported enclosure will also improve the speaker's efficiency at lower notes meaning the speaker plays those notes louder.


The above are not opinions of my own. They are facts based on acoustic principles centered around physics. I design speakers for a living (in addition to my real job) so I have a good understanding of these "myths" regarding audio. Hopefully someone has made it to the end of this post and read the entire thing. Often times I take the time to explain this stuff but it falls on deaf ears...

PS: I have graphs if you guys need a visual aid on the differences in frequency response.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:08 PM   #14
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Infinity reference series 8",250w RMS. check them on sonic, last i looked they had one left. I bought the pair special for 87$ they had going. Very heavy, very rugged looking speaker. The whole reason I probably even looked at 8's was I saw a video on youtube with this dude out of arizona playing an 8" speaker (sundown audio) and the guys that sat in his car thought it was a 12" speaker. now my speakers are no sundowns but that showed me how important it was to build the box as acurate as possible( i make hand cuts , i dont have a table saw)and check the speakers Qts. when choosing type of enclosure. I was not talking about wattage vs efficiency, I was just saying you could most likely run a smaller amp to an 8", not get equal output between the 8" and a 12". Sealed does not get as low but does create a flatter response across the range, thats what I was looking for. I thank the 8's I have are probably just a really good sub for the price. My next project is a deeper, better quality 10". My kicker 10" was 5 1/16" depth got it on sale for 22.99 open box local best buy. I just was impressed by what the 8's brought to the table
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:41 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by ItalynStylion View Post
Ok, I'm going to answer and risk sounding like an asshole. But I need to do it so no one gets burned by listening to false information...
Was gonna be a douche and quote the whole thing
BTW, I did read your entire post. Some great info. You seem very knowledgeable due to your experiences and I hope that you'll continue to follow this thread/be able to answer the questions I will have.
The "is anyone running different sized subs" was just a hypothetical question to see if anyone had done it, my next idea is to upgrade the 10" pioneer shallow mount that I have in a sealed 0.78 cubic ft. box. The way I have it set up, I can feel the sub too much as opposed to hearing it, since its so close to my seats.


SO, I'm thinking of porting a kicker either 10 or 12 and sticking it on the back seat behind the driver seat. Thoughts on ported boxes? I.e. how to make them or where is a good place to buy them/which types to buy. Also, you spoke of "tuning" the ported boxes. Elaborate on this? Please and thanks!
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:45 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beach Taco View Post
Infinity reference series 8",250w RMS. check them on sonic, last i looked they had one left. I bought the pair special for 87$ they had going. Very heavy, very rugged looking speaker. The whole reason I probably even looked at 8's was I saw a video on youtube with this dude out of arizona playing an 8" speaker (sundown audio) and the guys that sat in his car thought it was a 12" speaker. now my speakers are no sundowns but that showed me how important it was to build the box as acurate as possible( i make hand cuts , i dont have a table saw)and check the speakers Qts. when choosing type of enclosure. I was not talking about wattage vs efficiency, I was just saying you could most likely run a smaller amp to an 8", not get equal output between the 8" and a 12". Sealed does not get as low but does create a flatter response across the range, thats what I was looking for. I thank the 8's I have are probably just a really good sub for the price. My next project is a deeper, better quality 10". My kicker 10" was 5 1/16" depth got it on sale for 22.99 open box local best buy. I just was impressed by what the 8's brought to the table
The kicker 10, I'm assuming it was just a comp series? Where did you put it?
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:12 PM   #17
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The only reason you run different speakers of various sizes is to cover different spectrums of the frequency range. Small tweeters for up high, mids for the....mids, and a woofer to accommodate the low end.

A 12" sub can easily play up to 100hz (fact) which is as high as you should run any subwoofer in a vehicle (opinion). Any higher than 80hz and your brain can start to tell where the sound is coming from. It's for this reason that you don't need anything small or a second subwoofer to cover that spectrum. Anything 80hz and up should be taken care of by the midbass drivers like you'd find in a component set or a coaxial. So stick with one size subwoofer.

Tuning a ported enclosure is a bit tricky but it's not that hard to learn. You can take the TS Parameters of a speaker and calculate your own "best" enclosure for your use or you can go off the manufacturers suggested enclosure specs. In any event, you'll need a volume of air inside the box with a sort of tube or pathway that lets air out. This is called the port. It must be a very specific size and length. A small diameter port will let you achieve the desired tuning frequency with a very short port. But if the hole is too small you'll hear the air wooshing in and out; like blowing through a small straw. If the port hole is larger the port won't make any excessive air noise but the port must be much longer to reach the same tuning frequency. That's the tradeoff.

It should also be noted that some speakers don't work well in sealed boxes and some don't work well in ported boxes. Each speaker is unique and it's TS Parameters determine which enclosure suits it best.

PS: I run two 8" subs in a sealed enclosure in my Tacoma. It about killed me to have to use 8's and it was even worse when I realized I didn't have the space for a ported box. But space was at a premium so I had to get creative.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:29 PM   #18
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I've only heard of running different size subs for three reasons, to produce different frequencies (as mentioned), because of restrictions in mounting locations, or the guy was just trying to get as much base as he could with whatever he had laying around.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:30 PM   #19
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Dude, I have a '00 extra cab. Talk to me about space. Haha and how hard would it be to build a ported box? I want to throw in a kicker 12 or at LEAST a 10 but I was thinking either the solo-baric l7 or the brand new compR... I really like the design of the compR.
Also, (I know this question has probably been asked before), but in your opinion: is it better to have the amp put out more power (ex: 1000w amp, 800w max power sub), or is it better to have a sub with a higher handling capacity than the amp puts out? (ex: 1000w amp, 1200w max power sub)?
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:31 PM   #20
davidjmay [OP] davidjmay is offline
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davidjmay is one of the sharper tools in the sheddavidjmay is one of the sharper tools in the sheddavidjmay is one of the sharper tools in the sheddavidjmay is one of the sharper tools in the sheddavidjmay is one of the sharper tools in the sheddavidjmay is one of the sharper tools in the sheddavidjmay is one of the sharper tools in the sheddavidjmay is one of the sharper tools in the sheddavidjmay is one of the sharper tools in the sheddavidjmay is one of the sharper tools in the sheddavidjmay is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Brown View Post
I've only heard of running different size subs for three reasons, to produce different frequencies (as mentioned), because of restrictions in mounting locations, or the guy was jut trying to get as much base as he could with whatever he had laying around.
Yeah, some mid range speakers (like mine) have terrible bass capacity so I was just thinking that a smaller sub coupled with a larger sub would make up for it. But on to bigger and better things now
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