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Using a Car Sub for HT?


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15 replies to this topic

#1 of 16 OFFLINE   Martin Fontaine

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Posted June 27 2002 - 02:48 PM

A friend of mine was looking at prices for audio equipment and found out that car subs are much cheaper than HT Subs. Since he is very strapped for cash he was thinking of going that route.

Is there anything wrong with using a car sub in a HT environment?

He is using a 3 Year Old Technics All-in-One system which consists of a (AC3-Ready) DPL Receiver, Tape Deck, CD Player and equalizer (DVD Player was added later), 2 Towers, Center and rears. His towers can do some bass, but to him, that's not enough. He has to crank up the first band of the equalizer to at least get a reading on the richter scale. So a sub is all he needs. The cheaper, the better and as far as his research goes, a car sub might be the cheapest.
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#2 of 16 OFFLINE   Craig Woodhall

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Posted June 27 2002 - 02:54 PM

The only thing wrong with it, is car subs usually don't go as low and rely on cabin gain to get their output.. Whereas room gain isn't as much and the woofer might sound weak in a ht room.

Craig

#3 of 16 OFFLINE   Dustin B

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Posted June 27 2002 - 03:09 PM

What driver is he looking at and how much does it cost?

Yes, building a sub using a driver sold for car use is cheaper than a finished sub. But there are several options for raw drivers specifically intended for home use that kick the crap out of what is sold for car audio. Most drivers sold for car audio rely heavily on cabin gain to make up for their poor extension. Won't get that in a room.

Do a search on Shiva, Tempest, Blue Print 03 series, Dayton DVC 12 and 15 inch, Stryke Audio offers a few and there are others.
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#4 of 16 OFFLINE   Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Posted June 27 2002 - 04:00 PM

Quote:
The cheaper, the better and as far as his research goes, a car sub might be the cheapest.
Are you talking about one of those pre-made subs –you know, complete with driver and box? If so, don’t forget to add the price of an amp...

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#5 of 16 OFFLINE   Bruce Chang

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Posted June 27 2002 - 07:19 PM

Just use a car sub that you like and put it in your room. My illusion audio sub sounds great sealed in my room. I can't wait to get it ported.

#6 of 16 OFFLINE   BrianWoerndle

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Posted June 28 2002 - 04:48 AM

Quote:
Is there anything wrong with using a car sub in a HT environment?

No and yes.
Will it work? yes.
Will it sound good? No where near what a good HT sub will sound.
Things to consider:
You will have to buy an amp. Do not hook it up directly to the reciever. Most car subs run at 4 ohms, or even 2 ohms, that reciever is meant to run at 8 ohms. Putting a 2 or 4 ohm load on the reciver will fry it in no time.
Car subs do not go as low as HT subs. They are also not as accurate. They are just menat to 'go boom' really loud. Not exactly ideal for HT.
Does that reciever have a sub pre-out? If not, then you will need a crossover from the main channels, which is not recommended because of point #1.

I think he would be better off to wait and save more money until he can get a decent HT sub.
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#7 of 16 OFFLINE   Michael Lomker

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Posted June 28 2002 - 04:55 AM

You should do a search here and on AVS forum about "infinite baffle" subs. The DIY board could offer more suggestions.

#8 of 16 OFFLINE   Brian Bunge

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Posted June 28 2002 - 05:27 AM

Brian,

I have to disagree with you somewhat. There are some "car audio" subs that will work great for HT use. Two that come to mind are the Audiomobile MASS series drivers and the Blueprint 03 series drivers. Several people in the DIY forum have built subs around these drivers with excellent results. They'd surpass almost any commercially available sub I can think of.

There are plate style amplifiers that can be used to build your own subwoofer with. And there are receivers that can handle a 4 ohm load all day long, but I wouldn't necessarily use them for subwoofer duty. There are some people doing just that with their SVS subs though.

If you are capable of "rolling your own" just about any DIY sub will outperform a commercial sub for the same investment and then some.

Brian
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#9 of 16 OFFLINE   BrianWoerndle

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Posted June 28 2002 - 07:05 AM

Yes Brian, I agree. I know that there is some very nice car audio gear out there, but I think that might be out of his pricerange. If he is trying to keep the price cheap (Below a decent HT sub) he is probably looking at a cheap mass marketed sub that will not perform very well in an HT application.
The only way to safely double your money is to fold it over once and place it back in your pocket.

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#10 of 16 OFFLINE   Brian Bunge

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Posted June 28 2002 - 07:18 AM

Brian,

I agree he's probably not looking at the higher quality (read higher priced) drivers. I guess it depends on what you consider a "decent" HT sub. I personally can't think of anything cheaper than a Rava or the cheapest SVS that I'd consider buying.

If you've got $300-$400 to spend and have the means to build your own you can best just about anything available in the $1K range.

Brian
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#11 of 16 OFFLINE   Chris Tsutsui

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Posted June 28 2002 - 07:32 AM

I would use a home theater driver and not a car sub. Were talking like a difference of like $50 right? I think the decent car subs start at around $100.

#12 of 16 OFFLINE   Brian Bunge

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Posted June 28 2002 - 07:42 AM

Chris,

You can get the Dayton DVC 12 for $99 every now and then! Posted Image

Brian
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#13 of 16 OFFLINE   Dustin B

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Posted June 28 2002 - 08:05 AM

You can get the Dayton DVC12" every day at Acoustic Visions for $106.
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#14 of 16 OFFLINE   Martin Fontaine

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Posted June 28 2002 - 04:34 PM

We looked at the replis at work during our lunch break today. And I guess now he knows why a car sub is not a good idea.

Yes his receiver has a sub pre-out, it was actually planned that I bring my Kenwood HTiB sub to his place to test it with his system. We never did though...

What about that Sony sub that I saw mentionned a few times, SAWM40 or something like that the model # I think. Would that be good for him? How much is it in Cdn$ (And where in Montreal can he get it)
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#15 of 16 OFFLINE   ColinM

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Posted June 28 2002 - 04:44 PM

Maybe off-topic now that the subject is shifting somewhat, but a desperate friend of mine needed a sub.


I had an 8" Pioneer sub, slapped it into a 12"d x 12"h sonotube and stuffed the hell out of it and ran it sealed.

After placement was worked out I was amazed at how well it really worked in his basement.

Now I'm trying to talk him into one of those 350w 15"ers at harmanaudio.com. ($170-ish)

That'll kick the Sony's butt. Check it and the 12'er out sometime.

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#16 of 16 OFFLINE   BrianWoerndle

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Posted June 29 2002 - 01:57 AM

The Sony WAM40 is an excellent entry level sub. That will work well for him, and sound better than a car sub.
The only way to safely double your money is to fold it over once and place it back in your pocket.

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