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Help me decide on a subwoofer (1 Viewer)


Stunt Coordinator
Nov 2, 2001
Its time to enlist the help and wisdom of HTF.
I am upgrading my sub from the one that comes with the Kenwood HTB-504 package and have been doing a lot reading about my options. The budget is $150-$250 and I would like to keep it towards the lower end ;)
I know that I should save up some more and get an SVS/Rava/HSU and that will make me amazingly happy. There are a couple of reasons I've decided against this -
- I am in an apt. The bass that the Kenwwod put out, while quite boomy, was still loud enough to be heard across the hallway. I really do believe that a monster sub will be overkill - feel free to convince me otherwise!
- Budget. I could get a passive SVS for ~400 but the only amplification I have is an old AIWA receiver which will barely do the job. Also, I don't have the extra space.
These are the options I've come up with and some questions I have :-
1. Sony SAWM40 with the polyfill mod - undisputed king of budget subs. $170. How low does this sub actually go? The specs say 20hz but that's hard to believe.
2. AudioSource SW15 - same as above but harder to find and more expensive, will probably go a bit lower though.
3. DIY - this is the big one. I've read several posts saying you can build a DIY sub for $250 or so but I fail to see how. I've been pricing out parts - Shiva or Daytona drivers, a PE 250W plate amp, enclosure etc - it all adds up to $300 or more. Living in an apt, I can't build it myself - I don't have access to tools or the skills to use them. I emailed Kyle at Acoustic Visions and he basically said that at this price point there's nothing he can do.
4. Used - maybe I should start a thread in the FS and DIY sections asking if anyone is willing to build a sub for me - I've read that many of you guys go on to bigger and better DIY projects and sell off the old ones at cost.
What do you think?


Dec 18, 2000
Option #4 or option #1 would be best. The bass from the current Kenwood sub may be able to be heard across the hall but I would say the boominess of it is likely the main reason. There is no substitute for deep, clean bass. The DIY sub is out due to necessary equipment. The closest sub you would be able to do would be the Dayton sub from www.partsexpress.com. #2 is still going to be a boomy sub and will require polyfill. IMO, option #4 should be the primary one you look into. If not, the Sony sub is an excellent budget sub (though it will never beat a SVS or Rava).

steve nn

Senior HTF Member
Jan 12, 2002
Yes the Sony is way ahead of the stock Ken-sub. No doubt about it. I know this from past exp.

Michael R Price

Jul 22, 2001
Quality over quantity - even if you don't want mind blowing output IMO you should still wait and save up. You can get a good sub and wait til you move out to be able to turn it up. In the meantime you'll enjoy much cleaner and better quality bass. Try to accumulate $400-600 so you can open up more options, especially DIY. Can you live with the stock sub a little bit, or is it really that bad?

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