Using Home Subwoofer box and amp w/ Car Audio Subwoofer

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Stephen Hopkins, Jul 21, 2002.

  1. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
    HW Reviewer

    Jul 19, 2002
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    I'm currently toying with the idea of replacing the existing paper driver of my KLH 10" 120watt subwoofer with a higher quality aluminum or poly car audio type driver. Will this work? Will it work well?

    I'm currently happy w/ my subs power and range, but some of the bass can get sloppy, and i think replacing the paper driver w/ a poly or aluminum car driver would most likely take care of that.

    My concern is that most car audio subwoofers are 4ohm and most home components, including the amp in my sub, are 8ohm.

    Will this cause problems? Any suggestions?

    Hopefully this will work and i can clean up my bass w/ out having to buy a whole new subwoofer/box/amp... especially since i can't really afford a JBL or Velodyne like i would like.


    Stephen Hopkins
  2. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

    Mar 10, 2001
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    Cone material differences won't clean up the bass. That has more to do with the motor and the enclosure than cone material. Depending on the T/S parameters of the driver you are considering it could sound better or worse in that KLH enclosure.

    There are a lot of sub drivers out there specifically made for home use. Most are 4ohms, and there are plenty of good cheap plate amps available that can handle 4ohm loads. And many other seperate amps that have no problem with 4ohm loads (there are actually quite a few 4ohm speakers out there in home audio).

    The big problem with drivers geared towards car use is they are designed to take advantage of cabin gain. Without the cabin gain (your typical home theater room is many times larger than your typical vehicle cabin) they become pretty gutless below about 40hz.

    This question comes up regularly, do some searches on "car drivers", "swapping driver", "changing driver" etc and you'll get loads of good info.
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Jun 24, 1999
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    Why not just replace it with a better 8ohm sub? Likely will not cost any more than a car sub. There's plenty of them out there. As Dustin mentione, the next questions are how will you know when you've found the right sub for the enclosure? Is it ported or sealed? You need to match the specs of the sub to the enclosure and it's tuning, if any. If it was as simple as slapping a speaker in a box, everyone would be doing it... That is not to say that it won't work, but it may not be as easy to achieve the desired results by going in blindly.

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