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subwoofer comparison JL13W6 vs Kicker CompVX 12"


craig3972

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I have a pair of 12" Kicker Comp VX's and was thinking about replacing them with a pair of the 13W6's. I have one JL HD750/1 to drive both Kickers right now, if I did the switch to the 13W6's I would put a 750/1 on each sub. My question is - Is this upgrade going to be worth the cash/effort. One nice part is I wouldnt have to change my enclosures as the meet with the JL specs. These subs function as low end bass and boat shakers only as they are not direct radiating (located in the cavity behind the rear seat/rear locker). The cost would be about $1600.00 for two 13W6's and one HD750/1.

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What are your goals with the "upgrade". The upgrade in Sd isn't very much and for $1600 you could do way better, if you are willing to do something on the enclosure. Without knowing your goals and limitations it is hard to make a recommendation though.

You will have to change your box as the 13 hasn't a different cut out. At the same time, if the box you have the Kicker's in is small enough to meet JL's specs then it isn't a very good box for the CompVX's.

What is your enclosure and what are you looking to do?

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I am sure this will piss folks off, as folks on here make a living selling these, but JLW series subs do NOT do well in a marine environment..

I saw PILES of JLW6 and JLW7 series subs in scrap heaps at Scream Marine in Dallas. Completely destroyed, all the foam that surrounds the cones completely dry-rotted and falling apart. The sub oherwise fine, that foam dry rots and falls apart. I should have taken pics.

That same crazy excursion that makes the W7 series so good, and such high sound quality, is also what makes that foam so brittle. I would have never believed it if I had not seen if for myself. I asked if it was because they were in direct constant sunlight or something like that, and he pointed at 2 of them that had been installed in interior compartments. no sun, no rain. JL W6 and W7 series do not do well to any type of exposure to temp and humidity extremes, you"d be lucky to get 2 years before you have issues.

Initially I wanted to go with the 13W7s, and go with 2 of them. Instead I went with a single Re XXX 15", which has about twice the capability for slightly cheaper price. Just ensure whatever sub you choose has butyl rubber and not foam surround.

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I am sure this will piss folks off, as folks on here make a living selling these, but JLW series subs do NOT do well in a marine environment..

I saw PILES of JLW6 and JLW7 series subs in scrap heaps at Scream Marine in Dallas. Completely destroyed, all the foam that surrounds the cones completely dry-rotted and falling apart. The sub oherwise fine, that foam dry rots and falls apart. I should have taken pics.

That same crazy excursion that makes the W7 series so good, and such high sound quality, is also what makes that foam so brittle. I would have never believed it if I had not seen if for myself. I asked if it was because they were in direct constant sunlight or something like that, and he pointed at 2 of them that had been installed in interior compartments. no sun, no rain. JL W6 and W7 series do not do well to any type of exposure to temp and humidity extremes, you"d be lucky to get 2 years before you have issues.

Initially I wanted to go with the 13W7s, and go with 2 of them. Instead I went with a single Re XXX 15", which has about twice the capability for slightly cheaper price. Just ensure whatever sub you choose has butyl rubber and not foam surround.

Not going to piss me off at all, but my 12w6 is now on it's 5 year and still going strong. I won't argue that some subs out there that are better suited for the marine enviornment, but some people just don't take care of their boats and the things in them.

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Ryan - have you ever stopped and thought that it may not be the sub, but the installer. The installer that showed you all those JL's that were distroyed has done about 3 systems for me and I can tell you for a fact - some of this is installer error.

I have had a 12w6 in my boat for 6 years now and have not had one problem.

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As stated before there are much better options out there than JL, at a much lower price. I would look at SSA, FI, Audioque, Sundown, or RE. Also O would definitely consider building a new box in a different location.

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Ryan - have you ever stopped and thought that it may not be the sub, but the installer. The installer that showed you all those JL's that were distroyed has done about 3 systems for me and I can tell you for a fact - some of this is installer error.

I have had a 12w6 in my boat for 6 years now and have not had one problem.

Very well could be a possibility. But I'm telling you, I had never seen anything like that, and after seeing it for myself, with all the the other options out there, I wanted no part of it.

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As stated before there are much better options out there than JL, at a much lower price. I would look at SSA, FI, Audioque, Sundown, or RE. Also O would definitely consider building a new box in a different location.

x2 on all those, especailly the Fi.

I read reviews for 6 months before I made my purchase on the Re XXX Sub.... I would have used a Fi Audi SP415, but you need to allow for 2 weeks construction, each ordered sub is a custom made order, and I ran into a time cruch with my project and couldnt wait the 2 weeks. Else, that's what I'd be running.

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I have a pair of 12" Kicker Comp VX's and was thinking about replacing them with a pair of the 13W6's. I have one JL HD750/1 to drive both Kickers right now, if I did the switch to the 13W6's I would put a 750/1 on each sub. My question is - Is this upgrade going to be worth the cash/effort. One nice part is I wouldnt have to change my enclosures as the meet with the JL specs. These subs function as low end bass and boat shakers only as they are not direct radiating (located in the cavity behind the rear seat/rear locker). The cost would be about $1600.00 for two 13W6's and one HD750/1.

Your current 2 subs are way underpowered, so comparing the current setup to two new subs with 2x the power is not going to be an apples to apples comparison. Driving the current subs to thier potential may yield the results you are looking for. Maybe add the 2nd 750/1 first and see. Im guessing your current subs are 2 ohm DVC's? Also getting the subs out of an insulated closed locker would be a huge improvement as well.

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As stated before there are much better options out there than JL, at a much lower price. I would look at SSA, FI, Audioque, Sundown, or RE. Also O would definitely consider building a new box in a different location.

x2 on all those, especailly the Fi.

I'd put SSA & Fi on the top of that list in particular for an open air environment.

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Interesting comments about the foam surrounds on the JL subs being an issue as all of the subs listed have foam surrounds. If interested in Fi subs check out Ascendant Audio, same subs same owner. Ascendant is just the store brand and not able to be customized like the Fi. I would guess that many of the subs listed built domestically are probably built at the same place.

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the idea is to make the boat shake more - not sound quality. I have two 10's that are direct radiating.

Then split them off and power each with 750W. Your current 12" will easily handle 1000W rms to each. If you dont like it, you've not lost anything as you where looking to add another 750/1 as it was. $.02

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I would save some money and go with the 15w3 subs then if that's the goal. If sound quality is not your concern there is no reason to get the w6 subs. You'll get more surface area on the sub which will equall more shake... Using the same boxes could prove tricky.

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these boxes are easy to make, so its no big deal. the 15 in the locker sounds interesting.

I could get an HD1200/1 - run the two 10's on the 1200. Then use the two HD750/1 (I currently have) and run the 12" kickers on those. Is 600wrms too much for a JL M10W5? (sealed)

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Interesting comments about the foam surrounds on the JL subs being an issue as all of the subs listed have foam surrounds. If interested in Fi subs check out Ascendant Audio, same subs same owner. Ascendant is just the store brand and not able to be customized like the Fi. I would guess that many of the subs listed built domestically are probably built at the same place.

Fi, Ascendant, SSA are all built (Las Vegas) and designed by Scott whom also used to do the design work for RE. The Audioque I am not a fan of at all, but their target market is not at all into fidelity but instead output. The compromises they generally make are not of interest to me. Sundown is made off shore as well.

All of which will get you to the boat shaking more much cheaper than the JL. The W7 is not meant to do that, nor are their other drivers. Adding more power to the Comp's AND building them a more appropriate ported enclosure will help the most. They are not sealed box subs. Spending money on new drivers isn't what you should do. I'd also generically not recommend mixing drivers and sizes.

That being said, what exact specs are your enclosures built to? How much space do you have for more?

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the kickers are in ported enclosures 1.85cuft approx - too small for that sub. This is a functioning wake boat, not willing to put in a 3.0cuft enclosure. could probably go as high as 2.25cuft max with port.

the 15W3 has a recommended enclosure size that is large as well - 2.75cuft.

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Is that net or gross? (ie including the port or not). Also curious what they are tuned to and what size port.

BTW, If it's gross that box is way too small for the Kickers.

2.25cuft is only enough for a ported 12, don't do 15's as they'll be cramped. Personally I'd rather buy a brand that only sells on the internet than pay JL's prices. Not that JL makes a bad product, but once they have to take it to B&M stores the prices have to get inflated.

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I can attest that I have had a JL12w6, 2-alpine type r's in a ported box, and a 15" SSA XCON. The XCON is by far my facorite sub in the groub, and the JL W6 the least, especially for the money spent. I have the XCON in a relatively small sealed box for it, and the performance is very good, deep, and low bass that will definitely shake your boat if thats what you want. I am in the process of building a ported box for it, as this sub will perform even better in a ported box.

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the system is not posting some of my responses so I am having to write them twice. Am I being edited by Big Brother?

I estimate the gross maximum allowable size (including port) of the enclosures to be 3.0cuft.

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Screams a 12" driver then. First step is to rebuild the box and try the Kicker's. If that isn't enough add an amp. If that isn't enough, you won't gain much more unless you make the box bigger or add a lot more power.

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Craig,

As applied to and understanding your particular objectives it's going to be about the final output.

This is just a generalization but if various woofers are designed similarly and taking into consideration the surface area, less/extra mass and less/greater internal efficiency, then you could expect a 1.0 to 1.5 dB increase going from a 12" to a 13.5" and a .67 to 1.0 dB increase going from a 13.5" to a 15" woofer.

Past a certain threshold, it will be the enclosure that has the largest impact on output and deep bass extension. For example, using a conservative alignment you could expect a bass-reflex (ported) enclosure to deliver an extra 3 dB of output over the bottom octave AND provide another one-third octave of bass extension before reaching the half power point as compared to air suspension (small sealed). A conservative and wider bandpass alignment can deliver an extra 6 dB of output in a linear manner over a one and a half octave span as compared to an air suspension enclosure.

So, I would begin by sizing up the maximum enclosure displacement that the boat compartment will allow. Then I would determine the specific enclosure loading method and woofer size to best match the available

enclosure displacement. This sequence will get you more of what you are wanting rather than picking a woofer first and trying to design the enclosure around a given woofer.

David

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just to be clear, it is one speaker per enclosure x 2 (one in each locker). The Kicker speaker are 12" CompVR not VX

I would add some pictures but I dont know how to??

Edited by craig3972
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