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FastFreddy

What's a good subwoofer for these boats?

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FastFreddy

I know my car audio quite well but this is a different ball game since it is open air. My boat does not have a sub yet and I'm looking for suggestions on what type of sub to get.

Would an Alpine Type R sound good in a boat?

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Earmark Marine

fredberg,

Most better quality subwoofers of equal size will deliver the same amount of total energy...it's just a matter of where and how that energy is applied according to the design focus.

Ultimately you are trying to displace air so the location and enclosure are the places to begin.

Once you've selected the location, then the cavity dimensions will determine the maximum available external enclosure displacement.

The displacement will help dictate the loading method, whether sealed or bass-reflex, and finally the driver size and parameters.

This sequential approach will always yield the best results.

The boat open field versus the enclosed cabin of car audio?

There is a major difference in the dissipation of energy, particularly in the deeper bass. But you have limited control over the environment. If you have found a certain subwoofer that you have been happy with in your car or truck, you are likely to be satisfied using that same sub driver in your boat....excluding special application drivers like flat/shallow subs or subs with contruction that is not suitable for a boat.

David

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nuttyskier2002

Fredberg like Dave said you need to decide on the location for your starting point. Many of us use the area under the console just ahead of the drivers feet. Measure how much room you have there (the largest box you can reasonably fit). Odd shapes are okay to an extent but try to stay away from add-on extensions. Ported boxes take up more room but in an open air boat the added output you will get will make up for some of the losses. Look at Alpine's website to find the manual for the sub you are interested in. It contains the specs for both sealed and ported enclosures. You can change the height, depth and width of the box to fit it into your space as long as you keep the overall internal volume the same. You can get lots of help here. I just finished my ported enclosure for a JL 12W3v3. I couldn't be happier.

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FastFreddy

I was thinking of a box under the console by the drivers feet. I'm glad to hear the sub I already have will work. Now I have to figure out the box.

Thanks.

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nuttyskier2002

Let me know if you need help.

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robtr8

There are a couple options for box buying/building. Most importantly, what does the box do when it gets wet, which it will. Off the shelf boxes are no good because the MDF will go bad very quickly. Check Earmark's boxes if you just want to buy one. Unless you know someone with a copy of BassBox Pro, I'd buy a design from PWK or RAM. They will model the box specifically for the environment and the driver.

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Earmark Marine

Alpine offers detailed specs for both sealed and bass-reflex enclosures. I would follow those specs to the letter.

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FastFreddy

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nuttyskier2002

Fredberg......I was curious about the sub you mentioned above and had a little time on my hands this morning. So I went to Alpine's website and found a 12" sub (SWR-1242D). I found their manual and obtained the Thiele-Small parameters and plugged them into Win ISD. The results for enclosure characteristics between Win ISD and those posted in Alpine's manual are very close. This was after I modified the height, width and depth to the approximate values needed to fit under the console. Of course you will need to measure to get your exact requirements. The produced sound graph (SPL vs wavelength) is typical of what we want for an open boat environment with a 3db gain in the ~ 50 - 60 Hz range. This should give you confidence that you will be able to obtain your desired results given you have adequate space and your building skills are up to par.

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SouthsideBoarder

Not trying to hijack but i see quite a few boats for sale with the sub placed in the storage area by the batteries and amps. Is this a good location for a sub or is by the driver really the best?

Does anyone make panels or boxes for that area that you can just put in place?

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FastFreddy

Ill throw up some pictures of the construction and install when i get to it.

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West Coast Rider

Not trying to hijack but i see quite a few boats for sale with the sub placed in the storage area by the batteries and amps. Is this a good location for a sub or is by the driver really the best?

Does anyone make panels or boxes for that area that you can just put in place?

When I bought my boat it came with a 12" ported enclosure in the port locker beside the batteries and amps. The sub really didn't sound good in there, it was kind of muffled and just shook the boat, no real musical bass to it. I took the same sub-woofer and made an enclosure to go at the driver's feet with the sub and port facing the driver. What a difference! Sounds way better, and you can feel the bass. Best seat in the house is the driver's seat (other than being on the line riding).

I just carpeted my box in matching carpet and it looks very stock. I didn't use a false panel as many others have.

I can't figure out how to post pics, but if you want shoot me your email addy and I will send some pics.

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FastFreddy

For materials what should one use. I've made tons of boxes using MDF. What about coating an MDF box with some waterproof stuff? Or maybe 3/4" plastic of some sort?

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Earmark Marine

For materials what should one use. I've made tons of boxes using MDF. What about coating an MDF box with some waterproof stuff? Or maybe 3/4" plastic of some sort?

0.75" baltic birch(solvent based adhesive contruction). Or, 0.75" MDF(essentially pressed paper and water soluable) if you seal it well. Sealing it well means filling and sanding every seam and nail/staple/screw hole perfectly. The sealer is only as good as the build execution. Sealers would include polyester fiberglass resin(good), epoxy resin(better) and polyurethane truck bed liner(thick).

The enclosure must be elevated off the sole with plastic/polymer/composite(non-wood product) pads to allow for drainage and evaporation.

Stay away from plastic enclosures because they can be more of a challenge to seal and bond. Plus, there is the expense.

Use a water-resistant wood glue. Use a quality terminal cup only. That's the short list. Again, wood(even MDF) will work fine if executed correctly.

David

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SouthsideBoarder

How about the Wetsounds 10inch sub, box, and amp in one? Anyone ever hear or use that?

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Earmark Marine

Not trying to hijack but i see quite a few boats for sale with the sub placed in the storage area by the batteries and amps. Is this a good location for a sub or is by the driver really the best?

Does anyone make panels or boxes for that area that you can just put in place?

First, stay away from any automotive-based MFD box from China. The MDF and construction is so cheap there is nothing much you can do to it to make it last in a boat. Many of these boxes are toast in a season but the carpet covering conceals the failure for perhaps several seasons.

The port helm locker is a bad place. In a sealed compartment, the woofer will have to travel four times as far and the amplifier will have to provide four times the power (minumum in both cases) to deliver the same output as the starboard side underdash. The woofer/amp that operates most conservatively will always sound the best. Plus, the sealed mold and thick seat tend to filter any connection to midbass attack, midbass transients, or pitch accuray. You end up with an indiscriminant boat shaker rather than a musical bass maker.

David

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FastFreddy

MDF it is. Thanks.

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WakesetterE

Mine is mdf then it was sprayed inside and out with truck bed liner. It is doing well for 2 years so far.

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sikvlx

I had 2 12'' solo baric l7 subs in my old vlx and they slammed in ported boxes... really depends if your willing to sacrific a space for how ever much boom boom you want in my opinion

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nuttyskier2002

MDF is good and cheap. I used it and then applied 1 layer of medium weight woven fiberglass coated with system 3 epoxy. If you are building a ported box....coat the inside surfaces of the vent walls with a light layer of epoxy prior to assembly. It's much easier to do this then, than to wait til afterward. If you expect to get water intrusion in your boat in that area it would also benefit to coat much of the rest of the interior of the box as well. Fiberglass not needed inside just epoxy. Also.....it's not a bad idea to fit a drain plug at the bottom of the box. Some might say this is going overboard. But if you have young people onboard who like to engage in shooting water guns and the like......this could possibly save you from doing a rebuild before ypu are ready for the next upgrade.

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