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eubanks

Factory Sub Enhancements

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eubanks

Ok, I've got a decision to make in regards to the factory sub.  I was told it was terrible, knew it was going to be terrible, but it was worse than anticipated.  :(  We redid our old stereo a few years ago and put a properly powered JL12w3 under the dash and that thing BUMPED.  We never were able to run it at much more than 70% max volume as it was just too loud for the kids.  So I figured the factory sub would suffice.  Well, I was surprised to listen to it and it seem that it is 30% of the output of my old sub.  So that leaves me with a few options that I hoped to gather opinions on for a non-DIY guy:

 

1. Reuse the factory sub and amp (600w?) but put it in a ported enclosure.  And tune the factory amps.  Cheapest option with a minimal upgrade to output.  Tuning might void the factory stereo warranty??

2. Change out the sub (to Treo) and box but reuse the factory amp.  Better sound quality but more than double the cost of solution #1.  Also throw away $700 spent on the factory sub and box.

3. Scrap the factory sub/box/amp in place of a new sub/box and dedicated amp.  Best sound quality, but I didn't go this route initially because I'm not expecting the best bass output.  I also really, really liked the factory kick plate which I was told I could not get without also getting the factory sub.  This option would cost me over $2K plus the $700 sunk cost of the sub and box from the factory.

 

What say you?

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thealy

Who has just pulled off the warranty warning sticker and adjusted the volume on their factory sub amp?  How much can/should this be adjusted safely?  How much additional punch is available in the factory amp?

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COOP

If you have a 2019 as your profile says, there is no adjusting the factory amp.

Personally I dont care for the Treo stuff, I didnt even think they were still in business. If your looking for a good high power thumping sub I would look at Sundown or Ct Sounds, maybe a Rockford T1.

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Ronnie
38 minutes ago, eubanks said:

Ok, I've got a decision to make in regards to the factory sub.  I was told it was terrible, knew it was going to be terrible, but it was worse than anticipated.  :(  We redid our old stereo a few years ago and put a properly powered JL12w3 under the dash and that thing BUMPED.  We never were able to run it at much more than 70% max volume as it was just too loud for the kids.  So I figured the factory sub would suffice.  Well, I was surprised to listen to it and it seem that it is 30% of the output of my old sub.  So that leaves me with a few options that I hoped to gather opinions on for a non-DIY guy:

 

1. Reuse the factory sub and amp (600w?) but put it in a ported enclosure.  And tune the factory amps.  Cheapest option with a minimal upgrade to output.  Tuning might void the factory stereo warranty??

2. Change out the sub (to Treo) and box but reuse the factory amp.  Better sound quality but more than double the cost of solution #1.  Also throw away $700 spent on the factory sub and box.

3. Scrap the factory sub/box/amp in place of a new sub/box and dedicated amp.  Best sound quality, but I didn't go this route initially because I'm not expecting the best bass output.  I also really, really liked the factory kick plate which I was told I could not get without also getting the factory sub.  This option would cost me over $2K plus the $700 sunk cost of the sub and box from the factory.

 

What say you?

You Can Not Adjust/Tune The Factory Amps after 2017.

How about changing the factory amp to a tuneable amp and use the factory sub. That will give the sub more power. IF you don't like that, upgrade the sub/sub box to the JL (not a Treo) that you liked to go with the upgraded amp. You'll have to cut a bigger hole but there's ways to keep the factory grill if you really like it.

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wdr

Looking at the factory sub box on the 19's, I have to question if they are even the correct size for the factory sub. When I replaced the factory sub box on my '10 due to failure, I looked up the RF specs for the correct sized box for the RF 12 to find that the Malibu supplied sub box was literally 1/2 the size RF spec'd for that sub. A new correctly sized enclosure later and I was more than happy with the stock amp, sub and new enclosure.

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Murphy8166

I agree with Ronnie as we have had this discussion.

These factory amps are tuned so that you absolute hottest music download will not come close to compromising any of the speakers in the boat.  No one in the world offers a 5 years warranty on anything stereo, but Malibu does, which is probably why you get the very conservative tuning with those DSP amps.

Take a look at another amp for the sub like the Syn Dx2 and throw it at the woofer in the boat.  If it is still not enough, then I'd look to replace the box and woofer.  IMO and experience, there is no better band for your buck than a JL audio 12w3v3 or WS-12  in a sealed enclosure fire towards the side of the hull.  This would require a bigger cutout under the steering wheel with either a new custom grill or a trim piece mounted b/t the grill and the enlarged fiberglass cutout (retain current billet grill).

Hope this helps.

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MLA
1 hour ago, eubanks said:

Reuse the factory sub and amp (600w?) but put it in a ported enclosure

Retain the OEM woofer, build a new, ported enclosure, installed a new woofer amp thats deliver 750-1000 watt RMS @ 4 ohm. The woofer would LOVE to be a ported enclosure and would handle that extra wattage. 

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IXFE

I’m attempting a sub enhancement project this year also. But I don’t want to mess with the factory box for a variety of reasons  

1) Replace factory driver 

2) Add some polyfill to the enclosure

3) Replace factory cabin/sub amp

4) Tune to my liking 

I will be interested to see what kind of improvement I get... can’t get any worse. 

If this doesn’t work, next year I’m skipping the factory sub and cutting some fiberglass. 

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MLA
17 hours ago, thealy said:

Who has just pulled off the warranty warning sticker and adjusted the volume on their factory sub amp?  How much can/should this be adjusted safely?  How much additional punch is available in the factory amp?

On your 16, or older, the system can benefit from a proper tuning. Ive seen those adjustments all over the place once the stickers are removed. The other thing, and it should be done first, is address the factory woofer enclosure. To be blunt, toss it and build a proper enclosure. The OEM one is too small and leaks badly. 

For the new setups with the DSP amps, here are a few things to consider;

two same size woofers, in the same enclosure design/volume and driven with the same amp wattage, will move roughly the same amount of air. The woofer with the greater amount of excursion might yield a little more perceived output, but its hard to say if it would equal a return on your investment of swapping in a new woofer. 

The biggest constraint for those with a higher benchmark of desired bass, is likely the conservative OEM tune. I think the next area of improvement would be to move to a ported enclosure from the OEM sealed enclosure. Sounds great on paper, but keep in mind that we have a factory set tune, and we would typically NOT tune a sealed and ported alignment, the same. So, the factory tune might not be the most ideal tune for a new enclosure, but I think there would still be some gains in output.  

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eubanks

Great thoughts guys.  I'm sure there are better woofers than the Wetsounds, but the enclosure, amp, and tuning seem to be the biggest issues.  I really hate to throw away everything and start over, so I like the idea of putting a dedicated amp to the existing sub and enclosure and see how that works first.  I just love that factory kick panel and hate the look of our local stereo installer's plastic panels so replacing the enclosure makes me nervous about how much bigger they have to cut that square and how to return the look to what it is today.

 

So put the sub on a dedicated and properly powered and tuned amp and go from there?

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wdr

I think the biggest challenge with a ported enclosure as @MLA suggests is to try to get a correctly sized enclosure through the roughly 18" x 18" access hole.

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Sparky450
Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, eubanks said:

I just love that factory kick panel and hate the look of our local stereo installer's plastic panels so replacing the enclosure makes me nervous about how much bigger they have to cut that square and how to return the look to what it is today. 

Why not cut the hole big enough to fit a box in, say 14X14. A person could then make a panel to bolt over the hole out of HDLP/MDF. 16X16  with some black upholstery to match the dash. Then bolt the Malibu Grill to the panel. It actually should be very easy and at least the heater isn't in the way. as the sub is already there. I went stereo delete and hate that flat black kick panel under the dash.

Even a sealed enclosure will still sound better.

Edited by Sparky450

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wdr

Doable I imagine. I won't have a chance to look at mine for a week or so. On my '10 the box ended up the correct volume, just a trapezoid shape to fit the space provided. So I guess technically and correct me if I am wrong, a 14" x 14' x 28" box that would fit through an existing hole would work given it is correctly spec'd to the sub requirements?

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Ronnie

If it were mine and I was considering a change...I would change the Cabin/Sub amp to a SDX6. Keep the sub and enclosure and see how it sounds. You will be able to tune the cabins And the sub this way. If you just change to a dedicated sub amp and leave the cabins on the DSP, you don't get to tune the cabins. You are spending about the same money for just the sub amp as the 6 channel. If you don't like the sound you can go with the JLW3 and will be right in the ballpark of that woofer with the SDX6. You can design your box to require the smallest hole you need in the helm wall.

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David
Posted (edited)

Does anyone know the exact model # of the '19 OE subwoofer driver? That could be crucial info in weighing your options. Also, the exact external dimensions and thickness of material stock used in the factory sub enclosure would be equally important.   

Edited by David

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eubanks
Posted (edited)

@David I was going to ask the same thing.  I didn't get this information from our dealer.  Both the models of the cabin/sub amp and the sub itself.  I know it's one shops opinion, but our dealer's stereo shop doesn't think pushing more wattage is going to help but it's the crappy sub and enclosure that are the problem.  So do they install a 6 channel instead of a 4 channel if you go with the factory sub...because we just had one amp from the factory for both?

Edited by eubanks

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IXFE

Pretty sure it’s the Revo 12

209EEB23-0FF0-4108-BE29-3BE11B8C1EF4.jpeg

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minnmarker
Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, IXFE said:

Pretty sure it’s the Revo 12

 

The Revo 12 and an Alpine PDX-V9 make a good combo with 500 rms to the sub and 100 rms x 4 to the cabin.  And its only one amp.  And the sub box can be as small as 11x11x16 if it has to fit in a hole.

And you can often find the PDX-V9 discounted on-line.  $430 on Amazon now.

Edited by minnmarker
addition

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David

Admittedly I'm at a disadvantage not having my hands in a '19 BU. So for now based on IXFE's info let's assume that the OE woofer is the REVO 12 HP. While the JL Audio 12W3 is my favorite subwoofer in that power class, I agree with MLA, that surface area rules and the difference between one good subwoofer and another of the same size isn't going to be large enough to warrant changing out the subwoofer driver. The Wetsounds is a pretty good and workable subwoofer, so I'd be sticking with it. By the numbers. For an optimum sealed enclosure of 1.125 cu.ft. net internal after driver displacement, and using 0.75" material construction, you'll need an external enclosure in the area of 2950 cu.in. (or about 1.7 cu.ft.). Just guessing, but I suspect that the size of the factory enclosure falls way short, and if it's a polymer-based construction, then I don't trust the seal. Ported? If you are challenged to insert a larger enclosure, then the proper bass-reflex enclosure could be 60 to 70% larger than the proper sealed version. Guessing that keeps you running a sealed 12". Nothing wrong with that. The enclosure and the inability to tune the factory amplifier seem to be the two largest obstacles in achieving better bass. No value in replacing strengths. Just concentrate on the weakest links.        

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MLA

While I agree that 500W rms to the 12" woofer is not a bad pairing for a moderate system. Given what we know and dont know for sure, id want to go up in amp wattage compared to the spec of the OEM amp. Its a 600W rms potential, but we dont know exactly how its tuned, just speculate that its on the conservative side. 500W rms amp may not be enough to make a noticeable difference, IF an amp swap was the only thing. If the enclosure was also addressed, then 500W rms and a ported enclosure is good. Id still consider going with more wattage though. Easier to turn it down then up.  

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eubanks

Judging from what I’ve seen, the sealed box is only screwed together. Hardly sealed which might be a lot of the problem. 

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David
31 minutes ago, eubanks said:

Judging from what I’ve seen, the sealed box is only screwed together. Hardly sealed which might be a lot of the problem. 

It's not too hard to verify if the enclosure is airtight. Normally when you push in the sub driver (carefully and in a centered manner) and quickly release it, with a good seal the woofer restores to its center position at a retarded rate. If there is serious leakage the woofer will rapidly restore to center at a rate similar to free-air. An enclosure that's too small AND leaks is the worst possible combination, giving the woofer no chance to perform to potential.   

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IXFE

An awful lot of speculation in this thread by folks without experience with Malibu’s current audio configuration. 

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Murphy8166
10 hours ago, wdr said:

I think the biggest challenge with a ported enclosure as @MLA suggests is to try to get a correctly sized enclosure through the roughly 18" x 18" access hole.

I hate to break it to you but the opening is much smaller than 18" x 18" access hole.  I know for fact it is more like 13" x 13"  That's not even big enough to slide a sealed enclosure thru with 13.5" x 13.5" face which is about as small as you can go with a 12" woofer.

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Murphy8166
5 hours ago, minnmarker said:

The Revo 12 and an Alpine PDX-V9 make a good combo with 500 rms to the sub and 100 rms x 4 to the cabin.  And its only one amp.  And the sub box can be as small as 11x11x16 if it has to fit in a hole.

And you can often find the PDX-V9 discounted on-line.  $430 on Amazon now.

How in the world do you mount a 12" sub into a box that has a dimension of 11"....  

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