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Need a new Sub in my 09 VLX - Suggestions


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The sub in my 2009 VLX is starting to rattle. I had someone put in a Bluetooth adapter a few weeks ago and he let me know it was time to replace the sub very soon. At that time it wasn't rattling too much for me so I figured I'd stick with what I had. I don't need the stereo too be anything special. I don't even have any tower speakers. Maybe I'll addd tower speakers down the road, but that shows you how important an amazing stereo is to me at this point. I'd just like to be able to play music and hear it without the rattling. 

I've attached a pic of the sub in my boat now. I'm pretty sure this is the one I have: https://rockfordfosgate.com/products/details/pm212s4b/

Would you suggest I replace the bad one with the same Rockford Fosgate 12' sub? Or should I look at something else? Maybe a Wet Sound one like this: https://www.wetsounds.com/REVO12FA? Both are around $350.


Or would you suggest something else? Possibly less expensive with a similar quality?


Lastly...I know nothing about installing a sub. Is it something so simple someone with no experience (and not particularly handy) can easily replace? Is it as simple as unscrewing some screws, unplugging a wire or two from behind the sub and plugging the wire into the new sub?




RF Sub.jpg

Edited by Fish209
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I would not suggest doing a straight woofer swap for a couple reasons. The enclosure, if there is one, is likely poorly constructed with leaks and too small for most typical 12" woofers. You need to build a proper size and sealed (as in no leaks) enclosure for best woofer performance. Next, the amp needs a quality tune after the new enclosure is in place. 

In the woofer linked above, you see the letters "FA". This stands for free-air, or infinite-baffle. This means the woofer is best used where a small enclosure is not needed. Your boat is designed in a manor, that it will not support an IB woofer alignment, and a small enclosure is needed. In that series, you would want the "HP" version, or other woofer best used in a small enclosure. 

The factory woofer, or its current version was/is not a bad woofer. Good marine build quality and materials. My complaint with it is its MSRP is about $100 out of its power handling class. There are higher power handling marine grade woofers for about the same $$$ or less. If you are not going to upgrade the amp, there are a few great marine woofers out there that are smaller investment then the OEM version, that will be a good match for the existing amp.  

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I replaced 2 of the RF 12s on my ‘10 due to failure. Fortunately RF and the local dealer replaced them under warranty. The weakest link is going to be the sub box followed by the amp. Mine was 1/2 the size RF specified for that speaker and the box had literally separated over 1/2” on the seams. The weight of the speaker had caused the panels to separate. You can get a correctly sized box in there, but will end up being a weird shape. I did, but I built my own to spec. After I put the new box in there I was happy with the way the RF performed with the factory set up and I wasn’t out any money for the subs. As @MLA suggests, I am sure there are better options out there. Of the 8 Allen screws on the face shown (7/32” iirc) 4 are trim screws at the 11, 1, 5 and 7 o'clock positions or that may be backwards. The other 4 actually hold the speaker to the HDPE box face. The sub wires are held on by spring loaded push buttons. The copper one was + and the tin colored one was the -. Once you pull the speaker out if you feel and look around in there you will probably see where the separation is occurring. Good luck

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