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Old 16th June 2017, 03:07 PM   #1
Caveman
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Default Recommendation - sub for ski hatch

Hi Everyone,

What do people recommend for using in the ski hatch? I need a free air/ infinite baffle (that latter one describes my understanding of this area!) type subwoofer in a ten inch size. I'll be doing a moderate job of sealing the boot but given the HK sub is just a bit of plastic hanging in a door I figure I can survive not making it perfect!

Any recommendations for said sub and an amp to power it?

Thanks and regards,

David
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Old 16th June 2017, 07:23 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caveman View Post
Hi Everyone,

What do people recommend for using in the ski hatch? I need a free air/ infinite baffle (that latter one describes my understanding of this area!) type subwoofer in a ten inch size. I'll be doing a moderate job of sealing the boot but given the HK sub is just a bit of plastic hanging in a door I figure I can survive not making it perfect!

Any recommendations for said sub and an amp to power it?

Thanks and regards,

David
if you're going free air, infinite baffle, you're not limited to a ten incher only, I have had two 15s paying through the ski hatch. I used image dynamics subs, tried one 15 on a board to start and it sounded good, one sub is easier
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Old 16th June 2017, 08:06 PM   #3
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Thanks Flamez,

I want to stick with 10" in the hatch so I keep maximum space in the boot. So you recommend Dynamics?

Thanks,

David
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Old 16th June 2017, 08:09 PM   #4
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Did you buy them in the US or in the UK?
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Old 17th June 2017, 06:09 AM   #5
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Thanks Flamez,

I want to stick with 10" in the hatch so I keep maximum space in the boot. So you recommend Dynamics?

Thanks,

David
As you're going to be mounting it with no box the boot space will be the same whether you use a 10 12 or 15 inch. I recommend minimum 12 inch if only one sub. I have around 6 image dynamics subs now, idmaxes and idqs, they all work great in infinite baffle. Deep clean bass, the uk distro is no longer around but you can import through us eBay, or buy one of mine but I have no 10s.
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Old 18th June 2017, 07:43 PM   #6
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Hi Flamez,

Would any fit into the ski-hatch as I really need to keep the boot space clear which is why I'm looking for a ten inch sub?

Thanks,

David
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Old 18th June 2017, 08:18 PM   #7
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Honestly a ten inch free air will not cut it, especially as you have a convertible which will leak air, in a coupe it's much easier. You'll be better off getting one of the bass boxes that are made for the ski hatch imo. Have a measure up anyway if you still want to go ahead
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Old 18th June 2017, 08:49 PM   #8
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Thanks Flamez,

Do you have a car audio business? Just how air tight do you have to get as I remember having 6x9 alpines in the back parcel shelf of my 205 and that sounded pretty good. I'm not looking for super loud, vibrating bass and thought the HK didn't sound too bad! What would be the difference between a free to air 10" in the hatch, partly sealed and an eight inch in a custom box - which I assume you cannot put the "arm rest" pad thing back into the hole or does that box sit further back? I am intrigued.

Thanks,

David
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Old 19th June 2017, 08:20 PM   #9
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Jl audio do some pretty good subs, I've had one before, there's a link to their 10inch which is free to air I believe, their marine subs are alco free to air https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00...udio+subwoofer
As for amps, you won't go far wrong with alpine, again had plenty of them over the years and never failed to disappoint. If space is a real issue jl audio also make a tiny monoblock, the hx300/1, no experience but I came across it on eBay for 140 new delivered and thought it would be perfect for a space saving install or under seats

Last edited by JooJanta20; 19th June 2017 at 09:03 PM. Reason: add model number
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Old 20th June 2017, 12:22 PM   #10
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Thanks JooJanta20,

I appreciate it. I second the use of Alpine amps and have deffo seen a JL Audio free air sub. They seem a lot more popular in the US than over here for some reason.

Cheers,

David
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Old 20th June 2017, 08:31 PM   #11
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Hi Caveman,

In the mid 90's, infinite baffle or 'free air' subwoofer solutions/setups and drivers were much more common given the level of technology available at the time to produce deep, clean and powerful sub bass. The 'cavity' or 'volume' space in a boot/trunk was ideal to use. Even back then, this type of setup was usually only really seen in high quality/high end installs where the owner didn't want a hulking great big ported enclosure. To get a Free Air sub setup sounding good/great, there's quite a bit more involved - calculations of volume and comarisons to the specific subwoofer and it's (what are called) Thiele Small parameters needs to be done and normally, quite a bit of sound deadening material is needed to prevent panels/trim rattle/vibration due to the 'rear audio wave'. In addition, it's vital none of that back wave gets to move to the front else you lose quality/output pressure levels. To run a free air setup, you also need a relatively more RMS power amplifier as well, so this in turn may require thicker cables for the constant 12V and ground connections and you might well need to consider uprating the car's alternator to be able to provide enough current. In addition, if you put items in the boot, that 'alters' the volume of the 'cavity' and will make a change in the sound and output of the bass. If you load up the boot full, you'll have much less bass and quality.

At the time, those who didn't want a free air setup and all the careful considerations mentioned above, would use a 'Ported Enclosure' instead. These were quite large and cars were smaller back then, so it's where the stereotype of 'having big bass means a big box' came from. This route was much easier and cheaper to do as of course once the enclosure was made, it'd output the same sub bass all the time. The reasons for sounding different but much less so than when a free air setup had luggage/items put in the boot/trunk, were because some people mounted the subwoofers facing into the boot/trunk, others did them facing outwards - all depended on the car itself.

Things nowadays have moved on considerably as technology improved. It's now much easier to get excellent, smooth, controlled and powerful sub bass by using a 'sealed' enclosure and in turn, these can be absolutely tiny. It's now possible to get the same levels of powerful sub bass that used to need 2x10 or 1/2 x 12 inch subwoofers from the mid 90's from a single 8 or 10 inch subwoofer from today's drivers. 'Free air' installations and actual sub drivers popularity has declined a lot as a result. You'll now see them mainly in specific car audio enthusiast builds for the most part.

Image Dynamics were a fantastic brand back in those days too, very well regarded. Some years back, was when they went out of business and so there's either old 'new' stock floating around or used. I think another company might have purchased the assets etc and brand name, but the 'legendary' Image Dynamics stuff is long gone now.

If you are looking for a specific type of sound and install, then do consider Free Air and then contact a well regarded and knowledgeable car audio dealer/installer to discuss what you'd like.

I suspect from what you've mentioned you'll be looking for a 'simpler' type of setup and for that, I'd suggest going for a small sealed enclosure and partner it with a suitable higher end subwoofer driver capable of handling a larger RMS Wattage input in either 8 or 10 inch sizing. Long gone are the days where the larger the sub diameter the more or lower bass you'd get - I've had people convinced they're hearing a 15" sub in my car for instance with the vast majority saying a 12 or two 12's or two 10's. The look of sheer astonishment when I point out the subwoofer diameter I'm actually running on their faces is often hilarious!

Alpine do make some excellent quality amplifiers too so consider them when making a shortlist of potential products to buy. There's other brands, who specifically only make amplifiers (and some who also make things like audio processors, subwoofers and speakers) and they're more 'focused' as it were.

I see that you've retrofitted OEM audio which I can understand from the aesthetics/functionality point of view. The downside is that in order to 'extract' the best sound quality from it, you'll need more equipment - either going the Intravee and Alpine Processor route, or by using a sound processor that accepts all the OEM speaker level outputs. The reason for this is that the OEM SQ has the factory set 'equalization curve' and oem audio electronics and IC's from the mid 90's. To get as 'clean' and good a signal as you can, I'd recommend one of the above routes, and all depending on how much sound quality you are wanting with your setup. The 'easiest' of the two is to use a sound processor that takes all the speaker level outputs from the factory amplifier and then feed the 'clean' signal it outputs to the amplifiers you choose to go with and then ultimately the component speakers and subwoofer setup.

As you are in GX, you're literally just up the road from me! Can perhaps have a chat on the phone or potentially meet up to discuss and to get you pointers. My car is currently requiring some surgery and I need to do a few tweaks to my audio install as well as some bits have deteriorated, so I'm not able to give Demo's currently.

Can also give you some recommendations of quality and reputable dealers and installers as well.

Cheers, Dennis!
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Old 20th June 2017, 09:03 PM   #12
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Thanks Dennis,

Very interesting and yes, you must be just down the road so it would be good to catch up.

So could a sealed ski-hatch box provide some good "fill-in" bass and would it work better than a ten inch free air if I did a reasonable job of sealing the boot?

If I did a crap job of sealing the boot would the bass be less deep or more imprecise or muffled or one of more of these?

Thanks,

David
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Old 20th June 2017, 09:05 PM   #13
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I forgot to add that for now I'm sticking with an upgraded BM54 (4x50) which has pre-outs so plan to use them for the sub feed and somewhere down the line I might plumb in an amp.

Cheers,

David
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Old 20th June 2017, 10:09 PM   #14
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Hi David,

Yes, a 8/10/12 inch subwoofer in a sealed enclosure would provide you excellent sub bass with much less work/hassle and cost than going with a free air setup once you also factor in things like calculations/choosing the right subwoofer when you find any suitable Free air ones and aspects like the sound deadening required etc etc.

If you do decide to go with a free air setup and did less of those things above, then yes, the bass would be less powerful and low, not 'sound' right/as good etc.

Which upgraded cabin speakers are you thinking of using/currently using with the upgraded BM54 unit?

You will need to install an amplifier for sure if you wish to add a subwoofer and have it perform well. The downsides to using the modified RCA's is they're not 'separate' sub outputs which can also be level controlled. Depending on how well you like your music to be reproduced, this might or might not present an issue. As you intend to use higher quality amplifiers and subwoofers (speakers too I'll assume) then it will be more of an issue - different audio genre's and recording quality differ and it's always a good thing to have adjustability for the sub channel.

For some independent advice and more for you to evaluate, do speak to Oxford Car Radio, in Oxford, Unique Integrations in High Wycombe, Platinum In car in Coventry to name a few. You might get a more favourable response for Free air based on actual installs they may have done and which match your current budget expectations. I suspect they'd recommend the sealed enclosure route and if you are feeling or wanting more performance etc a Ported enclosure and again depending on what you'd like and budget you've allocated.

Drop me a PM and can discuss a bit more if you'd like via the phone/over a drink

Cheers, Dennis!
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Old 21st June 2017, 06:26 AM   #15
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Thanks Dennis,

I'll drop you a note. Speakers are Rainbow at front and standard (for now) at back. I don't want to have to wear earplugs and see bits of the car shaking off!

Cheers,

David
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Old 21st June 2017, 06:47 AM   #16
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Hi David, sorry I haven't had the time to detail a response as good as Dennis it's all great advice up there. I still would recommend a sealed box for what I think you're after. Have a look at cdt subs as they work well in small enclosures and still drop low. Ps.no I'm not a car audio shop, just had a few installs in different bmws over the years. Good luck with it all. It's nice in summer to enjoy a bit of music with the weather, especially in a drop top bm! ��
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Old 21st June 2017, 07:07 AM   #17
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Thanks Flamez,

I appreciate any and all advice. :-) I haven't heard of cdt so will check them out. Consensus seems to be pointing to a sealed box. Could I get a ten inch sub in one as it just fills the hatch hole better than an eight? Stupid reason I know but there you are! :-)
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Old 21st June 2017, 12:50 PM   #18
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Yes I think you should be able to that, have a look online there are boxes already made that fit in there, so you can just choose a sub to go in the enclosure then
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Old 21st June 2017, 12:54 PM   #19
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Being awkward I'd probably make my own. I've seen some good ones, none of which are still made/sold, that look more bespoke to the hole.
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Old 21st June 2017, 09:13 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caveman View Post
Being awkward I'd probably make my own. I've seen some good ones, none of which are still made/sold, that look more bespoke to the hole.
I made my own and ran a 10inch JL audio sub, looked good. I did take photos of the build but as it was about 7-8 years ago i cannot find them. I ran a vibe black box amp from a high level pick up with auto remote direct from the battery so didnt have to run any cables from the head unit to the boot.
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