This Saturday was a typical Saturday. The store was busy and we sold a lot of good stuff. One of our sales from this past Saturday was a customer who had recently bought a pair of 15″ subs in a “custom” ported box. They were used and we assume that he bought them from a friend of acquaintance. He came to us to buy an amp and for us to do this installation is his nearly new vehicle.
Bob sold him a MobileSpec ICE-1000W 1000 watt Class D amplifier. This is a great amp for not a lot of money. We sell a lot of them and have no real problems to speak of (except for this one guy…. another story). He bought good quality cables and interconnects and a quality line output converter (to hook up to his factory radio).
Today we did the installation. To say the least, I was VERY unimpressed! The subs sounded awful. We checked all of our connections and made sure our job was done right. It was. We checked the amplifier by hooking up another sub box with some long wires. Again, everything was OK. So this left the subs and enclosure. We took the subs out of the box and tested each one individually. They too, were OK.
So that left the enclosure. We are not a Rockford Fosgate dealer, but the box that was “customized” for these 2 15″ subs was way to small. By our calculations, this ported enclosure was about 3 cubic feet after sub and port displacement is taken into account. This is too small for many 12″ subs.
I had the unhappy duty of telling the customer that, after spending hundreds of dollars, the results were less than spectacular. He was very understanding and recognized that it was not our fault, but the fault of the enclosure. Because his car has a mid sized trunk, there was not an affordable way to build a box of the proper size. So he asked us what we could recommend for a new sub setup. I immediately told him about the Memphis MClass subs with the custom ported box. We sell these subs all the time with the ICE-1000W. The results are always fantastic.
The customer asked if he could hear them in his car and we happily did so. WOW! The difference was UNBELIEVABLE! Where his 15’s barely sounded like a pair of 8’s, our Memphis 12’s rattled the windshield! It took this customer all of 1 second to hand me his credit card and buy the box. He left extremely happy and, I am sure he rattled the neighbors windows a few minutes later!
The bottom line is this: NEVER buy the biggest sub you can afford just for the sake of buying a big sub. Talk to a professional, someone who has been doing this for a long time. If they do their job, they will ask you a lot of questions about your listening habits and how much room you are willing to give up, and they might even ask you what your budget is. With all of this information, they can make a recommendation on what is the very best sub and amp combination for you. Two 12’s in the proper box will outperform two 15’s in the wrong sized box every time.