Is an Active subwoofer worth it?

Zanni92

New Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
1
Hi there ladies and gents,

So I drive a small car and I really want to add a sub into my small sound system. Can’t afford the space for even a shallow sub and amp. Can only afford the space for the flat active subs.
I’m looking at getting the Nakamichi 8” active sub.
Just want to know if anyone out there is running an active sub currently and if it’s actually worth the effort of putting it in?
 

CamiKaze

Honorary Master
Joined
May 19, 2010
Messages
14,081
It's definitely worth the effort.
Your head unit won't be able to power it properly and it might even damage it more if the sub is under powered.
 

PsYTraNc3

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Messages
3,225
Since you're going with Nakamichi, It would be worth it since it will most likely be 100+ RMS and good quality.
Other cheaper brands offer 40-80w RMS and those are useless.
 

thechamp

Honorary Master
Joined
Feb 26, 2011
Messages
29,979
Since you're going with Nakamichi, It would be worth it since it will most likely be 100+ RMS and good quality.
Other cheaper brands offer 40-80w RMS and those are useless.
I wonder how it all works, I have a Sony 80W at home and it is more than adequate, why is 40-80W not good enough for a car?

Assuming of course we are civilised and aren't interested in shaking the car to pieces.
 
Last edited:

PsYTraNc3

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Messages
3,225
I wonder how it all works, I have a Sony 80W at home and it is more than adequate, why is 40-80W not good enough for a car?

Assuming of course we are civilised and aren't interested shaking the car to pieces.
Yeah that's where we differ :ROFL:
My A3 came with a 40w as standard in the spare wheel and I found that pretty useless.
Also used to have 500-1000 RMS in my previous cars and even though I had pretty decent sound dampening, my old sound systems were not very civilized.
 

kombi-man

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2017
Messages
254
There's a lot of peripheral noise and car vibration which essentially renders low frequency's almost in-audible in a proper, SQ type vehicle installation. The power is never really maxed out, but you do however require substantial more power to overcome things like tyre and road noise, exhaust, engine noise, and the general accoustic space inside a car.

There's two very different roads to be chosen here. a SPL type install, and a SQ install. They are worlds apart. SPL = Sound pressure Levels, and is not an audio installation. SQ (Sound Quality) is a properly presented sound stage, with a good balance across the entire audio frequency spectrum.

Go the active route, and if you can, get up to a 10".

Regards

Alan
 

Meelperd

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2015
Messages
309
Millions of years ago, Pioneer had an active sub - it was a perfect fit for my Nissan 1400. It was flat enough to just slide under the seat. No moerse wattage/specs, but then again the smallest sound system is good enough for a 1400's tiny cabin. :cool:
 

Toxxyc

Expert Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
4,205
Millions of years ago, Pioneer had an active sub - it was a perfect fit for my Nissan 1400. It was flat enough to just slide under the seat. No moerse wattage/specs, but then again the smallest sound system is good enough for a 1400's tiny cabin. :cool:
They're still being made, as far as I know. I currently have a big-ass amplifier at home that's way too powerful for my needs, so it's not even installed. Would LOVE to swap it for a stereo amp with speaker-level inputs in the ~60W range per channel, nothing more. Then I can swap out the splits up front, slip an active sub under the seat and enjoy.
 

WorldWarII

Expert Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2019
Messages
1,000
I think of how I used to love car sound and fitting and building boxes and fabricating and so on. Getting old sucks.
 

ReeceDBN031

Expert Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2018
Messages
1,959
Just go two 10s in the boot and use the backseats for storage maaaan :cool:
just kidding.. but a good installer might be able to save you space go get expert advise.
 

Dolby

Honorary Master
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
Messages
27,692
40w as standard in the spare wheel and I found that pretty useless... Also used to have 500-1000 RMS in my previous cars
They're probably very different watts.

A proper 40w RMS is plenty. Manufacturers often lie and mislead. You need more of the specs to see than simply watts
 
Last edited:

Toxxyc

Expert Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
4,205
They're probably very different watts.

A proper 40w RMS is plenty. Manufacturers often lie and mislead. You need more of the specs to see than simply watts
This. I had my first car install done and the guy at the shop (very good shop) offered me an amplifier that did 60W per channel into 4 channels at 4ohm. Slightly more at 2ohm. So I hooked it up to a set of 55W splits up front, turned down the gain to match the splits and bridged the rear channels into 120W for the subwoofer. Took your breath away when the bass came in at a good volume. Splits were loud and clear enough that you could hear the car coming a block away.

Also worth noting I was building for quality on a budget, not volume on a budget. I think the total setup cost something like R8k. Granted, the subwoofer and splits were second hand, but still. If you shop smart, you can get away with very little that does very much.
 

Dolby

Honorary Master
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
Messages
27,692
This. I had my first car install done and the guy at the shop (very good shop) offered me an amplifier that did 60W per channel into 4 channels at 4ohm. Slightly more at 2ohm. So I hooked it up to a set of 55W splits up front, turned down the gain to match the splits and bridged the rear channels into 120W for the subwoofer. Took your breath away when the bass came in at a good volume. Splits were loud and clear enough that you could hear the car coming a block away.

Also worth noting I was building for quality on a budget, not volume on a budget. I think the total setup cost something like R8k. Granted, the subwoofer and splits were second hand, but still. If you shop smart, you can get away with very little that does very much.
I think that's very similar to what I did ... I had a 50w RMS x 4 Infinity - 2 channels for the splits and the other two bridged for my subwoofer
 

Toxxyc

Expert Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
4,205
I checked quickly. I had a 75w x 4 Amp, with 90W x 4 into 2ohm. I had the gains turned down, but the amp was amazing (Kenwood KAC-9405). I now have a big-ass amp at home that I want to trade for something less powerful I can use, preferably something with speaker-level inputs so I don't have to install too much stuff from my car's factory HU. It's a Nemesis SMD4250. It does 250W RMS x 4 into both 2ohm and 4ohm, and is bridgeable. I don't want that much power in my car, TBH.
 
Top