To the point:
There are a million DIY threads on here with how to install an aftermarket sub, so I won't go there. My main challenge was trying to figure out the correct blend of equipment and wiring setups as to achieve the best sound quality while getting the most bang for my buck. After much experimentation, here is my setup and how I wired it:
- Box: I went with a single 12" ported enclosure from Concept Enclosures a la Ebay
. It was built to spec for the JL Audio 13W3v3-2 13.5" subwoofer. $179 shipped.
- Amp: I chose the HiFonics GLX1000.1D which pushes CEA certified 750w x 1 @ 2 ohms or 1000w x 1 @ 1 ohm. HiFonics amps are absolutely the best wattage per dollar spent that you can get right now. Clean, powerful sound and super affordable. The newest Gladiator series is their top notch with bulletproof internals. $149 shipped.
Sub: As noted above, I began by planning for the JL 13.5". I tried.. I really tried to side with the JL nut huggers and like this sub. While it did deliver some decent sound, I ended up blowing it in less than a week with the amp turned to less than half gain.
My opinion? Overpriced and weak. I ended up going with the same series of sub that I have installed in the boat and have had great luck with.. Pioneer TS-W3002D2 - 3500w - peak/1000w RMS handling sub. This thing is a BEAST. Tight, TIGHT, clean, deep, powerful bass. You can say all you want, but the sound quality out of these subs coupled with the power handling and price is frickin' amazing. A steal at $116 shipped. You can have your $800 W7s just to be able to handle 1000w RMS.. I'll save $700 and can almost promise you that in the right enclosure and tuned right, that you wouldn't be able to tell the blind difference. Wired both voice coils up in parallel to achieve a 1 ohm load. Custom adapter ring to fit the 12" sub in a 13.5" hole. Yes, the box is way bigger than called for by the factory.. but for now, I'm rolling with it.
Line out converter: AudioControl LC2i with remote control. Enough said.
Solid 4AWG wiring from the battery, through the passengers side firewall grommet, down the passengers side kick panel, to the back truck. AudioControl remote unit in the drivers side blank switch panel. Standard. Amp/LOC and remote amp gain control mounted to the back of the speaker box. Trunk access panel removed for direct component access and configuration.
One issue that I have with the AudioControl remote is that there isn't enough of a range on it. I could never find a point where at absolute min, that it all but cut off the bass yet at max that it bumped enough. I would have to manually reach back and twist the bass **** on the LOC to get the range I wanted at that moment. I ended up using the remote gain on the amp to have better immediate control. When the girl drives it.. she doesn't like nearly as much bass asI do when I'm alone.. so this let's us change the range of the dash mount **** on the fly.
Now.. the tricky part here that took me a bit to figure out was what combination of wire tapping/elimination to use for the LOC. I read through thread after thread here to get everyone else's method but in the end, it's what works for you. I started with tapping just the sub wires for L and R and eliminating the stock sub. That gave me an annoyingly narrow bass frequency response with nothing but deep bass. I then tapped the left rear door woofer and one set of stock sub wires. That was definitely better for a more full and smooth bass response. Finally, I ended up reconnecting the stock sub.. and now.. we have achieved perfection. As good as you're going to get it mid and deep bass with the deep emanating from the rear and midbass from the rear deck. Perfectly balanced. Amp crossover set all the way up and bass boost set all the way down. Below is the wiring diagram that I used along with wires tapped:
Conclusion: BEAUTIFUL sounding, HARD HITTING bass. This sub/amp/box combo literally makes my vision blurry when it hits and makes me want to puke. It's a beast. However.. perfectly balanced, clean sounding with just the right sonic integration. At lower gain levels it blends just right so that you don't even know that it's there. A couple twists of the ***** though.. and your chest will feel like it's going to explode.