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Optimum Bass Enclosure

Contributed By: Freddy Tran

Custom building my own subwoofer enclosure ensured me optimum bass within the smallest enclosure box possible, without sacrificing any power.  What you need:

-(2) 2'x4' slats of 3/4" micro density fiberboard (MDF)-$6 each
-wood screws
-silicon glue or caulk
-jigsaw

The use of this micro density fiberboard is critical.  Regular fiberboard will not resonate thus reduce your low bass power/volume.  For a single 12" subwoofer, cut 2 pieces of each measurement: 17"x16", 17"x8", 16"x8".  With one of the 17"x16" pieces, trace the outline of your 12" subwoofer and cut with the jigsaw.  Assemble the slats together into the box, predrilling holes before drilling in the wood screws to insure they won't crack and split the wood.  After assembling the box together, seal the inside of the box with the silicon glue.  Sealing will ensure no vibrations will escape through the cracks.  Drill a small hole or if you have a wire connection manifold, drill one to fit that in the back of the box.  Install your subwoofer and lead the wires out the back.  Screw the subwoofer in as well.

Ok, let's talk subwoofer power.  RMS values are what's important.  On average, 12" subs have about 200W RMS, which means you need an amplifier with capabilities up to 200W.  Anything over might kill your sub prematurely.  One other thing about amps: you get what you pay for.  Cheaper ones with 1000's of watts of power mean you just paid for noise and no clarity.  The way I ran my power was the Blaupunkt cd player/changer controller powered my (4) 5 1/4" Alpine speakers, and my Clarion amplifier powered my Sony subwoofer.

Also, placement of the box is important.  I placed mine at the back of my back seat (83 Wag Ltd) facing the rear window.  That way it resonates to the back window and back through the Jeep.  For amenities, you can even paint the box to match your interior!  Don't carpet because it takes a little away from the resonance power of the box.  Decent subwoofers run from $75-$200.  Amplifiers to match will run about $125-$250.  Essentially with car audio, you get what you pay for.  I would not recommend those dinky little bass cannons for FSJ's primarily because they do not have enough depth or power to sound good in a Jeep.  Hope this helps.  Just think: if you turn up the volume on your stereo, you won't hear any of those annoying noises coming from your engine!

Freddy Tran
1983 Wagoneer Limited
"Life is short...drive a Jeep."

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