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View Full Version : Budget Bass Comparison: 88120 vs MAW-15 vs 13Ov.2



ls2poweredgoat
08-01-2008, 10:10 PM
Budget Bass Comparison

Eclipse 88120 vs MAW-15 vs eD 13Ov.2


As most members here, I switch things up quite often when it comes to my system. Every month or two I was getting new subs, a new amp, new headunit, etc.

But just recently I think I've settled on the system I have now, which consists of....

Alpine 9855
eD NINe.5
Eclipse 88120 sub
Premier 720PRS comps
Knu/Kicker wiring
and a whole lot of damplifier/R-blox sound deadening.

Of course, I will probably get a different sub sooner than later, but I'm pretty sure I'm sticking with the 720PRS comps, NINe.5, and 9855. For my budget, I don't think I could do much better than any of those components for my system, and my listening preferences.

But over the last 6 months or so, I've had the opportunity to test out 3 excellent budget subwoofers. In this comparison I will evaluate Sound Quality, Build Quality, SPL, and Price.

I'm not a professional reviewer by any means, nor do I know all the technical specifications on subwoofers, but I'll do my best. So cut me some slack when it comes to the tech specs. ;)

Note: Both the MAW and 13Ov.2 were ran off an Alpine MRD-M605 (650 rms at 2-ohms). The 88120 is currently being powered by the sub channel on my NINe.5 at 2-ohms (about 550 watts). And when rating on "SPL", that is in respect to the amount of power the sub is getting. We all know your two HDC18's will get louder. ;)


Mach 5 Audio MAW-15


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v709/ls2poweredgoat/DSCN2402.jpg


Box: 2.2 cu ft sealed/3.0 cu ft ported tuned to 32 hz



As corny as it sounds, the MAW-15 will always hold a special place in my heart, because it was my first non-mainstream car audio product.

The MAW-15 was an impulse buy, back when SSA.com had the 24 hour sale, in which I got my MAW for $96 shipped to my door. I wasn't sure about how it would sound, or how the build quality would be, seeing as it was only $96.

A week passed, and my MAW came. I took it out of the box, and was immediately blown away by the build quality. It was on par, if not BETTER, than any other mainstream subwoofer I have ever owned (which is alot).


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v709/ls2poweredgoat/DSCN2403.jpg


Everything was aligned nicely, and there was no excess glue to be found. Tinsel leads were beefy considering the power handling (500 rms). No frills design, Mark put the $$ where it counts - performance.

I first started off with a sealed box built to spec. The MAW performed beautifully. I have yet to have a sub that blends so beautifully with my front stage. The sound quality was there, and the sub was a joy to listen to with rock music, but also got pretty loud with rap. It rarely failed to keep up with the quick drum beats of many hard rock songs.

Later on I threw the sub in a built to spec ported box. And let me tell you, that opened a beast within. This thing POUNDED. If you wanted heart felt bass, just crank up the volume. The MAW still sounded good with rock music, but it would get sloppy with some types of rap. In the 3 years I've been building systems, I've never had people pull up next to me, while driving, and give me thumbs up, telling me how awesome my bass sounded, and couldn't believe it when I told them I only had one sub.

Overall a fantastic sub, whenever I listen to hard rock, I still miss it to this day.

Sound Quality: (Sealed/Ported) 9/10 & 6/10
Build Quality: 8/10
SPL: 10/10 (ported)
Price: $96 shipped


Elemental Designs 13Ov.2


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v709/ls2poweredgoat/DSCN2531.jpg


Box: 1.5 cu ft tuned to 35hz


Here we are again, another impulse buy. eD had these on sale for $70, I figured it would be a one night thing (ended up being for like a month LOL), so I grabbed two of them. Why? Not sure. At the time I was planning on running an IXL-15 and SX900.2, which I later had to sell because I missed an entire weekend of work and needed the $$. Still kicking myself in the *** for that one.

So I had two of these sitting around...what to do with them? Well I sold one of them, and built a box for the other, and threw it in the Honda. First impression? Blah. No output at all. But remember, I was coming from the ground-pounder MAW-15 in a ported box.

Build quality was decent. Was it acceptable for a $70 sub? Absolutely. But for $150+? Hell no. There was so excess glue on the dustcap, and the tinsel leads looked like they belonged on a set of midbass speakers, and not a subwoofer!

After some tuning, and a good 12-20 hour break in period, the 13Ov.2 got my attention.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v709/ls2poweredgoat/DSCN2537.jpg


WOW! What a musical sub. This thing sounded GREAT with any type of music, and was an excuse to take a ride in the car. It had no trouble blending in with my front stage. It would hit every note, keep up with any drum beat, and when it needed to get loud, it impressed. Never tried it out in a sealed box, so I can't comment there.

Elemental Designs may have ****** business practices, but I can't complain about their products.

I miss this sub too, so much that I plan on getting a 19Ov.2 to run with my NINe.5 at 1-ohm. I'm excited.


Sound Quality: 10/10
Build Quality: 6/10
SPL: 8/10
Price (sale price): $94.50 shipped


Eclipse 88120


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v709/ls2poweredgoat/DSCN2581.jpg


Box: 1.5 cu ft tuned to 32 hz


Definately not an impulse buy, LOL. I had finally sold my JL 300/2, and had $150 sitting in paypal. A member on here had a BNIB Eclipse 88120 for sale, and I snagged it. These are TC-9 based, with an aluminum cone and a 3" voicecoil.

Sat in my room for about 2 months. Didn't have much desire for bass, but that sure didn't last long.

Build quality is good. It's got the classic 12-spoke basket, with VERY nice woven tinsels. Impressive.

Built a box, and threw 'er in the Honda. First thoughts was thing puppy gets LOUD, and plays deep. If this were a 15, it would have an edge over the MAW in terms of SPL, no doubt. But even so, being just a 12, it's **** close in output.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v709/ls2poweredgoat/DSCN2593.jpg


I have mixed feelings about this woofer. It gets pretty loud, and loves rap music, and hard rock, but anything else, it fails to impress me. It gets sloppy with classic rock, and doesn't sound as crisp as the other two subs. I've only had it in the car for about a week now, so obviously more tuning is involved.

The box is built to spec, so I know that isn't the problem. But like I said with rap music it sounds great, and stays clean, and has no problem hitting every note. I can't really say it blends in too well with my front stage. I have played around with the gain, and it really doesn't make a difference in how the SQ is. I thought at first that I was giving it too much power? Nope.


Sound Quality: 7/10
Build Quality: 8/10
SPL: 10/10
Price: $150 shipped


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Take my review for what it is. All my gains are set by ear, and each sub has it's own unique qualities that will attract different types of listeners. I just figured I'd help those out who are on a tight budget, trying to decide on which sub to buy. There is no clear winner here, it's all a matter of opinion, and which sub you like best. ;)